Cultural Calendar

Labyrinth of Light by Gregory Byrne | Photo courtesy of Secret Lantern Society

Here we are friends – the last Cultural Calendar of 2019 and the 2010s decade. Close out the decade in style with a little holiday cheer. From seasonal music, dance and theatre to Christmas festivals and New Year celebrations, it will be a cold but lively winter in Vancouver. Have a happy new year everyone. I’ll see all of you in 2020 – the next decade!

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The Tragic Comedy of MacBeth

Now Playing until Dec. 15

Jericho Arts Centre, Vancouver

Wait…MacBeth, a comedy? It is, at the Jericho Arts Centre where they are hosting the Literary Larceny Artistic Collective’s production of The Tragic Comedy of Macbeth until Dec. 15. This production takes William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy and mixes in a little bit of comedy and improv to produce an entertaining evening for comedy and Shakespeare fans alike. In an attempt to lift the curse from the Bard’s most popular play, the original MacBeth uses improvisation to try to alter the ending in the wild comedy with dark edges. Check out the arts centre website for tickets and more information.

Samantha Harrison, Jeong Min as Bacchus, 2019, oil on Linen, 30 x 36 inches | Photo courtesy of Richmond Art Gallery

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ArtRich 2019

Now on display until Dec. 31

Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond

The Richmond Art Gallery, with the Richmond Arts Coalition, will be hosting ArtRich 2019, their third bi-annual, juried exhibition, taking place now until Dec. 31. The exhibition looks to celebrate emerging and established artists with a connection to the Lower Mainland from Richmond and nearby communities and provide them with an opportunity to exhibit together. This year will once again feature a set of People’s Choice awards for the community’s favourite artworks.

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New West WinterFest

Now until Jan. 5, 2020

Various venues throughout New Westminster

If you’re in or around the Royal City (the nickname for New Westminster) this holiday season, check out the cultural scene happening in honour of the wintry season. This festive celebration will feature a wide array of fun, seasonal attractions for the whole family. The Anvil Centre will be filled with a cornucopia of entertainment for everyone – from choirs, singalongs and art installations to musical performances and arts & crafts. There will be a Santa Parade on Dec. 15 and a Solstice Pride Party on Dec. 21. For a complete list of events, check out the WinterFest website.

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Music for the Winter Solstice 2019

Dec. 11–12, 8 p.m.

Heritage Hall, Vancouver

This Music on Main tradition returns to the city for the Winter Solstice once more. The winter solstice is a time of contrast: light and dark, cold and warmth, endings and beginnings. As the current decade comes to a close, take a moment away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy the coming of winter and the fresh start it offers us all. Bask in the candlelight glow of Heritage Hall as people come together with gorgeous music for the solstice. For tickets and programme information, check out the Music on Main website.

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Dec. 11–15

The PNE Forum, Vancouver

The MakeIt Handmade Revolution is coming back to the Pacific National Exhibition with over 250 local artists, artisans and makers (Makies!). With clothing, accessories, art, home decor, gourmet goodies, baby and kid items and other unique treasures – visitors will be sure to find gifts for everyone on their list. In addition, MakeIt has food trucks and a beer garden to get visitors in the festive spirit! There will be a special opening kick-off on Wednesday night, featuring a fun night of special events, entertainment and a venue-wide liquor license. Check out their website for tickets and more information.

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Dec. 12–31

Gateway Theatre, Richmond

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the most well-loved musicals of all time and the Gateway Theatre in Richmond will be putting on director Barbara Tomasic’s adaptation of the musical until Dec. 31. A joyous reimagining of the biblical story of Joseph, Jacob and the coat of many colours, this heartwarming hit will have your whole family humming along. Check out the theatre’s website for tickets and showtimes.

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Third Venezuelan Christmas Bazaar

Dec. 14, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Burnaby Lake Rugby Clubhouse, Burnaby

The Venezuelan-Canadian Society of BC will be presenting the Third Venezuelan Christmas Bazaar with the aim to promote Venezuelan talent in British Columbia. Drop by and enjoy a day with friends, family and immerse yourself in Venezuelan culture. Take this opportunity to finish up some of your Christmas shopping, taste some delicious Venezuelan dishes and support Venezuelan artists and entrepreneurs. There will be live music from Venezuelan groups starting at 12:30 p.m.: Viene Sonando, Asi Somos and Los Parranderos de Vancouver.

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26th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Dec. 21, 6–10 p.m.

Various venues around Vancouver

The dance of the sun and earth has inspired celebrations of the human spirit, expressed through art and music, throughout the ages. Honouring many cultural traditions, the annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival illuminates the darkest night of the year with lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music, storytelling and dancing! Returning to the city for the 26th year, celebrate this free community event with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in three Vancouver neighbourhoods: Yaletown, Strathcona and Granville Island. Please visit the festival’s website for programme information.

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Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert

Jan. 1, 2020, 2:30 p.m.

Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver

Waltz into 2020 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert, which has been delighting Vancouver audiences for 24 years! This dazzling performance evokes a golden age of Viennese music, brimming with energy, merriment and romance. It is a glorious re-creation of the beloved Neujahrskonzert, the concert that has welcomed the New Year for more than 80 years in Vienna and all over the world. The concert brings the music of Johann Strauss to life with European singers, ballroom dancers and ballet. The performance is rich with selections from beloved operettas, elegant dances, lively overtures and the beautiful Blue Danube Waltz.

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Jan. 7–19, 2020

Historic Theatre at The Cultch, Vancouver

In January, The Cultch will be putting on Infinity, a surprising, funny and revelatory new play about love, sex and math. The cynical, skeptical daughter of a theoretical physicist and a composer, Sarah Jean’s clinical approach to love meets with little success. In this absorbing drama infused with science and classical music, three exceptional minds collide like charged particles in an accelerator. Sarah Jean’s hugely talented, yet severely dysfunctional, family will learn that love and time itself are connected in unimaginable ways. Check out the theatre’s website for tickets and showtimes.