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Christmas carols, cheer and tales at BAG

Christmas spirit is spreading through the wooden walls of the Brackendale Art Gallery on Monday (Nov. 29).

Christmas spirit is spreading through the wooden walls of the Brackendale Art Gallery on Monday (Nov. 29).

David Cairns will be reading Christmas stories, with modern Celtic singer songwriter Heather Dale providing back up Christmas song and carols at the gallery. When story time is over, Dale will take centre stage to sing.

"These are going to be classic Christmas stories people recognize," said Cairns, who is an actor, director and producer based out of Ontario. He plans on letting the audience help him pick the stories and has a variety to pick from, including a few obscure stories, like The Little Match Girl. The stories don't have a religious theme, but they are about the Christmas spirit.

"I don't think you should take the Christ out of Christmas," Cairns said.

And one of the stories will be a Christmas surprise.

"It's this great gem I found," he said. "People won't know it. It's about the spirit of Christmas."I got caught up in these stories and I just want to share them with people," he said. "I'm trying to bring a little cheer to people."

Cairns has performed at the Brackendale Art Gallery before. He started out An Evening with Shakespeare, which has evolved over the years at the gallery. He hosted the event as Shakespeare, and did a lot of narration.

"I love that space," Cairns said. "It's such a great space."

So great in fact, that he convinced his friend Heather Dale she should perform there if she ever got the opportunity - which arose during her recent tour. The two have worked together in the past at renaissance festivals and other events, and coordinated schedules so they could work together in Brackendale.

"I'm a big fan of her stuff," Cairns said. "To be playing with her is a thrill."

Dale will be performing her songs, which are rooted in Celtic mythology and the King Arthur legends. The music mixes pop, rock and traditional sound.

"All the songs are inspired by Celtic themes," Dale said. She got involved with the King Arthur legends after she took a course relating to them in university.

"It really opened my eyes," she said. "They are much more adult than we tell our children."

She said the stories are just as relevant today as they were in the past because they deal with ideas like hope troubled times.

Dale plays a variety of instruments, including the piano, tin whistles, bells, hammered dulcimer and the bodhran drum. She is touring across Canada with Ben Deschamps, who will accompany her on his instruments of choice, the acoustic and electric guitar, as well as a bit of flute.

Dale will be pulling out some Christmas music to go along side her usual fare. She will be performing This Endris Night, a 14th century Christmas carol, and a version of the Huron Carol.Not only will this be her first time in Brackendale, it's the first time the Ontario-based musician will be in British Columbia.

"I'm really looking forward to going over the Rockies," Dale said.

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