Scout List: Of Long Yule Tables & Anticipatory Christmasness
The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. This is our carefully considered first rate list of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. From our calendar to yours…
Blim is putting on a community craft market on Sunday – a perfect opportunity to grab yourself some last minute Christmas gifts. There will be 60 vendors as well as music, hot food, beverages and entertainment. Vendors will include food, fashion, accessories, supplies, fine art, vintage items and records, and not at all limited to crafts. The focus is on nurturing and promoting creative production in the community, with an aim to appeal to young, old, hip, plain, babies, animals, men, women, everyone. And don’t worry about the kids whining about wanting to leave while you try to get everything done: Blim will be screening mid-century animation. More here.
Sunday December 19 | 11am – 4pm | Chinese Cultural Centre (50 Pender St. E) | By donation
Little Mountain Gallery is holding a free store on December 23. Between now and then they’ll take almost anything: all your old clothes, records, art supplies, chicken wire, etc. and then, on December 23rd you can return to see the wild mass of things they’ve collected and take some home. Woo hoo – free stuff!
And hey, if the rain stops – make a run for seawall for some fresh air. It’s free and always beautiful.
Tuesday is the shortest day of the year. That means Wednesday will be just a little bit longer, and Thursday, longer still. It’s a time of rebirth, a time of festivals and gatherings. “The Winter Solstice occurs exactly when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26. Though the Winter Solstice lasts an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midwinter to refer to the day on which it occurs. For most people in the high latitudes this is commonly known as the shortest day and the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest. The seasonal significance of the Winter Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. The Winter Solstice is also the shortest day or lowest sun position for people in low latitudes located between the Tropic of Cancer (23°26N) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23°26S). Depending on the shift of the calendar, the winter solstice occurs some time between December 21 and December 22 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and between June 20 and June 21 in the Southern Hemisphere.” Scout’s suggestion for the evening: hit the Lantern Festival!
From the Secret Lantern Society: “This year December 21st marks not only the winter solstice but a lunar eclipse as well! Come celebrate this rare celestial alignment with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in five Vancouver neighborhoods. These five little festivals are community-based and reflect the unique nature of each neighbourhood. Intimate and accessible, each invites your participation. Wherever you wind up, we hope you feel connected to your community and to the universal spirit of celebration! Skip over to the Secret Lantern Society for event details for the neighbourhood closest to you (Yaletown, Granville Island, East Side, Strathcona/Chinatown and West End/Coal Harbour)
Tuesday, December 21 | 6 – 10pm | FREE, but take along a little something for a donation
If you haven’t had time to pull together a lantern, don’t fret. You can attend a lantern-making workshop at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens. They provide a plain white lantern, coloured tissue paper and scissors, and you tear or cut and attach your image onto your community lantern.
Sunday, December 19 | 1 – 3 pm | $5 | Sun Yat-Sen Gardens (578 Carrall)
Get out your ugliest Christmas sweater and join the cool kids at the Biltmore for a night of acrylic and polyester wearable art and draught beer. Nothing says Christmas like acrylic and polyester! Highlights: The Stumblers Inn, Shiloh Lindsay and James Wood (of The Hotel Lobbyists).
Saturday, December 18 | 8pm | The Biltmore | $8.00 at the door
If you’re not already heading that direction, sometimes a trip to the North Shore in holiday traffic can be a little too much. But, should you feel so inclined, this Saturday is a good night to head over to Dundarave Pier, where there will be a giant bonfire on the beach, live music, hot chocolate, carol ships and a forest of decorated trees. Plus there’s a beach. Remember those?
Dec 19 | 1-10 pm | Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver | FREE
Catch a staged reading of the timeless Dickens story: A Christmas Carol. “This is a story that continues to speak to us today especially in light of parallels between the economic disparities of Victorian London and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside”. Directed by Max Reimer and starring Jay Brazeau.
Fri Dec 17 & Sat Dec 18 | 7:30 pm | Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre (149 W Hastings) | Tickets $29 604.873.3311
The Vancouver Chamber Choir is putting on a Dylan Thomas Christmas featuring the famous Welsh poet’s story A Childs Christmas in Wales read by Bard-on-the-Beach actor Russell Roberts and illustrated with all new Christmas carols and songs chosen by Jon Washburn.
Friday Dec 17, 18, 19 | 8 pm – 10 pm | Ryerson United Church (2195 W. 45th) | www.ticketmaster.ca
Oh, and don’t miss the annual Ukrainian Christmas Carol Festival & Sing-A-Long. Karmen, this one is for you!
Sunday Dec 19 | 2 – 5 pm | Ukrainian Catholic Center (3150 Ash)
Done with the sweet sound of bells and harps? Get on board with the electronic caroling parade that will be winding its way through the streets of the West End toward the outdoor ice rink at Robson Square. Unsilent Night “participants bring portable music players and are given one of four parts that will be played simultaneously.” Get the full scoop here.
Sunday December 19 | 7 pm | Beach Ave
The WISE Hall celebrates the season with a Christmas Sing Along and Family Dance with Veda Hille and guests Ivan Coyote, Chris Mastheim and a magic show by Bro Gilbert. DJ Jenkintime and DJ Randy Handfulls. Snacks and Rum and Eggnog available all night! Get the scoop.
Tuesday, December 21 | 7pm – midnight | WISE Hall | $7-20 sliding scale at the door
Double your movie viewing pleasure at the Hollywood, the double bill this week includes Get Low (7:30 nightly + Sat/Sun 1:30) and I am love (9:25 nightly + Sat/Sun 3:25).
December 17 – 23 | Hollywood Theatre | Double feature only $8 |
The Nightmare Before Christmas plays at the Rio Friday at midnight.
“Can Christmas be saved? Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere!” Dress up in costume and get $1 off admission
Friday December 17 | 11:55 pm | Rio Theatre | $8
Altered States! Hit The Little Mountain Gallery to see a series of video works in a cinema-like presentation. The program includes a carefully sequenced group of works by Ross Birdwise, Soressa Gardner, Kajin Goh, Victor Ballesteros and Rok Oblak. Find out more.
Thursday December 16th | Door 7pm, Show 8pm | 195 East 26th (near Main) | what you can, $5 suggested
Black Swan, Natalie Portman’s new ballet/horror flick plays at the Fifth Ave Cinemas (2110 Burrard) at 1:10 1:30 4:00 4:30 7:00 7:20 9:20 9:40.
For something a little more on the family friendly end of the scale: The Chronicles of Narnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is playing, like everywhere.
I’ve been trying to think of a good last minute place to hook up with friends over the holidays. Something no-fuss and relatively cheap, but also festive and cool. Really, no one pulls it off better than The Heather. Tuesday, December 21, 630pm they have Chicken Pot Pie, Seasonal Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes with a 16oz Pint Of Grimbergen for $15, and on Wednesday, December 22, 630pm they can set you up with a nice plate of Roast Suckling Pig, Apple-Rosemary Sauce, Braised Cabbage & Potatoes and a 16oz Pint Of Orchard Hill Cider for $16. Mmmm.
If you haven’t managed to get any Christmas baking done you might want to hit the Baker’s Market. Hook yourself up with ready to be gifted breads, scones, pain au chocolat, German pretzels, shortbread cookies, Parisian macarons, madeleines, cupcakes, marshmallows, chocolates, biscotti, organic vegan, and gluten-free items, plus seasonal stuff like German stollen, Gingerbread houses, mince meat pies, butter tarts, pecan pies and much, much more. Take your own containers and bags. Santa looks favourably upon those who reduce and reuse.
Saturday, December 18 | 11 am – 3pm | Creekside Community Centre (Olympic Village)
I still haven’t done this but it’s at the top of my list of “things I want to do over Christmas holidays” list: snowshoe through Hollyburn plateau up to the ‘rustic upper warming hut’ for some steaming hot chocolate or spiced apple cider and then enjoy a dessert of chocolate fondue with a variety of fruits and angel food cake in the the heat of a traditional wood-burning stove. Details.
Saturday and Sunday nights – 6:30pm – 9:30pm | $50 (incl rentals, ticket, guide, and dessert
Chill out to Kid Koala at the Biltmore Monday or Tuesday nights. Info.
Catch the Winter Harp at St. Andrew’s. Try Zulu for tickets.
Saturday, December 18 | 7:30 pm | St. Andrews |
From Denver, singer-songwriter and former frontman John Grant of The Czars stops in at the Media club as part of his tour to support his debut Bella Union solo release “Queen of Denmark”.
Sunday, December 19 | 8 pm | Media Club | $13.00
Another nice in-store lined up at Zulu this week: The Salteens. From the crew at Zulu: If you dig big band pop music with loads of hooks, dynamics and crazy instrumentation then this is definitely a must see… their latest release GREY EYES is awesome, sitting comfortably next to anything from Stars, The Dears, Belle and Sebastian et al. Seriously, come down – rock music at Zulu Records is sublime.” They aren’t kidding. See you there.
Sunday, December 19 | 6 pm – 9 pm| Zulu (1972 West 4th) | Free
Kudos to those brave souls that plan non-Christmas related events at this time of year. Author Don Waite will be at the Vancouver Maritime Museum this Sunday to sign his newly released book Vancouver Exposed A History in Photographs. “Take a fresh look at early Vancouver through a kaleidoscope of new and old photos – and the stories of the people behind them – guaranteed to surprise and entertain.”
Sunday December 19 | 12 – 2 pm | Vancouver Maritime Museum – 1905 Ogden (Vanier Park)
Take a pause from your shopping to kick back at Strathcona’s Wilder Snail: Sunday is open mike night! Interested? Find out more here.
Sunday, December 19 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm | Wilder Snail
PICK OF THE WEEK
There is an awesome-sounding winter solstice gig going down at the Stanley Park Nature House this week. Naturalist Jennifer Swanston explores the history and tradition of midwinter festivals, and discusses the lore behind the plants and decorations that we associate with the season. More information over here.
Sunday, December 19 | 1:30 – 3:30 pm | Stanley Park Nature House (Lost Lagoon) | $10
Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended Bond University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.