5 Things to Do in Vancouver This Week: Holiday Edition (December 19-25)

The best arts and culture events happening this week in Vancouver.

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.

Credit: www.ticketleader.ca/events/detail/pne-winter-fair

1. PNE Winter Fair

December 14-23

For 10 magical evenings, the PNE is transformed into the unofficial Christmas headquarters, equipped with all the holiday faves: lights, skating, nightly shows, shopping and a different themed concert every night. Don’t let the snow stop you: there are plenty of indoor options and heated tents, as well as hot cocoa and adult bevies to keep you warm and festive as you wait front row for the boy band-themed Christmas concert to start (this is not a drill… it’s Jeff Timmons, Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre from 98 Degrees, Jamie Jones of All 4 One, Erik Michael-Estrada from O-Town, and Ryan Cabrera). Keep in mind that the concert series (a.k.a. my ’90s holiday fever dream) is extra and not included in the regular admission (the special concert series tickets range from $39 to $69.) Come get swooned by lesser-known members of 98 Degrees, and make this winter fair your new holiday tradition.

When: December 14-23
Where: PNE Grounds
Cost: From $12
More Info: pne.ca/winter


Credit: www.christmasfest.ca

2. Canadian Christmas Festival

November 25- December 24

Looking for a place to get handmade artisan soap, Nutella waffles and a pint of ale all while being enchanted by the sights and sounds of the holiday season? Just take a tiny little boat over to Granville Island for the inaugural Christmas fest happening on the boardwalk in front of The Vancouver Fish Company, where creations from local vendors such as Island Essentials, Winterborn Alpaca, Fallen Tree Vancouver and more will be available for purchase. There’s a festive to-go menu featuring a deliciously curated variety of holiday-themed food and drinks such as hot chocolate, mulled wine and said Nutella waffles. Come find the perfect local gift for the last few on your shopping list (or the first few, I’m not judging) and enjoy the holiday magic taking over Granville Island.

When: November 25-December 24
Where: Granville Island
Cost: Free
More Info: christmasfest.ca

Credit: David Cooper

3. Christmas with Chor Leoni

December 19

Nothing says the holidays quite like a full-on Christmas choir singing carols from a time gone by. Why not go listen to the best in the choir biz? Chor Leoni performs a program that includes old favourites, tender carols, and four world premieres to keep your nights anything but silent. Just to add more holiday ambience, they’re being accompanied by a fiddle and harp (IMO, the two most magical instruments out there—don’t @ me please.) The stunning lights, space, and sound at St. Andrew’s Wesley United make for the perfect venue to transport you to a timeless musical holiday tradition.

When: December 19
Where: St. Andrew’s-Wesley United
Cost: From $20
More Info: chorleoni.org


Credit: pinkmartini.com

4. Pink Martini at the Orpheum Theater

December 20

“If the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we’d be that band.” That’s how Thomas Lauderdale, bandleader and pianist for Pink Martini, would describe their jazz-oozing musical stylings. Coming from a background in politics, Lauderdale formed Pink Martini with the desire to transcend any political standings people may have—conservative, liberal, apathetic—and unite with the power of jazz. Twenty years later, and they’re still going strong, having recorded eight studio albums and collaborated with artists as diverse as Gus Van Sant, the Von Trapp family, and the Sesame Street gang. It’s classical, Latin and jazz-infused music with multilingual lyrics—a band that could actually be enjoyed all over the world.

When: December 20
Where: Orpheum Theatre
Cost: From $95
More Info: vancouver-theatre.com


The promo cover for the film
Credit: www.facebook.com/TheRioTheatre

5. The Muppet Christmas Carol at the Rio Theatre

December 21

A seminal classic in the Christmas lexicon, this cautionary tale is a holiday tradition. And while there are many versions of a Christmas Carol out there, none even hold a candle to the majesty and joy that is this holiday rendition as performed by puppets and Michael Caine. There’s singing, dancing, comedy and Michael Caine. Whether you like puppets or find them deeply terrifying (it’s called pupaphobia… an unfortunate name indeed), this holiday sing-a-long promises to bring warmth and laughter to every kid from one to 92. It’s playing one more time at the Rio Theatre (thanks Ryan Reynolds for helping us save it a few years back) so join the legion of Jim Henson-heads for an evening of nostalgia, popcorn, singing and Michael Caine. Don’t scrooge yourself out of this good time!

When: December 21
Where: Rio Theatre
Cost: From $11.42
More Info: riotheatretickets.ca