Be dazzled by more than 200 Vancouver performers as they join principal dancers from the esteemed American Ballet Theatre and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra in the Goh Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, one of ballet’s most charming works (at the Centre through Sunday, ticketmaster.ca).
Head for Victoria and catch pop music royalty as Prince performs his signature mix of pop, rock, R&B and funk – including megahits Raspberry Beret, Little Red Corvette, Kiss, 1999, Purple Rain and Nothing Compares 2 U – on the last date of his Welcome 2 Canada Tour, which has been garnering near-rapturous reviews (at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday, ticketmaster.ca).
More the indie rock kind? Catch grunge-era trailblazers Dinosaur Jr. as they perform their album Bug in its entirety – with original members J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph – and get interviewed live by outspoken musician and professional ranter Henry Rollins (at the Commodore on Sunday, ticketmaster.ca). Or step back in time with notorious 1980s chart toppers Guns N’ Roses – minus all the original members except Axl Rose (at the Pacific Coliseum on Saturday, ticketmaster.ca).
Karaoke Christmas Lights Trolley Tour
Practice your best Christmas crooning, then hop aboard the Karaoke Christmas Lights Trolley Tour, where you can tour Bright Nights in Stanley Park and VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights, and sing your heart out in between (until Dec. 24, vancouvertrolley.com). Or enjoy Christmas lights Thompson Okanagan-style at the Wildlights Festival, which comes with wagon rides, a Wildlife Miniature Train, a giant maze, a petting zoo (pot belly pigs included), nightly fireworks and more than half a million twinkling lights (in Kamloops until Jan. 2, bczoo.org).
Grab a boombox or other music-playing device and head to Unsilent Night, where participants stroll along wintery West End streets playing different parts of a shimmering composition by Phil Kline – no musical ability required (starts under the lit tree at Pacific and Bidwell on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.).
Catch top local actors and musicians – including Jay Brazeau, Jim Byrnes and Margo Kane – performing alongside community players in Bah! Humbug!, a witty adaptation of the Dickens’ classic that’s set on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. All proceeds to community arts (through Sunday, sfuwoodwards.ca). Or enjoy an inventive retelling of Dickens’ timeless tale at The Christmas Carol Project, an unlikely mix of contemporary music and classic English lit (Dec. 18-20, thecultch.com).
A Dylan Thomas Christmas
Stickler for tradition? Catch the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s A Dylan Thomas Christmas: A Child’s Christmas in Wales, a reading of the poet’s famed tale mixed with carols and seasonal songs (vancouverchamberchoir.com), the Vancouver Cantata Singers’ Christmas Reprise (Saturday, vancouvercantatasingers.com) and the Phoenix Chamber Choir’s A Phoenix Christmas (phoenixchamberchoir.bc.ca). For a little Celtic flare, head for the Victoria Symphony’s Christmas Ceilidh with Ashley MacIsaac in Victoria (Saturday, victoriasymphony.ca).
There’s still a whole week to go before Santa arrives, so keep little minds busy with great holiday films including How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales and Noël Noël (at Pacific Cinémathèque on Sunday, cinematheque.bc.ca). Or find the jolly old elf at Breakfast with Santa at Canada Place (christmas.canadaplace.ca) or at Skate with Santa in Burnaby (burnaby.ca).
Pick up all the produce, breads, meats, cheeses, prepared goods and sweet treats for the yuletide season at the Vancouver Farmers Markets’ annual Holiday Market, where 90 vendors are offering up their finest selection of foods, arts, crafts, home accessories and more (at the Croatian Cultural Centre on Saturday, eatlocal.org). In Victoria, head for the Indoor Winter Farmers Market (Saturday, victoriapublicmarket.com).
World Snowboard Day
Celebrate the sheer joy of a board, a hill, and a whole lot of powder at World Snowboard Day festivities across B.C., including demos, movie screenings, free lessons, competitions and more at B.C. resorts including Big White, Silver Star, Red Mountain, Revelstoke and others (Sunday, world-snowboard-day.com).