Yes Canberra is indeed a strange place - but small, strange cities have an intensity and a freedom that can create amzing art.
I spent three cold winters there at a time when arts support and funding was diminishing, but I could see what a thriving and original arts scene had existed in the 1990s.
Musician ,writer and arts worker Gavin Findlay still lives in Canberra and has written this terrific piece for Real Time about arts in the town of bureaucrats. Part one. Part two.
He also wrote this review about the 2001 Festival of Contemporary Arts (FoCA5 program)