Over 5000 people attended the Mega Azadi Festival on August 13, 2017 at the Milton Velodrome to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation and Pakistan’s 70th anniversary of independence.
The free event began with a multicultural parade where guests were given patriotic flags while marching along with an authentic Pakistani drummer. The community sang along to both the Canadian and Pakistani national anthems followed by the joint flag-raising ceremony with Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, Consul General of Pakistan. Indria Naidoo-Harris, MPP (Halton); Iqra Khalid, MP (Mississauga – Erin Mills); and Khalid Usman (the first Muslim Counsellor in the GTA) were also among the distinguished guests.
The exuberant crowd was treated to traditional dance performances in full cultural and authentic attire. The children’s talent show brought the packed arena to their feet as they sang and danced to familiar cultural melodies. The audience was invited to join the performers for an impromptu dance party which was followed by excited chants of “dil dil Pakistan!”
Hosted by Ali Health & Education Foundation, this was the second annual Azadi Festival held in Milton. The community came out in droves to commemorate both Canada and Pakistan during this milestone year. Throughout the day a variety of activities, cultural vendors and entertainment was provided for all ages.
“This is a unique opportunity for us to celebrate our diversity and our shared values that unite us as Canadians,” said Dr. Rabiya Azim, Chairperson for Ali Health & Education Foundation and MinMaxx President. “It’s great to see the momentum building within the community for such an exciting cultural event.”
“Milton continues to show the importance of celebrating diversity and inclusion as Canadians,” said Azim Rizvee, Founder of MinMaxx Realty. “Today’s event truly illustrated the living legacy of 150 years as a strong and diverse nation that continues to impact our global family.”
Revelers were treated to a live concert until midnight featuring local artists. The event was sponsored by MinMaxx Realty Inc. and included a variety of local food vendors.