Over 8000 people attended the 3rd Annual GTA Azaadi Festival on August 12, 2018 at the Milton Velodrome. Families from across the GTA packed the arena and surrounding areas for the family-friendly festivities.

The free event began with a multicultural parade where guests were given patriotic flags while marching around the facility. The community sang along to both the Canadian and Pakistani national anthems followed by the joint flag-raising ceremony and cake cutting. Distinguished guests included: Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, Consul General of Pakistan; Gordon Krantz, Mayor of Milton; Bryan May, MP (Cambridge); Iqra Khalid, MP (Mississauga – Erin Mills); Khalid Usman (the first Muslim Counsellor in the GTA); and, Vice Admiral(R) Ahmad Tasnim.

The community came out in droves to commemorate Pakistan’s Independence Day in Milton. Throughout the day a variety of activities, children’s rides, food vendors and entertainment was provided for all ages. The exuberant crowd was treated to traditional performances with authentic cultural attire. The packed arena frequently rose to their feet to sing and dance to familiar melodies.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to celebrate our diversity as Pakistani Canadians and our shared values that unite us,” said Dr. Rabiya Azim, Chairperson for Ali Health & Education Foundation. “It’s great to see the momentum building within the community for this highly anticipated event.”

“It was an honour to sponsor Milton’s premiere cultural event with such dedicated volunteers and supportive event partners.” Azim Rizvee said. “The thousands of passionate attendees from Milton and from across the GTA made this year’s festival an even bigger success.”

Revelers enjoyed a live concert until midnight featuring Pakistani music legend, Fakhir Mehmood, with his signature performance. The GTA Azaadi Festival was organized by the Ali Health & Education Foundation and sponsored by MinMaxx Realty.

Major sponsors of the event were MinMaxx Realty Inc., Lazeez, Popeyes & Paramount from Milton. Universal Promotions was the managing partner.

Laura Steiner
Author

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