June 1, 2012
One of the many things I love about Brisbane is the unbridled enthusiasm with which it welcomes winter. It's the only city I know of that looks forward to the coldest part of the year and then holds all sorts of fetes and fairs to mark the occasion. Where the first chill in the air has everyone smiling and rubbing their hands together in anticipation and talking pumpkin soup recipes. Where footpaths start sprouting people walking in the winter sunshine and when public spaces in the city become mysteriously adorned with colourful knitwear (note here to the industrious souls from I Knit Brisbane: King George Square would benefit greatly from being covered in its entirety by a giant crochet rug). And, endearingly, a time when its citizens adopt peculiar fashion combinations such as beanies and thongs, scarves and shorts, sometimes all in the same outfit.
And so to the events that will be drawing a crowd in June, and for which to look out for in the coming weeks as Home Page features:
Wilston Winter Magic Fair - Not merely content with pretending that a daytime temp of 20 degrees is cold, the good citizens of Wilson have gone all out so that Kedron Brook Road will be blanketed in snow for this one, featuring amusement rides, winter dog shows, fashion, food, wine and song until the wee hours of the evening.
Government House Open Day - Rub shoulders with the Governor of Queensland, see where the Queen ate dinner and picnic in the grounds with smoked salmon and champagne in this rare opportunity to sticky beak behind the gold-tipped gates of Fernberg on Paddington's hill.
June 8 - Jul 1
Brisbane Winter Festival - It's not quite the Rockefeller Centre but it'll do. For the second year running King George Square is the epicentre of this celebration of winter and decked out like a makeshift alpine village complete with ice rink, European food stalls, latte lounge and 'alpine ski lodge' with gluhwein on tap. Take to the ice-skating rink with dozens of fellow unco-ordinated skaters and dry off afterwards by the roaring fire in the alpine hut with a reviving gluhwein or hot chocolate.
Out of the Box - For one week the entire cultural centre and surrounds will be overrun with little people, as Brisbane's biennial children's arts festival for 3-8 yr olds comes to town. Theatre, puppetry, dance, musical performances, book reading, art, workshops and so much more (a decent chunk free) will keep the young and the restless entertained for the week in this unique not-to-be-missed arts extravaganza.
Fete de la Musique: Hot on the trail of last month's Anywhere Theatre Festival is this anywhere music festival, celebrated by over 400 cities world wide on this day.
The gist of it is that musos in any shape or form are given license to pretty much get up and play anywhere they please (council red tape permitting) so expect to find free music in unexpected places, from bridges to laneways, car parks to hairdressing salons.
June 26 - Jul 7
Powerkidz - The Brisbane Powerhouse's much anticipated holiday sanity saver programme returns this school holiday with the usual fantastic range of performances, workshops and free activities throughout the 'house.
Other - All Month (or almost)
The Odditoreum (SLQ) - From the murky depths of the Sydney Powerhouse's vault, a collection of weird and wonderful curiosities will keep all ages enthralled, especially with the imaginative makeover given them by Shaun Tan, Australian writer and illustrator extraordinaire. All Month.
World Press Photography - From June 2 - 24 to The graffiti'd walls of the Brisbane Powerhouse will be covered in the selection of best press photos, grim and celebratory, from around the world as part of the world's most prestigious photojournalism exhibition.
Free Range 2012 - Until June 26 members of the public are free to wander into and poke around all corners of the century old warehouse that is home to the Metro Arts and watch artists at work, ask them questions and come away (or not) with an idea of the process that a work of art goes through before arriving at its end form.
IMA Emerging Artists: Fresh Cuts - The Judy's edgy subterranean gallery of modern art has selected its artists-most-likely-to-succeed for 2012 and their works will be on display from June 23 to Aug 24. In other words this is a kind of before he/she was famous and one painting sold to the Louvre for 20 million dollars art-viewing opportunity.
And now, having just spent the last 10 paragraphs looking forward, it's time to look back a little and congratulate our competition winners from May:
The Disney Film Festival - Danny, Jessica and Kerri
Anywhere Theatre Festival - Charlotte, Lisa and Geraldine
The Rat Trap - Aidan
Clairy Browne & The Bangin Rackettes: Sara and Jaye
Don Quixote - Kirsty
Elizabeth By Chance a Woman - Glenys
The Magic Flute - Jordan
Australian Booty - Donna
Casus Knee Deep - Brian
And had I a prize to give for the most enthusiastic competition enterer - Glenys, it would be yours - and had I one for the kindest deed - Jordan, who gave her prize to her parents as a surprise gift.
I have only just entered the heady world of prize giveaways in the last couple of weeks and there are plenty more where they came from. So, even if you have already previously subscribed and desperately want tickets to a particular show you can enter using the competition form on the site. Hint - chances increase if you are also a Facebook Subscriber and better still if you 'Like' the show when it appears on the Facebook Page.
Not to worry if you are yet to embrace the wonderment that is Facebook or, like I was until a few months ago, terrified of it, you are still very much in the running!