24 March 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (24 - 30 March)

| Travis Radford
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People sitting in rows of chairs facing an outdoors Tennis ACT lecturn

Guests will hear from former Australian netballer Caitlin Bassett at the ACT Women in Sport & Leadership Brunch on Friday. Photo: Tennis ACT.

Fans of live performances will enjoy the latest from Australian Wind Symphony, Broadway-hit Choir Boy and Dan Walker’s Of the Body.

Those looking for some quieter fun might consider bonsai classes, Allen Mawer’s meet the author talk or a screening of highlights from the Mardi Gras Film Festival.

Plus more! Including a women in sport and leadership networking brunch and a self-guided cocktail tour around Canberra.


ACT Women in Sport & Leadership Brunch

When: Friday 24 March, 9 am to 10:30 am
Where: Tennis ACT, 1 Riggall Place Lyneham, entry through the Next Gen foyer
Cost: $59.54; book here.

Guests will hear from leading women in sport and business while networking over a light brunch. Former Australian netballer Caitlin Bassett will be the headlining guest speaker. Caitlin played for Giants Netball and the Australia national netball team and represented the Australian Diamonds 102 times, becoming the team’s fifth centurion.

READ ALSO ACT women in sport and leadership invited to network, brunch and banish Imposter Syndrome

Friday to Sunday

Mardi Gras Film Festival

When: Friday 24 to Sunday 26 March
Where: Arc Cinema, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: $17.90 to $19.90 per session; book here.

Highlights from Queer Screen’s 30th edition of the Mardi Gras Film Festival will screen this March. New filmmakers’ award-winning work, including In from the Side and The Venus Effect, will be shown alongside the complete works of Stephen Cummins, one of Queer Screen’s founders. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Cummins’ key creatives and collaborators.

Stylised black and white promotional graphic for Bonsai Reshaped

The annual celebration of the art of bonsai returns to Canberra. Photo: National Arboretum Canberra.

Bonsai Reshaped

When: Friday 24 to Sunday 26 March, various times
Where: National Arboretum, Forest Drive, Molonglo Valley
Cost: various prices; full program here.

Learn new skills from bonsai artists, shop the bonsai market and attend social events at the annual celebration of the art of bonsai. Internationally recognised bonsai artist Nik Rozman from Slovenia joins assistant curator of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia, Sam Thompson, to host intermediate and beginner workshops and live demonstrations.


Urban Cocktail Trail graphic showing bars

The event will span nine venues and signature cocktails. Photo: Neighbourhood Events Co.

Urban Cocktail Trail: Canberra

When: Saturday 25 March, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: various venues, Canberra
Cost: $73.54 to $89.15; book here.

This self-guided experience follows a cocktail trail through nine Canberra venues. Begin the afternoon with a bite to eat (one $10 food voucher included per person) and a cocktail at a starting venue of your choice. Then, follow the trail to the eight remaining venues, including Bar Beirut, Hopscotch and Volstead Repeal. A full venue and cocktail list can be viewed here.

Australian Wind Symphony promotional graphic with stylised musical notes

The performance will coincide with the 2023 International Day of Happiness. Photo: Australian Wind Symphony.

Laetus: Australian Wind Symphony

When: Saturday 25 March, from 7:30 pm
Where: Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen
Cost: $30 to $78; book here.

This post-COVID celebration of uplifting music from the Australian Wind Symphony has been scheduled to coincide with the 2023 International Day of Happiness. The show will feature Australian-premiering new work, including Oscar Navarro’s Downey Overture, Yosuke Fukuda’s Tango and Rebecca Anne Culp’s A New Day, alongside several other pieces of work.


Promotional graphic showing an old-fashioned map

Martin Woods joins Allen Mawer to discuss Mawer’s new maritime history book. Photo: National Library of Australia.

Meet the Author: Allen Mawer in conversation with Martin Woods

When: Wednesday 29 March, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Where: The National Library of Australia, Parkes Pl W and online via Zoom
Cost: $10 for members of the Friends of the National Library, $15 for non-Friends members; book here.

President of the Australian and New Zealand Map Society Dr Martin Woods joins author and historian Allen Mawer to discuss his new book, East by West. Mawer’s book examines the historical sources, charts and eyewitness records from Ferdinand Magellan’s famous voyage around the globe 500 years ago and reconsiders what is known of Magellan and his expedition.

Wednesday onwards

Choir Boy

When: From Wednesday 29 March to Sunday 2 April, various times
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: $89.00 plus transaction fee; book here.

Academy Award-winning writer Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Tony Award-nominated Choir Boy is coming to Canberra. The Broadway play tells the story of a young gay man, Pharus Young, who is intent on becoming the best choir leader in the 50-year history of Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys. Themes of sexuality, race and hope are explored alongside a cappella gospel hymns.

READ ALSO Shining a light on music, the body and six voices raised in song

Thursday and Friday

Luminescence members with guest conductor Roland Peelman (centre) and director AJ America (second from right).

Luminescence members with guest conductor Roland Peelman (centre) and director AJ America (second from right). Photo: Hilary Wardhaugh.

Of the Body

When: Thursday 30 March and Friday 31 March, from 7:30 pm
Where: various locations
Cost: $25 to $55; book here.

Of the Body presents an eclectic mix of music from the 16th century through to the present, traversing sex, sensuality, the senses and the role of the body in the digital age. Each part of Dan Walker’s six-movement musical dissection of the human anatomy is devoted to a different part of the body – the eyes, hands, mouth, feet, blood and heart.

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