Hello Everyone. It has been a while since I have written, almost a month in fact. Time flies when you are having fun during the holidays ...and you go on vacation in the middle of it. It is always great to come home after being away for a spell and trust me, after living in various other places in Canada during winter, Victoria is definitely the place to be. The Christmas season is pretty special here, in that there is a city-wide spirit that you can get wrapped up in. I definitely recognized the difference when I was out and about in other locations. Victoria is something else during the holiday season, but it doesn't end there! While everyone is in the post Christmas malaise that is generally highlighted by your credit card bill, revulsion of turkey meals and back to work stress, there is still a consistent and exciting flow of events, performances, shopping and culinary activities taking place in Victoria. Even without the bright lights and looping festive soundtracks, the entertainment is top notch all the same. This city is known for its unique alternative scene mixing harmoniously with mainstream culture. The variety of the artists and virtuoso's that are attracted to playing here is astounding, and the locals are stellar as well. On almost any given week, a person could take a quick look through an event catalog or our Calendar of Events and find something of interest, even in this "slow" period of the year. Here are a few venues that caught my eye:   The Jim Cuddy Band Jim Cuddy, of Blue Rodeo and an excellent solo career, is touring for his most recent album release. This man really should need no introduction in Canada! Playing at: The McPherson Playhouse Date: Tonight, January 6, 2012, 8 p.m. Tickets: $61   The Tom Ackerman Quartet The Swing Dance Association of Victoria presents Tom Ackerman's Killer Quartet to the Nothin' But Swing dance night that includes live jazz, swing dancing and even a no partner required lesson. Playing at: Saint John's Hall Date: January 7, 2012, 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 to $13 (students, seniors and members get a discount)   Pacific Baroque Music Festival 2012 Discover the musical brilliance of Versailles and beyond with the baroque style of the Sun King Louis XIV Playing at: Victoria Conservatory of Music Dates: January 10, 11, 17, 18 and February 9 to 12, 2012. Times vary per showing Tickets: $100 per four shows, $80 per four shows for seniors and students   Snowed In Comedy Tour Stand-up comedians Arj Barker, Dan Quinn, Glenn Wool, Pete Johansson and Craig Campbell plow through to Victoria bringing laughs and entertainment along the way Playing at: The McPherson Playhouse Date: January 13, 2012, 8 p.m. Tickets: $35   A Salute to the Rat Pack The Victoria Symphony Beltone Pops brings an exciting and energetic collection of orchestral hits from Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and others with an arrangement of guest performers Playing at: The Royal Theatre Dates: January 19, 2012, 2 p.m. and January 20 and 21, 2012, 8 p.m. Tickets: Start at $33 With the sun going down so early these days, it would be easy to miss out on some great concerts and unique acts. I know I am looking forward to Jim Cuddy tonight. Here is a sample from his new album Skyscraper Soul:   httpv://youtu.be/YlVSGRjHDuo   What event are you excited for? Did I miss something that should be getting more attention? Let me know in the comments below.