On December 3, Water Street will transform into a series of outdoor stages, hosting more than 20 choirs in Vancouver’s first sidewalk carolling competition – Yule Duel. Presented by The Bloom Group and the Gastown Business Improvement Society, the event was inspired by Figgy Pudding, a renowned annual carolling competition and charitable fundraiser in Seattle. Yule Duel aims to raise $20,000 for May’s Place, a hospice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Gentlemen of Fortune Barbershop Chorus

“This is the first time Vancouver will host a carolling competition so we expect it will draw a great crowd,” said Jordan Stewart, President of the Gastown Business Improvement Society. “The evening will feature all different types of music from barbershop harmony to gospel, and draw talent and spectators of all ages.”

Much like Make Music Vancouver, Water Street will be closed to vehicle traffic, with choirs performing at tented locations along the sidewalk. Spectators will be able to wander through the event grounds, taking in each group’s unique sound, and stop for coffee, hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts along the way. It’s bound to be a festive evening that will lead into a weekend packed full of holiday activity, including Sunday’s Santa Clause Parade.

Choirs will showcase their finest costumes, choreographed routines and holiday lyrics in hopes of performing in a sing-off on the main stage and vying for the title of Yule Duel champion. It will be up to a panel of celebrity judges and the spectators themselves to cast votes for their favourite groups. Already on the list to perform are Sweet Scarlet, Sound Eclectic, 8 Wings Vocal Ensemble and the Gentlemen of Fortune, famous for their barbershop style and a cappella music.


8 Wings Vocal Ensemble

Yule Duel is meant to bring people together to celebrate the start of the season with music and merriment, but it’s also carolling for a cause. Choirs will be splitting their time over the next few weeks between practice and fundraising as they drive awareness and financial support for May’s Place.

 “May’s Place provides compassionate end-of-life care to some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Natalie Hill, Marketing and Communications Manager with The Bloom Group. “The interest from choirs, partners and sponsors has been incredible so far – we are confident that we can reach our fundraising goal and put on a great holiday show.”

For more information on Yule Duel, including getting involved as a singer, sponsor or volunteer, visit the official web site here or find it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Want to know more about the choirs who will be performing? Meet Vancouver’s competitive carollers: Part 1.