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Missing my line? Not happening this time

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/12/2018 (538 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

<p>For many parents and families with little kids, the elementary school holiday concert is a   time-honoured tradition.</p>


For many parents and families with little kids, the elementary school holiday concert is a time-honoured tradition.

For many parents and families with little kids, the elementary school holiday concert is a cornerstone of the season. It’s a time-honoured tradition in which parents pack into sweltering gymnasiums and watch their adorable children sing songs dressed up as elves through their iPads.

Growing up, the holiday concert was the highlight of the year. I loved spending windchill-mandated indoor recesses cutting out paper snowflakes to decorate the stage. I loved rehearsing the songs. I loved being at school at night, and how it looked different somehow. I loved the annual performance of Carol of the Bells on tone chimes. And I loved being onstage.

How You Can Help

Click to Expand

Send cheques to: Miracle on Mountain, c/o 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6

Or you can go to the Christmas Cheer Board's website to donate online: Make sure to click on the "fund" pull-down menu to ensure your donation is credited to Miracle on Mountain.

When I was in Grade 2 or 3, I landed my first speaking role (coveted!). I was cast as one of Santa’s reindeer — Dasher possibly? — and I had one line.

I don’t remember the line because I never got to say it. When my big moment rolled around, an over-eager classmate jumped the gun, and my time to shine was skipped over. I handled it... poorly. I am from the camcorder generation, so somewhere in my parents’ basement exists VHS evidence of me clearly (and furiously) saying, "They missed my line!" onstage.

Still, nothing got me into the spirit of the season quite like my school holiday concert. And I’m not the only one who has nostalgia for this particular tradition; a long line of Winnipeg musicians — including JP Hoe, Quinzy, Fred Penner, Don Amero and others — have put on popular annual concerts that make you feel like a kid again.

My Bury the Lede podcast co-host Erin Lebar and I wanted to get in on the holiday-concert game this year in support of Miracle on Mountain, the Free Press’s fundraising campaign for the Christmas Cheer Board. Tickets are still available for Bury the Lede Live: A Holiday Podcast Spectacular!, a live recording of a super-sized, star-studded episode of Bury the Lede. The show is very much in the tradition of the holiday concert — skits! songs! Santa! — and will feature appearances from Sandy Taronno (Quinzy, Indicator Indicator), Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities, Middle of Nowhere), indie-pop group Mise en Scene, ukulele comedy duo Bunny, and sketch comedy group HUNKS. Tickets are $20 at, and all proceeds from the show will go to Miracle on Mountain.

Bury the Lede Live:
A Holiday Podcast Spectacular!

Click to Expand

Dec. 16, 2 p.m.

West End Cultural Centre

Tickets are $20 at

All proceeds go to Miracle on Mountain

Another incentive: if you bring a tin for the bin, you can be entered to win a prize pack that includes two tickets each to the Manitoba Opera’s The Barber of Seville in April; the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Bach, Mendelssohn & Schumann: Favourite Melodies in January; What to Do About Albert? at Prairie Theatre Exchange in April; and Matilda the Musical at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in January — as well as five Free Press books: City Beautiful; Back in the Bigs; The First Season; The Greatest Manitobans; and Premonitions of War.

The fundraising campaign is in its second week, and was given a generous boost from the big-hearted folks over at Canadian Tire, which donated another $30,000 on Dec. 3. Every dollar counts. The money raised helps pay for food and other items packed into Cheer Board hampers.

Other Free Press staffers have been busy doing their part to drum up donations as well. The advertising/marketing/creative services department is having a cubicle/office decorating contest — I can tell you it looks like Christmas exploded on the second floor of 1355 Mountain Ave., in the best possible way.

And, of course, we can always rely on the generosity of our readers to make this miracle happen. We hope to see you on Dec. 16.

Twitter: @JenZoratti

Jen Zoratti

Jen Zoratti

Jen Zoratti is a Winnipeg Free Press columnist and co-host of the paper's local culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

Read full biography


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