In 2020, the Festival’s showcases bring you entertainment from around the world.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Showcase
2020 will be the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Showcase’s 10th Anniversary. The showcase will include stalls, entertainment, art and craft, dance, food and music. Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent will be on display all day. You can catch all the action on Stage 2, Saturday 22 February, 11am – 11pm.
The Africa Village will be at Stage 5 across the 3 days of the Festival. The program will feature ‘One Spirit Africa’ an Afro-fusion band from Melbourne. Combining Ghanaian lyrics with English, they perform traditional African rhythms with vibrant percussive styling that will keep you dancing! One Spirit Africa will feature traditional West African drums, xylophone and flute along with contemporary keys, guitar, bass, drum kit and horns to present an authentic percussive performance. The Village will also feature Afro Zumba and a Drum workshop for all to participate in!
The Bellydance Showcase brings together the fabulously rich talents of Canberra and the surrounding region. Enjoy performances by local professional bellydance groups and schools as they demonstrate their skills in various styles of bellydance and Middle Eastern inspired dance including traditional Oriental, Cabaret, American tribal style and Folkloric. You’ll be delighted with the lively display of colourful dance and captivating music on Stage 4, Saturday 22 February, 10am – 1.30pm.
The Celtic Tattoo showcases music and dance and will features four of the Canberra region’s pipe and drum bands, Scottish fiddle and Ceilidh bands, Irish dancing, Scottish Highland and Country dancing. Be sure to join the fun at Stage 2 on Sunday 23 February to explore the history of Celtic clans and families and to learn about heritage from the Scottish Australian Heritage Council and the Canberra Welsh Society, you can also enjoy the food and drink from the Kilted Van.
The Greek Glendi 2020 is the premier Greek Street Party with plenty of KEFI (joy and spirit) which is an integral part of Hellenic Culture. See live Greek music showcasing local musicians, that will include the Bouzouki, the Lira, and the Daouli, just to name a few.
All of this will take place on Stage 1, Garema Place on Sunday 23 February from 11.30am - 4pm. Performances will be hosted by the ever-popular John Lazarou & Bico Athanasas, who bring their infectious vibe and great competitions to the stage - such as the Best Zorba Dance, Loukoumathes eating competition and of course plate breaking!
This year the showcase will include a Bouzouki Night presented by Hellenic Youth of Canberra at the Bunda Street Platform on Saturday 22 February from 9pm-11pm.
Be sure to visit the food and information stalls near the stage to try some of the best Greek Calamari, Spanakopita, Gyro and Souvlakia, followed by the best Loukoumathes and Greek & Cypriot Sweets in town which can all be washed down with some Chilled Greek Beer, Ouzo, Greek Coffee or Cold Frappe! OPA!
India in the City
India in the City is a signature part of the Festival that is coordinated by the Canberra India Council. The showcase will include the talents and performances of over 300 participants from different regions of India as well as the sub-continental communities of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and the diaspora communities of Fiji and Mauritius.
In 2020 the High Commission of India is commemorating the 150th anniversary of Indian icon Mahatma Gandhi. There will be performances of Indian classical dances such as Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathak, cultural dances such as Bhangra as well as Bollywood dances and workshops.
Come to Stage 4 on Saturday 22 February from 3pm – 11pm to be wowed by the breadth of performances and enjoy the many stalls serving a variety of Indian cuisine and popular street food. The culinary experience will challenge your taste buds with food from the North, South, East and West of India!
The Italian Piazza Showcase will feature several performances of the Sbandieratori di Sangemini (flag throwers) on Friday afternoon, and multiple performances across Saturday and Sunday. Italian music and songs will also be performed by local community artists over the weekend. Join in the fun at the corner of sections D & E, near the Merry-Go-Round.
The Languages showcase brings together a celebration of the beauty and diversity of language and demonstrates its power to hold and share culture. After a Welcome to Country in the language of the Ngunawal people from Tyronne and Jai Bell, you can enjoy songs in Mandarin from the Chinese Australian Early Childhood Centrel, giggle at a comic theatre skit in French, sway to songs in Spanish with Jorge and Cicilia, and be transported by poetry in many languages with Mother Tongue Multilingual Poetry. You will be shaken and stirred by two headline acts: multilingual poets and performers Andrew Cox and Kirli Saunders who will be sharing their journeys with the Festival.
Be sure to join us on Stage 6 on Sunday 23 February from 10am – 12.30pm.
Languages at the Festival Competition
Take a photo of a word or phrase in one of the many languages other than English represented at the festival. Find out something about its meaning and significance for a chance to win a major prize. Free entry, and it’s open to all!
1st Prize $250
2nd Prize $100
3rd Prize $50
You can find more information on the ACT Bilingual website
The Latin Quarters is once again bringing the vibrant culture, heritage and traditions of the world’s many Spanish speaking nations to the Festival. From live bands to traditional and contemporary dance performances you’ll will be awed by the colour, music and dance in this spectacular celebration.
This year there will prizes for the audience to test their knowledge about facts related to Latin America. And an attempt to break the record of 4,000 dancing Salsaton at the same time (a combination of Salsa music and Reggaeton). Professional choreographer, Alex Ocampo Leon, will be joining us from Sydney to get everyone up and dancing!
A new addition to the showcase will be groups such as Mi Hermano y Yo Colombian Folkloric Band, The New Monos, and directly from Mexico the stunning band, Playa Limbo.
Pacific Island Showcase
The Pacific Islander Showcase, running over the whole weekend on Stage 5, will combine new and emerging performing groups with old favourites to share the story about the beautiful tropical paradises of the Pacific.
Friday evening will feature a Hawaiian theme with vouchers and prizes being given away. The 2pouz Fynist Band from New Zealand are back by popular demand and will feature on both Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to head to the Pacific Island Showcase all weekend to experience the entrainment and enjoy the incredible Pacific Islander cuisine on offer.
The US Showcase will light up the Festival on both Friday and Saturday night! Featuring Lisa Hunt, an American born, Byron Bay based soul sensation, Geoff Achison & The Souldiggers, an internationally renowned blues-roots musician from Melbourne Australia and Cosima DeVito, an award-winning vocalist, pop and R&B singer songwriter. This showcase is simply one not to be missed!
The Korea showcase, running on Stage 6 (section H) on Saturday 22 February from 2.15pm, offers the opportunity to experience traditional music all the way through to K-pop! Korea Street has traditional and modern Korean food stalls and information stalls about Korea with fun games on offer for all.