This week: ride a seaside Ferris wheel, shop local craft fairs, attend a carolling spectacular + more
1. Handel’s Messiah — Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2
Facebook/Early Music VancouverMusic director and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann will lead four international soloists—Yulia Van Doren (soprano), Krisztina Szabó (mezzo-soprano), Charles Daniels (tenor) and Tyler Duncan (baritone)—in partnership with Vancouver’s very own Juno-nominated Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) and the Vancouver Cantata Singers for what promises to be a revelatory take on Handel’s best-known work.
Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver; 7:30 p.m.; Tickets $18
2. Toque — Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3
Facebook/Western FrontToque is Western Front's annual fundraiser for art and music programs, featuring a curated selection of talented B.C. artists, designers and artisans and selling everything from books and cards to jewelry, textiles and ceramics. Western Front publications and a limited edition artist-designed tea towel commissioned for the event will also be available.
303 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver; Friday, December 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, December 2 & Sunday, December 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Admission by donation
3. North Vancouver Christmas Festival — Saturday, December 2
City of North VancouverCheck out the new (and free) 65-foot Sky Wheel Ferris wheel (open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. with rides by donation) and an artisan market, as well as ornament/lantern making, gingerbread decorating, a storytime tent, face painting, balloon creations and live music. There are photos with Santa and a Christmas tree lighting. Enjoy free hot chocolate, coffee and tea. There’s also free kettle corn and cotton candy for the first 500 people! See their website for more info on the festival and Sky Wheel.
The Shipyards, North Vancouver; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Free admission
4. Annual Aboriginal Arts and Crafts Fair — Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3
Facebook/Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship CentrePick up presents from traditional textiles to contemporary artwork by local Aboriginal artists and enjoy indigenous food such as smoked salmon and bannock.
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, 1607 East Hastings Street, Vancouver; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Admission by donation
5. Lumière YVR — Saturday, December 2 to Saturday, December 9
Facebook/Lumiere YVRLighting up the West End with art installations, public discos, dance lessons and pop-up ping pong, Lumière launches on Saturday night with fire performances and an umbrella light parade at English Bay, followed by music at Jim Deva Plaza and an after-party at Celebrities. See their website for info on the full line-up.
6. Vancouver Santa Claus Parade — Sunday, December 3
Vancouver Santa Claus ParadeWestern Canada’s largest Christmas parade raises funds for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and the CKNW Orphans’ Fund with marching bands, dance troupes, festive floats and community groups. Head to Christmas Square by the Vancouver Art Gallery at 10 a.m. for family fun such as face painting, a letters-to-Santa station, live music by LeftCoast and a food bank drop off area.
Parade starts at 12 p.m. at the corner of West Georgia and Broughton Street and travels east along West Georgia, heads south on Howe Street and finishes at Davie Street
7. DIY Holiday Gifts — Tuesday, December 5
Facebook/Little MountainOpen to everyone, this free workshop focuses on making thoughtful DIY gifts for the holidays, such as candles and bath balms. Learn a new skill and make some sweet gifts for friends and family.
Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, 3981 Main Street, Vancouver; 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Free admission
8. Krampusnacht: Photos with Krampus — Tuesday, December 5
Strange Fellows BrewingIn some European alpine villages, the nice St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) is accompanied by the horned and hooved Krampus, who comes to take the naughty kids away. Krampus will visit Strange Fellows Brewing for photo opportunities (kids can come accompanied by adults) and the brewery will be serving a special seasonal brew in his honour.
Strange Fellows Brewing, 1345 Clark Drive, Vancouver; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Photos by donation to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (Non-perishable food items or suggested donation $5)
9. Yule Duel — Thursday, December 7
Facebook/Yule DuleDozens of choirs perform new and classic songs in a variety of styles at this unique carolling experience on the streets of Gastown. Cheer on your favourites and sing along as the best in show go head-to-head in a series of sing-offs, with the winners decided by celebrity judges. All proceeds will go to May’s Place Hospice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Admission by donation
10. Make It! Vancouver — Thursday, December 7 to Sunday, December 10
Facebook/Make ItFind the perfect presents—from baby accessories and beauty products to candles and ceramics—all made by Canadian creators. Meet the makers at this fast growing craft fair and get to know the designers behind locally made products.
PNE Forum, 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver; Various times and dates, Admission $8 (Free for kids 12 & under)