Released 10/01/2023 - Joint media release
The Enlighten Festival is back to light up Canberra in 2023 with 17 days of culture and creativity from 3 to 19 March 2023.
This year, Canberra’s annual autumn 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 will be a celebration of LGBTIQA+pride from 10 to 12 March with a range of events to celebrate Canberra’s inclusive community.
Over this weekend, the capital’s iconic buildings will become canvases for specially designed pride themed projections as part of Illuminations @ Enlighten Festival.
On 11 March, Fresh Out Fair Day @ Enlighten Festival, a one-day outdoor event in Glebe Park, will be a new addition to the festival.
The event will showcase entertainment from Australia’s finest performing artists and a village of market stalls representing diverse LGBTIQA+ community organisations, local businesses and Canberra’s finest food and wines produced in the region.
Short film festival Lights! Canberra! Action! @ Enlighten Festival on 10 March will exhibit up-and-coming local filmmakers as they share their perspective and interpretation of Pride, with 10 days to film and feature 10 items from around Canberra.
From 11 to 19 March the Canberra Balloon Spectacular is back, with a special Pride Flight to take off on the opening morning (11 March). Hot air balloons from Australia and overseas will fill the sky with a blaze of colour and movement with LGBTIQA+ flags.
Wrapping up Pride Weekend on 12 March will be Symphony in the Park @ Enlighten Festival. Bring a picnic and enjoy a free evening of modern and classical performances and watch as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra take the stage to perform with award winning pop, soul and electronica band Electric Fields, fresh from headlining at WorldPride in Sydney.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said a dedicated Pride Weekend during the Enlighten Festival would honour Australia hosting WorldPride and boost tourism to the National Capital.
“It is the first time the global event has been staged in Australia and it is fitting that the national capital will honour that achievement. It is also the 50th anniversary of the first Australian Gay Pride Week and the fifth anniversary of Marriage Equality in Australia.
“Canberra is an inclusive city and the addition of Pride Weekend to the Enlighten Festival program highlights our commitment to being a welcoming city built on equality”.
“The ACT Government will continue to invest in community events that encourage visitors to our city, deliver a strong economic return and provide quality visitor experiences,” said the Chief Minister.
Assistant Minister for Economic Development Tara Cheyne said the already popular Enlighten Festival would be even bigger and better this year with the inclusion of Pride Weekend celebrations.
“Enlighten Festival is a gem in the Canberra events calendar and the focus on Pride Weekend highlights our community’s culture and inclusivity. I’m excited by the entertainment that will be on offer, in addition to the amazing illuminations. From incredible music and the opportunity to view short films from talented local filmmakers, there really is something for everyone.
I encourage all Canberrans to come out to Enlighten and enjoy the spectacle while supporting our small businesses who will be there providing delicious food and drink.”
Entry is free. The full program is coming soon. Visit enlightencanberra.com for more information.
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