Diwali set to light up B.C.

After producing and curating numerous Diwali celebrations in Metro Vancouver, Rohit Chokhani is embarking on a new, bold and ambitious initiative to expand the celebrations around B.C.

The first ever Diwali in BC celebrations will take place over 5 weeks beginning this month and is being organized artistic director Chokhani, Ashley Rose, associate producer and Teresa Trovato ,who will be handling publicity matters.

Chokhani was recently awarded the prestigious Jessie Richardson Theatre Award in the Large Theatre Category for “Significant Artistic Achievement in Expanding the Diversification of Vancouver Theatre”

For the last four years, Chokhani has been the Producer for Diwali Fest, the largest Diwali-themed festival in the Lower Mainland with events spanning over six weeks. He is also the Artistic Producer for South Asian Arts Society, which strives to create performance and educational opportunities for amateur to professional artists.

Here are some of the events;




Oct 17 – 22, 2017



The best physical theatre out of India, Encounter is a story about an Indigenous woman, Dopdi, and her communities’ struggle to uphold the Indigenous life and her defiance against injustice. Encounter, created for the stage by Aparna Sindhoor, S M Raju, and Anil Natyaveda is a tribute to the Indigenous people’s history all around the world.


Happy Place


Oct 19 – 29, 2017



Happy Place takes us into the experiences of seven women: inpatients, living together in the most extraordinary circumstances. Though each woman must navigate her own survival in a world that challenges that possibility, they are also the ones who teach one another how to live in a way no therapist ever could.Happy Place is a glimpse into lives filled with courage, compassion, humour and startling surprises; lives which – in many ways – are not so different from our own.


HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan


Oct 20 –  Nov 4, 2017



This solo show is a testament to the humanity and lives of sex workers; a mother’s plea for her daughter’s life and her honour; a story of the struggles of an unlikely family. See Mumbai’s red light district — the eunuch, priest, pimp, mother and daughter who call it home — come to life through the versatile and award-winning performance of Dipti Mehta.


Anatomy of Violence


Nov 4, 2017

Cineplex Odeon International Village


Deepa Mehta’s film examines one of the country’s most internationally notorious crimes: the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus. In collaboration with theatre director Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, Mehta worked improvisationally with her actors to envisage possible sociological and psychological backgrounds and pasts for both the perpetrators and the victim—highlighting a patriarchal culture, cycle of abuse, and an economic system skewed against the disadvantaged.




Nov 5, 2017




As part of the VARIETY SERIES at the Evergreen Cultural Centre, Diwali in BC is proud to bring the Diwali celebrations to Coquitlam. This South Asian, cabaret-style evening features classical, Bollywood, and contemporary dance as well as classical live music performances. Curated by Diwali in BC artistic director Rohit Chokhani. Special thanks to David Mann and Nina Buddhdev.




Nov 16, 2017



A Bharata-Natyam interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore’s epic dance drama ‘Shyama’. Choreographed by Jai Govinda, Artistic Director at Mandala Arts & Culture Society, and performed by his disciple Arno Kamolika, this dance theatre piece is a tribute to India’s highly acclaimed playwright Rabindranath Tagore.



How India gears up for the Festival of Lights


They say India is the land of festivals. No matter what month of the year it is, there is always some major festival round the corner in India. Home to people of various religions, India is one of the most secular lands on the planet. People across the country get together in festivities regardless of the religion celebrating the festival. Even with so many festivals that mean such a big deal to the people of this country, there is one festival that unanimously stands out as the country’s most prominent festival, event and celebration. Yes, it’s the Festival of Lights – Diwali. It would be fair to say that Diwali is the biggest festival celebrated by Indians both in the country as well as abroad. People often look forward to this festive season much like people look forward to Christmas in the west. The legend associated with Diwali is that it is celebrated to mark the return of Hindu deity Rama and his wife Sita after being exiles for years. Rama defeated the evil king Ravana (which is marked on the day of Dussehra) to return home with Laxman, Hanuman, Sita and the rest of his troupe on this day. He was welcomed by the lighting of numerous lamps and the day came to be celebrated by Hindus as Diwali. Diwali 2017 dates are October 17 to October 21. Here’s what each of these days stands for:


October 17: Dhanteras


It’s the 13th day of the lunar fortnight and honors Dhanvantari, a Lord Vishnu incarnation. It is considered to be an auscpicious day to purchase gold.


October 18: Chhoti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi


Legend has it that Lord Vishnu and Goddess Kali destroyed the demon Narakasura on this day. On this day, you can witness demon Narakasura effigies being burned in Goa. In West Bengal, where Goddess Kali is a revered deity, celebrations and prayers are held in her honour.


October 19: Amavasya and Laskhmi Puja


This day is believed to be the commencement of Diwali as it is the day of the Lakshmi puja. People all over India offer prayers to Lakshmi praying for wealth and prosperity. Most schools and offices have holidays on the day of Lakshmi Puja. In many ways, this is the actual day of Diwali. CHECK OUT Best Places to Visit near Delhi on the Long Diwali 2017 Weekend


October 20: Govardha Puja,  Bali Puja


The fourth Diwali day has different kinds of significance in different parts of India. In Gujarat, this day is celebrated as the beginning of the New Year. In northern parts of the country, this is the day of Govardhan puja as it is believed to be the day when Krishna defeated Indra. To celebrate this day, devotees prepare a variety of vegetarian food and offer it to the lord. And in Maharashtra, this day is celebrated as Bali puja to seek the blessings of king Bali.


October 21: Bhai Duj


On the day of Bhai dooj, sisters host feasts for their brothers which the whole family ends up enjoying. It is the equivalent of Raksha Bandhan, only this time the day is more for brothers than for sisters.

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