The 19 year-old Canberra Critics’ Circle is the only such group of critics in Australia that runs across all the major art forms, not just performing arts. The circle changes each year depending on who is writing or broadcasting on the arts in Canberra.
Our aim is to provide a focal point for Canberra reviewers in print and electronic media through discussions and forums. As well, we make awards to ACT region artists (defined as within 100km radius of Canberra) in the latter part of each year and this year will do so in the ACT Arts Awards ceremony at the new Belconnen Arts Centre from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Tuesday November 24.
The CCC has always resisted making awards in “best-of” categories. Arts practice is not a competitive race and Canberra is a small pool where it would be ridiculous to pre-impose categories, apart from major art form genres. The idea is that we, the critics, single out qualities we have noticed -- things which have struck us as important. These could be expressed as abstracts, like impact, originality, creativity, craftsmanship and excellence. Our year is from September 30 2008 to September 30 2009.
The current art form conveners are Theatre: Alanna Maclean; Visual Arts and Craft: Meredith Hinchliffe; Music and Dance: Bill Stephens; Literature: Anne-Maree Britton. Convener of the Circle is Helen Musa.