Backstreet Christmas Day 12: Gifting an Experience

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If you’ve followed along with 12 Days of Christmas at Backstreet Brisbane – thank you! Supporting local means a lot to me and it’s great to see so many others with the same enthusiasm. This year, the twelfth and final day of Backstreet Brisbane’s 12 Days of Christmas is about giving the gift of an experience, from workshops and at-home making to tickets, season passes, and subscriptions. Thanks again, and happy holidays (and happy shopping/gifting!).


Creative Experiences & New Skills


Cork and Chroma

You can book a private event with your nearest and dearest or join a public session to Paint and Sip at Cork & Chroma, and they also offer online sessions. Founded on the idea that painting is a fun thing to do, and that everybody can do it, their mission is to facilitate positive creative experiences that can be picked up by anybody, whether it be for just one session or in an ongoing home practice. Founded in 2013 in Brisbane, they now have five studios between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Cork and Chroma is made up of a team of both self-taught and formally trained artists who believe in the power and joy of sharing a creative experience, led by founders and directors, Hillary and B.J. Wall, who are based in Brisbane.

Biome Workshops

Launched in Paddington 20 years ago, Biome now employs 100 people across online and six physical stores in Brisbane, Melbourne, and the Gold Coast and focus on ethical and sustainable products, sourced primarily from Australian small businesses (also a great place to find a gift!)

They offer a range of workshops, teaching you how to create your own body and hair care, cleaning and home products, and teaching self-sufficiency and traditional crafts. A dear friend took me to a workshop at Biome for my birthday last year, and it was a really excellent experience – great to chat to new people and learn a new skill!


Forge Forward workshops

Contemporary design space Forge Forward showcases international, national and local creatives with a graphic design focus, and also host a range of workshops and events (like the upcoming screen printing workshop with CRT Designs). Keep an eye on their page or sign up for the newsletter to know what’s coming next.


Work Shop

Work Shop aims to provide affordable short courses in life skills and alternative art, collaborate with local artists and industry experts to teach classes and utilise local suppliers for any materials needed. From 3D printing and stencil art through to music and gardening – life skills and personal development through to cooking doughnuts and mushroom foraging, they offer a broad range of fun and creative short courses and also provide a creative environment for emerging artists to produce and sell work, and meet like minded individuals. Gift vouchers and craft kits are also options on offer.


Lazer Unicorn

DIY Kits, Group Workshops & Online Courses to help you get creative with laser cutting. Book into a workshop, or you can get the Lazer Unicorn Workshop experience delivered to your door with Make at Home Earring Care Kits. Gift vouchers can be used for DIY Kits, Accessories, Workshops and more, and online course LAZER DESIGN SCHOOL is also now open for enrolments, to create your dream collection of laser cut jewellery.


Mas and Miek Ceramic House

The Ceramic House offer one-off workshops and longer courses, and this year they’ve launched an online course ‘Clay Classes at Home’ – you can have the things you need delivered, and ‘become a ceramic artist from your kitchen bench’.


Bonnie Hislop

Creative and ceramicist Bonnie Hislop offers 5-week courses in hand building at her Yeerongpilly  studio, and you can pre-order a Home Painting Kit for one of her fabulous Iced Vovo platters.


Jet Black Cat Music

Music counts as an experience! West End institution Jet Black Cat Music is an independent record store selling vinyl and hosting instore events. JBCM stocks new music from local and international artists and their online store allows you to check out what is coming up, pre-order vinyl, and purchase some of the great stock they have in store.  


Tickets, Season Passes & Subscriptions


Queensland Museum & Science Centre

A great gift for adventurous minds young or old – annual membership entitles holders to unlimited entry to SparkLab and Sciencecentre for 12 months, discounts at the Museum shop and café, discounted tickets to selected Museum events and exhibitions, and access to the Museum research library. Members can also gain free general admission to partner museums in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne. Check their website for current and upcoming exhibitions.


Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

For the budding (or established) artist in your life, annual membership to QAGOMA grants access to advanced notice of upcoming exhibitions, after-hours viewing opportunities, and discounts on exhibition tickets, shopping and dining. Plus, a free exhibition ticket when you join or renew!


Queensland Theatre

Queensland’s state theatre company is back on stage and back at full capacity, and their 2021 season has launched:

  • Our Town by Thornton Wilder, 30 Jan — 27 Feb at the Bille Brown Theatre
  • Triple X by Glace Chase, 6 Mar — 1 Apr at the Bille Brown Theatre
  • Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, 8 May — 12 Jun at the Bille Brown Theatre
  • White Pearl by Anchuli Felicia King, 17 Jun — 10 Jul at the Bille Brown Theatre
  • Prima Facie by Suzie Miller, 14 Jul — 14 Aug at the Bille Brown Theatre
  • Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, adapted for the stage by Tim McGarry, 30 Aug — 18 Sep at the Playhouse, QPAC
  • Return to the Dirt by Steve Pirie. 16 Oct — 13 Nov at the Bille Brown Theatre
  • SPECIAL EVENT Robyn Archer: An Australian Songbook, devised and performed by Robyn Archer, 20 Nov — 4 Dec at the Bille Brown Theatre

Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble

In 2021, the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble is celebrating 20 years of sharing energetic, accessible, and unique productions, world-class training, and community building projects. QSE Artistic Director Rob Pensalfini will direct a spring season of Romeo & Juliet and later in the year, Rebecca Murphy will direct the brilliant, yet rarely performed, The Rover by Aphra Behn. These classic plays both remain strikingly relevant, offering honest, funny, and deeply critical explorations of gender, love, and freedom. In addition to this, QSE will offer extensive training opportunities throughout the year as well as their Shakespeare Beyond projects including the Shakespeare Prison Project, A Night At The Theatre and Relaxed Performances; Theatre of the Oppressed; and Shakespeare’s Shorts.


 La Boite Theatre Company

La Boite have launched Act 1 of their 2021 Season in the Roundhouse – Naked & Screaming by Mark Rogers from 8-27 February, and Bigger & Blacker by Steven Oliver from 10-27 March. La Boite will also be expanding its range of special events, hosting events, experiences, visual art exhibitions and screenings in the open-air forecourt and expanding their HWY Live program to become a year-round program of play readings, showings and critical conversations.

They’ve also launched a brand new membership for 2021 which comes with a range of benefits, including 20% off tickets to mainstage productions, 10% off food and beverage at La Boite’s Espresso Bar, no transaction or exchange fees, exclusive invitations to special events, and much more, all for just $50, or $35 concession!


 Savoyards Musical Theatre Company

Polished and professional community theatre company Savoyards are based out of Wynnum and in 2021 celebrate 60 years! They will be performing Hot Shoe Shuffle from 19 June to 3 July, and The Drowsy Chaperone from 25 September to 9 October, at the Star Theatre.


 Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Queensland Symphony Orchestra continues its mission to be an ‘Orchestra for Everyone’ throughout its 2021 season, opening with a concert of audience and orchestra favourites and going on to include classical stalwarts like Beethoven and Motzart, Broadway hits, folk melodies, a spotlight on Queensland musicians, and much more. You can choose a Maestro, Morning Masterworks, Friday Nights, or Music on Sundays concert package, or build your own via the website.


Opera Queensland 

Celebrating 40 years in 2021, Opera Queensland’s 2021 season includes:

  • Lorelei, 6—13 March, QPAC Concert Hall
  • The Marriage of Figaro, 15—31 July, QPAC Playhouse
  • Aida, 3—19 November, QPAC Lyric Theatre

In addition, a number of recitals and special events will take place throughout the year – full details on the website.


Australian Dance Collective (formerly Expressions Dance Company)

ADC will open their 2021 season with Aftermath, a “rousing aural, visual and sensory trip” and new full-length work co-created by Amy Hollingsworth and Jack Lister to a new score by Danny Harley, the acclaimed producer, vocalist and songwriter behind The Kite String Tangle. The ADC artists will be joined live on stage at Brisbane Powerhouse by Harley performing his original composition, from 12-14 February. Then, from 26-29 May at the Playhouse Theatre, THREE brings audiences three Australian premieres from  Jack Lister, Melanie Lane and Hofesh Shechter.


Queensland Ballet

Queensland Ballet have moved their entire 2020 season to 2021, with the rescheduled dates to be announced in December 2020. Initially programmed as the company’s 60th anniversary season this year, it celebrates the company’s heritage and its future in equal measure, brimming with treasures old and new as a way of celebrating where the company has come from and where its ambitions are taking it. Their presentation Dracula looks to be a highlight of the season, and the company will also present audience favourite The Sleeping Beauty, their annual The Nutcracker, and Peter and the Wolf for the young ballet fans, among other things.


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