31 May 2024

Things to do in Canberra this week (31 May - 6 June)

| Claire Sams
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People dressed up for race day at Thoroughbred Park. Photo: Thoroughbred Park.

The Burns Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a race day at Thoroughbred Park on Saturday, 1 June. Photo: Thoroughbred Park.

We can’t do anything about the cold (hey, it is Canberra in almost-June, are you surprised?), but we can take your mind elsewhere with a stack of diversions. While you’re here, check ’em out!

Multiple days

An artwork of a man paddling in the sea

This work, from finalist Marlowe E Haskas, is one of the entries on display. Photo: National Portrait Gallery.

Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize exhibition

When: until 15 September, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Free entry.

When you were young, your parents might have put your artwork on the fridge, but did it ever make it to the National Portrait Gallery? Little Darlings is inspired by the Portrait Gallery’s Darling Portrait Prize. It’s an annual national competition for primary and secondary students. The young artists were asked to respond to the theme ‘My story’ in their entries by painting, drawing, photographing, printing or working across mediums. Judges Marina Neilson and Mark Mohell, together with guest judge and children’s book author Jeannie Baker, selected 12 portraits from over 550 entries to hang in this exhibition.

A bird in flight against a black background

This exhibition invites attendees to look at nature through a different lens. Photo: Ginninderry.

Eclectic exhibition

Where: until 7 July, 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday, and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays
Where: The Link, 1 McClymont Way, Strathnairn
Cost: Free entry.

This exhibition, featuring work from gm frew, takes the audience through the drama and beauty of nature. The latest artworks to make their home in The Link, the various photographs come together in a thought-provoking and sometimes hilarious show.

Girl doing craft activity at the National Museum of Australia

These creative workshops bring Far North Queensland into the heart of Canberra. Photo: Supplied.

Belonging: Stories from Far North Queensland workshops

When: 1 June, 10:30 am to 1 pm; 2 June, 11:30 am to 2 pm
Where: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Cresent, Acton
Cost: Tickets from $68.53 (plus booking fee) through Eventbrite.

First Nations artists from Far North Queensland will lead attendees in traditional and contemporary techniques as they make a piece of wearable art. All materials are provided, though attendees can bring any items they wish to incorporate into their creations. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited.


Winter WOVA Land event poster

The cold won’t stop WOVA residents from opening their doors to a celebration. Image: Geocon.

Winter WOVA Land

When: 1 June, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: WOVA, 1 Launceston Street, Phillip
Cost: Free entry, though registration is through Eventbrite.

Head along to WOVA to get a peek at the new development. The day is a chance to explore what’s on offer within the old Woden Town Centre through self-guided tours of the amenities within the development and agent-led tours of an apartment or penthouse (the latter must be booked in advance). There will also be activities anyone can enjoy, such as free food and drink (subject to free registration and availability), face painting, fairy floss and live music from Boombox2U.

four people walking across a bridge

Gather around for a race day with a twist as the Burns Club marks a milestone. Photo: Burns Club.

The Burns Club Centennial Race Day

When: 1 June, with gates open from 12:30 pm (racing from 1:30 pm)
Where: Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Road, Lyneham
Cost: General admission is free, though packages vary in price and are available via Thoroughbred Park’s website.

The young and young-at-heart are invited to Thoroughbred Park for a one-of-a-kind birthday celebration. The Canberra Highland Society and Burns Club was formed in 1924, starting their long involvement in Canberra. Now, everyone can gather for a day of all things Scottish. The celebrations will include a 50-person pipe band and kilted dash. There will also be a jumping castle, face painting, glitter tattooists and live music to keep the youngsters entertained. Winning Post Bar and Thoroughbred Cafe will be open from noon, while the Black Opal Room and other areas will open at 12:30 pm.

ice hockey players in a rink

Will you be there to cheer on the Brave when they take on the Sydney Bears? Photo: David Tate.

Caribou Canberra Brave v Sydney Bears

When: 1 June, from 5:15 pm
Where: Phillip Ice Skating Centre, 1 Irving Street, Phillip
Cost: Tickets start at $15 and are available from the Canberra Brave.

In their next game, the Caribou Canberra Brave will go head-to-head against the Sydney Bears. Get to the Brave Cave and give ’em all you’ve got, all in the comfort of a recently renovated ice rink!

National Wine Show judges tasting wines

Judging for this year’s National Wine Show has finished, but now it’s your turn. Photo: Michell Rowe.

National Wine Experience

When: 1 June, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: Coorong Pavilion, Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), corner of Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue, Mitchell
Cost: Tickets cost $120 and are available from Eventbrite.

Looking to snap up something for your next dinner party? Head along to the National Wine Experience, part of the National Wine Show. Attendees can taste more than 900 wines (including the show winners), eat some yummy food and take home a free copy of the show catalogue and a Riedel glass. So book your spot, designate a driver and head along to EPIC!


market shoppers at nursery stall

Pull out the puffer jacket and head to Hall for a good cause. Photo: Hartley Hall Markets.

Hartley Hall Markets

When: 2 June, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Hall Showground, Victoria Street, Hall
Cost: Gold coin donation on entry.

Are you looking for something to brighten up the days as the winter chill sets in? Make sure to check Hartley Hall Markets, organised by Hartley Lifecare – 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.

Stylised composite image from The Big Steal showing a man holding a woman in front of a car, with a man in a suit behind it holding his hands out and shrugging

Watch The Big Steal (Nadia Tass, 1990) at the National Film and Sound Archive on Sunday. Image: NFSA.

The Big Steal (35mm) + Q&A with Nadia Tass

When: Sunday 2 June, 1 pm
Where: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (Arc Cinema)
Cost: Tickets cost $17–20 and are available through NFSA.

Catch this classic Australian comedy from acclaimed stage and screen director Nadia Tass that highlights the risks of doing anything for love. Plus, stick around for a post-screening Q&A with Nadia.


purple image with tulip flowers

Come to Woden Westfield and plant a bulb. Photo: Woden Community Service.

Floriade in the Community Planting Day

When: 3 June, 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Westfield Woden, Phillip (Corinna Street entrance)
Cost: Free entry.

The main show is still a few months away, but here is a chance for you to get your hands dirty in the lead-up! Head along to Westfield Woden to plant a bulb for Floriade.


promotional image for Uncharitable

Uncharitable challenges us to rethink our approach to giving and embrace a more impactful way of addressing global issues. Image: Supplied.

When: Tuesday, 4 June, 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Majura Theatre, 11 Lancaster Place, Majura Park
Cost: $25 for FIA members, $30 for non-members.

Uncharitable presents a radical new way of thinking about giving, confronting the traditional societal perceptions and financial models stifling the ability of charities and not-for-profits to overcome the social and environmental challenges they were created to solve.

Partnering with organisations including The Snow Foundation, Hands Across Canberra and the John James Foundation, Uncharitable challenges us to rethink our approach to giving and embrace a more impactful way of addressing global issues.

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