The Holiday Parade of Lights on Nov 20 is the unofficial launch of Halifax’s Christmas celebrations. Wending through the downtown, the parade features floats, majorettes, marching bands, clowns and Saint Nick. Festivities begin at 6 pm, but with 90,000 spectators expected, you’ll want to stake out your vantage point much earlier.
On Nov 28, Alberta’s capital plays host to one of the country’s largest annual sporting event–the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup Championship. From Nov 11 – 14, Edmonton’s annual documentary festival, Global Visions Film Festival showcases the work of filmmakers from all over the world.
On Nov 12 and 13, the National Arts Centre hosts Éonnagata, a theatre and dance performance that tells the story of an 18th century spy who’s also a transvestite. Watch for stunning gender-bending costumes that were designed by the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
The city comes alive in November with holiday markets aplenty: Circle Craft Christmas Market (Nov 17 – 21) offers everything from jewellery to candles to homemade jam, while the Vancouver Christmas Market (Nov 24 – Dec. 24) channels the German tradition of outdoor markets with hot mulled wine, live entertainment, handmade crafts and Bavarian beer. From Nov 18 – Jan 2, the classic holiday tale of George Bailey and his guardian angel hit the stage in It’s a Wonderful Life.
The hot-stepping cross-dressers of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical continue their run of energetic performances throughout the month at the Princess of Wales Theatre. A regal good time can also be had from Nov 5 – 14, as the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair makes its annual return to Exhibition Place, with country-style fun including a giant vegetable contest and the ever-popular Royal Horse Show.
The always-popular wine and foodie fest Cornucopia is back from Nov 11 – 14. Mingle with chefs, sommeliers and vitners, and enjoy hands-on seminars and wine tastings.
Bask in the cheery twinkle of over 1.5 million Christmas lights at the Calgary Zoo’s Zoolights display, which kicks off Nov 26. Take a date on a stroll through the romantic Tunnel of Love, or take the kids down Candy Cane Lane on the way to the Snigloo spot, where they can make their own igloo.
See local and national artists at downtown’s Gallery Walk Nov 25, as well as at the Stinking Fish Winter Studio Tour in Victoria’s West Shore communities from Nov 26 – 28. On Dec 2, the Art on the Avenue & Tasting Evening in the picturesque Oak Bay Village, gets decked for the season with a host of twinkling lights and decorations.