Capital Christmas

By Allison Gagnon   Trail Canada

Inhale the magic and enchanted spirit of the holiday season while you watch the festivities unravel across the country. It's the countdown to Christmas and with less than a month to go the lights are shining brighter, the sleigh bells are ringing louder and Santa is getting closer. With the holiday season upon us, the opportunities for coming together as a community are endless through special events, thoughtful fundraisers and festive art functions. A plentiful choice of Christmas attractions exist nationwide, so don't miss out on all the merry happenings around town.

Canada at Christmas represents a signature of community and this year our 13 capital cities across the nation are linked by one grand, annual event. Throughout the ten provinces and three territories, “Christmas Lights Across Canada” illuminates each Canadian capital and lights stream bright into the night sky. A collaboration to unite the country together, sends the ultimate Christmas cheer to Canadians and visitors alike. Throughout the holiday season look to your capital to radiate the warmth of Christmas and let the lights shine.

Here's a peak at what else is happening in and around your nearest capital at Christmas.

Ottawa: Canada's Capital

Christmas Lights Across Canada
More than 300,000 lights strung along, over and around 70 capital landmarks sparkle in this annual event beginning December 7 at Parliament Hill.

Christmas Carolers and free Horse Drawn Wagon Rides Byward Market
Every weekend through December offers a chance to see beautiful downtown Ottawa the old-fashioned way by horse and carriage. Watch Ottawa transform like magic into a colourful Christmas paradise.

Victoria: British Columbia

Festival of Trees
November 16, 2006 - January 4, 2007
721 Government Street, The Fairmont Empress Head down to Victoria's famous landmark and be sure to vote for your favorite decorated tree. All proceeds from votes go to the BC Children's Hospital.

Christmas at Buchart Gardens
December 1, 2006 - January 6, 2007 Check out this fantastical attraction of thousands of lights, magic and music and wander through a special display of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Santa Ship Harbour Tours
December 18 - 23, 2006 Inner Harbour, Causeway Floats, Victoria.
Forget the sleigh! Take a relaxing Christmas journey around Victoria on Santa's very own boat.

Edmonton: Alberta

Festival of Trees presents, “A Time for Dreaming”
November 30, 2006 -
December 3, 2006
Hundreds of decked out trees stand tall and ready for the holidays, alongside a variety of children's entertainment. The fundraiser is dedicated to updating equipment in the intensive care unit at the University Alberta Hospital.

Bright Nights
November 24, 2006 - January 7, 2007
Hawrelak Park. 9330 Groat Road.
One of the largest light shows in Canada, this drive through light escapade takes you through more than 400 light displays of amazing Christmas scenes and whimsical fairy tale stories.

Regina: Saskatchewan

Christmas in a Barn
November 25 - December 30, 2006
Homestead Hall, Regina Beach
Children and adults dress in period costumes and travel backwards in time to another era accompanied by music and even barn yard animals.

Winnipeg: Manitoba

Canad Inn' s Winter Wonderland
December 1, 2006 - January 7, 2007
Red River Exhibition Park.
Escape the chilly air and enjoy this winter wonderland and attractive light show, all from the warmth of your own vehicle.

Santa's Village
Manitoba Children's Museum.
Step back into your childhood memories. It's Eaton's original Santa Village!

Toronto: Ontario

Cavalcade of lights
November 23 - December 30, 2006
The 100,000 lights will lead you to Toronto's official 32 ft glowing Christmas tree that sparkles every night until 11pm.

Quebec City: Quebec

On the Road to Bethlehem
November 4, 2006 - January 7, 2006
Moulin des Jesuits. By Artist Bernard Bolvin.
A time to remember the beginning of Christmas, this journey takes you around the world with 15 different illuminated nativity scenes.

Christmas Fair - “Noel des Artisans”
December 2, 2006 - January 8, 2007
At la Maison Vezina.
Support the local artists as they exhibit their unique creations. Ideal for that special gift.

St. John's: Newfoundland

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
December 15 - December 21, 2006
Resource Centre for the Arts.
Everyone's favourite green humbug comes to life on stage during this fabulous Christmas story.

Fredericton: New Brunswick

Christmas @ the Playhouse
December 14 - 17, 2006
Local talent takes to the stage in an inspiring night of song, dance and annual tradition.

Halifax: Nova Scotia

Victorian Christmas at Evergreen House
Until December 23
Dartmouth Heritage Museum
Tuesdays to Saturdays, experience Christmas Victorian style.

Studio 21 presents the Christmas Show
December 2 - 29
A Christmas exhibition celebrating all the galleries top artists.

Charlottetown: Prince Edward Island

Wintertide Holiday Festival
November 24, 2006 - January 5, 2007
A huge Christmas celebration spans over an entire month of exciting programs, interesting workshops and fun for the whole family.

Iqaluit: Nunavut

Christmas Craft and Art Sale
From December 2, 2006

Whitehorse: Yukon

8th Annual Littlest Art and Craft Fair
December 9, 2006
Find some handmade gifts and one of a kind art treasures created by locals.

Yellowknife: North West Territories

The Yellowknife Choral Society presents Carolling
December 15 - 16, 2006
The Legislative Assembly.
Deck the halls with a night of sing-along with all your friends and neighbours.

For more festivals and event listings this holiday season visit: Canada Event's guide to holiday events.

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