TD FESTIVAL OF SOUTH ASIA 2019 CELEBRATES 17 YEARS OF MULTICULTURAL LEADERSHIP #FSA2019 #LITTLEINDIATO Touted as the Largest South Asian Street Festival in North America, the 17th edition of the ‘TD Festival of South Asia’ hosted annually by Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area (GIBBIA) is all set to open its doors to the community on July 13th & 14th, 2019 along Gerrard Street East between Glenside Ave. and Coxwell Ave. The festival has received Mayor - John Tory, Councillor Paula Fletcher, Councillor Mary-Margaret McMohan, MP Toronto-Danforth - Julie Dabrusin, Peter Tabuns - MPP Toronto-Danforth amongst other dignitaries in the past and looking forward to their presence this year as well. The FREE, family-friendly, and fabulous street festival on Gerrard Street East is open to everyone (noon-11pm). As is the tradition of the festival, it will feature special programming to preserve and promote South Asian Culture and at the same time appeal to a larger audience. Mr. Chand Kapoor, Chair of the Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area (BIA), extended a warm welcome to everyone to come and enjoy the rich South Asian culture at this year’s Festival of South Asia, which is presented by the TD Bank Group. He said, “During the two-day festival we will be showcasing music, dance, food and the essence of South Asia. There will also be lots of bargains and takeaways. Our mission is to revive the legacy of the Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area that thrives along Gerrard Street, and to celebrate and promote South Asian culture and diversity. I am sure that everyone will have a great time with their families.” Tasneem Bandukwala, Executive Director – Festival of South Asia & BIA Manager - Gerrard India Bazaar BIA said, “For this 17th edition of the TD Festival of South Asia we’ve focused on our strength: curating exhilarating dance performances, world-class bands, singers, and a combination of cultural and artistic performances that audiences can only experience at our festival. Paired with cultural and artistic performances, we’ll have irresistible Indian & world cuisines, and one of a kind shopping experiences. From art galleries to Indian fashion & jewellery, to salons specializing in henna and mehndi - these are treasures only available in Toronto's Little India. Free, and family-friendly, the festival offers delights for all ages.
One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s Festival of South Asia is the Gerrard India Bazaar’s rebrand, including a new logo and branded streetscape that will be rolled out over the fall. This modern look is an homage to the South Asian art form, rangoli. A rangoli is a form of Indian folk art that uses patterns and geometric shapes, it is as decoration believed to bring good luck. The rangoli logo is designed with a modern twist to reflect the changes of our business demographic.
Tasneem added “We have dazzling dance performances by Sanskriti Arts, Bhangra Performance by Shaan Punjab Dee, Reign Yash Dance, Chamma Arts, Flash mobs by Pure Soul Energy, Khathak & Odyssey dance performances by various local artists, a delightful Qawwalli performance by Vishal Vishu & Friends, get-you-up-and-dancing bands this year include Akash Band, Tumako, Prince, Ali Noor of Vaishi Parinde , Desi Muziko Band, and local neighbourhood favourites The Mere Mortals among many other musical and dance groups and workshops who incorporate influences from various styles of popular music, yet maintain a fresh and raw energy. Several artists have been part of prestigious events like IIFA (International Film Academy), Canada's Got Talent, and Raptors Half Time Performance and the like. We also have many soulful singers and so much more!” We will have Arts & Culture on display, Gully Cricket (back on demand), Yoga workshops + aerial yoga demos by Heal With Kare, Bollywood Dance energizer by Fusion Cardio Toronto, Kids Zone, Lego station, Sidewalk Sales, Henna, Hula hooping station by HooperSonic and lots more. With 1500 minutes of programming on two stages and more than 200 artists performing, our audiences will be enthralled with the local talent this diverse multicultural city of Toronto embraces.
Inder Jandoo, Vice Chair - Gerrard India Bazaar BIA said, “One of the primary objectives of the festival is to bring the Bazaar back as well as provide the business owners an opportunity to display their unique products and services. Our vision is to continue to inspire, educate and captivate audiences; to continue to flourish our “Little India”, whilst captivating an audience and leading us all to unite as Canadians. I am confident that our visitors and their families will have a great time at the festival.” Talking on the association of TD with the Festival more than a decade now, here is what TD Bank has to say “We are proud to support the Festival of South Asia as a celebration of culture, bringing people together through shared experiences and connecting us though food, music, and dance. TD is committed to creating the conditions so we can all belong, helping open doors to a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow”. The show will see many of our favourite Emcees – Randy Persaud, Anil Vingle, Xulf Ali, Azfar Ali, Srijeet Chowdhury and many more Guest Emcees. Needless to say, food and drinks are a part of it! Nobody can leave any part of South Asia without being smitten by its flavours. “Estimated attendance is 250,000 based on previous year’s report and we hope to give everyone a slice of South Asian setting in two days. A recent mention in CNN Travel, listing us as a must-visit Toronto destination has already helped stir even more interest in our festival” adds Ms. Bandukwala who has been the Executive Director of the Festival of South Asia for the past 5 years. Chandan Singh (Chandan Fashion) and Board Member of Gerrard India Bazaar BIA says “The 17th Annual TD Festival of South Asia represents a rich mosaic of art, crafts, languages, culture, music and cuisines from various parts of South Asia in a festive backdrop. It also provides an opportunity for cultural exchange and offers community members a feeling of oneness”. It is a part of the culture to express gratitude before commencement of any task. In keeping with that tradition, the festival had a grand opening today on July 5th to acknowledge the contribution of patrons, sponsors, well-wishers for continuously encouraging and supporting this cultural extravaganza and offered those in attendance a chance to sample what’s to come with Cultural performances, South Asian eats and sweets, and live music.