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A massively popular cultural event in Metro Vancouver is scrapped for 2022, according to organizers.
On Monday, March 7, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar Surrey released a statement confirming the Vaisakhi Parade – the largest of its kind in the world that routinely brings in half a million people – is cancelled for 2022.
The event was set to take place in Surrey on April 23, but now, we likely won’t see a Vaisakhi Parade until 2023.
According to organizers, the creation of the Khalsa in 1699 is an important date in the Sikh calendar. The parade is part of the celebration that brings the community together and feeds them a ton of free delicious vegetarian dishes.
It’s such a massive event that it usually takes a full year of planning to pull off.
Public health orders for events shifting has led to a tight turnaround for organizers who say they can’t honour the importance and magnitude of the event with such a short timeline.
President Moninder Singh, with Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, said that they are a Sikh Gurdwara, using donations from its sangat (or congregation) to operate.
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As such, they feel “it would be irresponsible on our part to go forward at this time and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on deposits and expenditures in preparation for the event only to have sporadic and last-minute changes to the public health orders in the future and be pushed to cancel the event later and lose donations which are for supporting important programs in our community.”
“Our decision also impacts the thousands of families preparing for the event and spending thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money to serve the community through free food and give-aways on that day in the spirit of Seva (Selfless Service) and Sarbat Da Bhalla (Welfare of all Humanity).”
While we can’t come together at a Vaisakhi Parade this year, there are still lots of ways to learn about and connect with Metro Vancouver’s charitable Sikh communities year-round, like Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen and more.