Saturday, December 17, 2011

T'was the weekend before Christmas...

I know that title suggests I am going to wax poetic this weekend, but that isn't necessarily the case.  I will, however, offer up three ideas for holiday entertainment this weekend you might want to take in, assuming of course you are through with your Christmas shopping.  If you are, congratulations!  If not, I have some concluding thoughts just for you...

I have often written about the quality theatre Lyndesfarne Theatre Projects provides at the Courthouse Theatre in downtown St. Catharines.  Well today, you have two opportunities to catch some nice theatre and help support the fledgling company at the same time.  This afternoon at 3 and again this evening at 7, Shaw Festival actor Ric Reid will be reading the holiday classic "A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas.  It is just a reading, rather than fully acted out, but Ric can handle it with great panache, so you'll be more than well entertained.  This also happens to be a benefit for Lyndesfarne; your ticket includes a glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres, and a chance to win a case of Jackson Triggs wine!  For more information and tickets, call Lyndesfarne Theatre Projects at 905-938-1222.

The second of two Christmas concerts by the Niagara-area chamber group Glissandi takes place this evening at 7:30 at Fonthill United Church in Fonthill.  "Glissandi Christmas" features Deborah Braun on harp, David Braun on violin and Douglas Miller on flute.  They are joined by Shaw Festival actor Guy Bannerman for an evening of poems and short stories intertwined with seasonal music.  The Christmas spirit will be celebrated with narratives by Dylan Thomas, Charles Dickens and many others.  Tickets are available through the Gallery Players website, or by calling 905-468-1525.

Finally, down in Hamilton this afternoon and this evening, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra will present their annual Holiday Pops concert, titled "A Gospel Christmas."  The Toronto Mass Choir joins the HPO and Music Director James Sommerville for gospel arrangements of favourite Christmas carols along with some familiar orchestral selections.  Performances at the Great Hall of Hamilton Place are this afternoon at 2 and this evening at 7:30.  There is even a special dinner/show combo special offered for the evening show, with a three-course dinner at Incognito Restaurant and Wine Bar along with a ticket for the evening show.  Just call the box office for more details, at 905-526-7756, or go online to

Now, as I write this, many people are out holiday shopping this weekend, as I will be briefly this afternoon.  But for all intents and purposes, my Christmas shopping is done.  But do you give any thought to how and where you do your Christmas shopping?  I know you've heard this before, but I can't stress enough, especially in these challenging economic times, to show support for local business and service organizations  who are there ready to serve you all year 'round.  The local economy should be important to you, even if you might find a slightly lower price elsewhere.  I say this because all too often people head out of the area and many cross the border in order to save a few dollars.  But what you save now might cost you later.

Think about it this way:  if something has to be returned or proves defective in some way, a local business you support throughout the year will be more inclined to accommodate your requests after the sale because, quite simply, you have invested in the business by buying there throughout the year.  I can't stress enough how important this is.  I speak, incidentally, as both a retailer myself and a consumer.  Just this morning I picked up my last two official Christmas gifts at the St. Catharines Farmers' Market.  I see these people all year 'round, so why would I not buy from them for the holidays as well?  It just makes sense.  Oh, and by the way, the items I purchased were well priced and exactly what I was looking for.

As a retailer, I will say in the music business, this is the busiest time of year, but I am never too busy to help you and find exactly what you are looking for to please the music lover on your Christmas list.  It is tight for ordering special requests now, but it is possible in some cases, but I also have stock that might just be what you're looking for.  I also offer gift certificates for those hard to buy for people on your list.  My website, A Web of Fine Music ( is ready to help you out throughout the year.  I offer a complete list of Mike's Picks selections and a complete Calendar of Events throughout the year, but if you don't see what you are looking for, simply use the order form provided on the site or just email me directly at  And being a website, that means we never close!

Happy Holidays from A Web of Fine Music, and from all local retailers who benefit from your loyalty throughout the year!

December 17th, 2011.

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