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Abbotsford Convent Open Day


Sun 10 Nov 2013, 11:00am–4:00pm

Where: Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, Victoria

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: pressrelease

Tumble down the rabbit hole and get lost in the wondrous world of the Abbotsford Convent Open Day. A celebration of community, diversity, arts and culture, Open Day is an opportunity to see what goes on within the historically rich walls of the Abbotsford Convent. Picnic with delicious fare in the gardens, explore the artist studios buildings, listen to live music, enjoy tours and talks, bring the kids and connect with the environment that exists for and by the community, all on one magical day in November.

Artists in the c3 Contemporary Art Space include Carly Fischer, Robyn Hosking, Betra Fraval, Clementine Edwards, Cameron Clarke and Jo Scicluna, and the Behind the Veil exhibition in the Good Shepherd Chapel crypt offers a behind the scenes view of what life was like for a Good Shepherd Sister living in the Convent community. St Helier’s Street Gallery will present a collaborative exhibition, curated by Rona Green, featuring works by both Wellbeing and visual artist tenants.

The Australian Writers’ Centre will be holding creative writing workshops and talks on all things blogging, writing and publishing. French Tête-à-Tête will hold a conversation workshop for those who might want to practice the language with other enthusiasts.

For those who like to look around and spend a penny on something pretty, the Convent Pop Up Shop will sell wares from local artists and makers who are tenants at The Convent; and the top 18 designers of womens, mens and childrens clothing from the Convent’s regular Shirt and Skirt Market will be there too, alongside some exquisite jewellery designers.

Over in the Industrial School the Convent’s Bandroom and Open Air Cinema team, The Shadow Electric, will present an afternoon of free live music including The Spoils, Ben Salter (Giants of Science, The Gin Club), as well as DJs, table tennis, food and drinks from 1-4pm. Also in the music corner and beaming down live from the balcony overlooking the heritage gardens, Jesse Fultone’s Tin Lion Sound System will be set up to spin a selection of the sounds that have shaped him musically, from New York and new wave disco to ‘2nd line’ funk and heavy Latin jams.

Free guided Historical Tours leave on the hour at the Convent throughout the day, with tours providing an insight into the development of the Abbotsford Convent precinct, from its use by the Kulin people, pastoral pioneers, the Good Shepherd Sisters and La Trobe University, to the arts, culture and education community that it exists as today.

For the little ones, PATMA Music & Performance presents The Musical Adventures of Babar the Elephant, an educational and interactive concert experience for children in collaboration with 3MBS Classically Melbourne. Kids will also be able to make and publish their own book with Kids’ Own Publishing as well as getting involved in some good old fashioned games (egg and spoon races, sack races, maypole dancing etc) at the Sophia Mundi Steiner School’s Spring Fair.

And of course, the part many look forward to at any kind of open day experience, the food! Feast on spit roasted succulent pork in rolls and team it up with a cider or homemade lemonade at the Bursaria Pop Up Cafe; rustic pastries, squeezed juices, fresh doughnuts and frozen yoghurt from the infamous Convent Bakery, Japanese sake, organic wine and privately imported tea at Kappaya, fresh baguette sandwiches, hot soups and healthy salads at Cam’s Cafe, a Middle eastern feast at Lentil As Anything as well as outdoor pop ups including the Taco Truck and Mr Burger at The Shadow Electric Bar.

Walk, ride or catch public transport on the day! A free shuttle bus will run between Victoria Station and the Convent every 15 minutes.