Jivesh Parasram brings his solo show, about his Indo-Caribbean heritage, to the Vancity Culture Lab as part of Diwali in BC’s 2019 season.
Jivesh Parasram brings his solo show, about his Indo-Caribbean heritage, to the Vancity Culture Lab as part of Diwali in BC’s 2019 season.

The multicultural festival Diwali in B.C. returns for its third year under this year’s banner of ‘Diwali for All’.

“In our third year focused on diversity within diversity, we respond artistically with the theme of Diwali for All,” says artistic director Rohit Chokhani. “With this theme, we acknowledge that this is a non-denominational, non-religious festival with an
artistic platform to showcase artists from diverse backgrounds and abilities. This isn’t a festival just for South Asians. This is a multicultural, multi-disciplinary festival meant for everyone to come together and celebrate cultural plurality in Canada.”

Taking place at locations across the province, here are five reasons we think you should check out the Diwali in B.C. events in the Vancouver area this year. For the complete listing of events visit diwalibc.ca.

1. A celebration of unity and diversity of South Asian cultures

The Diwali in B.C. festival launches on October 6 with an evening celebrating the unity and diversity of South Asian cultures, featuring artists who will present their work in a variety of languages in the heart of the Punjabi Market on Main Street.

2. Diwali and Indigenous culture unite

On October 9, Diwali in B.C. presents a multicultural evening of classical and contemporary South Asian dance and music in an exploration of the parallels between Diwali and Indigenous culture.

3. A candid and funny look at race, religion, and nationalism

In Take d Milk, Nah?, Vancouver theatre artist Jivesh Parasram blends personal storytelling and ritual, to explore what divides us and what we’re willing to accept in the
desire to belong. At the Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch October 16-26.

4. Celebrating with the Downtown Eastside

Diwali in B.C. partners with the DTES Heart of the City Festival on October 30 with multicultural and South Asian performances for the festival’s opening.

5. A unity of cultural diversity

As Chokani says: “Diwali might be a concept that originated in India but Diwali in B.C. is meant for anyone and everyone in Canada. Its context, its values, and its celebrations are focused and centred on the folks who represent the cultural diversity within the geographical territories of the regions in which we present and celebrate Diwali in B.C. events.”

Diwali in B.C. takes place from October 6 through November 1. Visit diwalibc.ca for more information.