One Night Only Performance Of Christmas Presence

By December 5, 2014Arts/Culture

Gallery 7 Theatre and Pacific Theatre partner to present Christmas Presence

Submitted. Gallery 7 Theatre is once again partnering with Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre to bring Christmas Presence, a collection of songs and stories for the holiday season, to Abbotsford. An ad-hoc gathering of musicians and actors who trade songs and choose readings, Christmas Presence is both everything you might expect from a holiday show, as well as the exact opposite.

Pictured at right: Carolyn Arends

Setting aside the lavish sets and costumes that dominate the season for what Pacific Theatre Artistic Director Ron Reed likes to call “the un-slickest Christmas show in town”, the vibe at Christmas Presence is that of a family gathering that has burst into song – if you happen to have a family of diverse and talented musicians who harbour an equal love for David Sedaris, Stuart McLean, and Madeleine L’Engle.

Ken Hildebrandt, executive artistic director of Gallery 7 Theatre, will be participating in this year’s performance and reflects on the unique partnership of the two theatres in bringing this seasonal favourite to the stage.

“We’re really thrilled to partner with our friends at Pacific Theatre on Christmas Presence,” says Ken Hildebrandt, executive artistic director for Gallery 7. “The show is an eclectic mix of songs, stories and poetry that celebrate Christmas and gets us to ponder the deeper significance of the season. People have really found it to be a touching and uplifting experience, a nice change from all the hustle, bustle and stress that comes with this special time of year.”

This year’s show is headlined by well-known singer-songwriter Carolyn Arends, who celebrated the release of her new Christmas album, “The Story of Stories” at House of James in Abbotsford. Arends has been a part of Christmas Presence for years, crediting the show’s casual nature with its success.

“People don’t really know what it’s going to be,” she says with a laugh, “a group of singers and songwriters come in, some readings are chosen, and this strange sort of magic really rather reliably happens.”

Playing alongside Carolyn Arends will be prolific singer-songwriter Michael Hart, the Mission-based Cathy Hardy, and former Abbotsford resident, jazz musician Nelson Boschman.

Christmas Presence plays for one night only on December 20th @ 8:00 PM at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford.

Tickets can be purchased at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701. They can also be purchased online at For further details, please visit

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