14 March 2024

Things to do in Canberra this week (15 - 21 March)

| Claire Sams
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It's a spectacular display, Hit 104.7 Skyfire. Photo: Supplied.

Skyfire is back with a bang over Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Supplied.

With a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, a beer festival, the return of the Yass Show, a German market and much (much, much) more happening, there are plenty of opportunities for Canberrans to get out and have some fun this week – and that’s before we get to the long-awaited return of Skyfire.

Multiple days

Ralph Heimans

An exhibition of Ralph Heimans’ work is coming to the National Portrait Gallery. Photo: Ralph Heimans.

Ralph Heimans: Portraiture. Power. Influence. exhibition

When: 15 March to 27 May, 10 am to 5 pm daily (exhibition); 15 March, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (artist talk)
Where: National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Tickets cost between $16 and $20 (free entry for children under 18) and are available via the Portrait Gallery’s website (the exhibition); and between $30 and $34 for the artist talk, available via the Portrait Gallery’s website.

Ralph Heimans: Portraiture. Power. Influence. is the first major exhibition of the Sydney-born artist’s work in his home country. The exhibition will feature some of the most significant portraits in his career, including his paintings of Queen Mary of Denmark, King Charles III, Dame Judi Dench and Dame Quentin Bryce. It will also feature portraits loaned from private and public collections in Australia and overseas, some of which have never been exhibited publicly in Australia.

The artist will stop by the National Portrait Gallery from 5:30 pm on 15 March (Friday) for a chat with Senior Curator Joanna Gilmour about his work and the exhibition themes. The exhibition will remain open until 7:30 pm, with the ticket cost covering entry and a drink on arrival.

A poster for the Canberra Comedy Festival

Get ready for some belly laughs. Photo: Canberra Comedy Festival.

2024 Canberra Comedy Festival

When: 13 March to 24 March, various times
Where: Various locations
Cost: Variable; tickets are available via the Festival’s website.

Break into the routine of the working week with the Canberra Comedy Festival! Melanie Bracewell, Dr Jason Leong, local legend Chris Ryan, Jimeoin, Ray O’Leary and many more comedians are ready to poke fun at many aspects of our lives and times.


Yass Show 2023

Yass Valley is getting ready to put on a show for another year. Image: Supplied.

Yass Show 2024

When: 16 March, 8 am to 5 pm
Where: Yass Showground, Grand Junction Road, Yass
Cost: Tickets cost $5 (for children over five, with children under five free), $10 (for adults), or $25 (for a family), available via Trybooking.

Get a little dirt on your hands at the Yass Show. In 2024, there will be plenty of pavilion displays and exhibits to check out – such as cooked meals, fruit, photography, flowers, honey, handicrafts, plants, wool and more – and horse events, working antique machinery, a dog show, and visits from sheep, cattle and dairy goats. Community groups and local vendors will be on hand to cook up a storm. There will also be plenty of family-friendly fun, such as a children’s arena with games and activities for the youngsters, magic shows and a patting paddock …

Tumut River Tap Days

Beer trucks from far and wide will be in Canberra this Saturday. Photo: Grant Hardwick.

Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival

When: 16 March, 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Mercure Canberra (entry via Batman Street)
Cost: Tickets start at $23 (with children under 18 having free entry and options for group bookings) and are available via Ticketek.

Grab some mates and head to Mercure for the Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival! It’s more than a festival for the frothies – although there will be 250 craft beers available, as well as a range of ciders, spirits and wines. Food stalls, live entertainment, giveaways, a charity raffle, face painting, and other activities will also be there.

Hit 104.7 Skyfire

It’s been five years, but Skyfire is coming back to Canberra! Photo: Hit 104.7 Skyfire.

Skyfire 2024

When: 16 March, 5:05 pm to 8:50 pm
Where: Regatta Point, Parkes
Cost: Free entry.

After a five-year hiatus, Skyfire is coming back to Canberra. Local radio stations and organisers Mix 106.3, and Hit 104.7 FM announced in October 2023 that the fan-favourite firework show would return with more than 40,000 effects, 2500 shells and 25,000 shooting comets. It will all be set to a high-energy soundtrack broadcast simultaneously on Hit 104.7 and Mix 106.3 for 20 ooh and aah-filled minutes. Before the main Skyfire show at 8:30 pm, there will be an evening of entertainment for attendees to enjoy.

Two people standing together

Committee members Paul Collins and Jill Hanson are among those working to organise this interfaith service. Photo: Supplied.

Interfaith ecumenical service for the Feast of Saint Patrick

When: 16 March, 12 pm to 2 pm
Where: Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton
Cost: Free entry, though there will be a voluntary cash donation for charity and the Irish Support Agency in Sydney.

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is known across the world – and in 2024, the Friends of Ireland Society Canberra have organised an interfaith service to mark its passing. The University of Melbourne’s Professor Patrick McGorry is an Irish-born Australian psychiatrist, mental health advocate, and president of The Celtic Club in Melbourne, and he will be stopping by Canberra as the guest speaker.


A poster for the event

German food and a pop-up bar – and that’s just for starters. Photo: Harmonie German Club/Facebook.

Autumn German Markets

When: 17 March, 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Harmonie German Club, 49 Jerrabomberra Avenue, Narrabundah
Cost: Free entry.

Welcome autumn with this German-themed market! Browse the boutique market stalls, stock up at the German deli, listen to the roving accordionist, get a drink at one of the pop-up bars, or grab a bite to eat at the sausage cart.

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