A new festival in Surrey will feature two days of music and meditation at city hall, on the outdoor plaza there and also City Centre Library.
Co-presented by Transformational Theatre 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 of Raaga with Rani, and more.
The inaugural in-person festival follows a Music and Meditation online concert held in May 2021.
“We wanted to start festival this last year, but of course there was the pandemic, so we did a one-night concert at Surrey Arts Centre instead,” explained Linda Chawla, artistic director.
“It created some enthusiasm to do a live version of the event, so this will be our first Music and Meditation Festival.”
Surrey-based Transformational Theatre aims to do live productions that “uplift and inspire performers and audiences,” says a post on transformationaltheatre.com. “We endeavor to facilitate individual growth and discovery through providing opportunities for community members to engage with the arts in a meaningful way.”
At Surrey City Hall, Music and Meditation Festival will include afternoon performances and also activities for kids, including mandala colouring, henna and a percussion circle, ending at 4 p.m.
The Saturday evening concert (Aug. 6) will feature sarodist Stephen Day with Amarjeet Singh on tabla and also the Sahaj Qawwali Group, starting at 7 p.m.
The following afternoon, Sunday, Aug. 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 City Centre Library from 2 to 4 p.m.
The festival’s schedule of events is posted to transformationaltheatre.com, and video of last year’s Music and Meditation concert is posted to Youtube.com.
Chawla said a number of grants were secured to stage the inaugural festival, from partners including the City of Surrey, the Province of B.C., Creative BC and the B.C. Arts Council.
“When the pandemic happened we took a long time to figure out what to do, a year after we first submitted a cultural grant application (to the City of Surrey), in 2019,” she explained.
“But then we heard about the Surrey Arts Centre package to do filming there, and that was attractive to us. We filmed the event in March last year, and broadcast it in May. We had to be socially distanced, so our singers couldn’t sing together, for example. Between acts we had to clear the air for 15 minutes, so there were some challenges like that, with the flow of the event. Now we’re back in-person with the festival, and we’re hoping to make it an annual event.”