12-14 April 2019

Jane Austen Festival Australia is an annual celebration in Canberra where Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia come and indulge themselves in everything Regency - including dancing, music, food, games, archery, fencing, theatre, promenades, grand balls, talks, workshops, costumes and books. This festival is now a regular part of the ACT Heritage Festival, Australian Heritage Week and is supported by the ACT Government, the Australian Costumers Guild and the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy. Since its inception in 2008 this little festival has blossomed into one of the most delightful four days anyone could experience each April in an old and beautiful part of Canberra, the Federal capital of Australia.

December 02, 2008

Program of Events

The 2009 Jane Austen Festival is gearing up to be our best yet, with more activities and events than ever before!It will run from 16-20 April 2009, in Canberra, Australia.
Morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas are provided.

For more details and discount earlybird tickets
(last year sold out so book early!)


Festival venues include:
St Johns Church Hall, Constitution Ave, Reid;
YMCA Sailing Club, Alexandrina Dr, Yarralumla; &
The Garden Cottage, Yarralumla.

Welcome & Registration
Attend an informal gathering at The Garden Cottage, the home of the Festival Director, Aylwen Gardiner-Garden. A sampling of regency delicacies & drinks will be served and guests are encouraged to bring a contribution for a potluck dinner in the english cottage garden setting. Festival programs will be available for collection and light regency-era music will be playing in the background. 

Regency Fashion
Although Jane Austen makes few references to fashion in her books, the references in her letters indicate a certain fascination with the subject. Aylwen Gardiner-Garden, historical costumer with special expertise in the light, high-waisted, low-necklined women’s gowns of the time, will offer an illustrated lecture and close-up examination of antique regency garments in her collection.

Regency Etiquette
Calling on people was an important part of Regency social life, but the rules were strict. The etiquette of the ballroom was even trickier. Julia Emert of the Canberra Jane Austen Society will discuss the correct way to behave, whether calling, dining, dancing, giving or receiving introductions... even breathing. 

Regency Cooking
Readers of Jane Austen know food is central to her novels. Jennifer Bowles, an historical cookery enthusiast, will share some late 18th century recipes, discussing the ingredients and their importance to the times. 

Regency Bonnet Workshop
During the Regency era ladies seldom went out of doors without a bonnet or hat. Styles ran the gamut from plain straw bonnets to elaborately trimmed capotes. Join the President of the Australian Costumers Guild, Lynne Cook, and make a bonnet of your own. 

Jane Austen: Her life and works
The six most polished, controlled and elegant social comedies in English Literature were written by a woman whose personal life was unexciting and confined. Jane Austen’s cool judgement, ironic detachment and genius, however, gave her novels depth and charm and made them some of the most popular novels ever!
Susannah Fullerton, President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and noted Austen scholar, shares her passion for these novels and interest in the author and her times. Slides bring the Regency world to life and readings will remind audiences just how funny Jane Austen can be.

Regency Dance Classes
Regency dance expert and author of many books on dance, Dr John Gardiner-Garden, will teach some of the dances planned for the ball – not just those in forms familiar from the movies, but also some of those popular at the time but not yet seen on the screen. No experience or partner necessary. Several antique dance books from Jane Austen’s day will be on display.

Jane Austen’s Music
‘Jane Austen’s Music’ was a hit at the 2008 Adelaide Fringe Festival and its presenter will be coming with 2 accompaniests to offer us the same treat. Gillian Dooley, singer, musician, and Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of English and Special Collections Librarian at Flinders University, will be performing the Overture to La Buona Figliuola by Nicolo Piccinni (1728-1800) (First movement), Sweet Transports by William Shield (1748-1828), Thy Fatal Shafts (Anon), The Soldier’s Adieu by Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), Captivity by Stephen Storace (1762-1796), The Marseilles March, The Joys of the Country by Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), Somebody (Anon), My Phillida by Miss Mellish, and The Wedding Day by James Hook (1746-1797). 

Regency Games
Join us for Regency-era games including cards, board games and outdoor pursuits. Tea and delicious Regency-era refreshments will be served. 

Grand Regency Dinner & Ball
Step back to the time of Jane Austen at this period dinner and ball. Attend with Miss Elizabeth Bennett and dance with Mr. Darcy! The dinner will feature a Regency buffet by chef Michael Wischermann. The ball will feature flowing English Country dances and fashionable c.1800 imports all expertly led by a selection of callers from the Academy and all to live music from the band Earthly Delights. Refreshments, desserts and card room available during ball. Period evening dress encouraged but optional. Bookings required. 

Regency Debate
Take a side or take a seat to enjoy the repartee as cases are advanced for and against the proposition ‘That Jane Austen’s novels lack the passion of the screen adaptations’.

Costumed Promenade and Picnic
Join us for a costumed promenade & picnic lunch down by Lake Burley Griffin. Picnic contributions welcomed. 

Farewell Dance
Learn and enjoy some of the most popular dances of the late Regency era. Live music, refreshments and lake views provided. 

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