Jane Austen Festival Australia (JAFA) is an annual event exclusive to Canberra, directed by Aylwen Gardiner-Garden of the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy. Since the festival’s inception in 2008, JAFA has seen tremendous growth, developing a strong national and international reputation. Over its eight year span, JAFA has inspired a loyal following and an enduring sense of community amongst attendees.
Jane Austen Festival Australia will be held over three days and nights at Canberra’s historic Albert Hall and the Lennox Gardens. In past years it has been centred on the historic buildings and grounds of St Johns Church in Reid and University House at the ANU, but has also involved Lennox Gardens, Commonwealth Park, National Film & Sound Archives and historic Lanyon Homestead.
Whilst the predominant function of Jane Austen Festival Australia is to provide a platform from which to explore all aspects of Jane Austen’s world, we are also keenly interested and engaged in exploring Australia’s place in history during the lifetime of Jane Austen – hence our strong links locally with the ACT Heritage Festival and nationally, with the Australian Heritage Week. Associated with the festival have been full length plays, film screenings, short story writing competitions, rapier demonstrations, participatory archery, musketry displays, maypole dancing, grand Napoleonic Balls, afternoon teas in the Regency Manner, graveyard tours, costume promenades, period games, period food and much more.
Jane Austen Festival Australia director, promotor and coordinator