Backstreet Christmas Day 12: Gifting an Experience


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 wishing you a happy holiday season.

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 everyone is creative, and being creative can benefit everyone, Cork and Chroma seeks to make the elusive creative process more accessible. Led by founders Hillary and B.J. Wall, the company is made up of a team of kind and talented artists who believe in the power of creative connection, and take joy in helping people feel comfortable to freely express themselves. The first Cork & Chroma paint and sip studio opened its doors in Brisbane in 2013 and they now operate across several studio locations in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

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 a few years ago, and it was a really excellent experience – great to chat to new people and learn a new skill!

Work Shop

16 Austin Street, Newstead

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 beekeeping and welding through to ceramics, jewellery, fabric dying, car maintenance… they offer a broad range of fun and creative short courses for life skills and personal development. Gift vouchers are also available.

Mas and Miek Ceramic House

11 Byres Street, Newstead

Mas and Miek Ceramic House offer one-off workshops and longer courses. The workshops change month to month, and most workshops delve into a certain ceramic technique which are perfect for beginners (and for more advanced students wishing to push their practice further). Within these workshops, Mas and Miek will finish off your pieces for you (glaze & fire) ready for you to collect a few weeks later. They also hace an online course, Clay Classes at Home, so you can become a ceramic artist from your kitchen bench.

Jet Black Cat Music

72a Vulture Street, West End

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.  

Paint Juicy

Owned and operated by Burleigh Heads locals, Paint Juicy is a paint and sip studio located in Burleigh Heads and Upper Coomera, with venue partners up and down Queensland. Paint Juicy started as a dream to create an inclusive space for the LGBTIQA+ community, and they are passionate about providing a safe space to relax in, have some wine, be surrounded by delightful individuals and paint some dazzling (or not so much) artwork. Their sessions are themed, can include entertainment such as their fabulous Drag Queen, Shushu Funtanna, or Male Nude Life Painting, and they offer team building, birthday parties, hens parties and private paint and sip events. Gift cards and paint at home kits are also available.

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 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, Perth and Melbourne. Check their website for current and upcoming exhibitions.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

For the art lover 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 declared that they are ‘Here to Play’ in 2023 with an eight-play line-up:

  • Family Values 28 January – 18 February
  • Drizzle Boy 11 – 25 March
  • As You Like It 15 April – 13 May
  • At What Cost? 25 May – 10 June
  • Tiny Beautiful Things 17 June – 8 July
  • Don’t Ask What the Bird Look Like 19 Aug – 9 September
  • The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race 1 – 28 October
  • Vietgone 4 – 28 November

Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble

Since its inception in 2001, the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble has gained a reputation for energetic, accessible, and unique productions, world-class training, and a commitment to community through projects such as the renowned Shakespeare Prison Project. QSE are yet to announce their 2023 productions, but generally 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.

In my opinion, QSE perform the best Shakespeare in Brisbane, and their focus on accessibility makes their productions a great gift for those who may be new to theatre, or Shakespeare, or both.

La Boite Theatre Company

La Boite have announced only one play in their 2023 season so far (The Poison of Polygamy in May), but generally produce 4 mainstage productions and develop new work by local thetare-makers.

You can also become a member with La Boite, which includes discounts to their mainstage productions, free tickets to new work showings and events, invitations to special events, access to opening night tickets, and exclusive behind-the-scene content and promotional offers from La Boite’s partners. 

Savoyards Musical Theatre Company

Polished and professional amateur theatre company Savoyards are based out of Wynnum and in 2021 celebrated 60 years! They will perform The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Febrary 2023 at The Star Theatre, 42nd Street in June/July at Iona Performing Arts Centre and The Music Man in September/October, also at Iona.

Ad Astra Theatre Company

Ad Astra is an independent theatre company based in Fortitude Valley, producing varied and excellent work throughout the year and support emerging and established local artists to showcase and sharpen their skills. They are yet to announce their 2023 season, but you can read my thoughts about their 2022 shows here.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Epic symphonies from the classical canon, exciting premieres, intimate chamber music, and iconic movie scores are all within Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s 2023 Season.

Under the leadership of new Chief Conductor Umberto Clerici, the 2023 Season includes 10 Maestro concerts, five Morning Masterworks, five Music on Sunday concerts, four ‘QSO Up Close’ events for chamber orchestra in the QSO Studio, four Special Events, and a regional touring program and education series.

Opera Queensland

Opera Queensland has announced their 2023 season:

  • Macbeth 9 – 11 March
  • Cosi fan tutte 10 – 26 August
  • Aida 6 – 20 December

In addition to these mainstage productions, OQ will again present their intimate Studio Series, the Festival of Outback Opera, and the Opera Queensland Gala, as well as FIZZ! and La Boheme for children and young adults, respectively.

Opera Club membership entitles members to a variety of benefits including discounts on select performances, a calendar of live and digital events, and behind the scenes exclusives, including connecting with the artists and creative teams.

Australasian Dance Collective

ADC have only announced one work for 2023 so far: Lucie In The Sky (5 – 13 May) at the QPAC Playhouse will see five drones choreographed using human movement patterns to emulate emotions and personalities, performing alongside the six dancers.

Queensland Ballet

In 2023, Queensland’s state ballet company will present a mainstage season of works as well as their annual events such as Bespoke, the Academy Gala, and The Nutcracker.

  • Giselle 14 – 29 April 2023
  • Trilogy 16 – 25 June 2023
  • The Little Mermaid 22 June – 1 July 2023
  • Bespoke 27 July – 5 August 2023
  • Queensland Ballet Academy Gala 11 – 13 August 2023
  • Strictly Gershwin 28 September – 7 October 2023
  • The Nutcracker 1 – 20 December 2023

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