1. Christmas Reggae Blast at Vicious Circle (Tuesday, Dec. 18)
DJ Floetic and DJ Kuda give the gift of riddim; Wizz the comedian brings the gift of laughter.
2. Drum and Monkey/The Women’s Centre Calgary Annual Toy Drive (Wednesday, Dec. 19)
The charitable price of admission to see five bands (Fist City, Mancub, LBJs, The Slabs and Werewolf) is one unwrapped toy for a kid of any age.
3. Huron Carole (Wednesday, Dec. 19 and Thursday, Dec. 20)
Tom Jackson is joined on stage by Matt Dusk, Sarah Slean (hear her “The Devil & The Dove” from her 2011 double album Land & Sea above) and Susan Aglukark for the revival of this annual concert (last held in 2004) to raise money for food banks across Canada. Jackson and friends play the Eric Harvie Theatre out in Banff on Wednesday, then make their way to the Jack Singer Concert Hall on Thursday.
4. Silent Night and Cartoon Christmas at The Plaza (Thursday, Dec. 20)
I think all you need to know about the film Silent Night (presented by the Calgary Underground Film Festival as part of a double header co-hosted by the Quickdraw Animation Society) is in the film’s tagline: Santa is coming… to slay. This is campy fare about a murderous Santa on Christmas Eve. Quickdraw starts the night off on a positive note with Christmas cartoons including How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the whole evening is 18-plus, however).
5. The Nutcracker at Jubilee Auditorium (Thursday, Dec. 20 to Monday, Dec. 24)
Ballet is typically how most people receive their annual dose of Tchaikovsky—and Alberta Ballet is happy to oblige starting Thursday—but it isn’t the only delivery system. As Ruth Myles shows in last Friday’s magazine, other forms of pop culture (including, of course, The Simpsons) have taken a crack at the Sugar Plum Fairies. —Jon Roe