Panorama India, with the support of the Consulate General of India, presented the 19th annual India Day Festival and Grand Parade on Sunday, August 19, 2018. This free community event commemorated India’s independence and featured food, a kids’ play zone, vendors, cultural programs, music and dance performances, and appearances from Bollywood celebrities and musicians. This year’s festival was held Nathan Phillips Square — a first in the event’s history as it used to be held in Yonge-Dundas Square.

India Day Festival 2018
India Day Festival 2018 Toronto

Over 60,000 people were in attendance (including several political dignitaries) to watch the beautiful floats and celebrate Indian culture and heritage. Fashion Ecstasy had the utmost pleasure to attend the Sponsors event the night before the main event on Saturday, August 18th, 2018.
The Sponsors event for the India Day Festival and Grand Parade was an intimate VIP reception held at the Holiday Inn Airport hotel. The reception was held to recognize and thank the many people and organizations that made this grand event possible. The sponsors for this event included Telus as the exclusive sponsor, Silver Group Hotel as the gold sponsor, and Lyft as the transportation sponsor.

Upon entry, guests received a free scarf that featured the colours of the Indian flag and an agenda for the festival and parade. The reception featured a buffet-style dinner where guests were treated to delicious Indian food fares such as hariyali paneer tikka, Gobi Manchurian, idly and gulab jamun. Following a short meal, Anu Srivastava, the chair and president of Panorama India, took to the stage to begin the evening’s festivities. Shortly after she expressed gratitude to the sponsors and board of directors, she introduced the Bollywood celebrities that will be present at this year’s festival.

Entering the banquet room to the beat of a Punjabi dhol drummer and a fleet of security guards, Bollywood acting legend Jimmy Shergill and King of Bhangra Malkit Singh, MBE made quite the grand entrance. Other celebrity guests included up and coming Bollywood actor Pukhraj Bhalla and Indo-Canadian singer Parichay.

When they approached the stage, Anu Srivastava announced that Jimmy Shergill would be the grand marshall for the grand parade and Malkit Singh would be performing at this year’s festival. Ambassador Dinesh Bhatia, Consul General of India in Toronto and chief honorary patron, took to the stage to welcome Jimmy Shergill and Malkit Singh as well as leading the guests through a one minute of silence for the 324 victims of the flooding in the Indian state of Kerala that took place earlier this month.

Following Amb. Dinesh Bhatia’s appearance, representatives from the sponsors got on stage to receive a plaque in recognition of their contributions to the event and for photo opportunities with the Bollywood stars. The night concluded with more refreshments, mingling, and guests lining up to get their pictures taken with Jimmy Shergill and Malkit Singh.

About Panorama India
Panorama India is a not-for-profit umbrella organization with the mission to help unite various Indian cultural associations and groups, project a collective identity based on their Indian heritage, and celebrate Unity in Diversity. Established in 1999 with the support from Consulate General of India, Toronto, the organization has a mandate around three pillars – Celebrate, Collaborate and Educate. Panorama India provides a platform for all Indian cultural associations, groups, and individuals to exhibit and showcase arts and culture. The organization also fosters a better understanding between India and Canada and is proud to build bilateral relations with India and Canada through culture.

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