On Surrey Vaisakhi Day 2013 on April 20, 201, Sikhs around the lower mainland and elsewhere came to worship at the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar temple. Tens of thousands of South Asians then took part in the parade and enjoyed the free food and entertainment along the route that stretched several kilometers. The event is the oldest and one of the largest Vaisakhi Day programs outside India.
You don’t have to be South Asian to appreciate the all-you-can-eat free foods and drinks. There are plenty of Indian foods such as bottled water, Coke, Pepsis, fruit juices and other sodas. The hot sweetly-spiced Indian milk tea remains the favorite beverage however. Community performers and song-and-dance groups including the Punjabi group, Kohinoor Folk Arts Club have all gathered to provide entertainment.
As evident in the video above, the money offerings at the Gurdwara Sahib temple consist of more American dollars than Canadian ones (many in $1 dollar denomination). Way more. Does that suggest there were U.S citizens coming to Canada to attend this celebration? And as the Canadian $1 and $2 have become out of fashion in everyday use, the U.S. $1 becomes a popular and ‘cheaper’ replacement in cash donations, is that possible? Whatever the reason, the spirit of giving and generosity towards anyone were very much alive on Vaisakhi Day. That’s the way it is meant to be.
Was the BC Premier Christy Clark (together with her fellow Liberals Suzanne Anton, Amrik Tung, Kuljeet Kaur, Gurjit Dhillon, Moira Stilwell etc.) out campaigning to get ethnic votes or just taking part in the celebration of Vaisakhi Day one month before BC Election 2013 in Vancouver’s South Asian community of Main & 50th Ave?
Such was a question posed to the premier by a CBC reporter citing a similar accusation from NDP leader Adrian Dix whose political team was also at the event on April 13, 2013. Clark in particular mentioned the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) show that her government spent $11million to bring to Vancouver a week earlier. The BC general election is scheduled to take place on May 14, 2013, one month before BC Election 201. Christy Clark was behind Adrian Dix in every poll taken in recent weeks.
This Vancouver South area is a major center for the South Asian community. In 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper also stopped by and stood on the same podium and gave a Vaisakhi blessing as Christy Clark did. Both of them were running for re-election. An estimated 100,000 people showed up at Vaisakhi Vancouver 2013 which had the oldest Vaisakhi parade in North America.
Vaisakhi or Baisakhi as it is also known celebrates the start of the harvesting season for Punjabi farmers. This historical event which dated back to 1699 also marked the origin of Khalsa the Sikh religion.
Cherry Blossom Japan Fair Festival Saurka Days in Vancouver. The 2103 event takes place at the VanDusen Botanical Garden (5151 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC) April 06 & 07, 2013 from 10AM – 5PM. The World Umbrella Dance as choreographed by Shiamak Davar takes place on April 13, 2013 at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 12:45PM.
On March 19, 2013, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Earth Hour City Challenge awarded the City of Vancouver as the Global Champion and the recipient of the People’s Choice Award. Five other cities in India, Italy, the U.S., Sweden, and Norway chosen from 66 city entrants were in competition with Vancouver as the most innovative city taking action on climate change. In the end Vancouver prevailed as the winner.
The people of Vancouver joined millions others in Canada and many more around the world in participation of the global Earth Hour on Mar 23, 2013 by turning off building lights resulting in an impressive 22% reduction in energy consumption at City Hall as measured by Pulse Energy.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement, “Being named the WWF’s Global Earth Hour Capital is an exceptional honor for Vancouver and more international validation of our comprehensive efforts to be the world’s greenest city.”
The mayor spearheaded an effort to drive the city of Vancouver to become the World’s Greenest City by 2020 by implementing many sustainability and carbon reduction initiatives such as the 2040 Transportation strategy to “dramatically reduce vehicle travel in Vancouver” said Mr. Robertson.
Video was shot during Hour Earth 2011 at the lighted fountain of the Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. The Bloedel Conservatory lights inside the dome where tropical plants resided in a greenhouse were turned off as scheduled but the outdoor fountain lights and jet-streams remained on. [A video by Ray Van Eng | www.vancouver21.com ]
Relighting 2010 Olympic Cauldron at New Year’s Eve Countdown adds significance to World’s Greenest City by 2020?
Thank You Very Much Mayor Gregor Robertson & Your City Council!
I am happy to report that the Vancouver City Council has unanimously approved a motion to re-start the New Year’s Eve tradition that has been out of fashion in Vancouver in recent years. The earliest we could be seeing that happening is at the end of 2013, in time for the NYE 2014 party.
A New Year’s Eve (NYE) bash is an international event that everyone celebrates.
All cultures. All religions. All parts in the world. Americas, Asia, Europe, Arab, Oceania. Don’t matter who you are, where you, what you are, we all celebrate the beginning of a new year. NYE is also the best time for any city to stake a claim in the world media…FOR FREE!
On NYE, Every City is Vying for Attention
Make no mistake about it, every city is trying to grab your attention at NYE countdown. This worldwide attention is dictated by the different time zones. With the ticking of the clock, any major or even city in a certain time zone gets a fair chance to be featured in the world media as they ring in a new year.
This is not just about celebrating locally or even nationally. It is about taking part in an international event that everyone is focusing on. It is that Olympic moment that comes every year. Every city puts on an elaborate show to stand out against the rest.
If Vancouver won’t do it, Seattle would reap the benefits of being the crown-jewel of the Pacific NW.
Vancouver wants to become the World’s Greenest City by 2020
That is Mayor Gregor Robertsobn’s vision. Here’s an excellent way to sell that to the world on NYE. How? By relighting the 2010 Olympic Cauldron only at the end of the countdown and turn it off soon after the fireworks are finished to serve notice to the world that we are serious about reducing carbon emission and adhering to sustainable principles.
Jack Poole Plaza is Perfect Place for NYE Celebration
The Christmas Tree is there, so is the 2010 Olympic Cauldron. Robson St. & Granville Mall have none of that. Jack Poole Plaza is the perfect place to present to the world our unique heritage as a world-class city that has already hosted the 2010 Games and Expo 86.
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1…Olympic Cauldron is Re-lit! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Imagine that! What a glorious moment! Instead of a ball-drop, Vancouver should re-lit the 2010 Olympic Cauldron and the flame only comes on at the end of the count-down. And turn it off after the firework is finished. The worldwide media will pick up on that and present Vancouver’s commitment to sustainable principles and be the World’s Greenest City by 2020.
It cost $5,000 to re-lit the Cauldron but $Millions for a 30″ global TV ad
A single 30-second SuperBowl TV ad cost around $4 million. The same TV ad during the 2012 Summer Games is $20 Million (yes, for only 30 second). Re-lighting the 2010 Olympic cauldron would only be $5,000. If the world media picks that up, it is ALL FREE!
The return on investment (ROI) is clearly in favor for Vancouver to host a New Year’s Eve party. The Jack Poole Plaza with a spectacular waterfront view and where the 2010 Olympic cauldron is located provides the perfect setting to serve notice to the world as the city races towards its goal of becoming the World’s Greenest City by 2020.
Year of the Snake 2013 Asian Expo Vancouver Lunar New Year celebration (Jan 31 – Feb 03, 2013) at BC Place in Vancouver BC, Canada. Chinese New Year multicultural celebration. Dance, Hip Hop, Model Search Competition, body-paint Fantasy Makeup Contest, Justin Lo Singing Show, Gary Chaw Concert etc.
It’s the Year of the Snake, so even a tortoise could be faster than a Ferrari!!
The VanDusen Festival of Lights is a Christmas event that many nature-lovers have been waiting for to start the holiday season.
One of the guiding principles of the VanDusen Garden has always been to connect people to plants and the natural environment. Year-round, visitors have come here to appreciate and learn about conservation, gardening, plant lives and stories, nutrition, pollination, adopt a tree, birding in the garden and many more.
The VanDusen Garden is also a popular spot for wedding couples getting hitched.
Although there are more than 100 events happening all year, don’t think that during winter the garden would be in hibernation. No, December happens to be the busiest time of the year.
To celebrate Christmas and the Yuletide season, the garden comes alive with more than a million light bulbs illuminating all vegetation and the surrounding enclave. 1.4 million lights to be exact.
Nancy Wong, VanDusen Garden’s Public Relations Director, proudly pointed out that volunteers counted each light bulb every year and made sure they were working before putting them on.
The Festival of Lights is an extremely popular event. Families come in droves.
On the first day of the festival (Dec 02), there was a long lineup of people wanting in before the garden officially opened at 4:30 PM. In fact, visitors were advised to purchase tickets in advance at Tickets Tonight or in person at the Garden Shop at VanDusen Garden as early as Nov 1st.
Once visitors entered the garden, many of them seek out the popular Dancing Lights at Livingstone Lake in which a continuous series of strobe lights was synchronized to rock versions of familiar Christmas songs that reverberated with the audience, adults and kids alike.
Music is the universal language, no loss in translation there. It signifies the joyous season and everyone is excited to be there. Dancing Lights plays every half-hour and it has become one of the main attractions of the Festival of Lights experience.
After the light show, visitors began to explore different areas of the garden and there were plenty for them to see and enjoy – Santa’s Living Room, Gingerbread Wood, Make-a-Wish Candle Shrine, Sparkling Spruce in the center court, Candy Cane Express model train etc.
Roaming along the brightly-illuminated Candy Cane Lane, you would likely hear a singing choir that draws you nearer or encounter two Christmas Gnomes, Svend and Jens eager to entertain.
Svend joked often in a heavy Swedish accent while Jens played his quiet and abiding partner. Their routine worked out very well I must say.
It’s the Winter Light season (not Lights, in honor of director Ingmar Bergman) and with Svend and Jens close by, you are reminded of the Swedish filmmaker’s world-famous troupe of actors including Liv Ulman, Max Von Sydow, Gunnel Lindblom and others. Ja!
After an hour or two, you just might feel hungry and it is a perfect time to have dinner at the garden. Both light fare and full meals are available at the VanDusen Garden. Dinner is also served every night at the Shaughnessy Restaurant during the Festival of Lights. Reservations are recommended.
Ho-Ho-Ho, Santa’s rocking in his chair!
[Photos & Video by Ray Van Eng | www.vancouver21.com ]
TELUS TaiwanFest 2012 Vancouver (Sep 01-03, 2012). 硏科台灣文化節
Taiwanese American singer/songwriter Yen-J 嚴爵 performed at TaiwanFest 2012 Vancouver on Sep 02, 2012. The Prince of New Creation, as he is known in Taiwan ROC, sang many of his signature songs including Not Alone Again 又不是這樣就不孤獨, 困在台北, 明星的愛, 真的, 好的事情 etc. featuring his unique blend of New Jazz, Hip Hop, Rock & Asian Mandopop.
[All Videos by Ray Van Eng | www.vancouver21.com ]
嚴爵 Farewell Song 好的事情
Vancouver Art Gallery, 800 W. Georgia St. Vancouver, BC
The Nanjing Acrobat Troupe 南京市杂技团 from China came to perform at the Surrey Fusion Festival 2012 on July 21, 2012. The lady contortionist and her bodily deformity defy human body structure and give new meaning to being flexible. She appeared as part of a presentation together with the Wuxi Chinese Cultural Troupe无锡中国文化团 from Jiangsu江苏省.
The well-known Chinese cultural song and dance musical group has travelled and performed around the world. They recently toured Canada in July 2012 to present ‘Beautiful South China’ to audiences in Ottawa, Moncton, Halifax, Montreal and Calgary. Their appearance with the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe in Surrey, BC seemed like an unscheduled visit.
A Video by Ray Van Eng – Nanjing Acrobatics
Kang Ding Love Song 康定情歌 – Wuxi Song & Dance Group
That Far Away Place 在那遥远的地方 Wuxi Song & Dance Group
Canadian indie rock band Walk Off The Earth played their famous Gotye’s cover song ‘Somebody That I Used To Know” with five band members playing on the same guitar. They also belted out an original number ‘Summer Vibe’ to a very appreciative audience at Holland Park Concord Pacific World Music Stage during the Surrey Fusion Festival 2012 on July 21, 2012.
The band came from Burlington, Ontario. Band members include Gianni Luminati, Sarah Nicole Blackwood, Ryan Marshall, Mike Taylor and Joel Cassady. Besides the guitar, piano, drums and other instruments, the band also plays other unconventional musical tools including the Ukulele and the Theremin, as well as looping samples.
They became a Youtube sensation when their covered versions such as ‘Backin’ Up’ from The Gregory Brothers, Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, The Beatles ‘From Me To You’ and others hit the Internet, gaining them millions upon millions of views.
the Surrey Fusion Festival 2012 (July 21-22, 2012 at Holland Park) has a multicultural flavor that celebrates the city’s diverse communities i.e. South Asian, Indian, Punjabi, Asian, Chinese, The Philippines, South East Asian, Latino, South American and European.
This year’s headliners include Los Lobos, Wuxi Chinese Cultural Troupe, Celebration Dance Team, Walk Off The Earth, Indianation, Nanjing Acrobat Group, Delphi 2 Dublin, Polonez, Briga, Good For Grapes and many other groups. There will also a Parade of Flags which has become one of the highlights of the family-friendly festival.
VIDEO – Walk Off The Earth [Somebody That I Used To Know]
VIDEO – Walk Off The Earth [Summer Vibe]
VIDEO – Walk off the Earth – Magic & Corner of Queen