5 festive things to do in Calgary this weekend

'Tis the season when Calgary's entertainment offerings turn almost entirely festive. Due to the frigid forecast, most of this weekend's recommendations are indoors.

A Vinyl Cafe Christmas, Handel's Messiah, Nutcracker skating, It's A Wonderful Life and holiday markets

CBC arts reporter Karen Moxley gives her picks for the weekend. 2:04


  • Due to cold weather in Calgary, Alberta Ballet has cancelled the Nutcracker Skating Party

T'is the season when Calgary's entertainment offerings turn almost entirely festive.

It's great time to visit local theatres and markets to take in all the holiday productions while shopping up a winter storm.

Due to the frigid forecast, most of this weekend's recommendations are indoors. But for the adventurous (and frost-defying) few, we've got an outdoor skating party in here too.

If you know of something happening that isn't mentioned here, please share it in the comments section below.

A Very Vinyl Cafe Christmas

The CBC's Stuart McLean brings his extremely popular and bestselling tales of life with Dave and Morley to Alberta this weekend. Enjoy McLean's best holiday stories with live music from The Good Lovelies.

The touring show hits Calgary, Banff and Edmonton this weekend. Tickets are scarce, so you'll have to hurry-up if you want The Vinyl Cafe's live show to be part of your holiday season.

Southern Jubilee Auditorium, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Banff Centre, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Northern Jubilee Auditorium, Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

CPO presents Handel's Messiah

Another holiday tradition is the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra's presentation of Handel's Messiah.

You can sit back and enjoy the show on Friday and Saturday night, or you can get involved in the sing-along version at Sunday's matinee.

For that interactive show you'll need to bring along your own score or buy one in the lobby. Then you and hundreds of others join the CPO to belt-out the classic masterpiece. Hallelujah!

Dec. 6-8, at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Jack Singer Concert Hall

The Nutcracker skating party

The Alberta Ballet is less than a week away from staging The Nutcracker here in Calgary, and the company is hosting a Nutcracker skating party this Saturday to get everyone in the mood.

The skating party includes live Christmas carollers, crafts and free hot chocolate. The temperature is expected to reach a high of around - 15 C on Saturday, so be sure to bundle-up and keep warm. 

The Nutcracker ballet itself hits the stage at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium from Dec. 19-24.

Saturday from 2-4 p.m.

Olympic Plaza

It's A Wonderful Life at Morpheus Theatre

One of Calgary's many local theatre companies has transformed Frank Capra's classic film into a live stage production this December.

The story, in case you've forgotten, is about a man named George Bailey who feels beaten down by life and decides to end it all when he's visited by an angel named Clarence. Morpheus theatre present this timeless story with all of your favourite scenes intact.

Until Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m

Pumphouse Theatre

Bridge's Holiday Market

Annual Holiday Market featuring local businesses and artisan goods. (Bridgeland Riverside Community Association)

For those of you still looking for unique and locally-made gifts, check out Bridge's Holiday Market on Saturday afternoon.

The seasonal market showcases local businesses and artisan goods, and it's great way to get your gifts while supporting the local economy.

There will be live music to enjoy to while you're shopping. Admission is free, but the market will be accepting toy donations for the Calgary Women's Centre Toy Drive.

Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon to 4 p.m.

Bridgeland Riverside Community Association


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