With the winter weather settling in, why not get cozy on your couch with some of Calgary’s finest performing arts collectives? While in-person performances remain on the backburner, many productions are going virtual, providing digital access to live and pre-recorded events. All you’ll need is high-speed internet and a personal device such as a laptop or smartphone… Oh and maybe some cookies and a warm glass of milk. Or if you’re looking to splurge, some productions have even gone to the effort to set up a menu for you! Wordfest presents Alan Doyle and Alberta Theatre Project’s The Wizard of Oz, have the option to upgrade your ticket to include a dinner experience. Whatever your taste, here are a handful of streaming options to safely get your art and theatre fix this December, and support our local institution’s innovative new offerings:

Wordfest – Wordfest Presents Alan Doyle

Alana Doyle (Great Big Sea), has written a book to get us all through quarantine. All Together Now: A Newfoundlander’s Light Tales for Heavy Times is coming just in time. And even better, Calgary’s Wordfest has been tasked with presenting his book launch, live online, coast-to-coast. 

In an hour-long conversation, hosted by yours truly, Alan Doyle will bring his Atlantic Canada charisma and more than likely, his memories of performing with me in Saint John in 1994. Your ticket to this event will include a signed copy of Doyle’s book, All Together Now.

Ticket price: $36.00, includes signed copy of All Together Now delivered to your home via Indigo. Additionally, you can order an ‘East Coast Feast’ from my FAVOURITE place, Blowers & Grafton, for $45. And if you don’t order the cheesy bread with donair sauce you’re seriously disturbed. 

Streaming dates: Thursday, December 10 @ 7:00 pm MT, live-streamed across Canada, and on-demand after 

Duration: 1 hour

Calgary Opera – The Yuletide Sessions

Enjoy a festive and intimate concert by Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Ensemble. This performance is said to include “seasonal favourites blended with beloved classical masterworks”. 

Tickets will be going on sale on November 25, and you can watch it as many times as you’d like between December 18 and January 3. 

Ticket price: $10.00 per household

Streaming dates: December 18, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Duration: 50 minutes

Theatre Calgary – A Christmas Carol

There is no stopping this Theatre Calgary holiday tradition. Enjoy the magical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic which has been produced and celebrated in our city for the past 33 years. The current production has been filmed with a cast of three including Stephen Hair, Marshall Vielle Natay’ao’tako and Jamie Tognazzini.

Ticket price: $25.00 per household

Streaming dates: December 11, 2020 – December 31, 2020 (Stream is available as many times as you’d like on your ticket date + 5 days)

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Calgary Philharmonic – Holiday Favourites with the Calgary Phil

Tune in for free to hear classics performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra, including Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Silent Night, Joy to the World and I’ll Be Home for Christmas. The Philharmonic was one of the first of our arts orgs to innovate safely for COVID. I plan on making cookies and listening to this one with family across the country. 

Ticket price: Free

Streaming dates: Saturday, December 12 @ 7:30pm

Alberta Theatre Projects – The Wizard of Oz

Have an itch to take a wander down the yellow brick road? Join actors in a live stream reading of The Wizard of Oz, by playwright Andrew Scanlon, directed by Haysam Kadri. Click your heels three times, aka upgrade your ticket, and enjoy a three-course meal and wine selection prepared by the Deane House.

Ticket price: $20.00, additional dinner options available for purchase

Streaming dates: December 3, 2020 – December 6, 2020

Storybook Theatre – Annie the musical

So you need a little charm and a catchy tune in your life? Look no further than Annie the Musical! This pre-filmed production is sure to include just as much charm and positivity as the original. Scheduled streaming dates are set to be announced shortly. That god damned sun WILL come up tomorrow, you guys. The orphan says so. 

Ticket price: $32.00 per viewing code

Streaming dates: Announced December 1, tentatively December 11, 2020 – January 2, 2021

Duration: 2 hours

Mike Morrison