Balkans Music Camp Fundraiser: guitarist Dan Abrahams is raising funds for this project, which offers music therapy for conflict-trauma victims and those with special needs. Loads of great party music from folk trio Caro River and The Bridges, Croatian singer Erik Balija, superfunky Foo Birds, Blues/RnB outfit The Blueswater, and a Van Morrison soul/folk/jazz mix from The Lo Birds. 9pm (entry from 8pm), The Jazz Bar, 1a Chambers Street. £5/£4 on the door, cash only.
From Advent to Christmas: upholding the Portrait Gallery’s longstanding tradition, The Edinburgh University Singers return for their annual concert of seasonal music, introduced by John Kitchen. 1.15-1.45pm, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street. Free and unticketed.
Bookbug: rhymes and songs for very young children and their parents and carers. 10.30-11am, Fountainbridge Library, 137 Dundee Street.
Human Capital: an absorbing treatise on how the rich can ride roughshod over ‘the little people’ when their security is threatened, and also a thrilling and gripping drama with a mystery at its centre, Human Capital is set in a town in Brianza. A hit and run accident leaves a young cyclist dying – two well-known families are involved; director Paolo Virzi draws a ruthless and cynical portrait of family members, old and young. ‘A slick, sly fusion of class critique and murder mystery.’ The film will be preceded by a screening of Edinburgh International Film Festival award-winning short film Coral Red. 6pm, Italian Cultural Institute, 82 Nicolson Street. Free but please book online here. For more information contact the Institute on 0131 668 2232.
Big Book Group Christmas Quiz: test your literary knowledge at the annual quiz for ALL book groups in Edinburgh. Teams of up to 6 people should book in the name of the Group Leader, stating how many tickets are required. 6.30-8pm, Central Library, George IV Bridge. Contact Annie Bell on 0131 242 8046 or email her at email@example.com for more information.
LGBT Learning Disabilities Group: Winter Wonderland. Come and enjoy the Winter Wonderland; there will be time to look at the German Christmas Market stalls and watch activities like skating and the big wheel – bring money if you want to go on a ride or buy anything. Members of Dates N Mates will also be joining the group. 2-4pm – meet at LGBT Health & Wellbeing, 9 Howe Street, to walk to Princes Street together, or meet at 2.15pm at the entrance to the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens. Booking by 1st December is essential: call 0131 652 3281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Learning Disabilities Project provides a range of opportunities for confidence building and friendship among LGBT people who also identify as having a learning disability or difficulty. Please bring a carer or supporter with you if you need help to participate.
Edinburgh Greek Film Festival concludes today with Miss Violence (2013); an 11 year old jumps to her death with a smile on her face: what is the secret that Angeliki took with her? How can the social services understand what goes on in clean, orderly homes like hers? ‘The harshest violence is that of silence, of the unspoken’. 8.35pm, Filmhouse, Lothian Road. Tickets can be booked in person, by phone or online.
Portobello Christmas Street Fest: an evening of festive entertainment and late-night shopping with around 40 local shops taking part. Lots of one-night only special offers and festive hospitality! Santa, characters from Frozen, a fire engine, elves, carols, dance, music. Streetdance from Lothian Dance Academy at 5.30pm, Santa will arrive at about 5.45pm, lights switched on at 6pm. Children with a golden ticket will receive a gift from Santa: tickets can be purchased in advance for £5 from Favers. (This is a non-profit making gesture). Dress for the occasion – Santa hats, reindeer antlers and sparkly clothes encouraged! 5-8pm, Portobello High Street.
University of Edinburgh Ethics Forum: should the university employ prisoners? A lunchtime session examining prison labour and the university’s role in the rehabilitation of prisoners in Scotland. 1-2.30pm, Seminar Room 4, Chrystal Macmillan Building, University of Edinburgh, George Square. All welcome.
Science on a Winter’s Evening: the University of Edinburgh College of Science and Engineering presents a celebration of two distinctive research areas, with public lectures, displays, interactive activities and live music. Looking to the future, Professor Harald Haas describes the potential for Li-Fi developments to change the face of modern communication; investigating the past, Dr Steve Brusatte reveals the latest dinosaur discoveries and how his work is made possible. 6-8.30pm, Michael Swann Lecture Theatre, Michael Swann Building, Max Born Crescent, King’s Buildings EH9 3BF. Free tickets can be booked via eventbrite. For more information contact email@example.com.
Polar Bears in Purgatory + Defenestrators + The Dead Sets + more: a night of punk and pop-punk. 7pm-1am, Henry’s Cellar Bar, 16a Morrison Street. £5 on the door.
Looking, Mediated: a new screening programme of moving image works by artists who utilise, address and challenge contemporary forms of visual experience. Often traversing formal boundaries, these works explore how we view and interact with imagery today, and how these interactions inform social and cultural relationships, both on and off the screen. Through forms of audio-visual production, such as green screen, 3D animation, avatars, ASMR, image galleries, self-broadcast and interpretive documentary, the potential of the screen as a site for the departure from, or surrogate to, reality is interrogated. Curated by Max Carter for LUX. 7-9pm, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge. Free but booking required via eventbrite.
Chocolate: History, Facts and Myths. Ali Gower, owner of The Chocolate Tree in Bruntsfield, will give insights into the growing of cacao in South America and explain the challenges of making chocolate, from bean to bar. The Chocolate Tree are Scottish craft chocolate makers who work directly with cacao growers to encourage the growing of heirloom cacao which will sustain biodiversity and fine flavour chocolate into the future. They also aim to provide growers with the best possible deal, cutting out the middle men. 7.30-9.30pm, Lecture Theatre, Royal Botanic Garden, 20a Inverleith Row. £6/£5, no prior booking required.
Edinburgh’s Budget Challenge: find out more about budget proposals in your community. 6.30pm, Fort Community Centre, 25 North Fort Street. For more information call 0131 553 1074.
Le Paysage: entre art et nature. What is landscape? Is it the touch of nature or the work of mankind? Is it space or the representation of space? Is it something we live in or something we look at? Philosopher and sociologist Professor Jacques Leenhardt questions the social construction of the so-called landscape throughout the history of perception and thought. A talk in English. 6.30-8pm, Institut Francais Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent. Free.
Ecumenical Friends of St Cuthbert’s: Margaret McGregor – Advent Meditation. Bring your own packed lunch; tea and coffee provided. 12.30-2pm, St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, 5 Lothian Road. £1.50 per person: all welcome. Organised by Edinburgh City Centre Churches TOGETHER.
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Artist’s Talk: Finnish artist Leevi Lehtinen talks about his work and presents a screening of Finnish Collective Muu’s Performance Voyage 4 video art collection. Leevi Lehtinen is an animation filmmaker and media artist whose passion is to combine traditional animation art with other art disciplines; Muu is an artist-run interdisciplinary artist association, founded in 1987 to represent and promote new experimental forms of art. 6pm, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Bill Scott Sculpture Centre, 21 Hawthornvale, Newhaven. Call 0131 551 4490 for more information.
Simply Singing: a group singing songs from all around the world in 3 or 4 part harmony. No need to be able to read music or understand musical terminology; songs are taught by ear in the traditional way. New members welcome. 7-9pm, Swap Shop (ground floor), St Margaret’s House, 151 London Road. £4 per session.
Scotland-Russia Forum: sparkling Russian/English conversation over tea and cakes. 11am today and the first Thursday of every month, Summerhall Cafe, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall. No booking required, just come along – all very welcome! No charge except for any food or drinks you may wish to buy from the cafe.