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An Evergreen Christmas

Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam

An original 2023 story sponsored by Evergreen Cultural Centre

Most of us love scheduling lots of different fun activities for the festive season. It’s a great way to escape the pressure-cooker routines of regular life––and also provide some sparkling end-of-year quality time with friends and family.


But while tracking down local holiday happenings––from choral concerts in churches to comedy shows in clubs to Nutcracker ballets in theatres––can be a challenge, one venue has become a one-stop destination for a huge variety of top-notch seasonal activities.


Located just 150 steps from Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station (or a swift 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver) Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre couldn't be easier to reach. And that makes checking out the region’s most richly diverse Christmastime program a no-brainer this year.


Magical music


Evergreen’s state-of-the-art 250-seat Studio Theatre is a great place to start. Its well-curated playbill of upcoming holiday shows reads like a crème de la crème of B.C. performers and arts organizations. In fact, throughout December, there are different festive shows on stage here every few days.


Swinging jazz fans will have a toe-tapping great time at Cool Yule!, a holly jolly concert from celebrated Vancouver five-piece Van Django. Alternatively, the Pacific Wind Ensemble’s Holiday Cheer show serves up a 45-piece band and a smile-triggering party atmosphere for all the family.


Alternatively, if soaring, velvet-voiced vocals are your holiday bag, you’ll find a couple of highly inviting options on stage here.


Popular choir Coastal Sound is offering two performances on December 10––its junior singers feature in the matinee––complete with silky-smooth renditions of classic and lesser-known holiday tunes. The following week, JUNO-nominated vocalists, musica intima, provide a sumptuous evening of choral delights with an intriguing winter solstice theme.


And once Christmas is over, consider coming back for December 31’s Quiring in the New Year show, a 14-season Evergreen tradition that features a lovely evening of enervating classical music followed by a sparkling wine reception. Book head, though: this concert always sells out quickly.


Shows galore


The Studio Theatre is more than a music venue, though. This December, there’s a highly recommended kid-friendly stage show from Molly Wilson entitled Search for the Christmas Penguin. It features a host of characters from Scrooge to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and is a great-value option for families.


And if it doesn’t feel like Christmas until you’ve unwrapped a certain Tchaikovsky masterwork, book ahead for Ballet Victoria’s The Gift of the Nutcracker. The troupe’s very own sugar-plum-sweet interpretation of the holiday classic is scheduled for four performances on the Evergreen stage this year.


For many of us, though, the Yuletide season is a chance to laugh “like a bowlful of jelly.” Gather your friends and head over on December 19, 20 or 21 for Holiday Comedy Rumble: Every Elf for Themself. Performed by Canadian Comedy Award-winners The Comedy Department, you’ll find an energetic, giggle-tastic show packed with highly creative improv mayhem.


Offstage activities


Befitting its cultural centre moniker, Evergreen also offers more than stage shows during the festive season. Consider signing up for an inviting Printmaking Workshop (all materials provided) on December 7. You’ll be shown how to make your very own holiday greetings cards to send to everyone on your list this year.


And be sure to visit Evergreen’s free-entry art gallery space as well. This season’s exhibition is Where the Light Meets My Shoulder, showcasing work by Vancouver artist Rebecca Bair. Drop by on December 9 (2pm) for an artist tour and you’ll learn all about her approach and the artworks on display.


Alternatively, visit the exhibition on December 15 or 22 (between 5pm and 6pm) and you’ll be served some free hot chocolate! It’s a great way to toast your discovery of one of the region’s finest cultural hubs––before heading out to explore the celebrated illuminations at the Lights at Lafarge attraction just a few steps away.


If you go


Evergreen Cultural Centre is a highly welcoming venue for shows, with ticket prices among the best-value in the region––the performances cited above start at $10. Book as far ahead as possible and be sure to check out the centre’s additional activities as well as the area’s restaurants and other holiday season attractions. For more information and to book tickets for upcoming activities, visit the official Evergreen website (2023 link disabled).


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