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Save the date: the 2016 CBC Christmas Sing-In is coming up

Robert Rowat

For the Montreal public, it marks the official start of the Christmas season. For the rest of Canada, it's a beloved broadcast tradition on CBC Radio One and Radio 2.

The 37th annual CBC Christmas Sing-In will take place Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and Bourgie Concert Hall in downtown Montreal. Scroll down for a detailed broadcast/streaming schedule.

A popular event that attracts thousands of Montrealers each year, the CBC Christmas Sing-In is a concert of traditional holiday music featuring the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, the Sing-In Brass, organist Jonathan Oldengarm and conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée. This year's soloist is tenor John Tessier.

As usual, the audience will sing along with a number of popular carols, from "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "The First Nowell" to "Away in a Manger," accompanied by stirring arrangements. CBC Radio 2's Ben Heppner will co-host the concert at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul with Debra Arbec of CBC Montreal News. At neighbouring Bourgie Concert Hall, CBC Montreal's Sean Henry will welcome the public.

One of 101 things to love about Montreal, according to the Montreal Gazette, the CBC Christmas Sing-In always attracts a huge crowd, so arrive early. Doors open at 2 p.m. and admission is free. Donations will be received to support West Island Community Shares, a group that distributes funding to 40 non-profit groups in the West Island area of Greater Montreal.

Related: CBC Christmas Sing-In: a survival guide

The concert will be recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio One and Radio 2 and will be available for online streaming. Here's the schedule:

Thursday, Dec. 15

The full concert will be available for online streaming at

Sunday, Dec. 18

From 5 to 6 p.m., the CBC Christmas Sing-In will constitute the final hour of Joy to the World, CBC Radio 2's annual day-long broadcast of seasonal music from the countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Ben Heppner is your guide.

Sunday, Dec. 25

Ben Heppner hosts two broadcasts of the CBC Christmas Sing-In: tune in at 1 p.m. on CBC Radio 2 and again at 9 p.m. on CBC Radio One.

Get into the mood by streaming last year's CBC Christmas Sing-In:

More to explore:

Recipe: Mebbie's CBC Christmas Sing-In shortbread

CBC Christmas Sing-In: Confessions of an embedded chorister