It’s five days of lights, performances and art, all with the purpose of celebrating culture.
Through a partnership with Diwali in B.C., the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre is at the helm of the Vernon Diwali Festival, which runs Oct. 9-13 at venues across the city.
The Festival will host a variety of multicultural activities around Vernon, culminating in a showcase at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The Diwali in Vernon Festival showcase is part of the Spotlight Special Presentation series.
Vernon’s festival falls under Diwali in B.C.’s 2018 umbrella with the theme New Horizons. Programs are also being conducted in Vancouver, Coquitlam, 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,” said Diwali in B.C. artistic director Rohit 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.”
In Vernon, the week kicks off with the Festival Launch at the Okanagan Regional Library Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Featuring pop-up performances by local artists and the launch of an interactive Rangoli art project, all ages are invited to attend this free event. Soul Studio will also be hosting a BollyX Class at 5:45 p.m. Pricing and registration information can be found through Soul Studio’s website, soulstudio.ca.
A free Lantern Making Workshop follows on Oct. 10 at the Vernon Community Arts Centre from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.
“Drop in during these times to make a beautiful handmade lantern,” said a Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre spokesperson.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. Lanterns can be taken home on the day of the workshop, or they can be left on display as part of the Centre Gallery’s Diwali in Vernon Festival exhibit, which runs Sept. 28 to Oct. 25.
The Library will be hosting a fun and interactive kids’ workshop Oct. 11 at 3:30 p.m. where kids can learn about the history of Diwali and South Asian dance.
On Oct. 12 start your day at Soul Studio for their Yin Yoga Class at 10:15 a.m., then head to the Vernon Public Art Gallery and take part in a Rangoli art project. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all ages are invited to come and contribute to making a large community Rangoli. This activity will be open during regular gallery hours until Oct 20.
From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., don’t miss the Okanagan Science Centre’s Stars and Mythology event: a planetarium show centred around South Asian mythology and its connection to Diwali. The cost is included with regular admission to the Science Centre: $5 for children, $8 for adults, $5 for seniors. No pre-registration is required.
To end off the day on Friday, Record City is hosting a World Dance Concert with Zimbamoto and local guests with doors at 7 p.m. and show at 7:30 p.m. Early bird price is $15 per person, tickets at the door are $20. Get $5 off by showing a Diwali in Vernon Festival showcase ticket at the door (and get the $15 price). Also, if patrons buy tickets to the Zimbamoto concert, they can receive $5 off your Diwali in Vernon Festival showcase ticket.
For the last day of the festival, Oct. 13, the Library will be hosting a pop-up performance at 2 p.m. This is a free event for all ages.
“The festival will culminate in a multicultural showcase of diverse artists from different backgrounds,” said Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre artistic director Erin Kennedy. “Activities throughout the week shall include workshops, discussions, dance performances, musical performances, cultural activities, crafts and a wide range of other possibilities.”
The multicultural showcase of diverse artists from different backgrounds, headlined by the popular Bollywood dance group from Vancouver the Shiamak Dance Team, will take place at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. Pre-show activities will begin in the lobby at 5 p.m. Tickets for the Diwali in Vernon Festival showcase are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors and $30 for students. Call the Ticket Seller Box Office at 250-549-7469 or visit www.ticketseller.ca.
To end off the night, the Curry Pot will be hosting an Indian Buffet Dinner at 9 p.m. Eat with the performers and celebrate South Asian culture with delicious food. Tickets for the Curry Pot dinner are $30 per person. Limited tickets available, buy now through the Ticket Seller.