Don Amero wants to usher in Christmas with a special show, and he’s brought some friends along with him.
Winnipeg singer-songwriter Amero presents his fourth annual Christmas-themed concert at the West End Cultural Centre (WECC) on Dec. 21. The night — which also includes roots rocker Jordan St. Cyr and country singer Desiree Dorion — includes original songs, Christmas classics and festive videos.
"I feel like I’m wired for Christmas," said Amero, 33, who grew up in the North End and now resides in St. Boniface. "This is a time when we’re all reflecting back at the year behind us, and I’m the kind of guy who’s always reflecting. There’s so much about Christmas songs that’s so nostalgic too. It creates all these memories of my past and childhood.
"I’m hoping that when we all get together at the West End, our minds and hearts are the right place for what the season really is. It’s not about gifts and getting but just giving, and more than just monetarily, but figuratively as well. Sharing life together, that’s what I want this night to be remembered as."
There will be some monetary giving going on though, as part of the proceeds from this year’s Amero Little Christmas goes to Winnipeg Harvest.
"Growing up, my family benefitted pretty hugely from Harvest and things like the Christmas Cheer Board, putting our Christmas dinner together for us, and this is one way I can give back to them," said Amero.
Funds raised from the show will also go to help a family in Alberta, whose child, Nate, is suffering from neuroblastoma, a common cancer in infancy.
"I really wanted to have an impact on a specific life," said Amero, who has a two-year-old son himself.
"It’s great to give things to causes like Harvest where you know good work is being done, but I really wanted to see the face we were giving to as well."
It’s been a good year for Amero, who won the Western Canadian Music Award (WCMA) for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in October and was nominated for both Juno and Canadian Folk Music Awards.
"That’s another reason why I’m so excited for this show. I’m looking back thinking ‘This has been a great year,’" Amero said. "I Had a Juno nomination and a lot of different gigs and really amazing things happened that have opened new doors for me. I got a chance to meet Jim Cuddy (of Blue Rodeo) this year, won a WCMA, and sang a tribute song to Jann Arden while she was there (at the WCMAs).
"It was a big year for me career-wise and life-wise."
Tickets for Amero Little Christmas are $15 at the WECC, Music Trader, Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store, McNally Robinson and Ticketmaster (plus fees) or $20 at the door. Showtime is 8 p.m.