8 March 2024

Things to do in Canberra this week (8 - 14 March)

| Claire Sams
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Stunt Double on stage

You’ll never forget seeing Stunt Double at the Canberra Theatre. Photo: Jade Ferguson.

Thoroughbred Park kicks off its Autumn season on 10 March with the first $1 million race day in Canberra’s history for the 51st anniversary race day of the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes.

Usually a two-day racing carnival, this year the event has been condensed into a Super Sunday festival event, with live music, local food and wine, and friendly competitions.

We’ve also got heart-wrenching opera, hair-raising stunts and enough laughs to make your face hurt (in the best possible way). And that’s just for starters …

Multiple days

A photograph of items in a museum exhibition

An exhibition of items recovered from Duntroon Estate has arrived at CMAG, deepening the history of the historic site. Photo: James Coleman.

Duntroon Estate / Work With all your might exhibition

When: 2 March to 14 July, 10 am to 4 pm (Monday to Friday) or 12 pm to 4 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG), 176 London Circuit, Civic; and online through the Gallery’s website
Cost: Free entry.

Duntroon’s history dates all the way back to 1825, and a well was built in the Duntroon Dairy in 1832. Over the years, a lot has been thrown down it. This exhibition includes several of the ill-disposed items: metal four-post bed frames, a child’s cot, a working door lock from the 1800s, a croquet ball, watercolour sketches and sheep tags. Those and other items bring into focus the lives and times of the people who lived and worked at Duntroon Estate as you browse through them.

Enlighten will be at Questacon on 8, 9 and 10 March. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Enlighten Festival

When: 1 to 11 March, events at various times
Where: Various locations across Canberra; see the program for the full list
Cost:Most events have free entry, though some have a cost or require a booking; see program.

This year’s Enlighten Festival is (sadly) drawing to a close, but the lights haven’t been turned off yet. The final days of the festival will finish with a bang – even more live music, interactive activities, light shows and plenty to eat and drink from a range of food trucks.

A poster for the opera performances

Suor Angelica is a one-act opera by Italian Giacomo Puccini. Image: National Opera.

Suor Angelica

When: 7 March and 10 March, various times
Where: Albert Hall, 100 Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla
Cost: Tickets cost between $10 and $55 and are available via Trybooking.

Suor Angelica is a one-act opera by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. It tells the story of Sister Angelica, a noblewoman who became a nun after giving birth to an illegitimate son. When she hears her son has died, she is desperate to reunite with him – no matter the cost. Canberra locals Emma Mauch and Sonia Anfiloff will be taking to the stage under the guidance of director Rachel Hogan, musical director Ella Luhtasaari and a cast of local opera singers accompanied by Canberra Sinfonia under the baton of Leonard Weiss. The performance will be in Italian and English scene notes will be provided.

Photo overlooking the valley of Ginninderry Conservation Corridor

Take a walk through Ginninderry Conservation Corridor to learn more about the plants and animals that call it home. Photo: Ginninderry.

Guided Walks 2024

When: 10 March to 7 December (specific dates), starting at various times
Where: The Link, 1 McClymont Way, Strathnairn
Cost: Free entry; register through Eventbrite.

This section of the border between NSW and the ACT is the Ginninderry Conservation Corridor, a piece of land left unspoiled – and you have chances to take a peek. These guided walks along one of the Walking Tracks will be led by rangers, giving you a chance to learn about the natural environment all around you. These are moderate-level walks along an earthen track at Australian Walking Track Grades 2 and 3. Attendees are asked to wear suitable footwear and clothing and bring their own water, hat, sunscreen and snacks.

Stunt Double

When: 14 March to 16 March
Where: The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit, Civic
Cost: Tickets cost between $35 and $59 through the Theatre Centre’s website.

They’re an undersung element of the film and television industries, but Stunt Double takes you inside the filming of a 1970s Aussie action-flick. The Farm is the dance and theatre collective production behind the show, which explores the human impact of performers (literally) putting their bodies on the line – with some help from the audience. The stunt artists and performers of Stunt Double will be joined by Travis Green from the National Film and Sound Archive for a post-show Q&A on 15 March about their inspiration for their production – and how they set about adapting 1970s film tropes for a theatre stage.

People walking through a field of sunflowers

This annual installation allows attendees to pick their sunflowers or try their hand at navigating a flower maze. Photo: Majura Valley Farm Gate.

Majura Valley Sunflower Maze

When: 9 March until Easter long weekend, 10 am to sunset
Where: Majura Valley Farm Gate, 728 Majura Road, Majura
Cost: Tickets cost between $5 and $15 and are available via Humanitix.

The Majura Valley Sunflower Maze is opening its doors (or rather, its field and maze) for another year. Attendees will be able to snap Instagram-worthy photographs in the maze, pick their own sunflowers from a field and take them home as souvenirs of their visit. For the first time this year, a ticketing system has been introduced to manage numbers. But if you have a last-minute plan, don’t stress too much – walk-ins will be admitted subject to ticket availability.



This exhibition features oil paintings by Canberra artist Simone Annis. Image: Simone Annis.

A street tree named desire officially opening

When: 9 March, 12 pm to 2 pm (exhibition opening); until 14 April (exhibition)
Where: The Link, 1 McClymont Way, Strathnairn
Cost: Free entry.

This exhibition of recent oil paintings by Simone Annis will open on Saturday, allowing the public to bring the outside world inside.


Portrait of Nai Palm

Three-time GRAMMY-nominated artist Nai Palm will be performing on Sunday. Photo: Supplied.

CHURCH Presents Nai Palm + Friends Live at the NFSA

When: 10 March, 3 pm to 7 pm
Where: Courtyard, National Film and Sound Archive, McCoy Circuit, Acton
Cost: Tickets cost $50 and are available through the Archive’s website.

Nai Palm of the band Hiatus Kaiyote, a three-time Grammy-nominated artist, will lead this intimate gig on Sunday evening. Support acts include key, SAMATAR and GLO, who will take to the stage from 4 pm to 6:15 pm. Local brews will also be on offer at the Church cafe and bar.

Three women smiling trackside at the races

The Black Opal Stakes is more than a great day of racing. Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services.

John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes

When: 10 March, gates open at 12 pm
Where: Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Road, Lyneham
Cost: General admission tickets cost $35 (ticket packages available) through Ticketek.

The Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes is the highlight of this 10-race card that includes the TAB Canberra Cup. There will also be fun trackside, with live music, DJ performances and fashion in the field.

READ MORE Join the party at Canberra’s first-ever million-dollar race day

Popular sports media organiser Invades are bringing their BOSH Races Day Party festival experience to Canberra all the way from the United Kingdom with TikTok sensation Big John to deliver electrifying DJ sets between and after the races.

This area will have an exclusive Red Bull bar, live music, activations and access to the general admission race day facilities.

Also making its debut on the day is the Black Opal Garden, offering a VIP experience in a trackside marquee.


A large group of people standing together around a sign of two hands making a heart

Lace up your joggers and help those in need this Canberra Day. Photo: Hands Across Canberra.

2024 Canberra Day Appeal Fun Run

When: 11 March, from 10 am
Where: Ferry Gate, Commonwealth Park, Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra
Cost: Entry costs $15 for the 2 km event, $30 for the 5 km event or $45 for the 10 km event; registration is available online and closes 10 March)

Challenge yourself to run (or walk) around Lake Burley Griffin – there are two, five or ten-kilometre options. The fun run has been organised in partnership with Stromlo Running Festival, and don’t worry about smashing your personal bests. Profits from the entry fees will be passed onto Hands Across Canberra, the annual appeal raising funds for our local community. The 5 k and 10 k routes will be timed, while the 2 k option will also have entertainment along the route. After all your hard work, participants can enjoy activities and entertainment in Commonwealth Park.


Women posing at the Female Founders event in Novemebr

Female Founders Event at the Canberra Innovation Network celebrates International Women’s Day. Photo: Canberra Innovation Network.

Female Founders International Women’s Day

When: 12 March, 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm (attendees are asked to arrive by 12 pm)
Where: Canberra Innovation Network, Level 5, 1 Moore Street, Canberra
Cost: Tickets cost $16.99 and are available via Eventbrite.

This Female Founder’s event recognises International Women’s Day. Held in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ format, attendees can submit questions for the panel. Lunch is included in your ticket and provided by The Goods Wholefoods, a female-founded business.


Canberra Comedy Festival poster

Two comedy shows are bringing laughter to the Southside. Image: Canberra Comedy Festival.

Unedjamacated and Laugh Bites

When: 14 March, shows between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm
Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 137 Reed Street, Greenway
Cost: Tickets cost $22 for Unedjamacated or $25 for Laugh Bites (plus booking fee) and are available via Trybooking.

Canberra Comedy Festival returns to the Tuggeranong Arts Centre with two upcoming shows: Unedjamacated and Laugh Bites. These back-to-back shows explore how being a comedian is a full-time job and give local comedians space to try their latest stand-up routines in front of an audience. Should these two shows whet your whistle for some belly laughs, check out the other shows happening at sites across Canberra between 13 March and 24 March.

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