South Asian Family Association (SAFA)

The South Asian Family Association was founded in 2001 with the following mandate:

1.    To increase cross-cultural harmony through the arts
2.    To encourage South Asian families to embrace western culture while embracing eastern value systems
3.    To promote positive South Asian images and role models
4.    To provide a platform for youth excellence in the arts, academics and community involvement.

The Society first produced the Sawan Mela in 2001 with a small audience of 250 people at the Moberley Arts Centre.  It quickly became a partner with the City of Vancouver in receiving Celebration Grants and the Province with the Direct Access Gaming Grants.  Through hard work, excellent community relations and using these public funds and concession revenue, the South Asian Family Association has now grown this community festival from an audience of 250 to that of 15,000 in 2009.  The event has found its permanent home in Stanley Park’s Lumbermans Arch and now supports more than 250 performers and disseminates arts to thousands.

Each year, SAFA brings performers from all parts of BC to Vancouver to participate alongside international stars.  Performers from Victoria to Abbotsford gladly accept our invitation to participate and showcase their cultures and talent.  SAFA also invites non-South Asian groups to attend and participate as well, so alongside popular Indian dances such as Bhangra, Giddha, Bollywood and traditional forms such as Orissi, Bharat Natyam and Kathak;  groups from Scottish, Irish, Latin America, Japan, Korea and First Nations dancers grace the stage next to their Jazz and hip-hop contemporary cousins. is a proud sponsor of Sawan Mela and Bollywood under the Stars presented by SAFA.