Celebrated across the world, Diwali is the biggest, brightest and most popular event in the Indian calendar. The word diwali means “row of lighted lamps”, with light symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty and knowledge over ignorance. It’s a time for lighting diyas, laying out colorful rangolis, setting off fireworks, exchanging gifts of sweets and celebrating with dance, music and storytelling.
Diwali Fest: A Festival That Keeps Growing and Growing…
Diwali Fest originated in 2004 as the Vancouver Celebrates Diwali Festival, and has since evolved to become one of the largest Diwali- themed events in the Lower Mainland. What started as a one-day, volunteer-driven event has evolved to the point where we are a professionally-staffed festival that has become a destination event on the City’s cultural calendar. Throughout our history we have striven to balance several core competencies: showcasing the best and brightest South Asian talent, exhibiting artistic innovation through a myriad of forms, and engaging our wide community in as active and inclusive a role as possible.
At the core of Diwali Fest’s mandate is the objective of breaking cultural barriers and encouraging participation from all communities. The celebration and spirit of Diwali is truly universal. The message it engenders of promoting inclusiveness motivates us to bring the festival to the Lower Mainland, as well as bringing the Lower Mainland to our festival. Our society is driven to build bridges between communities, to promote intercultural understanding by exploring how traditional South Asian arts evolve into fusion forms in the context of new countries and contemporary values. This can be demonstrated through the number of fusion acts, as well as artists we highlight through our programming.
To break cultural barriers and celebrate the spirit of Diwali by embracing diverse art forms to build a sense of community across the Greater Vancouver Lower Mainland.
The Society engages with communities through workshops to share the key philosophies of Diwali and showcase diverse artists who practice in a variety of disciplines to encourage inclusiveness.