Events and Entertainment Around Town – December Edition
Is it the end of the year already?!
For many, December is the time for celebration and reflection. It’s a time for feasting and gathering, taking time to appreciate all those special people in our life.
Not sure what’s happening in Vancouver this festive season? Well, there’s LOTS going on.
We’ve made a list (and checked it twice, naturally) of the all the big-time entertainment, as well as, the low-key happenings this month, including concerts, theater and family-friendly, holiday fun.
Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 1 | Time: 7pm
Yule Duels – Water St on Gastown
Event date: December 1 | Time: 6pm-9pm
Yule Duel brings together 20 of the city’s top choirs to sing their hearts out and raise money for May’s Place, which provide compassionate hospice care to vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside. Free event – donations are welcome.
Amy Schumer Live! – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 2 | Time: 8pm
Christmas Tree Lighting – Robson Square
Event date: December 2 | Time: 5pm-7pm
Lighting of the 50 feet outdoor Christmas tree – it will remain on its location until Dec 25.
Concert and Singalong – St. Andrew Wesley United Church
Event date: December 2 |Time: 7pm-845pm
Bring the whole family and join us for a special music concert with choirs, brass and organ. Also included is a traditional Christmas Carol singalong.
Beth Stelling – The Comedy Mixx
Event dates: December 1-3 | Various times
Stand-up comedian, writer and actress based in Los Angeles, who Time Out Magazine names a Comic to Watch in 2016. Beth made her late night television debut on Conan. In 2014, Beth appeared on @Midnight, Chelsea Lately, and The Pete Holmes Show. She most recently performed stand-up on Jimmy Kimmel Live, after Jimmy saw her at UCB and approached her personally.
Vancouver Canucks vs Toronto Maple Leafs – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 3 | Time: 4pm
Troilus and Cresida – Studio 58
Event dates: November 17-December 4 | Various times
Shakespeare’s most experimental drama receives a modern spin in Kevin Bennett’s interpretation of this part love story, part war drama where passion and violence are inextricably linked. With the Trojan War raging, Shakespeare shows us a world in which lovers yearl to be true and warriors strive to be brave, but both inevitably fail, betrayed by human nature and time.
Whistler Film Festival – Whistler
Event dates: November 30-December 4 | Various times
Get ready for five action-packed days of fresh films, epic events, industry conections, and time to enjoy the delights of Whistler from skiing to apres, fine dining and more.
13th Santa Claus Parade – Georgia Street (Between Broughton and Howe Streets)
Event date: December 4 | Time: 12pm
Takacs Strings Quartet – Vancouver Playhouse
Event date: December 4 | Time: 3pm
The Takacs Quartet is a perennial favourite with Chamber Music audience, and in 2012, Gramophone accouned that the group was the first (and only) string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame.
The Music of Tchaikovsky and Bruch – Orpheum Theatre and Bell Performing Arts Centre
Event dates: December 3-5 | Time: 8pm
A genuine star in the making, young violinist Simone Porter is a bold and virtuosic musician, a perfect match for the virtuosic, lyrical Bruch Violin Concerto. Russian conductor Mikhail Agrest has honed his craft for over a decade at the famous Mariinsky Theatre, and Tchaikovsky’s enchanting Orchestral Suite No. 3 will come to dazzling life under his baton.
Holiday Lunch and Dance – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event date: December 7
For those 55 and over. Join other community members for a fun-filled afternoon of dancing, cheer and a catered lunch. Wear your favourite Christmas outfit.
Jazz Concert – Roedde House at 1415 Barclay Street
Event date: December 8 | Time: 7pm
Listen to beautiful jazz music and enjoy traditional Victorian Christmas decorations.
Handel’s Messiah – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: December 9 | Time: 8pm
Christmas time is Messiah time, of course, and this year it’s again the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s turn to do the honours in a gala Orpheum concert. Experience the power and glory of the world’s favourite choral masterwork in this unique performance featuring a superb quartet of outstanding Canadian soloists.
Stevie Nicks – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 9 | Time: 7pm
Albatross – Firehall Arts Centre
Event dates: December 7-10 | Time: 8pm
Company 605, known for its virtuosic physicality, along with German Jauregui, Brussels-based choreographer and long-time Ultima Vez company member, bring the premiere of Albatross to the Firehall stage. This collaborative creation is a driving duet that pulls apart a single moment, enabling us to dissect and experience its contents in expanded time.
Quinn Dahle – The Comedy Mixx
Event dates: December 8-10 | Various times
Fresh off a development deal with 20th Century Fox, Quinn has appeared on The Tonight Show, Showtime, Comedy Central, Lopez Tonight and Carson Daly. He has worked with such names as Robin Williams, Drew Carey, Tim Allen, Dane Cook, Dana Carvey, Norm McDonald, Brad Garrett, Jon Lovitz, Bill Maher, Frank Caliendo, David Alan Grier, John Witherspoon, Tommy Chong, John Pinette and Harland Williams.
Winter’s Dance on Robson – Robson Street (between Burrard and Bute)
Event date: December 10 | Time: 6pm-9pm
Free event. A 15 minute version of The Nutcracker. Six eight foot by eight foot screens will be set up on Robson Street between Burrard and Bute, and the performance will be repeating on the screens between 6pm and 9pm.
Hansel and Gretel – Vancouver Playhouse
Event dates: November 24-December 11 | various times
Baking Time – Presentation House Theatre on 333 Chesterfield Avenue
Event dates: November 25-December 11
Baking Time finds two playful bakers aka Bun and Bap, sifting through magical flour storms, with mischievous doughy characters amidst shelves of baking ingredients and utensils. Bun and Bap will be inviting all the young audience members to become bakers themselves and join in the fun.
Rookie Sunday Nights: Catch a Rising Star – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event dates: November 27-December 11 | Time: 730pm
Catch the stars of tomorrow before they become famous – a mix of classic games and new formats.
A Traditional Christmas – St Andrews Wesley Church
Event dates: December 8-11 | Various times
It’s the holiday music tradition: The VSO’s Traditional Christmas concerts, featuring host Christopher Gaze, EnChor, the UBC Opera Ensemble, and the VSO’s new Assistant Condctor, William Rowson.
Make it Show – PNE Forum
Event dates: December 8-11
One of the largest craft fairs in Canada, Make It Show is a mecca for local shoppers who can’t wait to get their hands on the latest homemade items.
Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event dates: December 8-11 | Times: 2pm and 730pm
Family Fuse Weekend – Vancouver Art Gallery
Event dates: December 10-11 | Time: 10am-5pm
Join the VAG for Family Fuse weekend to Compare and Contrast ideas, techniques and much more. Traditional crafts meet contemporary ideas, documentary meets imaginary and the real meets the surreal. Explore the galleries fall exhibitions through a diverse range of performances, in-gallery engagement, hands-on making activities and workshops with artists, dancers, musicians, performers and educators.
Holiday Horse Drawn Carriage Ride – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event dates: December 10-11 | Times: 12pm Dec 10 and 430pm Dec 11
Take your family out for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Your donations benefit Roundhouse and Elsie Roy After School Programming. Enjoy some hot chocolate while you wait for your ride, and afterwards come into the Exhibition Hall and take a photo with Santa or decorate a cookie. No registration required. Dress warmly.
Breakfast with Santa – Roundhouse Mews
Event date: December 11 | Time: 10am-12pm
Santa’s coming to the Roundhouse. Join him and his helpers for a pancake breakfast and take part in many fun-filled activities such as face-painting, arts and crafts, and much more. Registration is required. Drop-ins will be permitted only if space is available.
Second Sunday Concert – Roedde House at 1415 Barclay Street
Event date: December 11 | Time: 4pm-5pm
Listen to beautiful music and enjoy traditional Victorian Christmas decorations.
Firecracker (Wed Night Comedy) – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event date: November 30-December 14 | Time: 915pm
Dynamite ladies, explosive comedy.
Cool Yule – Presentation House
Event date: December 14
Time again to be wowed by Van Django’s 4th annual Cool Yule! Christmas Show – a high level, musical adventure that delivers fun, festive and season music via nostalgic favourites, jazz standards, pop tunes, classical quotes, and sing-a-longs, plus a few surprises!
OK Tinder (Thurs Comedy Night) – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event dates: December 1-15 | Time: 915p
Catch the stars of tomorrow before they become famous – a mix of classic game and a new format.
Vancouver Canucks vs Tampa Bay Lightning – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 16 | Time 7pm
Improv After Dark (Fri and Sat Comedy Nights) – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event dates: November 25-December 17 | Time: 1115pm
17+ shows is 60 minutes of fast-paced, no-holds-bared comedy for the adult in all of us.
Theatresports on Fri and Sat – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event dates: November 25-December 17 | Time: 930pm
The one and only TheatreSports where two teams battle for ultimate improv supremacy. A fan favourite!
Bah! Hambug! – SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 149 W. Hastings
Event dates: December 8-17 | Various times
Featuring Juno award-winning musician Jim Byrnes as Ebenezer Scrooge. This is a modern day re-telling of the Dickens classic: A Christmas Carol. Sushi loving Scrooge owns a pawn shop on Vancouver’s Hastings Street, where he is timing Bob Cratchit’s late arrival to work on his iPhone.
The Santaland Diaries – Presentation House Theatre on 333 Chesterfield Avenue
Event dates: December 8-17 | Various times
The funniest Christmas play ever written, The Santaland Diaries is based on the true chronicles of celebrated humour writer and radio celebrity, David Sedaris’ experience working as a Christmas elf in a Macy’s department store in New York City.
Pete Johansson – The Comedy Mixx
Event dates: December 15-17 | Various times
A former resident of Vancouver, Pete made his first forays into Hollywood after a wildly successful Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, where he signed a deal with Warner Brothers Television after appearing on one of the smaller shows. Soon after Pete made his network debut on NBC’s Friday Night and followed that with the lead in the independent film Mixed Signals with Jason London and Brook Langdon.
ArtStarts Gallery Sat and Sun Free Tours – 808 Richards Street
Event dates: November 5-December 18
The ArtStats Gallery is the only free, public gallery in Canada exclusively dedicated to young people’s art. Drop in for a free 30 minute guided tour.
Saturday Jazz in the Mews – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event dates: November 5-December 18 | Time: 1030am-1230pm
Jazz inside the lobby area every Saturday morning with a full slate of local musicians, including Royal Aloha Monday Orchestra, Cambridge Street Combo, Asheida and Friends, John Pippus and Friends, Stringz Aloud, and Rain City Swing.
Weekend Carol Ships Parade of Lights – Various starting points
Event dates: December 2-18 | Various times
Carol Ships ‘Parade of Lights’ Society began over 50 years ago with one boat decoracted with Christmas lights in Coal Harbour off the Westin Bayshore Resort and Marina. On peak evenings, this holiday tradition has grown to more than 50 decorated boats, with in excess of 100,000 lights, and carries over 30,000 people during the month of December festival.
Toruk: The First Flight (Cirque du Soleil) – Pacific Coliseum
Event dates: December 14-18 | Various times
A new Cirque du Soleil show inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar. Show times for the performances are December 14-16 at 730pm, December 17 at 4pm and 8pm and December 18 at 1pm and 5pm.
Christmas/Chor Leoni – St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church
Event dates: December 16-18 | Time: 430pm and 8pm
Gorgeous new choral works, fun twists on well-known favourites, and sing-along carols are wrapped up in the irresistible warmth and beauty of Chor Leoni’s sound. The lions’ seasonal gift to you is a musical wreath to brighten the darkest days. All seats are reserved, so order early for best selection.
Christmas Grand Service – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event dates: December 17-18
Join Coastal Church at its special worship services to the sound of both contemporary and classic Christmas cards.
Nine Lessons and Carols – Christ Church Cathedral
Event date: December 18 | Time: 3pm
This famous format, first made popular by King’s College Cambridge, tells the Christmas story through scripture readings, interspersed with a wide variety of choral settings and congregational singing by the Cathedral Choir.
Quiet Christmas Service – St. Andrew Wesley United Church
Event date: December 18 | Time: 1030am-12pm
Both welcoming and traditional, join us for mindful worship, loving community and thoughtful participation.
Vancouver Canucks vs Columbus Blue Jackets – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 18 | Time: 1pm
Christmas Presence – Pacific Theatre
Event dates: December 11-20 | Various times
Join our eclectic gathering of musicians and actors for a night of music, stories, poems and readings for the holiday season.
Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker – The Centre in Vancouver
Event dates: December 15-20
All danced to Tchaikovsky’s memorable score performed live by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.
Vancouver Canucks vs Winnipeg Jets – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 20 | Time: 7pm
Winter Solstice Lantern Festival – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event date: December 21 | Time: 6pm
The winter solstice marks the longest, darkest night of the year. This dance of sun and earth has inspired celebrations of the human spirit throughout the ages, and our own Winter Solstice Lantern Festival illuminates the night with lanterns, fire, singing, dancing, music and storytelling.
Vancouver Canucks vs Winnipeg Jets – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 22 | Time: 7pm
Adam Pateman – The Comedy Mix
Event dates: December 22-23 | Various times
After earning his comedy wings on the stages of Vancouver, New York and LA, Adam Pateman has appeared in his own half hour comedy special on CTV and The Comedy Network and has been featured in various comedy festivals, TV series, and films.
Christmas Queen 3: The Bachelorette Edition – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event dates: November 23-December 23 | Various times
Her Royal Meanness returns as the star of her own reality show. Will Christmas be ruined for her suitors? Who will receive the frozen rose?
The Day Before Christmas – Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre
Event dates: November 24-December 24 | Various times
Alex is a perfectionist who is desperately holding fast to her Christmas traditions. While juggling family and work – and a movie star – she loses control of her holiday plans, and her home becomes a disaster zone. Can she save the turkey from the dog and salvage a broken-down tree? Find out in this infectious comedy that is sure to make the holidays bright.
Scuba Claus at the Aquarium – Vancouver Aquarium
Event dates: November 24-December 24
Celebrate the holidays with all your aquatic friends at the Vancouver Aquarium! Don’t miss Scuba Claus as he makes his daily dives.
Make a Joyful Post – Harbour Centre
Event dates: November 28-December 24
See a special large scale installation, create your own handwritten card for display and make a $5.00 minimum donation. The cards and 100% of the proceeds will then be distributed to the Kettle Society community to provide housing, employment and support services for those struggling with mental health in Vancouver.
Breakfast with Santa – Grouse Mountain
Event dates: December 3-24
Breakfast dates are Dec 3,4, 10 and Dec 16 to 24th.
Potted Potter – Vogue Theatre
Event dates: December 13-24 | Various times
Olivier award nominated ‘unauthorized Harry experience’ all 7 Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into 70 hilarious minutes.
Gingerbread Lane – Hyatt Regency Hotel
Event dates: December 4-27
The sweetest lane in the city celebrates its 26th annual return to the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
2016 Contact Winter Music Festival – BC Place
Event dates: December 26-27
Now in its fifth year, Western Canada’s largest winter music festival announced its full line up, which includes Marshmello, Zeds Dead, Gareth Emery and more.
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island
Event dates: November 26-December 28 | Various times
Good grief! The cherished holiday classic comes to the CTYP stage in a lively musical adaption that also features a live jazz trio. Join Charlie Brown on his quirky journey as he tries to direct the school Christmas pageant. With some help from his friends and a ragged little tree, Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of the season.
Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 28 | Time: 7pm
Karaoke Christmas Light Tour – Vancouver Trolley
Event dates: December 1-29
Festively decorated Trolleys equipped with karaoke machines for your seasonal singing enjoyment will depart from Canada Place at 630pm (except for Christmas Day). Upon pickup, guests will sing their way past the city lights of downtown before arriving at Bright Nights at Stanley Park and Van Dusen Botanical Garden.
2016 Vancouver Christmas Market – Jack Poole Plaza
Event dates: November 26-December 30 | Various times
A treasured holiday tradition for both locals and visitors alike.
Christmas at Canada Place – Canada Place
Event dates: December 16-30
The 29th Christmas at Canada Place will be held outdoor where guests can enjoy free festive activities including Woodward’s Window display, arts and crafts, 15ft snow globe.
Woodward’s Windows – Canada Place’s Canada Trail
Event dates: December 16-30 | Time: 9am-10pm
The Woodward’s Windows are a treasured part of Vancouver’s history. Originally displayed in the popular Woodward’s department store, the windows featured classic holiday scenes with animated characters and elaborate decor. Handcrafted in the 1960s, the displays included The Candlestick Factory, Santa’s Workshop and the Lamplighter.
Darcy Michael – The Comedy Mixx
Event dates: December 29 | Various times
Widely considered to be one of our country’s fastest rising stars, Darcy has worked alongside many comedian greats, including Harland Williams, Kits in the Hall, Craig Robinson, Mike Smith, Debra DiGiovanni and Matthew Perry. Pegged by the Montreal Gazette as one of their favourites at the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, Darcy was nominated for a 2010 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Televised Performance.
Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 30 | Time: 7pm
Avenue Q – Granville Island Stage
Event dates: November 17-December 31 | Various times
Irreverently witty and outright uproarious, Avenue Q is the musical story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate who arrives in New York City looking for love, a job and his purpose in life. The only neighbourhood he can afford is the multicultural Avenue Q, where Sesame Street-esque puppets rub shoulders with humans. Part felt, part flesh, Avenue Q contains full puppet nudity and other vulgarities that will induce laughter.
Enchant 2016 – 1st and Crowe Street
Event dates: November 24-December 31 | Time: 4pm-10pm
World’s largest Christmas light maze! There will also be a VIP Christmas party as well.
Holy Mo: A Christmas Snow – Pacific Theatre
Event dates: December 2-31 | Various times
A reverently irreverent re-imagining of the Nativity told with gusto and a questionable commitment to accuracy by Pacific Theatre’s free favourite fools.
2016 Year in Review – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event dates: December 26-31 | Various times
End the year with lots of laughs as our improvisers find the funny in the important and not so important events of 2016.
New Year’s Eve at Comedy Mix – The Comedy Mix
Event date: December 31 | Time: 10pm
Featuring comedians Chris James, Darcy Michael and Ivan Decker. Hosted by Kevin Banner – includes champagne toast, party favours and door prizes.
NYE Vancouver! – Canada Place
Event date: December 31
Ring in 2017, featuring free musical entertainment, sponsor exhibitions, food trucks, live on site broadcasts and a midnight countdown with spectacular fireworks over Coal Harbour.
True North NYE Indoor Party – West Convention Centre
Event date: December 31 | Time: 8pm-Midnight
Located in the spectacular ballrooms at the Vancouver Convention Centre, True North NYE offers the ultimate multi-room experience as Vancouver’s official New Years Eve Party. Headlined by the New Pornographers, along with live performances by Yukon Blonde, Humans, and Delhi to Dublin.
Bright Nights in Stanley Park – Stanley Park Miniature Train
Event dates: November 28-January 1 | Varius times
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.
Mary Poppins – Stanley Industrial Theatre
Event dates: December 3-January 1 | Various times
Watch Mary Poppins fly over the rooftops of London, and feel like a kid again! Remember, anything can happen if you let it. This family musical features the unforgettable songs from the popular Disney film – “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” – is practically perfect in every way.
Heritage Christmas – Burnaby Village Museum
Event dates: November 19-January 2
A stroll down the streets of the Village is magica; the cedar boughs, soft coloured lights, wreaths and big red bows are welcoming. Vintage-themed shop window displays highlight special winter and Christmas items. The light displays throughout the site will delight.
Christmas at Flyover Canada – Flyover Canada
Event dates: November 24-January 2 | Time: 10am-9pm
Polar Express 4D Experience – Vancouver Aquarium
Event dates: November 24-January 2
Festival of Trees – Four Seasons Hotel and Pacific Centre Mall
Event dates: November 25-January 2
Now on its 30th year – make a donation and vote for your favourite decorated tree.
The Peak of Christmas – Grouse Mountain
Event dates: November 25-January 2
Believe in the jolly man, in elves, in magic and in reindeer. Believe in all things Christmas. Experience it all at Vancouver’s North Pole where you can have breakfast with Santa, visit his workshop and meet real reindeer. This Christmas, believe again.
Festival of Lights – Van Dusen Gardens
Event dates: December 1-January 2
A magical winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating Van Dusen Botanical Gardens.
All Together Now – Musuem of Vancouver
Event dates: June 20-Jan 8 | Various times
Check out the Museum of Vancouver’s latest exhibition of the weird and wonderful stuff collected by the residents of Vancouver, including artistic taxidermy, artificial eyeballs and antique corsets.
Canyon Lights – Capilano Suspension Bridge
Event dates: November 24-January 8
The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment.
Walker Evans: Depth of Field – Vancouver Art Gallery
Event dates: October 29-January 22
The American photographer Walker Evans (1903-1975) is among the most influential artists of the 20th century. Covering the full arc of his career, Walker Evans: Depth of Field present the most comprehensive look at Evans’ work ever mounted in Canada.
Juxtapoz X Superflat – Vancouver Art Gallery
Event dates: November 5-February 5
Juxtapoz x Superflat is a manifesto for new creative practices that can no longer be adequately described by the traditional categories of art and production. Presenting the work of more than 30 artists from Japan, China, Korea, Europe, the US and Canada, this remarkable exhibition offers a unique insight into contemporary art and its place in cultural life.
Robson Square Ice Rink – Robson Square
Event dates: December 1- February 28 | Various times
Free for all ages, if you bring your own skates. Otherwise, skate rentals are $4 and rentals end 30 minutes before closing times. Note: helmets are mandatory for children 12 years and under.
Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures – Vancouver Art Gallery
Event dates: December 3-April 17
Presenting works by forty artists, the exhibition encompasses a range of approaches and reinvigorated explorations of surrealism, abstraction, and conceptual practices.
Photo credit: Arts Club Theatre