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Rohit Chokhani Announces Diwali in B.C.

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Diwali In B.C. To Take Place October 3 To November 17, Six-Week Event Explores And Celebrates ‘New Horizons’, Through Theatre, Dance, And Culturally Specific Workshops Across Vancouver, Coquitlam, Vernon, Maple Ridge, And Nanaimo. Details At: www.diwalibc.ca

Award-winning Artistic Director of Diwali in B.C., Rohit Chokhani is pleased to announce the 2018 programming for Diwali in B.C. – a provincial initiative aimed at making Diwali celebrations province-wide over the next five years. Launched in 2017 with the artistic theme of Shakti – feminine power – Diwali in B.C. saw huge success with presentations such as Navarasa Dance Theatre’s Encounter, Dipti Mehta’s Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan and Pamela Mala Sinha’s Happy Place, to name a few.

The artistic theme for the 2018 celebrations, which take place October 3 to November 17, is ‘New Horizons’ and features programming in Vancouver, Coquitlam, Vernon, Maple Ridge, and Nanaimo. “In our second bold and ambitious year, we respond artistically to racial tensions and gender abuse that continues to threaten the safety of the world in which we live, with the theme of New Horizons,” says Chokhani.

“In A Vancouver Guldasta, we have fresh conversations around trauma and healing through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family living with a Vietnamese refugee in Vancouver. In The Believers Are But Brothers we take a deeper look at toxic masculinity, and with Shyama we explore different colours of love, the price of desire, forgiveness, and morality through one of India’s most celebrated playwrights – Rabindranath Tagore. Chokhani adds, “We are also excited to expand our Diwali programming to three new cities while we continue to grow and evolve in the existing cities.” Here is a look at the 2018 Diwali in B.C. programming:

A Vancouver Guldasta
October 2-21 at Vancity Culture Lab | Presented with The Cultch
A Vancouver Guldasta focuses on a Punjabi family in Vancouver in the early 1980s as they navigate through the experience of trauma and violence occurring in Punjab, and their daughter’s complicated friendship with a Vietnamese refugee teen who lives in their basement.

The story takes place during the Indian government’s armed invasion of the ‘Golden Temple’ — the holiest shrine of the Sikhs — in the epicentre of the Sikh diaspora, South Vancouver, B.C. A Vancouver Guldasta is an examination of common experience, identifying home, and processing trauma.

Diwali in B.C., Vernon
October 9-13 at various locations in Vernon, including the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre
This inaugural event is presented with the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre and will culminate in a multicultural showcase of diverse artists from different backgrounds.

Activities throughout the week will include workshops, discussions, dance performances, musical performances, cultural activities, and crafts. The festival’s final performance, featuring headliner Shiamak Vancouver, takes place at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, October 13 at 7:00pm.

Shyama | October 27 at the York Theatre
Co-presented with Vancouver Tagore Society and in community partnership with Mandala Arts & Culture Society, with support from BC Arts Council. A Bharatanatyam interpretation of Tagore’s epic Bengali dance drama Shyama with original choreography by Jai Govinda. This dance theatre piece is a tribute to the first non-European Nobel-laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and his magically visual poetry and music of love. Dance artist Arno Kamolika has been collaborating with musician Shankhanaad Mallick and with director Rohit Chokhani for over two years on this production.

Diwali in B.C. will debut their most current version of this poetic, deep philosophical story that will be performed on stage with other Bharatanatyam dancers in B.C.: Grihalakshmi Soundarapandian, Jaylakshmi Ravindra , Malavika Santhosh, and Vidya Kotamraju.

The Believers Are But Brothers
October 30-November 10 at Vancity Culture Lab | Presented with The Cultch
Written and performed by Javaad Alipoor, and co-directed by Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley, The Believers Are But Brothers is an electronic maze of fantasists, meme culture, 4chan, the alt-right, and ISIS. Old orders are collapsing, from the postcolonial nation states of the Middle East to the European Union and to the American election. Through it all, tech-savvy and extremist groups rip up political certainties. Amidst this, a generation of young men find themselves burning with resentment and without the money, power, and sex they think they deserve. This bold one-man show explores the smoke and mirrors world of online extremism, anonymity, and hate speech.

Diwali in B.C., Maple Ridge
November 10 at The ACT Arts Centre
This inaugural event is presented with The ACT Arts Centre. The evening celebrates South Asian culture with classical and contemporary dance as well as live music performances, and a special performance by Shiamak Vancouver.

Diwali in B.C., Coquitlam
November 11 at Evergreen Cultural Centre
Diwali at Evergreen is in its second year and is presented by the Evergreen Cultural Centre. The South Asian themed evening features live music as well as classical and contemporary dance performances, including a special performance by Arno Kamolika.

For more information on Diwali in B.C., visit www.diwalibc.ca.

About Diwali in B.C.

Diwali in B.C. is honoured to have its home on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and Səl̓ílwətaɬ Nations. Diwali in B.C., which falls under the Raghupriya Arts and Culture Society, is a new initiative founded and produced by Rohit Chokhani. After producing and curating numerous Diwali celebrations throughout Metro Vancouver for the last four years, culminating in a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award, Rohit is embarking on this new, bold, and ambitious initiative to make the Diwali celebrations province-wide over the next five years.

This initiative was founded in 2017 in Metro Vancouver. Diwali in B.C. is an annual multicultural, multi-disciplinary, inclusive festival which aims to showcase artists from diverse backgrounds and different abilities to celebrate the festival of lights during the annual Indian New Year. www.diwalibc.ca

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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6 events for you to check out in Surrey: July 1–9

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Surrey events
From ice cream making to free concerts in the park, there is so much to do in Surrey (@thecityofsurrey / Instagram)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.

 

Surrey Canada Day

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. You can check out an Indigenous Village, the Summer Market, or enjoy some live music from artists like Arkells! There will also be plenty of food trucks and amusement park rides to enjoy. You can check out our previous article for a full breakdown of everything happening. 

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey

 

Ice Cream Making

From July 1 to 3 you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm to learn how to make your own homemade ice cream like Surrey residents from the 1900s. Not only that, but you’ll be able to take some home. 

Address: 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey

 

Surrey Rides

 

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If you’re 18 or younger and like to skateboard, bike, or scooter, then head over to South Surrey Youth Park on July 5 from 4 to 8 pm for Surrey Rides. There will be free snacks, good jams, and prize giveaways for everyone who attends. Helmets are mandatory and spectators are welcome. Be sure to visit the City of Surrey website for a full schedule of Surrey Rides. 

Address: South Surrey Youth Park, 14601 20 Avenue, Surrey

 

Sounds of Summer: Sons of Granville

 

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Visit Glades Woodland Garden for a free summer concert with Sons of Granville on July 5. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket or chairs and you’re encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy. Sons of Granville started as a busking duo back in 2010 and have since gained popularity and brought on more band members. This is definitely a concert you won’t want to miss. Gates open at 5 pm and the concert starts at 6:30 pm. 

Address: The Glades Woodland Garden, 457 170 Street, Surrey

 

FVDED in the Park

FVDED in the Park returns to Holland Park this year on July 8 and 9. Headlining the iconic Surrey festival are Illenium, Excision, Rick Ross, and Don Toliver. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them online

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey

 

SHIAMAK: spirit of India

BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company is coming to the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 at 7:30 pm to perform “spirit of India.” This is a celebration of India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, weddings, music, dances, Bollywood, and will include over 90 performers! Tickets start at $36 and can be purchased onlineAddress: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street, Surrey

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BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company, SHIAMAK, is performing “spirit of India” in Surrey

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This event is to celebrate the 75th year of India’s Independence.

SHIAMAK is coming to Surrey on July 8 for the “spirit of India,” a celebration of the 75th year of India’s Independence with music and dance. 

The performance will include India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, flamboyant weddings, magnificent music, exhilarating dances, and, of course, Bollywood — this production manifests the true spirit of India’s multiculturalism.

There will be over 90 different performers who come from all over the Lower Mainland and the performance will include a retelling of the Ramayana, one of the largest ancient epics in world literature.

Not only is this a must-attend event but this will be SHIAMAK’s return to the stage since their last performance in 2019.

You can buy tickets to “spirit of India” online starting at $28. The performance will take place at the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 starting at 7:30 pm. 

Address: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street

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Here’s what to expect from Surrey’s Canada Day Celebration

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Surrey Canada Day
The event will be headlined by Arkells and have an Indigenous Village, amusement rides, a summer market, and more! (City of Surrey / Facebook)

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s celebration. 

 

Music:

There will be musical performances for the entire day with Arkells headlining the show. You can also expect performances from Shawnee Kish, Haviah Mighty, En Karma, Teon Gibbs, Ashley Pater, Glisha, Kung Jaadee, Pleasant Trees, and many more! Plus, all of these performances are free so you can enjoy as much music as you want. 

 

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Summer Market: 

Plenty of local vendors will be making their way to the Canada Day celebration this year, and they’ll be set up in the Summer Market. Some of the vendors include Mysgreen, lil so&so handmades, The Refill Shop, Mountain Mornings, and So Fresh Air Fresheners. 

 

Food Trucks:

No Canada Day celebration is complete without food, and there will be tons of food trucks available for you to choose from. Whether you’re feeling like some delicious sandwiches from Bread and Cheese, Bannock from the Bannock Queen, vegan delights from the Dirty Vegan, Japanese-inspired hotdogs from Japa Dog, or mini donuts from Mr. Ken’s Donuts, Surrey’s Canada Day will have it all! There will be over 30 different food trucks at the event. 

 

Indigenous Village:

For this year, the City of Surrey is putting a big emphasis on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. On the Surrey Canada Day Website, the City said “July 1st is a day to chart a new and better path forward. Together, we can work towards reconciliation and a more equitable society for all. We invite you to come together to experience diverse cultural expression, as well as the best of Canada and its hope for the future. Surrey Canada Day is committed to sharing music, education, entertainment, and the cultural practices of many Indigenous and multicultural artists. Event organizers are working with leaders from land-based Nations and an Indigenous consultant in the planning and programming of this event.”

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration is the Indigenous Village with plenty of different sections to check out. The Siam Stage (which means “Respected Ones” in Coast Salish languages) will feature Indigenous cultural sharing, the Residential School Survivor Honouring Ceremony, and contemporary music performances. There will also be a sharing circle where “the public is invited to participate in discussions with Residential School Survivors to learn first-hand about the hardships they lived through while attending the schools. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet the children of the Residential School Survivors, who will share how their lives were impacted by the inter-generational trauma caused by the Residential School system.” 

In addition, there will be traditional teachings, doll-making demonstrations, game playing from the Onyota’aka Nation with S^yowah (Son-Yo-Wah), ribbon skirt making, and a community mural painting with Brad Henry.

 

Amusement Rides:

If you’re looking for some thrills then you’re in luck, there are plenty of amusement park rides available at Surrey’s Canada Day celebration. You can ride on the Ferris wheel, crash into some bumper cars, get turned around in the Zipper, or walk through the Kreepy Kastle. To get on these rides you must buy tickets, with one ticket costing $1.50. You can also buy 20 tickets for $30 or 40 Tickets for $50. There will be 16 different rides to choose from. 

 

Fireworks:

The celebrations will end with a fireworks display starting at 10:15 pm that you will not want to miss. 

 

For more information on everything happening for Surrey’s Canada Day, be sure to visit https://www.surrey.ca/canadaday/

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey

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7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18

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7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18
There's so much to do in Surrey (Oleg Mayorov / Shutterstock)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.

 

June 10: Seniors Week

Visit the Historic Stewart Farm on June 10 from 11 am to 2 pm for Seniors Week. There will be live music and performers, heritage activities and demonstrations, tours of the 1894 farmhouse, samples of delicious homemade treats, and activities in recognition of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road

 

June 11: Magical QUIRK-E Tour

QUIRK-E (Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elders) is hosting numerous spoken word and video performances at the Museum of Surrey on June 11 from 2 to 4 pm. There will be cartoons, videos, short films, songs, a scene from a play, stories, and poems. This event is 14+. 

Address: Museum of Surrey, 17710 56a Ave

 

June 11: Car-Free Day

Car-Free Day is coming to Surrey Saturday, June 11. This event will turn 137 street into a car-free paradise with tons of local merchants, musicians, and family-friendly activities like balloon twisting, jugglers, and face painting. There will also be a beer garden (for the grown-ups) and plenty of food trucks. 

Address: 7380 King George Blvd

 

June 16–19: Strawberry Tea on the Farm

If you missed Seniors Week, then you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm from June 16–19 for strawberry tea on the veranda. There will also be ice cream and other treats for you to enjoy. Tickets cost $18.20 and you can register for them online or by calling 604-501-5100.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road

 

June 17: Youth Pride Dance

Youth ages 13 to 18 are welcome to attend the Youth Pride Dance, an inclusive and welcoming event to celebrate Pride. There will be dancing (of course), games, snacks, and prizes for the most creative outfits. LGBTQ2S+ and allies can attend this event. Registration for this free event is available online

Address: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Avenue

 

June 18: International Picnic Day

Visit Hazelgrove Park for International Picnic Day on June 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Bring a packed meal and your friends and family to enjoy an evening full of fun activities. There will be mini-golf, storytime, different fun park activities, and different vendors from the Cloverdale Farmers Market. This event is free and open to all ages. 

Address: Hazelgrove Park 7080 190 Street

 

June 18: Surrey Fest

This year is the 22nd anniversary of Surrey Fest! Head over to Holland Park from 11 am to 4 pm to enjoy music, prizes, vendors, and more! This event is free but expect it to get busy. 

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd

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What’s going on for Pride in Surrey 2022

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Here’s a list of some great events happening to celebrate Pride month (City of Surrey)

June is Pride Month, and there are plenty of events happening in Surrey to help you celebrate. So, check out our list of some of these must-attend events. 

June 9: Surrey’s LGBTQ2S+ History

 

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Learn about the history of Pride in Surrey from a panel of LGBTQ2S+ community leaders in an online discussion on June 9 from 6:30 to 8 pm. This event is a collaboration between Surrey Archives, Youth for Change, Sher Vancouver, and Surrey Pride. This event is free to attend and open to all ages, but registration is required. You can register online

Address: Virtual

 

June 11: Magical QUIRK-E Tour

QUIRK-E

QUIRK-E (Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elders) is hosting numerous spoken word and video performances at the Museum of Surrey on June 11 from 2 to 4 pm. There will be cartoons, videos, short films, songs, a scene from a play, stories, and poems. This event is 14+. 

Address: Museum of Surrey, 17710 56a Ave

 

June 17: Youth Pride Dance

Youth ages 13 to 18 are welcome to attend the Youth Pride Dance, an inclusive and welcoming event to celebrate Pride. There will be dancing (of course), games, snacks, and prizes for the most creative outfits. LGBTQ2S+ and allies can attend this event. Registration for this free event is available online

Address: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Avenue

 

June 22: Drag Queen Cash Prize Bingo

Head over to the Central City Taphouse and Kitchen on June 22 from 7:30 to 9 pm for Drag Queen Bingo. You can email president@surreypride.ca to register and for more information. 

Address: Central City Taphouse and Kitchen, 13450 102 Ave

 

June 25: Surrey Pride Festival

 

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The Surrey Pride Festival returns this year on June 25 from 4 pm till 9 pm at the Plaza at Central City Mall. Expect performances from Jesse Schult, Jason Qiu, Short Notice, Reckless (a Bryan Adams Tribute Band), and plenty of drag performances from the likes of Justin Abit, Jaylene Tyme, and Jolene. Expect a full evening of activities and fun. 

Address: 10153 King George Blvd

 

For more information on these events and everything else happening this Pride, visit surreypride.ca

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