The Pennsylvania Ballet is coming to the National Arts Centre for the first time to perform the George Balanchine version of The Nutcracker. This interpretation, one that is not often performed by major touring ballet companies, features children in the lead roles and has a large ensemble cast of young dancers. Dec. 1 – 4, 7 p.m., Dec 2 – 3, 1:30 p.m. $12 –$92.50. National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin Street. www.nac-cna.ca
OPEN DATA HACKFEST (FREE!)
The annual brainstorming party from Open Data Ottawa is back. It’s a chance for people of various backgrounds to discuss the cool and creative software applications that can come out of data that is free and accessible for everyone. Dream, scheme, make friends, and learn. Dec. 3, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W. Register at http://blog.opendataottawa.ca/.
BILL BISSETT ART SHOW
This event offers a double dose of bill bissett: works by the unconventional artist will be available for purchase, as will a new book by Carl Peters titled “Textual Vishyuns: image and text in the work of bill bissett.” Performances by bissett, as well as poet Adeena Karasick, to follow. Dec. 3, 5 – 6:30 p.m. Performance 7:30 p.m. $9, students $7. Avant-Garde Bar, 135 ½ Besserer Street. www.abseries.org
THE ART OF GIVING
The annual show at Patrick John Mills Contemporary Fine Art Gallery features over 20 artists who have each filled a wall space with art of their choosing, resulting in hundreds of paintings (as well as several sculptures). Each artist has also donated a piece of art to Bruce House, an organization that provides housing and care to Ottawa citizens living with AIDs or HIV. Opening Dec. 1, 6 – 9 p.m., running until Dec. 17. Patrick John Mills Gallery, 286 Hinchey Ave. More information at http://www.patrickjohnmills.ca/index.htm.
SPINS & NEEDLES ANNUAL CRAFT-MAS INSTALLMENT
Join in on this “mobile art party” to create practical, homemade gifts well in advance. The cover price includes all necessary materials and instruction, and DJ Jason Pelletier will keep the music going the whole night. Dec. 2, 8:00 p.m. $8, students $6. 19+. James Street Pub, 390 Bank Street. www.spinsandneedles.com
CRAFT WALK THROUGH CHINATOWN
This one-time independent walk allows you to browse through the work of over 50 local crafters at three different locations: The Daily Grind Coffee Shop, Shanghai Restaurant, and Raw Sugar. All locations are within three blocks of Chinatown, so don’t let the flurries keep you away! Crafts include jewellery, clothing, fine art, houseware, cards, and soap. The day will also feature music performances by China Doll and guests. Dec. 3, 10 a.m. $2 each location. See Facebook page for more details.
OCCUPY DALHOUSIE STREET’S HOLIDAY SHOPPING NIGHT (FREE!)
Six small, independent retail stores will keep their doors open late into the night for some holiday shopping. If you donate a gently worn coat you will receive a discount on your purchase, and there will be a draw for a gift basket from the six stores combined. Participating stores include Victoire, Workshop, Wunderkammer, Milk, Young Janes, and Gypsy & Co. Dec. 1, 6 – 9 p.m. 203 – 246 Dalhousie St.
URBANO BEATS BY CLAUDIA SALGUERO (FREE!)
The Trinity Art Gallery presents the work of Claudia Salguero, a graphic designer, professional photographer, and fine-artist who adds details and textures to her photographs to create unique works of art that emphasize the the “energy, noise, and craziness” of the city. Open Dec. 1 – Jan. 10, 2012. Reception Dec. 4, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd, Lower Level. www.shenkmanarts.ca