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Children's Chorus ushers you through holiday traditions

Arts News: Orphans' Christmas returns

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This weekend, the Whistler Children's Chorus will take you on a tour of the many winter holiday traditions spanning the globe.

"The story is basically about Christmas around the world," explains chorus co-director Jeanette Bruce. "The narration moves chronologically and we talk about different holiday traditions from around the world. So, in some places, they may not celebrate on Christmas Day, maybe they celebrate on Christmas Eve, maybe they celebrate the week before. We just touch on a few different traditions and then sing some songs related to that."

With narration from the choir's former conductor, Janet Hamer, Once Upon A Christmas stretches back generations, and includes holiday ditties from Medieval England, Germany, and even Canada's oldest Christmas hymn, the "Huron Carol," originally written by a Jesuit missionary in the native language of the Huron/Wyandat peoples sometime in the 17th century.

"It's all on a kid-friendly level, so it's not too in depth, but it's a nice little sprinkling of winter traditions from around the world," Bruce says.

The chorus, which includes kids as young as six, all the way up to 12, will be accompanied by Alison Hunter on Celtic harp and Sharon Schrul on accordion.

"They're pretty stoked on that because I think a lot of the kids had never seen an accordion before," adds Bruce.

The concert is free and open to all. It starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church.

Orphans' Christmas returns to the library for its third year

Some may not consider the explosion-heavy shenanigans of classic '80s flick Die Hard as a quintessential Christmas movie, but Whistlerites have other ideas about that.

In a Facebook poll launched by Whistler Public Library program coordinator Jeanette Bruce, she asked what Christmas-themed film they'd like to watch at this year's Orphans' Christmas Party, scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. The vote wasn't even close.

"Die Hard won by a landslide," Bruce relays.

Now in its third year, the Orphans' Christmas Party was launched as a way to spread a little festive cheer for residents who find themselves far away from home at this special time of year.

"We think about our community members being busy with family stuff and the holidays being so crazy, but for a lot of people in town, that just means there's a void when they're not spending time with family," says Bruce.

The event kicks off with a gingerbread house-making contest at 6 p.m. The library will provide all the sweet supplies, and the winner will get to take home a Die Hard Christmas storybook (yes, such a glorious artefact exists).

For those interested in taking part in the contest, registration is required at 604-935-8435. Spectators are welcome. Die Hard screens at 7 p.m., and includes an assortment of free holiday treats.

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