Your Christmas concert lineup
Wealth of Christmas concerts ensures there’s scarcely a silent night in sight
MUSICAL events are almost as synonymous with the holiday season as overeating, ugly sweaters and cold weather — and this year is no different.
Starting this weekend, there is at least one festive performance in the city each week leading up to Christmas. From local singer-songwriters getting you in the holiday spirit to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra warming the cockles of your heart, there is something for every seasonal music lover.
In the unlikely event there are still a few empty spots on your social calendar this month, here are a few options simply oozing with holiday joy:
❚ Amero Little Christmas, 8 p.m.,
West End Cultural Centre: Singersongwriter Don Amero is back this year for his third annual Christmas concert. Amero says his show is about embracing the most important parts of the holiday season, “to relax, look at the blessings in your life and show love to others.” Amero will also bring out some special guests and promises lots of laughs. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and are available at WECC, Music Trader, Ticketfly and the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store.
❚ Handel’s Glorious Messiah, 8 p.m., Centennial Concert Hall: Case Scaglione, associate conductor for the New York Philharmonic, is the guest conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for this annual orchestral holiday tradition. Soprano Monica Huisman, mezzo-soprano Victoria Marshall, tenor Conrad Siebert and bass Justin Welsh are joined by the Mennonite Festival Chorus for what is called the most-celebrated oratorio of all time.
❚ 150 Years of Christmas, 7:30 p.m.,
Westminster United Church: Covering 150 years of Christmas might sound a bit daunting, but not for the Boar’s Head Carollers. They will be performing a collection of songs written before 1866, and are hoping to get a good old-fashioned sing-along going. The night will feature an all-local choir and soloists; performers include Nathan Rogers, JD Edwards and Red Moon Road. Admission for adults is $20, and reduced prices are available for seniors, students ($15), youth under 18 ($10) and children under 12 ($5).
❚ Prairie Christmas Celebration, 2
p.m., Centennial Concert Hall: The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has gathered a collection of Manitoba talent for its annual holiday show. Seasonal music, visual artistry, dancing, comedy, storytelling and a sing-along are all part of the evening’s festivities, which will be hosted by 103.1 Virgin Radio personality Ace Burpee. Other special guests include Mayor Brian Bowman, a cappella group Those Guys and Maria Aragon. Tickets range from $24.76 to $53.33 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster, wso.ca or at the WSO box office at the Centennial Concert Hall at 555 Main St.
❚ JP Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show, 8
p.m., Burton Cummings Theatre: Local staple JP Hoe is back for another round of his near-legendary annual Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show. As with past years, the pop singer-songwriter promises a mix of original songs, mild theatrics, humour and even a few cheesy holiday gimmicks, but this year, he has also put together a “massive band” (at least 12 musicians) to accompany him on the Burton Cummings stage. Tickets are $24.50 and are available at the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store or through Ticketmaster.
❚ Tom Jackson’s Huron Carole, 5:45
p.m., Fort Garry Hotel: Fresh off the release of his newest album, Bal
lads Not Bullets, actor-singer Tom Jackson is heading out on his annual Huron Carole tour, a gala event held across Canada throughout the month of December. The show is a “mystical journey guided by a homeless man,” and includes Christmas stories, songs and tomfoolery, says Jackson, who will raise funds for Winnipeg Harvest. “Christmas is not just about the spirit of giving hope to the weak and lending a helping hand, but also about acknowledging the strength of spirit in the hand that gives hope... When you have nothing, hope is everything.” Tickets are $100 and include a gourmet dinner with a wine pairing, the performance and a meet-and-greet with Jackson.
❚ At Last I’m Ready for Christmas: A Holiday Tribute to Stan Rogers, 8 p.m.,
West End Cultural Centre: A “generous helping of musical dishes” from Winnipeg’s folk music community will be performed in tribute to legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers — yet another annual event returning to the WECC this year. Local artists involved include, but are not limited to: Scott Nolan, the Crooked Bros., the Light Westernaires, Andrew Neville and Serena Postel. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and are available at WECC, Ticketfly.com, Music Trader and the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store. Attendees are also asked to bring a non-perishable food item for Winnipeg Harvest.
❚ Fred Penner, 3 p.m., Burton Cummings
Theatre: It’s been a big year for muchloved Winnipeg children’s entertainer Fred Penner — not only did he celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of his television show, Fred Penner’s Place, he also won a Juno Award and a Western Canadian Music Award for children’s recording of the year and hosted the Polaris Music Prize Gala in Toronto. What better way to end 2015 than with an allages show in Winnipeg? Penner will be backed by the Cat’s Meow band, and will be joined onstage by guests including his daughter, L.A.-based indie-pop musician W. Darling, and fellow children’s entertainer Al Simmons. Tickets range from $17.50 to $27.50 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.
❚ Imaginary Cities, 9 p.m., Pyramid Cabaret: This Winnipeg duo takes the stage for a holiday show featuring fellow locals Ozconscious and Slow Leaves as special guests. Tickets are $21 at Ticketmaster.
‘When you have nothing, hope is everything,’ Tom Jackson says of the Christmas message that drives his annual Huron Carole tour through Winnipeg Dec. 14 at the Fort Garry Hotel.
Don Amero (above
right) and guests return for their third annual Christmas show, today at the
West End Cultural Centre. JP Hoe (right) is also back for more seasonal merriment, lead
ing the Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show Friday at the Burton Cummings Theatre.