Nova Scotia’s five MacNeil siblings — Lucy, Boyd, Stewart, Kyle and Sheumas — bring their Christmas show back to Centrepointe Theatre today at 7:30 p.m. With an array of instruments, including accordion, banjo, mandolin, harp and more, the Barra MacNeils inject their Celtic roots into every song, whether or not it’s a Christmas carol, and often break out into step-dancing at the same time. See them rock their holiday traditions at Centrepointe Theatre. Tickets are $57.50, available centrepointetheatres.com.
Anishinaabe MC/singer-songwriter Leonard Sumner, who hails from the Little Saskatchewan First Nation, blurs the lines between hip hop, country, roots and rhythm ’n’ blues as a backdrop for what he calls his “rez” poetry. It’s made him an important new voice in Canada’s roots scene, as you’ll see when he plays the NAC’s Fourth Stage tonight as part of the NAC Presents series. Tickets are $25, available at naccna.ca
The National Gallery of Canada launches the holiday season today with music, crafts, treats and the lighting of the giant Christmas tree. The spruce tree, measuring more than 11 metres high and almost eight metres wide, is decorated with hundreds of ornaments and some 10,000 lights. Several events leading up to the tree lighting are planned, including a performance by the Stellae Borealis violin ensemble and the making of tree ornaments. New this year are free rides for children on a miniature Christmas train. Festivities get underway at 5 p.m. and the tree lighting takes place at 6:30. Festivities continue until 8 p.m.
British-Canadian author Tom Rachman gives us five funny-scary stories about nasty women and men. Witty, cutting tales of Trump times, portraying Democrats and Republicans in a divided America, Basket of Deplorables is a timely take on the craziness of today. Each story is told by a different narrator sharing their unique view of our Deplorable New World. Originally commissioned to be an audiobook, Basket is meant to be heard, not read. For this first-ever live presentation of Rachman’s work, The Gladstone Theatre has lined up an all-star basket of Ottawa narrators: Teri Loretto-Valentik (Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike), Paul Rainville (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf), David Whiteley (The Norman Conquests), Brad Long (The End of Civilization) and Rachelle Casseus (The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, GCTC). Presented in two parts on today and Friday: Part One at 6 p.m. | Part Two at 9 p.m. Attend either part on its own, or buy tickets for both parts together as a single package. All Tickets: $19 + $1 facility fee = $20
Each afternoon this Saturday and Sunday, Parliament Hill will host Flavours of the North, a free northern food-tasting event as part of the Canada 150 closing celebrations. The event will bring together top Canadian chefs, Indigenous chefs and Ottawa food trucks, with samples offered of “tuktu” stew and smoked Arctic char chowder as well as traditional Inuit (Labrador) tea and bannock cooked over a fire pit. Cooking demonstrations hosted by Montreal celebrity chef Chuck Hughes will feature parliamentary chef Judson Simpson with Christina Robertson (Saturday, 1 p.m.), Top Chef Canada finalist Rich Francis (Saturday, 3 p.m.) Vikram Vij with Trudy Metcalfe (Sunday, 1 p.m.) and Susur Lee with Cezin Nottaway (Sunday, 3 p.m.).
The five siblings of the Barra MacNeils — Lucy, Boyd, Stewart, Kyle and Sheumas.