The holiday season turns cities from bustling to bright all in the time it takes to string up a few lights. For the budget-conscious Christmas lover, a warm jacket and a cup of hot chocolate is all that’s needed to enjoy the fabulous light displays set up along Toronto’s waterfront, at the Distillery District’s Christmas Market, or in Nathan Phillips Square. And in a city as dynamic as Toronto, affordable holiday activities are not limited to the sights, but can also be found in free concerts and shows around the city.
Student productions at colleges and universities are this city’s untapped resource of affordable entertainment. The amount of work and dedication that goes into these productions is enormous, and they are oftentimes free.
Glendon College’s Musical Ensemble will be holding its annual Christmas concert this Thursday. Though it is regularly eclipsed by the colossal Keele campus, Glendon is the original campus of York University, tucked away in an affluent area of midtown Toronto at Bayview and Lawrence. Originally the residence of the wealthy financier Edward Rogers Wood, it was bequeathed to the University of Toronto, and eventually became the first home of York University.
Ashley Moniz, general manager of the Glendon Musical Ensemble, believes the manor is the perfect setting for the concert. “Glendon is like a scene from a beautiful fairy tale, and the manor is right at the centre of its story,” he said. “Having formerly been a house, the manor still retains the cozy and relaxed feeling which we like to create for our Annual Christmas Concert.”
The concert is held in the basement of the manor in the student-run space, Lunik, where people can grab a coffee and study during the day, and enjoy drinks and entertainment in the evening. On Thursday night, guests can expect to hear holiday favourites like Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Baby It’s Cold Outside. The event is pay what you can, and attendees can expect some surprises including audience participation designed to make the show more interactive.
For students like Moniz, participating in the ensemble is a great way to share a love of music. “[It] can be very stressful and time consuming,” he explained. “But connecting with other students, and seeing how much joy our work can bring to others, makes the process so much more worthwhile.”
The Glendon Musical Ensemble will be holding its Annual Christmas Concert this Thursday December 10 at 7:00pm in Lunik at Glendon College.