A new festival in Surrey will feature two days of music and meditation in Town Hall, the outer square and also in the town center library.
Admission is free to the 2022 Music and Meditation Festival, scheduled for the weekend of August 6-7.
Co-presented by Transformational Theater and Sahaja Yoga BC, the festival will feature meditative flute music by Edgar Muenala, indigenous dance by the Wild Moccasin Dancers, a vocal workshop with Rani Thompson from Raaga with Rani, and more .
The inaugural in-person festival follows an online concert of music and meditation held in May 2021.
“We wanted to start the festival last year but of course there was the pandemic so we did a one night gig at the Surrey Arts Center instead,” explained Linda Chawla, artistic director.
“It created some excitement to do a live version of the event, so this will be our first music and meditation festival.”
The Surrey-based Transformational Theater aims to deliver live productions that “elevate and inspire performers and audiences”, says a post on transformationaltheatre.com. “We strive to facilitate individual growth and discovery by providing opportunities for community members to engage in the arts in meaningful ways.”
At Surrey Town Hall, the music and meditation festival will include afternoon performances as well as children’s activities including mandala coloring, henna and a drum circle, ending at 4 p.m. h.
The Saturday night concert (August 6) will feature sarodist Stephen Day with Amarjeet Singh on tabla as well as the group Sahaj Qawwali, starting at 7 p.m.
The following afternoon, Sunday August 7, members of Sahaja Yoga BC will present music at Surrey City Plaza from noon to 2 p.m. and free meditation classes at the Downtown Library from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. .
The festival’s calendar of events is posted on transformationaltheatre.com, and the video from last year’s music and meditation concert is posted on Youtube.com.
Chawla said a number of grants have been secured to stage the inaugural festival, from partners including the City of Surrey, Province of British Columbia, Creative BC and the BC Arts Council.
“When the pandemic hit, it took us a long time to figure out what to do, a year after we first applied for a cultural grant (to the City of Surrey), in 2019,” he said. she explains.
“But then we heard about the Surrey Arts Center package to film there, and we liked it. We filmed the event in March last year and aired it in May. We had to be socially distant, so our singers couldn’t sing together, for example. Between acts, we had to clear the air for 15 minutes, so there were challenges like that, with the flow of the event. We are now back in person with the festival and hope to make it an annual event.