Indian Summer Festival creates space for healing through performance

2 July 2019

Attention all curious minds: Have you heard of Indian Summer Festival?

This Vancouver festival is modeled after the kind of world the creators would like to live – one of creativity, diversity, inclusivity and innovation.

As the world builds more and more walls and as societies get suspicious and afraid of people who don’t look like them and think like them, we believe in the transformative power of the arts and the festival is our way of reaffirming these beliefs.

One of the many diverse music therapy programs Music Heals has funded is Building Bridges with Music (BBM) at the Social Diversity for Children Foundation (SDC), Music Heals knows that a creative space can bring people together to make the world a better place. SDC empowers children with disabilities and encourages the development of friendships between those with and without disabilities – to help develop a generation of acceptance, inclusivity and compassion.

At the Indian Summer Festival, events like Conjuring the Future celebrate this type of inclusivity among a more mature generation and promote positive social change by giving a platform to voices who have often been otherwise marginalized in society – like members of the Queer, Indigenous, Pinoy, and trans communities. By intertwining the worlds of different people through art, our society can become closer and closer to the one this festival hopes to create.

“I feel empowered when I perform on stage not just as an artist but as an individual,” says HanHan, a rising Filipina-Canadian emcee and operating room nurse who brings Pinoy power to raps in her native Tagalog and Cebuano languages. “It felt scary at first to be in front of the crowd, but I realized early on that having the opportunity to hold the mic meant I have power and people are listening.

“In general, I consider art as therapy. It is a necessary healing aspect of our mental health, not just as individuals but as a community. Having spaces and platforms where we can have the freedom to be ourselves through performances is liberating. These are spaces where we can connect with other communities, learn and understand other cultures and perspectives different from our own. These are spaces where we can foster unity. We are all different, that’s a fact. Through these spaces we are ‘othering’ each other, but in a more inclusive way where the goal is to use power within relationships for transformation and coalition building.”

Indian Summer Festival runs from July 4 – 14 

Get your tickets for Conjuring the Future (July 6) HERE