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A grand Christmas Market is coming to North Vancouver this winter

The Shipyards is set to host vendors and entertainers in 75 chalet-style stalls
A new Christmas Market in the North Vancouver Shipyards will be free to enter this festive season. | City of North Vancouver

For those marking their Christmas calendars early – very early – there's reason for out-of-season celebration on the North Shore as a new, free Christmas market is coming to The Shipyards in North Vancouver this year.

The market, slated to open on Nov. 29 and run daily until Christmas Eve, promises a unique holiday experience in one of the North Vancouver's best public spaces.

Christmas markets, with stalls selling mulled wine and festive fare, should always be on the list of Yuletide traditions, says the operator behind the new North Vancouver festival, adding that it shouldn't cost you one penny, or even a ha' penny, to get in.

“I’m European, from the Netherlands. I grew up with free markets, where you could visit multiple times throughout the season,” said John van Rij, founder of Parfait Productions.

“I emailed the City of North Vancouver, where I live. I argued against markets charging entry fees, comparing it to paying to enter a mall. I also noted that Paris, a city with a population similar to the Lower Mainland, has eight Christmas markets, whereas we only have one in Vancouver.”

The city responded in December, expressing interest in van Rij’s idea of a free-to-enter, European-style Christmas market in 2024.

The vision has become a reality now, with the partnership between Parfait Productions, the City of North Vancouver, and the local vendors and entertainers who will occupy 75 chalet-style stalls in The Shipyards.

“We would love to have the community involved in our event,” van Rij said. “We hope to attract participation from school choirs, bands, individual musicians and other performers, as well as local vendors and businesses interested in selling their merchandise at the markets.”

The Shipyards Christmas Market’s goal of community involvement also resonated with local business leaders, including Patrick Stafford-Smith, CEO of North Vancouver Chamber.

“To launch a Christmas Market at The Shipyards in North Vancouver is a great initiative that promises to bring excitement and deliver an additional economic boost to our local community. Attracting new visitors to the area will offer our local businesses a unique opportunity to showcase what they offer and make connections with new customers,” he said.

Those interested in registering as vendors, entertainers or volunteers may visit the recently launched Shipyards Christmas Market website.

Fatemeh Falah is an intern reporter with the North Shore News. She can be contacted at [email protected].