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

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Australian Chamber Orchestra (pictured) will perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio this December. Photo by Nic Walker.
RICHARD Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra will perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio this December, with the Choir of London and evangelist Nicholas Mulroy. At Llewellyn Hall, 6.30pm, Friday, December 8. Bookings to or 1800 444 444, where the ACO’s 2018 subscriptions are also on sale. 


“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.

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.


THE ACT Storytellers Guild and Libraries ACT will present stories and discuss end of year festivals and traditions at Kippax Library, 10.30am, December 11. All welcome. Bookings to

THE Friends of the ANU Classics Museum are holding a fundraising talk by Kerry-Anne and Ian Cousins, David Campbell, Mineke Peerboom, David Hogan and Marilyn Dooley called “Travellers’ Tales: The Paths Less Trod”, along with an end-of-year function. At conference room, AD Hope Building, then in in the Classics Museum, 2pm-4pm, Sunday, December 10. Entry by donation at the door. To assist catering, RSVP to or 6288 3373.

Workshops and classes:

Alliance Française
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

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

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:

Roger Woodward is coming to the CIMF.
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 walks 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.

SUBSCRIPTION bookings for The Canberra Theatre Centre’s “Collected Works 2018” are now open at or call 6275 2700.

Queenie van de Zandt in “Blue” coming to The Q.
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


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

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. Full details and entry forms at

Arts Business:

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.

Smith’s Alternative has an open mic night coming up.
NIGEL McRae, the host at Smith’s Alternative on Alinga Street, Civic, is keen to have more classical musicians take advantage of his “Classical Capers” open mic sessions. The next one will be from 7pm–9pm on December 13. Sign up at

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 is at M16 Artspace, in Griffith, Canberra. Bookings 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 organisations and music-based organisations and individuals. Inquiries to


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

THE Fourth Brazilian Movie Cycle will present movies that are “food for thought”. Embassy of Brazil auditorium, 19 Forster Crescent, Yarralumla, 6.30pm, December 7. Entry is free and recommended for ages 18 and older. All films are subtitled in English.

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 Shiny Bum Singers are about to stage “Seize the Day”, a fundraising performance for Pain Support ACT. This event is a mock opera about a horrendous (but hilarious) day in a fictitious public service department. The songs are parodies of well-known songs from all genres, including real opera. At Weston Community Hub (old Weston Creek Primary School) on the corner of Hilder and Gritten Streets, Weston, 2pm, Sunday, December 10. Bookings to

CANADIAN folk stars The East Pointers have just released their new album “What We Leave Behind”. The Canberra launch is at Ainslie Arts Centre on Thursday, December 7. Bookings to

CANBERRA performer Kirklandd has just announced his first headline Canberra show, presented in collaboration with Oxfam. Having supported Seth Sentry, Dylan Joel and The Ansah Brothers, and recently performed at Fashfest, he’ll be showcasing his new single, “Faded”, at Transit Bar, Akuna Street, Civic, on December 9. Bookings to

Sparrow Folk
CANBERRA songstresses Sparrow-Folk will be singing up a “Very Nestie Xmas” of songs, new and old, at The Street Theatre on December 7 and 8. Bookings to or 6247 1223.

THE Song Company will be here with Australian and English carols such as the Coventry carol “Lully Lulla” and a smashing “Gloria in excelsis” to finish. At Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest, 7pm, Saturday, December 9. Bookings to

Erica Bowron. Photo by Rhiannon Hopley.
FORMER star of Canberra musicals and heavy metal/hard rock singer, Erica Bowron, will be back in town with her new band, “Red Sea, to headline the “She Riff: Women of Metal” initiative that showcases women in music at Transit Bar, 7 Akuna Street, Civic, 8pm, December 8. Tickets at the door.

Jess Greene, “Pheono”.
CANBERRA guitarist, vocalist, composer and songwriter, Jess Greene, “Pheno”, is launching her debut Art-Pop EP, “Dragon Year”, with sound designer Annie McKinnon’s installation “Habitual” also on show. The Street Theatre, 8pm, December 9. Bookings to or 6247 1223.

CHAMBER music will be performed by pianists from the ACT Suzuki Piano and String Players, Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Limestone Consort in Wesley Uniting Church at 2.30pm this Sunday, December 10. Bookings to or at the door.

THE National Capital Orchestra is staging a family concert featuring overture to “The Barber of Seville”, a movement from the Mozart concerto for flute and harp, the rarely heard concerto for cello by Honegger, and  “Peter and the Wolf” with Charle Hudson narrating. At Albert Hall, 3pm, Saturday, December 9. Bookings to

ORIANA Chorale’s 40th Christmas concert, “Tidings of Joy”, will take place in Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest, at 5pm, this Sunday, December 10. Bookings to


“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, to December 10. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

Andrew Howes, Jett Chudleigh, Jess Osvald and Mark Zatschler in “Ordinary Days”.
COLLECTIVE Theatre is a group of graduating Year 12 students from Gungahlin College, Dickson College, and Narrabundah College, who have formed their own theatre company to perform “Ordinary Days”, a short musical by American Composer Adam Gwon. The musical follows the story of four New Yorkers navigating life in the city that never sleeps. It’s a  cast of four, accompanied by a piano, at Belconnen Community Theatre, Swanson Court, 7pm, December 7 -9 and 2pm December 9. Bookings to

JOLLY jesters and lusty wenches and mad minstrels are coming to town again for Dirty Dick’s Theatre Restaurant. At Harmonie German Club, Jerrabomberra Avenue, Narrabundah, December 8, 15 and 16. Bookings to 6295 9853 or



NANCY Sever Gallery has now moved from Kingston to the former Currong Theatre in Gorman Arts Centre and has reopened with “Michael Taylor: New Paintings”, at Gorman Arts Centre, corner of Batman and Currong Streets, Braddon, until December 17.

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.

“Larry Sitsky, Composing”, by Angela Parragi.
QUEANBEYAN Art Society has secured a deal allowing one of its artists to have art “splashed” on a Canberra Milk bottle from December. The “Splash of Milk Art Award” exhibition continues until Christmas at the society’s gallery under the Queanbeyan Bridge.

WODEN artist Angela Parragi is the winner of the $2000 Cliftons Art Prize for the ACT, for her oil painting of legendary Canberra composer and scholar Larry Sitsky. “Larry Sitsky, composing” is on display now with other artworks, at Cliftons, Level 2, 10 Moore Street, Canberra until December 15. All welcome.

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 exquisite and often challenging small works to its pre-Christmas exhibition, “Small Works”. 81 Denison Street, Deakin until December 24.

“Selfie Factory” by Ralph Kenke and Elmar Trefz, 2017, mixed media installation.
“THE Selfie Factory”, the 2017 Digital Portraiture Award at the National Portrait Gallery will be available for public interaction using the hashtag #selfiefactory 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

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. All details of the Finland 100 program are viewable at

Work by Mark Mohell.
PHOTOGRAPHERS Susan Henderson, Michael Masters, Mark Mohell and Belinda Pratten are all exhibiting work now 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.

THE M16 Artspace 2017 Drawing Prize is at 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, to December 18. Also on show is “Portrait and Life: the 2017 Canberra Art Workshop Members’ Exhibition” and in Chutespace, Steven Mark Holland ink on Arches paper work, “Heart”.

Clare Solomon’s “Untitled” work, 2017, pine, paint, nickel silver, Victorian Ash. Photo by Lillian Pedvin.
THE multi-media exhibition “In/decision”, by Clare Solomon, addresses the paradox that society is obsessed with choice but is also paralysed by it. Solomon’s amusing and interactive artworks playfully use familiar games and objects such as a lucky dip, dice and a lazy-susan, arranged with beautifully hand-crafted items. It’s her first solo exhibition and is part of the ANU’s Emerging Artist Support Scheme. At ANCA Gallery, 1 Rosevear Place, Dickson until December 17.

EXHIBITIONS by four women artists are presented together as “Women in Design” and are on display at Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, until Saturday, December 16.

“STUDIO 17″ is Strathnairn Arts’ second biennial exhibition showcasing works by current studio holders, GW Bot, Catherine Drinan, Shaun Hayes, Jo Hollier, Cary James, Joan James, Blaide Lallemand, Trenna Langdon, Ilona Lasmanis, Peter Latona, Vivien Lightfoot, Leo Loomans, Michael Sainsbury, Heidi Strachan, Nancy Tingey, Kensuke Todo, Tracey Murphy and Berendina De Ruiter. The show is curated by Peter Haynes. At Strathnairn Woolshed, 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt, until December 17.

David Rowe, in Behind the Lines 2017
“Behind the Lines” – the best political cartoons of 2017 and Political Cartoonist of the Year– is at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House.

PHOTOACCESS presents three new exhibitions by its artists in residence, “Dedications” by Claire Williams, “In Pursuit of Magic” by Ricky Lloyd and “Footprints by Jennifer Minns”. Opening in the Huw Davies Gallery, Manuka Arts Centre, at 6pm this Thursday, November 30. All welcome the exhibitions continue until December 10.

“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.

WHEN Sydney artist Jaimee Paul lost her father earlier this year she chose to channel her heartache into something positive. She has created a body of watercolour paintings and drawings for a solo exhibition, “All that you’ve become,” open at Suki & Hugh Gallery, 38A Gibraltar Street,

IDay mage, gallery@bcs
BELCONNEN Community Gallery’s “Piece of Mind” series presents “Bits n Pieces”, a mixed media exhibition in celebration of International Day for People with a Disability. Some art groups have been working on personal visual stories, some have been drawing and painting, others have been making cardboard cars and trucks. At Gallery@bcs, Swanson Court, Belconnen until December 15.

“PRESS vs Screen” is the final Megalo exhibition for 2017. It displays submitted prints produced by members in either the press or screen studios at Megalo this year. The studio that has submitted the most entries is declared the winner. The installation work “Old Eagle” by Kate Vassallo + James Lieutenant is the backdrop for the show. Megalo Print Studio + Gallery, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am-5pm until December 9.

THE exhibition “On The Move” will feature selected student works and works by their mentor artists from the 2017 Sculpture in the Paddock Schools’ Program, accompanied by a series of photographs that tell the story of the art making. At “The Link”, in the Strathnairn Arts precinct at 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt, to December 13.

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.

ARTIST and painting teacher, Michael Winters, once made an honorary citizen of the island of Leros in Greece, for his art activities, is wandering again, this time to the Orange Regional Gallery, where his unusual exhibition of three-dimensional landscapes, “Dissected by Time and Space”, will run to December 10.

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

“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.

THE ANU Drill Hall Gallery’s show, “Liz Coats – Active Seeing”, coincides with celebrations for the ANU School of Art’s 40-year anniversary. As a former doctoral student (2009-2012) and vice-chancellor’s “College Artist Fellow” (2015) this major survey of Liz’s artwork will feed into these celebrations. The exhibition runs at the DHG, Kingsley Street, Acton, until December 17.

Eirene Mort-Canberra Creek, Eirene Mort (1879-1977) Canberra Creek 1927 etching 2 of 50, Canberra Museum and Gallery.
“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.

WORKS by painter/printmaker Pamela Griffith and sculptor/carver Silvio Apponyi are in the Octagon ArtSpace, Bungendore Wood Works Gallery. The show continues until December 10.

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 is opening its final exhibition for the year this this Thursday night before closing over the festive break until January 23. Exhibition opening + End Of Year Celebration, Megalo Print Studio + Gallery 21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston, 6pm, November 23, and until December 16.

“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
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