While it’s going to be an unusually muted Christmas season, some arts and entertainment events are going ahead on the Peninsula – whether observing current COVID-19 distancing or gathering restrictions, or as online offerings.
Rather than go to the White Rock Playhouse this Christmas, for instance, it’s likely that families will gather around home screens to catch Once Upon A Panto: The Legend of Shenanigans the latest installment of White Rock Players Club’s proud 66-year tradition of holiday pantomimes.
Director/author/star Dann Wilhelm has confirmed to Peace Arch News that the panto will now be presented online, rather than as a distanced staged reading as originally planned.
He said that while details are still to be determined by the club, including where the stream will be posted, and what the charge for access will be, filming of actors is going ahead this week.
“We’re hoping to have it edited and released the week before Christmas,” Wilhelm said, of his prequel to Mother Goose, which traces the ‘origin story’ of Shenanigans, the Pantomime Giraffe and a number of other perennial panto characters.
Preparing the 12-member cast for what will still be – in essence – a staged reading on video, has called for scheduling changes and even changes to the way some of the material is presented, he said.
“But I’m confident that we’ll be able to have something for our fans and supporters in time for Christmas,” he added.
For further information, as it becomes available, check the website at whiterockplayers.ca
The scope of the planned White Rock Festival of Lights – which had been set for Dec. 7 to Jan. 9 – is still to be determined at White Rock council’s next meeting, on Dec. 7.
But it’s likely that some sort of lighting display will be there to make a winter walk along the waterfront a magical experience – and afford an opportunity to support Marine Drive restaurants by picking up some take-out along the way.
For updates on the festival, visit wrfl.org
While visiting the waterfront, residents can also look in at the White Rock Museum and Archives Pop Up Shop, open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at 14970 Marine Dr.
Created in place of the usual annual Christmas craft market, the shop features a rotating roster of popular vendors, and parking along the waterfront is free throughout the winter.
To keep up to date with museum activities, visit facebook.com/whiterockmuseumandarchives
Helping keep the very young involved, but safe, over the holiday season is Fraser Valley Regional Library’s Virtual Story Times – online story time sessions for babies and children – available at facebook.com/ReadLearnPlay/
And there are also online activities for adults and seniors, thanks to White Rock-based comedy-as-therapy company Hilarapy (formerly known as Addictive Comedy).
Hilarapy’s Laughing Yoga Holiday Party is a free online event Sunday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 20 (10 a.m. both days) demonstrating the power of ‘laughing yoga’ – a way of getting our laughing muscles back in gear known to help in releasing our own ‘feel good’ chemicals to help boost our mood.
To participate, pre-register at hilarapy.com
Meanwhile, Hilarapy will also present a free online Seniors Seasonal Comedy Cafe, Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m.
It’s a chance for older residents to enjoy a fun and lively program – with the beverage of their choice – from the safety of their homes.
Produced at Blue Frog Studios, it features Hilarapy with Lizzie Allan and Friends, and Steve ‘Elvis’ Elliott, with MC Gordie Hogg – as well as draw prizes.
To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/y5qcee3e
Also coming, in the new year, will be Surrey Youth Theatre’s first virtual presentation, for which tickets will go on sale through social media in early January.
The as-yet unannounced production will run 25 minutes and will be aimed at audiences aged six and up, with limited streaming days and times.
For updated information, visit surreyyouththeatre.ca