Abbotsford Convent Community Open Day

Sat 27th April, 2024
10:00am – 6:00pm
Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
Price: Free
Spend a Saturday celebrating 20 years of the Abbotsford Convent. On the program: a DJ set by Wax’O Paradiso, a silent disco led by Guru Dudu, free food and drink samples, live music and dance performances and more.

The Abbotsford Convent has been around since 1863. But it wasn’t always the hive of arts, culture and food that it is today. In 2004, the Abbotsford Convent Coalition fought to protect the space from commercial redevelopment and demolition – advocating for its place as an educational and cultural hub for the community – and won.

Now its celebrating the 20-year milestone with a free community open day filled with live music, workshops and interactive exhibits across the Convent’s many rooms, gardens, and courtyards.

On the program, there’ll be a silent disco led by Guru Dudu, live performances from community choir Pangan Angels and the Australian National Academy of Musicians, dance experiences from resident artist and choreographer Jo Lloyd, a tea ceremony act by Japanese-Australian performer Yumi Umiumare and an immersive light and sound installation by electronic media artist Pierre Proske.

Throughout the day guests are invited to add Weaving Architecture, an interactive open-air art installation by Slow Art Collective or join a paper craft, painting or drawing workshop.

On the food side of things, try free samples from the Convent's much-loved venues Cam’s Kiosk, Julie, Kappaya and the Convent Bakery plus food trucks from the Regional Farmers Markets. The Bellarine Distillery will also be offering tasters of its Tarty Ted G&T at the Rosina Courtyard.

As part of the anniversary, the Convent will also open a free commemorative exhibition, Marking the Movement: an archival journey, showcasing its 20-year journey to becoming one of Australia’s largest arts and cultural precinct. Or head to St Heliers Street Gallery and the Magdalen Laundry for other exhibitions and performances by local artists.

To wrap up the festivities, groove to set by Melbourne DJ collective Wax’O Paradiso from 4pm to 6pm and enjoy a barbeque and drinks on the Mercator Lawn.

The day is an occasion for the public to celebrate the Convent’s success in creating a vibrant creative community over the last two decades complete with a gallery, two schools, a radio station and an open space for residents in its lush garden covering over 16 acres.

Entry is free, and everyone is welcome.

From 10am to 6pm.

More information here.