19 June 2020

Twenty-one things to do around Canberra this weekend (5 – 11 March)

| Hayden Fritzlaff
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Skywhale is returning home to Canberra starting from Monday. Photo: File.

This Sunday is International Women’s Day, meaning that there are a whole host of events taking place across the city. From Science in the Pub, to concerts featuring some of the most talented musicians in the country, there’s something on offer for everyone this weekend.

The Canberra Balloon Spectacular kicks off this week, ushering in the start of Autumn in the capital. It forms part of the exciting Enlighten program which continues with the Night Noodle Markets, the NGA’s Club Muva and any number of other activities and performances.

There’s also plenty you can head along to for free, with Zumba in Civic, music workshops, art exhibitions and the expansive Enlighten program offering up tantalising options to occupy yourself without spending a cent.

All Weekend

Hot air balloons above Canberra

The skies above Canberra will fill with balloons once again this weekend. Photo: Jack Mohr.

Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Where: Lawns of Old Parliament House
When: All week starting Saturday, 6:15 am to 10:00 am

Do the balloons come a bit earlier each year, or are we just getting older? Autumn has arrived and so have the cool Canberra mornings – the perfect conditions for these ACT icons to take flight. If you haven’t experienced the Canberra Balloon Spectacular before, then dig that beanie and scarf out from the back of the cupboard and rug up before heading to the Parliamentary Triangle at the break of dawn to see dozens of hot air balloons inflating and rising into the sky. Oh, and Skywhale will be on deck (and high above) starting from Monday.

Farrah's Liquor Collective

Join the March Madness at Farrah’s Liquor Collective. Photo: Supplied.

Taste The Store

Where: Farrah’s Liquor Collective
When: Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Wine lovers rejoice! Farrah’s Liquor Collective is flinging open its doors every weekend through March for free tastings. FLC is passionate about connecting you with the producers themselves, and they have a whole range of wines, beers and spirits on offer. Drop in to taste some of the 80 or so products each weekend and, by the end of March, you will have caught a glimpse of just about everything in store.

Bushfire photo from Nick Moir

Nick Moir’s ‘The Burning’ is showing at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Image: supplied.

Nick Moir’s ‘The Burning’ Exhibition

Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre
When: Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

The impacts of a horrific bushfire season are still being felt around the region, and Canberra’s artistic community is certainly no different. Moir has spent 25 years photographing extreme weather events in his role as photographer at The Sydney Morning Herald. This series of photographs is a surreal reminder of the practical and emotional dangers that fire creates.

In Muva We Trust

In Muva We Trust will be projected on to the walls of the NGA for Enlighten Festival. Photo: Region Media.

Enlighten Festival

Where: Various locations around the Parliamentary Triangle
When: Various times. Illuminations are active every day between 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm

Canberra’s biggest and brightest activities continue this weekend for the annual festival of light in the Parliamentary Triangle. The program is expansive to say the least, with happenings scattered across Questacon, the National Gallery, Old Parliament House, and even more far-flung spaces such as the National Film and Sound Archive. There’s a lot to unpack, so head to enlightencanberra.com for the full rundown.

Night Noodle Market lanterns

The Night Noodle Markets continue this week. Photo: supplied.

Canberra Night Noodle Markets

Where: Reconciliation Place
When: Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Though they form part of the Enlighten program, the Night Noodle Markets have taken on a life of their own. Roam around an open field of nourishing food and drink options from a smorgasbord of Australian vendors. The luminous surrounds of the festival give the markets a unique atmosphere, meaning that even if you have to wait in line for that sweet, sweet Superbao, you’re not likely to find yourself bored.


The Turner Brown Band

The Turner Brown Band is an Australian and USA musical collaboration between Dom Turner and Ohio-based lap-slide guitar and vocal sensation Nikki D Brown. Photo: The Swamp House.

The Turner Brown Band

Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre
When: 7:00 pm start

The Turner Brown Band returns to Canberra this week on their first tour of the new decade. This acclaimed blues band brims with some of the finest musicians going around, bringing a sonic slice of the southern US to the stage. Expect stunning interpretations of old classics, as well as a contemporary spin on blues and gospel music. Tickets start at $35, available now through TryBooking.

The Street University

The Street University offer a whole program of music-related activities. Image: Street University.

The Thursday Hip Hop Workshop

Where: The Street University, East Row
When: 5:30 pm start

Do you know an aspiring beatmaker, rapper or music producer? The Street University is running a weekly program of workshops honing the skills it takes to make hip hop music. This week’s focus is on using Logic Pro software to produce beats, and there’ll be an open mic following the course. As with virtually all of their programs, this workshop is completely free.

Tony Curran, Only if you need consequences (2017).

Fake Nature Exhibition

Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre
When: Thursday to Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

This exhibition features paintings from artists Waratah Lahy and Tony Curran. Both have separately produced contemporary approaches to the landscape highlighting photographic, algorithmic and Web 2.0 sensibilities towards nature. Viewing the landscape through a technological gaze makes for stunning results in this free exhibition at Tuggeranong Arts Centre.

Spacey Jane

Perth band Spacey Jane is back in the capital this week. Photo: Supplied.

Spacey Jane at Kambri

Where: Kambri, ANU
When: 8:00 pm start

Perth rockers Spacey Jane didn’t expect things to go this way. Out of the blue, they’ve established themselves as the big new thing in Australian music – heirs apparent to the musical lineage that traces back through Ball Park Music to Crowded House. Think down-to-earth yet insightful songwriting and melodies that get stuck in your head like stubborn, infectious song viruses, all delivered with the larger-than-life energy of four mates who started out like you or me but have now ascended to a higher plane of existence. Overblown descriptions aside, this show will sell out (and for good reason) so get your tickets quick-smart.


See Dickson Differently

Dickson’s community markets return this Friday. Photo: Region Media.

First Friday Community Celebration Markets

Where: MyDickson
When: 10:00 am start

The courtyard in front of Dickson Library comes alive on the first Friday of every month, as ‘Diverse Dickson’ welcomes stallholders from around the city. Government departments, associations and community groups of every kind will be on hand to connect you with what’s going on in the local community, and market stalls selling bits and bobs will also be there for your perusal.

Science in the Pub at Tathra Pub

Science in the Pub takes place at Smith’s Alternative this Friday. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Science in The Pub: International Women’s Day

Where: Smith’s Alternative, 76 Alinga Street
When: 7:00 pm start

Eight local scientists are set to make presentations about their research and careers this Friday for a special iteration of Science in The Pub. As to what kinds of research you should expect? Well, last year’s instalment saw ponderings on planets, stand up about seaweed soup, and myriad discussions about data. Entry is free for science students to this enticing evening of inquisitive investigation.

Cedric Burnside

Cedric Burnside is a blues musician like no other. Image: Supplied.

Cedric Burnside

Where: The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre
When: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Grammy-nominated blues artist Cedric Burnside is set to return to Canberra this week, playing songs from his latest record Benton Country Relic. With a musical lineage that stretches back to the 19th Century and beyond, Burnside uses the blues as a uniting force, bringing people together in the shared joy of music. Blues fans won’t want to miss this one, and those whose understanding of the blues goes about as far as The Black Keys will learn a thing or two in this intimate concert experience.


The Australian Tenors

The Australian Tenors perform an afternoon show at The Playhouse this week. Image: supplied.

The Australian Tenors

Where: The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre
When: 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm

A huge weekend at The Playhouse continues on Saturday with an afternoon performance from The Australian Tenors. Australian songbook staples, operatic classics, and five rather big voices – that’s the formula for one hugely popular show. Tickets are on sale now, starting from $85.

Club Ate

Club Ate present Club Muva, an inclusive art party outside the NGA. Image: Supplied.

Club Muva Street Party

Where: Parkes Place, National Gallery of Australia
When: 8:00 pm until late

In Muva We Trust is the brand new projected work created by Sydney performance art collective Club Ate. The same crew are also set to bring you Club Muva, a free, one-night-only street party event outside the NGA. Expect an inclusive and intimate celebration of community and connections, through movement, sound and storytelling, with food and drink available for purchase and the wider expanse of Enlighten Festival on-site to explore.

Joep Beving

Joep Beving is one of the world’s great contemporary pianists. Image: supplied.

Joep Beving

Where: The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre
When: 8:00 pm start

Joep Beving is perhaps the most listened-to living pianist. Pronounced ‘Yoop’, the Dutch musician is a towering figure in the streaming world – and in real life, too, thanks to his two-metre build, wild hair and striking visage. His haunting, atmospheric compositions get at an emotionality imparted only by the work of a true master. Don’t miss this chance to see and hear one of the world’s great contemporary musicians. Tickets are available from $49 + bf via canberratheatrecentre.com.


Cathy Diver

Cathy Diver joins a huge all-local lineup at Braidwood’s Smokey Horse for International Women’s Day. Photo: Sianne van Abkoude.

IWD 2020 – Girls Rock! Fundraiser

Where: Smokey Horse, Braidwood
When: 3:00 pm start

The Braidwood community have banded together like never before in recent months, and now that NSW is confirmed to be fire-free, the region can turn its attention to rebuilding. Part of that comes in the form of artists putting together fantastic events, and this weekend’s collaboration with Girls Rock! is one such occurrence. Catch a lineup that includes some of the region’s best singer-songwriters and musicians, such as Hedy Blaazer, Sesame Girl, Lily Morris, Cathy Diver and more. Tickets are just $5 / $10 and kids get in for free.

Girls Rock

Girls Rock empowers girls, trans and non-binary young people through week-long mentorship programs. Photo: Mia Mala McDonald, from GR!C 2016.

Girls Rock! Canberra: No Room For Quiet Film Screening

Where: National Film and Sound Archive
When: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Celebrate International Women’s Day at the NFSA, and be one of the first to see the new documentary No Room For Quiet. The film follows the campers at the inaugural Girls Rock! Melbourne camp as they use music to navigate struggles of identity and belonging. Tickets are available for just $10 / $12, with all proceeds going straight back into making sure this invaluable program continues into the future.

Seeker Lover Keeper

Seeker Lover Keeper head up a huge International Women’s Day concert at The Playhouse. Photo: Supplied.

International Women’s Day 2020 at Canberra Theatre Centre

Where: The Playhouse
When: 7:00 pm start

Concert-goers are in for a treat this Sunday. Seeker Lover Keeper, fresh off their first album in eight years, sport three of the country’s finest songwriters in Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann. Catch them, alongside Melbourne R&B rising star Kaiit, and local acts Moaning Lisa and Shoeb Ahmad. It’s an exciting blend of folk music, hip-hop, grunge and contemporary soul that’ll give the audience a taste of the vast range of women and femme-identifying artists making outstanding music today.

Photograph shows interior of concert at UC Hub

UC Hub will light up this Sunday for a dance party of epic proportions. Photo: Matt Sandford, BENNE at UC Live.

Canberra House Social presents Ben UFO

Where: UC Hub, University of Canberra
When: 10:00 pm start

Spending the Sunday night of the long weekend at UC Hub is starting to become something of a tradition. The cavernous venue on UC campus is transformed into a rave cave of epic proportions on the Canberra Day weekend, and this year sees universally loved DJ Ben UFO personing the decks at one of the biggest parties on the ACT calendar.


Zumba at lunch

Spend your lunchbreak working out with Zumba. Image: supplied.

ReNewYou – Free Zumba in Civic

Where: Garema Place
When: 12:00 pm

Get up, get out, get active with free, weekly Zumba classes all throughout March. Kokoloco is presenting the series, and promise a fun, friendly environment that’s suitable for all skill levels. Brought to you by the City Renewal Authority, this is the perfect way to spend your lunch hour.


Start up

Now’s the time to kickstart that business venture. Image: supplied.

How to Start Your Own Business

Where: Canberra Business Chamber, Lyneham
When: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Is this the event you need? The one that’ll empower you to take the leap and set up that business venture you’ve been dreaming of? Quite possibly! Experienced business advisors will take you through the finer points of bringing your business idea to life, and they’ll also set you up with checklists and take-home messages to keep the inspiration running long after the session takes place. It’s $25 to sign up, and you can do so via Eventbrite.

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