July 12, 2013
The 41st Annual Festival of India is a celebration of spiritual experiences of ancient South Asian culture which seamlessly integrates thousands of years of spiritual tradition with modern day lifestyles.
The second weekend of July marks the date of the 41st Annual Toronto Festival of India, a free, two-day event that shares and celebrates the vibrancy of India's most enduring cultural lineage for the entire GTA to experience, explore, and enjoy.
On Saturday, July 13th at 11am when thousands will take to Yonge Street to escort three magnificent 40-foot tall, hand-pulled chariots (floats), accompanied by a breathtaking menagerie of drumming, singing, dancing, and revelry all the way from Bloor to Queens Quay.
Celebrations then shift over to Centre Island
for the remainder of the weekend where festival-goers will find a massive, tented-outdoor pavilion that will play host to wide variety of shows, events, and activities, featuring a free vegetarian feast, an acclaimed arts & culture showcase, a South Asian Bazaar, a fun-filled kids area, cooking demonstrations, and much more.
The festival is expected to draw upwards to 40,000 guests and spectators, and event attendance has been hitting records highs with each successive year-meaning that this year's festivities promise to be larger and more happening than ever before.
Rocking Ratha-Yatra Parade Down Yonge!
When: Saturday, July 13 (11am)
Where: From Yonge & Bloor to Yonge & Queens Quay
Explore India's Spiritual Grandeur at Centre Island
When: Saturday, July 13 (12pm - 8pm) and Sunday, July 14 (12pm - 5pm)
Where: Centre Island
Click HERE for more information. This event is proudly sponsored by MyBindi.com!
Editor-in-Chief & CEO
If you have ever experienced the power of mantra meditation, then prepare to encounter it on a thrilling new level! The Festival of India officially kicks off with a parade on Saturday, July 13th at 11am that cruises down Yonge Street, beginning at Bloor and continuing south to Queens Quay. During the parade, three 40-foot tall floats will be hand-pulled by participants amidst energetic singing, drumming, and dancing of the famous Hare Krishna mantra!
|Free Vegetarian Feast|
Each year the Festival of India prepares a massive vegetarian feast for tens of thousands of people at the festival's island pavilion. This delicious and distinguishing feature also exhibits the potential and possibility in terms of taste and flavour that meatless alternatives can provide. What's more is that the festival's cooking team ensures that every item is prepared with a real sense of devotion and quality. This year's mouth-watering menu includes several traditional North Indian items that will leave you wanting more. Come and taste the difference!
Enakshi Das Sinha is an Odissi dancer originally from India now based in Ontario, Canada. Her training has been under eminent Gurus and her experience spans almost 18 years in the course of which she has performed in individual capacity and also with her group and students at major international Festivals in Tokyo, Bangkok, Dhaka and all around Canada. Watch Enakshi dazzle the audience with her stunning Odissi performances.
|South Asian Bazaar|
Welcome shoppers! Come peruse our inimitable collection of remarkable goods and merchandise! The Festival of India's South Asian Bazaar has always been an anticipated and attractive feature of the festival's island pavilion. Recreating the feeling, sights, and sounds of a bustling South Asian street market, the Bazaar's diverse collection of vendors presents an uncommon opportunity to buy (and barter) for some exceptionally rare finds and spiritual treasures.
Amidst all the jewellery, knickknacks, clothes, artwork, and literature which reveals India's spiritual wisdom, you'll never know exactly what you'll discover until you explore and shop about!
|Menaka Thakkar Dance Company|
Menaka Thakkar is a master dancer in three classical Indian styles - Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi. She settled in Canada over 39 years ago at the peak of her career as an international soloist and is credited as having been one of the first artists to introduce Indian culture to Canadian audiences. After performing all across Canada, she formed the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company which is now known as Canada's premiere Indian dance company.
Ms. Thakkar has created groundbreaking choreographies which reflect both her exposure to western dance styles and her background in classical Indian dance and has collaborated with many of the best modern dancers in Canada.
The Festival of India sets out to prove that life, when lived with a sense of spiritual wonder and understanding, is a truly joyous gift. With their fresh and inquisitive minds, children are perhaps more attuned to this sense of wonder than the rest of us. The Festival of India's Kids Area provides children of all ages with their own special place to explore and learn about the timeless culture of spiritual India in an exciting, wholesome and kid-friendly way.
Kids Area includes arts and crafts, games, a jumping castle, cotton candy booths, and more! This area is facilitated by a trained and qualified team of volunteers. Parents are free to leave their children here while they visit the rest of the pavilion.
|Gopi Dots and Tilak|
The Festival of India's Gopi Dot and Tilak booths are a delightful, recent addition to the festival's ever-growing line up of attractions and activities. At these booths, traditional, decorative face paint and forehead markings are delicately applied to guests' faces.
In addition to their breathtaking intricacy and beauty, these markings also carry a deeper and uplifting spiritual significance that can be discovered by festival attendees.
Attention all yoga enthusiasts! Come join us on July 15th, 2012 at Centre Island for the Fifth Annual Yoga Meltdown, Toronto's largest, free outdoor spiritual yoga exhibition. With free outdoor yoga classes, mantra meditation sessions, yoga-inspired performances, vegan cooking demonstrations, a free vegetarian feast, and much more, the Fifth Annual Yoga Meltdown celebrates yoga in a dynamic and uniquely holistic way.
The vocabulary of Kathak allows this dance form to move between tradition and innovation easily. The flow of movement and dramatic expression (abhinaya) inherent to the form, enables the dance to reveal themes that are common and mythic, often at the same time. Chhandam Dance Company, under Artistic Director Joanna de Souza, presents pieces that manifest the flux and ever-evolving nature of this classical art form. Joanna draws on the strengths and personalities of the company members, her musical background, western life experience and 27 years of Kathak study as choreographic inspiration for Chhandam.
|Toronto Tabla Ensemble|
The Toronto Tabla Ensemble is a North Indian Classical performance group based in Toronto, Canada. The ensemble was founded in 1991 by Tabla player, Ritesh Das. They have toured Canada coast-to-coast six times, and toured Australia in 2006 and India in 2011. In 2000, their album, Firedance, received a nomination for the Juno Award for Best Global Album. Their original music has been used in numerous films and commercials, and in 2003 the Ensemble was commissioned to create the current theme music for CBC Radio's daily morning show, Metro Morning.