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Panorama India Independence Day celebrations on Aug 2nd 

Anu Srivastava

TORONTO: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Indian High Commissioner Nirmal Verma and Toronto Consul General Akhilesh Mishra, Ministers, MPs, MPPs, Mayors, Councillors and thousands of people will join in for India Independence Day celebrations here on Saturday, August 2.

Being organized by Panorama India which is an umbrella body of various Indo-Canadian organizations, the celebrations will be held at Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street, this year instead of the usual venue of Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.

The celebrations will begin with an Flag Raising followed by a big India Day Parade which will give a glimpse of diverse culture of India.

Panorama India chairperson Anu Srivastava says, “We had about 20,000 people show up last year and we are expecting even larger crowds this year because of the central location which has access to all highways and subway lines. Most of the people are travelling from Brampton, Mississauga, Markham, Scarborough and GTA suburbs so we tried to make it easier commute for everyone. More so because of the on-going construction of Gardiner.

“Secondly, Mel Lastman is in the heart of the city at Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue. It is a beautiful venue with a lot of greenery, fountains, amphitheatre stage, pavilion and many other features. It is attached to Novotel Hotel North York, North York Civic Centre and Toronto Performing Arts Centre.’’

According to her, “The most unique feature of this year’s India Day Parade is that it will be held on Yonge Street which will be closed down for that period. We are expecting large contingents from states of Gujarat and Telangana reflecting the victory of PM Modi and the new 29th state of India. Our parade will see a 16 member marching military band for the first time. India Day Parade will be led by the Indian High Commissioner, VIPs and our people representing their homeland states in India. Finally we also have the cast of upcoming Indo-Canadian film Dr. Cabbie, including hero Vinay Virmani and headliner Manj (lead singer, RDB) from the UK, join us. It is going to be a fun-filled event.’’

Over 15 cultural troupes representing various parts of India will perform on stage throughout the day while the food vendors will treat people to diverse delicacies of India, including tandoori, biryani, chat papri, dabeli, roasted corn and other ethnic dishes from the various regions. People can beat the heat with ice cream.

“Mel Lastman can accommodate 30 vendors and so far we have 25 confirmed. Please contact info@panoramaindia.org to sponsor the event, get a vendor booth or participate with your cultural performance and book hand rickshaw for the Parade,’’ according to Anu Srivastava.

Prizes and gifts will be given to the largest contingent at the parade and most innovative show of culture.

Anu Srivastava

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