Can You Name All of These Famous Canadian Christmas Albums?


By: Ashley Linkletter

7 Min Quiz

Image: NBC

About This Quiz

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas — in Canada, that is! Whether you're a fan of country and western, jazz, pop, R&B, opera, the blues, or heavy metal (yes, heavy metal), we can practically guarantee there's a holiday album for every Canadian music fan. From big names like Justin Bieber and Michael Bublé to classic CanCon like Blue Rodeo and Stompin' Tom Connors, this quiz spans a dozen genres and shows just how many different takes there are on festive carols that have been sung thousands of times, by thousands of different people. 

While you're probably familiar with the name of the artist or group in the questions you're about to see, you might find the actual title of their Christmas album evasive. Don't worry; we've provided plenty of clues to help you along the way — not to mention an abundance of Christmas music trivia about the musicians, singers and concept behind each album. You may think you've heard every possible rendition of "Jingle Bells" ever made, but have you heard it performed by William Shatner and Henry Rollins? What about your favourite carols sung en français? There are several French-language artists featured in this quiz who bring an entirely new and beautiful take to Christmas carols that have been traditionally performed in English.

So, have yourself a merry little Christmas, and test yourself on how much you know about the holiday music of the Great White North.

No one does traditional tunes during the holiday season like John McDermott. What is his famous Christmas album called?

"Christmas Memories" is John McDermott's most well-known Christmas album. Its cover is recognizable even for most non-fans (it's a mainstay in church five and dime stores and thrift shops.) McDermott's sentimental tenor songs can be heard over the sounds of harp, piano and tin whistle music as well as a string quartet.


Singer, songwriter, author and CBC Radio host Jann Arden gives her fans a festive smorgasbord of Christmas songs with her second-to-last release. What did she name this album?

This is one Jann Arden recording that is not "Insensitive" in any way. "A Jann Arden Christmas" is a poignant and emotional album from beginning to end. Released in 2015, be sure to check out her beautiful covers of "Happy XMas (War is Over)" and "Silent Night."


Released in 2009, what is the name of Sarah McLachlan's Grammy Award-nominated Christmas album?

Sarah McLachlan's ninth studio album, "Wonderland," was released in 2016 with plenty of fanfare from music critics. The wintery album was so well received, it garnered McLachlan a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album — a feat that is especially impressive for a Christmas album.


Can you guess the very wintery title of Sarah McLachlan's first Christmas compilation?

No stranger to the Canadian music scene, Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" may have been her first Christmas album, but it was her sixth album overall. The album features contributions from The Barenaked Ladies' Jim Creegan and fellow chanteuse Diana Krall.


This very musical, very talented family (which happens to include Rufus Wainwright) released a very merry follow-up to their 1998 album, "The McGarrigle Hour." What was this album called?

Talk about talent! The roster of contributors to "The McGarrigle Christmas Hour" includes the following acclaimed contributors: Kate McGarrigle; her children, Rufus and Martha Wright; Anna McGarrigle and her husband and children; Emmylou Harris; Beth Orton and Chaim Tannenbaum (amongst others.)


Canadian Brass released this quintessential Christmas album in 1981. Do you know what it's called?

Toronto-based Canadian Brass have been making music since 1970. Their album, "Christmas With the Canadian Brass," is one of their most well-known recordings. Including classic pieces such as "What Child is This" and "The First Nöel," the album also features the Great Organ of St. Patrick's Cathedral.


You won't find any literal bare naked ladies in the liner notes of The Barenaked Ladies' Christmas album (just plenty of holiday cheer.) Can you remember the name of this uplifting collection of songs?

The Barenaked Ladies album, "Barenaked for the Holidays," has something for everyone! In addition to Christmas songs, the album also features several Hanukkah songs — including "I Have a Little Dreidel" and "Hanukkah, Oh Hannukah" — as well as "Auld Lang Syne" (which is traditionally sung on New Year's Eve.)


Do you know the name of Celine Dion's first English-language Christmas album?

Although "These Are Special Times" was Celine Dion's first English-language holiday album, it was her sixth English-language collection of songs (and her 17th album overall!) Select songs from Dion's Christmas album scored her a Japan Gold Disc Award, a Golden Globe, as well as Academy Award and Grammy Award nominations.


Looking for the perfect world music Christmas experience? The Sultans of String have got you covered. Do you know the name of their album?

"Christmas Caravan" is the title of the Sultans of String's holiday music collection. Inspired and influenced by the sounds of Cuban, French, Spanish and traditional Arabic music, the album also features the vocal talents of Nikki Yanofsky and Crystal Shawanda (as well as several other contributors.)


Any fan of musical comedy trio The Arrogant Worms will recognize the name of their hilarious holiday album. Do you know what it's called?

The Arrogant Worms' "Christmas Turkey" album includes 14 new comedy songs about Christmas — and one re-recording of "The Christmas Song" (which appeared on their first album.) A far cry from traditional carols, the track listings include titles such as "Santa Got Arrested" and "Oh God, I'm Santa Claus."


Rock on, Santa Claus! What is the name of Helix's heavy metal Christmas album?

Get ready to have a head-banging holiday with Helix! Released in 2008, "A Heavy Mental Christmas" is the 11th album by heavy metal group. Although it may be hard to imagine, Helix covers seasonal songs such as "Silent Night" and "A Wonderful Christmas Time" with enthusiastic gusto.


Holly Cole's 2001 holiday-inspired album is named after a famous Christmas carol. Do you know which one it is?

Holly Cole's hard-to-pin-down sound is a blend of moody jazz and sultry pop music, and her 2001 Christmas album, "Baby it's Cold Outside," is a perfect example of Cole at her absolute best. While all of the tracks on the album are memorable, Cole's cover of Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time is Here" truly shines.


This live album from 1994 features some of the Canada's most highly-regarded female singers coming together to sing original and classic holiday songs. What's the name of the album?

In 1994, Holly Cole, Jane Siberry, Rebecca Jenkins, Victoria Williams and Mary Margaret O'Hara recorded a live Christmas album for CBC Radio and NPR. Named after the first song in the performance, this beautiful album showcases three original songs in addition to a well-curated collection of seasonal favourites.


Country music star Crystal Shawanda shows off her impressive vocals and musical talents on her 2009 Christmas compilation. Do you know the title of this super-festive country and western album?

Crystal Shawanda released the album "I'll Be Home for Christmas" on her label New Sun Records after departing from RCA Nashville in 2009. Shawanda was the subject of a six-part Country Music Television documentary called "Crystal: Living the Dream" which shone a light on her hard work and perseverance in the music industry.


Emilie-Claire Barlow's Christmas album takes the listener on an emotional, yet jazzy, journey through a collection of French-language holiday songs. What is this album called?

Emilie-Claire Barlow's Christmas album, "Lumiere d'hiver," features a combination of classic songs as well as three original compositions: the title track "Lumiere d'hiver" ("Winter Lights"), "Janvier" ("January") and "Le Dernier Noël" ("The Last Christmas").


Do you know the name of Oscar Peterson's classic collection of holiday standards?

Oscar Peterson's "An Oscar Peterson Christmas" is such an important Christmas album that it's played on the Ontario Parliament Network during the holiday season. Peterson was Canada's most-esteemed jazz musician. Duke Ellington is rumoured to have called him the Maharaja of the keyboard.


What is the name of Bruce Cockburn's classic assortment of holiday songs — both (very) old and new?

Bruce Cockburn's holiday album (which also happens to be his 18th studio album), released in 1993 on True North Records, is simply titled "Christmas." The album includes Canada's oldest Christmas hymn, "The Huron Carol," or "Jesous Ahatonhia" — which translates to "Jesus, He Is Born" in the Huron language.


Justin Bieber's Christmas album featured R&B heavyweights such as Boyz II Men and Usher. What was it called?

It's a very Bieber Christmas! Justin Bieber released his debut Christmas album, "Under the Mistletoe," in 2011. Bieber brought his own sugary pop perspective to new holiday songs as well as Christmas standards like "Silent Night." Mariah Carey, Mel Tormé and Busta Rhymes also make appearances on the album.


Skiddy-mer-rink-a-dink-a-boomp, skiddy-mer-rink-a-doo! I love you (and Sharon, Lois & Bram's Christmas album.) What is it called?

Treasured Canadian children's performers Sharon, Lois & Bram released "Candles, Snow & Mistletoe" in 1993 alongside a CBC Television holiday special of the same name — the special was so well-received it was released on video and performed on Broadway.


What is the name of Johnny Reid's chart-topping country music Christmas album?

Simply titled "Christmas," Johnny Reid's festive collection of country-inspired tunes includes nine Christmas standards and two original songs: "Waiting for Christmas to Come" and "Christmas Time Again." Only one day after being released, the album was certified gold by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.


Diana Krall's first Christmas album features plenty of jazzy tunes and a big band. What is it called?

In 2005, Diana Krall released her first full-length holiday album titled "Christmas Songs" (In 1998 she recorded "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" — a three-song EP). Krall performed Christmas standards such as "Winter Wonderland" and "Jingle Bells" with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra,


This 2001 Christmas album by Anne Murray made its way into the Top 10 on three separate Billboard charts. What is this chart-topping holiday collection called?

One of several Anne Murray Christmas albums, "What A Wonderful Christmas" came out in 2001 with much commercial success. It debuted at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Top Christian Albums chart, No. 6 on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart and No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart.


What was Anne Murray's last album called (which also happened to be a collection of Christmas songs)?

Anne Murray released "Anne Murray's Christmas" in 2008 — the compilation of holiday songs featured 10 previously released tracks and four new songs (including a recording of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Michael Bublé and an unreleased live duet with Diana Krall from 2001).


Paul Brandt's first Christmas album asks the listener if he can entertain them. What is the question?

"A Paul Brandt Christmas: Can I Play For You?" (an affirmative response is highly encouraged for anyone who wants to have a very country Christmas) is largely composed of new songs, but it does save room for rock 'n' roll classics like Johnny Marks' "Run, Run Rudolph."


Which of the following possible answers is the name of Paul Brandt's second Christmas album?

If you chose "A Gift," you really know your Canadian country music trivia! Paul Brandt's sophomore album won two awards at the 2007 Gospel Music Association of Canada Covenant Awards. The album won Seasonal Album of the Year and the title track, "A Gift," won Song of the Year.


Looking for the magic of a big band holiday season? Look no further than the swinging sounds of Colin James! Do you know what this Christmas album is called?

Recorded in Nashville, "Colin James & the Little Big Band: Christmas" is a rockin' recording of treasured Christmas songs. Bluesy, infectious and chock-full of holiday magic, the album features get-up-and-dance numbers such as "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" and "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!"


Calling the McAuley Boys the Canadian Boyz II Men is totally unfair. They've got enough talent to easily match the famous R&B group. Do you know what they named their Christmas album?

The McAuley Boys, an R&B quartet from London, Ontario, released their very first album, "Wonderful Christmas Time," in 1995. The group, which is composed of four brothers, had some incredible help from their mom — who invested $13,00 of her own money into recording and releasing the album.


What is the name of country star Jason McCoy's live Christmas album?

Jason McCoy's "Christmas at The Grand" is a star-studded holiday celebration with appearances by Colin James, Oscar Lopez and Belle Star. The album was recorded at The Grand — the oldest theatre in Calgary — and was later turned into a live TV special on Country Music Television.


Fiddler Alexander James Adams' Christmas album features stunning, layered duets (with a very meaningful twist.) Can you name this album?

Alexander James Adams is a trans artist who transitioned in 2007 (he used to perform as Heather Alexander.) On the album, "Wintertide," Adams created duets using his male voice and recordings of his voice singing the same songs prior to transitioning.


If you're hankering for a country and western holiday season, you'll want to give George Canyon's debut Christmas album a go. Do you know what the name of it is?

The runner up on Nashville Star's second season, George Canyon is a familiar face for fans of country music. His first Christmas album, "Home for Christmas," has a track listing that includes "Blue Christmas" and "Away in a Manger" (amongst other familiar Christmas carols.)


The name of this Loreena McKennit Christmas album is based on one of Shakespeare's comedies. Hark! Can you name this album with cunning and expedience?

Loreena McKennit's second Christmas album is called "A Midwinter Night's Dream," a play on William Shakespeare's comedic play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." This album is an extension of the now-defunct EP, "A Winter Garden" — eight new tracks were added to create a full-length holiday album.


If you're a fan of traditional CanCon, then you'll definitely know the name of Stompin' Tom Connors' Christmas album. What is it?

Canadian country legend Stompin' Tom Connors released "Merry Christmas Everybody" in 1973, sending his festive cheer from sea to shining sea. Connors was well known for never removing his black Stetson hat — he even refused to take it off at a 2002 dinner with Queen Elizabeth II.


When The Tenors released their pop and opera-influenced Christmas album what did they call it?

Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia, The Tenors released the album, "Christmas Together," in 2017. In true holiday spirt, the trio performed at the official Christmas at Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony that same year.


Who comes around on a special night? Raffi does! Do you remember the name of Raffi's cherished children's Christmas album?

An instant classic for the young and the young at heart, "Raffi's Christmas Album" has earned the popular singer a permanent place in the holiday entertainment Hall of Fame. This joyous compilation of songs includes favourites such as "Up on the House-Top" and "The First Nöel."


Loreena McKennit's first Christmas album was heavily inspired by songs McKennit remembered hearing and singing around the winter solstice. Which of the following titles was used for this album?

In terms of sound production, Loreena McKennit's album, "To Drive the Cold Winter Away," is very unique. Instead of using a traditional recording studio, McKennit recorded the album in two old churches and a Benedictine monastery — preserving natural ambient sounds and echoes to amplify the effect.


Michael Bublé's collection of holiday classics is famous for being the only album with the word "Christmas" in it to top the charts. Can you guess its title?

When Michael Bublé released his album, "Christmas," in 2011, it spent three weeks (non-consecutively) holding the No. 1 spot on the charts. Lucky for Bublé, his collection of jazzy Christmas standards (plus a few new holiday songs) never fails to move back into the Top 10 every holiday season!


Which of the following options is the name of Blue Rodeo's country rock Christmas album?

Canadian country rock band Blue Rodeo released its beloved holiday album, "A Merrie Christmas to You," in 2014. The collection of holiday songs features eight festive covers (including Paul Simon's "Getting Ready for Christmas Day") and two original songs by band members Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor.


Jane Siberry's rich vocal talents were perfectly captured in this live double album that was released just in time for the 1997 holiday season. What did she name this beautiful assortment of songs?

Recorded at New York City's famous music club, The Bottom Line, "Child: Music for the Holliday Season" is composed of songs from two of Siberry's four 1996 performances at the venue. The other two were made into the albums, "Tree: Music for Films and Forests" and "Lips: Music for Saying It."


William Shatner + Christmas = one weird Christmas album. What do you call this bizarro holiday anthology?

If you fully embrace the weird side of the holidays, then you'll love William Shatner's "Shatner Claus." How strange is strange? Well, Shatner's cover of "Jingle Bells" includes the voice of Henry Rollins, and Iggy Pop makes an appearance on "Silent Night" (Judy Collins and Brad Paisley also feature on the album).


Juno Award-winner Roch Voisine usually records his albums en français. What is the name of his first English-language Christmas album?

Roch Voisine's first English-language Christmas album was released alongside a French-language Christmas compilation which was called "L'album de Noël." His French album was certified gold on the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique music charts in Quebec.


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