Annual Events Program

Backyard Harvest Festival

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Held annually in November, the Backyard Harvest Festival is a celebration of home food growing traditions. Learn from passionate and knowledgeable local experts from a diversity of cultures. Visit home gardens, participate in gardening workshops and get inspired to create your own food garden this spring!

Presented by Darebin Council in partnership with the Darebin Ethnic Communities Council (DECC), The Backyard Harvest Festival has inspired home gardeners since it first began in 2011, helping build a strong sense of community around homegrown and homemade food.

The 2017 festival is taking place from Saturday 18 - Sunday 26 November.

Are you interested in volunteering or opening your garden at the next festival?

The festival is built on the generosity of our talented home gardeners who not only open their gardens for tours, but also hold workshops on a wide range of topics such as keeping chickens and quails, water efficient gardens, grafting fruit trees and aquaponics.

Other volunteers help as a guide or translator for home gardeners. They benefit first hand from the wealth of food cultivating skills shared by passionate gardeners from a diversity of cultures. 

Click here to fill out the on-line Expression of Interest form or visit any Customer Service Centre to request a hard copy version.
Further Information
Sustainable Food Officer
Ph: 8470 8392

Video: Backyard Harvest Festival 2017

Carols in All Nations

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A perfect family night out under the stars, enjoying the musical talents from local choirs and picking up treasures from the market stalls.

Bring a picnic, your best singing voice and celebrate Christmas with your community. This free event features performances from local choirs, music, community market stalls, sausage sizzle and more!

The next Carols in All Nations will be held on Saturday 9 December 2017. For more information, visit Darebin Arts later in the year.

Citizenship Ceremonies

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Congratulations on deciding to become an Australian Citizen! Find dates of Citizenship Ceremonies held at Darebin and what to bring on your big day.

The Mayor of Darebin hosts the Citizenship Ceremonies, which are also attended by key speakers representing Federal and State Parliament. 

You will need to apply to become an Australian citizen through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection .

Ph: 131 880

When and where will the ceremony be held?
Once your application for Australian citizenship is approved the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will send you a letter to advise which ceremony to attend and when.

You can only attend the Citizenship Ceremony assigned to you in the letter sent by the Department of Immigration & Citizenship.

Duration: The ceremony lasts 1 hour with refreshments served afterwards.
Food and Drinks: Light meal and refreshments are provided.
Guests: Family and friends are welcome and encouraged to attend. It's a celebration!

Citizenship Ceremonies for 2017

  • Thursday 26 January - Australia Day
    City Hall, 280 Gower Street, Preston 
    10.00am doors open for registration
    11.00am Ceremony Commences
  • Friday 24 February
    Northcote Town Hall, High Street, Northcote
    6.00pm doors open for registration
    7.00pm Ceremony Commences
  • Wednesday 19 April
    City Hall, 280 Gower Street, Preston 
    6.00pm doors open for registration
    7.00pm Ceremony Commences
  • Wednesday 28 June
    City Hall, 280 Gower Street, Preston 
    6.00pm doors open for registration
    7.00pm Ceremony Commences
  • Wednesday 2 August
    City Hall, 280 Gower Street, Preston 
    6.00pm doors open for registration
    7.00pm Ceremony Commences
  • Sunday 17 September - National Citizenship Day
    City Hall, 280 Gower Street, Preston 
    10.00am doors open for registration
    11.00am Ceremony Commences
  • Wednesday 8 November
    City Hall, 280 Gower Street, Preston 
    6.00pm doors open for registration
    7.00pm Ceremony Commences

What happens if I cannot attend a Citizenship Ceremony?
Contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship if you have a special request or cannot attend your assigned ceremony date.

Department of Immigration & Citizenship
Ph: 131 880

Registration at the Citizenship Ceremony

  • Register on the day of the ceremony with a Council Officer no later than 15 minutes before the ceremony commences.
  • Please bring along your letter from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
  • Bring along your photo identification (e.g. passport or drivers license).
  • Advise during registration if your contact details have changed (e.g. address, phone number or surname).
Further Information
Civic Events and Engagement Officer
Creative Culture and Events
Ph: 8470 8551

Multilingual Telephone Line (We Speak Your Language)
Ph: (03) 8470 8470
Video: What can you expect at the next citizenship ceremony? Watch the celebrations from Australian Citizenship Day held on 17 September 2016.

Darebin Community and Kite Festival

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The Darebin Community and Kite Festival is a perennial favourite. Held in picturesque Edwardes Lake Park in Reservoir, the festival is a large-scale, outdoor, cultural and community celebration.

It is a fun, free and immersive festival that offers a broad range of performances, workshops, community stalls, a pet expo, food and beverages, and of course, kite flying!

Gather your family and friends, bring a kite if you have one (or make one on the day!) and come along and celebrate with the Darebin community.

11am - 5pm, Sunday 26 March 2017

Take a look at the full program and join us for a fun day for kids of all ages! 



Share your Darebin Community & Kite Festival photos and WIN one of three $100 Darebin vouchers!

Share your photos on social media with #darebinkites to go into the running to win one of three $100 vouchers to spend at a Darebin business of your choice!

How to enter:

a. Access and log in to your personal Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account

b. Capture an image of your experience at the Darebin Community & Kite festival 2017, and post the image from your account

c. Ensure the post privacy setting is open to public (not set to private), Instagram entrants will need to make their profile public.

d. Use the hashtag #darebinkites in the same post


There are three $100 vouchers for a local Darebin business up for grabs!

Entries close 11:59pm (AEST) Sunday 2 April, 2017.

For full details, see terms and conditions

2016's festival was an amazing jam-packed day of fun, free, and engaging activities for all ages.

Darebin Music Feast

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Every year, Melbourne’s thriving music community comes together to celebrate songwriting and music at the Darebin Music Feast. This rich and diverse collection of musical events is built on the philosophy that music brings people together and can be enjoyed by all.

Darebin's Music Feast celebrates 20 years with an incredible lineup. Taking place from Thursday October 27 to Sunday November 6, the Darebin Music Feast will span more than 40 venues and feature more than 600 artists over 11 days. The event's program is an explosion of activity that ranges from industry panels, family workshops, live discussions, dance parties, interactive installations and more.

Few municipalities in Melbourne can boast the boundless creativity of Darebin. Taking in Thornbury, Northcote, Reservoir, Preston, Macleod, Fairfield, Bundoora, Alphington and Kingsbury, Darebin boasts a veritable bounty of talent and is brimming with art, music and dedication to culture.

For updates and news about this event, and opportunities to be involved, visit the Darebin Music Feast website.


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The FReeZA program is a part of the Victorian State Government funded FReeZA initiative that gives young people the opportunity to lead the planning and staging of live music and cultural events within their local communities.
As one of 78 state-wide providers, the FReeZA program also provides important performance opportunities for local musicians and emerging artists to showcase their talent through competitions such as the Victorian FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands.

All FReeZA events are fully supervised, drug, alcohol and smoke-free.


Homemade Food and Wine Festival

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Celebrate food traditions and sustainable food practices at the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival.

Held in various locations around central Preston, the week-long program features workshops, seminars, demonstrations and special events, culminating in the ‘meet the makers’ showcase where you can enjoy free wine tastings.

You can also enter your own homemade wine, passata, ajvar or olives into competition.

The next Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival will be held 29 May - 4 June 2017.

For more details please visit or Subscribe to the fortnightly newsletter to receive direct updates in your inbox.

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia

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This year again, we will proudly fly the Rainbow Flag to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Join us to celebrate the day and our LGBTIQ community with a suite of events!

Join us to acknowledge the 2017 International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and Darebin’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities with a range of activities in the month of May.

Celebrated on 17 May each year, IDAHOBIT recognises the discrimination and human rights abuses experienced by LGBTIQ people around the world.  IDAHOBIT also affirms the strength, resilience and contributions of LGBTIQ people and their families, allies and supporters. 

The international theme for IDAHOBIT 2017 is ‘Families’.  This year IDAHOBIT incorporates International Family Equality Day which celebrates LGBTIQ-parented families worldwide on May 7 each year.

In Darebin, we are proud of our diverse community. As the closest level of government to the community, we believe that we have an important role in challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and promoting social inclusion and human rights for all, regardless of sexuality, sex characteristics or gender identity.

We recognise that discrimination can have serious negative consequences on the social and emotional well being of our residents.  We are committed to strengthening community cohesion and connectedness by celebrating diversity and promoting respect for all.

Events to celebrate IDAHOBIT 2017 in Darebin:

Rainbow Flag Raising and Community Morning Tea

Everyone is welcome to attend the raising of the rainbow flag outside the Preston Shire Hallfollowed by a community morning tea inside the Shire Hall. The rainbow flag is an important symbol of diversity and freedom within LGBTIQ communities around the world.  

Date: Wednesday 17 May 2017
Time: 10am - 11am
Location: Preston Shire Hall, 284 Gower Street, Preston 

'Our Queer Family Matters'

An informal gathering for our LGBTIQ community and their families and allies, to reflect on the theme of IDAHOBIT 2017- families . This event includes information on local resources to support LGBTIQ health and well being.

Date: Wednesday 24 May 2017
Time: 5.45pm - 7pm
Location: Darebin Intercultural Centre, 59a Roseberry Street Preston (opposite the Preston Police Station) 

Darebin Libraries Celebrate IDAHOBIT 

  • Storytime at Darebin Libraries: Jess Walton, author of Introducing Teddy, will read from books about diverse families at these special storytime sessions.  For details including dates, times and locations see the Darebin Libraries website or visit the authors website by clicking here 
  •  Library displays of family-friendly books about same sex parents, sexuality and gender. Click here for an updated book list

Please click here to download the promotional poster for all events.

More information about Diversity in Darebin.

Messages of Support on IDAHOBIT

International Women's Day

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We celebrate International Women’s Day with events and activities taking place in the municipality throughout the whole month of March!

March 8 is a global day of recognition and celebration of women's social, political, cultural and economic achievements. It is also a day that invites reflection and action to combat gender-based discrimination and violence.

Molly Hadfield Social Justice Oration - Thursday 9 March
6pm-8pm, Northcote Town Hall

The Molly Hadfield Social Justice Oration was instituted by Council in 2013 as a tribute to Darebin resident Molly Hadfield OAM, who worked tirelessly throughout her life to advance women’s and seniors’ rights. The inaugural oration was delivered by prominent women's rights activist Mary Crooks AO in 2014, human rights advocate, curator and author Tasneem Chopra in 2015, and social commentator, writer and activist Celeste Liddle in 2016. 

The oration provides an ongoing platform for exploring and understanding key social justice issues of interest to women in our community.

This year, the keynote speech will be delivered by Clementine Ford, Melbourne based writer, speaker and feminist thinker and features artistic performances by Michelle Dabrowski and Chari Saldana, and this year’s oration will explore openly and honestly the state of the world we live in.

Entry: Free

Further Information:
Phone: 8470 8365

Register Online >

Women in Business – Real Business, Real Women - Thursday 2 March
12pm-2.30pm, The Regal Ballroom, 216 High Street, Northcote

A networking lunch for women in business led by Margie Warrell, bestselling author and founding CEO of Global Courage, a women’s leadership organisation.

Cost: $65 per person

Buy Tickets >

Bringing the Light: The Story of Seven Women - Saturday 4 March
6.45pm, Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre, Cnr Bell St & St Georges Road, Preston 

A documentary screening showing how the lives of women in Nepal have been transformed through education and opportunity

Cost: $25 per person

Buy Tickets >

Crime Writers Panel -Wednesday 8 March
Northcote Library, 32-38 Separation Street, Northcote

Join 3 highly talented female crime writers as they discuss crime writing and current trends.

Entry: Free

Further Information: 
Phone: 1300 655 355

Register Online >

For more details see - International Women's Day Flyer

Koorie Pride Youth Festival

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Held annually in April in Preston, Koorie Pride features main stage programming all day, market stalls, kids’ activities and a barbecue.

Presented in partnership with Songlines Aboriginal Music, Koorie Pride Festival showcases the work of young Indigenous performers.


Loud Mouth

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The Loud Mouth theatre program is presented by Darebin City Council and provides quality, contemporary and creative programming specifically designed for children, young teens and families.

Loud Mouth takes place on school holidays at Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre, with occasional events also held at Northcote Town Hall. For a full listing of events, please visit the Darebin Arts website.


National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC)

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NAIDOC Week 2016 will run from 3-10 July and is an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people.

Darebin City Council invites you to join us free celebrations for NAIDOC Week 2016 and contribute to the fostering of positive, respectful relationships between Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the wider Australian community.

NAIDOC Week Events

Songlines - This year's theme is "Songlines –The living narrative of our nation". Songlines are the oldest living narrative of our nation, and will be the focus for the 2016 NAIDOC Week celebrations. Join us on Monday 4 July for a special ceremony to mark the commencement of NAIDOC Week, more information is available in the Community Calendar.

Drumming Workshop - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth have an opportunity to record their own tunes at a free drumming workshop at Decibels Youth Studio on Thursday 7 July at 2pm. The event is free, but registration is a must, call 8470 8440 or email

Indigenous Storytelling for Kids - Joining cultural educator and storyteller and Wamba Wamba man Ron Murray for a unique insight into Indigenous culture. In this workshop, kids will be taken on a journey through Ron’s stories aimed to raise awareness about Indigenous culture and facilitate understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. $10 each.

National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

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National Sorry Day is an annual ceremonial event that is held in Australia on 26 May and coincides with the launch of the 1997 ‘Bringing them Home’ report. Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June commences on the day after Sorry Day.

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey: the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. The week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.

Each year, Darebin City Council recognises and celebrates these significant dates through a number of events across Council.

Parenting Sessions

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We offer a variety of sessions for parents to learn new techniques to help parent your child.

Families, Diversity and Community Events Calendar (February - June 2017) 

Families, Diversity and Community Events Calendar (July - December 2017)

Sessions available:

  • Sleep and Settling - includes information on understanding normal infant sleep, the function of sleep, infant cues, and how to help your baby establish age appropriate sleep patterns. Sessions are available for 0-5 months, 6-12 months, and 12 months + age groups.
  • Babies and Food in the First Year - includes information on when to start offering foods to taste, how to start offering foods, what foods to start with, textures of foods and readiness to try finger foods, mealtime and feeding cues.
  • Tuning into Your Baby - this session, in partnership with Darebin Community Health,  will provide new parents with the chance to play with their babies and learn about promoting their child's development. Enjoy a relaxed and fun environment with new toys and activities for parents to experience with their child.
  • Baby Massage - sessions for mothers, fathers and guardians of babies aged 6 weeks to 4 months techniques including information on massage techniques, the benefits of massage and how it can promote development, understand cues and communication, and basic relaxation techniques.
  • A Still Quiet Place - a six week mindfulness program teaching children aged 5 to 8 years to build resilience and skills including stress management and reducing anxiety. It also teaches children to bring thoughtful, calming awareness to their day to day experiences and struggles, not only reducing pressure and strain, but enhancing their quality of life. 

  • Fathers Session with Dr Wake - Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and author Dr Andrew Wake will talk with Dads to help children manage their emotions. Topics include; Where fear and anger comes from in the brain, what makes children angry, and how to confidently help our children (and ourselves) learn to deal with emotions better.  
  • Raising Your One Year Old - Find out what you have to look forward to as your child turns one. This session will provide information on growth and development, nutrition, play, security and safety, responding to young toddler behaviours, supporting exploration and learning, community resources.
  • Raising Your Two Year Old - Parenting your two year old presents opportunities for enjoyment of their new abilities in language and play. It can also be a challenging time as toddlers express strong feelings and a growing independence. Find out what this new stage will bring.
  • Raising Your Three Year Old - Three year old children are eager to learn more about themselves and the wider world. They like to do more things for themselves and thrive when there are predictable routines and experiences that help them gain confidence. Find out what this new stage will bring. Kindergarten and community resources will also be discussed.
  • Siblings without Rivalry - Learn about a variety of ways that parents can manage sibling rivalry. Parents can make a real difference in reducing friction and making harmony between siblings possible. Suitable for parents with children aged 0-8 years.
  • Mindfulness for Parents -  Explore how parent mindfulness can reduce anxiety and benefit the whole family. Learn some simple exercises to incorporate into daily life to bring about a greater sense of happiness and calm. Suitable for parents with children aged 0-8 years.
  • Where do the Children Play? - This session will explore long periods of time "just to be" and explore their world on their own terms.
  • When Kids Feel Right They Behave Right - This workshop will give parents a greater understanding of their child's behaviour, as well as creative and innovative ways to encourage cooperation.


Bookings are essential as places are strictly limited.

Book Online 

Pride March

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Darebin at Pride March 2016

We will be participating in the annual Pride March on Sunday 31 January 2016, at 1.30pm for a 2pm start.

This open air celebration sees over 100 groups march down Fitzroy Street (St. Kilda) to express courage, solidarity, pride and diversity of the LGBTIQ community. The program includes assembly at the parkland at the northwest corner of Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive and finishes with free performances on the foreshore.

Darebin Council will march in Pride as a demonstration of our commitment to equity and inclusion and our aspiration to create a community where everyone feels included, safe and able to achieve their full potential and wellbeing, regardless of sexuality, sex characteristics or gender identity.

The theme of this 21st annual Pride March is marriage equality – for which Council expressed official support in July 2015

Join us and show your support for a diverse, inclusive community!

When: Sunday 31 January 2016, 1.30pm for a 2pm start
: Meet at the “Darebin’s coming out” banner at the parkland on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive, St. Kilda.

Ride2Work Day

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Want to make your workplace more bike-friendly and get more of your workmates riding to work? Host a Ride2Work Day breakfast at your workplace during October.

Ride2Work Day is Australia's biggest celebration of bike riding and the perfect opportunity to try riding to work. Join the thousands of riders across Darebin already on their bikes and experience the difference riding can make to your daily commute. 

We support workplaces in Darebin to host Ride2Work Day events in October. Sign up to our mailing list to be the fist to know when registrations open for Ride2Work Day 2017. 

Benefits of bike-friendly workplaces
There are so many benefits to encouraging bike riding in your workplace, including:
  • Increased staff health and wellbeing
  • Reduced absenteeism and increased productivity
  • Saving money 
  • Alleviating parking pressures 
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Attracting and retaining staff 

For more information about how to make your workplace more bike-friendly, visit Bicycle Network Victoria.

Seniors Month

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Each year in October, a range of activities and events take place across Darebin to celebrate older people as part of Victorian Seniors Festival.

Further Information
Ph: 8470 8312


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Speakeasy is a year-round independent theatre program. Now in its second year, Speakeasy presents creative and challenging contemporary performances by emerging and established artists.
The Speakeasy program is presented at Northcote Town Hall and features artists from across Melbourne and beyond.
Visit the Darebin Arts website for upcoming shows and tickets. 

Summer Jamboree

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Summer Jamboree returns for its second outing this January in Northcote Town Hall’s Civic Square
Summer Jamboree will feature a huge program of free entertainment by the best local talent, games and activities for all ages, and refreshing provisions and nourishment from our kiosk bar.

Come pull up a deck chair and make camp in Northcote this Summer. The outdoors have never felt so good.

Friday 23 January 5pm-10.30pm
Saturday 24 January 4pm-10.30pm
Sunday 25 January 2pm-8.30pm
Monday 26 January 11am-8pm - Decibels JJJ Hottest 100 Australia Day Party

Friday 30 January 5pm-10.30pm - Decibels Records Party
Saturday 31 January 4pm-10.30pm
Sunday 1 February  2pm-8.30pm

Sustainable Living Expo

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Visit Darebin's Sustainable Living Expo to learn more about how you can live more in harmony with the planet.

Saturday, 2 April 2016
Preston City Hall and Preston Shire Hall, Gower Street, Preston

Darebin's Sustainability Expo is a chance for residents from all walks of life to find out more about sustainability and discover easy ways to reduce their impact on the planet with a range of free workshops, group presentations and information stalls.

One workshop well worth checking will be provided by local architects and the Alternative Technology Association who are offering free 10-minute consultations where people can discuss their green home design ideas and renovation plans with architects specialising in sustainable design. 

There’ll also be plenty on for the young ones with face painting, a pedal-powered smoothie maker and green puppetry crew Trash Puppets on hand to teach kids (and adults) to make their very own puppet from recycled waste materials.

Council staff will also be on hand to provide information on solar energy and details about sustainable transport options including car sharing and electric bicycles. And there’ll be a workshop offering tips to reduce food waste – and make good use of unavoidable waste through composting and worm farming.

The program (so far) for the day is as follows... 

11.00am - 2.00 pm - Visit the information stalls of local environmental groups and green businesses

11.00am - 2.00pm - Trash Puppets - learn how to make puppets from waste materials, Bike 'n' Blend - pedal powered smoothie maker and face painting

11.30am - 12.20pm - 10 minute consultations with local architects and the Alternative Technology Association - bring aling your green home design and renovation ideas

12.30pm - Official opening 

12.40pm - 1.30pm - Presentation by local architects about green home design and renovation

We will be adding to the program over the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

True North

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True North is a celebration of arts and community in the creative, culturally diverse suburb of Reservoir.

A rolling series of participatory arts projects and events will delight locals, inspire visitors, and bring people together through sound, illustration, music, dance, food and play. Join us as we explore and celebrate the unique character of this thriving northern suburb. All you have to do is head True North.


Overheard in Reservoir
This summer, Oslo Davis hit the pavement as our artist-in-residence. Sketching his encounters with locals in his ever-humorous style, Oslo has produced a local newspaper to pictorially represent the unique character of Reservoir. Our gift to you this January!


The Peoples' Tours of Reservoir
Join us for an audio adventure led by Reservoir locals. ABC Open producer Jane Curtis has been busy recording audio tours with unlikely tour guides in unlikely places. Discover bountiful backyards, modernist dreams and multiculturalism at its best through the Peoples Tours of Reservoir. Available for download and broadcast in February 2016.

Outdoor CinemaTrue North is excited to present an Open Air Cinema event especially for Reservoir! Join us from 6pm on Friday, 26 February at Edwardes Lake Park for an evening of family entertainment.

To find out more, visit True North Arts.

Video: Attend a free event, find something to do over the school holidays, or visit public art in your neighbourhood.