The latest trend in gift-giving is experiences; going to shows, holiday attractions, and generally spending time with those you love. It’s zero waste and it feels really, really good. If you’re looking for some experiences this season that won’t break the bank, here is my 4th annual list of Free Christmas Activities Around Vancouver*:
This list will be updated often throughout the season so be sure to bookmark it and check back regularly.
Free Christmas Activities Around Vancouver
St Paul’s Lights of Hope launch on November 14, 2019 at Burrard at Helmcken Street with the light display staying up all season.
On Saturday night, I sat in the atrium of my hometown’s City Hall and got to watch something pretty wonderful happen: 120 guests turned out in support of the 6th annual Chefs’ Charity Dinner for Dan’s Legacy and raised $42,755 that will go towards the charity’s trauma-informed counselling and life-skills programs for at-risk youth.
Chefs’ Charity Dinner Raises Over $42,000 for At-Risk Youth
CBC Radio Host Angela Sterritt returned for the second year in a row as the gala MC, and new to the event was Sam Garandza, BC’s reigning Champion Auctioneer who led the silent auction. Chef Bruce Nollert and Chef TJ Conwi (Ono Vancouver), Chef Shay Kelly (The Caterer), Chef Warren Chow (Juniper Kitchen & Bar) and Pastry Chef Alannah Peddie (Frolic & Forage) created the entire menu using only surplus food.
Dan’s Legacy’s youth client Destiny shared her heartbreaking but powerful story of how her therapist helped her overcome an abusive past through trauma-informed counselling, and was also there supporting her in many other ways.
“All of our wrap-around supports help our clients maintain their stability and start meeting the potential we know they have,” says Barbara Coates, Dan’s Legacy’s executive director. “As Destiny said in her speech, ‘The only time you should be looking down on someone is when you’re helping them get back up.’ That’s what we do at Dan’s Legacy and we’re grateful to Destiny for the courage it took for her to share her story. Now other youth who need help will know who to contact.”
VIPs in attendance at the gala included Chief Rhonda Larrabee from the Qayqayt First Nation, the Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade & Technology, and the Honourable Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health & Addictions sent a video message of congratulations and support. Dan’s Legacy’s Program Director Tom Littlewood, and the organization’s newest Board member Insp. Baltej Singh Dhillon spoke about the urgent need for more harm prevention strategies to save lives and build stronger, safer and more resilient communities.
If you missed the gala but would like to support Dan’s Legacy, or if you know someone who is asking for help, please visit the website or call Tom Littlewood (Program Director) at (604) 999-9136 or Barbara Coates (Executive Director) at (604) 329-9186. Follow Dan’s Legacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about their work in our community.
Miss604 is a proud sponsor of the Dan’s Legacy Chefs’ Charity Dinner
The Cultch presents Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto Pinocchio at the York Theatre from November 20, 2019 to January 5, 2020. East Van Panto returns for a seventh year, welcoming back the creative team behind last year’s hit Wizard of Oz: playwright Marcus Youssef, composer Veda Hille, and director Stephen Drover.
East Van Panto Presents Pinocchio
Where: York Theatre ( 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver) When: November 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020 Tickets: On sale now at The Cultch’s Box Office by phone at (604) 251-1363 or online starting at $26. Enjoy a post-show artist talkback on November 30th after the 2:00pm show.
When a lonely old ice-cream seller named Gelato is given a puppet by the mysterious Beckwoman of Commercial Drive, his dreams of having a child suddenly come true. Join a locally famous cricket, an angry orca, and a dastardly fox as poor Pinocchio does his best to tell everyone the truth and become a real boy. Will there be a Cappuccino War between the Abruzzos and the Calabrias? And why are all those kids ditching class to go to Hastings Racecourse? Don’t worry, Pinocchio—just follow your nose!
I had no idea that East Van Panto was a holiday tradition for so many until I started running these contests, and no wonder! It’s such great fun.
I have family pack of tickets to give away (2 adult/2 child tickets) for the performance on Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 2:00pm. Here’s how you can enter to win:
Remembrance Day, November 11th, is a day to remember the courage, service and sacrifice of thousands of Canadians, and to honour them by never forgetting them. Your city will most likely have a service or ceremony around its local cenotaph, and to make things easier we have rounded up a list of Remembrance Day ceremonies around Vancouver that you can attend:
Remembrance Day Ceremonies Around Vancouver
Event:West Vancouver Service Where: Memorial Park (Marine Drive between 19th St and 20th St) When: Monday, November 11, 2019 – 10:45am to 11:30am Details: Parade starts at 10:45am with service starting at 10:55am. The Royal Canadian Legion – West Vancouver Branch #60 holds the sacred trust of ensuring the tradition of Remembrance is observed by Canadians every year at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. This service is for the public to gather and honour our veterans and those currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. All members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Event:Remembrance at Mountain View Where: Mountain View Cemetery (5455 Fraser St, Vancouver) When: Monday, November 11, 2019 – 11:00am Details: Little Chamber Music is proud to again present this unique music and history project, “11”. Part of the Field House Residency (2012-2015) with the Vancouver Park Board, “11” was developed for over two years. The project included monthly public meetings, a trip to the Library and Archives and War Museum in Ottawa, research at the Vancouver Archives, visits with a 99-year-old D-Day veteran, an installation at the Roundhouse and a performance and event on Remembrance Day, 2014 in Falaise Park which brought over 1000 people together.
Event:Remembrance Day at Victory Square Where: Victory Square (200 W Hastings St, Vancouver) When: Monday, November 11, 2019 Details: The Remembrance Day Service at Victory Square is the oldest continuing annual ceremony in Vancouver. The ceremony began in 1924 and reflects respect and remembrance of sacrifices in the service of our country – past and present. The service is organized by the Vancouver Remembrance Day Committee, a civic volunteer group with a mandate to organize and conduct the November 11 ceremony on behalf of our citizens. Vancouver is the only city in Canada with a civic volunteer committee supported by the City. The committee has developed a proud tradition of consultation and input from veterans and related groups, numerous service and civic organizations, including city departments, the military and RCMP.
Where: Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 W 41st Ave, Vancouver) When: November 6-9, 2019 at 8:00pm Tickets:Available online now »
Everyone knows the story of Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager hidden away, while Nazis hunt down Jews during World War II. One American Jewish director, Stan Zimmerman, is adding a modern-day twist to the story.
“Zimmerman’s production looks at the familiar story with fresh eyes, and is both moving and thought-provoking.” ~ Kathy Flynn, Discover Hollywood
Director Stan Zimmerman says: “When I learned there are over a dozen Safe Houses in the LA area hiding LatinX families from ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], it got me wondering — How do these families survive with so little money and needing to remain in the shadows? How do they not lose hope? What are their lives like on a day-to-day basis? What are the parallels to Anne’s story? And that got me thinking – What if I cast LatinX actors and start with the actors as themselves reading the script of the Diary of Anne Frank out loud, hearing Anne’s profound words and then actually step into the shoes of the people in her diary and play the characters in the play.”
Take a steam train through the scenic South Okanagan while enjoying local wine! Tickets are now on sale for the Grand Sommelier Express Okanagan Heritage Steam Train which will be departing from the Summerland Kettle Valley Railway Station on Saturday, June 20, 2020. This is the only event of its kind in British Columbia and it totally sold out in 2019!
Okanagan Heritage Steam Train Wine and Food Tour
When: June 20th, 2020 at 1:00pm or 5:00pm Where: Kettle Valley Rail Station 18404 Bathville Rd, Summerland Tickets: Available for purchase online
There are two event times to choose from, each offering a picturesque steam train ride with an on-board wine tasting, all while taking in the scenic views of Summerland, BC. Guests will enjoy a stop at the train trestle for pictures and taste local foods paired with Summerland craft beverages served by their makers.
Both trains return to the Kettle Valley Railway station for a gourmet reception catered by Brodo Kitchen and created to pair with local Summerland wine, cider, beer, and spirits. Guests will mingle with local winemakers and craft beverage creators while listening to live music undercover. Each attendee receives a souvenir wine glass to commemorate the day along with discounts to be used along Bottleneck Drive.