Sunday, December 04, 2022

Canberra in the culture and creative spotlight during Enlighten Festival

By Rama Gaind.

Illuminations @Enlighten Festival will light up Canberra’s national attractions in a stunning display of light, sound and movement until 14 March.

Summer appears to have collapsed, giving way to autumn and, shortly, the annual cascade of foliage. Before long it will be a time of sunburnt leaves, watching them full of color during their last days before they fall to the ground.

Pretty soon the countryside – as Sharon Kay Penman said – will be “painted in vivid shades of scarlet, saffron, and russet, and the days were clear and crisp under harvest skies.”

It’ll be a treat to walk down paths covered in golden carpets of leaves, with brilliant sunshine and birds singing in the trees. Prior to the weather getting cooler and the days shorter, it is also a time of joy as we turn our attention to some outdoor attractions which will take center fascinating stage, in Canberra and Sydney. The choice is yours: attend the Enlighten Festival or the Sydney Symphony Under the Stars concert. Why not attend both!

The nation’s capital will once again be under the spotlight with more than 17 days of culture and creativity as part of the 2022 Enlighten Festival. Now in its 12th year, 2022 has seen the festival take over the entire city since last Friday (4 March), and will last until 20 March.

A weekend break to Harbor City towards the end of the month could have you listening to epic music from across the ages at the Sydney Symphony Under the Stars free concert in Parramatta Park on 26 March. The world-class orchestra will perform canonical greats like Dvořák and Mozart, and heart-stirring John Williams film classics from ET to Indiana Jones, It will all be building towards the thunderous finale – Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture accompanied by dazzling splash of fireworks!

Canberra Balloon Spectacular is on from 12-20 March.

Amazing range

In Canberra, there’s an amazing range of things to do and see during Enlighten that includes an interesting program packed with diverse and exciting events including remarkable art, appealing happenings, captivating entertainment, music, films, delicious food and much more.

Make the most of the Canberra Day long weekend at the festival from 11-14 March.

Explore what the city has to offer with Canberra After Dark, City Illumination, The Surface Festival and Van Gogh Alive,

Among the highlights will be rising early to see (or ride in) hot air balloons as they take to the skies, see the city’s iconic architecture in a different light during ‘Illuminations’, along with amazing installations around the Enlighten Festival site.

Enjoy a short film festival and listen to an orchestra in the park. Celebrate Canberra’s birthday with a feast of multicultural food and performances. Tantalise the tastebuds with Night Noodle Markets, The Forage and BentSpoke Beer Garden.

Illumination will be light up the national attractions in a stunning display of light, sound and movement until 14 March. Projections will be presented on some of Canberra’s iconic buildings including Australian Parliament House; the National Library of Australia; the National Gallery of Australia; Questacon; the National Portrait Gallery; and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Van Gogh Alive is on at the Grand Pavilion, Parkes Place Lawns National Triangle until 20 March.

Don’t miss the spectacular installations also on display in the National Triangle.

Then enjoy the tasty treats on offer in the Festival Hub. The ever-popular BentSpoke Beer Garden is the perfect place to gather, eat and soak up the festival vibes and music while enjoying a refreshing craft brew and local bites from late afternoon until after dark each night until 14 March. For the first time The Forage will offer an amazing array of local and regional food and drink options from 11-14 March.

Lights! Canberra! Action! Kicking off the weekend on 11 March and the spotlight will shine on local filmmaking talent. This short film festival will take place in the open-air surrounds of the Senate Rose Garden.

Canberra Day

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage at Symphony in the Park at Commonwealth Park on 13 March, performing with this year’s special guest, multi-award ARIA-winning singer songwriter Lior. Take along a picnic and enjoy a free autumn event of modern and classical performers. Tempt your tastebuds with fabulous food from around the world at the multicultural food stalls.

Venture out and experience a range of Enlighten-themed, and exclusive ticketed events, as part of the Canberra After Dark festival program until 14 March. In a special offering, some of Canberra’s iconic buildings will give access to areas normally closed to the public. Enjoy a curated Food + Art dining experience set among the historic portraits of the Members’ Hall in the heart of Australian Parliament House. Experience Questacon at night.

Sydney Symphony Under the Stars concert will be at Parramatta Park on 26 March 2022.

On Canberra Day, the festival will bring Commonwealth Park to life on Monday, March 14 with a showcase of local multicultural community activities. Enjoy fabulous food, beverages and entertainment from around the globe. The exciting program includes performances celebrating cultural diversity and vibrancy, local community group activities, kids’ games and roving and family entertainment, making it a great day out for the whole family.

See Van Gogh Alive, an incredible immersive multi-sensory experience, at the Grand Pavilion, Parkes Place Lawns National Triangle until 20 March. Van Gogh’s works have been displayed and enjoyed worldwide for over a century – but never like this. You will find yourselves interacting with art in ways that have never been imagined before!

You, too, will be echoing this quote by George Eliot:

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize.”


Enlighten Festival

4-20 March 2022

Various Canberra venues

Sydney Symphony Under the Stars

26 March, 7pm

The Crescent, Parramatta Park

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