Shan E Punjab's Little Stars Bhangra Team

The 2012 HSBC City of Bhangra Festival returns to Vancouver (and expanding this year into Surrey) for 11 days of spirited and colourful art, dance, and community, from May 31 to June 10.

This morning I attended the media launch at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens to listen in on the festival’s plans.

Mo Dhaliwal giving opening remarks
[Mo Dhaliwal giving opening remarks]

Mo Dhaliwal greeted the crowd with opening remarks, and I had the chance to say a quick hello to Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society (VIBC) Media Director Sukhi Ghuman before the festivities kicked off.

Sukhi Ghuman, Media Relations Manager, VIBC
[Sukhi Ghuman, Media Relations Manager, VIBC]

We were treated to Indian specialities as two performances gave the crowd a peek into some of the 2012 highlights.

rePercussion Drum Trio
[rePercussion Drum Trio]

Sal Ferreras, VCC Dean of Music
[Sal Ferreras, VCC Dean of Music]

rePercussion Drum Trio will be kicking off the festival at Surrey’s Art Centre on opening night, May 31. The drums of the world will descend on Surrey, the second largest Punjabi settlement outside of India. The range of drumming will meld Chinese, Afro-Cuban, Punjabi and Brazilian styles as this group, led by VCC’s Dean of Music Sal Ferreras, takes the stage.

Shan E Punjab's Little Stars Bhangra Team

Shan E Punjab's Little Stars Bhangra Team

Shan E Punjab's Little Stars Bhangra Team

One of my favourite performers are Shan E Punjab Art Club’s Little Stars Bhangra Team. Don’t miss the chance to see them perform during City of Bhangra 2012.

Shan E Punjab's Little Stars Bhangra Team

Other key events will include Mehfil Night, and open mic style event and dinner at Bombay Se in Surrey. Bring your Punjabi songs of childhood and enjoy dinner together with folk music and storytelling. The event is free with dinner reservation.

Many young performers will be taking part in June 2nd’s Celebrate the Harvest event at Central City Plaza in Surrey. This is a collaboration of Bhangra with the Jewish Cultural Centre that should make for one amazing cultural mashup!

On Friday, June 8, Basement Bhangra will get underway at the W2 Media Café at Woodwards. Join DJ Rehka, known for her packed Manhattan basement bhangra nights, in addition to UK based Dalvinder Singh, a traditionalist who will take the crowd back to original bhangra roots.

Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10 will feature 20 hours of free live music and dance at Vancouver’s Art Gallery Plaza. A diversity of communities will take part and as usual, this is a great way to head downtown and get your bhangra fix.

A closing gala and wrap party will take place on Sunday, June 10 at HSBC’s Pendulum Gallery downtown. Volunteers (numbering over 1,000) and performers will get the chance to mingle, taste Punjabi bites and wine from an assortment of BC vineyards, and enjoy an evening of music and dance. Tickets are available at $35 and the event will go from 8 pm to midnight.

UBC Girlz and Shan-E-Punjab Little Stars
[UBC Girlz and Shan E Punjab’s Little Stars at 2011 City of Bhangra Festival]

There’s so many more events to check out, so I’ll leave you with the festival’s dedicated website to peruse for more information. Also worth mentioning is the Festival Pass for $80, valued at over $150 plus extra perks.

If last year’s festival events are anything like 2012’s, we’re all in for a treat, from Vancouver straight down to Surrey!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.