11 December 2015

What’s on in Canberra this weekend (4, 5 and 6 December 2015)

| Ellen Harvey
Join the conversation

It’s the first weekend of summer and the opening weekend of this year’s holiday blockbuster exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Tom Roberts is the pick of this weekend in our book, but you have till March to see it so don’t panic if tickets have sold out. A major exhibition opened at the Canberra Glassworks this week, too, and you can meet the artists and their curator on Friday evening then head to the Gorman Arts Centre’s huge Summer Garden Party. Other picks include Old Bus Depot Christmas Markets in Kingston, the Hollywood Retro Film Festival at Dendy Cinemas Canberra City and The Big Smoque held in Civic Square from Saturday.


Summer Garden Party, Gorman Arts Centre
Where: Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon; When: 6pm-10pm
The leafy courtyards and hallowed halls of historic Gorman House will be abuzz with music, dance, art exhibitions, mural colouring, cocktail drinking, video mashups and more during the arts precinct’s free party on Friday night. Hear tunes from Kissin’ Booth and Lady Bones (AKA Megan Bones), join in the No Lights No Lycra Canberra dance party, check out aCanberra music-video mashup, purchase cocktails and party food from Mint Garden Bar, beer from Pact Beer Co and ice-cream from Bertoldo’s Gelato Mio, see a huge, colour-in mural by Paul Summerfield, installations by Hilary Hanrahan,. furniture by boyandgirlco and three exhibition openings at Canberra Contemporary Art Space.

Eco-Elves Night Market
Where: Canberra Environment Centre, cnr Lawson Crescent and Lennox Crossing, Acton (by the National Museum); When: Friday, 5pm-9pm
The Canberra Environment Centre presents an evening of local, handmade and ethical gifts, delicious food, a local wine and beer bar and soothing tunes featuring more than 40 market stalls. Ella Hunt, Loom&York and multiple Aria nominee Guyy will perform while you choose drinks from Zierholz Brewery, Gardners Ground Organic Winery, Mt Majura Vineyard and Parker’s Organic Juices to complement food from Funky Pies, Paydirt Eatery, Le Petit Breton, Andy’s Gozleme, Crafted3, Here’s the Coffee, Chameleon Icecreamery and Adam’s Patisserie. There will be a kids’ corner where they can make wrapping paper and hang out too.

Night Market Canberra
Where: Hotel Realm, Burbury Close, Barton; When: Friday, 4pm-9pm
The Realm precinct’s Night Market is one year old and celebrating with a Christmas event on Friday. There will be more than 50 stalls featuring food, stuff for kids (they’ll also enjoy a visit from the Christmas elf), fashion, homewares and even accessories for pets. Enjoy goodies from local restaurants’ pop-up food and bar stalls plus live music.

Borland + Borland in conversation at the Canberra Glassworks
Hear artist sisters who live a world apart and work in completely different media in conversation with the curator of their brand new exhibition at the Glassworks on Friday. Glass artist Emma Borland is based in Victoria and her celebrated contemporary photographer sister Polly Borland in Los Angeles. The joint exhibition of their work invites us to consider the formal and conceptual qualities of their respective artistic practice. The artists explore similar themes and encourage an unusual cross-disciplinary dialogue between glass and photography. The exhibition opened on Wednesday and continues till February 7, 2016. The Glassworks are open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm. The Borland sisters are in conversation with Magda Keaney at 5pm on Friday at the Glassworks, 55 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston. Register by email at rsvp@canberraglassworks.com


Tom Roberts summer blockbuster exhibition
Where: National Gallery of Australia,Parkes Place, Parkes; When: 10am-5pm daily
The National Gallery’s sweeping survey of the 60-year career of pioneering Australian impressionist Tom Roberts (1856-1931) opens to the public on Friday and runs until March 28. RiotACT had a sneak preview on Wednesday and was fascinated by the diversity of the stunning works in the exhibition. There is more to Roberts than his rural landscapes: the show features more than 130 paintings, pastels, drawings, prints and sculpture, including portraits, still-lifes, nudes and figures in landscape in addition to his narratives on Australian bush life. The gallery has also just completed a rehang of its entire international and Australia art collections, flipping its basic layout for the first time since it opened in 1982, so there’s lots to see. Tickets for Tom Roberts are available through Ticketek.

Encounters summer blockbuster exhibition
Where: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton; When: 9am-5pm daily
Encounters features rare, early Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects from the British Museum displayed with new objects from the Indigenous communities represented in the exhibition. The blockbuster show opened this week and continues till March 28.Timed tickets are free and available at the door, but the museum recommends visitors book online. It also warns that the exhibition and website include images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Christmas Markets at Old Bus Depot
Old Bus Depot, 21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston; When: Saturdays and Sundays 10am-4pm
The markets are a Canberra institution, and this December they are opening on both Saturday and Sunday so you can get your shopping done when it suits you. With many local creatives selling their wares, including some who we will be interviewing over the next couple of weeks, consider buying locally and supporting local business. If you’ve done your Christmas shopping, then go take the family along for a coffee and a snack and enjoy the festive atmosphere.


Hollywood Retro Film Festival
Dendy Cinemas Canberra, Level 2, North Quarter, Canberra Centre, 148 Bunda Street, Canberra City
Co-curated by Margaret Pomeranz, the Hollywood Retro Film Festival showcases the greats of cinema history, from the 1930s through to 1960, digitally re-mastered and brought to the big screen. Twenty-two Hollywood classics, many of which have rarely made it to Australian cinema screens, are the centrepiece of this inaugural festival. Running all weekend, at various times, check the website for more details.

The Big Smoque
: Civic Square, Canberra City; When: Saturday 10am – Sunday 8pm
Smoque American BBQ, the Australian American Association (AAA) and the Office for Multicultural Affairs present the first ever BBQ Festival to be held in Canberra. There will be a sanctioned BBQ competition, great food and entertainment for all ages. While teams are smoking, stallholders will offer festival-goers traditional Southern, Texas, Indian, Greek, Argentinian and Vietnamese BBQ as well as fresh juice, imported American beers, and cocktails. Musical acts play on the main stage all through the weekend plus a special children program will offer lots of surprises. Tickets available now via Trybooking.

Warlpiri Art Market Day
Where: AIATSIS, Lawson Crescent, Acton; When: 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday
AIATSIS is host of the second Warlpiri Art Market Day on the lawns of Acton Peninsula this weekend. The market brings original Aboriginal artworks from Yuendumu and Lajamanu communities from the Northern Territory direct to the Canberra public. There will be over 600 pieces from a range of artists from the communities, with prices starting at $80. All sale proceeds go directly back into the community art centres and to the artists.


Christmas in the City – Canberra Celebrates
Where: City Walk, Canberra City; When: 6pm-11pm (daily until 31 Dec)
Christmas in the City – Canberra Celebrates is a month-long joint initiative between SIDS & Kids ACT and In the City Canberra that lights up the city with markets, concerts, kids’ activities, camel rides and visits from Santa. We recommend visiting the Guinness World Record-breaking Christmas tree.


The City Slider
: Cohen St, Belconnen; When: Saturday 9am-8.30pm
The City Slider is a 325m-long waterslide touring Australia, and it’s set to transform Cohen Street in Belconnen on Saturday. Although the slide is the main attraction, there is a carnival day for all to enjoy and a free mini-slide for the little ones (under 110cm tall). Ticket holders for the main slide must be a minimum of 110cm tall and those between 110cm and 130cm must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. Organisers recommend pre-booking for one of the six available sessions online.

Hustle&Scout and The Forage
Where: Little National Hotel, National Circuit, Barton; When: Saturday 3-8pm
Hustle&Scout Twilight Fashion Market and The Forage return for their final event of the year on December 5 at a new location never before used for an event – a multi-level car park in the Realm precinct in Barton. In addition to the new space, the collaboration will continue to serve up the unique market experience that Canberrans have come to know and love.


TEDx Canberra 2015
Where: National Film and Sound Archive’s Arc Cinema, McCoy Circuit, Acton; When: Sunday, 2pm onwards
This event is booked out but we’re letting you know about it so you can add your name to the waitlist or sign up for their newsletter to ensure you can get along to the next full program, in 2016. TED is all about ideas worth spreading. In the spirit of expanding the TED concept, the organisation created a program called TEDx for local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Are you going to something that we haven’t mentioned? Make sure you let us know about it in the comments.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
batmantrilogy2:05 am 05 Jan 16

spent that weekend at the big smoque 🙂

British Car Clubs Unite to present a Splendidly Spiffing Display!
Ask Jeeves to give the Olde Topper a Brush, and Tally-Ho to Weston Park

Ellen Harvey12:24 pm 04 Dec 15

neanderthalsis said :

The link for the night markets might need checking…

Thanks for that. It looks like that site got hacked…

I’m going to the Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas show on Saturday night

neanderthalsis12:01 pm 04 Dec 15

The link for the night markets might need checking…

Support your local community and get some Christmas shopping done with a mass of markets over the weekend.

Foragers Markets, Glebe Park
Saturday 9am – 2pm

Santa Claus Lane Markets, Petrie Plaza Civic
Saturday 10am – 4pm

Made with Love Markets, Weston Creek Community Centre
Saturday 12pm – 4pm

Gold Creek Twilight Markets, O’Hanlon Place Nichols
Saturday 2pm – 7pm
(*** Gold Creek festival starts from 9am with free entry into most of the tourist attractions and special offers across the businesses)

Hustle & Scout and the Forage, Little National Hotel Barton
Saturday 3pm – 8pm

Hall Markets, Hall Showground
Sunday 10am – 4pm

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.