About Us ✨

 

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

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

Originally, (it feels like a long time ago, now) GPaC Friday night Kirtan seva (selfless service) and Satsang (association with the truth in people) provided a space for bhaktas and like-minded musicians to offer ‘peace through music’ at the local yoga studios in Vancouver, BC.

Locally, ‘Give Peace a Chant’ Kirtan community was active (live Kirtan) on Friday nights, from 2001 – 2015.

GPaC Kirtan has offered our conscious music program locally and internationally, at festivals, lifestyle retreats, yoga conferences, home programs, private gatherings, for YTT graduation celebrations and more.

In the past, it has been an honour to help host / co-host guest Kirtan artists for special concerts and events Special past events have included Shyamdas, Krishnadas, Mayapuris, Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, Daniel Paul, Gina Sala, Shantala, Women of Bhakti and fond memories volunteering for Kirtan Vancouver Festival, too

 

About Sandra Leigh:
🙏 Welcome to my conscious music project and Give Peace a Chant website.

I am mainly a student, sometimes an artist and a teacher, always a researcher, specially when it comes to spiritual life and musical education.  My background includes ashram /temple practice, work, study, and teaching both in BC and abroad in various ashrams and yoga centres, since 1996.

My humble musical 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.

Personal research has included a number of bhakti yoga study retreats in India, mainly in Vraja Dham, (Vrindavan). More recently, I have been on study retreat to India to Jatipura, near Govardhan and Nathdwara with ‘Find the Beloved’, whom I highly recommend for their Bhakti Lifestyle retreats and online Satsang.

After my first visit to India, I tried to learn some Hindi, but had to settle for studying Sanskrit at UBC, under Professor Thomas Hunter, instead.

To further my understanding of what makes music ‘conscious’, I completed a sound healer’s development course (Dru Sound) and music 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 and dedicated to the loving memory of my mother, Janet Armstrong.

Upon completing my training with Dru UK, I went back to India. By Grace, in 2016, I received a blessing, initiation through Pushtimargiya Aacharya, Sri Milan Goswami and the teachings of Sri Vallabhacharya in Kota, India. ✨🙏✨

We had a great run of Kirtan gatherings in Kitsilano 2001 – 2015

‘GPaC’ Kirtan extracts its flavour or  rasa  from Indian devotional chant (also called ‘bhajan’) and bhakti yoga (devotional) practice.

Held by donation, proceeds for Kirtan go to charitable causes /seed money for future related and fund raising projects, including vegetarian food bank drive, and donations for Ahimsa Goshala, near Ashcroft, BC.

Light Prasād is usually served after the gathering. Please bring water to drink.

Also, just as a reminder, you don’t need be a “good singer” or “spiritual” in order to enjoy the benefits of Kirtan and mantra meditation.

Our mission is peace through music!