35 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 11 to 15

Dec 11 2017, 3:00 am

Only two more weeks before Christmas Day, so make the most of the festive season with our rundown of fun events around Vancouver!

From Jay-Z to Hillary Clinton, A Christmas Carol to The Nutcracker, here is our list of 35 things to do from Monday, December 11 to Friday, December 15!

For more things happening around town, check out our events section.

Monday, December 11




  • What: Grammy Award winner producer and rapper Jay-Z will be at Rogers Arena on December 11 as part of a massive North American tour. Mr. Beyonce, aka Shawn Carter, dropped his 13th album 4:44 on June 30 and it has topped global charts since. The album was exclusively released on Tidal, a music service that Jay-Z co-owns, during its first week.
  • When: Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online

Pulp Literature Winter Launch

  • What: Join all three founding Pulp Literature editors in celebrating their fourth anniversary and the Launch of Pulp Literature Issue 17. Feature author JJ Lee will be there to read one of his Christmas stories. There will also be readings from Emily Osborne, Misha Handman, and other Pulp Lit authors past and present.
  • When: Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Time: 5 to 7 pm
  • Where: Cottage Bistro – 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, Free

Grief and Loss Writing Workshop

  • What: Through guided meditation and structured writes, explore the different dimensions of grief and yourself. Obtain the relief that comes when you can express your thoughts and feelings and know that you have put them down somewhere. Whether the grief you carry is from an actual death or from some of the many losses we sustain in life, come and be welcomed into a safe space with other grief journeyers.
  • When: Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Time: 6:30 to 9 pm
  • Where: The Vancouver Women’s Library – 1255 Kingsway Street, Vancouver
  • Registration: Online, $30

Ensemble 2017 Exhibition & Sale

  • What: Embodying a spirit of inclusiveness and diversity, The ACT Arts Centre’s annual Ensemble exhibition features participating artists showing between three and seven works that resonate with the ‘ensemble’ theme through some unifying feature such as style, medium or colour palette.
  • When: Now to December 21, 2017
  • Time: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Where: The ACT Arts Centre – 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
  • Admission: Free

Winter Wonderland at Richmond City Hall

Image: Christmas Tree / Shutterstock

  • What: Stroll through a winter wonderland for festive holiday spirit. Features a gallery of beautifully-decorated Christmas trees and weekly Saturday matinees by local music groups. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation and bring a non-perishable food item to support our local food bank. After viewing the trees, vote for your favourite.
  • When: Now to December 25, 2017
  • Time: 11 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Richmond City Hall Galleria – 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Christmas in Williams Park

  • What: The 27th annual Christmas in Williams Park display features over 5000 lights.
  • When: Now to December 15, 2017
  • Time: 5 to 9:30 pm
  • Where: Williams Park – 6595 238 Street, Langley
  • Price: Free,  but donations are gratefully accepted to help cover display maintenance costs.

Paint Nite at The Pint

Tuesday, December 12

Memories of a Christmas Ornament

  • What: The story of a man’s life as seen through the eyes of a Christmas ornament who loves him. This one act musical packs a lot of emotion, tears and laughter and is perfect for an audience of grandparents and their families.
  • When: December 12 to 16, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm plus 3 pm on Saturday
  • Where: Evergreen Cultural Centre – 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
  • Tickets: Online, $15-$42

Storytelling Championship

  • What: The top storytellers of the 2017 Vancouver Story Slam season bring their best stories to the stage. The winner as selected by anonymous audience ballot will receive $200 cash, a large engraved trophy, and the coveted title of 2017 Vancouver Story Slam Champion. Al Tee, Alix Born, Cory Thibert, David Johnson, Emily Kelsall, Griffin Tedeschini, Mike Funergy, Reive Doig, Shlomo McPeake, and Spillious will share unique, original stories. The evening will begin with a guest story from two-time Storytelling Champion Bryant Ross
  • When: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $12

A Christmas Carol

Russell Roberts. Image: David Cooper

  • What: Gateway Theatre’s adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story features live music and energetic staging. Like all of their holiday shows of the past, A Christmas Carol will be a fun-filled spectacle for the whole family to enjoy together.
  • When: Now to December 24, 2017
  • Times: Various times.
  • Where: Gateway Theatre – 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
  • Tickets: Online

Knit2gether at McGill

  • What: Come show off your projects and share in the fun of making something new.  Spend a couple of hours knitting, crocheting, stitching and chatting with like-minded people. Bring your yarn and needles, scissors, and supplies and get started! A limited number of needles and yarn is available for those who want to give knitting or crocheting a try.
  • When: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Burnaby Public Library McGill Branch – 4595 Albert Street, Burnaby
  • Price: Free

Small Business BC Holiday Mix and Mingle

Business people networking/Shutterstock

  • What: A fun year-end social mixer, featuring thirty-second pitches, networking, light refreshments and snacks, and door prizes.
  • When: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Time: 5 to 7 pm
  • Where: Small Business BC – 601 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
  • Register: Online, Free

The Anxiety SHOW, EP. 7: Ho-Ho-F**k the Holidays

  • What: Every episode of The Anxiety Show features different mental health issues, as told by comedians who experience them firsthand. There will also be an open mic where audience members can share their stories. Hosted by Megan Phillips (People Suck, Periscope).
  • When: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 to 10:30 pm
  • Where: Cottage Bistro – 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $11

Richmond Orchestra & Chorus Association: Fundraiser for the Richmond Food Bank

  • What: The Spirit of Christmas features members of the Richmond Orchestra sharing beloved Christmas classics and new holiday staples in this second annual fundraising concert in support of the Richmond Food Bank. Admission for this event is by donation at the door with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Richmond Food Bank.
  • When: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 to 9:30 pm
  • Where: South Arm United Church – 11051 Number 3 Road, Richmond
  • Admission: By donation

Wednesday, December 13

Hillary Clinton Vancouver What Happened tour

Hillary Clinton Vancouver

Joseph Sohm/ Shutterstock

  • What: Hillary Clinton will be coming to Vancouver this December to promote her latest book What Happened. The former Secretary of State will head out on a 15-city speaking tour, where she will talk about her presidential run and the aftermath of her loss. According to the event website, Clinton will “connect with audiences with a story that’s personal, raw, detailed and surprisingly funny. She’ll take you with her on her journey and talk about What Happened, what’s next, and what’s on your mind.”
  • When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Time: 11:30 am
  • Where: Vancouver Convention Centre West Building – 1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver
  • Tickets and event details available here.

Collie Buddz

  • What: Collie Buddz is an American reggae and dancehall artist with origins from Bermuda, best known for his single “Come Around”. He attended Albert College in Belleville, Ontario, and honed his craft while in support of several tours with artists such as Cypress Hill, Rebelution and Matisyahu. He’s performed in front of thousands at the largest music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Boomtown, Summer Jam and the California Roots Festival.
  • When: 
  • Time: Doors 8 pm
  • Where: VENUE – 881 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $29.75

Mad Max: Yellow Brick Road

  • What: Instant Theatre Company takes the post-apocalyptic setting of the blockbuster feature film and drops it into the world of Oz. There will be an epic rap battle between Glinda and the Wicked Witch— featuring feats of verbal dexterity, creative rhyme schemes, and brutal burns. There’s also a car chase battle sequence using nothing but blocks, glitter, and an absurdly sized air cannon.
  • When: December 13 to 16, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 pm
  • Where: Havana Theatre – 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Eventbrite; $15-$20

Spring Holiday Market and Community Celebration

  • What: Spring Activator celebrates an amazing year with a Holiday Market showcasing their most innovative products in progressive food, tech, and more. 
  • When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Time: 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Mobify HQ – 725 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, Free

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

  • What: The real story behind Dickens’ A Christmas Carol—the story of Jacob Marley’s heroic behind-the-scenes efforts to save old Scrooge’s soul—and in the process, save his own. Aided by a Bogle, a malicious little hell-sprite with an agenda of his own, their hilarious journey takes them from the Jaws of Death to the Mouth of Hell—and beyond
  • When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall – 13450 104 Ave, Surrey
  • Tickets: Online, $15

Introduction to 4D Printing : The New Era of Programmable Materials

  • What: What is 4D Printing and what are programmable materials? What are the future uses and capabilities of 4D printing? Join Dr. Tinari as he explains the possibility of objects that change depending on the environment such as an aircraft that can reconfigure its wings in flight or a house that could shrink during a hurricane to avoid damage. Discover the creative and ethical implications of this fascinating technology.
  • When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Time: 7 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Coquitlam Library City Centre Branch – 1169 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
  • Register: Online

Two Dogs Featuring Some Cats

  • What: A night of fun stand up hosted by Graham Clark and headlined by Chris Locke. Featuring Gavin Matts, Chris James, Katie-Ellen Humphries, Aaron Read, Fatima Dowhre, and Paul Schlesinger.
  • When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Time: 8:30 pm
  • Where: the Comedy Mix – 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10

Thursday, December 14

The Nutcracker

Dancers in Goh Ballet’s Nutcracker. Image: Louis Li

  • What:  The Nutcracker is perhaps one of the most iconic Christmas traditions. Set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious musical score, Vancouver audiences can enjoy The Goh Ballet‘s production at the Centre of Performing Arts, accompanied by the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.
  • When: December 14 to 19, 2017
  • Time: 2 pm, 3 pm and 7:30 pm, depending on the date
  • Where: Vancouver Centre for Performing Arts – 777 Homer Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: On Ticketmaster, $28-$140

Holiday Extravaganza

  • What: Enjoy the holiday festivities while experiencing eWomenNetwork at our popular annual “Holiday Extravaganza Event”. There will be facilitated conversations over a meal, business spotlights, holiday shopping, amazing raffle prizes, a wine draw and accelerated networking. 
  • When: Sunday, December 14, 2017
  • Time: 11:30 am
  • Where: Best Western Plus Chateau Granville Hotel & Suites & Conference Ctr. – 1100 Granville Street, Vancouver

Holiday Art Jam

  • What: Get into the holiday spirit by hanging out and getting creative. Help make a gingerbread house, block print your own wrapping paper, or explore other holiday-themed arts and crafts. No previous art skills required. This is a free event open to youth and young adults.
  • When: Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre – 13458 107a Avenue, Surrey
  • Price: Free

Music for the Winter Solstice

  • What: Now in its fourth year, Music on Main is proud to present the beloved Music for the Winter Solstice concert on December 14 and 15. Featuring pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, vocalists Carman J. Price and Wallgrin, and Composer in Residence Nicole Lizée, the show will have Vancouver audiences celebrating the winter season in style.
  • When: December 14 and 15, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Heritage Hall – 3102 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $15-$39

Ellie King’s Sinbad, The Pirate and The Dinosaur

  • What: Join Sinbad and his wacky crew in a rollicking and hilarious adventure on the high seas. Come sing along with toe-tapping music, groan at corny old jokes, cheer the good guys and boo the bad in this hilariously funny show. Then say farewell to BC’s favourite Dame, Alan Cedargreen, when he wields his wooden spoon for one last time.
  • When: December 14 to 17, 21 to 24 and 26, 2017
  • Where: Main Stage at Surrey Arts Centre – 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
  • Tickets: Online, $8-$28

No Dress Rehearsal – A Tribute to Gord Downie

  • What: A night of music, poetry and story in honour of Gord Downie. Hosted by C.R. Avery, house band Noah Walker, Geoff Hicks, Matt Rogers, Patrick Metzger, and Kathleen Nisbet, and a lineup of Vancouver musical talent.
  • When: Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Time: Doors at 7 pm, Show at 8 pm
  • Where: The Commodore Ballroom – 868 Granville St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $20

Richmond Chamber Annual Christmas Luncheon 2017

  • What: A fun and festive luncheon to celebrate the season with valued colleagues and clients. Proceeds from this annual event support Pathways Clubhouse.
  • When: Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Time: 11:30 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel – 7551 Westminster Hwy, Richmond
  • Registration: Online, $49-$69

Friday, December 15

Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival 2017

Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

  • What: For 2,000 years beginning during the Han dynasty, the Chinese have celebrated the Lunar New Year period with a colourful display of lanterns. With 35 giant lanterns illuminating 14 acres of Hastings Park, the culturally significant tradition will be coming to Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition as a spectacular outdoor festival for five weeks starting on December 15.
  • When: Friday, December 15, 2017 to Thursday, January 21, 2018
  • Where:Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver (entrance at the corner of Renfrew Street and Hastings Street)
  • Tickets: Adults (13-64) – $19; Seniors (65+) – $14.50; Children (4-11) – $13.50; Children under 3 years old – free. Nightly performances included.

One Cure Live: A Mental Health Awareness Concert

  • What: Featuring performances by Oluwa Toni, Ndidi Cascade, Tonye Aganaba, Dianna David, Desiree Dawson, Camaro 67, K-Star, Amanda Silvera, DJ Rossco, Tina Tank Gyal, Sarah Eske, B Kenyan, LT Irie, Bounty Hunta, Yvonne Kushe, Alic Adams, Megan Phillips, Joanna Paisley, and more.
  • When: Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Time: Doors 8 pm
  • Where: Imperial – 319 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $15-$35

Holiday Heights at Bloedel Conservatory

  • What: Celebrate the holiday season at the top of Vancouver with Holiday Heights at Bloedel. You can experience a winter wonderland at Queen Elizabeth Park filled with magical lights, festive music, and a holiday scavenger hunt. Bloedel Conservatory and the Dancing Waters fountain on the plaza will also be lit up throughout the run of Holiday Heights.
  • When: December 15 and January 7. Closed Christmas Day.
  • Time: 10 am to 8 pm
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Park, 4600 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $6.50 for adults, $4.35 for youth (13-18), $3.15 for children (4-12).

ArtRich 2017

  • What: The second bi-annual juried exhibition for regional artists. The exhibition celebrates local talent by providing an opportunity for emerging and established artists from Richmond and nearby communities to exhibit together. In celebration of Canada’s 150th, artists were encouraged in particular to consider environment, diversity, and reconciliation in their work. Presented by Richmond Arts Coalition with support from Richmond Art Gallery, the City of Richmond and the Canada 150 fund
  • When: Now to December 31, 2017
  • Time: 5:30 to 8 pm
  • Where: Richmond Art Gallery – 180-7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond,
  • Price: Free

Eastside Flea Holiday Bash! With Monsoon Moon & Woolworm!

The Eastside Flea Market (Eastside Flea Market / Facebook)

  • What: Eastside Flea is throwing a holiday party with bands Monsoon Moon and Woolworm, flash tattoos by Dylan Homer, our annual drunk Santa photobooth, deejay set by Aisha Davidson, and more.
  • When: Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Time: 6 pm to late
  • Where: 1024 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: $5 before 8 pm, $8 after (portion of proceeds donated to WAVAW)

Theatrix Presents: Elf Jr. The Musical

  • What: Inspired by the classic film, Buddy the Elf journeys from the North Pole to find out who he really is, and save Christmas. A fun and family friendly show from Theatrix, who provides access to performing arts for children regardless of age, culture, ability and family income.
  • When: December 15 to 16, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm plus 1 pm on Saturday
  • Where: Inlet Theatre – 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
  • Tickets: Online, $16-$20

Pee Wee’s Burlesque Christmas Special

  • What: Pee Wee has a special Christmas wish, but will it get him into big trouble? Who will show up at The Playhouse for a holiday visit? What’s today’s Secret Word? Will Pee Wee’s Special Wish be granted? Answers to all these questions and more await as you spend the holidays with all your Playhouse pals in a Holiday Burlesque Show like no other.
  • When: December 15 and 16, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $18
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