Welcome to Panorama India
Consul General Dinesh Bhatia, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Panorama India Chair Anu Srivastava light the lamp for
Celebrities from India and Grand Parade make this year’s
Independence Day Celebrations Biggest Ever in Toronto.
India’s new Consul General in Toronto, Mr. Dinesh Bhatia raised a simple question to the thousands of Indo-Canadiansgathered at Yonge Dundas Square last Sunday to celebrate India’s 70th Independence Day – Toronto has the biggest population of the Indian diaspora anywhere in North America. So why shouldn’t India’s Independence Day celebrationbe largest here?
And then followed the biggest ever Parade and cultural extravaganza organised in Toronto making more than 25,000 Indo-Canadians gathered there immensely proud of the grandeur of India's Independence Day celebrations, complete with nine floats on huge trailer trucks led by Grand Parade Marshal and Bollywood actress Neetu Chandra. Zee Sa Re Ga Ma sensations Kinjal Chatterjee and Jugpreet Bajwa enthralled the audience by their dazzling performances and leading Indian TV star Shabir Ahluwalia lent his star power to make this year's celebrations truly the best ever organised in Toronto.
Anu Srivastava, Chair Panorama India pointed out that more than 50 organisations have participated in this year's celebrations and floats have been reintroduced after a gap of 5 years. She thanked Mr. Dinesh Bhatia and the Consulate for the support and encouragement provided throughout the organisation of this celebration.
Organised by Panorama India with the support of the Consulate General of India in Toronto, the daylong celebration showcased India's diversity through enthusiastic performances by more than 250 artists. Opening the celebrations, Mr. Bhatia said this celebration is not just about India's 70th Independence Day but also about celebration of world's oldest civilisation and its diversity.
Dipika Damerla, Minister for Senior Affairs, Government of Ontario said that India has much to celebrate and 69 years is a mere blip in terms of passage of time for this ancient civilisation. Ontario opposition leader Patrick Brown dressed in Modi jacket noted that he is a great fan of Prime Minister Modi and said he had visited India so many times that in 2011 "they made me an honorary citizen of Gujarat...so I am half Gujju."
Venki Raman from CIBC, the lead sponsor of the event shared that CIBC has deep roots in the Indian community and has been participating in these celebrations for years.
Other dignitaries who attended the celebrations included Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, MP Deepak Obhrai, Senator Vim Kochhar, Sanjay Makkar, President, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and many others.
After the flag hoisting ceremony at the Yonge Dundas Square, thousands of Indo-Canadians representing more than 50 organisations participated in the parade walking through the downtown core led by Scarborough Pipes & Drums. The downtown core reverberated to the full throated shouts of ``Bharat Mata Ki Jai `` and ``Jai Hind``.
Nine floats mounted on 53 feet big trailer trucks passing through Toronto downtown was a truly impressive sight. Colorful Floats of Kashmir, Punjab, Bihar & Jharkhand, Gujarat and
Maharashtra along with Art of Living and Sant Nirankari highlighted the cultural diversity of India. Two lucky participants in the parade from floats of Punjab and Maharashtra won the air tickets to India sponsored by Air Canada.
Variety of Indian cuisine, jewellery, clothes and other ethnic ware for sale provided the visitors with a strong incentive to spend considerable time at the festivities. Popular TV star and the lead actor of popular Zee TV serial Kum Kum Bhagya- Shabir Ahluwalia obliged hundreds of fans with pictures and selfies causing long lineups at the Zee booth throughout the day.
Evening celebrations were the performances by Sa Re Ga Ma stars and singing sensations Kinjal Chatterjee and Jugpreet Bajwa. Kinjal Chatterjee, a finalist of the Bengali Sa Re Ga Ma gave an electrifying performance of popular Bollywood songs. Jugpreet Bajwa, the blind finalist from Vancouver Canada, at this year's Sa Re Ga Ma who has won hearts of the millions of viewers across the world with his singing, enthralled thousands at Yonge Dundas Square with his soulful performance and concluded the daylong celebration on a high note.
Nanda & Associate Lawyers who invited Bollywood actress Neetu Chandra and Zee TV Canada who brought in their TV stars Shabir Ahluwalia and Jugpreet Bajwa were the lead sponsors of the event along with CIBC.
Annual General Meeting
Friday, February 26, 2016
A warm welcome to community leaders and distinguished guests to Panorama India's Annual General Meeting.
I want to congratulate all Panorama India supporters for playing a critical role in furthering the Indo-Canada
relations through culture. I look back at the past 16 years and see the vision of the past Panorama Chairs and the
Consulate General of India Toronto. Our previous leaders have ensured that we provide a platform for all Indo-Canadian organizations to showcase the diaspora's diversity and achievements in Canada, thereby contributing
towards the enrichment of the Canadian mosaic. To accomplish this task Panorama India each year has
convened at least 2-3 community events each year.
1. Commemoration of India's Republic Day in Jan/Feb
2. Celebration of India's Independence Day in August
3. Diwali at Queen's Park with the Premier
4. Panorama India Idol (the only Bollywood singing contest)
5. Educational youth competitions like Mathletics and Debate
As I reflect on the past year's achievements I'm proud to announce the immense contributions of some of my colleagues on the executive board.
Dhruv Ghosh, Vice Chair, a veteran in Panorama India and has played a key role in establishing sponsorship
contacts, media and advertising.
Suvarna Kulkarni, Vice Chair also a veteran has enabled us to organize the cultural programming of Panorama
Shalini Srivastava, Secretary has helped us streamline Panorama governance and by-laws.
An external by-law committee was formulated and Board approval included validation from Consulate General of India, Toronto.
Directors, Thomas Thomas, Vijay Kumar, Asha Vishwanath, Sanjeev Malik and Sanjay Agarwal are dedicated
soldiers of the organization and have worked tirelessly in ensuring all Panorama events are successful.
The search for new auditor for Panorama India is ongoing and we hope to materialise the auditor in the next 4 weeks. Devesh Gupta will be appointed as legal advisor who recently assisted in the formulation of the governance by-laws for Panorama India.
Friends, as we look back upon the past fiscal year, it has been a year of great success and big achievements. We
have seen a tangible increase in Panorama India's profile, public recognition and visibility.
I'm proud to reiterate that Panorama India signed an MOU with Government of UP in January 2016 at the first
UP Pravasi Diwas held in the historic city Agra. It means a lot to Panorama India and we hope to build on the
MOU to further convene conferences and exchange cultural performances.
Republic Day celebration last month was a fabulous showcase of community display of India's rich vibrant
culture through dance and musical performances. The extremely popular Panorama India Idol Contest finals
was the highlight of the day. Thousands of Indo-Canadians with more than 8000+ attended the main event.
India's 69th Independence Day was celebrated with pomp and pageantry with many cultural troupes from Indian states who participated in the Grand Parade at Yonge Dundas Square. The parade was led by the
Canadian military band for the first time. Celebrations began with a VIP reception followed by invocation
dance by international kathak dancer Tapash Debnath. The celebrations were packed with performances by a
number of community and professional organisations highlighting the diversity of Indian culture, music and
dance which ended with the popular headliner Shirsha Chakraborty.
This was perhaps one of the most successful India Day which had an all-inclusive appeal with huge community
representation, dignitary gathering and crowds spilling over 20,000.
Looking forward Panorama India's main goal is to build community partnerships to share resources and come
together under one umbrella with organizations to celebrate India's Independence Day and Grand Parade in
downtown Toronto on 7th August, 2016. This is the 70th year of India's Independence and we want to celebrate
in a big way. We are planning to hold a community meeting late March/early April to build on this partnership
and raise the bar for India Day 2016. We will keep you posted on the date and venue shortly.
Moving on to sponsorship achievements we must mention ICICI Bank as presenting sponsor of India Day and
TD Bank as presenting sponsor for Panorama Idol. TD Bank and Jadoo TV sponsored Panorama India for the
first time. With our Media Partner ATN India Day was telecast live and PTC telecast of Republic Day was aired
in India. Weekly Voice has been a long term media partner and Y Media have been a strong supporter of
Panorama India in the past year.
Panorama India requires the constant support from our well-wishers, our community leaders and our sponsors.
I want to put on record that each and every one of you has come forward to help and I feel humbled by your
We the Board of Panorama intend to lead Panorama India to higher levels of achievements with tangible
outcomes and to work with sincere dedication in meeting the organization's objectives.
I would like to invite the Treasurer to present his financial report.
Chair, Panorama India
Panorama India's 67th Republic Day Celebration
Federal Minister of Science,Honorable Dr. Kristy Duncan, Leader of Opposition Ontario, Mr. Patrick Brown and Acting Consul General of India, Mr. Perindia along with many community leaders attendedPanorama India's 67thRepublic Day celebrationon Saturday, January 30, 2016at the Pearson Convention Center, Brampton.
The community reception was held before the main program to help facilitate interaction with the community leaders, political dignitaries and sponsors.
The program was a showcase of unity in diversity.The community got together and displayed the vibrancy of their culture through dance and musical performances. The extremely popular TD Bank sponsoredPanorama India Idol Contest finals wasthe highlightof the day. The enthusiasm of the attendees was infectious as they participated by casting their votes for their favourite singer.
Another highlight of the day was the Folk Dance Competition. Community organisations representing the various provinces of India participated with galore. The competition was judged by distinguishedpersonalities in the field of music and dance. Judges Mrs. Sanjukta Banerjee and Mrs. PrabhaRaghvan announcedthe province of Kerala as the winner of the competition. Thousands of Indo-Canadians attended the main event.
Panorama India Chair, Anu Srivastava welcomed the guests on behalf of Panorama India Board of Directors and thanked the attendees for their ongoing enthusiastic support.
Panorama India exchanged Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) with Government of Uttar Pradesh during Uttar Pradesh's firstPravasiDiwason January 5, 2016. The MOU was signed in an electrifying moment in the historic city of Agra, at the Taj Mahal.She said "Panorama India is the only umbrella organization that unites various Indian cultural associations and celebrates Unity in Diversity. Main purpose of the MOU is to foster closer networking within Indian Diaspora and collaboration in the fields of arts and culture".
Dr. Kristy Duncan, Minister of Science, brought Republic Day greetings on behalf of the Prime Minister of Canada, Right HonourableJustin Trudeau, and in an emotional speech said "I'm bringing the greetings to my family".
The Honorable Minister highlighted the growing bilateral trade between India and Canada and the tremendous opportunities offered by India's rise as an economic giant.
The Ontario Leader of Opposition Mr. Patrick Brown reiterated the enthusiasm and dynamism of Indian Prime Minister Mr. NarendraModi. He said "I fell in love with India and have been there 16 times since 2001. The country has so much to offer and where else can you play ice hockey in Himalayas or relax in a house boat in the back waters of Kerala". Other distinguished guests included Senator Vim Kochhar and SenatorAsha Seth.
MPP HarinderMalhi presented the greetings from the Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
Panorama India celebrations highlightedthe diversity of India through many dance and musical performances which included Folk Dance Competition, Drawing Competitionfor children, food court and Meena Bazaar with a variety of clothes, food, and jewelry booths.
Audience enjoyed the patriotic dance performances by Sampradaya Dance Creations and the invocation dance by Sri Sanskriti Dance Academy.
Mrs.Rekha Gupta and Mrs. Debjani Ghosh announced the winners of the Children's Drawing Competition. The competition was sponsored by State Bank of India.
Panorama India Idol contest received tremendous response and the preliminary roundswere conducted on 17 January 2016. The top 3 finalist selected in each category performed in front of the capacity crowdof this keenly fought contest.
The Junior Idol contest was won by Rohan Borateand Bivasini Sarangi was declared the winner in the Senior Idol contest.
Leading personalities in the field of Music – Mr. Pramesh Nandi, Mrs. Shobha Shekhar and Mrs. Vidya Natraj judged the TD Panorama India Idol contest. TD Bank's District VP, Brampton, Mr. Faisal Yousuf and Mr. Gurvinder Gill handed the coveted trophies.
Vice Chair, Suvarna Kulkarni gave the vote of thanks and made the evening special by acknowledging TD Bank, State Bank of India, Royal Bank, Pearson Convention Centre, Media Partners: Jadoo TV, Weekly Voice, PTC, Y Media, Vendors, Cultural & Community Organizations, Participants and Volunteers.
Anu Srivastava concluded the eventand said "We want to celebrateIndia's 70th Independence Day in downtown Toronto with the largest parade ever and requested all community/cultural organizations to join Panorama India"
www.panoramaindia.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Kenney leads India Day celebrations with shouts of `Bharat Mata ki jai’ and `Hindustan
Indian Consul General Akhilesh Mishra unfurls the Indian flag with Panorama Chair Anu Srivastava
TORONTO: In scenes never witnessed by the Indo-Canadians, defence and multiculturalism minister Jason Kenney led the crowd at the India Independence Day celebrations here on Sunday with chants of `Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and `Hindustan zindabad’ repeatedly.
It was also for the first time that the parade to mark Indian Independence Day celebrations here was led by a Canadian military band which included Indo-Canadian Lt.Col (Hon) Hari Panday.
Striking a chord with the huge Indo-Canadian crowd at the long-day celebrations by greeting them in multiple Indian languages, Jason Kenney lauded India’s diversity as a model for the world. “Canada didn’t invent diversity, India did,’’ Kenney said.
He said India is a Hindu-majority nation, but it had Dr Abdul Kalam, a Muslim, as its President and Dr Manmohan Singh as prime minister. “India is an example for the world.’’
Addressing the Indian Prime Minister as `Narendra Modi-ji,’’ Jason Kenney said Canada just welcomed him during “the first dedicated visit by an Indian minister in 40 years’’ after decades of “downgraded and frozen relationship.’’
While speaking at India Day celebrations in Toronto, Jason Kenney led the gathering in chanting `Bharat Mata ki jai’ and
Referring to the bilateral nuclear deal and expansion of Canadian trade missions in many Indian cities, the Canadian defence minister said, “Our Delhi mission is the largest Canadian foreign mission in the world…and we are the only country to have a full consulate in Chandigarh…’’
Highlighting the growing proximity between the two countries, Kenney said Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s last visit to India in Nov 2012 was the longest foreign visit ever by a Canadian PM.
Immigration minister Chris Alexander and his children coming for India Independence Day celebrations
in Toronto on Sunday
Kenney said Canada has welcomed nearly 300,000 new Indian immigrants and the number of Indian students has quadrupled since his Conservative Party took over in 2006. “Our relationship has never been stronger.’’
Welcoming his Canadian guests and the Indo-Canadian community to the celebrations, Indian consul general Akhilesh Mishra highlighted the special bonds between the two countries and the contribution of the 1.2 millionstrong Indo-Canadian community in promoting ties between India and Canada.
Warning Indians about forces which want to divide people, the consul general reminded them of the sacrifices by freedom fighters to overthrow colonial rule.
He quoted Bhagat Singh:
“Meri havaa men rahegi khayaal ki bijli,
Yeh must-e-khaakh hai faani rahe na rahe”.
“Watan rahe hameshaa shaadkaam aur azaad,
Hamara kya hai, rahe rahe, naa rahe”.
Calling India and Canada natural allies, the Consul General said, “While we can have any number of trading partners and suppliers of goods and technology, but Canada is a unique and very special partner for India for innovation research and human resource development. Because in Canada, both in companies and universities, innovation is not driven primarily by corporate greed.”
Canadian military band leads India Independence Day celebration parade in Toronto
The colourful Indian Independence Day parade, which includes cultural troupes from many indian states, this year was led by a Canadian military band which also included Lt Col (hon) Hari Panday. Indian Army colonel Vishesh Arora, who was in Toronto, also joined the parade in his uniform.
After the speeches and the parade, the day-long celebrations were packed with cultural performances even as food, jewelry and other ethnic ware stalls turned the heart of Toronto into a mini india for the day.
Earlier, Panorama India chairperson Anu Srivastava welcomed the gathering. Panorama India is the umbrella body of the Indo-Canadian cultural organizations.
Welcoming the huge gathering and dignitaries, Srivastava said Independence Day “is a day when we recall the sacrifices of the freedom fighters so that India would gain independence from colonialism, and take its place among the comity of nations.
“For all of us who have left our land of origin, India’s Independence Day serves as a reminder that we can and should continue to contribute to its progress and development.”
Indian consul general Akhilesh Mishra with Jason Kenney, Chris Alexander and Panorama India Chair Anu Srivastava
She said Panorama India is a platform Indo-Canadians “to collectively transform our association with India from one that is emotional to one that can lead to tangible economic development.’’
Recalling the buzz created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to Canada in April, she said, “The tremendous enthusiasm with which the Indian Prime Minister was received everywhere is a clear indication that Canada-India relations are all set to take off into a different league altogether. As Indo-Canadians, let us work together constructively to make these relations vibrant and meaningful.’’
Thousands Attend Panorama India’s Republic Day Celebration
A large number of VIPs - Ministers, MPs, MPPs and who’s who of the Indo-Canadian community attended Panorama India’s 66thRepublic day celebration on Sunday Feb 1, 2015 at the Pearson Convention Center, Brampton. Thousands of Indo-Canadians attended the event.
A beautiful display of a typical Gujarati village hut created by NatarajCultural Youth Organisation greeted the visitors at the entrance and reminded them of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence.
Several community organisations represented the various states of India like Canada Odisha Society, Marathi BhashikMandal, Uttarakhand, Uttarakhand, UPICA, Kannada Sangha, Tamilnadu Cultural Society, Konkani Association, Telugu Cultural Association, Goan Oversees association, CANOSA, Patanjali, Web Malayalee and many others. Canada India Foundation, Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce, IIT Alumni Canada and many of Panorama India’s sponsors and senior officials from CIBC, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Scotia Bankattended the Community reception to facilitate interaction with the VIPs and leading Indo-Canadians.
Ms.Anu Srivastava, Chair of Panorama India welcomed the guests on behalf of the board of directors of Panorama India and thanked the guests for their enthusiastic support. She said “Panorama India is the only umbrella organization that unites various Indian cultural associations and celebrates Unity in Diversity”.
Mr Akhilesh Mishra,Consul General of India in Torontowas the guest of honour and addressed the gathering. He highlighted the enthusiasm, dynamism and energy of the new government under leadership of Prime Minister NarendraModi. The distinguished guests included Hon.Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Hon.BalGosalMinister of State (Sport), SenatorAsha Seth, Members of Parliament – Mr KyleSeeback, Mr Bob Dechert, MrWladyslawLizo and MsJudy Sgro. Greetings fromOntario Premier were conveyed by Liberal MPPs-MsAmritMangat, Mr Bob Delaney and MsIndira Naidoo-Harris. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie also spoke at the event. The speakers highlighted the growing trade between India and Canada and the tremendous opportunities offered by India’s rise as an economic giant. A number of well-known Indo-Canadians were present including prominent businessman Mr Deepak Kumar who flew in from Yellowknife to specially celebrate this occasion and has committed his allegiance to Panorama India.
Panorama India celebrations highlightedthe diversity of India through many dance and musical performances and included a Folk Dance Competition, Drawing Competitionfor children, food court and Meena Bazaar with a variety of clothes, food, and jewelry booths. Audience enjoyed the professional Bharatnatyam performance, Roveena’s soulful rendition of NationalAnthem and the ever popular Panorama India Idol contest.
Ms Tanya Saxena, a talented Bharatnatyam dancer from New Delhi, India and a disciple ofPadmabhushanSarojaVaidyanathan gave an excellent Bharatnatyam performance.A highly enthusiastic group of performers from Newfoundland, Bollywood Jig presented exciting dances and gave impressive display of their skills.
The folk dance competition featured folk dances from Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Kerala, Odisha, UP and Tamilnadu. SG Expressions who presented “Thiruvathirakali” a folk dance from Kerala won the competition followed by Tamilnady Cultural Society of Canada.
Panorama India Idol contest received tremendous response and received more than 50 applications. The preliminary rounds conducted at Don Bosco School, Etobicoke on 18th Januaryimpressed the judges with high quality performances from many participants.The top 3 selected in each category performed in front of the capacity crowd this keenly fought contest. The Junior Idol contest was won by SwarangVatve and SangeetaRanchandran was declared the winner in the Senior Idol contest. Leading personalities in the field of Music - Mr BijoyChakroborty, MsRasika Jog and MsManjulaSrikanth judged the Panorama India Idol contest.
Mr Rajesh Gupta, one of the event sponsorshanded over the prizes to the winners of the Panorama India Idol as well as the drawing competition.
Panorama India Chair Anu Srivastava concluded the event “We are poised to grow Panorama India and this is possible only with the continued support of sponsors, Panorama’s board and volunteers”.