Art Blooms in Ainslie and Braddon

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THE Bloom Festival has been going for a few years around Ainslie Arts Centre.

Ainslie Arts Centre
Ainslie Arts Centre
But this year, so program manager and curator Yolande Norris tells, it’s to be bigger and better with the added involvement of Gorman House Arts Centre which, as administering body for both heritage-listed centres, is determined to see their part of Canberra–Braddon and Ainslie–come alive with springtime arts.

Billed as “an uplifting festival of creativity,” the festival will be held on Friday and Saturday September 20-21 showcasing offerings by resident music, visual arts, dance, theatre and literary organisations and individuals.

According to Joseph Falsone, director of Gorman House and Ainslie Arts Centre, “with one-third of Canberra’s Key Arts Organisations located within walking distance of each other and the city centre, our twin arts hubs offer a unique cultural experience rich with intimate venues, innovative programs and excellent artists,”

During Bloom studio artists and craftspeople will perform music and also show works in progress and hold art form demonstrations of printmaking, painting, glass bead making, and violin making and weaving.

Food stalls, markets, bars, a dinner party and even an early morning appearance by the Skywhale. Indeed one suggested activity is “Skywhale sketching.”

With revitalisation projects underway, says Norris, Bloom presents an opportunity “to celebrate these two extraordinary homes for art.”

Here are a few details. “The One Hundred Rooms of Gorman House,” a series of spoken-word pieces will reveal true stories of the many ways Gorman House has played a part in the lives of Canberrans.

A panel featuring writers from “The Invisible Thread” anthology and members from Canberra’s literary community considers the links between Canberra and the big ideas of Australian writing.

Local poets will read in The Fireside Room at Gorman House.

Kids will interact with “musical magical mushrooms” under the trees of Ainslie Arts Centre, trying or making an instrument with the help of resident organisations Music for Everyone, Canberra Youth Music, Young Music Society and more.

Artist Erica Seccombe will join Canberra Contemporary Art Space director David Broker for a talk about her work and to present a special screening of ‘The Wasp Woman’ in conjunction with the “Science Fiction” exhibitions.

The team from Canberrazine Emporium presents a special zine fair and independent publishers market at Gorman House.

The regular Gorman House markets will present an emerging-artist special edition, plus an extended festival food court.

Sage Dining Rooms present an exclusive “Bloom” themed dinner in the Fireplace Room, while Mint Garden Bar kicks off to herald in the warmer months.

On Saturday night the Canberra Musicians Club presents a bill of local bands, headlined by guests Tiger and Me, to show off the acoustically perfect main hall at Ainslie Arts Centre as an ideal mid-size live music venue.

The Bloom Festival, at Ainslie Arts Centre and Gorman House Arts Centre, Sept 20-21. For The full program visit








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