Hey Halifax, make merry this holiday season with these festive events | Cultural Festivals | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Symphony Nova Scotia's annual production of The Nutcracker returns Dec 2-11.
Symphony Nova Scotia's annual production of The Nutcracker returns Dec 2-11.

Hey Halifax, make merry this holiday season with these festive events

Over 20 sweet, seasonal choral concerts, tree lightings and more.

If you agree with the song that this is, in fact, the most wonderful time of the year, you’re in good company: A bunch of Haligonians are already maxing out on the season, delivering holiday-themed plays, tree lightings, celebratory concerts and more. Here, we’re loading up your calendar with ways to feel merry and bright—over 20 of them:

Elf The Musical

Neptune’s holiday musical was 80% sold out before it even hit the stage—the appetite for the Will Ferrell adaptation was so big, the theatre decided to extend the show’s run into early January. It might just be the season’s hottest ticket.

Nov. 22-Jan. 8, Neptune Theatre, ticket and showtime details at neptunetheatre.com

Christmas with the Ennis Sisters

For two and a half decades, The Ennis Sisters have captivated audiences with their deftly woven sibling harmonies, amassing endless ECMAs and a Juno along the way. Known for the SOCAN best-selling country hit “Take Me Home,” the Newfoundland roots trio is ready to switch you into holiday mode with this show full of original Christmas songs.

Nov. 24, 7:30pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, tickets at sonicconcerts.com

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Neptune Theatre’s holiday tradition is staging a retelling of Ebenezer Scrooge’s glow-up. Rhys Bevan-John reprises his leading role in the fit-for-all-ages show.

Nov. 24-Dec. 30, Neptune Theatre, ticket and showtime details at neptunetheatre.com

Evergreen Festival

When it comes to super-sized seasonal celebrations, it doesn’t get much more in-the-spirit than Evergreen Festival, which spends four weeks turning the chilly winter waterfront into the city’s hottest destination. From live entertainment to craft markets that echo the hygge of a German Christkindlmarkt, everything you need is here. Head to the fest’s website for full entertainment listings and info.

Nov. 25-Dec. 18, Halifax waterfront, evergreenfestns.com

Sackville Christmas Tree Lighting

Lower Sackville gets into the spirit of the season with this tree lighting that includes treats, live music and a visit from the Big Guy himself.

Nov. 25, 6:30pm, Acadia Park

Hey Halifax, make merry this holiday season with these festive events
Alexa Cude
Halifax artist Jah'Mila will perform at the city's Christmas tree lighting Nov 26.

Halifax Christmas Tree Lighting

The annual lighting of the city’s largest Christmas tree is, for many, a starting gun for the season—especially since Santa is on-site, alongside local musical talent including Jah’Mila and Rebecca Guilderson & Stephane Gaudet. For kids, PAW Patrol characters Syke and Chase are sure to steal the show.

Nov. 26, 6-7pm, Grand Parade Square

Victorian Christmas at Halifax Citadel

The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site throws it back to the Victorian era for this festive fete, complete with era-appropriate entertainment.

Nov. 26-27, noon-4pm, Halifax Citadel

Gifts of Christmas

Dartmouth’s Ekko Mindful Music Studio has the spirit of the season on lock with this show that’s a fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. Held at The Music Room (6181 Lady Hammond Road), it sees talent of all ages tackling a classic seasonal songbook.

Dec. 1-2, 7pm, The Music Room, tickets at ekkomusic.ca

The Nutcracker

Symphony Nova Scotia’s annual hat-tip to the season returns, combining forces with Halifax Dance and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia to deliver a rendition of the classic tale where a child’s toy comes to life, bringing her into a world of whimsy and wonder. Larger-than-life puppets from Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia and ballet from Halifax Dance round out the Symphony’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s classic score.

Dec. 2-11, Rebecca Cohn Theatre, ticket and showtime details at symphonynovascotia.ca

Dartmouth Tree Lighting

A tree lighting and holiday fireworks show over Sullivan’s Pond is a Dartmouth holiday tradition.

Dec. 3, 5pm, Sullivan’s Pond

click to enlarge Hey Halifax, make merry this holiday season with these festive events
The Nova Scotia Mass Choir delivers a holiday showcase Dec 3.

A Gospel Christmas feat. Nova Scotia Mass Choir

The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia has organized one of the region’s most culturally significant and honey-throated collection of voices for this absolute celebration of both singing and the season. We dare you to leave this show at New Beginnings Ministries in any other spirit but holly-jolly.
Dec. 3, 6:30pm, New Beginnings Ministries, 26 Cherry Brook Road, $25, tickets available at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia or its website

Catherine MacLellan w/Tanya Davis, Nick Gauthier

The PEI-based, Juno-winning singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan is including Halifax in a stop on her holiday tour, sharing self-penned holiday songs and seasonal classics with guests Tanya Davis (the poet behind the viral poem “How To Be Alone”) and guitarist Nick Gauthier.

Dec. 8, The Carleton, $40.25, tickets and details at thecarleton.ca

Don We Now our Gay Apparel: Songs for a Winter’s Night

The Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus raises its golden voices for this evening of song that, according to show creators, “features beloved classic and contemporary music from national and international artists including Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Sara Bareilles, Robbie Smith, Eric Whitacre and Gordon Lightfoot.”

Dec. 8-10, 7:30pm, St. Andrew’s United Church (6036 Coburg Road), tickets $15-$50, hgmc.ca

The Villains' Christmas Carol

Trust the delightfully twisted minds of Halifax indie staple The Villains Theatre to tear apart Dickens’ classic, recasting it as a humorous, heartfelt tale of Tiny Tim’s revenge.

Dec. 9-11, 7:30pm, Fort Massey United Church, pay what you can tickets via tickethalifax.com

EnChor East Singers: Noel! Noel!

A 40th anniversary concert for this Halifax choir is one sweet, song-fuelled way to get into the spirit of the season—complete with piano accompaniment.

Dec. 10, 7pm, Bedford Baptist Church, 158 Rocky Lake Drive, $15 at the door or email lastephen53@gmail.com

Lennie Gallant: The Innkeeper’s Christmas 2022

PEI singer-songwriter legend Lennie Gallant reprises his beloved multimedia holiday showcase that features a mix of originals and carols. This year’s show also acts as an album release celebration for Gallant’s newest, Christmas Day on Planet Earth. See the 19-time ECMA winning, Governor General Award-holding artist debut the seasonal songs live at St. Andrew’s.

Dec. 11, 7:30pm, The Stage at St. Andrew’s, 6036 Coburg Road, $49.97, tickets at eventbrite.com

Choirs in the Cathedral

LunaSea Theatre’s annual fundraiser helps you get into the seasonal swing with an evening of sing-alongs and songs that features solo artists and choirs alike. The family friendly fun also features a silent auction and bake sale.

Dec. 12, 7:30pm, All Saints Cathedral, $15-$40, tickets via tickethalifax.com

Stories, Songs & Santa Causes with Tom Jackson

Chances are you know Tom Jackson: A Companion of the Order of Canada, Juno and Gemini Humanitarian Award winner, 11-time honorary degree recipient, and bearer of the 2014 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. Here, the lauded storyteller and community-builder delivers an evening of cheer that’s also a fundraiser for Feed Nova Scotia—complete with original music, sing-alongs, holiday tunes and, of course, some stories and jokes.

Dec. 13, 7:30pm, Bella Rose Arts Centre, $39.50, tickets via tickethalifax.com

click to enlarge Hey Halifax, make merry this holiday season with these festive events
Reeny Smith's annual holiday show returns Dec 15.

Reeny Does Christmas with guests

Reeny Smith’s holiday show has long been one of December’s hottest tickets, but this year she’s ramping the thermostat up with her new EP, Where you at, Santa?, a creamy-vocalled R&B offering that recalls Destiny’s Child’s 8 Days of Christmas. The top-secret roster of special guests that’ll round out the lineup add to the fun.

Dec. 15, 8pm, Monte’s Showbar & Grill, $25, tickets at the bar or email nancy@montes.ca

A Còig Christmas

Trad supergroup Còig brings this holiday show to The Carleton after a two-year pandemic delay. Let the make-up merry-making begin!

Dec. 16, 8pm, The Carleton, tickets $40.25 via thecarleton.ca

Meaghan Smith: The Holiday Show

Meaghan Smith—a triple-threat visual artist, musician and singer-songwriter—is performing her first show in six years in support of Feed Nova Scotia. Original songs, holiday classics and tunes from Smith’s two holiday records—It Snowed and Cold This Christmas—will be on offer. Musical guests include Kim Dunn (keys), Sarah Frank (vocals and violin), Nicholas Domato (upright bass), Ian Sherwood (vocals and horns), and Jason Mingo (guitars).

Dec. 16-17, 7:30pm, The Stage at St Andrew’s (6036 Coburg Road), $43.87, tickets via eventbrite

A Dave Gunning & J.P. Cormier Christmas

Two of The Carleton’s singer-songwriter mainstays join festive forces.

Dec. 19-22, The Carleton, $57.50, showtimes and tickets via thecarleton.ca

Menorah Lighting ceremony

A celebration of the festival of light that lands on the event’s first day, this official city event is followed by a reception inside city hall.

Dec. 19, 6pm, Grand Parade Square

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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