This is the penultimate cultural calendar for 2019 and for the 2010s decade – get ready to close out the year and the decade in style! From theatre and musical performances to the many Christmas festivals and markets happening, there are plenty of events to check out around town.
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The Father: A Tragic Comedy
Nov. 20–30, 8 p.m. (Matinees at 2 p.m.)
Vancity Culture Lab, Vancouver
The newly formed theatre company, The Search Party, will present its debut production, The Father, at the Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch from Nov. 20 to 30. The Father is a deeply moving and unsentimental portrayal of the realities of living with dementia. The show depicts a fearless and humanizing portrayal of a man in mental decline whose daughter desperately tries to care for him as he fights to maintain his autonomy and identity.
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Tenth Annual Vancouver Christmas Market
Nov. 20–Dec. 24
Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver
The 10th Annual Vancouver Christmas Market will be held at Jack Poole Plaza from Nov. 20 to Dec. 24. Take a holiday photograph, decorate your home with the unique arts and crafts on sale and listen to live performances! There are plenty of foods to try at the market as well: Transylvanian kürtőskalács (chimney cakes), Schweinshaxe (pork shanks) and Spätzle (egg noodle). Don’t forget to down some holiday Glühwein! For more information, check out the market’s website.
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Glow Gardens: Christmas Vancouver
Nov. 21, 2019–Jan. 5, 2020
Harbour Convention Centre, Vancouver
Glow Gardens will be hosting two festivals in the Lower Mainland – one in Downtown Vancouver and one in Abbotsford. Experience a family-friendly indoor wonderland as you celebrate the magic of Christmas and help the elves uncover Santa’s lost presents! Enjoy interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, delicious food, festive drinks and daily live entertainment all under the twinkle of a million lights. Check out the Glow Gardens’ website for more details.
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22nd Annual European Union Film Festival
Nov. 22–Dec. 2
The Cinematheque, Vancouver
The Cinematheque’s annual celebration of new cinema from the European Union is proudly presented with the Vancouver consulates and the Ottawa embassies of the member states of the European Union and the Delegation of the European Union to Canada. This year’s festival showcases entries from 25 EU members. Check out an Austrian film about the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, a Slovakian film about alpine supply carriers and a Polish espionage thriller. Please check out The Cinematheque’s website for a complete list of movies and showtimes.
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VAMSO: From Graceful to Profane: Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich
Nov. 24, 2 p.m.
Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver
The Vancouver Academy of Music will be featuring a dynamic Russian program showcasing music from one of the most popular ballets of all time and one of the most famous love themes, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake suite and Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet. The provocation continues as Dmitriy Dmitrievich Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 impresses with excitement and technical virtuosity, performed by the Academy’s President and CEO, Mr. Joseph Elworthy. Check out the Academy’s website for tickets and more information.
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Cosmic Nights: Dark Energy
Nov. 28, 6:30–10 p.m.
H. R. MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver
Grab a friend and pay a visit to the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre for Cosmic Nights: Dark Energy. Explore the mysteries of the dark energy that is said to permeate all of space and accelerate the expansion of the universe. Learn more about current missions and hot topics in astronomy and space exploration in this fun evening of science and socializing. There will be a custom planetarium show and guest lecturer, drinks, science demonstrations and trivia at this 19+ event. Check-in is at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please check out the centre’s website.
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Eighth Annual Yactac Craft Fair
Nov. 30–Dec. 1, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
John Howard Society, Vancouver
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, the John Howard Society will be hosting the eighth annual Yactac Craft Fair! There will be crafts, snacks, art, laughs and music. Many vendors will feature drawings, pottery, prints, cards, hand-made goods, pet portraits, live drawing sessions, jewelry, hand-made soap, baked goods and more.
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Lights at Lafarge
Nov. 30, 2019–Jan. 20, 2020
(Kick-off Event and Fire Show, Nov. 30, 6–8 p.m.)
Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam
Get into the holiday spirit with family and friends! Enjoy the magic of one of the Lower Mainland’s largest free outdoor lights display at Lafarge Lake in Town Centre Park. Free family fun! Dogs, on leash, are welcome. There will be a free kick-off event on the evening of Sat. Nov. 30 that will include live entertainment and dazzling light displays that encircle the 1.2 km loop around Lafarge Lake.
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Retro Design and Antiques Fair
Dec. 1, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Croatian Cultural Centre, Vancouver
The Retro Design and Antiques Fair features 185 tables of fabulous finds for you and your eclectic abode – 175 different vendors equals a super selection to suit every taste and budget! The fair will feature items like mid-century Modernist decor, vintage & estate jewelry, French country collectibles, funky 50’s kitsch, Depression-era kitchenware and more. Come down to the Croatian Cultural Centre to see why so many designers, collectors and antiques dealers consider this the place to buy.
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Sound House: nêhiyawak
Dec. 5, 7–9:30 p.m.
Museum of Anthropology at UBC, University Endowment Lands
Sound House is the Museum of Anthropology’s new music series featuring a fantastic and eclectic lineup of Vancouver bands and musicians, from folk to funk, hip hop to jazz. On Dec. 5, MOA will be hosting nêhiyawak: three Indigenous musicians coalescing at the intersection between traditional and contemporary music. nêhiyawak tells stories – their stories – capturing time through honeyed and haunting vocals, swaying in and out of the cacophony of electronic and analog sounds. Collecting and piecing together their experiences –existing simultaneously between diverse and disparate cultures – nêhiyawak shares with its audience their unique expression of Indigeneity in Canada today.