Festival Report

On behalf on the Board of Directors of Canadian Community Arts Initiative, Festival director and the executive team, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all the visitors, sponsors and supporters as well as over 280 artists who performed at TD Mosaic Festival 2014 and various other components of this 10 day long festival, a unique Multi Disciplinary arts festival that stands apart from all ethnic events for the production and presentation quality and is considered the largest South Asian Festival of North America.

TD Mosaic Festival was a 10 day long festival which started off with a "Tribal Women" Art show by "Inspired Artists of Mississauga (IAM)" from July 25-August 3. The exhibition held at Promenade Gallery offered a unique view into the fascinating world of the tribal women of India through the eyes of eleven emerging artists from Mississauga, celebrating the rich tribal culture, elaborate, costumes, unique jewelry, and living history.The exhibition was opened by Bonnie Crombie Councilor Ward 5 and special guest was Reeti Mishra.

From August 7-10, Mississauga was treated to the best of new South Asian cinema from around the world at Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF) presented at the Landmark Cinemas, Cineplex and Rogers theatre in Living Arts Centre. Highlights included the opening night film "Ankhon Dekhi" directed by and starring bollywood actor Rajat Kapoor in attendance, a VIP advance screening of Disney's "The Hundred-Foot Journey" featured talk by Indo-Canadian celebrity Vinay Virmani for his film "Dr Cabbie", a special screening of Ali Kazmi's "Continuous Journey" commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident, and many others.

On August 11, the "Stroke of Masters" exhibition opened at Promenade Gallery showcasing original signed prints by master painters from the Indian Sub-continent. Curated by Asma Arshad Mahmood and Anu Vittal, the exhibition was part of VIRSA the visual art component of TD Mosaic Festival. The signed prints were by famous contemporary Indian artists such as M.F Hussain, Reza, Vaikuntam, Jamini Roy, Jatin Das, Jogen Chowdhry, Mansaram, Youngo Verma, and Manjit Bawa. The exhibition was openeind by Councilor Ward 1 Jim Tovey and special guests included Consul Genrals of Pakistan and India.This Exhibition went on for month and a half till the 30 of September 2014.

World renowned contemporary Canadian artist of Pakistani origin, Rashid Rana, was also invited for an artist talk co-presented by the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Agha Khan Museum Toronto and TD Mosaic Festival on August 13. It was a very well attended talk also present were Dr. Deepali Divan, the curator of South Asian Collection of Royal Ontario Museum and Executive Director of Agha Khan Museum, Henry Kim, along with the Pakistani Consul General Asghar Ali Golo. Stuart Keeler, Executive Director and Cief curator of the Art Gallery of Mississauga welcomed the guests and the artist and talked about the importance of the involvement of South Asian community in Mississauga with AGM to encourage a positive cultural and artistic future of the community. Mr Asghar Ali Golo in his opening remarks thanked Canadian Community Arts Initiative for supporting and promoting the Canadian artists of Pakistani origin and emphasized the need for communication through language of Art and Culture to develop inter communal and interfaith relationships among Canadians of Pakistani and South Asian origin. Mr Henry Kim introduced the Agha Khan museum and encouraged artists to support and promote their activities through the newly appointed museum in Toronto.

On August 14, TD Mosaic Festival presented a Punjabi-Urdu-Hindi Mosaic Mushaira at the Rogers theatre at the Living Arts Centre in collaboration with Writers' Forum, Halqa Arbab e Zauq Canada, Hindi Writers, Punjabi Forum Canada, Kalma Da Kafla, Kalm Foundation, and Canadian Urdu Writers' Forum. Poets such as Ashfaq Hussain, Irfan Sattar, Rasheed Nadeem, Iqbal Mahal, Meena Chopra, Munir Saami, Bhupinder Dhulay, and Kalwinder Khehra presented their works..The event was presided over by well known artist and hindi writer Meena Chopra and the chief guest was the Indian Consul General Akhilesh Mishra who is a well known poet himself. Mr Mishra praised the efforts of CCAI and founder Arshad Mahmood in bringing together the various linguistic influences of South Asia together at Mosaic platform. His speech was well received and applauded for its fine poetic language and message of harmony and peace. Pakistani Consul General Asgha Ali Golo attended the event despite his extremely busy schedule celebrating the Independence day of Pakistan that day.

"Rock The Coliseum" Indie Music Festival took place on Aug 15-16 in the north Celebration Square where 16 youth bands performed to enthusiastic crowds of Independent music lovers of all ages and genres.

TD Mosaic Festival culminated with the outdoor festival on August 15 and 16. The largest free South Asian multi-disciplinary festival in North America, this year presented over 280 artists including Brampton-Mumbai based songstress Jonita Gandhi who has found musical fame in Bollywood, with Toronto dancer Bageshree Vaze, featuring Dale Harrison (Headstones fame)and world-famous musician Karsh Kale. Zeb Bangash of Coke Studio's (Zeb and Haniya) fame was present with her band Sandaraa, comprising of musicians from Toronto, Brooklyn, New York and Lahore. Chai Town, a Chicago based Acapella group was an instant hit with the audience Along with performances by TD dancers and other .

The second day of the outdoor festival saw Destiny Band performing, a local West Indian crossover band, Stephanie Braganza famed for her international single "When We Last Kissed" ,Toronto-based International singer Raghav, Sampradaya Dance Creations, and leading Bollywood playback singer, Rekha Bhardwaj in full concert. Grand finale was a spectacular show with over 130 dancers of Shiamak Toronto Dance Team specially choreographed by the maestro Shiamak Dawar himself with the promise that he would join us next year.

Despite the challenges posed by the weather, the festival ended on high note with packed audience and unparalleled programming. This Multi Disciplinary Arts festival would not have been possible without the support and encouragement by our funders, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Celebrate Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, sponsors TD Bank, Sunlife Insurance, General Motors and Chevrolet, vendors and our collaborative partners, Host Restaurant, Living Arts Centre, Art Gallery of Mississauga , Mississauga Arts Council, ACTRA, Cineplex Mississauga, Landmark Cinemas Square One, Pennant Media Group, ATN and other media partners and special thanks to Mississauga Food Bank for cross promotion and we look forward to a continued partnership to eliminate hunger from Mississauga. So thank you again and look forward to new collaborations and continued support for next year as we approach our special 10th anniversary.

Artist Testimonial

Artists @ TD Mosaic 2014

Michael Winograd from Sandaraa: It was a unique pleasure for each of us in Sandaraa to be part of this year's Mosaic festival in Mississauga. The festival is such a melting pot of extraordinary talent and creativity, and really showcases a diverse and eclectic cast of performers. We were honoured to be included in such a group. The festival site is perfect. Between the excellent stage, crew, and exciting audience, we couldn't have felt more comfortable to play our best, and we appreciate that beyond words. Asma and her entire crew worked relentlessly to make sure that we felt welcomed and comfortable the entire time and it made our trip to Mississauga such a delight. The hard work put in by everyone involved in this year's Mosaic Festival was beyond evident, and clearly paid off. It was an absolute pleasure.

Jonita Gandhi: "Having grown up in the GTA myself, Mississauga is home to me. I feel extremely proud to have been part of the Mosaic Festival this year - I'm thankful to the entire team for giving me this opportunity to collaborate with and meet great artists from around the world. The Mosaic team was very open minded, dedicated and warm, and it was evident that they really cared about their artists."

LataPada from Sampradaya Dance Creations: "The MOSAIC festival surpasses itself year after year! Delighted to be part of the 'event of the year'. Kudos to you, Arshad, Asma, and the team that made us feel so welcome. All the best for your continued success."

Rekha Bharadwaj: It was overwhelming to see the crowd in thousands. All came just to hear me. It felt like an intimate gathering inspite of huge turnout. Enjoyed every moment on-stage and off-stage with lovely volunteers and sensitive staff of Mosaic fest. The energy of the festival in general was contagious, and the venue had a positive atmosphere. Loved being part of it. Thanks Asma and Arshad Mahmood.

Karsh Kale: "It was great to perform at Mosaic. Everyone from the organizers to the volunteer staff were super enthusiastic and genuinely proud of being a part of this festival. There was a feeling of diversity and openness at the festival that made for a great environment for new art to emerge."

Canadian Heritage