The information provided below is intended for event organizers to aid in the creation of promotional materials or technical uses:-
Gurdeep Pandher is a Yukon-based, Bhangra artist and educator. He creates performance pieces that bring together people from all backgrounds while promoting inclusivity. He is also best known for bringing joy, hope and positivity during the pandemic through his online dance classes, videos and uplifting messages. Millions of viewers throughout the world watch his online dance performances and videos. Videos of Gurdeep dancing Bhangra in frigid cold temperatures at -45ºC/-49ºF, and on frozen lakes and rivers of Canada’s North gained worldwide recognition. He lives in a small cabin without running water in the wilderness of the Yukon. Many international art and media organizations, including BBC News, CBC National, The Globe and Mail, CTV National, Nature Conservancy of Canada, CAA Magazine, and NBC, have published Gurdeep’s works. Gurdeep was also named “This week’s Greatest Canadian” by Global News Radio! Gurdeep is also one of 5 panellists for the 2023 CBC Canada Reads show. Gurdeep’s Bhangra dance sessions are based on body and mind movement. They are a joyful way to introduce physical exercise and a nourishing route to a wholesome mental well-being wonderland. Bhangra is a traditional folk dance of Punjab. For more information, please visit Gurdeep.ca.
Long Formal Bio (Better for Academic Use)
Gurdeep Pandher is an internationally known, Yukon-based, Sikh author, teacher and performer who has made, and continues to make, extraordinary contributions to society and our collective well-being by sharing bhangra dancing with the world.
Mr. Pandher moved to Canada from his ancestral village Siahar, in his native Punjab, in 2006; he became a Canadian citizen in 2011. He completed a bachelor of education from the Yukon University and a master’s degree in public administration from Panjab University.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he posted daily videos of himself dancing traditional Punjabi bhangra folk dance in the outdoor setting of his remote cabin in the Yukon as a way of spreading hope and joy.
Apart from the physical and mental uplift created through his dance movement, another meaningful side of Mr. Pandher’s work is cultural knowledge sharing and learning for building inter-racial and cross-cultural bridges. He has collaborated with people and artists from many different backgrounds, including Indigenous artists, to build a deeper understanding of multicultural Canada.
He also promotes inclusivity in sport, the military, charities and non-profit organizations. In 2017 he performed with Stephanie Dixon, a Canadian Paralympic Games medallist. In 2019, he visited the northernmost and self-government Indigenous community of Old Crow in the Yukon to share his dance art with the Elders and other community members as part of his efforts to create connections and understanding across cultures. In 2019 he collaborated with the Canadian Armed Forces to create a video to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in the military. He held free dance workshops with Doctors Without Borders and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
In 2021 Mr. Pandher received the Canadian Public Relations Society National President’s Award for Outstanding Public Relations and Communications Management.
Also in 2021, he received the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s Louie Kamookak Medal for making Canada’s geography better known to Canadians and to the world.
Also in 2021, The Govenemnt of Yukon awarded the Community Recreation Leadership Award to Mr. Pandher for making an outstanding contribution to community recreation in the Yukon Territory.
In 2023, he was a panalist on CBC Canada Reads.
In 2023, The Memorial University of Newfoundland decided to give the honorary degree “Doctor of Laws honoris causa” to Mr. Pandher.
Description of Gurdeep Shows/Events:
Gurdeep’s event format is different and based on movement. His shows or presentations are an interactive mix of 3 different elements. They are a blend of performance, Bhangra dance workshop and his speech on “Joy, Hope and Positivity.” Bhangra is a traditional folk dance of Punjab.
Most of his events are either 45 minutes or one-hour long. However, if this is required, it can also be up to a 2-hour-long event. In the past, he has done two-hour-long sessions with a break of 20 minutes. If the event is only one hour long or less, then no break is needed. The event duration can also be shortened to 30 or even 15 minutes. During his speeches, Gurdeep shares his best tips to find joy in darkness, followed by an interactive Bhangra lesson and performance. After the dance moves are taught, everybody joins together to dance to uplifting Bhangra music. Gurdeep’s sessions are a positive workout and a joyful way to introduce some physical activity.
Event organizers often prefer to include a Q&A during Gurdeep’s session/performance/speech/workshop. Depending upon the session duration, it can be kept to the last part of the session. For example, if the session is one hour long, then the last 15 or 10 minutes are great to keep for Q&A.
The usual time structure is divided into three or four or five parts:
1. Opening words /Introduction(s) by the host(s). (This takes approximately 2% – 5% time of the whole session)
2. Gurdeep’s performance/speech/workshop. (This takes approximately 75% – 90% time of the whole session)
3. Q&A. (This takes approximately 5% – 15% time of the whole session)
4. During live (in-person) performances, at the very last part of the session, volunteer participants join Gurdeep on the stage to dance together. (This takes approximately 2% – 5% time of the whole session)
5. Closing remarks/speech by the host(s). (This takes approximately 1% – 3% time of the whole session)
His sessions are inclusive and open to everyone. He makes an effort to ensure that people with disabilities are able to join and shows how they can try the movements with their wheelchair or mobility aid. People of all ages, genders, walks of life, backgrounds, and physical abilities can participate.
In the past, Gurdeep has spoken (or performed/led workshops) at events for Google Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, schools and universities across Canada, TD Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Volkswagen America, the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, The Government of Canada’s various departments, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, CN Tower in Toronto, Special Olympics Canada, The Canadian Mental Health Association, Libraries, KPMG, British Columbia Nurses’ Union, IBM, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, Sun Life Financial, and many other organizations.
Please visit Gurdeep Pandher’s Linkedin page and click on the speaker icon besides his name to learn the correct pronicition of his name.
How to get ready for Gurdeep’s session:
If you have questions about what you should wear, what kind of footwear is appropriate, basic food/water guidelines, or other details, please visit this page to learn how to prepare for a Gurdeep session!
Photos/Headshots for media/events use:-
Please visit these Dropbox folders to download the photos!
Social Media Links/Website:
- Twitter: @GurdeepPandher
- Facebook: @GurdeepPandher
- Instagram: @GurdeepPandher
- YouTube: @GurdeepPandher
- LinkedIn: @GurdeepPandher
- Post News: @GurdeepPandher
- Mastodon: @GurdeepPandher