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By Amanda Whitley — May 07, 2012

Another big week for music, dance and theatre around town. If you can’t get your fix of music between the Canberra International Music FestivalGroovin’ the Moo, The Darkness and the other fabulous live gigs around town, you are far too hard to please…

There’s also  dance, opera, book chats and lots lots more…see you around The Can!


Canberra International Music Festival

Don’t miss one of Australia’s most innovative and inspiring music celebrations – the Canberra International Music Festival.

Experience the sheer magic of music soaring through Canberra’s iconic spaces over 10 days. Choose from a sparkling program of over 30 events featuring classical, jazz and contemporary music.

Listen to glorious music from the Wallfisch Band and the New Zealand String Quartet. Be dazzled by Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Osmosis, the Song Company and much more.

From Friday 11 to Sunday 20 May at venues around the Capital.

Groovin’ the Moo

Enjoy over eleven hours of live music from 10:30am this Sunday 13 May at Groovin’ the Moo!

The lineup includes 360, Adrian Lux (SWE), Andrew W.K. (USA – One Man Party Tour), Beni, Big Scary, Bluejuice, Chiddy Bang (USA), City and Colour (CAN), Digitalism (GER), The Getaway Plan, Gold Fields, Hermitude, Hilltop Hoods, Kaiser Chiefs (UK), Kimbra, The Maccabees (UK), Matt Corby, Muscles, Mutemath (USA), Naysayer and Gilsun, Parkway Drive, Public Enemy (USA), Purple Sneakers DJs, San Cisco, Wavves (USA) with more local and triple j unearthed artists.

Enjoy double outdoor stages, Moolin Rouge dance tent, local food and market stalls, licensed bar facilities, slingshot rides and chill out areas.

Catch it all at The Meadows, University of Canberra, Bruce.


Me Right Now

Quantum Leap is Canberra’s own youth dance ensemble, making passionate contemporary dance for all audiences.

“We’ve been classified, deconstructed, censored and endlessly re-imagined into extremes: the desirable ideal or dangerously out-of-control. ‘Me Right Now’ is our own story: with limitless opportunities for distraction and over-stimulation, and our inheritance of a world changing as rapidly as we are.”

Choreographers Lina Limosani (Australian Dance Theatre and Chunky Move), Matt Cornell (Dance North) and Jade Dewi Tyas-Tunggal are working with the group over four months, exploring the tension between adolescence and adulthood, between the future and the present.

Performing at Canberra Theatre from Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 May – more information and tickets here. Don’t forget to enter today’s competition for your chance to win a double pass to see this fantastic display of local talent!


See over 90 Melbourne Opera performers bring Bizet’s Carmen to life, creating an opera bursting with energy and packed full of great tunes including the Toreador Song, Habanera, Seguidilla and Flower song.

The smouldering gypsy seductress, Carmen, leaves men panting for more. Foresworn to “freedom,” she can be embraced, but never possessed. Her fate lies inextricably in the cards. See how a casual, flirtatious dalliance when mixed with jealousy and obsession becomes a seriously deadly game of chance.

Performing Saturday 12 May at the Canberra Theatre. More information and tickets here.


Following on from the delightful Codgers, Don Reid’s latest play Biddies centres around five ordinary, but extraordinary women.

After finding themselves locked in their infants classroom, their confessions are frank, rivalries intense and their jokes outrageous. With nothing but ingenuity to spur them on, Adora cream wafers and a bucket to get them through the crisis, the women find themselves released from constraints. They rediscover their capacity to love, forgive and take control.

Performing from Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 May at The Street Theatre.

Speaking In Tongues

A highly emotional drama, Speaking in Tongues is also a mystery-and the increasingly tangled web of deceit and lies twists in unexpected ways.

“Speaking in Tongues is about the right and the wrong of emotional conduct. It is a story about contracts being broken between intimates while deep bonds are forged between strangers.” Andrew Bovell. Adapted for the screen as the 2001 film Lantana.

Performing between Friday 4 and Saturday 19 May. More information and tickets here.

Shane Dundas – Believe

Shane Dundas has done a lot of comedy as half of the Umbilical Brothers (he’s the balder half), but he’s never done his own solo show. Before, he fell down a lot for your amusement; now he will stand-up.

He’s travelled the world doing comedy, and now he’s going where he’s never been. It’s a scary proposition, after all this time. Can he do it without the security of a double act? What form will it take?

Performing Friday 4 to Sunday 13 May at the Courtyard Theatre. More information and tickets here.


The Darkness

Known for their epic live shows, British glam rock sensations The Darkness have returned to the scene with a level of dramatic fanfare that is delighting fans and critics alike.

With tours already completed in Europe and the USA, the Brit Award winners will land in Canberra this week, ready to deliver performances of stratospheric proportions.

Supported by local band, Fun Machine.

Playing this Thursday 10 May at the ANU Bar. More information and tickets here.

Live Local Music

This post isn’t long enough to list all the various gigs around town, but if you’re into live music I heartily suggest you check out what’s on offer at The Phoenix, Transit Bar, The Front, and BMA’s gig guide.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra Llewellyn 12:2

In this elegant, lyrical concert, Guest Conductor Andrew Mogrelia leads the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and oboist Shefali Pryor with the intimate and beautiful Oboe Concerto by Richard Strauss.

The intoxicating dances by George Palmer overflow with energy and melodic appeal before the program’s joyful conclusion with Beethoven’s First Symphony.

Performing 7:30om Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 May at Llewellyn Hal, ANU School of Music. More information and tickets here.


Mothers Day at Paperchain Bookstore

Kate Shelton, author of Love of a Laminex Table: A Sustainable Food Journey, will speak about mothers and developing creativity and community at the family table.

‘Love of a Laminex Table’ is a 326 page cookbook and food journey published by Kate Shelton of Benedict House.

We follow Kate’s journey, originating within a large family on an isolated working property in northern New South Wales – largely self-sufficient in meat, dairy and vegetable production in the1960s.

The virtues of a simple life, interdependent with nature, animals and a caring community, are deeply engraved and recaptured alongside recipes that hold poignant memories.

5:45pm Wednesday 9 May 9 at Paperchain Bookstore in Manuka. RSVP on 6295 6723 or [email protected] by Tuesday 8 May.


Fantastic fetes!

Watson Preschool Fete is the annual event that brings together the local North Canberra community.

The fete will feature a sausage sizzle and cafe, cake stalls, chocolate wheel, the white elephant stall and books for sale.

For the kids, there will be face painting, games, and the rural fire service will be bringing their fire truck.

There’ll be fun for the whole family from 10am to 1pm this Saturday 12 May at 60 Knox Street, Watson.

And if you’re south side, St Anthony’s Parish Primary School Fete is the place to be!.

Many activities and stalls, including farm animals in the Patting Paddock, amusements and rides, American Muscle Car display, preloved toys, clothing and seconnd hand wares, raffles, cake stalls, coffee, hot food and much more!

It’s all happening at Wheeler Crescent in Wanniassa  from 10am to 3pm this Saturday 12 May.


Witness Q Lab at Questacon-The National Science and Technology Centre.

Q Lab is a dynamic and experimental environment that allows you to ask questions and find your own answers. See live scientific demonstrations performed by Questacon science communicators and visiting scientists.

Look at the world up close with microscopes and high-speed slow-motion footage. The Q Lab experience will be constantly evolving to keep up-to-date with the scientific world.

While you’re at Questcon, catch their newest exhibit, ExciteQ!

Open daily from 9am to 5pm.

The Art of Play

The Art of Play celebrates artists who look at the world with a smile. An exhibition for the young and the young-at-heart, come discover a fantastical fountain and a gleeful tower of toys; a wrapped enigma and an invisible bird.

See the world afresh, with works by artists including John Baldessari, Mike Brown, Richard Tipping, Robert Rooney, Peter Tully and Louise Weaver.

Play embraces painting, photography, prints and sculpture from across the National Gallery of Australia’s remarkable collection. This exhibition reminds us of the importance of play in an artist’s practice, and in our lives.

At the National Gallery of Australia until 24 June 2012.



short::seasons showcases the best short films and animations made in the Canberra Region. With screenings and filmmaker networking sessions twice a year, short::seasons is a highlight on the filmmaking calendar for filmmakers and filmgoers in the Canberra Region.

The short::seasons festival has been running since 2001 and has screened the work of many Canberran filmmakers.

See some fantastic local talent from 7pm this Friday 11 May at Arc Cinema, National Film & Sound Archive.

ANU Film Group

The ANU Film Group has been operating in Canberra for over 45 years and is one of Canberra’s worst kept movie secrets as, over the years, so many people have either been members, or have come along as guests to enjoy a movie or two.

The theatre is at the corner of Fellows and Garran Roads at the ANU, but everyone is welcome to come along…it’s a fun, community way to see movies on the big screen. And a big screen it is! The theatre is set up with an 8.5m wide screen, Dolby Surround Sound and screens movies from actual film.

There are a range of films on the programme to suit everyone – whether you have a crush on Twlight’s Jacob or Edward, love a feel good chick flick like New Years Eve or something a little more serious like Martha Marcy May Marlene or The Iron Lady. The Group works on a membership basis. Everyone is welcome to join and once you pay your membership fee there are no additional costs. It’s just $60 for the year, $35 for a half year or $15 or a week.

For more info and the full programme (you can join up when you get there) go to


unDisclosed: Undisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial

Experience the dynamic visual expression of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in unDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial. 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have been selected from across the country to represent Indigenous arts today.

The exhibition’s theme, ‘unDisclosed’, alludes to the spoken and the unspoken, the known and the unknown, what can be revealed and what cannot. It captures the duality of the disclosed and undisclosed embedded within the works and the exhibition as a whole. Unearth the layers of hidden and subtle meanings and place them alongside those that are conspicuous.

Opens this Friday 11 May and runs until 22 July at the National Gallery of Australia.

White Whiteley

To celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Patrick White’s birth, the National Portrait Gallery will display eleven works by Brett Whiteley, centred around his scintillating ‘Patrick White at Centennial Park 1979-1980′.

This focus display brings the glowing finished representation together for the first time with sketches Whiteley made as the portrait took shape in his imagination. It brings to life, too, the brief, incendiary association between two of Australia’s blazing cultural stars.

Showing from Thursday 10 May to 22 July at the National Portrait Gallery.

Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed

Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed features over 150 works, including many of von Guérard’s beloved iconic landscapes, several beautifully illustrated sketch books, and some never-before-seen paintings. Explore the magnificent Australian, New Zealand and European landscapes he captured through his detailed brushstrokes and breathtaking compositions.

Eugene von Guérard (1811-1901) is arguably Australia’s, and certainly Victoria’s, most important colonial landscape painter. Born in Vienna and trained as a painter in the European art centres of Rome, Naples and Düsseldorf; von Guérard migrated to Australia in 1852.

At the National Gallery of Australia until 15 July 2012.

Art in the Garden with Friends

The Art in the Gardens with Friends exhibition features 67 botanical paintings and drawings dedicated to Australian bush tucker and other native plants.

Curated by the Friends Botanical Art Group, the exhibition brings together both amateur and practicing artists who have a special interest in Australian native plants. The artists seek to portray plants found in the Australian National Botanic Gardens living collection, some of which can be difficult for artists to find elsewhere.

On display at the Australian National Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre Gallery until 13 May.

Look! The Art of Australian Picture Books Today

Explore the diversity of picture books being created by Australian illustrators over the past decade with Look!

See original artwork, sketches and drawings by more than 40 Australian illustrators, including Bob Graham, Jeannie Baker, Ann James, Shaun Tan, Graeme Base, Leigh Hobbs and Terry Denton.

Celebrating the National Year of Reading, 2012, this exhibition encourages and promotes visual literacy amongst young children through engagement and participation.

Showing until 10 June at Canberra Museum and Gallery.

Karl Wiebke

For Melbourne artist Karl Wiebke, the process of painting is very much the subject of his art.

This survey exhibition focuses on Wiebke’s painting, presenting series of works in which the artist has set up different processes to explore the nature of painting itself, teasing out the properties and possibilities of the medium.

Showing at Drill Hall Gallery until 13 May 2012.

Russell Drysdale at War

The Australian War Memorial is paying tribute to one of Australia’s leading modernist painters, Sir Russell Drysdale, in a small exhibition, Russell Drysdale at War.

Drysdale is best known for his original interpretations of Australia’s outback landscape and its people of the late twentieth century, a period of great social change. During the Second World War he also produced a significant collection of works exploring the effects of war and the loneliness and displacement felt by many Australians based in rural communities.

At the AWM until 1 December 2012.

National Photographic Portrait Prize

See the best photographic portraits by the best. The annual National Photographic Portrait Prize intends to promote the very best in contemporary photographic portraiture by professional and aspiring Australian photographers.

With the generous support of Visa, the National Portrait Gallery offers a prize of $25,000 for the most outstanding photographic portrait.

At the National Portrait Gallery until 20 May 2012.


Nurses: From Zululand to Afghanistan

Discover the story of nursing in overseas conflicts at the Australian War Memorial. This important aspect of Australia’s wartime experience is often neglected. Many women served in dangerous conditions. Like other Australian service personnel, many paid the ultimate price.

The display draws on the Memorial’s rich collection of photographs, private records and personal objects to trace the involvement of nurses from the first known Australian contribution in the Zulu War of 1879 to operations in Afghanistan today.

On display until 1 September.

The Life of Patrick White

Celebrating the centenary of Patrick White’s birth, this exhibition showcases the Nobel Laureate’s achievements and his forceful presence in Australia’s cultural life.

Explore items from White’s personal collection, including letters, notebooks, paintings, photographs and unpublished manuscripts.

At the National Library of Australia from this Friday 13 April.

Travelling the Silk Road

Step 1000 years back in time to experience the sights, sounds and stories of the greatest trading route in history in this new exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Prepare to embark on a thrilling journey along the greatest trading route in history – the legendary Silk Road. Explore the ancient cities of Asia and the Middle East over six centuries, where spectacular sights, exquisite silks and rousing stories await.

Remarkable dioramas, fascinating interactives and impressive artefacts will amaze children and adults alike on this adventure along the Silk Road, the world’s oldest international highway.

At the National Museum of Australia.

Traversing Antarctica: the Australian Experience

Imagine life in a land of ice and blizzards. What motivates people to venture to a place of such extremes as Antarctica? One word: discovery. Traversing Antarctica: the Australian experience reveals how Australia’s connection with the frozen continent has developed over 100 years since the 1911–14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Douglas Mawson.

A wealth of documentary material from the National Archives unveils this fascinating history.

A rare collection of original equipment and diaries from early expeditions is displayed together for the first time as well as inspiring interactive displays and imagery.

At the National Archives of Australia until 9 September.

Treasures Gallery

Discover new treasures as the National Library of Australia reveals more of its 10 million item-strong collection in the Treasures Gallery.

See manuscripts from authors and poets such as Christina Stead and Mem Fox; works from the Ducie collection of First Fleet art; and Norman Lindsay’s 1918 Fall-in recruitment poster for the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Visitors will notice other changes, including pages turned on items such as the Draft Constitution, Keith Murdoch’s Gallipoli Letter, and new notes passed between Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm in the flight cockpit.



PHOTOWALK Canberra is an opportunity for all Canberran’s of any age or ability to get out their cameras or phones and document their bit of Canberra. It is a way to show what and who we are, that there is diversity and loads of un-tapped creativity.

The very fabulous Hilary Wardaugh (who many moons ago was my wedding photographer!) wants to create a document of images taken by the people, for the people. Her dream is for this document to be printed and be given to the people of Canberra in the form of a book and maybe an exhibition in 2013.

You don’t have to have a fancy schmancy digital SLR to take part. You can use your smart phone if that’s your thing – the sky is the limit.

You can check out the Flickr group which features creations from previous walks here.

Lastly, I realise this is Mother’s Day but I am still hoping that there will be enough interested people to come along, so if it is important to you remember to hug your mum before you come!

If you’re a keen snapper, meet at front of the ANU School of Art at 3pm  - you’ll end up at Bailey’s Corner in Civic (and maybe have a coffee or a drink at Tosolini’s when you’re done!)

Autumn Craft Workshops

Take time out, withdraw from the bustle of everyday life to relax, take refreshments, learn new skills, retrieve your creativity and socialise with like-minded people.

Queanbeyan’s Benedict House will be abuzz with energy and creative pursuits in all the rooms with their Autumn Workshops.

On Wednesday evenings there will be will be creative pursuits in all the rooms including Paper Craft, Creating with Crochet, Designing and Making Jewellery.

$110 for 4 week course or $35 per class – Every Wednesday evening 6.00pm – 8.00pm until 15 May.

Find out the details here!


Mother’s Day Classic

Take part in Australia’s largest Mother’s Day celebration and raise money for breast cancer research by walking, runnung, volunteering or fundraising in Canberra’s Mothers Day Classic. Hey, it’s not as if you get to sleep in anyway, you may as well exercise for a good cause!

The Canberra event involves a 5km and 10km walk and run around Commonwealth Park.Register here for the walk or run. The fun starts at 7:30am from Rond Terrace.

If running and walking isn’t your thing you can still join in the fun of the day by volunteering to help out.

More information here.

Pink Footy Day

The Canberra AFL Women’s teams of the Gungahlin Jets and ANU are hosting a Pink Footy Day on Sunday 13 May.

The aim of this inaugural event is to support the National Pink Footy and Netball Day initiative, founded by Breast Cancer Network Australia.

In a first for the Gungahlin Jets the team have changed their playing strip to pink whilst ANU will continue to show their support through wearing pink arm bands.

Players take the field at 9:30am, so make sure you’re at ANU South Oval for all the action! Find out more here.

*Homepage image Michael Cook Broken Dreams #3 2010 Inkjet print, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2011   

About Author

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women.

View all Amanda Whitley posts.

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