The South Asian Family Festival (SAF) is a new event in Vancouver. It showcases Indian, Punjabi and other artists at the Pacific National Exhibition.
The festival doesn’t happen during the PNE Fair which is during the last three weeks of the summer. Instead, the South Asian Family Festival takes place on the fairgrounds of the Pacific National Exhibition as its own independent event on a Sunday in mid-June.
In 2023 the South Asian Family Festival took place on Sunday, June 18th, which coincided with the Father’s Day Weekend. Another great event that took place that weekend was ScotFestBC & the BC Highland Games. There were also sports-related fundraising events such as the Longest Day Road Race benefiting the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and the GearUp4CF Bike Ride which benefits Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Playland at the PNE was also open every weekend in June.
2023 SAF Festival in Vancouver
The inaugural SAF Festival is a one-day event featuring amusement rides, music, market vendors, fashion designers, food, arts and culture. The event took place on June 18th, which was also Father’s Day. Organizers hope it’ll become the largest South Asian family-themed music and cultural event in the country.
At the event half a dozen or so South Asian singers perform at the PNE Amphitheatre. There are also multicultural dance performances and a fashion show as well as food stalls, market vendors, an automobile showcase, and around two dozen Playland amusement rides. Another highlight of the festival is the Punjabi Village, with displays of traditional farm equipment, musical instruments and more.
Besides featuring top performers from the South Asian community, this debut one-day event is packed with entertainment. If you like South Asian cuisine, bring along your appetite. There is no shortage of eclectic foods scattered throughout the fairgrounds to choose from and enjoy. Food vendors include Chaiiwala of London and Ustaad 76. You can also visit the Shopping Bazaar and browse or buy products such as traditional jewellery and clothing.
When and Where
The first annual South Asian Family Festival happened on Sunday, June 18th, at the PNE Fairgrounds. The venue includes Playland and the area around the PNE Amphitheatre. The rides, entertainment and family-friendly things to see and do ran from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm.
Exact date and details for the event in 2024 are to be confirmed.
As of mid-June, tickets for the festival cost $35 for an all-day pass or $55 for admission plus access to the rides. We expect prices to be comparable when the event returns in 2024.
General admission includes access to all the concerts, the festival’s fashion show and the Show ‘N Shine event. Parking at the venue is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 2023 South Asian Family Festival’s headlining performer was Gippy Grewal who is an award-winning actor and singer. He is also involved in the Hindi and Punjabi film industry as a producer and director. As a singer, the artist is famous for “Phulkari.” He is also well known for his role in the movie “Mel Karade Rabba.”
Other artists at the festival in 2023 included the following:
- Avvy Sra – a singer famous for songs like “Judge,” “White Brown Black” and “Babe Bhangra Paunde Ne.”
- Barbie Maan – a Punjabi singer known for “Meriyan Saheliyan” and “Ajj Kal Ve.”
- Gagan Kokri – the Punjabi singer performed “Rise and Shine” and “Chill Mode” at the festival.
- Gur Sidhu – an Indian singer and songwriter known for “Moved On,” “8 Parche” and “Bro Oye.”
- Happy Raikoti – a Punjabi musician and actor known for the song “Jaan” and film “Teshan.”
- Maninder Buttar – the Punjabi singer and songwriter behind hits such as “Sakhiyann,” “Ik Tera,” “Pani Di Gal,” “Laare” and “Yaari.”
- Sukh E – an Indian singer and songwriter famous for songs like “Coka” and “All Black.”
To learn more about the festival, visit safvancouver.com.
South Asian countries are usually considered to be those on and around the Indian subcontinent. They include India and Pakistan, but also Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. About 14% of Metro Vancouver’s population of approximately 2.65 million people are of South Asian descent.
Other South Asian events in the Lower Mainland include the following:
- Vancouver Vaisakhi Festival – a large parade celebrating a Sikh holiday in April.
- Surrey Vaisakhi Parade – a large Sikh festival and parade in Surrey in April.
- 5X Festival – an arts and music festival.
- Indian Summer Festival – an arts festival featuring South Asian, Canadian and Indigenous artists in July.
- Monsoon Arts Festival – a music and arts festival in the summer.
- Diwali Fest – a South Asian cultural festival with events in autumn.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Pacific National Exhibition
- PNE Events
- Playland at the PNE
- Festivals & Events
- Vancouver Father’s Day Activities
- Vancouver’s June Calendar of Events