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André Rieu

Weekend Roundup, December 10 to 12

Friday: Help Wintersleep raise money for the Daily Bread Food Bank (photo by Dustin Rabin)

Friday, December 10
Help support the Daily Bread Food Bank by jamming to Jingle Bell Rock. Venerable Canadian indie rockers Wintersleep are one of five bands performing at the Phoenix Concert Theatre for a worthy cause.

The Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre employs eclectic modern dance and ballet to illuminate a tapestry of solstice traditions in its 23rd annual installment of Wintersong— Dances for a Sacred Season. Marvel at the grace of these young performers tonight (and Saturday afternoon) at Harbourfront Centre.

Enjoy the soaring strains of the boys of St.Michael’s Choir School, which presents its 71st annual Christmas Fantasy concert. The holiday harmonies of these talented young singers fill Massey Hall tonight and tomorrow.

Saturday: Cheer on Dion Phaneuf (just back from injury) and the rest of the Maple Leafs

Saturday, December 11
Are you still looking for that special present for someone on your holiday gift list? The 401 Richmond Artisans Marketplace offers truly unique selections from numerous local artists. Browse through the diverse designs to find something that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Let Forte: The Toronto Men’s Chorus serenade you with its performance of Four Strong Winds—Songs for a Canadian Winter at the Metropolitan United Church. In addition to classic seasonal favourites, the group will sing tunes by Stan Rogers, Ian Tyson, Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan.

Our hometown hockey heroes—the Toronto Maple Leafs—renew their age-old rivalry with Montreal Canadians tonight. Find your seat at the Air Canada Centre to see if the buds can get back on a winning track.

Sunday: Take heart in the soaring songs performed by André Rieu

Sunday, December 12
Experience a witty interactive theatre twist on a classic holiday tale as DuffleBag Theatre Company performs its version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The show will have you and your family rolling in the Solar Stage Theatre aisles.

Hurry, hurry! The holidays are coming to an end in the Distillery Historic District—its Toronto Christmas Market concludes today. Don’t miss out on foraging through the fairy tale forest maze that leads to Santa’s house and Rudolph’s reindeer zoo.

Don’t miss a celebration of classical music as entertaining violinist, conductor and composer André Rieu—accompanied by his 55-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra—brings joyous waltzes, polkas and romantic ballads to the Air Canada Centre.

Weekend Roundup, June 25 to 27

Although the G20 summit may disrupt your ability to move around the downtown core, Toronto can still grab your attention with theatrical productions, festivals and more. If you plan your route carefully, you’ll find it’s easy to enjoy an entertaining array of events!

Friday: Jeff Irving is one of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers.

Friday, June 25
Settle comfortably onto the rolling hills of Toronto’s largest park for an open-air performance of Shakespeare’s beloved Romeo and Juliet, this summer’s Canadian Stage TD Dream in High Park production. This play-within-a-play adaptation retells the romantic tragedy of the Capulets and Montagues with iPods and travel bags commandeered by a acting troupe stranded outside a Verona train station.

Take in the city’s many colours as Pride Toronto kicks off its week-long celebration of sexual diversity and identity with a 30th-anniversary launch party at Woody’s bar.

If you’re anxious to avoid the downtown detours, head west to Sherway Gardens, a mall decked with skylights and more than 200 shops and services. Yorkdale Shopping Centre—easily accessible at the north end of the University subway line—is another grand-scale retail destination with 250-plus stores and dining options like Moxie’s Classic Grill, Milestones Grill & Bar or the family-friendly Amazonian experience of the Rainforest Café.

Saturday: André Rieu strikes up the band

Saturday, June 26
Delight in a heartening musical experience with André Rieu performs live at the Air Canada Centre with his Johann Strauss Orchestra. You’ll be humming and clapping along as the renowned violinist makes classical music that’s accessible and unforgettable.

Explore Chinese history at the Royal Ontario Museum,which displays the famed terracotta warriors of Emperor Ying Zheng for the first time ever in Canada. This landmark exhibition, The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army, presents more than 250 stunningly preserved artifacts, including 10 full-sized warrior figures, from one of history’s most significant archaeological discoveries.

Take a break from World Cup action to cheer on this city’s professional soccer team, Toronto FC, as it takes to the BMO Field pitch for an evening draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Sunday: Harry Connick Jr. sings his hits

Sunday, June 27
The TD Toronto Jazz Festival is now in full swing—with more than 350 concerts at 40-plus venues through to July 4. Tonight sees celebrated crooner Harry Connick Jr. take to the Canon Theatre stage.

See lions and tigers and bears—and then touch live stingrays, sharks and horseshoe crabs—with a family visit to the perennially popular Toronto Zoo.

Seize one last chance to save at the Summer Designer Sale, which features the latest fashions priced at 40 to 90 per cent off retail. The sale is on at the Sheraton Hotel in Richmond Hill, but for brands like Lacoste, Diesel, and Rock and Republic—and to avoid the congested G20 summit zones—it’s worth the short drive north

Hot Date: Music to Live By

JUNE 26 Oxygen is to us what a melody is to André Rieu, who makes a triumphant return to Toronto with his 55-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra. Having grown up with an orchestra-conductor father and five instrument-playing siblings, the Dutch violinist and composer is renowned for reviving the waltz form and tours the world to convey the international language and beauty of music. You’re sure to clap and hum along with a show that makes classical music accessible, fun and interactive with a group of young musicians whose passion can be heard and felt in their performance. Air Canada Centre,
8 p.m., $49 to $149; call 416-870-8000 or visit here to buy.