On Tues Nov 3, SFU hosted its 8th annual Diwali Gala fundraiser at Aria Banquet Hall. More than 300 business and community leaders, along with SFU students, faculty, staff, and alumni attended the event, celebrated in India as the festival of lights. Hosted by SFU President Andrew Petter, the evening featured South Asian performances organized by VIBC (that’s us!), with guest stars Hardeep Singh Sahota and his Royal Academy of Bhangra dancers performing with khunde and swords.
This is the second year VIBC has partnered with SFU on the Diwali Gala. Last year, we brought Hardeep Singh Sahota and his Royal Academy of Bhangra dancers together with Susan Nase and Shot of Scotch for an evening of fabulous entertainment; this year Hardeep had something equally wonderful in store! Says VIBC General Manager Anita Lal: “VIBC is happy to be part of SFU's annual Diwali Gala for second year. Not only is SFU a prestigious university, it is also dedicated to cultural awareness and supporting the community in creating understanding and acceptance. We are so proud to have presented another amazing performance piece that is reflective of our community: a dynamic fusion of music and dance that brings everyone together in celebration and the joy of bhangra!”
Nav Chima, Director, Community Programs & Partnerships, SFU Surrey, agrees: “We were pleased to have VIBC provide the entertainment for us during our 8th SFU Diwali Gala. The fusion of Punjabi and Scottish music and choreographed dance was a crowd-pleaser. The performances were great examples of the rich culture and diversity of people in the communities we serve.”
Besides the performance, the evening included a reception, dinner, and talk by SFU 4th year communication co-op student Dara Hill, about her recent experiences as an intern with the Deshpande Foundation, a global not-for profit organization that fosters social innovation. All funds raised at the Gala will go towards SFU scholarships enabling students to work, study, and volunteer in the cities and villages of India.
Supported by SFU’s India Advisory Council, this event provided opportunities for the community to network, learn about SFU’s India initiatives, and celebrate the festival of Diwali. Thanks to all who attended!