The Clips volunteered at Aunt Leah’s Xmas tree sale

The holidays are almost here, and Vancouver’s music community is busy spreading cheer.

On December 6, Polaris Prize-nominated locals Black Mountain joined Jay Malinowksi from Bedouin Soundclash, Vancouver East MP Libby Davis and mayor-elect Gregor Robertson, among others, for a free concert to support Insite, the city’s safe injection site. Organized by the non-profit Portland Hotel Society—where members of Black Mountain work—the event filled a rainy city block near Hastings and Main with tunes, balloons and barbecue smoke.

That same night across town, local indie pop label Mint Records hosted night two of its annual Ridiculously Early Christmas Party. Locals The Awkward Stage, Vancougar, Young and Sexy and Bella rocked the Cambrian Hall to raise funds for the Canadian ALS Society.Pawnshop Diamond

I asked a couple local bands for ideas on how readers can get involved in similarly festive, community-focused events. Here are their thoughts:
 

“I think community starts with your neighbours. Smiling at strangers at the local grocers leads to friendly faces on the street. Smiles turn into hellos and friendships begin. Community involves acknowledging the people you live around and the holidays are a great excuse to start.”
—Katie Ormiston, Pawnshop Diamond

“I’ll be hosting the third annual Christmas Trees Bash at Trees Coffee House on December 19, which will be an evening of music from lots of local artists. We will be accepting monetary and non-perishable food donations for the Food Bank. You can pick up a copy of A Very Vancouver Christmas, which is a compilation of Christmas songs from Vancouver artists, with proceeds going to the BC-SPCA. There’s the Funderwear event on December 12 at The Biltmore, which accepts donations of new undies, tights or socks for the needy. Or you can do what the members of The Prettiest Face In Town plan on doing: go caroling and bring some joy to unsuspecting neighbours!”

“Come and be entertained at our all-ages Christmas show on December 19th! We’ll be accepting canned food donations, hopefully for a low-ticket price refund. It’s at the Cambrian Hall and also features Hey Ocean!, Dan Managan and Hannah Georgas. Also try and get your Christmas tree purchases to go towards something good—I’m buying mine to support the Trek program at Prince of Wales school.”
—Tyler Bancroft, Said the Whale

Aunt Leah’s helps foster kids and mothers to become self-sufficient by offering housing, job training and life coaching. They operate on a very small budget, which is bolstered each year by their Christmas tree sales. The Clips volunteered at the Vancouver location last year (during a snow storm) and will be doing so again this year. Come out to their [Aunt Leah's] Lonely Hearts Club Band benefit on January 31—various local bands play their favourite Beatles’ covers… Or head to one of Vancouver’s fine independent music shops and check out some of the awesome local bands in Vancouver (be sure to buy vinyl if you wanna be really cool. Also consider growing a beard and wearing a wool scarf indoors).”
—Jeremy Gruman, The Clips