peace through music

Music Bio

Give Peace a Chant Kirtan Community (GPaC) 2001 – 2015 offered bhakti yoga inspired conscious music events including unique community mantra meditation evenings that were held at local yoga studios in Vancouver, BC.

Although we are not hosting events anymore, we have been honoured to host/or co-host many international special guests have included
the late, great Shyamdas, Karnamrita Dasi, Gauravani, Radhanath Swami, Mayapuris, Jai Uttal, Krishnadas (sponsored by Banyen Books), Srikala, Dave Stringer, Daniel Paul, Bhagavandas, Wade Imre Morissette, Gina Sala, Heather & Benjy Wertheimer and Shantala, Jaya Lakshmi (Kirtronica), Kirtan Vancouver Festival in Stanley Park, Women of Bhakti, Holy Cow! Bhakti Yoga Vancouver’s ‘Kirtan from the Heart ‘w/ Adam Bauer and so many more visiting artists.

GPaC ran locally, continuously for over 15 years. Thank you everyone who was a part of it, in one way or another. It’s been a beautiful opportunity to sing with you.

Music & Community Bio:
2001 – 2003,
Sandra Leigh and Itamar Erez began hosting and playing a regular Friday chant night event at Prana Yoga in Yaletown. They called it ‘Give Peace a Chant’ as a reminder to keep a lighthearted approach inspiring ‘peace through music’ in 2001.

Gratitude for the many talented musicians and artists who joined in, even before we had a website.

We ended up holding regular chant nights at a yoga studio in Kitsilano (photo above), but it was demolished in 2015, along with the Ridge Theatre. We had been holding the GPaC event there for over 10 years.

2004 – 2005 – GPaC’s first CDs, A Loving Flame / Peace Through Music recorded LIVE w/commnity in Kits, 2004-2005.

2005 – 2015 – Thanks to Rob Scharein, a GPaC website went up in 2007 and we also started archiving GPaC LIVE audio recordings, videos, photos, slides and songbooks. We start offering Give Peace a Chant at more places, including various conferences, festivals and mini-tours.

2009 – Remebering local beauty, Chantal Jolly, a music therapist and sound healer, who passed away in 2009. Chantal shared the last 2 years of her short 44 years, singing at ‘GPaC’. After a long battle, Chantal’s soul left her body, but her passing songs healed our hearts, leaving lifetimes changed forever. Chantal taught us the truth, that sound heals.

2012 –  We needed a place to share some videos, so we started our YouTube Channel givepeaceachant108.

2015‘Kirtan Lila’ CD by Give Peace a Chant was released in June, 2015.

2016‘Divine Play’ CD (Instrumentals from Kirtan Lila) by Give Peace a Chant was released in January and became soundtrack for Sandra’s television show production, ‘Yoga Moves for Every Body’ which aired in Vancouver and Calgary on now defunct, Shaw (analogue) community television, Channel 4 and Multicultural Channels. The show can now be seen on YouTube as YogaMovesTV.

2017‘Gopal Lila’ EP by Give Peace a Chant, released on SandhyaRecords©

2018 – was established in 2018 as a production company representing SandhyaRecords2017© and SandhyaProductions2018©

2018/19 – At present, Give Peace a Chant is taking an indefinite rest while Sandra restores and repairs from ongoing health issues, bi-lateral wrist surgeries, etc.  For a very long time, wrist injuries have (in part) been symptom of personal distress for Sandra, so now, finally, after many years, it’s time for her to take repair time, no Harmonium, Guitar, even hand clapping is out for now! However, Sandra still happily practices her singing (Seva) everyday, at home.

It may be that Fall 2019 brings Bhakti Yoga Online Satsang. More TBA. If you are interested in more, please contact us.

Personal Bio: ‘GPaC’ host, Sandra Leigh (pronounced Lee) grew up in Alberta but moved to BC where she first took ashram residency in 1996 (BC and abroad). She went on to earn Dru Yoga, Meditation and Sound certificates from trainings held in Canada, North Wales, UK, and India. More recently, Sandra has been learning more about The Teachings of Shri Vallabhacharya and the most beautiful songs and moods that come from this Vaisnava tradition.

Previous to this, Sandra attended Indian music at the Varanasi Academy of Indian Classical Music located in Varanasi (Benares) in 2008. Gratitude includes Pandit Shivnath Mishra & Deobrat Mishra of Varanasi, based on Benares Gahrana music tradition in Varanasi. Sandra taught herself Harmonium, and also studied Sanskrit at UBC with Professor Thomas Hunter. She has made a few retreat visits to India, and she would like to learn Hindi. India Lifestyle retreats that have enriched her practice the most have included Vraj Dham, Varanasi, Nathdwara and Jatipura.

2016 and again in 2019, Sandra took blessings through Pushtimargiya Aacharya, Sri Milan Goswami and the teachings of Sri Vallabhacharya in Kota, India.

Sandra Leigh continues her practice, extracting unique flavours or rasa from Indian devotional chant (also called ‘bhajan’) and in the spirit of bhakti yoga (devotional) includes dedicated daily practice as Seva, which is performed, lovingly, at home.

We honour that our events take place on traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish (Sḵwxwú7mesh), and Musqueam (Xwméthkwyiem) Nations.