CategoryOur Diary

You are here festival

25 to 27 October 2019
Various locations in Civic and Braddon, Canberra

You are here is an experimental arts festival and focusses in 2019 on responding to societal malaise – it aims to be restorative and relaxed.

Ketura Budd talks to Barbie about You Are Here

There is music, dance, workhsops, spoken poetry, installations, discussions, community making, sleep training, projection art and even a dinner party.

The festival is funded by the ACT Government, Sydney Myer Fund, Nelson Meers Foundation, W and A Johnson Family Foundation and Keir Foundation.

Most events are free. Some however require booking. Find out more at

Painting with Parkinson’s – Silver Lining

Exhibition at Belconnen Arts Centre
1 to 24 November 2019

The Painting with Parkinson’s program celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2019 with an exhibition of work by artists Adrian Aylott, Kathy Drake, Ann Gould, Margaret Healey, Charles Jordaan, Katrina Muir, Marilyn Nelson, Ann Nugent, Jan Robbins, Ann Somers, Dennis Thorncraft, Nazli Underwood, Barbara van der Linden and Helen Woodbridge.

Belconnen Arts Centre is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Information at

Image credit: Untitled by Dennis Thorncraft.

World premiere: Flight Memory

The Street Theatre, Canberra
14-17 November 2019

Information and bookings:

The so-called ‘black box’ flight recorder is probably Australia’s greatest gift to global aviation safety. Flight Memory, a new song suite at The Street Theatre, tells the story of its inventor, Dr David Warren AO.

Caroline Stacey tells Richard about Flight Memory
Continue Reading“World premiere: Flight Memory”

Shiny Bum Singers – Kerry Kennedy Tribute Concert

Sunday 27 October 2019 at 2pm
The Artists Shed
88 Wollongong Street Fyshwick
Entry by donation

Kerry Kennedy contributed many songs to the Shiny Bums’ 20-year collection of parodies about the Public Service, politicians and other issues. Kerry sadly died on 10 April this year and the Shiny Bums will pay tribute to their dear friend by performing their favourites from his oeuvre.

All are welcome to celebrate the musical work of Kerry Kennedy at this event.

Shiny Bum Singers – Rampant Bureaucracy

Sunday 17 November 2019 at 2pm
The Artists Shed, 88 Wollongong Street Fyshwick
Tickets $20 including refreshments

Shiny Bums reprise this popular performance, which never seems to go out of date. Dubbed a public service melodrama, it has everything a public service town is familiar with – probes, cutbacks, affairs of the flesh and departmental moves. It’s lots of fun – if it weren’t so close to the bone.

For bookings and enquiries email,
phone 0412 101 543

Information at

Art in Miniature Canberra -exhibition

Strathnairn Homestead Gallery
Until 10 November 2019

Eighteen artists showing ninety-nine works make this a big exhibition of small works. Some of Canberra’s best known and loved artists have works in this exhibition with subject matter so varied there is sure to be something for every taste.

Barbie speaks with artist Camelia Smith

There are still life studies, flowers and fruit along with tiny detailed landscapes and seascapes. There are boats, birds and other animals, bonsai trees, cityscapes and festival scenes. Armchair travelers will find scenes from around the world.

With the constraint of making an image 10x10cms or no larger than 100 square centimetres, the artists in this exhibition prove that it is possible to do a great deal with very little space.

The artists are: Sharon Buckland, Margaret Bice, Margaret Carr, Lyn Cottingham, Kylie Fogarty, Jocelyn Godber, Eva Henry, Cheryl Hodges, Janet Hicks, Sandra House, Val Johnson, Michaela Laurie, Stuart Marshall, Isla Patterson, Neil Renfree, Camelia Smith, Jan Vincent and Arlene Williams.

Strathnairn is open Thursday to Sunday 10am to 4pm at 80 Stockdill Drive Holt.

Information at

Canberra Opera Recital – The Magic of Mozart

Featuring  Clare Therese Hedley, Katrina Wiseman and Nathaneal Patterson
Saturday 26 October 2019 at 3:30pm – 5pm
St Philip’s Anglican Church, MacPherson Street O’Connor

Canberra Opera’s final recital brings the much-loved works of Mozart to Canberra audiences  with pieces from The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan tutte and The Magic Flute.

Barbie speaks with Clare Therese Hadley about the concert

Clare Therese Hedley has been involved with Canberra Opera since 2016 and was a part of the chorus in their 2017 production of Die Fledermaus. Clare took on her first principal role with Canberra Opera as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte in 2018 where she again had the opportunity to work with Ghillian Sullivan.

Opera Australia: West Side Story

Directed and choreographed by Joey McKneely
Canberra Theatre Centre
Until Sunday 27 October 2019

This production of Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim’s classic musical retelling of Romeo and Juliet comes to Canberra after touring to Melbourne, New Zealand, Germany and Sydney.

It stars Todd Jacobsson (alternating with Nigel Huckle) as Tony, Nigel Sophie Salvestani as Maria, Chloe Zuel as Anita, Noah Mullins as Riff and Keanu Gonzalez as Bernardo.

Richard spoke to Chloe Zuel (pictured), who plays the part of Anita, at the Canberra media preview
Continue Reading“Opera Australia: West Side Story”

WOW in wonderful windy Wellington NZ

Opinion, by Barbie Robinson

What’s WOW and why were we there? Canberrans will know that Wellington, like Nara and Beijing, is one of our sister cities. Canberra’s population is about 390,000; Wellington’s is about 413,000. Both are the capital cities of our nations.

Our experiences of Wellington over many years confirm that it is a city which does well in the arts and culture stakes as well as being very live-able and pleasant to visit as a tourist.

Continue Reading“WOW in wonderful windy Wellington NZ”

Capital Blues Inc, Wellington New Zealand

Weekly blues at Jack Hackett’s Irish Pub, corner of Dixon and Taranaki Streets Wellington – every Thursday from 8.30pm
Free for Blues Club members and guests

Wellington is one of Canberra’s sister cities, and we attended the 3 October blues night featuring Carol Bean, Terry Casey and Dave Murphy. What a great night out!

Continue Reading“Capital Blues Inc, Wellington New Zealand”

Paul Michael Murray – Contra-Fiction

Meditations on the survivor stories from the ‘Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’, and the culture of secrecy and justification within the Catholic Church
Tuggeranong Arts Centre
3 to 26 October 2019

Paul Michael Murray, draws on personal accounts, research and reflection to try and understand the theology and psychology that leads to a culture of child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

Paul Murray talks to Barbie about Contra-Fiction. Please note that this interview and the exhibition contain suicide and child abuse themes
Continue Reading“Paul Michael Murray – Contra-Fiction”

Tim Snowdon Still Life

Suki & Hugh, Bungendore
12 October – 17 November 2019

In this exhibition, his first solo in 20 years, Tim will present a body of work which has been almost two years in the making. Offering a range of canvas sizes, a centre piece of the show is the large- scale work ‘Peaches’. The richness and accuracy of colour and the high level of detail are mouth-watering. Draped fabric appears to cascade off the canvas.

Continue Reading“Tim Snowdon Still Life”

In Conversation: Liz Nugent and Kirsten McDougall

Thursday 3 October 2019 at 6.30pm
Karori Library Wellington New Zealand

We attended this delightful free event at Karori Library whilst in Wellington. It was a friendly and well organised gathering with a cup of tea and light refreshments on arrival and a well-paced discussion between the two writers. The Wellington Library service is to be congratulated on providing high quality free events like this one. Great to be introduced to a local (NZ) writer’s work as well as the dark tales of Liz Nugent.

Liz Nugent, who was named Irish Woman of the Year in Literature in 2017, chats to Wellington writer Kirsten McDougall about turning to psychological thrillers after a career in Irish radio and television, and the art of getting inside the heads of monstrous characters.

Liz has published three novels Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait, and Skin Deep – which have all been  bestsellers and have collectively won four Irish Book Awards. Lying in Wait was voted Readers’ Choice for the British Richard and Judy Book Club.

In 2018, Kirsten McDougall’s second book Tess was a finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel and longlisted for the Acorn Prize for Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Musica Viva – Nevermind

17 October 2019 at 7pm
Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music

French ensemble Nevermind – with flute, violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord – met and founded their group while they were students in Paris. They play their Baroque music on period-instruments concerts and are noted for not only virtuoso expertise but also unpretentious charm.

Musica Viva’s Christina Cook talks to Barbie about Nevermind

Delighting audiences across Europe in prestigious festivals and concert series and making their Australian debut with Musica Viva, Nevermind is disarmingly relaxed and thoroughly dedicated to the universal appeal of good music.

Nevermind is:

  • Anna Besson flute
  • Louis Creac’h violin
  • Robin Pharo viola da gamba
  • Jean Rondeau harpsichord 

In Canberra they will play:

MARAIS Trios for the King’s Bedtime: Suite IV
F COUPERIN Les Nations: L’Espagnole
TELEMANN Paris Quartet no 4 in G minor, TWV43:g1
QUENTIN Quartet Sonata op 15 no 3
GUILLEMAIN Quartet Sonata op 12 no 3

Bookings and information at