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YMCA Carols by Candlelight in 66th Year

MEDIA RELEASE: 11th December 2013

YMCA Carols by Candlelight in 66th Year

The YMCA of Christchurch has hosted the iconic Carols By Candlelight event on Christmas Eve in Christchurch for 66 years.

This YMCA event has always been about celebrating family and family values in a way which is true to the traditional Christmas. It is a humble and down-to-earth event that has resisted commercialization and remained focused on the purpose: to bring the community together to celebrate Christmas.

The YMCA has a long history of providing free, accessible community programmes, services and events, and Carols By Candlelight is a favourite for its spirit of fellowship and family, reflecting YMCA values. The event is financially underwritten by the YMCA although it would not be possible without huge voluntary input and some funding from the Christchurch City Council and Canterbury Community Trust.

Once again Nan Anderson has been pivotal to the success of the carol singing - rehearsing the many choirs involved and providing the inspirational leadership as always to singers of all ages and the Salvation Army Band.

This year the event will be held in Latimer Square as the ‘usual’ home of Victoria Square was severely damaged in the Christchurch quakes. Despite the huge changes our city has seen in the past few years, this event has continued with the same format and the same purpose. Traditional carols are interspersed with a few more well known carols for the kids. Candles and glow sticks are on sale and the thousands of flickering lights on the grass makes for a really Christmassy occasion. Join in and sing, or relax back and listen to the performers while soaking in the magical atmosphere around you.

It’s a great way to avoid Christmas Eve mayhem at home – for families, tourists, and everyone inbetween – this is one of those events which really makes a Southern Hemisphere Christmas feel special.

This year the event is dedicated to Kevin Yee, a long-serving YMCA staff member who died suddenly and unexpectedly this year age 42, leaving behind his wife and two young children.

The event runs on Christmas Eve from 9pm – 10.15pm.


The YMCA of Christchurch is a Charitable Trust which is in its 151st year of community service. The YMCA works in a range of sectors – including outdoor education, health & fitness, recreation, accommodation, early childhood education, youth training, youth development and camping. The YMCA vision is ‘Building Strong People, Strong Families, Strong Communities.’

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