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Celebration of International Yoga Day

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The United Nations declared June 21st as International Day of Yoga and since 2015 this day is celebrated by practitioners of Yoga everywhere.  Yoga exercises, breathing techniques and meditational focus are increasingly popular among various communities aspiring for physical fitness and mental wellbeing.

Yoga is known to promote a healthier lifestyle and research identifies the important role Yoga can play in prevention and treatment of illnesses. These benefits include improved cardiovascular health, blood pressure control, reduction in chronic back pain, managing diabetes, stress relief and many more. Yoga isn’t as simple as taking a pill, but mounting evidence suggests it can have a transformational effect on our health as well as our thinking and our lives.

Yogasana (physical postures) and Pranayama (breathing technique) are the most popular aspects of Yoga practised today for good health and mental well-being. Deeper dimensions included in the eight limbs of Yoga refer to moral and ethical behaviour, virtuous habits, self-control, introspection and meditation. ‘Yoga’ means union.

Yoga refers to a union of mind and body to ultimately transcend our physical identity and control our thoughts, our mind, our emotions and senses. This state of joyful equanimity leads to perceiving a union with all other humans and all of nature connected as one consciousness. A ‘Yogi’ experiences all existence as one energy manifesting itself in various forms. The International Yoga Day celebration seeks to promote this holistic universal appeal of Yoga for sustainable living, peace and harmony as members of one human family sharing one common precious home.

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Local Yoga Providers:

On Saturday, June 24 join the International Day of Yoga free celebration at Langara College from 9 am to 12 pm. Over 200 participants will be on campus practicing traditional yoga techniques and learning about the history of this 5,000-year-old practice.

Another event is organized at the Punjab Bhawan on June 24 from 5 pm to 7 pm. A free Yoga day session and meal is also offered at the David Brankin Elementary School on Sunday June 25th from 10 am to 12 pm. For more information: drpreeti.vishwa@gmail.com

Greater Vancouver is home to many organizations that offer training in Yoga with a holistic approach. The Art of Living Foundation Centre offers programs all over the lower mainland, specifically Surrey, New Westminster, Vancouver and Richmond. Their ‘Happiness Program’ focussing on breathing techniques, some physical exercises and practical wisdom is popular.

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Raghuvir, one of the instructors combines musical arts, natural aesthetics and personal anecdotes to reinvigorate vital energies in the classroom and reverse negative emotions. His invitation is simple and very powerful, “Those attending the session are essentially aiming to be a little happier. “ Spiritual Guru of the Foundation, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar will be visiting the Art of Living retreat centre in Quebec between July 9th and July 16th to offer Yoga courses, meditation and other programs.

Isha Foundation founded by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev a yogi, visionary, and one of the foremost authorities on yoga offers yoga programs under the name Isha Yoga. Isha is offering a Meditation for Beginners (Free Class) at the Capilano Library on Saturday June 17 at 3 pm. A 1 hour introduction to inner engineering is offered free at Asian Centre, University of British Columbia on June 22 at 6:30 pm. Email enquiries to vancouver@ishafoundation.org or phone 604.900.1913

Ava Schriver Dunn has been practising Isha yoga and breathing techniques for years and says it has been a life transforming experience, ” Since learning Shambhavi Kriya directly from Sadhguru just over 2 weeks ago, and practicing this powerful process for twice a day, I can honestly say I finally feel I have found the missing link to my overall health and well-being.

In this short time, I am no longer chronically fatigued, I require less sleep every night, I am more energetic, my joints are no longer chronically inflamed, and the food intolerances are subsiding; I feel more alive and have a spring in my step I haven’t had for a very long time. I am now excited about my future and looking forward to experiencing a more vibrant, healthy, and long Life.”

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Asmita has been blogging for several years about food security, travels, faith, arts and culture. She enjoys community reporting to participate in the local conversation. She founded ‘Culture Chats’ promoting social connections through shared interests in literary and other arts. Asmita has over ten years’ experience in marketing and communications. Her professional interests include business strategy and relations, research and community development. Her family and two little ones are the center of her world.

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There could be another music festival coming to Surrey this fall

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Holland Park Surrey Fvded

The FVDED in the Park music festival last weekend was just the beginning. Music lovers in Surrey can get geared up for another festival coming their way — the Contact Winter Music Festival.

The Contact Festival pulled off an epic show in Vancouver earlier this year. In February the show took place on the roof of BC Place Stadium. Fans were able to watch virtually and enjoy live music to beat the pandemic blues.

Now it appears that the Contact Festival may take place in October at Surrey’s Holland Park.

There haven’t been a lot of details released to confirm the event, nor tickets on sale, however Stay Happening has announced that the festival will take place from October 8 to 10, 2021.

Contact Festival & The Organizers

The Contact Winter Music Festival has been running since 2012, and normally takes place inside BC Place, hosting 36,000 people. The music played and presented is the best in EDM (electronic dance music). The 2-day festival highlights up-and-coming Canadian artists.

This event normally takes place in December, but was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Event organizers then put together a virtual performance that was broadcasted live from the roof of BC Place.

Now there are murmurs of the festival taking place in Holland Park this October, perhaps to a smaller degree.

FVDED in the Park just wrapped up on September 11 at Surrey’s Holland Park, and this festival is brought on by the same event organizers, BluePrint. FVDED also brought together technical and electronic music, with headliners such as DeadMau5.

BluePrint operates venues like Celebrities Night Club on Davie Street, Venue on Granville Street and the Fortune Sound Club on East Pender, all in Vancouver.

Holland Park

Holland Park is a popular park in Surrey’s City Centre and is located beside Central City. The park is huge, covering 10 hectares. Although it isn’t the largest park, it is often referred to as the “Central Park” of Surrey.

One of the main draws for Holland Park is its ability to host events. There have been numerous events and festivals organized at this park over the years. 

Fans are excited to learn more details about the Contact Festival in hopes that Surrey’s City Centre will get another major event.

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Internationally awarded youth led Surrey based organization puts on successful online conference in-spite of COVID

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Pre-COVID Spark group photo

SPARK Foundation Canada has hosted their, first of many, fully virtual conference Leaders Today! SPARK foundation is a non-profit organization made up of 16-23 year old leaders empowering the next generation through in person, and online life education: workshops, camps and community programs. They also work towards accomplishing the United Nations sustainable development goals: Quality Education, Sustainable Cities & Communities, Climate Action and Peace Justice and Strong Institutions!

The live event took place on Sunday November 15, with guest speakers Anjali Dhaliwal and Abhay Sachal. The audience hailed from all over the lower mainland ranging from students as young as 13 to 21.

Sarah Cheng, Volunteer Engagement Lead & Srusti Subash, Marketing Lead along with the efforts of Rochelle Prasad, CEO/ Co-Founder of SPARK Foundation, have meticulously organised this conference for youth in High School and University. It centered around an idea to inspire youth to engage in their communities amidst the pandemic despite the restrictions imposed on traditional volunteering opportunities.

Anjali Dhaliwal, CEO of Youth Helping Youth, was the first speaker introducing the importance of personal branding. She spoke intimately of personal experiences that led to her growth and success encouraging the conference attendees to explore new things and find their passion.

Abhay Sachal, spoke about his journey to the Arctic that incited the urge to create an international organization advocating for climate justice where he became Co-Founder of Break The Divide. Through various activities connecting with their audience, both speakers were exceptional in delivering their thoughts and empowering those watching.

The conference ran for 2 and a half hours with a fun activity midway through where participants were placed in breakout sessions and given the prompt: if your team owned a cookie shop, what would they name it? This activity brought about a variety of responses developed from imaginative or analytical points of view.

When the audience was asked what they thought of the event, responses were overwhelmingly positive. Viewers spoke on how the conference impacted them where they’ve realised “Climate change has inequitable impacts on marginalized and minority communities. Leadership requires truly genuine passion for building a better community, nation, and world because we want to make everything better than how we found it.”

Aside from this conference, SPARK Foundation has provided youth across Canada volunteering opportunities through their General Ambassador Program which focuses on media and marketing, a skill set that has become extremely important to this generation.

SPARK Foundation has also contributed to their communities by organizing several Covid Relief Projects by delivering over 300 care packages of essential items to low income families and over 200 meals to essential workers in Surrey, BC.

For future events or more information visit www.sparkfoundation.ca

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2020 Vancouver Queer Film Festival Shifts to Digital Platform

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Out On Screen Announces Interim Executive Director, Festival Dates, Gala Films, & Creative Design Tickets on Sale July 13 at queerfilmfestival.ca

(Vancouver, B.C.) – Out On Screen is proud to present a virtual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) this summer from Thursday, August 13 to Sunday, August 23, 2020. Announced today, VQFF and Out On Screen as a whole will be guided by the leadership of new Interim Executive Director, Brandon Yan. Brandon has served as Out On Screen’s Deputy Executive Director and was previously the Director of Education for Out In Schools.

“I am more than delighted to continue to be of service to Out On Screen and the communities I so deeply care about,” says Yan. “In times like these, the importance of art and storytelling is even more apparent. We must remain committed to being a platform to uplift and celebrate the LGBT2Q+ stories at the margins.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 32nd annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival has adapted to an online format in order to offer at-home audiences the best in independent queer cinema along with workshops, artist Q&As, panels, parties and – most importantly – the feeling of gathering with friends and kin.

Out On Screen is working hard to ensure this year’s Festival is accessible and safe for community members who are immunocompromised or part of another vulnerable sector. Tickets for VQFF 2020 will be available to the public on July 13 at www.queerfilmfestival.ca. Tickets range in price from $10 to $14 with a special COVID19 access pricing ranging from $2-$5.

Curated by Artistic Director, Anoushka Ratnarajah, the theme of this year’s Festival is “Still Here”. “VQFF is on this August, and will feature films and interdisciplinary programming from queer filmmakers and artists whose work shows the many ways we fight for the fullness of our lives, for what and who we love, and for our shared futures,” says Ratnarajah. “Our theme this year is ‘Still Here’, because our survival is an inevitable miracle. Nothing can stop us from taking root; we will always reach for the light and sky.”

Illuminating and celebrating LGBTQ2+ lives in all their dimensions and complexity, VQFF is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada. Welcoming its presenting sponsor RBC once again, this year’s Festival will open on August 13th with a soon to be announced Opening Gala film and a virtual celebration of our local queer community.

The Festival’s Centrepiece Gala film is Lingua Franca, an ambitious feature film that follows a trans Filipina migrant as she navigates being undocumented in a Trump-era America. The film is written, directed by and stars trans actress Isabel Sandoval, who will join audiences virtually to discuss the film in a digital Q&A.

VQFF will once again feature a variety of youth focused programming, including a Youth Gala screening of the inspirational documentary Changing The Game, which follows three boundary-breaking young trans athletes changing the face of sports in their communities and across the United States.

The Festival will continue to celebrate B.C.’s most standout emerging and established filmmakers with Festival favourite, The Coast is Queer – an evening dedicated to local talent. Finally, this year’s VQFF will close with the heartwarming queer Muslim romantic comedy, Breaking Fast, directed by Mike Mosallam.

The 2020 VQFF program will be available online at www.queerfilmfestival.ca on July 13, 2020.

For more information, please visit the following platforms:

Website: www.queerfilmfestival.ca
Instagram: www.instagram.com/queerfilmfest
Facebook: www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF
Twitter: www.twitter.com/queerfilmfest (#VQFF2020)

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3 Way to Celebrate Father’s Day this weekend!

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OPTION 1

Why not crack a cold one & fire up the grill with dad, and serve up a feast with Stanley Park Brewing’s do-it-yourself BBQ Kit? They’ll prep all the ingredients and you’ll do all the cookin’. And they’ve partnered with Filson to add a little something to keep your dad’s beer cold on Father’s Day. Receive one insulated stainless-steel can cooler with your kit. *While supplies last.

Order your Father’s Day BBQ Kit here: https://stanleyparkbrewstore.com/products/fathers-day-bbq-kit-with-filson-gift. Kits are available for 2, 4, and 6 people. Depending on the size of kit, you will receive a mix of the following at different quantities: lemon and herb marinated chicken, 8oz steaks, burgers with all the fixings (6 person kit only), Sunsetter baked beans, child lime roasted corn, sweet potato salad, coleslaw, and homemade cornbread.

Finish off your order by adding on a 6-pack of your choice. Our recommended beer pairing would be Stanley Park Brewing’s new Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale!

Note: All orders must be placed by 3pm on Wednesday, June 17th. Packages are available for pick-up at Stanley Park Brewing Restaurant & Brewpub on Saturday, June 20th or Sunday, June 21st.

OPTION 2

Looking to take Dad out to celebrate? The Stanley Park Brewing Restaurant and Brewpub will be having a special dine-in only Father’s Day Feast Menu for $38 per person. You can also add a pint of flight of your choice for only $5.75 (happy hour pricing)! The menu includes: Pretzel with spicy mustard and Noble Pilsner beer cheese, half a pound of Chicken Wings, Halibut n Chips with coleslaw, and a Cheesecake by The Cheesecake Factory Bakery for dessert.

OPTION 3

Want to give Dad some TLC?

Filson and Fortknight Barbers, two Gastown staples, have teamed up to help you give dad a gift he’s going to love. We all need a little TLC as we re-enter the world after our little time-out and what better way than with a stylish professional haircut and a brand new Button up shirt. On top of that a very special gift from Stanley Park Brewing.

Here’s how it works:

01. Dad books a time for a haircut with Fortknight Barbers. Capacity is limited due to safety protocols, so please book this appointment first. Fortknight Barbers | 46 Alexander St | 604-620-7930

02. Call Filson to schedule a private shopping time either before or after your cut. They have set up the space in the back of the store just for private shopping and a sanitized fitting room will be reserved for you. Filson | 47 Water St |604-689-1836

03. Your shirt, along with any other purchases, will be steamed for sanitization and packaged along with your special gift of a 6-pack of Waypoint Hazy Pale Ale from Stanley Park Brewing. You can either take it with you from Filson, or they will deliver it to you at Fortknight once you’ve been all cleaned up.

This package is $140 including all taxes and is available for purchase through either the Filson or Fortknight Barbers locations. They will provide you with a certificate at time of purchase that will need to be presented at each establishment to redeem. While the Filson location will be open only for curbside pickup prior to Father’s Day, you can call ahead and pay for it and then they will hand you the certificate at the front door when you arrive, or they can mail it to you if you prefer.

This package is a great way to treat yourself, a friend, a dad or any guy you know that just needs a little pampering. Quantities are limited, so please order today.

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The Punjabi Market Goes Virtual for its 50th Anniversary

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  • May 31st, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Vancouver’s Punjabi Market
  • The Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective presents “PM50” on May 31st
  • “PM50” will be a virtual celebration, streamed on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram
  • The Punjabi Market Regeneration is a registered nonprofit organization that seeks to revitalize the Punjabi Market in Vancouver thus facilitating opportunities for cultural belonging and also economic success for business owners

Vancouver, B.C.​ – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Punjabi Market, The ​Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective​ presents “PM50”, taking place virtually on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube on Sunday, May 31st, 2020. Hosted by Hockey Night in Punjabi’s Amrit Gill, the livestream will feature an interview with the Market’s first shop owner, Mr. Sucha Singh Claire, and performances by Shaan-e-Punjab, Nachiye, and Amarjeet and Baljit Singh.

The Punjabi Market runs along Main Street, from 49th to 51st, and is the oldest “Little India” in North America. In 1983, the Punjabi Market became home to the world’s first set of street signs written in Punjabi script outside of India. Michael Lee, MLA for Vancouver-Langara opined that “[the] Punjabi Market is an important part of the historical and cultural history of both the city of Vancouver and of my riding, Vancouver-Langara.

Since the first store opened in 1971, the Punjabi Market has been considered a place to support cultural identity as is demonstrated every year by the sheer number of upwards of 100,000 attendees at the annual Vaisakhi Parade through the Punjabi Market.”

The 50th Anniversary celebration will include an online shopping portal that aims to support business owners with recovery following the economic impact of the pandemic. In addition, the celebration includes a piece of public art by PMRC Creative Director, Jag Nagra, that will be unveiled closer to the date of the celebration. The event is a collaboration between the Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective, South Asian Arts Society, Indian Summer Arts Society, 5X Festival, Daily Hive, Westcoast Foundation, and the City of Vancouver.

PM50 Details

Date: ​May 31st, 2020
Time: 7:10 – 7:40 PM
Location: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube

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