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What to See Vancouver

Waiting for Beckett

By SHERI RADFORD

A radio play on stage: All That Fall (Photo: Tim Matheson)

A radio play on stage: All That Fall. (Photo: Tim Matheson)

For half a century, no one was allowed to watch All That Fall. Samuel Beckett refused all requests to turn his radio play into a stage play. Finally, in 2012, the playwright’s estate relented, and audiences in London and New York have been lucky enough to see the show, which is staged as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a radio play being performed. Now Beckett’s creation comes to Canadian soil for the first time, with a production Dec. 29 to Jan. 24 at the Historic Theatre at the Cultch. What are you waiting for?

Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors

By LAURA DENNIS

"Portrait of Emporer Qianlong's Concubine"

“Portrait of Emporer Qianlong’s Concubine” from the Beijing Palace Museum

Go to a time of mystery that has captivated the world since the 1400s. At the Vancouver Art Gallery’s The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors (to Jan. 11), peek behind gates that were closed for 500 years. Many of the artefacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum—including paintings (pictured) and armour—have never left the city. Don’t miss this rare glimpse into Imperial China.

CONTACT Winter Music Festival

By LAURA DENNIS

Catch Zedd at CONTACT Winter Music Festival

Catch Zedd at this popular music fest

Sports fans in foam fingers are replaced with partygoers in furry boots and glow sticks when BC Place Stadium hosts the largest indoor music fest in Western Canada. CONTACT Winter Music Festival (Dec. 26 and 27) features some of the world’s most-coveted DJs, including headliners Armin van Buuren and Zedd (pictured), spinning at the state-of-the-art stadium. Lose yourself in a light show using all the latest technology or step out for some fresh air and catch more artists playing on the tented outdoor stage.

A Christmas Tradition

By SHERI RADFORD

Young Clara and the Nutcracker (Photo: Vince Pahkala)

Young Clara and the Nutcracker (Photo: Vince Pahkala)

When the Nutcracker ballet returns to Vancouver this month, expect your old favourites—Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Nutcracker Prince, the exquisite music of Tchaikovsky—along with a few uniquely Canadian additions: a hockey game on a snowy pond, a battle on Parliament Hill. Catch all the fun Dec. 12 to 14 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Bobbie Burgers’s Pretty Petals

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"The Lure of Magical Thinking" by Bobbie Burgers

“The Lure of Magical Thinking” by Bobbie Burgers

At this time of year, the most gorgeous gardens are indoors, not out. Especially at Bau-Xi Gallery, where a room of bold-hued blooms by Bobbie Burgers can be found in The Lure of Magical Thinking (Dec. 11 to 24). The Vancouver-based artist is known for her fresh florals, and her most recent works explore mature and dying flowers with thick, layered colours and lush sculptural elements (“The Lure of Magical Thinking #1,” pictured). It’s the same beautiful blossoms, just in a different light.

In the Spirit

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Gary McMillan's "Economical Use of Three Bears"

Gary McMillan’s “Economical Use of Three Bears”

For artworks that are merry and bright, head to Elissa Cristall Gallery for Holiday Exhibition (Dec. 11 to Jan. 10). This lively collection includes Gary McMillan’s whimsical landscapes (“Economical Use of Three Bears,” pictured), which feature natural settings that are carefully rearranged and reimagined. Also gracing the gallery walls: minimalist abstracts by Camrose Ducote and Christopher Friesen, super-saturated landscapes by Lesley Finlayson and airy collages by Jessie McNeil.

Charlie Brown Christmas

By LAURA DENNIS

Charlie Brown's Christmas tree

Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree serves as a reminder of the spirit of the season

It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour at this time of year, so if you need a gentle reminder about the spirit of the season, check out A Charlie Brown Christmas: Finding the True Meaning (Dec. 21) at Ryerson Church. The animated television special is brought to life by actors, jazz musicians and singers. Enjoy Peanuts originals, as well as traditional carols, sung by the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Youth Choir. Go to a simpler time when all it took was a tree to teach the true meaning of Christmas.

Japanese Drumming of Katari Taiko

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Katari Taiko-Jeanie

Katari Taiko. (Photo: STU-DI-O by Jeanie)

Some follow the beat of their own drum, while others follow the Japanese drumming of Katari Taiko straight to the Vancouver Playhouse. On Dec. 6, the group celebrates 35 years of reverberating rhythms with Return of the Wild Taiko. The group, the first of its kind in Canada, fêtes the major milestone with musical guests Chibi Taiko, Sansho Daiko, Sawagi Taiko and Vancouver Okinawa Taiko. Get ready for an evening with more percussion than you can shake a drumstick at.

Get Crafty for Christmas

By SHERI RADFORD

Showcase of handmade gifts at Got Craft?

Showcase of handmade gifts at Got Craft?

DIYers and those looking for a unique Christmas gift should circle Dec. 13 and 14 on their calendars. That’s when the holiday edition of Got Craft? takes place. The event showcases local independent vendors selling everything from jewellery, clothing and toys to ceramics, stationery and housewares. Adding to the fun: DIY workshops on how to make gift tags and ornaments.

Football Fever: Grey Cup 2014

The Grey Cup makes its way to Vancouver, bringing fast-paced football and four days of celebrations that go way beyond the usual end-zone dance

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

    The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

From the stands at BC Place Stadium to the streets of Vancouver, the 102nd Grey Cup promises to have fans on their feet for a weekend of football and festivities. The Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game will see the sports arena packed to capacity with 52,000 cheering fans on game day. But the celebrations don’t start—or end—there. Street festivals, a parade and concerts featuring Trooper, Tim Hicks, Hey Ocean! and 54-40 mean there’s just as much excitement outside the stadium as inside. (more…)

Football Fever: Grey Cup 2014

The Grey Cup makes its way to Vancouver, bringing fast-paced football and four days of celebrations that go way beyond the usual end-zone dance

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

    The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

From the stands at BC Place Stadium to the streets of Vancouver, the 102nd Grey Cup promises to have fans on their feet for a weekend of football and festivities. The Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game will see the sports arena packed to capacity with 52,000 cheering fans on game day. But the celebrations don’t start—or end—there. Street festivals, a parade and concerts featuring Trooper, Tim Hicks, Hey Ocean! and 54-40 mean there’s just as much excitement outside the stadium as inside. (more…)

Eastside Culture Crawl

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Visit artists in their studios and see art, crafts and more at the Eastside Culture Crawl

Visit artists in their studios and see art, crafts and more at the Eastside Culture Crawl

Looking to scout out studios? Marvel over masterpieces? Contemplate crafts? Then get ready to rub shoulders with local talent at the 18th annual Eastside Culture Crawl (Nov. 20 to 23). The popular annual event welcomes more than 20,000 art admirers into artists’ studio spaces in edgy East Van. Wondering where to begin? Download a map from the Crawl’s website, chart your course, and step out for this fun, free festival.