A 700-year-old German tradition has found its way to the West Coast with today’s opening of the first Vancouver Christmas Market.
The festive outdoor village outside Queen Elizabeth Theatre features illuminated wooden huts selling Bavarian food and drinks — including bratwurst and mulled wine — as well as hand-made gifts and Christmas goods.
Malte Kluetz, president of the market, said he was inspired to bring a Christmas village to Vancouver after seeing how people were brought together by the Olympics.
“What really struck me was how people embraced all these different cultures,” Kluetz said. “We can’t bring the Olympics back every year but we hope this market becomes a tradition.”
He said Christmas markets have been a part of German culture for 700 years and every village in the country hosts one.
“There’s a huge opportunity for Vancouver, over time, to become a destination.”