Celebrate the winter holidays with a night out at one of the best Christmas concerts in Vancouver. These special performances have something for everyone to love, from family-friendly Christmas music with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to holiday favorites like "The Nutcracker." Check out this list to find the best holiday-themed concerts, theater, and special performances for Christmas 2018 and then book those tickets early.
Vancouver's third annual caroling competition brings dozens of choirs to historic Gastown to carol for charity. The funds that are raised go to support May's Place, a hospice in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighborhood. The event is free, but please donate. In 2019 the Yule Duel takes place on Thursday, December 5th, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's annual holiday concerts, called "A Traditional Christmas," are the must-see Christmas concerts in Vancouver. Held at venues throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, each concert presents family-friendly, all-ages Christmas favorites and Christmas carols that are guaranteed audience pleasers. Get tickets early because these shows do sell out. In 2019, these concerts are from Dec. 10 through Dec. 22 at several venues. Check the website for locations and times.
One of the most popular Christmas concerts in Vancouver is "Making Spirits Bright" by the Vancouver Men's Chorus. Considered one of the best choral groups in Vancouver, the VMC kicks off the winter holiday season with this rousing concert series at the historic St. Paul's Anglican Church in downtown Vancouver. Catch one of their performances in 2019 on Dec. 7, 11, 12, 13 at 8:00 p.m.; matinees on Dec. 7, 8, 14 at 3:00 p.m.
Every year, the Vancouver Chamber Choir presents some of the most gorgeous Christmas concerts in Vancouver. In 2019, the Chamber Choir's seasonal performances begin with "Bach's Christmas Oratorio (I, II and VI)" on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. It will feature Evangelist Owen McCausland, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra on period instruments and soloists predominantly from within the Choir. Concert will be held at The Orpheum Theatre.
The Chamber Choir has another holiday concert in December. "A Rose In The Middle Of Winter," Kari Turunen, Conductor, will be held on Friday, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. at Pacific Spirit United Church. This Christmas journey includes reflections of musical traditions mainly from northern Europe.
In 2019, another of Vancouver's great singing groups, the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir, is presenting "Good Tidings! A Good Noise Gospel Christmas" on Friday, Dec. 13 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Concerts will be held at the Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. Canadian jazz, soul and blues singer Katherine Penfold will be the special guest at this rousing holiday concert.
While not actually a Christmas concert, "The Nutcracker" is so inextricably tied to Christmas and Christmas music that it has to make this list. One of the top 5 Vancouver Christmas attractions, Tchaikovsky's ballet about dancing mice and the Sugar Plum Fairy seems to defy all naysayers: People of all ages love it, people who don't normally like ballet love it, and people who aren't huge classical music fans love it. It is being performed in 2019 by the Goh Ballet (Chan Han Goh, Director) at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Performance dates and times are: Friday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m; Saturday, Dec. 21 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 22 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The Arts Club Theatre Company is the largest year-round theater company in Vancouver. Every December, the Arts Club presents Christmas or holiday-themed plays or musicals. For many Vancouverites, a night at the theater is both a fantastic way to celebrate the season and a perfect gift.
Productions by the Arts Club during the 2019 holiday season are:
- "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly": Dec. 5, 2019 to Jan. 4, 2020
- "It's a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle": Nov 21 to Dec 22, 2019
- "The Sound of Music": Nov. 7, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020