From our calendar to yours comes this carefully considered agenda of cool things we are doing, wishing we could do, or conspiring to do in Vancouver from December 19 to December 25, 2018. Please note that you can now get the Scout List – with a few extra pieces of intel included – sent to your inbox every Thursday. Sign up for your subscription in the sidebar.
ART | Feel like escaping the holiday ‘merriment’ for something a bit spookier? We’ll definitely be finding some time to sneak over to Main Street’s CSA Space gallery (upstairs from Pulp Fiction books), which has been temporarily and topographically transformed by local artist Warren McLachlan. The installation includes sculptures and photographs of natural objects and artifacts from the East Kootenay ghost town of Corbin, BC. You’ll want to plan your escape soon though, since this haunting exhibit’s final day is on Saturday. Find out more.
TASTE | Juice Bar pops-up at Birds & the Beets this week. Interesting natural wines paired with tasty food in an atmosphere that is free of pretension — sounds like a pretty fine way to occupy a late December evening if you ask us! This is the last Juice Bar appearance for 2018, so don’t miss out! Heather Dosman of Existential Eating will be cooking; wine will be flowing; and friends will be made. Find out more.
SOLSTICE | Right now Vancouver is seeing the sun come up at around 8am and setting again at about 4:15pm – that’s not a lot of daylight, folks! In fact, this week boasts the shortest days of the year. The good news is that after this weekend, our days start getting longer. Little by little we’re headed toward those beautiful mid-summer, late evening sunsets, the memory of which we all cling to during these winter months. So in a roundabout way, it’s a time to celebrate. Raise a glass to summer, people. It’s coming, and this is the turning point. If you want to get more involved than just a toast, The Secret Lantern Society has once again organized a Winter Solstice Lantern Festival. Put on your warmest coat, fill your travel mug with some hot chocolate, and hustle your way over to one of two procession locations (Yaletown or Granville Island) to celebrate Solstice in style. Don’t have a lantern? There are still a few lantern-making workshops between now and Friday. Check the Secret Lantern Society webpage for details here. Find out more.
STRANGER GIGS | Teasers and sketchy details about the upcoming new season of “Stranger Things” are already leaking, but that’s hardly helping with the struggle of what to watch during the mostly rainy months until it’s released next summer. We’re not saying we have the cure, but those who could use a bit more ST in their lives might be interested in knowing that the series’ star Finn Wolfhard is coming to Vancouver with his band, Calpurnia, this weekend. That’s right, Wolfhard and his bandmates will be returning to their city of origin for two back-to-back gigs at The Vogue on Friday and Saturday nights, and there are still tickets available for the second gig! If you’re feeling skeptical about a potentially tainting experience not uncommon when actors attempt (and fail) to cross over into other creative territory then you’ll be relieved to know that Calpurnia hold up. But don’t take our word though, take a listen, then snag some tickets ASAP over here.
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 make your way down to the beach where there will be a giant bonfire roaring (lit at sundown). Live music, hot chocolate and a forest of decorated Christmas trees make this a solidly festive Saturday night. Plus there’s a beach, the sounds of waves and the delightful smell of the ocean. Find out more.
SLOW DOWN | December has a way of getting hectic. Traffic, social engagements, shopping…the general velocity of the city jumps up a few notches this month, so for the love of all things wonderful try to pace yourself. Take a few hours out to wander one of Vancouver’s beaches. No one will be there, and we have lots of them to choose from. Bonus: they’re free. Solitude, clear water and sand softened by rain is the best present you can give yourself this time of year. Note: a flask or thermos of something warming is a nice touch. My pick this week? Spanish Banks.
ORPHANS | In town for the holidays without plans for a festive dinner? Check out Mind The Bar’s first annual Orphan Dinner: all the good of a family dinner (stuffing, board games, movies), but without the drama or dry turkey. Tickets are $25 and are for sale ONLY in advance (get sorted here) with proceeds going directly to Mind The Bar in support of mental health wellness in the hospitality industry. Oh yeah, Down Low Chicken Shack’s Doug Stephens and Dixie’s Texas BBQ’s Alex Newton are cooking, so there’s that little bit of awesomeness to look forward to as well. (GF/DF/V options available). Find out more.
WATCH | From action (Die Hard and Batman Returns) and comedy (Elf) to classic (It’s A Wonderful Life) and rom-com (Love Actually), The Rio Theatre has every possible type of holiday film scheduled to screen this weekend. Pick the genre that fits best for your personality, or dive right in for the whole shebang and kick your merry movie marathon off with a Sound Of Music sing-a-long (Friday at 6:30pm).
TRADITION | The Goh Ballet rallies their troops to perform Tchaikovsky’s classic, The Nutcracker, this week. Behold as scores of local dancers take the stage in gorgeous costumes against stunning sets in the Christmas-themed ballet. Tickets are selling out, and they ain’t cheap (expect to lay down somewhere in the neighbourhood on $100 per person), but this gig is sure to jumpstart even the most reluctant of holiday spirits. Can you really put a price on that? Sugarplum Fairy it up December 21-23 — seats at matinee and evening performances are still available! Find out more.
OPEN | Looking for somewhere new to break bread with friends? This has been a good month for interesting restaurant openings. Here are a few spots to check out: Ubuntu Canteen (from the Farmer’s Apprentice crew), the Pacific Northwest-inspired Dachi on East Hastings, Cambie’s tiny Usagi cafe, and burger/beer spot Hundy in Kitsilano (opens Saturday).