Muggles, Hogwarts and Quidditch -The Potted Potter Toronto Experience!

By N. Balani

The Potted Potter experience began way back in 2005 in England when Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner were asked to do a 5-minute street show style presentation on the first 5 Harry Potter books for fans waiting for the release of the sixth book at midnight.

They never imagined that more than a decade later they would still be performing an extended version of that magical show all over the world! This outstanding show has toured from England to Australia to Hong Kong to Dubai and now is in its fourth tour of Toronto and will go on to other cities in the USA.

This two-man parody on the world of Harry Potter will keep you rolling in laughter whether you are 6 or 66 or even the age of Lord Voldermort! The show involves a Harry Potter expert (James Percy) and a person who is definitely not a Potter expert (Brendan Murphy) trying to present a 70 minute summary of the entire 7 tomes of the Potter saga. To enjoy the slap-stick humour of this show you do not even have to know the difference between a HufflePuff and a horcrux or the names of all the creatures from the Book of Magical Creatures. The plot is simple and so is the stage set (low key wigs and hats), but the comedy is rich and a rare chance to see improvisation theatre at its very best. Continue reading “Muggles, Hogwarts and Quidditch -The Potted Potter Toronto Experience!”

Inaugural Global T20 Canada Shows Potential  of Twenty20 Cricket in North America

Strong performances by Canadian cricketers achieved key mandate of developing Canadian talent

Vancouver Knights’s victory Sunday in the Global T20 Canada (www.gt20.ca) championship match capped off a successful inaugural edition of the six-team league and provided glimpses of the potential of the first Twenty20 league to be fully staged in North America.

Played before a sellout festive crowd at Maple Leaf Cricket Club, the final, between Vancouver and Cricket West Indies B team, showcased the exciting Twenty20 form of cricket. On this stage, fittingly, a Canadian, Saad Bin Zafar made Canadian sporting history producing the performance of his career knocking in 79 runs to lead the Knights to the title, and the champion’s prize of C$500,000.

“Global T20 Canada brought the excitement of pro T20 cricket to Canada, along with many of the world’s top stars,” said Gurmeet Singh, Chairman, Global T20 Canada. “The final in front of a packed stadium and millions of fans watching via TV and streaming shows the sport’s potential not only in Canada, but also in North America, and we plan to achieve many more great milestones in future editions.”

Bin Zafar’s man of the match performance highlighted a strong showing by Canadians in the tournament, achieving one of the league’s key mandates of developing Canadian talent. Continue reading “Inaugural Global T20 Canada Shows Potential  of Twenty20 Cricket in North America”

CARABRAM 2018: Cultures, costumes, cuisines!

Carabram, Brampton’s Multicultural Festival has expanded. This year they included a central site at South Fletcher’s Sportsplex, to showcase additional cultures, music and food as well as an International Bazaar. In addition, The World of Food Pavilion was part of the central site as well an International Market Bazaar with artisans and commercial vendors from Arabia, Latin America, Pakistan, Hawaii, Ukraine and Nepal.

A small stage was set up to present music, dance and songs, as well as demonstrations including Ted Talk style presentation. The Main stage, beside World of Food, continued to showcase top entertainment from around the world.

Carabram, Canada’s oldest cultural festival was on July 13, 14, and 15 at eight venues across the city. In addition to the new South Fletcher’s site, there were pavilions located throughout the city. Canada returned to the UNIFOR Local 1285 Hall,

Caribbean and China were at Chris Gibson Recreation Centre. The rhythm of the islands, the pulsating beats of the drums and the steel band made the audiences sway to the reggae music and whine to the calypso singers. At the China Pavilion, entertainment   included Lion Dance , Kung Fu (Wushu), Qipao fashion show, GuZheng (Chinese Zither), Tai Chi and Taekwondo. Continue reading “CARABRAM 2018: Cultures, costumes, cuisines!”

#BollywoodMonster Mashup ready for monstrous audience in Mississauga

Bollywood fans get hyped! The season of #BollywoodMonster Mashup, presented by TD Bank Group is well underway after the the festival’s successful kickoff event, the #BollywoodMonster Teaser Party on Friday, July 6 at the FLY Nightclub.

The celebrations are set to continue with the #BollywoodMonster Family Day and Finale on July 21, #BollywoodMonster Concert on July 20 and #BollywoodMonster VIP & Media Cocktail Reception on July 19, which are all part of the largest South Asian festival in Canada’s eighth year.

Aaman Trikha, brought to you by TELUS, headlines the #BollywoodMonster Finale, which kicks off at 6 PM on Saturday, July 21 at Mississauga Celebration Square. Trikha is known as the voice of Akshay Kumar in Hookah Bar (Khiladi 786) and Salman Khan in Prem Leela (Prem Ratan Dhan Payo) with a number of other Bollywood hits under his belt. The #BollywoodMonster Orchestra will also return to the festival, blowing people’s minds by featuring top 40 hits from George Michael, Black Eyed Peas, and Gloria Estefan, mashed up with Bollywood hits from films such as Ram Balram, Don and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Singer, songwriter and composer Himmy and the Bollywood Rock Band, dance duo Giggle Queens, and dance group Shiamak Showkids will also take the stage throughout the evening.

Families with kids of all ages can enjoy the #BollywoodMonster Family Day festivities, starting at 2 PM on July 21. Continue reading “#BollywoodMonster Mashup ready for monstrous audience in Mississauga”

World Sanskrit Conference Recognizes Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Akshar-Purushottam Darshan as Distinct Vedanta Tradition

The 17th World Sanskrit Conference, the premier international forum for Sanskrit scholars, recognized Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Akshar-Purushottam Darshan as the first new independent school of Vedanta since the 16th century. The recently authored ground-breaking Sanskrit works on the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan, the Swaminarayan Bhashyam and the Swaminarayan Siddhanta-Sudha by Sadhu Bhadreshdas of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, were also launched in the conference’s inaugural session on July 9, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.

More than 600 eminent Sanskrit scholars and educators had gathered from over 40 countries for this historic event. The triennial World Sanskrit Conference, which for the last half-century has been bringing the finest minds in the world of Sanskrit together to advance understanding of Sanskrit language and literature, was held for the first time in Canada, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. World Sanskrit Conference organizing committee member and senior Sanskrit scholar from the University of British Columbia, Professor Ashok Aklujkar said, “Bhadreshdas Swami is one of the most amazing personalities of the religious traditions of India that I have ever met. His scholarly genius is jaw-dropping, and his commentaries on the Prasthantrayi are a truly great achievement. Continue reading “World Sanskrit Conference Recognizes Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s Akshar-Purushottam Darshan as Distinct Vedanta Tradition”

ROM to Host Exclusive Exhibition of Photographs by Raghubir Singh

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be the final North American and exclusive Canadian venue for Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs. Organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the cooperation of Succession Raghubir Singh in Paris, this retrospective presents the visionary works of late photographer Raghubir Singh (1942-1999), who pioneered the use of colour film to document the rapidly changing social, political, and cultural scenes of India from the late 1960s to the 1990s. The exhibition will be on display at the ROM from July 21 to October 21, 2018, following its run at The Met Breuer in New York City and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

“As home to one of the world’s largest collections of South Asian art and culture, we are pleased to host this retrospective on the pioneering work of photographer Raghubir Singh,“ says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO.“Singh’s illuminating portraits of India, taken from within the culture, have had a major influence on shaping our understanding of the richness and complexity of South Asian society and its unique place in the modern world.”

Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs traces the full trajectory of Singh’s career from his early work as a photojournalist in the late 1960s through to his last unpublished projects of the late 1990s. The exhibition features more than 80 photographs and other objects on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Succession Raghubir Singh. Continue reading “ROM to Host Exclusive Exhibition of Photographs by Raghubir Singh”

Bollywood stars to mingle in Mississauga at the #BollywoodMonster VIP reception

Cocktail reception for the largest South Asian festival in Canada has limited tickets available for the public

Mississauga, ON: #BollywoodMonster Mashup, presented by TD, is gearing up to kick off its eighth season of the largest South Asian festival in Canada with the #BollywoodMonster VIP & Media Cocktail Reception. With limited tickets available to the public, the July 19 reception will be held at C Banquets inside the Mississauga Civic Centre, starting at 8 PM.

In addition to the whirlwind of fun Bollywood fans can expect on July 20 and 21 at Mississauga Celebration Square, the reception presents an annual behind-the-scenes party with #BollywoodMonster Mashup’s biggest celebrities, artists and media all gracing the guest list. Fans will be able to meet this year’s Bollywood stars: Aaman Trikha, brought to you by TELUS (voice of Salman Khan in Prem Leela) and Khushboo Grewal, (voice of Sunny Leone in Pink Lips and actor from Carry on Jatta) at the reception, as well as other performers from this year’s festival.  Attendees will also enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and the opportunity to rub elbows with Bollywood celebrities, performers, and business and community leaders. The #BollywoodMonster VIP & Media Cocktail Reception has a limited number of tickets on sale, so make sure to grab your ticket before they sell out at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/bollywoodmonster-vip-and-media-cocktail-reception-tickets-47087613319?ref=estw

Continue reading “Bollywood stars to mingle in Mississauga at the #BollywoodMonster VIP reception”

Inaugural Sikh Professionals Convention Coming To Toronto

The 2018 Sikh Professionals Convention will be held from July 12-15, at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, Canada.  Over 200 out-of-town and 150 local Sikh professionals are expected to be in attendance.

The event will feature high-profile speakers including:

  • Gurbir Singh Grewal, Attorney General, State of New Jersey

  • Mohanbir Singh Sawhney, McCormick Foundation Professor of Technology, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

  • Ravinder Singh Bhalla, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey

  • Paramjit Kaur Matharu, Managing Director, JP Morgan Chase

  • Ruby Sahota, MP for Brampton North

  • Gurratan Singh, MPP for Brampton East

  • Prabmeet Sarkaria, MPP for Brampton South

  • Inni Kaur, CEO of Sikh Research Institute

“The mission of the Convention is to amplify the ability of Sikh professionals Continue reading “Inaugural Sikh Professionals Convention Coming To Toronto”

Canada India Foundation’s Higher Education Forum

Canada India Foundation (CIF) will be organizing a Higher Education Forum on July 5 and 6 at the Pearson Convention Centre, Brampton ON

Announcing this at a media conference held in Toronto Wednesday June 27, Mr. Ajit Someshwar, Chair, CIF, said, “The CIF is organizing a forum on Higher Education because the education sector has emerged as priority sector for both Canada and India.”

Mr. Someshwar said the sector is worth $20 billion annually in Canada. Pertinently, in 2018, more than 120,000 international students from India will choose Canada for their higher education needs, making Canada the fourth most popular destination for Indian students seeking higher education.

Delineating the objectives of the Forum, Mr. Someshwar observed that the Forum’s vision is to reshape higher education with emphasis on innovation and to create opportunities for development and growth between Canada and India.

Mr. Anil Shah, National Convener, CIF, informed media representatives about the CIF’s upcoming Annual Global Indian Award Gala that is also being held on July 6 evening at the Pearson Convention Centre.

He said, annually, the CIF recognises and honours a prominent achiever who has championed the transformation of developing economies, Continue reading “Canada India Foundation’s Higher Education Forum”

TORONTO DANCE CONNOISSEURS GET THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO TRAIN WITH THE LEGENDARY PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ

A Unique opportunity to train with the most extraordinary artist in the history of Kathak dance

 After the phenomenal success of Dance Workshops with the legendary Saroj Khan in 2016, and Shampa Gopikrishna in 2017, Sanskriti Arts (www.sanskritiarts.ca) is all set to present Dance Diaries 2018 with Legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj and Saswati Sen.

Pandit Birju Maharaj, an icon in the space of Kathak dance in India, is from the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers.  He began teaching the dance form at the age of 13 at Sangeet Bharti followed by the Bharatiya Kala Kendra and the Kathak Kendra in New Delhi where he was Head of Faculty, and opened his own dance school, Kalashram, after retirement.  He has choreographed Kathak dance sequences for many Bollywood films including Dedh IshqiyaUmrao Jaan, and Bajirao Mastani directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and won many awards over the years including the Padma Vibhushan

“Sanskriti Arts brings its third chapter through its Dance Diaries banner in July for dance enthusiasts to acquire the art and get a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn and perform with the maestro himself, who has devoted a lifetime to the kathak form of classical dance,” says Puja Amin, founder of Sanskriti Arts.  Continue reading “TORONTO DANCE CONNOISSEURS GET THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO TRAIN WITH THE LEGENDARY PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ”