Canberra Day

14 March

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Canberra Day @Enlighten Festival will bring Commonwealth Park to life on Monday March 14 with a showcase of local multicultural community activities. Enjoy fabulous food, beverages and entertainment from around the globe. The exciting program includes performances celebrating cultural diversity and vibrancy, local community group activities, kids games and roving and family entertainment, making it a great day out for the whole family. No tickets required.

See the map of Commonwealth Park here.

Community Arts Workshops

In the lead up to Canberra Day, Canberrans are invited to participate in a series of community arts workshops to celebrate what it means to call Canberra home. The workshops will explore the unexpected delights and quirks of our city as well as provide an opportunity to learn new skills, connect, and tell stories through creative expression.  

Canberra In Colour

Painting classes
Tuggeranong Arts Centre

Canberra in Poem

Multilingual poetry writing & performance workshop.
Mother Tongue

Canberra in Print

Printmaking workshop
Canberra Museum and Gallery

Canberra in Fibre

Textile workshop
Canberra Museum and Gallery

Kung Fu Wushu

Martial Art Workshop
Canberra Day

Canberra Day Performances

Welcome to Country – Wally Bell

Set Time: 11.00am – 11.15am

Brindabella Chorus

Set Time: 11.15am – 11.35am

Women’s a capella chorus sung in the barbershop style. Barbershop is entertaining popular music from the 20th and 21st centuries, sung and performed in four part harmony.

Dragon Boat Presentation, 11.35am – 11.50am

Art Song For All

Set Time: 11.50am – 12.15pm

Art song for all is the perfect way to demystify classical music and make it even more enjoyable and approachable to all audiences. Packed with poetry and traditional melodies combine with the power of language, piano and voice is the missing piece of a festival for people!!

Segalize Mauritian Dance Performance

Set Time: 12.30pm – 12.50pm

Sega tipik (traditional dance). Modern Sega

Minister Tara Cheyne Welcome 13.00pm – 13.05pm

Canberra Celtic Pipe Band

Set Times: 13.15pm – 13.40pm

The Canberra Celtic Pipe Band provides the Canberra Region with a community based pipe band with a fresh, innovative repertoire and talented performers. The Band along with Celtic dance is provides opportunities for young people and adults to develop self-confidence, musical skills and an awareness of Celtic culture.

John Mackey Improvisation Project (ANU School of Music)

Set Time: 14.00pm – 14.45pm

John Mackey, a renowned Australian saxophonist, recording artist, and educator, began playing professionally at age 14, and has performed extensively in the USA, Europe, U.K, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Indonesia. John is a music lecturer at the ANU School of Music, (2000 – present). Mackey has performed with international artists including Nat Adderley, BB King, Ray Charles, Johnny Griffin, Phil Wilson, James Morrison and many more.

Kokoloco Dance Studio

Set Time: 15.05pm – 15.25pm

Koko Loco is proud to present a colourful, vibrant and high energy showcase of Latin and Brazilian dance and music.

Mi Hermano y Yo

Set Time: 15.45pm – 16.30pm

Mi Hermano y Yo performs with a variety of Colombian rhythms using traditional instruments and costume. Their mission is to convey the musical rhythms of Colombia and ensure the public enjoys each of the songs from their uplifting and energetic repertoire.


Set Time: 16.50pm – 17.35pm

Canberra’s very own enclave of Afrobeat + Ska + Reggae sounds. This 9 piece orchestra combines the mighty Afro-Funk of Nigeria’s Fela Kuti with a tight brass section and heavy jazz + ska grooves! NYASH features the musical wizardry of members of Zambezi Sounds, Los Chavos, Dub Dub Goose, Dubba Rukki and The Ellis Collective. From West Belconnen to West Africa and beyond, this musical collective will keep your nyash shaking!

Funky Trop

Set Time: 17.55pm – 18.40pm

FunkyTrop is a celebration of Latin American & multicultural music, dance and art. A unique energy and highly danceable show, merging Funk and Afro-Latin rhythms with modern music. The groups instrumentation includes drums, congas and minor percussion. The melody is supported by keyboard, bass, flute, and electric guitar. The vocals are covered by Colombian born Sergio and Catalina.

African Showcase

Set Times: 19.00pm – 20.00pm

African Gospel Band music and dance.

ACT Chinese Association Cultural performance group

Set Times: 11.00am – 11.20am

“Phoenix Yu Fei” Double Sword Dance combined with Beijing Opera Farewell performance. My Concubine combines perfectly to showcase true Chinese culture.

Canberra Celtic Dance School & The Joy Reiher School of Scottish Dancing

Set Time: 11.30am – 11.50am

Celtic dance.

Canberra In Poem Workshop 11.50am – 12.30pm

China on Stage

Set Time: 12.30pm – 13.30pm

Traditional Chinese Dance with Canberra Chinese Dance Group. Also featuring famous musician, Shilong Ye in Concert.

Mother Tongue from the Balkans

Set Time: 13.45pm – 14.15pm

Spoken word. Two Canberra – based poets sharing their original work in Serbia and English (Vesna) and Bosnian and English (Mirsad) and speaking about what writing in their respective languages means to them.

Raio de Sol Drummers

Set Times: 15.15pm – 15.30pm

Raio De Sol performs with live percussion, each musician with different drums and members in dance costumes featuring bright extravagant feathers. Performances are both roving and during stage breaks.

A Stellar Lineup

Set Times: 15.30pm – 16.00pm

A brilliant offering of the best of Canberra’s community dance groups of all ages and abilities.

ACT Maori Performing Arts/Tumanako Maori Cultural Group

Set Times: 16.20pm – 16.40pm

Individual story telling and song in language and with English commentary and some songs with English translation complemented with musical backing track, guitar and ukulele. Group performing items in language using poi (ball attached to a cord) used by female to show agility and beauty with song, dance and movement, an action song (waiata a-ringa) with song and actions and the male posture dance, haka, performed by the male folk with the female folk supporting.

Ukranian Folkloric Dance

Set Time: 17.00pm – 17.20pm

An atmosphere of Ukrainian village style celebration with Ukrainian folkloric dance, traditional costume and cheerful music. Both child and adult members will begin with a welcoming dance (“The Pryvit”), followed by dances in Poltava style, which originate from a region in central Ukraine. The male dancers will show energetic and acrobatic Cossack steps and elegant movements and spins will be performed by female dancers.

Escola De Samba

Set Times: 17.30pm – 17.50pm

Rio Samba Shows brings the infectious flavour and energy of Latin America through lively dance shows and street classes.

Super Rats

Set time: 18.10pm – 18.55pm

Super Rats take you on a hijacked musical taxi ride through the backstreets of Bucharest. At the heart of the band is the cimbalom – a ramshackle 145-stringed Austro-Hungarian contraption that sounds like the offspring of a honkytonk piano and a xylophone. Blistering accordion, sinuous violin, and thumping double bass complete this award-winning group.
From diverse and colourful strands – Ottoman court music, raw Balkan peasant folk, the legendary inventiveness of Roma (gypsy) musicians, a handful of tango and jazz – Super Rats weave a magic carpet to whisk you away to other times and places.

Los Chavos

Set Times: 19.15pm – 20.00pm

An 8-piece explosion of Latin reggae energy, Los Chavos channel the festival sounds and urban rhythms of Latin America to sway hips from Canberra to Colombia. Fronted by Andy Jauregui, from Cochabamba, Bolivia, and backed by seasoned musicians from Australia and South America.

Merici College Dance Troupe

Set Time: 11.30am – 11.50am

The Merici College Dance Troupe is a co-curricular group and ranges from Year 7 students to our Senior students. The girls rehearse after school every Thursday and perform a variety of dance routes that aim to entertain and engage with our community.

Bronwyn Buasavanh with Bedazzled

Set Time: 12.00pm – 12.20pm

Enjoy a range of bellydance performances by renowned Canberra Bellydance artists Bronwyn, Jacqui and Renee and their students as well as Jacqui’s student and professional dance troupes Bedazzled and Raks Zahira. You can learn from any of these teachers through Flazeda Performing Arts hub in Belconnen.

Canberra Palestinian Community: Palestinian Wedding

Set Time: 13.00pm – 13.20pm

Members of the Palestinian community in the ACT will perform the traditional Palestinian wedding ceremony. Participants will be dressed in traditional wedding costumes. Palestinian wedding songs will be played. Musicians will be playing instruments. Palestinian Dabkah will add fun to this showcase.

Tibetan Farming Dance

Set Time: 13.30pm – 13.50pm

Tibetans incorporate song and dance into every aspect of their life, whether it is farming, construction, change of seasons or just simply a good day. This dance is performed by Tibetans while they toil in the farms high up in the Himalayas and showcases the various traditional farming tools used in Tibet.

Bellyup Bellydance

Set Time: 14.00pm – 14.20pm

Bellyup Bellydance are an inclusive, local Tuggeranong based group. They are well known for their fun, upbeat group choreographies and believe bellydance can be enjoyed by everyone.

Dancers Without Borders

Set Time: 14.30pm – 14.50pm

A showcase of energetic and inspiring Balkan folk choreographies. Dance performance by “Igre iz Kobisnice” representing East Serbia and performance called “Opsla” representing North Bulgaria in traditional costume from the Kobisnice region.

Raio de Sol Drummers

Set Times: 14.50pm – 15.00pm

Raio de Sol is Canberra’s community samba drumming band, bringing the rhythms of samba and live precision to the ACT. Raio de Sol – meaning ‘sunbeam’ in Portuguese, is open to anyone regardless of musical ability or experience, and has played hundreds of gigs across the ACT and interstate over the years.

Danza de los Diablos (Baila Chile)

Set Time: 15.00pm – 15.20pm

Baila Chile will be performing dances from North of Chile – Diablada or Danza de los Diablos. The diablada is a religious, catholic and image dance, where dancers dehumanize themselves to interpret Christian theological characters. It is one of the most representative dances of the Chilean Great North, and is particularly identified with the Fiesta de la Tirana.

Serbian Folklore Canberra

Set Time: 15.30pm – 15.50pm

Come and watch Serbian Folklore Canberra perform its “Dances from Crnorečje” and “Dances from Kosovo”, and get transported into traditional Serbian village life across the ages. Watch the women and men interact and joke with each other, and witness traditional dance, song and folk costumes from the east and south of Serbia.

Australia School of Contemporary Chinese

Set Time: 16.00pm – 16.20pm

A showcase of talented vocalists performing popular Chinese songs dedicated to their love for their hometowns and Australia’s people in both traditional language and English. Hear popular Chinese arts song – ‘How Can I Not Think of Her’. ‘I Am Australian’ celebrating both Australia’s diversity and its unity. See the Dai peoples ethnic musical instrument with the Hulusi ensemble and dance perform ‘Bamboo Under the Moonlight’

Kung Fu Wushu Workshop

Set Time: 16.30pm – 16.50pm

Chinese martial arts. A stage performance including brick smashing and multiple roving workshops on different kinds of Chinese martial arts.

Mosaic Bellydance

Set Time: 17.00pm – 17.20pm

Mosaic Bellydance is a dynamic and colourful dance troupe which performs Fat Chance Bellydance style, both choreographed and improvised dances, as well as moves that are influenced from other styles of dances. This troupe dances with a number of props including finger cymbals, sword, fan and shawl. Using music from around the world along with the props provide variety within a performance set. The dancers dance with personality and attitude and the audience will have almost as much fun as the dancers.

Obsidian Bellydance with Quake

Set Time: 18.00pm – 18.20pm

Obsidian Bellydance performs different choreographies in a fusion style of bellydance traditions with modern industrial stylings added to the mix. Quake is a Canberra bellydance troupe characterised by a fun, colourful, fusion dance style and a culture of sisterhood and joy.

El Salvador’s Folkloric Dance Group

Set Time: 18.30pm – 18.50pm

The performance includes a showcase of Salvadoran folkloric music and dance. The song “Torito Pinto” is a folkloric dance that combines Pre-columbine and Spanish traditions.

Momposina Colombian Dance

Set Times: 19.00pm – 19.20pm

Momposina is a Colombian dance Group, it’s a South American expression, specifically of Colombian culture, we want to express and share some of our beautiful heritage cultural with Australians and people from different cultures; Their form of expression is the dance,
and the performance includes different dance genres, showing colombian culture, traditions, and cheerfulness, Dresses are made in Colombia preserving traditions and expressing heritage that may be known for other people,
keeping culture strong, giving everyone fun.

Make the most of the Canberra Day long weekend @Enlighten Festival, 11-14 March. Check out what’s on!

Lights! Canberra! Action!

Kicking off the weekend Friday 11 March and shining a spotlight on local filmmaking talent, this short film festival is taking place in the open-air surrounds of the Senate Rose Garden. Grab a BentSpoke craft beer, sit back and enjoy an evening of up-and coming local film makers.

>Find out more

Symphony In The Park

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage at Symphony in the Park@Enlighten Festival, performing with this year’s special guest, multi award ARIA winning singer songwriter Lior. Bring a picnic and enjoy a free autumn event of modern and classical performers.

>Find out more

Event Info

When: 14 March
Where: Commonwealth Park
This is a free event

Commonwealth Park