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Australia ICOMOS > 2013 Canberra Centenary > Things to do in Canberra

Things to do in Canberra

Exhibition: Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London

National Galley of Australia
1 October 2013 — 31 December 2013

The National Gallery of Australia will partner with the Royal Academy (London) in the first major survey of Australian art (1800 to the present) in 50 years at the Royal Academy – a major presence to mark Canberra’s centenary year.


Exhibition: Canberra Contemporary Art Space: YOUTH Extra Ordinary

Canberra Contemporary Art Space
4 October 2013 — 9 November 2013

For the centenary year, Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS) will change the structure of its artistic program to produce seven group exhibitions loosely guided by the themes of the Centenary of Canberra. Each exhibition will be based on a curatorial concept that represents the personal concerns of the guest curator and the ways that artists have shaped understandings of the city and region. The program includes in-depth analysis of past and present visual arts practices in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), focusing on the development of a dynamic cultural environment and ultimately attempting to assess future possibilities. The Centenary of Canberra program includes exhibitions by both established and emerging curators, who are either based in the ACT or have close historical ties. The CCAS’ series of exhibitions will be strongly ideas-based, thoroughly researched and concentrate on artists whose practices have been influenced by their time in the ACT. As a result, many artists will return to Canberra.


Exhibition: Nara at Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG)

Canberra Museum and Gallery
14 October 2013 — 15 December 2013

CMAG will present a ramp showcase exhibition dedicated to Nara as part of its salute throughout the year to Canberra’s relationships with various cities and regions.


Exhibition: 2113: A Canberra Odyssey

Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG)
13 July 2013 — 3 November 2013

Museums usually tell of real events, places and people; this exhibition stretches the envelope to explore scenarios of how Canberra might be in 2113 – our bicentennial year. It reflects on time, place and identity through the interplay of art, science and historical material. In addition to material from Canberra Museum and Gallery’s social history collections, the exhibition includes objects, art and animations that envisage a future Canberra. Visitors will go on a journey of the imagination through the Griffins’ 1912 dream of a future city; pass paintings by Lawrence Daws that depict proposed developments in 1963, Canberra’s golden jubilee year; then on to Canberra Centenary community projects; and conclude with selected artists, animators and academics imagining our city-state in 2113.

More information>>


Exhibition: Mt. Stromlo Observatory Site Tours

Mt Stromlo Observatory
Bookings are essential! Please email [email protected] to confirm your place.

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am
Multiple dates: 9 February, 9 March, 13 April, 11 May, 8 June, 13 July, 10 August, 14 September, 12 October, 9 November, 14 December

Take a walking tour of the Mount Stromlo Observatory and learn about the history of one of Canberra’s oldest sites. Mount Stromlo Observatory has been carrying out astronomical observations for over 100 years and, prior to the 2003 firestorm, had grown from a small outpost of pioneering astronomers to one of the great observatories of the world. Its history includes designing optical munitions during the Second World War, weathering two devastating bushfires and earning one Nobel Prize. Learn about this unique part of Canberra’s history amid the beauty of this heritage location.


Exhibition: Canberra International Film Festival

Various places around Canberra
30 October 2013 — 10 November 2013

The Canberra International Film Festival (CIFF) is the capital’s signature film event, showcasing approximately 60 extraordinary films from home and abroad each year. There are in excess of 17,000 (and growing) cinephiles that devour a diverse range of films over the 12-day celebrations at various venues across the capital. CIFF enhances the film-going experience by securing special guest commentators to discuss the issues revealed in the films. The Festival Lounge is always abuzz with filmmakers, directors, actors and other experts that participate in fascinating discussions and dissection of film. Panel discussions are another hot favourite in the festival program – be prepared for an indulgent talkfest about all things film. Each year, about 30 countries make up the rich fabric of filmmaking at CIFF. With a wide range of genres, and award winning films from the major international festival, there’s something for all film fans.


Exhibition: The 2nd Annual Canberra Festival of Australian Children’s Literature

University of Canberra
1 October 2013 — 15 November 2013

The University of Canberra in partnership with the Lu Rees Archives, Libraries ACT and the Children’s Book Council of Australia will host Showcase: The 2nd Annual Canberra Festival of Australian Children’s Literature, which will celebrate the writers, illustrators and publishers of children’s books directly connected with Canberra and District for the past 100 years and explore developments that could impact the future, such as children’s e-books.


Exhibition: Centenary Watercolor Exhibition

Yarralumla Gallery & Oaks Brasserie
29 September 2013 — 2 November 2013

A water colour exhibition to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra. Paintings of the present and from the past Canberra, important buildings such as the War Memorial, old and new Parliament Houses, The National Library, old homesteads & tools, Floriade and scenes of the lakes, rivers and mountains.


Exhibition: Lodge on the Lake exhibition

Gallery of Australian Design
15 August 2013 — 19 October 2013

As part of the celebrations for the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, the University of Canberra and the Gallery of Australian Design invited designers to participate in a Design Ideas Competition for a new official residence for the Prime Minister of Australia on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. The primary purpose of the competition was to emphasis the importance of a national conversation around the need for a new Prime Minister’s residence. This exhibition includes the winning and commended designs together with other entries selected by the jury and the competition adviser to show the innovation, diversity and design spirit of the competition and to inform further discussion on the appropriate form and character of the next version of the Lodge.


Exhibition: Salute: Canberra’s military heritage

Australian War Memorial
15 August 2013 — 13 November 2013

From those who marched at Duntroon when the city was born, to the servicemen and women who today call Canberra home, Salute: Canberra’s military heritage will explore the contribution of Australian military forces to the development of the city’s landscape and life. Drawing on the personal stories of Canberrans and the Memorial’s rich collection, the exhibition examines the capital’s iconic military establishments, the impact of war on Canberra, and the city’s role as the focus of national and local commemorations. Salute will be a unique opportunity to discover a century of history that captures the spirit of the city and the heart of our nation.


Exhibition: Port for a Nation

Eden Killer Whale Museum
16 August 2013 — 8 December 2013

In 2013, Canberra celebrates the centenary of the formal naming of Australia’s Capital. Eden Killer Whale Museum’s exhibition Port for a Nation reviews the process of selecting the national’s capital, and how Eden’s naturally deep harbor of Twofold Bay nearly became the national port of Australia.


Exhibition: Canberra: Then and Now

National Library of Australia
6 August 2013 — 17 August 2014

Canberra: Then and Now is a display focusing on the changing face of the nation’s capital. Historic photographs of Canberra by many of the greatest names in twentieth-century photography, including Wolfgang Sievers, Frank Hurley and Jeff Carter, are drawn from the National Library of Australia’s vast collections and matched with modern-day photographs taken by the National Library of Australia’s staff photographers. With great style, a sense of nostalgia and a slice of the everyday, the photographs trace Canberra’s exponential growth and development over the last 100 years. Come and see how much Canberra has changed and how much has stayed the same. From views of Canberra’s landmark buildings to catching the bus to school, the exhibition has something for everyone. The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful publication that draws on the memories and poems of local Canberrans.


Exhibition: Build Your Capital

National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point
1 July 2013 — 31 December 2013

For 50 years Lego has been the building block of choice for children and adults. Build Your Capital will delight children young and old. The topography and geography of the Canberra region will provide children with parameters in which they can build their concepts for a city of their imagination. For small children, Duplo will provide an opportunity to enjoy just building. The exhibition will be open to children of all ages. As part of the launch, the Canberra Lego Users Group will work with the National Capital Exhibition to develop a community build. Interested participants will be provided with a cartoon taken from a larger image (familiar to all Canberra residents) and their skills will be tested to achieve their small portion in Lego. The portions will be joined to develop the large image and be on display at the National Capital Exhibition until December 2013. Models of familiar Canberra landmarks will be on display at both the National Capital Exhibition and the Visitor Information Centre in Northbourne Avenue, Dickson.


Exhibition: Centenary Loop Route 100

8 May — 31 December 2013
Service departs daily from Platform 10, City Bus Station, on Northbourne Avenue every 30 minutes from 9.00am – 4.30pm throughout 2013. National icons and attractions are serviced by the loop. Please speak to your driver for the best stop to board and disembark, as most stops are a 1 – 15 minute walk from the stop and this is a limited stop service. Bus remains stationed at City Bus Station as there is a 20 minute interval between services.

Celebrate Canberra’s centenary year and take a FREE ride on the Centenary Loop (Route 100) to some of Canberra’s national icons and attractions.


Exhibition: Establishing the ACT: From the ground up

Geoscience Australia, Jerrabomberra Avenue, Symonston Australian Capital Territory
12 March 2013 — 31 December 2013

Geoscience Australia is celebrating the Centenary of Canberra by hosting the display Establishing the ACT: From the ground up. This display highlights the linkages Geoscience Australia and its predecessor organisations played in the establishment of the Australian Capital Territory. The Geoscience Australia Foyer display looks at how the territory has changed over the years as well as the equipment and technology used in the recording of its development. The Foyer display acknowledges the role of Charles Scrivener, a NSW surveyor who was given the task of mapping a new federal territory and identifying the location for a new city, Canberra. He was appointed the first Surveyor General of the Commonwealth Lands and Survey Office in 1911.


Exhibition: Art of Influence

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
1 January 2013 — 31 December 2013

In 2013 the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House presents the Art of Influence, the museum’s 2013 program of inspiring exhibitions and events celebrating Canberra’s Centenary Year. Through Art of Influence you can explore the relationship between art and democracy in Australia – past, present and future. Discover how artists as activists influence and are influenced by the changing nature of Australia’s democracy.


Exhibition: Telstra Heritage Collection

Black Mountain Tower
10 October 2012 — 29 December 2013

As part of the celebration of Canberra’s centenary in 2013, Telstra will be showcasing items from our Heritage Collection. The collection, accumulated over more than 50 years, contains items developed and used across Australia as part of the Postmaster-General’s (PMG) Department, AOTC, Telecom and Telstra, and is a valuable corporate asset and rich resource for the Australian public. The collection will be exhibited to the public at Black Mountain Tower throughout the Centenary year.

More information>>


Exhibition: Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra: photographs from the birth of our capital

Online and a selection on display at the National Archives of Australia
25 September 2012 — 31 December 2013

Go online and explore more than 7,000 photographs of early Canberra from the National Archives’ collection at Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra: photographs from the birth of our capital. Create your own memories alongside the photos by government photographer, William James Mildenhall.

Taken between 1921 and 1935, Mildenhall’s historic photographs document the early history of the new capital, from building and construction to domestic and community life.


Exhibition: Senate Rose Gardens tours

Senate Rose Gardens, Old Parliament House
1 November 2013 — 31 March 2014

Bookings are required. For more information, contact the organiser by calling (02) 6271 2888.

Old Parliament House Rose Garden’s unrivalled beauty makes them a popular venue within the Parliamentary Triangle. With their formal patterned garden beds, seating pavilions, pergolas, wisteria arbours, cross paths, trellises and open lawns, they offer connections to Canberra’s early history.

When the Provisional (now Old) Parliament House was opened in 1927, the surrounding limestone plains were windswept and pastoral. The bush landscape stood in stark contrast to the established lush gardens of the temporary Parliament in Melbourne. From 1931 to 1938, the Secretary of the Joint House Department, Robert Broinowski, set about establishing gardens to the east and west of Old Parliament House. Hedges surrounding the gardens were soon planted to mitigate the wind. Tennis courts, a cricket pitch and bowling green were established along with four rose gardens for the exclusive use of members and staff. In 1988, when ‘new’ Parliament House opened on Capital Hill, occupation of the Old Parliament House ceased for a time and the Gardens became neglected, the tennis courts locked and the grand floral displays reduced in size.

The Old Parliament House Gardens reconstruction program commenced in 2000, with the replanting of the hedges and their original character and design replicated in appreciation of their historic and cultural significance to the nation. The four rose gardens have been replanted with new roses and reconstructed to their original designs. National Capital Authority horticultural volunteers and staff will provide tours of the gardens from November 2013 to March 2014.


Exhibition: The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize™ 2013

National Archives of Australia
20 September 2013 — 10 November 2013

The science of nature expressed through art. Stunning sculpture is a strong feature this year, with beautiful glass objects and the spectacular overall winning piece, constructed in an intricate weave of bulbs, leaves and paper, sure to dazzle. Developed by the South Australian Museum, the Archives is the only venue outside of Adelaide to host works from this exclusive, prestigious exhibition.

Free exhibition, open daily 9am–5pm