Looking for something to do tomorrow? The Straight’s got you covered. Here are eight events happening in or around Vancouver on Sunday, December 21.



The 29th annual Blues for Christmas features many of Vancouver's top blues and R&B performers at the Commodore Ballroom.


St. Mark's Church hosts a solstice celebration with Labyrinth Lady, Diana Ng, Under the Piano, Craig Addy, Mike Ewan, and Mary Gavan.


Twenty years ago this month I did a Local Motion story on a band called the Spirit Merchants that ran in the Dec. 16-22 issue of the Straight.

That might not seem like the type of colossal journalistic landmark worth revisiting two decades later, but the Spirit Merchants were not your average Vancouver group. It featured Steve Dawson and Zesse Zubot, who were 22 and 20 years old at the time, and both have gone on to make amazing contributions to the local music scene.

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has told the Associated Press that Sony Pictures has declined his offer of $100,000 for the rights to The Interview.

The Seth Rogen comedy about the assassination of North Korean despot Kim Jong-un has been pulled from distribution after hackers threatened a 9/11-like incident if it was shown in theatres.

Coelho said his offer was designed to allow Sony not to lose face and allow the film to be shown.

The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers posted this video on YouTube on December 17.

That's the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

It features people in this industry from Serbia, Macedonia, Spain, Turkey, and Romania discussing how their rights are being trampled on by authorities in their countries.

Looking for something to do tomorrow? The Straight’s got you covered. Here are nine events happening in or around Vancouver on Saturday, December 20.


Hardly Art and Burger Records recording artists Shannon & the Clams (pictured above) perform with guests La Luz, the Flintettes, and Sh-Shakes at the Electric Owl.


East Van Studios hosts Nochebuena 4, a holiday marketplace featuring Vancouver artists, crafters, and designers.

Perhaps you, like me, have dreams of one day hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the western U.S.?

Either way, you might have read the best-selling book Wild by Cheryl Strayed and watched the movie adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon.

Here's a video that features the real Strayed on camera.

In it, the author talks about her experiences with the Pacific Crest Trail and encourages people to support the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

The PCTA is a Sacramento-based nonprofit that works to "protect, preserve and promote" the trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.

It's been such a wonderful year for women! As 2014 draws to a close, let's relive some of the amazing progress made in regards to women this year.

If you happen to go by the foot of Cypress Street in Kitsilano, you'll notice a Vancouver landmark is getting some help to stay standing.

The Centennial Pole—carved by Kwakwaka'wakw chief Mungo Martin, his son David, and nephew Henry Hunt in 1958—is a familiar sight to many locals, near the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Hadden Park. Ironically, the totem pole was commissioned by the provincial government to commemorate the passage of 100 years since the creation of the Colony of British Columbia on land stolen from First Nations.

UBC has released its latest statistics on animal research at the university.

In 2013, 216,450 animals were used in "research and teaching protocols", down from 227,362 in 2012.

These animals included rodents (126,290 or 58.35 percent), fish (61,792 or 28.55 percent), reptiles and amphibians (23,691 or 10.95 percent), birds (1,358 or 0.63 percent), small mammals (1,181 or 0.55 percent), large mammals (1,778 or 0.82 percent), and marine mammals (360 or 0.17 percent). (That's 3,319 mammals, or 1.53 percent, in total.)

Those of us living in southwestern British Columbia are blessed with incredible natural surroundings. For hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, the Coast Mountains are a wonderland of glaciers, lakes, meadows, and waterfalls.

Many of these places wouldn’t be the same without the conservation efforts of dedicated environmentalists. And not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to hit the trails and enjoy the alpine vistas.

Rather than buying yet another piece of gear, how about donating to a nonprofit doing good work in the great outdoors? Here’s eight B.C.-based organizations (listed in alphabetical order) worth supporting this holiday season and beyond.