The Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts is an annual event with South Asian performances, workshops and activities in Vancouver and other communities in August.
In 2023 the festival runs from August 17th until the 31st. One of its main events is Punjabi Market Live which happens on Sunday, August 27th.
Monsoon Arts Festival in Vancouver
The Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts is an annual event put together by the South Asian Arts Society.
Each year, India goes through a monsoon season which mostly consists of heavy rainfall. Although the extreme weather conditions can be destructive at times, the people of India celebrate the season with joyous festivities.
Drawing inspiration from these overseas traditions, along with Vancouver’s rainy reputation, organizers of the local Monsoon Festival present a variety of South Asian performances and events in the Lower Mainland.
At the festival in a typical year, there are a number of ticketed performances as well as free workshops. The performances and in-person activities happen at a variety of venues around the Lower Mainland.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monsoon Arts Festival took place in a digital format in 2020 and 2021. In 2022 the festival took place both in-person and online.
The eighth annual Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts happens as a series of in-person and virtual events from August 17th to 31st in 2023.
This year’s festival features several different types of events. There’s an online marketplace that runs for the entire duration of the festival and showcases the works of select artists. Other activities include workshops, dance lessons and more.
One of the main events at the 2023 festival is Punjabi Market Live which happens on the last Sunday of August.
Punjabi Market Live in 2023
Punjabi Market Live takes place at the corner of 49th Avenue and Main Street in South Vancouver. It’s a free event with dancing, live music, food and a range of other family-friendly activities. The event runs from noon until 6:00 pm on Sunday, August 27th.
Punjabi Market Live happened for the first time in 2022. It was a fairly small event. It took place along about half a block of a side alley that runs parallel to Main Street. When we dropped by for a look there were maybe a couple of hundred people. They had a nice setup with awnings overhead, a stage at the front and four or so food trucks running along the side.
At the event last year there was dancing with the Coastal Wolf Pack, Mortal Coil, Karima Essa, Shan-E-Punjab Arts Club and Jolene Sloan. Artists singing at the event included Robyn Sandhu, Jugpreet Bajwa, Varinder Vicky & Navreet Kaur, and Krystal Kiran. There was also poetry by Guntaj Deep Singh, Mohan Gill and Balkaran. DJ Element was on-site throughout the day.
The 2023 entertainment lineup is to be confirmed. To learn more about this event click Punjabi Market Live.
For more information about the 2023 Monsoon Festival, visit the Monsoon Arts Festival website.
Other South Asian events in the Lower Mainland at other times of the year include the following:
- Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade – a large parade celebrating a Sikh holiday in April.
- Surrey Vaisakhi Parade – a large Sikh festival and parade in Surrey in April.
- South Asian Family Festival – a large family-friendly event at the PNE Fairgrounds in June.
- Indian Summer Festival – an arts festival featuring in July.
- Diwali Fest – a cultural festival in autumn.
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s August Calendar
- Festivals and Events in Vancouver
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Best Places for History and Culture
- Vancouver 5X Festival
- Vancouver Indian Summer Festival