News Story

Warming Hearts Across Canada for Many Years

Christmas pageants, cantatas, concerts, programs and parades across Canada fill the month of December in celebration of the birth of Christ. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints host a broad variety of long-running events from which to choose.

The well-known verses from Luke 2:1–16 inspire live nativities in Ottawa, Ontario; Milton, Ontario (17 years); Newmarket, Ontario (31 years); Kindersley, Saskatchewan (30 years); Spruce Grove, Alberta (29 years) and Lethbridge, Alberta (34 years), among other locations across Canada.

Notably, the Ottawa Ontario Stake has held a live nativity pageant at its Prince of Wales chapel for more than 42 years. Residents of the Ottawa–Gatineau community are invited to come worship the Saviour and celebrate His birth. Performances are in English and French and are followed by a crèche display and refreshments.

“Service to our community is an important part of our faith,” says Terry Nemeth, president of the Ottawa Ontario Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “One of the services we provide the Ottawa–Gatineau community every year is our live nativity pageant to remind everyone that Christ is at the centre of the Christmas festivities.”

For many decades the people of Kindersley, Saskatchewan, have enjoyed a shared Christmas tradition. Temperatures might be frigid, but hearts are warmed by the live nativity performed by members of the Church. The music of familiar carols and the narration of the first Christmas remind the audience that Jesus Christ is the focus of this season.

Over 30 years ago, the first Church-sponsored nativity in Kindersley was staged in an old building on the then-vacant church lot. The Relief Society women crafted beautiful costumes, still in use today. A light was borrowed from the local arts council, and a cassette tape of the program was obtained from the Canada Calgary Mission. Everyone in the local congregation took part, including four generations of the Keith and Faye Campbell family. Over the years, lighting and sound equipment have improved and new sets have been constructed. A critter menagerie has even been part of the performances — members have travelled great distances to borrow a donkey, a few sheep or a horse.

Eighteen-year-old Tali Hanson directed the four performances that were staged this year. She is passionate about the nativity. “I really wanted to follow in the footsteps of the women in the Relief Society who did this before me,” she says.

Weeks before the nativity, the Kindersley Saskatchewan Branch youth circulated fliers and the local media announced the show. Missionaries from Saskatoon travelled to help. Branch president Lee Hanson drove far and wide to gather straw bales for seating and to borrow a couple lambs. This year a local music teacher, Clayton Braybrook, lent his pony. Keith Campbell’s cow “Tiny” performed in the pageant for 15 years and would often moo on cue when the lyrics “the cattle were lowing” were sung from “Away in a Manger.”

The real joy and spirit of Christmas have been shared for many years through the dedication of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada. Enjoy these photos from across the country. Merry Christmas from

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