Vancouver Whitecaps FC hosted the club’s first-ever Vaisakhi night Saturday, celebrating the South Asian community and the Solar New Year, before their 100th all-time meeting with the Portland Timbers.
Joining the supporters’ march to the match were dhol drummers from the Shan-e-Punjab Arts Club as well as members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club.
Also in the buildup to the match at Terry Fox Plaza, there was a Holi Masala food truck, henna and face painting and DJ Emenes’ set had some South Asian fusion.
Guru Nanak's Free Kitchen, a volunteer-led, not-for-profit organization, based on the Sikh teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, also was in attendance at Terry Fox Plaza and was stationed at section 219 during the match. Their organization, which provides freshly prepared langar (food) to over 1,000 residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on a weekly basis, gave away chai tea and fundraised for their organization.
Whitecaps FC worked with local artist Sandeep Johal to design the club’s Vaisakhi logo.
Inside BC Place, there was a pre-match bhangra dancing performance from the Shan-e-Punjab Arts Club, and internationally acclaimed and award-winning Bollywood singer and performer Jugpreet Bajwa sang the Canadian national anthem.
Shan-e-Punjab Arts Club returned at halftime, alongside a performance from Bajwa.
BC Place and Sodexo Live! donated $1 from each sale at Bombay Kitchen towards Guru Nanak's Free Kitchen, which also received a portion of Holi Masala’s sales.