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RISE, Canberra and see all the cool things that are happening

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It’s hard to believe on days when the most adventurous thing we do is pop out to the letterbox that a whole new world of local talent, entertainment, information and inspiration is but a click away.

RISE Canberra is a one-stop boredom-buster which will connect you to everything from the latest online gigs from local musos, to cultural tours at our national institutions, podcasts, talks, discussions, playtimes, gardening tips and even wine-tasting.

Launched on Tuesday, the website is an ambitious portal to connect Canberrans to their city and to ensure our performers and artists can stay connected to their audience at a time when COVID-19 restrictions are keeping us cautious and predominantly housebound.

Executive Producer of RISE Carmela Pavlic Searle said that when the idea of an online portal to showcase events across the ACT was first floated within the ACT Government, it was unknown whether the idea would take off. What was known was that the live music and cultural scene had taken an immediate hit from COVID-19 restrictions and local artists were suffering.

But at the live-streamed launch at EPIC on Tuesday in which LIV LI (homegrown songstress Amber Nichols) belted out some tunes, Carmela was delighted to see RISE already has 42 listings.

The RISE Canberra platform will also include an editorial stream; a series of articles, interviews, case studies and podcasts—highlighting specific offerings and creating visibility for particularly innovative and interesting listings in the calendar.

Carmela Pavlic Searle at the launch of RISE.

A former global events organiser within Austrade, who worked on events including G’Day USA and Australia Weeks in both China and India, Carmela said she had been reminded of the depth and breadth of Canberra talent while she worked on strategies to keep the city’s performers and creatives doing what they do best.

“Honestly, it has been a huge reminder of the talent, innovation and sophistication we have here in Canberra.”

“RISE has two aims, to support our events industry locally, which has clearly taken a very early hit from COVID-19, and to engage the community with what is going on.”

“The point is to keep Canberra connected an engaged with its creative side while there is not much going on physically. And, of course, we will publicise all the events that will be taking place once restrictions are eased.”


RISE is an easy-to-navigate local listings page featuring a huge range of events for every age group.

From Live in Ya Lounge featuring LIV LI and Neko Pink on Saturday night to a Reconciliation Day Bush Tucker tutorial featuring Awa Benny’s Subbi Subbi Fish and Fried Scone recipe on Sunday, to a live 3D character sculpting workshop with Gene O’Reilly next Tuesday, there is something for everyone.

You can search by genre or date, and get updates on what’s happening each time a new listing pops up.

An extension of the idea will be the first-ever Where You Are Festival, which is a two-month-long program of diverse activities starting on 10 July. The festival program will highlight unique Canberra experiences across art and culture, music, ideas and forums, sport, community and food.

It promises to deliver vibrant cultural experiences from local organisations, creators, event organisers, artists and businesses. This content will provide new opportunities to connect, explore and discover, both online and offline, while restrictions on mass gatherings are in place.

Canberra’s innovative creators and organisations have the opportunity to apply for funding of up to $20,000 for delivery of program elements for the Where You Are Festival through an Expression of Interest process, which is open now.

To find out more about the Where You Are Festival EOI process go to the Where You Are Festival Expression of Interest page on RISECanberra.com.

Meanwhile, if you have an activity or event, you can submit it for inclusion on the Calendar through the website RiseCanberra.com at any time.

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