Christmas in the Bay

November 2023

One of my favourite things about the Christmas season in Thunder Bay is making little trips where I can escape the hustle and bustle of the season. A local-based adventure that emanates sitting by a warm fire on a snowy night. As for which adventures to choose from, here are some of my suggestions that you are welcome to add onto your festive trek.

The Craft Revival Thunder Bay

We all know that a major part of Christmas is giving gifts to our loved ones. Sure there’s online shopping, but that’s not as exciting as venturing into a Thunder Bay based winter wonderland filled with talented locals and vendors. Luckily enough, The Craft Revival is back and promises exactly that!

“It brings magic to Thunder Bay. It turns the city into a bustling holiday wonderland, reminiscent of Hallmark movies” says executive director Kara Pratt.

Born out of friends exchanging handmade gifts in The Foundry, The Craft Revival has since expanded literally and figuratively into a holiday staple in Thunder Bay. This local focused event touches every corner of the downtown core with holiday wonder and art. It turns law offices into art galleries, and restaurants into a place to sip on hot chocolate and catch up with a friend while surrounded by the best local artisans in town. As for the vendors participating this year, long time participants Knits by Nat, 3Huggers, Fire of Beltane, Kwik Co., White Pine Design, Big Lake Pasta, and Bays Barkery return, but that’s just to name a few of the roughly 200 vendors you can catch for Christmas shopping ideas.

“Choosing to gift your loved ones, friends and holiday gathering hosts with items crafted by local talents means sharing joy, happiness, and thoughtfulness,” says Pratt. “It’s a heartfelt gesture that speaks volumes compared to mass-produced items from big-box stores. Artisans pour their hearts and souls into their work, and your purchase represents a connection that means the world to them.”

As for what Pratt is most looking forward to about this holiday season kickoff of shopping, musicians, artists and a horse-drawn carriage, it’s nothing short of Christmas magic.

“We can’t help but hope for a light dusting of snow to crown the event, a touch of magic that only Mother Nature can provide.”

The Craft Revival will be on Sunday November 26th from 10am-4pm in the North Core of the city. For more information and updates, follow @craftrevivaltbay on Facebook and Instagram or visit

A Christmas Carol: Every Man Has the Power to Do Good

For me this time of year is not only the start of the holiday season, but the start of Thunder Bay’s local theatre season. This year Cambrian Players will be combining those two entities with
A Christmas Carol: Every Man Has the Power to Do Good, as their 74th season opener. Adapted by Canadian playwright, James Hutchison, this adaptation follows Ebeneezer Scrooge learning about what Christmas really means, what his legacy is set to be, and what made him become the Humbug he is.

“Scrooge is much more human in this adaptation,” says production director Thomas McDonald. “You see young Scrooge and Marley and Marley manipulate Scrooge away from his family and friends with a promise of success.

A motivation I think gives both Marley and Scrooge a bigger redemption arc.”

With a cast of 25 local actors, ages 1-70+, this talented troupe will bring 39 characters to life. From the familiar faces of Tiny Tim and Fezziwig, to some new faces, Hutchison’s script is a unique and heartfelt take on this 180-year-old classic about reflection and giving that still resonates today. Nevertheless, this production will surely have audiences leaving the theatre ready for the holiday season and reflective on what this season truly means for everyone.

“You may think you’ve seen A Christmas Carol before but I think there’s always something there that sparks in our hearts and our minds,” says McDonald. “We all have the ability to be the spirit of Christmas, if we choose to be. There’s something in it for everyone.”

A Christmas Carol: Every Man Has the Power to Do Good runs from November 29th-December 3rd and December 6th-9th at the Cambrian Players Theatre (818 Spring Street). A “Pay-What-You-May” performance will be on November 30th, a live-streamed option for the performance will be held on December 8th and a matinee performance will be on December 3rd in support of Cambrian Players’ “Spotlight on Inclusivity” campaign aimed to make the building more accessible for everyone. To purchase tickets, visit

Holiday Pops: Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra

Now, all the while trekking along my festive adventure, I always have Christmas music of all kinds playing.That said, it is fitting that my last stop takes us to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra’s annual festive show, Holiday Pops.

“The holidays are about connection,” says Ryleigh Dupuis, Executive Director and General Manager of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra (TBSO). “For us, the best way to connect is through music.”

Set to take the stage just 9 days before Christmas, Holiday Pops promises a fun night of Christmas music. Conducted by Jeff Christmas (whose last name aptly fits this show) and hosted by local talent Robert Perrier, patrons will get to see not just the symphony, but a cabaret of performances and troupes that bring a little spin and twist on the season. Acts audiences can see include the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus, traditional jingle dress dancers led by Nicole Richond, Zorya Ukrainian Dance Co., The Stringlings, as well as some surprise guests, including a familiar jolly man in a red suit with a white beard and rosy cheeks.

“Every piece of Christmas music we are playing holds a memory for someone,” says Dupuis. “We love to be able to connect with audiences at an emotional level, and Christmas music really allows us to do that.”

Holiday Pops takes place on December 16th, at 7:00pm at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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