Vancouver businesses and entrepreneurs are giving the spirit of Diwali a modern twist this year.
For the first time, the B.C. chapter of the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC), a not-for-profit trade association linking Canada and India, will be bringing its Grand Diwali Gala — which has taken place in Toronto for the past 11 years — to Vancouver’s Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel on Oct. 25, in partnerships with TiE Vancouver, a local not-for-profit supporting entrepreneurship. With 200 people already expected in attendance — from local businesses like KPMG, Miller Thomson LLP and even an Indian business like Mumbai’s DairyLand — it will be an evening of networking, food and entertainment.
Diwali, often referred to as the festival of light, celebrates the victory of good over evil, lightness over darkness, prosperity over poverty. The primary goddess worshipped is Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity — which couldn’t be more fitting for the upcoming networking event.
The event is aimed to promote India as a potential market and trading partner for B.C.
Most of Canada’s trade with the U.S. has tapered off and by the 80s the country focused on trade with China, but since India opened its doors to international trade, Nazareth believes it’s a great opportunity for the province.
Vancouver’s first-ever Grand Diwali Gala will kick off at 6 p.m. Oct 25 at the Marriott Hotel at 1128 West Hastings St. The evening will include prominent speakers from B.C. government including Minister of International Trade, Teresa Wat. And of course the night will be bursting with Indian culture with authentic cuisine and Indian classical dance performances, as well as a special Goa folk dance performance.
Many other Diwali events are taking place across the Lower Mainland as well, including Richmond’s Diwali Festivities on Nov. 9 at the Richmond Cultural Centre and Vancouver’s annual Diwali Fest (formerly known as Vancouver Celebrates Diwali), which runs in both Vancouver and Surrey Oct. 29 to Nov. 8.