Going Out

Alight at night! On the Hill or onstage, holiday shows that brighten the season

Parliament Hill flips the switch on its returning multimedia sound-and-light show, projecting enchanted winter landscapes, animals, and imagery onto Centre Block and the Peace Tower throughout the month of December it’s lit up from Dec. 7 to Jan. 7, 2017Parliament’s show is a special feature of Christmas Lights Across Canada, which has downtown Ottawa positively glowing with 400,000 lights. That’s enough wattage to light up the dark recesses of even the Grinch’s heart.

Further afield, Upper Canada Village’s Alight at Night features a lot more Christmas lights than you’d expect from an 1860s replica village. (Select dates throughout December).

Upper Canada's Alight at Night, throughout December
Upper Canada’s Alight at Night, throughout December

Max & Ruby in the Nutcracker Suite (Dec. 15) brings the animated TV bunnies to Centrepointe Theatre’s stage in the context of the famed Nutcracker ballet. There’s Tchaikovsky for the adults, original songs for the wee ones, and dancing for everyone!

Max and Ruby's Nutcracker, at Centrepointe Theatre
Max and Ruby’s Nutcracker, at Centrepointe Theatre

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more” — Dr. Seuss. Craft shows are great places to find handmade gifts that mean “a little bit more.” One of the biggest shows of the season is the aptly named Joy! Featuring fine arts, home decor, and artisan foods, the 2016 Ottawa Valley Crafts and Collectibles Guild Christmas Market, which unwraps at Library and Archives Canada on Dec. 10 and 11, showcases artisans from across Ottawa, the Ottawa Valley, and the Outaouais. Also of note is the Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale from Dec. 8 to 18 at the EY Centre. This craft mecca assembles more than 180 Canadian artists, designers, and artisans who present everything from original jewellery to glassware to pottery.

The competition will again be fierce at the 18th annual Bell Capital Cup from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1, 2017. Last year’s edition of the international tournament for peewee and atom teams brought nearly 600 hockey games to the region. Played on arenas across the area, it’s a perfect local dose of Canada’s game for those in withdrawal from the World Cup of Hockey.