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WEEKENDER: Five things to do on the weekend of Dec. 11 to 14


The “Ivy” in this weekend’s production of Holly & Ivy will be played by 10-year-old Sydney MacLellan. Photo: Jeff Nolan

Holly & Ivy
One of the lesser known, but endearing Christmas stories is a tale about wishing: a little orphan girl, Ivy, wishes for parents; a little doll, Holly, wishes to be loved by a little girl; a childless couple wishes for a little girl — all three get their wish in Rumer Godden’s classic tale. First published in Ladies Home Journal in 1958, Holly & Ivy is brought to the stage by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre Company. Toys, puppets, carols, and a real live girl will be on stage from Thursday, December 11, until Saturday, December 13 at Shenkman Arts Centre for this timeless production. For more info, visit here.
Shenkman Arts Centre is at 245 Centrum Blvd.

Canadian eh?
Confused these days as to what being Canadian means? Allow eight talented Canadian musicians, of varying ethnicity and cultural backgrounds, to present their shared – musical – vision of this land. From Latin and African percussion, to Japanese flutes, and Argentinian accordion, musicians Alvaro de Minaya, Ken Kanwisher, Salah Adam, Linsey Welman, Chris MacLean, Ryoko Itabashi, Alicia Borisonik, and Arthur McGregor will provide an entertaining evening at the Weslyan Church in Old Ottawa South on Friday, December 12 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. More info, visit here.
Weslyan Church is at 58 Grosvenor Ave.

Quite a Queer Christmas
Take a selection of standard holiday tunes, like Gordon Lightfoot’s, “Song for a Winter’s Night,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and subtract anything and everything traditional; what’s left is a spiced-up way to get the required dose of holiday favourites. The show also offers many opportunities for laughs, especially during cheeky performances of more obscure carols such as “Coming Out at Christmas.” On Saturday, December 13 at Centretown United Church, the Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus and In Harmony Women’s Chorus will join Ottawa Tone Cluster on stage for the first time for their fabulous take on Christmas. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $10 for students. For more info on tickets and the show, visit here.
Centretown United Church is at 507 Bank St.

Christkindlesmarkt (FREE)
One of the more famous outdoor Christmas markets is the German one in Nuremberg, where, for more than 400 hundred years, vendors continue to sell intoxicating brews, cakes, cookies, and loads of sausages; lights, music, and a frosty chill help create a magical place. Perhaps unbeknownst to some, Wakefield has a similar German heritage — Edelweiss Ski Hill, for example, and The Alpengruss Restaurant/Motel are a few reminders of the area’s Germanic heritage. And so, in that tradition, there will be an outdoor Christmas Market set up on Saturday, December 13 next to the Alpengruss Resto from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be local food offerings, music, lights, a bonfire, mulled wine, St. Nikolaus, Canadian artisans, wagon rides, and more. It’s a free event. More info, visit here.
The Christmas Market is at 831, chemin Riverside, Wakefield, Quebec

Bengt Jorgen, Nutcracker
The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition is being performed this weekend by Ballet Jorgen

The Nutcracker, A Canadian Tradition
Only to a prepubescent boy, is the Nutcracker anything but the classic Christmas story/ballet. Snickering aside, seeing this spectacular ballet performance live is a sublime, no matter what the age. Canada’s Ballet Jörgen troupe is set to perform a uniquely Canadian version of the classic  at various venues throughout Ottawa this weekend. And by unique, I mean, it will be taking inspiration from Group of Seven paintings — think Canadian Shield and the Jack Pine instead of Russian landscapes. Likewise, Klara will encounter lumberjacks, mounties, and creatures of the Canadian woods. Twenty-five Ottawan students will be part of the performance. The Nutcracker, A Canadian Tradition will be at Centrepointe Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 13 for a 1 p.m. and a 4:30 p.m. show; and at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Sunday, Dec. 14 for a 7 p.m. show. Suitable for all ages. Tickets range from $37 to 52. More info, or for tickets, visit either centre’s websites.
Centrepointe Theatre is at 101 Centrepointe Dr.; Shenkman Theatre is at 245 Centrum Blvd., Orleans