BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir celebrates Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights in Toronto

A glittering array of twinkles filled the night as traditional candles were lit by devotees during the Diwali and Hindu New Year (Vikram Samvat 2075) Celebrations on Thursday November 8, 2018, at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, located at 61 Claireville Drive, Toronto.

The ancient tradition of lighting candles, or diva, during Diwali symbolizes the transition from darkness to light. While the diva lit on Diwali remove physical darkness, the festival’s rich traditions and rituals go deeper – inviting individuals to make efforts in removing darkness from within, in the forms of anger, envy, greed, arrogance, and resentment.  Diwali presents a time to reflect and introspect.

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto marked the auspicious festival of Diwali and its associated five days of celebrations with an elaborate Annakut, lighted diva, fireworks, and a special children’s Diwali celebration. The celebrations were open to all. Visitors participated in celebration activities, offered prayers for new beginnings and had the opportunity to taste in the delicious offerings of the Annakut. Several dignitaries also participated in the celebrations.

Addressing the gathering, The Honourable Doug Ford Premier of Ontario said, “said, “Happy Diwali, Happy New Year to everyone. Each and everyone of you make me feel right at home when I come here. I wish everyone in Ontario could see this [the Annakut], it’s absolutely unbelievable. I understand it’s all about ‘Unity’ and what at great message…I just wanted to emphasize, you have treated our family incredibly well here…we are forever grateful to you. The contribution of your community to the province is absolutely incredible.” Continue reading “BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir celebrates Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights in Toronto”

Glittering Lights, Live Music, Skating & Winter Fireworks November 24, 2018

Cavalcade of Lights to kick off Toronto’s holiday season November 24 at Nathan Phillips Square

On Saturday, November 24 at 6 p.m., Cavalcade of Lights, presented by Great Gulf, will mark the official start of the holiday season in Toronto. This holiday tradition features the first illumination of Toronto’s Official 60- foot (18 metre) Christmas Tree, spectacular fireworks, a skating party, circus act and performances by some of Canada’s top musical talent.

“Cavalcade of Lights is a 52-year Toronto tradition that brings families together to celebrate the start of the holiday season,” said Mayor John Tory. “This spectacular event includes a great lineup of performances, dazzling fireworks and the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree. I invite everyone to come and join the festivities.”

“Great Gulf is absolutely delighted to return as the presenting sponsor of this incredible Toronto tradition,” said Madeline Zito, Vice President of Public Relations, Great Gulf. “The 52nd annual Cavalcade of Lights provides a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation of the communities we serve and it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season with a celebration of goodwill.”

This holiday tradition illuminates Nathan Phillips Square under the twinkle of more than 525,000 energy-efficient lights and 500 ornaments provided by Toronto Hydro. Continue reading “Glittering Lights, Live Music, Skating & Winter Fireworks November 24, 2018”

Mind Boggling Museum Where Education Meets Entertainment

— Nita Balani

A brand new museum opened in Toronto which is fast becoming the talk of the town!. The Museum of Illusions has opened its doors to the public this week on November 7th 2018 and will stay permanently in its new home at Front Street East, Toronto. The hugely popular museum has attained world wide acclaim and has opened in 14 cities across the globe including Berlin, Athens, Dubai, New York and Kuala Lumpur. Toronto is the first Canadian city on the map.

The museum appeals to all ages as it takes you through interactive, tactile rooms and displays which play on your mind and eyes. The illusions and installations all “tease the senses while bringing out a playfulness in guests of all ages” explains Michaela Radman, owner and curator of the Museum. The entire experience takes about an hour and a half or so and guests can take photographs and videos to post and share with friends over social media. The display has mind boggling images, rooms, optical illusions and plays tricks on your “mind’s eye”. The 80 plus exhibits take you through multiple visual deceptions which are all based on science, maths, and psychology.

The tilted room (not for the faint of heart) is truly amazing as you struggle to keep your balance even as your mind tries to figure out what is going on. There are also reverse rooms (where everything is upside down), asymmetrical rooms and vortex tunnels to walk through which are fun to experience.

The optical illusions chair really is a thrill. The person sitting on the chair, when photographed relative to someone else standing next to it, shows us how perception relative to size works in our minds and eyes. Continue reading “Mind Boggling Museum Where Education Meets Entertainment”

Markham hosts 2018 World Junior Badminton Championships November 5 to 18

Join the City of Markham to support Team Canada at the Li-Ning BWF World Junior Badminton Championships 2018, hosted in partnership with Badminton Canada and Badminton Ontario from November 5 to 18, 2018 at the Markham Pan Am Centre.

Cheer on Brian Yang, Canada’s first-ever Olympic Badminton medalist and top ranked male junior singles player. Brian competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and won the Canadian Junior Open in singles, doubles and mixed doubles back in March. He will lead Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Badminton Championships next week.

“Badminton is the number one participatory sport in Markham schools and the second most popular sport in the world,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Support Team Canada at the Markham Pan Am Centre, a global sports destination where exceptional athletes and role models strive to achieve greatness and make us proud.”

The World Junior Badminton Championships is an international sporting competition, featuring 400 athletes from close to 50 countries. Many of the Canadian athletes proudly call Markham, and York Region, home. This is only the second time in the history of the sport that the World Junior Badminton Championships will be hosted in Canada.

“Canada is hosting the best junior players in the world, athletes that are well on their way to the Olympic podium” says Marty Deacon, Chair, Li-Ning BWF World Junior Badminton Championships 2018. “We believe this experience will help prepare our Juniors for the best success possible, as they continue their journey on the high performance athlete pathway.” Continue reading “Markham hosts 2018 World Junior Badminton Championships November 5 to 18”

ANOKHI MEDIA Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

— Final Attendance To Include Monika Deol & Shama Hyder
ANOKHI MEDIA, North America’s leading South Asian entertainment & lifestyle media and events company is very pleased to announce the third group of personalities that will be attending the 15th anniversary event on November 3rd, 2018 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, a milestone being marked by the EMPOWER ME Campaign in support of the not-for-profit organization, Free-Them. Full details can be seen at the event’s official website: www.AnokhiAwards.com.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
 
In commemoration of ANOKHI MEDIA’s 15 year milestone, the company is thrilled to announce the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award for the very first time in its history. “The recipient is a decorated Canadian figure who has exemplified true global leadership as well as shown by example, how to honour one’s Country and one’s culture at the highest levels, while continuing to serve with humility“, said ANOKHI MEDIA’s CEO, Raj Girn.
The Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence will be presented with ‘The ANOKHI POWER Award 2018’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Presented For Global Empowerment In The Advancement Of Leadership’. The award is brought to you by Canada’s most awarded air cargo airline, Cargojet.
Minister Sajjan will be providing a video acceptance speech and opening the Summit during the day with a few words of encouragement around the “ANOKHI EMPOWER ME” campaign. Raj Grewal, Member of Parliament for Brampton East, will be receiving the award on stage on behalf of the Minister.  Continue reading “ANOKHI MEDIA Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient”

Pumpkin parades will light up Toronto parks on November 1

This Thursday, more than 50 parks across Toronto will emit an orange glow as local residents bid a final farewell to their jack-o’-lanterns with community pumpkin parades.

The first pumpkin parade was organized in Sorauren Park in 2004. Since then, this made-in-Toronto tradition has spread to parks across the city and inspired other cities such as Montreal and New York to start their own. This year’s event includes four more parades than last year and can be found in parks from Guildwood Village Park in Scarborough to Centennial Park in Etobicoke.

“Pumpkin parades are great opportunities for communities to come together,” said Mayor John Tory. “I am proud that the number of parades continues to expand each year so that even more people will be able to take part in the post-Halloween fun.”

The pumpkin parades are organized by community organizations as well as by local businesses and Business Improvement Areas. City park permits and disposal bins are provided to the organizers for free, making it easy to host and cleanup the pumpkins after the event. The pumpkins will be picked up by the City after the parades and processed with yard waste to create compost that can be used in City parks and gardens. The City has partnered with Park People to provide posters and social media templates to assist community organizations with their event promotions.

“I’m happy to see our parks animated with pumpkin parades each year,” said Janie Romoff, General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “Toronto’s parks are our common grounds, and this made-in-Toronto tradition is a wonderful way for residents and visitors to connect with each other.” Continue reading “Pumpkin parades will light up Toronto parks on November 1”

AMUR TIGERS RETURN TO THE TORONTO ZOO!

The Toronto Zoo is delighted to open the endangered Amur Tiger Exhibit. Amur tigers are the largest of all tigers and it is estimated there are only 500 left in the wild. The Amur Tiger Exhibit, formerly the Giant Panda Experience, is located within the Eurasia Wilds section of the Zoo and is home to two Amur tiger siblings, female “Kira” and male “Vasili”. Kira, which means “mistress or ruler” is six years-old and was born at Calgary Zoo. Vasili, which means “royal or kingly” is brother of Kira and also six years-old. Vasili arrived to Toronto from Assiniboine Park Zoo, but was born at Calgary Zoo.

Kira can be described as having a more discernible personality, different from Vasili, and Wildlife

Care has worked diligently to earn her respect. Kira’s favourite enrichment activity is anything that is placed within a tube. She enjoys throwing the tube around her exhibit to see what Keepers have hidden inside for her! Vasili is best described as a smart tiger with a relaxed personality. He readily engages with daily training sessions with Wildlife Care Staff and thoroughly enjoys playing hard and destroying all of his enrichment items on a regular basis!

With the arrival of these two siblings, the Zoo will again be an active participant in the Amur Tiger SSP. Even though neither of our tigers will be breeding in the near future, housing them here will give their home zoos more space to breed their tigers again.And, our new tigers could each potentially be candidates for breeding with non-related individuals in the future. The Amur Tiger SSP, aims to establish and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species. Continue reading “AMUR TIGERS RETURN TO THE TORONTO ZOO!”

Safety first when using or in possession of recreational cannabis!

With the legalization of recreational cannabis as of today, October 17, 2018, the City of Brampton is asking residents to put safety first when using or in possession of recreational cannabis.

Brampton Fire and Emergency Services data shows that 31 per cent of fatal fires in the home over the past five years were caused by improperly discarded smoking material. Smoking of cannabis will be regulated the same as tobacco, and cannabis users need to be responsible for safe use to protect themselves, their families, minors, pets, and property.

Fire safety
Cannabis users are advised not to cook while under the influence. Residents are also reminded not to grow beyond the legal limit of four cannabis plants per household, and not to make any modification to their electrical system or use high heat lamps as they pose a serious fire risk.

Where cannabis is prohibited  
Smoking of cannabis is prohibited in the same places where the smoking of tobacco is prohibited, e.g. enclosed public places/workplaces, within 20 metres of children’s playgrounds and play areas within parks, public sporting areas (e.g., splash pads, soccer fields) and in all bars and restaurant patios.

Who to contact
The City of Brampton along with Region of Peel will look into complaints about smoking on City property such municipal buildings, recreation centres, transit shelters, and in proximity to children’s play areas, including within parks. Continue reading “Safety first when using or in possession of recreational cannabis!”

Factory presents its 49th Season “Canada at Your Doorstep”

FACTORY presents THE MEN IN WHITE
Written by Anosh Irani | Directed by Philip Akin October 13 – November 4, 2018

Factory presents its 49th Season “Canada at Your Doorstep,” six provocative works in the Mainspace that challenge and interrogate popular narratives of Canadian identity. The 2018-2019 season begins with the return of Dora Award-winning playwright Anosh Irani (Bombay Black) to Factory, and the Toronto premiere of his latest play, THE MEN IN WHITE, directed by Philip Akin.

Abdul’s Vancouver cricket team wants to end its losing streak by recruiting his younger brother Hasan, a talented “all-rounder” from India. One problem is that he is a professional chicken cutter from the wrong side of town – a fact not lost on some of his teammates, let alone the immigration authorities. Bringing Hasan to Canada will take more than just a plane ticket, and not all of the team agree it is worth the cost.

Alternating between the Dongri neighbourhood of Mumbai, and a Vancouver locker room, this touching and funny story follows a charming band of feisty misfits as they discover that home can be found in a sport, and unite family across nations.

It is a sweet comedy about a group of rag tag cricket players in BC banding together to bring a ringer over from Mumbai. It is the game of cricket that times them all together, and gives them a sense of home, so far away from home. Continue reading “Factory presents its 49th Season “Canada at Your Doorstep””

Anurag Choudhury becomes famous British graffiti artist Banksy in Toronto!

–By Nita Balani

There is no better way to welcome fall than spending an evening at the theatre. Becoming Banksy is running at the Redwood Theatre until October 14, 2018. This theatre is an ideal location for this avant garde fringe theatre script about an English tourist who visits Toronto and is mistakenly identified as none other than the famous British grafitti artist, Banksy.

The timing could not be better as Toronto just hosted one of the largest art exhibits of Banksy the past three months. The location is more than perfect as the Redwood Theatre (originally a vaudeville theatre) is one of the city’s oldest independent theatres built in 1914. It supports a diverse range of innovators in the creative fields including circus, theatre, art, and film.

Becoming Banksy is a delightful tale of Will Banks (Anurag Choudhury), an unemployed artist from London who is going through an emotional separation . His best friend and fellow street art artist Mark ( Daniel Pagett), suggests he needs to get away from the painful and highly emotionally charged atmosphere at home by taking a well-deserved break to visit Toronto. The plot then takes a comical twist as Will is caught up in a case of mistaken identity by the Toronto hotel receptionist, Caitlyn (Caitlin Driscoll), who thinks he is definitely the graffiti artist Banksy. When Mark finds out, he suggests they take advantage of this folly to sell a number of their paintings for a profit. Continue reading “Anurag Choudhury becomes famous British graffiti artist Banksy in Toronto!”