15 Vancouver Christmas concerts and shows to see this season

Dec 19 2017, 6:36 pm

The Christmas season brings a lot of joy, however, one of the most special aspects of the holiday is the beautiful music and stories that have been carried on through the decades to represent the true magic of Christmas.

Vancouver has a wide selection of concerts and productions to enjoy this holiday season, from The Nutcracker to the Vinyl Cafe and the Vancouver Bach Choir. With these concerts and shows, there’s something for everyone.


A Christmas Story

  • What: The Arts Club’s production of A Christmas Story brings the classic film to life, along with a musical soundtrack. If you’re not already familiar with the plot, it’s about a young boy named Ralphie in the 1940s who sets his eye on the Official Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun as his must-have Christmas gift. Problem is, “it’ll shoot your eye out!”
  • Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage – 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until December 27; evening and matinee productions

It’s a Wonderful Life

  • What: The Arts Club has been putting on It’s a Wonderful Life for so many years it has now become an annual Christmas tradition. “George Bailey performs countless good deeds for friends and townsfolk in Bedford Falls, yet all that seems to count for naught when he faces financial adversity. At George’s most woeful moment, his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, swoops in to remind him that faith, hope, and family make life truly wonderful.” – The Arts Club
  • Where: Granville Island Stage – 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until December 26; evening and matinee productions

Christmas Queen 2

  • What: Vancouver Theatre Sports present Christmas Queen 2 – You Better Watch out, an improvised fairy tale full of laughter.
  • Where: Improv Centre on Granville Island – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, November 26 to December 19; Wednesday through Saturday nights; 7:30 p.m.

Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas

  • What: Music of the Vince Guaraldi Trio shines in Coastal Jazz’s production of a Charlie Brown Christmas. Now, Jerry Granelli, the only surviving member of the original trio will perform with his own trio at the Vogue Theatre for a special Christmas production.
  • Where: The Vogue Theatre – 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, November 29; 7 p.m.

Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto

  • What: The East Van Panto presents this annual comedic Christmas story, written by and starring local comedian Charlie Demers. “Complete with an edible house, a butt-kicking brother and sister team, and a cute little cannibal witch, Hansel and Gretel lures you deep into the East Van wilderness to deliver a fantastic holiday treat.” – The Cultch
  • Where: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, December 2 to January 3, 2016; 7 p.m., matinees available

Yule Duel

  • What: On December 3, Water Street will transform into a series of outdoor stages, hosting more than 20 choirs in Vancouver’s first street-carolling competition – Yule Duel. The event is inspired by Figgy Pudding, a renowned annual carolling competition and charitable fundraiser in Seattle. Yule Duel aims to raise $20,000 for May’s Place, a hospice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
  • Where: Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, December 3; 6 to 9 p.m.

Vancouver Men’s Chorus: Making Spirits Bright

  • What: The Vancouver Men’s Chorus sings all the Christmas classics, set in the beautiful halls of St. Paul’s Anglican Church. They say it will be a “feast for the senses”.
  • Where: St. Paul’s Anglican Church – 1130 Jervis Street, Vancouver
  • When: December 4, 5, 10 and 11; 8 p.m., December 6 and 12; matinees at 3 p.m.

A Christmas Carol: On The Air

  • What: Pacific Theatre presents a dramatic retelling of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, this time staged as a radio play.
  • Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 W 12th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 4 to January 2

Vancouver Chamber Choir Christmas Concerts

  • What: The Vancouver Chamber Choir is putting on three fabulous Christmas concerts this season, beginning on December 4 with Christmas in the Orpheum, a collection of renaissance, baroque & carols. Next is A Dylan Thomas Christmas, followed by the ever-popular A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Where: The Orpheum – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver & Shaughnessy Heights United Church – 1550 West 33rd Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 4, December 18, and December 19; 8 p.m.

Christmas with the Bach Choir

  • What: The Vancouver Bach Choir knows a thing or two about how to nail a Christmas carol. More than 400 singers will fill the stage to sing all the beloved Christmas classics during this afternoon concert, featuring the Children’s Chorus and Youth Choir.
  • Where: The Orpheum – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, December 6; 2 p.m.

A Traditional Christmas from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

  • What: The VSO plays its annual Traditional Christmas concert in neighbourhoods around Metro Vancouver, including the North Shore, Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, and Vancouver this holiday season. Experience the delight of Christmas music straight from the city’s most talented musicians.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Thursday, December 10 to Sunday, December 20; Nightly

Bah! Humbug!

  • What: “An Eastside musical set on Coast Salish Territories” – that’s what SFU Woodward’s Bah! Humbug! production is described as. Starring Jim Byrnes as Ebenezer Scrooge, the play will weave current issues of the Downtown Eastside into Charles Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol. “A modern-day, sushi-loving Ebenezer Scrooge owns a pawn shop on Vancouver’s Hastings Street, where he is timing Bob Cratchit’s late arrival to work on his iPhone.”
  • Where: Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, December 10 to 12 and Tuesday, December 15 to 19; 7:30 p.m., matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays

The Nutcracker (Goh Ballet)

  • What: The Goh Ballet presents their annual production of The Nutcracker for the seventh year in a row. The prestigious ballet is sure to entertain all ages, as the classicly whimsical tale has endured decades as a classic Christmas tradition.
  • Where: The Centre in Vancouver – 777 Homer Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, December 17 to Tuesday, December 22; 7:30 p.m., matinees also available

Christmas with Chor Leoni

  • What: Capturing all of the joy and beauty of the festive season, Christmas with Chor Leoni takes favourite carols, Renaissance motets, and sing-alongs, adds a dash of doo-wop and barbershop, and wraps it all in Chor Leoni’s glorious sound.
  • Where: St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church – 1022 Nelson Street, Vancouevr
  • When: Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19; various times

Ballet BC presents Alberta Ballet in The Nutcracker

  • What: Ballet BC’s annual production of The Nutcracker, this time starring the Alberta Ballet, is a city-wide favourite and consistently ranks as one of the most quintessential Christmas traditions. Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music accompanies the classic story of Clara, live toy soldiers, dancing mice and more.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, December 29 to 31; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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