CULTURAL CONNECTION: Rieko Hayase, Mayu Akiba, Sayaka Ishii, Hiromi Shibasaki and Yumiko Suzuki bringing Japanese culture to Main Beach Byron Bay
CULTURAL CONNECTION: Rieko Hayase, Mayu Akiba, Sayaka Ishii, Hiromi Shibasaki and Yumiko Suzuki bringing Japanese culture to Main Beach Byron Bay Christian Morrow

13 fantastic things to do this week

1. Japanese Festival: Byron Bay will play host to the inaugural Japan Festival in Byron Bay this weekend from 9am-4pm at Peace Park near the Byron bay Surf Club. The free festival will take place at the Peace Pole area near the surf club from 9am-4pm on Sunday. The main stage will include traditional music performed by Byron Bay's Wagakki Band and Taiko, a style of traditional Japanese drumming.

2. Bruns Bakery 1st Annual Donut Float: Bruns Bakery are celebrating their 1st Birthday with a record setting event that you donut want to miss. Hundreds of giant inflatable donuts will go in the water as participants take a leisurely float down the river. Sign on from 8am, in the water by 11am, plus entertainment and food from 11.30am to 2pm in the park near the river. At the Brunswick Bakery there will be face painting, local Artist Daniel Hend creating magic out the back of the Bakery painting a larger than life donut mural, plus free cake from 12 noon. In Brunswick Heads this Saturday. For details visit

3. Mary Poppins The Musical: THE world's most beloved nanny has landed in Ballina. Mary Poppins is the latest production by Ballina Players, with Veronica Lovejoy as the quirky young governess and Brian Pamphilon in the role of Bert. Mary Poppins is a musical with songs and lyrics by the Sherman Brothers, with additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and a script by Julian Fellowes. At the Players Theatre, 24 Swift St, Ballina, until December 10. Visit

4. Carlotta in Kyogle: They haven't been on stage together since 1978. Carlotta and Stan Munro will perform in Kyogle, in style and with a lot of laughs on Saturday. Carlotta began her career in the 1960s as one of the original members of Les Girls in Sydney's Kings Cross. Carlotta, Dame Stan Munro, Monique St John and Deanna Blake perform at Kyogle Golf Club, 102 Summerland Way, New Park, on Saturday. Doors open 6pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets from Gateway Office Supplies, Summerland Way, Kyogle, or at the door.

5. The Aussies for Orphans 2017 Fundraiser: Gourmet Indian banquet, lucky door prize, major raffle and auction items. $55 will include champagne on arrival, three-course meal and entertainment. Aussies for Orphans (AFO) is a local charity based in Skennars Head that was founded in 2005 by Steve and Sue Lewis. Over the last eleven years, Aussies for Orphans have created real and lasting change in the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged children in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Nepal. This year's fundraiser is to kick-start Project Destiny - a ground breaking education initiative in partnership with the Delhi based charity, Lakshya Aakriti Foundation (LAF). At Club Lennox, Lennox Head, this Saturday from 6.30pm. Visit

6. Day of the Dead Ceremony: This will be the 11th annual Day of the Dead Ceremony, an opportunity for everyone to come together to honour and remember loved ones who have died, are dying, or who are lost to us in some way, and it's open to any religion, spirituality, belief or culture. Entry to the Crystal Castle will be free from 3.30pm. From 4pm, there will be time to write personal messages for family members, loved ones, or friends, by penning an entry in the Book of Rememberance. From 5pm, Zenith Virago will conduct an inclusive Ceremony of Love and Remembrance. At the Crystal Castle, 81 Monet Dr, in Mullumbumby this Sunday.

7. Namatjira Project: From the remote Australian desert to the opulence of Buckingham Palace - this is the iconic story of the Namatjira family, tracing their quest to regain the copyright to their grandfather's artwork. Albert Namatjira was the first Indigenous person to be made a citizen by the Australian Government. The founder of the Indigenous art movement in Australia, he was exhibited globally, and introduced to Queen Elizabeth. However, Namatjira was caught between cultures - paraded as a great Australian, and at the same time treated with contempt. He was wrongfully imprisoned and in 1959 he died a broken man. In 1983, the Government sold his copyright to an art dealer. Today his family fight for survival, justice and to regain their grandfather's copyright. 90 minutes. Rated M. At the Star Court Theatre, 126 Molesworth St, Lismore, this Sunday 2.30pm and 5.30pm. $15.

8. Salome: The story has been told before, but never like this. A fortress called Machaerus, sandy cliffs perched high above the Sea of Death. A holy man from the wilderness, demanding freedom for his people, locked deep beneath the ground. A nameless woman, written into history, by others, known to us as Salome, whose mysterious act changed the course of history. Director Yael Farber reworks Oscar Wilde's play with ancient Arabic and Hebraic texts. The result is an urgently relevant exploration of the explosive connections between religious and political uprising. At the Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay, on Wednesday, November 29, 11am. This is a live screening of the theatre performance.

9. Artstate Lismore: Produced by Regional Arts NSW in partnership with Arts Northern Rivers, Artstate is an exciting four-day arts event encompassing an inspiring two-day speakers program alongside a diverse multi-genre arts program showcasing the best in arts and performance from Northern NSW creatives. The arts program is open to the public and includes three days of mostly free music, film and family programming at the new Quadrangle Precinct. From Thursday, November 30, in a number of locations across Lismore. For details visit

10. Djurra: Djurra is NORPA's new dance theatre work directed by Kirk Page and inspired by a Bundjalung creation story. Woven from the story veins of a timeless culture and contemporary experience, Djurra is told through a series of intertwined vignettes. Using strong physicality, powerful monologues in First Nation voice and striking imagery, Djurra is an unforgettable experience that will resonate with audiences long after they leave the theatre. At Lismore City Hall from Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm as part of Artstate Lismore 2017.

11. Bonnywood Rising: Bonnywood Rising is a live-cinema performance project produced by Grayson Cooke and the SCU School of Arts and Social Sciences for the Arts Northern Rivers multi-arts project If These Halls Could Talk. In this project, Grayson Cooke worked with 100 members of the Bonalbo community to celebrate the histories - the true histories AND the slightly embellished ones - of the Bonalbo & District Memorial Hall. At the Star Court Theatre on Friday, December 1, from 7pm. Free event, as part of Artstate Lismore 2017

12. Cheeky Cabaret in Lismore: For the first time, the Cheeky Cabaret moves from Brusnwick Heads to Lismore for a special show as part of Artstate. This is a brash and bold show for adult audiences, with lots of cabaret, music, comedy, frivolity and magic. Leave the kids at home but take Nan with you, she have a giggle or two. At the Star Court Theatre in Lismore on Friday and Saturday December 1 and 2 from 9pm as part of Artstate Lismore 2017.

13. Mullumbimby's Magic - The Culture of 70s - 80s: Following on from Mullumbimby's Madness - the Legacy of the Hippies, this new documentary series by Sharon Shostak is a three-part series coveriung the emergence of the alternate culture in Mullumbimby and surrounds. The first in the series features the advent of the search for health and wellbeing, and tells about the beginnings of Santos Organics, the first hippie eatery (the Sunflower Restaurant), the first yoga classes, the first home-birth doctor and the first alternative medical practitioners: acupuncturists, homeopaths and herbalists. The film commissioned by the Brunswick Valley Historical Society Inc. At the At the Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay, on Friday, December 1, from 7.30pm. $15.

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