Canberra under the spotlight

FOR the fourth year running, buildings in the Parliamentary Triangle are destined to leap into life as Canberra’s next “Enlighten” festival shows Canberra “in a whole new light.”

The Bulls confront the audience

The Bulls confront the audience

Running from February 28 to March 8, in the words of ACT Acting Chief Minister Andrew Barr, “the best time of the year,” the most eye-catching element of the festival will be the projection of images onto The National Portrait Gallery, the National Library, the National Gallery, Parliament House, old Parliament House and Questacon.

Essentially a night-time festival of free and ticketed events designed as a showcase for Canberra, “Enlighten” would, Mr Barr predicted, feature a diversity of acts to reflect a renewed level of confidence resulting from  the Centenary of Canberra celebrations.

At a launch today in Questacon, media and stakeholders from Canberra’s national institutions were treated to some titillating samples of the eclectic program put together by creative producer Gemma Pepper.

Roving entertainers, The Bulls, eyeballed the audience, while the resident icecream maker at Questacon whipped up a batch of coffee ice cream, using liquid nitrogen to counter the 40° temperatures of the day. The Bulls will be part of the “Uncle Ben’s Electric Garden” programme of music and entertainment, while “Ice-Creamology 101” is part of the family  entertainment program.

Events ACT general manager Neil Guthrie told those present among the highlights would be a concert by US soul singer Charles Bradley and a “Garden of Fire” which will light up the High Court forequarters see flames, as well as “Fiers a Cheval”, a herd of horses standing 4 m tall.

Paul McDermott will perform at the Royal Australian Mint, the National Portrait Gallery will hold an “Elvis at 21” karaoke party, the National Film and Sound Archive are running a Priscilla party and the National Zoo and Aquarium will offer a program called “Out of Africa”.

Once again, Mr Guthrie said, hundreds of Canberrans will descend on a secret location to celebrate fine food in “Le Diner en Blanc”.

In short, this year’s “Enlighten” sees a rare combination of talents from the national capital’s leading cultural institutions.

“Enlighten”, Parliamentary Triangle, February 28 to March 8. A TV commercial goes to  air from tonight, for  all details visit

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