Arts, culture, fun in London this weekend and beyond (Nov. 7-13) - The London Free Press - Canadanewsmedia
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Arts, culture, fun in London this weekend and beyond (Nov. 7-13) – The London Free Press



What’s happening in and around London this weekend and next week

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Amanda Martinez performs Saturday at Aeolian Hall.

What’s happening in and around London this weekend and next week:


Eastside Bar And Grill: Snakebite, Friday, 10 p.m.; Men Without Cats, Saturday, 10 p.m.; Blues Jam, Sunday, 3 p.m.; Eastside 10-Year Reunion Jam, Wednesday, 8 p.m.; 750 Hamilton Rd.; 519-457-7467.

Jimbo’s Pub And Eatery: Karaoke Party hosted by Maggie, Fridays, 10 p.m. and Tuesdays, 8 p.m.; 920 Commissioners Rd. E.; 519-204-7991 or visit

London Music Club: Shut The Front Door Improv, Friday, 7 p.m., Joe Crookston, 7:15 p.m., Acoustic Open Mic, 7:30 p.m.; The Beatles In Blue with Doug Varty, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; SOUP Ukulele Jam, Wednesday, 6:45 p.m.; 470 Colborne St.; 519-640-6996.

London Music Hall: Yelawolf, The Outfit, TX, Wild the Coyote and Badd Wolf, Friday, 8 p.m., $30, all ages; 185 Queens Ave.; 519-432-1107.

London Wine Bar: Patrick James Clark, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., no cover; 420 Talbot St.; reservations by calling 519-913-3400 or e-mail; walk-ins welcome.

Lou Dawgs: Sammy Duke Band, Friday; C.J. Lee Blues Band, Saturday; mark Crissinger, Sunday, 2-5 p.m.; Open Mic Night, Tuesdays, 8 p.m.; Darren Powers, Wednesday, 8 p.m.; 519-204-0822 or visit

Doug Varty performs his The Beatles In Blue show Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at London Music Club.

Michael’s On the Thames: Laurraine Sigouin​ with Ken Foster, Don DiCarlo, Larry Ernewein and Sandy MacKay​, Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; 1 York S.; 519-672-0111.

Mustang Sally’s: Smokin Dave Band, Friday, 9:30 p.m.; The Do-Overs, Saturday, 9:30 p.m.; Acoustic Jam with Alan Lynch, Smokin Dave, Don Oullette and Friends, Tuesdays, 10 p.m.; Lonnie Chicago, Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.; 99 Belmont Dr.; 519-649-7688.

Norma Jean’s: Live Band Rockaoke, Thursday, 10 p.m.; Special Birthday Bash Rock Party, Friday; Pepper Jones and the Rockits, Saturday; Karaoke night, Wednesdays, 9 p.m.; 1332 Huron St.; 519-455-7711 or visit

Rum Runners: Courage My Love, Sneaker Club, Hot Lips, Drivr, Thursday, 8 p.m., $10, all ages; Heart Attack Kids, Catl, Wine Lips, Lost Arts, Friday, 8 p.m., $12, all ages; System Saturdays with Open Decks, Saturday, 10 p.m., $5, 19+; 178 Dundas St.; 519-432-1107.

St. Regis Tavern: Musical Chairs with Emily Garber and Mitch Willer, Saturday, 9 p.m., pay-what-you-will; 625 Dundas St.; 519-432-0162.

Wortley Roadhouse: Geoff Masse Band, Friday and Saturday; Chris Murphy Band with guest Steve Grisbrook, Sunday, 4-8 p.m., no cover; 190 Wortley Rd.; 519-438-5141.


Coffee, Cake and Cha Cha Cha: An afternoon of live music, dancing, homemade cake and coffee, Sunday 2-5 p.m. at German Canadian Club, 1 Cove Rd.; admission: $5; 519-433-2901 or visit

Come Dancing: Ballroom, Latin and swing dance, Friday at Polish Hall, 554 Hill St.; line dance Lesson with Kathie at 7:30 p.m., dance to Wolfeman DJ music host at 8 p.m.; admission: $10, all welcome; 519-433-2579.

Latin Dance Night: Come join us for dancing to Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton and Bachata music, hosted by JaviDJ, Saturday, 10 p.m., free admission; Jimbo’s Pub, 920 Commissioners Rd. E.; 519-204-7991 or visit

Royal Canadian Legion – Lambeth: Dance to the music of May Family, Saturday, 2-5 p.m., free admission; 7097 Kilbourne Rd.; 519-652-3412.

Royal Canadian Legion – Victory: Dance to the music of Norm Ackland, Saturday, 8 p.m., $15 at main floor door; Wednesday Night Opry with Nora and The Tearjerkers, Wednesday, 8 p.m., $8 at main floor door; everyone welcome; 311 Oakland Ave.

Strathroy Jamboree: Play, dance, sing or listen, Thursday, 1-4 p.m. at 137 Frank St., Strathroy; lunch available for purchase from 11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m.; everyone welcome; Harry and Elaine Hardy, 519-245-0906 or e-mail

Sunday Social Dance: Dance to the music of Wolfeman DJ, Sunday, 7 p.m. at Aylmer Optimist Club, 30 Queen St. S.; admission: $13, includes light lunch; all welcome; 519-765-1828.

Thursday Tunes: Senior dances, every Thursday, 1-3:30 p.m. at Libro Hall, 239 Fleming Dr., Clinton; musicians, dancers and spectators welcome, donations at the door; 519-476-5922 or e-mail

Tuesday Tunes: A weekly event featuring old time fiddle and traditional style country music, Tuesdays, 1-3:30 p.m. at Seaforth Community Centre, 122 Duke St.; singers, musicians, dancers and listeners welcome, bring your own musical instruments; admission by donation; 519-357-1016.


Beat The Clock – Time Strategies That Transform Teams: Join the London Chapter of Women in Communications and Technology for an interactive workshop on developing time management skills for effective communication with author Glendalynn Dixon, Thursday, 5:30 p.m. at Innovation Works, 201 King St.; tickets: $30, students $20; visit

Emerald Evening – A Night with the Irish: Gather to celebrate and preserve Irish culture, spend a night wandering the cobbled streets of Dublin without taking a trip to the airport, with entertainment, live music, Irish inspired cuisine and more, Saturday, 5:30 p.m. at Goodwill Industries, 255 Horton St. E.; tickets: $75, with funds raised supporting the Irish Benevolent Society of London and Area; visit

Fight For Our Veterans: Olympic-style boxing show with athletes coming from across Ontario and all over the U.S., Saturday, 7-11 p.m. at Lucas secondary school, 656 Tennent Ave.; family-friendly show features 12 boxing fights, live music, raffles, vendors; tickets: $25 at the door, with portion of donations given to Imperial Veteran’s Club (Army, Navy and Air Force Unit 229); 226-378-1408.

Mascarade Ball – Bal Masque: Club Richelieu London fundraising event, Saturday, 6 p.m. at Azores Cultural Community Centre, 1003 Hamilton Rd.; dinner and dance tickets: $50 by e-mailing; music by DJ Felix, prize for best mask and costume; Club Richelieu London supports the French Culture and Language.

South Western International Film Festival: SWIFF aims to shine a spotlight on new voices, female perspectives, and stories that will engage a region with a growing thirst for art and culture, Thursday to Sunday at Imperial Theatre, 168 Christina St., Sarnia; visit

Ravi Srinivasan, executive director of the South Western International Film Festival, is shown outside the Imperial Theatre in Sarnia. (File photo)


1st Hussars Museum: Illustrates the history of the Regiment from 1856 to the present, including involvement in the South African War, Great War, Second World War and Peacekeeping; hours: Saturday and Remembrance Day, Monday, 1-4 p.m.; located at 1 Dundas St., at Forks of the Thames; 519-455-4533.

Art Emporium: Featured artists for November are Ron Pearce, Gianni Martino, Candy McManiman, Micheal Yates, Wilf Chappell, June-Anne Reid, Tom Scanlan, Shirley Mihlik Thompson, Kathy McKay; hours: Thursday to Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 177 Main St., Port Stanley; 226-658-1888 or visit

Art with Panache: Fine Artists, Fine Art Show and Sale, runs till Nov. 15; featured artist for November is Tony Furlong, till Nov. 15; Panache Artists’ Folk Art Challenge, runs till Nov. 15; hours: Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Talbot Centre, 140 Fullarton St.; 226-378-2587.

Aylmer-Malahide Museum: Stir the Pot, exhibit takes a look at dining through the ages and the history of local restaurants, runs till Nov. 29; hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., evenings and weekends by appointment; 14 East St., Aylmer; 519-773-9723.

Eldon House: London’s oldest residence contains family heirlooms, furnishings and priceless treasures of the Harris Family; hours: Tuesday to Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; admission by donation; 481 Ridout St. N.; 519-661-5169 or visit

Elgin County Heritage Centre: Voices from the Engraver: Canadian stamps and bank notes – design to printing – features original art, printing plates, videos, interactives, stamps and money, runs till Jan. 11; hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; 460 Sunset Dr., St. Thomas; 519-631-1460 ext. 193 or visit

Fringe Custom Framing and Gallery: Bloom – Unveiling the Figure: group art show and sale, runs till Nov. 30; 1742 Hyde Park Rd.; 519-204-0404 or e-mail

London artist Johnnene Maddison’s The Bongos is part of a new exhibition, Space Between, with artist Lisa Johnson, on at Westland Gallery through Nov. 23.

Gallery in the Grove: Annual Gifts of the Season featuring local handmade art and gifts, runs till Dec. 7; 2618 Hamilton Road, Brights Grove; 519-869-4643 or visit

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre: Mini Art Auction, runs till Nov. 14; Other Voices, sculptural clay work by Jeff Lounsbury, runs till Nov. 17; hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 2:30-5:30 p.m., Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; 125 Centennial Lane in Victoria Park, Ingersoll; 519-485-4691 or visit

Komoka Railway Museum: Visit restored CN railway station, 1913 Shay steam locomotive, CN baggage car, items include telegraph keys, spike hammers, spike pullers, switch lanterns, steam gauges, a railroad safe, a baggage sleigh and a three-wheel velocipede; fall hours: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon or by appointment; 131 Queen St., Komoka; 519-657-1912 or visit

McIntosh Gallery: Angela Grauerholz: Ecrins Ecrans, runs till Dec. 14, with opening reception Nov. 14, 8-10 p.m.; hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, noon-4 p.m.; free admission; Western University, 1151 Richmond St.; 519-661-2111 ext. 87576.

Museum London: Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat, runs till Jan. 5; Ways of Being: Yhonnie Scarce and Michael Belmore, runs till Jan. 5; London Lens: Ian MacEachern and Don Vincent, runs till Jan. 19; The Lost City: Ian MacEachern’s Photographs of Saint John, runs till Jan. 26; 421 Ridout St.; 519-661-0333.

Portside Gallery: Sue Shurish, Patti Fisher and Janice Howell are featured for November; 18 area artists displaying original paintings, photography, jewelry, hand-painted scarves and cards; hours: daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 187 1/2 Main St., Port Stanley; 519-782-7066 or visit

Sunset Arts Gallery: Acrylic, oil, pastel, photography, pottery, watercolour, silk painting, fused glass, wood-turned art, non-representational abstract art; hours: weekends, noon-5 p.m. (until Dec. 15); 63 River Rd., Grand Bend; 519-238-6914.

The Art Exchange: Celebrating Autumn, group show of 15 Ontario artists reflects a variety of styles and methods of art making, runs till Nov. 30; hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 247 Wortley Rd.; 519-434-0000 or visit

Westland Gallery: Space Between: Lisa Johnson and Johnnene Maddison, reception Saturday, 2-4 p.m., artist talk, Wednesday, 7 p.m., runs till Nov. 23; hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; 156 Wortley Rd.; 519-601-4420 or visit

Woodstock Art Gallery: Life on the Back of a Turtle: Woodlands and Plains Indigenous Art, runs till Jan. 25; 449 Dundas St., Woodstock; 519-539-6761.


Amanda Martinez: Blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and nouveau flamenco, with Kevin Laliberte, Paco Luviano, Rosendo ‘Chendy’ Leon, and Alexander Brown, and special guest Donne Roberts, Saturday, 8 p.m. at Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St.; tickets: $28 advance available at box office, Centennial hall, Long and McQuade North, Village Idiot or $33 at the door; 519-672-7950 or visit

Arkells: Rally Cry Tour with Coin, Thursday, 8 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens, 99 Dundas St.; tickets: $33 to $57.50 available through and

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Fernanda Cunha: Brazilian Bossa Nova singer performs, accompanied by Reg Schwager and Tom Szcesniak, Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Sarnia Library Theatre, 124 Christina St. S., Sarnia; tickets: $25 advance available at Cheeky Monkey, 130 Christina St. N., Sarnia; 519-332-0978.

Fighting Cancer with Friends: Featuring Western Swing Authority, Jamie Warren, Lighthouse, Thomas Wade, Suzi Kory, Jim Witter, Brad James, Eric Ethridge, Carlos Morgan, Stacey Zegers, Shane Guse, Stacey Lee Guse, Anthony Tullo, Jim Witter, Anthony Tullo, Carrie DeMaeyer, Sean Carson, and more, Sunday, 1-5 p.m. at Purple Hill Country Hall, 20903 Purple Hill Rd., Thorndale; tickets: $25 by calling Anna, 519-461-0538.

Forest City Opera Pub: Featuring Western Alumni singers: Kaitlyn Clifford, Brianna DeSantis, Bethany Hynes, Stephanie O’Leary, Carmen Specht and Paul Digout, Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Storm Stayed Brewing Company, 169 Wharncliffe Rd. S.; free admission.

For King and Country: Remembrance Day performance of live music about the Canadian experience during the First Great War, with opening act Brian Abbey, Sunday, 2 p.m. at Aylmer Old Town Hall Theatre, 38 John St. S.; tickets: $20 by calling 519-773-3126.

Jumbo Train Concert: Dennis Kalichuk, with Kim Ladd, Guy Miskelly, Myles Pineau, Shelley Rice and Lauri Ladd, present memorable music, garnered from their catalogue of albums, Friday, 7 p.m. at Princess Avenue Playhouse theatre, 40 Princess Ave., St. Thomas; tickets: $22 through; 519-637-8757.

London Pro Musica Choir Concert: Solstice Meditation – A Transformative Musical Respite, introducing artistic director, Markus Howard, conductor, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at First-St. Andrew’s United Church, 350 Queens Ave.; tickets: $20 advance online at or $25 at the door, students $10.

U.N. Jefferson: The Aylmer Performing Arts Council presents the soul and Motown sounds of U.N. Jefferson, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Aylmer Old Town Hall Theatre, 38 John St. S., Aylmer; tickets: $25; visit

Woodfield Jazz: Presents the Jeremy Price Quartet featuring Jeremy Price, Zen Zadravec, Paco Luviano and Rich Brisco, Friday, 8 p.m. at First-St. Andrew’s United Church, 350 Queens Ave.; tickets: $20 advance through or $25 at the door; 519-679-8182 or visit


Saturday Morning Walks: Walk along the Thames River South Branch, Saturday, 9 a.m., meet at Chelsea Green Park, 1 Adelaide St. S.; walks are approximately one hour; families with children are welcome, please leave dogs at home; John Clark, 519-641-0442 or visit


Book Launch: North Middlesex Historical Society presents a newly written book, A Pictorial History of McGillivray Township a North Middlesex Community, Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 159 George St., Ailsa Craig; 519-854-7734 or e-mail

Hindsight is 2020: The past meets the future as Western University History Department faculty deliver weekly talks: Professor Bill Turkel looks at Artificial Intelligence, Monday, 7 p.m. at Central Library, 251 Dundas St., followed by Q&A; free drop-in event; 519-661-4600.

The Misinformation Age: In this talk, Dr. Cailin O’Connor will look at the history of science and use simple models of human interaction, to see why one of our greatest strengths as humans – social learning – can lead us wrong, Thursday, 7 p.m. in Stevenson and Hunt Room, Central Library, 251 Dundas St.; free admission.


Art Show and Sale: St.Thomas Art Guild’s 13th annual event features original, one-of-a-kind art in a variety of mediums, Friday, 6-9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at CASO Station, 750 Talbot St., St. Thomas; complimentary Tea Room; visit

Christmas Magic in Thorndale: Artists Annette Dutton, Lynne Pinchin, Cathy Burgoyne and Ruth Mackie will showcase artwork for viewing and purchase, including framed and gallery-wrapped canvases, Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Masonic Hall, Harrison St., Thorndale; email

Christmas Tour of Homes: St. Thomas Rotary tour of five homes, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; tickets: $18 advance available at Cedarhurst Salon and Spa in St. Thomas, Apropos in Port Stanley, by calling 519-631-4196 or 519-631-5528 or $20 at the door; Friday Candlelight preview runs 6:30-9 p.m.; 519-631-5528 or visit


London Community Players: Of Some Importance, Thursday to Saturday, 8 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m., runs till Nov. 17 at Palace Theatre, 710 Dundas St.; tickets: adults $28, seniors/students $26, youth $16; 519-432-1029 or visit

Palace Theatre: The Downs featuring Sheryl Scott, Thursday, Friday, 8 p.m., Saturday, Sunday, 2 p.m. at 710 Dundas St.; tickets: $34 by calling 519-432-1029 or visit

Stratford Festival: Little Shop of Horrors, ends Saturday at Avon Theatre; Billy Elliott the Musical, runs till Nov. 24 at Festival Theatre; 55 Queen St., Stratford; 1-800-567-1600 or visit

Dan Chameroy stars as Orin, the Dentist, in the Stratford Festival production of Little Shop of Horrors. (Cylla von Tiedemann photo)


Christmas at Porter Hall: Baked goods, crafts, knitting, sewing, treasures, jewelry, books, pies, preserves and more, Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon at St. John’s Anglican Church, 20 Flora St., St. Thomas.

Craft Market: Craft vendors, baked goods, lunch room and more, Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Church of the Ascension, 2060 Dundas St. E.

Holiday Craft Sale: Unique Christmas gifts, crafts, knitted/crocheted items, jewelry, baked goods, jam, wood crafts, Tea Room and more, Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Richards Memorial United Church, 360 Edgeworth Ave.

Holly Berry Bazaar and Craft Sale: Saturday, 11 a.m.-1.30 p.m. at Lambeth United Church, 4268 Colonel Talbot Rd.

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Holiday Arts: Vancouver's seasonal shows, ranked from the retro to the serene to the classical –




Holiday performances are packing the weeks before Christmas, with offerings from the elegant to the silly. Aside from the unprecedented wave of homegrown seasonal plays, here are some of the top shows decking the city’s halls from now through the New Year, sorted for your every Yuletide mood.

<span class="picturefill" data-picture data-alt="Jim Byrnes reprises his role in Bah Humbug! for the Downtown Eastside–set show’s final installment at SFU Woodward’s.”>
Jim Byrnes reprises his role in Bah Humbug! for the Downtown Eastside–set show’s final installment at SFU Woodward’s.

Unconventional Xmas

Bah Humbug!

At SFU Woodward’s in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts from December 5 to 21

It’s the 10th and final version of this modern, hyperlocal twist on A Christmas Carol. Set in the Downtown Eastside, the show stars singer Jim Byrnes as a pawnshop owner and slumlord who preys on the poor. Directed by Michael Boucher, it also features actors Tom Pickett, Stephen Lytton, Kevin McNulty, Sam Bob, Savannah Walling, and Margo Kane, with the St. James Music Academy Youth Choir joining the live band, and muralist Richard Tetrault artfully conjuring the alleyways that lie just outside the theatre.

O Christmas Tea

At the Vancouver Playhouse from December 5 to 7

Fringe-circuit favourites James & Jamesy put a holiday spin on their comedic British tea party. Catastrophe strikes, tea floods, and physical comedy abounds.

Paul Anthony’s Talent Time Christmas Show

At the Rio Theatre on December 5

The city’s most twisted live-comedy talk show brings in inspired special guests, promising more surprises than a stuffed stocking. Local funnyman Ryan Beil cohosts.

Mixed Nuts

At the Vancouver Playhouse from December 13 to 15

The Arts Umbrella Dance Company upends and reimagines The Nutcracker in entertaining fashion, with vignettes that retell the story through everything from hip-hop to ballroom and polished pas de deux.

The Vancouver Bach Choir’s entire “family of choirs” reunites for one of the city’s oldest holiday concerts.

Classic Christmas

A Christmas Carol

At Pacific Theatre from November 29 to December 21

Local theatre artist Ron Reed has not only written this adaptation of Charles Dickens’s famous work, but taken on performing it solo, stepping into the shoes of 43 of the book’s characters—including, of course, the infamous old miser himself.

Handel’s Messiah

At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on November 30

Here’s a concert that should be truly epic—in other words, everything you could hope for in the soaring choral masterpiece. The big draw is guest music director Ivars Taurins, who helms the famed Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and has led more than 200 renditions of the monumental work. He’ll be conducting the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and the Vancouver Cantata Singers in a landmark production copresented by Early Music Vancouver. World-class soloists include soprano Joanne Lunn, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, tenor Thomas Hobbs, and baritone Peter Harvey.

Christmas With The Bach Choir

At the Orpheum on December 1

The first rendition of this concert was in 1930, making it one of the oldest holiday traditions in the city. And it’s now grown to showcase more than 400 performers (including the Bach Choir’s children’s chorus), this year singing classic Viennese and other European Christmas fare. Vancouver-based horn quintet A Touch of Brass provides accompaniment, as does Michael Dirk on the Wurlitzer theatre organ.

<span class="picturefill" data-picture data-alt="Matthew MacDonald-Bain and Baraka Rahmani in the Arts Club's Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.“>
Matthew MacDonald-Bain and Baraka Rahmani in the Arts Club’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.
David Cooper

Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley

At the Granville Island Stage from December 5 to January 4

Cue the witty dialogue as Roy Surette directs a Yuletide follow-up to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. When it debuted last year, our theatre critic called it “cozy and romantic”.

A European Christmas

At the Orpheum on December 7

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra plays sparkling seasonal selections from Hansel and Gretel and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, with maestro Constantin Trinks on the podium. Mezzo Barb Towell and soprano Allie Clayton lend their vocal power.

Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker

At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from December 20 to 22

The Goh’s family-friendly spin on the beloved holiday ballet has lush sets and international stars in the roles of the Cavalier Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy. But what sets it apart is the fun touches, from tiny gymnasts tumbling out from under a giant skirt to mice that throw big hunks of cheese during the battle scene. The Vancouver Opera Orchestra brings Tchaikovsky’s famous score to life.

Christmas Reprise XVII

At Holy Rosary Cathedral on December 21

Traditional carols mix with contemporary holiday compositions in the atmospherically historic church. The Vancouver Cantata Singers’ all a cappella repertoire spans Hieronymus Praetorious’s “Magnificat Quinti Toni”, Morten Lauridsen’s “O Nata Lux”, and a signature rendition of Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria”.

<span class="picturefill" data-picture data-alt="Alberta Ballet’s glistening Russian-inspired spin on the classic The Nutcracker returns to town in the days right after Christmas.”>
Alberta Ballet’s glistening Russian-inspired spin on the classic The Nutcracker returns to town in the days right after Christmas.
Gerard Yunker

Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker

At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from December 28 to 30

Choreographed by Edmund Stipe, Alberta Ballet’s elegant version of the classic takes its inspiration from opulent imperial Russia; think mice dressed as Cossack soldiers, snowflakes garbed as Russian princesses, arctic wolves, and onion domes on the fairy-tale buildings. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra plays the score live.

<span class="picturefill" data-picture data-alt="Greg Armstrong-Morris, Erin Palm, and Nick Fontaine in It’s a Wonderful Life, by Patrick Street Productions.”>
Greg Armstrong-Morris, Erin Palm, and Nick Fontaine in It’s a Wonderful Life, by Patrick Street Productions.
David Cooper

Retro Holiday

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live On Stage

November 24 at the Vogue Theatre

A live-action cast re-creates some of the best scenes from the 1965 animated TV special. The iconic Vince Guaraldi tunes are all there, as well as a show-ending audience sing-along.

Christmas With Sinatra

At the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver on December 8, and at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre on December 15

Amid holiday sets and lighting, singer Dane Warren resurrects Old Blue Eyes’ festive hits, from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to “The Little Drummer Boy”.

It’s A Wonderful Life

At the Anvil Centre from December 19 to January 5

Patrick Street Productions turns the beloved 1946 holiday movie into a musical stage adaptation, weaving in nostalgic show tunes like “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Lost in the Stars”, alongside traditional carols. It’s all backed up by a swingin’ live orchestra. Stage veteran Greg Armstrong-Morris plays Clarence, the angel trying to get his wings by saving George Bailey (Nick Fontaine).

Caroline Shaw appears at Music on Main’s Winter Solstice program.

Seasonal Serene

Christmas Oratorio

The Vancouver Chamber Choir’s recently installed conductor Kari Turunen hails from Finland, and he brings a gorgeous dusting of northern frost to the ensemble’s annual Christmas program. Think Ēriks Ešenvalds’s “Northern Lights” and “O Salutaris Hostia”, Otto Olsson’s “Guds Son är Född”, and fellow Finn Einojuhani Rautavaara’s “Canticum Mariae Virginis”, set alongside reimagined standards like Michael McGlynn’s glimmering new arrangement of “Silent Night”.

Music for the Winter Solstice

At Heritage Hall on December 11 and 12

Music on Main celebrates the darkest days of the year with candlelight and eclectic performances by New York City vocalist, violinist, and composer Caroline Shaw and singer-composer Gabriel Kahane, as well as local avant-pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa. The program ranges from Arvo Pärt to Rodney Sharman and the Wyrd Sisters, as well as to composer in residence Sabrina Schroeder.

Winter Harp

At North Vancouver’s BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts on December 11 and 12; at New Westminster’s Holy Trinity Cathedral on December 18; and at Christ Church Cathedral on December 20

Flickering candlelight, soothing harps, violins, and flutes, and medieval garb make this atmospheric concert the antidote to all mall madness.

Sing Lullabye

At St. Philip’s Anglican Church on December 15, and at Christ Church Cathedral on December 21

The a cappella masters of musica intima draw from the British choral tradition for this year’s transcendent treat. Seasonal music spans Herbert Howells, Kenneth Leighton, Jonathan Dove, and James MacMillan. Canadian composers Kristopher Fulton and John Burge also join the mix.

Christmas With Chor Leoni: Angels Dance

At the Orpheum on December 21

The polished young contemporary dancers of the Arts Umbrella Dance Company bring a new layer to the men’s choir’s holiday program. The performance centres around two folk-inspired works: composer Conrad Susa’s American Southwest–tinged Carols & Lullabies (choreographed by Lesley Telford) and Malcolm Dalglish’s haunting, harp-accompanied Star in the East, which features Appalachian shape-note singing (and choreography by Ballet BC alumna Livona Ellis). Watch for the debut of Two New Counting Carols by composer in residence Zachary Wadsworth, too. Pianist Tina Chang, harpist Vivian Chen, guitarist Ed Henderson, and percussionist Katie Rife lend their skills to the program.

Pop-culture Trimmings

<span class="picturefill" data-picture data-alt="Merry Kissmas—A Royal Romance parodies the sappy holiday specials on TV right now, on show at the Improv Centre.”>
Merry Kissmas—A Royal Romance parodies the sappy holiday specials on TV right now, on show at the Improv Centre.

Merry Kissmas—A Royal Romance

At the Improv Centre from November 20 to December 24

Vancouver TheatreSports playfully parodies the nonstop stream of holiday specials filling up your PVR right now. This time, along with sending up TV’s usual Christmas clichés, it’s building in a plot surrounding an imagined royal wedding in an unknown small country called Improvanzia. As usual, audience suggestions fuel all the sappy romantic twists and turns leading up to Kissmas Day.

Jazz songstress Holly Cole joins the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Holly Cole Christmas

At the Orpheum on December 11

The smoky-voiced Canadian jazz songstress presents a holiday program of Christmas favourites and her own sultry hits, including music from her latest album, HOLLY. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performs rich orchestral backup to her band.

Home Alone

At the Orpheum on December 18 and 20

John Hughes’s rambunctious comedy classic gets live accompaniment by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, celebrating the score composed by John Williams. Bask in the antics of Macaulay Culkin’s bratty eight-year-old Kevin while gaining a new appreciation of the music behind the laughs. Julian Pellicano conducts.

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ARTS AROUND: ‘Tis the season for Christmas crafts – Alberni Valley News






Calling all artists and local crafters! The Rollin Art Centre’s annual Christmas Market is just around the corner.

All local artisans and crafters are invited to be included in this month-long celebration of the holidays. If you are interested, stop by and pick up your form today. All you need is a current Community Arts Council membership to take part.

The deadline for submissions is the last week in November. Mistletoe Market is open the entire month of December and is a great way to showcase your one of a kind works. The Rollin Art Centre is located at 3061 Eighth Ave., or call for more info: 250-724-342.


The last art exhibit for the year at the Rollin Art Centre is titled “Coastal Crush.” This exciting and very different exhibit features local artist Michelle Frost. Michelle’s collection is influenced by the coastal shores and features fluid paintings, recycled glass and art panels—an exhibit which is not only two-dimensional but three-dimensional.

This exhibit on now at the Rollin Art centre until Nov. 26.


If you are between the ages of seven and 13 and you love glitter glue, googly eyes and all the wacky ways you can use pipe cleaners, then drop by the Rollin Art Centre for a fun craft every Saturday afternoon from 1-3 p.m, where you will be creating some fun memories and souvenirs in theme with the season.

No registration is required—just come on by. The cost is $15.


The Community Arts Council is now accepting all gently used books for our giant book sale in May.

Usually we don’t take them until February, so if you’re cleaning out your reading materials, now is a great time to make room for new ones by donating all those books to the Rollin Art Centre.

Books can be dropped off Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


The Maritime Heritage Gallery presents another Maritime Heritage Night at the Lighthouse Pier on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.

Do you have stories of working, sailing, fishing and diving around, on, in or beside the waters of the Alberni Canal or the West Coast? Please come along and share those stories in an informal setting with mug-up and refreshments offered.

Together we can learn more about the history of life on our coast and enjoy the company of other “mariners.”


Timbre! Choir has been singing in the Alberni Valley for 47 years. Please join us once again on Sunday, Dec. 8 at the ADSS Theatre at 2:30 p.m. as we present Merry Christmas, Darling.

Tickets are on sale now at Rollin Art Centre, Echo Centre, Finishing Touches, Salmonberry’s, from choir members or at the door. Adults and seniors pay $20 and students under 18 and children pay $5. The choir will be conducted by Rosemary Lindsay and accompanied by Danielle Marcinek.


The Barkley Sounds Community Choir presents “Solstice” on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the ADSS Theatre.

Special guest performers include Phil’s Harmonics String Orchestra, Dennis Olsen and Guy Langlois, Anna Lewis and the AV United Handbell Ensemble. Tickets are available at Rollin Art Centre, Echo Centre, from choir members and at the door.


Reflect, Consider, Study, Contemplate. The second Biennial Vancouver Island Artist Juried Art Show will take place at the Alberni Valley Museum from June 26 to Sept. 12, 2020. The submission deadline is April 17, 2020.

Follow us on Facebook: ReflectShow2020. Primary indications of interest or questions can be sent to Attn: Robert Gunn or Chris Doman.


Handcrafts and treasures are available for all your Holiday needs at 3945 Fourth Avenue between Morton and Maitland in the cottage out back. The cottage is open Saturday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 24, Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Check out handmade chocolates, sweets and treats, jewellery, vintage collectables, artwork, paper crafts, farmhouse furniture and lots more.

The craft sale is fundraising for the Read & Feed breakfast program.


Friday, Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m., Steve & Vivian Ruskin

Sunday, Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m., Nashville’s Mark Stuart – Folk/Americana

Thursday, Nov. 28, 3 p.m., Writers’ Workshop with Susan Glickman

Thursday, Nov. 28, 7 p.m., AV Words on Fire ! – Spoken Word Open Mic featuring Susan Glickman

Saturday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m., HINATINYIS with Sandy Bouleau

Tickets are available at Char’s Landing or the Rollin Art Centre (cash ONLY).

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412.


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City of Kamloops to spend $35000 on arts centre communications – Kamloops This Week




City council has approved spending $35,000 on a communications plan for Kamloops Centre for the Arts and the referendum process and has launched online engagement.

The money will be funded from council’s contingency budget in 2019 and 2020. The annual contingency budget is $36,000. Council on Tuesday voted unanimously — 6-0 — in favour of the funding. Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian and Coun. Dieter Dudy were absent for personal reasons. Coun. Denis Walsh declared a conflict of interest, as he owns property at St. Paul Street and Fourth Avenue, across the street from the proposed arts centre, which would sit on city-owned land bordered by Seymour Street, St. Paul Street and Fourth Avenue.

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City communications manager Wendy Heshka said the money will be spent on materials, including a printed mail-out to be sent to residents at a cost of between $12,000 to $15,000. The rest of the money has yet to be allocated, but will go toward audio-visual content, brochures, signage and/or mass media advertising. Heshka said the city will use as many internal resources as possible, including staff and the sign shop.

Council has expressed need for improved communications since the last performing-arts centre proposal, which was defeated by voters in a 2015 referendum. However, the $35,000 communications budget approved this week is a carbon copy of that used in the 2015 referendum.

Heshka said growth of the city’s communications department will improve communication.

“We have more human resources now, which is a really big asset,” she told KTW. “We have a new print shop and we have a brand new engagement website that really wouldn’t be offered for this project at no cost. The $35,000 fits well into council contingency and, therefore, it doesn’t take away from another service. We’ll reach more people because we have more internal assets and we’re not pulling it from a surplus. We’re not pulling it from anything but council budget, which is fitting because they’re the ones who supported it.”

Coun. Arjun Singh expressed some concern over the ability for council to advocate for the project while ensuring accurate information is communicated to the public. He put forward a motion, calling for staff to proceed with polling stations and locations for the referendum without council approval — to ensure the separation of church and state (council and staff) — as council advocates for the arts centre. That motion, however, was defeated.

Asked how the project will be communicated to the public, Heshka said the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society and city council will be responsible for communicating the “yes” vote, while city staff will provide facts about the project and referendum. She said answers to the public won’t always put the project in a positive light.

“We just need to be really careful that we’re not trying to convince people to vote a certain way, but we are trying to convince them to vote,” Heshka said of the municipality’s responsibility in carrying out a referendum. “We want people to get out and vote in an informed way.”

City chief administrative officer David Trawin further explained that materials to be released to the public will include facts about the project and promote the referendum, but will not urge residents to vote “yes.” As such, city funds would not be allocated for any possible counter-group that may emerge in opposition of the project.

“We’re not giving money to either side,” Trawin said.

With the referendum date set for Saturday, April 4, and a communications budget allocated, the city also officially launched engagement for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts online at There, residents can learn about the project — including reading the business case — ask questions of city staff and sign up for updates via email newsletter.

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