A collective celebration of the community’s creative vibrancy.

A weekend for family and friends to come together and celebrate the work of the region’s artists with disability.

Belconnen Arts Centre > 1 – 3 December, 2017

Belconnen Arts Centre and partners are positioning artists with disability as integral contributors to the Canberra region’s artistic and cultural vitality, through a weekend focused on engaging and experimenting in creative practice. The DETONATE program has been collectively devised with a range of partners to cultivate opportunities to actively engage in, indulge and experiment in a range of creative experiences. DETONATE coincides with International Day of People with Disability 2017.

The weekend of celebrations commences on Friday 1 December at 6:00pm with Canberra Symphony Orchestra presenting a free community concert at Belconnen Arts Centre, a unique opportunity for all to come together and share in the joy of music. These performances are part of the CSO’s Community and Regional Engagement program, where musicians perform for children with disabilities, visit aged care facilities, collaborate with Painting with Parkinson’s artists and provide interactive chamber concerts for people with hearing loss.

Saturday 2 December (11:00am – 4:00pm) will be an explosion for the senses, kicking the day off with the launch of the Canberra Times International Day of People with Disability lift-out supplement. As well as the program of live entertainment, there will be a feast of opportunities to explore your creative spirit through a series of hands-on making experiences, or indulge yourself with a purchase from a suite of artisan stalls. For those who love the filmic experience, you can share in the stories of artistic investigations and collaboration told through film.

Sunday 3 December (11:00am – 4:00pm) the community is welcome to taste the delights of dance through an open dance workshop in the morning, catering to all levels of ability and mobility.  It will be followed by an opportunity to participate in an open forum exploring the relationship between dance and wellbeing.  Around 1:30pm, you can experience a rich program of dance performances with dancers and groups from around the ACT.  The day will conclude with a screening of Meryl Tankard’s very moving film of Michelle’s Story.

DETONATE celebrates the region’s artists with disability and how they contribute to the vibrancy of our creative sector and lifestyle, brought together by Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, AusDance ACT, NDIS Feros Care and the region’s artists with support from the ACT Government and Ginninderry.



Friday 1 December > 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Canberra Symphony Orchestra community concert
A quintet of wind players perform works by Beethoven, Mozart and Dvorak

Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Image courtesy of Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Saturday 2 December > 11:00am to 4:00pm

Acknowledgement of country and opening of DETONATE
By Belconnen Arts Centre Creative Program Director Monika McInerney and People with Disabilities ACT Executive Officer Robert Altamore
*interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing

Robert Altamore

Robert Altamore; image by Jamila Toderas for The Canberra Times

Launch of Canberra Times International Day of People with Disability supplement
By Member for Kurrajong Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA
*interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing

Performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf by Canberra Symphony Orchestra
Puppetry by Marianne Mettes, narration by Duncan Driver and music by CSO wind quintet
*interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing

Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Image courtesy of Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Performance by Alchemy Chorus, a partnership between Dementia Australia and Musical Director Brian Triglone
Assistant conductor, Michael Eley; Keyboard, Brendan O’Loghlin
*interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing

The chorus is about using choral singing to bring joyful experiences to those living with dementia and their carers, in an inclusive and non-discriminatory environment, to reminisce and to create meaningful moments in each other’s lives; a variety of songs will delight the audience at DETONATE, including Get Me to the Church on Time, Baby Face, If You Knew Suzie, Rock My Soul, Small World, I am Australian, The Carnival is Over and A Place in the Choir.

Alchemy Chorus

Alchemy Chorus; image courtesy of Brian Triglone

Performance by Mpofu Namba-1

After losing his eyesight in high school, Paul Mugambi (aka Mpofu Namba-1) channeled his immense creative energy into disability advocacy and disability mainstreaming in his native Kenya, as well as lively and engaging hip-hop music.

Paul Mugambi

Image courtesy of Mpofu Namba-1 (left, performing for World Disability Day 2014)

From 1:00pm – in the Dance Studio
Continuous screening of Slice Of That Pie (25 mins)

Produced by Justin Ray, in collaboration with Robert Nugent and Aaron King; supported by the Australia Council for the Arts

Justin Ray has been capturing the suite of creative collaborations and the journey shared between IGNITE: Creatives artists and their collaborators as they work towards the development of new work.

Continuous screening of short film Stuck (10 mins)
Starring Peter Rosini, directed/produced by Adrian Muscat and produced by Maria Rosini and Tina Costessi

Sometimes being stuck in an isolated place is not where you are really stuck at all. Jonas White, a forgotten mail delivery person, gets stuck in the stairwell of his office building during the Christmas long weekend.

1:30pm – in the Arts Lounge
Poetry and short story readings
By IGNITE: Alternative Arts Academy participants

Book launch of Kathryn Leo’s Part of Me
A collection of images, poetry and writings that explore the lived experience of mental illness, by IGNITE: Creatives artist Kathryn Leo

Performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf by Canberra Symphony Orchestra
Puppetry by Marianne Mettes, narration by Duncan Driver and music by CSO wind quintet

Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Image courtesy of Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Performance by Johnny Huckle

An award-winning and proud Wiradjuri man, Johnny has performed at such iconic venues as the Sydney Opera House, and even received fan mail from former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. A natural performer and storyteller, Johnny will move you from laughter to tears and back again with his powerful voice and a twinkle in his eye.

Johnny Huckle

Image courtesy of Johnny Huckle

Performance by DJ Coolio Desgracias

DJ Coolio Desgracias is the hip-hop alter-ego of musician Simon Milman, better known for his work as bassist with Los Chavos, The Ellis Collective and various improvised music projects. Desgracias has been DJing over the years, honing his craft at parties and at April’s Caravan, Canberra Multicultural Festival, The Phoenix, Gorgeous Mortar, Smith’s and Bar Rochford. He has released 7 albums on his own nano label We Large Productions and his music has been featured on the Triple J Hip Hop Show, 2XXFM and 3PBSFM.

DJ Coolio Desgracias

Image courtesy of DJ Coolio Desgracias

Throughout the day
Master of Ceremonies
Joel Swadling

Drop-in art workshops in felting, weaving and collage
Led by IGNITE and Indigenous artists, supported by NDIS Feros Care

Exhibition of Mess, Struggle and Renewal 
By IGNITE: Alternative Arts Academy participants

Musical interludes on guitar
Performed by IGNITE artist Toby Millar

Artisan stalls

Sunday 3 December > 11:00am to 4:00pm

Acknowledgement of country and meet and greet with fellow dancers and dance leaders

Open dance class
Led by teachers from the Dance for Wellbeing programs at Belconnen Arts Centre and Tuggeranong Arts Centre
*interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing

Everyone is invited to participate in this fun one hour class, to wake up your brain and body. It will include seated and standing exercises and is suitable for all levels of ability, mobility and experience.

Open dance class

Off Beat dance group; image by Lorna Sim

Lunch by the Lakeside
BYO picnic and take in views of beautiful Lake Ginninderra

Open forum on Dance, Disability and Wellbeing
Led by provocateurs Liz Lea, Ruth O’Brien and Erica Rose Jeffrey, with IGNITE: Creatives performer Katie Senior, Margaret Senior and Margaret Healey
*interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing

From 1:35pm
Performance by CDTeens of Canberra Dance Theatre 
Choreographed by Amy Macris and Luke Mulders

Canberra Dance Theatre CDTeens

CDTeens; image courtesy of Canberra Dance Theatre

Performance of In the Village by The GOLDs of Canberra Dance Theatre
Choreographed by Gretel Burgess

Set to a fusion of traditional and contemporary Asian music, this dance uses movement from around Indonesia to demonstrate a taste of life in a village in Sumatra.

Canberra Dance Theatre GOLDs

The GOLDs; image courtesy of Canberra Dance Theatre

Performance by dance group Extreme Stars

The Extreme Stars are a group of young adult dancers who are bound to put on a performance that will leave you feeling joyful. Each week in dance class they aim to learn new and challenging choreography, a differentiation in style and technique, to improve their dancing abilities, routines, and overall confidence to perform. Dance is a place where the extreme stars can hang out with their friends, challenge themselves, have a boogie and most of all have fun. At DETONATE, they will be performing a fun Gatsby-themed routine which is a little different to the traditional hip hop they have done in the past.

Extreme Stars

Image courtesy of Ausdance ACT

Performance by dance group Dream Team
Choreographed by Emma Smith

Running for over 10 years, Dream Team relish their Saturday gatherings, when they get to do what they’re most passionate about – dancing and performing together!

Dream Team

Image courtesy of Dream Team

Performances by Vivacity and Off Beat
From the Dance for Wellbeing programs at Belconnen Arts Centre and Tuggeranong Arts Centre


Vivacity dance group; image by Lorna Sim

Performance of That Extra Some by IGNITE: Creatives collaborators Katie Senior and Liz Lea
Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts

Katie and Liz worked together for 9 months and developed a work called That Extra Some about what it is to have Down Syndrome, how we are all human, have loves and lives but that Katie has something extra. She is an extraordinary human being and young woman; film star, world champion swimmer and fabulous dancer.

Liz Lea and Katie Senior

Liz Lea and Katie Senior; image courtesy of Ausdance ACT

From 2:45pm – in the Dance Studio (*interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing)
Screening of short films from Restless Dance Company (Adelaide)

Screening of Embrace the Difference, by Black Mountain School
Filmed at 2017 Ausdance ACT Youth Dance Festival

Black Mountain School

Black Mountain School performing at Ausdance ACT 2017 Youth Dance Festival; image by Andrew Sikorski, Art Atelier Photography

Screening of Michelle’s Story, by Meryl Tankard
A work that celebrates Michelle Ryan, Restless Dance Company’s Artistic Director.

Michelle's Story

Courtesy of Hedone Productions and Meryl Tankard, image by Regis Lansac