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

Share Canberra's trusted news:

CANBERRA artist “Rainbow” is this year’s Burlesque Idol Australia Ambassador and will be here for the Canberra heats at the Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre at 8pm on Saturday, February 10. Former Canberran Sarina del Fuego is producing the show and the winner will go on to compete in this year’s grand final at the Nostalgia Festival in Kurri Kurri from March 18-20. Bookings to or 6275 2700.


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 has popular radio personality Christopher Lawrence taking a look at some of the love-crazed geniuses behind some of the world’s best-known and beloved pieces of classical music. East Hotel Kingston, 3pm-4pm, this Sunday, February 11. Bookings to

Workshops and classes

Padma Menon
PADMA Menon is now enrolling for the Term 1 course in her Moving Archetypes program called “Krishna: The Blue Archetype of Love”. No previous experience of dance required. Classes start on the week of February 26 for six weeks. Free introductory workshops at Currie Crescent Community Centre, Kingston, 10am-11am, February 17 and 24. Bookings essential to

NOW in its 28th year as Canberra’s longest running acting course, “Acting for the Fun of It” offers four distinct courses throughout the year. The first of these courses is devised especially for people with little or no experience in acting and will take place from 7pm-9pm on Thursday nights between February 15 and April 21. Information and enrolment forms at or or on 0408 034373.

KIRSTY Budding’s Budding Theatre stages several shows each year and offers drama classes for all ages and a space for playwrights, directors and performers of all ages and experience levels. Inquiries to

CANBERRA Vocal Development is presenting new performance and singing classes. Enrolments are now open. Inquiries to or 0431 759232.

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

At Music Festival, Claire Edwardes
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. 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

SOUTHERN Tablelands Arts is seeking an energetic professional for its new 30 hour-a-week administration officer position. There is a six month probationary period. Applications to close 5pm, Thursday, February 22. Inquiries to Susan Conroy, executive director Monday – Thursday on 4823 4598.

“HIDDEN – A Rookwood Sculpture Walk” at Rookwood Cemetery is preparing for its 10th annual exhibition and is introducing additional programs to engage with community, youth, education and disadvantaged groups. This year, in addition to the themes of history, culture, remembrance and love, applications inspired by the 10th anniversary are welcome. Entries to are by March 12, inquiries to Cassandra on 0425 327590.

THIS year’s Sydney Eisteddfod program includes just under 350 events in classical singing, contemporary singing, choirs, piano, instrumental solos and duos, instrumental groups, speech and drama, and dance and is open to all ages. Entries close March 13. Late entries may be accepted but fees apply. Details to

PLAYING Field Studio is holding its Annual General Meeting at Playing Field Studio, 2 Kingsley Street, Civic, at 5.4 pm for a 6pm start on Tuesday February 13. All positions are voluntary and come with access to the studio as a thank you to the time spent on the space. All welcome.

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

Capoeira with Mestre Rodriguinho
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

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 Finals is at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April. ACT heats are 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.

THE Young Music Society offices are now located at the Flynn Community Hub, Bingle Street, Flynn, and the organisation has a new phone number, 6258 0200. Instrument hire is conducted from the business office at the Community Hub from 10am-4pm Tuesday to Thursday.

THE Belconnen Children’s Choir, formerly the Voices Out Loud Primary Choir, is an ensemble of Canberra’s own Young Music Society. Any primary-aged child from around the region is invited to join with conductor Veronica Moore to enjoy singing, learning about music and the voice, and making new friends. The choir meets on Tuesday afternoons, 4.15pm-5.15pm during school term in the Music Room of the UC Secondary College Lake Ginninderra, Emu Bank, Belconnen. Information and registration to or 6258 0200.

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


SoArt Gallery
EXPRESSIONS of Interest for the $2000 River of Art 2018 Art Prize are now open. The winner will be announced on Thursday, May 17 at the SoArt Gallery in Narooma, where the finalists will be hung in the SoArt Gallery. Other artworks will be hung in a Salon de Refuse. Applications close on April 20 to

EXPRESSIONS of interest for the new River of Art “Land of Many Waters” exhibition to hang in the River of Art Creative Hubs in Bateman’s Bay, Moruya and Narooma. Applications close on April 17, also to

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


Rigoletto film
DAVID McVicar’s famous production of Verdi’s tragic opera “Rigoletto” starring Dimitri Platanias, Lucy Crowe and Michael Fabiano, will screen at Capitol Manuka on February 10, 11 and 14 as part of the Royal Opera House 2017/18 Live Cinema season. 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

Concerts and Gigs

BRILLIANT young Japanese pianist, Kotaro Nagano, who won the 2014 Australian International Chopin Piano Competition, will be here with a harpsichord, clavichord and piano recital called “Renaissance to Russian Romantics”. Wesley Music Centre, Forrest, 7pm, Friday, February 9. Bookings to or at the door.

GOULBURN’S Australian Blues Music Festival has been rated by Tourism Australia as one of the “must-see events and festivals in Regional Australia”. Three of Australia’s top blues guitarists, Lloyd Spiegel, Geoff Achison and Nick Charles, will join the huge line-up across various venues, around Goulburn, February 8 – 11. Information at

SALUT! Baroque presents “Pisendel & Friends”, a concert of baroque music with works by Pisendel, Vivaldi, Telemann, Heinichen, Torelli, Richter, Zelenka and Albinoni. At Albert Hall, Commonwealth Avenue, 7.30pm, Friday, February 9. Bookings to

THE Australian String Quartet’s National Season 2018 performance, “Glass Dean Mendelssohn” will come to the Gandel Hall, National Gallery of Australia at 2pm, Sunday, February 11. Bookings to

Helena Pop
HELENA Pop began when double bassist and composer Ben Drury sat on a basement stage next to singer-songwriter Jack Livingston who was playing some sad songs. They’ve released the single “How to do a Foley break and repair yourself” and will perform at the Polish White Eagle Club with Slagatha Christie, Good Pash and H, this Thursday, February 8. Tickets at the door.


Bear Hunt, photo Clare Hawley
BRITISH director, Marc Parrett, is touring as “Dad” with his production of the children’s play “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, based on the book written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. It’s coming to Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, The Q, at 10am and noon on Saturday and Sunday, February 11-12. Bookings to or 02 6285 6290

SHAKESPEARE by the Lakes’ “Much Ado about Nothing”, which will play on February 14-15 at Tuggeranong Town Park Community Stage and Glebe Park Community Stage on February 16, will also be seen at Queanbeyan’s QEII Park River Stage on February 17. Gates open at 5.30pm and performances begin at 6.30pm. Free, but register at


Short Flat Long Black White. Photo by Lorna Sim
IN a dance performance, “Short Flat Long Black White”, Somebody’s Aunt Group looks at the question of people fleeing danger and seeking asylum. The work was originally created by Jane Ingall for the You Are Here Festival in 2014, and has since been reworked. Performers are Anne Embry, Claudia Cresswell, Jane Ingall, Julie Rickwood, Sandra Kay Lauffenburger, Sue Andrews, Suzannah Salojarvi, Zsuzsi Soboslay and composer-musicians Helen Way and Zsuzsi Soboslay. At Smiths Alternative, 76 Alinga Street, Civic, 6pm-6.30pm Friday, February 9. Live music. Free entry.

“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.


Heidi Strachan, Moon jars, Earthenware, clear glaze, 2017. Photo by Bryna Bamberry.
“LOOKING Out” is an exhibition of ceramics and paintings by the 2017 Anita McIntyre EASS award recipient Heidi Strachan and 2017 Artist in Residence Jackie Gasson is running at the Strathnairn Woolshed Gallery from February 8 to March 11, Thursday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. Opening by Strathnairn Arts director Peter Haynes, 2pm, Saturday, February 10. All welcome.

Konrad Lenz, Self Portrait with 1940s Hoyer guitar.
MARQUETRY artist Michael Retter and wood master Scott Mitchell, who first worked together some 20 years ago when fitting out an old railway carriage situated on Dick Smith’s property near Canberra, have collaborated again to break new ground, in an exhibition at Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, Kings Highway, Bungendore until February 27.

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, to March 25.

JON Lewis’ exhibition “Perfect Strangers”, which launched at the State Library of NSW last year joins Konrad Lenz’s “Portraits” exhibition at The Photography Room, Old Bus Depot, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston Foreshore, running until March 4. Gallery open Sundays 10am-4pm and by appointment.

QUEANBEYAN Art Society’s “Anything Goes” exhibition is in the Queanbeyan Art Society Gallery, 6 Trinculo Place, Queanbeyan, under the bridge this month.

Phil Ryan and Barkers Lava Tube
TUGGERANONG Arts Centre has two exhibitions from Batlow landscape artist Phil Ryan and local videographers Silver Dory Productions. Phil Ryan’s mixed media exhibition is titled “Young Volcanic Landscapes”, while Silver Dory Productions’ “Brindabellas: Edge of Light” takes viewers on a cinematic tour of the frozen mountain wilderness using near infrared technology. Launch by environmental scientist Randall Falkiner, 6pm, Thursday February 1. All welcome, then open to the public to February 17.

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.

“THE Magic of Country” by David Lancashire presents over 50 painted and collage works connected to a larger body of over 200 works initiated on a long ago trip to the MacDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs. Nishi Gallery, facing Hotel Hotel.

Helen Martin, Knit together, shelter, 2017, porcelain saturated knitting
FOUR new exhibitions are opening at M16 Artspace: “If you were buried for a thousand years even you would be priceless” by Alex Hobba, Patrick Larmour, Rosalind Lemoh, Darren Nedza, Timothy Phillips, Leila el Rayes, Camille Thomas; “Osculate” by Jenny Lyons; “It is. They are” by Lauren Butler; and in the Chutespace, “Knit together: shelter” by Helen Martin. At 21 Blaxland Crescent Griffith, opening 6pm Thursday, February 8. All welcome. The shows run Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm-5pm until February 25.

“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.

RUSSIAN-trained impressionist artist Valentyna Crane has produced original paintings conveying the vistas, skies and forests through the changing seasons. The exhibition is at the Village Centre, National Arboretum, daily from 9am to 4pm to February 18. All works are for 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 Australian War Memorial has as a permanent exhibition “The Holocaust: witnesses and survivors”, which includes over 85 collection items.

In the Bald Archy, Anthony Mitchell’s piece, ‘Where’s Waleed’
THE 25th Bald Archy Prize is now at Watson Arts Centre, 1 Aspinall Street, Watson, open daily from 10am-4pm, to Monday, March 12. The Museum of the Riverina in Wagga Wagga has this week opened a retrospective called “Best of the Bald Archy”, running until mid-May.

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.

“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.

MADANGKUNGAN, 2015 by Dadang Christanto
INDONESIAN-Australian artist Dadang Christanto focuses on issues of heritage and collective memories as they are seen to sink beneath modern belief systems in “Lost,” at Nancy Sever Gallery, B-Block, Gorman Arts Centre, until March 4, Wednesday to Sunday 11am-5pm.

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

NGA Play has 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.

AUSTRALIAN National Capital Artists Gallery kicks off its 2018 program with “Urban Instabilities”, paintings by Phil Page and Katie Hayne that focus in two dramatically different ways on Canberra’s urban landscape, at ANCA, 1 Rosevear St Dickson, to February 25.

CRAFT ACT is titling a new solo exhibition by textile artist Sharon Peoples, “Death of a Craft”. In it she uses lace as “a vehicle to approach the withered nexus between the craft of lace and its design in traditional lacemaking”. At Craft and Design Centre in the North Building, Civic, alongside Craft ACT’s National Award Exhibition for early career artists, “Emerging Contemporaries”. Both run to Saturday, March 17.

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.

A selection of Kay Patterson’s collection. Credit – Mark Nolan, supplied by the Museum of Australian Democracy
“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.

KAREN O’Clery’s Narek Gallery re-opens this week after moving from the old Church on Tathra Rod to Bermagui. It’s group exhibition of new works in textiles, ceramics and wood by artists Gail Nichols, Sharon Peoples, Jennifer Robertson, Ros Auld, Marianne Huhn, Shannon Garson, Moraig McKenna, Ian Jones, Sophie Xarhakos and Peter Carrigy. 5/3 Wapengo Street, Bermagui, Wednesday to Saturday 10am–1pm and 2pm–5pm. Details at

“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.

THE exhibition “Fresh Salt” is at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery in a partnership with Four Winds, and presents the works created through the “Creative Field Studies” program which showcases the region’s visual artists, musicians, composers, choreographers, and creative writers. The works on show are the result of three field trips to eight estuaries between the mountains of Gulaga and Mumbulla in Yuin Country. The show runs until February 17.

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, except 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.

PHOTOACCESS has  two exhibitions “Break It Up”, a visual and tactile installation by Karena Keys featuring an animation filled with pulsating and bulging golden blobs; and “The In Between”, in which Madeline Bishop explores the construction of women’s identities and the development of relationships within domestic space. Both at Manuka Arts Centre to February 25.

“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


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 articleT-shirt covered man robs Chisholm Aldi
Next articleScientists close to knowing how stars evolve
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply