A by Adina CanberraA by Adina Canberra

There's an Art to Getting the Most out of Canberra

Image: TFE Hotels

Canberra is best known for its national institutions and cultural attractions, but you need some insider knowledge to appreciate its vibrant arts scene. Theatre, art and live music are rich for the picking in a jam-packed calendar, and unlike larger cities, Canberra peak hour lasts for about 5 minutes, so heading out any night of the week for a show is all perfectly do-able.

Celebrating culture and creativity, a huge number of events will be held under the banner of the Enlighten Festival, from March 4 to 20. Among them is Surface, Canberra’s first urban art festival, when street art, graffiti, portraits, stencils, and Indigenous art will be splashed over 30 structures around town.

It’ll be proof once and for all that there’s a lot more colour in Canberra than just what comes out of the mouths of the pollies on the hill. In a teaser to the event, artists Phibs (Tim de Haan) and Beastman (Brad Eastman) have produced a mind-blowing artwork on the side of 35 Lonsdale Street, further transforming one of Canberra’s hippest quarters.

Enlighten’s After Dark program includes ticketed events providing access to areas that are normally closed to the public. The Senate Rose Garden will be the venue for Lights! Canberra! Action! when film lovers, craft beer in hand, will be able to enjoy short films by up-and-coming local filmmakers.

Symphony in the Park on March 13 will see the Canberra Symphony Orchestra in concert with ARIA winning singer-songwriter, Lior. Bring a picnic to enjoy this free event on a (hopefully) glorious autumn evening.

The spectacular multi-sensory experience, Van Gogh Alive, will run for the duration of Enlighten. If you haven’t seen this on its Australian run, head to Canberra to immerse yourself in the life and works of Van Gogh.

Kambri, a dynamic new cultural precinct at the Australian National University, shines a spotlight on the arts in Canberra. In partnership with bookseller Harry Hartog, it hosts Novel Grazing, a series of relaxed literary lunches in the peaceful aMBUSH Gallery. 

Kambri will also host Lakespeare’s season finale of the Shakespeare comedy, As You Like It. This is the fourth season of Shakespeare by the Lakes, and the biggest yet, with performances in various venues around Canberra from February 15 to March 6.

One of Canberra’s newest theatrical venues is also its oldest. ACT Hub has opened in Causeway Hall, a gorgeous heritage-listed building near the lake in Kingston. Its first production is Andrew Bovell’s widely acclaimed play, When the Rain Stops Falling.

A great little performing arts venue is The Street Theatre, both for theatre and live music, while Smith’s Alternative is a top spot for live music in a relaxed hangout with a boho vibe. 

Canberra is home to numerous galleries and exhibition spaces. High on the list are the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia, where you can see Jeffrey Smart’s masterpieces until May 15.

The ANU Drill Hall Gallery is a great space for contemporary art, in a 1940’s wartime drill hall, while Canberra Contemporary Art Space displays bold new works in a striking building on Queen Elizabeth Terrace. Whatever you do, don’t miss seeing world-class glass artists in action at Canberra Glassworks, in the old Kingston Powerhouse. Their creations in the gallery and shop are stunning.

If you're checking into Canberra for business, pleasure or leisure then stay your way at A by Adina, right next door to Canberra Theatre and only a hop, step and jump to many Canberra attractions. At A by Adina, we believe when you visit a city for different reasons, you shouldn't need to a different hotel... so we just adapt to suit.

** Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch. Note some activities listed may be subject to Covid restrictions.** 

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