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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for December 2 to 4

Minor Empire plays the National Arts Centre on Dec. 3.

Friday, Dec. 2
If you’re looking for something different and interesting, come check out Minor Empire, a Toronto-based band composed of Turkish and Canadian musicians. The band will be performing music from their debut album Second Nature, which brings together traditional Turkish music and electro-jazz. Minor Empire has received rave reviews and performed at the Sunfest World Music Festival and the Markham Jazz Festival. Catch them this Friday night, along with special guest Jane Bunnett.

The magic of The Nutcracker is coming to life this weekend at the National Arts Centre. The Pennsylvania Ballet will be performing the iconic show in the George Balanchine style, where children play the lead roles (with no allusion to romance between them) and the costumes and set design are gloriously rich. This holiday classic is sure to melt your heart and get you in the Christmas spirit. Show runs Thursday through Sunday with matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

Canadian choral music will be at its finest this weekend at Coro Vivo Ottawa’s concert,”Northern Lights.” This large, vibrant choir will celebrate the uniqueness of Canadian choral compositions by showcasing some of the finest. Among them are Eleanor Daly’s arrangement of the “Huron Carol” and Mark Sirett’s “Dormi Jesu.” If you’re a choir music aficionado, or just looking to enjoy some fine music for an evening, this concert is sure to please. Concerts on both Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, Dec. 3
It’s back! Head out to 101 Frames, the annual fundraising auction where people can bid on fascinating, one-of-a-kind artwork at Gallery 101. This is the fourth year with the theme “the seven deadly sins.” In past years, eager art-goers were able to see artists’ interpretations of wrath, pride, and lust — and now’s it’s gluttony’s turn. After the auction, people get to indulge in a groovy dance party and live entertainment. Gluttony never looked so good!

Take the trip an hour south of Ottawa to experience the magic of Christmas in Merrickville. This quaint town’s annual kick-off to the holiday season begins with the village lighting ceremony. Other events include breakfast with Santa, a cookie walk, carollers, wagon rides, a chili tent, children’s activities, and more. And since shops are extending their hours for the weekend (Christmas shopping, anyone?), you will return home feeling it was more than worth the drive. Events run Friday and Saturday.

The annual nation-wide Santa Shuffle is on this Saturday. Register for the 5K “Fun Run” or the 1K “Elf Walk,” or simply just head out to the action to catch sight of Santa running along with the participants… many of whom dress up as Santa (or Mrs. Claus!) themselves. The shuffle starts at Tunney’s Pasture in the morning and ends with refreshments, awards, and prizes. This event is sure to make the kids giggle and money raised goes to the Salvation Army to assist families and individuals in need during the Christmas season and throughout the year.

Sunday, Dec. 4
This weekend, slip into the Victorian era at Fairfields Victorian Christmas. The Bell Family Homestead, a designated heritage property known as “Fairfields,” is part of the Nepean Museum. This weekend, it’s opening its doors for a Victorian-themed free Christmas exhibit. Come take a tour of the decorated home, listen to traditional music from that era, and buy some Victorian crafts. It will be fun for the whole family to step back in time! The exhibit is open Saturday and Sunday.

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