Explore: Visit a craft fair for holiday shopping

The holiday craft-fair season is upon us, featuring a wide assortment of arts, crafts and food suitable for gift-giving.

Here are some of the events happening from Sooke to Sidney this weekend:

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The All Sooke Arts and Crafts Association hosts its annual Christmas Craft Fair, Friday to Sunday at the Sooke Community Hall.

The event will feature handcrafted wood, leather, metal, feather, fabric, glass and stone art, along with jewelry, Christmas decorations, food, skin-care products and more. There will be daily gift-basket draws.

Admission is free. The event runs from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Sooke Community Hall, 2037 Shields Rd., Sooke. For more information, go to allsookeartsandcrafts.com.

Catch the spirit of a simpler time at the Victorian Christmas Craft Fair, Saturday and Sunday at Saanich Commonwealth Place, featuring the works of local artisans. Admission is $5 for two days. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Saanich Commonwealth Place, 4636 Elk Lake Dr. For more information, go to victorianchristmascraftfair.com.

If you’re looking for vintage and collectible items, check out the Christmas Vintage, Retro and Collectible Show, Sunday at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.

Discover 19th and 20th-century finds among more than 120 tables and booths.

Choose from collectible toys and games, dolls, teddy bears, stamps, photographs, coins and paper collectibles. You will also find jewelry, art and unique decor and gift ideas.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 13 and under. The show runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney. For more information, go to vintageretrocollectible.ca.

The Emmanuel Baptist Church is hosting its Christmas Craft and Bake Sale on Saturday at the church. The event features a large selection of baked goods, knitted and crocheted items, jewelry and a variety of Christmas crafts and gifts, along with stocking stuffers and gift baskets.

Cash sales only. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.

For more information, go to emmanuelvictoria.ca.

The Mount St. Mary Hospital holds its Christmas Market on Saturday at the hospital.

Shop for woodwork, jewelry, knitting, cards, glass, soap, ceramics, Christmas decor and more.

Stock up your pantry at the bake sale, which offers jams, pickles and preserves.

There will be live entertainment. Snacks and a hot turkey lunch are available for purchase.

Admission is free for the event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Mount St. Mary Hospital, 861 Fairfield Rd.

For more information, go to mountstmary.ca.

Artists celebrate tree’s 200-year life

Discover how much beauty can be created from just one tree at the oneTree 2019 exhibition, starting Saturday at the Bateman Centre.

More than 70 artists will celebrate the life of a single tree by creating individual and original works.

Each artist was allowed to interpret the wood in their own style, so the resulting artworks vary dramatically in scale and design.

Works range from furniture to musical instruments, and from wooden creatures to performance-based art and poetry — all with a theme of honouring the tree’s 200-year life.

The bigleaf maple used by the artists began its life in 1815 in the Chemainus valley, in the traditional territory of the Halalt First Nation.

The show is a partnership between the Bateman Foundation and Live Edge Design.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for seniors and students and $6.50 for youths (ages six to 18). The centre is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The exhibit runs Nov. 16 to Feb. 29 at the Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature, 470 Belleville St. For information, go to batemancentre.org.

Two treats for classical music fans

Lovers of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music will be in their glory this weekend with two performances, one of organ music and the other choral:

• Enjoy pipe-organ music by J.S. Bach, Dieterich Buxtehude and others at a solo recital Saturday by organist Ton Koopman on Christ Church Cathedral’s Wolff organ, built specifically for this repertoire.

Koopman is one of the world’s most prominent performers in the early-music movement. He founded his first Baroque orchestra in 1966 and is widely regarded as one the finest organists, harpsichordists and conductors of our time.

Tickets are $35. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra Street at Rockland Avenue. For more information, go to pacbaroque.com.

• The Victoria Mendelssohn Choir, with the Die Mahler String Quartet, presents A Celebration of Baroque Music — Bach to Vivaldi, Saturday and Sunday at two venues.

The choir, directed by Simon Leung, sings music from the Baroque period, peppered with modern works.

Tickets are $20. Saturday’s performance starts at 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church, 3939 St. Peter’s Rd. Sunday’s performance starts at 3 p.m. at the SHOAL Centre, 10030 Resthaven Dr., Sidney.

Tickets are available from Tanner’s Books, the SHOAL Centre, Ivy’s Bookshop, Russell Books and at the door.

Ballet performed to piano at the Royal

Watch an unforgettable mixture of contemporary ballet and piano virtuosity at a performance by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet with world-renowned pianist Joyce Yang, Friday and Saturday at the Royal Theatre.

The ballet company tackles the quirky Half/Cut/Split by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo, who collaborated with Yang to bring Robert Schumann’s Carnaval to life.

Also on the one-hour, 55-minute program are Fernando Melo’s Dream Play, set to the music of Erik Satie and Frédéric Chopin, and Nicolo Fonte’s Where We Left Off, with music by Philip Glass.

The performance is part of the Dance at the Royal Series, presented by Dance Victoria.

Tickets start at $29. The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. (a pre-show chat begins 45 minutes prior to curtain) Friday and Saturday at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St. For more information, go to rmts.bc.ca or phone 250-386-6121.

Gingerbread houses help build real homes

See how more than 30 amateur and professional gingerbread bakers interpret the theme of Building a Diverse Community at the 2019 Gingerbread Showcase, which begins Nov. 16 and runs until Jan. 5 at the Parkside Hotel and Spa.

This is the 11th year of the fundraising event, presented by Revera, with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.

The Christmas tradition features a collection of whimsical gingerbread creations in a range of candy colours, constructed entirely from edible materials.

Teams of bakers work for more than 100 hours to design and construct the edible art. Competitors vie to take home awards in six categories, including the coveted People’s Choice prize.

Up to 20,000 visitors are expected to view the creations during the holiday season.

While viewing the entries is free, visitors are asked to consider a donation with every ballot they submit for the People’s Choice Award.

Dough collected from the votes will go toward building real homes for local families, through the event’s host, Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

Last year, the showcase raised more than $93,000 to acquire land and build homes for local families in need of a safe and affordable place to call their own. The gingerbread houses are all made on a 16-centimetre-square base and are at least 45 centimetres tall.

The public is invited to view the creations from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Nov. 16 to Jan. 5 in the atrium of the Parkside Hotel and Spa, 810 Humboldt St.

For more information, or to see pictures of previous years’ entries, go to habitatvictoria.com.

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