Panorama India, with the support of the Consulate General of India, celebrated the 69th India Republic Day on Sunday February 11, 2017 with a gala event at the Pearson Convention Center.
Attendees included Consul General of India in Toronto. Dinesh Bhatia, MP Rob Oliphant, Ontario Minister of Senior Affairs Dipika Damerla, MPP Amrit Mangat, MPP Bob Delaney, Mayor of Toronto John Tory, Mayor of Mississauga Bonnie Crombie and Rajesh Gupta, President & CEO, SBI Canada .
The program, which was broadcast live by ATN, saw the participation of 15 community organizations with more than 200 local performers. The festivities began at 10:00 am with a Pathanjali Yoga session for Seniors followed by dances and patriotic songs by various groups.
Consul General Bhatia announced that the winner of Panorama Idol (the biggest and one of a kind event for the Indian diaspora in a foreign country), will get a trip to India under Government of India’s ‘Know your India Program’. He spoke about the remarkable initiatives of Punjab and Goa Governments like ‘Connect with your Roots’ and ‘Know your Goa Program’, respectively, for youth of Indian origin settled abroad to know about their motherland.
He appreciated the efforts of Panorama India in organizing events like the India Day Parade and Republic Day Celebrations.
The official ceremonies began at 12:00pm with the singing of Indian and Canadian National anthems. Panorama India Chair Anu Srivastava welcomed guests and participants and thanked them for their attendance despite the inclement weather.
She also made “a special request to partner with the City of Toronto for Panorama India Day 2018 Grand Parade and Festival”.
Consul General Dinesh Bhatia addressed the audience – recapping the success of 2017 and Panorama India’s Festival and Grand Parade which saw upward of 60,000 attendees. He also expressed the hope that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to India this month would “help in deepening, strengthening and cementing of bilateral ties”.
Ontario Minister of Senior Affairs Dipika Damerla spoke in both Hindi and in English. John Tory, Mayor of Toronto praised the Indian community for their values and raising good children as the next generation of Canadians.
The celebrations included a folk dance competition, drawing contests for children, a food court and a Meena Bazaar with a variety of clothes, food and jewelry booths for sale.
The Folk Dance Competition wasjudged by distinguished personalities Nikita Joshi and Vaishali Panwar. The winner of the competition was theVaishno Devi Dance Group.