Do you have arts traditions for the month of December?
I do, and they actually start at the end of November.
Join the fun and festivities for the 16th annual Victoria Gallery Walk (Nov. 28 from 3 to 8pm). Art-lovers of all ages wait eagerly for a chance to tour six downtown galleries – Alcheringa, Legacy, Madrona, West End, Winchester on Humboldt, Winchester Modern – and participate in a passport program with a chance to win prizes. Participants can easily walk between venues, and there is also transportation provided by the Downtown Victoria Business Association.
James and Jamesy return Nov. 28 to 30 with 2 for Tea a smash-hit of this summer’s Canadian Fringe circuit. Their Victoria performances sold out quickly and many theatre-goers were disappointed. This absurdist physical comedy appeals to children and adults alike. TicketRocket.org.
Theatre Inconnu’s Youth Project present a very Victoria-themed My Gift is For the Trees, an Emily Carr Christmas written and directed by master puppeteer Timothy Gosley, Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 at Berwick Royal Oak Theatre and Dec. 6 to14 at Merlin’s Sun Theatre. Tickets via firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a non-holiday note, fans of Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club will be excited to learn about An Improvised John Hughes by Pick of the Fringe winners Paper Street Theatre, Dec. 11 to 14 at the Intrepid Theatre Club. This is improvisation at its finest, presented live and unscripted after months of study of the film-maker’s work. PaperStreetTheatre.com.
You’ll have to be quick if you want to see St. Luke’s Players traditional pantomime Puss in Boots Dec. 19 to Jan. 1. Tickets sell out by the first week of December. Pantomime is fun for the whole family with noisy audience participation, campy characters, and fairy tales with a twist. StLukesPlayers.org.
Since the 1950’s the classical Russian ballet, The Nutcracker, has become a beloved holiday tradition for generations of Canadians. In Victoria this year there are three versions, one for every budget, and level of dance appreciation. Dance Victoria presents Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker with the Victoria Symphony Dec. 6-8. Ballet Victoria’s version is The Gift (also with the Victoria Symphony) Dec. 28/29. And the newest ballet company, Ballet Étoile, has chosen a jazzy interpretation of The Nutcracker, mixing the classic score with Duke Ellington’s arrangement of Land of the Sweets. Dec. 20-22. Check rmts.bc.ca for Dance Victoria and Ballet Victoria tickets and TicketRocket.org for Ballet Étoile.
What better place to embody Victorian-era tale A Christmas Carol than Craigdarroch Castle, decorated in all its finery for the month. Jason Stevens interprets the well-loved story, based on a script used by Charles Dickens himself. Dec. 12 to 20. TheCastle.ca
Derwin Blanshard’s last show of 2013 is Dec. 22 for a holiday-themed Extremely Classy Sunday Evening Programme. Audience members have definitely embraced the aesthetic of this send-up of a 1950’s-era talk and variety show, with many arriving in elaborate formal and cocktail wear. Discounts for the over-dressed. DerwinBlanshard.com.
Bring the year to an end with the Atomic Vaudeville Winter Cabaret Dec. 29 to 31. Expect the unexpected in this celebration of the year that was, and toast 2014 in riotous revelry. Advance tickets encouraged – TicketRocket.org.
Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate. She is incredibly grateful to be the audience. In 2013 Janis was recognized with an M Award as Biggest Supporter of Local Theatre.