Diwali festival to be reorganized

Event to morph into new multicultural celebration

The Festival of Lights Diwali Integration event – which has brought colourful multicultural celebrations to the White Rock and South Surrey waterfront since 2014 – will not be part of the cultural scene on the Peninsula this fall.

But Moti Bali, chair of the International Community Celebration Society, said the White Rock city-supported event, which has annually celebrated the symbolic victory of light over darkness with everything from dance to fireworks, is far from dead – merely resting.

It will be back, but reorganized and formally rebranded as a new multicultural festival, in time for fall 2019, Bali – who is running for a seat on White Rock council in this October’s civic election – told Peace Arch News.

“We will be celebrating all different cultures, not confining it to Diwali only,” Bali said, noting the event’s association with the traditional South-East Asian Diwali festival of lights had meant it was tied to an October date.

“This gives us greater flexibility,” he said.

The new event is planned for Sept. 6, 2019 at what will then be a completely renovated Memorial Park at West Beach, he added.

“We’re going to be working on this for over a year,” Bali said. “The main idea is repecting each other and learning from each other and portraying love for each other in the community.”

Bali said that members of all cultures in Canada will be encouraged to participate and share their heritage at the festival, which – in keeping with past Festival of Lights policy – will emphasize live music and dance, food vendors, children’s activities and ethnic clothing from many traditions.

First Nations traditions will not be overlooked in the rebranded festival, Bali said.

“We’ll be specifically inviting Semiahmoo First Nation to participate,” he said, noting the high level of co-operation SFN has provided in offering free parking during past festivals, and in providing all of Semiahmoo Park to the ICCS as the venue for the 2017 event, due to the beginning of work at Memorial Park.

“That is part and parcel of what we’re doing – this is what I sincerely believe in,” Bali said.

More information on a new name and organizational make-up of the new festival will be announced early next year, he added.

Just Posted

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

Surrey school trustees want to see reliance on portables reduced by 50% in five years

Board votes unanimously to request a meeting with Minister of Education

UPDATE: Police seeking witnesses to fatal Surrey hit-and-run

A pedestrian was killed Thursday night in a crash on Highway 10 near 152nd Street

Surrey woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

‘Old-Timers’ bring competitive hockey to North Delta rink

A group of 600 athletes ages 50 and older meet weekly to compete in Canada’s winter sport

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

UPDATE: Police ID man in suspicious Richmond death

A body was found in the area of Garden City and Odlin Roads in Richmond just after 8:30am Thursday

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read