Plays, holidays, and hockey: November events in the Fraser Valley.

The Christmas season is here, whether you like it or not.

By Grace Giesbrecht | November 1, 2022 |4:30 am

The disconcerting October heat has faded into autumn chill, and a rainy winter is right around the corner. With it comes longer nights, shorter days, and Christmas music on every radio station.

November’s arrival means the appearance of all things festive—almost as though they were pulled to the valley behind a team of flying reindeer and dropped off the back of a sleigh.

November is also the season of potato soup and apple cider, big sweaters and bad mustaches, black coffee and poppy pins. You can spend the long, rainy nights in theatres and hockey arenas, celebrate the arts and upcoming holiday season, and pop by a pop-up indoor (or outdoor) market.

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Remembrance Day

Another holiday deserves the spotlight before the Christmas season can hit full swing.

Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held throughout the Fraser Valley on Nov. 11 to remember and give thanks to those who have served their nation. Ceremonies traditionally use a variety of different elements, and can include parades, laying wreaths at memorial sites, and moments of silence.

Abbotsford’s Remembrance Day ceremony will take place in the Thunderbird Square from 10:30 to 11:30 am on Friday morning. Langley’s ceremony will begin at 10:55 at the Douglas Park Cenotaph.

The Legion in Hope will host a ceremony and a parade from the legion building to the town’s Cenotaph beginning at 10:45. A light lunch and music will follow.

Chilliwack will have two ceremonies: one at Veterans Memorial Park at Main St and Yale Rd and one at All Sappers Memorial Park at Vedder Rd and Keith Wilson Rd

You can also learn more about Remembrance Day beforehand. Gwen Settle, who joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1962, will talk about “Serving in Silence” at the Clearbrook Library on Nov. 7 at 6:30. The registration deadline for this event is Nov. 5. And you can watch military historian Scott Sheffield’s conversation with local podcaster Aaron Pete here. They speak about how Remembrance Day can factor into reconciliation efforts.

Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada involve several traditions to honour servicemen and women, including laying wreaths at cenotaphs around the country. 📷 Lester Balajadia/Shutterstock

Celebrating the arts

The Fraser Valley Literary Festival will take place from Nov. 3 to 4 and features panels of authors and poets from the valley and beyond. The festival is hosted by UFV on their Abbotsford Campus and there is no cost to attend. There are four keynote speakers: Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel, author and Globe and Mail correspondent Marsha Lederman, and Harrison Mooney, who recently published a memoir called Invisible Boy. Mooney, who grew up in Abbotsford, was profiled in The Current in October. You can register online ahead of time.

The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival, held to celebrate unique perspectives and world-class storytelling through film, runs from  Nov. 18 to 20 at the Cottonwood Cinema. The event kicks off Nov. 18 with “Fraser Valley Films, a series of world premiere screenings of films created by local filmmakers.” Tickets are available both to the in-person and virtual events, and question-and-answer sessions follow most screenings. Current editor Tyler Olsen will be moderating several panels during the festival.

Sports

Hockey’s youngest superstars are on their way to Langley and Delta for the World Under-17 Championships from Nov. 3 to12. The 23-game tournament will be split between the Langley Events Centre and the Sungod Arena in Delta. Single and multi-game tickets are available and start at $15.

If you’re more interested in getting out on the ice yourself, public skating will continue this month on rinks across the valley. Check out the schedules for Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission.

The top men’s soccer teams in the CCAA (college-level) will arrive in Langley to fight for the National Championships this month. Games will run from Nov. 9 to 12 at the Willoughby Community Park.

Alongside teams from around the world, the U-17 championships feature three different Team Canadas: Team Red, Team White, and Team Black. 📷 Hockey Canada

Fairs and markets

Christmas in the Fraser Valley is preceded by a series of Christmas craft fairs, trade shows, and holiday markets that pop up throughout November and December. Find the best peppermint-scented handmade candles, santa-themed socks, unusual Christmas tree ornaments, holiday baking, and more at all the festive fairs kicking off this month.

The 15th annual West Coast Christmas Show and Artisan Marketplace is returning to Tradex in Abbotsford Nov. 18. The show runs for three days and promises a shopping experience with a wide variety of traveling vendors offering all things Christmas—from gifts to fancy food to decor to flowers.

The Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market is also on its merry way back to Chilliwack Heritage Park from Nov. 18 to 20. The Chilliwack Community Arts Council is presenting the 47th year of the market and offers a homespun assortment of handcrafted gifts and decor from local artists and artisans.

The Fraser Valley’s local home-based businesses will be on display in full festive form at Valley Markets’ eighth Christmas market from Nov. 4 to 6 in downtown Chilliwack. This market features food trucks as well as the Christmas creations of local businesses at 45530 Spadina Ave.

Christmas in the Country, a holiday market hosted in Agassiz, will feature prize draws as well as local artisans and businesses at 6800 Pioneer Ave from Nov. 12 to 13.

Mission has at least a few Christmas markets scheduled. The Mission Christmas Craft fair will be held at the Heritage Park Centre Nov. 5 and 6 at 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, then 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

The Silverdale Christmas Market, hosted at the Silverdale Hall, will feature local artisans and the opportunity for photos with Santa on Nov. 19.

It’s lit: Christmas light shows

While craft fairs and Christmas markets are holiday traditions that stretch back several generations for many, the newer phenomenon of the Christmas light show adds a little extra sparkle to the season.

Christmas Glow in Langley is a well-known spot to see (over a million) Christmas lights glittering in different displays. Glow will open on Nov. 23 and run from 5 to 10 pm until Dec. 30 at 6690 216 St., Langley. Food trucks, Santa, a holiday train, and live performances are also a part of this little wonderland.

For a more homegrown (and free) Christmas light-up show, visit Williams Park in Langley and enjoy the decorated houses from the comfort of your own vehicle. The displays will start Nov. 25 and run every night from 5 pm to 9 pm until Dec. 18. Donations are accepted to cover the cost of running the displays.

Coming soon to a theatre near you

One of the better ways to escape the descending dreariness of a Fraser Valley winter is a good show. Leave Netflix behind for a night and see something with a little more magic (in some cases, literally) with one of the plays staged at a theatre near you this month.

A new Canadian adaption of C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew will arrive at the Abbotsford Arts Centre on Nov. 11 and run until the 19 with shows nightly at 7:30 pm and matinees at 2 pm.

The Magician’s Nephew is C.S. Lewis’s prequel to his well-loved Chronicles of Narnia. 📷 Gallery 7 Theatre

Abbotsford Children’s Theatre is presenting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this season at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. The show, which promises a Christmas pageant inside a Christmas pageant, runs Nov. 25 at 7 pm and Nov. 26 at 1 pm.

The Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley will also see the younger side of the theatre world, with an upcoming production of Newsies: The Musical. A non-profit youth theatre company from Langley will deliver its take on the play on Nov. 11 and 12 at 7:30.

Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish is the Kwantlen legend of an old hungry spirit and a young mouse. The story will be told using traditional Coast Salish and Stó:lō music, dance, and masks. This tale is coming to the Chilliwack Culture Centre on Nov. 12 at 2 pm.

On an slightly-less wholesome note, The Comic Strippers are presenting an improv comedy show at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Nov. 5 at 8 pm. The show is for those over the age of 19, but the producers tell patrons that no extreme nudity (only extreme hilarity) should be expected.

The Trail

Looking to log a final few clicks in the hiking season this November? A near sea-level option like the nine-km trail that loops Derby Reach Regional Park on the Fraser River will keep a cautious hiker out of any early-season snow that might hit alpine areas. The park is in Langley and easily accessible by car and transit. It’s open year-round and great for furry friends, biking, and birdwatching.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a reporter with the Fraser Valley Current

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