1 December 2022

Things to do in Canberra this week (2 - 8 December)

| Evelyn Karatzas
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woman takes hold of a glass of wine

Wine Island is all about the wine (and the festival hats of course). Photo: Supplied.

There’s plenty of exciting things to see and do this weekend, especially as we welcome the most exciting and festive month of the year.

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to put the tree up, buy your gifts, grab your photos with Santa and enjoy all the fun, holiday season events and performances taking place around the capital.

To get you through this weekend and early next week: relax at the outdoor movies at Sunset Cinema; taste Wine Island; take in a Celtic Christmas concert; listen to Australian band Yours Truly; grab a bargain at the Little Burley Christmas Market; share a laugh at a comedy night; head to a book launch; or take in an opera and musical.

Where will you go first?

outdoor movie

The crowd soaks up the atmosphere while watching the big screen. Photo: Sunset Cinema.

Sunset Cinema

When: Wednesday to Sunday until Sunday 25 February
Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens
How much: Tickets from $10, purchase here

One of Canberra’s favourite summer activities is back, and everyone is invited to celebrate 11 years of blockbusters surrounded by the great outdoors.

Sunset Cinema brings a mix of new releases, all-time classics and family favourites screened at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Bring your family, friends and partners and get in the mood for the festive season with Christmas classics including Love Actually, ELF, Home Alone 2, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Nightmare Before Christmas – playing from 15 to 23 December. There will also be a three-night Lindsay Lohan-fest on 14, 18 and 20 January.

Manus McGuire

Come and see Irish fiddle player Manus McGuire perform in Weston this Friday. Photo: Manus McGuire Music, Facebook.

Celtic Christmas Concert

When: Friday 2 December, 7 – 8:30 pm
Where: 6 Parkinson St, Weston
How much: Tickets from $30, purchase here

A special Celtic Christmas concert is coming to Canberra this Friday night.

The concert features acclaimed Irish fiddle player, Manus McGuire, now on his third Australian tour.

Originally from Sligo, Manus will perform with guitarist Ben Stephenson.

queen Elizabeth island

It’s Queen Elizabeth II Island but like you’ve never seen it before. Welcome to Wine Island. Photo: Supplied.

Wine Island Canberra

When: Friday 2 December from 6 pm, Saturday 3 December from 10 am
Where: Queen Elizabeth II Island, ACT
How much: Tickets from $75.95, purchase here

Dust off your best festival hat and start polishing your wine glasses – a festival dedicated to the great drop is coming to Canberra this weekend.

The creators of the hugely popular Wine Island in Sydney are bringing their offering to Canberra’s very own Queen Elizabeth II Island in Lake Burley Griffin.

And while this island party won’t require sea legs (or even for you to renew your passport), it’s set to be a unique celebration of local wines and international experiences.

Greek Beach Club, anyone? The club will offer wines, beer and ouzo from Drink Greek and DJ Charlie Villas will be pumping the tunes out all day long.

Winemakers from regions including the Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale, King Valley, Coonawarra and Alpine Valley are also slated to attend the festival to share their drops with visitors.

There will also be some Canberra favourites including BentSpoke Brewing Co., Lark Hill, Big River Distilling Co., Contentious Character, Sholto Wines and Mount Majura in attendance.

Yours Truly

Yours Truly is performing at the University of Canberra this weekend. Photo: Yours Truly, Facebook.

Yours Truly at UC Hub

When: Saturday 3 December at 8 pm
Where: UC Hub, Kirinari St, Bruce
How much: Tickets are $23.18, purchase here

Hit the University of Canberra this Saturday for Australian pop-punk band Yours Truly.

It’ll showcase its latest EP – is this what i look like? after a hectic and full year.

Supported by Banks Arcade & Yen Strange, this is a show you won’t want to miss.

santa standing next to the Little Burley Market sign

The Little Burley Christmas Market will operate all through December, Photo: The Little Burley Market, Facebook.

Little Burley Christmas Market

When: Every Saturday leading up until Christmas, from 9 am to 1:30 pm
Where: National Triangle on Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes
How much: Free entry

There’s snow where else you’d rather be this holiday season than on the lake to visit the Little Burley Christmas Market.

Across four Saturdays, get yourself in the festive spirit with Canberra’s only lakeside market. It’s set to be filled with non-stop entertainment, visits from Santa, craft-making activities plus plenty of hand-made and locally sourced gifts to treat your elf and loved ones this Christmas. Check out the full list of performers here.

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas

Enjoy A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas on 3 December at Canberra Theatre Centre. Image: Supplied.

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas

When: Saturday 3 December from 7:30 pm
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra
How much: Tickets are from $49.90, purchase here

Canberra Comedy Festival has a very special Christmas present for you!

Join the festival’s best comedians as they get you into the festive spirit with an amazing show packed with comedy superstars. This two-hour comedy gala event features some of the best acts from the upcoming festival line-up in one massive show!

Don’t wait until the 2023 festival to get your laughter fix, join us for the best Santa-sack full of laughs this side of the North Pole!

Alex Miller

Alex Miller will be talking about his latest book A Brief Affair. Photo: NLA.

A Brief Affair: Alex Miller in conversation with Tom Griffiths

When: Monday 5 December from 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: The National Library of Australia and on the Library’s Facebook page
How much: Entry is free, however booking is essential

Described as “hauntingly beautiful”, A Brief Affair is a novel about storytelling, truths and love. From the bustling streets of China and ominous Cell 16 in an old asylum building to the familiar sights and sounds of galahs flying over a Victorian farm, A Brief Affair is a tender love story.

Buy a copy of the book on the night from the National Library Bookshop and, following discussion in the theatre, Alex Miller will be available for signings in the foyer.

For those who wish to meet for refreshments prior to the conversation, Bookplate Café will remain open until the event starts at 6pm.

Katrina Wiseman

Katrina Wiseman will debut her opera career in Handel’s Alcina. Photo: Katrina Wiseman.

Handel’s Opera Alcina

When: Thursday 8 and Saturday 10 December from 7:30 pm
Where: Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Acton
How much: Tickets are from $75, purchase here

Alcina is set on an enchanted island with not one but two sorceresses, discarded lovers who have been transformed into wild beasts, and a young woman disguising herself as a man so she can find her missing lover. Full of gorgeous music and with an all-star Australian cast, this will be a night of glorious musical delights.

National Opera presents Handel’s Alcina with an all-star cast including Emma Matthews and Rachelle Durkin and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra conducted by Handel specialist Graham Abbott.

READ MORE Katrina takes debut spotlight at National Opera’s end-of-year production

Winging It: The Musical

Winging It: The Musical at Canberra Theatre Centre on 8-10 December. Image: Supplied.

Winging It: The Musical

When: Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 December from 7:30 pm
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra
How much: Tickets are $39.00, purchase here

Canberra’s premier unscripted comedy troupe is back to combine the mischief of improvisation with the magic of musical theatre.

Each night, the Lightbulb players and musicians will create a new musical with the razzle-dazzle of a Broadway show before your very eyes, complete with memorable characters, captivating songs, spirited dance routines and epic storylines.

A single audience suggestion is all the Lightbulb troupe will need to conjure up a fully improvised two-act musical. All music, dialogue, songs and choreography are made up on the spot. Come and join a night of musical mayhem that will never be repeated and you will never forget!

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