holiday concert toronto

The top 10 holiday concerts and shows in Toronto for 2016

Holiday concerts and shows in Toronto will get you into the Christmas spirit with music, dancing and lots of laughs. While The Nutcracker and Handel's Messiah are always crowd-pleasers, there's a lot more to experience in the city this December.

  • Events you might want to check out
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    • December 2-30
      Twist Your Dickens is a Second City production created by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort. This is it's Canadian premiere and it should be a tad bit funnier than Dicken's A Christmas Carol.
      Toronto Centre for the Arts
    • December 3
      Toronto's all-inclusive LGBTQ+ community choir Singing OUT! invites Torontonians to join them for music, dance and "not-so-average holiday stories." This should be a festive way to start off your December.
      Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for Performing Arts
    • December 4
      This isn't your typical Handel Messiah. Instead, Harbourfront NextSteps presents a Ballet Creole holiday production where dancers perform to Quincy Jones's R&B rendition of Messiah. Could this be a new holiday tradition?
      Fleck Dance Theatre
    • December 5-7
      Electric Messiah is back at the Drake Underground. Instead of baroque music, vocalists and instrumentalists will use Handel's score as the foundation for their stripped down musical improvisations presented in surround sound.
    • December 9
      Don't expect a stuffy symphony at this show. The Twelve Days of Chrismas lets you sing along to carols and holiday songs and best of all, this pageant's narrated by Colin Mochrie. Get ready to laugh.
      Roy Thomson Hall
    • December 10
      This all ages events features a lineup of performers, including The Only Detox, Jiggly Caliente Brooks, Katya and Sharon Needles as well as Michelle Visage as the host. Christmas Queens Festive Extravaganza looks like it's going to be way more fun than your typical holiday concert.
      The Danforth Music Hall
    • December 11
      Sure, you can go see the Nutcracker at the Four Season's Centre, or head to this show and watch Tchaikovsky's score come to life as this Christmas tale unfolds in front of a backdrop of 20th century Canadian landscapes. Yes, this show's happening in partnership with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
      Betty Oliphant Theatre
    • December 14-17
      As an annual holiday tradition, don't miss your chance to revel in the Hallelujah chorus with Tafelmusik. This year's production is directed by Ivars Taurins and features Amanda Forsythe (soprano), Krisztina Szabó (mezzo-soprano), Colin Balzer (tenor) and Tyler Duncan (baritone).
      Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre
    • December 15
      Toronto super group Dwayne Gretzky will let you rock out this holiday season with a festive concert at The Great Hall. Belt out your favourite carols and get ready to dance - you should also think about buying tickets in advance.
      The Great Hall Toronto
    • December 23
      Tim McCready's rager is a holiday house party like no other, probably because it's in a hotel. From the guy behind the 159 Manning NXNE BBQ and New Year's Eve party, comes this soirée at the Gladstone Hotel. There will be live music and concerts throughout the West Queen West venue so let loose before you spend a few days holed up with your family.
Lead photo by

Paul Gorbould

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