16 November 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (17 - 23 November)

| Claire Sams
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A man in a Santa costume in front of a fake Christmas tree

Is it too soon to get ready for Christmas? Nah! Photo: Canberra Centre.

Christmas has come to Canberra early! Civic will host themed markets over three nights, visits from an Auslan-fluent Santa and an expo organised by Woden Community Service to give people a helping hand this festive season.

This coming week will also see the Canberra Symphony Orchestra performing over two nights, an open day for CIT across three campuses, a show by Paul McDermott (and a collaborator), and a walk to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer. But if movies are more your thing, both the Iranian Film Festival and the Sunset Cinema are returning, so bring the popcorn and relax after a long week of work or school while watching some great films!

Multiple days

A street of market stalls at night with fairy lights above

Start your Christmas shopping early! Photo: Canberra Centre.

Festive Lane Markets

When: 17 November, 5 pm to 9 pm; 18 November and 19 November, 12 pm to 7 pm
Where: City Centre, Canberra
Cost: Free entry, purchases available from stallholders.

A meet-and-greet with Father Christmas, sweet treats and festive music are coming to Civic over three nights. Let this be your reminder – Christmas is fast approaching and it’s never too soon to start the shopping. If this is your situation, there will be plenty of artisan and handmade market stalls you can browse for inspiration (and maybe do some gift-buying).

Thick streaks of various shades of green

Canberra Symphony Orchestra presents the Llewellyn Series: Living Green over two days. Image: Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

Llewellyn Series: Living Green from Canberra Symphony Orchestra

When: 22 November and 23 November, from 7:30 pm (both days, with doors opening at 7 pm)
Where: Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Australian National University campus, Acton
Cost: Tickets cost between $17 and $109 and are available via the Orchestra’s website.

In the latest concert from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the public is invited to listen to pieces about the natural world, love and the landscapes around us. Jessica Cottis will serve as conductor and Eleanor Lyons as soprano alongside the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

A still from a movie, showing a woman in a hijab

The Locust (2022, directed by Faeze Azizkhani) is having its Australian premiere at this festival. Photo: Supplied.

Iranian Film Festival Australia

When: 17 November to 19 November, various times
Where: Arc Cinema, at the National Film and South Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: Tickets cost from $15 (multi-film passes available) from the NFSA.

Returning for its 11th year, the Iranian film festival features some of the standouts of Iranian cinema. In 2023, the program includes Australian premieres and returns of award-winning films from some of Iran’s best filmmakers, actors and directors. Touching on themes of creativity, intellectual freedom and connection – it brings stories we can all relate to.

A flyer for the event with a still from the 'Barbie' movie

Break out those rollerskates and head to a showing of Barbie. Photo: Sunset Cinema Canberra.

Sunset Cinema Canberra

When: from 23 November 2023 to 25 February 2024 (Wednesdays to Saturdays), 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton
Cost: Tickets cost between $13 and $23, available from Sunset Cinema.

If you haven’t seen Barbie yet (or want to see it again), dig something pink from your wardrobe and head to the Botanic Gardens for the first film in Sunset Cinema’s next line-up. Returning for its 11th season, the Sunset Cinema sees new releases and old favourites shown in the Australian National Botanic Gardens – with family-friendly films, comedies, superhero movies and comedies on the schedule this season, pop the popcorn and settle in on your beanbag of choice!


Event poster for CIT's 2023 open day

Visit three of CIT’s campuses for their open day on Friday from 2 pm. Image: CIT.

CIT Open Day 2023

When: 17 November, 2 pm to 7 pm
Where: CIT Reid, 37 Constitution Avenue, Reid; CIT Bruce, 35 Vowels Crescent, Bruce; and CIT Fyshwick, 81 Mildura Street, Fyshwick
Cost: Free entry; registration is essential.

If you’re looking to make a change in 2024, this might be something to check out. CIT campuses in Reid, Bruce and Fyshwick will be open for the public to tour the facilities, learn about their offerings and chat with staff. The courses and activities are divided between the campuses, so check out the program and start planning your afternoon. CIT Tuggeranong and CIT Gungahlin will remain open on 17 November for business as usual.

Paul (left) singing and Glenn (right) playing guitar on stage.

Paul McDermott and Glenn Moorhouse will be coming together for their third collaboration. Photo: Glenn Moorhouse.

Paul McDermott Plus One – Blood Orange performance

When: 17 November, from 8 pm
Where: Playhouse Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra
Cost: Tickets cost $39.50 (concession holders) or $45 (standard tickets) and are available from the Canberra Theatre.

Paul McDermott is back – but he’s not alone. This show will be his third collaboration with his music director, Glenn Moorhouse. The Playhouse Theatre will be home to a discussion on the rise of women, the fall of the British and American empires and more.


Auslan Santa with a little girl

Auslan Santa is coming to two Westfield locations this weekend. Photo: Westfield.

Auslan Santa sessions

When: 18 November, 10 am to 2 pm (Westfield Woden) and 2 pm to 4 pm (Westfield Belconnen)
Where: Westfield Woden, Keltie Street, Phillip; Westfield Belconnen, Benjamin Way, Belconnen
Cost: Cost depends on photos chosen for purchase, though online bookings via Westfield’s website are essential.

Get into the Christmas spirit with these inclusive Santa sessions! Deaf and hard-of-hearing children will be able to sign their wish list to Santa at two Westfield locations. The initiative was launched last year in several states and is now in the ACT to make sure no child misses out on a visit to Father Christmas.


A flyer for the event

Put your foot down and help improve survival rates for people with pancreatic cancer. Photo: PanKind, The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Put Your Foot Down Canberra walk

When: 19 November, from 9:30 am
Where: Starts at The Jetty, Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Entry costs $25 (for over 18s) or $10 (aged five to 18 years) with registration online.

The first Put Your Foot Down walk for the ACT will be held this weekend. Organised to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, it involves a 5 km walk (yes, dogs are invited), and attendees are invited to wear purple. The walk will raise money for research, with the goal of tripling the survival rate of those with the cancer by 2030.


santa on a budget cost of living expo event poster

Head to Westfield Woden for the Cost of Living Expo on Monday, 20 November. Image: Woden Community Service.

Santa on a Budget: Cost of Living Expo

When: 20 November, 11 am to 2 pm
Where: Woden Community Hub (above CBA), Westfield Woden, Keltie Street, Phillip
Cost: Free entry.

Many of us are looking at our budgets with increasing worry, so Woden Community Service has organised a range of events to give a helping hand. The first one is this expo! A range of businesses and organisations will be there with information on available support services and what businesses offer to those needing some financial support. There will also be a Christmas wrapping paper station and lucky door prizes.

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