Circus of Illusion coming to town

Canberra Theatre Centre
2pm and 7pm
Sunday 16 January 2022

The Circus of Illusion blends world-class circus artists with, magic, mystery and mayhem.

Acclaimed illusionist and Australia’s Got Talent finalist Michael Boyd will present death-defying escapes and ingenious illusions that will leave audiences in awe.

Also starring is Cameo Rascale an internationally acclaimed acrobatic, comedy, balancing, and juggling act. In 2009, the duo of James Capener and Rebecca Borromei, made it to the Grand Final of Australia’s Got Talent.

Bookings and information:

Street Theatre’s Early Phase 2021 recipients announced

Liam Budge, Emily Clark, Farnoush Parsiavashi and Maura Pierlot will each receive $5000 plus coaching and peer exchange to bring their ideas to conceptual treatment with a professional theatre company.

The Street says the program is an investment in artists and new work in response to the severe impact COVID-19 has had on the arts community.

Barbie speaks to Early Phase recipient Farnoush Parsiavashi
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British Film Festival

Palace Electric Canberra
3 November – 1 December 2021
Other locations as COVID restrictions permit

The Festival opens with the Australian Premiere of The Duke, based on a 1961 true story of 60-year-old taxi driver Kempton Bunton who steals Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren.  

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National Congress of Women – Launch

Tuesday 30 November 2021
Online, 10am – 4.30pm AEDST (NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS)(WA 7am – 1.30pm / NT 8.30am –3pm / SA 9.30am – 4pm / QLD 9am – 3.30pm) 

The National Congress of Women is an initiative of the Women’s Climate Congress to lead a women’s movement for collaborative action on climate change.

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Graeme Base public online panel – Belconnen Arts Centre

11 am Wednesday 27 October 2021
Zoom webinar, free registration

Celebrated Australian author and illustrator Graeme Base, known for his hugely popular books Animalia and The Eleventh Hour, will explore creativity, storytelling and why children’s books are not just for kids.

Graeme Base will join panellists Dr Belle Alderman, Director of the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature, Tania McCartney, Canberra based author, editor and illustrator; and moderator Sarah Steed, Libraries ACT Director of Content and Engagement for this stimulating online conversation hosted by Belco Arts during Children’s Week.

Canberra based author, editor and illustrator Tania McCartney talks to Barbie about children’s literature
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Italian Film Festival, Canberra

Palace Electric Cinemas
17 November to 12 December 2021
Tickets including e-ticket bundles now available

This year’s ST. ALi Italian Film Festival will begin with the Australian premiere of Daniele Luchetti’s The Ties (Lacci) which opened last year’s Venice Film Festival. It’s a sumptuous marriage in crisis drama spanning several decades.
A 4K restoration of Roberto Rosselini’s classic Rome, Open City  is the festival closing film. Conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II in Rome, this is part of the Rossellini Retrospective presented by the Italian Cultural Institute Sydney alongside AmoreJourney To ItalyPaisan and Stromboli.

The program will also feature a celebration of Italian screen goddesses Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale with some of their most loved performances in Marriage Italian Style, Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell and The Leopard.

The Centrepiece selection is recent winner of the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, To Chiara (Jonas Carpignano. It tells the story of a 15-year-old girl from Calabria, whose family life starts to unravel when she discovers her beloved father may have criminal ties.  

This year’s Special Festival Presentation is acclaimed Nanni Moretti’s latest film Three Floors. Featuring a tremendous ensemble cast, the film traces the disparate lives of three families who reside in the same apartment block in Rome’s stylish Prati neighbourhood.

Film review – Disclosure

Available on DVD and streaming platforms
85 mins, rated MA 15+ (strong sex scenes, course language)

The 1994 Hollywood film Disclosure was about allegations of workplace sexual harassment. This 2020 Australian film has a related theme: how the parents of a nine-year-old boy deal with allegations of sexual assault made by their neighbours’ four-year-old daughter, Natasha, against their son, Ethan.

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Gunning Arts Festival going online again

30-31 October 2021
Online at

Due to the risk posed by COVID-19 in regional communities, GAF is once again online.

Events are currently being scheduled and you are invited to keep up to date on the GAF website.

Highlights include:

  • The popular online Art Exhibition sponsored by Derivan is back and everyone can vote for their favourite artwork in the People’s Choice Award.
  • You are invited to join Dr Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM, the mother of contemporary dance in Australia, for a virtual lunch, and to be uplfted by her presentation about her work creating dance in Nature.
  • There will be two interactive live Zoom art and craft workshops. Participants will be sent everything they need for the workshop beforehand and then can create their work of art in a Zoom group with live feedback from tutors.
  • Gunning Arts Festival has initiated a very successful SnapWrite Facebook group, where locals post picture stories that capture living in the beautiful Gunning region. A highlight sample of these will be selected and made available on the GAF website. Professional audio recordings of selected FlashWrite stories will be posted.

The Gunning Arts Festival is supported by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal via its Tackling Tough Times Together program and is proudly sponsored by Bailey’s Garage, BJCE Australia, Upper Lachlan Foundation, and the Upper Lachlan Shire Council.

Folk duo hits high note with new lockdown album

Montgomery Church
Where the Quiet Can Hide album
Performing at The Street, Canberra
11 February 2022 (COVID restrictions permitting)

Partners in music and life, Cielle Montgomery and James Church, are making the best of their inability to tour and travel because of COVID lockdowns.

They’d originally planned to travel to Nashville to record their new album. Instead, with remote help from a producer in Melbourne and collaborations with musicians from Braidwood, Melbourne, Newcastle and the the USA, they invested in recording equipment and used their stone hut in the Cooma area as a studio.

Richard samples Where the Quiet Can Hide with Cielle Montgomery and James Church
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Endangered birds benefit from recycled mobile phones

MobileMuster donating funds to Landcare project
Throughout August 2021

A partnership between Landcare and MobileMuster is directing funds to a project restoring habitat for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater in North Central Victoria.

Barbie spoke to to coordinator of the Regent Honeyeater Project, Andie Guerin
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Jennifer Bardsley and Mez Thomas – A Land of Muddy Puddles

Halstead Press, Australia, 2021

This happy picture book reminds us of the joy of simple childhood delights.

Told in the voice of a small boy, it recounts his day from wake up to nap time, observing the beauties of nature in his own backyard on a rainy day – the pond with its fish, droplets falling from a tree, puddles to splash in, the delightful sensation of mud between his toes, a conversation with a friendly frog, a rainbow, the colours of the plants in a sunshower.

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Film review – The Ice Road

Dendy, Hoyts and Limelight Cinemas Canberra
From Thursday 12 August 2021
Rated M, 109 minutes

This action-packed drama about a desperate rescue mission to save miners trapped underground after an explosion was inspired by Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic 1953 French thriller, The Wages of Fear. And it is just as suspenseful.

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Diversity the focus for Music for Canberra’s new CEO and artistic convenor

The Chief Executive Officer of Music for Canberra. Helen Roben, says there are close parallels between her new role and that of her former job as general manager of the National Folk Festival.

And Music for Canberra is also a good fit for musician, conductor and educator Melinda Hole, who’s the organisation’s new artistic convenor for the classical music stream.

Richard spoke to Helen Roben and Melinda Hole at Music for Canberra
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Stronger than Fiction Film Festival – System K

Dendy Canberra
Friday 6 August at 6.45pm and Sunday 15 August 2021 at 2.15pm

France, 2020, 94 minutes

This film by Renaud Barret looks at street artists of various kinds in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Underground visual artists, musicians and performers create works using recycled objects and their own bodies to express their anger and their dreams for change.

Hannah de Feyter from Stronger than Fiction talks about System K
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