This holiday season — and all the days leading up to it — will be musical, tasty and bright
By Cory Schachtel | November 22, 2023
December 1 to 2 Here in festival city, we won’t let a little winter weather stop the fun. Kick off the holiday season with the Edmonton Downtown Business Association’s inaugural Winterval — a new festival celebrating all that downtown Edmonton has to offer. Dress warm, enjoy live music, food and drink and get your holiday shopping done early.
Patios? In This Weather?!
December 1 to 3 The sign of a true Canadian is how long that person can go before finally ceding that patio season is over. Here in Winter City, we pride ourselves on proving even in the north, it’s never too cold for a patio sesh.
Naughty or Nice, Krampusnacht Won’t Cramp Your Style
December 2 If you happen to see a horned, furry creature meandering around town this month, fear not. No, you haven’t mixed up Halloween and Christmas, you’ve just encountered Krampus — the German antithesis to jolly old Saint Nick. But don’t worry, as long as you’ve been nice and not naughty, you’ve got nothing to fear.
Everyday I’m Shufflin’
December 2 Run, walk or even shuffle. It doesn’t matter how you do it if you’re helping those in need. That’s the message behind the 2023 Salvation Army Santa Shuffle. This year, join the charity walk virtually or in person and help support Salvation Army initiatives in your community.
They’re Not Just Famous, They’re Canadian Famous
December 2 What’s better than being famous? Being Canadian famous. At least that’s what Canadian comic Ben McKay says. He’s one of two up-and-coming comedians come to Edmonton courtesy of the Grindstone Theatre. McKay and Saskatchewan-born Braydon Lynch will be at the Grindstone on December 2.
December 5 The Alberta Symphony Orchestra celebrates a big milestone — the 210th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi! This anniversary show, featuring the talents of sopranos Cara Lianne McLeod, Helen Hassinger and Nansee Hughes, among others, celebrates the work of the famed Italian composer.
December 8 One of the best parts of this time of year is getting to look at all the different (and sometimes extravagant) holiday light displays. There’s nowhere better to do that than on Candy Cane Lane. Since 1968 the houses along 148th Street between 99 Avenue and 92 Avenue have been channeling their inner Clark Griswolds for everyone to enjoy.
December 3 to 12 Join Moibeal, a young Scottish girl growing up on the Canadian prairies, and her dog, Hamish, as they try to solve a magical mystery in this fun-for-all-ages performance coming to Concordia University this month.
December 5 Join Canadian musical powerhouse Serena Ryder as she celebrates the holiday hymns that we all know and love. Performing at the Winspear Centre, Ryder plumbs the depths of the traditions and myths behind Christmas through song.
Is that? It is! It’s Santa Claus with a Steel Chair!
December 8 Top Talent Wrestling returns this year to save Christmas… again! The Edmonton based company will bring their holiday mayhem to the Midway Music Hall for an evening of body slams, holiday hijinks and good old fashioned wrasslin’. Tickets are only $18!
Big Air, Big Style
December 9 It’s not enough to just hit the slopes, you’ve got to do it with style. That’s exactly what you’ll get at The Style Experience this month as the International Ski and Snowboard Federation brings the Big Air World Cup back to Edmonton for another year at Commonwealth Stadium. It’s gonna be gnarly, bruh.
Get It Crackin’
December 6 to 10 There’s no more iconic Christmas performance than The Nutcracker and this year Alberta Ballet is once again bringing the iconic performance to stage at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. With show times from December 6 to 10, this family-friendly performance is sure to please.
Almost a Full Moon
December 10 Juno award winner Hawksley Workman returns to Edmonton for a intimate performance at the Citadel Theatre where the Canadian songsmith will perform from his classically eclectic, critically acclaimed holiday album Almost a Full Moon.
A Charlie Brown Christmas… In Edmonton.
December 14, 16 Channel your inner Charlie Brown as Candlelight Concerts brings the iconic music of the Peanuts’ Christmas Special to the Betty Andrews Recital Hall.
The Best Little Newfoundland Christmas Pageant
December 15 to 17 Alberta is home to more Newfoundlanders than any place other than, well, Newfoundland. So, it makes sense that some of the come-from-awayers would be celebrating Maritimes style this holiday season. Transport yourself to The Rock this December at The Backstage Theatre.
December 16 The holidays don’t have to be a drag, but in this case, they are! Head over to the Capitol Theatre for some family-friendly, holiday-inspired drag this month. Featuring the stylings of Vanity Fair, Tanner Steel, GoDiva, Pepper and Tequila Mockingbird!
December 18 Chabad of Edmonton hosts its 31st annual candle lighting ceremony in honour of Hanukkah. The ceremony will include a short indoor program at the Legislature Rotunda followed by the lighting of Alberta’s largest menorah.
December 19 Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Yes? No? Well, Die Harsh certainly is a Christmas musical. Returning for the second year, Die Harsh is the Grindstone Theatre’s satirical take on the group’s favourite Christmas movie. Featuring plenty of laughs, stupid accents and musical numbers, the show is sure to delight.
December 20 Got a heartfelt Hanukkah story? A comical Christmas tale? How about a colourful Kwanza fable? Tell them all at the Edmonton Story Slam’s December 20th event, or just pop by and listen to others as they share.
Shrek the Halls
December 22 I wish I could make you hear this one instead of just read about it. Safe to say you’ll be chanting “What’re you doing in mah swamp?” after this night out. Join your fellow weirdos for a night of self-proclaimed dumb fun at Union Hall.
Snow Way Out
December 23 to January 29 Get lost, literally, in the beauty of the Alberta winter. Downtown Edmonton’s first snow maze is opening its winding halls to residents on December 23 in Fan Park right beside Roger’s Place.
Christmas with the Count
December 23 Edmonton jazz staples, The Don Berner Big Band comes together for An Elegant Affair: A Very Count Basie Christmas. Performing tunes from Ella Fitzgerald and the legendary Count Basie, this is one toe-tapping good time you won’t want to miss.
December 31 No December to-do list would be complete without including the biggest party of the year. Gather together with thousands of Edmontonians at Churchill Square and City Hall to celebration the passing of 2023 and ring in the new year. With fireworks, live music, skating and more, it’s really the best way to start off 2024.