Vancouver turning into Bollywood’s A-list destination

Published: August 12, 2014

Shah Rukh Khan’s only stop in Canada on his North American concert tour will be at the PNE in September

Bollywood-Vancouver

Shah Rukh Khan and his ‘Happy New Year’ team are coming to entertain Vancouver. Handout photo

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Bollywood is coming back to Vancouver — all thanks to the King of Hindi film himself, Shah Rukh Khan.

Hot on the heels of the Times of India Film Awards that hit Vancouver in April 2013, California’s DBR Entertainment announced last month that a North American Bollywood concert series, SLAM 2014 — featuring greats like Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Yo Yo Honey Singh — will be making its only Canadian stop in Vancouver on Sept. 27.

And according to DBR Entertainment’s Dave Atwal, while Toronto is usually the token Canadian city for events like this, it was King Khan himself who hand-picked Vancouver.

“When he picked out all the six concert (locations), he picked Vancouver … he could have done all in the U.S. only,” said Atwal, adding that other SLAM 2014 tour locations include San Jose, New Jersey, Chicago, Houston and Washington, D.C.

“After TOIFA, Vancouver is a much, much bigger base — multiculturally, everything,” said Atwal. “I think in future, Vancouver will be No. 1 for North America for any kind of Indian concert.”

According to Atwal, the industry has already “shifted from L.A. to (Vancouver),” with Indian film crews first opting to shoot in B.C., whereas it used to be producers’ third choice after California and Toronto.

“TOIFA took it to a different level,” said Atwal.

But it wasn’t the event itself that created the hype, it was “the people of Vancouver,” he said. “It was not TOIFA that took this industry to a different level, it was just … the culture here in Vancouver, it was right — the moment was right and the support was very good.”

“This will bring a lot of future business in Vancouver.”

While last year’s Times of India Film Awards spanned a number of days and saw $11 million in funding from the B.C. government, SLAM 2014 is a privately funded single-day touring concert. Its Canadian stop will take place at Vancouver’s PNE Coliseum, for what Atwal expects to be a sold-out show.

According to Atwal, although Khan performed a few numbers at TOIFA in April 2013, the last time he held a full concert in Vancouver was in 2004 as part of his Temptations tour.

SLAM 2014 will see Khan travel across North America with his own Indian production team, performing alongside his Happy New Year co-stars Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, director Farah Khan and singers Kanika Kapoor and Yo Yo Honey Singh. Other performers include Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah and Malaika Arora Khan.

“The whole A-list,” said Atwal.

Tickets range from $86 to $445 and can be purchased at ticketleader.ca/events/slam.

lcahute@theprovince.com

twitter.com/larissacahute

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