Christmas at Hycroft!

You will LOVE Christmas at Hycroft! There’s loads to see and do as you wander through all the nooks and crannies of the beautiful Edwardian mansion. Learn about this stunning building in the centre of Vancouver that has been a part of local history, and mystery too! (Word has it that the place is haunted…)

Inside you’ll find ALL THREE FLOORS decked in seasonal splendour thanks to our fabulous in-house decorators and corporate decorators, and the excellent variety of unique boutiques, crafters and over 25 local Artisans. Outside, Hycroft’s  Courtyard is a buzz of activity with entertainment, vendors, Emelle’s Catering Trailer and the traditional “Kitchen Creations” located in the Coach House. Don’t miss all those tasty snacks!

Tickets are $15 per person, but kids under 13 are free. The event runs from November 17th-20th and is open daily from 11am to 9pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm. For more information, visit Christmas at Hycroft. 

Happy Holidays from WestCoast Families

Here at WestCoast Families, we have a special team that works so well together that it makes each month a pleasure to crack open the computer and get to work. We’re lucky to have one another, and we know it.

This year, our country has seen a lot of turmoil and hatred, making it scary and sad to click on the news each morning. But it has also been a year of change and excitement and generosity. Let us remember, especially during this time of year, how lucky we all are to live in such a great country and what a joy it is to be in a world where gracious acts of kindness are not only possible, but just as prevalent on those news channels. When I hear of kids getting involved with their schools to put together Christmas baskets or parents donating to food banks as a family, I feel a swell of pride and simultaneously grateful that I have food to eat and a roof over my head.

This year, I spent much time considering the gift I would buy for a child to be donated to a Christmas Wish organization. When I picked a Play-Doh set that would have tickled me pink as a kid, I excitedly paid and dropped off my gift, along with about ten other people at the exact same time. All over the country, Canadians have chipped in, donated, volunteered, and supported and this makes me wildly proud to be a part of that positivity and kindness.

So whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or nothing at all, we hope that this spirit of generosity will continue throughout the year. Let’s make that a New Year Resolution for 2016.

Happy Holidays, Folks. — Kelly S. Thompson

 

 

Bright Nights Stanley Park

With Christmas just around the corner preparations for the 18th Annual Bright Nights in Stanley Park are well underway. Santa’s elves have been working diligently for the past several months to transform Stanley Park into a captivating and dazzling lighting display complete with music, sweet snacks, entertainment and, of course, Santa Claus himself.

Over 200,000 visitors attend the event annually and that number is growing. “We are exceptionally pleased with the support from the public and our Sponsors. Over 800 fire fighters contribute more than 8,000 hours over the 3 month period of Set- Up, Operations and Tear Down. It’s a monumental undertaking of combined efforts to make this event so successful,” says Ray Boucher. “The funds raised will make a huge difference to burn survivors and their families in our province.”

The monies raised through donations in the front gate bins go directly to the Burn Fund, which provides life-saving, life supporting and life enriching services to the people in BC. More than 3,900 professional fire fighters around the province dedicate their time and skills to support burn survivors. They increase the public’s knowledge about fire and burn safety through its Burn Awareness, Research and Prevention programs.

The Burn Fund encourages visitors to show their generosity by bringing food items for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

The joint event of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and the Vancouver Park Board is open from November 26, 2015 – January 2, 2016. We will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25.

 

For more information about the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, or to make a donation, please visit www.burnfund.org

Christmas Market

It’s time for the 6th annual Vancouver Christmas Market, returning to Vancouver starting Saturday, November 21st until Christmas Eve. This year’s market includes more than 15 new vendors offering everything from ugly vintage Christmas sweaters to handcrafted olive wood kitchenware to German-style donairs to elk burgers. There’s a little bit of everything for every member of the family.

We also have many fun family activities, including the Star Seeker Scavenger Hunt, gingerbread decorating, taking pictures with mascots Holly and Jolly, and Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel, which will put the whole family in the spirit for holiday fun.

Of course, the Christmas Market is also a great chance to snatch up some homemade and unique gifts for all the people on your holiday shopping list. So why not make it an experience with the entire family and make memories in the process? So head down to Hamilton street and make the most of this chance to snack, shop and have tons of family fun.

Holiday Season Safety

Surrey Fire Service is reminding residents to take extra safety precautions this winter in the wake of new data that shows fires are more likely to occur when the weather is cold. “Even one death or injury is too much, and we know from our analysis that we can expect a death in one in every 83 residential fires, and injuries in one in every 13,” Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis said. “The good news is there are many things people can do to make their homes safer. Simply having a working smoke alarm increases your chances of survival by more than 70 per cent, so it’s important to check them regularly.”

Surrey residents can sign up for a free smoke alarm inspection and installation at www.surrey.ca/freesmokealarm, or request a free HomeSafe home fire inspection at 604-543-6780.

Other winter safety precautions include:
· Installing smoke alarms on every floor and testing them regularly.

· Monitoring candles when lit and never leaving them unattended.

· Never leaving the kitchen unattended when food is being cooked.

· Keeping space heaters away from flammable materials (curtains, decorations etc.)

· Using extension cords properly and never overloading them.

· Keeping live Christmas trees watered and away from potential fire sources.

· Ensuring Christmas lights are in good repair and working properly.

More fire prevention information and tips can be found in the Surrey Fire Services section at www.surrey.ca.

Place des Arts Christmas Boutique!

Place des Arts annual Christmas Boutique opens on Wednesday, November 12, giving shoppers plenty of time to find handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. A festive opening reception for the Christmas Boutique, an extension of Place des Arts’ year-round Artisan Shop, takes place on Thursday, November 13 from 7 to 9pm in conjunction with the opening of the annual Positively Petite miniature exhibition.

All items in the Christmas Boutique are beautifully handcrafted by local artisans and new items are added frequently for an ever-changing treasure trove of exquisite works.

The Christmas Boutique bursts with handcrafted wares large and small, perfect for the discerning shopper. Featured in the boutique this year are hand-made fused-glass wall clocks, jewellery and serving dishes, hand-turned wooden bowls and fine hand-knits.

The boutique also boasts an array of strikingly original gift cards, a multitude of Christmas ornaments, handmade soaps, functional pottery, sweet baby bibs, toys and more. 

Proceeds from sales at the Christmas Boutique support the local artists and artisans whose wares are sold, as well as Place des Arts, a non-profit arts centre and music school.

For more information, visit www.placedesarts.ca or phone 604-664-1636.

Don’t Miss the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival this Saturday!

Music, arts, entertainment and more abound this November 23rd at the Central City Plaza, SFU and City Centre Library, between 12 noon and 8 pm. Come ring in the holiday season at this wonderful free event that has something for the whole family to enjoy! Here are just a few of the wonderful events scheduled:
Stage with Tree

LIGHTING OF THE 55 FOOT HIGH CHRISTMAS TREE AT 6:15 PM
CHRISTMAS PLAZA (on 102 Avenue between City Parkway and University Drive

Coast Capital Savings Letters to Santa
Kids can bring their letters to Santa and mail them in Canada Post’s World’s Largest Mailbox

Shooting Stars Ferris wheel
Ride by donation to the Surrey Christmas Bureau

Ice Carving
Watch ice carvers create a beautiful full sized sleigh and have your photo taken in it.

Sleigh Rides
Ride our horse drawn sleigh along 102 Avenue

Road Hockey
You bring the passion for the game of hockey, we provide the sticks and nets.

Rudolph’s Trolley
Ride Rudolph’s Trolley to Storyville and the Surrey Libraries Festival of Trees at City Centre Library.

MAINSTAGE SCHEDULE

7:00 pm 6:15 pm 6:10 pm 5:30 pm 4:30 pm 3:00 pm 2:00 pm 1:15 pm 1:00 pm 12:40 pm 12 noon

Victoria Duffield
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Tyson Venegas
Sway – Michael Bublé Tribute
Good for Grapes
Dr. Strangelove
VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir
PraiseTEAM
Mascot Dance-Off
Santa’s arrival with Santa Brass Band & Tyson Venegas Norman Foote

KIDS WORLD/SANTA’S WORKSHOP (SFU Grand Hall) BC Hydro Powersmart Kids Stage

Kids entertainment from 12 noon – 5pm

Craft Zone
Come and create a holiday craft in the Craft zone hosted by the Downtown Surrey BIA

Candy Cane Theatre
Enjoy classic holiday films inside the SFU Theatre

BC HYDRO KIDS STAGE SCHEDULE – SFU GRAND HALL

5:15 pm 4:30 pm 3:30 pm 2:30 pm 1:30 pm 12:30 pm

Lavrova Ballet School
VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir Rockin’ Robin Show
Norman Foote
Kwantlen Glee Club
Rockin’ Robin Show

WINTERLAND (inside the mall near Winners) Crafts, balloon artist and face painting for kids

Victoria Duffield Autograph Session at 4:00 PM

NORTH POLE (located inside the mall near Tim Hortons)

Photos with Santa (2-5pm) Holiday choirs

Holiday Events Not to be Missed!

VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights

So the kids are out of school, and you’re wondering what to do with them in between the mad bouts of last-minute shopping and family get-togethers.  We’ve updated our Events page with a small list of things to keep you busy over the next two weeks. Be sure to check it out and have a wonderful and carefree holiday season! See you all in the New Year!