Are You Ready For Vancouver’s Largest Outdoor Carolling Competition?

A festive sing-off in support of a good cause

November 30, 2016

By Dominika Lirette

The Yule Duel holiday carolling extravaganza returns to Gastown for its second year in a row. On Thursday, December 1, 21 local choirs will be singing their hearts out—and competing for your votes—along Water Street and Carrall Street. At the end of the night, the top choirs will then move on to compete in an epic carolling sing-off on the main stage in Maple Tree Square.

If that wasn’t enough reason to join in on the festivities, all of the funds raised go towards May’s Place, an organization that provides end-of-life care for vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside. “It is probably the best way to get into the Christmas spirit in a real way,” says Leanore Sali, executive director of the Gastown Business Improvement Society. “Not only are you getting to hear this wonderful music, you’re given an opportunity to really give back to the community.”

Starting at 6:00 pm, attendees can support their favourite choirs by purchasing a $5 button and casting their vote. The two choirs that get the most votes will move on to the main stage to ‘duel’ it out for the People’s Choice Award. The judges (including Councillor Heather Deal, Coastal Jazz’s Mike Forrester and Miss 604 Rebecca Bollwitt) will also choose the top two choirs in three categories: best vocals, most creative and best children’s choir to perform in the main stage event. The show will start at 7:15 pm with a guest performance by Marcus Mosely, followed by a singing battle between the final choirs.

Sali says patrons can expect a lot of variety this year with four children’s choirs, three high school choirs, a French choir, and a Venezuelan choir. Even some Gastown bars are getting in on the fun and assembling choirs. “We have three of our businesses that are doing choirs and they’re actually very good,” says Sali. “Guilt & Co. did a choir last year and they’re doing a choir again this year. Blarney Stone is doing a choir with their band and Portside Pub has a choir.”

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