The Nutcracker Market has gifts for all, and purchases benefit The Nutcracker Fund for Children
The holidays are a time for buying presents and giving back to those less fortunate, so why not do both at the same time?
At Les Grands Ballets Canadiens’ fifth annual Nutcracker Market, the more you shop, the more you contribute to The Nutcracker Fund for Children. Ten per cent of exhibitors’ sales go towards the charity, which aims to help expose the arts to children.
“It’s helping kids have access to a free presentation of The Nutcracker,” said Anne-Catherine Rioux, donations advisor for Les Grands Ballets. “It’s important because it allows kids to have access to art, culture, dance, and to discover something new.”
Every year since its conception in 1997, The Nutcracker Fund has given 2,800 underprivileged children the chance to experience The Nutcracker for free. Getting kids involved in the arts is always a priority, so every fall, 1,500 kids are invited to educational workshops in visual arts, costume, and dance, according to their official website. Along the outside of the market, the walls are lined with unique and colourful Nutcracker-inspired paintings produced during these workshops. Each one is available for purchase, with the proceeds also going to the charity.
Even though it still doesn’t quite feel like Christmas in Montreal, walking into Palais des congrès will be enough to satisfy your festive appetite. It may not be a bustling mall filled with holiday shoppers, major sales, or the latest gadgets, but that’s what makes it so special. It offers an eclectic mix of items, including perfect gifts for your friends and family, or for some Christmas chachkis to spread the holiday cheer around your home. “It’s very different from other Christmas markets,” said Rioux. “It has a great atmosphere.”
While you stroll down the long aisle of shops—each on different “avenues” named for sponsors, you’ll notice that each booth brings something different. There are a variety of specialty olive oils, ciders and wines available, ideal gifts to bring along to your family get-togethers this Christmas. There are shops offering rustic home decor, homemade soaps, unique pieces of jewellery (in case you were looking for a pair of Amy Winehouse or Bill Murray earrings for that special someone), adorable tutus for the little ballerina in your life, and of course, Christmas ornaments.
Boutique Virevolte—the most delightfully pink shop in the market, has a collection of beautiful Nutcracker-inspired ornaments as well as actual nutcracker figurines. You won’t be able to choose just one—but that’s okay because it’s for charity.
It wouldn’t be a Christmas market without candy and toys. You can indulge your sweet tooth with treats at Ferrero Rocher, CandyLab and L’Atelier du Caramel, and embrace your inner child at LOL Toys. It’s the store’s first year at the market, but as employee Amanda Mikhail said, Christmas and toys “just go together,” and the store’s old-fashioned outlook perfectly suits the market’s style.
“We don’t have anything electronic,” said Mikhail. “It’s really from newborn to adult. [LOL Toys has] board games, a lot of wooden toys, not like the flimsy plastic ones that break. Good quality toys!”
The Nutcracker Market is the perfect place to ease your way into your holiday shopping without the added stress of a chaotic mall, all while helping expose children to the arts. This season is all about bringing joy to those around you and those less fortunate, so help out any way you can.
The Nutcracker Market is taking place at Palais des congrès until Dec. 6.