16 August 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (11 - 17 August)

| Travis Radford
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The Top Dog Film Festival celebrates the incredible bond between dogs and their people across two heartwarming hours. Photo: Top Dog Film Festival.

Canberra Writers Festival isn’t the only festival in town this week. Expect simultaneous celebrations of Taiwanese film, ceramics, man’s best friend and more.

Plus, National Science Week is also pulling out all the stops, with dozens of events to suit science and technology enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

It’s also the last chance to watch the capital’s pro ice hockey team, Caribou CBR Brave, in their last home game of the season, and much more.


Kiku Premiere Screening + Q&A

When: Friday 11 August, from 6:30 pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: $12 to $15, book here.

This intergenerational short dance film directed by Natsuko Yonezawa and accompanied by an original choral soundtrack, brings together six remarkable women over 50 who express their journeys of ageing through movement. Afterwards, a short documentary about the six dancers will be screened and there will be a Q&A session with the director, composer and dancers.

Friday and Saturday

bush tucker.

Hear from Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp of Yurbay (the Wiradjuri word for seed) Consultancies, which connects people to local food and medicine plants. Photo: NMA.

Tasting Australia with Adam Shipp

When: Friday 11 and Saturday 12 August, from 9:30 am and noon
Where: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton
Cost: From $19.84, book here.

Join a seasonal walk through the National Museum’s Christina and Trevor Kennedy Garden with Wiradjuri man Adam Shipp of Yurbay Consultancies. The garden is a living museum of First Nations food and medicine plants from across Australia, with guests treated to the sights, scents and flavours of the season, as Adam shares his knowledge and passion for native plants.


Fired Up 2023: Licence to Kiln.

Explore the wonders of the ceramic art form and connect through clay at Canberra Potters’ annual Fired Up festival. Photo: Canberra Potters.

Fired Up 2023: Licence to Kiln

When: Saturday 12 August, 3 to 8 pm
Where: Watson Arts Centre, 1 Aspinall Street, Watson
Cost: Entry by gold coin donation, some additional paid events.

Fired Up is Canberra Potters’ annual festival celebrating the local ceramics community. Explore the wonders of the artform and connect through clay over hand-building stations, the magical alchemy of raku firing and more. Plus, meet resident artists and watch them create, or browse a market and shop, offering an array of ceramic wares, jewellery and decorative items.

Hockey player.

Catch all the action this weekend as Caribou CBR Brave face the Central Coast Rhinos. Photo: David Tate.

Caribou CBR Brave v Central Coast Rhinos

When: Saturday 12 August, from 5 pm
Where: Phillip Ice Skating Centre, 1 Irving Street, Phillip
Cost: From $15, book here.

Canberra’s leaderboard-topping ice hockey team, Caribou CBR Brave, will play their last home game of the season this Saturday. The team will take on the Central Coast Rhinos in a special Hockey Fights Cancer round, with special jerseys designed for the round to be auctioned after the game, with a proportion of proceeds going to Brave’s chosen cause, the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

Saturday and Sunday

Taiwan Film Festival in Australia

When: Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August, various times
Where: National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: $12 to $18 per person per event, book here.

The sixth annual Taiwan Film Festival in Australia is coming to the capital! The festival showcases a diverse range of films by Taiwanese and Asian Australian filmmakers. This year’s program includes six films across two days, kicking off with whimsical love story, Miss Shampoo, and also featuring a post-screening Q&A with Lee Yi-Fang on her directorial debut feature, Little Blue.

Wednesday and Thursday

2023 Top Dog Film Festival

When: Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 August, 7 to 9:45 pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: $23 to $30 plus transaction fee, book here.

The Top Dog Film Festival returns to showcase the incredible bond between dogs and their people. Expect more than two hours of the most inspirational, heartwarming and entertaining canine-themed films from independent filmmakers around the globe, including stories of salty sea dogs, people who dedicate their lives to improving the outcomes for man’s best friend and more.

Wednesday onwards

Special event: Whither The Liberal Party? Image: Barrie Cassidy, Niki Savva, Dave Sharma and Amy Remekis - Canberra Writers Festival.

Whither The Liberal Party? with Amy Remeikis, Barrie Cassidy, Niki Savva and Dave Sharma is one of 74 events at the Canberra Writers Festival. Photo: Canberra Writers Festival.

Canberra Writers Festival

When: Wednesday 16 to Sunday 20 August, various times
Where: Various locations, view full program here
Cost: Various prices, book here.

Bluey creator Joe Brumm, award-winning author Thomas Keneally and journalist Stan Grant are just a few of the more than 120 Australian (and some international) storytellers about to converge on Canberra for the five-day Canberra Writers Festival. This year’s theme is ‘Power Politics Passion,’ with 74 events, 60 conversations, 12 masterclasses and more, across five jam-packed days.


Abstract 101: 5-Week Master Class.

Join Abstract 101, a five-week master class at Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Photo: Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

Abstract 101: Five-Week Master Class

When: Thursdays (last session 7 September), 6 pm to 8 pm
Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 137 Reed Street North, Greenway
Cost: $175 for the five-week series, book here.

Explore your creativity and develop practical skills in drawing and painting in the process with this five-week masterclass. Facilitated by tutor and artist Sarah Murray, Abstract 101 aims to demystify abstract painting as you journey through art history in a safe space, where getting messy is encouraged. The masterclass is open to all abilities and materials are provided.

The Big Bike Film Night

When: Thursday 17 August, 6:30 pm to 9 pm
Where: Dendy Cinemas, 148 Bunda Street, Canberra
Cost: $13.50 to $27.50, book here.

The best cycling short films from around the world are riding into town this week, courtesy of The Big Bike Film Night. Expect action, drama, humour, and plenty of inspiration across 10 films celebrating all things cycling. This year’s program includes stories of a young Australian ‘bikepacker’s’ scenic trip to hell, a moustached 74-year-old bicicletta rider from Tuscany and more.

All week long

National Science Week

National Science Week has a line-up of fascinating events for Canberrans of all ages. Photo: Ben Calvert.

National Science Week

When: Until Sunday 27 August, various times
Where: Various locations, view program here
Cost: Various prices, book here.

Children, adults and science amateurs to professionals are invited to take part in Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. Choose from dozens of events delivered by universities, schools, research institutions, libraries, museums and science centres, including a forensics themed event by the AFP, a traditional Japanese technology workshop and more.

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