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.

March 12, 2015



Attention craftsmen and women - anyone here who sews by hand or does regency period crafts interested in demonstrating their skill to the public at the Albert Hall on Saturday 11 April? You may have questions directed at you from interested members of the public but you're not teaching - you just need to sew/craft in the period manner and wear period clothing. And be happy to be photographed by the public. We're setting up a Regency trades section outdoors in the shade facing the Hyatt Hotel and would love to have a few craftspeople timetabled during the day. Hopefully we'll have the Leura bodger in attendance as well. Be part of a living museum.


Whether you love the movies or the novels, or you are an expert on all things Jane, you can play the new card game, Jane Austen’s Sweethearts. With two packs of cards, Introductory and Advanced, and two sets of rules, you can play with your friends by choosing the option that best suits you.

All your favourite characters can be found in this game of chance that will be on sale for the special Festival price of $35.

For more details email joan@jasigames.com.au or visit www.janeaustenssweethearts.com.au

Some of you will remember Dragon’s Blood Creations - they're joining us again from South Australia with their great range of clothing and accessories. 

Dragon’s Blood Creations at an Adelaide event 

The Chameleon Ice Creamery

  • Specialising in homemade Boutique Ice Cream, Sorbet and Gelati.
  • Specialty flavours include Rose Petal, Pomegranate and Guinness.
  • We use the freshest ingredients and homegrown fruits.
  • Birthday cakes and takeaway packs. 

Special diets catered for including diabetic, soya, sheep & goat milk.  Gold & Silver Awards - Sydney Royal Easter Show 

The Sutlers Store
will be back again this year with a range of Regency household and personal effects. New products include more ceramic items, including hot chocolate cups and pots, candle stands and lanterns

www.thesutlersstore.com order now for JAFA15 delivery

1790’s chocolate maker and two cup set. Seascape design


Want to pre-order one of our limited-order tote bags? These 35cm x 35cm x 7.5cm canvas bags are on pre-sale for $20 at http://bit.ly/1ByhqGs to be picked up at the festival.  Any remaining bags will be selling for $25 at the registration desk until sold out.
The festival store will again be selling straw bonnets, regency sewing patterns, homemade quince jelly, Bingley's Tea and homemade soaps.
The Albert Hall does not have credit card facilities and some sellers can only accept cash, so do keep this in mind and make sure your reticule is large enough to store some essential funds.
JAFA15 Canvas Tote Bag

Carriage Rides

Will you be travelling around in our Barouche on Sunday of the Jane Austen Festival? Jane Austen preferred to travel at her own whim rather her brothers’ schedules: “I liked my solitary elegance very much, & was ready to laugh all the time, at my being where I was. I could not feel that I had naturally small right to be parading about London in a Barouche.” 

Carriage rides are free on Sunday morning for Season and Sunday ticket holders. The Royal Navy Landing party will be controlling the crowds.


Sewing and craft work shops are filling rapidly. Don’t miss out, register today. Note that some workshops require a fee paid to provide you with materials . Register ASAP to ensure that these kits are ready in time. Class confirmations went out last Thursday, so do check your emails.

Dancing at the Battle of Waterloo Ball

There will be minimal teaching during the Jane Austen Festival Battle of Waterloo Ball at the Albert Hall in Canberra on Saturday 11 April but all dances will still be prompted. Dancers will give themselves - and their partners - the greatest pleasure if they are thoroughly familiar with the regency dance style before the Ball - by attending pre-festival dance classes in Canberra starting Saturday 7 March or by attending daytime classes during the festival itself. See Canberra dance class enrolment information at http://www.earthlydelights.com.au/the-dance-academy/classes-workshops and/or enrol in dance classes at the festival on 10 & 11 April at http://www.janeaustenfestival.com.au/tickets

Where is the Albert Hall?

You will have noticed that the event will be centred on Albert Hall, in the Parliamentary Precinct of Canberra. This is a short history of the building.

View from the north, 1928 on completion

An ‘Assembly Hall’ for the national capital was a priority as a place for civic and cultural activities to nurture the new city. Construction of the Hall commenced in July 1927 and it was officially opened on 10 March 1928 by Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce, who declared it the ‘centre from which will radiate all those aspirations that are truly national’.

As Canberra’s only performing arts venue for its first 40 years, Albert Hall influenced the growth of flourishing musical, operatic and dramatic societies, such as the Society for Arts and Literature, Canberra Relief Society and Canberra Repertory Society. It was also the venue for tours by the Royal Ballet and the Australian Ballet, and even housed exhibitions of paintings and sculpture before a national gallery emerged.

On a civic level, Albert Hall was used for many formal public assemblies. The first such event was the British Empire Forestry Conference held in September 1928. During World War II, Albert Hall was the venue for Red Cross fundraisers and in 1945, the unforgettable site of the celebrations of the declaration of peace. In the late 1940s, the first graduation ceremonies of the new Australian National University College were held there. On 3 February 1949, Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell, Mr Justice Simpson and Prime Minister Ben Chifley officiated at Australia’s first citizenship ceremony, held in Albert Hall, which was also the venue for annual Australian citizenship conventions.

In 1979, Albert Hall was classified by the National Trust of Australia (ACT) and in 1991 it was included on the ACT Heritage Register. In 2008, Albert Hall celebrated 80 years. 

It is truly a grand ballroom of the old style

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