Christmas play offers gifts for all

Carols in the Candelight performed at First Met in Victoria on Dec. 23 and 24

This Christmas some of Victoria’s top theatre talent have united to offer a special gift to the community.

Under the artistic direction of Britt Small, Sydney Price-Sparling, Mona McGill and Fran Pollet, First Met Victoria’s annual Christmas Pageant Carols in the Candelight reimagines the traditional Christmas pageant production, breathing new life into the concept by presenting an alternative to the traditional nativity story play.

“The script is a collaborative effort – we wrote it ourselves – so this is an entirely unique production,” says Pollet, who serves as minister of music at First Met.

This year pageant goers will see modern-day Santa Claus find his traditional roots when he encounters his namesake, the 4th Century St. Nicholas.

The production aims to appeal to the broader community, religious and non-religious alike, offering an uplifting story and a warm and welcoming environment.

“This truly is a community event in the sense that folks from the broader community who are not necessarily affiliated with the church are involved with the production. Some have been doing so for the past 15 years,” says Pollet.

The service also incorporates musical presentations by Victoria jazz favourite Aidan Miller on piano and Aline Dumalski on violin, as well as traditional carol singing accompanied by brass.

“Through Carols in the Candlelight we hope to help our Victoria community find those transcendent moments of beauty in the Christmas rush, and to remind them that it’s in serving others that we find our best moments,” says Pollet.

Performances of the pageant will be held Dec. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m., with a brass band playing a welcoming set to visitors beginning at 6:45 p.m. A shorter family service for those with young children will also be held at 4:30 p.m. on December 24.

This year’s show has the distinction of being Pollet’s last as minister of music with the church, as she retires from her role next August. Pollet has served in the role since the inception of the church in 1997, when it was formed from the amalgamation of the Metropolitan United and First United churches.

More information on the pageant is available on First Met’s website at firstmetvictoria.com.