The UFV Bhangra Club is part of the Straight from the Valley on the opening night of the Harrison Festival of the Arts

Bhangra club helps open festival

Counting down the moments until Harrison Festival opening night

In just one month, the beachfront will come to life once again, as the 36th annual Harrison Festival of the Arts gets underway.

For 10 days and nights, the village will be filled with wondrous sights and beautiful sounds. With so much to see and do, we’ve combed through the offerings and will highlight our festival picks over the next five weeks. This week, The Observer spoke with Sandy Sekhon, president of the UFV Bhangra Club.

The club is part of a collaborative opening night concert, Straight from the Valley, which will also feature the Sabir Sisters and the Langley Ukulele Ensemble, on July 11.

“I’ve always loved dancing,” Sekhon said, and while she’s been dancing all her life, she began her career as a Bhangra dancer six years ago. A few years later, she joined the UFV club, and became the secretary. Now with almost four years as a member, she’s the club’s president.

“It was nice to know the school had a team I could join, and I thought why not represent the school?,” she said. At the same time, she said the team is helping to spread the love of Bhangra among many cultures.

“We’ve been able to reach out to other ethnicities,” she said, through performances, competitions and workshops. At the concert in Harrison, the club will be in full performance mode. But in workshops they teach people the meaning behind the moves. And not surprisingly, Bhangra is a way of communicating celebration.

“There’s a whole culture behind it,” she said.

Full price tickets for Straight from the Valley are $25 for adults, $22 for children and seniors, with early bird discounts in effect until June 27.

For full festival information, visit www.harrisonfestival.com.

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