Best of Calgary

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Season

From Ship nog to Glow and A Christmas Carol, the Calgary traditions continue

A Christmas Carol

Theatre Calgary’s iconic production of A Christmas Carol returns this month, and with a new face (actor Doug McKeag) taking on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge from actor Stephen Hair. From the three ghosts to Tiny Tim, this show is full of beloved characters exploring themes of family, love and redemption. Snap up some tickets for one of the performances taking place between Nov. 30 and Dec. 31.

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Ship & Anchor Egg Nog

Charity and tasty, tasty booze — nothing says the holiday season like giving and getting goodness and a good glow on. It’s time again for the Ship & Anchor’s annual homemade egg nog to benefit local charities. The pub has partnered with Confluence Distilling — the first time it’s been outsourced and not produced onsite —  to help benefit those organizations that “focus on charities working to decrease homelessness and/or those committed to improving and maintaining affordable housing opportunities within our community.” So, to that end, $5 from every glass and $10 from every bottle sold will be donated to four local, charitable organizations, including Momentum Calgary, Safe Haven Canada, SafeLink Alberta and Wood’s Homes. Cheers.

With Bells On

A mild-mannered accountant and a drag queen get stuck in an elevator together — need we say more? Lunchbox Theatre’s holiday comedy, written by Darrin Hagen, promises plenty of laughs and heart as it returns to the stage where it was originally developed. Catch one of the performances (you can go during your lunch break!) in Studio at Vertigo Theatre from Nov. 28 to Dec. 17.

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Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss

Imagine a hockey arena where the ice is covered in thousands and thousands of teddy bears. Well, that’s exactly what you’ll see during the Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss, an annual event where guests are encouraged to bring a teddy bear and throw it on the ice after the Hitmen’s first goal. In the end, the bears are collected and go to dozens of local organizations to give to children. This year’s Teddy Bear Toss game takes place on December 3 at 4 p.m. when the Hitmen take on the Prince Albert Raiders.

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Under $100 Art Show

Anyone who says great art is always expensive hasn’t been to this event. At the all-ages Under $100 Art Show, every piece of art is, you guessed it, less than $100, and there are plenty of gems to be found by more than 100 artists. Peruse their work over two weekends, from Dec. 7-10 and again from Dec. 14-17, and you might just find the perfect piece for your home. 

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Holiday Pop-Up Bars

Every winter, several Calgary restaurants and breweries get in the holiday spirit with festive pop-up bars inside their spaces. Swing by Ricardo’s Hideaway for tropical drinks like the Merry Spritzmas during the Sippin’ Santa pop-up until Dec. 31, or opt for a drink at the Miracle on First Street pop-up at Proof until Dec. 24. Christmas movie fans will also appreciate the return of Eighty-Eight Brewing Company’s Home Alone-themed taproom experience until Dec. 31.

Wild Canada

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is getting some new residents this month. Starting Dec. 1, the zoo will be the new home of Baffin and Siku, two polar bears from Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo. The pair will reside in the brand new polar bear habitat, which is part of the zoo’s redeveloped Canadian Wilds experience now known as Wild Canada. The redeveloped experience also features renovated habitats for several animals ranging from whooping cranes to bighorn sheep. And the timing of this relaunched experience couldn’t be better, as it coincides with ZooLights, the holiday light exhibition that brightens up the zoo after hours. If you want to time your visit to experience both, consider snagging a Sunlight to ZooLights combo pass (available from Dec. 1-Jan. 7).

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Films at the Fort

Fort Calgary is keeping the festive spirit alive this month with its latest Film at the Fort series focused on holiday favourites. Catch flicks like Home Alone (December 2), It’s a Wonderful Life (December 3), Die Hard (December 9), White Christmas (December 10) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (December 16) in Fort Calgary’s Burnswest Theatre during the first three weekends in December. Your $12 ticket comes with popcorn (other snacks can be purchased) and interpretive centre access.

For more information on screenings and tickets, visit


It’s not all Christmas lights and gingerbread cookies this month. Until December 17, Vertigo Theatre is bringing a bit of mystery to the season with its production of Sleuth, which follows a famous mystery novelist who ends up in “the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse” with his wife’s lover.

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Glow Calgary

One of the most popular aspects of the winter season is the chance to take in the many holiday light displays and attractions around the city. If that sounds appealing to you, don’t miss the return of Glow Calgary from Dec. 7-31. Taking place inside the Nutrien Western Event Centre, this year’s event promises plenty of fun with a night market, music performances, a new tasting lounge with drinks from local breweries and distilleries and, of course, countless twinkling lights spread across 90,000 square feet. It’s a festive event that has something for the whole family.

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Naughty … but Nice: Xmas!

Looking for a holiday show that’s geared toward a more mature audience? The holiday musical Naughty… but Nice: Xmas!, intended for viewers ages 15 and up, may be just the thing for you. Forte Musical Theatre’s self-proclaimed “sweet but risqué holiday celebration” returns with a new production that promises to be cheeky, fun and anything but boring. Catch it at cSpace Marda Loop’s Studio Theatre from December 6 to 23.

For more information and tickets, visit