Archive | October, 2014

Representing entrepreneurs at national and international levels

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

By Samuel Getachew
ToronTO 
Raj Rama is a respected and politically engaged citizen. Born in Toronto to Indian parents, Rama is determined to continue his tradition of being engaged. I had a chance to interview him as he reflected on life, politics and business.
Raj –Tell me about yourself?
I was born in 1963 here in Toronto at the Women’s College Hospital in Downtown Toronto. I have lived and worked in Toronto my whole life. My parents are of Indian Origin.
Your biography states you are an “Award Winning Serial Entrepreneur” – Tell me about that?
I have worked with both the Public and Private sector as an Award winning Entrepreneur since 1990. This was an Ontario Minister of Economic Development Award for Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship. This Award was presented at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and the Awards other two sponsors were Royal Bank and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
There were only 25 Recipients’ from all over Ontario, including myself. This award opened many doors for me and my company in terms of media coverage, invitations to events and trips and more business that allowed me to buy a 1870’s Victorian renovated row house in 1991 near Yonge and Bloor which I sold in 2008 for $680,000.
You also state how you have travelled many parts of the world representing Ontario. Share with me the highlights.
I participated on several Ontario and/ or Federal led Trade Missions where I was invited by Ontario Exports or DFAIT to South America, Mexico, USA, Europe, India and Japan. I was also the only Canadian Businessman invited to join President Bill Clinton on his first Trip to India. I met many interesting people from the Canadian delegation and from the Countries/ Cities we visited.
It was a great opportunity that I probably would not have gotten to go if had not been for that Ministers Award from then Minister Monte Kwinter of MEDT. The Premier I refer to was Mike Harris and the Prime Minister I refer to was Jean Chretien.
You are a familiar face in the community involved as an advocate and volunteer of worthy causes. Share with me some of the initiatives you are involved in?
Since the 1980’s I have had the privilege to share my photography about Toronto, by being published in well know publications such as the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, Maclean’s Magazine, NY Times, etc. The photos were usually about issues that mattered to readers, such as drug crime, youth prostitution, Bryan Adams playing ‘Summer of 69’ at the CNE, etc.
By highlighting issues even back then, I hope I was able to make a positive difference in the lives of a few people and hopefully more in the future. As you know the Cultural Industry is very vibrant and employees many people in Toronto
In terms of Community building I co-founded a non-profit called Canadians Against Substance Abuse in 2007 after being urged to start it by Christine Elliott, who herself is a tireless advocate for the disabled and less fortunate in our society as an Ont. MPP and Deputy Leader of her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. We had some ‘big wins’ early on, so now I am looking for new ways to mitigate the harms of substance abuse in Toronto on a larger scale with Toronto Public Health, TCHC. When I was a candidate, my hope was should I win, I wanted to be appointed to the board of Public Health and TCHC so I may continue the good fight and help many people. One thing I learned at Ontario Tourism is that you can do a considerable amount more from within Government versus from outside.
You were a recent candidate for City Council. What were some of the ideas you wanted to advocate for.
There were many things I want to address if I was elected. Creating Jobs with our Agencies and partners is a priority. Inviting new businesses to Ward 28, as we have the financial hub of Canada here called the TSX. Improving gridlock (e.g.in the financial district with a pilot project introducing a similar Toll system as the centre of London has)
Improving Public Safety by bringing Shot Spotter (who I have been working with for over a year: www.shotspotter.com) to Toronto for the 2015 Pan Am Games and other areas that need that level of surveillance technology. For example, there has been another murder in Regent Park (Ward28) recently, i.e. ‘Ali was shot to death on Sydenham Rd. near Shuter St. and Trefann St. on Monday afternoon.’ two weeks ago. We need to ramp up Public Safety with the Toronto Police Service and increase Social Service/ Youth mentorship programs to Ward 28 residents who need it.
This will be with the help of our new Mayor and new City Council. One way to fund this is that we must charge at least the same development fees as our neighbours in Brampton, Mississauga, etc. With the additional funds, we can build/ rebuild our communities’ infrastructure and pay for better Public Safety in Toronto.
Improving/renewing infrastructure For example, City of Toronto Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmaat said recently, ‘she admits the city is pockmarked with areas starving for adequate, up-to-date infrastructure – be it water capacity, parks or transit, replace or improve aging infrastructure right away in Ward 28 so we may protect Businesses and keep Jobs and Residents safe.
My aim was to serve the needs of Residents, Business owners and Tourists!
Who were you supporting for mayor and why?
John Tory as he is the most qualified person in this race to bring people on City Council together. The City has lost its’ way and become distracted with scandal after scandal. We need to move forward together as Barack Obama has said many times.

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Fallen Canadian Soldier Nathan Cirillo Hailed as ‘National Hero’

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the Canadian soldier shot dead by a gunman while guarding a war memorial in Ottawa, has been praised as a “national hero”.
The 24 year-old ceremonial officer was shot by gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau during Wednesday’s attack at Canada’s parliament building in Ottawa.
Zehaf-Bibeau was himself later shot dead by sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers after his shooting spree.
Cirillo’s family thanked fellow Canadians for their support following the reservist’s shooting, and released the following statement via Captain Robert Andrushko.
“On behalf of our family, we want to say thank you to the entire nation. On 22 October we lost a son, a brother, a father, a friend and a national hero.
“We are not only mourning as a family, but also a country.
“When we lost Nathan, we all mourned as one. There are no words to express the sadness that has fallen upon us all.
“We take comfort knowing Nathan has done our country proud.
“The support of the nation in this devastating time provides a measure of comfort and helps make this almost bearable.”
Cirillo leaves behind a wife and a six-year-old son, Marcus. The soldier, who also worked as a personal trainer and bouncer, was described by friends and family as a “great father” and a “kind and gentle man”. A GoFundMe was launched to support Cirillo’s family.
Cirillo was also an ardent animal lover, and his Instagram and Facebook pages are filled with pictures of himself with his two dogs, one of which he affectionately called “girl”.

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Mayor-elect John Tory Wants Opponents Olivia Chow, David Soknacki On His Team

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

John Tory wants Olivia Chow and David Soknacki to be part of his administration at city hall when he transitions into the mayor’s chair in December.
“Olivia I had a brief conversation with last night, obviously on the phone. And I’ve obviously said some things publicly, which I meant — which is that I would like to find a way for both of them to participate in some way,” Tory said of Chow and Soknacki in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “In Olivia’s case, you know I don’t want to violate a private conversation, but she said she’s going to take a bit of a rest as any sane person would.”
Just how Chow and others might contribute is yet to be decided.
Tory said it’s not that he wants to have every candidate offered a role.
“I honestly believe people who have enough gumption and passion to run for public office are people that obviously care a lot about the city,” he said. “We need them all to be given whatever chance they like to do something.”

Soknacki has returned to his business in spice extracts, but Tory said they have been in touch by phone since he dropped out of the race in September.
Tory said the offer still stands for mayoral candidate Karen Stintz, who also dropped out before the election.
As for his transition, which starts this morning after rising at 5 a.m. to do a series of interviews post-victory, the team is already being assembled.
Tory said Case Ootes, the former deputy mayor, is in charge of the transition team. Ootes, who also led Rob Ford’s transition team in 2010, endorsed Tory for mayor earlier this summer. A list of those who will assist on that team is expected imminently, Tory said.
Though Tory refused to comment on who amongst his campaign staff might be tapped for his office, he did confirm Nick Kouvalis — the strategist who helped Ford get elected four years ago — will not be among them.
“He is somebody that I talk to a lot about different things, but he’s also got a business that he wants to get back to and he made that very clear to me from, sort of, before he started and during the campaign,” Tory said.
Tory will be sworn in next month.

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Bonnie Crombie’s first new mayor since 1978

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

For 36 years, the people of Mississauga re-elected Hazel McCallion. They elected her despite Ms. McCallion’s staunch refusal to campaign, they elected her as the population tripled and they even elected her despite recent conflict of interest allegations. And they did not just elect her, they adored her: In 2011, as Montreal and Toronto began to turn dramatically against their own chief executives, a poll found Hazel McCallion to be the most popular mayor in Canada.
And now, with Mayor McCallion finally retired at the age of 93, the people of Mississauga have elected her chosen successor.
Bonnie Crombie was 18 when her predecessor was elected mayor of the 260,000 people in the rural suburb of Mississauga.
Now, the former Liberal MP and Mississauga city councilor is taking control of a budding metropolis of nearly 800,000.

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ICCC-Trends in Global Markets: A special Focus on India

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

India is a country of future and future has arrived. Young and educated population of India, business friendly government and robust banking system will write the Indian growth story in the years to come. The growth potential in India is expected to propel Canada-India business ties, Benjamin Tal, Chief Economist, CIBC bank said on October 16, 2014.
Mr. Benjamin Tal was addressing members and invited guests at the Speaker Series of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce in Brampton. He further said that the world economy is going down but the trend in Indian economy is opposite to these developments. He added that the new Government in India is business friendly and have the potential to attract more investment to develop their economy with the reforms in regulations.
Indian skilled and educated work force is growing while most countries including Canada and China will be experiencing a net reversal of labor trends i.e. retiring workers will exceed those joining the workforce as result of aging populations, India will continue to benefit from its younger demographic.
Analyzing the Global economy at present and its future trends, Tal explained that all the major economic blocks such as Eurozone, G-7 and OPEC countries are struggling to stabilise their economies. Canada emerged as a model economy for the G-7 countries which is keeping the low interest rates and slowly increasing the capacity of its productivity in manufacturing sector. Canada is more concerned with the items which are sensitive to CAD$ as it wanted to keep the CAD$ lower as compare to US $.
Mr. Dharma P Jain, President, ICCC said that major strength of the Small and medium businesses is their close relationship with their immediate customers. This relationship has been challenged with the low cost and technically competitive products in the open market. So to cope with this challenge the small businesses needs new market and comparatively better product to compete. ICCC is always championed the cause of the SMEs in its mandate and continuously working for their cause.
Tony Chawla, Vice President, ICCC & the master of ceremony for the evening said, “Mr. Tal’s session this evening is part of the Chamber’s continuing efforts to provide a platform to take the Canada-India bilateral trade to a new level.”
Mr. Rajeev Misra introduced the speaker to the audience.

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Split in Pakistani Taliban, a good news for Pakistan

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari
Lahore
The emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) movement or the Daaish Movement took Iraq and the rest of the world by surprise.
This organization represents an extreme and hardline political expression of the Salafi and the Wahhabi Islamic tradition. Its leader Abubakar Bagdadi is not a new person in the field of Islamic militancy. Most of its activists and leaders either worked with Al-Qaeda or they belonged to other organizations that maintained good relations with Al-Qaeda. These people were involved in challenging the Iraq government led by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Some of these activists took up arms against the Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria. At one time, the Islamic militant movements working against the Iraqi and Syrian governments enjoyed the political and financial backing from Saudi Arabia.
The new organization emerged on the political scene in 2014, challenging the Iraqi government. As a large number of people were alienated by the policies of the government of Nouri Al-Maliki they opted for the Islamic State (IS) movement. It is equally challenging the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
The Islamic State Movement represents the desire of its leadership to carve out a role for itself which is independent of other militant organization and especially Al-Qaeda. In fact it has weakened Al-Qaeda because its activists in some Middle Eastern countries are joining this organization.
One major reason for the popularity of this movement in Iraq is that the government of Nouri al-Maliki ruled Iraq for over 8 years (May 2006—September 2014) but he excluded whom he did not trust as his loyalists. He placed his loyalists on all important places and ignored many Sunni groups that were averse to Al-Qaeda and other militant Islamic movement. Consequently he alienated more people and had to be replaced by a new Prime Minister after the latest election in Iraq in 2014. However, the damage was done and a large number of people, both Sunnis and Shias were alienated by Al-Maliki’s personalized rule.
It was not therefore difficult for the Islamic State Movement to attract support from those against the government policies. The Islamic State Movement is known for its brutal methods which include quick execution and other strict punishments for defiance.
Being an ideological and brutal movement, Islamic State has opened several fronts. It is fighting against several adversaries at the same time. Had it confined itself with challenging the Iraqi and Syrian governments, it would have enjoyed Saudi support. However, it also targeted the Kurdish areas in Iraq and Syria. It also threatened to challenge other conservative Arab states, including Saudi Arabia. Above all, it made an open challenge to the United States and other Europeans.
Such a strategy enabled all these states to work together to fighting against the Islamic State Movement. The Kurds of Iraq and Syria are fighting against this movement because it is threatening their exclusive areas in both countries.
The U.S. faces a dilemma. On the one hand it want to overthrow Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad. On the other hand it does not want the anti-American hardline Islamic groups, especially the Islamic State Movement, to take over the state after ousting Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. is not only opposing the Islamic State movement in Syria but also helping moderate opposition to take the lead role in challenging the Syrian government. However, the moderate groups are not strong enough to oust Bashar al-Assad all alone.
In case of Iraq, the U.S. is supporting the new Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (Since September 2014). The U.S. is using its Air Force to target the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria but the movement continues to be powerful to challenge the Kurds, the Iraqi government and Syrian government as well as the moderate group in opposition to the Syrian government.
The Islamic State movement has attracted Muslims elsewhere, including those living in North America and the Europe. These are the Muslims who are not fully adjusted in Western societies and feel them to be strangers. They are attracted by hardline and puritanical ideological Islamic disposition of this movement. Earlier, many people were attracted by the Al-Qaeda ideology.
In Pakistan, there is no evidence available so far that any official of the Islamic State movement has come to Pakistan to win over the militant Islamic groups, especially the Pakistani Taliban.
On the other hand unconfirmed reports show that some Muslims from Pakistan and India have gone to Iraq to join this movement. In the case of Pakistan there is no confirmed news of Pakistanis going to Iraq. May be some Islamic militants from other countries and some people from amongst Pakistani Taliban went there.
However, some Pakistani militants have started using the title of Islamic State Movement to draw attention. As the Pakistani Taliban movement is divided since the death of Hakimullah Mehsud and the rise of Mulla Fazlullah as its Chief in 2013, some of its leaders announced their loyalty to the Islamic State leader, Baghdadi.
Two weeks ago, five Pakistani Taliban leaders, including the former Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, announced that they were joining the Islamic Movement. One report indicated that some activists from Uzbekistan are striving to recruit Taliban activists to join the Islamic State Movement.
This announcement created another split among Pakistani Taliban. It is not clear if these Pakistani Taliban activists have any direct contact with the leadership based in Iraq. It is quite possible these Pakistani Taliban have just used the title in order to create their identity separate from the old Taliban leadership.
If some Pakistani with strong religious background are inspired by the Islamic State Movement, one should not be surprised because the Salafi and Wahhabi Islamic traditions exist in Pakistan. There are militant groups in Pakistan subscribing to the Salafi and Wahhabi Islamic traditions. Some people can be inspired enough to go to Iraq while others may try to create their own group under the title of Islamic State.
However, the split in Pakistani Taliban is a good news for Pakistan.

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Bangladesh, UAE for combating terrorism including IS

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed deep concern over the growing phenomenon of terrorism, and stressed the importance of combating it including the Islamic State.
Both the countries agreed to cooperate with each other in various fields and expand the scope of partnership in the fields of trade, business and investment in infrastructure.
The two sides also agreed to move forward towards the promotion of cooperative projects between the two countries in the sectors of higher education, culture and tourism and cooperation in the field of energy, including renewable energy, climate change and blue economy, and security issues, said a joint statement issued by the Bangladesh foreign ministry.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the UAE from October 25 to 27 at the invitation of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
During the visit, the two prime ministers held official discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interests.
The discussions between the Bangladesh and UAE leaderships were marked by warmth, long-standing friendship and understanding between the two people and countries. During the discussions, the two sides emphasised the need for further strengthening relations between the two countries.
They also agreed to further discuss mobilisation of finance and other supports of the UAE in undertaking different projects in Bangladesh. The two sides discussed the labour issues between the two countries.

They concluded an Agreement on Security Cooperation, Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP) and Agreement on Allotment of a Plot for the UAE Embassy in Dhaka between the two countries.
About peace and security, the two sides discussed the situations in the Middle East and underscored the need for the maintenance of peace and stability for sustainable development of the region.
During the discussion, the two sides acknowledged with deep reverence the contributions of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and late President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding Father of the UAE, for laying the foundation of the existing excellent relationship between the two countries.

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Losing your immunity

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

Attacks on soldiers in a mainly tranquil land stir talk of global action against terror

IT WAS a sombre Stephen Harper who addressed Canadians on October 22nd. A lone gunman had fatally shot a young soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in the capital, Ottawa, and then entered Canada’s parliament building where he was killed. The prime minister linked the shooting to the murder earlier in the week of another Canadian soldier. Both, he said, were a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the type of terrorist attacks seen around the world.
His government would redouble its efforts to work with its allies in fighting terrorist organisations abroad, the Conservative prime minister vowed. It would also “take all the necessary steps” to identify and counter threats at home.
In fact, this was not the first time Canada’s parliament had been a target, nor was it the biggest terrorist attack in the country’s history. An inept bomber intent on killing as many MPs as possible blew himself up in the same building in 1966, and an armed man hijacked a bus and fired shots outside parliament in 1989. The 1985 bombing of an Air India flight to London from Toronto, in which 329 people died, remains the largest terror attack originating in Canada.
But two things gave this week’s strike added impact. It badly frightened MPs, most of whom had gathered for weekly caucus meetings in rooms on either side of the corridor where the gunman exchanged fire with security officers. They used furniture to construct makeshift barricades and had to remain shut away for hours. Second, it took place amid a heated debate over the Conservative government’s decision to increase anti-terrorist powers at home and to join the military campaign led by the United States against Islamic State in Iraq.
Mr Harper chose to interpret the shooting as part of a broader bid by terrorist groups to bring “their savagery to our shores”. Missives from his office after the attack underlined this message. He had telephone conversations with President Barack Obama, and with Binyamin Netanyahu and Tony Abbott, the prime ministers of Israel and Australia. John Baird, the foreign minister, took up the theme of global solidarity against terror: he said in a tweet that he had told John Kerry, America’s secretary of state, “This is why we’re with you. This only makes our resolve stronger.”
It was unclear whether the gunman, a Canadian named Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, had links to any terrorist group, but he was described by a person who met him at a mosque in British Columbia as having a “disturbing” side, suggesting mental-health problems. Nor was there any sign of a link to Martin Couture-Rouleau, shot dead by police on October 20th after he struck two soldiers with his car, killing one, near a military academy in Quebec. Mr Couture-Rouleau was under sporadic surveillance and his passport had been seized because he was one of an estimated 130 Canadians whom the security services suspected of terrorist leanings. Mr Zehaf-Bibeau had also been barred from travelling.

The two main opposition leaders, Thomas Mulcair of the New Democrats and Justin Trudeau of the Liberals, avoided making any political hay out of the incident, and neither posited any theory about a terrorist plot. “We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace, and tomorrow we will do the same,” said Mr Mulcair, leader of the official opposition. Mr Trudeau referred to the gunman as a criminal and said that Canada was a nation of fairness, justice and the rule of law, and should not be intimidated into changing that.
Yet intimidation seemed contagious. Legislatures across the country boosted security, as did some large cities like Toronto. An ice-hockey game scheduled for October 22nd in Ottawa between two National Hockey League teams was cancelled. In the province of Quebec, soldiers were warned they could be targets and should avoid wearing their uniforms when off duty.
Such an atmosphere will make it easier for the government to pass counterterrorism legislation which would give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service a freer hand to pursue investigations and work with foreign counterparts. Yet that will not deal with one immediate problem revealed by the gunman—security in the parliamentary precinct. In the days ahead, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the national force responsible for guarding Parliament Hill, will have to explain how it was possible for an armed man to walk across the lawn in broad daylight and gain access unhindered into Canada’s seat of government. It should surely be possible to prevent that without a draconian regime.

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Indian STYLE: fashion’s latest fusion

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

Whenever a country has a specific or more appreciated dress code, it is often assumed that that country is exempt from the fashion world. On a recent visit to India, I was able to experience first-hand that this is most definitely not the case. I was immersed in the fusion of colour and intricate detail of women’s dress in the country. I learnt the different types of dress: saris, suits, salwars and duppatas, with bright and striking colours with jewels and gold detail present in every design. It is so impressive that women take such care and pride in their appearance, looking like brides every day.
There is quite obviously a stricter dress code in India than in western countries. It is frowned upon and considered disrespectful to show your shoulders and back as a woman. however, even by covering up the majority of their bodies, women are able to look beautiful; adorned in a world of sparkles, glitter and sequins. Personally I love this Indian style of dress, as I feel it acts as a tribute to the colourful aspects of hinduism and Sikhism. The two religions are highly respected and followed in India, so it is great that they inspire, even if unknowingly, another part of Indian culture: the fashion industry.
It is not simply the Indian clothing that is incredible. Gold jewellery interlaced with coloured pieces decorates women, and arms are woven in gold and jeweled bangles and bracelets. The Aladdin-esque shoes are loved and worn by many in India. Their traditional name is Mojri and they come in a variety of colours and intricate, embellished patterns. The buttersoft scarves are also vital, in true Indian fashion, with the supple, smooth silks of pashminas and their delicate stitching and designs. Similar to the British high street, Indian style incorporates layering and a mixture of textures in the composition of their . Yet, unlike London’s edgy and innovative trends, Indian fashion reveals more of an oriental glamour that is breathtaking and equally as eye-catching. What is also incredible is the sense of pride with which Indian women wear their saris and suits. They wear their clothing with such dignity that it releases an aura of confidence, making their outfits appear even more beautiful.
The bold and vibrant colours stand out against the dusty roads of India, and the sequins and sparkles glimmer in a grand and royal way. even in the slums, I saw a hard lifestyle, but the women still dressed in these fantastic fabrics. Indian women are proud to dress in such striking, regal colours, and in materials covered in jewels. Where do they shop? Fabindia is the equivalent of a popular British high street brand. Its more modern compilation of Indian dress is perfect for teenagers and young adults who wish to maintain their Indian heritage and dress, yet look current with a bit of an edge. Whilst I was in new Delhi, I asked various students where their clothes were from and Fabindia definitely seems to be the place to shop. With free shipping on international orders over $100 (£50!), it is definitely worth a browse online to add some oriental style to your wardrobe – I know I will be! The fact remains that whether you love the traditional dress in India, with the gorgeous silks and array of colours, or whether you prefer the more modern take on Indian dress, this middle-eastern country’s style is one to watch!

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Trillium Diwali Gala Fundraiser held at Brampton

Posted on 30 October 2014 by admin

On October 17, 2014 Trillium Health Partners Diwali Gala Fundraiser celebrated the 13th annual Diwali – A Royal Affair at Pearson Convention Centre. Toronto’s sold-out premier event attended by almost 1000 guests was held to raise funds to support cancer care of close to 3,500 cancer patients of the three hospitals – primarily Credit Valley Hospital, Trillium Queensway and Trillium Mississauga.
Anu Srivastava, Community Business Chair of this year’s gala with her Medical Chair, Dr. Sameena Uddin, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Credit Valley said “it is a huge honor and privilege to be the chairperson.”

Explaining how she got involved with the Trillium hospital and the Diwali fundraiser, Anu Srivastava said, “My father, Raj Nigam had to undergo an open heart surgery which was successfully performed by most renowned cardiac surgeon, Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar, for which we are eternally indebted.”
A Royal Affair indeed started with an experience that the guests will remember for a long time. Red carpet with valet parking was just the beginning when the people were intoxicated by the Regal Cocktail Reception. Sumptuous food from around the world flavours and sophisticatedly designed champagne bar overflowed during the reception. In keeping with the Royal Moghul theme of Akbar courts and Mehfil ambience of Amir Khusro, renowned live musicians performed the rich style of instrumental thumri and sufiana ghazal, followed by dazzling Azalea Ray who bridged the cocktail hour into the dinner setting with a closing number to the Mehfil ambience which was the cue to go inside the ballroom. Stunning stage décor and LED diya lit dance floor enchanted the visual senses which were complimented by spectacular Shiamak Davar dance performances. Lavish Lucknowi style food delicacies from The Host were served at the table with the cheese, dessert station and open liquor bar to fully enhance the royal guest experience. In her remarks Anu said that “all this was possible because of the strong and dedicated Trillium Diwali committee team members and foundation staff.”

Anu Srivastava commented “the Indo-Canadian community has really come forward in helping us raise funds and I’m so proud of our health care system” reiterating “that Diwali is the time of giving and sharing, and one of the best ways of giving and sharing is by showing support to our local hospital”.

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