Buvette Masthead

March in Canberra: 31 days of awesome

Amanda Whitley

Some great things happen in March in Canberra.

The air gets crisper – perfect for walks and cool evenings outside. The leaves start to turn a rainbow of oranges, red and browns and mornings on the lake get their first taste of fog. Oh, and about 1000 other things.

March is a blockbuster month for Canberra across art, sport, food, comedy theatre, music and community events. It’s a time to clear the calendar and stay put – because everything is coming to you. Here’s at least one thing to do each day!

Until 17 March – NAA for Iconic Australian Houses

Ok, so you’ve missed the first day of March, but you have 16 more days to see this great exhibition. Discover some of Australia’s most immaculately designed homes, at the National Archives of Australia. Photos and 3D models of thirty of the most important houses from the last sixty years are on display.

The Rosenburg House

The Rosenburg House

Thursday 2 – BLAZE XI

Experience work from some of the top emerging artists in Canberra with BLAZE XI, an exhibition from seven ANU Art School Graduates. Featuring sculpture, video, photography and installations, head to the Canberra Contemporary Art Space to check it out.

Friday 3 – First night of Night Noodle Markets + Enlighten

Head to the opening night of Enlighten festival, and check out installations including CLOUD, an interactive piece made from re-purposed light bulbs. If you’re hungry, be one of the first to try the Night Noodle Markets in Reconciliation Place for its first night.


Saturday 4 – Wind It Up Festival + Laneway party

Catch the second day of Wind It Up Festival, a unique event hosting talks and workshops on the music industry during the day, (including one addressing gender issues in the club scene!), and the Wind it Up – Verity Lane Party in the evening. Party-goers can expect a mixture of music, from techno, to soul.

Sunday 5 – Black Opal Stakes Day + Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride

Get along to Canberra’s biggest race day, the Black Opal Stakes. Now in its 45th year, experience the excitement of racing with the whole family, with face painting and jumping castles for the children, and a variety of great hospitality packages for the adults.

Judges Kate Speldewinde, Victoria Novak and Kristen Henry. Kristen’s hat was made by local milliner Christine Waring

Judges Kate Speldewinde, Victoria Novak and Kristen Henry. Kristen’s hat was made by local milliner Christine Waring

Monday 6 – Athol Shmith Fashion Photographs

Discover the work of Melbourne photographer Athol Shmith. Active from 1914-1990, Shmith is thought to be one of Australia’s finest fashion photographers, and this exhibition showcases a small collection of his work.

Tuesday 7 – Little Faces @ NPG

Little children and their parent or carer are invited to join a Learning Facilitator for playful activities in the galleries and studio. During summer the program will look at the portrait Self with friends by Lucy Culliton, exploring animals, sounds and textures. The painting is in the temporary exhibition The Popular Pet Show. This program will include water play designed for babies and toddlers so please bring a change of clothes. For those who choose not to do water play there will be alternative activities.

In autumn, Little Faces will look at Deborah Mailman by Evert Ploeg exploring heads, shoulders, knees and toes using movement, singing, mirrors and play – book for the autumn sessions here.

Wednesday 8 – Velocity: Vintage Racing Bikes

If you’re a cycling enthusiast (and even if you’re not), check out the Velocity: Vintage Racing Bikes exhibition at Canberra Museum and Gallery. From the collection of bike-lover Peter Taylor, there is even a bike which was used in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Thursday 9 – Cold Light @ The Street Theatre

The Street Theatre’s 2017 blockbuster, Cold Light follows the life of heroine Edith Campbell Berry, as she finds herself in 1950s Canberra starting a new chapter. Adapted from Frank Moorhouses’s novel and set against the backdrop of an evolving city, Cold Light is a great way to look at our city in a new light.

Sonia Todd as Edith Campbell Berry

Sonia Todd as Edith Campbell Berry

Friday 10 – Friday night drinks @ OPH + Behind the Lines 2016 + Dress Code: Empire + projections for Enlighten

Start your Friday off with a brush-up on your Australian history, with Dress Code: Empire at Old Parliament House, and discover more about iconic figure Sir Edmund Barton. While you’re there, head to Friday Night Drinks from 4pm onwards, where you can grab dinner and listen to live music. Afterwards, you’re in the right spot to catch some incredible Enlighten projections, on buildings including the National Library of Australia, and Questacon.

Saturday 11 – First day of the CBR Balloon Spectacular

Take the whole family along for the opening morning of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, a chance to see beautiful balloons ascend to the sky while the sun rises. It’s not to be missed. There’s also a breakfast up for grabs, provided by the Belconnen Lions Club for a small donation.

Image: Martin Ollman

Image: Martin Ollman

Sunday 12 – The Popular Pet Show at the NPG

The Popular Pet Show is a celebration of our pets, and what they mean to us. The exhibition features works from artists including Darren McDonald, Ken Done and Anna and Lucy Culliton, with both famous and little-known Australians and their pets as subjects.

Monday 13 – CANBERRA DAY and Festival Muse

Celebrate our city’s 104th Birthday on the lawns of Old Parliament House. Bring the family and stake out a good spot early – there will be plenty of music, and entertainment for all tastes.

For those who like their celebration a little more cerebral, Festival Muse is the perfect event for our literary town. Held from 11-13 March, Festival Muse will take place at Muse Café and Bookstore in Kingston (for the most part) and host a variety of literary, music and foodie luminaries in conversation.

Some of Festival Muse's speakers and guests

Some of Festival Muse’s speakers and guests

Tuesday 14 – Canberra Philharmonic Society presents: Chicago

Check out the Canberra Philharmonic Society’s production of the Broadway classic Chicago, and sing along to all your favourite songs.

Wednesday 15 – Martha Wainwright with special guests Oh Pep!

Head to the Canberra Theatre Centre to see Martha Wainwright, as she tours for her first album in four years. Experience her versatile voice and commanding stage presence at her only Canberra show.

Thursday 16 – Alliance Française French Film Festival

Experience the Alliance Francais French Film Festival in style, with an evening of wine and cheese hosted by the Canadian High Commission, followed by a screening of A Kid, a drama about family connection and personal identity.

Friday 17 – ACT Claycourt International

Tennis ACT are set to host two back to back men’s ITF Futures tournaments from 11-26 March 2017 – the ACT Claycourt International.

The events will be held on the redeveloped European clay courts at the Canberra Tennis Centre in Lyneham. Each event offers world ranking points and USD $25,000 in prize money. A great chance to get out and watch some rising tennis stars before they play the Grand Slams.

Saturday 18 – Art Not Apart + Handmade Markets + 10th anniversary + Canberra Craft Beer + Cider Festival + Skyfire

This might even be the biggest day of the biggest month in Canberra. With Art, Not Apart’s 2017 program dominating the space between NewActon and The National Film and Sound Archive, anyone with a taste for art or the fantastic will be well satiated.

Image: Martin Ollman

Image: Martin Ollman

If you’re into your hops, raise a frosty class to the 10th Anniversary of the Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival while crafters can rejoice – the Handmade Markets are back again! And all of the above can converge on Lake Burley Griffin on the evening on March 18 to direct their gaze to the heavens and appreciate the annual beauty of Skyfire’s fireworks spectacular.

Sunday 19 – The David Attenborough experience

David Attenborough might just be one of the most popular men in the world (#DavidForPrimeMinister) and now the National Museum of Australia are bringing you even closer to the legend with their David Attenborough Experience.

Monday 20 – The Designer with the Midas Touch @ The Royal Aus Mint

On 15 December last year, the Royal Australian Mint, launched a remarkable exhibition spanning the last fifty years of the work of Stuart Devlin AO.

Stuart Devlin: The Designer with the Midas Touch is an exhibition of the unique design works by Stuart Devlin AO, the designer of Australian circulating coins. A fascinating look at something we take for granted but use every single day.


Tuesday 21 – Artists of the Great War @ the NGA

A fascinating and sobering look at one of the biggest conflicts Australia has ever witnessed, Artists of the Great War at the National Gallery of Australia is an exhibition that showcases the most masterful, real and brutal depictions of World War One.

Wednesday 22 – Ranger Guided Walks @ Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is home to a wide range of Australian animals including kangaroos, platypus, potoroos, wallaroos, possums, wombats, echidnas, emus, lyrebirds and many other birds and reptiles.

Walks and activities cater for a range of different age groups. No charges apply for activities held at the Visitors Centre. Nominal entry fees apply for activities within the reserve.

Thursday 23 – Digital Portraiture Award

See Australia’s most beautiful digital portraits together in one stunning exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

From the pondering to the poetic, the hilarious to the heartbreaking, these portraits will move you and make you rethink the basic action of taking someone’s photo.

Friday 24 – Canberra Comedy Festival @ CTC

Warm up your belly with some laffs at the Canberra Comedy Festival. A side-splitting event held across a variety of venues from 20-26 March, there will be performances from such funny people as Hannah Gadsby, Luke McGregor, Tommy Little, Dave Hughes, Cal Wilson and Rhys Nicholson.

Saturday 25 – The Sell @ NLA + one more exhibition

A new exhibition from the National Library of Australia, The Sell: Australian Advertising 1790s to 1990s provides some eyebrow-raising glimpses into the sorts of marketing that enticed bygone generations to covet “the latest thing” (Hills Hoist anyone?).


Old friend Louis the Fly makes a reappearance, straight from garbage bin to you, while iconic brands such Aeroplane Jelly and “moments like these” Minties are featured. And now you probably have that song in your head, correct?

Sunday 26 – Versailles @ The National Gallery of Australia

It’s taken more than 400 years to get down here, so don’t miss the legendary Versailles: Treasures From the Palace begins at the National Gallery of Australia.


It’s not just the first time a collection from Versailles has been in Australia—it’s the first time this abundance of treasures have been exhibited anywhere outside of France.

Monday 27 – HerCanberra Ladies in Black Click + Connect event

Come and meet some new people at HerCanberra’s first Click + Connect of the year. We’ll be watching one of the gems of the Canberra Theatre Centre’s 2017 season – Ladies in Black.

Click + Connect was started as a solution to many Canberra women’s complaints that it was difficult to meet and make new friends in Canberra and is a relaxed and informal environment.

ladies in black canberra theatre centre.feature

Before and after the show we’ll have a chat, canapés and a glass or two.

Purchase your ticket now here.

Tuesday 28 – Who AM I…? @ The Street Theatre

“One man, one remote, one screen.
Three suits, eight nights.
One moment in the maelstrom to define a lifetime – or face national humiliation.”

Who AM I…? may be one of the more ‘off the wall’ recommendations of this month, but perhaps by this point you’re in the mood for something a little…different?

Who AM I…? is showing at The Street Theatre from 28 March – 2 April.

Wednesday 29 – ACTEWAGL Llewellyn Series –Piano

The ActewAGL Llewellyn Series is going to the ends of the earth to bring you the music of one of the most diverse figures in Finnish music – Einojuhani Rautavaara.

A night at the opera. Photo by Martin Ollman/Facebook.

A night at the opera. Photo by Martin Ollman/Facebook.

After that, it’s a nip over to Russia for Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor, followed by a reverie through the most beloved of all Beethoven’s symphonies, Symphony No. 6.

A simply classical evening, at one of the most iconic music venues in Canberra – Llewellyn Hall at the Australian National University.

Thursday 30 – Mephisto: The Rarest Tank in the World

Mephisto is a First World War German Tank and an incredibly rare one at that.

Tanks were one of WW1’s first major technological innovations and have set the tone for every single global conflict since then.

Of the 20 A7V Sturmpanzerwagen tanks, only ‘Mephisto’ survives as a reminder of the power and sacrifice that blended together in WW1.

You can view Mephisto at the Australian War Memorial.

Friday 31 – Canberra District Wine Week

Kick off Canberra District Wine Week in style – or should we say, in a glass full of Sangiovese.

Winemakers from across the varied (and delicious) Canberra wine region will organise a series of events over the week of 31 March – 9 April that will delight your palate.

See the website for full details on events and to reserve your tickets.

Wine dogs Mollie and Tannin entertain the guests at Murrumbateman Winery.

Wine dogs Mollie and Tannin entertain the guests at Murrumbateman Winery.


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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