Naveen is a member of the City of Vancouver Public Art Committee and a former member of the Vision Vancouver Board of Directors, where he was Chair of Community Outreach from 2011-2014. As a community engagement specialist and independent curator, Naveen brings a strong background in community organization, consultation and outreach to his practice.
Naveen’s family comes from Punjab (India) and Fiji, and settled in East Vancouver in the 1960s, where they raised Naveen and his two older sisters. After graduating from Killarney High School, Naveen worked as a television host for several years while completing degrees in history, political science and English at Simon Fraser University.
Naveen has a strong history of working with diverse cultural and arts communities in the city. In 2010, he researched and co-curated the award-winning Bhangra.me exhibition at Museum of Vancouver, which connected intergenerational and intercultural stories. Naveen sits on the Indian Summer Arts Society board and has volunteered for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, where he collaborated to mark historic community sites around the city.
A commentator on local issues of race, culture, and intercultural dialogue, Naveen has spoken on topics of reconciliation, historical engagement, community outreach, and the story of Vancouver. He is a partner in a communication and cultural engagement practice called Digital Handloom, and is currently the project manager for the Komagata Maru 1914-2014: Generations, Geographies and Echoes project, which brings together eight institutions across Metro Vancouver to collaboratively commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Komagata Maru. He has curated art and museum exhibitions at Museum of Vancouver, Surrey Museum and Surrey Art Gallery, and worked with Simon Fraser University Library on their South Asian online archive. Through his work with cultural and social institutions in Metro Vancouver, Naveen has programmed several art, culture and education events for youth, seniors and the general public.
NAVEEN says: “From listening to speakers on reversing climate change, to hearing that a park needs more benches for seniors, I understand our green spaces are important resources for creating a sense of home. For me, that’s a big part of why I’m running for Vancouver Park Board with Vision Vancouver.”
He also notes: “Of course, as a Park Board Commissioner, I’ll also be focused on sport, health, recreation and fun. Every day in Vancouver parks and community centres, I see places where seniors and kids can come together to take a yoga or dance class, or play hockey, or soccer. Our goals include making a new field hockey and kabbadi turf in South Vanvouver, creating more community garden spaces and introducing Tandoor ovens in our parks all to aid local food security and revitalize neglected areas to further that sense of community. It’s an important part of what makes our city so special.”
Naveen points out: “As a historian of the city I know there was a time when women and people of colour could not vote in municipal elections. This civil right that we share is the result of a long struggle by our community pioneers and has only existed for a handful of decades. I ask that you honour that struggle by voting in this year’s election and I hope to earn your support on November 15.”