Photos: Indian Summer Festival opening party attracts who's who of Vancouver

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      It was billed as Vikram Vij & Chef Friends—and there's not another event like it on the summer calendar in Vancouver.

      I'm talking about the opening party for the Indian Summer Festival, which took place last night inside and on the patio of the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Yaletown.

      Vij was there and he invited chefs from several other restaurants—including Jamjar, Blue Water Cafe, Arc at the Fairmont Waterfront, and Cedar Feast House—to provide dishes.

      The catering collective of Syrian women at Tayybeh also participated.

      This year's event drew everyone from Mayor Gregor Robertson to Creative B.C. CEO Prem Gill to political commentator and writer Sandy Garossino.

      The Indian Summer festival runs until July 15 at a variety of venues; for the full lineup of events, you can visit the website.

      The headliner is legendary Indian bansuri master and composer Hariprasad Chaurasia, who was a good friend and musical partner of Beatles guitarist George Harrison. The Indian musician's other collaborators in the past have included Yehudi Menuhin, John McLaughlin, and Shivkumar Sharma.

      In addition, Chaurasia's music anchored some of the most memorable films by famed Bollywood director Yash Chopra, including Silsila (starring Amitabh Bachchan and Reka) and Chandni (starring Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor).

      Chaurasia will perform at the Orpheum Theatre next Saturday (July 14). 

      Watch this video to learn more about Hariprasad Chaurasia's amazing musical legacy.

      For more on last night's opening gala, here are a few snapshots that I took with my trusty phone:

      The mayor's director of community relations, Naveen Girn, met Immigrant, Montana author Amitava Kumar, who will be at Indian Summer's 5X15 Vancouver event at the Imperial on Saturday (July 7).
      Charlie Smith
      Jobs, Trade and Technology Minister Bruce Ralston and Simon Fraser University president Andrew Petter are regulars at the annual opening night gala of the Indian Summer Festival.
      Charlie Smith
      Mayoral candidate Shauna Sylvester and B.C. Liberal MLA Sam Sullivan spent time with musician Mohamed Assani, who will join the Allegra Chamber Orchestra for a program called Songs for Scheherazade at the Ismaili Centre in Burnaby on July 15.
      Charlie Smith
      Dr. Arun Garg has been a long-time supporter of the Indian Summer Festival.
      Charlie Smith
      Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan (centre) spent time chatting with home-staging consultant Rita Chohan (left) and fitness guru Bindi Bains.
      Charlie Smith
      Musqueam weaver Debra Sparrow (above) collaborated with artist Sandeep Johal on the Pause pavilion, which is being unveiled today in Vanier Park as part of the Indian Summer Festival.
      Charlie Smith
      NPA councillor and possible Yes Vancouver Party mayoral candidate Hector Bremner was another well-known person at the opening.
      Charlie Smith
      SFU Vancouver's executive director, Laurie Anderson, is flanked by his colleagues Claudia Wang (left) and Aelita Gontar. SFU is a founding sponsor of the festival.
      Charlie Smith
      B.C. Children's Hospital research analyst Harpreet Chhina and her husband, HUB Cycling's Navdeep Chhina, were among a large number of guests at the opening.
      Charlie Smith
      Political organizer Mark Marissen and cultural navigator Mo Dhaliwal have known each other for many years.
      Charlie Smith
      A former attorney general and B.C. Court of Appeal justice, Wally Oppal, attended the opening and extended his best wishes to the festival's artistic director, Sirish Rao (left).
      Charlie Smith

       

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