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what’s hot

What’s Hot Across Canada in January

Edmonton

Ice on Whyte is Edmonton’s premier winter festival and includes an international ice carving competition, an array of visually stunning ice sculptures and live nightly entertainment of song, dance and drama. This year from Jan 13-23 the festival also welcomes sculptors from the city of Harbin in China’s province of Heilongjiang. Harbin is known for hosting some of the world’s most elaborate ice and  sculpture festivals. (more…)

What’s Hot in January Across Canada

Halifax

Roots-rock legends Blue Rodeo return to the Halifax Metro Centre on January 28, performing concert classics like “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” and “Diamond Mine,” along with their newest material.

Vancouver & Whistler

The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are almost here, and they’re bringing a lot more than just sports to Vancouver and Whistler. The Cultural Olympiad 2010 (Jan 22 – Mar 21) is the culmination of three years of Cultural Olympiads on the West Coast, and it features some of the world’s best artists, musicians, dancers, actors and performers. Vancouver highlights include Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Jan 22 – 24), Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe at the Granville Island Stage (Jan 21 – Feb 6), and Steve Earle and Joel Plaskett at The Orpheum (Jan 23).

Whistler highlights include Canada’s first theatre of snow and ice, Nix (Jan 22 – Feb 27), Corb Lund at Whistler Village Square (Feb 19), and the Nunavut-based circus Artcirq at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre (Feb 20).

Ottawa

During the Carleton Cup Triathlon on Jan 30, fearless participants—athletically inclined or otherwise—skate for nearly 7km up and down the Rideau Canal, run through the ByWard Market, then slide into The Aulde Dubliner & Pour House to pound back a drink. First one in gets the bragging rights, but the real winner is the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Led by controversial-yet-charismatic frontman Axl Rose, the newest incarnation of Guns N’ Roses will tour to promote Chinese Democracy, an album that was 15 years in the making.  They stop into Ottawa Jan 31.

Calgary

Known for its memorable songs like, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” the Tony Award-winning musical, Fiddler on the Roof plays at the Jubilee until Jan 17. Throughout the month of January, One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo offers theatre-lovers innovative plays, skits and acts from around the world. Highlights include Kawasaki Exit, a play about the dark-side of Japanese social networking sites and The Pajama Men, a comedy duo who perform their act in their pjs.

Winnipeg

World-class men’s curling talent sweeps into Winnipeg for the BDO Canadian Classic Open Jan 20 – 24. Top names like Canada’s Olympic representative Kevin Martin and Scotland’s reigning World Champion David Murdoch are expected to participate.

Edmonton

Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, one of Canada’s most accomplished dance organizations, brings three brilliant performances to Edmonton Jan 20: In Paradisum; Soudain, l’hiver dernier; and Fifteen Heterosexual Duets, all choreographed by James Kudelka.  Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux promises “an exhilarating voyage to the heights of paradise and the depths of the heart.”  Edmontonians revel in the winter months at the Winter Light Festival. Every weekend brings a blizzard of family fun with many events such as ice carving, ice-skating, art shows and much more. On until Mar 12, free admission.

Canadian Rockies

The Olympic Torch Relay comes through Banff Jan 20 and the town is celebrating outdoors with live music. Watch as teams carve massive blocks of ice into glittering sculptures at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise during the Ice Magic Festival, Jan 22 – 24 (if you can’t catch the carving, admire the art until it melts away in a few months). Or hit up Jasper in January for ski lift ticket and hotel discounts, plus fun events like the polar bear dip, Taste of the Town, music and skating parties, Jan 15 – 31.

Toronto

Important figures of history continue to draw crowds in the present. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart looms large over the city on select dates between Jan 13 and 24 as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents the Mozart@254 Festival, its annual concert series commemorating the 1756 birth of the Classical Era’s greatest composer. This year’s program features guest artists including famed baritone Russell Braun, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and many others. Or, have an archeological encounter with the great rulers of Egypt, by visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario’s ongoing exhibit, King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. The massive display showcases rare artifacts from the days of Khafre, Amenhotep IV, Rameses II and other significant monarchs, as well as more than 50 exquisite treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun. On until Apr 18.


What’s Hot in November Across Canada

Vancouver

It may be November, but it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas. Local stages offer Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical and It’s a Wonderful Life, both based on popular seasonal movies. Bright Nights in Stanley Park and Lights of Hope each make spirits bright, with thousands of twinkling lights—and money raised going to local charities. Crafts and gifts abound at Circle Craft Christmas Market (held in the Vancouver Convention Centre) and Christmas at Hycroft (held in a stately Edwardian mansion). Old-fashioned traditions are revived during the Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas. And Stuart McLean shares his gently humorous stories in A Vinyl Cafe Christmas.

Ottawa

Savour the best in wine and food from over 200 exhibitors at the Ottawa Wine and Food Show where you can expect to see kitchen demos, tips on presentation and pairings, and more, Nov 6 – 8. Casino du Lac Leamy has recently renovated its theatre and now offers dinner shows, courtesy of a brand new kitchen. This month, check out Eclipse: The Pink Floyd Story (Nov 6 and 7) and Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees (Nov 14).

Calgary

Legendary hard rockers KISS come to the Pengrowth Saddledome on Nov 12. The Demon (Gene Simmons), Starchild (Paul Stanley), Spaceman (Tommy Thayler) and Catman (Eric Singer) present a selection of greatest hits, as well as pyrotechnics and maybe even a guitar bashing. On Nov 29, McMahon Stadium hosts the Canadian Football League’s championship game, the Grey Cup. This showdown between the CFL’s East Division and West Division is always a lively battle.

Halifax

November 21 marks the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas season in Halifax, as the Holiday Parade of Lights wends its way through the downtown. Lasting over an hour, the parade features dozens of festive floats, live music and, of course, a visit from St. Nick himself.

Victoria

Hockey season is heating up in Victoria as the ECHL’s Salmon Kings take aim at this year’s Kelly Cup but hockey fans are also excited about the November 25 appearance of some of the world’s best up-and-comers. The 2009 Subway Super Series brings together some of the finest junior talent from Russia and Canada for a series of games across the country. Here in Victoria, the Russian Junior National Team will take on top skaters from the Western Hockey League. For ticket details call the save-on-Foods Memorial Centre at 250-220-7777 or visit www.selectyourtickets.com.

Toronto

City meets country when the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair rides into Exhibition Place from Nov 6 – 15. This annual tradition features animal attractions, culinary events, musical performances, and, of course, the Royal Horse Show. In addition, two dazzling holiday classics come to the stage. From Nov 13 – 29, the National Ballet of Canada presents their interpretation of fairytale favourite The Sleeping Beauty, and audiences kick up their heels in celebration when the world-famous Rockettes perform in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Nov 16 – 18, at the Air Canada Centre.

Whistler

Celebrate food and wine in Olympian style at the annual gourmet get-together, Cornucopia Nov 12 – 15, with multi-course winemakers’ dinners, chefs’ foraging adventures to local farms, high-energy after-parties and a wealth of wine tastings. And even though the 2010 Winter Games are almost here, it’s business as usual on the mountains. Whistler and Blackcomb both open Nov 26 for another spectacular season of skiing and snowboarding.

Winnipeg

From Nov 4 – 8 the Manito Ahbee: A Festival For All Nations celebrates Canada’s Aboriginal culture. Highlights of the festival include an international powwow competition, indigenous market and trade show and the 4th annual Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. Santa and a parade of more than 70 floats kick off the holiday season Nov 14 during the Power Smart/Jaycees Santa Claus Parade.

Edmonton

On Nov 22 check out Kevin Smith: Silent Bob Speaks Out, to hear a lecture from award-winning screenwriter/director (Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).  Smith has amassed a vast fan base for his irreverent and hilarious rants on the absurdity of just about everything. From Nov 10 – 15, experience the Broadway masterpiece A Chorus Line —  a tale of a group of young dancers toe the line on the stage of their dreams. This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical first opened on the Great White Way in 1975 and became its longest-running musical, with 6,137 performances through 1990.

Canadian Rockies

Banff’s Norquay is open on weekends through November until its official grand opening Dec 4; Kananaskis’ Nakiska follows suit with weekend skiing from Nov 7 to Nov 29 until the resort’s opening on Dec 5; Lake Louise Mountain Resort officially opens Nov 6; Sunshine Village Ski Resort’s opening day is Nov 11; and Jasper’s Marmot Basin is gearing up for a great opener on Nov 11. So grab your gear and hit the slopes.


What’s Hot in July Across Canada

This month, discover the hottest events happening in cities near you.

Vancouver

Steven Page may have parted ways with his fellow Barenaked Ladies, but he hasn’t left the music biz. You’ll find him performing at this year’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 17 to 19 at Jericho Beach Park, along with acts ranging from The Proclaimers to Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band to Women in Docs. There’s more than just tunes on the agenda: food, crafts and an area for kids ensure a whole weekend of family fun.

Edmonton

Thrills ’n’ chills happen in Walking with Dinosaurs when a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex breathes down your neck. Baby T-rex also appears along with other Jurassic titans for this 200-million-year adventure, July 22 to 26 at Rexall Place. Experience the theatre event of the year as The Lion King’s cast of more than 40 performers recreate the magic of Africa. Giraffes strut, birds swoop and gazelles leap as the entire savannah comes to life and Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. It runs until August 2 at the Jubilee Auditorium.

Ottawa

The Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest presents hundreds of the biggest names in the music business: KISS, Lynard Skynard, Ice Cube, Jeff Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more, take to the stages at LeBreton Flats from July 8 to 19. The National Gallery of Canada showcases some incredible paintings during their From Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome exhibit, on until September 7.

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