BY AMY ALLEN
Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The Nutcracker
DEC. 2 TO 6 Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker has been a holiday classic since the 1950s, and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet stages a thoroughly Canadian version by setting it in early 1900s Winnipeg. You’ll see more than just sugar plum fairies dancing across the stage this time around — think hockey players, Mounties, and a pack of adorable polar bears. From $20. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.
DEC. 15 AND 16 Handel’s soaring oratorio is now a holiday classic, performed in churches, opera houses, and theatres across the world at this time of year. Through orchestral music and choral work, the piece reflects on Jesus Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and role as saviour of mankind. From $29. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
DEC. 22 Although their path to stardom was unconventional — they never played in a club or performed as an opening act — this symphonic band is one of the top ticket-selling acts of the past 15 years. Complete with pyrotechnics, their holiday show, The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, tells the story of a young runaway who breaks into an abandoned theatre and encounters visions of its past. From $35. Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100, canadiantirecentre.com.
Trailer Park Boys: Dear Santa Claus
DEC. 7 Canada’s favourite trio of dim-witted, criminally-inclined trailer park residents celebrates Christmas in unconventional ways. While Ricky quests to meet the real Santa Claus, the scheming Julian constantly thwarts Bubbles’ plans to spread the true meaning of Christmas to the world. And then they have to contend with Jim Lahey and his sidekick, Randy… From $55. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.
A Christmas Story
DEC. 1 TO 10 In this stage adaptation of the beloved holiday film, Ralphie Parker covets the best Christmas present of all time: the sleek and powerful Red Ryder BB gun. But there’s one problem. Everyone, even the department store Santa Claus, warns him he’ll shoot his eye out with it. Meanwhile, his parents are feuding over a lamp shaped like a leg wearing a fishnet stocking, a prize his father received in the mail after winning a contest. Tickets $25. Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave., 613-233-8948, ottawalittletheatre.com.
So This Is Christmas
NOV. 27 AND 28, DEC. 1 TO 5 This double bill tells two very different Christmas tales. In the first, Sleeping Indoors, a family invites a homeless man to dinner on Christmas Eve, only to discover that he has a secret talent he refuses to share with the world. In the second, The Christmas Tree, a man and a woman spar verbally to determine who gets to take home the last Christmas tree in the lot. From $18. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., 613-233-4523, thegladstone.ca.
The Santaland Diaries
DEC. 21 This adaptation of humorist David Sedaris’s essay about life as a Macy’s department store elf is a delicate balance of cynicism and holiday cheer. A one-man show, it reminds us that the holiday season isn’t just about twinkling lights, carols, and eggnog — it’s also about the worst that hyper-commercialization can bring out in people. From $20. The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Ave., 613-233-4523, thegladstone.ca.
Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Café 2015 Christmas Tour
DEC. 19 AND 20 Stuart McLean’s tales about Dave, Morley, their children, and collection of pets are beloved across Canada. This holiday season, McLean brings two brand new stories from the Vinyl Café to the stage. Musical segments are performed by Juno Award-winning Newfoundland folk band The Once. From $54. National Arts Centre, Southam Hall, 53 Elgin St., 866-850-2787, nac-cna.ca.
Canadian Museum of History’s Christmas Market
NOV. 26 TO 29 The Great Hall at the Canadian Museum of Nature brims with holiday cheer during its four-day annual craft sale. More than 75 vendors from Ontario and Quebec sell everything from regional cheeses, handmade bread, and decadent candies to handcrafted accessories, sparkling jewellery, and woodworking. Admission is free. Open Thursday, noon to 8pm; Friday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5pm. Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 1-800-555-5621, historymuseum.ca.
Urban Craft Market Holiday Show
DEC. 5 Gourmet chocolates and bitters, cuddly woodland children’s toys, deliciously-scented soaps and scrubs— and all of them handmade! Ottawa artisans, and a few from further afield, gather at Urban Craft’s annual holiday show to sell their wares. With so much to choose from, we bet you’ll find something for everyone on your list. Free admission. Open 10am to 4pm. Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Ave., urbancraftmarket.com.
Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale
DEC. 10 TO 20 One of Ottawa’s largest seasonal craft shows, Originals features a selection of handmade clothing and accessories, jewellery, visual art, soaps and lotions, gourmet items, and more. Admission is $7. EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr., originalsshow.ca.