About Us 🌈 ✨

🌈 About Us 🌈 

The Give Peace a Chant Kirtan Band 🎶

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
(Edited: July 1st, 2017 🇨🇦 Canada150+ Day)
We honour and respect that our events take place mainly on the traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish (Sḵwxwú7mesh), and Musqueam (Xwméthkwyiem) Nations.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

sandra-circleNamasté Friend! ✨🙏✨ My name is Sandra Leigh. I’m here to tell you about the ever-evolving Give Peace a Chant Kirtan band (GPaC) that came together in 2001 🌈 

Originally, (it feels like a long time ago, now) I began offering GPaC Friday night  seva (selfless service) at a local yoga studio here in Vancouver, BC, along with my friend, Itamar.  At the time, we wanted to make space for a peaceful, alternative gathering that responded (creatively) to the insanity of the day! The shocking events of 9/11 in  2001 inspired me to take my (very simple) Indian bhajan / mantra meditation singing practice out to the world!
🎶 🌈 

Eventually, Itamar moved away, but I continued to host GPaC gatherings every Friday night, for over 10 years!  Since then, the evolution of the GPaC Kirtan band has helped anchor many inspiring musicians in sacred sound. Some of the finest musicians in Vancouver have come to play for peace! Shout out to ALL, musicians, artists, sound-healers, volunteers… there is not space to list everyone who has contributed or played a part of the GPaC Kirtan community journey, over the years!✨🙏✨

If you wish to join in and play/sing/offer as part of the Give Peace a Chant Kirtan band, please contact me.

In addition to our own events, we’ve also hosted / co-hosted some wonderful (and even famous) guest Kirtan artists for special Kirtan concert events special past events have included Shyamdas, Krishnadas , Mayapuris, Jai Uttal and many others, too.

GPaC Kirtan has offered our unique program both locally and internationally at music and yoga festivals, lifestyle retreats, yoga conferences, home programs, private gatherings, and for yoga teacher training graduation celebrations (references available on request). Listen to a FREE full preview sample of our program: 🎶 GPaC Kirtan! LIVE  🎶 Please share, as you like!

MORE ABOUT SANDRA:
My background includes ashram life. I have lived / worked  / studied  both in BC and abroad in various ashrams and yoga centres, since 1996.

My music research and development includes a 3 month immersion (2008) in Indian classical music/singing at the Varanasi Academy of Indian Classical Music located in Varanasi (Benares) India. Gratitude to Pandit Shivnath Mishra & Deobrat Mishra of Varanasi. Their school is Based on Benares Gahrana music tradition.

More personal research has included a number of bhakti yoga study retreats in India, mainly in Vraja Dham, (Vrindavan). More recently, I have been blessed with study retreat in Jatipura, Govardhan and Nathdwara, with ‘Find the Beloved’, as well.

After my first visit to India, I went on to study Sanskrit at UBC, under Professor Thomas Hunter.

To further compliment my music practice, I completed a sound healer’s development course (Dru Sound) and meditation teacher training near Bangor in North Wales, UK. While studying in the UK, I represented peace through music by (lightly) touring GPaC Kirtan in Scotland, where I also recorded some of the bed tracks for our ‘Kirtan Lila’ CD, which was released in 2015.

Upon completing my training with Dru UK, I found myself meeting the right connections at the right time and at the right place and so I went back to India. By grace, in 2016, I received initiation through Pushtimargiya Aacharya, Sri Milan Goswami and the teachings of Sri Vallabhacharya in Kota, India. ✨🙏✨

Back to Vancouver! 🌈 In September 2017, I celebrate 20 years of teaching yoga for the City of Vancouver, West End and Coal Harbour community centres. It’s been a magical and soulful journey, so far! My full bio, yoga classes, influences, workshops, can be found at yogamovesforeverybody.com.

‘Follow me’! 🌈 My latest community project (2016) is a TV show called ‘Yoga Moves for Every Body’ as seen on Shaw TV Vancouver Channel 4 // Shaw MultiCultural Channel 116 // please subscribe on YouTube as YogaMovesTV.  GPaC’s CD, ‘Divine Play’ was created especially as soundtrack for the yoga show, too!

I’m available to teach mantra practice (one to one and smaller groups).  If you are interested in a developing a simple bhajan/mantra practice, please contact me

What to look forward to when you attend our Kirtan gatherings:

‘GPaC’ Kirtan extracts its flavour or  rasa  from Indian devotional chanting (also called bhajans) and bhakti yoga (devotional) practice. The bhakti style is to recognize that the Name and the Form are the Same! 🎶 So, when we sing, we unite our hearts with our Highest possibilities!

GPaC Kirtan gatherings are usually held BY DONATION and proceeds donated for charitable cause or seed money for future related projects. Fundraising sometimes includes vegetarian food bank drive, and/or partial proceeds for cow seva at Ahimsa Goshala, near Ashcroft, BC.

Please note: when our venue for Kirtan is booked through the City of Vancouver, our program requires an activity fee, but no one is ever turned away for lack of funds. Volunteers are welcome & appreciated.

Please contact us if you would like to volunteer for an event.

We will provide cushions for floor seating, or mats and chairs, unless otherwise specified. Light Prasād (usually fruit) will be served after the gathering. Please bring water to drink.

You don’t need be a “good singer” in order to enjoy the benefits of Kirtan and mantra meditation. Come along for the bhav! Everyone is welcome to come celebrate life! 🎶 🌈 

Our mission is peace through music, mantra, yoga and meditation.