1 March 2023

Things to do in Canberra this week (3 - 9 March)

| Dione David
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Thunderbird dinosaur puppet with children

Beware the thunderbird (and other dinosaurs) taking over Haig Park this weekend. Photo: Cassandra Hannagan.

The 13th Enlighten festival is here to dominate Canberra’s social calendar, boasting a program packed with highlights. There are seven signature events but many of its must-sees fly a little more under the radar.

On Wednesday, 8 March, International Women’s Day brings a host of events celebrating women.

In between, Vikings star Travis Fimmel hits Kingston to launch his new beer, an event at Lanyon Homestead celebrates all things harvest, the Caps call for support for their final home game for the season and the Alliance Francaise French Film festival brings a bit of je ne sais quoi (whatever that is) to the nation’s capital.

There will be dance, music and theatre, dinosaurs in Haig Park and throngs marching around Lake Burley Griffin for Epilepsy, plus much more.

In short, we have a busy week ahead. Here’s our pick of the litter.

All week

The People’s House: Enlighten at MoAD

When: Friday 3, Saturday 4, Friday 10 and Saturday 11 March, 7 pm to 10:30 pm
Where: Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Free.

Under the Enlighten banner, MoAD invites you to step inside after dark as the untold stories of people who kept the clocks ticking, meals cooked, hair coiffed, memos typed and the parliamentary record accurate are brought to life (literally). Expect a hands-on experience including a theatrical element courtesy of the A-Z Theatre Company. Roam the corridors with the Hansard reporter, gossip with the hairdresser and, if you’re lucky, listen in as the maintenance worker spills a few secrets about the building …

READ MORE Pssst … did you know there’s more to Enlighten than its signature events?


Raise your glass – Celebrating female leadership event poster

Raise your glass – Celebrating female leadership is on Friday, 3 March. Image: National Museum of Australia.

Raise your glass: Celebrating female leadership

When: Friday 3 March, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton
Cost: $41.02 to $48.96; book here.

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a fun, empowering night out. This special event includes an exclusive exhibition viewing of Feared and Revered: Feminine Power through the Ages and a panel discussion with three female business leaders creating some of the region’s tastiest beverages in conversation with Region group editor Genevieve Jacobs. These include In Two Minds Wines co-owner Kate Day, Underground Spirits CEO Claudia Roughley and BentSpoke Brewing Co co-founder Tracy Margrain. Guests will hear first-hand experiences of launching and managing a successful business in the industry and sample products from the featured makers.

In celebration of World Hearing Day, an Auslan interpreter will play guide at a Best of Parliament House tour. Photo: Penny Bradfield Auspic/DPS.

World Hearing Day 2023 Tour: Best of Parliament House

When: Friday 3 March, 11:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 3 pm
Where: Parliament House
Cost: Free; book here.

Today, four million Australians live with hearing loss. At this Best of Parliament House tour celebrating World Hearing Day, your guide is an Auslan interpreter. Discover the must-see highlights within Parliament House, from the towering flag mast to the Great Hall Tapestry, the architecture, art and craft, history and events and some hidden surprises. Bookings are essential, and guests should arrive 10 minutes before the tour starts to ensure a timely departure.


Travis Fimmel will launch his new Aussie beer brand at The Dock this weekend. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Travla beer launch with Travis Fimmel @ The Dock

When: Saturday 4 March, 2 pm – late
Where: The Dock, 7/81 Giles St, Kingston
Cost: Free entry.

You might know him as Ragnar Lothbrok from Vikings, but when Travis Fimmel comes to Canberra next week, it will be to launch his new beer brand – Travla. Travla Australia’s Lager (ultra low-carb mid-strength) and Travla Pale Ale will both be on tap and in cans. Live music will come courtesy of talented locals Tori Chard from 2 pm to 5 pm and Will Campbell from 7:30 pm. The kitchen will be open all day to feed the crowds, and at 5:30 pm the Raiders game will be screened. Come kick off the Viking’s Clap with Travis and taste a truly Aussie beer.

Poster for Harvest Day Out at Lanyon Homestead

This family day out boasts events covering all manner of interests from growing to pickling, crafts and DIY. Image: ACT Historic Places.

Harvest Day Out

When: Saturday 4 March, 10 am – 4 pm
Where: Lanyon Homestead, Tharwa Dr, Tharwa
Cost: Free entry, some events ticketed, all require bookings, book here.

A celebration of all things harvest and Autumn, the theme for Harvest Day Out (HDO) is “grow – preserve – sustain”. A range of workshops, demonstrations, talks, tours, market stalls, music and a variety of food on offer will cover all manner of interests, from growing to pickling, crafts and DIY. This family day out is free to enter, with a mix of free and ticketed events, all requiring booking. Reserve your spots now to avoid disappointment.

UC Caps

The Canberra crowd must bring it to boost the UC Capitals for their final home game of the season. Photo: UC Capitals.

Round 16 WNBL: UC Capitals vs Perth Lynx

When: Saturday 4 March 2023 at 5.30 pm
Where: National Convention Centre, Canberra
Cost: General admission $15, bigger $20, biggest $25, Hollywood (courtside) $100; book here.

For the UC Caps’ final home game of the season, the Perth Lynx will make the long journey across the desert to the nation’s capital. We’ll see a battle of the bigs, with former Capital Lauren Scherf lacing up for the Perth Lynx. Alex Bunton will have the job of shutting down Scherf and keeping her off the offensive boards. This one will be fun and the Canberra crowd must bring it to give the UC Capitals a final boost.

Poster for Jurrasic Haig Park event in Braddon

Excavate bones, come face to face with a T-Rex and make your own dinosaur puppet at this educational and fun experience for the whole family. Image: Haig Park Facebook.

Jurrasic Haig Park

When: Saturday 4 March, 11 am – 3 pm
Where: Haig Park, top of Lonsdale Street, Braddon
Cost: Free entry.

Calling dinosaur lovers of all ages – the prehistoric age is set to take over Haig Park with Jurassic-themed activations and games. This free, family-friendly event will include dinosaur bone excavation games, face painting, cubby building, a treasure hunt, dino ring-toss, dino puppet making and plenty of food and drink. Headlining the event will be roving performances by Erth, master puppeteers who will bring prehistoric creatures to life with incredible interactive shows that will see you face-to-face with a T-Rex (and many others).


Walk for Epilepsy 2023, Sunday 5 March 2023. Image: Epilepsy ACT.

Walk for Epilepsy 2023

When: Sunday 5 March, from 10 am
Where: Cup Place, Lake Burley Griffin
Cost: Individual $30, family (2 adults + 2 kids) $95, book here.

Head down to Lake Burley Griffin and walk for a cause that turns a life upside down in Australia every 33 minutes. This event raises much-needed funds for Epilepsy ACT, which supports those diagnosed with epilepsy and their families. The bridge to bridge around Lake Burley Griffin is about 5 km and takes around an hour, with lots of fun activities available at the start and finish line for the whole family to enjoy.

Digital image of a colourful abstract watercolour painting

Canberra Symphony Orchestra presents Chamber Classics Series: Watercolours on 5 March. Image: Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra – Chamber Classics Series: Watercolours

When: Sunday 5 March, at 2 pm
Where: Albert Hall, Yarralumla
Cost: Adults $42-49, Concession (means-tested pensions) $38–44, Under 35 $35, Student $17. Purchase tickets here.

While Debussy rejected the idea, some have drawn parallels between his music and the French Impressionist painters. Just as the Impressionists were more concerned with the essence over the substance of a thing, this program explores that shimmering quality often associated with nostalgia. The show features a new commission from Connor D’Netto, and closes with Debussy’s poignant lover’s dialogue from Fêtes galantes, based on Paul Verlaine’s poetry.


Image showing puppy puppet from theatre production New Owner

New Owner is a profoundly moving tale told through a dog’s eyes. Image: Canberra Theatre Centre.

New Owner

When: From 8 to 11 March,
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra
Cost: $35 plus transaction fee; book here.

The first all-ages show from the Last Great Hunt explores the relationship between pets and owners from the perspective of the creatures themselves. Through puppetry and animation, this wordless production introduces audiences to a world of adventure through the eyes of Bernie, a boisterous puppy who has to fend for himself after the passing of his elderly owner, Mabel.



Ascent, 9 to 11 March at Canberra Theatre Centre. Image: Supplied.


When: From 9 to 11 March, various times; see here
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra
Cost: From $69 to $89 plus transaction fee, book here.

As part of Enlighten, Sydney Dance Company will present its inspired triple bill Ascent. It features world premieres by artistic director Rafael Bonachela, renowned international choreographer Marina Mascarell and the return of Antony Hamilton’s critically acclaimed Forever & Ever. This production of three innovative works from local and international talents is billed as an “arresting portrait of contemporary dance and its potential to move, excite and activate audiences”.

A still from the movie Masquerade

Saucy, manipulative and “very French”, Masquerade opens the French Film Festival this year. Photo: AF FFF 23.

Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2023

When: 9 March to 5 April, various times; see program here
Where: Palace Electric, Palace Electric Cinema, 2 Phillip Law Street, Canberra
Cost: Various; book here.

Venez voir! The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is back with 39 films screened over a month to entertain the cinephiles and francophiles of the nation’s capital. The program features all genres from drama to romance, movies for les enfants and, this year, a larger-than-usual serving of comedy alongside the traditional lineup of events.

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