B.C. EVENTS: For the week of Saturday, December 14

(These are FREE listings. Submit your event / announcement at [email protected] in typed format as early in the week as possible. No posters please.)

Annual Victor Ghirra Toy Drive

13th Annual Victor Ghirra toy drive grand toy count on Saturday, December 14, from 12-2:30 p.m. at Riverside Banquet Hall, 14500 River Road, Richmond, will strive to hit 40,000+ toys over its 13-year existence. Santa’s helpers from across the Lower Mainland will gather in Richmond for a grand toy count that will be helping over a dozen good causes this year.  Everyone is invited to bring a new toy and enjoy holiday cheer with activities for kids, treats and a photo booth with Santa. Victor’s toy drive started in 2007, when he passed away suddenly leaving behind his wife, and four young sons. It was later discovered that Victor had quietly been purchasing thousands of dollars in toys for Children’s Hospital, and donating them to needy children who weren’t as lucky as his own. Victor’s golden heart inspired a toy drive, which in the past 12 years, has collected 37,650+ toys and distributed to dozens of non-profit organizations.

Gingerbread Village: Surrey

Display Dates: Until December 15. Address: Central City Shopping Centre – in front of Winners (10153 King George Boulevard). Time: Display open during mall hours Cost: No cost to participate, donations from “People’s Choice” votes go to Surrey Christmas Bureau.

Muriel Arnason Library: Christmas Cheer

Monday, December 16, 3-4:30 p.m.: Muriel Arnason Library presents its annual ‘Christmas Cheer’ event with a new twist. Join the celebration and experience the magic of our green screen: have your picture taken with a Christmas background of your choice. Staff will email you your holiday photo. The event will include colouring sheets and crafts for children. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening to seasonal music from the library’s collection. Different cultures celebrate Christmas in different ways. Join us and share how your family celebrates. Enter the draw to win our special Christmas gift. This is a free, drop-in program for all ages.

Muriel Arnason Library is located at 20338 – 65th Avenue. Phone: 604-532-3590.

Sai Japa

All devotes are invited at Shiv Mandir at 5600 Dorset Street, Burnaby, on Saturday, December 14 at 5 p.m. Phone: 604-254-2624. Program: 5:15 -6:15 p.m. Bhajan Kirtan; 6:30-7:15 p.m. Sai Japa; 7:30 p.m. Priti Bhojan. Contact. Suresh Desai at 604-523-9360,  Raju Parekjh at 604-327-8259 or Vijay Dayal at 604-770-0515.

Help “Pack the Police Car” for Surrey Food Banks

The Surrey RCMP holiday tradition continues: It’s time to “Pack the Police Car” in aid of the Surrey Food Banks. For more than a decade, our community has generously supported those in need by filling police cars with food and cash donations at “Pack the Police Car” events across the city. Over the years, our community has provided tons of food and thousands of dollars in support of our local food banks. Surrey RCMP is inviting the community to “Pack the Police Car” again this year. The remaining events are taking place onThursday, December 19 at two Save on Foods locations: * 4-8 p.m., City Centre / Whalley: Save on Foods (10312 King George Boulevard) * 4-8 p.m., Fleetwood: Save on Foods (9014 152nd Street). Police officers and volunteers will be on-site collecting non-perishable food and cash donations in support of the Surrey Food Bank, Sources Food Bank, and the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program. Local food banks graciously accept donations including grocery gift cards and monetary donations and suggest the following non-perishable food donations: canned protein (fish and meat), canned fruit and vegetables, meals in a tin, wholegrain rice, pasta and pasta sauces, healthy canned soup, and baby formula. The Surrey Food Bank also accepts general baby supplies for its Tiny Bundles program. For more information or to donate, visit the websites for the Surrey Food Bank and Sources Food Bank and Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program.

Shakti Dance Society

Shakti Dance Society invites its members and friends to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, December 20 at 7 p.m. at 2718 West 22nd Avenue, Vancouver. In order to vote at the AGM, you must be a current member of the society. The annual membership fee is $10 and may be paid at the door (cash or cheque). A membership form is available on the website at http://www.shaktidancesociety.com/contact. The agenda will include: * Approval of minutes of the last AGM – December 16, 2018 * Financial report – 2018 & 2019 financial statements to June 30 * President’s report * Artistic Director’s report * Election of board of directors for 2020

Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market, returns to celebrate its 10th anniversary season at Jack Poole Plaza (at the Olympic Cauldron), Vancouver Convention Centre West, 1055 Canada Place, from now to December 24, 11:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. (December 24: closes at 6 p.m.) The authentic German market amplifies its festive offerings with more than 80 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, and treasures, coupled with large-scale activities and live entertainment. This season, the Vancouver Christmas Market partners again with Children’s Wish Foundation, BC & Yukon Chapter. Ticket Prices: Online admissions: Adult $12.99, Seniors $10.99, Youth $6.99 (includes free 2019 Season Pass. Upgrade to Fast Pass for $3.99). Gate Admissions: Adult $15, Seniors $13, Youth $9 (Children 6 and under are free). Upgrade to a Fast Pass on site for $5.

Website: vancouverchristmasmarket.com

PLEA Poetry / Short Story Youth Contest

Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) is inviting original poems and / or short stories (in Punjabi) from people aged 21 and under. Stories and poems can be submitted via e-mail to Balwant Sanghera (b_sanghera @yahoo.com) or Sadhu Binning (sadhu.binning @gmail.com) on or before February7, 2020. A panel of experts will select the top six stories / poems. The writers of these works will be invited to share them with the audience on February 22, at the International Mother Language Day Celebration to be held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey. Each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation. Selected top six writers will receive Certificates of Participation and other prizes including cash. For further information, contact Balwant Sanghera at 604-836-8976 or Sadhu Binning at 778-773-1886.

(For more events, visit the “Events” section of our website at voiceonline.com)