Holiday season kick-off, Thursday edition

Now that the month of December is upon us, instead of burrowing in your warm homes, you should get out and enjoy the season! And what better way than to kick off this weekend a day early …

Welcome to December, Ottawa!

Here’s a few events to get you started!

Christmas lights on Parliament Hill

Although Ottawa plays hosts to a different light show each summer, the Christmas edition is a little more traditional, complete with trees, lots of red and green, and the chiming bells.

What’s more, tonight features hot chocolate, BeaverTails and caroling as part of the launch!

This event runs from Dec. 2 until Jan. 7, 2011.

Perspectives Art Show at City Hall

This unique gallery exhibit showcases “reinterpreted” works by seven artists using the City of Ottawa’s Fine Art Collection to make them more accessible to those with disabilities.

Artists include:

  • Shahla Bahrami
  • Lynda Cronin
  • Maggie Wesley
  • Analisa Kiskis
  • Jolanta Lapiak
  • Jessica MacCormak
  • Pamela Witcher
  • Angelo Demarsico

Two fibre artists — Emily Comeau, of Montreal, and Emily Cook, an Ottawa papermaker with a visual impairment — will also present a new work as part of the exhibition.

The goal of the show is to create a non-traditional gallery experience that is inclusive, engaging and tactile, allowing people to experience visual art in an alternative manner.

Descriptive tours are available in French, English, LSQ and ASL throughout the exhibition, which runs from Dec. 3 until Jan. 16 at City Hall’s Art Gallery.

BUT! Tonight is a pre-exhibition launch party that takes place between 5:30 and 7:30 pm. Check it out!

Beloved Christmas Ballet, The Nutcracker, at the NAC

To me, the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see the Christmas program that the NAC has to offer. Last year, both Jessey and I attended a Stuart McLean Christmas — which this year is coming up on Dec. 18 and 19.

But this week marks the launch of The Nutcracker, as performed by the Alberta Ballet.

A classic story that takes place on Christmas Eve, the typically two-act play tells the story of Clara, who becomes enamoured with a toy nutcracker, only to have it broken by her brother. As the clock strikes midnight, Clara is drawn into a dream-like battle between a group of gingerbread soldiers and mice. The Nutcracker, who leads the gingerbread soldiers, later turns into a handsome prince who takes Clara back to a Land of Sweets, ruled by the Sugar-Plum Fairy.

If you haven’t seen it, you REALLY should. The NAC’s Nutcracker runs from Dec. 1 to 5.