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This week in BC: Take a winter wander, see White Christmas, catch the Santa Claus Parade, and more
La Cage Aux Folles, at the Vancouver Playhouse, is a guaranteed gust-buster
See La Cage aux Folles – November 26 – December 24
The only thing predictable about La Cage aux Folles? The gut-busting belly laughs you’ll get when you watch two sets of parents — one ultra-conservative, the other flamboyantly gay — meet up for the marriage of their respective children. This tuneful and touching tale, a naughty but nice alternative to traditional holiday fare, unfolds at the Vancouver Playhouse from November 26 to December 24.
Catch a Flick at the Whistler Film Festival – November 30 – December 4
It didn’t take an event planner with an Einstein-level IQ to figure out that you’re guaranteed to top up turnout if you base your ‘do at a world-class resort. Hence, the 11th annual Whistler Film Festival, hosting cinema on the slopes from November 30 to December 4. Canada’s answer to Sundance, it’s got all the alpine afterglow of its American counterpart, minus the Hollywood-style hoopla. Cinephiles can check out over 80 domestic and international films, along with a slate of workshops and industry forums, all backdropped by North America’s most majestic mountain mecca.
Have Yourself a White Christmas – December 2-28
Make your days merry and bright by warming up to White Christmas: The Musical, a critically acclaimed show that’s back by popular demand at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St, Vancouver) from December 2 to 28. This tap-dancing tour de force, which racked up full-house runs for two consecutive seasons, already boasts several sold-out performances, thanks to Irving Berlin’s timeless tunes and a story one reviewer called “as warm and sweet as rum and eggnog.”
Enjoy the Canyon Lights – December 2 – January 1
Iffy about strolling in a park after dark? You’ll change your mind at Canyon Lights, an alpine escapade guaranteed to bring a holiday thrill to the winter chill. From December 2 to January 1, visitors to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park will see it in a whole new light — thousands of them, to be exact. And that’s just one way the world-famous tourist attraction is summoning up the seasonal spirit, along with sing-along carols and gingerbread decorating, with proceeds from admission benefiting the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.
Take a Winter Wander at Vanier Park – December 3
Quick: Where’s Vanier Park? If you’re like many Vancouverites, the question draws a big blank. That’s a shame ’cause it’s one of Kitsilano’s biggest cultural hubs, housing H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Bard on the Beach, the City of Vancouver Archives and museums devoted to both music and maritime history. But why not see for yourself on December 3 when $5 buys you entry to them all at Winter Wander at Vanier Park, featuring music, food vendors, performances and prizes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Catch the Santa Claus Parade – December 4
If every one of the estimated 300,000 spectators at the Rogers Santa Claus Parade brings a donation for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, few local families would go hungry this holiday season. But before you stake out a spot for the
1 p.m. parade on December 4, swing by the Coast Capital Christmas Square (Thurlow and Georgia streets) for some family-style fun and live music starting at 10:30 a.m.
Listen to Some Tudor Tunes
– December 5
What type of tunes got Henry VIII’s toes tapping at Christmas? The kind you’ll hear from Stile Antico, a British vocal ensemble performing Christmas Music from Tudor England on December 5 at Chan Centre (6265 Crescent Rd, Vancouver). The medieval minstrels, making their first-ever foray to Canada, resurrects Thomas Tallis’s stately seven-part Christmas Mass, first performed in 1554, along with other celebrated 16th-century works, starting at 8 p.m.
See Portraits & Scenes of Female Creatures – December 7-10
“Her stuff is physical to the point of explosive, and impossible to forget.” That’s the Georgia Straight’s take on Vancouver choreographer Amber Funk Barton’s Portraits and Scenes of Female Creatures, running December 7 through 10 at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 E. Cordova St, Vancouver). Every bit as quirky as it sounds, this boundary-busting piece journeys to the depths of the sea where a quartet of victims comes face to face with mythological marine creatures. Tickets are $12 to $30.
Find Unique Gifts at the One of a Kind Show – December 8-11
Been to one craft fair, been to ’em all? Not so fast. The One of a Kind Show got its name for a reason. Considered “North America’s answer to contemporary craft shows,” it showcases the unique creations of more than 300 artisans and designers from December 8 to 11 at Vancouver Convention Centre West (1055 Canada Place). And when you need to take a load off? Check out the daily fashion shows produced by TVW’s resident fashion expert Catherine Dunwoody, kicking off Thursday at 7 p.m.
Do the Teddy Bear Toss – December 9
Hey, hockey fans, ever get the urge to chuck something on the ice? Get ready to fly at ’er at the Vancouver Giants game on December 9 when the team hosts the Teddy Bear Toss, supporting the CKNW Orphans’ Fund and the Province Empty Stocking Fund. Just bring a stuffed animal — or buy one on site — and when the Giants score their first goal, that’s your cue to hurl the critters onto the ice. Tickets for the 7 p.m. game start from $20 at Ticketmaster.
See the Singing Christmas Tree – December 9-11 & December 16-18
Think your Christmas tree is tops? Sorry, but it can’t hold a candle to Nanaimo’s legendary Singing Christmas Tree. For 19 seasons, families have gathered ‘round to watch the towering tree belt out tunes, and they’ll do the same again this year from December 9 to 11 and December 16 to 18 at ET Family Church (1300 Princess Royal Avenue, Nanaimo). Catch it nightly at 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. Tickets sell out fast, so pick up yours for free at The Buzz Coffee House and Tia Mei’s Café.
Laugh at Off-White Christmas – until December 23
When it comes to the holidays, the Vancouver TheatreSports League tells it like it is! While other shows may spoon out heavy doses of saccharine sentiment, Off-White Christmas exposes the dark side of the season. But don’t think “downer,” ’cause this improv show keeps it upbeat with enough holiday hilarity to even wrench a smile out of Scrooge himself. Catch it Thursday to Saturday until December 23 at The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau St, Granville Island, Vancouver), starting at 7:30 p.m.
Originally published in TVW. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.