“Our vision is for an inclusive, diverse, and culturally-rich society.”
Where Worlds Meet
Indian Summer Arts Society (ISAS) is a Vancouver-based not-for-profit secular arts organization that was incorporated as a BC registered not-for-profit in March 2011 and became a CRA-registered charity in 2014. Our vision is for an inclusive, diverse, and culturally rich society. Our mandate is to offer daring multi-arts events that catalyze and inspire audiences and artists in a spirit of dialogue and global citizenship. To achieve our mandate, in 2011 we founded the annual Indian Summer Festival with support from SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit and Teamwork Arts India (the producers of the Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free literary festival).
Each year, the festival presents provocative arts events that feature some of the finest artists and visionaries from Canada, South Asia and beyond. From novelists to DJs, social entrepreneurs to Bollywood stars, Indian Summer Festival has presented emerging artists as well as Nobel, Booker, Grammy and Oscar prize nominees on its stages. Our programming is rigorous and quirky with an appetite for experimentation, deep thinking, and curiosity. We see artists as important voices in the larger community, allowing us to step into the worlds they create, while also addressing the pressing questions of the one we inhabit. We offer a model for dialogue, a possibility for an inclusive community that is unafraid of striking up conversations – both cheerful and difficult. As the world builds more and more walls and as societies get more suspicious and afraid of people who don’t look like them and think like them, we believe in the transformative power of the arts and the festival is our way of reaffirming these beliefs.
The festival’s byline, ‘Where Worlds Meet,’ speaks to our focus on artistic collaboration. We create what we like to call ‘good friction’ by looking beyond the easy middle ground in order to foster true curatorial risk-taking. Our approach also includes unusual pairings of the local with the international, traditional with contemporary, and unexpected genres coming together.
We recently concluded a very successful 6th year of the festival, featuring 108 artists from 24 cities. We saw exponential growth in our audience engagement with over 400,000 people engaged in our free and ticketed events and exhibitions. Indian Summer has firmly established itself as an integral part of Vancouver’s cultural landscape and was named by Westjet Magazine as #1 of the five best Canadian festivals “worth planning your summer travels around.”
These successes all speak to our vision to be a significant Canadian festival working towards an inclusive, diverse and culturally-rich society. We strive to put forward a model for how we can take our place in the world as responsible local and global citizens.
Years in Review
We’ve Come So Far!
Curious about where we’ve been and how far we’ve come? Feel free to take a trip down memory lane and peruse our festival annual reports from 2011 to 2016.