Vancouver on the Cheap: Winter Solstice Festivals


If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled “cheap” and the other labeled “awesome”, the middle point where they cross over could be labeled “Vancouver on the Cheap”. In other words, this is a weekly series on things to do and places to go in Vancouver that fall into that magical category of being both cheap and awesome.

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If you’re reading this then chances are good the world hasn’t ended today (although there’s still time!) In case you’re feeling pessimistic (or optimistic, rather) about the world ending, there are some free/by donation events happening tonight to usher in Winter and, if you like, the continued survival of humans on earth.

First off, we’ve got the Secret Lantern Society’s Winter Solstice Lantern Festival!

There’s quite a lot going on with this one as there are five separate neighbourhood events, all featuring a lantern making workshop in the afternoon (it costs $10 per lantern if you want to make or buy one), live music (by donation), and then a lantern procession (free).

Included neighbourhoods are the East Side (in the Commercial Drive/Parker St area), Yaletown, Granville Island, S.E. False Creek, and Chinatown.

I am especially into the East Side series, as they’ve collaborated with the In the House Festival to have in-home concerts on Parker St (just off The Drive). Pre-registration is encouraged for that one, as they have quite limited seating. Email to get a spot!

Check out the Secret Lantern Society’s website for info on the wheres, whens, and hows!

Up next: Grunt Gallery’s Winter Solstice Party!

For the folks more interested in a straight-up party, this is the place to go. A fun, no-cover, party of artsiness. Have some drinks, eat some snacks, look at some art, and meet the cool folks behind Grunt Gallery, a super cool artist-run gallery that (fun fact!), is exactly the same age as me. I guess if you want to find out what age that is, you’ll have to do a little research.

So let’s celebrate! March with a lantern and wonder at bringing light into the darkest day of the year or party with some artists and see the kind of beauty they bring into our lives. The world has not ended, and tomorrow it will have a bit more light than today. Not bad.