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This Week in Canada: a Scuba Santa Show, Massey Hall’s Massive Renovation, Canadian Live Music Initiatives, and More

BizBash's new Canada-focused column covers the week's biggest event news.

For its 15th year, Montreal’s electronic dance party Igloofest is being moved online from Jan. 14 to Feb. 6, 2021.
For its 15th year, Montreal’s electronic dance party Igloofest is being moved online from Jan. 14 to Feb. 6, 2021.
Photo: Courtesy of Igloofest

Welcome to BizBash's new column, covering Canada’s biggest event news from coast to coast. Got a tip? Get in touch!

Provincial News
Alberta: Calgary’s Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is hosting “Dinner in a Dome: Frozen Jungle,” as part of its Foodies in the Park pop-up dinner series throughout December. Guests are invited to book an igloo surrounded by tropical greenery inside Devonian Gardens—which offers expansive gardens, terraces, galleries, and private rooms for corporate and social events throughout the year. Groups of up to six can choose from meat, seafood, or plant-based, six-course fusion dinners. Menus include Peruvian pork belly lettuce wrap, Sri Lankan pan-seared scallops, and Malaysian coconut tofu soup.

British Columbia: The Vancouver Aquarium’s annual “Scuba Claus” holiday show returns in a virtual format on Dec. 20. Children of all ages are asked to assist Scuba Claus in an under-the-sea search for the missing key to Santa’s toy cupboard. Attendees will get close-up views of penguins, sea otters, sea lions, and more, while aquarium staff will be available to answer questions about marine life. Gift shop prizes are up for grabs, and the live event is being produced by students and faculty at the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Television and Video Production Program. All ticket proceeds will go towards the aquarium.

Nova Scotia: The Nova Scotia Young Naturalists Club launched its Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids in Halifax’s Point Pleasant Park Dec. 13. This year’s event is a self-guided tour designed for individual families, who each receive printable maps. Over the weekend, videos covering bird-watching tips from ornithological experts, including tips for identifying and feeding different species that live in the park, were made available online.

Ontario: Massey Hall, which announced a $5 million renovation earlier this year, is being redeveloped to include a seven-story music complex. The new Allied Music Centre—co-developed with Toronto-based Allied Properties—will include a 500-person capacity club, floor-wide lounges, and recording and event spaces for music students and professionals. Each new venue will be set up with turnkey audio and video equipment to bring artist performances to fans worldwide. As a historic landmark, the Massey Hall auditorium will undergo an extensive renovation, including the restoration of its classical stained glass windows.  

Quebec: This evening, Tiny Catering and Research Creation are hosting a stay-home holiday dinner fundraiser to help cover living costs and purchase holiday gifts for migrant farmworkers and their families. With a goal of raising $10,000, prix-fixe, ready-made menu options are available for up to four people; they include salads, sourdough rolls, mashed potatoes, cabbage steak, white bean stew, roasted chicken, and forager spice cake. A special "Table Ostie'Fkn'HĂ´te" option provides menu ingredients, a one-hour virtual cooking class, and a limited-edition cookbook. 

“IllumiNATION,” a virtual celebration of Canadian stars, begins tonight and runs until Jan. 7. During each live broadcast on the Canada heritage website, CBC/Radio Canada host Gregory Charles will be introducing artists in cities across the country, including French-Canadian pop star Annie Villeneuve, American-Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and Food Network Canada star and executive chef Katie Ardington. “The show will feature a wide range of artistic performances from Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Moncton, Calgary, Vancouver, Yellowknife, and Old Crow, Yukon,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what unites us on these cold winter days, while respecting health guidelines."

Meanwhile, the Canadian Live Music Association has partnered with supply chain software company Kinaxis to launch a concert series supporting Canadian musicians and music venues. Roughly 30 shows will be livestreamed from venues across the country, and applications from performers and venues are being accepted until Feb. 28.

"Organizations—who to the public, to government, and to corporations are deemed to be serving the most vulnerable—are both seeing a surge in demand for services but also an increase in supply because Canadians are stepping up."

—Canada Helps president and CEO Bruce MacDonald, speaking to CBC about navigating holiday fundraising challenges.

On the Scene
Kensington Market’s Winter Solstice festivities are taking place online this year, ending with a virtual parade on Dec. 21. 

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