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The Weekend Edit

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Things are changing rapidly in Canberra as we work together to keep our community safe.

From live music and theatre streamed direct to your living room to in-person exhibitions and festivals, here’s what’s happening this weekend in Canberra.

While restrictions are lifting, we strongly encourage you to keep physical distance between each other when you leave the house and be mindful of the current restrictions.

Let’s stay safe and sensible, Canberra, and we’ll get through this together.


Restrictions may have eased, but your responsibility hasn’t.

Find the most recent information regarding COVID restrictions in the ACT here: covid19.act.gov.au/updates.


Canberra 2060: Futures with a Capital F

The Future of Canberra is in your hands.

Heatwaves. Smoke. Social unrest. How are you going to lead Canberra through fifty years of threats and come out on top, still holding the title of Australia’s capital city?

In this new work made specifically for Canberra, acclaimed arts and game design collective Boho Interactive puts the future of our city in your hands.

In the wake of the last twelve months of drought, bushfires, and COVID, Boho Interactive invites audiences to explore how a city recovers from shocks, and how these tipping points can be opportunities for positive change. Drawing on local expertise and scientific modelling this new interactive game looks at challenges and opportunities for Canberra over the coming decades, and tasks players to work towards a bright future.

Co-commisioned by the Canberra Theatre Centre and the Where You Are Festival.

Happening until 5 September at Canberra Theatre Centre.

See canberratheatrecentre.com.au/show/canberra-2060 for more information.

Father’s Day Helicopter Tours

Up, up and away! Treat Dad to an uplifting adventure with Doma’s Helicopter Tours.

Lift off in a six passenger EC130 for an aerial tour of the capital followed by a meal or drink at Ostani Lounge Bar & Restaurant at the five-star Hotel Realm. Designed for providing a smooth and safe ride with all the luxuries, the aircraft is equipped with top of the line BOSE noise-cancelling headphones and a plush interior as well as floor to ceiling windows for optimal viewing.

These 15-minute tours are available from 9.30 am–4.30 pm on Sunday 6 September, with free parking at Hotel Realm and $20 credit at Ostani Lounge & Bar for each passenger. Maximum six passengers per flight.

Sunday 6 September from 9.30 am–4.30 pm | $129 per person | To book, email reception@domagroup.com.au or call 02 6260 7750 | domahotels.com.au/experiences/helicopter-tours

Australian Dreams: Picturing our Built World

For over 200 years, painters, printmakers and photographers have been in a creative conversation with the built environment. Reflecting progress, social ideas, understanding of the world and how we have changed over time, the exhibition Australian Dreams: Picturing our Built World shows how, through images, these artists have documented, interpreted, and celebrated a variety of buildings from the Opera House and Flinders Street Station to the inner city terrace and the humble bush cottage.

Sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, these buildings are the backdrops to life. They reflect a sense of identity, hopes and dreams, rendered in bricks and mortar.

Drawing exclusively from the collections of the National Library, the exhibition features photographs, prints, drawings and paintings by Augustus Earle, Conrad Martens, S T Gill, Eugene von Guérard, Lionel Lindsay, Harold Cazneaux, Olive Cotton, Mark Strizic, David Moore, Max Dupain, Jeff Carter, Ruth Maddison, Wolfgang Sievers and John Gollings.

Free entry.

Showing until 31 January 2021 at the National Library of Australia, Parkes.

See nla.gov.au/exhibitions/australian-dreams-picturing-our-built-world for more information.

Father’s ‘WeekEnd’ at BentSpoke

If the dad in your life is a beer fanatic, there’s no better place to be than BentSpoke’s Braddon BrewPub or at their Cannery for a Father’s “WeekEnd”to remember.

Book an un-beer-lievable three-course set menu at the BrewPub—with carefully paired beers and food across the weekend—or book a session for BentSpoke’s Start Of Spring event at the Cannery in Mitchell with a 12-tap container bar, local live music, and barbecue from BlackBear BBQ.

Bookings essential, online only at shop.bentspoke.beer/fathers-weekend with payment required for bookings in advance.

‘Dad Packs’ are available to purchase at both the Braddon Brewpub and the Start of Spring event at the Cannery. Beer, merch and voucher packs can be purchased individually or added to a ticket booking to be waiting at the table when you arrive.

Can’t get along on the day? Vouchers to the BentSpoke Brewpub are available too, and if you’re after something special, nab a Father’s ‘WeekEnd’ Hops and Hat gift pack, which includes a $50 voucher to the Brewpub and a BentSpoke hat to boot.

4–6 September | Various locations | shop.bentspoke.beer/fathers-weekend

Chocolate Cookies at Beirut Bunker Bar

Credit: Zachary Graham.

Hurrah for the dads! All dads who visit Beirut Bunker Bar on Father’s Day will receive a complimentary ‘Chocolate Cookie’ with the purchase of any beverage.

The Chocolate Cookie is one of Beirut Bunker Bar’s most popular shots. There’s no chocolate and no cookie, but ingeniously tastes just like one. The talented Bunker Bar team can also make almost every cocktail on the menu as a mocktail, so bring in the kids and enjoy a fun afternoon or evening!

Reservations are strongly recommended. No deposit is required, however, there is a fee for cancellations made with less than 24 hours’ notice and for no shows. Can’t make it in? Vouchers are available to purchase via the Bunker Bar’s website.

Beirut Bunker Bar | 25 Garema Place, City | Sunday 6 September, 5 pm until late | beirutbunkerbar.com.au

Father’s Day Lunch at Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar

Treat the most important man in your life to a sumptuous three-course lunch at Buvette Bistro this Father’s Day.

Located inside the five-star Hotel Realm in Barton, indulge in a decadent long lunch featuring Hiramasa kingfish carpaccio, Slow-cooked wagyu MB8 short ribs and pearl barley & broad beans risotto followed by Peat whisky chocolate fondant with peanut and chocolate crumble and Umeshu cheesecake with golden plum gelée.

$75 per guest including a glass of beer or wine.

Sunday 6 September | Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar | 18 National Circuit, Barton | Contact buvette@domahotels.com.au to secure a table

Contentious Cabaret: A Night You’ll Never Forget!

At Contentious Cabaret, expect an award-winning burlesque dancer; a sexy and cute circus performer; a contortionist and fire dancer; a dark and mysterious contact juggler; and a fiery pole dancer.

It’s so experimental we don’t know what we’re doing until it’s done! One thing for sure is we’ll be raising a glass and ruffling a few feathers, so you can make your own mind up on the night.

Numbers limited for social distancing. Tickets include cabaret and 3-course dinner paired to three newly released wines.

Happening Friday 4 September from 8.30-10.30 pm at Contentious Character winery, 810 Norton Road, Wamboin.

See contentiouscharacter.com.au/Events for more information.

Australian Love Stories: an amorous online adventure

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown, 2006 by Peter Brew-Bevan Photographer, inkjet print on paper, 99.5 cm x 74.5 cm. Collection National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, © Peter Brew-Bevan.

Australian Love Stories is an interactive storybook of Australian devotion, family ties, close friendships, passion and lust, not your usual online exhibition experience, these fascinating portraits and stories become a choose-your-own adventure, where you can navigate your way through the portraits and engage with the stories behind them.

At the end you will be given your own ‘love profile’, based on how and where your love interests lead you.

Featuring famous figures from the NPG collection, Australian Love Stories explores universal themes encompassed by ‘love’ and offers an exhaustive feast of love tales, from drama, lust, devotion, seduction and scandal.

This intriguing, moving, sometimes hilarious love journey is available for you to play online ahead of a major new physical exhibition scheduled for March 2021. Proudly presented by National Portrait Gallery

Happening until 31 October online, thanks to the National Portrait Gallery.

See portrait.gov.au/lovestories to get started.

Songs from a Stolen Senate

Credit: William Thompson.

Songs from a Stolen Senate features some of Australia’s leading First Nation musicians, who have taken parliamentary voices and reworked them into song and storytelling from the perspective of their own life stories.

This is the first instalment of an ongoing series from The Griffyn Ensemble that challenges how Australian identity was forged since European settlement.

Meet five unique Australians from a diversity of genre and backgrounds: Aranda country music icon Warren Williams; inspirational Noongar singer-songwriter Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, Norah Bagiri from Mua Island in the Torres Straits; and Canberra based Christopher Sainsbury from the Dharug nation and Yuin composer Brenda Gifford.

This landmark collaboration weaves together their unique individual reflections of our political landscape through music they have written for the acclaimed Griffyn Ensemble. From stolen generations to climate politics, Songs from a Stolen Senate offers different perspectives of our national past and the Australian parliament.

These works were commissioned in the months before COVID-19 took place. Due to physical isolation, the world premiere of these works will be weaved together through online interactive performances, allowing audiences to talk to some of the musicians and composers involved.

To catch the live stream and to register, head to the Griffyn Ensemble Website

Happening 4-5 September live online.

See griffynensemble.com for more information.

Where You Are Festival

Australian Dance Party. Credit: Lorna Sim.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, the way we interact and the way we as a community enjoy all the amazing events, activities and attractions Canberra has to offer.

The Where You Are Festival delivers exciting and vibrant cultural experiences from our local creators, event organisers and artists. Seek out new opportunities to connect, explore and discover, both online and offline events in Canberra.

See the full program here: risecanberra.com/where-you-are-festival

Happening until 11 September 2020 online and across various venues in Canberra.

See risecanberra.com/where-you-are-festival for more information.

Bush Play Connections

Awakening Education Bush Play.

A two hour bush play session, families will enjoy loosely facilitated bush play that includes bushcraft creation, bush walks, nature exploration and respectful foraging.

Brother Daniel will join each session, sharing his local knowledge and deepening our connection to the beautiful Ngunnawal country on which we live.

Happening Thursday 3 September 9.45 am – 12 pm at Mount Majura Nature Reserve.

See risecanberra.com/whats-on/bush-play-connections-awakening-educations-mount-majura-nature-reserve for more information.

DESIGN Canberra photography competition

This Is Suburbia. Image: DESIGN Canberra. Image supplied.

DESIGN Canberra festival 2020 has kicked off its annual photography competition.

Inspired by our main COVID-era activity of spending time at home, the competition is looking for entries that respond to the theme of ‘This Is Suburbia‘.

Kicking off on 6 July, the competition will run until 28 September ahead of DESIGN Canberra festival 2020, which will take place from 9-29 November across Canberra.

The competition will speak to a broader theme of Canberra’s suburban identity, which will be present in much of the festival’s 2020 program.

The six winners will take away cash prizes of $100 each, while the top 100 photos will be displayed at a special exhibition during the festival. There are also open and student categories in the competition.

How to enter

Entries are to be submitted via Instagram, between 29 June and 28 September. For entries to be considered, participants will need to follow and tag @designcanberrafestival and hashtag their photographs with #designcanberra #dcphotocomp2020 and #student if you are a college or high school student.

Entry to the competition is free and submissions close 28 September 2020. The winners will be announced on social media and on the DESIGN Canberra website in November 2020.

Read the full terms and conditions and selection criteria on the DESIGN Canberra website.

Free entry.

Happening until 28 September via Instagram.

See designcanberrafestival.com.au for more information.


On Air Play UP

On Air PlayUP is MoAD’s newest online offering, inspired by the onsite exhibition PlayUP.

During the On Air PlayUP livestream, facilitators will take you step by step through a fun craft activity with a different theme each week inspired by the United Nations’ International Days and Weeks.

Catch it live on MoAD’s Facebook and Instagram accounts every Wednesday at 10.30 am or watch it on-demand at moadoph.gov.au/families.

Little Griffins

On the last Friday of each month the National Capital Exhibition hosts a free program for preschoolers called ‘Little Griffins’.

It is focused on the design and building of Canberra, in a very gentle way, guiding participants to be like Walter and Marion Griffin, the designers of our capital. The program always includes building with DuploTM, songs and lots of fun.

Little Griffins available online during COVID-19.


Some national institutions have now reopened their physical exhibitions.

However, we encourage you to check opening times before visiting, including whether visitor numbers are limited.

installation view featuring European Thousand-Armed Classical Sculpture 2014 (ed. 2/3).


XU ZHEN® is one of China’s most significant artists and activists. His recent work centres on sculptural installations, video and performances that challenge cultural assumptions, question social taboos and comment on the idea of art as a commodity.

This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Australia.

Showing until 13 September at the National Gallery of Australia.

See nga.gov.au for more information.


This stunning exhibition takes you on a journey, travelling onboard the ship with Captain James Cook and for the first time hearing the stories from those on the shore.

In looking at our past, we have the chance to join together and imagine a shared future. Explore our new exhibition online or onsite and trace the Endeavour voyage.

Tickets are timed to assist in physical distancing.

Showing until 11 October 2020 at the National Museum of Australia.

See nma.gov.au/exhibitions/endeavour-voyage for more information.


In Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe (From my women), Shirley Purdie pays homage to the women in her family, representing herself through collective knowledge, culture and values.

Acquired by the Portrait Gallery in September 2019, this non-representational self-portrait is informed by Aboriginal ways of seeing and understanding the world.

Each panel contains a story, producing a portrait that is a complex kaleidoscope of personal history, identity and connection to country.

Showing until 1 November 2020 at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

Find out more at portrait.gov.au.

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