March 11, 2012 Newsletter


HSBC City of Bhangra Festival is dancing and singing its way in to 2012

It all began about eight years ago when a bunch of friends noticed a gap in showcasing true local and national bhangra talent. Bhangra, a style of folk dance and rhythm that traces its origins from the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan was something that they each thought was considered almost underground in North America.

From that first brainstorm where only a seed was planted, the HSBC City of Bhangra Festival has grown into an annual event that caters to over 30, 000 community members, moved from a two-day event to an 11-day mesh of local and international talent, and is now being narrated in three cities around the Lower Mainland. This year, they have also acquired their first title sponsor, the HSBC Bank of Canada, which will allow them to offer a more robust list of free and premium events of art and dance.

To kick start the festival, members of the press will attend an exclusive press conference on March 13that 10:00am at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. If you’re media, please RSVP to attend the event at The morning event will be followed by a second, public program launch in the evening at the SFU Surrey Campus Atrium at 7:00pm where the entire community is invited! RSVP at What can we say? It’s a big day for us!

Our Top Talent


Sal Ferreras striking it up!

Sal Ferreras, former Dean of Music at Vancouver Community College and its current VP, Education & Student Services, explores percussion and folk drumming from the variety of cultures that represent Vancouver. From Chinese to an Afro-Cuban, to a melding of Punjabi and Brazilian styles, he leads the exploration of percussive traditions from around the world. The highlight of this event features a collective performance of drums and rhythms representing the many cultural heritages of Vancouv

er—distinct in their style—beating as one.

You can also catch him on Thursday May 31st at 7:00pm at the Surrey Arts Centre.

Volunteers Make It All Happen


Congratulations to HSBC`s City of Bhangra Festival’s first official volunteer coordinator, Terra Dickinson!

Since its birth, the HSBC's City of Bhangra Festival has been operating solely on the ongoing support of volunteers from the strategy and planning stages to the itty bitty details that make a great festival. With over 7,000 volunteer hours tracked to date, this year the organization is proud to announce its first volunteer coordinator, Terra Dickinson, who will be recruiting, training, and managing all the extraordinary pre- and day-of event volunteers.

Terra comes to us from the Vancouver Maritime Museum where she successfully supported and organized the planning and logistics of small and large scale events. She’s eager to dive into her role and is really looking forward to the rePercussion performance at the Surrey Arts Centre on May 31st and can’t wait to see all the other dynamic music and dance performances.

When she’s not working or immersing herself in arts and culture around town, you just might see her running past you. She recently took on running and completed her first half marathon this past fall and is training for her next in May.

We are all very excited to have her on board and know that her experience, passion for the arts and energy is the perfect mix for the team. Congratulations Terra!

For more information on how you can join to be a volunteer, please visit

Volunteer of the Month


DHOL ROLL PLEASE! Congratulations to Mandeep Patrola who was recently nominated as a member of the HSBC`s City of Bhangra Festival board at this year’s annual Annual General Meeting. She brings years of experience to the festival and community groups within B.C.

Mandeep, a long-time supporter has been with the organization for a number of years and her love for bhangra and skill in the dance make her a natural groupie. She has been in the world of dance for over 15 years and was the co-founder of the UBC Girlz Bhangra team, which over the years has competed at national and international events. Currently, she is completing her graduate studies in Clinical and Neuropsychology and host’s Sandli Pairhaan, a Punjabi/ South Asian show on JoyTV that focuses on the arts and culture of the community. She covers Bollywood movie reviews to interviews with talented directors and actors in the industry. Mandeep is very excited to be on the board and for all the upcoming bhangraevents, especially the Downtown Bhangra events at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza on June 9th and 10th.

A big Sat Sri Akaal to Mandeep for joining the HSBC City of Bhangra Festival board family!

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