Cultural Calendar

Santa Claus and Christmas Queen switch bodies in Christmas Queen 4 – Secret Santa.| Photo courtesy of Vancouver Theatresports.

Time flies, doesn’t it? The festive season is back already, and there are so many indoor and outdoor holiday events to attend. Catch a short film from Italy, watch illuminated lanterns at the PNE and Yaletown, and usher in the new year in style at the many New Year’s Eve parties happening around town. There are also holiday markets, exhibits, performances and more! Have a great 2018 everyone!


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Christmas Queen 4 – Secret Santa

Various showtimes until Dec. 23

The Improv Centre at Granville Island, Vancouver

She’s baaack! The Christmas Queen, in all her nasty, bitchy glory returns this holiday season courtesy of the Vancouver TheatreSports Improv Comedy team. Confusion and hijinks ensue when the Queen and Santa exchange bodies in a Freaky Friday-style magical sleight-of-hand. What happens to the workshop’s toy factory with the Queen as Santa in charge? Will there be presents? Will everyone receive a lump of coal? How will the experience of inhabiting the Queen’s body affect Santa? Will he learn something about himself and her that will change Christmas forever? Check out the improv website for tickets and showtimes.


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Vancouver Christmas Market

Until Dec. 24

Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver

Each year, the Vancouver Christmas Market brings Christkindlmarkts, the festive Old World tradition, to Vancouver. This cherished holiday event offers an authentic German feast for the senses. Stroll the twinkling pathways of a European-inspired Christmas village in the crisp winter air. Discover unique treasures to stuff into stockings or tuck under the Christmas tree at one of the more than 75 artisan huts offering handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list. Festive foodies can sample Glühwein (mulled wine), a selection of German and Austrian beers, and a variety of sweet and savoury epicurean delights.


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Handel’s Messiah

Dec. 9, 8 p.m.

Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver

The Vancouver Bach Family of Choirs along with members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will be performing the baroque composer George Frideric Handel’s iconic Messiah at the Playhouse Dec. 9. Handel’sMessiah is a timeless reminder of the deep power of human connection and kindness. Whether you are a first time listener or seasoned Messiah attendee, its captivating melodies and impassioned fugues never cease to inspire. For tickets and more information, please check out their website.


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Goh Ballet: The Nutcracker

Dec. 14–19

The Centre in Vancouver

Prussian author E.T.A. Hoffman’s timeless fairytale The Nutcracker will return to The Centre in Vancouver for its ninth year. Experience Clara’s dream come to life as she embarks on a magical journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy. An unforgettable adventure awaits as her gallant Nutcracker battles the evil Mouse King and his army of mischievous mice. Check out the Goh Ballet’s website for tickets and more information.


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Good Tidings!

Dec. 15–16

Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir will present their much-loved holiday concert, Good Tidings! Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. & Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral. This year the choir will be joined by critically acclaimed Canadian jazz singer Maureen Washington in a glorious program of gospel, soul and jazz Christmas hits to get audiences in the spirit of the festive season. Please visit their website for tickets and more information.


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Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

Dec. 15, 2017–Jan. 21, 2018

Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver

Experience Vancouver in a whole new light in this five week celebration of Chinese culture. Debuting for its first year at the PNE grounds, the Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival features 35 massive lanterns, amazing performances, storytelling, food trucks, kids activities and a marketplace. There will be something for everyone! Please visit their website for tickets and a list of events and activities.


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Assaf Amdursky

Dec. 16, 8 p.m.

Norman Rothstein Theatre, Vancouver

The Rothstein Theatre will be hosting Israeli musician Assaf Amdursky in concert on Dec. 16. He has created a platform as one of the most productive and multi-faceted artists in the current Israeli music scene. Since the early ‘90s, he has released seven solo albums and collaborated with several leading artists in Israel, putting on a show that is rock ‘n roll with some electronic influences and high on emotion. For tickets, check out the theatre website.


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Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Dec. 21, 6–10 p.m.

Various neighbourhoods in Vancouver

The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival returns for the 24th time to honour the city’s many cultural traditions, celebrating the cosmic dance of the sun, the earth and the moon. The festival will illuminate the darkest night of the year with lanterns, singing, dancing, music, art and much more in a variety of neighbourhoods, including Yaletown, Chinatown and Granville Island. Further activities will be revealed as the night approaches. For updates, check out their website.


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Italian Short Film Day

Dec. 21, 7–9 p.m.

Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver

The aim of the Italian Short Film Day at the Il Centro Cultural Centre is to offer a showcase of short films to the general public, people who are not festival goers or do not have access to specialized programs. The day features a program of recent Italian shorts of various genres and on different formats, offering an overview of where young Italian filmmakers are heading and what the trends of tomorrow will be. Of the five short films that will be screened – varying in length from 14 to 20 minutes – some are funny, some are lyrical, some are dramatic and all are engaging. For more information and to RSVP a seat, please visit their website.


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NYE Vancouver

Dec. 31, 6:30 p.m.

Canada Place

Mark the date! Say goodbye to 2017 in style at Canada Place. This family-friendly event will feature plenty of concerts, exhibitions, food and live entertainment. There will be two fireworks shows, one at 9 p.m. for the children who need to go to bed early and another at midnight to usher in 2018. For further information and event details, check out their website.