Cultural Calendar

‘Tis the season anew, as 2023 gracefully concludes; wishing everyone a gentle year’s end. Don your warm attire and explore the array of events, festivals and shows taking place this holiday season. See everyone in the new year!

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Lights at Lafarge

Now until the end of Feb. 2024

There are several light displays happening this winter season all across the Lower Mainland. The Lights at Lafarge, produced by the City of Coquitlam and presented by Coquitlam Centre, is Metro Vancouver’s largest free outdoor winter lights display. The display is running now until the end of February 2024. This season’s outdoor exhibit features a 1.2-km pathway that includes more lights, re-imagined elements that highlight flora, fauna and fairytales.

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Snow White

Now until Dec. 31

The Carousel Theatre for Young People is presenting a wickedly funny reinterpretation of the classic fairytale Snow White, on stage at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre for the holiday season, from now until Dec. 31. The fresh spin on the epic tale sees two actors whimsically embody the story’s full cast of beloved characters, including the handsome prince, malicious queen, helpful dwarf and the pure-hearted Snow White herself. Hailed as “imaginative and energetic” by the Toronto Star, this play brings out all the best parts of the Brothers Grimm narrative while offering a fun twist that will delight audiences of all ages. Check out the theatre’s website for tickets and more information.

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Rebecca Bair: Where the Light Meets My Shoulder

Dec. 9, 2023–Feb. 11, 2024

Where the Light Meets My Shoulder is a solo exhibition of recent work by interdisciplinary artist Rebecca Bair being exhibited by the Evergreen Cultural Centre. While primarily working with photography, Bair uses a multitude of mediums to expand the possibilities of representation. Over the past five years, the artist has developed a style that reflects her experience as a Black woman living on Turtle Island. Her work upends how Blackness is often (mis)represented and honours the complex, varying experiences of people of African descent. Bair tenderly gathers symbols of Blackness that are specific to her as an individual and that embody a deep love and care for herself, her community and her heritage. Using recurring imagery of her coily hair, the sun, shadows and circles, Bair plays with abstraction to negotiate what can be seen and what is withheld.

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Argentina’s 40 years of democracy: Made in Argentina Movie Screening

Dec. 13, 6–9 p.m.

Join the SFU International Studies for their movie screening of “Made in Argentina” commemorating Argentina’s 40 years of democracy, which refers to the period of democratic governance in Argentina that began in 1983 and lasted until the present day. This era is significant because it marked the end of a series of military dictatorships and a return to civilian rule. Argentina’s democracy faced ongoing challenges, such as political polarization, and socio-economic inequalities. These issues have continued to shape the country’s political landscape and public discourse. However, the endurance of democratic governance for four decades is seen as a significant achievement in a region historically marked by authoritarianism. To reserve a ticket, check out the SFU Events website.

Chor Leoni choir. | Photo courtesy of Chor Leoni

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Music for the Winter Solstice

Dec. 13–14

With familiar faces and moving musical favourites, Music for the Winter Solstice has been called the “antidote to the holly-jolliness of the season,” trading over-the-top commercialized bustle for meditative stillness and reflection. Vancouver musicians Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, Robyn Jacob, Asitha Tennekoon and Jonathan Lo return to provide audiences with a sense of warmth and bliss during cold winter nights. Experience intimate performances including Solstice favourites like Caroline Shaw‘s Winter Carol and the Wyrd Sisters‘ Solstice Carole, plus so much more! This is the perfect event to bring a friend, come solo or invite the whole family to immerse in the warm glow of Main Street’s Heritage Hall.

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Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Dec. 14–17

What holiday season would be complete without a performance of The Nutcracker? Goh Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker is happening at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from Dec. 14 to 17. Experience Clara’s dream come to life as she embarks on a magical journey through the Land of Snow, across the Lemonade Sea, 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. For tickets and more information, check out their website.

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Christmas With Chor Leoni

Dec. 15–18

Escape the holiday hustle and bustle at one of Vancouver’s most popular Christmas events, in one of the city’s most iconic venues. Bask in enveloping acoustics, soaring architecture and stunning visuals as you hear both new and familiar songs of the season accompanied by piano, harp, and violin. Bring friends and family and make Christmas with Chor Leoni a part of your holiday tradition. For tickets, showtimes, performer bios and more information, check out their website.

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Show Me Taiwan!

Dec. 16–17

The CF Richmond Centre will be hosting a weekend of free activities that are fun for all ages and guests can enter a lucky draw for the chance to win a flight ticket to Taiwan. Activities include Taiwanese pinball, take home paiwan bead bracelet kits, umbrella painting, Chinese calligraphy, 360 VR videos and more. There will also be musical performances featuring Taiwanese instrumental songs. For more information and to reserve a spot, check out the Eventbrite page.

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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!

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Celebration of Perihelion

Jan. 2, 2024, 2:30 p.m.

Perihelion is the moment when the Earth will be closest to the sun for all of 2024. The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre will be using it as an excuse to host a New Year celebration! Join them for live science demonstrations and a special show in the Planetarium Star Theatre where they will look ahead at all of the big space science news coming up in 2024. Please check out the space centre’s website for more information.