As we approach the holidays, Ottawa families who are looking for concerts and other performances to help get into the spirit of the season have no shortage of promising options.

As a realtor with more than 30 years of experience helping clients sell and buy homes in the Ottawa area, I often work with those who are moving to Ottawa from other areas of Canada or abroad.

Along with the many other attractions of our region, many new residents are happy to discover the city’s rich and busy performing arts scene, from the National Arts Centre and its orchestra, theatre and dance offerings, to the dozens of other presenters, choirs, theatre groups, orchestras and summer music festivals.

This time of year is a particularly busy one for performances, as the region’s many choirs, orchestras and theatre companies present Christmas concerts and other holiday programming. For some Ottawa residents, attending these events is a holiday tradition.  Many music lovers wouldn’t dream of missing an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, which this year is presented by Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings and conductor Kevin Mallon Dec. 17 and 18.

If you’re looking for appealing performances over the holidays, we’ve compiled a few promising options for you.

My team and I at Nancy Benson and Associates would like to wish you all the best for the holidays and a wonderful 2017.

If you’re interested in buying or selling in the Ottawa area, give me a call at 613-747-4747. I’d be happy to chat with you about the Ottawa real estate market.

Here are just a few of the performances and presentations happening around our region:



Sunday, Dec. 18: Handel’s Messiah.

Professional Ottawa chamber ensemble Thirteen Strings presents Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Thirteen Strings’ Director, Kevin Mallon. The National Arts Centre Orchestra is not presenting the piece this year, so these performances are a chance to experience Messiah in a more intimate setting than the NAC’s Southam Hall.

When and where: The Dec. 17 performance is at Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Lisgar St. at Elgin). The Dec. 18 performance is at Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper St. at O’ Connor). Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

Details: The performance will include the Ottawa chamber choir Seventeen Voyces. Vocal soloists are soprano Jennifer Taverner, mezzo-soprano Andrea Ludwig, tenor Zach Finkelstein and bass-baritone Giles Tomkins. Audience members are invited to bring donations to the Centretown Emergency Food Centre.

Tickets and Information: Tickets range from $10 to $75. Information: or 613-738-7888.


Wednesday, Dec. 21: Christmas with Music and Beyond.

Where and When: 7:30 p.m., Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Cooper Street at O’Connor.

Details: Music and Beyond is an acclaimed Ottawa summer music and multi-disciplinary festival, which in 2017 will run July 4 to 17. If you buy an early-bird pass for next summer’s festival, you can get two tickets for the price of one for this Christmas concert.

This year’s concert includes soprano soloist Helene Brunet and four choirs, Including the Ottawa Children’s Choir, the Kingston Choral Scholars, the choir of Ottawa’s Christ Church Cathedral and a vocal ensemble from Ottawa’s De La Salle High School. Musicians include harpist Caroline Leonardelli, cellist Julian Armour, violinist Yolanda Bruno, organist Matthew Larkin, pianist and harpsichordist Frederic Lacroix and others.

The program will include traditional carols and Christmas-themed music by composers including Torelli (Christmas Concerto), Handel (arias from Messiah), Rutter and Ravel.

Tickets and Information: $30 general; $20 students;  $10 for age 15 and under; or $65 for a family of four; $70 for a family of five. 613-241-0777 or



Dec. 13-31: National Arts Centre English Theatre presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

When and Where: National Arts Centre Theatre. Evening performances at 7:30 p.m., with some additional afternoon performances at 2 p.m, including a 2 p.m. performance Dec. 24.

Details: NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley has adapted and directed this production of Dicken’s classic story of Christmas redemption, starring the veteran actor Andy Jones as Ebenezer Scrooge. Performers include artists from the NAC’s theatre, music and dance programming.

Tickets: $15 to $89. or 1-888-991-2787.



 Thursday, Dec. 22: Canadian Museum of History presents Miracle on 34th Street.

Where and When: 7:30 p.m., in the theatre at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.

Details: The museum presents a free screening of Miracle on 34th Street, the classic 1947 film about a young girl (Natalie Wood) who has been told by her mother (Maureen O’Hara) not to believe in Santa Claus. The young girl then meets a charming department store Santa who helps persuade her and others to believe.

Information: The museum is also presenting a range of other family programming and activities over the holidays, with many activities and events for children. For information, visit