20 November 2023

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

| James Day
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five ladies on stage wearing colourful dresses and holding their numbers

Check out the wide variety of events around Canberra to celebrate the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday (7 November). Photo: Dalice Trost.

Kick off the weekend with a series of Bollywood’s best so you can appropriately harness the Diwali celebrations to come the following week. Then split off to the ACT Speedway for their first jam-packed event of the season after rejoicing around Margaret Timpson Park with the community for Tonga Day.

Tucker the kids out at the Viking Sunday Funday, with a medley of over 20 sports to have a go at, so you have plenty of time to savour all the brilliant fun coming to Canberra for this Melbourne Cup Day.

And if you’re looking to tie the week off with a bit of high culture, check out Peru’s all-star tenor Juan Diego Florez at the ANU’s Llewellyn Hall. But you can also enjoy the National Film and Sound Archive’s screenings of Batman & Robin (1997) and Lord of the Rings trilogy.


Poster of Bollywood Film Festival (HSBC)

Bollywood Film Festival at Dendy Canberra

When: 2 to 5 November
Where: Dendy Cinemas, Bunda Street, Civic
Cost: Various prices; purchase tickets here.

As Diwali approaches, the organisers of the Bollywood Film Festival wanted to celebrate this important holiday with a curation of new and classic pictures from India. Over four days, Dendy Cinemas will feature the crime drama Kennedy; the religious satire Dug Dug; the award-winning documentary To Kill a Tiger; the Himalayan struggle Fire In the Mountains; the survival-thriller Joram; and a historical piece on the impact of Bollywood in Australia, Brand Bollywood Downunder.


A winged sprint car driving along a track

The 900-horsepower winged cars are expected to be the fastest division ever to have graced the track. Photo: ACT Speedway.

First meeting of the season at ACT Speedway

When: Gates open at 3:30 pm, racing from 5 pm
Where: ACT Speedway, 583 Pialligo Avenue, Fairbairn
Cost: $10-$60 tickets; booking required here.

Kicking off what they’re calling the biggest season of Speedway in the course’s history this Saturday is the ACT Speedcar Title. Supporting the racers will be an assemblage of Wingless Sprintcars, Litre Sprints and Street Stocker Sedans.

Poster for Tonga Day

Immerse yourself in the culture of Tonga. Image: Supplied.

Tonga Day 2023

When: 4 November, from 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Margaret Timpson Park, Belconnen
Cost: Free event with parking around the venue.

Join the celebrations for the Kingdom of Tonga’s annual celebration, marking its first written constitution on 4 November 1875, which paved the way for the establishment of their constitutional monarchy. The diaspora has invited the community to join them in song and dance while enjoying their delicious food, tropical drinks, coconut desserts, and maybe a bowl of Kava.

Dark Side of the Moon 50th Anniversary Tribute poster

Complete with a stunning animated backdrop and lighting, guest sax and backing vocalists, this is a Floydian experience not to be missed. Photo: Southern Cross Club.

Dark Side of The Moon – 50th Anniversary Tribute

When: 4 November, dinner starts at 6 pm and the show at 8 pm
Where: Canberra Southern Cross Club Woden, 92-96 Corinna St, Phillip
Cost: From $38.50 to $84.40 plus booking fee; tickets and more info on the website.

Following the success of their shows recreating the entire Wish You Were Here album in 2022 and 2023, Run Like Hell is back to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s landmark album Dark Side of the Moon. With deep love for the music and meticulous attention to detail, they will recreate the entire album from beginning to end before returning to deliver an encore of essential favourites and classics.

READ MORE QUIZ: How much do you know about The Dark Side of the Moon?


A poster about Vikings Group Sunday Funday

Vikings will showcase 20 ports so there will be plenty to keep you busy. Photo: Vikings Group.

Vikings Sunday Funday

When: 5 November, from 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Viking Park
Cost: Free event, with parking around the venue.

Join the Viking Group family event this Sunday to experience the showcase of over 20 sports for visitors of all ages. Whether you’d like to throw a baseball, practice your tackles for some union, jump the Little Athletics hurdles or give gymnastics a go, there’s plenty to excite everyone. And if that doesn’t convince the kids, there will be jumping castles.

READ ALSO Is Canberra the best city to raise children?


Fashions on the Field winners

Fashions on the Field returns to Thoroughbred Park for another massive TAB Melbourne Cup Race Day competition. Photo: Dalice Trost.

Best spots to celebrate the Melbourne Cup Day

When: 7 November
Where: Check out all the options here
Cost: Various prices.

Celebrate Melbourne Cup Race Day from the comfort of the capital’s best bars, restaurants and racing venues. Choose from a range of race day packages at Thoroughbred Park and witness the thrill of live racing and the colourful Fashions on the Field competition. Lunch and a variety of live entertainment are also on offer at several Canberra venues, including The Alby, The Dock, Canberra Southern Cross Club and more.

Portrait Juan Diego Florez for Sony Classical Intl.

Hailing from Lima, Peru, is the illustrious tenor coming to the nation’s capital for the first time ever. Photo: Sony Music Entertainment.

Juan Diego Florez in Recital

When: 7 November, from 8 pm
Where: Llewellyn Hall, Building 100, William Herbert Place, Acton
Cost: Tickets at Ticketek, starting from $99.

For the first time in his acclaimed international career, renowned Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez is coming to Canberra. Don’t miss the chance to experience him performing works by Rossini, Donizetti or Bellini with his masterful bel canto style.


Batman and Robin in their suits in the 1997 film.

Moderating the event will be Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens, a lecturer in popular entertainment studies at the ANU Centre for the Public Awareness of Science. Photo: NFSA.

Taking a closer look at Batman & Robin (1997)

When: 8 November, starts at 6 pm
Where: Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, Acton
Cost: Free; booking required.

Batman & Robin, starring George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell, is coming to the NFSA this Wednesday. But this isn’t just a chance to see Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr Freeze, the night will feature a healthy discussion with ANU Senior Lecturer Dr Erica Seccombe and documentarian Philip Meddows on the research currently going on at the ANU into science in comics and popular film.


Gandalf and Bilbo in a wooden carriage on a road in Hobbiton.

The trilogy will be presented on 35 mm film prints from the NFSA collection. Photo: NFSA.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in 35 mm

When: 9 to 11 November, 6 pm sessions
Where: Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, Acton
Cost: Various prices; purchase tickets here.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the trilogy’s last release, Return of the King, the NFSA is screening each of the movies in 35 mm film. Join Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee’s journey over three evenings and take in the legendary films that have won the hearts of millions and 17 Academy Awards.

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