Music on Main makes Magic on Main


Take one visionary impresario. Add several storied venues. Mix in hundreds of eclectic artists performing onstage in Vancouver’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. What do you get? Magic on Main—otherwise known as Music on Main!

Since 2006, David Pay, Artistic Director of Music on Main, has been in the business of connecting local audiences with top-flight musicians from around the world, providing opportunities for learning, sharing stories, and enjoying fresh new music at such intimate locations as the former Cellar Restaurant and Jazz Club in Kitsilano, Heritage Hall, and the Fox Cabaret, among others.

We’ve been lucky enough to work with David Pay for three years now as co-producers of Bhangra on Main, one of our favourite City of Bhangra Festival events. In 2014 we partnered up to host Pakistani superstar Qurat ul-Ain Balouch at the Fox Cabaret, and this year we’re combining forces to present Surrey’s own rising star, Raju Johal, at the Fox on June 2.

Music on Main and VIBC began working together in 2012 with a beautiful acoustic show at Heritage Hall featuring Dalvinder Singh. As David recalls, “There was this awesome moment near the end of that first show when one audience member just couldn't stay in his seat any longer, and before we knew it, half the Hall was on its feet dancing! We knew we had a hit on our hands.”

David first became involved with VIBC in 2011, when he met VIBC founder Mo Dhaliwal and they immediately became friends. In David’s words: “We were both interested in finding ways for our programming, artists, and audiences to reflect more of Vancouver's diversity, and we shared the belief that diversity is not just about cultural background and the colour of people's skin, but that it's also about aesthetics, and age, and where in the region people live. We were both ready to commit to doing this in a genuine, ongoing way. That was the impetus for Bhangra on Main—a kind of mehfil, open to everyone.”

As appreciative as we are of David’s amazing work as a musician, impresario, cultural connector, and driving force behind one of Western Canada’s most exciting concert scenes, he is equally complimentary about VIBC: “The volunteer board of directors at City of Bhangra is so passionate and committed to culture. It's been absolutely amazing to have an inside view of the Festival over the past few years. Aside from the music, I would have to say that my favourite aspect of being connected with the Festival is the energy and inspiration I get from the people at VIBC.”

David says he loves that that the City of Bhangra Festival crosses cultures and helps bring our city together. To us, this is exactly what David does every day at Music on Main, and we want to take this opportunity to send big #BhangraLove to David and his wonderful staff for their ongoing, wonderful support of VIBC. Thank you!!

And remember: don’t miss Raju Johal at the Fox Cabaret on June 2 at 8 pm. For tickets, click


Blog by Jennifer Webb
Photo by Jan Gates, courtesy Music on Main

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