With less than a week to go, the countdown is on for the return of the annual Enlighten Festival. Held over 17 days from Friday 26 February, the city will be a hive of activity with a range of free and ticketed events.
Enlighten is the first major Festival in Canberra since the COVID-19 pandemic began, so this year things are a little different, with registrations required for most events to keep the community safe.
The Enlighten Festival brings together a variety of exciting events including the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, Lights! Canberra! Action!, Symphony in the Park, Canberra Day and of course, the ever popular Enlighten Illuminations. Register now to enjoy a vibrant showcase of Australian talent, food, beverages, art installations and live music.
Enlighten Illuminations || 26 February – 8 March
See the Parliamentary Triangle and city precinct come to life as the Illuminations light up after dark. Witness thought provoking large-scale projections on some of the capital’s most loved and iconic buildings including the National Portrait Gallery, National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Australian Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, and Questacon, along with the Sydney and Melbourne buildings in the city. Registrations are not required for viewing the projections, however when onsite people will be encouraged to use the Check In CBR app.
Have your tastebuds tempted with local food and beverage options at the ever-popular Enlighten Alley and BentSpoke Beer Garden. As you wander through the festival precinct, discover a variety of illuminated installations, and enjoy live music and entertainment. Registrations are required for timed sessions at each location and are open now. With programming commencing at 5.15pm, and architectural projections lighting up your evening from 8pm to 11pm each night, there’s plenty of time to explore all that’s on offer.
Lights! Canberra! Action! || 5 March
Enlighten Festival is shining a spotlight on Canberra’s talented film-makers as competition sparks creativity. This year local filmmakers are challenged to create a short film exploring the theme of ‘hope’. Watch the finalist’s films at an outdoor screening at Commonwealth Park’s Stage 88. Bring a chair or blanket and settle in for a great night of viewing. Entry is free but registration is required.
Canberra Balloon Spectacular || 6 – 14 March
Marvel at the view of hot air balloons floating across the city during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Held over nine days, the Canberra skyline will be full of one mesmerising view after another. Keep your eyes peeled for an extra special balloon we can’t wait to announce! Entry is free but registration is required.
Symphony in the Park || 7 March
We guarantee this is not your standard symphony experience. Back by popular demand, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra will once again be taking to the stage with BABBA to perform ABBA’s greatest hits. Head to Commonwealth Park and prepare for a night of nostalgia, great tunes and delicious eats. Please note – ticket allocation for Symphony in the Park has been exhausted.
Canberra Day || 8 March
Make the most of the public holiday and start the day with a new special event Breakfast at Balloons. Head to BentSpoke Beer Garden to enjoy a selection of local breakfast treats and be there to watch Skywhale and Skywhalepapa make an appearance on the last morning of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Stay on to celebrate the closing night of Enlighten Illuminations. Entry is free but registration is required for Breakfast at Balloons. Registrations will open soon.
Still after more? The capital’s major attractions are waiting to be explored as they open their doors to host an array of exclusive free and ticketed events. Tickets are on sale now. Registrations are essential for all events.
|Australian Parliament House||Degustation at Parliament House||An experience like no other.Light up your tastebuds in the heart of Australian Parliament House, and enjoy an exclusive menu designed by Executive Chef David Learmonth. Sit under the flagpole in the Member’s Hall as part of this exclusive Enlighten experience.||5 March
|National Gallery of Australia||Enlighten Street Party||Open your ears, sing your song and break your way into the future with Artist Joan Ross. Hear from hi-vis storytellers as you experience illuminated projections on the Gallery’s façade, join a chorus of bird songs, or swing a bat to release and restart our collected history.||5 March|
|Canberra Glassworks||Luminous – Make Your Own||Inspired by Scott Chaseling’s exhibition, The Redemption of Colour, make your own colour redemption vessel with the assistance of an experienced glassblower and teaching artist in this one-on-one workshop in the Hotshop.||11 March|
|Australian National Botanic Gardens||Symbiosis||Join as exclusive after-dark walking tour through the Australian National Botanic Gardens with illuminated dance, music and spoken word. Experience a unique sensory work created by award winning dance company, Australian Dance Party and collaborating artists.||5 March
|National Zoo & Aquarium||Wild Yoga||Relax with our Rhinos or stand tall like a giraffe! See the animals from a different point of view whilst you master the art of downward dog during a wild yoga session. Come into the zoo as the sun rises to work through an easy yoga flow to start your morning.||6 March
|Royal Australian Mint||Enlighten Titan||In celebration of Enlighten 2021, the Mint is hosting a morning all about their robot, Titan. Perfect for the whole family, see Titan before creating your own robot artwork.||27 February
If attending any of the Enlighten Festival activities and events, remember to register if required, use the Check In CBR app and please stay home if you are unwell.