A botanical-themed spirit and food festival, the Little Burley Markets, KiteFest and so much more—spring has finally sprung in Canberra.
Here’s what’s on this week. There’s plenty to choose from!
Special Events and Festivals
Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild award-winner Darren Criss will make a triumphant return to Australia this year for a series of spectacular concerts. Criss will perform the hits of his career from Glee to Broadway and more in Canberra in September with his own four-piece band.
You may recognise this multi-faceted artist from film, music and stage. Along with his lead role in Glee, Criss has also had great success on Broadway in productions such as How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Hedwig and The Angry Inch and American Buffalo. With three successful EP’s under this belt, a highly successful US national tour, and of course, his hugely popular group StarKids, which shot to fame through the cult hit A Very Potter Musical, Criss is a household name.
Monday 4 September at 8 pm | Canberra Theatre Centre | canberratheatrecentre.com.au/show/darren-criss-2023
The Canberra Centre Job Fair
Attention job seekers—a one-stop shop for local employment opportunities is coming to the Canberra Centre and you might just score your dream job. The Canberra Centre Jobs Fair is bringing together some of your favourite brands (offering a wide range of local job opportunities) for the job fair to end all job fairs. Doing all of the hard work for you (who needs Seek?), the five-day event will give local job seekers the opportunity to access genuine job offers for employment in full-time, part-time and casual roles.
Tuesday 29 August until Saturday 2 September | Canberra Centre Jobs Fair, located near Nespresso, Canberra City | canberracentre.qicre.com
Shake Your Booty Dance Party
Get down on the dance floor and shake your booty all night long with a non-stop selection of dance floor favourites. From KC and the Sunshine Band, to The Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor and ABBA, this will be a disco party like no other.
Friday 1 September | The Zeppelin Room, 49 Jerrabomberra Avenue, Narrabundah | Book here.
Father’s Day at the National Arboretum
Treat Dad to a day of fun at the National Arboretum Canberra with The Ginger Group.
Beer + BBQ on the events terrace and laze around on the hillside or dine in the restaurant for brunch or lunch.
Sunday 3 September | The National Arboretum | thegingergroup.com.au/fathers-day
Canberra Disability Expo
From informative and interactive presentations to a wide range of products and services to help people live their best life, this expo is the place to go if you’re looking for information about living with a disability. There will be government and advocacy organisations, aids and equipment providers, financial and legal services, education, training and employment providers, social and leisure options, transport and vehicles, and more.
Friday 1 and Saturday 2 September | Exhibition Park, Corner of Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue, Mitchell | canberradisabilityexpo.com.au
The Little Burley Market
If you’ve been missing your weekly visit to Canberra’s very own bespoke market by the lake, we have some good news—The Little Burley Market is set to return this September. Expect a diverse array of multicultural foods, much-loved beverages and brunchables, beautiful blooms, locally-made art, fashion, photography and homewares, artisanal bread, delectable pastries, seafood, smoked charcuterie, truffles, meats, puppy treats, and much more.
Every Saturday, 8 am – 1 pm from 2 September | Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes | thelittleburleymarket.com.au
Paint Outside Day
Haig Park will be transformed into a living, breathing canvas. Building on the concept of National Play Outside Day (held on the first Saturday of every month), Canberra’s very own Paint Outside Day will see a huge canvas weaving around Haig Park north of Lonsdale and Mort Streets. Expect face painting, coffee, food, Teeny-Tiny-Mini Museum, Paint Pablo! and more.
Saturday 2 September | Haig Park, Braddon | facebook.com/events
Botanica: Spirits & Food Festival
If your idea of a weekend well spent is with a glass of something delicious (and botanically infused) in hand, you might want to know about Canberra’s newest spirit and food festival—Botanica. Bringing over 20 distillers and crafters together to help you taste, smell, and learn about the botanical, we’re talking four hours of sampling gin and spirits, eating at a variety of food trucks, shopping botanical ingredients, and purchasing plenty of full-sized products to take home.
Saturday 2 until Sunday 3 September | The Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton | Book here.
Googong’s annual kite flying festival KiteFest is set to return for another year at Rockley Oval! Pack your kite and take along the whole family for a picnic. You’ll also be treated to a musical set from the amazing DJ Sue and gourmet burgers!
Sunday 3 September | Rockley Oval, 15 Rockley Parade, Googong | googong.net
Stage and screen
Hans: Disco Spektakular
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll leave covered head to toe in glitter. After a dramatic year, the pride of Berlin and international superstar Hans (America’s Got Talent) is taking his award winning comedy cabaret show Disco Spektakular around Australia in his biggest tour yet. Hans is set to get the party started with a slew of disco hits, his glamorous girls The Lucky B*tches and (what every party needs), a piano accordion.
Wednesday 30 August | Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra City | Book here.
The Family Business: A Killer Comedy
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to lead a multibillion dollar industry with your siblings? It might be deadly. Lightbulb Improv will keep you guessing until this end as the struggle for power is delivered with a spontaneous twist. Before the show, Lightbulb invites the audience to choose the killer and motive to create an improvised tale with dark deeds, secrets and deadly consequences. See you there?
Thursday 31 August until Saturday 2 September | The Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra City |
Korean Film Festival
Head to the Palace Electric Cinema to see an eclectic selection of films from some of the most talented filmmakers in Korea. And worry, every film presented at the Festival screens with English subtitles.
Friday 1 until Sunday 3 September | Palace Electric Cinema, 2 Phillip Law Street, Canberra City | Book here.
Love classic music? The Wesley Music Centre Lunchtime Concert series presents the very talented Callistemon Quartet performing the Piano Quartet (mvt 2) by Max-Peter Meyer, and Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor. Tickets can be purchased online as well as on the day, at the door. From love’s embrace to heartache’s echo, let the music carry you through a journey of passion and reflection.
Wednesday 30 August | Wesley Music Centre, 20 National Circuit, Forrest | Book here.
Midland—The Last Resort: Greetings From Tour
Showcasing their Texas county/traditional country style, Grammy-nominated trio Midland is coming to Canberra. Playing at the UC Refectory, head along for a night full of their retro 70s country sound.
Wednesday 30 August | UC Refectory, 11 Kirinari Street, Bruce | Book here.
CSO Down South: Twilight
Southsiders, it’s time to get ready for a beautiful night music from two beloved Romantic composers! During this special event you’ll be treated to an intimate chamber concert playing the B major Nocturne from Dvořák’s opus 40 and Borodin’s beloved Second String Quartet. It promises to be a lovely evening.
Thursday 31 August | Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Reed Street North, Greenway | Book here.
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox—Life In The Past Lane
Celebrating the greatest 20th century musical genres, get ready to enjoy some of today’s most exciting vocalists, instrumentalists, and tap dancers, for a top-shelf entertainment experience. No matter what era speaks to your soul, don’t miss this unforgettable trip through 100 years of timeless music.
Thursday 31 August | Llewellyn Hall, 100 William Herbert Place, Canberra City | Book here.
You read that right, Nathan Cavaleri is coming to Canberra. In celebration of his brand new single ‘Broken Lines’, and upcoming album Miracles expect an unforgettable live performance that illustrates the depths of his career through songs and story-telling (whilst powerfully matching the signature themes of overcoming adversity through courage and authenticity).
Friday 1 September | Canberra Theatre CentreLondon Circuit, Canberra City | Book here.
Music and Mayhem: Rebellion
The cast is queer. The music is rebellious. The artists will be exploring the idea of rebellion, living authentically and doing the unexpected. Featuring songs that are about rebelling against societal and straight expectations, if that’s not enough, the performances will take place alongside the live music include fire eating, water dance in a giant martini glass, drag, sideshow, feather fan dancing, fan veil dancing, and burlesque.
Saturday 2 September | Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Batman Street, Braddon | Book here.
Bondi Cigars at the Zeppelin Room
Love blues, soul and funk? The Canberra Blues Society welcomes the legendary Bondi Cigars back to the Zeppelin Room. Expect a fantastic mix of blues, soul, funk and rhythm as they play live. You’ll quickly see why this award-winning quartet have well and truly worked their way into Australia’s musical heart.
Saturday 2 September | Harmonie German Club, 49 Jerrabomberra Avenue, Narrabundah | Book here.
Maruki Community Orchestra Concert
Celebrate spring with Maruki Community Orchestra’s concert. The program will comprise Symphony No.1 in C Minor, Op.11 by Felix Mendelssohn, Suite Modale for flute and strings by Ernest Bloch, featuring soloist James Gibson and Symphony No.5 in E Minor, Op.64 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Sunday 3 September | Albert Hall, Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra City | Book here.
[De] Constructed Landscapes
Driven by the desire to understand the current ecological crisis, this exhibition from Naarm/Melbourne-based artist Melody Spangaro evokes memories of environmental tragedy. Using drawings to reflect on our humancentric relationship to nature and exposing the imaginative and cultural failures at the foundation of this super-wicked global climate crisis, you’ll leave with the realisation that both the drawings and our existence can be wiped from the surface at any moment.
Thursday 31 August until Sunday 24 September | M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith | m16artspace.com
Desert, Sea, Moon
Desert, Sea, Moon is a textile exhibition honouring cloth and slow-stitch (as well as the simplicity and patience that goes into it). Invoking forms found in the natural world, such as landscapes, the sky, and the water, it offers a collection of simple yet intricate pieces that intend to call in feelings of both reverence and delight.
Friday 1 September until Sunday 24 September | M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith | m16artspace.com
This group of artists seek to grapple with a tide of excessive mass consumption and an ever intensifying globalisation by readdressing its residues. Including works by Robert Bittenbender, Isabella Darcy, George Egerton-Warburton, Sarah Goffman, Spencer Lai, Marian Tubbs, and Philadelphia Wireman, these artists are also attuned to the poetic plasticity of their materials and seek to break the trajectory of waste by addressing its abject beauty.
Friday 1 September until Sunday 22 October | Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley Street, off Barry Drive, Acton | dhg.anu.edu.au
Hundreds of thousands of bread tags turned into sculptures—it’s an unexpected but powerful combination. Created by Shani Nottingham (a multi-disciplinary artist that lives and works in Central West New South Wales) this exhibition presents an artificial world made entirely of bread tags that mimic our natural and built environments.
Visually stunning and thought-provoking, it highlights the issues surrounding mass production and how all our actions have impacts on the natural world.
Until Sunday 8 October | Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen | More information here.
Materialism and consumerism are the main focus of contemporary jeweller and artist Zoe Brand. Working with repurposed plastic and reclaim materials, in this special exhibition at the Canberra Glassworks, you’ll be able to see how she uses text (and smart wordplay) to draw your attention to some of the important issues we’re facing in the world.
Until Sunday 8 October | Canberra Glassworks, 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston | More information here.
Know My Name: Making it Modern
Building on the iconic Know My Name initiative by the National Gallery of Australia, this new major exhibition is drawn from the national collection—celebrating pioneering women artists who changed the course of modern art in Australia.
Showcasing the work of Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme, Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith, Clarice Beckett, and Olive Cotton, each artist explores what it meant to be a modern woman in their times. Perfect for anyone interested in history, art, and feminism, don’t miss out on seeing this.
Until Sunday 8 October | National Gallery, Parkes Place East, Parkes | Book here.
Challenging the norms of the fashion industry and championing sustainability, in this very hyper-local exhibition, budding designers from the Canberra Institute of Technology’s Fashion School have harnessed their creative prowess to transform discarded white sheets.
Creating a captivating range of non-gendered garments that redefine fashion’s environmental footprint, the aim is to not only showcase the talent of the Canberra community but to challenge consumers to reconsider their purchasing habits.
Until Sunday 14 January 2024 | Canberra Museum and Gallery, 176 London Circuit, Canberra City | More information here.
Raiders v Knights
Cheer on the NRLW team in their first ever standalone match at GIO Stadium as they take on the Newcastle Knights! If you love women’s sport this should be at the top of your list for the week.
Saturday 2 September | GIO Stadium Canberra, Battye Street, Bruce | Book here.
Workshops, webinars and more
Book Event: The Matilda Effect with Fiona Crawford and Grace Gill
Join Fiona Crawford as she discusses her latest book The Matilda Effect with former Matildas soccer star Grace Gill. Presented in association with the Grit & Gold: Tales from a Sporting Nation exhibition, you’ll learn all about the moves that got the Tillies into the spotlight of the world’s favourite game, football.
Wednesday 30 August | National Library of Australia, Parkes Place West, Parkes | Register here.
Writing & Feminism: A Discussion with 2023 H.C. Coombs Fellow Emily Maguire
What does it mean to be a feminist writer? How has feminism changed in the last 20 years? What are the possibilities (and limitations) of writing as activism?
In this conversation event at Harry Hartog ANU, 2023 H.C. Coombs Fellow, Emily Maguire, and Dr. Lucy Neave will discuss this and more—covering everything from approaches to writing fiction and nonfiction, how to conduct research, and how to write about difficult topics without perpetuating stereotypes.
Also covering how to make a career as a writer, don’t miss this if you’re interested in the industry.
Wednesday 30 August | Harry Hartog ANU, 153/11 University Avenue, Australian National University | Tickets here.
Meet The Authors—Wine and Cheese Night
Join first time authors Naomi Hart, Wil Patterson and Toby Robert from Bad Apple Publishing as they discuss their memoirs and the stories within. These three authors know how to have a good time, so join in over wine and cheese as they tell about taking dead dogs on the New York subway, reactions of Chrisian neighbours to girlfriends and first nights in jail.
Friday 1 September | Pulp Bookcafe, Federation Square, Nicholls | Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Mini-Minties: Birds of a Feather
This event is for the little ones. Fly into the Mint and discover the feathered friends featured on Australian coins over the years. There’ll be story time, craft and a tour of the gallery and factory! Just a note: all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Friday 1 September | Royal Australian Mint, 62-114 Denison Street, Deakin | Book here.
Image supplied by Botanica Festival.