Get in the holiday spirit and pick up one-of-a-kind gifts at great craft fairs, including the Museum of Anthropology's lovely Winter Art Market (moa.ubc.ca), or at Make It! - a Vancouver fair that features handmade items by top urban artists (makeitvancouver.com). Want crafts with an upscale twist? Try the Manor Craft Fair in New West (urbanacademy.ca), the Aberthau Holiday Craft Fair in Point Grey (Saturday, vancouver.ca), or the hugely popular Christmas at Hycroft in a beautiful Vancouver heritage mansion (uwcvancouver.ca). For gifts with Japanese flair, head to the Nikkei Place Craft and Bake Fair in Burnaby (nikkeiplace.org), or shop at the Outdoor Winter Market in Victoria (Saturday, marketsquare.ca).
It's a Wonderful Life
Still feeling more Scrooge than Santa? Watch an angel earn his wings at the Arts Club's annual production of the heartwarming Frank Capra holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life, featuring veteran Vancouver actors Bernard Cuffling and Bob Frazer. At the Arts Club in Vancouver until Jan. 2 (artsclub.com).
Songs of a Wayfarer
Enjoy three new dance pieces in one evening at Ballet B.C.'s Songs of a Wayfarer & other works, the company's season opener featuring pieces by Quebec choreographer José Navas and Ballet Mannheim artistic director Kevin O'Day, as well as Emily Molnar's Songs of a Wayfarer - a work that explores humanity, love and nature through Gustav Mahler's first song cycle (Saturday, balletbc.com). Want to show off your own dance moves? Learn a simple piece of choreography by Amber Funk Barton online, then join a "flash mob" as part of Nanaimo's InFrinGinG Dance Festival (crimsoncoastdance.org).
Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival
Head deep into the heart of Sasquatch country and see hundreds of bald eagles - North America's third largest population of the majestic raptors - as they dine on the area's spawning salmon. Activities include a guided boat tour and brunch, walking tours with naturalists and aboriginal guides, hatchery tours and salmon lunches - as well as some of the best eagle viewing on the continent (fraservalleybaldeaglefestival.ca).
Watch a new artwork take shape as renowned Vancouver visual artist Brian Jungen - famed for his native masks made from Nike running shoes and his unforgettable whale skeleton made from white plastic lawn chairs - creates an ever-shifting sculptural installation. At Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver (until Jan. 15, catrionajeffries.com).
Clayoquot Oyster Festival
Help exalt the humble oyster at the 14th annual Clayoquot Oyster Festival in Tofino, where you can see oyster farmers in action, shuck and slurp to your heart's content at a gourmet lunch, then sip and schmooze at the Oyster Gala (oystergala.com). In Vancouver, head for Wine in the Sky - a fundraiser for the Adoptive Families Association of BC at the high-flying Lookout Restaurant (Saturday, wineinthesky.eventbrite.com).
Jewish Book Festival
Catch author Gary Shteyngart - who has won accolades in The New York Times, Time, the New Yorker and more - at the 25th annual Cherie Smith JCCGV Jewish Book Festival, which features dozens of top writers from Vancouver and beyond (until Nov. 25, jccgv.com). More food for thought? Don't miss the Amnesty International Film Festival, happening in Vancouver and Victoria (amnestyfilmfest.ca), or renowned human-rights activist Sima Samar - known for her tireless work with women in Afghanistan - speaking Saturday at UBC's Chan Centre (chancentre.com).
Tribute to Ray Charles
Craving a little soul food? Check out the Vancouver Symphony's Tribute To Ray Charles, featuring Georgia-born singer and multi-instrumentalist Ellis Hall at the Orpheum in Vancouver on Saturday (vancouversymphony.ca), then soak in the dreamy sounds of New York's Blonde Redhead at the Commodore in Vancouver Sunday (ticketmaster).
Extreme Ski Show Swap
Pick up new and quality used gear at low pre-season prices - and support local volunteer first aid and rescue services - at the Canadian Ski Patrol's Extreme Ski Show and Swap, happening at Tradex in Abbostford Saturday, and in Vancouver and Penticton next weekend (winterextreme.com). Then get in that mountain mood at IF3 - the International Freeski Film Festival - happening for the first time in Vancouver Saturday. At the Vogue (if3.fr).
Special to The Globe and Mail