HSBC City of Bhangra, North America’s Largest Bhangra Festival

North America’s Largest Bhangra Festival

The festival, organized by the non-profit, VIBC Society, encourages cultural exploration and community participation though a diverse series of events highlighting the Northern Indian art form of Bhangra. The festival will include free concerts and dance performances at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Bhangra workshops, a Bhangra conference and percussion events. This year VIBC will be introducing its newest event, Celebrate the Harvest, a Bhangra block party in Surrey where the beats, rhythms and movements of Bhangra will have your heart beats racing.

“Every year the VIBC Society aims to push the boundaries about what Bhangra is and how it is performed,” says Sukhi Ghuman, VIBC Director. “In our eight year we are revitalizing the entire festival by taking a form of dance and music created hundreds of years ago in celebration of the Harvest in Punjab, India and bringing it to Vancouver and Surrey, making it accessible to people of all cultures, with more than half the festival events being free of charge.”

HSBC City of Bhangra, North America’s Largest Bhangra Festival

“Every year the VIBC Society aims to push the boundaries about what Bhangra is and how it is performed,” says Sukhi Ghuman, VIBC Director. “In our eight year we are revitalizing the entire festival by taking a form of dance and music created hundreds of years ago in celebration of the Harvest in Punjab, India and bringing it to Vancouver and Surrey, making it accessible to people of all cultures, with more than half the festival events being free of charge.”

This year the festival includes many cross-cultural collaborations, including a Jewish/Bhangra performance, to rePercussion led by Sal Ferreras, to the FREE outdoor concert at Celebrate the Harvest and two days of VIBC’s Downtown Bhangra. The festival will conclude with special performances by folk singing sensation, Dalvinder Singh and Tarli Digital, musical guests Bikram Singh, Bhangra inspired violinist, Violinder and JK from the United Kingdom, and the world’s first female Bhangra DJ credited with introducing Bhangra music to North America, DJ Rekha.

For more information about the HSBC City of Bhangra Festival, visit www.cityofbhangra.com

 HSBC City of Bhangra Festival

VIBC Event Listings

HSBC City of Bhangra, North America’s Largest Bhangra Festival

Thursday, May 31: rePercussion

7:30 pm – Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88th Avenue, Surrey

Tickets $20 at TicketsTonight.ca

What happens when the drums of the world come together? A tour de force of cultural expression and innovation in percussion. Led by Sal Ferreras this event explores percussion and folk drumming from the variety of cultures that represent Vancouver. From Chinese to an Afro-Cuban, to a melding of Punjabi and Brazilian styles, rePercussion explores the percussive traditions from around the world —distinct in their style—beating as one.

Friday, June 1: Mehfil Night

8:00pm – Bombay Se, 7500 120 Street, Surrey

FREE with Dinner Reservation

Enjoy a delicious Indian dinner while serenaded by local talent that provides an intimate experience and engagement with Punjabi folk music through song and storytelling. Trios of performers, featuring a table maestro, vocalist and sitar player, will provide audiences with a rich experience of the Punjabi folk stories, rhythms and musical compositions that provide the foundation – the soul – to the popular forms of Bhangra today.

Saturday, June 2: Celebrate the Harvest

3:00pm – 8:00pm – Central City Plaza, Surrey

FREE

Brace yourself for wild dance routines, amazing bands and all the Bhangra you can handle! Enjoy performances by the best Punjabi dancers and musicians and learn a few new Bhangra moves along the way. Featuring Vancouver’s finest talent from dhol drummers, to singers to Bhangra dancers and a host of cultural mashups! We’ve also partnered with the Jewish Cultural Centre to feature a joint performance between Israeli and Punjabi artists.

Sunday, June 3: Bhangra House

1:00pm – 5:00pm – Newton Cultural Centre, 13530 – 72 Ave, Surrey

FREE

Learn from the region’s foremost practitioners as we explore the full range of Punjabi folk dances that comprise bhangra, such as luddi, jhummar and dhammal, and provide engagement for all skill levels. Led by award-winning Bhangra performers, the Bhangra House workshops provide an accessible environment for attendees to learn the foundations of Bhangra dance. Beginning with basic movements and the dhol rhythms that accompany them, workshop attendees will learn to harness both the power and grace in the movements of Bhangra.

Monday, June 4: Lunchtime Concerts

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Central City Mall, Surrey

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Corner of Robson & Howe, Vancouver

FREE

It’s Bhangra where you work! What better way to start off the workweek than with some joyful music and a little workplace celebration? Our Lunchtime Concerts series features folk and classical performers in some prominent thoroughfares in Surrey and Vancouver. Whether moving between meetings on Robson Street or just stepping out to grab a bite to eat in Central City, many workers and passers-by will hear the percussion and melodies of Punjabi folk music – everyday settings for a beautiful experience.

Tuesday, June 5: Bhangra on Main

 8:00 pm – Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver

Tickets $29 at TicketsTonight.ca

Music on Main and the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration join forces for an evening celebrating the origins of Bhangra in an intimate concert that traces Bhangra’s roots to traditional Punjabi folk music. Raju Johal, a skilled singer, musician and dancer, will present classic folk songs as well as soulful interpretations of more contemporary Bhangra music.

Thursday, June 7: Bhangra Love

10:00pm – Ginger 62, 1219 Granville Street, Vancouver

Tickets $15 at TicketsTonight.ca

The Love for Bhangra never dies! Join us on Thursday, June 7 for amazing Bhangra beats as local DJ’s spin Bhangra and Bollywood top favourites. This is also your opportunity to dance the night away with the HSBC City of Bhangra Festival performers, volunteers and international artists.

Friday, June 8: Bhangra Village

10:00am – 4:00pm – SFU Woodward’s, Vancouver

FREE with Registration

Interactive workshops, live demonstrations and master classes led by acclaimed Bhangra practioners, will have youth performers and international superstars discussing and collaborating in the performance of Bhangra. Workshops will create opportunities for emerging singers, musicians and dancers to interact with and learn from seasoned masters in the field. Professional development workshops by leading associations and government agencies appeal to burgeoning performers as they navigate the arts and cultural landscape.

Friday, June 8: Basement Bhangra: Vancouver

9:00pm to Late – W2 Media Café, Woodward’s Heritage Building, Vancouver

Tickets $15 at TicketsTonight.ca (19+, No Minors)

The HSBC City of Bhangra Festival wouldn’t be complete without an opportunity to dance the night away! DJ Rekha is a London-born musician, producer, curator, and activist who’s credited with introducing Bhangra to North America via Basement Bhangra—a wild parties have been going on for 15 years in New York City, truly a fixture in the club scene and an internationally recognized institution. This night, DJ Rekha spins her Bhangra selects, joined by many festival performers.

Saturday, June 9: Downtown Bhangra

12:00pm – 9:00pm, Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza

FREE

Live dhol drum and electrifying bhangra bands will launch Downtown Bhangra I. Dance alongside Vancouver’s finest drummers, beat-boxers, bhangra dancers, break-dancers and folk dancers together. You’ll enjoy musical arts, percussion troupes and a handful of prominent bhangra dance teams. Special performances by Birds of Paradoxx, U.K’s Dalvinder Singh and New York’s Bikram Singh.

Saturday, June 9: Ambassadors of Bhangra I

9:00pm – Late, W2 Media Café, Woodward’s

$15 at TicketsTonight.ca (19+, No Minors)

Haven’t had enough Bhangra madness? Head over to Ambassadors of Bhangra featuring the talents of premier DJ’s and percussionists. Having played in every corner of the U.K., Tarli Digital is the perfect candidate to bring the U.K. flavour to the HSBC City of Bhangra and rock the crowd. Attended by festival performers, volunteers, festival attendees and featuring the combined talents of all HSBC City of Bhangra performers on stage, this is a Bhangra Party not to be missed.

Sunday, June 10: Downtown Bhangra II

12:00pm – 8:00pm, Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza

FREE

In a new open air format, the second day of our Downtown Bhangra stage is sure to take the HSBC City of Bhangra’s energy level to new heights. Enjoy special performances by international artists Violinder Raginder Momi, Sukhi Khan, Idu Sharif, JK, DJ Rekha and Jelly. Plus, cheer on Vancouver’s local superstars, Tambura Rasa and Raju Johal and international Bhangra dance teams from North Carolina,