2 May 2024

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

| Claire Sams
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A photo of a man topless wearing a jacket and earrings

Catch Aqueerius at BROLGA on Friday (3 May). Photo: Jarrad Levy.

It’s definitely getting colder, so why not shuck off to the coast for the Narooma Oyster Festival? Or stay indoors and discover one of the hits of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Brolga? Or thumb your nose at Old Man Winter and go all out with ice hockey in the Brave Cave?

Multiple days

Person holding an oyster

Get shucking at the Narooma Oyster Festival. Photo: David Rogers.

Narooma Oyster Festival

When: 3 May to 4 May
Where: Various locations around Narooma; see program here
Cost: Friday general admission tickets cost $25, and Saturday general admission cost $35 (children under 16 have free entry) and are available via the Festival’s website.

Escape the city and head to the coast for a two-day oyster festival! All things oyster growing, cooking, eating and judging will be on the cards – including Australia’s Oyster Shucking Championships (or ‘Shuckella’), where farmers compete for the chance to represent the country at the World Oyster Opening Championships in Ireland. Attendees can also try deeper water oyster species, learn from South Coast and visiting chefs how best to cook oysters, partake in dining experiences, browse stalls from local producers and listen to live music.

screen print

This exhibition is inspired by the differences between what we think we know and what really happened. Image: Omar Musa.

All My Memories Are Mistranslations

When: 4 May to 2 June, 10 am to 4 pm (Wednesday to Sunday)
Where: Hume House Gallery, 93 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick
Cost: Free entry.

Queanbeyan-born Omar Musa was inspired to create this exhibition of woodcuts and cyanotypes after realising that many of the conversations he’d had with his father and grandparents in Sabah in Malaysia weren’t what he’d believed – there were some elements he had misheard or misunderstood. The exhibition also includes cast glassworks made in Canberra under Luna Ryan’s mentorship, and the different works are inspired by questions around connection and disconnection to one’s family and cultural heritage.

ice hockey players in a rink

Brave the cold and cheer on the Brave. Photo: Supplied.

CBR Brave vs Melbourne Ice

When: 4 May, from 5:15 pm (Saturday); 5 May, from 4:45 pm (Sunday)
Where: Phillip Ice Skating Centre, 1 Irving Street, Phillip
Cost: Tickets cost between $15 and $65 and are available via the team’s website.

CBR Brave will hit the ice twice this weekend against visitors Melbourne Ice. The two teams will face off on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the Brave Cave. If you’ve never experienced ice hockey, you’ve been missing out – this is an afternoon you’ll never forget.

Step out of the office and take in the beauty of the Territory. Photo: Pam Cooke.

Parliamentary Timber tours

When: 6 May to 12 May, 11 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 3 pm
Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton
Cost: Free entry.

How often do you look at the trees? Not just see them, but look? This is a chance to get up close and personal. For ACT Tree Week, the volunteer guides at the Australian National Botanic Gardens have organised special guided walks with the theme ‘Parliamentary Timber’. Participants can meet at the clock near the bridge (past the carpark) within the Botanic Gardens, where they will be taken through the gardens.

Four people playing pickleball

Over 55? Try your hand at pickleball. Photo: Invictus Australia.

ACT Pickleball Seniors Come and Play Days

When: 7 May, 9 am to 12 pm; or 8 May, 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: Canberra Pickleball Centre (The Pickledome), 56 Coyne Street, Fadden
Cost: Free entry.

This racket or paddle-based sport might look like tennis, but it has its own rules. These two sessions are aimed at those aged 55 or older, with the seniors invited to the Pickledome to learn how to play. Each participant must register separately, and all equipment is provided (though players are asked to wear appropriate footwear).


A man in a pose leaning his elbow on his knee

Catch Aqueerius will be one of the artists at BROLGA on Friday. Photo: Jarrad Levy.

Brolga: A Queer Koori Wonderland

When: 3 May, 6:30 pm to 12 am
Where: National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Tickets cost between $20 and $50 and are available via the Portrait Gallery’s website.

Drag, comedy, DJs and a range of other performers come together for this show in the heart of Canberra’s cultural institutions. Inspired by First Nations’ stories of the dancing brolga and first staged at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2023, Brolga will see the gallery host First Nations and queer artists with performances and interactive activities in this 18+ late-night event. In addition to the performances, curated by Wiradjuri man and multidisciplinary artist Joel Bray, there will also be food stalls and bars.


A person in a Stormtrooper costume standing in a lit tunnel

People and experiences will take over Questacon from places beyond our stars. Photo: Questacon.


When: 4 May, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Questacon, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Tickets cost between $24.50 and $31.60 and are available via Ticketek.

All things sci-fi will be celebrated in this adults-only event! Questacon will be transformed into something beyond our world, from cyborgs to rockets to a DeLorean. VR stations will be on hand to show you something new, while talks will be held on various sci-fi topics. Attendees can also listen to Space Party, stop by the Q Lab for experiments and demonstrations – or meet up at one of Atomic Cafe’s pop-up bars for cocktails or something to snack on.

A poster for the event

Head to a school far, far away for some that’s sure to rock-et your world. Image: St Anthony’s Primary School, Wanniassa/Facebook.

St Anthony’s Primary School Fete

When: 4 May, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: St Anthony’s Primary School, 161 Wheeler Crescent, Wanniassa
Cost: Free entry, though a $30 wristband can be purchased inside the fete for all-day access to the rides (each ride costs $7 or $8), and some activities have a cost.

May the Fourth (and the fete) be with you! St Anthony’s Primary School has organised a Star Wars-themed day of fun. There will be cakes decorated by students – inspired by Star Wars or Mother’s Day – and a Star Wars merchandise stall. Tuggeranong Town Band will also perform at 1 pm, and there will be a range of carnival rides, a photo booth, visits from Brumbies and Hefner the alpaca, prizes and market stalls to browse. Face painting and glitter tattoos will also be ready to entertain the youngsters (or young-at-heart).


market shoppers at nursery stall

Wander through the stalls and buy something nice while supporting a good cause! Photo: Hartley Hall Markets.

Hartley Hall Markets

When: 5 May, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Hall Showground, Victoria Street, Hall
Cost: Gold coin donation on entry.

Are you starting your search for a perfect Mother’s Day gift early? Make sure to check Hartley Hall Markets, which is organised by Hartley Lifecare and is one of Australia’s largest homemade and home-grown goods markets. Every month, the market boasts a range of stallholders who are sure to have something for everyone. The proceeds support Hartley Lifecare’s disability programs and services.

Two women

Canberra women Barbie Robinson and Barb Baikie have organised this fundraising lunch for a Gaza family that has just arrived in Canberra. Photo: Richard Scherer.

Fundraising Lunch at Terroux

When: 5 May, 12 pm to 4 pm
Where: Terroux Peace Garden, 88 Rochford Road, Wallaroo
Cost: Tickets cost $100 per person and are available via Trybooking.

This fundraising lunch has been organised to support a family from Gaza, now living in Canberra. They are believed to be one of the first families from the war-ravaged Gaza Strip to make it to Canberra. Dancer Peng Hsiao-yin of Dancecology from Taiwan and local musicians will provide entertainment, and you’ll have the chance to stroll in the beautiful Peace Gardens and support the family as they establish themselves in Australia. Attendees are invited to wear white for peace and yellow for light.

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