The 21st season of Winter Harp returns to St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church (1012 Nelson Street) on Saturday (December 20) at 7:30 p.m.

Winter Harp features musicians and singers clad in medieval attire performing festive carols set to Celtic, medieval, world, and Spanish tunes.

Performers include Kim Robertson on Celtic harp and vocals, Janelle Nadeau on pedal harp and vocals, Roger Helfrik on recorder, plucked psaltery, and vocals; Lauri Lyster on percussion and vocals, Jeff Pelletier on flute, bass flute, recorder, and wooden piccolo; Joaquin Ayala on nyckelharpas, bass psaltery, and organistrum; and Lori Pappajohn on Celtic harp and vocals.

Here's a gift that will appeal to both the contemporary-art and human-rights advocate on your list.

And as usual, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is cleverly stirring things up with the Free Speech Pendant he's created for the Vancouver Art Gallery's Artist Edition program.

It plays with the use of porcelain, a historical material in China's art, as well as with the traditional pendants once carried by people to denote their own social status or to bring luck, longevity, or wealth.

The words "Free Speech" on Ai's double-sided design replace the traditional markings that would have appeared on such ornaments, usually conveying the family name or clan.

Early Music Vancouver presents J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio—Cantatas 1, 3, 6 on December 21 at 3 p.m. at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (6265 Crescent Road).

For more than 10 years, Early Music Vancouver has presented cantatas as Christmas, showcasing more than 35 works. This season, Boston Early Music Festival director, lutenist, and conductor Stephen Stubbs will lead the group of soloists, the 28-piece Baroque orchestra, and the Early Music Vancouver vocal ensemble in three of Bach’s six Christmas Oratorios.

You probably still have a free evening or two before the seasonal madness takes hold of your life, so use them wisely, preferably in a relaxed or reflective setting.

Such an opportunity presents itself Thursday (December 11) at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch. It’s an author reading event in celebration of long-time B.C. journalist Alicia Priest’s recently published book, A Rock Fell on the Moon: Dad and the Great Yukon Silver Ore Heist.

There are several good reasons to make the small effort to skip over to the Alice MacKay Room in the library’s lower level tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.

Meteorological photographer David McColm is a pro at time-lapse imagery.

In this video, he turns his lens on Whistler and shares some thoughts about his work.

"The Night Watchman" is the third episode in The Beyond Series, a four-part promotional web series presented by Whistler Blackcomb.

SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs and Vancouver Moving Theatre present Bah! Humbug! at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 West Hastings Street) from December 11 to 13, and 16 to 20. Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on December 13 and 20 start at 2 p.m.

Bah! Humbug! returns for the fifth year starring Juno Award-winning musician Jim Byrnes as Ebenezer Scrooge. This festive Woodwards tradition also features First Nations actor Margo Kane as the narrator and gospel and glues singer Tom Pickett as Bob Cratchit. These Vancouver performers are joined by a cast of professional community actors from the Downtown Eastside.

Music for the Winter Solstice takes place at Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street) on December 12 at 8 p.m.

Music on Main celebrates the winter season with a concert inspired by the solstice. Join friends for a gorgeous programme including works by Avro Part, Alfredo Santa Ana, and Music on Main’s composer in residence, Caroline Shaw.

Performers include Shaw on vocals and violin, Steve Maddock on vocals, Rachel Iwaasa on piano, and COULOIR (Ariel Barnes on cello and Heidi Krutzen on harp).

A collaboration between the Contemporary Art Gallery and Ballet B.C.?

That's the intriguing art-dance partnership that's just popped up on Kickstarter, or at least on Art Basel's curated page of crowdfunding projects there.

Richard Jordan Productions presents Dylan Thomas: Return Journey at the Cultch (1895 Venables Street) from December 9 to 21.

Bob Kingdom stars in Anthony Hopkins’s directorial debut. The play paints a remarkable portrait of Dylan Thomas and offers a chance to experience the electrifying presence of his last great lecture tour on route to the White Horse Tavern.

Tickets to Dylan Thomas: Return Journey start at $19 and can be purchased online in advance of by calling the Cultch’s box office at 604-251-1363.

Chelsea Hotel runs at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova Street) from December 13 to January 3.

Celebrating the songs of Leonard Cohen, Chelsea Hotel is an unforgettable cabaret of loves won and lost. This musical was created by Vancouver’s Tracey Power and Steve Charles, and features six performers playing 17 instruments.

Cohen’s songs transport the audience to New York’s infamous hotel—a place full of music, enchantment, desire, and passion.

Chelsea Hotel stars Kayvon Kelly, Tracey Power, Steve Charles, Rachel Aberle, Ben Elliott, and Marlene Ginader.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance.