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What’s Hot Across Canada in January


Ice on Whyte is Edmonton’s premier winter festival and includes an international ice carving competition, an array of visually stunning ice sculptures and live nightly entertainment of song, dance and drama. This year from Jan 13-23 the festival also welcomes sculptors from the city of Harbin in China’s province of Heilongjiang. Harbin is known for hosting some of the world’s most elaborate ice and  sculpture festivals.

On Jan 28, CIRCA is an extraordinary show with astounding contortions and amazing balancing and trapeze acts. This Brisbane-based company’s version of the circus flawlessly incorporates elements of vaudeville and sideshow into a contemporary dance piece that mesmerizes, astonishes and moves crowds all over the world.


Running from Jan 26 – 29, In the Dead of Winter is a low-key festival celebrating the art of acoustic music. Venues around the city host shows. One of the highlights is sure to be chaunteuse Jenn Grant’s performance at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on Jan 29.


The 20th annual New Music Festival features eight evenings of innovative new music Jan 29 – Feb 4. Performance highlights include John Corigliano (composer), Dame Evelyn Glennie (percussionist) and The Kronos Quartet.  From Jan 20 – Feb 6 the Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Master Playwright Festival highlights the innovative works of Swedish playwright August Strindberg. More than 10 full productions of his plays are featured as part of StrindbergFest 2011, including Miss Julie, Ghost Sonata and A Dream Play

Canadian Rockies

Hit up Jasper in January for ski lift ticket and hotel discounts, plus fun events like the polar bear dip, Taste of the Town, live music and street parties, Jan 14 – 30. Or watch as teams carve massive blocks of ice into glittering sculptures at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise during the Ice Magic Festival Jan 21 – 23 (if you can’t catch the carving, admire the art until they melt away in March).

Taste the best the city has to offer during Dine Out Vancouver, Jan 24 – Feb 6. Over 200 restaurants participate in this annual event where three-course meals are priced at $18, $28 and $38, and available with optional wine pairings. Enjoy live theatre, dance and music during the city-wide PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Jan 18 – Feb 6.

Head just outside of Squamish for the 25th Annual Brackendale Winter Eagle Festival throughout the month of January. Watch thousands of eagles as they migrate and enjoy weekend live music and speakers, too. Whistler’s annual gay-friendly ski and snowboard festival, WinterPride, Jan 30 – Feb 6, is a week-long event packed with comedy shows, parties and culinary events.


As a warm up to the popular outdoor festival in February known as Winterlude, foodies can enjoy Taste of Winterlude, a series of special tables d’hôtes from top restaurants, beer and wine tastings, food tours, and other culinary delights from Jan 27 – Feb 21.


Victoria welcomes more than 250 athletes to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre for the 2011 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships and the 2011 BMO Skate Canada Junior Nationals, Jan 17 – 23. Junior skaters in the women’s, men’s, pair and ice dance disciplines compete Jan 17 – 20, before the Canadian Championships hit the ice Jan 21 – 23. The nearby Archie Browning Sports Centre will be the practice facility for the events.


Bringing cutting-edge theatre for the past 25 years, One Yellow Rabbit hosts the silver anniversary of its High Performance Rodeo festival, Jan 6 – 30, with highlights including an illustrated talk with Brian Eno and the world premier of OYR original Smash Cut Freeze. On January 13, comedian Jeff Foxworthy brings his brand of blue-collar comedy to the Scotiabank Saddledome, joined by Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy.


A new year brings to Toronto a new program of independent plays as part of the annual Next Stage Theatre Festival. From Jan 5 – 16, stage performers from across Canada aim to please with productions ranging from a musical-fairytale-whodunit hybrid and a show depicting the history of personal combat. If the classical arts are more your flavour, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart@255 Festival offers a variety of thrilling performances—including two recitals by violinist James Ehnes—beginning Jan 19, in celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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