Events and Entertainment Around Town – December Edition
Photo credit: Alison Boulier | Lumiere
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 all the entertainment, including concerts, theater and family-friendly, holiday fun.
Concert and Sing Along – St Andrew Wesley United Church
Event date: December 1 | Time: 7pm
A special music concert with choirs, brass and organ. Also included is a traditional Christmas carol sing-along.
Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth – Firehall Arts Centre
Event dates: November 11-December 2
First produced by the Firehall in the ’90’s, this production will make you laugh and cry as Taylor creates the story of the impact of the 60’s scoop-up of native children on one family.
Charlie Demers – The Comedy Mix
Event dates: November 30-December 2
A regular guest on CBC’s The Debaters and This is That. Author of the books The Prescription Errors and Vancouver Special.
Classic Broadway – Orpheum Theatre
Event dates: December 1-2 | Time: 8pm
One of North America’s most in-demand Pops conductor/arrangers Jeff Tyzik turns back the clock to the classic days of Broadway, with the VSO. You’ll hear music by some of the all-time greats of musical theatre: George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and more.
The National – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event dates: December 1-2 | Time: 8pm
Early Music Vancouver: Messiah – Vancouver Playhouse
Event dates: December 1-2 | Time: 730pm
Handel’s greatest known work.
The Shipyard’s Christmas Festival – North Vancouver Pier
Event date: December 2 | Time: 4pm-7pm
Free family activity with an appearance and photo op with Santa between 530pm and 7pm. Christmas tree lighting by Mayor Mussatto at 5pm.
Vancouver Canucks vs Toronto Maple Leafs – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 2 | Time: 4pm
Scuba Claus – Vancouver Aquarium
Event dates: November 24-December 3
See the jolly man swimming at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Christmas with the Bach Choir – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: December 3 | Time: 2pm
Vancouver Bach Choir’s annual holiday tradition returns to gather the entire Bach Choir family to sing in the season.
Kenny G – The Miracles Holiday and Hits Tour – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event date: December 3 | Time: 730pm
Rogers Santa Claus Parade – Downtown Vancouver
Event date: December 3
20th European Union Film Festival – The Cinematheque
Event dates: November 24-December 4
A Symphonic Tribute to Prince – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: December 4 | Time: 8pm
Featuring a powerhouse band and the full Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, it includes many of Prince’s greatest hits: Let’s Go Crazy, Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Purple Rain, 1999, Delirious and many more.
Pixies – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event date: December 4 | Time: 8pm
Brit Floyd – Pink Floyd Tribute – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event date: December 5 | Time: 8pm
Vancouver Canucks vs Carolina Hurricanes – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 5 | Time: 7pm
A Jann Arden Christmas at VSO – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: December 6 | Time: 8pm
Canada’s beloved pop diva Jann Arden brings her sensational voice and warm, witty personality to this holiday-season extravaganza.
PJ Masks Live – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event date: December 7 | Time: 6pm
Based on the animated children’s TV series that is based on the Les Pyjamques book by Romauld Racioppo.
Vancouver Canucks vs Philadelphia Flyers – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 7 | Time: 7pm
Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet World Tour – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event date: December 8
Gabriel Rutledge – Comedy Mix
Event dates: December 7-9 | Various times
A past winner of the prestigious Seattle International Comedy Competition, Gabriel has made television appearances on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, Nickelodeon’s Nick’s Night Out, and the nationally syndicated comedy TV, Comics Unleashed.
Lumiere Vancouver – West End, English Bay and Jim Deva Plaza
Event dates: December 2-9 | Various times
An annual event inspired by light and artistic expression, driven by community and connection.
Make It! Holiday Show – PNE Forum
Event dates: December 7-10 | Various times
A fun, upbeat shopping experience that showcases artists, crafters, and makers from all over Canada. Find more than 265 exhibitors selling gorgeous handcrafted items made with love and intention.
A Traditional Christmas – St Andrew’s Wesley Church
Event dates: December 8-10 | Time: 4pm and 730pm
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the lower mainland’s most beloved Christmas music tradition.
Winter Holidays at The Roundhouse – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event dates: December 9-10 | Time: 12pm-430pm
Photos with Santa, including printed portraits, cookie decorating with holiday themed cookies and festive outdoor lighting.
Breakfast with Santa – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event date: December 10 | Time: 10am-12pm
Join Santa and his helpers for a pancake breakfast, face painting, arts and crafts.
Classical Concert Series – Roedde House at West End
Event date: December 10 | Time: 4pm-5pm
Lyrichord: William George, tenor and Stanton Jack, guitar.
Jay-Z (4:44 Tour) – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 11 | Time: 8pm
Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 13 | Time: 7pm
Jazz Concert Series – Roedde House at West End
Event date: December 14 | Time: 7pm-9pm
Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 15 | Time: 7pm
VSO Tiny Tots Holiday Hooray! – Vancouver Playhouse
Event date: December 15 | Time: 10am and 1130am
Sing along to frosty favourites while you move along with miniatures from “The Nutcracker”, “Babes in Toyland”, and other sparkly holiday classics. Accompanied by a brass trio.
Bah Humbug – SFU Woodwards
Event dates: December 7-16 | Various times
Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol comes to life in modern-day east Vancouver under the direction of James Fagan Tait, Jessie award-winning actor, playwright and director.
Chris Locke – Comedy Mix
Event dates: December 14-16 | Various times
Chris Locke performs stand up all over Canada and the US in comedy clubs, festivals, and independent venues. His stand up album garnered praise from critics and fans alike, as well as, being the #1 comedy album on iTunes Canada during its first two weeks of release.
Vivaldi’s Four Season – Chan Centre for Performing Arts
Event dates: December 15-16 | Time: 8pm
The VSO’s traditional presentation of Vivaldi’s timeless classic, The Four Seasons. Philippe Quint, one of the most lyrical, elegant, and poetic violinists in the world today, will perform this enduring favourite, on the magnificent 1708 “Ruby” Stradivarius violin.
A Baroque Christmas – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: December 16 | Time: 8pm
The great Baroque era composers knew how to write music that literally dances with joy. Join the Vancouver Chamber Choir family of choirs, orchestra and soloists for a concert which celebrates the Christmas season.
Vancouver Canucks vs Calgary Flames – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 17 | Time: 5pm
Christmas with Chor Leoni – St Andrew Wesley Church
Event dates: December 15-18 | Various times
Chor LEoni’s holiday offering combines favourite tunes in polished settings, sparkling new choral gems, frosty winter songs and familiar sing-along carols.
Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker – The Centre in Vancouver
Event dates: December 14-19 | Various times
The lights dim and the beautiful sounds of Tchaikovsky’s music fill the air.
Vancouver Canucks vs Montreal Canadiens – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 19 | Time: 7pm
24th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event date: December 21 | Time: 6pm-11pm
Winter Soltstice Lantern Festival illuminates the night with lanterns, fire, singing, dancing, music, storytelling and the famous candle labyrinth.
Christmas Queen 4 – Secret Santa – Improv Centre at Granville Island
Event dates: November 22-December 23 | Various times
The Christmas Queen is back, only this time she and Santa switch bodies, potentially changing the course of Christmas forever.
Saturday Nights Christmas Queen Drag Race – Improv Theatre
Event dates: November 25-December 23 | Time: 1115pm
The (lace) gloves come off as these two Grand Dames put contestants through their paces in a series of improv challenges with the help of audience suggestions resulting in the ‘be-jewelling’ of a new Drag Diva.
Kevin Banner – Comedy Mix
Event dates: December 21-23 | Various times
Winner of Bite TV’s “Stand Up and Bite Me People’s Champ” title in 2011, Banner has quickly established himself as a rising talent in Canadian comedy, performing with such notable comedians as Doug Stanhope, Bill Burr and Norm MacDonald.
Kids Movie at The Roundhouse – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event date: December 23 | Time 11am
Featured movie is The Polar Express.
Vancouver Canucks vs St Louis Blues – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 23 | Time: 7pm
The Day Before Christmas – Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre
Event dates: November 16-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 holifay lans, and her home becomes a disaster zone.
Vancouver Christmas Market – Jack Poole Plaza
Event dates: November 22-December 24 | Time: 11am-9pm (open until 6pm Dec 24)
The 8th annual authentic German-inspired Christmas Market creates the perfect atmosphere to get into the holiday spirit. Experience a selection of traditional food and beverages, and browse vendors offering authentic wood carvings and toys, knitted goods, nutcrackers, pottery, and other unique gifts.
Breakfast with Santa – Grouse Mountain
Event dates: December 2-24
Contact Winter Music Festival – BC Place
Event dates: December 26-27 | Time: 5pm
Largest indoor festival in Western Canada
Karaoke Christmas Lights Tour – Vancouver Trolley Tour
Event dates: December 1-28
A Vancouver Trolley annual tradition visiting festive light display.
Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 28 | Time: 7pm
Gingerbread Lane – Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Event dates: December 1-29
An annual festive display of tasty-looking Christmas gingerbread creations.
Ivan Decker – The Comedy Mix
Event dates: December 28-30 | Various times
Ivan has appeared at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival and has various tv and radio appearances including his own half-hour comedy special on CTV and as a guest on both the radio and the tv versions of the popular CBC program titled “The Debaters.” He was also voted #1 comedian in Vancouver by judges in 2011 Vancouver Comedy Showdown.
The Nutcracker – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event dates: December 28-30 | Various times
It woudn’t be the holidays without the Nutcracker. Alberta Ballet’s production with choreography by Edmund Stripe and sets and costumes designed by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown, ‘sparkles like a Faberge egg’, says the Vancouver Sun.
Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 30 | Time: 7pm
Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities – Concord Pacific
Event dates: October 19-December 31 | Various times
30th Annual Christmas at Canada Place
Event dates: November 23-December 31
Free walk-through experience includes the Woodward’s Windows, Avenue of Christmas Trees, winter lighting display, Sails of Lights and more.
Onegin – Granville Island Stage
Event dates: November 23-December 31 | Various times
When Evgeni Onegin visits the Larin family estate, his romantic charms stir passions long forgotten by its residents.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Waterfront Theatre at Granville Island
Event dates: November 25-December 31 | Various times
Talking animals, quest and secrets abound in this stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ first installment of the epic Chronicles of Narnia series.
2017 Year in Review – Improv Theatre
Event dates: December 26-31 | Various times
Family New Year’s Eve Celebration – Grouse Mountain
Event date: December 31 | Time: 5pm onwards
Glide on the 8,000 square foot mountaintop skate pond, take a snow carpet down the new sliding zone and be awed by the magical outdoor light walk around Blue Grouse Lake.
New Year’s Eve Triple Header – Comedy Mix
Event date: December 31 | Time: 10pm
Featuring regulars of The Comedy Mix comedians Dino Archie, Graham Clark and Simon King. Hosted by Charlie Demers.
NYE Vancouver – Canada Place
Event date: December 31
Downtown Vancouver’s waterfront celebration to ring in 2018. Street party, food trucks, live music, and 2 fireworks – one at 9pm and another at midnight.
Festival of Trees – Four Seasons Hotel
Event dates: November 30-January 1
Tour an enchanted forest of decorated trees at Four Seasons Hotel and Pacific Centre Mall to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital.
Polar Bear Swim – English Bay
Event date: January 1
Thousands of brave souls (some in costume) welcome the new year by plunging into the icy cold waters of English Bay.
Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: January 1 | Time: 230pm
Inspired by Vienna’s beloved New Year’s Concert, this charming celebration blends acclaimed European singers and dancers with exceptional local symphonies for a rich cultural experience that will leave your toes tapping.
A Baroque Celebration – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: January 4 | Time: 2pm
Celebrate the beauty of Baroque, with music by Johannes Sebastian Bach, Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary, Gabrieli’s Sonata Pian’e Forte, Handel’s Water Music and Pachelbel’s Canon.
Heritage Christmas – Burnaby Village Museum
Event dates: November 25-January 5 | Various times
Stroll through the streets of the village to see wreaths, cedar swags and vintage-themed displays. At the bandstand, visitors can create their own magical holiday show with lights that change colours to sound.
East Van Panto: Snow White and The 7 Dwarves – York Theatre
Event dates: November 29-January 6 | Various times
In this East Van telling, our hero flees the Queen of North Vancouver across the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and straight into the madness of the PNE, where she dances with Superdogs, takes a ride on the coaster, and befriends washed up 80s rock stars “The Seven Dwarves.”
The Bright Nights Christmas Train – Stanley Park
Event date: November 30-January 6
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.
A Sinatra Celebration – Orpheum Theatre
Event dates: January 5-6 | Time: 8pm
Called “two parts Frank Sinatra and one part Billy Joel”, crooner and pianist Tony DeSare takes on the legend of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
Christmas at FlyOver Canada – FlyOver Canada
Event dates: November 23-January 7
Join Santa on a magical flight across Canada and onto the North Pole.
The Peak of Christmas – Grouse Mountain
Event dates: November 24-January 7
Vancouver’s North pole where you can visit Santa’s workshop, meet real reindeers and stroll through a Gingerbread Village.
Festival of Lights – VanDusen Botanical Garden
Event date: December 1-January 7
A magical winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating VanDusen Botanical Garden
Holiday Heights at Bloedel Conservatory – Queen Elizabeth Park
Event dates: December 14-January 7
Warm up inside the tropical dome while enjoying the exotic birds, lush gardens and holiday light display produced by MK Illumination.
Beauty and the Beast – Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Event date: December 7-January 13 | Various times
“Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.” Can Belle teach the Beast to love, before it is too late? Discover the magic behind the castle walls in this brilliant adaptation of the Academy Award-winning animated film.
Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival – PNE Grounds
Event dates: December 15-January 21
Experience Vancouver in a whole new light in this 5 week celebration of Chinese culture featuring massive lanterns, amazing performances and incredible food. 35 light displays, 14 acres of Hastings Park light and colours. 2 performances each night between acrobats, plate spinning, folk dance and more.
Canyon Lights – Capilano Suspension Bridge
Event dates: November 23-January 28
Be amazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights throughout Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
Portrait of the Artist – From the Royal Collection – Vancouver Art Gallery
Event dates: October 28-February 4
A remarkable group of more than ninety paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture highlighting both the enormous richness of the Royal Collection and the complex and deep relationship that the British monarchy has had with artists for the last three and half centuries.
Robson Square Ice Rink – Robson Square
Event dates: December 1-February 28 | Various times
This winter, renew a clssic Vancouver tradition and enjoy some old-fashioned fun.