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Christmas Events in Victoria December 2020

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Victoria is a magical and beautiful place to spend the holidays, with plenty of lights and events throughout the city. It will definitely be a different kind of Christmas this year with restrictions, but they are for the benefit of everyone. So keep safe and enjoy however you can this year. Here are a few events happening around Victoria.

Just note that events can still be cancelled or moved online, so please check the event website for the latest up to date information.

ACTIVITIES

Christmas at the Butchart Gardens

Where: The Butchart Gardens
When:
December 8 – January 6, open 3:30pm – 9:00pm
Cost:
 Adults $30, Youth (13 – 17) $15, Child (5 - 12) $3. Free for pass holders.
Website: Butchart Gardens

A Christmas Victoria classic, view the Gardens as they are lit up with Christmas lights. Timed entry ticketing has been implemented to keep visitors and staff as safe as possible during the pandemic.

Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle

Where: The Butchart Gardens
When:
December 8 – January 6, Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Cost:
 Adults $18.52, Students (13+) $12.69, Child (6 - 12) $7.91. Free for members.
Website: The Castle

The holidays are a magical time at the Castle, and the Christmas season is quickly approaching. Visitors will experience a unique glimpse into authentic Victorian traditions, alongside fun family programming and events.

Although Christmas might look and feel different this year – The Castle hopes to bring the true spirit of Christmas alive, as we all celebrate togetherness! This year undoubtedly will go down in the history books as one of our more challenging ones, but this festive season inspires hope and love. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.

Carol Along with the Carillon

Where: Online - Zoom
When: December 1, 12:00 – 12:30pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Grab some holiday baking and a cup of good cheer and join  Provincial Carillonneur Rosemary Laing who will use photos and videos to teach us about the carillon. At the end she’ll play a carol from her piano and we can all carol-along from home.

The 29th Annual Festival of Trees 

Where: The Bay Centre
When: November 19 – January 5
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Festival of Trees is a cherished community tradition and has become the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in Victoria, serving our community for the last 28 consecutive years. The Bay Centre will be transformed into a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, all thanks to sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals. Guests can bring their loved ones, marvel in the magic of Victoria’s community spirit and vote for their favourite tree.

12th Annual Gingerbread Showcase

Where: Various Locations
When: November 21 – January 3
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

It may look a little different this year, but Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s premier fundraiser the Gingerbread Showcase, sponsored by Revera, launched on November 21. More than forty bakers have answered the call to take part in this year’s event. These amazingly talented people who volunteer their time to create works of edible art, together with community hosts, are ensuring that the charity is able to continue this must-see seasonal attraction – all to help raise funds for its current build project in North Saanich.

Admirers will still be able to donate-to-vote for their favourite gingerbread. Unable to visit all the sites in person? No worries, all entries will also be featured online.

Deck the Hall - Winter Lights Display

Where: Saanich Municipal Hall
When: December 1 – 31, 5:00pm onwards
Cost: Free
Website: Lights Display

The Saanich Municipal Hall will be decorated with a festive lights display during the month of December.

Virtual Visits With Santa

Where: Westshore Town Centre
When:
November 22 - December 24
Cost: Free
Website: Calendar

Join us from the comfort of your own home and enjoy a one-on-one virtual visit via Zoom with the Star of the Season – Santa Claus! Reservations are available at 5-minute intervals.  Use the calendar to reserve your preferred date and time.

Virtual Christmas Tree Village

Where: Online 
When
: December 2 – January 4
Cost:
Free
Website: Esquimalt Township

Experience the magic of the holidays at our seventh annual Christmas Tree Village. We have adapted our usual transformation of the Esquimalt Recreation Centre atrium and the Archie Browning Sports Centre into a virtual event this year! Pictures of decorated trees will be displayed on our online gallery and on our Facebook Page

Ghostly Walks - Ghosts of Christmas Past Tour

Where: Starts in front of the Visitor Information Centre, 812 Wharf St 
When
: Various dates starting December 11
Cost:
Adults $20, Seniors and Students $15, Children (6-11) $10
Website: Book Now

During December the Ghostly Walks team will present “Ghosts of Christmas Past,” a spooky route through Old Town that highlights some of the best seasonal ghost stories in their repertoire. Stories included will be: the haunted chocolate shop, a Christmas Eve assassination, the “Lady in White” who first appeared at Christmas 1861, a haunted Christmas book, a First Nations legend, and many others.

Christmas on the Veranda

Where: Fairmont Empress Hotel
When
: 4:00pm – Close, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays November 20 – January 2
Cost:
 à la carte
Website: Menu

Twinkling lights, sparkling inner harbour and the warm glow of a fire sets a perfect stage for an unforgettable Christmas tradition. Overlooking the sparkling inner harbour, gather round a fire to enjoy seasonal hot beverages, festive treats and S’mores! Outdoor heaters keep this enchanted space toasty warm and blankets are provided. Available Friday through Sunday. Walk-ins only.

Christmas at the Castle – Merry & Bright Package

Where: Fairmont Empress Hotel
When
: Various Dates
Cost:
Date dependant
Website: Book Now

A very special overnight package for British Columbia residents only! The Christmas at the Castle package is perfect for couples and families. With less tourists in the capital this holiday season, it is the perfect time to start a new holiday tradition at Fairmont Empress.  Where else can you stay in a coastal castle over the Christmas season that is decorated and adorned with more than 7500 ornaments and lights, dine in storied spaces where royalty once dined, fall asleep enveloped in 112 years of iconic history and wake to Victoria's stunning Inner Harbour – all without leaving your backyard?

Christmas Dinner at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Where: Oak Bay Beach Hotel
When:
December 25, seatings at 5:00pm and 7:30 pm
Cost:
 $85
Website: Menu

Start a new tradition with your family or continue an old one by joining us for a traditional Christmas Dinner served in the neighbourhood’s favourite pub, The Snug, as well as The Grand Lobby. Reservations required. To book, please call 1-250-940-0309.

Christmas in Old Town – Royal BC Museum

Where: Royal BC Museum’s Old Town
When: November 28 - January 9, 10:00am - 6:00pm
Cost: Museum Admission (Adult $22.95, Senior $14.95, Youth (6-18) $13.95, Child (5 and under) free)
Website: Event page

The sights and sounds of Christmas long ago. Visit the wood-cobbled streets of the Royal BC Museum’s Old Town laced with festive garlands and see the shops decked with seasonal finery.

SHOPPING

Shop Online – Downtown Victoria

Where: Online
When: Always
Cost: Free to browse
Website: Shop Directory

This year, more than ever before, it’s vital to support local during the holidays. Not only do these small retail businesses have to compete for business with big box stores and services like Amazon, but they also must combat the effects of COVID-19.

Don’t let the fact that you are at home deter you from shopping local! Many downtown Victoria businesses have gone online to stay afloat, meaning you can shop local from the comfort of your couch.

Lower Johnson Pop-Up Gift Wrapping Station

Where: Oscar & Libby’s – Market Square
When
: December 19, 12:00pm, December 20, 12:00pm, and December 21, 2:00pm
Cost:
By Donation
Website: Event page

Several of your fellow business owners/managers have worked together to come up with a fun holiday addition to Lower Johnson – a pop-up gift wrapping station. Market Square has kindly allowed the use of a vacant space near the gates to serve as the ‘home’ for this volunteer gift wrapping event. This should be a fun event so come visit Lower Johnson.  Funds raised will be donated to the Salvation Army.

DIY Floral Design Kit

Where: Poppies Floral Art
When: Always
Cost: TBD
Website: Details

Due to Covid-19 all in-person workshops have been cancelled, however Poppies Floral Art are instead offering a "kit" with everything you will need to prepare the project! Here is the link to a video- with instructing you on how to put your floral design together. If you would like more information about getting one of their workshop kits, call the shop! 250-383-0743. Above all they want to keep everyone healthy so they can enjoy Christmas this year. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Keep creating.

Fair Trade Fair

Where: Online
When: November 12 - December 12
Cost: Free to browse
Website: Vendors

Every year, for over 20 years, VIDEA has gathered with other socially conscious community members to put on the Fair Trade Fair. This Fair is an opportunity for Fair Trade vendors to talk about their work, the importance of fair trade, and show off their beautiful, high-quality fair trade goods.

This year, the FTF will look a little different. They have created a Fair Trade Fair website where you’ll be able to purchase unique fair trade gifts for all of your loved ones!

Bastion Square Christmas Market

Where: Bastion Square
When
: Saturdays and Sundays in December, 11:00am - 4:30pm
Cost:
Free to browse
Website: Christmas Market

The Christmas Market this year will be fun and exciting!! Come down and see the tree lighting and walk through Bastion Square lit by holiday lights. Also, come and pick out lovely handmade gifts by local Artisans, for your loved ones.

PERFORMANCES – MUSIC, FILMS, AND LIVESTREAMS

A Broadway Christmas

Where: Alix Goolden Hall - Victoria Conservatory Of Music
When
: Various Dates
Cost: $20 - $60 (online or in person
Website: Tickets

The National Stage Company of Canada presents the world-premiere new concert ‘A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS’ – LIVE ON STAGE!

The NSCC welcomes both in-person and on-line guests to join them for an exciting, intimate, and beautifully staged concert this holiday season. Set against an elegant and festive background, the concert blends together a collection of popular Broadway songs including ‘Being Alive’, ‘Somewhere’, ‘One Second and a Million Miles’, and ‘She Used To Be Mine’ with iconic holiday favorites including ‘White Christmas’, ‘The Christmas Song’, and ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’. This stunning new concert will be sure to leave audiences feeling the holiday spirit this December.

Diane Pancel - Hidden Gems Of Christmas Jazz

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club – Online
When
: December 6, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Cost:
$20
Website: Book

And now for something a little bit different! What better year than 2020 to put a spin on the typical holiday repertoire? Ring in the festive season with Diane Pancel and friends as they perform a unique selection of “mostly” Christmas-themed music, mined from some very unexpected places - the Hidden Gems of Christmas!

The Huron Carole “Light Inside” Virtual Concert

Who: The Mustard Seed Street Church – Online
When
: December 8, 7:00pm
Cost:
$15 - $30
Website: Book

Huron Carole is coming to Victoria, virtually! Join from the comfort of your own home for a night of contemporary and signature Christmas music, including stories creatively crafted by famed actor and musician Tom Jackson. It will be a great way to start this Holiday season!

This year, Tom will be accompanied by 5 special guest musicians: Tom McKillip, Darryl Havers, John MacArthur Ellis, Kirby Barber, and Chris Nordquist.

Film Screening: The Nutcracker

Where: The Vic Theatre
When
: Various dates and times
Cost:
$14
Website: Book

The Royal Opera – Recorded 2016. In person tickets are only available 30 minutes before showtime. Clara is given an enchanted Nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. As midnight strikes, she creeps downstairs to find a magical adventure awaiting her and her Nutcracker.

The magician Drosselmeyer transforms the drawing room for a battle between mice and toy soldiers. During the battle, Clara saves the Nutcracker’s life – so breaking a magical spell that turned him from a boy to a toy – and the Mouse King is defeated. In celebration, Drosselmeyer sweeps Clara and the Nutcracker off to the Kingdom of Sweets, where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and take part in a wonderful display of dances. The next morning, Clara’s adventures seem to have been more than just a dream.

Charlie Brown Christmas: Music From The Network Television Special

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club
When
: December 17 – 18, 5:30 – 6:30pm, 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Cost:
$25
Website: Book

Livestream and in-person tickets available.

Kelby Macnayr & Friends Home For The Holidays

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club
When
: December 23, 7:30 – 9:00pm
Cost:
$20
Website: Book

A live, 1-set concert with limited, physically distanced seating (50 person capacity) AND live broadcast online.

The Blues Songs Of Christmas W. The Kingpins

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club
When
: December 13, 7:30 – 9:00pm
Cost:
$25
Website: Book

The Kingpins are bringing their annual Christmas show back to Hermann’s again this season but because of Covid we will only be doing this one venue instead of our usual Western Canadian tour. As we have sold out this show over the past few years and we are only allowed 50 seats, please hurry and get your tickets as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

This performance is a collection of traditional Blues Christmas tunes from the 20’s through the ‘70s, by the likes of Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, BB King, Eric Clapton, Charles Brown, Etta James and many more. It’s not the standard collection of carols, rather it’s a tribute that gives you a look into the souls and minds of the fabulous music legends sharing their Christmas Blues stories.

The Gift of Christmas – Recital

Where: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
When
: December 15, 17, 12:00 – 12:45pm
Cost:
By Donation
Website: Book

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is hosting a noon hour concert titled “The Gift of Christmas” on December 15, 2020. This seasonal musical program of violin, piano, organ, and poetry reading features violinist Serena Jack and pianist Jorge Carrizales.

Christmas Comedy Show with Mike Delamont

Where: The Mint Restaurant
When
: December 19, 6:30pm & 9:00pm
Cost:
$20 or $25 per person
Website: Book

Mike Delamont is a critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian. His hilarious and relatable brand of stand-up comedy has been featured at Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, the Halifax Comedy Festival, CBC’s The Debaters, and CBC’s Laugh out Loud. He is also the creator of the amazing God is a Scottish Drag Queen series.

With full restaurant service, you can also enjoy the delicious west coast Himalayan cuisine that the Mint is famous for. Seating is limited, be sure to book your table early! There are options for 2, 4, or 6 with early bird pricing of $20/person until Dec 11th and $25/person after that.

Christmas W. The Maureen Washington Quintet

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club
When
: December 19, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Cost:
$25
Website: Book

Livestream and in person. Maureen Washington's annual Christmas Show with a mixture of Christmas and non-Christmas tunes! Going to be swinging!

The Polar Express

Where: Royal BC Museum IMAX, 675 Belleville Street
When: 
Various dates and times
Cost: 
TBD
Website: 
IMAX Victoria

Join us for an IMAX® holiday tradition! Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis reunite for The Polar Express, an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

George Canyon Acoustic Christmas

Where: Mary Winspear Centre
When:
December  17-22, 7:30 PM
Cost:
 $78.75
Website: Book

George Canyon rose to become one of Canada’s hottest Country Music stars in the early 2000’s and has won countless accolades and awards, including Juno Awards, CCMA Awards, and ECMA Awards to name a few. He has been inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame, recorded 12 albums, and was presented a certified Platinum Award for his debut album ‘One Good Friend’. With country iconic hits like Just Like You, I Believe in Angels, Drinkin’ Thinkin’, Daughters of the Sun, I Got This, I Want You To Live, Slow Dance and many, many more, he is also a highly regarded humanitarian, strong supporter of the military, and, most important, a proud father and devoted husband.

A Christmas Carol - Live Stream

Where: Online
When:
Various Dates
Cost:
 $25
Website: Book

This beloved Christmas Classic arrives at the Roxy for the first time!  This one man version is sure to delight. Starring Sanjay Talwar. Directed by Jacob Richmond.

Canada‘s Ukrainian Shumka Dancers‘ Nutcracker 

Where: Online
When:
December 10 – 13
Cost:
 $25
Website: Book

The delightful story of young Clara, her dream prince, brave soldiers, and the meddling mice, is reimagined and proudly presented as a Ukrainian version of Tchaikovsky’s famous work in Shumka’s Nutcracker. This unique blend of the grace and lyricism of classical ballet with the strength and power of Ukrainian dance brings a special sense of energy and excitement to this Christmas classic.

Daniel Lapp’s Home for Christmas Concert

Where: Online
When:
December 20, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Cost: By Donation ($25 suggested)
Website: Book

The Victoria Conservatory of Music proudly brings family and friends together once again, to spread holiday cheer. With some holiday magic, Daniel brings “together” nearly 150 students and alumni in his legendary musical student ensembles; the BC Fiddle Orchestra, Fiddleharmonic, Old-Time DanceBand, the BCFO Provincial ensemble, Folkestra!, and the Joy of Life Choir. They will perform a variety of Canadian Coast-to-Coast inspired tunes and festive favourites including the First Noel, Joy to the World, Silent Night, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. Gather your family and sing along with us!

Chiming in to bring the accompanying music are the Home for Christmas house bands: the Shiny H’ornaments, Swingin’ Shepherds, and the Strings of Lights.

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