Sea to Sky Singers celebrate Christmas across cultures

Midwinter Gift Givers is on early next month

Celebrating everything from the Northern Lights, to Santa Lucia, to the Christmas witch of Italy, anyone listening to the Sea to Sky Singers is in for a treat.

The group is presenting Midwinter Gift Givers – a program of music and story created to honour a variety of traditions in four languages.

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From modern-day Christmastime tales to songs exploring the origins of our most beloved customs, the choir’s own midwinter gift givers will share personal stories that may just remind you a bit of Santa Claus.

“We hope that Squamish comes out to hear songs that honour these figures of myth and legend that are celebrated across cultures and time,” said Veronica McPhee, who has been directing the choir for 15 years.

McPhee was inspired to put this program together after discovering the book History Of Santa, From 2000 BC To The 20th Century by Duncan Royale.

“I was intrigued by the number of characters throughout history, spanning multiple nations, that shared many of the facets of our modern day Santa Claus. I began to research some of the characters and look for choral music that could highlight their stories,” she said, adding that her mother, Myra Gusway, has written monologues for the selected characters, who will appear in costume at the concert.

“We invite everyone to join together in time-honoured carol sing-alongs and be filled with the spirit of giving that is at the heart of the season.”

McPhee, a soprano and choral conductor, is joined by Quest University professor Shira Weidenbaum as the choir’s accompanist.

Midwinter Gift Givers takes place at St. John the Divine Anglican Church on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. On Dec. 2, audience members can “pay what you can” at the door. Advance tickets are available at Anna's Interiors and Concrete Blonde.

For more information on the choir or to get involved, go to



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