Yule Duel is a festive Christmas event in Vancouver where dozens of area choirs sing carols in the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery in December.
If you like choirs and Christmas carols, it’s an event you don’t want to miss.
Vancouver’s Christmas Yule Duel
Yule Duel: Caroling for a Cause happens on the first Thursday in December each year. In 2019 it’s on December 5th and it runs from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.
The past couple of years have featured special guest performers like The Carnival Band and Marcus Mosley. They both performed last year, as did Grammy award-winner Dutch Robinson. Dozens of local choirs participate too.
What Happens at Yule Duel
Yule Duel is a two-and-a-half-hour event where twenty or so different choirs of varying sizes and experience perform in the streets (of Gastown in the past and outside the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2019).
In past years, on the night, you could expect Gastown to be decorated in sparkling Christmas lights, to see lots of people and to be entertained by beautiful festive seasonal music. 2019 will be the same, bit at its new venue.
At the event people wander around the street listening to the various choirs and then vote for their favourites.
Yule Duel Cost & Fundraising
Yule Duel is a fundraising event where money raised goes to support May’s Place, a non-profit hospice that serves vulnerable and marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
Yule Duel is a free event and open to the public. Being a fundraiser though, people are strongly encouraged to donate and pay around $5 for a button.
Buttons are available at the voting booth on the day on Water Street and they allow people to vote for their favourite choirs. Votes are cast before 7:00 pm and then at 7:30 the top competitors do their duelling!
Where and When
Yule Duel in past years has taken place along Water Street which is the main road running through Gastown and conveniently located just a few blocks east of Waterfront Station.
In 2019 the event occurs in the evening of Thursday, December 5th, from 6:00 until 9:00 pm. Expect to see dozens of choirs singing in the north plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery which is located at 750 Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver (across the street from the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel).
Yule Duel Schedule
Below is a sample schedule for Yule Duel from a past year. The 2019 schedule will be similar.
- 6:00 pm – Yule Duel Kick-Off
- 6:30-7:15 pm – Street Carolling and Voting
- 7:15 pm – Parade of Choirs
- 7:30 pm – Main Stage Finale (with a special guest performance)
- 8:00 pm – Duel Time: musical duel competitions in the Most Creative, Best Vocals and People’s Choice categories.
- 8:30 pm – Yule Duel Closing
2019 Yule Duel Choirs
Choirs that participated in the Yule Duel: Caroling for a Cause event in 2018 and are returning again this year include the following:
- KPMG – The Caroling Crew (participants since at least 2016)
- Los Parranderos de Vancouver (participants since at least 2017)
- Notre Dame Iron Men (participants since at least 2017)
- Notre Dame Platinum Girls (participants since at least 2017)
- Choralation A Cappella (participants since at least 2017)
- Mulgrave School Senior Choir (participants since at least 2017)
- St. George’s Junior School Choir
Other choirs scheduled to perform at the 2019 event include the following:
- The Northwest Collective
- Carbonated Pop
- The Hot Toddies
Choirs that participated in the Yule Duel: Caroling for a Cause event last year included the following:
- Little Flower Academy Senior Choir
- Spiritus Liturgy Choir
- Vancouver Bach Choir’s Sarabande Choir
- Collingwood School Warblers (since 2017)
- Vancouver Pops Choir (since 2017)
- St. James Music Academy (also at the event in 2016)
- Zing! Children’s Choir (also at the event in 2016)
Some of the two dozen or so choirs that participate each year are prominent and well-established Vancouver musical groups, like Sweet Scarlet. Others are choirs from area private schools and music schools, and some are simply groups of friends or co-workers coming together specifically for the Yule Duel event.
For more information on this great event, see the Yule Duel: Caroling for a Cause website.
For other Vancouver events and festive activities, check out any of the following:
- Vancouver’s November Calendar
- Vancouver’s December Calendar
- Christmas Craft Fairs
- Top Christmas Activities
- Vancouver Festivals & Events