LOCALITY – New Venues, New Opportunities, New Shows, New Newness!


By Ruth O’Brien

Hey beautiful people! So good to be writing about the arts and events after whatever-the-hell last year was. Christ! I think we’ve well and truly harped on about that shitshow but it was a hard year for SO many people in the creative industries and, quite honestly, continues to be. Which is why you absolutely need to read this column, fill your calendar, and support every bloody local arts thing you can. And there’s a lot! Here we go! 

First up, you may have heard that the brothers from Slow Turismo bought, and are now running, cafe and bar Gang Gang. They’ve turned it into a pretty pumping music venue, hosting a variety of Canberra’s best and brightest. Keep an eye out for a full article next issue, to learn more about this groovy establishment IMMEDIATELY, head over to ganggangcafeandbar.com 

On Sunday, 28 Feb, MusicACT is hosting a Social Media & Digital Marketing session with Bolster music’s Paige X.Cho. This free 60-minute workshop is aimed at artists, venues, labels, promoters and festivals looking to connect with their music audiences online. The workshop will be held at Capital Brewing Co. in Fyshwick at 4pm. To learn more, head to musicact.com.au

The wonderful Paige X. Cho

Applications for the M16 Artspace 2022 Exhibition Program are now open. The team welcomes applications from a broad constituency of cultural producers including artists, collectives, collaborators, writers and curators at all career levels. Proposals for exhibitions could include painting, sculpture, installation, sound, performance, film, and video works; supported by talks, reading groups, artist interviews, writing, classes, and panel discussions. Applications close Sunday, 14 March at midnight. To find out more go to m16artspace.com.au

If you want to see some pretty incredible dance choreography inspired by our beautiful natural environment, head to the Australian National Botanic Gardens between 5-14 March to see Symbiosis by the Australian Dance Party. Part of this year’s Enlighten Festival, this intimate open-air experience explores human-ecological relationships. The work re-positions the human as a part of nature, and the response-ability [sic] we hold in shaping our ecological future. For more information about the season including accessibility, head to enlightencanberra.com

Australian Dance Party are at one with nature

On the topic of dance, local burlesque powerhouse, Jazida, has recently opened alternate performing arts hub, Flazéda! This space, situated on Emu Bank (just above Subway), is a social enterprise supporting performing artists whose styles fall outside the mainstream (for things like burlesque, drag, comedy, circus and bellydance). Flazéda is a gorgeous performance space and studio that provides dance classes, performance workshops, variety nights and burlesque shows and embraces the diversity of humanity through bawdy celebration of body positivity. To find out more, head to flazedahub.com or flick to over to page 16!

Staying on the Emu Bank strip in Belconnen (new place to be apparently!) the Boardwalk Bar & Nightclub has a variety of fun events, with something happening almost every night of the week. The last Thursday of every month is Open Mic Comedy. Every other Thursday is Queer People Reading Naked and Drag Trivia. Fridays is an Open Mic Karaoke Night with a monthly theme, Saturday = drag takeover and Sundays you can sit back, relax, sip a beverage of your choosing while practicing your painting skills at Paint, Sip, Laugh. Talk about variety! Head to theboardwalkbar.com.au for all the details.

And while you’re stopping by this beloved part of Belco, don’t forget to pop into the newly refurbished Belco Arts Centre! Always something great happening, from exhibitions to shows to classes and workshops. To see the full program of events and opportunities, head to belcoarts.com.au

For the poets out there, a brand new festival is forming in our nation’s capital. The Poetic City Festival will feature a range of workshops and events showcasing the diverse and increasingly popular medium. The festival organisers have several opportunities for poets and artists from around Canberra to get involved. Details & info poeticcitycbr.com or email poeticcitycbr@gmail.com

Finally, if you’re a muso or music industry worker and want to keep up-to-date with grants, opportunities, jobs and workshops related to the Canberra music scene, be sure to sign up to my fortnightly newsletter, Upbeat. I started this in May last year, when the music scene was going through hell. So far, Upbeat has been thoroughly embraced by the beautiful CBR music scene and I’m glad I can share many of the opportunities I come across in a cohesive and efficient way to the people who might need them. Head to the Instagram page @upbeatcbr. Upbeat comes out every second Wednesday evening by email.

That’s plenty for this month. So good to be back in Locality writing mode! If you have any arts news/opportunities you’d like to get a shout out for (from your new music release to an art competition or workshop) let me know and I’ll try my darnedest to crow about it.

Have a great month! 

Ruth O’Brien – Singer | Songwriter | Writer | Lover of all things artsy and creative – email: ruth@bmamag.com

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