Vancouver Culture Picks for November and December 2019


Date November 6 to 17
Venue Historic Theatre at the Cultch
Price From $26

Whether it’s writing, performing and selling out a one-man show or growing a magnificent handlebar moustache, playwright Tetsuro Shigematsu has proven his talents as an individual—but his newest production, Kuroko, puts a spotlight on helping hands. Coming from Kabuki, kuroko is a Japanese word meaning “child of darkness.” It refers to stagehands that “enable the players to accomplish the impossible,” says the playwright.

A departure from his previous solo shows, this world premier features a cast of five Asian actors. The production follows a father’s quest to get his daughter out of her bedroom—she is hikikomori, a recluse who has shut herself away for the past five years. Her only link to reality is through the virtual, and her father hires a stranger to befriend her online in hopes of ending her reclusion. Five years might seem extreme, but reclusion and retreat into virtual reality are more common than you think—Shigematsu believes hikikomori may offer “an interesting glimpse of our collective future.”

Credit: Tim Matheson

East Van Panto: Pinocchio

Date November 20 to January 5
Venue York Theatre at the Cultch
Price From $26

A lonely ice cream vendor named Gelatto, his puppet, and a lot of lies and laughter make up this fractured fairytale—a beloved East Van tradition.

Circle Craft Christmas Market

Date November 7 to 11
Venue Vancouver Convention Centre West
Price From $11

Kick off holiday shopping with wares from over 300 artisans from B.C. and beyond, including sleek, hand-poured concrete planters from Mind the Minimal and lifelike anatomical lasercut artwork from Light and Paper.

Juke Ross

Date November 23
Venue Biltmore Cabaret
Price From $17

This med-student-turned-guitar-hero hails from Guyana, and his dusky warm voice is just what the doctor ordered.

Credit: Sasha Snow

Architecture and Design Film Festival

Date November 7 to 10
Venue Vancity Theatre and Scotiabank Dance Centre
Price $13

This fest has an all-star lineup of flicks that hit close to home, literally—like Fredrik Gertten’s PUSH, an international documentary that explores why we can’t afford to live in our own cities anymore.


Date November 21 to December 14
Venue Firehall Arts Centre
Price From $25

Attention, cynics tired of cheery holiday specials: grab some tissues and head to this ghostly romantic musical—Portuguese fado is known as the saddest music in the world.

U.S. Thanksgiving Dinner

Date November 28
Venue Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio (False Creek and Ambleside locations)
Price From $59

Chef Ricardo Valverde’s roasted yam and coconut soup, turkey roulade and carrot cake with walnut crumble is a great excuse to be grateful on American Thanksgiving, too.

The “U Up?” Podcast Live

Date December 7
Venue Vogue Theatre
Price From $20

This live comedic podcast starring Jordana Abraham and Jared Freid tackles modern dating’s central questions, like “Is It Hot or Offensive to Leave Right After a Hookup?” and “What’s Worse, Looking Jealous or Crazy?”

Credit: Bruce Mcpherson

Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Date December 21
Venue Granville Island and Yaletown
Price Free

It’s the longest night of the year, but thousands of candlelit lanterns (plus singing, drumming and a firedance finale) bring the heat to this free fest.