By NOUMAN KHALIL
There is no better feeling than holding the Red Maple flag and representing Canada at an international event.
It doesn’t matter if it is an Olympics competition or a diplomatic mission, representing Canada has its own emotional feelings that cannot be felt through any other means.
“Canada is my only home and it means everything to me,” said Dharshana Fernando, head coach of Fernando Badminton Club, who migrated from Sri Lanka 12 years ago. “Canada has given me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams.”
Millions of GTA residents will be celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday this Monday (July 1) with live music, concerts, dance performances, plenty of outdoor activities, BBQ gatherings, fireworks and much more.
In Canada, the day is a statutory holiday and always celebrated on July 1.
Weather permitting, Toronto’s official Canada Day celebration will take place at the Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yonge St) in North York. It will be followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
“There is no other feeling than listening to O Canada outside the country. You will feel like doing something to make your country proud,” said Fernando, who recently won an international event hosted by the Badminton World Federation in Miami. “It gives you so much emotional energy.
“It’s an honour to be a Canadian. Holding the Canadian flag gives me a patriotic feeling, and victory makes me think that I have made Canada proud.”
Fernando said in Canada his dreams of becoming an International coach and Masters level player came true.
The master shuttler has represented Canada in the United States, Australia, Malaysia, Denmark and Costa Rica. For the last many years, he has been training local youth to be prepared for both domestic as well as international competitions.
About the incredible land of immigrants painted with beautiful colours of multiculturalism, Gurpreet Malhotra, executive director of India Rainbow Community Services of Peel, said: “Canada represents a promise of better things to come.
“Newcomers, young families and fresh graduates experience that promise in the optimism they display.”
He said at each of those stages, he felt the renewed sense of more good things to come.
“There is certainly much to do from the perspectives of social justice and community development, but for me, Canada is a fulfilled promise of more good things than one can easily count,” said Malhotra.
Even Canada’s geography and climate contribute to the sense of an important promise well kept.
In Brampton, Canadian rockers Hedley will headline Canada Day celebrations at Chinguacousy Park, part of a full day of family entertainment from 12noon to 10pm.
Opening for Hedley on the Main Stage will be Anjulie, who won a 2013 Juno for Dance Recording of the Year.
“Brampton has an extensive, proud and important place in Canada’s history and development as an independent nation. Over time, Brampton, like Canada, has grown to become a thriving, diverse and world-class place to raise a family, earn a good-paying job, start a business and achieve success,” said Mayor Susan Fennell. “I welcome all residents to Chinguacousy Park to join us for Brampton’s 2013 Canada Day festivities and to celebrate the 146th anniversary of Confederation, and our nation’s founding.”
The Community Stage will host a variety of events, including children’s entertainers and performances, up-and-coming local artists, and the ever-popular Tigerfest wrestling extravaganza.
The former Chinguacousy Band Shell will transform into the ‘Perfectly Aged Music Series’, featuring spectacular musical performances.
Thrilling midway rides and massive inflatable castles will be on site, along with a rock climbing wall, and the Chinguacousy Park splash pad, mini-putt course, petting zoo, and paddle boat rides.
South Asian Canada Day event
The City of Mississauga is inviting members of the community to kick off Canada Day’s official celebration ceremony with Mayor Hazel McCallion and members of the council on the main stage at 4pm at the Celebration Square. The event is hosted by Global Toronto’s Leslie Roberts and Liza Fromer.
The gathering offers a complimentary fun-filled day for the family with artist demonstrations, crafts, entertainment, film screenings and more. It will be an accessible event, offering accessible viewing areas, assistive listening devices and accessible parking.
Meanwhile, the 5th South Asian Canada Day multicultural event will also be held at the Celebration Square.
Last year thousands of residents attended the event of unity, recognition, music and family fun. This year, however, organizers are anticipating an even bigger event with altogether greater turnout.
Young pop star Komal Rizvi from Pakistan will also be rocking the stage. Local English band ‘Crossroads’ and Asad Khan’s South Asian band will also be giving the performance of a lifetime.
Magician Raj and stand-up comedian Mark will also perform their acts. Odyssey dancer Mukur, and local performers will present their professional talents during this exciting event.
Similar to previous years, the award recipients for this year will include federal Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, Roop Sharma, Mrs Jaswinder Sethi and Jagmeet Singh.
Apart from various other federal, provincial and city level politicians, the consuls general of India and Pakistan are also expected to join the celebrations.
The celebration will conclude with a stunning fireworks show.
For more information, visit www.southasiancanadaday.ca
These Kids Wear Crowns show
In the City of Vaughan, Canadian party-core sensation These Kids Wear Crowns will be singing their hit Jumpstart and Mia Martina at the Mackenzie Glen District Park in Maple. She will be performing her hit singles Heartbreaker, Burning and many more.
“Canada Day is a great opportunity to celebrate our citizenship and express gratitude to a country that we know is the best in the world,” said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.
“The City of Vaughan hosts an exciting Canada Day event that brings together thousands of residents and visitors to enjoy fun activities and fantastic entertainment. As we prepare to mark our nation’s 146th birthday, I encourage everyone to join us at Mackenzie Glen District Park for a memorable celebration in honor of this great country we are proud to call home.”
Presented by TD, and the Event Sponsor Direct Energy Home Services, the City of Vaughan’s Canada Day event is a fun-filled day that features headline concerts and a host of other activities including the Tim Horton’s Inflatable Zone and Zip Line and an official welcome by mayor and members of council.
The event runs 3-8pm and this year’s emcee is radio personality Ashley Greco.
“Events such as Canada Day showcase our City to the wider community,” said Interim City Manager Barbara Cribbett. “Vaughan is proud to provide this wonderful summer event to our residents and visitors and I want to congratulate all staff for their hard work in organizing another successful Canada Day event.”
For more information, visit vaughan.ca/events.
Tiger to wrestle in main event at TigerFest
The City of Brampton is once again putting on a TigerFest wrestling extravaganza as part of the Canada Day festivities on Monday (July 1) at Chinguacousy Park.
This year’s TigerFest — Canada’s only free wrestling event — will be in support of the William Osler Health System Foundation and Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health & Wellness.
The event will culminate in a two-hour exhibition of live professional wrestling with Tiger Jeet Singh making a special guest appearance and Tiger Ali Singh wrestling in the main event.
The blockbuster line-up will also include former WWE stars Viscera, weighing 450lbs and standing 6’8” tall, hardcore legend Steve Corino, Darkko, weighing 350lbs and towering 6’11”, TNA star Sonjay Dutt, Harry ‘Bulldog’ Smith (son of WWE Hall of Famer British Bulldog), former world champion Rhyno, Tyson, former TNA Knockout Angelina Love and a host of other superstars.
“TigerFest is a significant charity event in our city,” said Mayor Susan Fennell. “And I am proud to see it as part of our exciting Canada Day celebrations.”
TigerFest is expected to attract a diverse audience from Brampton and a wide range of cultural communities from the GTA region.
“We are absolutely delighted that the mayor and the city will present this year’s TigerFest as part of their Canada Day celebrations,” said Tiger Jr, president of the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation. “The primary objective of TigerFest is to promote our youth to stay away from drugs by leading an active and healthy lifestyle and promoting unity among our diverse cultures. We look forward to meeting the community and moving the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation another step closer to achieving its objectives.”
The event will also feature live performances by Deep Jandu, Dhol Circle, NYPD Toronto (Bhangra), Jadoo Entertainment (Bollywood dancers) and the singing of the national anthem by Prita Chhabra.
During the celebrations at headline performance will be Canada’s own Headley with special guest Anjulie.
At 6pm, the bell will ring to kick off the wrestling event.
The day will be full of fun for the whole family with amusement rides, splash pad, mini putt, petting zoo, paddle boats, air bounce rides, children’s entertainment and fireworks.
By NOUMAN KHALIL