Wear your worst for a great cause this Christmas at Vancouver’s original Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. With all proceeds going to The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, this tacky get-together is bound to be the party of the season. Tickets include one Parallel 49 beer, cookies and candy canes on top of a night of fun, featuring live music, a DJ, prizes, pictures with Grandma, and a visit from Saint Nick himself. As the ugly sweater trend has gained momentum in recent years, participants have started pulling out all the stops, so be sure your Christmas knitwear is as gaudy as possible and get ready for a great night out.
Billy Bob Thornton turns Christmas’s protagonist into a con man in the off-kilter Bad Santa, co-starring Lauren Graham and the late Bernie Mac. Thorton’s bitter character has every intention of robbing department stores on Christmas Eve, when a glimmer of compassion causes his plan to fall apart. The Rio Theatre is screening this hilariously twisted holiday movie for one night only and as always the East Van theatre offers a $2 discount to anyone who shows up in costume.
The Rio Theatre, 11:30 p.m.
$6 in advance or in costume, $8 at the door
The story of The Nutcrackeris to Christmas as the Goh Ballet’s rendition is to Vancouver. Audiences of all ages flock to the annual performance to travel through Clara’s dream world with her and her charming prince. The ballet, complete with an exciting battle against the Mouse King, several breathtaking pas de deux, and a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s beloved score by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, is one of our all-time favourite holiday traditions.
The Centre in Vancouver, 777 Homer Street
Evening shows nightly at 7:30 p.m.; matinees December 19, 2 p.m. & December 20, 3 p.m.
Forget the hours of Mythbusters on your PVR and see Jamie and Adam in person when their latest touring show, Jamie & Adam Unleashed, comes to Vancouver. The quirky scientists, who will set out to prove or disprove just about anything, are coming back to North America for one final tour together before Jamie retires from live shows. The evening of experiments will include audience participation and behind-the-scenes revelations as entertaining as their Emmy-winning Discovery Channel series.
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 649 Cambie Street, 7:30 p.m.
Miley Cyrus shocked audiences (once again) with the release of a free album co-written with The Flaming Lips earlier this year. The 23 multi-genre tracks reveal a very different side of the young star than her previous album, Bangerz, further emphasized by more intimate concerts venues like her Vancouver stop at the beloved Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 600 Block Hamilton Street
The Vancouver Pops Symphony and Choir are setting out to prove that it really is the most wonderful time of the year with an evening of jazzy Christmas classics ranging from A Little Drummer Boy to Blue Danube Waltz. Joining them with some more traditional holiday carols is the VOC Piano Quartet with some of Tchakovsky’s most iconic Nutcracker Suite excerpts. The evening's blend of classic and contemporary is sure to have everyone in the holiday spirit.
Calling all procrastinators! Conquer your Christmas list while you enjoy live entertainment and wintry refreshments at the third-annual East Van Holiday Artist Market. Over 50 local artists and vendors gather for the one-day event, making locally crafted goods an accessible option for everyone on your list this year. Last-minute gifts have never looked so thoughtful.
1739 Venables at Commercial Drive
12 p.m. to 6 p.m., $35
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars (A Play Reading) – December 12
A galaxy far, far away is coming to Commercial Drive this week, but it isn’t quite the story you’re used to. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars tellsEpisode 7: The Force Awakens in the voice of the Bard himself. The public reading, suitable for all ages, adds an unexpected angle to George Lucas’s fictitious world that audiences can't help but love—as proven by this winter’s reprise of the popular Mad House Productions event.
Café Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive
8 p.m. to 11 p.m., $5 suggested donation
Sleeping Beauty presented by Metro Theatre – December 11 to January 2
Join Metro Theatre for an evening of entertainment that you definitely won’t want to sleep through. This year’s Holiday Musical Pantomime turns the timeless tale of Sleeping Beautyinto a silly updated story. Written and directed by Catherine Morrison, Sleeping Beauty follows the same recipe of Metro Theatre’s past Christmas productions: stunning costumes, incredible choreography and a good dose of audience participation.
Born and raised in Kelowna, Haley fell in love with the West Coast while studying English Literature at UBC. Remaining true to her Okanagan upbringing, she still feels most at home on a golf course or by the water.