CELTIC ILLUSION: The show blends contemporary Irish dance featuring new choreography with fantastic magic acts.
CELTIC ILLUSION: The show blends contemporary Irish dance featuring new choreography with fantastic magic acts. Contributed

What's on: Toowoomba and Darling Downs

Aussie Treasure

PLASTIC surgeon, head of the Royal Perth Hospital Burns Unit, University of Western Australia Clinical Professor of the School of Paediatrics and Child Health, mother-of-six and 2005 Australian of the Year, Fiona Wood AM, who pioneered spray-on skin for burns patients including helping the victims of the 2002 Bali Bombings, is guest speaker at Toowoomba Hospital Foundation's Women of Strength Luncheon on Friday, July 20.

Helen Earley Ensemble

THAT'S Entertainment is described as "a musical smorgasbord" by the Helen Earley Ensemble. When Thomas stumbles across an old movie studio, he gets caught up in the magic and memories of making history. But what will the young boy do when the studio is set to be demolished? Playing at St Paul's Hall, Phillip St, Toowoomba, at 7pm on Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16. Adults $35, Concession $30. Call 4632 4204 or 0418 159 187 or email helen.marianne@bigpond.com. Proceeds go to the DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum.

Big Night Out

IT WAS this event last year which raised $50,000 and helped Hope Horizons Cancer Wellness Centre open its doors as a one-stop shop for cancer sufferers and their families. Now, it's time to party again for the cause on Friday, June 16, with new patients contacting the centre every week. This year's theme is A Touch of Country, so put on your dancing shoes, and enjoy dinner and a premium beverage package with beer, wine and sparkling at Blank Space. Call 0418 193 134, email friendsofhopehorizons@gmail.com or go to stickytickets. $150 pp.

Australian Army Band

IF YOU love band music, the Australian Army Band is back at the Empire Theatre on Sunday, June 17 from 2pm and it will only cost you $6. Formed in 1949, the Australian Army Band-Brisbane has become known as one of the finest military bands in Australia. Call 1300 655 299 or go to www.empiretheatre.com.au.

Red Apple Day

OKAY, so this is something of a different "event" but we need to spread the word. June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, raising public awareness of the disease that claims 80 Australians every week, and Wednesday, June 20 is Red Apple Day when we are encouraged to support the vital work of Bowel Cancer Australia by buying a Ribbon (incorporating the apple pin) and taking part in apple-themed fundraising activities. The message is, 90% of bowel cancer can be successfully treated if detected early - it's not a life sentence, but it is one of the top five causes of premature death among Australians aged 45-74, so think and act! Queensland Bowel Cancer Screening Program is at Toowoomba Hospital. Call 4616 6848.

Celtic Illusion

SOME would say Irish dancing is magic in itself, but combined with an illusion show, well it's got to be good! Celtic Illusion is on at Empire Theatre on Wednesday, June 20, and blends contemporary Irish dance featuring new choreography (and performers from both Riverdance and Lord of the Dance) with fantastic magic acts. Adult tickets are $69.60 Concession $64.90. Call 1300 655 299 or go to www.empiretheatre.com.au.

Winter Wonderland

I MENTIONED this last month so you could get your ice-skating tickets, but don't forget Toowoomba's Civic Precinct is being transformed into a winter wonderland from June 22 to July 15. There'll be a skating rink, free outdoor Christmas-themed movies Fridays to Sundays (including Home Alone, Elf, Die Hard, Polar Express, Jingle All the Way, Polar Express and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation) and carols, food and entertainment as well as what promises to be a spectacular lights event. There are 11 skate sessions per day, with tickets (including skate hire) $22 for adults, $16 kids 5-13, $10 kids 2-5 and family $67 (slightly less online). For details, go to events at www.tr.qld.gov.au.

Off the Chain

OFF the Chain K9 Rescue charity will hold a special fundraising and celebration night in the Armitage Room at the Empire Theatre from 6.30-8.30pm on Saturday, June 23. It will feature a guest talk from Australian author, adventurer and filmmaker Tim Cope, appearing with his canine mate, Tigon. Tim has spent the best part of a decade travelling Russia, Mongolia, and Central Asia by bicycle, row boat, ski, horse, camel and more. You'll also hear about Off the Chain, based in Toowoomba and rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming death row dogs and cats. For more information find Off the Chain on Facebook, or for tickets, visit the StickyTickets website. Grazing boards and bar included.

Winter Arts

THE McGregor Winter Arts Retreat at USQ Toowoomba again warms the hearts of the artistically minded from July 2-6. There's a range of traditional and modern arts taught by experienced artists and tutors, many of whom have become regular faces to McGregor. On offer is everything from furniture to hat and boot-making to jewellery, sculpture, prints, enamels, drawing and painting in watercolour, oils, acrylics and pastels. Go to www.artsworx.usq.edu.au.

Beyond the Barricade

YOU can enjoy some of the world's best-loved musicals by the top talents of performers from London's West End in this two-hour event at the Empire Theatre on Friday, July 6. It stars past principal performers from Les Misérables and features hit songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Wicked, Miss Saigon, West Side Story, Chicago, Mamma Mia and more, climaxing with the Les Mis finale. Adult tickets $75. Call 1300 655 299 or go to www.empiretheatre.com.au.

Women of Strength Luncheon

THE Toowoomba Hospital Foundation is hosting its Women of Strength Luncheon at Blank Space on Friday, July 20 from 11am-3.30pm, supporting the hospital's Emergency Department. Dr Fiona Wood, best known for her work with victims of the 2002 Bali bombings and pioneering the use of the "spray-on skin" cell technology in treating burns, will be guest speaker. There is a three-course meal and drinks package, as well as a local trade show. Tickets are $140 through ww.trybooking.com. Call the hospital on 4616 6166 or event organiser Jasmine on 0419 789 922.

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