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Holiday Events

Need Jobs in Oakville or Toronto? Christmas Store Now Hiring

The holiday season isn’t far away and RetroFestive is looking for a few more elves to help make a little Christmas magic! We’re hiring NOW for our pop-up stores in Oakville and Toronto, Ontario.

Find Jobs at RetroFestive Christmas Store
RetroFestive Christmas Store is hiring for the coming Christmas Season

Help Wanted Sign

Interested in any of the opportunities listed below? Send us your resume right away, and include a brief cover letter explaining which position you are interested in, and why you’d be the perfect fit!

Oakville Retail Help – Join us in our Winter Wonderland! You’ll feel like one of Santa’s elves as you help guests in our bustling Christmas Warehouse Store. We need help selling ugly Christmas sweaters, kitschy ornaments and more! Must be available most weekdays, either 9am – 5pm or 11am – 7pm shifts, and also one Saturday or Sunday per week. One or more years of retail experience is required.

Oakville Warehouse Help – We’re looking for warehouse workers to pick, pack and ship holiday orders.  Fast-paced, fun environment. Must have attention to detail. Some warehouse experience is beneficial but may not be necessary if you have the right personality and attitude. Full-time seasonal opportunity starts ASAP. Must be able to work occasional evenings and weekends in December. Inquire for more details.

Toronto Retail Help – We will host two pop-up kiosks in Toronto this year. One at Union Station and the other at Toronto City Hall. Runs Nov 18 til Dec 23. We’re looking for people who know their Christmas movies and ugly sweaters! Fun, festive atmosphere. Must be available at least 5 days a week, and must have retail experience.

All interested applicants should forward their resume to us as soon as possible, along with a cover letter explaining which position you are interested in, and why you’d be the perfect fit!


Mariah Carey Performs At Hudson’s Bay Window Unveiling

All we  wanted for Christmas was Mariah Carey, and our wish finally came true!

Editors note: We sent our intrepid reporter Lia Nardone to report on the biggest event of the Christmas season in Toronto… Mariah Carey’s (somewhat) live performance of All I Want for Christmas is You. Read on for more about Lia’s woman-on-the-street experience covering this “story”.


On Thursday, November 3, 2016, the streets around Toronto’s Eaton Centre were jam-packed for the unveiling of the annual Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas window displays. But what really had the crowd in a frenzy was an appearance by the queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey, who gave a million dollar performance!  (Literally! She was paid One. Million. Dollars.  to sing two songs.)

I was one of the lucky ones in the crowd, arriving three hours early to claim a spot in attempt to be closest to Carey. Alas, I couldn’t beat the die hard fans lambs,  some of whom traveled all the way from England just to attend the free show.

As access to the stage area opened right at 6pm, a stampede of festive Carey fans made their way towards the performance area, without regard for the vehicles still idling on the road. Meanwhile the drivers of said idling vehicles became trapped Jurassic Park style by the frenzied crowd jostling for position. It was quite the scene.

Cops were soon able to defuse the situation, but that didn’t come without some begging.  A security officer came on the megaphone and urged the crowd, “the show will not start unless you all cooperate and move.”

Little did we know, the show wouldn’t start for another 45 minutes, despite the Mariah mob obeying their commands. The “Always Be My Baby” singer showed up fashionably late with gorgeous shimmery arms and all, but not before Mayor John Tory was booed while introducing an exec from the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Before she came out, rockin’ a red and hot pink Anna Maier gown, we bonded as a crowd by chanting her name, belting out her music, and religiously refreshing her twitter feed as we waited for showtime.

Finally, Mariah graced the stage and performed two Holiday favourites, including “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, the show finished, filling the sky with fireworks and snow-like confetti to really get us into the Christmas Spirit.

Watch Mariah’s full performance, courtesy of CBC, below.

As the large crowd started to make their way toward the end of the street, I was pushed into the Eaton Centre where I gladly warmed up with a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks to prepare me for the window displays.

As I opened the doors  at Saks Fifth Avenue, I was greeted by a beautifully decked Christmas tree, and a less rowdy crowd taking photos together.

I was getting total Elf vibes as I explored the the incredibly decorated department store, filled with holly, garland, and of course– candy!

The store halls filled up with the beautiful sound of the Jazz band downstairs, who seemed to put a smile on every shoppers face as they passed by.

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The displays kept up with quite the Canadian theme, with features like Canadian geese (which were also showcased in the windows), red moose, and what looked like a projected picture show of a large Canadian moose trekking through the snow.

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img_4969The outdoor displays shared the common Canuck theme with their “Enchanted Forest” windows, showcasing animated forest creatures playing in the snow.
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It was a very festive and entertaining evening with Mariah Carey and Hudson’s Bay Fifth Avenue + Saks Fifth Avenue! We’re you able to see the event?


2016 Santa Claus Parades in Canada

Each year there is a debate about how soon is too soon to celebrate Christmas, but it is hard to argue once  the Santa Claus parade begins!

Wikipedia says “The Christmas parade is a direct descendant of late Medieval and Renaissance revivals of Roman Triumphs“, but over the past few centuries the Santa Claus parade has become a wonderful annual tradition for young and old. We line the streets in small towns and big cities to collect candy, wave at festive characters on themed floats, and catch a glimpse of the big man!

Santa Claus is coming to (your) town! We have compiled a list of 2016 Santa Claus parades across Canada so you can mark your calendars! Don’t see your local parade listed? Give us a shout at @retrofestive and we’ll add it!

Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 5pm

Oakville Santa Claus Parade – Oakville, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 9am

Oakville Santa Claus Parade Grinch
Oakville Santa Claus Parade 2014


Santa Claus Parade Day – Banff, Alberta
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 10am

The 47th Annual Help Santa Toy Parade – Ottawa, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 11am

The Défilé du Père Noël – Montreal, Quebec
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 11am

Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade – Niagara Falls, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 11am

9th Annual Ingersoll Rotary Christmas Parade – Ingersoll, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 11am

Kiwanis Santa Claus Parade – Tillsonburg, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 2pm

Welland Santa Claus Parade – Welland, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 4pm

Hamilton Santa Claus Parade – Hamilton, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 4:30pm

The Brampton Board of Trade Santa Claus Parade – Brampton, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 5pm

Santa’s Parade of Lights – Edmonton, Alberta
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 5pm

Brandon Santa Parade – Brandon, Manitoba
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 6pm

The 64th Annual Santa John Santa Claus Parade – Saint John, New Brunswick
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 6pm

The Chronicle Herald Holiday Parade of Lights – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 6pm

Woodstock Santa Claus Parade – Woodstock, Ontario
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 6pm

The 112th Annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade – Toronto, Ontario
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 12:30pm

Toronto Santa Claus Parade
Toronto Santa Claus Parade in the early 1900s

The 26th Annual Saskatoon Santa Claus Parade – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 1pm

The 31st Annual Santa’s Parade – Regina, Saskatchewan
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 1pm

The 35th Annual Consecon Santa Claus Parade – Consecon, Ontario
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 1pm

Milton Santa Claus Parade – Milton, Ontario
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 1:30pm

Belleville Nighttime Santa Claus Parade – Belleville, Ontario
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 4:30pm

Barrhaven Santa Claus Parade – Nepean, Ontario
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 5:30pm

Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade – Fredericton, New Brunswick
Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 5pm

The Original Night-Time Santa Claus Parade – Bloomfield, Ontario
Friday, November 25, 2016 at 6:30pm

The Charlottetown Christmas Parade – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 5pm

Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade – Victoria, British Columbia
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 5:45pm

Santa Claus Parade – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 6pm

Santa’s Parade of Lights – Ottawa, Ontario
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 6pm

The 18th Annual Kennebecasis Valley Santa Claus Parade -Quispamsis, New Brunswick
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 6pm

The Downtown Christmas Parade – St John’s, Newfoundland
Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 12pm

Picton’s Santa Claus Parade – Picton, Ontario
Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 1pm

The 30th Annual Santa Claus Parade – High River, Alberta
Friday, December 2, 2016 at 6:30pm

Winterval Santa Claus Parade – Whitehorse, Yukon
Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 12:30pm

Whitehorse Santa Claus Parade
Santa at the Whitehorse Winterval

Santa Claus Parade – Airdrie, Alberta
Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 5pm

Kinsmen 5th Annual Santa Claus Parade – Corner Brook, Newfoundland
Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 5pm

Santa Claus Parade and Lights of Christmas – Fort McMurray, Alberta
Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 5:30pm

Port Colborne’s Annual Lighted Santa Claus Parade – Port Colborne, Ontario
Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 6:30pm

The 13th Annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade – Vancouver, British Columbia
Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 12pm

The 51st annual Santa Claus Parade – Burlington, Ontario
Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 2pm

He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice / Santa Claus is coming to town! 


Our Canada AM Guarantee: Get it by Christmas, or it’s Free*

Our crazy Christmas store is featured on Canada AM today, Wednesday December 16th.

Canada AM Guarantee
Yes, you can get it by Christmas!

One of the questions we hear most often this time of year is “Will it get here by Christmas?” Our answer is YES, but you have to act fast!

We ship quick and, depending on where you live in Canada, your order should arrive within one day to one week. Customers in the Greater Toronto Area and parts of Southern Ontario often receive their parcels within 1-3 business days. While customers in the rest of Canada can expect to receive their parcels within 4 to 7 business days.

In honour of our appearance on Canada AM, we are offering a Canada AM Guarantee: Get it by Christmas, or it’s Free*

*Here’s the Fine Print of our “Canada AM Guarantee”

  • If the products you order from RetroFestive don’t arrive in time for Christmas day, we will issue you a refund and you can keep the products.
  • Guarantee applies to all orders placed by 3pm EST, Wednesday, December 16
  • Out-of-stock items and shipping omissions/errors are not eligible.
  • Delivery will be judged based on Canada Post’s tracking information, showing that Canada Post has delivered, or attempted to deliver, your package to your home, community parcel box or local postal outlet
  • We cannot be responsible for addressing errors and omissions made by customers
  • Express and Priority shipping options are available for an additional fee
  • Offer not applicable to Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunvaut & the following REMOTE postal codes:

British Columbia
V0W, V0C, V0T, V0J, V8J, V0V, V8G, V8C, V0T, V1J, V1G

R0B, R8N, R8A, R9A, R0L

T0H, T8S, T0G, T0A, T0P

S0M, S0J, S9X, S0P, S0E, S0L, S0N, S4H, S0C, S4A

G8P, G0V, G0W, G0T, G0H, G0G, G5B, G0C, G4X, G0C, G0J, G5J, G4W, G0E, G5H, G0K, G5R, G0L, G5T, G5A, G8M, G8J, G8L, G8K, G8H, G8N, G7P, G7B, G7N, J1T, J0A, J1Z, J5V, J3T, J6E, J0R, J8C, J0T, J0K, J9L, J9E, J0X, J0W, J0M, J0Z, J9P, J0Y, J9P, J9T, J9Z, J0T

P0V, P9N, P8T, P8N, P0W, P0Y, P0X, P9A, P0T, P0L, P5N, J0T

Newfoundland & Labrador
A0P, A0R, A2V, A0K, A0A

Nova Scotia


I Heart XMAS with Clara Venice

Welcome to the I Heart XMAS Q&A, where Retro Festive asks notable Canadians about their own Christmas traditions and what they would like to find under the tree!

Clara Venice
Theremin Space Pop Music for Lovers and Dreamers

Clara Venice
Photo by Katherine Holland


What is your favourite holiday movie or TV special? 

That’s so hard – I’d say it’s a toss-up between Home Alone, Elf and Gremlins – with Gremlins coming out on top because Gizmo is just too adorable.

Does your family have a special or quirky holiday tradition?
Yes – my family actually invented our own holiday that we celebrate on December 23rd called “Wondermas”. Each year we create a Wondermas “Tree” usually involving fairy lights, LEDs, tulle, Unicorns, and plexiglass. Then on Wondermas Eve, we are visited by Rollerbear who brings us gifts! We think it’s the most wonder-full holiday of the year.

 Which do you prefer: to give or receive?  

I wish I could say that I genuinely preferred giving to receiving, but let’s be real: they’re both pretty awesome. I do love giving gifts, and I put a lot of thought into what I give people. In the past I would get so stressed out around the holidays to find the “perfect gift” for everyone on my list, so now when I see something that I know a friend would love I just buy it and save it for the holidays. It makes things so much easier, and I feel a lot better about the thoughtfulness of my gifts. I highly recommend this strategy to everyone!

 Which Peanuts character do you think your friends and family would say reminds them of you? (Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy etc)?
I have to say Schroeder – like him, I’m always lost in lost in my music, and Beethoven is also my favourite composer. Also, I think his artistic philosophy is pretty great (via Wikipedia):

In 1971’s Play It Again, Charlie Brown, Lucy asked if pianists make a lot of money, and Schroeder flew into a rage: “Who cares about money?! This is art, you blockhead! This is great music I’m playing, and playing great music is an art! Do you hear me? An art! Art! Art! Art! Art! Art!” However, when Lucy asks the same question in the movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Schroeder admits: “Some do, if they practice real hard, I guess.” 

Personally, I think these are both great answers and I definitely relate.

 What is your favourite Christmas song?
Christmas Don’t Be Late (aka the Chipmunk’s Christmas Song) because it sounds the best on the theremin!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
I believe that people should be able to wear whatever they feel like wearing any time of the year, so I fully support anyone’s choice of sweater. Personally, I like cute sparkly sweaters so that is what I wear during the holidays (the more glitter the better.) But I’m sure some people would consider those ugly, so to each her own!

Come down to the Toronto Christmas Market on Saturday, December 19 at 7 and 8pm to see Clara Venice’s magical performance!