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Magic of Lights at Wesley Clover Parks. Photo: Hannah Manning

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire?

By Hannah Manning on December 17, 2020




The temperature has dropped and it’s looking promising for a White Christmas (or maybe I’m just being hopeful…). Whether you’re fitting in some shopping or enjoying the sights, this weekend has plenty of fun holiday options. Not feeling the festive spirit? That’s OK too—we’ve got some live music picks to get you moving and grooving this weekend. While the excitement of a vaccine is real, let’s not forget all the great tips Ottawa Public Health has shared along the way so we can all stay healthy and happy over the holidays.

All weekend

A holiday tradition of mine has always been to enjoy the Nutcracker at the National Arts Centre. It always felt like the start of the holiday season and got me in a festive mood. This year, instead of bundling up and heading to the NAC, we listened to a great livestream of the Good Lovelies from the comfort of home while enjoying a warm cup of mulled wine.  This weekend, you can enjoy Kellylee Evans’ Winter Song with special appearance by Rebecca Noelle on December 17 and 18. Limited tickets are available for in-person viewing, but it’s also available as a livestream.

Ottawa’s popular LGBTQ+ choir Tone Cluster launched their 2020-21 season on December 14 with a virtual concert: Make the Yuletide Gay! Featuring special guests Ms. Horizon and In Harmony—a women’s choir for lesbians, queer women and allies—Make the Yuletide Gay premiered on their YouTube channel on December 14 but is available to stream until December 28. Tone Cluster is a choir for those of varied sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship orientation, and their friends. You can support their mission and purpose to strive for excellence and celebrate diversity, in music and in community by donating online.

Shop local this holiday season at the ByWard Market holiday pop-up. Find more ways to shop local in our #Support613 Gift Guide, now with more than 15 different guides!


Celebrate the illumination of Christmas Lights Across Canada with IllumiNATION, a virtual show premiering this Thursday and running until January 7. For more ways to get into the holiday spirit, check out out #Support613 Gift Guide: getting into the holiday spirit.

Cumberland Museum Vintage Village of Lights is a drive-through experience featuring over 30,000 Christmas lights in a scenic 1920s/1930s themed village. Pre-registration is required and they are open for visits Wednesday through Sunday from 5-9pm. What better way to safely enjoy the holiday season than in your own car?


The Purring Dragons, soprano Rachel Eugster and guitarist Andrew Mah, invite you to enjoy Love at a Distance, an hour or so of songs this Friday night at 8pm that explore distance in love and relationships. This livestream from The Gladstone will mix folk, classical, Brazilian, and a hint of jazz to feature works by Benjamin Britten, Bob Dylan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Aaron Copland, Hoagy Carmichael, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Tori Amos, and more. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged and will benefit the artists (via an e-transfer to or Paypal to and/or The Gladstone (via a tax-deductible donation).

Friday is your final chance to bid on works in the Ottawa Art Gallery’s signature auction. Featuring over 55 Ottawa-Gatineau based artists, the event is an exciting opportunity to get your hands on beautiful paintings, sculpture, jewellery, mixed-media artwork, photography, prints and more. For the first time, the auction has been accompanied by a two-week exhibition at the OAG. Works are on display at the Alma Duncan Salon for potential buyers to see in-person until December 18.

Ottawa Pops Orchestra, in partnership with The Gladstone Theatre, is offering a series of weekly 30-45 minute virtual musical showcases. This Friday, enjoy Waldeinsamkeit at 7pm.

Battling a winter chill? Enjoy a warm hug from the glowing Warm Hug sculpture this Friday night. The sculpture will be in Jules Morin Park (4oo Clarence Street East) from 5-7pm. The sculpture was spotted in Lowertown a few weeks ago and enjoyed by many, including Dr. Vera Etches.


Santa Paws is coming to town! Get your pet’s photo taken to support the Ottawa Humane Society with a visit with dear ole Santa Paws this Saturday from 1-3pm at Kiwan Farms (corner of Hunt Club and Hawthorne Road). They’ll also have vendors on site from 10am-4pm, featuring BeaverTails, Kanata Soup Co., Skuish Cookies and more.

The Rideau Sports Centre is hosting their first annual outdoor holiday market this Saturday. You can even book a fire pit at the Bridge Public House to warm up after shopping from local vendors.

While we’re on the topic of holiday markets, be sure to stop by the Aberdeen Pavilion on your way to the skating rink at Lansdowne to pick up holiday goodies from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. More than 60 vendors will be in attendance, featuring holiday treats and agriculture vendors. This weekend (December 19 and 20 from 9am-3pm) is your final chance to enjoy the special holiday market.

On December 19, join Jaime Morse, Educator, Indigenous Programs and Outreach, and Christine Lalonde, Associate Curator, Indigenous Art, as they continue conversations sparked by the exhibition Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel. If you miss the talk, it will be shared on the National Gallery’s YouTube page. And this year, while there won’t be a massive tree to gather around, the National Gallery’s Great Hall will be lit up with the colours of the aurora borealis until January 1.


Krista Hartman is partnering with The Gladstone to offer a livestream Canadiana collection of traditional Christmas carols. All donations from the livestream will go to The Gladstone. Tune in at 3pm.

This Sunday, Santa will be making his way through the ByWard Market in a horse drawn wagon, courtesy of the ByWard Market BIA. Santa will also be making a ride through Lowertown East before heading to the Market… Look out for Santa in the Wedge and Lowertown East between 1:30-2:15pm. Rumour has it he’ll be travelling along Old St. Patrick, Beausoleil, York Street, King Edward Avenue, and Guigues Avenue in the Wedge before heading to St Patrick Street and into the Market.

For more of what’s happening in Ottawa, stay tuned to @apt613 on Twitter. Out snapping photos? Tag us on Instagram @apt613 for a chance to be featured on our feed. Be sure to use the hashtag #APT613 so we can share your photos!