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Aerial shot of Bondi Pavilion with birds flying over it along Bondi beach
Photograph: Supplied

Here are all the events celebrating the opening of the revitalised Bondi Pavilion

Talk about surf culture – here’s how to experience world class arts and community by the beach at the stunningly refurbished Bondi Pavilion this spring

By Time Out in association with Waverley Council
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Carefully restored and beautifully revitalised, the historic Bondi Pavilion is finally ready to throw open its doors. They’re warming up the house with a massive cultural and creative program that will show off all its shiny new spaces while bringing people together. Discover free gigs, fascinating tours, fun workshops and school holiday activities for every age and interest. 

Many events are free but bookings always essential, so check the What’s On page for dates and tickets.

An exhibition of all the finalists in the 2022 Waverley Art Prize will be on display for three weeks from September 24-October 15, so there’s plenty of time to explore the full collection on your day off. A wide diversity of themes, mediums and styles are on show, and you’re invited to vote for your favourites as part of the People’s Choice Prize.

Longtime lifeguard Lawrie Williams (known to many as the ‘Bondi Historian’) will take groups on a behind-the-scenes tour of Australia’s most recognised beach. Weaving personal experiences with his deep knowledge of the place, he’ll share stories spanning decades. Learn about beach inspector Aub Laidlaw and those he expelled from the beach, see the spot where gelato was first introduced to Australia, and hear tales about everything from sharks to Japanese subs, scandals, mermaids and more (Sep 24, Oct 1, Oct 8).

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Despite being a commanding presence on Australia’s most famous beach, the 100-year-old Bondi Pavilion has spent much of its life being neglected, debated and disdained. So how do you transform what was once considered an unsightly white elephant into a vibrant community space fit for the 21st century? At panel discussion The Architecture of an Icon, hear direct from architects, designers, creatives and heritage experts on how they brought this massive project to life. It’s on Sunday September 25 at 1.30pm.

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The ATYP’s long list of alumni includes the likes of Nicole Kidman, Toni Collette, Rose Byrne and Abbie Cornish – and your little ones could be next, as they bring their expertly delivered drama programs to Bondi Pavilion this spring. Join a young creative community at a choose-your-own-adventure story week for Year 5-6 students, or an acting essentials course for Year 7-9s (Sep 26-30, 10am-4pm, $450).

 

Internationally acclaimed couturier and sometime Bondi local Bowie Wong will present his debut ceramics collection, alongside priceless couture creations, at a captivating opening night on Friday September 30. In Couture in Motion, graduates from the Sydney Dance Company will bring his pieces to life with a special performance in the Guya Courtyard brimming with style, elegance and motion. The collection, which is inspired by Japanese Zen aesthetics, will be on display until October 3.

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Before it’s time to raise the curtain, there are a myriad of jobs that must be done to get the show on the road. Young theatre enthusiasts will relish this two-day school holidays workshop that teaches script analysis and research, lighting and set design, sound and modern theatre technology. Delivered by youth arts co-op Shopfront, it’s a rich experience that will develop skills and creativity (Oct 4-5, 10am-3pm, $180).

In this fun, hands-on workshop, artist Laura Jade will teach children from six to 12 years why artworks are arranged in certain ways, and how this shapes our understanding of them. Kids will then become curators of their own mini gallery, theming and styling their ‘exhibition’, working on mini canvas paintings and sculpting a pint-sized plinth from modelling clay (Tue Oct 4, 10am & 1pm, $10).

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If you’ve got an enthusiastic sketcher, painter or collage maker at home, send them to this engrossing art workshop run by painter Genevieve Felix Reynolds. The session starts with a tour of the Waverley Art Prize as they explore the composition, contrast, colour and pattern of exhibited artworks. Reynolds will then guide the group to create their own mixed media artworks using collage and painting (Wed Oct 5, 10am & 1pm, $10).

This award-winning show of shadow puppetry, music and adventure, presented by Matriark Theatre, will delight children from seven years and up. In Urza and the Song in the Dark, protagonist Urza finds herself lost underground when a mysterious song leads her into a wonderland of caves and lakes deep inside the earth. Surreal and fantastical performances will stoke young (and old) imaginations (Oct 7-8, 11.30am & 2.30pm, $20-$25). 

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…then have them learn shadow puppetry
Photograph: Supplied

11. …then have them learn shadow puppetry

Captivated by the show? Send the kids to this special school holiday workshop, in which the team behind Urza will teach 8-12 year olds their unique approach to shadow puppetry. Combining physical performance and shadow play, it’ll get them moving, expressing and creating (Fri Oct 7, 12.30pm, $20).

By exploring how the climate emergency enters our personal and collective cultural experience, this panel discussion hopes to inform and inspire. Hear from speakers including Dr Tania Leimbach of the UTS Climate Justice Research Centre and Dr Jenny Newell of the Australian Museum Climate Solutions Centre as they discuss if the imagination that exists between art and climate change can deepen our capacity to respond to environmental crises (Sat Oct 8, 3.30pm, free).

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In this thought-provoking one-hour panel chaired by Bondi Pavilion Gallery curator Elizabeth Reidy, working artists will discuss the power of art prizes in career development. How does becoming a finalist impact an artist? What effect does it have on their self-confidence? Join artist Fiona Lowry, Philjames and Luke Kennedy as they discuss their experiences and theories (Sat Oct 15, 2pm, free).

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