This weekend in arts

CANBERRA Choral Society’s artistic director, Tobias Cole, just can’t get enough of local musicians and composers.

Canberra Choral Society, photo Elizabeth Hawkes

Canberra Choral Society, photo Elizabeth Hawkes

Cole is staging “Canberra Voices”, a pre-dinner concert at the Belconnen Arts Centre Saturday, March 22 at 5pm. Two of the featured composers this time, Olivia Swift and Daniel Brinsmead, will also be performing and other featured composers include Calvin Bowman, Sally Greenaway, Ruth Lee Martin, Martin Wesley-Smith and Sally Whitwell. Bookings to

AMONG the artier offerings at Weereewa – a Festival of Lake George this Sunday, March 23, are Lunch with Jazz and Latin – Dirk Zeylmans on saxophone and Lachlan Coventry on guitar and bass guitar; bookings advised on 6295 6640.  There is also a literary lunch with local writers Barbara Baikie and Michelle Johnston at 12.30pm at Le Tres Bon restaurant in Bungendore; bookings essential to 6238 0662. Then at 4pm is “disAPPEARance”, a contemporary dance performance by Mirramu Dance Company and international guest artists at Silver Wattle Quaker Centre, 1063 Lake Road, Bungendore; $20 per person at the gate.

Lilly Pilly Syzygium smithii - Cornelia Buchen-Osmond

Lilly Pilly Syzygium smithii – Cornelia Buchen-Osmond

THE popular “Art in the Gardens” exhibition is back for its seventh year at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Running from March 22 April 21, visitors can explore a collection of botanical paintings, drawings and fired ceramic wall pieces. As well, there will be hand painted cards and bookmarks on sale and there will be a chance to win the painting ‘Lilly Pilly’ by Cornelia Buchen-Osmond in an art raffle. 9.30am to 4.30pm daily in the Gardens’ Visitor Centre; free entry.

The Stiff Gins

The Stiff Gins

FAMED musical duo, the Stiff Gins, will celebrate their 15th ‘birthday’ with a free performance – including the live recording of a wax cylinder – at the National Film and Sound Archive Theatrette tomorrow, Friday, March 21 from 5:30pm to 7pm. The singers, Nardi and Kaleena will look back at the band’s history, their own personal career highlights and what lies ahead, with the Archive’s senior Indigenous curator, Peter White, moderating.  Free event, but bookings recommended to 6248 2000.

A NEW book of poems by Barbara Olds, “Painted Souls”, will be launched by David Kilby at 6pm tomorrow in Strathnairn Homestead Gallery at 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt. The anthology, published by Ginninderra Press, was inspired by the poet’s visit to China in 2007.

The Water Jug by Fink

The Water Jug by FINK

HERE’S a tip. If you love those amazing jugs and vessels by Robert Foster and his colleagues, there’ll be a range of FINK Design seconds, including their new Rockpool bowls, bread bins, hanging lights, Four Season vases, jugs, beakers, coolamons, butter dishes and more, this Saturday, March 22 from 9am to 3pm at 25 Endurance Ave, Queanbeyan. You’ll have to be quick.

THE John James Memorial Foundation is supporting the “Grow the Music” Gala at the National Arboretum at 6:30pm this Sunday, March 23. Presented by the “Canberra women”, it is to raise awareness of the “Grow the Music” movement, which stresses the positive relationship between music, arts and mental and physical ethical well-being. Kimberley poet and songwriter, Shaun Meehan, will be performing and Dr Kim McLeod, a health service sociologist from the University of Tasmania will speak bookings or donations to

Italian pianist Gabriele Baldocci

Italian pianist Gabriele Baldocci

LOCAL musical maestro, Carl Rafferty, has a wonderful tale to tell about how he met the Italian pianist Gabriele Baldocci on a train in Europe some years ago. Rafferty is bringing Baldocci, who now directs a music festival in Lugano in Switzerland, to Canberra this weekend with a performance at the Swiss embassy residence on Saturday, but you won’t get in there and it’s been packed out. There’s an “encore” concert at Historic St. John’s Church Reid, on Saturday March 29 at 5pm. Bookings and enquiries to

YOUNG American organist, David Crean, will perform a feast of organ works in a concert at Wesley Uniting Church this  Sunday, March 23 at 3pm. He studied with leading organ virtuoso Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School, New York, and is University Organist at Wittenberg University. Crean will perform works by J.S.Bach (Passacaglia in C Minor BWV 582), Dieterich Buxtehude (Praeludium in D Major), Paul Hindemith (Sonata for Organ No.3), Marcel Dupré (Prelude & Fugue in B Major), Felix Mendelssohn (Sonata in D Minor), Léon Boëllman (Ronde Française), Louis Vierne (‘Final’ from Symphony No.1) and Henry Martin (Prelude & Fugue in E Minor). The performance will be shown live on two TV screens. Bookings recommended to or tickets at the door.

“YOUNG at Heart”, a film festival dedicated entirely to seniors, their friends and relatives,  will screen at the Capitol 6 Cinemas in Manuka today and tomorrow, March 20 and 21. Premieres this year include John Turturro’s New York comedy “Fading Gigolo”, “Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia” and a new digital print of Hitchcock’s “North by North-West”. Bookings to

HERE’S something different. At the end of a “harrowing and creative 3 week process”, the “Soft Landing” group of dance graduates of been slaving away at QL2, will be presenting an informal performance and discussion, directed by Amelia McQueen and Natalie Abbott in collaboration with the graduate dancers, Asher Bowen-Saunders, Paul Jackson, Bridget Barnicoat, Emma Harrison, Penelope Dolling, Megan Exton, Tess Feldman, Annabel Mae Saies, Emily Bowman and Tessa Broadby. It’s at QL2 Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon, this Friday and Saturday nights, free of charge.

Josh Pyke

Josh Pyke

ONE OF Australia’s most recognised singer songwriters, Josh Pyke, received a recent ARIA Award nomination for Best Adult Contemporary Release. You can catch him at Zierholz, University of Canberra on Saturday, March 22.

CHRISTINE Anu, one of our real superstars, will be performing “Aretha Franklin Encore” at The Abbey, Gold Creek, on March 21, bookings to





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