14th Annual Santa Claus Parade is coming to town

With a wink of an eye and a twist of his head…the jolly ol’ elf is coming!

It’s time for the man in the big red suit to come riding into town as the 14 annual Vancouver Santa Claus Parade presented by Telus fills downtown Vancouver with festive fun on Sunday December 3rd, 2018.

Starting at Noon, the parade route begins at West Georgia at Broughton Street, runs east on West Georgia to Howe Street then comes to an end at Howe at Davie Street.  Global BC news anchor Chris Gailus leads the parade as this year’s Grand Marshall, along with colleagues from the city’s other media outlets and the CKNW Orphans Fund, one of the parades charity partners.  Another beneficiary is the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, volunteers will be on hand throughout the day, to collect cash or non-perishable food donations for the food bank.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to line the streets and participate in the parade in bands, choirs, floats and community organizations.  Before the parade, feed your troupe with Breakfast with Santa at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from 9:30am – 10:30am then get in the holiday spirit at the Christmas Square, in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.  From 10am until Noon, the Square features fun for kids, young and old face painting, gingerbread man and christmas ornament decorating, ‘letters to Santa’ writing stations and entertainment on the Main Stage. After the parade, head to Telus Garden at Seymour and West Georgia St, to get a picture with Santa.

With the big crowds it is best to plan ahead, take transit and arrive early. If you can’t make it to downtown Vancouver to watch the parade in person, tune into Global BC and BC1 to watch the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade telecast starting December 17th, 2018.

Arts Club remounts hit play Onegin for 2017.

Last season, The Arts Club Theatre Company debuted Onegin, an ambitious new work based on the verse Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin and the opera by Tchaikovsky.   This season, the cast remains the same but the home of Onegin changes to Granville Island for a run until December 31st.

Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille have written the book, music, and lyrics that covers all the emotions in the two hour show; light-hearted comedy, romance, drama, tragedy.  The musical is mostly sung-through with very little dialogue and most of that dialogue is directed at the audience, when the players break the fourth wall. The pop-rock infused songs are strong enough to stand alone, and with the band (Jennifer Moersch, Barry Mirochnick & Marguerite Witvoet) onstage throughout, suggest the whole show could be performed in concert without set or costumes and still be brilliant.  However, Drew Facey’s set filled with chandeliers, books and candles and Jacqueline Firkins’ Imperial Russian costumes do great work to place Onegin in 19th century St. Petersburg, Russia.

The whole theatre is the stage as players regularly step into the aisles to interact and bring the audience even closer to the production.  Sharing laughter, drinks, chit chat and passing notes, the casual atmosphere is like a visit with friends that you don’t want to end, the two hour show passes all too quickly.  In their second season in these roles the actors and characters mesh as one, allowing them to deliver the adlibs and scripted lines with equal comfort.  The cast is filled with veterans of Vancouver stage and screen and no one performer stands out because they are all equally brilliant in delivering one of the best new shows that has crossed our stages in recent years.

Onegin plays at The Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage until December 31, 2017.  Visit artsclub.com for tickets and more information.

Picks of the Week – November 29, 2017

We’re into the one month countdown to Christmas with more festive flair popping into the picks of the week.

Market: The Christmas Market season is in full swing with the Vancouver Christmas Market opening today, running until December 24, at Jack Poole Plaza plus Toque, River District craft fairs as well.

Snow: Until January 6th, help Snow White and the Seven Dwarves evade the Evil Queen in East Van Panto at The Cultch York Theatre

Flamenco Rosario

Dance: The Dance Centre’s Discover Dance Series presents Flamenco Rosario on Thursday November 30th honours the traditions of dance with a lunchtime performance

Twinkle: Light up your nights with the Festival light displays all around Metro Vancouver; Lights of Hope, Canyon Lights, Bright Nights, Heritage Christmas, Glow Christmas, Lights at Lafarge all bring a little Christmas Spirit.

Oratorio: The spirit of the season and the sound of music fills the air as Early Music Vancouver presents Handel’s Messiah, November 30th in White Rock and December 1st & 2nd at Vancouver Playhouse.

Wheel: Take a ride on the Sky Wheel on the Pier at the Annual Shipyards Christmas Market December 2nd in North Vancouver; artisan market, family activities, entertainment, tree lighting and the weekend-only observation wheel sponsored by the Lower Lonsdale BIA.

Rock: American rockers, The National plays a two-night stand at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 1st and 2nd.

Sax: December 3rd, Kenny G plays some of his hits and holiday favourites at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company’s dramedy  The Day Before Christmas is onstage at the Goldcorp Stage until the day before Christmas, while fan favourite Onegin remounts the Arts Club, Granville Island Stage, until December 31st.

Scoop: At Firehall Arts Centre, until December 2nd,  Only Drunks And Children Tell The Truth tells the tale of the 60’s Scoop of indigenous children with truth and humour

Drag: The Christmas Queen is back to ruin Christmas for Vancouver Theatresports League and on Saturday nights, anything can, and will happen,  when Vancouver drag diva the Unstoppable Connie Smudge joins the stage,  it’s two queens for the price of one at Christmas Queen Drag Race.

Narnia: Carousel Theatre, invites families to step through the wardrobe as C.S Lewis’  The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to the stage until December 31st.

Pucks: The Toronto Maple Leafs make a rare Western appearance as they visit Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.

St Nick: Santa Claus is coming to town as the 14th Annual (and newly renamed) Telus Santa Claus Parade makes it way through downtown Vancouver on Sunday afternoon. 

Vancouver Christmas Concerts for 2017

Christmas has a long association with music;  carols, hymns and cantatas, bringing spirit to the Season’s concerts.  Calendars are filled with school and church concerts, and to help you get in the song-filled spirit, here’s a list of concerts around Vancouver to take in this Season for your listening pleasure:

Handel’s Messiah: Friday December 1 & Saturday December 2, 2017, Vancouver Playhouse
Early Music Vancouver presents Messiah for the first time, with Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Vancouver Cantata Singers.

Kenny G The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour: December 3, 2017, Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Award winning instrumentalist Kenny G performs some of his biggest hits as well as holiday classics from his best-selling Miracles: The Holiday Album.

A Jann Arden Christmas with the VSO:  Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Orpheum Theatre
Join Canadian pop songstress as she joins the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for an evening of song and her quick wit.

A Traditional Christmas: Friday December 8, Saturday December 9, 2017, Sta Andrew’s Wesley Church, plus dates all around Metro Vancouver through December 17th.
Join the VSO and host Christopher Gaze (Bard on the Beach) for the 25th Anniversary of this Christmas favourite.

Making Spirits Bright with Vancouver Men’s Chorus

Vancouver Men’s Chorus are Making Spirits Bright:

Saturday December 9, Sunday December 10, Thursday December 14, Friday December 15, 2017, St Paul’s Anglican Church
Are you naughty or nice? Doesn’t matter the VMC will entertain you for their lighthearted Christmas concerts.

Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir by Leigh Righton.

Good Tidings, a Good Noise Gospel Christmas:  Friday December 15 and Saturday December 16, 2017, Christ Church Cathedral
Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir with special guest vocalist Maureen Washington and the 90 voice choir bring joy of the season.

Christmas with Chor Leoni: Friday December 15 and Monday December 18, 2017, St Andrew’s Wesley Church (twice/night)
A Christmas tradition to gather friends and family together to enjoy old Christmas favourites and encounter new ones as sung by the men’s choir.

Festive Cantatas – Vivaldi – Gloria and Magnificat: Saturday December 23, 2017, Chan Shun Concert Hall at Chan Centre for Performing Arts
Early Music Vancouver presents Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat as they were originally performed, by an all-female ensemble.

The Tenors – Christmas Together Tour

The Tenors – Queen Elizabeth Theatre – November 24, 2017

The Tenors are inviting fans to spend “Christmas Together” with them as they tour North America this season.  Friday night, the trio brought their smooth vocal style to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for an evening of Holiday cheer in support of their new Christmas Together album.  Filled with Christmas carols, classic holiday season favourites and some new tunes, the 2 hour show brought the Christmas spirit to the audience.

Joined on stage with the BC Girls and BC Boys Choirs for some Christmas joy on some tracks.  Add-in many of Fraser Walter’s family and friends being in the audience for extra emotion, especially on his solo. Smiles were all around as Victor, Clifton and Fraser ventured into the audience to play a game of complete the lyrics with fans, and found Frasers young nephew to adorably join in the reindeer games.  The evening had a feel of a sing-a-long as all the songs were mostly tried and true favourites and The Tenors invited fans to join in on some carols.  Even the new track from Christmas Together, Santa’s Wish (Teach the World), is based on the familiar, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”.

The Tenors’ Christmas Together Album is available now and the Tour continues throughout North America, with a stop in New York next week, to appear on NBC’s Christmas In Rockefeller Center, airing November 29th.

And…Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas…

Polygon Gallery anchors Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver

The Polygon Gallery
Photo: Ema Peter Photography

After nearly 30 years of planning, The Polygon Gallery has opened to the public on the Waterfront at Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver.  Since 1976, the Presentation House at 3rd and Chesterfield has been a community art space that for the last three decades has had a focus on photographic arts.

Now in its new space next to Lonsdale Quay, the stunning $20million gallery provides an anchor to the evolving Lower Lonsdale precinct.  The Polygon Gallery joins the new residences, bistros, restaurants, pubs and shops that have replaced the industrial spaces that were North Vancouver staples for decades.  The Patkau Architect designed Gallery is constructed to the highest standards for sustainable building.  The Gallery is a bright, open, light-filled space, with a fully-glazed ground floor and exterior cantilever, jutting over the boardwalk offers shelter from the weather.  The new building’s lower floor boasts a welcoming Gallery lobby and gift shop, a café, and a multi-purpose exhibition and event space. 

The second level features four exhibition spaces and a large exterior terrace overlooking Burrard Inlet, which, even on a recent dreary night, the sparkling skyline of Greater Vancouver, and the city’s busy harbour create a magnificent work of art of its own.  While the exhibition space is vast but feels intimate to not overwhelm the art within, the all white interior is a blank canvas to highlight whatever work fills the space.  

The Polygon Gallery’s inaugural exhibition N. Vancouver, is on display until Spring 2018.  N. Vancouver honours the Gallery’s home with photographic works capturing its rich and varied history from Coast Salish village, to industrial port city to the emerging urban metropolis of today.  Pieces reflect the industrial port, concrete grain terminals, docks and rail yards, all set against lush coastal mountains and natural beauty of the Skwxwú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh territories. The most ambitious project in the Gallery’s history, N. Vancouver features commissioned works by more than fifteen artists, including Andrew Dadson, Gabrielle Hill, Althea Thauberger, Stephen Waddell and Tracy Williams, paired with existing work by Stan Douglas, Greg Girard, Fred Herzog, Curt Lang, and Jeff Wall, among others. 

Polygon Gallery Now Open

The Polygon Gallery is located steps from Lonsdale Quay, at 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver.
The Gallery is open 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Sunday (closed Mondays)
Admission is by donation.

2018 PuSh Festival Program Launches

This week, 2018 PuSh Festival debuted its program guide with a party at The Fox Cabaret, home of Club PuSh during the festival.

Since 2003, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival has become one of Vancouver’s premier events, bringing life to our stages and venue through  three dreary weeks each winter.  From January 16 to February 4, 2018, PuSh Festival brings world class performing arts to Vancouver.  Local performers and companies take the stages along with those from 11 other countries around the globe who are scheduled for PuSh 2018, including acts from Taiwan, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, USA, and Canada.  Theatre, dance, multimedia, film, talkbacks, conversations and workshops are all on deck for this year’s festival, in venues all around Vancouver.

Check out this year’s Festival trailer to see what’s in store for the 2018 Festival.

Visit pushfestival.ca to purchase passes and explore all that PuSh Festival has to offer during the three weeks or pick up a PuSh Festival Guide and start planning your Festival experience now.