A vintage-filled market at Dirty Janes, the Garage Sale Trail and a Raio De Sol fiesta – this is just a taste of what’s on in Canberra this week.
Here’s your curated guide with everything that you need to know!
Special Events and Festivals
Dance Central’s Birthday and Open Day Extravaganza
Get along to Dance Central’s Open Day to help celebrate their 18th Birthday! There will be free taste-tester classes, special treats for kids, bubbly for adults and, of course, CAKE! Special guest Alex Carson will also be running some amazing workshops!
It’s absolutely free and open to everybody.
Saturday 18 November, 12:30 pm to 4 pm | Dance Central, 13-15 Altree Court, Phillip | dance-central.com.au
National Foundation for Australian Women Annual Dinner Canberra
This is not women’s problem: this is everybody’s business. At this annual dinner, key note speaker Natasha Stott Despoja AO (an Australian politician, diplomat, gender equality advocate and author) will be discussing how Australia is faring on gender equality. Why? Because no country or community has achieved gender equality, including Australia. But, there are also powerful changes underway. Significant markers — such as the Women’s World Cup and the ‘Matilda Effect’* — show we can change hearts and minds when it comes to gender equality.
Tuesday 14 November | 16 National Circuit, Barton | Book here.
St Clare of Assisi Conder School Fete
The St Clare of Assisi Conder Primary School Fete is a Bush Christmas theme and sure to go off with a Christmas cracker (bang!). Stand with your loved ones under the mistletoe (or wattle) and check out all that’s on offer. There will be Bells Carnival Rides for the children and young at heart, a hot rod display, Christmas critters (a reptile and animal petting zoo), Kenny Koala, many food and beverage stalls, visiting performers like Legs Dance Studio and a local choir performing Christmas Carols that will have you singing “Jo(e)y to the world!
Friday 17 November | 40 Heidelberg Street, Conder | facebook.com/scaconder
Canberra Institute of Technology Open Day
Finishing school later this year, or seeking to change or advance your career? The Canberra Institute of Technology Open Day is the perfect opportunity to explore your interests and discover the course that’s right for you. Held across the three main campuses (Bruce, Fyshwick and Reid), this is your chance to meet CIT staff, tour the campuses and experience life as a CIT student.
Friday 17 November | 37 Constitution Avenue, Reid | More information here.
Villa Zarlenga Open Garden
An invitation to view ”Villa Zarlenga” a garden which will transport you to Italy. Owned by Teresa Zarlenga and situated in Red Hill, Teresa’s passion and happiness is obvious when she is in her garden which she has designed and created in an Italianate style.
There’s a feeling of excitement when Teresa can reuse objects found or have been given to her to complement the garden. Teresa’s garden features 31 fruit trees, a fifty-metre grapevine, in 2017 using the grapes she made Villa Zarlenga Rose.
Villa Zarlenga has a prolific “Kitchen Garden”, a water feature known as “The Lagoons” and of course three friendly laying hens, Delphine, Daphne and Delores.
Saturday 18 November and Sunday 19 November from 10 am to 4 pm | 50 Investigator Street, Red Hill | Entry donation of $10 | All proceeds to The Canberra Blind Society
The Little Village Markets
This is a market for kids, by kids! How? Well, it’s where kids will make things, set-up a stall and sell their products. Drop in on the day and support these little locals. It’s free and offers lots of family fun!
Saturday 18 November | Gordon Community Centre, Lewis Luxton Avenue, Gordon | More information here.
Raio De Sol 10 Year Fiesta
Get ready to parrrtayyyy. Local community samba band Raio De Sol is hosting a street party and you’re invited! Showcasing Urban Latin and Roots music, eight bands and dance groups will Kambri at the Australian National University (ANU) representing the street sounds of Reggae, Cumbia, Ska, Afrobeat, Latin Rock, Samba, Jazz and Funk. The best part? It’s all free!
Saturday 18 November | Kambri, The Australian National University, 154 University Avenue, Acton | More information here.
Dirty Janes Peddling Wares Market
Love a vintage bargain? Meet the Dirty Janes Peddling Wares Market, AKA your new happy place. Taking place for one day only, the Dirty Janes Courtyard will be bursting with vintage sellers peddling everything from books and vinyl to chairs and tableware. Saving the plant while you shop? That’s a big yes from us.
Saturday 18 November | Dirty Janes Canberra Courtyard, 80 Collie Street, Fyshwick | More information here.
Tuggeranong Arts Centre Turns 25: Birthday Building Bash
This will be a spectacular showcase of music, comedy, dance, drag, choirs and more. Celebrating 25 years of community art making next to Lake Tuggeranong, the TAC25 variety show will showcase the creative work of many performing artists who have been part of the TAC story (including comedian Chris Ryan, Drag artists Venus Mantrap, Singer Jess Gowing, Dancer Max Burgess, and more). A short documentary and a digital story book featuring stories from the community will also be presented on the night and after the variety show, guests will be invited to the TAC25 after party. And yes, there will be birthday cake and gelato.
Saturday 18 November | Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 137 Reed Street North, Greenway | More information here.
Garage Sale Trail
Love a pre-loved bargain? For two weekends the Garage Sale Trail is back to turn the ACT region into one massive thrift shop. Grab your wallet (or phone – there will be touch-free PayPal QR code payments made available) because from books to bric-a-brac and everything in between, in one person’s trash you’ll be sure to find a treasure.
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November | Various locations | More information here.
Home Discovery Days at Suburban Land Agency’s Display Village
Searching for your dream home? To celebrate their first anniversary, the Suburban Land Agency’s Display Village will open its doors to present Home Discovery Days – an unmissable opportunity to explore stunning display homes, participate in information sessions and enjoy free family-friendly entertainment. With a total of 12 Display Homes open for viewing, guided tours, entertainment, demonstrations and pop-up sessions, don’t miss out!
Saturday 18 November | Corner of Sculthorpe Avenue and Klaus Moje Street, Whitlam | More information here.
14th Stromlo Running Festival
Strength, resilience, and courage: The Stromlo Running Festival is back again. Choose from 10 kilometres, 30 kilometres, and a 50 kilometres ultra-marathon (plus a 2.5 kilometres kids cross country) and use the event as an opportunity to ‘get off the road’ and challenge yourself on wide open trails that take in sweeping views of Canberra, Black Mountain Tower, the National Arboretum, and the Brindabella ranges.
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November | Stromlo Forest Park, Opperman Avenue, Wright | More information here.
Subaru Canberra: Rally of Canberra
This is a premier motorsport event! Attracting competitors from all around the country, the 2023 Subaru Canberra Rally of Canberra will be full of plenty of action, food trucks and kids entertainment. What more do you need?
Saturday 18 to Sunday 19 November | Exhibition Park (EPIC), Corner Northbourne Avenue and Flemington Road, Mitchell | More information here.
Stage and screen
This Rough Magic
Reimagining Shakespeare’s The Tempest, award-winning playwright of ideas, Helen Machalias is returning to The Street with her exhilarating epic of power reckoning, survival and the cost of pursuing the promise of a better life. Fusing ‘brave new world’ poetry with ‘stop the boats’ rhetoric and interpolations of Persian poetry, philosophy and storytelling to deliver a radically different representation of offshore detention, This Rough Magic is ambitious and thrilling.
Friday 10 until Sunday 19 November | The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, City | Book here.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]
Three madcap actors. 37 classic plays. 100 wild minutes. This is Shakespeare like you’ve never experienced before…condensed and time warped. With side-splitting, eye-watering hilarity, this rollercoaster ride will leave you wanting more.
Thursday 16 November until Saturday 2 December | Canberra REP Theatre, 3 Repertory Lane, Acton | Book here.
Commissioned by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, WINHANGANHA (Wiradjuri language: Remember, know, think) is a fusion of archival footage and sound, poetry and original composition, told through the lens of acclaimed Wiradjuri artist, Jazz Money. Examining how archives and the legacies of collection affect First Nations people and wider Australia, through film, television, audio and music recordings, the film is a poem in five acts that attempts to acknowledge the horrors, joys and beauties held within the archive. Following the screening will be a Q&A with filmmaker Jazz Money.
Wednesday 15 October | National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton | Book here.
Canberra Short Film Festival: Experimental Category
The Canberra Short Film Festival (CSFF) is returning for its 28th year with the debut screening of the Experimental Film Category! Reflecting the growing interest in experimental moving image amongst film and contemporary art lovers alike, bring along your picnic blanket and join this exciting evening of cutting edge cinema. Drinks and nibbles will also be available for purchase.
Thursday 16 October | PhotoAccess, 30 Manuka Circle, Griffith | Book here.
Paul McDermott Plus One: Blood Orange
You don’t want to miss this. Blood Orange is the third collaboration between writer / performer Paul McDermott and guitar/rock/god Glenn Moorhouse. The culmination of three years of intense study and personal observation, Blood Orange tackles three large conceptual themes facing contemporary society: The fall of Empire, the rise of women, and…adult activities (not necessarily in that order). This is a modern work for modern people that has appealed to both young and old.
Friday 17 November | Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, City | Book here.
Iranian Film Festival of Australia
The Iranian Film Festival returns this year with a remarkable program of thought-provoking, heart-warming, and award-winning feature films and documentaries showcasing the rich cultural tapestry of Iran. Running for three days only, thirteen films will be presented (which includes eleven Australian premieres as well as six award winning shorts). Now in its 11th year, this is the only nationwide Australian festival dedicated to Iranian cinema. Don’t miss out!
Friday 17 until Sunday 19 November | National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, McCoy Circuit, Acton | Book here.
Light and Joy
The Wesley Music Centre Lunchtime concert series is welcoming back the wonderful Canberra pianist Robert Schmidli. He will be performing a program of gloriously light-hearted works including Haydn’s Sonata Hob XVI/42 in D major, Schumann’s Carnival scenes from Vienna, Op 26 and Poulenc’s Napoli!
Wednesday 15 November | 20 National Circuit, Forrest | Book here.
Country Music Courtyard Concert
Urban Drover is taking the stage at Mercure Canberra for a courtyard concert on the raised walkway high above the gardens. With supporting acts performing in the gardens below (including line-dancing performances from local group, Canberra Nu-Line Dance, and an exclusive performance from three-time Australian Whip-Cracking Champion James Scott), you’ll be boot scooting long into the night.
Saturday 18 November | 39 Limestone Avenue, Braddon | Book here.
Australian Chamber Orchestra: Chopin & The Mendelssohns
Sending the 2023 season out on a high, pianist Polina Leschenko is making a long-awaited return. Joining Richard and the Orchestra for two Romantic concertos (Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto and Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Piano), it will be a night of brilliant music making.
Saturday 18 November | Llewellyn Hall, William Herbert Place, City | Book here.
Brian Jonestown Massacre
Psychedelic rock legends. What more do we need to say? The Brian Jonestown Massacre are coming to Canberra to play their favourite songs and new material from their storied career. After extensive US and European tours, expect some classic lysergic rock.
Sunday 19 November | Maning Clark Hall, Cultural Centre Kambri, Tanggney Road, 153, Acton | Book here.
Dancing Feet 2023
The Canberra Mandolin Orchestra, under the direction of conductor, Michael Hardy, will be presenting an afternoon of foot tapping music, folk dancing demos and a chance to take a turn round the dance floor with, or without a partner. With all dancing instructions provided, this event is for beginners and dancing enthusiasts alike and a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Sunday 19 November | Folk Dance Hall, 114 Maitland Street, Hackett | More information here.
The Reloved Revolution
Ahead of a world first sustainable only design expo that will be held right here in Canberra in 2024, this exhibition showcases design from used items and materials, plus sustainable innovation and education. Open to the public (with free entry) it focuses on ‘waste‘ as a viable design material and the incorporation of things that have already had their carbon footprint, instead of massed produced new materials. You’ll see some inspirational, beautiful and amazing local sustainable design.
Monday 13 until Friday 17 November | The Legislative Assembly, Canberra City | Register here.
Megalo Artist Party
Some of Australia’s leading print artists are coming together for an important cause: to support Megalo Print Studio’s Artist Residency program. Artworks for auction include work by some of Australia’s most renowned print artists, all of whom have enjoyed a Megalo residency in the past, think: Annika Romeyn, Trevor Dickinson, Naomi Zouwer and more. An exhibition of works for auction will be open for viewing.
Friday 17 November | 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston | More here.
Canberra Potters 2023 Members’ Exhibition
Featuring ceramic works created over the past 12 months by Canberra Potters’ members, this exhibition is a celebration of some fantastic local works. From delicate porcelain vessels to bold, hand-built sculptures, and everything in between, you can explore the ever-evolving world of contemporary ceramics through the diverse displays that push the boundaries of pottery.
Friday 3 November until Sunday 3 December | 1 Aspinall Street, Watson | More information here.
On Fire: Works from the Strathnairn Arts’ Wood Firing Group
From raw clay forms with wood ash effects, large sculptural forms, to glazed pieces utilising ash effects from the long firing process, this exhbition will display a stunning range of works from the Strathnairn Arts’ Wood Firing Group. Head along to see what beautiful results from hours of preparing wood, work, packing, firing and unpacking.
Saturday 4 until Sunday 26 November | Strathnairn Arts Association, 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt | More information here.
Christmas at GOST 2023
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Gallery of Small Things as they bring back their annual Christmas show. Head along to see new works from their stable of artists (which can also be brought as a Christmas present). From textiles to paintings, jewellery to etchings – they have you covered for affordable gifts this Christmas.
Until Saturday 23 December | 27 Wade Street, Watson | More information here.
Guns & Flowers: Ex de Medici
Ex de Medici grew up and lives in Canberra and is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. In this exhbition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, audiences will have the opportunity to see Medici’s earliest works, made when she was part of the energetic first wave of independent artist-activists in Canberra in the early 1980s, to some of her most recent, travelling from her acclaimed retrospective at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.
Until early 2024 | Canberra Museum and Gallery, Corner London Circuit and Civic Square, Canberra City | More information here.
Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize
The National Portrait Gallery is hosting the Art Gallery of NSW’s touring exhibition Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize. Celebrating 100 years of Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award and reflects upon the changing face of the nation, this exhbition delves into the controversies and the commonplace, the triumphant and the thwarted, and honours the artists who have made the Archibald Prize the most sought-after accolade in Australian art today.
Until early 2024 | National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes | More information here.
Workshops, webinars and more
Author Talk: Richard Glover
This promises to be an uplifting evening with bestselling author Richard Glover as he presents his latest book Best Wishes: Making the world a better, less annoying place one wish at a time. Taking aim at the annoyances of modern life (from noisy restaurants to plastic-wrapped fruit), this author talk will leave you both entertained and inspired.
Wednesday 15 November | 52 Giles Street, Kingston Library, Kingston | More information here.
Questacon’s Science Time: Flight
Perfect for little scientists aged 3 to 5 years old and their caregivers, in this hands on experience children will get to ask questions, explore and experiment just like real scientists. With topics regularly changing, check the Questacon website to see what’s on!
Thursday 16 November until Wednesday 6 December | Questacon, King Edward Terrace, Parkes | Book here.
A Cultural Biography of Ron Maslyn Williams
This one is for the history buffs. Professor Deane Williams will be presenting a lecture on his 2023 National Library Fellowship research about how Ron Maslyn Williams (filmmaker, photographer, writer, musician and radio playwright) became one of Australia’s post-Second World War cultural innovators. Keen to go along? Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential!
Thursday 16 November | National Library of Australia, Parkes Place West, Parkes | More information here.
Meet The Makers / This Rough Magic Playwright in Conversation
Director, dramaturg and photographer Shelly Higgs hosts a conversation with award-winning playwright Helen Machalias where they will delve into the development and production of new Australian play This Rough Magic. Exploring the layered text of This Rough Magic, where interpolations of Iranian mythology and folklore are mixed with asylum seeker accounts and ‘stop the boats’ rhetoric to create a unique reimaging of Shakespeare’s classic. This a great opportunity to find out more about how this ambitious and thrilling work was brought to life on The Street stage. Bookings are essential.
Thursday 16 November | The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street City West | RSVP with your name and phone number at RSVP@thestreet.org.au
Naqqāli – The Shahnameh: Dramatic Oral Performances by Parastoo Seif
Experience the artistry of accomplished dramatic performer Parastoo Seif, as she takes you on a mesmerizing journey through The Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), a timeless epic penned by Ferdowsi in the 11th Century. Parastoo began her Naqqāli training in Iran, where she studied under prominent Naqqāli, storytelling and theatre masters. Parastoo draws her inspiration from ancient mythology, encompassing the realms of theatre, poetry, and storytelling to create compelling and dramatic presentations. This pre-show event is for anyone who wants to delve into the rich, layered text of This Rough Magic and experience the distinctive ancient theatre form of Naqqāli. Bookings are essential.
Saturday 18 November | The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, City West | Book here.