18 May 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (19 to 25 May)

| Travis Radford
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ballet dancers

Grand Kyiv Ballet: Forest Song & Don Quixote comes to Canberra Theatre Centre this May. Image: Supplied.

This week, Grand Kyiv Ballet of Ukraine comes to Canberra for an Australian-first performance of Forest Song alongside the classic Don Quixote.

Or get active this weekend by walking, running or rolling to support people with multiple sclerosis, or get active in the community at a volunteering expo.

In the world of the creative arts, there’s a portrait exhibition a century in the making, a LEGO showcase for a good cause and new works by Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

If you want to learn more about the Voice to Parliament, you won’t miss the launch of a new handbook by Thomas Mayo and Kerry O’Brien, plus lots more.


Big LEGO man in front of Woden School sign

More than 40 LEGO creations will be on display at The Woden School. Photo: Canberra LEGO User Group.

Bricks @ Woden School 2023

When: Saturday 20 May, 9 am to 4 pm and Sunday 21 May, 9 am to 2:30 pm
Where: The Woden School, Denison Street, Deakin
Cost: $5 to $10 per person; book here.

Expect a micro-scale LEGO city, an operational LEGO train and a “great ball contraption” (more on what that is here) among the more than 40 LEGO creations on display. There’ll also be face painting, raffles, a BBQ and more. Plus, you’ll be supporting a good cause, with proceeds going to The Woden School, which offers specialised education to children with intellectual disabilities.

Stall holder talks to prospective volunteers

More than 40 volunteer-involving organisations will attend the Volunteering Expo. Photo: Volunteering ACT.

Volunteering Expo 2023

When: Saturday 20 May, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Campbell High School, 15 Treloar Crescent, Campbell
Cost: Free; no booking required.

Try out some volunteer roles and have fun while doing it! Experienced and first-time volunteers are invited to engage with more than 40 different volunteer-involving organisations active in Canberra. Guests will be able to learn about these organisations’ programs and register their interest in volunteering while enjoying great food and music.

bee in red flowers

Australian Parliament House will take you behind the scenes of their gardens in these unique tours. Photo: Australian Parliament House.

Beehive Discovery Tour at Australian Parliament House

When: Saturday 20 May, various times
Where: Parliament House, Parliament Drive, Canberra
Cost: $57 to $76; book here.

Celebrate World Bee Day with a tour of the beehives at Parliament House. You’ll learn about the secret lives of bees and their importance as pollinators from Parliament’s head beekeeper and how non-toxic pest management systems keep the gardens in pristine condition in a sustainable and eco-friendly way from a senior landscape gardener.

Portrait of Ronald Fraser (detail) by Lisa Ly

The pictured portrait of Ronald Fraser will be among the works on display. Image: Lisa Ly.

100 Canberra: The National Exhibition

When: Opening Saturday 20 May, from 2 pm
Where: Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen
Cost: Free; RSVP at rsvp@embraced.com.au.

The Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers introduced 465 hundred-year-olds to 465 teenage artists. This exhibition celebrates 100 of these intergenerational relationships through portraits created and stories shared. The multi-year project involved subjects and artists from all walks of life across all corners of Australia and sought to break down ageist stereotypes.


male cellist

CSO Principal Cellist Patrick Suthers will be among the ensemble. Photo: Martin Ollman.

Chamber Classics Series: Darkness to Light

When: Sunday, 21 May, from 2 pm
Where: Albert Hall, 100 Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla
Cost: $17 to $49 per person; book here.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra presents two works of powerful contrasts: joy and despair, major and minor, and darkness and light. Both works were written at difficult periods in the pianists’ lives, with the first by Clara Schumann alternating between beautiful, dramatic and playful, and the second by Antonín Dvořák, hinting at a funeral march in its second movement.

People participating in CANBERRA MS WALK RUN + ROLL.

Walk, run or roll around Lake Burley Griffin this Sunday to show your support for Australians living with multiple sclerosis. Photo: MS Plus.

Canberra MS Walk, Run + Roll

When: Sunday 21 May; various times
Where: Rond Terrace, Parkes Way, Acton
Cost: $15 to $60 per person; book here.

Canberrans are invited to Lake Burley Griffin to support the more than 33,000 Australians living with multiple sclerosis (MS), for which there is no known cure … yet. The fully accessible course means walkers, runners and rollers, including those in wheelchairs and pushing prams, can all get moving for one cause – to raise awareness and funds while the search for a cure for MS continues.

All weekend

People looking at gem stones

Canberra Lapidary Club’s winter show will have treasures on sale and member collections on display. Photo: EPIC.

Canberra Winter Gemcraft & Mineral Show

When: Saturday 20 May, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 21 May, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: EPIC, Corner of Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue, Mitchell
Cost: $4 to $12, free for children 16 and under.

Mineral specimens, fossils, opals, rocks, rough and cut gemstones and jewellery will be on sale at the winter show. Members of the Canberra Lapidary Club, which is hosting the show, will also have their collections on display. Plus, visit the Age of Fishes Museum for information, exhibits and demonstrations of cabbing, faceting and jewellery making, with food and drink available.

Sunday to Tuesday

Grand Kyiv Ballet: Forest Song & Don Quixote

When: Sunday 21 to Tuesday 23 May, various times
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: $118 plus transaction fee; book here.

Grand Kyiv Ballet of Ukraine will perform two ballet acts, with the first making its Australian debut in Canberra. The first act, Forest Song, is a magical love story, full of mysticism, alongside the conflict between the human world and nature. The second act, Don Quixote, is a flamboyant and festive Spanish ballet that tells the story of a courageous but troubled man’s quest for love.


Promotional artwork

Learn more about the Voice. Photo: National Library of Australia.

Book launch: The Voice to Parliament Handbook

When: Wednesday, 24 May, 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: National Library of Australia, Parkes Place West, Canberra
Cost: Free; book here.

The Voice to Parliament Handbook is a guide for Australians who want to better understand what a Voice to Parliament actually means. Listen to a discussion by the book’s authors, Indigenous leader Thomas Mayo and acclaimed journalist Kerry O’Brien, about the Voice to Parliament and how it might function. Plus, there’ll also be an opportunity for book signings on the night.

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