Hey guys! Welcome to another Locality column, sprucing just a taster of some of the great art, events, and creative initiatives coming out of Canberra lately. Heaps to get through, so let’s jump in!
Autumn is the season for all things festivals in Canberra. Enlighten is currently taking place with different events happening all over the city. One thing many Canberrans enjoy about Enlighten is the annual Balloon Spectacular, this year happening every morning between 7-15th March. This wonderful event, while obviously featuring balloons galore, also has an array of Canberra musical acts playing each morning to entertain the bleary-eyed crowds. I personally haven’t gotten up in time to enjoy the last few years’ of this festival however, but I might just make an effort this year – especially since it will feature a giant 38.7m Tyrannosaurus Rex! My spirit dinosaur *wink*. Check out enlightencanberra.com for all the details!
If one festival just ain’t enough, why not get along to this year’s Art, Not Apart? From March 12-15, some of Canberra’s most well-known venues will be taken over by exhibitions, performance art, multiple music stages, interactive installations, film and moving image, spontaneous interventions, delicious food and drink, and one wild after-party. If you’ve been looking for an event that showcases a good majority of Canberra’s (and beyond’s) finest artistic talent, this is it. There is literally something for everyone so check out the website for more info and support this amazing annual Canberra festival of events – artnotapart.com
A little content warning on these next two paragraphs as they involve talking about child sexual abuse. On Sunday, 22 March, Canberra musician Dorothy-Jane Gosper is releasing an all-original concept album called The Witness. This album depicts the true story of a period of intense upheaval in Dorothy’s life. Born from a defining moment of witnessing her husband molest a child, the album takes the listener on the journey DJ has lived.
Through the breakdown of family relationships, finding strength to take the stand and assist to incarcerate her husband, through to reaching a place of relative stability and beginning to establish a new normal. The album addresses things that we as a society often don’t talk about openly, and it will undoubtedly make many feel uncomfortable. But with DJ’s incredibly soulful voice, and spirit and an undeniable authenticity and genuine willingness to shine light on a taboo topic to help prevent similar future events, this album launch is sure to be quite remarkable. The launch is happening on Sunday, 22 March from 4-6pm at Smith’s Alternative. Tickets available via the Smith’s website for $5, $10 and $15.
Good news on the live venues front for arts performances and music! Two new venues have opened in recent months and are taking bookings for gigs, workshops, parties, and events. And they’re at opposite ends of the Canberra region.
Over in Queanbeyan we now have The QBN Hive. This beautifully-restored cottage has pressed tin walls, exposed floorboards and fireplaces – including the original Bega wood stove in what was the old kitchen – and speaks to life of more than a century ago.
But on top of this detail, modern creative props are being added, like illustrations and photographs hung on walls, and rooms filled with upcycled chairs for watching live music, creating a quaint destination “where people can truly connect”. It’s open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm, and Fridays 10am-9pm and is located at 274 Crawford St, Queanbeyan. For more info go to www.qbnhive.buzz and stay tuned here for future gigs as the calendar begins to swell.
At the other end of town, is The Circus in Mitchell. This space can accomodate for many kinds of events, from parties and small festivals, to workshops and music events. Run by the wonderful passionate people who also run Aerial Sports, these guys will make you feel welcome and supported in your vision from your very first enquiry. Check out www.facebook.com/circuseventscbr for more info or to get in touch 🙂
In terms of new Canberra music, there are a few releases that have just dropped.
Endrey has a new single out on all streaming platforms. Holding Out is a song about connections and a plea to overcome the inherited cultures of division. You can find this emotive slow-burner on Spotify and Apple Music. He’s also having a single launch at The Polo on Friday, 27 March at 8pm. Tickets are available via TryBooking.com
The wonderful Kirrah Amosa has just released a 4-track EP called Island Way. This great artist is going from strength to strength in her musical career. Infusing her love and ability to perform and write in many genres, Kirrah has dedicated this release to her Micronesian heritage and Polynesian upbringing. It can be found on all major streaming platforms.
Citizen Kay (who, as it happens, produced Kirrah’s EP) has just released a new track of his own. Funny Business (ft. Genesis Owusu) is just that, especially if you listen to it on YouTube. Their hilarious music video is an awesome pairing to this funky, easy-going track. And, they have made Canberra look like a very sleek and sexy place! Check it out.
Finally, a little plug for my own creative endeavours. I run a business called Mary Violet Creative (MVC). My aim with this enterprise is to assist artists and creative people to develop sustainable careers. MVC provides administrative support for artists and arts organisations, puts on professional development and educational events for people in the creative industries, and provides individual and group coaching to help artists achieve their career goals.
And that’s all for now. See you next month!