Important update about the 2021 festival – Design Canberra Festival

Important update about the 2021 festival

Important update about the 2021 festival

Craft ACT announce cancellation of 2021 DESIGN Canberra festival.

Design Canberra to present program to support artists impacted by Covid-driven cancellation and use creativity to support the Canberra community.

After an extensive risk planning process, Craft ACT has announced the decision to cancel the 2021 DESIGN Canberra Festival that was set to be presented this November. The full 2021 ‘Transformation’ program will instead be presented in November 2022.

With DESIGN Canberra representing one of the largest concentrations of art sales for the region each year and more than 520 local artists impacted by the cancellation, Craft ACT has announced a program that will be presented from 5-28 November, 2021 to support local artists and the Canberra community. The Design Canberra presents Nurture program will include creative workshops (online and in person), online studio tours and interviews; an online art auction, a sketchbook challenge, professional development workshops for artists, a music event that celebrates Craft ACT’s 50th anniversary and some public art commissions.

Craft ACT CEO Jodie Cunningham said, “Craft ACT recognises the devastating impact the Covid 19 crisis has had on the local arts industry and our devoted audiences. We are committed to keeping Canberrans safe in this challenging time and with so much continued uncertainty we have made the difficult decision to cancel the DESIGN Canberra Festival in 2021. The essence of DESIGN Canberra is about connection, community, exploration and activation of our city and given the extended lockdown and the ongoing uncertainty in the coming months we believe moving the 2021 Transformation programming to next year will ensure that the festival will run to its full potential in 2022. We are pleased to be able to present the Nurture program and encourage audiences to keep engaging with our artists and supporting them by buying their work during this time.”

‘Design Canberra presents ‘Nurture’, draws on the well documented benefits of creativity to support wellbeing and is aimed at supporting our artists and the Canberra community during this difficult time. The program is specifically tailored to focus on the well-being aspects of creativity, making and crafting as tools for health and recovery; and as an antidote to the stresses brought about by the pandemic,” Cunningham added.

Highlights of the Craft ACT Nurture program include:

Cunningham added, “Whilst we are disappointed not to hold a physical festival, we look forward to still being able to create a place for our community to come together and support the arts community. We are deeply grateful for the continued support of our Government stakeholders, sponsors and partners who will make it possible to present the DESIGN Canberra Transformation program in 2022 and in the meantime encourage people to support the visual arts community in the most direct way possible – by purchasing the work of artists (available on our website”

The full Design Canberra presents Nurture program will be announced on Tuesday 19 October 2021.

To register your interest in the Nurture program please fill in the form below.


DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.