CategoryOur Diary

Irish-born actor wins inaugural Helen Tsongas Award for Excellence in Acting

At the 29th ACT Arts Awards evening, held in the Canberra Museum & Gallery on 19 November, the inaugural Helen Tsongas Award for Excellence in Acting was presented to Christopher Samuel Carroll by ACT Arts Minister, Gordon Ramsay.

Richard spoke to Christopher Carroll after the awards ceremony

Canberra composer and pianist Michael Dooley was named 2019 Canberra CityNews Artist of the Year for his prolific and diverse work, which in the past year included jazz and classical performances, recordings, film scores, a song cycle, a gospel oratorio, works for the Canberra Wind Symphony and his first piano concerto.

More information about the awards and the winners are available at

Photo credit: Alexander JE Bradley

National Folk Festival announces first youth ambassador

Young Canberra singer-songwriter, Lucy Sugerman has been announced as the first Youth Ambassador for the National Folk Festival.

The 18-year-old singer-songwriter has performed in the Canberra areas since she was nine. including busking and blackboard events. She was an Australian National Busking Champion in 2015 and 2016.

Richard talks to Lucy Sugarman about her role as the inaugural Youth Ambassador for the National Folk Festival

She sees the role as an opportunity to promote and contribute to the National Folk Festival’s celebration of folk life, including a special youth concert during the festival.

The festival’s new Managing Director, Helen Roben, began work in September. Raised in Wagga, Ms Roben has a background in the not-for-profit sector and has held senior management roles in corporate services and governance. She has taken over as Managing Director from Pam Merrigan, who continues as Artistic Director of the Festival.

Helen Roben, Managing Director of the National Folk Festival

ACT Writers – Writing and Publishing Award

Thursday 5 December 2019 6pm to 8.30pm
The Street Theatre

An invitation to join ACT Writers in celebrating excellence in local writing and publishing st the annual awards night, including the Anne Edgeworth Fellowship, the Marjorie Graber-McGInnis Short Story and the June Shenfield Poetry prize.

Bookings required. Tickets available through

Canberra Youth Orchestra with soloist Christian Li

Conducted by Rowan Harvey-Martin and Max McBride
Saturday 7 December 2019 at 7:30pm
Llewellyn Hall, ANU

Christian Li, currently 12 years of age, began learning violin at the age of five and studies under Dr. Robin Wilson, Head of Violin at Australian National Music Academy in Melbourne.

As well as winning the 2018 Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition Junior First Prize, Christian won 1st Prize in the violin category of the Young Artist Semper Music International Competition in Italy in 2017 and was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall Isaac Stern Auditorium in NY in the American Protégé Showcase 10th anniversary concert.

Christian made his solo debut at the age of 9 with the Australian Orchestra.

In this concert, he will perform Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor

Tuggeranong Arts Centre – H2O the Musical

Written by children aged 6 to 13 with Nathalie and Tim Bevitt
Friday 29 November 2019 at 6.30pm
Tuggeranong Arts Centre

H2O the Musical is set in Space School 11 where the students have just discovered that all the bubblers are broken. In their mission to fix them, they discover a sinister plot by a group of evil cute kittens that could mean doom for earth and all its water.

Barbie talks to Nathalie and Tim Bevitt about H2O the Musical

Canberra City Band fundraiser

Harmonie German Club
Saturday 30 November 2019
Doors open from 6.30pm, performance 7 – 9pm

Spectrum Big Band presents Jazzmas, a night of big band swing, food and dancing with a hint of Christmas cheer. Featuring a guest appearance by the Canberra Swing Katz, Spectrum Big Band will play a series of big band classics.

Barbie speaks with Petra-Jade Ringrose from Canberra City Band

Restaurant and bar access available at the venue.

  • Online tickets: Adults $20, Child/Concession $10, Family $50, Table (up to 6) $120, Dinner + Show $60
  • Door tickets: Adults $25, Child/Concession $15, Family $55 for information

Exhibition on Screen – Van Gogh and Japan

Directed by David Bickerstaff and produced by Phil Grabsky
Screening nationally from 21 November 2019
In Canberra at Palace and Dendy between 21 and 23 November – check cinemas for screening times

Based on the exhibition of the same name in the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (also seen at the National Gallery in Melbourne), this film delve sinto the story of Van Gogh’s fascination with the art of Japan. With the usual thoroughness of the Exhibition on Screen products, Van Gogh and Japan features interviews with a variety of experts and draws on the many letters of Van Gogh in exploring the subject.

Barbie speaks to Phil Grabsky about Van Gogh and Japan

Of this work David Bickerstaff says : ‘The intensity of his fragile mind as he struggles with his art is laid bare with every mark he makes. It is the pursuit of a powerful simplicity that attracted Vincent Van Gogh to the art of Japan and the Japanese to his story.’

Information about Exhibition on Screen at

Tuggeranong Arts Centre – On Thin Ice

Stories of ice addiction & recovery
A Tuggeranong Arts Centre project
7 to 30 November 2019

On Thin Ice is a multi-media exhibition produced by social justice journalist/author Ginger Gorman, photographers Hilary Wardhaugh and Martin Ollman, sculptor Tom Buckland and printmaker Jess Higgins, made in collaboration with members of our community recovering from or living with addiction to crystal methamphetamine (ice).

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Belconnen Community Gallery – Making Tracks

Part of the ‘Piece of Mind’ series
19-29 November 2019,
Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm
Opening celebration 5:30pm Tuesday 19 November 2019

A mixed media exhibition by participants of the Belconnen Community Service Open Studio program.

Belconnen Community Services Open Studio Groups are a supportive place to find inspiration, learn art techniques, experiment with materials and explore individual creative tracks. Beginners to experienced artists are all welcome.

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Australian Haydn Ensemble – Midori & Mozart

Thursday 21 November 2019 at 7pm
Albert Hall, Yarralumla

One of Europe’s leading virtuosos, daring Bavarian-Japanese violinist, Midori Seiler, makes her Australian debut, performing a concerto double-bill and leading the Australian Haydn Ensemble in a program of mercurial Mozart and Haydn.

Richard spoke to Skye McIntosh about the concert

Long-term concertmaster of Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Anima Eterna Brugge, Midori makes her Australian debut with the AHE as guest director and soloist in this dazzling season finale of Mozart and Haydn symphonies and concerti.


  • Mozart Symphony No. 33 in B flat major K. 319
  • Mozart Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major K. 211
  • Haydn Symphony No. 80 in D minor
  • Haydn Violin Concerto in C major Hob VII:a1

Shiny Bum Singers – Rampant Bureaucracy

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

This musical is a fictional story about an important time for MP ‘Wally Doodle’ in the leadup to a Federal election.

Shiny Bums Donna O’Brien and Frankie Seymour preview Rampant Bureaucracy

Wally wonders what he could offer older Australians which would help him win.

Sensitive areas are probed including cut backs, politicisation and whistle blowing!

Tickets at Eventbrite at or at the door if not sold out.

For more information, email, or
phone 0412 101 543

Information at or

Open Garden weekend at Terroux

16 and 17 November 10am to 4pm
88 Rochford Road Hall (off Wallaroo Road)

Barbara Baikie and Peter Fletcher invite you to be part of the ever-evolving story of their gardens at Terroux. Take time to stroll around the established and new plantings – the newly planted blossom trees in the developing Japanese garden, rose beds, dedicated and memorial gardens.

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Terroux – Rufus//Sheridan performance and CD launch

Fundraising Spring Soirée
17 November 2019 4pm to 6pm
Information –

Local jazz duo Rufus//Sheridan will launch the hardcopy of their CD Documentation during this year’s spring soirée at the beautiful rural property of Terroux near Hall. The album has been described by Smiths Alternative Canberra as an ‘ intimate exploration through the worlds of traditional and modern jazz, paying homage to the greats while exploring the harmonic freedom of modern jazz.’

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Innovative painting and dancing with Parkinson’s combined classes

Belconnen Arts Centre
Tuesdays 12 and 19 November 2019
From 2.15pm, all welcome

People with Parkinson’s, their family and carers are invited to attend an exciting and innovative ‘come and try’ session on either or both dates, incorporating dance and painting.

John Pratt and Philip Piggin at the first combined painting and dance classes for Parkinsons at Belconnen Arts Centre
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