(Join the Fraser Valley Youth Society at its first Hero’s Gala Nov 20, as it honours community builders such as John Kuipers, above, for his contributions to building queer community in the Valley./belle ancell photo)
Thursday, Nov 19
Loving Spoonful Pop-Up Candy Shop
Want to buy some sweets and stocking stuffers for the holidays and support A Loving Spoonful at the same time? Drop by their pop-up candy shop at the 43rd annual Christmas At Hycroft Mansion, which runs until Sunday, Nov 22. Bonus: three floors of Edwardian Mansion to wander through, filled with vendors, artisans and more. 11am–9pm. Hycroft Mansion, 1489 McRae Ave, near Granville Street at West 16th Ave. Tickets $15 at door. More information here on Facebook.
Eastside Culture Crawl
My version of an Eastside Culture Crawl generally involves trying to find my underwear after one of Matt Troy’s events. But if you’re looking for that one unique gift to coax the pants off a certain someone this Christmas, this might be your chance. Four days of arts and crafts, with more than 400 artists in their own studios in 82 buildings throughout East Van. Runs until Sunday, Nov 22. For a full list of artists, vendors and the much-needed map to find them all, go to culturecrawl.ca.
Friday, Nov 20
Join the Fraser Valley Youth Society for its first annual Hero’s Gala to honour queer community heroes in the Valley. This year’s inaugural recipient will be John Kuipers, who was also named as one of Daily Xtra’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2013. Cocktails 5:30pm, dinner 6:30pm, followed by speeches and dancing. The Stage, 32998 1st Ave, Mission. Tickets $55 (or $20 for just the dancing part) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr Pets, 33560 1st Ave, Mission. More information on their Facebook page.
Club 8×6 throws a party for women to get down and dirty. Expect a fun night of dancing, sex, sexy memories and probably a bunch of depleted D-cell batteries all over the floor. 9pm–2am. Club 8×6, 1775 Haro St. $15 at door. More information on Facebook.
Saturday, Nov 21
Lez Hookup brings you a message party rather than its usual speed dating event. Screw the few minutes you get to make up your mind at speed dating. Now lust across the room for as long and as many drinks as it takes to get the guts to send a message to The One. 9pm–late. Village Bistro, 11430 Davie St. $5 before 11pm, $10 after. lezhookup.com
I admit it: I don’t get performance art. I don’t understand how someone sitting on a stage staring into the eyes of another person for 6o minutes is art, while two guys pounding the hell out of each other on the same stage can be porn. That said, I will always give a show a chance. Saturn Returns is said to be one of the best, and tonight’s our last chance to catch its final encore performance. It’s a show about women, life, laughter and storytelling, with an all-female cast. 8pm. XY, 1216 Bute St. Tickets $25 at the door, or $20 here on Facebook.
Noir Fetish Ball: Fallout
I don’t get to wear spandex or latex much; at this height it takes a lot of material to cover my many inches. So when a night like this comes along, I throw caution to the wind and pull on a costume so tight you can tell my religion. When that same night has a sci-fi fetish theme, the possibilities are mind-blowing. I just know I’m going to leave with a scantily clad, gas mask-wearing, Mad Max-stud wannabe. Strict dress code enforced. 9pm–3am. Club 8×6, 1775 Haro St. Tickets $16 before 10pm, 420 after. More info and dress code regulations at noirvancouver.com.
Sunday, Nov 22
I may be showing my age (although better than some of my friends), but back in the day when I went out, drag shows were more of an event. Classy big numbers, like a Las Vegas act on steroids. When the performer was on, all eyes would be fixed on her; nobody was ever screaming across the bar at friends or the waiter, or nattering away throughout the number. There were no acrobatics, nor really any props, just a show-stopping performance that blew you away. This night brings that style back to the West End. Two of the classiest performers around, Iona Whipp and Jaylene Tyme, will show you what you’ve missed, and in a setting that adds to the show. 8–11pm. XY, 1216 Bute St. Cover $5, money well spent. More information here on Facebook.
Tuesday, Nov 24
One of the gayest nights I had last Christmas was going to this market. Admittedly I had to be dragged there, but the eye candy alone turned out to be worth the trip. The market had everything: hot apple cider, vendors, chocolate shops, shortbread, and lots of gift ideas for the holidays. They also have a carousel that was full of men when I rode it. One guy was even wearing a shirt that said, “My Bratwurst is mouth-watering” and I can attest to the fact that it was. You will recognize more men cruising here than around the tub at Steamworks, plus you can buy them a drink at the German Brewhouse next to the ride. Try the Feuerzangenbowle: after two you will be able to slur it out, trust me. Runs until Thursday, Dec 24. 11am–9pm. Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, 650 Hamilton St. Tickets $8 at vancouverchristmasmarket.com or at the gate.
Wednesday, Nov 25
Making Spirits Bright
If a whole bunch of men in tuxedos singing Christmas carols turns you on, then this is for you. The Vancouver Men’s Chorus will present several performances between Friday, Dec 4 and Saturday, Dec 12. Yes, it is early for me to tell you, but the tickets are on sale now and go very quickly. Performances take place at St Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis St. Tickets are $35 at Little Sister’s, 1238 Davie St, or at vancouvermenschorus.ca.
Connect With HIM
I’ve had a few very lonely Christmases when I didn’t have a partner or as many friends. It wasn’t fun and you can feel very alone and vulnerable. The season is approaching and now is the time to find a group that calls to you and gets you involved, both socially and mentally. Everyone needs that, and the Health Initiative for Men provides a great resource with many groups. This group in particular is good as each week it features a different theme. Join them tonight for fun board games in a social setting. Get yourself out there; nobody should be alone for the holidays and these groups will give you some basics to fill the rest of the year with new acquaintances. 6:30–8pm. HIM Office, #310-1033 Davie St. checkhimout.ca