SURREY - It looks like the City of Bhangra Festival is coming to Surrey.
The festival, which has been held in Vancouver for the last seven years, attracts approximately 10,000 participants, and the board now has plans to expand into Surrey.
Bhangra is a traditional style of folk music and dance that traces its origins from the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan.
Mo Dhaliwal, director of VIBC Society (Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society) spoke to Surrey city council on April 2, sharing the society's plans to host four City of Bhangra Festival events in Surrey.
To do so, the society asked the city for a grant of $25,000 a year for three years to help with artist fees, production expenses, as well as marketing and venue costs.
A staff report to council recommends council approve a grant of $15,000 per year (from the Council Initiatives Fund) in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to the VIBC to help support the festival. Council was expected to vote on the recommendation Monday night.
Over the years, the VIBC Society's board members noticed the majority of their audience members and artists are from Surrey.
"Eighty per cent of the talent we use at our festival is from Surrey," Dhaliwal told Surrey council earlier this month. "We need to come home to Surrey," Dhaliwal said.
The projected annual budget for the festival's Surrey component is $50,000.
The 2012 City of Bhangra Festival program for Surrey is scheduled to include four events at four different venues, including the Surrey Arts Centre.
The event at the Surrey Arts Centre (rePercussion on May 31) explores percussion and folk drumming from a variety of cultures. Other planned events in Surrey include Mehfil Night on June 1 at Mahek Restaurant, Celebrate the Harvest on June 2 at Central City Plaza and Bhangra House on June 3 at Newton Cultural Centre.
Visit thenownewspaper.com to see if Surrey council approved funding.