NITN | @notintownlive | 11 Jul 2021, 10:12 am
Panorama India has been celebrating India Day for the last 21 years. During a Zoom meeting on July 7 hosted by IBNS Correspondent Asha Bajaj, its Chairperson Sumeeta Kohli, President & Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Sandeep Goel and Director and CEO of Tourism Mississauga Victoria Clarke share about India Day 2021 celebrations.
Asha to Sumeeta: Give us a brief background about Panorama India
Sumeeta: A non-profit organization for the last 21 years, Panorama India's primary goal is to celebrate the culture and heritage of India and to make a beautiful mosaic that is called Canada. India is an unbelievable country with many cultures, backgrounds, and languages, and we all come together as proud Indians, and as Indo-Canadians to celebrate India here. The need to connect virtually with more and more last year and this year has allowed us to connect with seniors and kids, who all perform, love our culture, and love to celebrate.
After about two and a half months of planning carefully behind the scenes, looking at all the scenarios with the safety of all as our number one priority, we are showcasing the first-ever drive-thru parade celebration on Aug 15.
Panorama India has been celebrating India Day for the last 21 years. What's new about India Day this year?
The new this year is the drive-thru parade which aims to have everybody out in their cars with kids and attend the event from the safety of your cars and see all of India in one day. It is a free event and a link would be sent out to everybody at the end of July. We request all families to get their license plate and other information registered and then you will get a confirmation. The link has several windows throughout the day from 11 am to 7 pm that you can pick up allowing the passengers in the cars that pass through every hour to enjoy without being rushed. This would also facilitate us to manage the number of cars that go through every hour. Once you arrive on the day and time picked by you, you will see the main stage. With your cars parked in front of the stage, you will be able to see many programmes.
So what is India Day without dance, singing, and culture? That is so important to know who we are. Panorama is a non-stop stage and is once again open.
There is a radio station from where you can hear all the music in your car. As you enter the drive-thru parade, you would see our partners and sponsors and then see stage performances being created by different organizations that represent the states of India. This drive-thru experience to see India has been made possible because of our partners and sponsors that support us. I am proud to say that ICICI Bank is the presenting sponsor and that Tourism Mississauga is our partner, both of whom have made it possible for us to do free events.
Please throw more light on the experience of the participants in this historic event India Day Drive-Thru Parade on August 15, 2021.
The unique part is that you can sit in the car and see the whole of India through the drive-thru experience in one day. I do not think we have done it ever in Canada. but that is something we strive for. Obviously, we recommend the same household members and advise all to please follow safety. And more than anyone else, our seniors, and our kids would get a chance to perform.
Asha to Sandeep Goel of ICICI: What motivated ICICI Bank to support this unique and historical event?
Sandeep: We have been associated with Panorama India for the last almost 10 years on various occasions and are thankful for the chance to showcase us as a diamond sponsor for the event. We would showcase the ICICI Bank to the Indian community on the radio as we serve their requirements here in Canada as well as in India.
With the trend of immigration accelerating for the past decade, we felt Mississauga is a perfect destination for this event because a large community of Indians finds Mississauga as their home. With branches and centers all across Mississauga, we are also planning a bigger expansion in Mississauga.
Asha to Victoria Clarke: We feel honored that Tourism Mississauga is supporting the India Day Celebration. Why do you think that this event was important for Mississauga?
Victoria: We are thankful to both you for the invitation to be here today, and Panorama India for inviting us to come on as a sponsor. It is absolutely our privilege and a pleasure to financially sponsor this event and make sure that it happens. As Sandeep already mentioned, Mississauga, with so many Indians who have made it their home, is an excellent destination for this event.
Events like this only happen in Mississauga when people are passionate about their culture and community. This shows a very strong representation from India and we hope to see even higher on future India Day celebrations.
Asha to Sumeeta: Please tell us in brief what other experiences would be felt by people this year as part of India Day?
Sumeeta: As Panorama always does, we have multiple things happening on India Day celebrations and we try to accommodate all the age brackets of different communities. Keeping kids in mind, there would be a virtual art competition that has gone live already. The cut-off date is July 31. All the parents are requested to complete the registration for different age groups for different demographics before the cut-off date. It has limited spots again. When you register, you will get a secure link, which would enable them to come to the Saturday event, and kids of the same age group would be grouped together. All the kids would then be given a theme each and would be given one hour to color anything of their choice. We will announce the winners closer to India Day.
Another big thing that we are doing on Sunday, August 8, is the virtual India Day Expo Exhibition which provides an online marketplace for vendors from India, Canada, and some from the US to showcase their products and backgrounds. Our partners will also be there. ICICI Bank would be the hotspot. Both ICICI Bank and Tourism Mississauga would be running live webinars. These online vendor fairs enable you to chat live with the sponsors too. This year we are also showcasing a lot of small businesses as these have been affected most in the last year and a half due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Brahmakumari would also be showcasing as she does such great things for the community. Prizes would be given away to different vendors and sponsors. We kick off the India Day celebration then. Keeping in mind that not everybody would be able to attend because of the limited number of cars, the celebrations on 15th Aug will be live-streamed on different channels for the audiences to watch.
Asha to Sumeeta: Tell us how can we find more information about all the details about India Day 2021 event?
Obviously, you can go to our website www.panoramaindia.org. You can also access our social media channels. ICICI bank’s social media channels as well as Tourism Mississauga is also posting everything about what we are doing. We are updating as real-time as possible. We will be sharing it with you. The link I think is so important to everybody and the minute the link is alive, make sure that we share it with everybody. The actual event would be taking place at Paramount Fine Foods Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Pl, Mississauga. Both Sandeep and Victoria would reveal their booths during the dive-thru.
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