36 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 18 to 22

Dec 17 2017, 7:22 pm

There’s only one week to go until Christmas, so make the most of the festive season with our list of 36 things to do in Vancouver this week!

From the Winter Solstice and Christmas donuts, to festival illuminations all over town, there’s plenty more holiday fun to be had.

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

Monday, December 18

Christmas with Chor Leoni

  • What: Chor Leoni’s holiday features sparkling choral gems, frosty winter songs, and familiar sing-along carols. Expect works by Tori Amos, Ron Sexsmith, Randall Thompson, Veljo Tormis, and more.
  • When: Monday, December 18, 2017
  • Time: 4:30 pm and 8 pm
  • Where: St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church – 1022 Nelson Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10-$45

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Foundation/Facebook

  • What: A longstanding annual tradition at St. Paul’s Hospital is back: More than 100,000 light bulbs, spanning a length of more than 10 km, have been turned on for the Christmas-time Lights of Hope charity campaign supporting the hospital.
  • When: Every night – from dusk until dawn – until January 8
  • Where: St. Paul’s Hospital – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver

A Night to Remember—Winter Concert

  • What: A masquerade event filled with magic and warm memories! Featuring performances from SFU Peak Frequency, with light refreshments provided.
  • When: Monday, December 18, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts – 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
  • Tickets: By donation, with a request of a minimum $5

Christmas Carols Sing-Along at Tommy Douglas

  • What: Get a little holiday cheer and join in a sing-along of favourite Christmas carols. Songs will be led by a librarian, and accompanied on keyboard. The more people who can sing along, the merrier.
  • When: Monday, December 18, 2017
  • Time: 7 to 8 pm
  • Where: Burnaby Public Library Tommy Douglas Branch – 7311 Kingsway, Burnaby
  • Admission: Free

Motown Party – Sing Stevie Wonder as an Instant Choir

  • What: Join in and sing What Christmas Means To Me by Stevie Wonder at a North Vancouver Instant Choir. The melody and harmony parts will be taught and you do not need to read music or have any singing or musical experience! Beginners to professionals welcome.
  • When: Monday, December 18, 2017
  • When: 7 pm
  • Where: Fraternal Order of Eagles, North Vancouver, Northwest Aerie 2638 – 170 West 3rd St, North Vancouver
  • Admission: $10, $5 for students

Christmas Donut Decorating for Kids

Cartems Holiday Collection (Photo courtesy Cartems)

  • What: Cartems is hosting a donut decorating event for children at their Kits location this holiday season. Participants will have the opportunity to decorate their very own Christmas donut. This event will be on a first come, first serve basis.
  • When: Monday, December 18, 2017
  • Time: 3 to 5 pm
  • Where: Cartems Donuts – 3040 West Broadway, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Dynamic Women Year End Mingle

  • What: A year-end mingle with Dynamic Women Vancouver. Learn new strategies, strategize for next year, hear of others’ successes and ask questions, along with looking for collaborations.
  • When: Monday, December 18, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 to 9:30 pm
  • Where: RYY Apparel Inc. – 1745 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $20-$35

Tuesday, December 19

Laberge Christmas Lights

The Laberge Christmas Lights in 2015 (Paul Laberge)

The Laberge Christmas Lights in 2015 (Paul Laberge)

  • What: A home in North Vancouver is once again hosting an epic Christmas light animation show, this year featuring 18,000 LED lights set to music, all for charity. The show lasts 60 minutes, with three 20-minute segments and two short intervals. Homeowner Paul Laberge has sequenced the lights – in the form of jumping salmon, a Christmas tree, and more – to songs including Moana’s How Far I’ll Go and the Star Wars theme.
  • When: Christmas-themed lights will run until Thursday, December 28, then New Year’s Eve-themed lights until early January.
  • Time: Sundays through Thursdays, 4:30 pm to 9 pm, Fridays and Saturday 4:30 pm to 10 pm, Christmas Eve 4:30 pm to midnight.
  • Where: 753 Beachview Drive, North Vancouver
  • Admission: By donation to the Harvest Project, more info at laberge.christmas

Christmas Presence

  • What: The Pacific Theatre plays host to a number of local musicians this season as Carolyn Arends, Ron Reed, The Tourist Company, and more are teaming up for Christmas Presence 2017. The celebration will be held over five nights in Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, December 19 to Saturday, December 23, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 W 12th Ave, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Pacific Theatre; $15.75-$38.35

A Very Very Gluttonous Christmas

  • What: An all-star list of drag artists, comedians, and entertainers for a Christmas special. Featuring an intimate retelling of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, a Santa-Dad for the bad boys and girls, a Christmas photobooth, and wild stand up routines to make you chuckle, “ho ho ho.”
  • When: Tuesday, December 19, 2017
  • Time: 9:30 pm
  • Where: Red Gate Revue Stage – 1601 Johnston Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $25

Grandma & Me Christmas Tea

City of Surrey

City of Surrey

  • What: Enjoy making Christmas crafts, decorating cookies and warming up with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. You also won’t want to miss the special story time and magic show presented by Surrey Libraries. Geared towards ages 3-7, and grandpas are welcome too.
  • When: Tuesday, December 19, 2o17
  • Time: 9:15 to 11 am
  • Where: Guildford Recreation Centre – 15105 105 Ave, Surrey
  • Register: Online, $7 child and $3 grandparent

Gowan hosts Wolfcop and Another Wolfcop Double Bill

  • What:  A night of movies, music and holiday cheer featuring a double-header of the lupine body-horror comedy Wolfcop and Another Wolfcop. Hosted by iconic Canadian rock superstar Gowan, featuring special guests from Kitty Night’s The Hot & Heavy Band, and more surprises.
  • When: Tuesday, December 19, 2017
  • Time: Doors 6 pm
  • Where: The Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $22

Vancouver Canucks vs. Montreal Canadiens

  • What: The Vancouver Canucks face off with the Montreal Canadiens at Rogers Arena.
  • When: Tuesday, December 19, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $86-$338

The Nutcracker

  • 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: Until Tuesday, December 19, 2017
  • Time: Various times.
  • Where: Vancouver Centre for Performing Arts – 777 Homer Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: On Ticketmaster, $28-$140

Holiday Baking Class at H2 Rotisserie & Bar

  • What: This Holiday Baking Class otherwise known as “Holly, Jolly, Holiday Cookies” will see H2 Restaurant Chef Caitlin Mark and Executive Sous Chef Mike Reid lead guests through three stellar recipes for classic gingerbread, pumpkin spice and shortbread cookies. Each participant enjoys vegetable crudité, cheese and charcuterie, and, at the end of the class, leaves with three dozen cookies and a s’mores kit. Space is limited to 12.
  • When: Tuesday, December 19, 2o17
  • Time: 5 pm
  • Where: H2 Rotisserie & Bar – 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $75 per person; call 604-691-6966 to reserve

Wednesday, December 20

SiriusXM’s Snowed In with Dallas Smith

  • What: Canadian rock and country singer-songwriter, Dallas Smith is coming to Vancouver. The multiple JUNO and CCMA Award-winning entertainer is set to headline SiriusXM’s Snowed In. Joining the singer on the night will be special guests Andrew Hyatt and Shawn Austin.
  • When: Wednesday, December 20, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Commodore Ballroom – 868 Granville Street
  • Tickets: $29.95, tickets available via Ticketmaster or by phone 1-855-985-5000

Cards Against Vancouver Launch Party

Cards Against Vancouver (Cards Against Humanity)

Cards Against Vancouver (Cards Against Humanity)

  • What: The Fictionals are launching the long-awaited Cards Against Vancouver tribute deck, and you’re all invited to see the new cards brought to life onstage at Improv Against Humanity.
  • When: Wednesday, December 20
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: The Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $12

WISE Wednesdays Drop-in Stitch & Craft in the Lounge

  • What: Grab your works-in-progress and come out for a good time with other people who like to make stuff.  Bring your knitting, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, or any other portable creation. Drinks (alcoholic and not) will be available.
  • When: Every Wednesday until May 30, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Where: The WISE Hall and Lounge – 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Timberline Country Christmas

  • What: The 8th annual authentic German-inspired Christmas Market creates the perfect atmosphere to get into the holiday spirit. Enjoy a selection of traditional food and beverages, and browse vendors offering authentic wood carvings and toys, knitted goods, nutcrackers, pottery, and other unique gifts. There will be tons of kids activities and the opportunity to ride downtown Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel.
  • When: Until Wednesday, December 20, 2017
  • Time: Hours of operation vary day-to-day. Check the website for hours.
  • Where: 22351 144 Avenue, Maple Ridge
  • Admission: Varies by age, see website for details

Kitsilano Community Potluck

  • What: Eat delicious food, meet people, play board games and have fun. Bring a dish to share (vegetarian preferred, but not obligated). There is a kitchen for you to heat up your dish, and plates and cutlery are provided.
  • When: The third Wednesday of every month
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Where: Kits House – 2305 West 7th, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Free Community Self Defence – Eastside Boxing Club

  • What: Eastside Boxing Club is holding self defence training for women, queers, non-binary folk and anyone who identifies anywhere on the LGBTTQQ2S spectrum. Taught by Dave Schuck, Abdul Fádel and Meego Yassin.
  • When: First and third Wednesday of the month until February 21, 2018
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: 238 Keefer Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Christmas at Canada Place

  • What: The 30th annual Christmas at Canada Place invites you to experience the nostalgic tradition of the Woodward’s Windows, a magical holiday lighting display, the Sails of Light, and the festive Avenue of Christmas Trees. Presented by the Port of Vancouver.
  • When: Until Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Time: 8 am to 11 pm (closes at 6 pm on December 31)
  • Where: Canadian Trail (west promenade) and North Point, Canada Place – Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Thursday, December 21

Winter Solstice Lantern Festival 2017

  • What: ​Two huge Labyrinths of Light are being set up in Vancouver to celebrate December 21 – also known as the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year. The labyrinths come care of the Secret Lantern Society, which is marking the day with a series of celebrations throughout the city. For the 24th year in a row, there will be lanterns, fire, singing, and dancing, beginning at 6 pm with processions in Yaletown, Granville Island, Strathcona, and Chinatown.
  • When: Thursday, December 21, 2017
  • Time: Procession starts at 6 pm
  • Where: 
    • Yaletown – procession starts at Gathering Place Community Centre – 609 Helmcken St, Vancouver
    • Granville Island – procession starts at H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – 1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver
    • Chinatown and Strathcona – details TBC
  • Tickets: General admission free, with $5 donation gratefully accepted; Labyrinth of Lights tickets available online, $8, with kids under 13 going free.

Xavier Omar

  • What: The American R&B singer is on tour to support his latest EP release The Everlasting Wave.
  • When: Thursday, December 21, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: The Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $15

Winter Treasures

  • What: Winter Treasures is a boutique style show and sale featuring handcrafted gifts, art, décor and fine craft items created by local artisans. It is brimming with inspired ideas to wrap up your shopping list and simplify the holidays. It also includes visual arts, ceramics, jewelry, textile arts, leather, woodworking and more.
  • When: Until Thursday, December 21, 2017
  • Where: Port Moody Arts Centre – 2425 St. Johns Street, Port Moody
  • Admission: Free

The Funk Hunters

  • What: Borrowing inspiration from classic funk and hip hop, The Funk Hunters are putting the soul back into electronic dance music. Having honed their craft at more than 450 performances in 16 countries, the DJ duo’s show is a brilliant technical display of creative collaboration between four turntables. 
  • When: Thursday, 
  • Time: Doors 8 pm
  • Where: Commodore Ballroom – 867 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $37.75

The Festival Of Hope

  • What: A six-day festival to raise money for a young man with muscular dystrophy in the last stages of his life. Featuring live music, comedy and variety acts from Divinder Purewal, Richard Glen Lett, Erin Jeffery and more. Hosted by Jacques Lalonde.
  • When:  Thursday, December 21 to Saturday, December 23 and Thursday, December 28 to Saturday, December 30, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Havana Theatre – 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Admission: By donation

5th Annual Christmas Tree Festival

  • What: Check out the Christmas Trees at the Port Coquitlam Museum and Archives and partner locations Leigh Square, Terry Fox Library, and City Hall. Take part in the Christmas Tree Festival Scavenger Hunt for more festive fun.
  • When: Until Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Where: PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives – 150-2248 McAllister Ave Port Coquitlam
  • Admission: Free

Vancouver Christmas Tree at Vancouver Art Gallery

vancouver christmas tree

Vancouver’s official 2017 Christmas Tree (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

  • What: Vancouver has a new official Christmas Tree in the heart of the city centre, and it’s brighter and taller than ever.
  • When: Until Sunday, December 31
  • Where: West Georgia Plaza at the Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Admission: Free

Friday, December 22

Winter Ice Palace

  • What: The 20th Annual Winter Ice Palace is a winter wonderland, so find a time to skate across the old fashion pond.
  • When: Friday, December 22, 2017 to Sunday, January 7, 2018
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Cloverdale Ice Arena, 6090 176 Street – Surrey
  • Admission: $4.50/person, $3.25 for skate rentals; $1.75 for helmet rentals. Free admission for Recreation Pass holders.

An Olde English Christmas With Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone

  • What: One of the most popular bands from the 60s British Invasion, Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone will be performing at River Rock Show Theatre. Noone can usually be heard on SiriusXM Radio’s “60s on 6” channel where he hosts the show, Something Good with Peter Noone. Additionally, he and the band continue to perform to sold-out audiences with their fans spanning the generations.
  • When: Friday, December 22, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: River Rock Casino Resort – 8811 River Road, Richmond
  • Tickets: Online, $49.50


  • What: 23-year old Toronto artist Ramriddlz brings his Sweeter Dreams Tour to Fortune Sound Club for an all-ages show with support from Angst & Softieshan.
  • When: Friday, December 22, 2017
  • Time: Doors 6:30 pm
  • Where: Fortune Sound Club – 147 East Pender Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $15

Little Dickens: A Christmas Carol

Image: The Cultch

  • What: The crew at the Cultch are taking on A Christmas Carol with a big twist! Ronnie Burkett’s hilarious version of the Charles Dickens classic features magic, mayhem, and marionettes in a production that needs to be seen to be believed. Led by Miss Esme Massengill, the grand dame of the Daisy Theatre, this adults-only show is sure to be a raucous treat.
  • When: Until Friday, December 22, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: The Cultch – 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At The Cultch; $22-$69

A Fort Langley Christmas

  • What: Hear Kwantlen stories, taste a chestnut roasted over the fire, and make a beautiful craft. Take a guided tour at 11 am or 3 pm, or enjoy the daily feature at noon. At 2 pm, see what the interpreters have baked up in the outdoor oven. Admire the giant outdoor Christmas tree and take family photos at various scenic spots on site.
  • When: Friday, December 22 to Saturday, December 30, 2017 (closed December 24 to 26)
  • Time: Opens at 10 am
  • Where: Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada – 23433 Mavis Ave, Langley
  • Admission: Free

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at Earls 2017

Man in an ugly Christmas sweater (IVASHstudio/Shutterstock)

Man in an ugly Christmas sweater (IVASHstudio/Shutterstock)

  • What: Earls Yaletown is hosting its first ever Ugly Sweater Christmas Party this December, and it’s completely free to attend, all you need is an ugly sweater. There’ll be a dance floor set up where you can swing your sweater, as well as $2 off signature cocktails. Plus, you can take part in a photo booth Instagram contest to win a Chef’s Table Experience.
  • When: Friday, December 22, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm to 1 am
  • Where: The Loft at Earls – 1095 Mainland Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

HO HO HO Disco featuring DJ Claus

  • What: Santa Claus joins Party4Health for an epic disco party, with reindeer, elves, and Christmas-themed activities. Whether you’re an elf, reindeer, or Ms. Claus, join in the naughty or nice dancing on the Olympic Village Plaza, underneath a giant lit-up Disco Tent.
  • When: Friday, December 22, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Olympic Village Square, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free
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