Art Beat: A Christmas basket full of entertainment treats

Mid-December on the Sunshine Coast brings us more opportunities than any other time of year to see and hear musical and theatrical performances, many with a Christmas theme. Here are some of the choices available in coming days: 

The Nutcracker is the biggest single arts and entertainment production annually mounted on the Coast, and has all the grand music, sweetness, spectacle and breathtaking performance quality you could ask for. Producer Kathleen Holmes has gathered some of the best local ballet talent, and brings in principal dancers from off-Coast who are amazing. Saturday Dec. 14 through Tuesday, Dec. 17. Tickets and info at 604-989-6050. 

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The Janelle Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas. Harpist and vocalist Nadeau, accompanied by Coast fiddler extraordinaire Serena Eades and medieval instrumentalist Joaquin Ayala, play two concerts at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt. “A captivating concert of music to celebrate the season.” Friday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets $30 at 

Suncoast Phoenix Community Choir presents their Christmas concert, Peace, Hope and Joy. Friday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Sechelt. Admission by donation. 

Arbutus Sounds Chorus will twice perform Treasured Memories and Traditions, in their lovely a cappella four-part harmonies, with special guests, including Coast actor and storyteller Mac Dodge. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at St. John’s United Church in Davis Bay, and at the same time Sunday, Dec. 15 at Calvary Baptist Church in Gibsons. By donation. 

Sunshine Coast Children’s Choir presents the all-ages show Solstice: Songs to Welcome Winter, with special guests, The Wild Women: featuring songs and poems to welcome winter. Saturday, Dec. 14, 3 to 4 p.m. at Highland Centre, 1710 Sunshine Coast Hwy., off Highland Road in Roberts Creek. Tickets $12 to $15. 

Coast String Fiddlers Association presents Christmas Fiddl’in at Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, led by Gabriel Dubreuil. You’re invited to bring your fiddle along and, well, fiddle-in. 

Juno Award-winning and always heartwarming singer-songwriter Valdy performs a selection of tunes from his 14 albums at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets $25 at The Blackberry Shop in Gibsons, The Fish Market in Sechelt and from 

Five ensembles from the Sunshine Coast Community Orchestra Association play their Christmas Concert. Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the Chatelech Secondary School Theatre. Tickets $20 at Strait Music or at the door. Accompanied children under 12 are free.

Verna Chan and Roughuis (Dave Roughley and Paul Steenhuis), joined by vocalist Brian Palmu, offer up Holiday Live Music – Gibsons United Church Sing-a-long on Sunday, Dec. 15 at Gibsons Public Market from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free. 

The six-member a cappella group Sweet Scarlet, “guaranteed to put a little va-va-voom in your Christmas,” will perform at the Pender Harbour School of Music in Madeira Park on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25, from Harbour Insurance in Madeira Park, Strait Music in Sechelt, and on the PH Music Society’s website. 

Jim Foster hosts the Sunday Jam Session on Dec. 15 at the Pender Harbour Golf Course Clubhouse Restaurant, from 2 to 6 p.m. 

Kestra (Steve Giltrow, guitar; Ken Grunenberg, saxophone; Regan Haydu, drums; and Ward Tinney, bass) present Christmas Jazz Vespers – jazz, readings and Christmas carols – on Sunday, Dec. 15, 4 to 5 p.m. at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Sechelt. By donation. 

An Orphan’s Christmas 

Actress Deanna Storfie performs An Orphan’s Christmas, a one-person drama she has written, on Friday, Dec. 13 at Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons, from 7 to 8 p.m. Tickets $19 at Enchanted Toys and Games in Gibsons Park Plaza. 

Young artists 

In a celebration of youthful creative talent, there’s a ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Arts Centre in Sechelt to present the annual Young Artists Awards and to announce the selections from the elementary school entries for the Banner Project. This year’s theme is Inventions of the Future. The banner ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m., artists’ awards are at 2:30 p.m. 

Heads up 

Events on a following Thursday often get mentioned last here, but they’re never least. Case in point: lauded Seattle folk-rocker Deb Montgomery brings it to the Gumboot Café on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. “Probably one of the best songwriters out there right now,” said one Huffington Post reviewer. Montgomery could easily fill a larger venue, so get there early. Doors at 7 p.m. 

And at High Beam Dreams in Gibsons on Sunday, Dec. 22, Big Hank Lionhart and the R&B Kingpins will perform their collection of blues, R&B and swing Christmas tunes from the ‘20s through the ‘60s. More on that show next week. 


If there’s an event you’d like considered for Art Beat, please let us know by 11 a.m. Tuesday at Space is limited and, regrettably, we can’t list everything. Also check Coast Reporter’s Coast Community Calendar for more music and events.

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