Big thank you to Diwali supporters

How can we, Mission Community Services Society (MCSS),  possibly thank all of the wonderful people, organizations and sponsors of the 2016 version of Festival of Light: Diwali?

We were pleased with the food, entertainment, commercial/community booths and army of volunteers who overwhelmed us with their generosity.

From the moment patrons walked toward the Clarke Theatre entanceway on Oct. 26 and witnessed the drama of 1,200 small lights, colourful garlands  and light tree set up by our terrific MCSS  crew (Raman and Saba) to the time they enjoyed the 22 community representatives in the foyer and strolled into the cafetorium to the aroma of curried chick peas and rice, samosas and sweets, there was certainly much to celebrate.

Flags of the 24 sponsors adorned the walls of the dining areas, and Costco set up facebook-diwali-art-jpegits booth as a first-time sponsor to offer Diwali-goers one of their 1,000 bottles of donated water.  The ebb and flow of volunteers helped make the event run like a well-oiled machine . . . and we had 50 of them, mostly from the local high schools.

Dev and Nick from The Honda Way were not only there with their new Honda Civic Hatchback displayed outside the theatre, but they thrilled the crowd with special prizes from their plenko-type game that drew a lot of excitement.

Norden the Magician was back again with his special foyer performances and Mission Save-On-Foods offered a special spice-tasting booth.

14572776_1125395327514695_8436320995377514207_nWhen the theatre doors  swung open at 6 p.m. for the eight stage acts, our two emcees Abbotsford Coun. Kelly Chahal and Satti Grewal with a lot of support from our stage manager Pam Alexis and her volunteers behind the curtain (communicating with the sound/light booth) were ready to go.

Sanjay Gulati our executive director read a Diwali message from the Prime Minister’s office, Mayor Randy Hawes shared his greetings, and he was followed by MLAs Simon Gibson and Marc Dalton.

Our stage was filled with the talents of Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford Arts Academy, Mexico en la Piel Cultural Society, Ukrainian Club of Abbotsford, Fraser Valley Irish Dance Association and a special comic performance by Satti Grewal.  Thanks to you all!

Also joining the festival in 2016 as sponsors are Mission Fire Rescue Service (first response team), United Defense Security (security), Ajay Construction and J’s Pizza (1,200 samosas).14855963_1151236461627057_1786971919154518393_o-1

Providing more than $1,000 support each were the District of Mission,  Multicultural Unit at the Ministry of International Trade for the BC Government, MCSS, the University of the Fraser Valley (graphics support, cash, dancers) and the Fraser Valley Hindu Cultural Society (food).

Generous cash contributors came from UFV Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, Mission International Cultural Association (MICA), Mission Association for Community Living, Mission Sunrise Rotary Club, Mission Mid-Day Rotary Club, United Way Fraser Valley, and Mission Literacy in Motion.

1897908_732530326831008_9075706517757961272_nMCSS would also like to recognize the support from Mission Early Childhood Development Committee,  Mission2Move Forward (food transporation team), Swing Optical and Mission Library.   A big thank you to the  South Asian restaurant in Yarrow which prepared the food for our Diwali event.

We could not do it without our media sponsors: The Punjabi Patrika, Mission Record (see front page below), and Mission and Abbotsford What’s On Magazines and our talented MCSS poster-posting and social media crew.  Thanks again!
Our henna artists this year were Kajal Mankatala and Alli Rempel.  Our photographer was Holly Craine of Violet Biggs Photography.

Serving on this year’s Festival of Light committee are Rick Rake, Pam Alexis, Sanjay Gulati, Satti Grewal, and Laura Wilson.   Since May 2016 we’ve been meeting to work out the Diwali festival details which at times moved like pieces on a chess board.

This event is scheduled to be part of the District of Mission’s 125th celebration (Canada’s 150th) and will be so branded.  Bronwen Sutherland from the Clarke Theatre  is already helping us with a special 2017 date.

If you wish to support Festival of Light: Diwali in 2017, please contact Rake at [email protected] or phone 604-826-3634.

Again, all of you who helped, contributed, promoted, cooked, donated or performed to make 2016 Festival of Light: Diwali the success it was, take a giant bow.  We thank you for your heartfelt support! See you in 2017.