66 things to do in Vancouver this winter

Nov 27 2017, 11:19 pm

Winter is just around the corner and Vancouver is full of cool events to explore and enjoy. From Christmas fun for the family to New Year’s Eve, Farmers Markets to Vancouver Canucks, here are 67 Vancouver Winter events you need to check out.

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

Holiday fun

Santa Claus Parade 2017

Santa Claus at a previous parade in Vancouver (Sergei Bachlakov/Shutterstock)

Santa Claus at a previous parade in Vancouver (Sergei Bachlakov/Shutterstock)

  • What: Father Christmas returns to the city on Sunday, December 3, with thousands of people expected to participate in the parade and line the parade route. The parade starts at noon, at West Georgia and Broughton, then travels east along West Georgia, before turning south on Howe and finishing at Howe and Davie. The event has become a Vancouver tradition with hundreds of colourful floats and performances from bands, choirs, and community groups.
  • When: Sunday, December 3, 2017
  • Time: Christmas Square from 10 am to noon, parade starts at noon
  • Where: Christmas Square outside Vancouver Art Gallery; Parade starts at West Georgia and Broughton, ends at Howe and Davie – Vancouver
  • Tickets: Free! Donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank are encouraged.

Dundarave Festival of Lights 2017

  • What: The Dundarave Festival of Lights is back for another Christmas, offering four days of festive, free concerts, a Christmas fair, and a Forest of Miracles. The festival, which supports the Lookout Emergency Aid Society’s North Shore Shelter, begins on Saturday, December 2 on Dundarave Beach. You’ll be able to enjoy concerts in the Longhouse and the Nativity Pavilion for free, decorate the festival Christmas Tree, and shop at the Christmas Fair. Dusk will see the official lighting of the Festival’s Forest of Miracles, the largest outdoor display of Christmas trees in British Columbia.
  • When: December 2 to 23, 2017
  • Time: Every Saturday afternoon
  • Where: Dundarave Beach – 25th Street at Bellevue Avenue, West 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. Experience 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: December 2 to December 20, 2017
  • Time: Hours of operation vary day-to-day. Check the website for hours.
  • Where: 22351 144 Avenue, Maple Ridge
  • Price: Prices vary by age, see website for details

Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree

  • What: A beloved Vancouver Christmas tradition returns to town this December with the Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree. And while tickets to the event’s 50th Anniversary are now sold out, those who did manage to purchase a ticket can look forward to the family-friendly festive atmosphere the event has become so well-known for. Taking place at Broadway Church on select dates in December, the event features a choir of over 100 singers, as well as ensembles, an orchestra, actors, dancers and acrobats.
  • When: Select dates from December 8 until December 17, 2017
  • Time: 3 pm and 7 pm and 7:30 pm, depending on the date
  • Where: Broadway Church – 2700 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Sold out. Those who do have tickets to any one of the performances are reminded that all tickets expire 30 minutes before each show begins, at which point others who have not pre-purchased a ticket are allowed to enter.

Glow Christmas 2017

  • What: This year, Glow Christmas will be brightening up Langley’s Milner Village Garden Centre with over 500,000 lights spanning 103,000 square feet of holiday magic. The display will feature four different light gardens, food trucks (and bar!), over 40 vendors, and – the cherry on top – a 210-foot musical light tunnel.
  • When: Select dates to December 30, 2017
  • Time: 4 to 10 pm
  • Where: Milner Village Garden Centre – 6690 216 St, Langley
  • Tickets: Online , $20 for adults, $15 for kids and seniors, family discounts available

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: Now to 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
  • Admission: Free

Lumière YVR 2017

Christmas in Kerrisdale Festival

  • What: Each Saturday afternoon in December, residents and visitors can head down to Kerrisdale Village on West 41st Avenue between Larch St. and Maple St. to take part in the free festive activities. Brass bands, Santa, horse and carriage rides,  and roving carollers are all part of the cherished family event. In addition to the events taking place on the four Saturdays, free ice skating will also be offered at the neighbourhood arena from 5:30 to 7 pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
  • When: December 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2017
  • Time: Noon to 4 pm
  • Where: Kerrisdale Village – West 41st Avenue between Larch and Maple Street
  • Price: Free

Shipyards Christmas Festival 2017

  • What: The Shipyards will be transformed into a winter wonderland, full of family friendly activities, plus the Sky Wheel and a new Winter Artisan Market.  There will also be ornament/lantern making, gingerbread decorating, a storytime tent, face painting, balloon creations and live music. The Mayor of North Vancouver will be officially lighting the Christmas tree, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos.
  • When: Saturday, December 2, 2017
  • Time: Starts at 4 pm. Ferris wheel runs from 4 pm to 10 pm, Christmas tree lighting at 5 pm
  • Where: The Shipyards – 15 Wallace Mews, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Free, but donations are welcome.

Abbotsford Winter Jubilee 2017

  • What: The free festival on December 2 includes a family-friendly craft beer and wine garden, food trucks, Christmas carollers, a tree lighting ceremony, Santa and Mrs. Claus in a parade to Downtown Abby, live entertainment, children’s activities, pony rides, handmade and artisan marketplaces, a family photo booth and a Christmas fireworks display.
  • When: Saturday, December 2, 2017
  • Time: 5 to 9 pm
  • Where: Essendene and Montrose Avenues in Downtown Abbotsford
  • Price: Free

Canyon Lights

  • What: ​Capilano Suspension Bridge’s annual holiday tradition Canyon Lights is a must-see holiday event for all ages. Be dazzled by thousands of magical lights twinkling across the Suspension Bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk and throughout the park. Canyon Lights also illuminates the river and cliff face, and features the world’s tallest living Christmas tree. New this year is ‘Fireflies’, an interactive lighting display in the rainforest. Using giant flashlights, guests can magically awaken waves of tiny lights that glimmer and twinkle like fireflies.
  • When: ​November 23, 2017 to January 28, 2018
  • Where:  Capilano Suspension Bridge
  • Tickets: Online

Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival 

  • What: The 28th annual Holiday Hi-Light Festival at Park & Tilford Gardens features a majestic festival of lights with over 150,000 on display over 3 acres.
  • When: Now to December 31, 2017
  • Where: Park & Tilford Gardens – 333 Brooksbank Avenue, North Vancouver
  • Entry: By donation with proceeds going to support the North Vancouver firefighters, and their various appointed charities.

Heritage Christmas

  • What: ​Heritage Christmas with old-fashioned fun. Special entertainment is scheduled throughout the season including theatre performances, community choirs, street characters and musicians.
  • When: Now to January 5, 2018
  • Time: Now to December 15: Monday to Friday 1 to 5:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays 1 to 9 pm; December 16 to January 5: daily 1 to 9 pm (closed December 24 and 25)
  • Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
  • Admission: Free

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: Now to December 31, 2017
  • Where: PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives – 150-2248 McAllister Ave Port Coquitlam
  • Price: Free

Lights at Lafarge Winter Lights Display

  • What: More than 100,000 twinkling lights will illuminate Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam this holiday season, in a magical outdoor display for visitors of all ages. The Lights at Lafarge Winter Lights Display is one of the largest free outdoor light events in the Lower Mainland, and this year’s spectacle will be even bigger and brighter than ever before. The display will wrap its way entirely around Lafarge Lake, leading visitors on a 1.2-km loop through 10 themed zones. There will also be roving performers, hot chocolate, festive choirs, and even a holiday fair.
  • When: Now to January 21, 2018
  • Time: Dusk to 11 pm
  • Where: Town Centre Park – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
  • Price: Free admission

Holiday Traditions Start At Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

  • What: Over three million dazzling lights decorate acres of the dark forest, reaching as high as the forest canopy for Bright Nights in Stanley Park. The attraction is also accompanied by a train ride, musics, snacks, entertainment, and even visits with Santa and his elves.
  • When: Now to Saturday January 6, 2018. Closed on December 25 for Christmas.
  • Time: Times vary, check website for details.
  • Where: Miniature railway area at Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • Admission: Bright Nights entry by donation ($4 is suggested), Christmas train tickets available on Ticketleader, from $6-$12.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

  • What: VanDusen Gardens’ annual Festival of Lights features more than a million lights to bring in the Christmas season. All tickets include a free ride on the Air France Carousel. Visitors can also stroll through interactive themed areas, watch the famous dancing lights show on Livingstone Lake, sing along to your favourite holiday classics at the Festival Stage, listen to stories and take a selfie with Santa, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, or simply warm up with a specialty beverage at the new licensed fireside lounge.
  • When: December 1 to January 7, 2017
  • Time: 4:30 to 9 pm, until 10 pm between December 15 and December 24
  • Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
  • Price: $15.24 for adults, $8.57 for children. Available online.

Steveston Festival of Trees 2017

  • What: The event allows merchants and community groups from the Steveston area to show off their creative talents by decorating their own Christmas trees, which will be on display inside the historic cannery for a friendly competition. Favourite designs are decided by votes, and the winners take a prize. The multi-day festival kicks off on December 1 at the Cannery Farmers’ Market, and runs right through until New Years Eve.
  • When: December 1 to 31, 2017
  • Time: 10 am to 5 pm
  • Where: Cannery Farmers’ Market – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Vancouver Christmas Tree at Robson Square

  • What: A huge Christmas tree will light up Robson Square, and people will celebrate the holiday season with free snacks, photos with Santa, and a holiday concert. You can also Buy-a-Bulb to raise funds for the Vancouver International Children’s Festival. For $5 you can purchase five bulbs to help light the tree, or you can get 15 for $10.
  • When: Tree lighting is Friday, December 1; tree remains lit throughout December 2017
  • Time: Tree lighting on December 1, 2017 from 5 to 7 pm
  • Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • Price: Free

FlyOver Canada Christmas

  • What: Fly with Santa and his elves on a magical flight across Canada and on to the North Pole! After meeting some of Santa’s elves, Chestnut and Pinecone, you’ll join them as they take flight across Canada looking for their fellow elves. You may even get a sneak peek of Santa’s Workshop as you soar over the North Pole.
  • When: Now until January 7, 2018
  • Where: 999 Canada Place, Vancouver

Chalet Place, North Vancouver Light Display

  • What: The Ribalkin/Viau family are once again covering their roof, gardens, gutters, railings and driveway in thousands upon of lights, blow-up displays, Christmas decorations and holiday cheer, all for a good cause. Donations are accepted for the Harvest Project, BC Epilepsy Society, and Shriners Cares for Kids, with 100% of all proceeds going to the charities.
  • Where: 4967 Chalet Place, North Vancouver
  • When: Opens Saturday, December 2, 2017. The house is illuminated nightly at 5:30 pm.

Yule Duel Vancouver 2017 carolling competition

  • What: Hundreds of voices from over 20 of Vancouver’s best choirs will again echo through the streets of Gastown on Thursday, December 7, 2017 during Yule Duel: BC’s largest outdoor carolling competition.
  • When: Thursday, December 7, 2017
  • Time: 6 to 9 pm
  • Where: Gastown
  • Admission: Free, but a $5 donation to May’s Place is suggested.

Polar Express train ride 2017 

  • What: Hosted by West Coast Heritage Railway Park in Squamish, it’s an opportunity for kids and not-so-grown-ups to be whisked away on a magical trip to the North Pole. Guests will sup on hot chocolate and munch on cookies as they experience a fantastic festive adventure. There will also be a chance to meet the likes of Hero Boy, Know-it-all, and the Conductor as they act out their parts from the movie. Once you arrive at your destination you’ll have the chance to meet Mr and Mrs Claus and even visit Santa’s workshop.
  • When: Weekends to Saturday December 9, 2017
  • Time: 6 to 9 pm
  • Where: West Coast Railway Heritage Park, 39645 Government Road, Squamish
  • Admission: $35 available online, kids under 2 go free.

Kitsmas on West 4th

  • What: Everything is set to be merry and bright over in Kitsilano, too, as the West 4th Business Improvement Association (BIA) is hosting its annual Kitsmas event, on right now through to December 24. The highly-anticipated month-long event is designed to make holiday shopping a little easier, and more merry and decorative. Oh, and it even includes free valet parking on select dates! Seriously.
  • When: Now to December 24, 2017
  • Where: West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, Vancouver
  • Price: Free. Parking by donation.

Christmas markets and holiday craft fairs

Toque Fundraiser and Craft Fair

  • What: The Toque Fundraiser and Craft Fair raises funds for Western Front, an artist-run centre for contemporary art and new music based in Vancouver. The centre produces and presents visual art, exhibitions, concerts and workshops, media-art residencies, and performance art. The Toque Fundraiser and Craft Fair showcases a curated selection of designers and artists, as well as offering shopping, a back deck barbecue, and bake sale.
  • When: December 1 to 3, 2017
  • Time: Friday from 6 pm to 10 pm, both weekend days from 11 am to 5 pm
  • Where: Luxe Hall at Western Front – 303 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Admission: By donation

Eastside Flea Holiday Markets

The Eastside Flea Market (Eastside Flea Market / Facebook)

  • What: This flea market is more like a party because it has a DJ, beer, and a delicious selection of hot eats from a variety of food trucks. Check out the 50-plus vendors offering plants, collectibles, handmade items, and vintage clothing.
  • When: Every weekend until Sunday, December 17, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 5 pm
  • Where: The Ellis Building – 1024 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Price: $3 admission, $5 for a weekend pass

Vancouver Christmas Market

  • What: The 8th annual authentic German-inspired Christmas Market creates the perfect atmosphere to get into the holiday spirit. Experience 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: Now to Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Time: Open daily from 11 am to 9 pm (closes at 6 pm on Christmas Eve)
  • Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • Price: $10 per person and $4 for kids, all varieties of tickets available online

Weirdos Holiday Market 2017

  • What: Presented by the folks who select the oddities and trinkets at local curio shop, This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven, the Weirdos Holiday Market will showcase an eclectic array of unconventional gift ideas, from the delightfully quirky to the downright macabre. Alongside the strange shopping, visitors to the market can also enjoy a tarot card reading, tasty tamales topped with fermented vegetables from popular secret pop-up restaurant, HandTaste Ferments, and even enjoy a drink from the bar.
  • When: December 16 and 17, 2017
  • Time: 11 am to 7 pm
  • Where: Betamax Art Studios – 2244 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Price: $2 at the door

Stay active (even though it’s cold out)

Robson Square Ice Rink 2017


@bilalsayed19/ Instagram

  • What: The provincial government’s Robson Square Ice Rink is slated to reopen on December 1 for the 2017/2018 season, and as per tradition skating is free for all ages for those who bring their own skates. Those without skates can rent a pair on-site. A concession stand on the side will also serve warm drinks and snacks.
  • When: December 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 9 pm from Sunday to Thursday; 9 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday
  • Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson Street & Howe Street)
  • Cost: Free for all ages if you bring your own skates. Skate rentals are $4, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time.
  • Note: Helmets are mandatory for children 12 years and under. Robson Square Ice Rink accepts cash only.

Peak of Christmas

  • What: The Peak of Christmas is popular annual tradition. Visitors can take a spin on Grouse Mountain’s 8,000 sq. ft. outdoor ice skating pond or zip down the multi-lane snow sliding zone. You can also take a Sleigh Ride through the mountain’s Winter Wonderland, meet Santa’s Reindeer, watch family Christmas movies, and write a letter to Santa. At Santa’s Workshop, believers young and old can share their special Christmas wishes and take a photo. Photos are by donation to BC Children’s Hospital.
  • When: November 24 to January 7, 2018
  • Where: Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Family Rate for Peak of Christmas festivities includes admission for 2 adults and 2 children/youth (under 18) for $89.95. All festive Peak of Christmas activities are complimentary with an Annual Local’s Pass, Y2Play or Winter Season Pass, as well as regular Alpine Experience tickets.

2017 Santa Shuffle

  • What: More than 1,000 people are expected to take part in a festive-focused fun run on Saturday, December 2 with the goal of helping the less fortunate in the community. The coast-to-coast event takes place in 42 cities and raises money for the Salvation Army. Last year, The Salvation Army’s programs and services helped over 1.9 million people, so get involved and give something back this holiday season.
  • When: Saturday, December 2, 2017
  • Time: 5 to 9 pm
  • Where: Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park
  • Tickets: Available online

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

  • What: The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club is one of the largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs in the world. Its initial swim was in 1920, when a small number of hardy swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day.
  • When: January 1, 2018
  • Time: 2:30 pm
  • Where: English Bay
  • Price: Free. Participants must register online. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash – please be generous

Food and drinks

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

  • What: The annual Gingerbread Lane features more than 30 gingerbread creations designed by secondary schools, professionals, and amateur culinary artists. As well as providing a welcome dose of holiday feels, the event also helps to raise money local charities with more than $80,000 secured during its 26 year history to date.
  • When: December 1 to 29, 2017
  • Where: Hyatt Regency Vancouver – 655 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Dine Out Vancouver 2018

  • What: Dine Out Vancouver is back for its 16th year, bringing with it a crowded calendar of food events, with almost 300 restaurants participating in this year’s exciting event. Taking place from January 19 through February 4, 2018, the popular annual fest features hundreds of restaurants, each offering multi-course dinners at $20, $30 or $40 (plus tax, gratuity and beverages).
  • When: January 19 to February 4, 2018
  • Where: Various locations throughout the city
  • Price: $20, $30 or $40 (plus tax, gratuity and beverages)

Hot Chocolate Festival


  • What: Back for its eighth year, chocoholics will love this cocoa-fueled festival, which features an unbelievable array of exotic and specialty hot chocolates.
  • Where: Various locations throughout the city.
  • When: January 20 to February 14., 2018

Gluten Free Expo

  • What: Discover and sample hundreds of gluten-free products while learning from leading experts, at Canada’s largest gluten free event.
  • When: January 13 to 14, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Where: Canada Place – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Available online

Vancouver International Wine Festival

  • What: The festival attracts some of the biggest industry names from around the world and is firmly established as the continent’s premier wine event and among the biggest, best and oldest wine events in the world. It features wine tastings and pairings, gourmet dinners and luncheons, educational seminars and culinary competitions, and more.
  • Where: Various downtown locations
  • When: February 24 to March 4, 2018
  • Tickets: Available online

Cheer on the home teams

Vancouver Canucks


Image: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

  • What: The Vancouver Canucks continue their NHL season throughout the winter at Rogers Arena, with highlights including games against Toronto Maple Leafs on December 2, Anaheim Ducks on January 2, and Boston Bruins on February 17
  • When: December 2, 5, 7, 13, 15, 17, 19, 23, 28 and 30. January 2, 23, 25 and 30. February 1, 3, 14, 17, 20 and 28. March 2, 5, 7, 9 and 17.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online

Vancouver Giants

  • What: Vancouver Giants bring Western Hockey League action to Langley Events Centre throughout the winter, including games against the Portand Winterhawks on December 5, Prince George Cougars on January 1, and Kamloops Blazers on March 3.
  • When: December 5, 9, 15, 17, 27 and 30. January 1, 13, 19, 20, 24, 26 and 31. February 2, 3, 9, 16, 18, 23 and 26. March 3, 4 and 16.
  • Where: Langley Events Centre – 7888 200 Street, Langley
  • Tickets: Online

Vancouver Stealth

  • What: Vancouver Stealth kicks off their National Lacrosse League season on December 8 against the Colorado Mammoth, and faces off with Toronto Rock on January 6, Saskatchewan Rush on February 10, and New England Black Wolves on February 24.
  • When: December 8, January 6, January 27, February 10, February 24, March 17
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Langley Events Centre – 7888 200 Street, Langley
  • Tickets: Online

Eat fresh with winter farmers’ markets

Hastings Park Winter Farmer’s Market

  • What: Find a great selection of local produce, fish, meat, dairy, artisan prepared foods, baked goods, local crafts, craft alcohol producers, and food trucks.
  • When: Every Sunday until April 29 (except December 24 and 31)
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Hastings Park Centregrounds – 2901 East Hastings Street
  • Admission: Free

Nat Bailey Stadium Winter Market

  • What: Each week you can look forward to finding locally grown vegetables and fruit, meat and seafood from local ranchers and fishermen, artisan cheese and bread, herbs and seasonal nursery items, baked goods, prepared foods and artisanal crafts.
  • When: Every Saturday until April 21 (except December 30)
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Nat Bailey Stadium – 4601 Ontario Street
  • Admission: Free

Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Image: Jenn Chan / New Year’s Eve Vancouver

Concord’s New Year’s Eve Vancouver

  • What: The largest NYE celebration in Canada, this year’s event is poised to be even bigger and better than before complete with free live music, fireworks shows, and more.
  • When: December 31, 2017
  • Where: Canada Place
  • Price: Free

NYE 2018 Waterfront Gala Ball

  • What: Celebrate in style in this upscale and mature environment with well-prepared appetizer stations and a champagne toast at midnight. Plus enjoy the magnificent view of the midnight countdown Fireworks at Canada Place from our Grey Goose Lounge, and two rooms of latest and old school hits.
  • When: December 31, 2017
  • Time: 9 pm
  • Where: Fairmont Waterfront – 900 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online

NYElectric 2018

  • What: Top Vancouver DJs playing the hits, an All You Can Eat Appetizer Buffet, a VIP lounge and more.
  • When: December 31, 2017
  • Time: 9 pm
  • Where: Marriott Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown – 1128 W Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online

NYE 2018 @ TELUS World of Science

  • What: Featuring five fully licensed bars, two rooms of music on two floors, eight of the city’s top DJs and performers, an amazing sound and lighting system, and more.
  • When: December 31, 2017
  • Time: 9 pm
  • Where: TELUS World of Science – 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online

Festivals, theatre, and other events

20th Annual European Union Film Festival

  • What: The Cinematheque’s annual showcase of new cinema from the European Union is presented with the Vancouver consulates and the Ottawa embassies of the member states of the European Union and the Delegation of the European Union to Canada. This year’s festival features entries from 25 EU members.
  • When: Now to December 4, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: The Cinematheque – 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver
  • TicketsOnline

Whistler Film Festival

festival/Whistler Film Festival

  • What: 87 films from over 15 countries will be shown at the Whistler Film Festival this year, featuring great Canadian content with a strong emphasis on female directed films. This year’s lineup includes buzz-worthy award season contenders such as the festival’s opening film Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman and Lily James, and closing gala The Moment, a BC-shot documentary that follows a crew of mountain biking adventure seekers who changed the sport forever.
  • When: Now to December 3, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Various locations around Whistler
  • Tickets: At WFF, $16.50

Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival 2017

  • 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.

Almost, Maine

  • What: The midwinter night is cold and clear as the northern lights dance above: it’s the perfect night to fall into, or out of, love. A charming, almost-magical tapestry of the joys and perils of romance, set in one night in a small town in Maine.
  • When: Now to December 16
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online

You Are It – with Deb Williams and Carmen Aguirre

  • What: You Are It is a new creation by Vancouver theatre artists Deb Williams and Sherry J. Yoon and featuring Carmen Aguirre. A Silver Commission of the Arts Club Theatre company, phase two in the development of this piece digs deeper into the inherent comedy and touching vulnerabilities present in female friendship. As with all Micro Performance Series shows, the audience is both a spectator and participant.
  • When: Now to December 9, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: #100 1398 Cartwright St at The Fishbowl on Granville Island, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $20

Hopwired Festival

  • What: The “largest collaboration event in Canada” and inaugural tasting celebration is taking place at the Croatian Cultural Centre, where attendees can find 40 vendors, 15 unique craft beer and coffee roaster collaborations, all-inclusive filtered/drip coffee, all-inclusive espresso, and experience tastings and live interviews from industry experts.
  • When: Saturday, February 24, 2018
  • Time: 1 to 6 pm
  • Where: Croatian Cultural Centre – 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $52 per person; buy online starting December 16, 2017 at 10 am

PuSh Festival

  • What: The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is one of Vancouver’s signature performing arts events.
  • When: January 16 to February 4, 2018
  • Where: Various locations
  • Tickets: Available online 

Talking Stick Festival

  • What: A vibrant, two-week celebration of extraordinary Aboriginal performance.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: February 14 to 25


  • What: Vancouver’s favourite winter festival celebrates another year of  music, dance, film, theatre, art, food, craft, indoor and outdoor activities and so much more.
  • When: February 2018
  • Where: Granville Island


  • What: Chutzpah! The Lisa Nemetz International Jewish Performing Arts Festival is the Lower Mainland’s winter music, dance, comedy and theatre festival presenting international, national and local artists.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: February to March 2018
  • Tickets: Available online

Concerts and comedy shows

Jerry Seinfeld

  • What: Originally a stand-up comedian, Seinfeld was catapulted to stardom in the 1990s with the success of his now legendary sitcom Seinfeld. Since the show ended its nine-year run in 1998, Seinfeld returned to stand-up comedy and in 2009, began a successful web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
  • When: Friday, December 1, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 pm
  • Where: Abbotsford Centre Tickets – 33800 King Rd, Abbotsford
  • Tickets: On Ticketmaster, $59-$159

VSO presents: A Traditional Christmas

  • What: Far removed from the crowded malls and busy streets, a special performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) awaits those who are looking to slow things down, even just for a few hours this Christmas season. The music is conducted by William Rowson, an accomplished composer, whose work has been featured at at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, UBS Verbier Festival, the Banff Centre’s Summer Music Series, and Niagara on the Lake International Chamber Music Festival.
  • When: Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10, 2017
  • Time: Times vary by date, check the website for details
  • Where: St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church –1022 Nelson St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Available online

Christmas Queen 4 – Secret Santa at Vancouver TheatreSports League

Image: Vancouver TheatreSport

  • What: Vancouver TheatreSports’ The Christmas Queen is returning this holiday season with the latest installment in the series, Christmas Queen 4 – Secret Santa. Confusion and hijinks ensue when the Queen and Santa exchange bodies in a Freaky Friday-style magical sleight- of-hand.  What happens to the Workshop’s Toy Factory with The Queen as Santa in charge? The answers are revealed as VTSL’s ensemble players take audience suggestions and turn them into 90 minutes of holiday hilarity.
  • When: Wednesdays through Saturdays from now to December 23. Matinees on December 10 and 17
  • Time:  7:30 pm. Matinees at 2 pm
  • Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10.75-$24.25

Christmas Queen Drag Race

  • What: What happens when two queens come together? A lot of racy, outrageous hilarity and wicked wit. Join VTSL’s own Christmas Queen with her special guest co-host, drag star The Unstoppable Conni Smudge for the ‘be-jewelling’ of a new Drag Diva.
  • When: Saturdays from November 25 to December 23.
  • Time:  11:15 pm
  • Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10.75-$15.75

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

Cards Against Vancouver Launch Party

  • What: The Fictionals are launching the long-awaited Cards Against Vancouver tribute deck at the Rio Theatre on Wednesday, December 20, and you’re all invited to see the new cards brought to life onstage.
  • When: Wednesday, December 20, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: The Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $12

Contact Winter Music Festival 2017

  • What: Western Canada’s biggest winter music festival. Contact is taking over BC Place for the sixth consecutive year on December 26 and 27 for two days filled with energetic electronic dance music from a line-up of 15 internationally acclaimed artists. Headliners include the legendary DJ Armin Van Buuren and EDM DJ Marshmello. Adventure Club, Rezz, Mr Carmack, Tchami, Ekali, Alan Walker, Malaa, and Carnage, among others will also be spinning tracks during the two-day winter festival.
  • When: December 26 and 27, 2017
  • Time: 5 pm
  • Where: BC Place Stadium – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $99.50 general admission passes | $150.50 VIP area passes – Available via Ticketmaster

Adam Sandler

  • What: A successful actor, writer, producer and musician, Sandler’s films have grossed over $3 billion worldwide and include box office hits such as Grown Ups, Just Go With It, Bedtime Stories, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. In 2014, Sandler signed a deal with Netflix to produce and star in four original movies. The first three films, The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over and Sandy Wexler, were the most-watched movies on Netflix to date, which led to Sandler signing another deal with Netflix for four more original movies.
  • When: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Time: 7:30 pm
  • Where: Orpheum – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Available via Ticketmaster

Stone Sour and Halestorm

  • What: American heavy metal band Stone Sour and country music group Halestorm are coming to Metro Vancouver with special guests The Dead Deads.
  • When: Saturday, January 27, 2018
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Abbotsford Centre –  33800 King Road, Abbotsford
  • Tickets: $39.50, $59.50, $69.50 (including GST and service charges) – Tickets available via Charge by Phone 1-855-985-5000 and via Ticketmaster


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