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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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Events

Get in the Christmas spirit with these five local events

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christmas event in surrey
A Wonderheads Christmas Carol via Surrey Civic Theatres / Facebook

The holiday season is here and that means warm drinks, baked treats and heartwarming holiday movies. Due to strict COVID-19 restrictions last year, most people spent the holiday season at home, but this year more events are available to be enjoyed safely.

If you’re looking to enjoy some Christmas carols, watch a play with family and friends or find fun activities for the kids, then look no further than these fun events that will be hosted in Surrey this month.

Swing Dance Christmas

If you have a holiday party to attend this month and you want to brush up on your dancing skills, try taking a swing dancing class. Rock Step Swing Dance is hosting a swing dance Christmas event on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. The class will be 45 minutes and attendees will enjoy some Christmas snacks and a dance session afterwards. The class costs $20 and anyone who wants to attend can get their tickets here. There are 75 spots available in the class.

Alice in Wonderland

The holiday season is also a time to revisit childhood memories by watching a panto. The Royal Canadian Theatre Company will be presenting the play Alice in Wonderland, written by Crystal Weltzin, at the Surrey Arts Centre. The play will run from Dec. 16 to 19, 23, 24 and 26. Tickets cost $34.99 for adults, and $29.99 for seniors over 60 years of age and children under 12. If you want to make it a family outing, there is a group price of $115 for four people.

Christmas Train

For a more active event for children, check out Bear Creek Park’s Christmas train from Dec. 6 to 31, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Families with two children and two adults can pay $35 to attend and single tickets are $11.50. In this train ride, families will get to enjoy all things Christmas like Santa, hot cocoa, Christmas music and pretty lights.

A Christmas Carol

Another Christmas show to check out is A Wonderheads Christmas Carol presented by the Wonderheads at the Surrey Civic theatre on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. If you enjoyed Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you’ll be sure to enjoy this play because this is reportedly an adaptation of the novel. Tickets are $26 for children and $39 for adults and they are going fast.

Christmas Choir

For those who love the sounds of Christmas, check out the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir who will be performing at the Surrey Arts Centre on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. This group of talented men have reportedly been performing in Surrey for the past 30 years. Attendees are required to show their vaccine card and wear a mask, and tickets are $29 and can be purchased here.

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The Surrey Holiday Lights festival is kicking off next week

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Image via Surrey Holiday Lights / Facebook

There is a spectacular and dazzling new light and music festival coming to Surrey Civic Plaza this holiday season called Surrey Holiday Lights.

It will follow the annual Surrey Tree Lighting Festival which takes place on Nov. 20, and will remain open into January. There will be live entertainment, carollers, and an immersive Christmas lights extravaganza.

What to expect at the Surrey Holiday Lights festival 

There will be a tent with Santa and his elves, his workshop, and a holiday house. Enjoy enchanting displays in the Glow Gardens with interactive areas and light tunnels. Then sway to live entertainment taking place at the North Pole and Snowflake stages.

As expected you will be treated with a variety of holiday eats. There will be food trucks serving up mini doughnuts, twisted potatoes, crepes, savoury meals, and many tasty snacks. Stay warm with gourmet hot chocolate, special coffees, or enjoy a craft beer or cooler.

There will also be a chance to catch a glimpse of Santa himself. Santa will be taking free photos through the month of December.

The festival will run daily from Nov. 25 to Jan. 2 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Surrey Civic Plaza, 13450 104 Avenue. For more information, visit www.surreyholidaylights.com.

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A brand new immersive light festival is coming to Surrey next month

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lumagica

The Lumagica light festival is making its Canadian debut right here in Surrey.  

Starting Dec. 3, guests will get to experience a holiday festival of lights like never before. Lumagica is an outdoor/indoor event that is bringing joy and brightness to every city it touches. 

Lumagica, created by MK Illuminations, provides a unique opportunity to get into the holiday spirit. It has been experienced on a global level, and is now coming to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. 

With more than 120 features and ornaments, a light tunnel, magical North Pole village, Gingerbread Lane and a fully lit forest, there is so much to enjoy. You can stroll along a one kilometre light walk and feel the magic of Christmas. Do all this while warming up with a cup of cocoa, mulled wine, or one of the other food and drink options available. 

There will also be an opportunity to visit Jolly Ol’ St. Nick and his cabin in the North Pole. There you will also find a wide array of delicious treats and eats, live entertainment, or go shopping at the marketplace. 

To get the full experience along with memories to take home, be sure to have your camera ready to capture the festive backdrops for holiday photos. 

Lumagica will be held at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey from December 3 to 30, 2021. The immersive experience will be open daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Tickets start is $16 and are available online at lumagica.ca. Children under age 4 are free, and discounts will be offered for families, post-secondary students, and seniors.

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Events

Where to be spooked this Halloween weekend

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Image via Cougar Creek's House of Horrors / Facebook

It’s that time of year where we carve pumpkins, indulge in scary movies, check out haunted houses and fill ourselves up with candy. There are so many local activities in Surrey to partake in this Halloween that it’s hard to pick just one.

If you’re struggling to narrow down how to spend Oct. 31, we’ve put together a list of spooktacular outings that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re looking for a haunted house, a place to enjoy spooky treats or just somewhere to play Halloween games, Surrey has it.

Halloween Pumpkin Express 

For families with young children, Halloween Pumpkin Express will be a good place to check out. It’s at Bear Creek Park and families can enjoy a train ride through the forest. The tickets for the daytime train ride cost $11.50 each for anyone over age 2, and $14.70 for the night train which is recommended for people over the age of 12.

The kids on the train will reportedly receive a snack as they enjoy their ride and a little pumpkin to take home. The day train runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the night train runs from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors

Now, if you’re looking to get scared, look no further. What was formerly known as Potter’s House of Horrors has been renamed to Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors — and it’s just as scary as ever.

Get ready for a double dose of fright because each ticket allows access to two haunted houses. Tickets can be purchased online and the website advises that they sell out fast.

Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors requires proof of full vaccination for customers 12 and up to access the haunted house. You can pick anytime from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the last day to check out this haunted house and it will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. that night.

Mainland Whiskey’s trivia and costume contest 

For costume contests and fun trivia games, Mainland Whiskey, a distillery in South Surrey is offering a fun Halloween night on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. The distillery promises yummy soul food, fun prizes, and spooky cocktails.

The trivia will start at 7 p.m. and space is limited so make sure to arrive on time.

Spooky desserts at Rocky Mountain Chocolate 

Of course the perfect way to end Halloween is with some yummy spooky desserts. Head over to Guildford Town Centre for some sugary treats at Rocky Mountain Chocolate. There are also spooky chocolate packages available online.

Make sure to check out as many fun and frightening places as possible and celebrate safely.

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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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