December culture calendar: Art markets to shop local and more

Everything we do this month is a desperate attempt to recapture the pure seasonal joy we experienced when we first saw the holiday lights strung across Main Mall, reflecting in the rippling pool of the fountain. In between finals cram sessions and normal life responsibilities like work and classes (assuming you still go to those), try and keep that light alive by appreciating some art and community events this December.

Here are some recommendations, from holiday markets to support local creators to UBC's own polar plunge.

VanDusen Botanical Garden Lights (Through January 2)

Stroll through the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and let the colorful and non-denominational holiday lights put some joy back into your cold, tired heart.

Tickets $21

Exhibit your work at the Hatch (Throughout December, AMS Nest)

Throughout the month, the walls of the AMS’s own art gallery will be open for student creativity, so check out your peers’ work or display some of your own — be the art you want to see on the walls. While you’re at it, sit within the soft lighting and dreamy ambiance of artist Bee Emotional (a.k.a. Bianca Thomson)'s play structure sculpture.


Indigenous Artisans Market (December 3, Bill Reid Gallery, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

For the price of admission to the Bill Reid Gallery (which is free for Indigenous people), you can peruse the works of a large list of Indigenous artists and makers — as well as check out the gallery at large.

$8 for students, free for Indigenous people

The Emo Nightmare Before Christmas (December 3, Hollywood Theatre, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.)

Who understands your seasonal depression and holiday apathy like the emo artists that inevitably betrayed your true music taste by topping your Spotify Wrapped for the fourth year in a row? At emo night this Saturday, relive your glory days of angsty teenagerdom with a crowd that gets My Chemical Romance almost as much as you do. The Hollywood, a short bus ride from campus, will be spinning the classics till 2 a.m. Dress for the occasion.

$5 early bird tickets, $15 general admission

Wellbeing Workshop: Destress with Rabbits (December 7, UBC Arts Student Centre (ASC), 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.)

There will be real live bunnies in the ASC! You can come by and pet them and maybe it will help you destress for exams! But neither The Ubyssey nor event organizers the Arts Student Engagement Hub are liable if the rabbits poop on you.

Free, RSVP required

Polar Bear Swim (December 7, Wreck Beach, 2:30 p.m.)

Wash yourself clean of the term’s sins, stress sweats and missed assignments by dunking in the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean. In this annual tradition, the Calendar will lead the horde of students down the stairs of Wreck Beach, into the water, out of the water and back up the stairs. Remember to bring a towel.


Lights on the Roof (December 7, roof of the Nest, 5 - 8 p.m.)

Celebrate the last day of classes with the gardeners at Roots on the Roof. There will be festive lights, snacks, hot chocolate and live music.


Christmas Cabaret (December 8, Havana Theatre, 7:30 p.m.)

Local singer Ayanna Seymour, accompanied by guitarist Everett Mayberry, will play a concert of holiday-themed music at the Havana Theatre! Bring a gift (budget: $20 or less) to receive a gift at an optional gift exchange.

Tickets $12.

Memoir — presented by UBC Dance Horizons (December 10, Micheal J. Fox Theatre, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)

Come see the UBC and Vancouver dance community perform at their mid-year show, focused on the theme of "reflections." UBC club K-Wave will be guest performing, along with UBC Dance Horizon groups. There will be prizes and raffles there as well.

Tickets for each show are $16 online, and $17 at the door

Flourish Together: A QTBIPOC Arts Market (December 17, 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM, Massy Arts Society)

Shop for holiday gifts or simply come to appreciate the art, jewellery, clothing and other creations of local Queer, Trans and BIPOC artists.

$0-10 sliding scale entrance

Public Menorah Lighting in the Nest (December 20, Nest lower atrium, 5:30 p.m.)

Join campus Jewish clubs Hillel and Chabad to celebrate Hannukah in the Nest with latkes, donuts and an appearance from Premier David Eby.

This calendar is an updating document curated by The Ubyssey culture section. To submit recommendations, email