Established in 2005 as a non for profit registered under the laws of the province of Ontario, CCAI's core mandates includes engaging citizens and promoting pride of citizenship through volunteerism. the organization has successfully trained and retained a large number of volunteers who work with contracted professionals during CCAI's various events and ensure seamless execution of the projects. At least 30 new volunteers are engaged and at least 70 returning volunteers contribute their time to the festival each year.
The board of CCAI comprises of members of the community that belong to various professional fields and utilize their knowledge, skills and influences to support the organizations operations. The chair is a professional practicing artist with MFA from York whereas other current board members come from arts, finance, marketing, media, technology and event management sectors. The organization receives operating funding from Ontario Trillium Foundation and from Ontario Arts Council which enables it to maintain a rented office and pay for its annual operating expenses. CCAI has celebrated partnerships and arrangements with both ethnic and mainstream media that helps promote the festival effectively in GTA and beyond. The organization is considered as a role model of citizens initiative that is creating significant positive impact on the local social, cultural and economic life of the local residents.
CCAI's current board is comprised of community leaders and reflects the multi cultural mix of Canadian community. Members of the community are invited to apply or nominate others for the board positions and each application/nomination is carefully considered after it has been presented and seconded by at least 2 existing board members. It is common for retiring board members to nominate their replacements. Each member is elected by simple majority vote during the annual general meeting. Each director is elected for 2 years after which they may be re-elected. Organization's current board has inducted four new directors for 2013-15 term.
ASMA ARSHAD MAHMOOD
Asma is an internationally known visual artist and the Artistic Director for the CCAI. A York University alumni, Mahmood has previously served on the boards of SAVAC, Chair for Art City in St James Town, Toronto, Community Editorial Board of Toronto Star and Mississauga Arts Council. Asma has extensive experience in community development and arts and entertainment industry working as the Artistic Director of Promenade Gallery and co-founder of Mosaic festival, RTC and other artistic initiatives. She was also the first Festival director of MOSAIC festival from 2006 - 2011.As the artistic director of CCAI, Mahmood oversees annual programing, projects and grants. She also represents the organization on various international forums. She is recipient of Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal for her services in the field of art and culture.
Shaifali Ranjan was appointed the Chair by the Board of Directors in 2015. Ranjan works in the financial industry as expert in leading sizable IT programs. Always engaged with technology and management, Shaifali involves herself with art and culture by providing hands on support to organizations such as Mosaic. Formally trained in Kathak dance from India she has performed on many occasions and events. Having joined Mosaic team in 2013, Shaifali has carved a unique space for her passion by expanding her volunteer work in the field of art and culture through various projects of CCAI including MISAFF, Mosaic Fest and RTC.
Arshad Mahmood is the founder and director of CCAI. Arshad has banking and marketing background and successfully runs an independent mortgage brokerage company. He is a member of the Canadian National Exhibition Association and has served as Associate Director and a member of CNE Finance Committee. He is the past President of the board of Art Gallery of Mississauga. His dedication to community welfare and development of youth interests has enabled him to help establish MOSAIC festival as a prominent event for the South Asian community. He was short listed for Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Awards in 2010. He is recipient of Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal for his services in the field of art and culture and the Mayor McCallion Volunteer of the Year Award 2012.
Kamal Ahuja is a senior leader in IT industry, for many years. He is currently managing a very large provincial initiative for the government of British Columbia. A well-travelled individual who has unique insights and a keen interest in cultural diversity and fusion of arts. He has a background in technology management and has lived and worked on both sides of Atlantic for many years. He is also an advisor to the Indian Heritage & Cultural promotion group in Vancouver.
Nain Amyn has been associated with theatre and artistic and educational activities for a number of years. She served as the past general manager for SAWITRI, a non-for profit Mississauga based theatre group. Her vision and hard work has been recognized by her peers and colleagues on professional levels and she is keen to improve the life and adjustment of immigrant women and youth in the community through various projects in Canada and internationally. Nain recently curated an international show at Cosmos II Gallery in Dhaka.
TAHIR ASLAM GORA
A prominent writer and TV Host, Publisher and social activist, Tahir is the recipient of the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal for his services in the field of journalism and cultural pluralism. He is a strong proponent of freedom of speech and serves as Director of Canadian thinkers forum, Progressive Muslim Institute of Canada and other literary and important community awareness projects. He regularly contributes to Huffington post as columnist and advocates for the pluralism in Canadian diaspora. He is a published author of many books in fiction and poetry. He is also the CEO of TAG TV in Mississauga
Viera is an entrepreneur, owner of successful financial firm and a mortgage broker. She holds Master's Degree in Economy. She is member of multiple professional and cultural organizations. Viera is passionate about promoting South Asian culture in different communities. She is indefatigable explorer of influences that South Asian culture has on Western music, cuisine, fashion and culture in general. Viera is strong advocate of pluralism and loud non-South Asian voice, who is on a mission to remind other communities, that there is a lot that South Asia has given to the rest of the world and that there is still so much more to see and explore. Vira has been involved as volunteer for major festivals like Waterfront festival and Pamperfest. She also serves as Chair for MISAFF, the only film festival of Mississauga.
Sahib Rana, an entrepreneur and the co-founder and senior Vice President of Pro-Lending Mortgages, is a well-rounded and developed person who has taken extensive initiatives among the community. His keen interest in cultural diversity and Canadian community development has been shown through his personal initiatives within various charities such as Ex Director of St. John's Ambulance, Vice President for Canadian Eyesight and recipient of Community Service Award by TREB etc. Aside from his community initiatives, Sahib spends time golfing and enjoying with loved ones. He's always figuring out new ways to empower cultural diversity in Canada. His 25 year journey from India to Canada, has been enjoyable and rewarding however he continues to strive for the best and make this country an even better place. Today he continues his path towards creating a positive image in the community and actively helping out charities.
Samantha Angel works as a creative marketing consultant in Mississauga, with a focus on effective communications. Design thinking serves as a foundation for Samantha’s approach to solving problems whether that experience in design, civic engagement and creative pursuits to her clients’ needs. Samantha serves on the Board of the Mississauga Arts Council. Previously she served as chair of the Western GTA Summit, co-chair of the Summit’s Live Task force and Innovation Task force, and Co-chair of Mississauga Connects. She was a founding Board member of Incubate Institute for Community Impact, an organization created to nurture and educate new grassroots nonprofits about best practices and professional development. She was previously involved in the creation of an anti-bullying arts festival for youth. In 2014, Samantha ran for municipal office (Ward 5 City Councillor in the City of Mississauga).
Born in India , educated at the Jamia Millia Islamia and an Engineer by profession, Ajay has been passionately engaged with arts and cultural industry as a TV host, MC and creative head for a number of community events in culture and arts. Gupta is also involved in writing and direction of a number of Community theatre and stage plays in Canada, Since moving to Canada , Gupta has dedicated his time to various volunteer activities for the uplift of artistic expression. Ajay brings energy and dedication to CCAI team as an experienced production and creative hand and we welcome him as the new advisory Board member.
Usha Pudukkotai is a well respected name in South Asian Diaspora as journalist and researcher of culture. Editor of Namaste Newsline, Pudukkotai, has been published in popular South Asian newspapers of Toronto – The Weekender, Update Weekly and India Journal to name a few. She has worked on important, special projects like the G20 Summit in Toronto, Invictus Games in Toronto and annual events like TIFF, Carassauga and Carabram etc. In addition to live covrage of political leaders like Narendra Modi, Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, she has interviewed important personalities in the Arts and Entertainment Industry. Her cover story features in print include A.R.Rahman, Hrithik Roshan, Amir Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan to name a few. Usha is the recipient of several awards in India, like ‘Excellence in Journalism’ (the only female entrepreneur) and ‘Best student in Editing and Production’ of publications. She has a Masters in Economics, Diploma in Public Relations and Diploma in Personal Computer Applications. As contribution to the community, she has been volunteering at the Heritage School for the past decade, teaching children about their culture and heritage. She speaks several Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu and Kannada; understands Malayalam and Oriya.