SCOUT LIST: 11 Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now & Next Week

by Michelle Sproule | 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. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda 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…

SKATE | Grab your skates (or rent them once you’re there) and hit Robson Square for a hundred laps around the rink. There might be a few other people out there thinking the holidays would be a lovely time for a twirl, too, so plan ahead – bring your thermal mug, some nice thick gloves and your happy holiday attitude. Oh, and keep in mind that rentals are cash only.
7 days |  9am – 9pm (Fri & Sat until 11pm) | Robson Square | Free (skates $4) | DETAILS

CHILL | Destroyer fan? Of course you are. On Wednesday night the fine group of gentlemen that comprise Destroyer will be at The Waldorf playing DJ. What records will Dan Bejar choose to play? What about Nic Bragg? Or John Collins, or Josh Wells, or Dave Carswell, or JP Carter for that matter? The answers have got to be worth at least five times the $2 cover, and take a little extra to throw on the donation pile. The event, organized by another excellent Vancouver musician – Amber Webber of Black Mountain – is a Portland Hotel Society fundraiser. Door prizes and drink specials all night.
Wednesday, December 19 | Doors, 9pm | Waldorf Hotel (1489 E Hastings) |  $2 | DETAILS

POP-UP | Last minute shopping? Don’t torture yourself by tackling department store line-ups, at least not while there’s still time to catch a pop-up shop, like the one at Le Marché St George. Not only is the cool-as-hell neighbourhood corner store stocked with great gift items (from tea and olive oil to soaps and linens), it’s also set up with a winter extension featuring gorgeous Mexican textiles, ceramics by Janaki Larsen, photographs by Klee Larsen, shoes and leather goods from Hunter Mayer of Apartment 5, and jewellery by House of Hudson.
Now – December 31ish | 9am-6pm | Le Marché St. George (4393 Saint George St.) | DETAILS

THE END | The Mayan calendar comes to an end on the 21st, so unless you’ve loaded the house with bottled water and canned goods and are hiding in the basement you’ll probably be looking for something fitting to do this weekend. You’ve probably heard of the apocalypse-themed parties going on, but if you’re not into that head over to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and curl up into a little ball in one of the Planetarium’s super cozy lay-back seats while watching a screening of “2012” starring John Cusack and Woody Harrelson.
Friday, December 21 | 8pm | H.R. MacMillan Space Centre | $10.75 | DETAILS

CHEER | Though I’m not religious, nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit faster than shuffling down the old pews of a grand old church to listen to Christmas carols. Vancouver based chamber choir music intima will be at Christ Church Cathedral on Friday night to perform Home for Christmas, a series of catchy seasonal songs, including traditional carols, songs from movie soundtracks as well as “carols wronged” (comedic twists on old favourites). Great acoustics. Great atmosphere.
December 21 | 7:30pm | Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard St) | DETAILS

GOOD | Take a few minutes out of one of your days this week to drop some food off to Luis and Rob of Welcome to East Van. The two Eastside boys will have their cube van parked right near the steam clock at Water and Cambie this week looking to fill it up with food for the needy during their annual 12 Days Of Giving food drive. Not planning to be in Gastown this week? You can also look for a number of 12 Days of Giving boxes and super friendly businesses along The Drive (Rio Theatre, Bandidas, Prado) or head to 1192 East Hastings where Welcome to Eastvan is collecting food donations at the soon to be open ‘Shop Wrong’ (a neighbourhood corner store). Last year, the van filled up with over 3000 lbs of food. Let’s beat that record! A little food out, a lot of good karma in. That’s how it works, folks.
Today through December 23 | 9am-9pm | Near the Steam Clock on Water @ Cambie | DETAILS
UPDATE: Follow the boys on twitter (@12DayFoodDrive )to find out where the van will be. Today, Tuesday December 18, they will be parked outside Merchants Oyster Bar at 1590 Commercial Drive! 

SOLSTICE | Friday is the shortest day of the year. The sun goes down at 4:16pm and only comes up at 8:08am. That’s not a lot of daylight, but there’s a silver lining, and that is that after Friday, things are on the up-swing. Little by little we’re headed toward those beautiful mid-summer 9pm sunsets, the memory of which all Vancouverites cling to during these winter months. So in a roundabout way, it’s time to celebrate. Scout’s suggestion for the evening is to hit the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival. There’s nothing quite as magical as joining a procession of strangers meandering through streets with handmade lanterns! Expect live music, beautiful lanterns and good pagan cheer. Don’t go lantern-less! There are a number of last minute lantern-making classes where, for a nominal fee, materials are provided and instructors walk you through ways to construct a good one for you to carry. Skip over to the Secret Lantern Society website for event details for the neighbourhood closest to you (Yaletown, East Side, Chinatown, False Creek and Granville Island).
Friday, December 21 | 6 – 10pm | Various Locations | FREE, but donations are welcome | DETAILS 

RESOLVE | It’s that time of year with resolutions begin to form in our heads. Get to the gym, eat more kale, take a photography class, et cetera. If learning a new skill is on your “to do” list for 2013 but draining your bank account isn’t, check out the soon-to-launch, barter-for-knowledge learning community where Vancouverites will be able to sign up to take classes and pay their teachers in goods or services rather than cash. As we mentioned on our front page last week, Trade School Vancouver plans to kick-off this coming January, and they are currently looking for class proposals for their inaugural winter session. It’s a pretty straight forward process: you pitch a class idea and the Trade School works with you to set up a time and place for the class to take place. How awesome is that?
Now through December 28 | DETAILS.

BONFIRE | This Saturday is a good night to head over to Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver. Take a stroll through the local shops and then bundle up tight and head down to the beach where there will be a giant bonfire roaring with live music, hot chocolate and a forest of decorated Christmas trees for you to wander through. Plus there’s a beach. Remember those?
Sat, December 22 | 2pm to 9:30pm | Dundarave Beach | West Van | Free | DETAILS 

JAPANDROIDS | Just named best rock band of the year by Buzzfeed, Vancouver’s own Japandroids are playing a home gig at the Rickshaw Theatre this week.  There really isn’t much more to say except that if you’re planning to score tickets, you have to move fast! 
Saturday, December 22 | Doors 7pm, Show 8pm | The Rickshaw (254 East Hastings) | $20 | DETAILS 

MAKE NOISE | Done with the sweet, seasonal sounds of bells and harps? How about electronic caroling? Now that’s different. If you’re curious, get in on the action by joining a parade that will wind its way around the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood on Sunday Night. Unsilent Night, sometimes referred to as a ‘boombox parade”, arms participants with different segments of a larger piece of music and asks them to collaborate to give life to the full work. If you would like to take part in Unsilent Night, wear comfortable shoes and warm clothes and meet at north parking lot of Trout Lake near the white storage container (seriously). Make sure you check in with event organizers first, because they need to know how many copies of music to bring!
Sunday December 23 | 6:45 pm | Trout Lake | DETAILS 

Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List


late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended 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.


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