Denman W18 Masthead 2

Pop up village renews West Basin

HerCanberra Team

So we’re a little bit excited here at HerCanberra HQ. Why? Because this weekend will see the soft launch of Westside. It’s fun. It’s collective. (It’s late). And it’s bringing new energy to Canberra and leaving behind the era of Canberra as boring and full of public servants.


Opened officially by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr earlier today, ‘Westside at Acton Park’ (Westside) is a temporary village on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin at West Basin in…well…Acton. It will provide a blank canvas for local entrepreneurs to sell their products to Canberrans and visitors, showcasing our thriving cultural scene. 


A number of businesses have already indicated an interest in the development, including a cafe, a rooftop garden bar, a Vietnamese restaurant, a French creperie and a gym. New shopping experiences and food and beverage outlets will “pop up” throughout the precinct over the coming months, and a schedule of public events has also been organised.


The village, constructed from shipping containers and a purpose made skeleton, houses a bar with sweeping views over Lake Burley Griffin and out to Parliament House. Westside provides new opportunities for Canberrans to come together, celebrate and enjoy the central parts of the National Capital.


ACT Tennis player Nick Kyrgios, Australian BMX cyclist Caroline Buchanan and the UC Capitals were on hand to help celebrate the opening of Westside.

The first major event at Westside will be Art, Not Apart on Saturday 14 March. The popular festival for the arts includes exhibitions, performances, street food, cafes and a dance party. The expanded arts festival has been made possible by a government grant, through the Land Development Agency and has been supported by the new ACT Government service, Access Canberra.

Responsible for the fitout of some very cool toilets (and yes in shipping containers), Harvey Norman Commercial is one of two Westside sponsors.

Responsible for the fitout of some very cool toilets (and yes in shipping containers), Harvey Norman Commercial is one of two Westside sponsors. Pictured: HNC ACT Branch Manager Gavin Pound with HNC Sales Rep Matt Bodycott.

The ACT Government engaged Stromlo Stomping Grounds, a collaboration of local designers and food and beverage providers, to deliver the first stage of Westside on its behalf.  Westside is being undertaken as a part of the City to the Lake project and hopes to enliven and activate the waterfront at West Basin.

Westside will operate from Thursday to Sunday each week. For opening hours and a schedule of events at Westside visit the website

More information on Art, Not Apart festival is available here.


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