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Black Creek Pioneer Village Re-Kindles the Spirit of Christmas Past


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Toronto: Dec 1, 2011... A holiday favorite, Christmas by Lamplight will be presented on three magical evenings at Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto's largest living history experience. On December 10, 17, and 18, the whole Village will be lit by antique lamps and decorated beautifully with traditional hand-crafted Christmas décor. This is the 21st year that the popular event will be offered, providing a welcome break from the bright lights and hectic bustle of shopping malls.

"There is nothing else in Toronto like Christmas by Lamplight," said Chris Bagley, general manager of Black Creek Pioneer Village. "With the Village bathed in the warmth of natural light with treats and music everywhere, this is an opportunity for people to experience the charm and the simple joys of the holidays. "

Visitors can start the evening off with a delicious Christmas dinner, or join the fun later, wandering through the Village at their own pace, enjoying homemade traditional treats, such as roasted chestnuts, mulled apple cider, mincemeat tarts and real sugarplums. Visitors can join in the dancing in the ballroom, place a wish on a 20' Christmas tree in front of the Town Hall, and even meet Father Christmas.

Music has always been a big part of Christmas by Lamplight, and this year the event will feature two choirs, including the Ambiance Singers, a women's chorus under the direction of Danny McErlain. "We love singing at Black Creek Pioneer Village. The acoustics in that little church are just fantastic," said Valerie Gajda, who is vice president of the Ambiance Singers and sings second soprano with the group. " Christmas by Lamplight is a lovely event and the sound in that space is really magical."

Included in a repertoire of seasonal and gospel music, the Ambiance Singers will perform an original arrangement of "Christmastime is Here," which many people will recognize from the famous Charlie Brown's Christmas special. "It's a beautiful song," said Gajda. "We will also have lyric sheets for more familiar songs, like Silent Night, and Joy to the World, so that the audience can join in the music-making if they wish."

Traditional music will also be showcased. Nollaig, meaning "Christmas" in Gaelic, is the name of a quartet of Toronto musicians whose instruments include flutes, whistles and fiddles, "I look forward to this event every year. The experience of trudging with my instruments across the snow seems quintessentially Canadian to me," said British-born October Browne, who plays guitar and mandolin in the group. "People are just delighted by the experience. It's so lovely to come out of the cold into one of the snug little homes and enjoy a warm fire and real music."

The York Highlands Chorus, another of the region's top choirs, directed by Martha DeClerq will kick-off Christmas by Lamplight on December 10. The Ambiance Singers are appearing on December 17 and 18. Nollaig is performing on all three evenings.

"December is the darkest month of the year, so lamps and candlelight were a very special part of Christmas in early Ontario," explained Bagley. "We experience this same magic at the Village during Christmas by Lamplight. It's like stepping into another world."

Christmas by Lamplight runs from 6:00 to 9:30 pm on December 10, 17, and 18. Tickets are available each evening for $29.95 for adults or $24.95 for children under 12 with reduced prices available for members. Tickets for the Christmas by Lamplight dinners (including full access to the event) are $75.95 for adults and$50.25 for children under 12. Dinner reservations are required, by phone at 416-667-628, or online at

Black Creek Pioneer Village is one block east of Jane St., south off Steeles Avenue, right next toYork University. The Village is south-east of Hwy 7 and Hwy 400. Parking is available on site.

Public Transportation:
Black Creek Pioneer Village can be reached from the Finch subway station using the Steeles 60 West route, or from the Jane Station using the Jane 35 route. Visit York Region Transit has several options available. For more information visit

For more information about Black Creek Pioneer Village, visit, or call 416-736-1733.


About Black Creek Pioneer Village
Black Creek Pioneer Village is unique in Toronto: a place where visitors can step into another time and experience life as it was in early Ontario. Spanning more than 30 acres of pristine country landscapes, the Village is a living history experience. Here heritage buildings from communities across south-central Ontario have been faithfully outfitted with original furniture and artifacts to re-create a rural 1860s Ontario community. Historical interpreters in period dress bring the experience to life, answering visitors' questions, and demonstrating how people lived, worked and played. The Village is located in north Toronto, close to the intersection of Highway 400 and Highway 7. Black Creek Pioneer Village is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). Funding for the Village comes from the TRCA's provincial and municipal partners, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the City of Toronto, admissions and sales, and through donations to The Living City Foundation (formerly The Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto). For more information, visit

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Press Contact:
Eric Philpott
philpott | communications
(905) 773-6651