PERSIAN NEW YEAR: One of the many multicultural celebrations embraced by British Columbians every year, Nowruz (or Norooz) marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. On March 21, families will come together to observe the spring equinox, when night and day become equalized.

In advance of the Persian New Year, members of the Iranian community converged at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver for the fourth Neekoo Philanthropic Society Soiree. Staged by party planner Soha Lavin, more than 300 guests including renowned Iranian sculptor, painter and scholar Tandar Tanavoli filled the ballroom for an evening of high stakes and big rewards.