Society

THE WEEKENDER: Christmas music, films, sales, plus Vimy and 100 Canadian singles

VIMY
It’s your last opportunity to see Vimy this weekend in its extended run at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. This popular play follows four soldiers, a “bluebird” nurse, and her fiancé. We enter their lives in a hospital in the aftermath of the famous battle of Vimy Ridge. Each character tells us their story, their hopes and dreams, and how they came to be here at this moment. The war is made personal by the intimate conversational dialogue between the characters; the spare set and understated lighting transport us to that time and place, where the grim reality of war was always present despite the seemingly ordinariness of everyday life. Thursday, Dec. 9 to Saturday, Dec. 11. 8 p.m. $45, adult rush $20, student rush $10. Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, 1233 Wellington St. www.nac-cna.ca/en/theatre.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Organized by the Classic Film Series, this original Christmas classic is sure to put even the grumpiest Scrooge in a festive mood.  Young and old will enjoy the tale of an angel who shows a frustrated businessman what life would be like if he never existed. Sunday, Dec. 12. 1 p.m. $5. Coliseum Ottawa Cinemas, 3090 Carling Ave.; SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas, 2385 Island Park Dr. www.cineplex.com/events

SOUND OF MUSIC AT THE MUSEUM OF NATURE
If you’re sick of traditional Christmas carols then you’re in need of a dose of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s memorable Sound of Music.  The beloved classic tells the tale of Maria, a young Austrian woman, who captured the hearts of the von Trapp family and audiences alike. Thursday, Dec. 9. 5 p.m. $5. Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St. www.nature.ca.

EUROPEAN UNION CHRISTMAS CONCERT (FREE!)
Celebrate the holidays European style! Brought to you by The Delegation of the European Union to Canada and the Diplomatic Missions of the Member States of the European Union, this year’s Christmas concert features traditional Christmas carols and songs from our friends across the pond.  Three Ottawa choirs perform throughout the night in what promises to be a harmonium of sound.  Special guests include soprano Natalya Matyusheva and Mauro Bertoli on piano. Friday, Dec. 10. 7 p.m. Notre Dame Cathedral, 385 Sussex Dr.

TOP 100 CANADIAN SINGLES (FREE!)
No, it’s not a matchmaking event, but a chance to meet longtime CBC arts reporter and author Bob Mersereau, who is coming to Ottawa to sign copies of his newest book, The Top 100 Canadian Singles.  Whether you’re a music lover yourself or if you’re simply shopping for the virtuoso in your family, this event offers the chance to get a little slice of Canadian musical history. Saturday, Dec. 11. 4 p.m. Collected Works Bookstore, 1242 Wellington St. www.gooselane.com

WELLINGTON WEST HOLIDAY SHOPPING NIGHT (FREE!)
Join vendors in Wellington West for the neighbourhood’s first ever holiday shopping night.  Some of the boutiques taking part in the evening’s events include Chick Pea (adorable kids wear), CLOTHES by Muriel Dombret (timeless clothes for a timeless woman), and Flock (Clothing! Accessories! Jewellery!).  Already done your Christmas shopping?  Swing by anyway to listen to carolers and eat delicious festive treats.  Saturday, Dec. 11. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. www.wellingtonwest.ca.

OTTAWA LOCAVORE ARTISAN FOOD FAIR (FREE!)
Food lovers rejoice – this foodie paradise brings together 21 independent food vendors from across Ottawa for a fair that promises to be as seasonally appropriate as it is tasty.  Participating artisans include Life of Pie, Serious Cheese, and Urban Baking Co.  For those wanting to pick up something for the sweet tooth on your list, or just avoid holiday cooking for a bit longer, this fair is a must. Sunday, Dec. 12. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crichton Cultural Community Centre, 200 Crichton Ave. www.ottawalaff.ca.

SHANG WINTER CRAFT SALE (FREE!)
For shoppers sick of the traditional arts and crafts sales, this one is sure to provide refreshing one-of-a-kind finds and unique gift ideas. A self-described “renegade show,” the sale features displays from a variety of local artisans and vendors, including BeadWorks and Leo + Lola.  Pop by for your chance at nabbing silk-screened hoodies, vegan treats, and much more. Sunday, Dec. 12. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shanghai Restaurant, 651 Somerset St. W.

NAC CHRISTMAS FANFAIR CONCERT AND CAROL SING-ALONG (FREE!)
The top man at city hall will be taking on another leadership role this weekend — that’s right, Jim Watson himself will be guest conducting the NAC Orchestra.  This annual tradition in support of the Snowsuit Fund and the Ottawa Food Bank includes a one-hour concert and Christmas carol sing-along.  There will also be a special visit from Santa Claus as well as other holiday surprises.  Sunday, Dec. 12. Noon to 3 p.m. Main foyer of the National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St. www.nac-cna.ca