Pride Weekend @ Enlighten Festival

10-12 March 2023

This year, Canberra’s Enlighten Festival will for the first time feature Pride Weekend @ Enlighten honouring Australia hosting WorldPride in Sydney. Sydney WorldPride represents the first time the global event has been staged in Australia and the first time in the southern hemisphere.

Pride Weekend @ Enlighten Festival will be a celebration of LGBTIQA+ pride from 10 to 12 March with a range of events to celebrate Canberra’s inclusive community.

The Australian Capital Territory has a long history of being at the forefront of LGBTIQA+ equality and human rights in Australia, and was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a Human Rights Act. It was the first jurisdiction to introduce fairer birth certificate laws for trans and gender diverse people. It was also a leader in introducing civil unions and recognition of loving couples under law – many years before marriage equality became a reality.

The ACT has updated its laws to remove direct discrimination for couples looking to start a family and introduced protections from discrimination for intersex people. In recent years, the ACT Government has commissioned comprehensive reviews of gender recognition laws and antidiscrimination laws to be more inclusive of the diversity of LGBTIQA+ people already living in the ACT.

The ACT Government has also been a leader in the development of LGBTIQA+ inclusive policies in a range of areas, including the development of the 2019-2023 Capital of Equality Strategy, a document that represents a whole of government commitment to remove all barriers to inclusion for LGBTIQA+ people. This includes ensuring that all people have equal legal status and recognition under ACT laws and can enjoy their full human rights – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or sex characteristics.

What to expect

Enlighten Illuminations
Friday 10 – Sunday 12 March

See some of the capital’s most loved and iconic buildings become canvases for a specially designed pride themed projection at Illuminations @ Enlighten Festival. This projection was created by Henry Nguyen.

Henry is a Kaurna land based communication designer and illustrator originally from Vietnam. His work is inspired by daily conversations and observation mainly on: gender politics, gender-neutral storytelling, the human-nature relationship, the self and folklores. The story is about representing the vibrancy and diversity of LGBTIQA+ communities. Visibility and representation are crucial to one’s equality.

The Pride projection will light up six of Canberra’s National Attractions from 8pm – 8.10pm and 10.50pm – 11pm, Friday 10 March to Sunday 12 March.

Lights! Canberra! Action!
Friday 10 March

Located in the open-air surrounds of the Senate Rose Garden, Lights! Canberra! Action! @ Enlighten Festival shines a spotlight on local filmmaking talent. With 10 days to film and feature 10 specific items from around Canberra, watch up-and-coming local filmmakers share their perspective and interpretation of the theme, Pride.

Canberra Balloon Spectacular
Saturday 11 March

Marvel at hot air balloons sporting LGTBIQA+ flags float across the city on the first morning of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular @ Enlighten Festival. Bask in the beautiful scenery with stunning viewpoints from many places across Canberra.

FreshOut Fair Day Canberra
Saturday 11 March

FreshOut Fair Day Canberra @ Enlighten Festival is ACT’s largest LGBTIQA+ community pride event. Set in glorious Glebe Park, the festival will feature great entertainment from some of Australia’s finest performing artists. Browse market stalls and taste a selection of local food and wines.

Symphony in the Park
Sunday 12 March

Hear an epic musical collaboration when Electric Fields join the Canberra Symphony Orchestra at Symphony in the Park @ Enlighten Festival. Bring a picnic and enjoy a night of great tunes.

Explore additional events happening over Pride Weekend

To view the full calendar of events happening over Pride Weekend @ Enlighten Festival explore the full event program.