'Tis the Season

Since taking on the role of Executive Officer at the Arts Station, Courtney Baker has been working year-round to put the Festive Season firmly on the calendar in Fernie. The ‘What the Dickens’ festival is a series of events to charm and entertain the whole family all through December. All donations will support the Youth Public Art Project, and in the spirit of giving, food bank donations will be accepted.

The festivities chime in on Saturday, December 1 at Loaf Bakery with Jingle Jams. These cozy, cheery carolling events will be held at downtown locations each Saturday afternoon from 2-4pm. On Saturday, December 8, Sandra Summerfield and friends will be at Beanpod Chocolate followed by Sheva at Freshies on Saturday, December 15. Mike and Anie Hepher of RedGirl round out the series at the Ghostrider Trading Building on Saturday, December 22. Brush up on your favourite holiday songs and sing along at these friendly, free, fun, family musical coffee shop socials.

Sounds of the season will also be celebrated at holiday concerts throughout the month on the stage at the Arts Station. Free tickets for these concerts can be obtained from the Arts Station in advance and are required for entry to the events. Shred Kelly kicks things off with a stompin’ good time on the 12th at 8pm. On Tuesday, December 18 at 7pm, the Fernie Chamber Orchestra will charm the audience with classical and modern pieces for all ages to enjoy. On the 20th at 8pm, RedGirl put the fest in festive following an opening act from the Fernie Ukulele Orchestra. The Vera Choir are an internationally renowned singing group based in Jaffray. Their concerts are highly anticipated highlights on the Fernie cultural calendar, offering unique and beautiful performances with music, lyrics and stories from around the world. They will hold their annual Christmas Concert at the Knox United Church on Sunday, December 16. Tickets are available at Polar Peek Books, The Fernie Academy and The Cottonwood Tree, or at the door.

For unique tastes of the Holidays, the Sweater and Scotch Social welcomes Arts Station members for a mix and mingle event on Sunday, December 16, while bakers and carpenters are invited to take on the very first Gingerbread challenge, which also kicks off on the 16th. Bring your best building skills to create a gingerbread creation to beat out the competition. Baking skills are again put to the test at the Shortbread Showdown on Sunday, December 23. Last year this event saw 16 tasty, sugary, buttery, crumbly entries to satisfy the tastebuds of everyone who attended, this year is bound to attract even more fabulous shortbread varieties – drop by to sample a few!

For visual treats, kids can enjoy a Freckles Theatre production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Friday, December 7, with performances at 5pm and 6pm. Tickets are $5 per person and are available at the door. Friends of Opera present a screening of the traditional story of Hansel and Gretel on Friday, December 14 at 7pm. The performance is in English and is suitable for children. If you prefer your holidays a little more surreal, prepare for surprises in The Flaming Lips present Christmas on Mars. The screening will take place on Sunday, December 23 at 8pm.

In November, I had the chance to enjoy a cardmaking workshop at Clawhammer Press where printmaker Mike Hepher explained the history of printing and then led a small group through the process of assembling and printing a batch of personally designed cards. I really enjoyed the class and love my one-of-a-kind cards. You can get your Christmas craft on at a similar class on Sunday, December 9 – but sign up soon as places are very limited. Kids can get crafty too at Yule Create Kids Camps on Saturday, December 22 or Friday, December 28. Send your 5-10 year olds over to the Arts Station to craft and create seasonally inspired art while you kick back and catch up with friends or frantically buy and wrap those last few presents! Remember to call ahead and book a space, as these camps are always popular.

Whether you’re celebrating Chanukah, Saint Lucia, Solstice, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule or Hogmanay, or just hanging out on the snow waiting for Santa, have a wonderful, peaceful and happy festive season enjoying all the delights of the holidays with family, friends and Fernie.