Yule Duel: Vancouver’s Largest Outdoor Competition Returns to Gastown

The Yule Duel event is on for one night only – so it’s a can’t-miss event to kick-off the Christmas season in Vancouver. As well, the event is more than just a carolling competition, as it is a way for the participating choirs and the community to give back by fundraising for May’s Place which provides much-needed compassionate end-of-life care to vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside.

Yule Duel brings together Vancouver’s top choirs and some of the city’s most notable personalities to fundraise for May’s Place which provides much needed, compassionate end-of-life care to vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside. 

When: December 1, from 6-9 PM.

Where: Along Water Street in Vancouver’s vibrant Gastown.

What to expect: Choirs will be performing along Water Street. People can wander the street to enjoy a diverse selection of carolling performances by over 20 of Vancouver’s top choirs, each with a unique style ranging from rock to pop to gospel. There are a number of opportunities for people to make donations to the groups they like best.

Why the “Duel” in Yule Duel? Throughout the evening choirs will sing their hearts out in hopes of performing in a sing-off on the main stage. Everyone is welcome to vote for their favourite choir, by buying a button for $5 and casting a vote. Near 8pm, the panel of celebrity judges will select their favourite choirs from those with the most votes. The top two choirs will then ‘duel’ it out on stage.  

Judges: This year’s judges include: John Fluevog, Fluevog Shoes; Morna Edmondson, Elektra Women’s Choir; Mike Forrester, Coastal Jazz; Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss 604; and Vision Councilor, Heather Deal.

MC: People will be entertained by hilarious and charming, Fred Lee.

Choirs: Saint James Music Academy Choir, the Lions Gate Chorus, and Vancouver Pops Choir are among the wide range of top level choirs you will see and hear.

“All donations received will be given to May’s Place, which provides compassionate end-of-life care to some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Michele Sutherland, Manager of Hospice Services at May’s Place. “We’re so grateful for the generous support this event received last year, raising more than $38,000 to support our charity. We can’t wait to see what this year brings!”

Yule Duel is a joint partnership between the Gastown Business Improvement Society and The Bloom Group, the nonprofit operator of May’s Place. Media partners include Global TV, the Georgia Straight, and Miss 604. Local sponsors include Big Little, The Social Agency, Club Card, Richards Buell Sutton, Inform Interiors, and Miss604.com. 

Releasing my inner rock star. #YMCCommunity

When I was in elementary school, I was part of the school band.

I joined in grade four, and my weapon of choice was the clarinet.


I thought that I was pretty good at it…in fact, I thought that I was the best clarinetist in the band.

When I hit grade seven, we were allowed to play the drums. There was just a base drum and a snare, but they were still the drums.

Everyone fought over the snare because it was more fun and trickier than the boring BOOM BOOM BOOM of the base drum.

I figured that I was pretty spectacular at the snare.

Once I hit high school, the clarinet went by the wayside. I signed up for art classes and my sister carried on the musical thread.

Flash forward twenty five years (yes, I’m dating myself) and there’s a little voice in my head saying to pick up the drum sticks again. I’ve even had dreams where I am part of a band and I’m fully rocking out with my hair flying around like a drumming maniac.

Sheila E

Sheila E

The chance of me picking up a drum set in the near future is slim to none. My neighbours probably wouldn’t appreciate the thunderous raucous coming from the other side of the walls and ceiling (aside from the already present disturbances caused by our 2 and almost 5 year olds).

So, I must wait…

Until we find a house. And even then, we’ll have to do some serious soundproofing in the garage…’cause I fully intend on having the kids pick up instruments as well.

Do you play or dream of playing an instrument?