Panorama India with the support of Consulate General of India, Toronto celebrated India’s 70th anniversary of Independence Day – India@70 & Grand Parade on Sunday, 20 August 2017 at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto from 1200-2200 hrs. The occasion also commemorated the 150th Birthday of Canada.
The event kicked off with National Anthems of Canada and India. Federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, Leader of Opposition Patrick Brown, Minister Deepika Damerla, several MPs and MPPs from GTA, and large number of prominent Indo-Canadians were present on the occasion. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders also attended.
During their speeches, all the dignitaries emphasized on the long-standing relationship between Canada and India which is built on shared traditions of democracy, pluralism and strong ties of friendship. They also praised the cultural diversity and democratic values of India as well as Indian diaspora’s contribution in every aspect of Canada.
Consul General of India Dinesh Bhatia remarked that 2017 is an important year as we are celebrating India@70, Canada@150 and also the 350th birth anniversary of Our 10th Guru – Guru Gobind Singh ji Maharaj.He recalled huge success of Canada India Business Symposium and International Yoga Day in June 2017 at Toronto. He thanked Canada for successfully assimilating Indians in their society and culture, given the shared values.
The Parade was marshalled by Bollywood star and yoga enthusiast Shilpa Shetty who flew especially from India to participate. CG Dinesh Bhatia presided over the parade.
Sixteen (16) floats on 53 feet flat bed trucks representing various States of India including Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and a large number of other diverse social and cultural Indo-Canadian groups from GTA participated in the parade. The parade was followed by music and dance shows including those of renowned Sharayu Date and Parvaaz Rock Band. RDB Manj and Nindy concluded the day rocking the Nathan Phillips Square and entertaining the energetic crowd.
Other featured activities included a live Cricket Pitch, Kids Zone, over 15 mouth watering food stalls and more than other 40 national and international kiosks promoting Indian philosophy, culture, clothes, food and jewelry.
The day long event witnessed participation of over 50,000 Indians, Indo-Canadians and friends of India.