From July 3 to 12, our favourite festival of arts, ideas and diversity returns to Vancouver for the fourth annual Indian Summer Festival.

orijit sen mural anandpur sahib

Here’s the thing. We like to pretend believe that we’re intellectual, high-brow, cultured people who have read Rana Dasgupta’s Capital, saw Subodh Gupta’s last installation at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, and know that Coleman Barks is the most popular translator of Rumi in North America.

The fact is, we don’t know any of that stuff, but luckily, every July, Indian Summer Festival gives us the chance to learn about all sorts of smart, intellectual and creative things without having to leave Vancouver.


Herewith, Jugni Style’s 5 top picks to get smarter with Indian Summer Festival 2014:


1. The Opening Gala. 

indian summer festival opening gala manjot bains sukhi ghuman joti dhesi

Manjot Bains, Sukhi Ghuman and Joti Dhesi. Photo by Sukhi Ghuman.

Mingle with special guests, sip on fine local wine, and nibble delectable snacks from the city’s top restaurants (curated by Vikram Vij), all while experiencing the Indian Summer magic in the city’s most beautiful garden. Poets and musicians will play intermittently throughout the event, serenading guests with words and sounds of beauty.

Jugni Style is a proud partner of the ISF Opening Gala. We’ll be hosting a best dressed contest for men and women on-site, so call your local stylist and lookout for our photographers at the gala.

ISF2014 Opening Gala: July 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Gardens. Buy tickets.


2. From Punjab, with love.

Orijit Sen Indian Summer Festival mural

From Punjab with Love is a free public art installation by renowned Indian graphic artist Orijit Sen. The mural was born out of a larger project that he was closely associated with: the Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum, a multi-media museum and cultural centre in the holy city of Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, India.

The mural is stunning in scope and staggering in detail, rendered in a hybrid form that melds the Mughal miniature style of painting with Orijit’s own graphic novelist’s eye. It depicts and celebrates the daily life, history, myths and festivities of Punjab. Don’t miss this gorgeous mural, free to the public.

From Punjab, with love: June 27 to July 21 daily at Woodward’s Atrium at SFU Woodwards.


3. 5×15: 5 brilliant speakers, 15 unscripted minutes each. The result is magic. 

5x15 indian summerfestival

The 5×15 format comes to us from London, and makes its North American debut in Vancouver. The diverse list of speakers includes:

  • Zarqa Nawaz: Putting the FUN back in Fundamentalism
  • Ivan Coyote: What My Grandmother Left Us
  • Reza Aslan: The Politics of Religion
  • Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas: Why Indians Matter
  • Anita Majumdar: Cooking Stories with Only Half the Ingredients

Jugni Style is excited to partner on this inaugural edition of 5×15 in Vancouver – lookout for us at the Fox Cabaret.

5×15: July 10 at 9:00 p.m. at Fox Cabaret. Buy tickets.


4. Laughing My Way to the Mosque with Zarqa Nawaz and Anita Majumdar

laughing to mosque zarqa nawaz anita majumdar

Jugni Style is ecstatic to partner with Indian Summer Festival on this special conversation that brings two fascinating, funny women together to talk about the complexities of being brown women in Canada, with a liberal dose of humour. In her new book, Zarqa Nawaz (creator of the hit TV series Little Mosque on the Prairie) tells the sometimes challenging and always funny stories of her life, including agonizing about which sparkly earrings will ‘pimp out’ her hijab, and flirting with the Walmart meat manager to score the best Halal chicken just before Eid.

In conversation with Zarqa is Jugni Style’s resident DIY beauty expert and award-winning actor, playwright, and dancer, Anita Majumdar. In her most recent production, Same Same But Different (which she wrote and starred in), Anita tackles shadeism, identity and race with her trademark brand of sensitive cultural critique and humour. Read our interview with Anita Majumdar on race, shadeism and being Canadian.

Laughing My Way to the Mosque: July 9 at 8:00 p.m. at SFU Woodwards. Buy tickets.


5. Passages: An unplugged evening of Jazz, poetry and stories of the Komagata Maru.

Neelamjit dhillon quartet komagata maru

The Neelamjit Dhillon Quartet brings together 4 dynamic musicians playing the saxophone/flute, tabla, piano, bass and drums. Together, they tell the tale of the Komagata Maru through classical Indian and jazz forms. Joining them are renowned Canadian poets – Phinder Dulai, Renee Saklikar and Priscila Uppal – talking about memory and remembrance. Accompanying them will be projections of historical photographs, and art by renowned Indian graphic novelist Orijit Sen.

Come early to view the Museum of Vancouver’s current exhibit, Unmoored: Vancouver’s Voyage of the Komagata Maru, and stay after for wine, snacks and conversation.

Passages: July 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Museum of Vancouver. Buy tickets.