Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Jill Tunbridge

Fans of whimsical fantasy are in for a new year’s treat – suitable for children and imaginative adults – when White Rock dancer/choreographer and author Jill Tunbridge presents a special performance built around her recently-published original fairy tale Fairy of the Night and Still, this Friday (Jan. 4) at 7:30 p.m. at the Coast Capital Playhouse.

Tickets are available now for the reading of this out-of-the-world literary fantasy, enhanced by and interspersed with both atmospheric music and creative dance performances by artists from the BC dance community, including members of Tunbridge’s own Flamenco del Mar Spanish Dance Studio, ballerina Erin Currie and her ‘Crystal Dream Flakes’ dancers, plus Linda Hayes, Kaye Kerlande and Kat Siemens.

The poetry and prose narrative of Fairy of the Night and Still will be read by this columnist (Alex Browne).

The playhouse is located at 1532 Johnston Rd. Tickets ($22, $19 students and seniors, $15 children, including all fees) are available now from or at 604-536-7535.

Kate Barron

Crescent Beach-raised Canadian stand-up comedy star Kate Barron is back in B.C. for the Christmas season, including featured spots Dec. 28 and 29 at Yuk Yuk’s in Vancouver.

The 2001 Elgin Park grad, who became Toronto Comedy Brawl champion in late 2017, continues to progress on the comedy scene after only three years in stand-up comedy, winning multiple competitions in 2018, including The Comedy Store’s prestigious King Gong show, and also recently touring the U.K.

According to Yuk Yuk’s CEO Mark Breslin, “Kate’s assured delivery and clever topicality makes her a must-see comedian and we’re thrilled to have her join our roster.”

For more information on reservations, visit

Branch 8 Music

The White Rock Legion (Branch 8) presents bands and musical entertainers every Friday and Saturday, a Tuesday night country and blues jam and Country Sunday live entertainment Sundays from 3-7 p.m., interspersed with other presentations, and specials from MacKarino’s Kitchen (open Wednesday through Sunday from noon).

Coming up is Steel Rail (Dec. 28 and 29) and the legion’s New Year’s Eve party, featuring music by Two of a Kind.

Tickets ($60 for members, $70 for non-members) include dinner, 10 p.m. snack buffet and champagne at midnight (doors open at 6 p.m.), and are available from 604-531-4308.

The branch will be closed Jan. 1. but the entertainment schedule starts up again with Brian Zalo (Jan. 4 and 5), The News (Jan. 11 and 12), Nasty Habits (Jan. 18 and 19) and Vinyl (Jan. 25 and 26).

The legion is at 2290 152 St. and, on Fridays and Saturdays, is open from noon to 1 a.m. Visit or call 604-531-2422 for more.

Ocean Park Wailers

Next big show at the Crescent Legion’s Club 240 will be a New Year’s Eve party with local favourites The Ocean Park Wailers on Dec. 31.

The $75 ticket price includes party favours, a prime rib buffet with choices of salmon and vegetarian entrees, midnight bubbly, and snacks.

The Wailers include lead singers Carolyn Neapole and Terry Raible, plus Kevin Irwin on lead guitar and vocals, Russ Froese on bass and vocals, Paul Sorbara on drums, Elliott Clarkson on saxophone and vocals, and Bill Brooks and Jim Widdifield on keyboards.

Tickets are on sale at and at the Legion box office (604-535-1043), which is open daily from 4 to 9 pm. For more, visit or

Blue Frog Studios

The acoustically-excellent performance space of White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios continues to be the venue for intimate and up-close concerts by national and international touring acts, as well as local and B.C.-based artists.

There are still a few tickets left for the 9:15 p.m. show of Daniel Wesley’s Dec. 28 concert Beach Songs For The Holiday Season.

Coming up in the new year are Barracuda’s “essential” tribute to rock legends Heart (Jan. 4 – still some tickets left for the 9:15 p.m. show); the Kenny Hess concert The Songs That Wrote Country Music (Jan. 11 – still some tickets left for the 9:15 show); and Delta Blues legend Super Chikan and the Mojo Stars (Jan. 12).

For tickets and information on all shows, visit or call 604-542-3055.

Traditional jazz

Toe-tapping retro jazz resumes in the New Year at Crescent Legion Branch’s Club 240, as White Rock Traditional Jazz Society presents its regular, 2-5 p.m. Sunday sessions most weekends.

Music for listening and dancing features traditional jazz in the manner of New Orleans, Chicago and New York – with generous helpings of swing and British-style trad thrown in, and the ever-popular ‘parasol parade’ on one number during the afternoon.

Welcoming in the new year (Jan. 6) will be the White Rock Rhythm Kings, followed on Jan. 13 by ace reedman Gerry Green’s Crescent City Jazzers (featuring Jim Armstrong on trumpet and trombone) and, on Jan. 20 by bassist-vocalist Jenn Hodge and her All Stars.

The venue is at 2643 128 St.; admission is $10 at the door (WRTJS members); $12 (non-members) and $6 (students with ID).

Encore returns

Encore Peninsula Concerts is back in the new year – with a new venue.

The series, formerly at White Rock’s First United Church, and co-sponsored by the City of White Rock, is moving to Mount Olive Lutheran Church (2350 148 St.).

The 2019 season of Sunday afternoon concerts, selected by the artistic director, concert pianist, Eugene Skovorodnikov, includes Piano Fest 2019 – four piano recitals from January through April – plus a special Spring Harmonies concert in March.

Piano Fest begins with a Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky concert by Skovorodnikov (Jan. 13), Bach, Liszt and Rachmaninov pieces by Russian virtuoso Valery Kuleshov (Feb. 3), masterworks for piano duo by Skovorodnikov and Anna Vavilova (April 7) and an all-Chopin program by acclaimed Italian pianist Achille Gallo (April 28).

Sandwiched inbetween the piano concerts will be Spring Harmonies (March 3) bringing together the Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet of Russia, Macedonian oboist Gordana Josifova-Nedelkovska and Vancouver-based violinist Robert Rozek for a program of double concerti and more – including the Baroque and post-Baroque music of Bach, Haydn and Mozart.

Tickets for Piano Fest 2019 performances are $25 ($22 for students and seniors) or $90 ($80 students and seniors) for all four concerts. Tickets for the Spring Harmonies recital are $35 ($25 students and seniors).

For tickets and information, call 604-541-2199 or visit

Cheryl Bodnar paintings

Peninsula painter Cheryl Bodnar will be the first featured artist of the month for the new year at The Gallery, Central Plaza.

A selection of her colourful still lifes and equestrian-themed paintings will be on display throughout January at the store, at 15134 North Bluff Rd.

The Saskatchewan-born artist has been a Lower Mainland resident since 1986, and while she has had a passion for art all her life she has only had an opportunity to focus on painting since she retired from multiple careers as a mother, an ICU nurse and a nurse educator.

For more information on store hours, visit or call 604-670-5595.

Robin Hood

The White Rock Players Club latest Christmas panto – Robin Hood and the Skytrain of Doom – continues to give an entertaining, decidedly White Rock Panto-ish twist to the traditional tales of legendary outlaw Robin Hood and his Merry Men until Dec. 29 at Coast Capital Playhouse.

Produced by Bruce Coombs, the irreverent, Beatles song-laden spoof is written and directed by well-known WRPC actor and musician Dann Wilhelm, who also appears as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

The fun begins when – on the eve of the wedding of reluctant groom Robin Hood (Jenn Lane) and detail-obsessed Maid Marion (Samantha Silver) – the Sheriff manipulates clueless Prince John (Reginald Pillay) in a scheme to obliterate the outlaws’ beloved Sherwood Forest to make way for a new SkyTrain expansion.

There’s no alternative – Robin and his men (Greg Tunner, Ray Van Ieperen, William Duncanson, Ferne Brown and Adrian Shaffer) must fight to stop the Sheriff’s evil plan, with the questionable help of minstrel/fairy Alana Dale (popular White Rock panto dame Bryce Mills).

Helping them along, in typical panto fashion, will be an abundance of silliness, colourful costumes, dancing (choreographed by Sierra Milne), knockabout comedy and groaner puns.

Curtain is 7:30 p.m. for Wednesday through Saturday evening performances, and 2:30 p.m. for Sunday matinees.

Tickets ($22, $19 for students and seniors and $15 for children 12 and under) are available from the box office, 604-536-7535, or at

Art Couture

The Art Couture gallery, at 14819 Marine Dr., is featuring a small works exhibition for all of December.

For more information, email or call 604-385-2827.

Hansel and Gretel

Ellie King’s latest Christmas panto, Hansel and Gretel and the Strolling Players, presented by the Royal Canadian Theatre Company, comes to Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage (13750 88 Ave.) continues Dec. 26 to 30.

As always, it’s an opportunity for the whole family to cheer the good guys and boo the bad guys, as well as enjoy the cheesy puns and jokes, music and magic that pantomime brings every year.

This year’s show focuses on Hansel and Gretel (Aeron and Cayleigh Elchesen), who live with their father in the town of Understrudel, and a group of silly strolling players who wander into a new role – foiling the evil plans of Mistress Grim (Kerri Norris).

While principal girl Honey Crisp (Rachel Craig) and principal boy Billy Wobbledart (Susan Epp) fall in love, and Dame Lotta Wobbledart (James King) chaotically teaches her new students, Hansel and Gretel are led into the woods, unknowingly headed towards a sad fate.

Can good fairy Queen Bluebird (Rebecca Trotzuk) win the day and save the children?

Or will King Raven (Steven Elchesen) and Witch Grimm turn the children into servants forever? For tickets, call 604-501-5566, or visit

Coffee House

The Crescent Moon Coffee House is back at Kwomais Point Park’s Sanford Hall in the new year every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Parking is free at the venue, at 1367 128 St.

Organizers note that this is one of the rare open mic/jam sessions held in a non-commercial setting, with no coffee-grinders or the sounds of business in the background to compete with the music.

As always the aim is to encourage making and sharing music in the community, with a special focus in fostering and supporting emerging talent of all ages, and in addition to a good sound system, the event usually has supporting members on bass and drums.

Suggested donation at the door, to cover expenses, is $5, which also entitles participants to ‘bottomless’ coffee or tea.

For more, subscribe to Crescent Moon’s newsletter at

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