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

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THE National Museum is the annual exhibition celebrating the achievements and contribution of nominees for the Australian of the Year Awards. At Main Hall, until February 18. Free. 

Painting gifted by a patient’s mother to paediatric cardiologist Bo Reményi, NT Australian of the Year 2018.

BUSY writer-director Michael Weston has just recorded his annual radio play, this time a detective story called “Who Stole Christmas?” with Radio 1 RPH (1125) for broadcasting over the festive season. “It’s a bit of a tribute to old ’50s and ’60s shows such as “Dragnet”, Weston says. The play will be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day.

THE Paperbark Treehouse, made from recycled timber and designed and built by Cave Urban, has been launched by the Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and is now open to the public.

Workshops and classes:

THE Alliance Française de Canberra at 66 McCaughey Street, Turner offers language and culture courses all through the year. Information about courses to

MUSIC for Canberra has opened enrolments for Term 1, 2018. To trial a new class or audition for the James McCusker Orchestra and Canberra Youth Orchestra visit

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

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

CLASSES are filling up for the popular Young Music Society’s Summer Music School coming up in January. “An exciting summer music adventure” is how livewire director of the YMS, composer Stephen Leek, describes it. There are separate programs for juniors, primary school ages and seniors, with the choral stream and advanced program for specialists. At Canberra Girls Grammar School, January 8–19. Registrations to

Subscriptions for 2018:

TICKETS are now on sale for the 24th Canberra International Music Festival, running from April 27 to May 6. There’ll be 23 ticketed concerts, intimate conversations with festival artists, musical talks and free events. Bookings and full program at

FOUR Winds 2018 Easter Festival, Barragga Bay, March 28 to April 1. Bookings to or 6493 3414.

‘Sense and Sensibility’ will be playing during this Canberra Theatre season. Photo by James Hartley.
SUBSCRIPTION bookings for The Canberra Theatre Centre’s “Collected Works 2018” are now open at

THE annual subscription theatre program for The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, is now open. Bookings at

CANBERRA Repertory has now launched its 86th season, billed as “a season with something for everyone”. Bookings to

Arts Business:

CANBERRA artist Val Johnson and Fellow of the Royal Art Society of NSW, is planning to take an art tour to Scotland from August 27 – September 5, in conjunction with Reis and James Travel Associates and Backroads Touring Company. Participatns will spend time painting in the Cairngorms, in quaint fishing villages, on the Isle of Skye, the Isle of Mull and Iona, and view the Colourists work in galleries in Edinburgh, Kirkaldy Perth and Glasgow. Bookings to Lisa on 6208 0155.

THE “Art, Not Apart” festival will return on March 17 with performances, exhibitions, installations, film, projection an parties held around NewActon, The Shine Dome, the National Film and Sound Archive and the Alinga Street Footbridge. The 2018 theme is “Climax”. Submissions to close at midnight on January 10.

“SHORT+Sweet Theatre 2018” is in planning now and playwrights have until January 15 to submit scripts for 10-minute plays to festival director, Trevar Alan Chilver at

THE Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council will be trialling a new concept in The Q Exhibition Space in early 2018. “Quirk” will, as well as functioning as an exhibition space, be a shopfront to support and promote regional creatives, with a selection of souvenirs and gourmet goodies. Council’s cultural staff are currently compiling a list of local producers, artists and craftspeople who may be interested in becoming suppliers. Inquiries to with “Quirk” in the heading.

ALSO, The Q would like to invite artists and creators to help celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre in February through to March by submitting a work with the theme of “ten”, “celebration”, “party”, “anniversary” and “birthday” to with “Ten” in the heading.

THE Young Music Society is holding a “MUSIC Amnesty”. Any items readers can identify that belong to the YMS would be gratefully welcomed back by their rightful owners – no questions asked. Phone 6251 8017 for pick up, or just drop items into the YMS office, or the Belconnen Arts Centre front desk.

JULIA Landford’s new Canberra NatureArt Lab at M16 Artspace, in Griffith is proving very popular. Bookings for 2018 are now open through the website

PRIZE-winning botanical artist, Sharon Field, has set up a blog which considers ideas of “beauty” and “creativity” in botanical art and summarises what is coming up for her on the art scene. Visit or follow her on Instagram at @sharon_field_artist

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


THE Collie Art Prize, the $50,000 biggest single acquisitive art prize in regional WA and perhaps across Australia, focuses on the theme of identity, and is now open to all Australians until January 12,

AUSTRALIAN and New Zealand art music composers have the chance to share in about $100,000 worth of funding to create a new commissioned work thanks to the APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund, now in its third year of existence. Applications are now open here and will close in February 2018.

ENTRIES have now opened for the 2018 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Canberra artist Andy Snelgar is exhibited this year and a Canberran, Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, is a former winner. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), with the support of Telstra, delivers this unique annual event that showcases the best in Indigenous art from across the country. Entries are open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists over the age of 18 until March 16 at

THE Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition is on again, with the first prize doubling to $2000 and total cash prizes of over $3000, also there’s recording and performance opportunities too. Entries close COB, April 20, 2018 to


Paddington Bear
STUDIOCANAL is releasing “Paddington 2” for the silly season. The story follows on from the film adventures of that bear from Peru. Featuring everyone from Hugh Grant to Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington, it’s in general release from December 21.

SANGUINETI Media’s Dan Sanguineti will run for the first time a “Junior” Primary School summer holiday filmmaking workshop alongside the usual “Hero” Program. Filmmakers from the age of eight years and older will run on an editing deadline with a screening planned for the final afternoon session at the end of the week. Canberra Technology Park, Watson, January 15-19, details and bookings to

IMB Bank Sunset Cinema is back again on the Northern Eucalypt Lawn, Australian National Botanic Gardens, now running until December 23. Bookings to

THE National Film and Sound Archive of Australia has “Strictly Ballroom: Behind the Curtain”, a new online exhibition to celebrate 25 years since the release of Baz Luhrmann’s debut film in August 1992. Visit

Concerts and Gigs:

The ‘I Progretti Chamber Choir’. Photo by Eva Shroeder.
I Progetti Chamber Choir, with Dr Anthony Smith, presents ‘Welcome, Yule!” a concert celebrating Christmas, and the sanctity of everyday life, regardless of creed. At National Portrsit Gallery, from 1.30pm – 2.15pm, Saturday, December 23. The event is free.

OPERA Australia soprano Lorina Gore will be leading the Hawker Christmas Carols under the Dungowan tree, at the bottom of Dungowan Street, Hawker, on the evening of December 24. All welcome.


A moment from James Batchelor’s ‘Deepspace’.
CANBERRA choreographer James Batchelor and collaborators return to town with his latest work, “Deepspace”, playing at the intersection of art and science, at The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre, from 7pm, Saturday, December 23. Bookings to

QL2 Dance is looking for an inspiring, creative and entrepreneurial permanent, full time general manager to commence late February or March. This position offers the opportunity to make a lasting difference to young people and dance in the ACT and environs. For full position details and application process visit


Rohan Vicars as the Aviator and Sigmund Nock as the Prince
“THE Little Prince”, based on the 1943 novella by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, has been turned into a work of music theatre by Judith Clingan and is at Tuggeranong Arts Centre from 2pm, December 21-22. Bookings to

“THE Christmas Channel”, features over 40 of Canberra’s most talented children and youth. It shows the Brown family going to war over the TV remote in a whirlwind of familiar jingles, scenes and songs from Christmas-time, and a bit of dancing thrown too. At Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre, from 6pm until December 23 and 11am and 2pm, Saturday, December 23. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

DIRECTOR Kirsty Budding has devised a theatrical launch for adults for her new book, “Paper Cuts: Comedic and Satirical Monologues for Audition or Performance”. A cast of 26 Canberra theatrical veterans will test out the audition pieces on stage. The book launch and show starts at 8pm, December 21-23, at the Courtyard Studio. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

THAT favourite Christmas play, “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is being staged by Honest Puck Theatre, CADA Theatre, Fyshwick until December 23.


NGA Play, the coolest spot in the National Gallery of Australia, has opened an arty play area for children set up by Indonesian art duo Santi Ariestyowanti and Miko Bawono, known as “Indieguerillas”. Indigeuerillas is in the play space near the entrance desk, until May 13.

Paul Sérusier Woman from Savoy (La Savoyarde) 1890 oil on canvas.
“THE Art of Giving” will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place, Parkes. Entry to “The Art of Giving” is free. 

“PLAYUP” is the exhibition space in Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House for children and families based around the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child. The new and third PlayUP includes lots of hands-on activities such as listening pods, a fuzzy felt wall, a voting interactive and a role play “Kindness” café.

YOUNG artists in Years 11 and 12 from colleges in the north Canberra region explore the world around them through photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, textiles and new media in “College Express 9”, sponsored by Ray White Belconnen, at Belconnen Arts Centre, until January 28.

From ‘Under the Sea’.
BELCONNEN Community Gallery and the BCS Bungee program presents “Under the Sea”, an immersive experience created by the Expressive Art Bungee Youth Resilience group, aged 7–11, who created an exciting underwater experience during term four. In gallery@bcs on Swanson Court, Belconnen, week days, until January 12.

IN the exhibition “Unfinished Business”, artist Belinda Mason reveals the stories of 30 people with disability from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through 3D photography. The show was originally launched in Geneva by the director-general of the United Nations and was a part of Australia’s official contribution to the United Nations 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Persons in New York. At Tuggeranong Arts Centre, until January 20.

BEAVER Galleries have invited Annette Blair, Joungmee Do, Sara Freeman, Shannon Garson, Holly Grace, Rona Green, Daehoon Kang, Ben Landau & Lucile Sciallano, Hayley Lander, Dai Li, Nikki Main, Meg Morton, Ruth Oliphant, Jenny Orchard, Isobel Rayson, Nick Stranks, Wendy Teakel, Sarah Tomasetti, Graeme Townsend, Wayne Viney and Max Lawrence White to contribute small works to its pre-Christmas exhibition. The gallery shop is also offering high quality porcelain, textiles, jewellery and art suitable for Christmas gifts. 81 Denison Street, Deakin, Tuesday to Friday, 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm until December 24. Closed from December 25 to January 16.

“THE Selfie Factory” by Ralph Kenke and Elmar Trefz, winner of the 2017 Digital Portraiture Award at the National Portrait Gallery, will be available for public interaction using the hashtag #selfiefactory along with all the front-runners, until February 18. Interaction times are between 10am-11am, 1.30pm-2pm and 3.30pm-4pm daily. All of the finalists’ works can be viewed at

WATSON Art Centre’s gallery shop features the Canberra Potters’ Christmas Fair, with crafted products, from contemporary jewellery through to glass, ceramics, wood and textiles – all created by Australian artists. They also have a print room full of affordable works on paper and the annual “Small Works” exhibition offers more options. They will gift wrap and are open Aspinall Street, Watson, from 10am-4pm, Thursday to Sunday until 5pm on Christmas Eve.

THE National Museum of Australia is showing artworks inspired by plants of north-east Arnhem Land by Yol?u elder Mulku? Wirrpanda and landscape painter John Wolseley, in the exhibition “Midawarr Harvest”, until February 18. Free entry, but donations welcome.

AS part of the program for the “Suomi Finland” 100 centenary of independence, the Finnish Embassy is exhibiting paintings created by Australian contemporary artist Steve Salo, photographer Päivi Arvonen and arts worker Daniel Soma. At 12 Darwin Avenue, Yarralumla, Monday to Thursday, 9.30am–12.30pm, Fridays, 1pm–5pm, Saturdays 9.30am–12.30pm, and Sundays 1pm–2.30pm, November 28 to January 31. All welcome.

SA Adair’s installation ‘Encasement’.
SA Adair’s “Encasement” is an amazing network of felt components making an organic, perhaps alien appearance. Adair’s work has been selected by the Canberra Museum and Gallery for the “Enlighten” festival in March. “Encasement” is in the Civic Square window gallery facing the Legislative Assembly until further notice.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Susan Henderson, Michael Masters, Mark Mohell and Belinda Pratten are all exhibiting work until December 24 at The Photography Room, in the Old Bus Depot, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston Foreshore, Sundays 10am-4pm and by appointment. Details at

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

SECOND World War veterans —6500 of them—are showcased in a unique photography installation at the Australian War Memorial, “Reflections – honouring our WWII veterans”. The images will be archived and made accessible to the public as part of the Memorial’s online collection.

A LARGE painting by artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia has gone on permanent display in the Australian War Memorial. “Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa” [Country and Culture will be protected by spears] is in in the orientation gallery, directly opposite the Gallipoli landing boat that took men of the 13th Battalion ashore on April 25, 1915.

CANBERRA Spinners and Weavers have their 50th anniversary show, “Crossing Threads”, curated by Meredith Hinchliffe, at Canberra Museum and Gallery, Corner of London Circuit and Civic Square, to March 18, 2018.

“RING Master”, an exhibition exploring the notion and designs of the humble (and not so humble) ring, features rings by Helen Britton, Julia deVille, Johannes Kuhnen, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Carlier Makigawa, Godwin Baum, Julie Blyfield, Melissa Cameron, Cinnamon Lee, Chris Robertson, Sean O’Connell, Jane Bowden, Bin Dixon-Ward, Philip Noakes, Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro, Mikki Trail, Sam Mertens and Mio Kuhnen (and more). At Bilk Gallery, Palmerston Lane Manuka, to December 24, “White Christmas”, its annual festive season exhibition.

“FINDERS Keepers: Collectors and their Stories MoAD at Old Parliament House runs from 9am-5pm, daily, until the middle of 2018. Entry is free after museum admission.

“SONGLINES: Tracking the Seven Sisters”, the story in arts of the women of Central Australia, at the National Museum of Australia, to February 25, 2018.

GROUND-BREAKING Australian audio-video artist Angelica Mesiti has launched an exhibition of five major works, including the National Gallery of Australia’s most recent acquisition, “The Calling”, at the NGA until March 2018.


Eirene Mort exhibition
“EIRENE Mort: A Livelihood” marks the 40th anniversary of Eirene Mort’s death at the age of 98. Mort was a prolific artist, collaborator, teacher, writer, family historian and a ‘new woman’ pursuing a profession in the arts at the beginning of the 20th Century. Curated by Dale Middleby, this social history exhibition features an extraordinary array of artworks and artefacts created by her. Canberra Museum and Gallery, until February 25, 2018.

“BEHIND the Lines”, with the theme this year “Three Ring Circus”, is showing the best political cartoons of 2017 and Political Cartoonist of the Year – is at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House, until further notice.

THE NGA’s summer exhibition “Hyper Real” consists of 50 works in sculpture and video art by 32 artists, varying from the huge “Pregnant woman” by Ron Mueck to Patricia Piccininni’s fragile hybrid babies. National Gallery of Australia, to February 18, 2018. Bookings to or 132 849.

THE NPG’s big summer exhibition, “Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits”, is for people who love film and portraits, at the National Portrait Gallery until March 4, 2018. Bookings to

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

MEGALO Print Studio + Gallery is closing over the festive break until January 23. 21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston, Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am-5pm.

“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.

THE exhibition “Boundless Volumes,” new artworks made from excess leather bound volumes of parliamentary proceedings by Michael Eather, Simryn Gill, Katherine Hattam, Pam Langdon, Archie Moore, Elvis Richardson, Kylie Stillman, Imants Tillers and Hossein Valamanesh. Presiding Officers’ Exhibition Area (level 1) at Parliament House. Free to the public and open until February 11.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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