Goh Ballet Presents The Nutcracker, Win Tickets


Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 — 6:19pm PST
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Returning for its 8th holiday season, prestigious local dance organization Goh Ballet presents The Nutcracker at The Centre. Since premiering in 2009, the production of this masterpiece has given tens of thousands of audience members the opportunity to be swept away by this world-famous Christmas story.

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Goh Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

  • Where: The Centre (777 Homer St, Vancouver)
  • When: December 15th, 16th, 19th and 20th at 7:30pm
    December 17th at 2:00pm and 7:30pm
    December 18th at 3:00pm and 7:30pm
  • Tickets: Available online now

Under the leadership of Executive Producer Chan Hon Goh, former Prima Ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada and the artistic staging of Emmy-award winning choreographer Anna-Marie Holmes, The Nutcracker returns with spectacular magic and fun for the whole family.

Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker will feature performances by internationally renowned principal dancers from the prestigious National Ballet of Canada, Jurgita Dronina and Guillaume Côté, performing together as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier Prince. Members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra will provide live musical accompaniment of Tchaikovsky’s world-renowned Nutcracker Suite.

Win Tickets

I’ll never forget my first ballet, when I brought my niece to watch her first as well. It was for Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker in 2012. Gathering under the marquee with tickets in hand, cheeks rosy red from the cold and coats buttoned to our chins, we entered the theatre with a sense of wonder. By the end of the first act we were both enchanted by the performance.

If you would like to experience this magical holiday show for yourself, I have a pair of tickets to give away for the finale performance on December 20th. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post your entry on Twitter (1 entry)
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 9:00am on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Follow Goh Ballet on Twitter and Facebook for information.

December Events in Metro Vancouver 2016


Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 — 1:09pm PST
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The holidays are upon us with local ski hills opening, and plenty of free family fun to be had across the region. The big event list for the month is below, with some theatre listings, special events, and holiday attractions. If you have anything to add, or if I have missed anything, please feel free to send it in for a free listing. I update this post daily for be sure to check back often!

December Events in Metro Vancouver

December Events in Metro Vancouver 2016

Jump to: Thursday, December 1 to Sunday, December 4, 2016
Jump to: Monday, December 5 to Sunday, December 11, 2016
Jump to: Monday, December 12 to Sunday, December 18, 2016
Jump to: Monday, December 19 to Sunday, December 25, 2016
Jump to: Monday, December 26 to Saturday, December 31, 2016

Multi-Day Events

Events that run for longer than three days in a row are highlighted in green.

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Sponsored by Miss604: Yule Duel in Gastown
SFU Surrey Market on the Mezz – United Way
Vancouver Jewish Book Festival
Market at the Quay
Realwheels Theatre Presents: CREEPS
A Christmas Carol at the Evergreen Cultural Centre
Flipside: Disco vs Punk (DOXA’s Annual Fundraiser)
Vancouver Opera Presents: Hansel & Gretel
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival
Vancouver Christmas Market @ Jack Poole Plaza
Enchant Vancouver Christmas Market
A Charlie Brown Christmas at Carousel Theatre
Robson Square Ice Rink Skating
FlyOver Canada Christmas Ride
Vancouver TheatreSports: Christmas Queen
Fraser Valley Stage: A Christmas Survival Guide
Friday, December 2, 2016
Opening Reception: Sell Out, Featuring iHeart
Coquitlam Christmas Craft Fair
Robson Square Christmas Tree Lighting
Art and Design Show on Main Street
Main Street Holiday Art Party
Christmas Carol Ships, Ladner
Christmas Market at Highstreet, Abbotsford
Girls4Girls Presents: Unfiltered
Fraser Valley Stage: A Christmas Survival Guide
Realwheels Theatre Presents: CREEPS
A Charlie Brown Christmas at Carousel Theatre
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival
Vancouver Christmas Market @ Jack Poole Plaza
Enchant Vancouver Christmas Market
Robson Square Ice Rink Skating
FlyOver Canada Christmas Ride
Vancouver TheatreSports: Christmas Queen
Holy Mo! A Christmas Show!

Saturday, December 3, 2016
Fundraiser for North Shore Rescue
Lumiere Festival, West End
New West Craft Christmas Night Market
Kitsilano Winter Market
A Christmas Concert for Kenya
Jewelry & Crafts Workshops for Kids
Kensington Holiday Craft Fair
Christmas Bentwood Box Reception
Light Up the Heights, Burnaby Heights
Eats & Treats at the Farm Store in Yarrow
SHIFT handmade Holiday Remix
Santa Parade, New Westminster
Santa Parade, Maple Ridge
Christmas in Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam
Wesbrook Balloon Winter Wonderland and Holiday Craft Fair
Nat Bailey Winter Farmers Market
Christmas At Historic Stewart Farm
Cuba Photography Workshop
Stuff the Truck for the Food Bank
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Vancouver Opera Presents: Hansel & Gretel
Hold On Change is Comin’
Thornhill Artisan Fair, Maple Ridge
Christmas Market at Highstreet, Abbotsford
Fraser Valley Stage: A Christmas Survival Guide
Realwheels Theatre Presents: CREEPS
Art and Design Show on Main Street
A Charlie Brown Christmas at Carousel Theatre
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival
Vancouver Christmas Market @ Jack Poole Plaza
Enchant Vancouver Christmas Market
Robson Square Ice Rink Skating
FlyOver Canada Christmas Ride
Vancouver TheatreSports: Christmas Queen
Holy Mo! A Christmas Show!

Sunday, December 4, 2016
Rogers Santa Claus Parade, Vancouver
11th Annual Surrey Santa Parade
Big Rigs for Kids Lighted Truck Parade, Surrey
Christmas in Steveston Village
Bowen Island Christmas Craft Fair
A Lantern Affair: Family Day for the Holidays, Coquitlam
Phoenix Chamber Choir Christmas Joys
Burnaby Lake Holiday Open House
Takács String Quartet
Cannery Farmers Market
Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market
Christmas At Historic Stewart Farm
Stuff the Truck for the Food Bank
Thornhill Artisan Fair, Maple Ridge
Trinity Western University: Christmas at the Chan Centre
Christmas Market at Highstreet, Abbotsford
Fraser Valley Stage: A Christmas Survival Guide
Realwheels Theatre Presents: CREEPS
Art and Design Show on Main Street
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival
Vancouver Christmas Market @ Jack Poole Plaza
Enchant Vancouver Christmas Market
Robson Square Ice Rink Skating
FlyOver Canada Christmas Ride
The Arts Club Presents: Mary Poppins
Holy Mo! A Christmas Show!

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge: Win a Family Pack of Tickets


Monday, November 28th, 2016 — 5:58pm PST
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Up in the crisp North Shore mountain air, with the aroma of evergreens and a rushing river below, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is lit up with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights for the 11th year of Canyon Lights. Featuring the world’s tallest living Christmas tree — a 250 year old Douglas-fir at 153 feet tall and still growing!Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge offers a festive experience for families from near and far.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Image courtesy of Capilano Suspension Bridge

Canyon Lights

  • Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
    (3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver)
  • When: On now until Sunday, January 8, 2017 (closed Christmas Day)
    11:00am to 9:00pm
  • Admission: Purchase online in advance or at the park. Individual tickets available or in Family Packs of 3 and 4. Canyon Lights tickets are valid all day with holiday activities beginning at 4:00pm. Capilano operates a free shuttle to and from Canada Place.

New this year: ‘Fireflies’, an interactive lighting display in the rainforest, ONLY at Capilano. Using giant flashlights, guests can magically awaken waves of tiny lights that glimmer and twinkle like fireflies.

Canyon LIghts at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Image courtesy of Capilano Suspension Bridge

The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon will again be transformed into a glistening world of festive lights and dazzling visual enchantment. Lights will illuminate Capilano River and the canyon’s cliff face. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall and growing) and search for the glowing owls in the Snowy Owl Prowl. Sing-along with the holiday band. Decorate gingerbread cookies, make Christmas crafts and take family photos throughout the park.

Pro Tip: If it’s open, grab a hot chocolate or pumpkin spice latte (with locally roasted Moja Coffee) in the Bridge House and purchase your tickets right there too. It’s on the same side of the road as the parking lot. Then when you’re ready, head over to the entrance to the park.

Canyon Lights Giveaway

Canyon Lights is now in its 11th year and for the 8th year, I have an awesome prize package up for grabs! It includes a family pack of passes to Canyon Lights (2 adults and 2 kids 16 and under), vouchers for fudge at the Trading Post Gift Shop, and some hot chocolate to warm you up. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a #CanyonLights prize pack from @CapSuspBridge & @Miss604 http://owl.li/ibrs306BZa9

I will draw one winner at 9:00am on Monday, December 5, 2016. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is located at 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver. Follow on Twitter and Facebook for more information about Canyon Lights and year-round activities.

Realwheels Theatre Presents CREEPS


Monday, November 28th, 2016 — 12:32pm PST
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Join Realwheels Theatre for an evening of savage wit and uncompromising truth-telling as they present CREEPS, the award-winning dark comedy by David E. Freeman that changed Canadian theatre forever.

CREEPS will give audiences a rare glimpse into the lived experience of disability, filtered through a 1970’s lens. Featuring a truly mixed-ability cast, seven professional actors including three who lie with disability, the casting speaks to Realwheels Theatre’s ongoing commitment to fostering interchange between mainstream and disability arts sectors.

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Photo credit Tim Matheson for Realwheels

“You will then be brought to our attention either by relatives who have no room for you in the attic, or by neighbours who are distressed to see you out in the street, clashing with the landscape.” – excerpt from CREEPS

David E. Freeman, who lived with cerebral palsy, was one of the first writers to put his own voice – a Canadian voice – on the stage in the early 70s. Written on a typewriter that Freeman operated with a stick held between his teeth, CREEPS tells the story of four disabled men who spend their days toiling away in a “sheltered workshop”. Tired of the way they’ve been treated, they rebel and barricade themselves in the washroom. The brutality and hilarity of Freeman’s uncompromising and sardonic dialogue drives the show and expresses the tension of the oppressed with a raw ferocity and clarity.

“If you were to ask Canadian theatre artists, ‘which play, written and produced in the early ’70s, is recognized for having changed Canadian theatre forever?’, the answer would most likely be: David Freeman’s CREEPS,” Rena Cohen, Managing Artistic Director at Realwheels Theatre and the Producer/Dramaturge for CREEPS told me last week.

Rena joined Realwheels in late 2009 after meeting founder, James Sanders. “James – along with two other Vancouver-based theatre artists, Bob Frazer and Kevin Kerr – had created and produced SKYDIVE, one of the most successful productions to ever come out of Vancouver.”

She says that SKYDIVE offered audiences amazing technical innovation (in which a person with quadriplegia flies!), and the show had proven impact on audiences’ perceptions of disability. “I’d been working in arts management and as a speech/presentations coach when James invited me to discuss the company’s next steps.” Realwheels is a company on the rise, and in 2015 it received the City of Vancouver Award of Excellence.

When CREEPS was first produced, Rena says Canadian theatre was itself a central metaphor of the play.

creeps-realwheels-tim-matheson
Photo credit Tim Matheson for Realwheels

“We were then in our infancy, being ‘helped’ and controlled by the ex-pat British community. CREEPS possesses an authentically Canadian voice, at a time when the Canadian voice was absent from our stages; we weren’t even aware of it until the play came out. We can’t overestimate its impact at the time. Some senior Vancouver theatre artists have let us know that CREEPS was the play that convinced them to enter theatre as a profession. It was theatre as relevant as theatre could be. CREEPS went on to win the Chalmers Award and New York Drama Desk Award. As one reviewer wrote at the time: “Freeman handles his material triumphantly”.”

Having known about the play for many years, Rena says it’s even studied in theatre programs – and a member of her cast today, Adam Grant Warren, actually wrote a paper on it at university.

“When the title was raised a couple of years ago during a brainstorming session about projects that would a) fulfill our mandate – to create and produce performances that deepen understanding of disability, and b) excite us as artists, the enthusiasm in the room was immediately palpable. CREEPS hadn’t received a production in Vancouver in years; it was time to revisit this work. And, we were committed to mounting a fully-integrated production; of the seven professional actors in the show, three are artists with disabilities.”

Since CREEPS is written and set in the 1970s, I had to ask Rena how well it translates to today.

“The play certainly gives everyone an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in the 45 years since the play was first produced. And, how far we still need to go.”

“The language used and assumptions made by the characters in CREEPS are rooted in the 1970s and in their direct, personal life experience. Some of the dialogue is therefore likely to be offensive.”

Rena says that our cultural norms have evolved, but Freeman’s characters are also so believably drawn that the universality of their experience – their humour, their frustration, their anger – all rooted in the genuine experience of the oppressed, makes the fundamental struggle of the play highly relatable. She says that if they’re successful, that will come across.

“Even today, attitudinal barriers are far more challenging for people with disabilities than physical barriers. We need to challenge both, but attitudes and preconceptions about disability are the hardest to modify. I continue to work on challenging my own ableist assumptions.”

In awe of the writing of this play, and how it can stand the test of time, I asked Rena if she had any advice for the next generation of playwrights.

“‘Write what you know’ is a cliché, but true. Write about what fascinates you, what angers you. Ask big, messy questions about what drives your passion. Read every day and write every day. And in the end, be prepared to take responsibility for whatever moral imperative you put out there.” She says that she doesn’t think you can or should write for a future audience, “but recognize that it’s the human truths that withstand the test of time.”

Realwheels Theatre Presents CREEPS

  • When: December 1 – 10, 2016
    Preview: November 30th at 8pm
    Opening: December 1st at 8pm
    Performance Times: December 2-3 & 6-10 at 8:00pm; Matinee December 4th at 2:00pm
  • Where: Historic Theatre at The Cultch (1895 Venables St, Vancouver)
  • Tickets: On sale now at The Cultch’s Box Office, by phone at (604) 251-1363, or online.
  • Add Value Shows: Get 2 tickets for just $20 for the performance on December 3rd and enjoy a special celebratory post-show reception in recognition of International Day of People with Disabilities.
    Enjoy post-show discussions on December 4th & 6th
    ASL and Audio Description on December 4th

Mature content and offensive language

Learn more about Realwheels Theatre by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. After CREEPS, Realwheels will be working on a community project called Comedy on Wheels, launching February 2017, with performances scheduled for May 2017. They’ll be working with international comedy expert David Granirer, harness the community’s ability to use humour to cope with life’s challenges.

Things to do on Grouse, Cypress and Seymour This Winter


Monday, November 28th, 2016 — 11:01am PST
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SeymourSnowshoeWe are so fortunate to have three amazing alpine destinations so close to Vancouver, with each coming alive in the winter time. The beauty of having these mountains in our own backyard is that we can easily drive up for some fun, but even if it’s not snowing on the roads, it’s important to be careful. As soon as the temperature drops below 7*C, you need to change your tires and watch out for icy or unsafe road conditions.

Once you have the right gear, you’re ready to hit to road and start exploring. This season I’ve picked out some of the very best experiences for you to enjoy at Mt. Seymour, Grouse Mountain, and Cypress Mountain:

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
This post is sponsored by Honda

Win Tickets to disPLACE: Refugee Stories in Their Own Words


Saturday, November 26th, 2016 — 12:51pm PST
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Is any sacrifice too great to protect your family? This is a question audience members are left with after seeing disPLACE: Refugee Stories in Their Own Words, a brand new original theatre production that shares the real-life experiences of refugees to Canada. A diverse cast of actors, each transforming into multiple characters, weave together an unforgettable journey using verbatim testimony and original music.

disPLACE: Refugee Stories in Their Own Words

displace-refugee-stories

  • When:November 22 – December 3, 2016
    Tuesday – Saturday evenings 7:30pm
    Saturday matinees 2:00pm
  • Where: Freedom Hall, Robert N. Thompson Building (Trinity Western University, Langley)
  • Tickets: Available online now or call (604) 513-2188

disPLACE shares compelling and personal accounts of refugees. Discover the personal, human experience hidden beneath the headlines. From the Mennonite immigrants who fled Europe after World War II, to the current global refugee crisis, the stories brought to life in disPLACE offer a unique glimpse into the bonds that tie all of us together.

This is not a faith-based story. It is the inaugural production of Dark Glass Theatre, a new local theatre company with a mandate to tell stories that enable us to see face-to-face, people we might not otherwise meet, to thereby decrease judgement, increase compassion, and foster empathy. Director Angela Konrad is also Chair of the Theatre Department at Trinity Western University’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture. disPLACE is written and directed by Jessie award-winning director Angela Konrad.

Win Tickets

I have a pair of tickets to give away to disPLACE this week, here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to see “disPLACE: Refugee Stories in Their Own Words” from @TrinityWestern @Miss604 http://owl.li/PPp0306yalC

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 9:00am on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. The winner will be able to the remaining performance of their choosing (Nov 29 to Dec 3).

Update The winner is Trevor!