The Australian National Botanic Gardens is launching its 50th anniversary program today with its popular Summer Sounds event starting this weekend.
From March to December the Gardens will host activities to celebrate its golden anniversary and showcase the importance of the national institution.
The Gardens Executive Director, Dr Judy West, said the significant milestone will be marked with more than two dozen events.
“Throughout the year, there will be activities and exhibitions featuring week-long festivals, music, cinema, giant sculptures, wildlife and art, for all ages to enjoy,” Dr West said.
“The Gardens is a sanctuary in the heart of Canberra and has grown into one of the capital’s most cherished institutions - where scientific excellence works to conserve our nation’s beautiful and unique flora in an elegant space that welcomes people from across the country and around the world.”
The Gardens supports a living collection of more than 70,000 native plants, representing over 6,200 species and - about one-third of Australia’s known native plants.
The Australian National Botanic Gardens, known then as the Canberra Botanic Gardens, was officially opened in October 1970 by Prime Minister John Gorton.
In that same year a misting system was installed in a dry gully at the foot of Black Mountain to artifically increase humidity. This allowed for the establishment of one of the Gardens’ major attractions, the magnificent Rainforest Gully.
More than half-a-million visitors come to the Gardens each year to relax in its tranquil setting, explore Australia’s floral heritage and enjoy the wonderful events and activities.
The 50th anniversary program kicks off with Summer Sounds 2020 this Saturday and Sunday featuring live music for the whole family in a beautiful outdoor setting.
Summer Sounds 2020 continues over the next three weekends on the Australian National Botanical Gardens Eucalypt Lawn.
This is the start of a huge program that includes the Banksia Festival, The Garden Party, Australia’s first outdoor exibition of giant Megafauna that roamed the country thousands of years ago, along with a special musical composition for the Canberra International Music Festival Concert commissioned by the Gardens.
This anniversary year will also see construction of the Ian Potter National Conservatory commence, with the stunning new attraction due to open in 2022.
Further details can be found on the Parks Australia website.
Summer Sounds 2020 Program
PARTY WEEKEND – Top 40 hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s and today
Saturday 7 March - Purc Randall & Soultry Se-Lah with Canberra Swing Katz
Sunday 8 March – Sistas in Song with Jumptown Swing
TRIBUTE WEEKEND – A celebration of music icons Fleetwood Mac and Aussie rock and pop legends
Saturday 14 March – The Drinking Lizards with Kokoloco
Sunday 15 March - Sweet Little Lies
JAZZY WEEKEND – Smooth jazz and swing
Saturday 21 March – Annie and the Armadillos with Canberra Swing Katz
Sunday 22 March – The Liam Budge Jazz Quartet with Jumptown Swing
There are also kids activities during Summer Sounds 2020 including face painting and arts and crafts.
Meanwhile you can either bring your own picnic or enjoy the food and drink on offer which includes woodfired pizzas, French crepes, gelato, sweet and savoury cannoli, wine or beer.
Concerts commence at 5.00pm and entry is $5 for adults, $3 child and consession and three years and under are free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
Visit parksaustralia.gov.au/botanic-gardens for more details.
Julie Akmacic, Australian National Botanic Gardens – 0419 441 772