In 2013 Australia marks 100 years since the naming of Canberra, the nation’s capital, with a year-long program of events and celebrations. The Centenary of Canberra offers an opportunity for visitors and Australians alike to delve into the stories and spirit of the country.
Australia will celebrate the Centenary with a program of events that includes new and exciting projects as well as a showcase of the very best of what goes on in Canberra each year.
Canberra Day Long Weekend
A highlight of the Canberra Centenary celebrations are five days of festivities planned for the Canberra Day long weekend from 8 to12 March, 2013. Key events include:
- Lights! Canberra! Action! on Friday 8 March at the Spiegeltent, a fun film event showcasing the work of 12 finalists given 10 days to create a seven minute short film.
- Balloon Spectacular on Saturday 9 March, one of the top four hot air ballooning events in the world. Watch hot air balloons fill the skies, listen to live music and indulge in a range of hot breakfast options.
- Black Opal Stakes Day on Sunday 10 March – Canberra’s premier horse racing day.
- On Canberra Day on Monday 11 March don’t miss the Longest Bubbly Bars in the World, stretching along Lake Burley Griffin from Commonwealth Place. The bars will offer Centenary Bubbly specially created by local winemakers and tapas made from regional seasonal produce. Make sure to book in advance to secure a place amongst 800 people being served in 20 minute sittings.
- After your fill of local bubbly, settle in at the Symphony Stage on the North Lawn for the world premiere of Andrew Schultz’s Symphony No. 3. Performed by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Centenary Choir, Symphony No. 3 is inspired by Canberra’s chief architect, Walter Burley-Griffin and his visions for the city 100 years ago.
Arts and culture
- Coinciding with the Centenary of Canberra is the 25th anniversary of the opening of Australia’s new Parliament House. To celebrate, Canberra’s most prominent monument is being translated into dance by the Australian Ballet from 23 to 25 May at The Playhouse. Choreographed by Garry Stewart, who is known for his intellectual approach to dance, Monument will be presented in a double bill with classical showcase Etudes.
- From 9 March to 11 October the National Museum of Australia will host Glorious Days: Australia 1913, an exhibition that transports visitors back in time to explore the fashion, cars, design and ideas that expressed the nation’s dreams.
- The Centenary Pop-up is a central point for the festivities, hosting exhibitions and talks, serving coffee and more. It will first appear on 11 March and move through different parts of Canberra. An exhibition, Little Moments of Canberra, will run in parallel with the pop-up stand, inviting visitors to contribute to the Postcards from Canberra project by drawing, writing or making their response to the city. Selected postcards will be exhibited at the next location, culminating in a final exhibition of 100 postcards.
- Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for a ‘Continental Arboretum’ will come true when the National Arboretum is unveiled to the public on 2 February. The design of the Arboretum, ‘100 Forests 100 Gardens’, models its walkways and plantings on his vision, running parallel to the water and allowing long views to the lake and distant landscapes. The Arboretum also marks 10 years since the devastating bushfires of January 2003, a positive legacy of the tragedy.
- Opening in mid-2013, Canberra’s Centenary Trail will showcase the true ‘Bush Capital.’ The 140 kilometre self-guided trail takes walkers and cyclists on a journey through urban and nearby rural environments. A smart phone application, hard-copy maps and trail signage are available to guide visitors past well-known locations and hidden treasures.
- The centenary year brings the Australian cricket team to Canberra’s Manuka Oval for the first time ever. On 6 February Australia will clash with arch-rival West Indies, in a day-night one-day International under the new lights at historic Manuka Oval.
- The 2013 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will bring the world’s best golfers and the global LPGA golf tour to Canberra. A week of exhilarating golf is in store, with the finest players from all over the world travelling to Canberra to compete at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, Yarralumla.
- Fans will be hoping for a home ground advantage on 18 June as one of the world’s most iconic rugby teams, the British and Irish Lions, take on the ACT Brumbies at Canberra Stadium. Made up of players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, the Lions tour a different country every four years and haven’t visited Australia since 2001.
- Canberra Stadium will also host the 2013 Rugby League Test between Four Nations champions, Australia, and the World Champions, New Zealand, in April. It will be the biggest Rugby League match ever staged in the national capital as the countdown continues to the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, to be staged in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France at the end of the year.