ARTS AND CULTURE
Billy Bulletin Nov 30-Dec 7: The Holidays Hit Washington and Home Alone… in Concert?
Plus: A Christmas-themed bar in MTL, and knives are in and powders are out aboard Canadian planes.
Washington DC is about to look a whole lot more Christmas-y this week as the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park will take place on Nov. 30. For those unable to bask in the warm glow of the giant and stately tree (certainly more welcoming than Melania’s decor indoors), Hallmark Channel is exclusively broadcasting the lighting ceremony on Dec. 4.
Visitors to DC can also hit up the Downtown Holiday Market. Located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, the market is open daily from 12 - 8 pm from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23.
If you’re charmed by lights glinting like sparkling stars off the water (and who isn’t?) then be sure to make time for the Parade of Lighted Boats ambling down the Potomac River from the Waterfront in Alexandria, VA to The Wharf in DC. The parade is free of charge and runs from 5:30 pm to 8 pm on Dec. 2.
If all that merriment gets you into the holiday spirit then be sure to stop at the Miracle on Seventh Street, a pop-up bar from famed mixologist Derek Brown, that’s designed to serve you the best holiday spirits from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31.
Canadians envious of DC’s holiday bar, fret not. Montreal is host to its very own Christmas-themed bar. Now it its second year, the bar will boast a second location, on the rooftop of Montreal' William Grey Hotel in the Old port.
For art lovers, the December installment of Les Nocturne Du MAC will be open to 2am on Dec. 1, a great opportunity to visit the Leonard Cohen expo.
Those looking for unique artisanal gifts should head to Souk @ SAT at the Society for Arts and Technology. Running from Nov. 29-Dec. 3, the bazaar showcases 60 local artists selling designer clothes, chic accessories, decorative objects, jewelry, limited-edition finds, and toys.
For more high-end finds, however, hit up the Shop Under warehouse designer sale, which from Dec. 1-3 has discounted finds from Celine, Gucci, Prada, Tom Ford, Fendi and more. Perfect for finding that gift for those on your shopping list… or you!
Courtesy Aga Khan Muesum
Nothing quite gets you in the holiday spirit like the tale of a young boy, left alone, who lays waste to two would-be burglars in the most death-defying fashion possible. That’s right, it’s time for Home Alone. Though in Toronto, you’re not relegated to watching the film on constant re-runs. No, head to the symphony! From Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by the Etobicoke School of the Arts Junior Chorus will perform the modern classic live with the film.
For an old-timey Christmas experience, head to Toronto’s castle on the hill, Casa Loma, which is celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Christmas. There will be illusionists, ice shows, Santa’s castle workshop, and a 40-foot tree in the Great Hall designed by Canada’s fashion queen, Jeannie Beker. The festivities run from Dec. 1 to Jan. 7, 2018.
Flower lovers, head to the Christmas Flowers Show at Allan Gardens, wherein the conservatory is donned with a riot of Christmas foliage. Begins on Dec. 3.
Lest you think it’s all Christmas all the time in Toronto, take a trip out to the Aga Khan Museum to see Arts of the East: Highlights of Islamic Art from the Bruschettini Collection. The exhibition showcases lavish textiles and intricately patterned carpets to colourful paintings, polychrome Iznik wares, and precious inlaid metalwork and introduces Canadian and international audiences to a choice selection from one of the world’s most important private collections of Islamic art. From Nov. 30 to Jan. 21
That well-oiled ritual of knowing what to pack in your carry-on and in what quantities is about to change in Canada. Transport Canada has revamped its rules, effective immediately. What does that mean for you? Well, small knives are in – blades under six centimetres now allowed on board (but please keep them in your luggage), though the US still doesn’t permit blades of any kind. And powders are out. Any powder substance measuring more than 350 ml (a pop can’s worth) is now prohibited in carry-on baggage as these substances can mimic explosives. That means no baby powder, foot powder, cooking powder, sea salt or sand. Baby formula, protein powder, tea and coffee are still allowed aboard with you.