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11 things not to miss at the Canberra Heritage Festival

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Because we couldn’t stop at 10.

For those willing to scratch the surface, our city has infinite stories to tell. This year, the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival will celebrate the Aboriginal, European and natural heritage in and around our nation’s capital that has made it what it is today.

The festival will focus on the individual histories that weave together through the generations to create our identities, and how we are shaped by our natural environment. Featuring dance, costume, music and poetry, storytelling, and traditional games and handicrafts, the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival will have something for everyone, from recent transplants to the most dedicated Canberra history buff.

Lanyon Open Day

Celebrate the opening of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival at the historic Lanyon Homestead. This beautifully restored 1850s property, set in gorgeous gardens, is one of Canberra’s under-appreciated gems. There will be tours, talks, stalls and live music, and plenty of activities for the whole family.

10 am – 3 pm Saturday 14 April | Lanyon Homestead, Tharwa Dr, Tharwa | 6230 0533 | www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | Gold coin donation

Mechanical Musical Instruments

Ever wondered what life was like before we could carry music around in our pockets? At Wheatfield Gallery near Braidwood you can learn about a stunning collection of antique music boxes, phonographs, gramophones and early wireless sets dating from 1840s to 1940s. Many of these pieces will be for sale, and at 2pm Sunday visitors can travel back in time for a live recording of an 1806 Thomas Tomkison Piano Forte onto a 1906 Edison wax cylinder record.

10 am – 4 pm Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April | Mill Pond Farm, 660 Majors Creek Rd, Jembaicumbene via Braidwood | 0438 126 987 | www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | Free

Anzac Peace Vigil

Anzac Day is an powerful experience however you choose to commemorate it, but the twilight singing ceremony on Mount Ainslie with A Chorus of Women is an essential Canberra tradition. As darkness falls, the lantern-lit procession will wind down the mountain towards the War Memorial, transforming this historic day into hope for a peaceful and inclusive future.

5.30pm – 7.30pm April 24 | Top of Mt Ainslie, Mt Ainslie Drive, Campbell | 0432 867 017 | www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | Free

Aboriginal Plant Use Walk

For the first inhabitants of Canberra, plants were an essential part of survival. On this ranger-guided walk at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, you can learn how plants are traditionally used for food and medicine, to make tools and weapons and for ceremonial practice.

10.30 am – 11.30 am April 18 | Clunies Ross St, Acton | 6250 9588 or events@anbg.gov.au | register.eventarc.com | $5

A Walk Through History in the Orroral Valley

Take in the beautiful landscapes and history of the Orroral Valley on this 4km-long walk. After winding your way past signs that chronicle the history of settlement in the area on a well-made track, you will be treated to afternoon tea at the homestead with a talk by a local historian making your way back to the carpark.

1 pm – 5 pm April 21 | Orroral Campground, Orroral Rd, Namadgi National Park | 6231 4535 or robhorsfield@bigpond.com |www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | Gold coin donation

Canberra’s Cold War History Walk-Talks

Did you know Canberra played a role in the Manhattan Project? Or that it hosted the most powerful short wave naval wireless station in the Commonwealth and tested samples of u235 from the Mt Painter mine in South Australia? Join a guided walk to learn about the history of our city’s involvement in the development of the atomic bomb and the Cold War.

CIVIC EVENT

10 am – 11 am April 15 | Outside GPO, Alinga St, Civic | 0418 447 328 or rgoyne@grapevine.com.au | environment.act.gov.au | Gold coin donation

BELCONNEN EVENT

10 am – 11 am April 22 | Canberra Tracks sign, Dawn Cres, Lawson | 0418 447 328 or rgoyne@grapevine.com.au | environment.act.gov.au | Gold coin donation

Picnic at Rock Valley

Take advantage of Canberra’s stellar natural surroundings at Rock Valley Homestead and listen to stories of Tidbinbilla Valley from the pioneers who made their homes there. Bring a picnic hamper and rug to immerse yourself in history, including a working model of one of the eucalyptus distilleries that once dominated the area. There will also be traditional kids games and nature play.

10 am – 2 pm April 21 and 22 | Rock Valley Homestead, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Paddys River Rd | 6205 1233 |www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | Entry charge to reserve applies

Ready-Cut Cottage Artist in Residence

This event is a rare opportunity to travel to the historic Ready-Cut Cottage in Namadgi National Park and enjoy artist demonstrations and workshops, as well as hearing about the inspiration and interpretation of the fascinating park environment and its history.

A charter bus will depart and return to the bus stop outside the Legislative Assembly, Civic, for the Gudgenby Ready-Cut Cottage, Namadgi National Park.

8.30 am – 3.40 pm April 21 | Gudgenby Ready-Cut Cottage, Namadgi National Park | 6262 9333 or community@craftact.org.au | eventbrite.com.au | $10

Boab Book Cottage

The Boab Book Cottage in Queanbeyan is over 100 years old, and it is now about to launch its newest program: a Read & Write Retreat. Children will enjoy all-age games and chalk drawing on the winding cottage footpaths, and Devonshire teas will be available all day.

10 am – 5 pm April 22 | 36 Crawford St, Queanbeyan | 0420 534 189 | www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | Free

Three Ps for Estates: Planning, Provenance and Protecting Heirlooms

 

Dr. Sherene Suchy started The Keepsakes Project after an executor for her estate told her most of her beloved possessions would go to Salvos after she died. She was furious, and determined to do something about it. In this session, Sherene will share stories and advice about how to protect and preserve your family and personal heritage.

2 pm – 3 pm May 5 | Octagon Art Space, Bungendore Woodworks Gallery, Kings Hwy | 6285 6256 | www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | Free

Beerfest Celebration

Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or looking to expand your palate, you’ll already know that German brewers have left their mark around the world. What you may not know is that this is all due to the German Beer Purity Law, or Reinheitsgebot, that was passed 502 years ago by the Duke of Bavaria. He decreed that beer should only be brewed from barley, hops and water to ensure its safety, so come down to Harmonie German Club and drink to that!

6 pm – 11.30 pm April 28 | 49 Jerrabomberra Ave, Narrabundah | 6295 9853 |www.act.gov.au/heritagefestival | $15

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