The 13th Annual City of Bhangra is now officially over, and what an amazing seven days it has been! The festival presented events in both Surrey and Vancouver, with some of the most eclectic programming to date. We tried new things, took some risks, learned a lot - and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. We hope you did too!
The Festival would simply not be possible without the remarkable support we received from the community. To everyone who came out to our concerts, films, talks and other performance events - thank you! Your presence and enthusiasm made it all worthwhile.
To our valued sponsors and partners, we send our sincere appreciation and thanks for all of your many contributions toward making this festival a reality.
And, to our volunteers, that incredible crew of hard-working, smart, enthusiastic folks who give their time, energy, and so much more to make COB happen - how can we thank you enough? You are truly a "dream team" - and we are so lucky and privileged to have had you on board.
And we must send a collective thank you on everyone's behalf to the artists, musicians, singers, writers, readers, panelists, and other festival participants who made everything we saw, heard and felt so special. Your talents, your skills, your insights are what made COB 13 such an important event. We learned from you. We were awed, moved, thrilled, inspired by your music, your words, your ideas, your expression. Thank you.
Here's a quick recap of selected City of Bhangra 2017 events...
Desi Music Incubator was an event featuring a combination of workshops from Nucleya, Horsepowar and Khanvict as well as informal presentations from music industry icons.
The workshop had a fantastic vibe and the information the workshop presenters provided was interesting and constructive - and much appreciated by all attendees. The three diverse workshops and panel discussion offered useful insights into the music industry, granting initiatives, and other key elements for survival - and success - in the biz.
Reel Bhangra was VIBC's first venture into presenting short documentaries. The evening centered around Dehli 2 Dublin’s world premiere screening of Bhangra City, it also featured three other short films.
It was a exciting and powerful night of film! The remarkable short films presented evoked a range of responses and emotions from the audience - and food for further thought and discussion. Everyone enjoyed the great question and answer session with those involved in the making of Bhangra City.
(Photo by Joe Carlson)
This event, we have to say, played to an enthusiastic and sold out crowd.
The show opened with the strong, haunting voice of Baltimore's Beya Likhari, an outstanding artist who, we know, has an unlimited potential for major success.
Rupi Kaur's potent stage presence and her outstanding poetry brought the audience to its feet - one of the biggest highlights of the festival.*
(Photo by Joe Carlson)
Bhangra: WE presented by TD Bank
At a festival that tends to focus on performance, this intimate chat format, moderated by Rakhi Mutta, allowed us to get to know a range of talented, outspoken women performer/panelists on a more day-to-day level. All participants were very open and forthright, sharing both the highs and lows of their careers and experiences. Together we delved into a fascinating discussion on a range of issues of consequence and relevance to everyone present.
(Photo by Joe Carlson)
Jaloos- City of Bhangra Edition
This popular 2016 event returned for an encore in 2017. Assisting in this great night with Lil India was Horspowar, Beya Likhari and Sabrina.
It was a fantastic evening of performance, as well an art exhibit presented by dont doze collective and Monica Cheema, that drew lots of interest and audience.
Downtown Bhangra presented by TD Bank
For this event's first year in downtown Surrey, we declare success! We had brilliant performances from folks like Zora, Fateh, EnKarma, Bhangra Funk, Kirti Arneja, Sabrina and Intense, plus 23 dance teams from around BC. The artists throughout the day were wonderful, people came and went engaged in the music, dance teams, and DJs - and it was so great to see lots of families come out.
Channel Punjabi streamed the events live and, at one point, 35,000 people were watching the day's performances unfold in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, the US and in India.
(Photo by Derek Stevens Photography)
For those who were not done with the festival and music they headed to Crystal at York to dance to the music by DJ Impact and J. Statik
Thanks again to everyone who came and who participated in this year's festival.
We'd like to especially thank the volunteers one more time! COB 2017 volunteers have to be the best workers anyone could have hope for. They tirelessly gave of their time and energy, always with a a smile, always willing to go that extra mile and lend a hand where needed. Thank you again so much!
We are already excited to start planning for next year! Stay tuned...
*VIBC would like to address the unfortunate incident that occurred the evening of June 14 at the Vogue Theatre. The board and staff of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration considers the safety, security and wellbeing of our audience, artists and volunteers to be our highest priority. We work hard to ensure that the safe enjoyment of VIBC events is a fundamental part of our policies, practices and operations. In that spirit, this regrettable and distressing incident is being taken very seriously, and we are assisting the inquiry process in every way possible.
We lodged a complaint with MRG Group (Vogue Theatre) on June 15, and will be following up to ensure it is dealt with swiftly and thoroughly.