Archive » Arts and Entertainment

Mistletoe Mountain is Christmas at Mount Alverno Resort

December 16, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The folklore about mistletoe is that it brings health, luck and love. With such a grand reputation, it was Brooke Schmidt’s choice of title for this year’s first annual Mistletoe Mountain Christmas at the Mount Alverno Resort this weekend: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17, 18 and 19. Mount Alverno Resort is on 100 fabulous acres at 20706 Heart Lake Road, Caledon, just a few minutes south of Highway 9. The tree lighting is tomorrow (Dec. 17).

Chris Bell, Executive Director and Brooke Schmidt, Sales and Event Manager at the resort were pleased to talk to the Citizen this week about the Mistletoe Mountain Christmas.

Mr. Bell opened, “This is a holiday event focussing on being able to offer something to the community. Some of the proceeds will go to Bethell House Hospice.

“We’re transforming our old barn and storage shed into Santa’s workshop. We haven’t told anybody yet,” said he in that keep-it-a-secret voice. “The real Santa is who’s going to be here Friday, Saturday and Sunday, every day between 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to see the [sunset]. It’s more magical to see the lights after the sun goes down. We’re doing quite a bit of lighting on the property to get that wonderland feeling.”

Theatre Orangeville’s Beckie Morris and Lisa Lahue, who create such wonderful sets for most productions on Theatre Orangeville’s main stage, are using those talents to design and construct the changes of an old barn into the Christmas wonderland.

Lisa Lahue assured us, “Santa was in over the weekend and he gave us a big nod of approval. It’s a little bit of magic. The barn is divided so that there are spaces for workshops and on the other side all whimsical big bright colours for Santa, with an area that resembles market stall for traditional craft vendors. There will be snacks for sale too.”

In the centre place, the workshops will demonstrate how to assemble Christmas decorations for both adults and kids, plus cooking for kids and much more. A cocktail and canape workshop will prove popular.

Ms. Lahue mentioned there is a heated patio to one side of the barn where old classic Christmas movies will be shown and the bar has for purchase mulled wine, wine, a local beer, soft drinks plus a bar/movie menu created by the resort’s Chef Denis. 

“Mistletoe Mountain is something Brooke created,” Chris Bell explained. “We’re looking at some bigger event ideas, create a Hallmark movie on our property. This event will be smaller than the next Mistletoe Mountain Christmas. We are very guest-driven. So, what our guests think about this will matter to us.”

The choice of Mistletoe Mountain as the theme comes from Ms. Schmidt’s liking for Hallmark Christmas movies. “The inspiration came from a lot of Hallmark films,” she said. “The small town cozy touch and festive lights – the magic of Christmas. We wanted this especially after a few years of Covid and people not being able to celebrate as they want to.”

Christmas is magical for its connection with people, the lights and a chance to give to back to people less fortunate.

“And Santa, of course,” she added. “There’s a lovely great throne. Beckie and crew are remarkable – what they’re doing – I have to give them absolutely kudos.”

Mr. Bell was instrumental on the decision to build the resort in this location.

“I’ve been coming up to this region since I was a child,” he told the Citizen. “When I first came to this property and I saw the view, I was blown away. It’s the nature for me. To be able to create something in an area of such a natural beauty is a real honour. I saw a number of properties before this property but seeing this one for the first time, we felt this is a property we need to be a part of.

“During the summer when we opened up the patio, our customers stayed two hours to two hours, 45 mins, they enjoyed the natural beauty so much. It’s the first time I experienced that myself. We really want our diners to enjoy the evening and be comfortable with what’s being presented.

“When you arrive on the property, there’s always a different feeling. We purchased this place from the Capuchin of Canada in 2017. They had owned it for 55 years. They had their own congregation here.

“For us,” he commented, “other businesses are not competition; they’re friendly business neighbours. We would rather keep visitors in the community than lose them to Niagara.”

Accommodation at the Mount Alverno Resort will be open by the end of this year.

In other good news about the resort, they are engaged in a solar program and are to go on to be 100 % self-sufficient during the day by summer of next year.

In answer to why people will love coming to the Mistletoe Mountain Christmas, Ms. Schmidt was sure that people will come not only for the lights and atmosphere but also to see the property; try Chef Denis’ food. So much is on offer for the whole family and it is beautiful to see.

Lisa Lahue said the idea of the Mistletoe Mountain was initially floated in August when Theatre Orangeville was partnering with Mount Alverno to produce live theatre in their huge tent.

“We went forward with the project in October,” she told the Citizen. “And as there was no Christmas set to build [Rod Beattie brings his own very simple set for A Christmas Carol, now on until December 23] but this is something we’ve enjoyed doing. It’s been interesting.”

When asked, she admitted the biggest challenge had been the cold of working in the open barn, compensated by “the resort made us beautiful pots of tea.” However, since then, heaters have been installed and the cold is no longer a problem.

One of the best things about building this large Christmas setting is: “We’ve hardly ever been able something that hangs around. This is something that will be used in the future for us to build on to…” as the festival grows bigger.

At the moment, they are putting on the finishing touches, puttering during the week.

“It’s been a labour of love,” said Ms. Lahue.

Mistletoe Mountain Christmas at the Mount Alverno Resort this weekend Friday through Sunday is free admission, with donations to Bethell House Hospice – all donated funds go to Bethell House. A weekend of workshops, fun, Santa, classic movies and more. 

The workshops are ticketed events. The event opens at 4:00 pm. Santa is there from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. while the evenings are open until 10:00 p.m.

For all the information, schedule, movie menu and to buy tickets on line go to Check out the signs on Highway 9 at Heart Lake Road and the entrance into the resort. Easy.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.