The Canucks celebrate the diversity and vibrance of Vancouver’s South Asian community by commemorating Diwali – one of the most important annual holidays for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs (Bandi Chhor Divas). The team’s Diwali festivities contribute to the NHL initiative, Hockey Is For Everyone, which uses the game of hockey and the league’s global influence to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.
Originating in India, Diwali is celebrated all over the world and encourages a strong sense of unity among families, friends and communities. Diwali means “row of lighted lamps” with light symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, prosperity over poverty and knowledge over ignorance. Houses are decorated with diyas (candles), deepavali (lamps) and Rangoli artwork (patterns on the ground created by coloured powder or rice) during the holiday.
The Canucks partnered with Jag Nagra, local artist and director of Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective (PMRC), to design the team’s most recent limited-edition jersey. Jag also worked on the team’s Vaisakhi celebration in 2021, with both designs drawing inspiration from her South Asian heritage.
Proceeds from the auction of player-worn warmup jerseys plus sales of additional merchandise collection were donated to PMRC, a local community organization that works to revitalize and support Vancouver’s historic Punjabi Market neighbourhood. The Canucks For Kids Fund also made a $20,000 donation split evenly between Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, a Sikh-faith led volunteer organization supporting Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and KidsPlay Foundation, a local non-profit organization that engages youth through sports.
Additional community organizations that joined the Canucks for the team’s Black History Month celebration also included the Black Business Association of BC, Black Women Connect Vancouver and Ninandotoo Society.