Enlighten Festival lighting up Canberra in ’24

The Enlighten Festival is back from 1 to 11 March lighting up Canberra nights once again this year. The program is jam packed with breath-taking illuminations, interactive activities, music, film and family fun.

There are a number of Illuminated installations around the festival precinct in the National Triangle each showcasing its own unique story and inviting visitors to stop, reflect and interact. As we’ve come to expect our iconic national institutions will be lit up with colourful and creative imagery.

In celebration of the 35th Anniversary of Parliament House, its facade will transform into an animated creation inspired by the popular LEGO® brick model of Parliament House designed by LEGO Certified Professional Ryan ‘Brickman’ McNaught. You can also join arts educator Naomi Zouwer on the forecourt of Parliament House at a creative hands-on print making workshop inspired by LEGO® bricks and the iconic architecture.

The National Portrait Gallery will feature Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander and legally blind artist Dylan Mooney. The display will see Mooney transform the façade of the National Portrait Gallery building into a giant digital canvas via a livestreamed drawing performance. Against an animated backdrop, Mooney will undertake a nightly portrait drawing session which will dynamically appear in real-time on the building. With no two nights the same, this commission encourages audiences to return during the festival.

Questacon’s 2024 Enlighten Festival projections will highlight the connection between storytelling, curiosity, and the science that surrounds us, including Senior Ngunnawal Elder Aunty Violet’s heartfelt acknowledgment of First Nations people as the original scientists, emphasising the importance of sharing knowledge between generations.

The main stage will be located at the centre of the Enlighten Festival Hub and will feature live music entertainment from local and interstate acts. Roving performers will also provide entertainment for visitors. More details on the performers will be available on the Enlighten Festival website soon.

The Enlighten Festival Hub will celebrate the some of the best the region has to offer with a range of food and drinks from the BentSpoke Beer Garden and new wine and spirits bar Bar Berra. Enlighten Food Park, a playground for foodies, will feature a lineup of food trucks and innovative restaurateurs from across the east coast of Australia as well as local favourites.

The short film festival Lights! Canberra! Action! on 8 March, will showcase our talented local film makers interpretation of this year’s theme ‘A Sense of Purpose’.

On 10 March, Symphony in the Park will see Australian rock legends the Hoodoo Gurus take centre stage with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra in a world premiere of their greatest hits reimagined by Alex Turley.

As the Festival wraps up Monday 11 March, the community is invited to celebrate Canberra Day with theCanberra Day Appeal Fun Run, followed by a day of entertainment in Commonwealth Park from 10am to 5pm. Proceeds from the Fun Run will support local charities through Hands Across Canberra.

From Enlighten’s last weekend on 9 March through to the 17th, the Canberra Balloon Spectacular will feature around 40 hot air balloons launching at dawn each day and hot breakfast and coffee available from the food trucks and coffee carts.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said 2024 will see a full and innovative program of entertainment throughout the Enlighten Festival.

“Enlighten Festival has become a showpiece for Canberra, attracting growing numbers of local and interstate visitors each year. The program this year is particularly creative including interactive activities that allow visitors to become a part of the illuminations as they wander through the festival.”

“The ACT Government will continue to invest in key community events such as this to grow Canberra’s reputation as a go to tourist destination, increase visitation to the city and deliver a strong economic return,” said the Chief Minister.

Minister for the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Tara Cheyne said the Enlighten Festival grows bigger and better each year.

“Enlighten Festival is back with all its creativity once again. As an avid live music fan, I’m thrilled that we’re hosting special guests the Hoodoo Gurus at this year’s Symphony in the Park. I can’t wait to hear their greatest hits reinterpreted for a classical accompaniment—an experience that Canberrans will experience first in the world. With the known high calibre of our own Canberra Symphony Orchestra, it will be a night to remember.

“These free events are a terrific opportunity for families and friends to come together, and to support our local small businesses who continue to be a huge part of the festival in providing delicious food and drink, and world-class entertainment.”

Visit enlightencanberra.com

/Public Release. View in full here.