The impending arrival of the IIFA Awards to Toronto has created a stir within the South Asian community.
While those festivities are still over four months away, fans of South Asian achievement can get their awards fix Friday when Toronto-based Anokhi Magazine stages its fifth annual gala at Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex at Exhibition Place.
The magazine will dole out awards to honour South Asians from its 8th Annual Sexy and Successful List who have received accolades from within the South Asian community, mainstream audiences and the media.
In the past, an internal awards committee selected recipients, but Girn opened the process to the public for the first time. The response was staggering with the selection committee receiving over 2,000 individual online nominations from around the world by the July 31, 2010 deadline, with close to 300 candidates receiving multiple nominations.
A brainchild of CEO and publisher Raj Girn, the gala has grown to become one of the marquee events on the local South Asian calendar for the nine-year-old magazine, which focuses on South Asian entertainment, lifestyle and fashion. With the awards show sold out, Girn took to the social media space this past weekend to announce tickets are available only for the afterparty. However, this hasn’t curtailed interest as Anokhi has been inundated with dozens of ticket requests over the last few days.
Friday’s gala will also include a fashion show from Indian fashion designer Vikram Phadnis and performances from Raghav, classical dancer Bageshree Vaze, Tina, and the U.K.’s Mona Singh, who will make her North American debut. Singer Ali Quli Mirza, who contributed to the Bluffmaster soundtrack and international DJ Donna D’Cruz will headline the afterparty.
The acts will revolve around the highlight of the evening – the two-hour awards show honouring outstanding achievements of South Asians in entertainment, business and technology. Anokhi annually highlights and profiles award winners and honourable mentions in its anniversary collector’s edition issue. The magazine is available in Canada, India, the U.S. and U.K.
Other celebrities expected to attend include CBC News anchor Anne-Marie Mediwake, international model Azura and actress Melinda Shankar of Degrassi: The Next Generation fame.