Chef Vikram Vij

Indian Summer Festival returns to Vancouver, July 5 to 15, 2012, with an incredible line-up of critically acclaimed performers, internationally renowned thinkers, and mind-expanding experiences. Presented by Indian Summer Arts Society (ISAS) in collaboration with Teamwork Productions, the second-annual celebration of South Asian culture, arts and ideas takes over the Woodward’s Complex in downtown Vancouver.

This July, the festival expands upon last year’s inaugural success, presenting leading local and international artists and intellectuals, including Vancouver’s own celebrity chef, Vikram Vij; Bollywood’s most iconic leading lady, Sharmila Tagore; Af-Pak expert, MJ Akbar; renowned feminist, Urvashi Butalia; and award-winning world music group, Mrigya. The 2012 festival’s offerings span a broad array of free public programming and ticketed events, in such diverse fields as music, dance, literature, film, yoga, cuisine and visual arts.

Indian Summer Festival 2012 Highlights, include:

Ideas Series:

Tinderbox: India & its Neighbours, with MJ Akbar

Thursday, July 12, 7pm: Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Indians and Pakistanis are of the same people: Why then, have their nations moved on such different trajectories since freedom in 1947? Acclaimed journalist, politician and thinker MJ Akbar will lead the audience on a historical whodunit to trace the journey of an idea, and the events, people, circumstances and mindset that divided India.

The Other Side of Silence, With Urvashi Butalia

Saturday, July 14, 7:30pm: Studio D, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Urvashi Butalia is a leading Indian feminist and historian. She founded India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, and is the author of several books, including the award-winning The Other Side of Silence.

Who Do You Think You Are? with Gurjinder Basran, David Chariandy & Anosh Irani

Sunday, July 15, 8pm: Studio D, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Three of BC’s most celebrated young writers of distinctly different backgrounds discuss how their respective heritage and upbringing influence issues of identity, location and language.

Film Series:

A Life in the Limelight: Sharmila Tagore & 5 Decades of Indian Cinema

July 6-8 & 13-15 at 7pm: Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Five nights of film screenings celebrate India’s legacy of gripping, incredible cinema. The series kicks of with an intimate evening where Indian film icon Sharmila Tagore will discuss her life in cinema. Each subsequent evening will feature a classic film starring Tagore, progressing from the 1960’s to today.

Well-being Weekend:

The Well-being Weekend

July 7 & 8, 10am-4pm: Studio T, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Leading experts from India and Canada offer a weekend of talks on health, nutrition, Ayurveda, and overall well-being and hands-on classes on yoga postures, meditation & pranayama. Participants make their own schedule, selecting between concurrent sessions.


Mrigya in Concert: The Sounds of the Sufis

Friday, July 13, 8pm: Fei & Milton Wong Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Delhi-based world music band Mrigya presents a mystical concert for those who believe that music transcends all borders.  The internationally acclaimed, award-winning ensemble returns to their roots for Indian Summer, presenting an evening of Hindustani and Sufi music. A Sufi/Qawwali duet by Gulaam Qadar and Sukriti Sen will open the evening, accompanied by Gyan Singh on the Tabla.

Free Dance Classes:

Bollywood Grooves & Bhangra Moves

July 6-8 & 13-15, 6pm: W2, Woodward’s Atrium (facing London Drugs, Nesters Marketplace)

Shiamak Davar is a world-renowned choreographer known for his trendsetting work in Bollywood blockbusters. His Vancouver Dance Team will lead Bollywood Jazz classes, combining the energy, colour and flavour of Indian cinema with the flair of Jazz.

Once you’re warmed up, join the fun-loving South Asian Arts Team, who will lead free Bhangra classes, a high-energy, rhythmic dance form from Punjab.


Opening Reception: A Culinary Tour of India, Curated by Vikram Vij

Thursday, July 5, 7pm: W2’s Indian Summer Lounge (aka W2 Media Café)

The first day of Indian Summer will launch with a celebration of fine food, live music and spectacular dance. Vikram Vij will curate a culinary tour of India, where multiple food stations, provided by some of Vancouver’s favourite Indian eateries, feature various regional cuisines from across the country.

Dinner by Starlight

Saturday, July 7, 7pm: Secret Vancouver Location

Vikram Vij hosts a rare and exclusive 5-course dinner reception with the icon of Indian cinema and guest of honour, Sharmila Tagore. The coveted event will be hosted at a secret location- ticket holders will discover the special locale just two weeks prior to the event.

Ticketed events ranging from $5 to $350 available online at and through Tickets Tonight.

For complete 2012 festival line-up and details, please visit