Indian Summer Festival

 INDIAN Summer Festival (ISF), Vancouver’s ‘festival for the curious mind’, marks its 10th anniversary by innovating and transforming itself into a spectacular digital season. To mark 10 years of creativity, the festival presents 10 mega-events, streamed on digital channels at 7:01pm PST every Saturday for 10 weeks, from May 16 to July 18.  All events are free to view, or by donation, with an acknowledgement that this is a difficult time for many.

“It’s an unusual time to be celebrating an anniversary,” says Sirish Rao, ISF’s Artistic Director, “but then again, we have always recognized the transformative power of the arts, and our work is all the more urgent now. It’s clear that people have turned once again to music, literature and film, for levity, for solace, to make sense of our predicament and imagine our futures. In this milestone year, we’re presenting a series of carefully curated events that will help our audience feel a sense of solidarity and purpose in creating a post-pandemic world that is not a return to normalcy as we knew it, but as we can reimagine and remake it.”

ISF has built its reputation on its loving and audacious curatorial punch, and this edition sees a stunning global cast of talent applying its creative power to address this unsettling time. From Grammy Award-winning musicians to emerging poets, Nobel prize-winning economists to visionary environmental warriors, this year’s programming spans literary dialogues, intellectual debates, musical performances, and even culinary experiences.

The broad theme of the festival is ‘River of Language’ – looking at languages as an ecosystem. Says Rao “The virus is a pathogen, but the real effect we’re feeling is a crisis of the human imagination, which brings us back to language and how we’ve been stripping ourselves of our mental biodiversity.” Speakers will address the pressing issues of the moment – such as the future of our environment, food security, our financial futures and the future of community. “We’re excited by the opportunity to bring people together in a digital community. We’ve removed more barriers to accessibility, and hope to reach and engage both our local and an international audience,” adds Rao. “I want to really recognize our funders, sponsors and donors who have stood by us in this difficult time, supported our reinvention and made all this incredible art available for free while ensuring artists and crew get paid. Watch for us in your email inboxes and screens for monthly programming updates from Indian Summer Festival.”

May event schedule includes:

Date:                     Saturday, May 16

 Beginnings – Sonic Tributes. Indian Summer kicks off with ten of Vancouver’s most talented musical voices sharing their new work in a one hour online special shot in and around the stunning landscapes of Granville Island. From Juno Award-winners to emerging stars, they show us why music was the first language humans invented.

Time:                     7:01pm PST

Date:                     Saturday, May 23

‘The Virus is a Wake-up Call’ Legendary environmental warriors Vandana Shiva and David Suzuki, both winners of the ‘Right Livelihood Prize’ or ‘alternative Nobel’ come together in this rare conversation across continents inviting us to consider the opportunity we have to change our ways of being as a species. We are truly all in this together.

Time:                     7:01pm PST

Date:                     Saturday, May 30 

‘It Could Be Verse: Poetry for a Pandemic’

For centuries, poetry has been the literary form that has told the stories of our times. A cast of outstanding poets from around the world offer us literature as shelter, medicine and mirror.

Time:                     7:01pm PST

For monthly festival highlights, full event lineup and access to events, visit