Written by Pedro Arrais

Shake it up this holiday season — and raise money for the Cridge Centre for the Family — at the Snow Globe at the Parkside Hotel and Spa, now until Jan. 6.

The hotel’s atrium has been transformed into a life-sized snow globe of beautifully decorated trees with snowflake ornaments available for purchase by donation.

Take a journey through the display and choose a snowflake ornament to take home for a minimum donation of $15.

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Donors will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a stay at the hotel in the new year.

All proceeds will go toward services provided by the Cridge Centre for the Family, including child care, supportive housing, services for families escaping domestic violence, respite care services, a residence for survivors of brain injury and seniors’ assisted-living housing.

The display is open for free viewing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until Jan. 6 at the hotel, 810 Humboldt St. Charitable-donation receipts are available from the Cridge Centre for the Family for donations of $20 or more. For more information, go to parksidevictoria.com/the-hotel/holiday-festivities.htm or cridge.org.

Kickstart the holidays with Daniel Lapp and friends

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Get in the holiday spirit at the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s annual Home for Christmas concert with Daniel Lapp and special guests, Friday and Saturday at the 800-seat Alix Goolden Performance Hall.

This is the 13th year of the holiday musical favourite with the well-known fiddler and trumpeter. This year, he will be joined by Canadian jazz and blues singer Maureen Washington and other guests in three special concerts.

“One of the many things I love about this concert is the incredible electric atmosphere when 175 spirited community and professional musicians all share the stage together,” said Daniel Lapp, a legendary force in Canada’s fiddle scene and a musical mentor to hundreds of students. “The energy in the room is magical and the concert has become, for many, the moment that kickstarts the holiday season.”

Home for Christmas includes local musicians from The Shiny H’ornaments, The Swingin’ Shepherds, Strings of Lights and dozens of students from the Joy of Life Choir, Folkestra and B.C. Fiddle Orchestra.

“It’s a wonderful show full of Christmas spirit and community,” said Jane Butler McGregor, CEO of the conservatory.

The concert is suitable for all ages.

Tickets range from $15.35 to $26. The concert runs 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, along with a 2 p.m. matinée on Saturday at the conservatory’s Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora Ave.

Buy tickets at vcm.bc.ca/events, by phone 888-732-1682 and in person at the front desk of the conservatory, 900 Johnson St. For information, go to vcm.bc.ca.

Learn to swing dance

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Feel like kicking up your heels this holiday season? Put on your dancing shoes and head to Nothin’ But Swing, sponsored by the Swing Dance Association of Victoria, Saturday night at Centennial United Church.

The event is the association’s weekly swing dance, which brings people together to share the joy of music and dance the night away. Do the Lindy Hop, Collegiate Shag, Balboa, jitterbug and other vintage swing dances.

If you catch the dance bug, the association’s website has a calendar of dance events in and around Victoria.

Shy or new to dance? Members of the non-profit society will give newcomers drop-in lessons from 8:30 to 9:15 p.m.

General admission is $8 or $7 for members and $5 for students. Doors open at 8:15 p.m. and the event runs until midnight at 612 David St. Details at swingvictoria.net.

A simpler way to celebrate Christmas

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People who find the lead-up to Christmas difficult — or who are looking for a simpler way to celebrate — may want to take in the Longest Night Service at St. Luke’s Church on Sunday.

The service offers a quiet time of remembrance and hope instead of glitter and commercialism. This time of year can be hard for people who are struggling with life situations, personal loss or a change in their lives.

The service will be led by priests and pastors from two local churches: St. Luke’s Anglican Church and Lutheran Church of the Cross.

The service starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Luke’s Church, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. (corner of Cedar Hill Cross Road and Cedar Hill Road). The parking lot is off Cedar Hill Cross Road.

For more information, call the church office at 250-477-6741 or go to stlukesvictoria.ca.

A nostalgic look at Christmas

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Discover the spirit of Christmas past in Nanaimo at Capturing Christmas, an exhibit curated by the Nanaimo Museum, now until Jan. 6.

The exhibit delves into the museum’s collection of cameras, which date from the late 1800s to the 1970s, and archival photos of downtown winter scenes and seasonal events.

“Our camera and photo collections show how photography has evolved,” said Aimee Greenaway, interpretation curator at the museum. “There are tin types, photos on glass plates and examples from local photography studios at the turn of the 20th century.”

The exhibit takes a nostalgic look at Christmas from the past.

“Over the last few years, we’ve been building a tradition of Christmas-themed exhibits in December,” said Greenaway. “Families are returning annually to check out a different take on Christmas and the history of Nanaimo.”

The exhibit coincides with the museum’s Yesteryear Christmas school program, which includes students seeing the Christmas exhibit while participating in hands-on activities that teach them about the history of Nanaimo.

The museum’s gift shop is stocked with gifts, stocking stuffers and Christmas decorations, with proceeds supporting the museum.

Admission is $2 for adults, $1.75 for seniors and students, 75 cents for children age five to 12 and free for children under five. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, (see website for holiday closures), 100 Museum Way, Nanaimo (in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, beside Serious Coffee). Details at nanaimomuseum.ca or 250-753-1821.

Opening celebrates residency

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Vancouver Island artist Lynda Colbeck is celebrating her appointment as artist-in-residence at the English Inn December and January with an opening reception at the inn Friday.

A member artist of the Township Community Arts Council, Colbeck calls Nanaimo home. Her paintings endeavour to capture a sense of place through light, colour and shapes of the world around her.

The reception will be held at the English Inn manor, a Tudor revival home designed by Samuel McClure, Victoria’s most renowned residential architect. It was built in 1906 for Yorkshire-born real estate agent and developer Thomas Harry Slater.

Apart from admiring the artwork and cards on display, visitors can chat with the artist. Complimentary appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

Admission is free. The opening reception runs 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at the inn, 429 Lampson St. Colbeck will be artist-in-residence at the inn until the end of January. For more information, go to townshiparts.org or lyndacolbeck.com. [Source: Times Colonist]

Last modified: December 22, 2016

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