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This Week in The Can

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We’re on the homestretch until school returns next week, but if you’re still chasing your tail in a desperate measure to keep the kids occupied this week, then check out the activities and events listed below. Tidbinbilla wraps up their twilight tours this weekend so why not book in? It’s the perfect opportunity to explore nature and enjoy a barbecue dinner with the family. There’s plenty to do at all the national institutions including some crazy fun at Questacon with the Perception Deception exhibition.

This week also marks the beginning of the ANZAC Day tributes as we commemorate 100 years since the landing of the troops at Gallipoli.You won’t want to miss the Dawn Service ceremony at the Australian War Memorial come this Saturday; a beautiful and moving service unlike any other.

From the footy field to the ice rink, we’re in for a big weekend of sports too with the CBR Brave opening the 2015 season alongside the GWS Giants and Brumbies who will also be taking to the field this Saturday night.

There always plenty do for foodies, market dwellers, sports fans and even art lovers too including a meander through the numerous, inspirational exhibitions taking place at the National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of Australia…

Here’s what’s happening This Week in The Can!


ANZAC Parade: Conflict & Sacrifice Remembered

ANZAC Parade opened in 1965 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in the First World War. Many memorials have been built and dedicated since then to recognise particular conflicts, different forms of service and significant events. A part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival. On 5pm-6.3pm Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 April. Bookings are essential on (02) 6272 2902.

ANZAC Day 2015

2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of landing of Anzac troops at Gallipoli. The Australian War Memorial is hosting two ceremonies to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who’ve served Australia during periods of war and peace. Dawn Service from 4.30am. The Anzac Day National Ceremony starts at 10.15 am. The Dawn Service from Anzac Cove in Gallipoli will be broadcast live in the afternoon. See the service from large screens in the Sculpture Garden and on the Western Lawn. Limited seating will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  A special Last Post Ceremony will be held at 4.45pm. On Saturday 25 April at the Australian War Memorial.

ANZAC Concert at the National Carillon

Head to the National Carillon for an afternoon of music in a special ANZAC Concert with performances by Lead Carillonist Lyn Fuller, Senior Carillonist Thomas Laue, Senior Carillonist Astrid Bowler, Carillonist Leonard Weiss, Student Carillonist: Anna Wong, Junior Student Carillonist: Kriti Mahajan, Junior Student Carillonist: Peter Bray and Sydney Carillonist: Isaac Wong. On Saturday 25 April from 4pm-6.30pm at National Carillon.

Monkey…Journey to the West

Monkey Magic, Monkey Magic!
Monkey … Journey to the West is based on China’s popular classic story of The Monkey King and remembered by generations of Australians from the 70’s cult TV show Monkey Magic. Join iconic hero Monkey with his friends, Tripitaka, Pigsy and Sandy on their quest to return the sacred scriptures and peace and harmony to China. Meet heavenly beings and fallible mortals, and cheer the heroes on in their exciting battles with devious spirits and treacherous monsters. Directed by John Bell, this highly visual, physical production combines comedy, music, song and spectacular martial arts. Tickets through Canberra Theatre Centre. Opens Thursday 23 April and runs until Saturday 25 April at Canberra Theatre Centre.

Canberra and Region Heritage Festival

The Canberra and Region Heritage Festival theme for 2015 is ‘Conflict and Compassion’. Just how has our identity and heritage been shaped by conflict and compassion?  Search for answers and celebrate the importance of the region’s heritage. Heritage is retro, it’s vintage, it’s the region’s story, it’s part of everyday life. With over 100 events, most free, you can enjoy tours, open days, dances, talks, dinners, markets and more. The festival raises awareness to the ongoing need to conserve the region’s natural, historic and Aboriginal heritage. On until 26 April at various venues and locations. Check the website for programming times.


Backyard Produce Dinner

Your gateway to the vast array of stunning produce grown right on their doorstep, A.Baker present their intimate series of Backyard Produce Dinners to take the best fruit, vegetables and herbs that you’ve grown in your backyard and put it into their kitchen for the chefs to prepare once a month. Simple book at a table, bring in a bunch, box or bag of your best produce two to three days before the event and they’ll prepare a great dinner! Check in with the A.Baker website for details of the next dinner. Limited seating so bookings are essential online or by phoning (02) 6287 6150. Tickets are $60 food and $35 for matched wines.


Stepping Stones to Democracy – Guided Tours

The lack of compassion King John showed his people created conflict in England before he sealed Magna Carta at Runnymede in June 1215, 800 years ago this year. Celebrated as the first step toward modern democracy, delve into the story at Canberra’s memorial to the Great Charter before encountering other steps in Australian democracy on a volunteer guided walk.  This will include a rare viewing of the Charters of Our Nation at National Archives, democratic landmarks along the way and a conclude at the 1297 copy of the Charter in Parliament House.  There will also be a brief rest stop at National Archives, where a small café is available.  The walk will commence at Magna Carta Place at 10:00am, although free of charge all participants will be asked to book a place on Eventbrite. On 21 April from 10am to 12pm at Magna Carta Place, Parkes.

Gallery Tours: All the fall highlights

See highlights of the exhibition All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War on a daily tour.  All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War is the National Portrait Gallery’s contribution to the Anzac Centenary. On now until 26 July at National Portrait Gallery.

St John’s: Canberra’s First War Memorial?

When the Great War began the first officer graduates of the recently established military college of Duntroon were joined by men from the pastoral community which still dominated the site of what is now Canberra. The little Church of St John’s, standing on the Limestone Plains since 1845, came to provide a community focus for people grieving for those lost in battle. St John’s became, in effect, Canberra’s first memorial to the Great War. Join a special tour and discover more. Phone their office for more information. Suitable for upper secondary age students and adults. Not recommended for under 15s. From 2pm-4pm Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April at St John’s Schoolhouse, Constitution Avenue. Entry is $5 per person.

Autumn Mt. Stromlo Observatory Site Tours

Mount Stromlo Observatory has been carrying out astronomical observations for over 100 years and, prior to the 2003 firestorm, had grown from a small outpost of pioneering astronomers to one of the great observatories of the world. Mount Stromlo Observatory in conjunction with the Canberra Astronomical Society invite you to April’s public observation night. See the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon and beautiful star clusters and nebulae. On the night, there will be talks by astronomers from Mt. Stromlo Observatory and observations on several telescopes.

In the event of cloudy weather, star gazing will be cancelled but the talks will occur regardless of the weather. Check the weather using the Mt. Stromlo all-sky camera on their website. Warm clothing is recommended. On Friday 24 April from 7pm-9pm at Mt Stromlo Observatory.

afterDARK Scavenger Hunt Tours

Take an afterDARK Scavenger Hunt Tours and see what you can find in the Australian National Botanic Gardens at night. Gather your family for a night-time botanical scavenger hunt with treasures and treats to be found. Bring your torch, follow the clues and discover the fascinating plant, insect and animal life in the Gardens at night. Be the first to complete the scavenger hunt challenge and take home the coveted ‘super-sleuth’ prize. Finish your evening enjoying supper and toasting marshmallows over the open-air fire. afterDARK Scavenger Hunt Tours are not suitable for children under five years. Bookings essential on (02) 6250 9588. On every Friday from 7pm until 24 April at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Tid by Torchlight

Canberrans and visitors can still enjoy the unique opportunity to explore Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve during the evening to watch native animals emerge from their hiding places for nightfall. The Tid by Torchlight program, which is organised by Conservation Volunteers Australia, run every Friday and Saturday night until 25 April, and subject to minimum booking numbers. The program is an opportunity to see and learn about our local, native flora and fauna in the stunning reserve with an expert guide. Each tour runs for five hours and begins with a dusk wildlife walk and gourmet bush BBQ before venturing into the forest at night, to discover animals you wouldn’t normally find.

Your guide will walk you through the reserve sanctuary and a spotlight tour of the forest, while teaching you about Australia’s native wildlife. Tickets are $80 for an adult and $65 for children. For visitors, the ticket price also covers the cost of transportation to and from Canberra hotels. Your ticket sale will support wildlife conservation at Tidbinbilla; a portion of the cost is donated directly back to Tidbinbilla’s endangered species breeding programs. For more information visit their website.

Geoscience Australia’s Laboratories Tours

Take a Guided Tour of Geoscience Australia’s Laboratories. This is a great chance to find out how rocks, oil, gas and water are analysed if you’re not going to be in the capital for Geoscience Australia’s open day in August. Free entry but bookings required via Eventbrite. On from 22 April at Geoscience Australia.


Canberra Toy & Hobby Fair

Head along to UC High School Kaleen for the Canberra Toy and Hobby Fair where you can find die cast model cars, trading cards, pop culture collectables, magazines and books, Australiana merchandises plus lucky door prizes and and ANZAC display. On Sunday 26 April from 9am-3.30pm.

Old Bus Depot Markets

Canberra’s national award winning indoor Sunday market focuses on the talent and creativity of regional arts and craftspeople. Discover 200 stalls within a fabulous old industrial building offering unique handcrafted items, gourmet take home food, regional wines, and freshly ground coffee. Visitors can browse all kinds of items including funky lamp shades, tea cups and saucers, retro decorative art, antique jewellery, china and art glass, silver, linens and restored pieces.

The Old Bus Depot Markets are easy to access, have ample free parking and a wide range of food stalls to enjoy a multicultural meal, a coffee or a quick bite to eat – while watching talented musicians and taking in the hustle and bustle of the markets. On every Sunday from 10am to 4pm on Wentworth Avenue in Kingston.

Capital Region Farmers Market

Visit the largest regional markets in the Southern Tablelands—the Capital Region Farmers Market! Be tantalised by fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, seafood, cakes, condiments, meats, cheeses and more. Fresh produce reflects the exciting seasonal characteristics and diversity of the region providing opportunity for you to learn more about the food you’re eating and the region it comes, and discuss what you’re buying with the growers. On every Saturday from 7.30am to 11.30am at Exhibition Park on Flemington Road.

Gorman House Markets

For a quarter of a century, the Gorman House Markets have been Canberra’s much loved meeting place providing opportunities for the community and visitors alike to express themselves creatively, trade and shop in a vibrant environment, access to an audience, engage in the arts and be a part of living heritage. Experience them from 10am to 4pm every Saturday at Gorman House, Ainslie Avenue, Braddon.


Jay’s Jungle

Jay’s Jungle is the new live show featuring everyone’s favourite children’s television and live entertainer Jay Laga’aia. Jay, his team and fun loving park rangers, Funk-E de Monkey and C-Mor the magical light house discover their island while creating exciting adventures.  Young ‘Jungle Crew’ audiences will love the interaction with Jay and his team through this 45 minute show including song, dance and music. Tickets available through Canberra Theatre Centre. On 24 April at The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre.

Portrait Play

Explore portraits through drawing and creative activity at the National Portrait Gallery with Portrait Play. The themes these holidays is ‘Journeys’. For children from 4 to 8 share with family and friends. All children must be accompanied by a participating adult. Bookings essential. Made possible with funds donated by Tim Fairfax AC. Cost is $5 per child and bookings are essential on (02) 6102 7000. On until 26 April at the National Portrait Gallery, Parkes from 11am-12pm.

Kids Autumn Digital Photography School

Imagine your kids doing something different in the nation’s capital these school holidays. Guided by expert tutors, kids will capture images and master the fundamentals of Adobe© creative software to create unique works of art at PhotoAccess, Manuka Arts Centre. Each participant will take home their own large-format photographic prints. Laptops provided, own cameras welcome but not essential. Workshops run Tuesday to Thursday 9am-4pm 21-23 April. Bookings essential on

Awesome Autumn Adventure Holiday Drama Workshop

Canberra Youth Theatre is running an awesome Autumn Adventure themed holiday workshop! What will this adventure be? Where will it take you? That is part of the excitement, you get to decide in the workshop! Ideal for ages 7 to 12, this school holiday program is designed to build confidence and fundamental skills in voice, movement, character and story. Pack your bags, grab your binoculars and bring along your adventurous spirit to Canberra these holidays. Bookings essential by phoning (02) 6248 5057. From 20 to 24 April at C Block Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre.

Perception Deception

Does your brain play tricks on you? Is one person’s reality the same as yours? Answer these questions and more with the Perception Deception exhibition at Questacon. Surprise your senses and challenge your mind with over 60 hands-on and multimedia exhibits featuring perceptual test and illusions.  This family-friendly exhibition reveals how our brains process information from our senses to form our perception of the world around us. Sometimes all is not as it seems! On now until 30 September 2015. For entry prices visit the website.


There’s always heaps for people of all ages to do at Questacon – check out their list of events here.

National Dinosaur Museum Weekend Tours

The National Dinosaur Museum holds tours every weekend. Join one of their expert staff to experience a journey through time. Take your camera, your friends, those burning dinosaur questions and join the knowledgeable staff for a fun and educational tour suitable for all ages. Tours are free with admission. Tours are 30-minutes and run every weekend at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm until 27 December.

Play Up

Play Up pokes its tongue out at the idea that museums are hands off. Stand up, muck up, dress up, make up, think up and step up in a fabulous space that has turned the traditional idea of what goes on in museums completely on its head. In Play Up it is visitors to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MOADOPH) who are the curators – the exhibition has been developed with children and celebrates the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Play Up celebrates the important role children have in the cultural life of our communities. Most importantly Play Up is a place for fun. At the MOADOPH and open from 9am to 5pm daily until June 2015.

Family Space

The National Portrait Gallery has something for everyone to enjoy this school holidays in the Portrait Gallery Adventure Family Space. Explore the lives of Australia’s greatest adventurers through interactive art carts, dioramas and dress ups. Make your own portrait that expresses your spirit of adventure using fun art materials and the photo booth. All materials provided and free for all to enjoy! From 11am to 4pm daily.

Leap into your local library

Your local library is a treasure trove…not only are there free books and resources, there are regular amazing events! Giggle & Wiggle with your little ones (up to 2 years) and help them learn through language play using interactive rhymes, songs, games and stories. Looking to improve your English and make new friends, then head along to your local library for one of the informal English conversation groups. For more events and info check them out here.


Brumbies v Highlanders

See the Brumbies take on the Highlanders at GIO Stadium Canberra. With the Brumbies on their home ground, you know they’ll be out for a win. Get along and cheer on your favourite team. Widely regarded as the world’s toughest provincial rugby tournament, the Super Rugby competition pitches the best players from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa together with five teams from each conference fighting for the win. Tickets from Ticketek. Kick off at 7.40pm on Friday 24 April at GIO Stadium, Bruce.

CBR Brave v Sydney Bears

Get ready for the opening game of the 2015 Australian Ice Hockey League season. Yep, that’s right! The CBR Brave are back armed with new imports, old favourites and ready to wrap up unfinished business from their inaugural 2014 season. Catch all the action on the ice at Phillip Ice Skating Centre when the puck drops at 5.30pm on Saturday 25 April. Tickets available online now.

Giants v Gold Coast Suns

Leave the car at home! ACTION buses are providing FREE shuttle services to and from Civic and Woden for ticket holders for the GIANTS vs. Gold Coast Suns game on Saturday 25 April 2015. In addition, ticket holders can travel on any ACTION bus across the entire network on the day for free. For more details go to  If you are driving, some general road closures and managed access arrangements for residents will apply in the Star Track Oval precinct on the day.  Parking officers will be active in the area during the event and drivers are reminded to park legally. To view parking maps, road closure and event information visit On Saturday 25 April from 5.30pm-8.10pm at Star Track Oval.


Camp Quality Escarpade: Superheroes Super Session

The SuperHeroes ACT are taking part in the Camp Quality esCarapde which is a 7 day outback adventure raising funds and awareness for children and their families living with cancer. Treat your family and friends to a special school holiday night out! Dress up in your favourite super hero costume and join in the fun. Tickets are available at Don’t miss out! On Wednesday 22 April from 8pm-1opm at Limelight Cinemas, Greenway.

Movie premier — Avengers: Age of Ultron (Shitbox Rally Edition)

Participating in the Shitbox Rally this year, Support Team 12 and Team Mocko are two Canberra-based teams which have united to create a supporter package and bring a special Canberra premiere of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” to the Canberra community on 24 April, from 6.30pm.

Shitbox Rally is the largest independent fund raising event for the Cancer Council. It is a challenge to do the unthinkable; to drive cars worth less than $1000 across parts of Australia on some of the most arduous roads. No four-wheel drives are allowed.  Each year the route is different. This year, 200 teams from around Australia will converge on Canberra, in May, to start a 3600 km adventure to Townsville via the Simpson Desert and Birdsville Track. The special premiere is part of the fund-raising by both of these teams. The supporters-only premiere package also includes a ticket for another film of the supporters’ choice, popcorn, exclusive access and lucky door prizes.  Tickets will sell out before the event so arrange tickets by contacting On Friday 24 April from 6.30pm-10pm at Palace Electric Cinema.

Sea Shepherd in the City

Running until April 2015, Sea Shepherd will be in the city (Garema Place) every Friday night from 5-8pm providing you an opportunity to grab some merchandise, find out info on our latest campaigns or to accept your donations. On Fridays from 5pm to 8pm in Garema Place.


Drawn In

Let your creative juices flow at the National Portrait Gallery. Pick up a pencil and enjoy the experience of drawing while listening to local musicians. Ideal for all ages and abilities. All materials provided and entry is free. On Sunday 26 April from 1pm to 3pm at National Portrait Gallery.

In The Spotlight

In The Spotlight is a series of talks at the National Portrait Gallery exploring culture and identity through the lens of performers who have lived and appeared in the spotlight.

On Sunday 17 May, hear David McAllister, Artistic Director Australian Ballet on performance and portraiture.

Valuing Heritage tour — Australian Parliament House

This is a rare opportunity to explore the creative design of Australia’s Parliament House for two hours with experts from the Parliament House heritage team. You will go to some of the private areas and find out about the heritage values and the work to preserve this iconic building. To finish your visit, you’ll enjoy a selection of sweet and savoury treats while taking in spectacular views of Canberra from Members’ Terrace. On Friday 24 April from 10am-12pm. Bookings essential on 02 6277 5050 or

Canberra (Ainslie) Toastmasters

Canberra (Ainslie) Toastmasters is conducting a public speaking and presentation skills workshop on aspects of effective communications at Ainslie Football Club, Wakefield Avenue, Ainslie from 5.30pm to 7pm on Tuesday 14 April. Free for visitors.

National Gallery of Australia talks and workshops

The National Gallery of Australia has an extensive program of talks and workshops run in conjunction with their current exhibitions. Hear about local and international artists or specific techniques. Be inspired by the greats and create your own artworks. Talks and workshops cater for a range of different age groups. For full details visit the NGA website.


Ross Noble – Tangentleman

Following 14 sell-out tours, Ross Noble the king of improvisational comedy is back with another mind-blowing new show – Tangentleman. With an on-stage presence like no other, Noble’s exuberance, spontaneity and cerebral style have established him as one of the world’s best-loved comedians. The master surrealist uses an infinite imagination and plenty of tomfoolery, which is sure to have audiences in fits of laughter.  Tickets from Canberra Ticketing. This show is not suitable for children. On 22 to 23 April at Canberra Theatre Centre.

The Dirty Red Digger: Rugby League Remembrance

The Griffyn Ensemble commemorate the ANZAC Centenary with The Dirty Red Digger. Performing live music with archival footage and new documentary film, they’ll tell the story of World War I in Australia through events in Rugby League between 1914 and 1918. From the working class tenements in ‘Dirty Red’ Glebe, the divisive Prime Minister Billy Hughes, and the traitor/hero status of boxer Les Darcy, this special multimedia event explores the battle for Australian identity and the ANZAC legacy. Comparing the stories of young men in the trenches with young men today; this is a special event not to be missed! Entry is $45 adult, $40 concession, under 30s $25 and under 18s $10. On 5pm both Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April at Belconnen Arts Centre.


The Front Room

Explore Australia’s TV, radio and music collection at your leisure in the National Film and Sound Archive’s latest screen and sound experience in Acton – The Front Room. Discover the history of sound, music and broadcast in comfort. Listen to radio broadcasts on a 1950s radiogram, watch classic TV in the lounge space or play CDs on one of the listening posts. Whether you’ve got five minutes or five hours, there’s always something to see, hear or do in The Front Room. Free entry. Open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm until 24 December at National Film and Sound Archive.

Evensong: A musical performance by Clarion

Head along to the National Portrait Gallery and enjoy a free half hour musical performance after you have perused their collections. Evensong is a musical performance by Clarion, a vocal ensemble, led by Tobias Cole. On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April, and Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May at the National Portrait Gallery.

Lunchbox Concert Series

The free concert series favourite is back at the Australian National University School of Music! Lunchbox concerts are a great way to spend your lunch hour listening to unique performances by students, staff and guests of the ANU School of Music. Mention ‘Lunchbox’ at Biginelli’s Cafe on Level 5 of the School of Music and claim a special $5 coffee and cake deal! On until 30 April in the Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU.

No Lights, No Lycra

There is no light, no lycra, no teacher, no steps to learn, no technique, just free movement. NLNL is a space where you can completely let go, shake out the stresses of the week, and lose yourself in the music and the physicality of your body. NLNL is a daggy, non-pretentious place to completely be yourself.

NLNL takes place in two locations across Canberra: Monday nights from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Mugga Mugga Scout Hall in Red Hill, and Wednesday nights from 7.30pm to 9pm at St John’s Anglican Church Hall in Reid (corner of Constitution Ave and Anzac Park West).

Lots of free onsite parking available, and admission still just $5 on the door.

Vinyl Lounge at NFSA

The popular Vinyl Lounge is back for 2015 at the National Film and Sound Archive. Join other vinyl lovers for nibbles then spin the turntables with your favourites records from 5.30pm. The NFSA’s Vinyl Lounge is on the first Friday of every month and is the perfect way to end the day (and working week). Reminscent of record clubs of the 1970s, enjoy a diverse selection of pop, rock, folk, world, funk and lounge music from the Golden Age of vinyl. Bring your own LPs and groove into the Vinyl Lounge. On the first Friday of each month from 5pm.

Weekly Dance Party for the Over 30s

30+ Dance Event will be hosting weekly Dance Parties every Saturday night at The RUC where you will be provided with an entralling and relaxed atmosphere to meet new people at your own leisure. A fun, safe and comfortable atmosphere to dance, meet new or other likeminded persons, romance, flirt or socialise and make friends. These are popular weekly Saturday night evens and the ideal night out for fun-loving socialable 30+s with pulsating music from the 60s, 70s, 80, 90s plus much more. Visit 30 Plus Dance Event for details. On every Saturday from 8pm onwards at The RUC, Turner and $20 per head.

Live Local Music

This post isn’t long enough to list all the various gigs around town, but if you’re into live music, we heartily suggest you check out what’s on offer at The Phoenix, Transit Bar, The Front, The Abbey, and BMA’s gig guide.


Return to ANZAC Cove – ‘Your Friend The Enemy’

During two expeditions in 2013 and 2014, groups of 13 Australian and New Zealand artists set up their easels in the Dardanelles, revisiting ‘the most sacred corner of Australian soil.’ Tens of thousands of young men lost their lives here during the 1914-18 war. The exhibition shows their vision of this landscape. On now until 17 May 2015 at Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley Street Canberra. Entry is free.


As part of DESIGN Canberra, Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre is thrilled to partner with the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MoAD), to bring you an exciting exhibition Bespoke: Design for the people. In this stunning exhibition, six Australian craft and design practitioners have created new works that reflect and respond to the iconic designs of the original furniture at Old Parliament House. Each artist was given unprecedented access to the rooms and collections, and the freedom to create a personal response. Informed by their own artistic backgrounds, each artist considered notions of political perspective, change, accountability and power in their pieces. The result is a thought-provoking collaboration between design, creativity and Australia’s political history. Artists include Canberra artists Jennifer Robertson, Niklavs Rubenis, Julie Ryder, Caren Florance, in collaboration with Melinda Smith; and Sydney-based artist Cecelia Heffer. The exhibition will run until November 2015. To view the full DESIGN Canberra program of events visit their website.

James Turrell: A Retrospective

Following sell-out shows in Los Angeles and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, comes the National Gallery of Australia’s 2014 summer blockbuster James Turrell: A Retrospective. Never before seen in Australia and showing only in Canberra, James Turrell is considered one of the greatest artists of our time. The National Gallery of Australia’s retrospective combines works from LACMA’s tour with spectacular new, site-specific installations. The exhibition is open until Monday 8 June, 2015 at the National Gallery of Australia. Ensure to check the exhibitions time changes over Christmas (closed Christmas Day). Tickets are available to purchase through Ticketek but bookings are also essential as only 15 people are allowed through in any one session.

Norforce: Tony Albert

Tony Albert works in a number of art forms, including drawing, painting, photography, and installation. A founding member of Queensland’s indigenous art collective proppaNOW, Albert’s art explores political, historical and cultural issues relevant to indigenous people in Australia today. Albert exhibits internationally and nationally and has been the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. Most recently Albert won the City of Sydney commission to create a public artwork in Hyde Park. Titled Yininmadyemi – Thou didst let fall the artwork honours the military service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women. Open until 3 November 2015 at the Australian War Memorial.

Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future

Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future tells the story of an intriguing collection of artworks created by Warlpiri people in the 1950s. Glimpsed through the eyes of the collector as well as more recent Warlpiri interpretations, Warlpiri Drawings explores how drawing has been used to make sense of 80 years of monumental change, to picture life in the present and look hopefully towards the future. The exhibition is open until 31 May 2015 at the National Museum of Australia.

Other exhibitions

For a comprehensive round up of smaller exhibitions around town, visit Capital Magazine.


Australia in the Great War

Australia in the Great War is the Australian War Memorial’s new exhibition in the First World War Galleries. Discover one of the world’s great collections of material related to the First World War. The First World War Galleries integrate a wide variety of items from this collection, including dioramas, art works; uniforms; medals; technology such as artillery and firearms; photographs; film; and letters and diaries.  The Australian War Memorial presents the story of Australia in the First World War chronologically, covering all major theatres of operations: Gallipoli, the Western Front, Sinai and Palestine and the war at sea. On display now until 1 January 2017 at the Australian War Memorial.

Afghanistan: The Australian Story

Afghanistan and the Middle East are now linked to Australia’s national story. Australia’s mission is clear: to combat international terrorism, to stabilise Afghanistan, and to support Australia’s international alliances. Yet a mission statement cannot capture the challenges, the successes, and the comradeship of the Australian men and women who pursue it. Nor the joys and heartbreaks, or the loneliness and the dedication of those who wait at home. Some of these experiences, set against the powerful imagery of a modern war, are told in this exhibition. Over time, the display will change and evolve as more veterans share their stories. On display until 3 November 2015.

William Edwin Pidgeon (1909–1981), war correspondent and artist

William Edwin Pidgeon was a painter, cartoonist, illustrator, and newspaper critic. This exhibition presents a selection of the over 400 works by William Pidgeon held in the Australian War Memorial’s Art collection. The works relate to Pidgeon’s Second World War experiences in Darwin, New Guinea, Borneo and Morotai between 1943 to 1945. On display in the Second World War Galleries until 7 March 2016 at the Australian War Memorial.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. On until 8 June at the National Portrait Gallery.

Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling showcases portraits acquired through the generosity of the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons, L Gordon Darling AC CMG and Marilyn Darling AC; and pays tribute to the Darlings’ persistence in turning their private dream of a gallery of portraits of ‘uncommon Australians’ into a tangible collection in a purpose-built home. Accompanied by a lavish catalogue, the exhibition tours to McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Victoria, and the Tweed Regional Gallery, New South Wales. On now until 14 June at the National Portrait Gallery.

Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan

Ben Quilty toured Afghanistan in 2011 as the Australian War Memorial’s official war artist. His exhibition presents works of art developed from his experience.  “The portraits of these servicemen and servicemen move beyond the physical exterior of the subject to delve into emotions and experiences that lie below” Dr Brendan Nelson. On now until 27 May 2015 at the Australian War Memorial. Entry is free.

Alex Seton: As of today

See the remarkable sculptures that commemorate the lives of the 41 soldiers who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.  “The power of the sculpted flags is developed through the way their pale marble, slightly pink in hue and each imbued with blushes and veins represents an individual and a life lost in the line of duty” Dr Brendan Nelson. On now until 27 May 2015 at the Australian War Memorial. Entry is free.

Urban Suburban

Comprised entirely of works from the Canberra Museum and Gallery visual arts collection, this exhibition explores urban and suburban Canberra. The works examine Canberra as a town and a city independent of the national monuments that define it as the Nation’s Capital.

From black-and-white photographs of the city from the 1960s through to the work of contemporary artists examining life in the suburbs, the exhibition reveals the rituals and experiences that enrich life in Canberra and discovers thematic links between the diverse works in the Collection. Urban Suburban encompasses a range of media including printmaking, photography, painting and sculpture. On until 21 June 2015 at Canberra Museum and Gallery.

Art & Dementia: Portrait Conversations

Art and dementia – Portrait conversations is a special interactive tour for people living with dementia and their carer. The tour is free, bookings essential. On 21 April until 19 May at the National Portrait Gallery.

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello: Reinventing the Weave

ReInventing the Weave features the sublime, hand blown woven glass sculptures of Jenni Kemarre Martiniello. Weaving has been a long and durable practice within Australian Indigenous Cultures. The artist’s works are inspired by, and draw upon, the beauty of traditional woven objects while paying respect to the elegant forms of these utilitarian vessels. The glass weave technique explores the geometry and precision of the traditional form, fusing it with the exquisite beauty of glass and light to celebrate the juncture of object and art. Curator: Kelli Cole. Opens Saturday 25 April until 7 June 2015 at the Canberra Glassworks.

The Home Front: Australia during the First World War

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War, The Home Front looks at life back at home and the pride, sorrow, passion, wonder and joy experienced by those far from the battlefields. On display at the National Museum of Australia until 1 January 2017.

Through 23 personal stories, this exhibition explores Australians’ choices, opportunities and challenges in a time of heightened emotions. See the effects of war on those at home. Rediscover Prime Minister Billy Hughes’s determination to impose conscription on a divided nation, Basil Watson’s thrilling and ultimately tragic aerobatic displays in his homemade biplane, May Gibbs’s quaint postcards that carried messages of joy to soldiers and more.

Crisis 1914! The call to arms

Crisis 1914! The call to arms explores the political events which led to Australia’s involvement in the First World War, from outbreak of war in August to the first convoy’s departure in November 1914. In Australia’s first crisis as a new nation, we went willingly, even enthusiastically, into the war.

See the original cabinet table used in 1914, along with other memorabilia from the era which help to tell the story of Australia’s political journey.

This exhibition contributes to the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years of service by Australian servicemen and women, and the experience of war by all Australians.

At the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House until 5 August 2015.

Without Consent

Without Consent: Australia’s past adoption practices is now open at the National Archives.  An exhibition of moving experiences of heartbreak and resilience, shared by people impacted by Australia’s past adoption practices. This project has been assisted by the Department of Social Services. Open from 13 April until 19 July at the National Archives, Parkes.

The Front Room

Explore Australia’s TV, radio and music collection at your leisure in the National Film and Sound Archive‘s latest screen and sound experience in Acton – The Front Room. Discover the history of sound, music and broadcast in comfort. Listen to radio broadcasts on a 1950s radiogram, watch classic TV in the lounge space or play CDs on one of the listening posts. Whether you’ve got five minutes or five hours, there’s always something to see, hear or do in The Front Room. Open until 24 December 2015. Visit their website for more information.

Art is a Weapon

Art is a Weapon takes you back to an Australia gripped by the Cold War. Amid propaganda for and against communism, artists turned to an image familiar to most Australians; the Southern Cross flag of the Eureka Stockade. The portfolio contains fourteen works from ten artists, including three from prominent Melbourne artist Noel Counihan. Counihan was a Social Realist who was heavily involved in the Communist Party, and was well-known in the Melbourne art community. The works reflect both the Eureka rebellion itself and, more broadly, the themes of workers’ rights and struggles against the established authorities.

Art is a Weapon explores how the Eureka story, legend and iconography have been used by groups and causes of all political flavours to spread their message. Alongside the portfolio of works, other objects and artworks using the Southern Cross motif show how the idea of Eureka has been adopted by groups as diverse as young communists and motorcycle clubs. Open now at the Museum of Australian Democracy. Visit their website for more information.

Behind the Lines 2014

Superheroes. Battle axes. Death stares. Who said politics was dry and dull? Highly anticipated and scorchingly honest, Behind the Lines 2014 celebrates the best political cartoons of 2014. The exhibition – one of the most anticipated of the year for politic tragics is now open at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. In the 2014 exhibition, cartoonists wryly comment on Tony Abbott’s first year in government. They see the Coalition attempting to deliver strong and stable leadership, as well as fulfilling their election promises to stop the boats, axe the tax, fix the budget and reduce red tape. Meanwhile, a restless Australian Labor Party waits for its Leader to ditch the past, move forward and say something. Each year the exhibition acknowledges a cartoonist as the Behind the Lines Political Cartoonist of the Year. Open until November 2015.

Afghanistan: The Australian Story

Afghanistan and the Middle East are now linked to Australia’s national story. Australia’s mission is clear: to combat international terrorism, to stabilise Afghanistan, and to support Australia’s international alliances. Yet a mission statement cannot capture the challenges, the successes, and the comradeship of the Australian men and women who pursue it. Nor the joys and heartbreaks, or the loneliness and the dedication of those who wait at home. Some of these experiences, set against the powerful imagery of a modern war, are told in this exhibition. Over time, the display will change and evolve as more veterans share their stories. Open until 3 November 2015 at the Australian War Memorial.

Enterprising Australians

An insight into how great ideas happen, hear the inspiring stories of Australia’s modern-day innovators. Discover the unique journey that inventors take from idea to product in this exhibition featuring video stories, product displays and interactive stations that explore the origins of products from a range of fields, including mining, agriculture, medical, automotive, and food science. Showing until 30 June 2016 at The Ian Potter Technology Learning Centre.

Keepsakes: Australians and The Great War

To mark the centenary of the First World War, the National Library of Australia invites you to explore their fascinating collection of wartime albums, medals, letters and diaries in Keepsakes. Keepsakes tells the story of The Great War as experienced by Australian servicemen and women, key political leaders, civilians, artists and families on the homefront. Discover how very personal stories become our nation’s collective memory. Open until Sunday 31 May 2015.

Power of 1: Does your voice count?

Discover the changing nature of Australian democracy and the power of your voice within it. Power of 1 is a ground breaking interactive exhibition shaped by the answers you share, about what matters to you. Step back in time to remember the events, people and experiences that have shaped each generation of Australians. Have your say about the state of democracy and help to create a new kind of museum experience curated by the voices of the Australian people. It’s time…have your say and be heard. Open until 12 November 2015 at Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan

After spending over three weeks talking to Australian servicemen and women in Afghanistan, Ben Quilty felt an overwhelming need to tell their stories. He went there in October 2011 as an official war artist, commissioned by the Australian War Memorial and attached to the Australian Defence Force. His task was to record and interpret the experiences of Australians deployed as part of Operation Slipper in Kabul, Kandahar, and Tarin Kot in Afghanistan and at Al Minhad Airbase in the United Arab Emirates. Quilty’s work employs a wide range of genres, including portraits, figurative subjects, still-lifes and landscapes. On display until 14 August 2015.

Menzies: By John Howard

Former Prime Minister John Howard has curated this Menzies exhibition and shares his unique and personal insights, reflections and stories on the intense first term of former Prime Minister Robert Menzies. The exhibition marks the 75th anniversary of Robert Menzies’ first term as prime minister (1939-41) and features objects never before seen by the public, including personal items on loan from the Menzies family. Open now until 3 September 2015 at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

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