28 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 9 to 12

Dec 9 2019, 1:00 pm

A  brand-new week equals new events to enjoy around Vancouver! From Make It! to Gastown’s Not-So-Silent Nights, here are 28 events to check out from December 9 to 12.

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

Monday, December 9

Festivale Tropicale at Bloedel Conservatory


Bloedel Conservatory / Facebook

What: Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park will host Festivale Tropicale – a celebration of the city’s indoor tropical paradise that first opened its doors on December 6, 1969. Already a popular year-round attraction for its 150 free-flying birds, lush gardens, and exotic plants and flowers, Bloedel Conservatory is decorated for the holiday season with tropical themed décor, lights, and music.

When: Daily until January 5, 2020. Closed Christmas Day.
Time: 10 am to 9 pm
Where: Bloedel Conservatory – Queen Elizabeth Park — 4600 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Tickets Info: Online

Holiday Hygiene Drive Comedy Show & Fundraiser

What: Rawsome Comedy and Keto Caveman Cafe present the annual Holiday Hygiene Drive Comedy Show and Fundraiser on December 9. Attendees will enjoy a dinner and comedy show headlined by Amber Harper-Young. Proceeds will go to support the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, a non-profit organization that provides hygiene products, clothing, meals, and community to women in need.

When: December 9, 2019
Time: 6:30 to 9 pm
Where: Keto Caveman Cafe — 605 West Pender Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Robson Square Ice Rink

What: The provincial government’s Robson Square Ice Rink is open for the 2019/2020 season, and as per tradition, skating is free for all ages. Wedged under the covered outdoor plaza at Robson Square, the rink is operated seasonally by the government when temperatures begin to dip.

Skating is free for all ages for those who bring their own skates. Those without skates can rent a pair on-site, for a fee. An on-site concession stand will also serve warm drinks and snacks.

When: Daily until February 29, 2020
Time: Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm. Holiday hours vary.
Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson Street and Howe Street)
Price: Free for all ages, if you bring your own skates. (Skate rentals are $5, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time.) Robson Square Ice Rink accepts cash only. Helmets are mandatory for children 12 years and under.

Catoro Cafe Community Nights

What: Catoro, Vancouver’s magical cat cafe, is hosting a number of “community nights,”in December. Enjoy a different holiday film every Monday in December, including The Grinch on December 9. There will also be DIY Cat Christmas Ornaments on December 11, and board games and trivia on December 18. Each event will cost $25, is 90 minutes in duration, and includes a drink and plenty of cats.

When: December 9, December 16, December 23, December 30 (films); December 11, December 18 (activities)
Time: 6:30 pm (Monday), 7:30 pm (Wednesday)
Where: Catoro Cafe — 666 E Broadway, Vancouver
Register: Online

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

What: The annual Gingerbread Lane has taken over the lobby of the Hyatt Regency. This year’s display features 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 for Make-A-Wish.

When: Now until December 31, 2019
Time: All Day
Where: Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 655 Burrard Street
Admission: Free

Lights of Hope 2019

St. Paul’s Lights of Hope (Spencer Finlay / Flickr)

What: St. Paul’s Foundation’s Lights of Hope sees the building glow with over 100,000 bright lights, and more than 200 shining stars. New to the display this year is the Living Light, an interactive art piece that gives everyone the opportunity to light a star themselves.

Installed front and centre of the display, the Living Light star is built with a dimmer that slowly waxes and wanes, as though the light is breathing. A kiosk installed below the star is fitted with a plaque that asks visitors to choose a donation amount, tap a contactless credit card to donate, and “Help Keep Hope Alive.” The star glows brightly every time a donation is made before gradually dimming again if it goes too long without a tap.

When: Now until January 6, 2020
Time: Every day and night
Where: St. Paul’s Hospital Burrard entrance – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Anonymous Art Show 2019

What: Anonymous Art Show is a group exhibition and North Vancouver Community Arts Council fundraiser showcasing work by over 300 emerging and established artists. The artists behind each 8” x 8” artwork remains anonymous until the piece has been bought.

When: Now until December 18, 2019. Closed on Sundays
Time: 9 am to 5 pm (Monday to Friday), 9 am to 8 pm (Thursday and Friday), 12 to 5 pm (Saturday)
Where: CityScape Community Art Space — 335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Admission: Free

Tuesday, December 10

Vancouver Canucks vs Toronto Maple Leafs

What: Vancouver Canucks take on Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena on December 10.

When: December 10, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café

Zee Zee Theatre / The Cultch

What: Zee Zee Theatre presents Holiday at the Elbow Room Cafe, inspired by and in tribute to the iconic cafe. The show features a mix of holiday classics and songs from Elbow Room Café: The Musical by Dave Deveau and Anton Lipovetsky. Written by Deveau and directed by Cameron Mackenzie, husbands and lifelong friends of Elbow Room Café owners Patrice Savoie and Bryan Searle.

When: December 10 until December 29, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: The Cultch Historic Theatre — 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Vancouver Story Slam Storytelling Championship

What: The 15th annual Vancouver Story Slam Storytelling Championship is the grand finale of the 2019 Vancouver Story Slam season. Ten storytellers bring their best stories to the stage. The winner, selected by an anonymous audience ballot, will receive a cash prize, a large engraved trophy, and the title of 2019 Vancouver Story Slam Champion.

When: December 10, 2019
Time: 8 pm
Where: The Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
Tickets: Online


What: Fighting Chance Productions presents the Canadian premiere of the pop/rock musical Girlfriend, based on the titular album by Matthew Sweet. Social outcast Will and popular football player Mike explore their relationship and discover that there is more to life than what high school taught them.

When: December 10 until December 21, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: The Nest — 1398 Carwright Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online


What: TechVancouver‘s monthly gathering of Vancouver top tech leaders and innovators invites attendees to network with other tech professionals, share their own projects on the community open mic, and learn industry knowledge and expertise from tech leaders. This month’s speakers are Isaac Oslund, Co-Founder & CEO of Bananatag, and William Johnson Director of Marketing at Innovate BC.

When: December 10, 2019
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews
Tickets: Online

Luzia by Cirque Du Soleil

What: For the first time in British Columbia, guests will be invited to witness the imaginative and stunning production titled LUZIA, a waking dream of Mexico. Naturally, viewers can expect aerialists, trapeze artists, hoop diving, contortionists, jugglers, and even football freestylers, to name a few of the production’s members. The performance will take place at the redesigned white-and-gold Big Top at Concord Pacific Place from October 3 to November 24, 2019.

When: Now until December 29, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Concord Pacific Place – 88 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

A Traditional Christmas with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: A Traditional Christmas

What: The VSO plays its annual Traditional Christmas concert in theatres across Metro Vancouver, including the North Shore, Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, and Vancouver this holiday season. Enjoy singing, storytelling, and holiday cheer with host Christopher Gaze and special guests.

When: December 10 to December 14, December 22, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations
Tickets: Online

Wednesday, December 11

Make It! The Handmade Revolution

Make It

Make It! Edmonton

What: The Make It! Holiday Show features more than 260 vendors selling beautiful items made by hand, with love. With handmade clothing, art, accessories, gourmet goodies, home decor, children items, and more — conscious consumers will be sure to find gifts for everyone on your list. This year’s event also features food trucks and a beer garden to get you in the festive spirit. PNE Forum will be fully licensed so you can sip and shop. And don’t forget to leave your mark on the giant collaborative paint-by-numbers mural hosted by Paintillio.

When: December 11 to 15, 2019
Time: Wednesday, 5 to 9 pm; Thursday and Friday, 11 am to 9 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: PNE Forum – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online at makeitshow.ca. Get 50% off early-bird tickets until show day. Then it’s $10 at the door during the show. Kids 12 and under are free

Catfish and the Bottlemen

What: British indie rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen play the Vogue Theatre in support of their latest album, The Balance, on December 11.

When: December 11, 2019
Time: Doors 7 pm
Where: Vogue Theatre — 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Vancouver Men’s Chorus: Making Spirits Bright

What: Vancouver Men’s Chorus presents their annual holiday tradition, Making Spirits Bright. Everyone is welcome to enjoy Christmas classics at St. Paul’s Anglican Church as VMC celebrates the Colours of Christmas.

When: December 11 to 14, 2019
Time: Doors 7:15 pm, show 8:00 pm (plus matinees at 3 pm on December 14)
Where: St. Paul’s Anglican Church – 1130 Jervis Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Gingerbread House Making Competition

Gingerbread house (Image: Leena Robinson/Shutterstock)

What: Unleash your imagination at Edith + Arthur Public House and create your dream gingerbread house for a chance to win a $50 bar tab. Gingerbread house and candy will be provided.

When: December 11, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Edith + Arthur Public House — 8410 160th Street, Surrey
Reservation: Online

Music for the Winter Solstice

What: A Music on Main tradition that celebrates the solstice in style with holiday merriment and luminous music. Enjoy performances by Caroline Shaw, Gabriel Kahane, and Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa. Featuring music by Arvo Pärt, Alfredo Santa Ana, Music on Main’s Composer in Residence Sabrina Schroeder, Caroline Shaw, Rodney Sharman, Gabriel Kahane, and the Wyrd Sisters.

When: December 11 and 12, 2019
Time: 8 pm
Where: Heritage Hall – 3102 Main Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas

What: Jerry Granelli, drummer for the Vince Guaraldi Trio that recorded the original A Charlie Brown Christmas album back in 1965, shares stories about working on the album plus plays songs from the holiday classic with his band, The Jerry Granelli Trio.

When: December 11 and 12, 2019
Time: 8 pm
Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts – 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Tickets: Online

The Double Axe Murders

What: The Double Axe Murders by Berni Stapleton is a psychological thriller, steeped in Newfoundland folklore, that is based on true events. Directed and produced by Tamara McCarthy and presented by Rusticate Theatre.

When: December 10 until December 14, 2019
Time: 8 pm (plus 3 pm on December 14)
Where: Evergreen Cultural Centre — 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Tickets: Online

Thursday, December 12

Gastown’s Not-So-Silent Nights

gastown holiday

@dan21jackson /lizrenberg/Instagram

What: On December 12, 13, 19, and 20, some of Vancouver’s most talented choirs will be taking over the corner of Water and Cambie Street in Gastown to carol for charitable causes.

The Leckie Building (Water and Cambie Street) will also turn into a giant living holiday story as a 120-ft animated video projection, created by students at Vancouver Film School (VFS), will play every 30 minutes in sync with the chime of the famed Gastown Steam Clock during all four Not-So-Silent Nights. There will also be late-night shopping, mistletoe treasure hunts, on-street treats, and giveaways and surprises to enjoy.

When: December 12, 13, 19, 20, 2019
Where: Gastown Vancouver
Time: 5 to 8 pm
Admission: Free. Choirs will be accepting donations for charities

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

What: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Catch the musical at Gateway Theatre in December and sing along to the biblical story of Joseph, Jacob, and the coat of many colours.

When: Various dates from December 12 until December 31, 2019
Time: Various times

Where: Gateway Theatre — 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
Tickets: Online


What: Mike Bartlett’s COCK is a comedy of wit and persuasion based on the character of John, who, having left his seven-year relationship with M, a man, falls in love with W, a woman. John is in a careful balancing act between his lovers so as not to lose them or his own sense of self.

When: Now until December 15, 2019
Time: 8 pm (2 pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday)
Where: The Cultch Historic Theatre – 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Christmas Markets at Moody Ales

What: Shop for everyone on your Christmas list while enjoying a pint at Moody Ales. Each week has a different variety of vendors showcasing crafts, jewellery, chocolates, and more.

When: December 12, December 19, 2019
Time: 6 to 10 pm
Where: Moody Ales — 2601 Murray Street, Port Moody
Admission: Free

Baileys Treat Bar at CF Richmond Centre

Baileys Peanut Butter Cuppa’ Coffee/Baileys

What: For the first year ever, experience delicious Baileys Original Irish Cream beverages at the exclusive Baileys Treat Bar, taking place at CF Richmond Centre.

For three days only, treat yourself with a Baileys beverage made with either hot chocolate or coffee, and your choice of festive toppings. Christmas cocktail enthusiasts can take treats home from the pop-up and whip up something festive to impress their guests over the holidays. We’ve got all the inspiration you need right here.

When: December 12 to December 14, 2019
Time: 12 pm to 8 pm
Where: CF Richmond Centre — 6551 No 3 Road, Richmond

Vancouver Canucks vs Carolina Hurricanes

What: Vancouver Canucks face off with Carolina Hurricanes at Rogers Arena.

When: December 12, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Giant Hummus Plate at Balila Taste Kitchen

What: Balila Taste Kitchen will be creating a 32-sq-ft-wide bowl of hummus at its 983 Helmcken Street location, and everyone’s invited to come to enjoy it for free from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

When: December 12, 2019
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Where: Balila Taste Kitchen — 983 Helmcken Street, Vancouver
Price: Free

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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