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Christmas events in Calgary

3 Holiday Feasts in Calgary

By RACHAEL FREY

The winter holidays are about many things — family and friends, gift-giving, personal reflection, charity — but there can be no doubt that food is one of the most critical elements. Expectations are high, and preparing a traditional (or not-so-traditional) meal can be very stressful. Fortunately, these Calgary restaurants are ready to do all the hard work so you can just sit back, relax and dig in.

Courtesy Fairmont Palliser.

CHRISTMAS BRUNCH AT THE FAIRMONT PALLISER
Get swept up in the magic of Christmas with a decadent brunch in the Fairmont Palliser’s iconic Crystal Ballroom. The holiday themed meal will include all the traditional fixings and much more for an epic Christmas Day feast. The brunch begins at 10 am on December 25, with the last seating at 2:30 pm.

Courtesy Pixabay.

CHRISTMAS DINNER BUFFET AT THOMSONS RESTAURANT
Finish off Christmas Day at the Hyatt’s warm, modern Thomsons Restaurant. The incredible gourmet buffet includes everything you could think of and then some, such as a carving station with prime rib, turkey and lamb, freshly shucked oysters, sushi, local charcuterie and cheeses, dim sum, and a mouth-watering dessert station. The Christmas dinner buffet is 5 – 7:30 pm on December 25, and Thomsons also offers an equally impressive Christmas brunch buffet with made-to-order omelettes and pancakes, from 10:30 am – 3:30 pm.

Courtesy Heritage Park.

NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER AT SELKIRK GRILLE
Wave goodbye to 2018 and ring in the new year with the timeless elegance of Heritage Park’s Selkirk Grille. The vintage details — from a prominent sandstone bar and warm wooden accents to the music from a bygone era — paired with attentive service, a six-course gourmet dinner and, of course, a bottle of champagne, will make it a night to remember. Dinner will be served December 31, 5 – 10 pm.

15 things to do in Calgary in December

By SHAUNA MCGINN

The holiday season is in full swing, with a variety of markets, shows, craft sales and more underway. But peek behind the festive fun and you’ll find that this December goes above and beyond the typical offerings of the Christmas season, with unique events bound to make this month a memorable one.

Ellen Doty. Courtesy Take Aim Media.

ELLEN DOTY AT STUDIO BELL
As part of the National Music Centre’s Alberta Spotlight Series, Calgary-based singer-songwriter Ellen Doty will take the stage on December 6 for an intimate performance. Doty’s musical touch blends jazz, folk, soul, and indie-pop, which come together to create a style at once unique and distinctly soulful.

BIG ROCK BREWING WORKSHOP
Calgary’s own Big Rock Brewing Company will be at Heritage Park on December 6 teaching beer lovers how to craft their own brew from start to finish.

MIRACLE ON FIRST STREET YYC
Proof cocktail bar has morphed into a magical Christmas haven, complete with special holiday drinks like the Christmaspolitan and the Run Run Rudolph. Sip and get into the spirit from 4:00 pm – 1:00 am until December 23.

THE TENORS
Popular Canadian operatic group The Tenors are performing their Home for the Holidays show on December 8 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
See Canadian theatre star Stephen Hair play Ebenezer Scrooge for the 25th year in a row in this holiday favourite, on until December 23.

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
Catch this show at the Calgary Opera from December 7-9. Created by Gian Carlo Menotti, this one-act opera is the reimagined tale about the biblical Magi, or “wise men.” The story is told from the perspective of a young disabled boy who winds up accompanying the three men as they bring their gifts to Bethlehem.

AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCE AT SOUTHCENTRE MALL
This display on the mall’s lower level, on until December 24, transports you to the Frozen Forest with Sammy the Snowman for a unique holiday shopping experience.

Courtesy Calgary Zoo.

ZOOLIGHTS
The Calgary Zoo is continuing its annual tradition of making the zoo glow with an array of holiday-inspired light installations that visitors can explore after dark while the animals are asleep in their enclosures. With plenty of chances to visit, Zoolights is perfect for date night, a quick photo-op, or simply to get into the spirit. Visit from November 23 – January 5.

TEDDY BEAR TOSS
It’s one of the only hockey games of the year where throwing something onto the ice is not just allowed — it’s encouraged. On December 9, bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to this year’s game and aim it at the ice every time our Calgary Hitmen score a goal against the Kamloops Blazers. See if records can be broken for most stuffed toys crowded into a hockey rink at the same time.

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2018
On December 10, join the Calgary branch of the United Nations Association in Canada at the new Central Library for a panel discussion and screening of the film Indian Horse, based on the novel by the late Indigenous writer Richard Wagamese, in honour of Human Rights Day.

TELUS SPARK ADULTS ONLY NIGHT
This monthly event, taking place on the evening of December 13, sees the impressive science centre turn into a fun after-hours party where adults can sip and enjoy the space.

LYNDAL OSBORNE: MUTATION OF THE COMMONS
Hosted at the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries until December 15, this exhibition displays Osborne’s sculptures, which are inspired by forces of transformation in nature.

ONE BAD APPLE
Local playwright Charlotte Nixon has adapted the classic tale of Snow White into a unique stage experience hosted at the city’s Morpheus Theatre from December 7-15.

Courtesy Heritage Park.

ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS AT HERITAGE PARK
Heritage Park has transformed into a festive Christmas village, complete with carolling, food and drink, shopping and more. Visit on weekends from 9:30 – 4:30 pm until December 23.

ZORRO: FAMILY CODE
From November 27 – December 30, Alberta Theatre Projects is presenting a fresh, fun take on an old legend.

6 Calgary Christmas markets to visit this season

By SHAUNA MCGINN and SILVIA PIKAL

Holiday shopping season is upon us – and it doesn’t have to feel daunting. If busy malls aren’t your thing, head to one of these great local markets for inspired gift ideas, or simply to soak up the seasonal spirit. You’ll be supporting local vendors, getting a breath of fresh air, and turning an often-begrudged activity into a fun, leisurely experience.

Courtesy YYC Alternative Christmas Market.

YYC ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS MARKET
Looking to buy and promote local in your shopping this year? This neighbourhood market is for you. On November 24, the annual Alternative Christmas Market will be hosting YYC-based vendors at the Inglewood Community Association Hall, selling everything from tea, vintage goods, artisanal doughnuts and more.

MARKET COLLECTIVE
From December 7 – 9 and 14 – 16 at the BMO Centre, Market Collective is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with handcrafted wares for sale, along with food and beverage options and entertainment from musicians, DJs and some surprises along the way. Admission is $5, and free for kids 12 and under.

SPRUCE MEADOWS INTERNATIONAL CHRISTMAS MARKET
For the next three weekends, Spruce Meadows will be alight with the holiday spirit for its annual Christmas market. There’s a free shuttle bus to the grounds from the Somerset/Bridlewood LRT station, as well as limited public parking. Tickets are $12 per person, or $10 if you buy in advance.

Courtesy MarketSpot.

MARKETSPOT YYC
Running until December 31st, this pop-up shop has set up on the second floor of The Core Shopping Centre. Visit the MarketSpot storefront to wander through aisles of paintings, jewelry and more.

MARDA LOOP CHRISTMAS MARKET
A great option for those living in or visiting Marda Loop, this one-day market  at the Marda Loop Communities Association on December 15 will be in support of the Calgary Interfaith Foodbank – so take the chance to give back while you shop.

CALGARY FARMER’S MARKET – CHRISTMAS EDITION
Until December 23, enjoy a seasonal touch to the Calgary Farmer’s Market with special vendors dedicated to all of your favourite Christmas goods, from gourmet nuts to festive fruit wines.