SweetPan steel band
The musical group SweetPan is all about Canadians playing the steel drum, ‘pan’, the only acoustic musical invention of the 20th century, and clearly a major Caribbean contribution to world culture. They specialize in Caribbean rhythms on the many different sizes of drum and have played for dances, weddings, corporate events, community events and interactive concerts since 1994. Their leader and arranger, Bernard Fernandes, draws on his vast repertoire and experience of the Caribbean to lend both an innovative and authentic touch.
Nahualli Folklore Society
The name Nahualli (Na-Wall-e) originates from an indigenous language of Mexico called Nahuatl (Nah-Walt). It signifies an animal spirit or a transforming power that protects and guides each person from the moment of birth. They feel this transforming power on stage as they represent Mexico for us.
Y Belly Dance – Interactive Dance
“Y Belly Dance” is a group of women who come together from all walks of life to share in the passion of bellydance, they study with Leona Bellydance to learn choreography and to have fun and entertain.
Shiamak Indo Jazz – Interactive Dance
Singer, choreographer, performing artist Shiamak Davar is known as the “Guru of Dance” in India. He is largely responsible for modernizing India’s dance scene especially in the film and theatre industry. With the motto Have Feet. Will Dance™, Shiamak Davar International is the world’s biggest dance academy enriching the lives of over a million dance enthusiasts across India, Canada, Australia, the UAE and the UK. Spreading the joy of dance to ages four to eighty four, his faculty teaches his original dance styles including Shiamak Style (Contemporary), Shiamak’s Bollywood Jazz™, Shabop (Hip Hop & Street Funk) and Shiamak’s Yoga – Inner Dance Movement amongst many others.
Atelier Grandi Fashion Show
Like an intriguing, exotic flower, the breath-taking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands are deceptively calm. Steeped in ancient legends, and rich but turbulent cultural history, the mystique of Scotland is the making of both incredible romance and dark heroism. Can one ever truly relish the treasures within the hills and glens, until standing among them, dwarfed by their majesty, taunted by whispers of their hidden stories?
TANGA is a west coast world fusion group delivering new manifestations of groove and going where music has no borders. Cutting latin, jazz and electronic beats with a hip hop kick, they released their second full-length album Havanaelectro in 2013. It’s been called “the most relevant, most refreshingly contemporary expression of latin groove music so far, not just in the Pacific Northwest but in the scope of the global genre” by Cal Koat, WorldBeat International.
Mohamed Asani on sitar
Mohamed Assani is a celebrated sitarist with a unique sound. He is widely known for his authentic raga performances as well as his creative ability to adapt his instrument to different genres, including Western Classical, Jazz and World Fusion. Apart from his Indian Classical work, Mohamed has also worked with some leading Western musicians, including contemporary composer Ian Wilson, the Callino Quartet, the Grand Union Orchestra and the Black Dyke Brass Band. Mohamed began his training on the sitar from Sri Dharambir Singh and later learned from Sri Mehboob Nadeem. Mohamed plays sitar in the emotive style developed by the late Ustad Vilayat Khan, in which the sitar is made to emulate the human voice through bending its strings. Mohamed is also trained in tabla and is an experienced accompanist and performer.
CircusWest – roaming performers
CircusWest is Vancouver’s circus performing arts society – a comprehensive circus arts centre for all ages. Located in the historic Garden Auditorium on the PNE grounds in east Vancouver, CircusWest offers children, teens, and adults an opportunity to explore Circus Arts in an encouraging, non-competitive environment. CircusWest’s programs encourage respect for oneself and others and provide an environment to learn responsible risk-taking. As a collaborative community in which everyone can develop skills, find their artistic voice, and realize their potential, CircusWest is a creative program in which individuals can dream big, push limits, and defy gravity – all while having fun.
Michael Gabriel Rosen of Más Movement
Más Movement is a dance school in Vancouver that specializes in Cuban Style Salsa (Casino) and Rueda de Casino (a group form of salsa danced in a circle) and also teaches other forms of Latin Dance such as Son, Reggaetón, Merengue and Cha, Cha, Cha. Latin Dance has had a profound impact on our lives and we are grateful to be able to share the joy, exhilaration, creativity, learnings and sense of connection that we have experienced through these dances. They strive to be respectful of the cultures that they teach, to be radically inclusive and to promote social and environmental change through activism and education.
Global-inspired cuisine by Chef Dave Ryan
Chef Dave Ryan is a Grand gold medal recipient form the IKA World Culinary Olympics – an award that is among his collection of 26 North American medals in culinary competitions. As a member, captain and manager of Culinary Team Canada, Chef Ryan has earned the highest recognition as a competitor and in his every day restaurant work. With experience ranging from premier French restaurants to Executive Chef at a resort hotel in Kelowna under his belt.
The word, Tarab, is an Arabic musical term with no direct English equivalent. A loose translation is, “the feeling of ecstasy and surrender brought on by music.” It is precisely this feeling that we strive to attain and transmit through our performance. Tarab’s music is a combination of Middle Eastern folk, film and classic songs, steeped in jazz and psychedelia. Both entrancing and danceable, the voluptuous belly dancing grooves, blistering oud, sax and drum solos bring a tasty Middle Eastern flavour.
Paul Latta Polynesian Dancers
Celebrating over 40 years of performance excellence, ‘Tavai’s Polynesia’ is an authentic Polynesian revue produced, directed, choreographed and costumed by Polynesian Dance expert Paul Tavai-Latta and features Canada’s undefeated and Internationally renowned Polynesian dance champion troupe. Based in Vancouver, the dancers have been showcased in five movies, numerous television specials and in 20 international tours.
Ezra Kwizera is an international artist, music producer and community leader. Ezra’s music style is richly multi-cultural – a zesty yet soulful mix of Reggae, Soca, East African Bongo, and Pop. With linguistic agility, Ezra fluidly sings and raps in English, Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Zulu and Swahili. Growing up as a refugee in Uganda before moving back to his home country Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, Ezra has a powerful motivation to support Rwandans through his music to rebuild their country. His music conveys the spark of an overcomer and the passion of a community leader with a vision to inspire change in his generation. He lives in Metro Vancouver.
Indian East meets West fusion. Prakriti bridges the gap between the ancient and contemporary. With a firm grounding in Eastern and Western musical traditions, they explore the universality of rhythm and melody in a spirit of oneness. Tabla beats and Indian rhythmic syllables dance together with funky and bluesy guitar lines. Folky flute melodies and soaring vocals in Eastern and Western musical styles converse with virtuosic classical esraj improvisations that sometimes sound like a shenai (double reed north Indian oboe). Prakriti means ‘nature’ in Sanskrit.
LOUD has every potential to live up to its name. But, the Vancouver duo of Elaine Stef on electric guitar and Eileen Kage on taiko drums and percussion is more about dynamics than pedal to the metal volume. Elaine and Eileen have had much time to play with the nuances of their unique arrangement since forming in 1996. What they have seemingly perfected are instrumental compositions rich in propulsive rhythm and flights of astral guitar textures. Vancouver music fans will appreciate ‘echo and flow’ as one of the final few recordings to come out of historic Mushroom Studios before they closed the doors.
Kalan Wi was nominated in two categories and took home the 14th Annual Native American Music Awards for Best Historical/Linguistic Recording. The Members of the group were in Niagara Falls, NY on May 10th, 2013 to accept the award.
Kalan Wi are a roots-infused cultural group that uses the Traditional Lil’wat language and chanting styles to create their own brand of world beat music. In the Lil’wat language Kalan wi means to “listen, pay attention now.” Formed in 2007, in the Lil’wat Nation (Mt. Currie BC) Kalan Wi are Leroy Joe (vocals, guitars) Vania Stager (vocals), Russell Wallace (vocals, hand drum, keys, bass, etc.) and Richard Doucet (percussionist, back-up vocals). Leroy, Russell and Vania are Lil’wat Nation members and Richard Doucet is from New Brunswick.
Carumba (Nuevo Flamenco guitar and Caribbean Steel Pan)
Kokoma African Heritage Ensemble (dance and drum)
Luciterra Dance Company (belly dancing with hip hop and global beats)
Pentatonics (jazz fusion with traditional Chinese instruments)
Cris Derksen (a native Cree who combines classic, electronic and indigenous components)
Wesley Hardisty (dynamic NWT fiddler)
Music that originated at Balkan wedding parties (that can sometimes go on for days). Steeped in Eastern European tradition and the music of the Roma people who wandered across Europe and Asia picking up musical influences as they went.
Jacky Essombe Village with Kurai on marimba and a djembe drummer
Jacky Essombe is a ‘cultural liaison’ between the African and the Western worlds. Her passion for her culture has inspired her to become a professional dancer, dance teacher, storyteller, and TV and radio show host. She uses dance as a medium to express life to its fullest and also as a journey to a higher level of consciousness. She loves to share the traditions, culture and wisdom of her ancestors, and she truly believes that the Western world can benefit from her African heritage.
Flamenco is the passionate dance and music of Spain’s Andalucia region. As one of Canada’s elite professional flamenco dancers, Karen Pitkethly is the face of flamenco in Vancouver. She is a life-long dancer, extensively trained in ballet, contemporary, and flamenco dance. Her dance company can be seen throughout the city, spicing up events such as the 2009 Komasket Music Festival, Olympic 2010 Surrey Celebration Site, and the 2010 Canadian Cancer Society Diamond Ball. Karen will also be involved with the June 2011 production of “Moulin Rouge” (Molino Rojo) at the Centre for Performing Arts in Vancouver. Karen’s choreography graced the summer 2010’s successful Bard on the Beach production of “Much Ado About Nothing” and will be seen at the Arts Club Theatre’s fall 2010 season presentation of “Don Quixote”.
Tambura Rasa are nominated for 2011’s WCMA World Music Album of the Year. Their music explores the trade routes that linked the South Asian subcontinent, the Middle East, Mediterranean, North African and European lands. The ensemble includes Vancouver’s premiere percussionist, originally from Uruguay, Pepe Danza, violin prodigy, Michael Fraser, leader Ivan Tucakov plus an authentic Egyptian belly dance performance.
Ranj Singh and the Discriminators
A recent discovery, Ranj and his versatile band go where no other band has. A first for Canada, they represent a new cultural cross-roads between Canadiana/Americana folk roots and South Asian cultural traditions. Think Neil Young meets Ravi Shankar, with flavors of sitar and tabla mixed in with beautifully crafted western melodies. Instantly accessible.
This will be an absolute show stopper. Her performances have wowed crowds since we introduced her new trio at the WorldBeat Stage in June. Kytami is a violinist extremist. Perhaps Canada’s most diverse and engaging fiddle player, she is an unbelievably energetic performer. Kytami can bound between classical and Celtic fiddle styles, match them to heavy bass and electronic dance beats. With her abilities, style and devilish smile, she has won over audience after audience, appearing at most major festivals across Canada and in the Western U.S. as well as performing overseas in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Berlin and Dubai. Kytami has toured extensively with the multi-cultural, award winning band Delhi 2 Dublin.
Born in Barcelona, Spain, Juan Carreras aka ‘Juan de Marias’ started his musical studies as a classical guitarist in 1969, and three years later began the study of flamenco guitar with some of the most renowned teachers in Barcelona, Madrid and Jerez, Spain.
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Formed in 1986 by Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi, Kokoro Dance is a Vancouver-based post-butoh company that fuses the aesthetics of East and West in programs of dance that have earned critical acclaim across Canada and around the world. Kokoro Dance has produced over 1,000 performances and is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration and culturally diverse exploration.
African dance is cultural and spiritual expression of divinity. By using movement of nature, animals, and everyday life to express ourselves. African people also develop specific dances to summon their great ancestral spirit to invoke the energy of the ancient force within oneself for connection and healing.
Mearingstone is a Vancouver-based ensemble of five pipers, which plays new works for Scottish highland bagpipes, often augmented by other instruments such as Japanese taiko and shakuhachi, Indian tabla, bass clarinet, or pipe band percussion (snare, tenor and bass drums).
Shakti Dance strives to make Bharata Natyam understandable and meaningful to Canadians, and reflective of their experience. Their productions illuminate both traditional wisdom as well as contemporary concerns.
Silk Road Music
Canadian performances threading the cultures of Asia and the world—from classic Chinese solos and intimate duets to multicultural ensembles that rock the house.