A gift guide to the new year’s arts shows

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      The perfect gift doesn’t necessarily come ensconced in wrapping paper. If you’re really looking to impress this year, this list is your ticket to extra smooches under the mistletoe.

      Symphony Sampler
      The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is offering a gift version of its Symphony Sampler: you pay for a four-concert ticket package, and your recipient gets to choose from 14 classical and pops symphony concerts ($99 to $140, depending on seating). You come out looking like a cultured and thoughtful soul, and they get what they really want.
      Buy it for: The music-loving control freak in your life.

      PuSh pass
      The PuSh Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in the new year, with a spate of shows that cross the boundaries between performing-arts disciplines. Shows range from a multimedia tribute to the late singer and musician Lhasa de Sela, to throat-singer Tanya Tagaq accompanying the 1922 silent documentary film Nanook of the North—so a four-show or six-show PuSh Pass ($99 and $142, early-bird rate) will garner you major Brownie points for innovative gift-giving.
      Buy it for: The jaded culture junkie who needs a hit of something new.

      6flex pass
      The Arts Club Theatre Company’s 6Flex pass ($329) lets you give a mix-and-match package of six tickets for productions at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and Revue Stage. If that’s sounding a little rich, there’s also the Granville Island 4Flex ($159), which gets you four mix-and-match tickets for shows at the Granville Island and Revue stages. Another option: a gift certificate, which you can purchase online at the Arts Club website.
      Buy it for: That special someone who lives for thea-TAH, dahling.

      Cavalia’s Odysseo
      If you don’t have $35 million to spend on a loved one, try the next best thing: Cavalia’s newest equestrian acrobatics show, Odysseo, cost that much to mount, what with the 63 horses, 47 artists, a stage flooded with water, multiple video projections, and the enormous, white big-top tent at the Olympic Village (until January 5). Tickets range from $29.50 to $129.50. But if you’re really wanting to make an impact, the Rendez-Vous VIP package ($139.50 to $219.50) will get you the best seats in the house, a buffet before the show, an open bar, desserts during intermission, and a visit to the stables after the show.
      Buy it for: The loved one who has always rued the day they outgrew pony rides.

      Brahms series
      In March, the Vancouver Recital Society will be celebrating the music of Johannes Brahms in a three-concert festival dedicated to the composer. Over three evenings (March 19 to 21), the renowned Jerusalem Quartet, along with pianist Inon Barnatan, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, and clarinetist Sharon Kam, will perform Brahms’s most cherished chamber-music works. Ticket packages for all three concerts are available ($99 for series subscribers, $115 for nonsubscribers), and would look mighty tidy under the Christmas tree.
      Buy it for: The discerning chamber-music aficionado who has been very, very nice this year.

      Bhangra on main
      It’s still months away, but it’s worth considering giving Bhangra on Main, an acoustic set presented by Music on Main and the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration highlighting Punjabi folk traditions and popular music (June 3 at Heritage Hall, tickets $15 student/$35 adult). Featuring international and local musicians in an intimate, unplugged setting, this show promises to end up as one sweet dance party to remember.
      Buy it for: The friend who always takes you along to concerts.