Christmas cheer in the prairies!

It has warmed up to a balmy -12°C here in Edmonton, which means one thing: we survived this winter’s first deep freeze! We arrived in Fort McMurray last week and were greeted with temperatures of -30°C. Fortunately, the crowds have been warmly welcoming us along the way in Fort McMurray, Edmonton and Vegreville. We’re performing in Camrose (Dec. 4th) and Westlock (Dec. 5th) before making our way to the Calgary area for a show in Strathmore on Sunday (Dec. 7th). There are proud East coasters wherever we go, which is always fun for Gordon, Nils and I! Friendly faces, familiar accents and discovering how we might be connected. (“Well you might know my sister’s kids, they’re around your age.”)

A big thanks to The Westlock News for running a descriptive piece about our show! You can see the original article here, or read it below.

Maritime kitchen party coming to CATS
Nils Ling’s The Truth About Christmas captures PEI feeling
Dec 02, 2014 10:45am | By Doug Neuman | The Westlock News

Nils Ling knows a thing or two about Maritime kitchen parties – the storytelling, the music, the camaraderie and maybe even a refreshment or two.

And fortunately for Westlock audiences the Prince Edward Island storyteller will bring that atmosphere to Alberta, along with two close friends — singer/songwriter Gordon Belsher and fiddler Cynthia MacLeod. They’ll be at the Cultural Arts Theatre Dec. 5 with their show, The Truth About Christmas.

“The Truth About Christmas is a show that tries to capture the spirit and feel of a Maritime kitchen party,” Ling said. “We have one of the world’s great fiddlers, a terrific singer/songwriter and guitarist, and I’m there with what my daughters call the yadda-yadda-yadda part, where I tell stories and try to make people laugh.”

The name is derived from two of Ling’s previous shows he’s toured around the world: The Truth About Daughters and The Truth About Love and/or Marriage. The three got together about eight years ago to put on a Christmas show, and the name seemed a natural fit.

He said he hopes that although the name is derived from two previous shows, this show will convey to audiences what’s really important about the season.

“The truth of the matter is it’s a time when we all want to feel closer and we all want to feel a connection with one another, and when we all want to be able to join together,” he said. “I think that’s the essential truth about Christmas and I think this show does that.”

PEI’s music community is a fairly small one — not surprising for the smallest province in Canada with a population of roughly 145,000 — so the three performers have known each other for quite a long time. Ling said Belsher has long been his best friend, and MacLeod grew up with his daughter.

And while he didn’t downplay his own or Belsher’s talents, Ling made clear who the real star of the show is.

“Cynthia is the most incredible performer these people will ever have seen, I guarantee it,” he said. “She gets spring-loaded standing ovations wherever she plays because she’s so filled with energy and natural charm, but also the chops are there.”

She has won the prestigious PEI Music Award for Entertainer of the Year several times, something Ling said is not surprising.

“Did I mention that Cynthia’s pretty good?” he said.

This will be the second time Ling graces the stage at the Cultural Arts Theatre, having toured through Alberta many years ago with his show The Truth About Daughters.

He said one of the most memorable things about that show was seeing someone clambering out over the theatre to fix lights, dangling 40 feet about the seats, and fearing that if the young man fell that would be all anyone would remember about his show.

Fortunately it all turned out well, and what Ling recalls most about Westlock was the people.

“It was one of my most memorable shows,” he said. “It was a such a warm reception and people were so kind; it was a really fun show to do. I’m looking forward to it.”

The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at The Flower Shoppe.