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(Vancouver, BC) | Artistic Director and cultural leader Rohit Chokhani is pleased to launch Diwali in BC – a new provincial initiative aimed at making Diwali celebrations province-wide over the next five years.

During its launch year, Diwali in BC will explore the artistic theme of Shakti – feminine power – through theatre, dance, film, and culturally specific workshops. The programming will feature works primarily created by women, including Academy Award-nominated Canadian director Deepa Mehta, Dora Award-winning playwright Pamela Mala Sinha, Dr. Aparna Sindhoor along with her pioneering South Asian Contemporary Dance Theatre company Navarasa Dance Theater, rising South Asian award-winning actress Dipti Mehta, and classical dance theatre artist Arno Kamolika.

“After the success of celebrating Diwali through my curation in metro Vancouver over the past four years, it became clear to me that there was a province-wide demand to go beyond metro Vancouver and a need for a new organizational structure to hold this vision for the next five years,” says Chokhani. “Diwali in BC is my response to that need. This year, I am thrilled and honoured to showcase the work of strong, intelligent and incredibly talented women, and hope our city and province embraces this initiative.” The inaugural Diwali in BC will feature the following programming:

Encounter | October 17-22 at the York Theatre | Presented with The Cultch

Navarasa Dance Theatre’s Encounter is a provocative performance blending daring physical theatre with bold storytelling. Inspired by award-winning writer Mahasweta Devi’s short story, and using acrobatics and original music, Encounter is the story of an indigenous woman, her defiance against injustice, and her communities’ struggle to uphold their indigenous way of life. Tickets at 

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan | October 20-November 4 at Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch | Presented with The Cultch | In this one-woman play, award-winning actress Dipti Mehta transports us to Mumbai’s red-light district to spotlight the plight of those trapped in the world of sex trafficking. Tickets at

Anatomy of Violence | November 4 at Cineplex Odeon International Village | Co-presented with Vancouver Asian Film Festival

Deepa Mehta’s film Anatomy of Violence examines one of the country’s most internationally notorious crimes: the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus. In collaboration with theatre director Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, Mehta worked improvisationally with her actors to envisage possible sociological and psychological backgrounds and pasts for both the perpetrators and the victim—highlighting a patriarchal culture, cycle of abuse, and an economic system skewed against the disadvantaged. Film screening followed by panel discussion, “Sparking Celluloid: Filmmaking for Social Change”, comprised of local filmmakers, artists, and social justice workers. Tickets available October 5 at

Happy Place | *October 19-29 at Firehall Arts Centre | Presented by Touchstone Theatre in association with Ruby Slippers Theatre and Diwali in BC

Written by Dora Award-winning actress and playwright Pamela Mala Sinha, whose powerful performance in Nirbhaya (2015) took Vancouver by storm, Happy Place takes us into the experiences of seven women in an in-patient care facility, living together in the most extraordinary circumstances. It is a glimpse into lives filled with courage, compassion, humour, and startling surprise. Happy Place features an amazingly diverse cast of Vancouver actresses with over fifty Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and nominations combined, and the directorial return of acclaimed director, Roy Surette. *Preview on October 19; Production Run, October 20-29. Tickets at

Shyama | November 16 at the York Theatre | Co-presented with Vancouver Tagore Society

A Bharata-Natyam interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore’s epic dance drama ‘Shyama’. Choreographed by Jai Govinda, Artistic Director at Mandala Arts & Culture Society, and performed by his disciple Arno Kamolika, this dance theatre piece is a tribute to India’s highly acclaimed playwright Rabindranath Tagore. Tickets at

Project SAT Workshop Series | Various Dates at Various Venues | In collaboration with New(to)Town Collective

Workshops with Anosh Irani, Dipti Mehta, Rohit Chokhani, and New(to)Town Collective. Schedule details at

Diwali at Evergreen | November 5 at Evergreen Cultural Centre | In collaboration with the TriCity India Heritage Network | As part of the VARIETY SERIES at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, Diwali in BC is proud to bring the Diwali celebrations to Coquitlam. This South Asian, cabaret-style evening features classical, Bollywood, and contemporary dance as well as classical live music performances. Tickets at

For more information on Diwali in BC, visit

About The Author

Daman Beatty

The creator of, Daman Beatty (AKA 'Beatler') is originally from Sackville, New Brunswick. A longtime blogger, visual designer, marketing and communications specialist, Daman loves travel, tech and photography. He has taught online marketing at BCIT, and Brighton College and is also the Marketing Manager for Microsoft Education Partner, CCI Learning.


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