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Art Beat: A light on grief and healing; Sounds of the season and the Nutcracker

The Sunshine Coast Hospice Society is presenting a powerful traveling exhibition through the month of December.
The Sunshine Coast will this month host 14 performances of The Nutcracker by dance companies in Sechelt and Gibsons.

The Sunshine Coast Hospice Society is presenting a powerful traveling exhibition through the month of December. Its 30th annual Lights of Life show features the work of people who participated in the Hospice Society’s “Exploring Grief Through Creativity” workshops. 

Each piece is a personal, unique expression of grief and a connection to loss. Each one holds secrets known only to its maker. Each one also has the power to spark a meaningful conversation about grief and the support anyone can receive from Coast Hospice. 

The multidisciplinary series of workshops were led by local artists Janna Maria Vallée (weaving), Ray Niebergall (clay), Cathy Dunlop (paint) and Natalie Grambow (felting). Kim and Carol La Fave curated the resulting artworks. 

“This piece is unfinished,” wrote the anonymous creator of the Complicated Grief Vase, “as is the ongoing process of complicated grief. Hopefully a new finished clay piece will one day replace this one.” 

Lights of Life will be on display at the Trail Bay Mall from Dec. 8 to 14 and at the IGA in Madeira Park from Dec. 10 to 11. 

Sights and sounds of the season 

Following sublime performances last weekend by A Cappella Strait and the Choralations Children’s Choir (including the world premiere of a setting for a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien composed by chorister Jon Eriksson), other musical events cram December’s cultural calendar. 

The Waldorf Ballet Nutcracker runs for six performances this weekend at the Raven’s Cry Theatre in Sechelt. Tickets for the spellbinding presentation are available at Meanwhile, the Sunshine Coast Youth Dance Association’s Nutcracker (Dec. 14 to 19) has opened sales for online streaming passes for half of its eight in-person performances. Learn more at 

On Dec. 11, harpist Janelle Nadeau will perform at the Pender Harbour School of Music, joined by medieval instrumentalist Joaquin Ayala. Details and tickets for the 2 p.m. performance are available at 

The Sunshine Coast Community Orchestra Association’s annual Christmas Concert also takes place on Dec. 11 at Chatelech Secondary School. The Choralations Children’s Choir returns to accompany the Coast Symphony Orchestra. The Suncoast Concert Band will also perform. The concert takes place on Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m.; tickets are available at Strait Music and at the door. 

The Suncoast Phoenix Choir makes two appearances featuring Songs of Comfort and Joy on Dec. 17 (St. Hilda’s) and Dec. 18 (Calvary Baptist), at 2 p.m. on both days. See details at 

The Coast Messiah Choir is currently rehearsing the Christmas portions of Handel’s Messiah oratorio for performance at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church on Dec. 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are available at and Strait Music.

Sunrise on a winter’s night 

One more concert takes place at a unique seaside venue. Synergy At Play will present Solstice Songs on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Camp Sunrise chapel in Gibsons. 

The concert will feature the Sunshine Coast Children’s Choir and the Wild Voices, along with special guests.  

Ticketholders are encouraged to park in the upper lot, just to the right of the BC Ferries terminal, and to bring a lantern to light their way across the frosty field.  

Tickets ($20 for adults, $10 ages 6-12, free for children) are available at or at the door. 

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