Arts / What’s on and where in Canberra this weekend?

Share Canberra's trusted news:


The Black Mountain String Band performing at Canberra Obscura in 2016. Photo by Andrew Sikorski

AINSLIE and Gorman Arts Centres says its arty winter party, “Canberra Obscura: Metropolis”, will be “a night of enthralling performance and emphatic beats, experimentation and the unexpected”.“Canberra Obscura: Metropolis”, Main Hall, Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera Street, Braddon, from 7pm on Friday, July 28. Bookings to or tickets at the door.

The annual M16 Artspace Art Fair and Open Day is coming up on July 29.
THE annual M16 Artspace Art Fair and Open Day will take place at 21 Blaxland Crescent Griffith, this Saturday July 29, from, 11.30am-4pm. All welcome.


MUSE Café in East Hotel Kingston has Australian creator Bob Graham taking a look into his magical, whimsical world with readings, illustration demos and a look at how he creates his picture books. It will run between 1pm-1.45pm on Saturday, July 29.  Ages four and above are welcome, with costs of $10 per child and the accompanying parent is free. Attendees receive a glass of juice or wine. Then on then on Sunday, July 30, journalist Michael Brissenden will be in conversation with Karen Middleton from 3.30pm-4.30pm. Bookings to

Workshops and classes:

SOUTHERN Tablelands Arts is hosting a professional development course called “Website Building for Creatives” in the Goulburn-Mulwaree, Wingecarribee, and Queanbeyan-Palerang and Hilltops local government areas. Bookings to

CASP is an annual small grants program administered by Regional Arts NSW on behalf of Create NSW Arts and Health. Its focus is on arts and the environment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander projects, culturally and linguistically diverse projects and projects by children or young people. CASP grant writing workshops are open to applicants at until 5pm on Thursday, July 27.

ACTING For the Fun of It presents “The Living Text” – “From Page to Stage”, a six week course for adults (including Year 12 drama students, has been postponed to August 10. The course will run from Thursday. August 10 to September 21 from 7 – 9pm at the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning on Fremantle Drive Stirling. All inquiries to course tutor, Peter Wilkins at or 0408 034373.

CIT Adult Short courses are held every first weekend of the month all year round at Canberra Glassworks. Costs apply and to find out more, email

Arts Business:

Queanbeyan Art Society tent.
THE 10th Queanbeyan Art Society’s Charity Fine Art Show will take place in City Walk Canberra between King O’Malley’s Pub and the merry-go-round, from September 23 to October 2. Entries are now welcome, inquiries to the president of the society, Barry, at 0439 392709.

CANBERRA Writers Festival is coming up again for the second time in late August and bookings can now be made at or 132 849.

ENTRIES are open for John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing, with $10,000 on offer for the best produced script and professional support for the best unproduced script entered each year. Valued at $15,000, the prize will be presented in early December for an original essay of up to 3000 words that addresses a significant aspect of contemporary Australian life. The winning essay will be published in The Saturday Paper on December 23. Submissions are open until September 18, to

GINNINDERRA Wind Orchestra is celebrating 30 years of music making with a reunion dinner at the Hellenic Club in Woden on Saturday, July 29. Tickets for the night are $60 per person and include a premium three course meal. Former members are strongly invited to come along to reminisce and help celebrate this milestone. Bookings to

GARY France’s Groove Warehouse in Hume is expanding its percussion business and now offers daytime adult classes and keyboard lessons at 5/1 Sawmill Circuit, Hume. Information and enrolments to

Pigeonhole Theatre players
PIGEONHOLE Theatre’s production “Playhouse Creatures”, seen at The Q last year, has been invited as the only Australian representative at the Mondial du Theatre in Monaco in August. It’s time to chip in and help director Jordan Best and her all-star Canberra cast get there via the crowdfunding site,

M16’s Writer in Residence Program 2017 is a supported residency for emerging writers with an interest in the arts. To apply submit an example of your arts writing (review, essay, etc.) no longer than 1000 words and a CV by 5pm, Friday, July 28 to

Dr Robert Schmidli
VETERAN pianist and medical specialist, Robert Schmidli, will be holding his annual fundraising recital for “L’Arche Genesaret – community living for people with an intellectual disability”, performing piano works by Scarlatti, Poulenc, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. At Wesley Music Centre, Forrest, 3pm, August 3. Bookings to or tickets at the door.

“MAMMA Mia!” The musical, inspired by ABBA’s classic songs, has seen over 60 million people all around the world pack in for the show. Tickets are now on sale for a new Aussie production that will premiere at the Canberra Theatre from November 24 to December 10. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

YOUNG Canberrans with ideas for projects, events or activities, which focus on social inclusion can now apply for the ACT government’s Youth InterACT grants of up to $1500. The grants are available for initiatives that will support young people in Canberra. Initiatives previously funded include an event celebrating Pacific Island culture and workshops creating art from recycled materials. The grants are open to Canberrans aged 12-25 and organisations that support young Canberrans. Applications will close at midnight on September 3. Information at

The National Portrait Gallery is calling on family history enthusiasts and amateur historians to help discover more about the people in its new show, “Dempsey’s People: A folio of British street portraits from 1824-1844”. If you have a family connection to any of the 52 individuals, share your story on social media by tagging @PortraitAu, or send an email to

AINSLIE and Gorman Arts Centres offers supported office accommodation for artists, creatives, as well as arts organisations and music-based organisations and individuals. Inquiries to


FORTY original artworks from the never-before-seen CBCA Children’s Book Week collection can be seen in the Clive Price Suite, Building 1, University of Canberra, from 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday to August 30.


QL2 Dance’s Quantum Leap ensemble has used Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” to explore belonging, ownership and responsibility. Director Ruth Osborne, choreographer Claudia Alessi and former Quantum Leapers Jack Ziesing and Eliza Sanders are creating an epic work. At The Playhouse from July 27-29. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

AUSDANCE ACT Open Class is continuing with advanced to professional level classes on Wednesdays from 10am-11.30am at the Belconnen Arts Centre. Evening classes on Thursdays run from 6.50pm-8.20pm at QL2’s Dance Studio, for intermediate to professional level dancers of all genres. Inquiries to 6247 9103.


“THE Staging Post” is a film looking at action taken by Hazara refugees in Indonesia showing their determination and ability to make things happen for themselves despite their difficulties. Returning by popular demand to Civic, Dendy Cinemas, Thursday July 27, all details and bookings to

The 2017 Scandinavian Film Festival continues at Palace Electric Cinemas, until August 2. Bookings and all program details at

Concerts and Gigs:

THE ANU School of Music presents its Jazz Faculty in concert, performing a combination of original material and reimagined jazz standards. The Jazz Faculty will perform at Big Band Room, Peter Karmel Building ANU at 7pm, Thursday, July 27. ANU School of Music students can attend for free and other bookings to or at the door.

“QUEEN: It’s a Kinda Magic”, recreates Queen’s 1986 World Tour concert and features the band’s greatest hits performed live, including “We Will Rock You”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions”. At Royal Theatre, from 8pm, Sunday, July 30. Bookings to

“CLÁSICOS Argentinos” is a lecture at the piano by Argentine piano virtuoso, Marcela Fiorillo, introducing 19th and 20th century Argentine music through the piano work of its most representative composers, Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music, 3.30pm, Thursday, July 27, bookings to

John Black
SINGER Lisa McClelland with John Black (piano and vocals), and Ben Schumann (drums) will be jazzing up Kangara residents as part of its popular concert series, at Cooinda Hall, Kangara Waters, 2 Joy Cummings Place, Belconnen, from 2.15pm-3pm, Sunday July 30. Tickets at the door.

PHOENIX Pub in Civic has as follows: Thursday, July 27 at 9pm, Piss Weak Karaoke; Friday, July 28 at 9pm, Friday Fiesta, feat. CHIBCHA (Oscar Jimenez); Saturday, July 29 at 9pm, Wet Lips, Moaning Lisa, Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers.


“7 GREAT Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age” is an original musical theatre work by Canberra composer Sally Greenaway and her theatrical collaborators, where music will meet scientific history, at the Street Theatre, July 26-29. Bookings to or 6247 1223.

SCIENCE meets art and humanity in a hit romantic comedy, “Constellations”, where she, (Lexi Sekuless) a quantum physicist, meets him (Kristian Jenkins), a beekeeper, over and over again. At The Street Theatre, to July 29. Bookings to or 6247 1223.


BELCONNEN Community Gallery “Springboard” series presents, “Soul of Fiji”, an exhibition resulting from a trip in February this year where CIT 2016 Photography Competition Prize Winner Lydia Downe travelled to Fiji to work alongside UN Women documenting their “Markets for Change” program. Gallery@bcs, Swanson Court, Belconnen, Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm July 31 to August 11.

A RARE collection, which features 52 portraits of British street people will be on display for the first time in “Dempsey’s People: a folio of British street portraits 1824-1844”. Curated by David Hansen, the exhibition will bring together 51 works painted by little-known itinerant portraitist, John Dempsey. National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes, from 10am–5pm daily, to October 22.

TUGGERANONG Arts Centre presents “Ecology, Tradition, Art”, a suite of exhibitions by glass artists Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello, Luritja painter Kayannie Denison and Blue Mountains artist Karen Lee. The exhibitions will be held at 137 Reed Street, Greenway, to July 29.

ANCA’s latest exhibition, “The Meeting Place”, features emerging Canberra artists, Tamsin McLure, Colin White and Rebecca Worth, who look for spirituality in the environment through painting, photography and a glass installation. “The Meeting Place”, 1 Rosevear Street, Dickson, until July 30, 10am–4pm, Thursday to Sunday.

M16 has four new exhibitions opening at 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, at 6pm this Thursday, July 27, which will continue until August 13. “Touch” is the focus of the annual M16 Artspace Studio Artists’ 2017 exhibition, with a mighty lineup of works by Carmel McCrow, Val Gee, Angela Bakker, Sarah Murphy, Marje Seymour, Tony Curran, Jacob Potter, Bronwyn Davies, Jane Dunn, Phil Page, Fiona Little, Jodie Cunningham, Robin Setchell, Megan Jackson, Katy Mutton, Johanna Butler, Sanne Koelemij, Kate Murphy, Leanne Crisp, Di Broomhall, Derek O’Connor, Nicola Dickson, Rose Montebello, Ella Whateley, Meelan Oh, Kerry Shepherdson, Katherine Campbell, Andrea McCuaig, Elizabeth Faul, Suzanne Moss. Curator’s floor talk by Dr Suzanne Moss at 12pm, Saturday, July 29.

Chutespaces exhibition “Let Go” by Caren Florance is a meditation on grieving, using a poem by Rosemary Dobson.
ALSO at M16 is “Orchestrated Chaos”, by Rahsa Ajaj and an exhibition by Hands On Studio artists, curated by Tilly Davey and Hands-On tutors. Then in Chutespace is “Let Go” by Caren Florance, which is a meditation on grieving that uses a poem by Rosemary Dobson.

“MELODRAMA in Meiji Japan” features Japanese woodblock (Kuchi-e) illustrations at the Exhibition Gallery on the ground floor of the National Library of Australia, from 10am-5pm, to August 27.

“DEFYING Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial” brings the works of 30 contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to the National Gallery of Australia until September 10.

“Malachite” wrap, Belinda Rosee
“INTERLACED” is a new exhibition of handwoven cloth by Belinda Rosee, who helped Canberra weaver, Monique van Nieuwland when she was asked to design and produce fabric for the Hollywood movie “Gods of Egypt”, starring Geoffrey Rush. The exhibition will run until August 6.

BELCONNEN Arts Centre is exhibiting a range of artists under the Emerging Artists Support Scheme Awards, such as “Body Tracing” and “The Soft Gaze” by Rose-Mary Faulkner and Catherine Newton, “This Way II” by Heidi Strachen, “Biographies” by Martin Rowney and “Disencumbered #2” by Keith Bender. The opening will take place at Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen, from 5.30pm, Friday, July 28.

CRAFT ACT has a solo exhibition by South Australian designer and maker Christian Hall, which includes furniture, sculpture and jewellery. Craft ACT will also feature “Emerging Contemporaries”, the Craft ACT National Award Exhibition for early career artists. At Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, North Building.

THE Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council Art Competition show continues at the Queanbeyan Art Society Gallery, under the Queanbeyan River Bridge, until the end of July. 109 works are on show.

THE 2017 “Warm Trees” exhibition, created by the Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra volunteers with the support of staff from the Arboretum, supported by the Embassy of Japan, features giant flowers and brightly coloured scarves, which have been sent to the Arboretum by volunteer knitters from across the country. National Arboretum, until July 30.

Georgina Bryant
“CHANGES” is the brainchild of painter Steve Roper and glass artist Robyn Campbell, who invited poet Lesley Lebkowicz, illustrator Anne Langridge and musician Georgina Bryant to join them in a show that raises the following questions: How does a poet make a pot? How does a musician? What happens when a painter or an illustrator steps outside the frame on the wall or the page of a book? What difference does a change in material make to the work? Gallery floor talk at 6pm on July 28. At Watson Arts Centre, Aspinall Street, Watson, to July 30, 10am-4pm, Thursday to Sunday.

MEREDITH Hinchliffe has curated an online exhibition of work by tapestry exponent Belinda Ramson, who died in 2014. This exhibition was mounted at the American Tapestry Alliance, visit

THE Australian War Memorial has as a permanent exhibition “The Holocaust: witnesses and survivors”, which includes over 85 collection items.

CANBERRA Museum and Gallery currently has an exhibition called “Aviary”, celebrating our feathered friends in “Aviary”. The show in the Open Collections gallery is largely drawn from the CMAG collection and includes bird art in painting, drawing, print, photography, sculpture and the decorative arts.

Brenden Scott-French, ‘View from Window, Koonunga’ – kiln formed glass
TWO new exhibitions are at Beaver Galleries. Brenden Scott French’s kiln formed glass sculptures and wall pieces are carefully layered and assembled to develop pattern and form, which he uses as vehicles to reflect his experiences. Renowned artist Graham Fransella’s new works are the result of several decades of draughtsmanship and exploration into the theme of figure and landscape, painted on both canvas and paper. Beaver Galleries, 81 Denison Street, Deakin, from Tuesday to Friday, 10am-5pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9am–5pm, July 20 to August 6.Megalo Print Studio + Gallery, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, from 6pm, Thursday, July 6, and runs until July 22.

CANBERRA painter Robert Boynes’ newest exhibition of work, “Modern Times”, curated by Terence Maloon, is at the ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley Street, Acton, until August 13.

TEN artists living around Bateman’s Bay are exhibiting pastel works depicting wildlife, landscapes and still life, at Ginninderra School House Gallery, Sweet Copper Cafe, Gold Creek, Nicholls, from 10am-4pm, Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday, to July 31.

“THE Chandelier Show” is an opulent exhibition of hanging lights curated by Jane Cush, with works by Christine Atkins, Scott Chaseling, Ngaio Fitzpatrick, Jacqueline Knight, Kate Nixon, Tom Rowney, Wendy Dawes, and John and Ruth White. Canberra Glassworks, 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, until August 6.

NANCY Sever Gallery has scored a coup in getting an exhibition by the celebrated Canberra artist, Elisabeth Kruger, whose exhibition of recent works, “The Sea Paintings”, can be seen at the gallery, which is located on 4/6 Kennedy Street, Kingston. The exhibition will be on from Wednesday to Sunday, 11am–6pm until August 6.

THE Canberra Centre has now unveiled the first in a specially-commissioned series of large-scale murals, including an artwork based on the theme of the artwork series, “Beauty Redefined” created in Australian artist Nick Thomm’s photo-realistic style which utilises bright, psychedelic colours in a mixed-media format.

“A Change Is Gonna Come” is an exhibition focusing on the 1967 Aboriginal Referendum and the 1992 MABO land rights decision by the High Court. At the National Museum of Australia, until January 30, 2018.

“KIRSTIE Rea: the land”, a 20-year survey of works by one of Canberra’s most famous glass creators, has been chosen for the reopening of the Canberra Museum and Gallery. The show runs to August 20.

KYEEMA Gallery’s new exhibition with sale is “Margaret Ballard: Works in Resin”, which opens at 13 Gladstone Street, Hall Village. From 10.30am–5pm, Thursday to Sunday.


Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleSocials / At the opening night of ‘1984’, Canberra Theatre
Next articleWomen prisoners are on the rise
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply