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

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St. Olaf Band
THE 90+ piece St. Olaf Band from the US, conducted by Timothy Mahr, will join Geoff Grey and the Canberra Wind Symphony in a free concert co-ordinated through the US Embassy from 2.30pm at Llewellyn Hall, this Friday, January 26. There’ll be a focus on the centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, the music of John Williams, and classic works from the wind band repertoire. Registrations are essential to


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.


MUSE Café is hosting a panel of experts, such as Mick Dodson and Frank Bongiorno, to discuss the history and genesis of Australia Day and the arguments for and against changing the date. East Hotel, Kingston, 3pm-4pm, Sunday, January 28. Bookings to

Workshops and classes

GARY France’s percussion centre the Groove Warehouse in Hume is about to commence classes for 2018. Payment plans are now available for all students. Information and bookings to

PAINTER Leeanne Crisp is running four Sundays of drawing and painting at the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion in the Nation Arboretum. Crisp’s work can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery and the National Library collections. The workshops are between 9.30am-4.30pm, continuing February 4. Fees apply and lunch is included. Bookings to

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.

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

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


THE Mother Tongue Multilingual Poetry will be at the 2018 National Multicultural Festival and poets can read or recite a four-minute poem in a language other than English (or more than one language) at one of the showcases on February 16 and 17. Expressions of interest to

Arts Business

CANBERRA Academy of Dramatic Art has now moved to new premises at 11 Whyalla street, Fyshwick. The phone contact is still 1300 908905.

The Glamourosas
THE Embassy of Brazil in Canberra and the Rotary Club of Canberra are organising the 2018 Brazilian Gala Masquerade Charity Ball at the Embassy of Brazil on Friday, February 9. The evening will feature Brazilian cuisine, samba by The Glamourosas and Allan Dantas and capoeira by Mestre Rodriguinho. Funds raised go to malaria eradication programs and initiatives. Bookings to

CRAFT ACT is calling for new exhibition proposals from artists, craftspeople, designers, makers and curators for the 2019 program. Submissions close at midnight on Sunday, March 4 to

WITH productions like Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s “La Bohème” and Massenet’s “Don Quichotte” coming up, Opera Australia is offering gift vouchers, which can be emailed, at

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 to September 5 in conjunction with Reis and James Travel Associates and Backroads Touring Company. Participants 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 until January 31, $200 summer discount now available.

ENTRIES are now open to register the annual “RAW Comedy” competition where new performers test their skill and stamina with five minutes of new, original comedy material – stand-up, sketch, double and triple acts and musical comedy. The National Grand Final are at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April. ACT heats at The Civic Pub on February 21 and 28, and the final will be at The Street Theatre on February 28. Registrations and details to

AARWUN Gallery is selling works by the legendary Norman Lindsay at up to 50 per cent off the price of works on paper, facsimiles, etchings, original pencil drawings, books and prints. At the gallery, Federation Square, Gold Creek, Canberra, open daily 10am to 5pm until February 10.

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.

Young Music Society members
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 to be 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


AUSTRALIAN and NZ 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. The Museum and Art Gallery of the NT hosts this 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 to


Director Warwick Thornton from ‘We Don’t Need a Map’. 
WARWICK Thornton’s 2009 Cannes award-winning feature “Samson and Delilah” will screen at the Arc Cinema, NFSA at 3pm this Sunday, January 28. After, film producer Brendan Fletcher will introduce “We Don’t Need a Map” at 5.30pm, in which Thornton asks where the Southern Cross sits in the Australian psyche. This film will continue to be screened until February 3. Bookings to

AMERICAN Express Openair Cinemas is bringing movies to Canberra with more than 40 events happening on Patrick White Lawns outside the National Library of Australia to February 25. Dogs are welcome and catered for. 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

ART and music will join when the Canberra International Music Festival director join the Acacia Quartet celebrate the photography of Peter Dombrovskis and the music of Australian composer Moya Henderson at the National Library of Australia, 6pm, Sunday, January 28. Bookings to

SOPRANO Helen Thomson joins Laura Moore and Reidun Turner on viola da gamba to perform “Sorrow Made Fair”, the works of John Dowland. Wesley Music Centre, Forrest, 3.30pm, Sunday, January 28. Tickets at the door only.

IN “Summer Sounds: A World of Music” Four Winds celebrates traditional and contemporary music in the surrounds of the Four Winds Sound Shell, Barragga Bay, Bermagui, 12pm–6.30pm, Saturday, January 27. Children under 12 years are free. Bookings to


The Gruffalo cast. Photo by Heidrun Lohr.
THE very popular children’s play, “The Gruffalo” is coming to town with new actors. The play follows “Mouse” into the same “deep, dark wood”, where she encounters the wheeler-dealer “Fox”, the retired woodland air force general, “Owl” and the party animal, “Snake”. Canberra Theatre, January 27-28, various sessions. Bookings to or 6275 2700.

THE Infamous Spiegeltent circus has been so popular that it is returning to Majura Road, on the corner of Spitfire Avenue, opposite Costco, for another season running until January 28. Bookings to


QL2 Dance’s training programs provide a series of weekly classes for ages eight through to 20 and over, designed to build choreographic awareness, creative capacity and confidence, dance technique, strength, alignment, fitness, and awareness of stylistic traditions and directions. Enrolment Day at QL2 office and foyer in A Block, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon, 3pm-6.30pm, Monday, February 5.

“CITYNEWS” Artist of the year, Liz Lea, is calling for expressions of interest from dancers/creators for the forthcoming “DANscience Moving Well” event to be held in Parramatta, from June 1-2. Email by February 16 with proposals.


Harriet Schwarzrock, ‘pulse’, 2017, blown glass, neon. Photo courtesy of Suki & Hugh Gallery.
CANBERRA Glassworks’s newest exhibition features “Hurt Locker” by Penny Byrne and “between stillness and movement”, by Harriet Schwarzrock, which involves a sound sculpture by Brian McNamara. At Canberra Glassworks, 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, January 25 to March 25. Floor talk at 12.30pm, January, 25. All welcome.

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.

GALLERY@bcs springboard series presents “Plucked 2018”, an exhibition of drawing and printmaking by Belconnen Community Gallery Emerging Artist Support Scheme prize-winners Alex Butler, Alice Turner, Miriam Slater, Sharon “Shags” Gallagher and Yimin Cen. Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, Belconnen, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, until February 16. All welcome.

“SMALL Worlds” is an exhibition of photographs of moss, lichens and fungi by Brenda Runnegar with drawings by Emma Kelly, at the Visitor Information Centre, Australian National Botanical Gardens Canberra until February 4, daily 9.30am–4.30pm. All welcome.

“TITANIC the Exhibition” is still on Sydney at Byron Kennedy Hall, The Entertainment Quarter, Lang Road, Moore Park, until February 4. Bookings to or 8240 2135.

“ANCESTRAL Journeys: Waters of the Past”, a multiple-media exhibition by Canberra artist Tracey Benson, incorporates a range of media, such as photography, video and augmented reality. It focuses on the waters of migration and connections to ancestral lands and places of significance. The video work is interwoven with music made from DNA sequencing, created by NZ/US based artist and programmer Josiah Jordan. CSIRO Discovery Centre, Clunies-Ross Street, Acton, until March 2.

Val Crane, Forest 27 Maidenhair or Duck’s Foot Tree planted 2008 National Arboretum.
RUSSIAN-trained impressionist artist Valentyna Crane, who recently moved to Canberra, has been so taken with Canberra’s views and the Arboretum that she has produced original paintings conveying the vistas, skies and forests through the changing seasons. The exhibition is at Village Centre, National Arboretum, daily from 9am to 4pm to February 18. All works are for sale.

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, to January 31. All welcome.

“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 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, 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.

Joseph Neville’s ‘Nature’s Table’
M16 Artspace at 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, is reopening for 2018 with the launch of four new exhibitions: “Gesture Light” by Racheal Bruhn; “The Rebirth of Reason” by Coralee Rooney; “Crises of Content” by Chloe Gray; and in Chutespace, “Nature’s Table” by Joseph Neville. Running until February 4, Wednesday to Sunday 12pm-5pm. To become a “friend” of M16 Artspace visit

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

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.

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

WORLD War II 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 SA 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.

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

The entrance to ‘Songlines’
“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. ALSO at the National Museum is the annual exhibition celebrating the achievements and contribution of nominees for the Australian of the Year Awards. Main Hall, until February 18. Free.

GROUND-BREAKING Australian audio-video artist Angelica Mesiti has 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: 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.

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

“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.

Patricia Piccinini with her work ‘The welcome guest’.
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 Art of Giving” is a summer trail showing new acquisitions by general donors to the National Gallery of Australia, free, excepting for entry to “Hyper Real”. Stops on the trail are: ATSI Galleries, Level 1; Impressionism, Australian Art, Level 1; Australian Art Level 1; Sidney Nolan Gallery opposite the NGA shop, Level 1; Hyper Real Level 1; International Art Level 2; and Polynesian Gallery, Level 1.

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.

“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 – at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Old Parliament House, until further notice.

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. Bookings to

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Helen Musa
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