Ten days. Two cities. Hundreds of performers. Dozens of stages. And thousands of audience members. Every spring, VIBC pulls it all out to present North America’s one and only City of Bhangra Festival, bringing together dance, music and community to celebrate life, love and inclusion. COB simply couldn’t happen, though, without the support of our sponsors, whose tremendous generosity allows VIBC to bring the highest calibre talent to Metro Vancouver year after year.
One of our amazing sponsors for 2015 is Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, presenter of our official afterparty, Bhangra & Beyond, which takes place at Club FIVESIXTY on Saturday, June 6.
This is the first year the Casino has come on board as a sponsor with VIBC, and I recently met with the very charismatic Johnny “Rock” DeFazio, Hard Rock Casino Vancouver Operations “Vibe” Manager, to find out why!
In the Asylum Restaurant, just a few feet away from the bustling floor of the casino itself, Johnny spoke about the incredibly busy and diverse range of performers he hosts nightly on the Casino’s several stages, and the passion he and his colleagues have for connecting local and international talent with audiences close to home. In past years, the Casino’s booked from 20-30 shows per year; in 2015, Johnny estimates they’ll book close to 60—everything from all-out rockers like Whitesnake and Collective Soul (May 31 & June 20), to comedians (Russell Peters is coming up on Nov 4!), to wannabe superstars at the super-popular “Rock the Mic” competitions. The Casino also hosts family-friendly events, like their Mother’s Day Brunch on May 10, and the Ultimate Car Show on July 18, plus supports numerous community and charitable organizations, such as SHARE Family and Community Services, and the Food Bank, among others.
Johnny sees many connections between Hard Rock Casino Vancouver’s goals, and those of VIBC. “We’re committed to showcasing local talent, and bringing the best of international entertainment to our audiences,” says Johnny. “We also want to help make our community better by supporting organizations that are working hard to break down barriers between people.” Although in the past the Casino has mainly focused on contributing to the Tri-Cities area, Johnny says he sees supporting the City of Bhangra Festival as “a great way to expand the Casino’s reach, while at the same time introducing Metro audiences to the huge range of activities offered here.”
For VIBC, Hard Rock Casino Vancouver’s support means Bhangra & Beyond will be one afterparty you’ll never forget! We’re very grateful for their generosity, and want to take this opportunity to thank the Casino—and Johnny!—for helping to make the 11th annual City of Bhangra Festival our best yet!
For a full list of events at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, click here: http://www.hardrockcasinovancouver.com/events-list/. And stay tuned to VIBC’s FB page for reminders about Hard Rock Casino events you won’t want to miss!
Blog by Jennifer Webb
Photo of Johnny DeFazio by Kenny Lam Photography