10 Christmas performances to get you in the holiday spirit

Nov 29 2018, 7:33 am

Christmas is less than a month away, but the daily grind — and the stress of trying to get all your shopping done on time — can make it hard to feel festive.

Luckily there are a ton of Christmas concerts and performances going on that are sure to get you into the Christmas spirit. Whether you’re into classical music, Vaudeville puppetry, or something a little more competitive, there is something for everyone. 

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Photo: Arts Club Theater Company

If you loved Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, you won’t want to miss this Arts Club production. Written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, Christmas at Pemberley brings the Bennet sisters together for Christmas at the home of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. An unexpected visitor could be a really awkward attempt at a set up, or a Mary’s chance at romance.  Get a sneak peak at the play here.

When: November 15 to December 30

Where: The Arts Club Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street

Tickets: online from $24 to $54.99

Bah Humbug 2018

Photo: Bah Humbug 2018 / SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs.

Once again Jim Byrnes leads a stellar cast in this modern re-telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, set in the Downtown Eastside. Scrooge is a pawnshop operator and hotel landlord who renovicts his tenants. Savannah Walling, the artistic director of Vancouver Moving Theatre which co-produces this production, says “we hope that our music filled adaptation shines the light of truth on this old tale and today’s Downtown Eastside.”

When: December 6 to 22

Where: SFU Woodard’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street

Tickets: Available online from $24 to $39

Yuel Duel: Carolling for a Cause

Photo: Yule Duel 2017 / yuleduel.com

Why listen to one choir when you take in multiple choirs at once battling against each other for Christmas carol supremacy? Yuel Duel 2018 brings together every type of choir imaginable from children’s choirs to chamber choirs and everything in between. Performers are set up at different spots along Water Street in Gastown. Wander from stage to stage taking in the sounds and then vote on your favourite choir.

When: December 6, 6:30 pm

Where: Water St., Gastown

Tickets: Free, but you are encouraged to buy a $5 Yule Duel button. Proceeds go to May’s Place hospice in the Downtown Eastside.

Carolling with Carousel 

Image: Carousel Theatre for Young People

If you’d rather do some carolling yourself, check out Carousel Theatre’s family event. Local crooners The Gingerbread Men perform at this year’s event and lead the attendees in a festive sing-a-long.

When: December 8, 8 pm

Where: The Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, 1412 Cartwright Street

Tickets: Available online. Adults $35, Kids under 17 $18. Bring a toy for the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.

Good Tidings: A Good Noise Gospel Christmas 

Photo: Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir. Good Tidings Good Noise Christmas 2017.

The Good Noise Gospel Choir is the Gospel Choir in residence at Christ Church Cathedral. This holiday season the group is putting on a series of concerts around Vancouver with guest jazz vocalist Maureen Washington. The Good Noise choir is known for concerts that get people up, dancing and feeling all kinds of good feels. If you need a bit of a Christmas season pick-me-up, this is the event to check out.

When: December 17, 7:30 pm

Where: St. John’s Shaughnessy Church, Granville & Nanton

Tickets: Available online, $30  

Christmas with Chor Leoni 

In what has a become something of a Christmas tradition in Vancouver, Chor Leoni men’s choir is putting on a series of concerts. Christmas with Chor Leoni promises to bring you all the “sparkle and shine” of the season with a mix of music favourites ranging from classical to pop, and everything in between.

When: December 14-17


  • December 14, 16, 17 at St. Andrew’s Wesley Church, 1022 Nelson Street, Vancouver
  • December 15 at West Vancouver United Church, 2062 Esquimalt Ave, West Vancouver

Tickets: 1.877.840.0457 or online $20 – $45

Little Dickens: The Daisy Theatre 

Photo: Little Dickens The Daisy Theatre / The Cultch

Ronnie Burkett’s marionette vaudeville troupe puts a whole new spin on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Ebeneezer Scrooge becomes Esme Scrooge, a diva somewhat past her prime, who goes on a Christmas journey to redemption. This adult-only show got great reviews last year and promises to make your spirits bright.

When: December 4 – 22

Where: The Cultch, 1895 Venables St., Vancouver

Tickets: At the box office, online, or by phone 604-251-1363, $24 – $69

The Nutcracker / Mixed Nuts 

Photo: The Royal Winnipeg Ballet / Ballet BC

For many people Christmas isn’t Christmas until the Sugarplum Fairy has danced. This year there are two versions of The Nutcracker playing in Vancouver. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s performs Tchaikovsky’s Christmas Classic with a few Canadian twists added. Look for a pond hockey game and a battle on Parliament Hill. Meanwhile Vancouver’s own Arts Umbrella Dance Company puts on “Mixed Nuts,” a modern retelling of The Nutcracker that incorporates a variety of dance styles. Either one is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.

The Nutcracker

When: December 7 – 9

Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

Tickets: Available online, $34 – $104

Mixed Nuts

When: December 14 – 16

Where: Vancouver Playhouse

Tickets: Available online, $30  

Christmas Reprise XVI 

Photo: Vancouver Cantata Singers/Facebook

Need a break from the last minute gift shopping? You’re in luck. For the 16th year the Vancouver Cantata Singers are offering up Christmas concert to delight the ears. This year the program features a mix of traditional and contemporary pieces.

Where: December 22, 2 pm and 7:30 pm

Where: 2pm at Holy Rosary Cathedral 646 Richard’s St., Vancouver, 7:30 pm at Queen’s Avenue Church 529 Queen’s Ave. New Westminster.

Tickets: Available online. $10 to $35

Carols for the City 

Photo: Christ Church Cathedral / Facebook.

If you’ve had your fill of Christmas cookies and are looking for something to feed the soul, this is event to check out. Carols for the City is a mix of Christmas concert and a Christmas Eve service or sorts. Traditional Christmas carols are interspersed with readings from scripture, prayer, and a blessing by the Salvation Army band. Doors open early and seats fill up fast.

When: December 24, 4pm. Doors open at 3 pm

Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard St., Vancouver

Tickets: Not required. Show up early to secure a seat. Seats cannot be held past 3:30.

Alicia AmbrosioAlicia Ambrosio

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