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Weekend Roundup, December 9 to 11

Friday: Relive your Royal Conservatory days through Two Pianos Four Hands

Friday, December 9
Follow along with the melodies made by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, the actor-musicians behind the hit comedy Two Pianos Four Hands, a hilarious and poignant story about two lives transformed by piano teachers, lessons and competitions. The show’s recently extended run continues at the Panasonic Theatre.

Listen to a Latin take on holiday music at Koerner Hall in A Salsa Christmas, performed by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra under the direction of world-renowned pianist, arranger and producer Oscar Hernández.

Get a first look at The Power Plant’s two new exhibitions at their free opening reception. The gallery’s winter exhibits showcase reflections on poignant moments in cultural history by Canadian Stan Douglas and an international collective of young artists.

There’s two more days of merriment after the jump!

Hot Shopping: Duffer’s Paradise

Founders Club golf bag and clubs

With more than 100 high-quality golf courses within a reasonable drive from downtown Toronto, it’s easy to hit the links this summer. Before you go for the green, however, make a trip to Golf Town, which offers everything from clubs to apparel and high-tech gadgets to improve your game. Featured this season are ladies’ Swarovski hat clips that double as ball markers, plus Founders Club “Believe” club sets—each purchase helps support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Gentlemen ball strikers can pick up a TaylorMade R11 driver or Nike Method Core putter. Golf Town’s indoor simulators allow everyone to test new clubs for the right feel and fit before you buy.

Hot Shopping: Oh, Canada!

On July 1 our home and native land marks its 143rd birthday. Even if you’re just adopting Canada for the day, these red and white products help you show some patriotic pride.

Clockwise from top left:
>> 100 Photos That Changed Canada book by Mark Reid, $45, Indigo.

>> Maple leaf key holder, $63, Swarovski.

>> Canadian Shield T-shirt, $32.50, Red Canoe.

>> Village Bag International, $158, Roots.

>> xcase Nation carry-on suitcase, $99.97, The Bay.

Hot Shopping: Off with Their Crystals

Swarovski's Cheshire Cat pendant

You don’t have to fall down a rabbit hole to find yourself in the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. On March 5, director Tim Burton brings the book to life with his own gothic twist; his new movie sees Alice reuniting with the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Red Queen 10 years after her original tumble. Inspired by the film, crystal purveyor Swarovski has introduced a collection of whimsical baubles representing the characters and themes of the classic children’s novel, including a Cheshire Cat pendant with black diamond, indicolite and light rose pointiage crystals ($165). If you’re looking for more tributes to Alice and her friends, Indigo carries tea cups and pots as well as an illustrated version of the book, while OPI has four bold lacquer hues with cheeky names like Off With Her Red!, available at Caryl Baker Visage.

Frugal Faves: The Bata Shoe Museum and Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto’s weekly tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more help you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket.

View these Spanish chopines and more at the Bata Shoe Museum.

View these Spanish chopines and more at the Bata Shoe Museum.

Shoes on a Shoestring
A hot deal is afoot at the Bata Shoe Museum. Footwear fetishists can admire can admire a range of historically significant slippers, clogs, moccasins and more for pay-what-you-can admission on Thursday evenings year-round. And as a bonus, entrance to the museum is free on November weekends when you donate a new pair of socks as part of the annual Warm the Sole charity sock drive. From ancient silk sandals to Renaissance chopines to today’s sexy stilettos, the museum displays hundreds of shoes spanning the centuries.

PWYC admission is in effect Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Free weekend admission with socks donation runs now through November 29. Visit here or call 416-979-7799 for more information.

The Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree lights up the Eaton Centre.

The Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree lights up the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Sparkle and Song
Kick off the festive season this Thursday, November 19, as the one-of-a-kind Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree is unveiled at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Thirty-five feet tall and adorned with 20,000 crystals, this rotating tree creates a constant shimmering effect that is sure to dazzle. Prior to the big reveal is a free, special-guest performance by acclaimed vocal quartet the Canadian Tenors, singing seasonal hits from their recently released holiday album. Now in its fifth year, this shopping-centre holiday tradition helps benefit the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada through the sale of commemorative ornaments.

The Swarovski tree reveal is scheduled between 6 and 7 p.m., on the second level of the Toronto Eaton Centre, near Indigo.

Calgary Holiday Gift Ideas: $100 and under

A holiday gift guide from shops around Calgary, when you’re on a budget, part III.

By Laura Pellerine

1. Headphones by Roxy and JBL
Plush ear pads with an audio capacity of 40 mm. $79.95 at The Apple Store at Market Mall.

2. Glass Sushi Dish
Measuring at 3/4” of thick glass, and paired with stainless steel chopsticks. $79 at Murmur (111, 3411 – 20 St SW).

3. Classic Tigger
A limited edition, powdered marble and resin figurine designed by European artist Peter Mook. $99 at Artesano Galleria (1218c – 9 Ave SE).

4. Murray McDavid Scotch Whiskey
Malts distilled in different types of barrels and casks, like this Dufftown 1997 blend, aged in two casks: a traditional whisky cask and a California Zinfandel cask from Ridge. Limited edition runs. Bottles range in price from $58 – $90 at Bin 905.

5. Bella Bracelet by Sugarlime Jewellery
A seven-inch sterling silver bracelet with a Swarovski crystal bevelled heart and sterling silver wolf charm. Inspired by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. $89 at Honey B’s.

6. Wind in the Willows
A Folio Society copy of this classic story by Kenneth Grahame. In its 5th printing, high-quality bound with linen pages and award-winning artist Charles van Sandwyk’s illustrations. $100 at Arts on Atlantic.

7. Men’s Shaving Kit
Antique-inspired chrome-plated shaving kit with a badger-hair brush. $89 at Plaza Mercantile at Heritage Park.

8. Amelia Mini Purse
Made with 300 hand-crocheted recycled pop tops.  Lightweight and lined with silver satin. $85 at Murmur (111, 3411 – 20 St SW).

June Travel Accessories

The latest gadgets and gear.