26 October 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (27 October - 2 November)

| James Day
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A screaming mask faced and hooded individual about to swing with a knife in a home.

On 28 October, the National Film and Sound Archive is holding a double feature screening of the original Scream and the series’ most recent instalment. Photo: NFSA.

Before leaning into the spooky spirit of Halloween, why not join Duffy Primary School’s 50th birthday picnic or an evening with musical composer Genevieve Lacey and master classical accordion player James Crabb at the National Museum of Australia?

If you can’t bear to wait, that Friday night will also have the National Film and Sound Archive’s feature of Ti West’s Kiwi-made horror films, before Saturday’s double feature program of Scream. You could celebrate after at the Dickson Taphouse or join the Strange Weather choir at Hawker College for an evening with some of the city’s best voices.

And there’s more … Hit the Canberra Tennis Centre courts on Sunday morning for a game or two before joining a parade of costumed paws at Haig Park and settling into an evening of Shakespearean delight with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.


Duffy Primary School's front lawn.

Senator Katy Gallagher, Education Minister Yvette Berry and Director General of Education Katy Haire will unveil the mural. Photo: Duffy Primary School.

Duffy Primary 50th Birthday Picnic

When: 28 October, from 3 to 7 pm (speeches at 5 pm)
Where: Duffy Primary, 47 Burrinjuck Crescent, Duffy
Cost: Free entry; no booking required.

To celebrate Duffy Primary’s opening 50 years ago in 1973, the school’s P&C has commissioned a local Indigenous artist to paint a mural depicting the school’s history. Be there for the unveiling, as well as oval games, sausage sizzle, kids’ activities, and a range of stalls and activities, including a cake stall, cupcake and biscuit decorating, and face painting.

A man playing a piano accordion next to a woman

Genevieve Lacey is the same mind behind the National Museum’s permanent sound installation, Breathing Space. Photo: National Museum of Australia.

Genevieve Lacy & James Crabb in concert

When: 27 October, from 7 pm
Where: National Museum of Australia, Acton, Canberra
Cost: From $70, bookings required. Tickets are available to purchase on the Eventbrite website.

Musical composer Genevieve Lacey and classical accordion aficionado James Crabb are taking audiences on a journey through folk, Western European classics and contemporary tunes. With drinks and light snacks to accompany the talented duo, visitors will be treated to a masterful program curated by Ms Lacey.

Mia Goth in a red dress holding an axe with a red barn behind her

In Pearl, Mia Goth plays the household name killer’s origins, which lead to the events featured in the sequel X. Photo: NFSA.

Halloween screenings at the National Film and Sound Archive

When: 27 October, Pearl at 7 pm and X at 9 pm; 28 October, Scream (1996) and Scream VI at 7 pm.
Where: Arc Cinema, Acton
Cost: $10 to $12. Tickets are available to purchase on the National Film and Sound Archive website.

Kicking off the Halloween season, the National Film and Sound Archive is putting on four feature films at the Arc Cinema. On Friday night, Ti West’s films Pearl and X will grace the screen with all the footage captured on location in New Zealand. The following Saturday evening is a Hollywood double feature of the original 1996 Scream and the series’ most recent sequel, Scream VI.


A group of people talking while standing around a wide range of food goods on tables in a room.

Every Saturday, the Holy Cross Tuckerbox provides fresh food and pantry staples to those struggling with food insecurity. Photo: Holy Cross Tuckerbox.

Hackett Community Association’s 60th birthday

When: 28 October, from 3 to 8 pm
Where: Grounds of Holy Cross Anglican and St Margaret’s Uniting Church, Antill Street, Hackett
Cost: Free entry; no booking required.

Antill Street’s church grounds will be stocked to the brim with stalls, displays, music and food trucks on Saturday afternoon to celebrate Hackett Community Association’s 60th birthday. Among the activities are a raffle and sausage sizzle, with profits going to local volunteer foodbank initiative, the Holy Cross Tuckerbox.

The choir performing at Smith's Alternative Cafe with piano playing beside them and a crowd sitting in the foreground.

The Strange Weather Choir performed recently at Smith’s Alternative Café in preparation for the concert this Saturday night. Photo: Strange Weather Choir.

Strange Weather Choir concert at Hawker College

When: 28 October, from 7 pm
Where: 51 Murranji Street, Hawker, Canberra
Cost: $20 concession, $25 adult, under-12 it’s free. Tickets available to purchase on the humanitix website.

After 25 years as one of Canberra’s local community vocal super teams, the Strange Weather Choir is celebrating its anniversary with a concert at Hawker College. With their last produced concert in March 2019 and a four-year gap because of COVID-19, the choir is revitalising its numbers and repertoire back to its original pre-pandemic state. Along with the choir’s own program of songs, the concert will feature several small group performances and the Canberra Harmony Chorus.

painting of a flower

Something Floral 6-Week Masterclass Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Photo: Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

Something Floral: 6-Week Drawing Masterclass for Adults

When: Saturdays from 2 pm to 4 pm, 28 October to 2 December
Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Tuggeranong, Canberra
Cost: $210 (for the 6-week series).

As part of their Adult Masterclass series, the Tuggeranong Arts Centre is running a program open to the public interested in learning drawing, abstract painting, eco-dying and printmaking. For beginners or those with some experience, the centre will have visual artist Gina Chapman run the course. Trained in conservation, land management and horticulture, Gina brings a unique blend of science and function to the beauty of the subject.

dickson taphouse sign

From 8 pm, a DJ will be playing some Halloween hits for the pub’s crowd. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Halloween at Dickson Taphouse

When: 28 October, from 6 pm
Where: 30 Woolley Street, Dickson
Cost: Free entry; no booking required. More information available on the Dickson Taphouse Facebook page.

Dickson Taphouse is holding an evening of spooky specialties to close the early Halloween festivities. From cocktails to beer paddles and a chance for the best dressed to win a $100 bar tab, there won’t be a lack of excitement.


People posing with tennis racquets on a tennis court

For the first 200 kids aged 12 or under, they’ll be gifted with a free tennis racquet. Photos: Tennis ACT.

Community Tennis Day

When: 29 October, from 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Canberra Tennis Centre, Tennis World, 3 Rigall Place, Lyneham
Cost: Free event; no booking required.

To herald the Summer of Tennis, the team behind Tennis ACT is holding a free event for the community on Sunday morning. For the kids, there are Tennis Hot Shots classes, ball activities, roaming characters, face painting and glitter tattoos, while the adults will be treated to Cardio Tennis classes, or a chance to try out Pop Tennis. There’ll be plenty of food for everyone, along with a local DJ and free seated massages from CBR Massage.

A poster for the event with a dog in a white sheet ghost costume, and pumpkins around the dog

The event will be held at the top of Mort Street in Haig Park. Photo: City Renewal Canberra.

Halloween PAWS Party at Haig Park

When: 29 October, from 11 am
Where: Top of Mort Street in Haig Park, Braddon
Cost: Free event; no booking required.

Bring the family and dogs in your best Halloween fit this Sunday to Haig Park for the season’s PAWS party. There’ll be a dog parade, photoshoots, spooky tunes and the usual village markets. Woof Love will be providing free treats to all of the dressed pooches and prizes for those who’ve impressed.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra presents Chamber Classics Series: All That Glitters on 29 October. Image: Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra – Chamber Classics Series: All That Glitters

When: 29 October, at 2 pm
Where: Albert Hall, Yarralumla
Cost: Adults $42-49, concession (means-tested pensions) $38–44, under 35 $35, students $17; purchase tickets here.

All that glitters is not gold, discovers one of fair Portia’s suitors in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. This program flies in the face of Shakespeare’s aphorism and revels in the sparkling effervescence of some of the most delightful chamber works for woodwinds.


A poster detailing the event

Amongst the screenings is The Exorcist, which will be on show for the first time in 20 years. Photo: Dendy Canberra.

Halloween House of Horror at Dendy

When: 31 October, screenings at various times.
Where: Dendy Cinema, Civic
Cost: $11.25 for Club Dendy members; $15 for general admission.

This year marks the anniversary of a number of Halloween classics, which Dendy Canberra is going to celebrate with a full day of screenings. On the program is Japanese masterpiece Cure, a 4K restoration of The Exorcist, George Romero’s original The Night of the Living Dead, John Carpenter’s Halloween, and Nobuhiko Obayashi’s avant-garde House (Hausu).


Verity Lane Market, Sydney Building Civic

MC for the evening is Region’s Group Editor Genevieve Jacobs, with addresses from ACT Mental Health Minister Emma Davidson, and Federal Charities Minister Dr Andrew Leigh. Photo: Region.

Mental Health Month Awards 2023

When: 1 November, from 5 pm to 8 pm
Where: Juliet, the upstairs room at Verity Lane Market, 50 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra
Cost: Free; but RSVP is required.

This coming Wednesday the Mental Health Community Coalition ACT will be celebrating the achievements of individuals, groups, organisations, businesses and initiatives working in the Territory’s mental health space. With live music performed by Ben Drysdale and multiple speeches from leading members of the community, it’s sure to be a very special evening for the well-deserved award recipients.

Palace Electric screening of The Healing

When: 1 November, at 7 pm
Where: Palace Electric, 2 Phillip Law Street
Cost: $25 tickets with funds going to help veterans’ horses. Purchase them through good film’s website.

Coming to the Palace Electric cinema this coming Wednesday is award-winning filmmaker Nick Barkla’s The Healing. A documentary on a unique life-saving veteran welfare program that brings traumatised ex-racehorses, military veterans, and first responders together to rebuild themselves through learning the skills of horsemanship. Set on the Southern Highlands of NSW, the compelling journey towards recovery will also feature a Q&A after the film, with Nick, professional horseman Scott Brodie and veteran Mel Baker, to be moderated by War Widows CEO Renee Wilson.

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Wow! So….what isn’t happening in Canberra this weekend? LOL Canberra has changed so much when I was a kid. It’s also heartening to see Halloween become a big scene as well as other celebrations.

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