Anokhi Media Presents the 12th Annual Anniversary Gala and Awards Show
On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Anokhi Media celebrated twelve years of Anokhi Magazine with a glamorous gala and awards show at the Fairmont Royal York hotel. This celebration honoured the remarkable achievements of some of the world’s most renowned figures within the global South Asian community. This multimedia powerhouse welcomed over 900 guests and celebrities including Authors Sonya and Priya Wadhera, who promoted their newly published children’s book entitled, “Destiny: The Tale of Sonali and Amir”, with a fun photo booth and a contest to win a copy of their new book.
Johnnie Walker was the platinum sponsor and provided refreshing Johnnie Gold and Soda cocktails to all of the guests throughout the entire night.
Highlights of the evening included a red carpet reception that featured many local and global celebrities including ET Canada’s Entertainment Reporter Sangita Patel, CP 24 Morning Show Anchor Pooja Handa, and Bollywood heartthrob actor Rahul Khanna. A VIP lounge was set up for the talent and celebrities prior to the start of the awards show.
The awards show began with an opening act from Amrit Dasu, the new featured artist who just started working with legendary music producer, Rishi Rich. The fiercely stunning and eloquent Raj Girn, President and CEO of Anokhi Media, took the stage to graciously welcome the guests to the awards show and introduced the Anokhi List coffee table book that commemorated the twelfth year milestone of Anokhi’s success. Jake Dheer, the Senior Operations Manager for Rogers TV, took the stage as the emcee for the night and introduced the five award categories: Media, Crusaders, Music, Film and Television, and Fashion.
The following is the list of three recipients of the Anokhi Media Awards for their contributions to the media industry:
DILSHAD BURMAN (Host of OMNI TV’s V-Mix)-MOST PROMISING MEDIA PERSONALITY
POOJA HANDA (Anchor on CP 24’s Morning Show)-NEWS MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
VERONICA CHAIL (Host and Producer of Bollywood Boulevard)-ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Stand-up Comedian Danish Anwar received the Most Promising Comedian while actor and comedian Ali Hassan received the Comedian of the Year 2015 award.
The Crusaders award categories were divided into two parts, which as Pooja put it, celebrated the works of those “…who make you think about what you’re doing with your own life!” The recipients of the Crusader awards (part one) are as follows:
VIVEK SHRAYA (LGBTQ Activist, Filmmaker, and Novelist)-MOST PROMISING LGBTQ COMMUNITY CRUSADER
JEWEL KATS (Disabilities Activist and Children’s Author)-CRUSADER OF THE YEAR FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
ZAIB SHAIKH (Toronto’s Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries)-CRUSADER OF THE YEAR FOR MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ARTS
Host and Reporter for Asian Television Network took the stage for the second half of the Crusaders award category and presented awards to the following individuals:
UPPALA CHANDRASEKERA (Vice Chair of Mental Health Commission of Canada)-EXCELLENCE IN CRUSADING FOR MENTAL HEALTH
ALMAS JIWANI–EXCELLENCE IN CRUSADING FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS
Almas Jiwani wasn’t at the awards ceremony that night due to business so her colleague Alex Porter accepted the award on her behalf.
For the Music category, OMNI TV’s Dilshad Burman returned to the stage to present the following awards:
MUSICAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR: ALYSHA BRILLA (Two-Time Juno Nominated Blues-Pop Singer)
EXCELLENCE IN THE ART OF DEEJAYING: DJ REKHA (Influential figure and Founder of Basement Bhangra)
EXCELLENCE IN MUSIC PERFORMANCE: MANJ MUSIK (Legendary Bhangra Artist)
EXCELLENCE IN MUSIC PRODUCTION: RISHI RICH (Legendary Music Producer)
For the Film and Television category, it seemed appropriate that ET Canada’s Sangita Patel would be the presenter. The winners in the Film and Television included:
VINAY VIRMANI–MOST PROMISING ACTOR
KAREN DAVID–ACTOR OF THE YEAR, FEMALE
RAHUL KHANNA–ACTOR OF THE YEAR, MALE
Before the award for Excellence in Fashion Design 2015 was presented, Archanna Kochhar—noted Bollywood Fashion Designer and recipient of this award—showcased her collection (hosted by L’oreal Paris). This was Kochhar’s very first debut of her collection in North America, so it was a treat to see her work during the awards ceremony. Her collection was a blend of South East and West: saris, evening gowns, menswear, and ready to wear designs in shades of pink, gold, ruby red, and rhinestone embellishments. The collection ended with a pink and gold mermaid-style gown, worn by actress and singer Karen David, which drew gasps from the audience as she sashayed and shimmered down the stage.
There was a variety of entertainment between the awards presentations. Danish Anwar used a lot of race and political jokes in his set while Ali Hassan poked fun at little son’s adorably weird behavior and yelp reviews. Karen David and Zameer Rizvi performed two songs each while Alysha Brilla sang a song called, “Better Soon,” a moving and deeply personal song about finding hope in times of hardship. The show concluded with a performance by Manj Musik, who literally and figuratively blew the roof off with some explosive Bhangra tunes that incorporated Lil John’s “Turn Down for What”, LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem”, and dhol (traditional folk drum in Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani culture). Once the awards show ended, guests were ushered into the ballroom where they danced all night to music spun by DJ Rehka, DJ Tricky Moreira, DJ Biks, and Toronto’s own DJ Jiten.
About Anokhi Media
ANOKHI MEDIA is a multimedia resource for all aspects of pop cultural lifestyle and entertainment-based content for the dynamic global South Asian community and those who love the culture and all that it represents.
(photos by Nancy)
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