The Shortlist: December 2021’s Top 5 Events in Canada

Chantreuse Charlotte Cardin heads out on tour, New Year’s night across Canada, the Scandinavians are coming and Anne Murray gets her doc.

Black and white photo of Charlotte Cardin.

NO. 1

Charlotte Cardin Cross-Country

Charlotte Cardin Phoenix Tour
Calgary: Wed., Jan. 26, 7 pm, The Gateway (SAIT)
Vancouver: Sat., Jan. 29, 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom
Toronto: Sat., Feb. 12, 8 pm, Elgin Theatre

With her seismic voice and je ne sais quoi It Girl energy, Montreal’s Charlotte Cardin is stopping in all three of the NEXT cities on tour this winter. Catch her setting the stage ablaze as she performs her formidable debut album Phoenix, a sultry R&B-pop hybrid that vibrates with emotional liberation and sad-girl swagger.

Keanu Reeves looking into a mirror, from the film The Matrix Resurrections.

NO. 2

Resurrected Matrix Leads Blockbuster Boom

The Matrix Resurrections
Where: Theatres
What: Movie, 148 mins.
When: Wed., Dec. 22
Genre: Sci-fi

Take shelter from the cold this winter in the comfort of a movie theatre and revisit the iconic Matrix universe. Beloved actor Keanu Reeves reprises his role as Neo alongside past co-stars Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith in the fourth Matrix instalment. Cast and crew have remained pretty secretive around this sci-fi project and fan theories have been swirling for months. Whether the predictions are true or not, it promises to be a thrill of a ride.

Other blockbuster films to check out include Speilberg’s rendition of West Side Story (Fri., Dec. 10) and newest Marvel addition Spider-Man: No Way Home (Fri., Dec. 17).


NO. 3

Building Scandinavian Cultural Bridges

Nordic Lights
Thurs., Jan. 20 – Sun., Feb. 13, 6 pm – 10 pm
Harbourfront Centre

The cultures of the Nordic Region are crossing the ocean and coming to Canada for the entirety of 2022, starting with ‘Nordic Lights’ — a stunning light festival at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. The free outdoor installation is a collaboration among artists from Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The first of many cultural events, Nordic Bridges has curated a year full of theatre, music, film and food. The Toronto International Film Festival will screen a selection of films by acclaimed Swedish director Roy Andersson (Jan. 13 – 23) and the mini film festival will later make a stop in Vancouver. Other must-see events include DesignTO (Toronto, Jan. 21 – March 20) and the Coastal Dance Festival (Vancouver, March).

Photo of Anne Murray

NO. 4

Anne Murray Gets Doc'd

Anne Murray: Full Circle Documentary
In theatres, Thurs., Dec. 2
CBC broadcast and Gem, Fri. Dec. 17, 8 pm

The Canadian country-pop superstar gets the doc treatment in this adoring but honest film — she was a homewrecker, eh? — that locates her as the stunningly-voiced music industry pioneer and inspiration to women performers that she is.

Watch the doc trailer

Partial photo of Dwayne Gretzky band.

Dwayne Gretzky.

NO. 5

New Year, New Me!

New Years Eve Celebrations
Fri., Dec 31
Venues and prices vary

After a long, hard year, New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. In Toronto, rockin’ cover band Dwayne Gretzky is bringing back their New Year’s concert tradition ($50, History); Calgarians can indulge in a star-studded drag show featuring RuPaul All Stars winner Kylie Sonique ($22, Twisted Element) and Vancouver can watch the incredible Queer As Funk play with DJ Slade at a cabaret-style NYE show ($50, The Wise). Just check for vaccination before sharing that New Year’s kiss.


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