The spirit of Carnaval returns to the city

Carnival is deeply rooted in Latin American culture. Originally, it was meant as a chance to indulge before a prolonged period of fasting in the springtime. Even today there is still a widely felt sense of free-spirited stress release in the air wherever carnival is celebrated. “Carnaval del Sol, it’s where we all shine together,”…

Music, photography, poetry and more

Musician, writer and performer Vivek Shraya will be at this year’s Indian Summer Festival as part of the ‘5 by 15’ panel on July 16, in which five people will speak on various subjects for 15 minutes. Shraya will focus on a photo series recreated from some of her mother’s old photos – nine vintage…

Ancient harvest festival faces the modern age

The Sikh faith will be on display in the streets of South Vancouver for the annual Vaisakhi festival on April 16.This tradition is honoured world-wide on different dates to mark the open of the harvest season and the birth of Khalsa. Khalsa is the living text of the Sikh religion. The scripture is recognized as…

Cherry blossoms – who, what, where

Every year, the flowering cherry blossoms signify the arrival of spring, their beauty captivating many. Now in its 10th year, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has helped spread interest in cherry blossoms and facilitated community education on the trees. Before the festival officially begins, David Tracey, a community ecologist, leads a group through Oppenheimer Park.…

February marks Tibetan New Year with goal of positive thinking

Vancouver’s Tibetans will celebrate Losar, their culture’s New Year, Feb. 8. This year, the Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling Centre will celebrate Losar with a series of different traditions, including meditation sessions and special Protector Mahakala ceremonies to ring in the Tibetan New Year. Lobsang Tenzin calls himself a dharma believer and teacher who’s immersed in Vancouver’s…

Exploring new worlds through film

When Lawrence Le Lam heard the story of his father, Lami Lam, a legendary DJ called Blue Jet who played banned anti-war rock and roll music in Taiwan in the 1970s, he thought it would be a great idea for a film. The result was a 16 minute short film entitled The Blue Jet that…

A Scottish splash in B.C.

There is a strong Scottish presence in British Columbia. In fact, roughly 15 per cent of British Columbians are of Scottish descent according to Darryl Carracher, general manager of Vancouver’s Scottish Cultural Centre. From the very start of the 20th century and into the 1960s, there was a large number of Scots settling in Vancouver.…

Audrey Siegl: an activist and a musician

December 10 marks International Human Rights Day. In light of this upcoming event, Audrey Siegl, a Musqueam First Nations member, reflects on local human rights challenges in Vancouver and her role in shining a spotlight on these issues. A menu of words easily describes who Siegl is: Anti-poverty activist. Feminist. Artist. Role model. These words…

Vancouver Turkish Film Festival returns

The Vancouver Turkish Film Festival is returning for the second time this Dec. 4–7. This year’s VTFF is dedicated to women filmmakers, with 14 of the 29 films presented directed by women. The Vancity Theatre will be hosting the festival, which will feature twice as many films as last year. With the support of the…

Beyond the lights: spices of the Diwali Fest

Diwali Fest, an annual South Asian arts and culture festival, is celebrating its 12th year in Vancouver. Diwali, meaning “row of lighted lamps,” is a Hindu tradition undertaken by many throughout the world and signifies the spirit’s triumph of light over darkness. Diwali Fest Co-Producer Rohit Chokhani explains. “Our society is driven to build bridges…

Moon-gazing festival a time for families

On Sept. 27, families in Chinatown will gather to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, an event that is held every year on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Traditional food, spending time with family members and moon-gazing are central to the festival, but this year’s event will have a…

Celebrating 25 years with the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of the world’s most prominent annual flamenco festivals outside of Spain. Founded by Rosario Ancer and her husband Victor Kolstee, the festival has been providing Vancouverites with world-class performances by popular flamenco dancers and musicians from around the world, and instilling a strong…

Immigration and integration at heart of the Polish Cultural Festival

Metro Vancouver’s Polish community will be holding its third annual Polish Cultural Festival on Sept. 6 and 7 in North Vancouver, presented by Belweder, the non-profit North Shore Polish Association. “The main purpose of the society is to keep the Polish culture and tradition alive in our community,” says Urszula Sulinska, president of Belweder. Waves…