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Handel's Messiah on period instruments | Until Saturday December 20 | Koerner Hall

Tafelmusik, the Baroque ensemble which means table music” or “music for the feast” in German “returns to the intimate and acoustically stunning Koerner Hall with Handel's Messiah, an uplifting and moving performance. Tafelmusik is world renowned for its interpretation of Baroque music on period instruments.

Handel's Messiah by the TSO | Until Sunday December 21 | Roy Thomson Hall

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, directed by Jane Archibald, joins forces with the 140 voices of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and internationally renowned vocal soloists for a glorious and stirring performance of this holiday tradition.

The Nutcracker | Until Saturday January 3 | Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

The National Ballet’s sumptuous, comical, touching and spellbinding version of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Christmas tale was created in 1995 and has been enthralling audiences – especially children – ever since.

It is a refreshingly traditional version of the story, replete with the details of childhood dreams and the appeal of fantasy, a ballet gloriously designed and costumed and brimming with affection for and insight into the passage from childhood to maturity that all children make.

Alex Colville | Until Sunday January 4 | Art Gallery of Ontario

More than 100 works by Canadian iconic painter Alex Colville marks the largest exhibition of the late artist’s work to date. Curated by Andrew Hunter, the exhibition honours Colville’s legacy and explore the continuing impact of his work from the perspectives of several prominent popular culture figures from film, literature and music.

Known for painting decidedly personal subject matter, Colville’s painstakingly precise images depict an elusive tension, capturing moments perpetually on the edge of change and the unknown, often imbued with a deep sense of danger. Featuring works assembled from museums and private collections nationwide, many of which have never been shown publicly, the exhibition spans Colville’s entire career.

Jersey Boys | Until Sunday January 4 | Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly The Canon)

This is the true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide—all before they were 30! Jersey Boys features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

The Jersey Boys’ creative team comprises two-time Tony Award-winning director and Toronto native Des McAnuff, book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, composer Bob Gaudio, lyricist Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo, another Toronto native.

Venus in fur | From Thursday December 18 to Sunday December 28 | Berkeley Street Theatre

Back by popular demand, the provocatively sexy show that had everyone talking in 2013 returns to Canadian Stage for one final run in our heritage 244-seat Berkeley Street Theatre. A young actress is determined to land the lead in a new play based on the classic erotic novel Venus in Fur. During her audition, she gets caught up in an electrifying game of cat and mouse with the director, blurring the line between fantasy and reality and testing the boundaries between dominance and submission. 11 shows only.

Sing-Along Messiah | Sunday December 21 | Massey Hall

A perennial Christmas celebration with the Baroque ensemble Tafelmusik and its musicians playing on period instruments. This is a fun, family event in which the public is invited to sing-along. For those who wish to sing (and you don’t have to!) it’s best to have a musical score to follow. Bring your own, or buy one when you get to the concert.

Next Stage Theatre Festival | From Wednesday January 7 to Sunday January 18 | Factory Theatre

The Next Stage Theatre Festival (NSTF) is a winter theatre festival produced by the Toronto Fringe as a platform for 10 past Fringe artists to take their groundbreaking fringe work to the next level. The Next Stage Theatre Festival offers a diverse selection of work that ranges from musicals to political dramas, from dystopian visions of the future to an urban dance show. While some of the shows have appeared at previous Fringe Festivals, most are new works by established Fringe.

National Franchise & Business Opportunities Show | From Saturday January 10 to Sunday January 11 | Metro Convention Centre

All business ownership options in one place! Meet with Canada's best known franchises and newest opportunities. This two-day event allows would-be business owners to explore the option of self-employment. Buying a Franchise means being in business for yourself... but not by yourself. Owning a Franchise means being part of business concept with a track record and receiving the support needed to be successful.

Toronto International Boat Show | From Saturday January 10 to Sunday January 18 | Direct Energy Centre

Canada's Largest Boat Show! This preeminent selling venue for the recreational boating industry is the year's premiere showcase for new crafts and products. From sailboats, to motor boats or paddle-powered crafts, a huge selection of boats can be visited, touched, evaluated, sold and bought.

Dance Ontario | From Friday January 16 to Sunday January 18 | Fleck Theatre

Dance Ontario’s showcase of 25 globally inspired, professional dance companies. From the polished performances of traditional styles to edgy works from new dance creators, as well as two world premieres, this is a weekend to inspire every dancegoer. $10 suggested donation.

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