Thousands participate in International Day of Yoga in Toronto

Swami Ramdev with 800 million followers and Sister Shivani, with 200 million followers lead yoga and meditation sessions

Toronto, June 27, 2017: The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) enthusiastically celebrated the third edition of the International Day of Yoga on an unprecedented scale in the presence of His Holiness Yogrishi Swami Ramdev, world renowned yoga master and Sister Shivani, Spiritual leader, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.

More than 10,000 yoga enthusiasts participated in the yoga sessions held at the International Centre in Mississauga, among them several dignitaries including Kristy Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science; Patrick Brown, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario; Dipika Damerla, Ontario Minister of Seniors Affairs; Deepak Obhrai, Member of Parliament, Hazel McCallion, the  legendary former Mayor of Mississauga and prominent members of the federal, provincial and city political establishments; community and business leaders. The event also witnessed the participation of diplomatic corps based in Toronto.

Swami Ramdev congratulated India’s Consul General Ambassador Dinesh Bhatia, chair of the Advisory Committee of the International Yoga Day Canada (IYDC) and Satish Thakkar, chair of organising committee of IYDC.

“Toronto has organised the largest and the best 3rd International Day of Yoga celebrations outside India,” Swamiji Ramdev said expressing happiness at the heartwarming and rousing reception with which he was greeted by the massive gathering.  “An individual who follows the true path of yoga will be free from desire & lust. Eschewing desire and worldly entrapments leads to true freedom and happiness. Selflessness alone can lead us to salvation and stability,” he said during the three-hour yoga session he held with over 5000 participants interspersing the yoga exercises with wisdom, wit and yoga techniques. Continue reading “Thousands participate in International Day of Yoga in Toronto”

#BollywoodMonster Mashup Reveals Bollywood Star Zee Cine Award Winner Kamal Khan

…. Announces Comedian Ali Hassan as FoodFest Host

Singer of “Ishq Sufiyana” added to the festival’s larger-than-life programming, Host of CBC’s Laugh Out Loud Ali Hassan to emcee Monster FoodFest

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Mississauga, ON: Multi-award winning Bollywood star Kamal Khan is set to appear at Canada’s largest South Asian Festival, #BollywoodMonster Mashup presented by TD, this July at Mississauga Celebration Square. With over 8 million views on YouTube, his hit song “Ishq Sufiyana” from the film The Dirty Picture has stood the test of time and continues to be a fan favourite. Kamal Khan’s hypnotic vocals paired with the song’s bright melody makes it the perfect single to enjoy the summer air and earned the singer a Zee Cine Award for Fresh New Singing Talent, in addition to Male Vocalist of the Year at the Mirchi Music Awards and Best Music Debut at the Global Indian Music Awards. Popular among both critics and fans Kamal Khan’s skilled musicality earned him Favourite Male Singer at People’s Choice Awards India and Best Playback Singer (Male) at the PTC Punjabi Film Awards for the song “Dil De Varke” from the film Fer Mamla Gadbad Gadbad. Following his award-winning singles, the Punjabi singer continues to release hit after hit. His latest songs, “Barsatan” and “Sach” have over 1 million views on the artist’s YouTube channel. Kamal Khan is bringing his irresistible hits to #BollywoodMonster Mashup as the festival’s Friday night closer in a can’t-miss performance!

“I can’t wait to close the show Friday night at #BollywoodMonster Mashup! I’m excited to connect with the crowd at this massive festival and get a feel for their energy,” says Kamal Khan, “It will be great to reach such a wide audience and be able to perform for so many fans at once.” Continue reading “#BollywoodMonster Mashup Reveals Bollywood Star Zee Cine Award Winner Kamal Khan”

Vandana Vishwas To Perform At The LCCA-CANORAA 4-Worlds Festival

After a whirlwind tour of UK and India to promote her  recently released third studio album ‘Parallels’, which saw
her being featured in several leading Indian and UK media and radio including All India Radio and BBC, noted IndoCanadian singer, composer and World Music producer Vandana Vishwas is back in Canada for her 2017 summer-fall season that has her featuring in some interesting platforms. As the coordinator of south Asian music programming at the 4 Worlds festival organized by LCCA-CANORAA, Toronto, Vandana Vishwas is presenting three of the leading south Asian bands – Autorickshaw, LAL & Rakkatak, apart from performing herself. The indoor leg of the festival took place on 2nd & 3rd June 2017 at Rodeo Brazilian Steakhouse,

Toronto while the outdoor leg will take place at Barry Zukerman Amphitheatre in Earl Bales Park, Toronto, from 24th June to 15th July 2017, featuring various Latin, African, South Asian and First Nations artists. Artistic Director of the festival is Alejandro Freeland, Production Manager is Michelle Truzzi Trusbsch, Coordinator of African artists is Jacques Yamdije, Coordinator of First Nations artists is Mahika Averi and the festival is being organized by Latin
Canadian Cultural Association & CANORAA. Vandana will appear next on stage on 8th July 2017.

Following this, Vandana is being featured at the Culture Bridge Festival in New Market, ON by Culture Bridge
Initiative on 7th July 2017. The 3 day long festival will take place at Riverwalk Commons and Magna Centre in
Newmarket. Apart from these and various other community events, Continue reading “Vandana Vishwas To Perform At The LCCA-CANORAA 4-Worlds Festival”



MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO: #OdysseoSAUGA – The internationally acclaimed entertainment company Cavalia has  arrived in Ontario earlier than originally announced with its latest production Odysseo that is wowing North American audiences and critics alike. With the addition of six performances to the show calendar, the 30 million dollar theatrical extravaganza has now made its Mississauga debut under the White Big Top next to the Hershey Centre on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Matinee and evening performances for Odysseo are scheduled through July 16 and are now on sale online at or by calling 1-866-999-8111.

Odysseo transports spectators to a new level of beauty, grace, and magic. The show features 65 magnificent horses and 48 talented riders, acrobats, dancers, stilt walkers and musicians. Odysseo is a true revolution in live entertainment with an impressive list of superlatives: the world’s largest touring production, the largest touring tent on Earth, the biggest stage, the most breathtaking visual effects, and the greatest number of horses at liberty.

TICKETS – Tickets are priced from $39.50 to $139.50 + applicable taxes and fees. For a memorable evening, the Rendez-Vous package offers the best seats in the house, full meal buffet dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit of the stables after the show. This unique VIP experience takes place in a tent alongside the White Big Top. The Rendez-Vous package prices range from $139.50 to $224.50 + applicable taxes and fees. Special pricing and packages available for groups, children (2-12), juniors (13-17) and seniors (65+). Continue reading “THE WORLD’S LARGEST TOURING PRODUCTION MAKES ITS MISSISSAUGA DEBUT”

Markham Brings Exciting Entertainment Lineup to Canada Day Celebrations

It is with great pride that the City of Markham – the nation’s most diverse city – joins municipalities from coast-to-coast-to-coast to honour Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

This year, we celebrate Canada 150 with Markham’s largest and most vibrant Canada Day celebration yet! Each year, this signature event draws over 25,000 attendees from Markham, the Greater Toronto Area and across Southern Ontario.

From the Citizenship Ceremony, to the sold out Seniors Luncheon, People’s Parade and celebrations at Milne Dam, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Today, Mayor Frank Scarpitti and the City of Markham’s Canada Day Co-Chairs, Councillor Alex Chiu and Councillor Amanda Collucci, announced the winner of Star Search Markham and the outstanding entertainment that you can expect at Markham’s Milne Dam celebrations on July 1.

This Canadian children’s music duo is a three-time JUNO nominated and three-time INDIES Children’s Group of the Year award winner. Splash’N Boots started out as a class project at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. Since then, the group has released nine albums, three DVDs and has traveled across the world performing. Nick Adams (Splash) and Taes Leavitt (Boots) from Treehouse TV will have families singing and dancing the afternoon away.

Continue reading “Markham Brings Exciting Entertainment Lineup to Canada Day Celebrations”

Akram Khan’s Until the Lions Roars at Luminato Festival in Toronto!

By Nita Balani

Akram Khan Company’s interpretation of a small story from the Hindu epic poem the Mahabharata stands up as a monumental show on the modern dance/theatre stage.

Until the Lions is originally written by author Karthika Nair, who had the brilliance of mind to draw from the male-dominated, war-themed Mahabharata to focus on the lesser known female characters and make them shine strongly through her collection of stories.

Akram Khan has taken a leaf out of her book to interpret the story of warrior princess Amba ( award winning danseuse Ching-Ying Chien) and her kidnapping by Prince Bheeshma (Akram Khan) through the powerful art of dance. Bheeshma wants her to marry his brother but Amba says she loves someone else and thus Bheeshma releases her back to her family. However as per customs of her time she is rejected by the family and her suitor as she is considered ‘spoils of war” and tainted. She then goes back to Bheeshma and demands he does the right thing and marry her; Bheeshma refuses as he has taken a vow of celibacy which he cannot break. Amba then swears to get her revenge and goes into deep penance wherein Lord Shiva grants her wish of finding revenge in her next life as a warrior. To hasten her rebirth she self immolates to end her life. She then returns in her male form as Shikhandi (Joy Alpuerto Ritter) to fight Bheeshma on the battlefield. As he recognizes her as the reincarnation of Amba and a female, he lays down his weapon. He is then killed by Shikhandi and the female triumphs. Continue reading “Akram Khan’s Until the Lions Roars at Luminato Festival in Toronto!”

Summerlicious 2017: Mouth-watering meals at Toronto’s finest restaurants

Summerlicious runs from July 7 to 23 at more than 200 Toronto restaurants

Summerlicious, presented by YP Dine and produced by the City of Toronto, returns July 7 to 23 with mouth-watering meals served at more than 200 of Toronto’s favourite restaurants. Three-course prix fixe lunch menus are priced at $18, $23 and $28 and dinner menus are priced at $28, $38 and $48. Reservations begin on June 22.

The 15th annual city-wide culinary event welcomes 22 new restaurants this year, including Cactus Club Cafe, Maple Leaf Tavern, Jamie’s Italian (Yorkdale), Mochica, Ricarda’s and TOCA (The Ritz-Carlton).

“Now in its 15th year, Summerlicious continues to offer incredible dining opportunities at some of Toronto’s best restaurants for exceptional value,” said Mayor John Tory. “I encourage Torontonians to get out and explore the diverse cuisine this city offers.”

“Summerlicious is great value for diners and a significant economic boost to the city,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “Since its inception in 2003, participating restaurants have served 6.5 million meals, generating nearly $290 million in economic activity for the local restaurant industry.”

“We’re pleased to be the presenting sponsor and exclusive reservation partner for Summerlicious, an integral part of Toronto’s culinary dining scene,” said Jeff Novak, Brand Director at YP Dine, an award-winning restaurant and dining app. “YP Dine allows users to reserve a table and discover great food during Summerlicious and all year round. With its geo-localized features like the option to order in, make reservations, and access curated lists and reviews, YP Dine meets the needs of foodies and restaurateurs across Canada.” Continue reading “Summerlicious 2017: Mouth-watering meals at Toronto’s finest restaurants”

Frisian author Hylke Speerstra visits Canada to launch new book

Hylke Speerstra has never been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize or the Man Booker. He writes in a minority language understood by about half a million people and read by only a fraction of that small number. But that does not mean his books don’t deserve your interest or attention. Hylke Speerstra is ‘world famous’ in Friesland (a province of the Netherlands) after all. He writes with conviction and emotion about the proud people of that tiny patch of northwestern Europe where they speak their own beautifully expressive language and hang on to their historic traditions.

Like all marginalized rural regions of Europe, Friesland has seen its fair share of migrants leave in search of a better life elsewhere. In 2005 Speerstra’s collection of oral history emigrant memoirs was published in English translation as Cruel Paradise. Now, twelve years later, Mokeham Publishing is proud to announce the release of The Comfort Bird, Speerstra’s second book to be translated from Frisian into English – by Prof. Henry Baron of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Comfort Bird follows the experiences of three generations of two families of farm laborers from a small town in Friesland. One family moves across the ocean and passes through Ellis Island in 1911 to seek their fortune on the American Prairies. Despite depression and dust bowl, with the perseverance typical of the migrant farmer they build a life for themselves in the USA. The way back to Europe for one of the family members goes through Utah Beach on D-Day as an enlisted soldier in the American Army.

The second family is too much rooted in the heavy soil of the old country to emigrate. They keep their head above water by performing seasonal work in Germany. Rebellious and always searching for social justice, they make decisions which will put them on the wrong side of history.  In a strange twist of fate World War II brings the families together again, on opposing sides of the conflict.

The Comfort Bird is based in fact and Speerstra, who lists John Steinbeck and Truman Capote as great examples, traveled extensively in the USA, Germany and the Netherlands to research original sources and interview descendants. Continue reading “Frisian author Hylke Speerstra visits Canada to launch new book”

Up N Close with the 4 legged stars of Odysseo

* Special appearance by Odysseo fan Michael “Pinball” Clemons*

It was a perfect day to meet n greet the superstars of the upcoming ‘Odysseo’, the epic adventure show which kicks off at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga on June 21st.

The beauties circled in perfect precision, with their well-groomed silky manes bouncing to the gallop at the media event this afternoon. These horses of different breeds from different parts of the world were presented in relatively free circumstances. It was a wonderful feeling to have come upon them in their natural setting, in a relaxed atmosphere. Everyone looks happy- the horses, the trainers, the acrobats- all ready and excited to perform.

Odysseo features 65 horses of 12 different breeds from around the world including the Appaloosa, Arabian, Canadian Horse, Holsteiner, Lusitano, Paint Horse and several others. They hail from different nationalities –Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the United States and Canada. The average age of the horses is 9.

At the heart and soul of every Odysseo performance is the age-old bond between human and horse. The company fosters an environment where patience, trust and deep-seated respect for the four-legged stars come first. One of the trainers says “they need to feel happy and enthusiastic”; she believes that she has a bunch of excited kids and there’s a perfect understanding, bonding and a relationship of love. It was amazing to see the way they communicate with each other. Adorable is an understatement. Continue reading “Up N Close with the 4 legged stars of Odysseo”

Mayor’s Annual Business Address Highlights greenMarkham

Event Showcases Markham’s Environmental Research and Innovation

MARKHAM, ON – June 13, 2017 – Today, Mayor Frank Scarpitti joined businesses and thought leaders from across Markham at the Mayor’s Annual Business Address and Luncheon at the Hilton Suites. In his address, the Mayor highlighted an impressive list of sustainability firsts and initiatives underway to support the city’s vision for a greenMarkham.

“In Markham, we are addressing the challenges of sustainability in our planning, in our development, and in our social programs to create a healthier community for future generations,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “I am proud that Markham began its sustainable journey many years ago and our achievements to date in greening Markham position us well as a leader in addressing climate change.”

The Mayor’s Annual Business Address and Luncheon is the year’s most anticipated business luncheon, attracting more than 500 of Markham’s top business, political and community leaders.

Mayor Scarpitti’s address drew attention to the City of Markham’s innovative sustainability programs, including Trees for Tomorrow, Rouge National Urban Park partnership, the 22 kilometers of scenic pathways, the City’s monarch-friendly proclamation, the 81 per cent waste diversion rate, and the new textile recycling program. Energy conservation and reducing carbon emissions were also highlighted as part of greenMarkham, as Mayor Scarpitti spoke to the City of Markham’s solar portfolio, LED street lighting and LEED building standard.

Additionally, the Mayor’s business address featured a focus on local environmental research and innovation, including POND Technologies, General Motors’ Canadian Technology Centre Markham Campus, TD Insurance’s investment in Markham, ventureLab at IBM, AVIVA Canada headquarters, Honda Canada and the new campus for York University.

“It is always our pleasure to present the Annual Mayor’s Business Address and Luncheon”, says Richard Cunningham, President and CEO of the Markham Board of Trade.

Continue reading “Mayor’s Annual Business Address Highlights greenMarkham”