Mosaic 2010 - A Huge Success

Founded in 2006, the festival takes its name from the Title sponsor and became TELUS Mosaic Festival in 2008. Starting on a stormy and unusually cold weekend with winds of over 80 km an hour, the festival had grown from 3,600 attendance to 38,000 in 2009 when one whole day was lost to rain keeping the visitors at bay. The psychological barrier was finally breached this year when the numbers added up to show that more than 50,000 people had come out to support the festival over two and half days, making it the largest free multi disciplinary arts festival of the GTA celebrating South Asian heritage and culture.

The 2010 Mosaic Gala was held on Tuesday 6th of July at the art gallery of Mississauga. This stylish and unique event was put together to celebrate the Mosaic artists and sponsors. It brought the artists together with the supporters of the festival in a casual and enjoyable atmosphere. Special recognition was bestowed upon Dr Atul Tolia and Mr. Sohail Rana for their outstanding contribution to the community. Dr Tolia was presented with Award of Excellence in Arts (Patron) by the Honourable Mayor Hazel McCallion and representative from TELUS. The award of Excellence in Arts (Service) was presented to well known Pakistani composer, Mr. Sohail Rana by the Mayor and RBC representative.

Mayor McCallion, in her address, congratulated the board of Directors of Canadian Community Arts Initiative and the executive team on the completion of their fifth year and wished them the best for the upcoming festival. She cut the inaugural Cake with Chair of CCAI Asma Mahmood and Publisher of Anokhi magazine Raj Girn.

Hazel McCallion the mayor of Mississauga came out both on the gala night as well as on the outdoor festival opening. She was all full of praise for the festival, its organizers and the South Asian community in general for bringing art and cultural activities to the downtown of her city. She talked about the festival impact on cultural and community life of Mississauga and the large visible footprint which is an example for other communities. The gala and subsequent art show and film openings were attended by the Chair of Ontario Arts Council and her staff, vice president of Toronto Tourism, Manager of Mississauga Tourism, Manager Culture Division Mississauga, President of staff of Art Gallery of Mississauga, President and staff of Mississauga Arts Council, executives of TELUS, RBC, CIBC, BMO, TD, HSBC and Rogers.

Festival opened with the visual art show “Dislocation – Ten Perspectives”, curated by Ali Adil Khan, Asma Arshad Mahmood and Afshan Kizilbash. The show was juried by three senior Mississauga artists and showed works of South Asian artists from Canada, Pakistan and USA. The show was produced with support from the Ontario Arts Council, Living Arts Centre, Mississauga Arts Council and Art Gallery of Mississauga. Eighty percent of work presented was by local artists.

Mosaic Film Festival at the Rogers Theatre presented films like international award winning Ramchand Pakistani, Oscar nominated Kavi, TIFF selection A Hindu’s Indictment of Heaven, The Lane at 8 am and Made in Pakistan. DJ Ra presented a compilatoion of music videos of artists appearing at the main stage this year and Dr. Tahir Aslam Gora conducted an opinion session of the Ramchand Pakistani. Dinesh Sachdev of FILMI also conducted a Retrospective of Sohail Rana, winner of Excellence in Arts Award 2010 at the Mosaic Festival.

Mosaic’s line up of this year was its biggest ever as well as the biggest and best in South Asian Canadian festivals this year. The most popular Canadian sensation JoSH from Montreal appeared for a full concert performance (their first ever in Mississauga) attended by over 9,000 fans and followed only by none other than the full performance of Shiamak’s Indo Jazz Dance Movement. Mekaal hasan Band from Pakistan opened the stage for JoSH with their Canadian debut and SWAMI from UK came back for the second year on Sunday. Main stage presented more than 20 hours of quality performances including the national anthem sung by Prita Chhabra. Others included Deep Jhandu, Dhol Circle, Jadoo, Abhniaya Darpan, Amar Tabla House with Ram on Sitar, Neha Bhavsar, Anuj Rastogi, and the grand finale by Sonay Gabbroo Punjab De. Nachange Saari Raat, the amateur dance competition gave away cash prizes, certificates and trophies for top three positions in solo, couple and group dances. More than 80 people had registered for NSR this year and auditioned a month earlier to short list the finalists. Vaishali and Hemant Panwar presented the full concert Kathak performances with complete set of musicians and accompaniments.

Festival presented a special area to introduce the upcoming Art Gallery of Ontario show “Maharaja” from Victoria Albert museum in London. Visitors narrated their stories and incidents related to royalty for a documentry for the Exhibition. Children art workshops were set up free of charge by AGO and well known Canadian artist, Kristen Keller.

Friday night “Mississauga talkies” showed the Bollywood blockbuster “Kal Ho Na Ho” on a huge 30 foot screen in the LAC garden with midway rides and 7 popular and well known restaurants selling South Asian cuisine in the background. Thousands of people came out to enjoy the beautiful summer evening temperatures and a masala dosa or mango lassi that evening.

Rock the Coliseum presented 16 bands at youth stage and 7 artists at the Underground Garage Sale. More than 20 vendors and exhibitors set up booths inside the Atrium of LAC this year including the Maharaja booth by Art Gallery of Ontario to promote the upcoming Maharaja show from UK.

A stunning fashion show was presented at Mosaic this year featuring clothing by Nadia Lakhdawala, make up by Warda and models and choreography by Tahira Haque and with live music by Omnesia.

Charles Sousa MPP delivered the greetings from Premier of Ontario and George Carlson and Carolyn Parrish from the City council talked about the future of festivals and events in Mississauga. TELUS and RBC senior executives reaffirmed their commitment to continue supporting Mosaic in future as did the Etihad Airways.