Welcome to Jane Austen Festival Australia
Jane Austen Festival Australia is an annual celebration in Canberra where Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia come and indulge themselves in everything Regency – including dancing, music, food, games, archery, fencing, theatre, promenades, grand balls, talks, workshops, costumes and books. This festival is now a regular part of the ACT Heritage Festival and Australian Heritage Week. Since its inception in 2008 this little festival has blossomed into one of the most delightful four days anyone could experience each April in an old and beautiful part of Canberra, the Federal capital of Australia.
Jane Austen Festival Australia was the idea of Aylwen Gardiner-Garden and first took place in 2008. Aylwen’s aim was to hold an annual celebration where Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia could come and indulge themselves in everything Regency – including dancing, music, food, games, costumes and books. This festival is now a regular part of the ACT Heritage Festival.
Each year the Festival grows with more people dressing in Regency costume celebrating the life and works of Jane Austen. Events are organised by the Festival team under the guidance of the festival director Aylwen Gardiner-Garden – small soirees, concerts, a costumed promenade, theatre, archery, period games, fashion, food, lectures and of course LOTS of dancing feature over three days and four nights. The latest draft program can be viewed online.
Festival attendees are invited to purchase a Season Ticket which will give them entry into all aspects of the festival – from lectures, workshops, dances, evening functions, balls and the popular promenade. Tickets include morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, light evening refreshments and a full seated dinner on Friday night. For the first time this year a costumed private 20-seat bus tour has been scheduled for Thursday 10 April, to visit historic Yass, Cooma Cottage and the Springfield Costume Collection at the National Film & Sound Archives. Lunch will be at the George Harcourt Inn.
Most attend the festival in regency attire, this is optional though, and if your wardrobe is limited we do ask that you make an attempt at regency costume for the evening events and the promenade, and wear simple empire-line dresses for daytime sessions. The festival does have a small selection of costumes available for hire and for sale. Men may find it easier to wear a white shirt, neat trousers and waistcoat.