5 Things to Do in Vancouver This Week (December 12-18)

A Winter Solstice concert, Anne of Green Gables musical and the 2nd annual Vancouver International Black Film Festival.

Your weekly roundup of the top events in the city, including art exhibitions, local theatre, restaurant openings, concerts, film, markets and other to-dos we think you’ll love. If you have a Vancouver event you’d like to submit for consideration, send an email to kdonaldson@canadawide.com.

the roof with snowflake lighting projected
Credit: Jan Gates

1. Warm Your Soul with Music for the Winter Solstice

December 14-15

It’s the holiday special you didn’t know you needed! Witness the talents of Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa (piano) Robyn Jacob (vocals and keyboard), Asitha Tennekoon (tenor), and Jonathan Lo (cello) 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 main street tradition could just be the perfect gift (or date night à la holiday rom-com) for the music lover (or regular lover) in your life.

When: December 14-15
Where: Heritage Hall
Cost: From $52.28
More Info: musiconmain.ca


Actor on stage
Credit: Jam Hamidi

2. Experience a Classic with A Christmas Carol

December 14-24

Enjoy a live theatre telling of this Charles Dickens classic that’s a cautionary tale for jerks to be less so (especially on the holidays) —or at least that’s this writer’s takeaway. But don’t expect a full cast on this retelling: the Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre-produced play is a one-hander with the Stratford/Shaw stalwart Sanjay Talwar playing the role of 40 characters for a whirlwind show that’s sure to be an impressive feat and familiar festive treat.

When: December 14-24
Where: Firehall Arts Centre
Cost: From $25
More Info: firehallartscentre.ca


The image of Anne of Green Gables on a porch
Credit: Kyra Leroux as Anne Shirley, Photo by David Cooper

3. Get Musical with Anne of Green Gables this Holiday Season

December 15-31

All you Lucy Maud Montgomery-heads, get ready to sing along with your favourite copper-haired PEI princess coming this holiday season to the Gateway Theatre. Having started as a TV musical adaptation and later taking to the stage at the Charlottetown Festival in Prince Edward Island, this Canadian classic has delighted millions of people internationally and now seeks to do the same here in Vancouver. It’s Canada’s favourite musical, with Canada’s favourite pig-tailed heroine for a fun, family-friendly holiday outing that’s perfect for any musical or book lover in your life.

When: December 15-31
Where: The Gateway Theatre 
Cost: From $35
More Info: gatewaytheatre.com/anne


Poster for event

4. Celebrate Diversity in Film at the 2nd Annual Vancouver International Black Film Festival

December 16-20

After a successful virtual launch, it’s back for its second year—this time in hybrid form (in-person and online) to amplify the voices of Afro-descendants in British Columbia. Created by the Fabienne Colas Foundation and co-presented by Canada Media Fund and Global BC, the festival is bringing diversity to the big screen along with free panel discussions with industry experts happening in-person and online as they share their thoughts and experiences on today’s most critical filmmaking issues. Don’t miss out on the opening night red carpet event with Jennifer Njeri Gatero’s NAIROBBY at the Vancity Theatre. You can get an All Access Pass to see all the online programming (available for purchase on the festival’s website for $45) or get individual in-person tickets to all the great films coming to this year’s festival. Don’t miss out on this amazing festival celebrating and amplifying black voices on film and in our communities.

When: December 16-20
Where: VIFF Vancity Theatre and Studio Theatre
Cost: From $12
More Info: vancouverblackfilmfest.com


Conductor in front of an orchestra
Credit: Pacific Baroque Orchestra by Jan Gates

5. The Festive Symphony of J.S. Bach’s Festive Cantatas

December 17-18

Add some culture while you’re busy decking the halls this season with two performances from The Pacific Baroque Orchestra of Bach’s Magnificat and Cantata 110— an orchestral experience which explores a wide spectrum of human responses to the Christmas story, from humility to ecstasy, sober consideration to laughing astonishment, and extroverted declamation to introspective affirmation. Directed by Alexander Weimann, this ethereal auditory experience takes place on December 17th at the Kay Meek Arts Centre and on the 18th at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (with a pre-concert talk hosted by broadcaster and author Bill Richardson in conversation with Alexander Weimann and cornetto player Matt Jennejohn). It’s a different way to go baroque this holiday season.

When: December 17-18
Where: The Kay Meek Arts Centre and The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
Cost: From $36
More Info: earlymusic.bc.ca