BY ASHA SWANN
It was an icy day on Dec. 13, with temperatures well below freezing and winds reaching over 20 kilometres per hour, but that didn’t stop crowds from gathering around the large stage at Toronto’s Christmas Market to see The Candy Cane Carolers, a small acapella group dedicated to spreading holiday cheer.
“We’re all professional musicians here, so we love singing,” says Alex Reed, one of the four carollers. “It’s probably my favourite time of year.”
The carollers performed a 15-minute set every hour all day, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. For the musicians, there was only one way to keep warm on such a cold day:
“Layers and soup,” said Andrew Hodwitz, another caroller.
All the singers had the same matching blue, velvety cloaks but had their own winter clothes on underneath.
“I’m wearing three pairs of pants right now,” said Amy Holden
People of all ages were in attendance at the show, but the ones having the most fun were the children, who could be seen sitting the front row, dancing and singing along to the music.
“There’s a lot of kids that come and check out our shows,” said Colin Jones, one of the carollers. “We do a lot of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer.”
Some other songs in the singer’s repertoire include ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’, ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’, ‘Joy to the World’, and the classic (and a personal favourite of the carollers) ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’
“I’m partial to ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town,’” said Hodwitz. “It always gets people excited and it’s a nice up-tempo number to really start a set.”
Most of the songs in their set are upbeat, but they have occasionally gotten requests for more solemn songs not in their repertoire.
“We focus a lot on the really upbeat stuff,” said Colin. “A lot of the sort of spookier ones, like we don’t have a ‘Good King Wenceslas’ and we don’t have ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel,’ or ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.’”
But the songs they did have proved to be popular as they were heard throughout the market with people walking around singing along.
The Candy Cane Carolers can also be seen performing at the sold-out Magical Christmas Forest at Kortright Centre in Woodbridge later this week.