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New Yule Duel event to warm Gastown with carolling competition

DH Vancouver Staff Nov 20, 2015 8:49 am

A brand new Christmas event will be humming its way into Vancouver on December 3, 2015.

The Gastown Yule Duel, a Christmas carolling competition between rival choirs, will take over Water Street for an evening of jolly good fun this December, and all for a good cause.

The first ever Yule Duel will have dozens of community and company choirs square off to see who can belt out the best and most beloved Christmas tunes of our time while raising money for the Downtown Eastside’s May’s Place hospice.

“We were inspired to create Yule Duel after seeing the impact of Figgy Pudding, a renowned street-carolling competition that takes place in Seattle every year,” said event organizer Natalie Hill. “The organizers gave us their blessing to emulate it here, and we were off!”

The Gastown Business Improvement Association jumped on the event and helped raise it to the level it has now reached, with 21 community and corporate choirs so far, including teams from local businesses like The Portside Pub, Guilt & Co, KPMG, and the Vancouver Board of Trade.

In total, over 200 carollers will fill Water Street on December 3, along with several featured musicians on the main stage, like the Brazilian percussion band Bloco Energia and jazz trio We 3 Queens.


A team of select celebrity judges will choose the ultimate winners, along with help from the community. Anyone who purchases a $5 button at the event is able to vote for their favourite choir and possibly send them into the final duel for the grand prize.

All proceeds from the event, including the buttons, will go toward May’s Place hospice in the Downtown Eastside, operated by The Bloom Group, a local non-profit.

Because the Seattle event raises money for an important cause in their community, Hill and The Bloom Group chose May’s Place hospice as the beneficiary of this year’s event.

“For 25 years May’s Place has been a home away from home for people who’ve had very difficult lives, and who now face a terminal diagnosis. At May’s they receive dignified and respectful treatment and support, in their final days.”

As for weather conditions, Hill says the Yule Duel will go on no matter what.

“Rain or shine, we’ll be carolling! If it’s raining on December 3, grab your umbrella, dress for the weather and come on down. Our choirs will be well-protected under tents, eager to perform for you. Come on out and show them some love.”

Complete list of Yule Duel participating carollers:

  • Saint James Music Academy
  • Zing! Children’s Choir
  • Vancouver Sacred Harp Singers
  • West End Chamber Choir
  • VanCity Drinks presents: Big T and the Bethlehem 7
  • KPMG – Voices That Count
  • Richmond Christian School Senior Concert Choir
  • Vancouver Board of Trade – Company of Young Professionals
  • Undeclared Majors
  • The Unaccompanied Minors
  • Sound Eclectic
  • Nuthin’ But Treble
  • Sweet Scarlet
  • 8Wing’s Vocal Ensemble
  • Cyrilika Slavic Chamber Choir
  • Impromptu Rock Choir
  • Gentlemen of Fortune Chorus
  • Guilt & Co
  • Portside
  • Blueprint

Gastown Yule Duel 2015

Where: Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver

When: Thursday, December 3; 6 p.m.

Cost: FREE, donations for May’s Place hospice are accepted


DH Vancouver Staff
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