About Us ✨

 

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(Edited: July 1st, 2017 🇨🇦 Canada150+ Day)
We honour that our events take place mainly 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 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) GPaC Friday night seva (selfless service) began at a local yoga studio here in Vancouver, BC.  At the time, we hoped to make space for a peaceful, alternative gatherings that responded (creatively) to the insanity of the day. The shocking events of 9/11 in  2001 inspired us to take a very simple Indian bhajan / mantra meditation/ songs for peace practice out to the world.

We continued to hold GPaC gatherings every Friday night, for over 10 years.  Since then, GPaC has hosted some of the finest musicians, artists, sound-healers, volunteers. A shout out to all, as there is not space to list everyone who has contributed or played a part of the GPaC journey, over the years!✨🙏✨

In addition to our own events, we’ve been honoured to host / co-host some wonderful (and even famous) 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, Neeraja Aptikar and many others, too.

GPaC Kirtan has offered our program locally, internationally at music and yoga festivals, lifestyle retreats, yoga conferences, home programs, private gatherings, and for YTT graduation celebrations. 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 on study retreat to Jatipura, Govardhan and Nathdwara, with ‘Find the Beloved’.

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

To further my understanding of music and 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 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. ✨🙏✨

‘Follow us’ 🌈 My latest community project (2016) is soundtrack for TV show called ‘Yoga Moves for Every Body’ as seen on Shaw Multicultural Vancouver Channel 116 // Shaw Multicultural Calgary Channel 89 // Subscribe on YouTube as YogaMovesTV.

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 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.

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