One of Victoria’s favourite cultural celebrations marks a prestigious 10 years this week, and you’re invited to the party!
Hosted by the India Canada Cultural Association – Victoria, India Mela is a multicultural celebration of music, dancing, food and more, coming to Centennial Square Aug. 17 and 18.
Mela – which means a gathering or festival – is an opportunity to share and celebrate between cultures, including the sights, sounds and flavours of India, explains Hardeep Grewal, President of ICCA and one of the event organizers, noting that the last few festivals have welcomed about 20,000 people over the two days.
“It’s a gathering of friends and family and a way for people to come together and have fun,” he says.
So much to see and do
Highlights include an array of lively music and colourful dances from various cultures, showcasing both contemporary and traditional performances, Grewal says.
Dance performances include Bhangra, Gidha, Garba, Bharat Natyam, along with Zumba, salsa and belly dancing, and so much more. West African percussionist Mamadou Diabate, based in Vienna, Austria, joins Mela as a guest performer on Sunday.
The family-friendly festivities run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days and feature an array of live performances, in addition to a live DJ station, interactive games, including bouncy castle for the children, vendor booths and a whole lot more!
Entry is free, with food available for purchase from the talented team from Sizzling Tandoor restaurant.
Celebrating a rich history
The 10th anniversary of India Mela comes as the ICCA celebrates its own 50-year milestone.
The non-profit society works to celebrate and raise awareness about India’s rich culture, and to create a stronger and more cohesive Victoria community.
The annual Mela is one of its signature events, an opportunity to share the richness of the Indian culture, create community partnerships and demonstrate a healthy way of life.
Over the decades, the ICCA has also raised more than $500,000 for various charities and humanitarian efforts, ranging from international earthquake relief programs to local programs like the children’s hospital and the Tour de Rock cops for cancer.
For additional information, visit iccavictoria.com and come down to Centennial Square Aug. 17 and 18!