Cultural Calendar

The holiday season is here once again and 2022 is fast coming to a close. I hope the year has been kind to everyone. Dress warmly and check out some of the events and shows happening this month! See everyone in the new year!

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The Magic Flute: The Panto

Nov. 30–Dec. 23

The volunteer-based White Rock Players’ Club is a much-loved community theatre, producing family-friendly comedies, thrillers, dramas and the ever-popular Christmas Pantomime. This year’s Christmas performance is The Magic Flute written and directed by Dianna Harvey. Tam, our clumsy and nervous hero, is thrown into a surprising adventure, along with his pal Poppi, who is always looking for true love. Together, they cross paths with a mysterious Queen, a lovable King, a spooky giraffe, a beautiful girl, a feathered friend and a helpful fairy who watches over all their shenanigans. Toe-tapping songs and spectacular dance numbers add to the fun!

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Three Way Mirror

Dec. 2, 2022–Jan. 14, 2023

As three Generation X storytellers with a shared affinity for queer reclamation strategies and decorative craft traditions, Daniel Barrow, Glenn Gear and Paige Gratland began collaborating in the summer of 2018. In a third iteration of their collaborative relationship, Barrow, Gear and Gratland will spend two weeks in the grunt space in advance of the exhibition opening, sharing practices and bringing together their work for Three Way Mirror. Shaped by the upheavals and isolation of the last three years, the artists will explore in situ the intimacy created when people work creatively together. It is a multi-faceted curiosity: the material intelligence of paper cutting, leather-work, weaving and beading – born in each of their practices through years of learning, intergenerational exchange and queer support networks–intersects with time-based storytelling, animation and documentary film. Woven throughout is a conversation with each other and the wider community, and Three Way Mirror finds in their shared sensibilities (and distinct practices) a space for queer craft legacies to be created, shared and have their stories told.

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Make It: The Handmade Revolution

Dec. 7–11

Since 2008, Make It has grown to become one of the most popular and well-attended craft fairs in Canada, with biannual shows in Vancouver and Edmonton. This massive growth would have never been possible without the support, enthusiasm and love from the amazing community. Each year, more and more conscious shoppers buy from Makies, which in turn allows them to do the work they love. From Dec. 7 to 11, the show will be at the Pacific National Exhibition Forum with 250 of your favourite Makies, with clothing, accessories, art, home decor, gourmet goodies and more!

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Stories in the Sky: Exploring Indigenous Astronomy

Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

When you look at the night sky, what stories do you see? The eighty-eight constellations in our sky are full of stories and legends, but are just a part of a much richer tapestry. When we learn about what the night sky means to various Indigenous communities, we explore an important perspective reflecting how they live, and how they understand the universe. Join the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre for a special presentation in the Planetarium Star Theatre with guest Shandin Pete, a hydrogeologist and science educator at the University of British Columbia, with an interest in Indigenous research methodologies, geoscientific ethnography, Indigenous astronomy, culturally congruent instructional strategies and Indigenous science philosophies.

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Music for the Winter Solstice

Don’t miss the Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival. | Photo courtesy of Secret Lantern Society

Dec. 14–15, 7 p.m.

If you are looking for a winter season event that sparks joy and warmth, Music for the Winter Solstice does just that. Feel immersed in the artists’ intimate performances, as they perform Solstice favourites such as Caroline Shaw‘s Winter Carol and the Wyrd Sisters‘ Solstice Carole. You’ll also hear music by Robyn Jacob from Only a Visitor and be entranced by the beautiful sounds of J.S. Bach. This annual tradition makes for the perfect gift to someone special or for a date (or solo!) night to spend an evening filled with great music and warmth.

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Christmas Cabaret

Dec. 15–18, 7 p.m.

This multimedia event will be an immersive experience for both artist and spectator, with the theme of LIGHT, LOVE and LIBERTY. Guests will explore a labyrinth-like space filled with live music and weaving voices; corridors of original paintings; masterful dramatizations; movement artists, all flowing and inviting audiences to come on a magical journey for a few hours and be captivated by an effervescent atmosphere. There will be seasonal refreshments being served: wine, cheese, coffee, hot chocolate, mulled apple cider and other such Christmas goodies to enhance the interactive evening.

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Anne of Green Gables – The Musical

Dec. 15–31

Fall in love with Anne Shirley in this musical adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s timeless classic. When she arrives in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, she quickly captures the hearts of her newfound family and neighbours. With her fierce personality, remarkable imagination and eagerness to find her own place in the world, she brings joy, love and laughter to the quiet town. Don’t miss this inspiring, humorous and touching musical live on stage this holiday season. Please visit Gateway Theatre’s website for tickets and more information.

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Vancouver International Black Film Festival

Dec. 16–20

After a successful first virtual edition last year, the Vancouver International Black Film Festival is back with a hybrid version (in-person and online) to amplify the voices of Afro-descendants in British Columbia. The in-person screenings and events will take place at the VIFF Vancity Theatre and Studio Theatre. The opening night is a red carpet event happening on Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.and opens with Jennifer Njeri Gatero’s Nairobby at the Vancity Theatre, a suspenseful film about friendship and loyalty as six university students who have just pulled off a daring heist are put to the test. For tickets, showtimes and more information, check out the festival’s website.

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29th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Dec. 21, 6–10 p.m.

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 29th 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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Nikkei Mochitsuki

Dec. 29, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Mochitsuki (or ‘mochi pounding’) is returning to the Nikkei Centre this year. A traditional New Year’s and year-end activity, mochitsuki is when the community comes together to make glutinous rice cakes the old-fashioned way: with a hollowed-out tree trunk and wooden mallet. Whether mochitsuki is a tradition in your own family, or you’re completely new to Japanese cultural experiences, the Centre invites the public to come join in this experience together. Watch the pros hammer away, and try out your own hand at turning rice into sticky, gooey irresistible mochi. The event features a demonstration by the Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association. It’s great fun for the whole family!