Thousands of people watched the virtual Canada Day celebrations presented by the Halton Gujarati Seniors Samaj on Wednesday July 1, 2020. A non-profit registered in 2013, HGSS offers connection, care for one another, and a celebration of success, happiness, and life in Canada.
The day’s online festivities opened with a sign language rendition of the ‘Oh Canada’ anthem. Master of Ceremonies Indu Verma kicked off the program with an introduction. Representing HGSS on video was President Mina Bhatt and Hassu Bihari Sthankiya who said, “We know we are seniors but we are full of energy and will celebrate Canada Day online! As a proud Canadian, I am very fortunate to be in this beautiful country.” Regarding the day’s video she said, “Everyone joined and did their part!” For years the Halton Gujarati Seniors Samaj has offered a lively in-person event but their online presentation did not disappoint. This year’s event was sponsored by Realtors Sanjay Gupta and Manish Patel, Viral Patel from Royal Bank of Canada, Mr. Mani at Liberty Tax, Sheetal Sangeet Canadian Broadcasting Inc. and the Government of Ontario Canadian Heritage Grant.
Representation from provincial and municipal figures included greetings from MPP Parm Gill, MP Adam van Koeverden, Mayor Gordon Krantz, and Councillors Rick DiLorenzo, Sameera Ali, Mike Cluett, and Zeeshan Hamid.
Both children and young adults joined in the fun – including cousins Kunj Patel and Maitri Patel who talked about their own experience moving to and living in Canada. The Patels also introduced a video of Canadian scenic beauty highlights including the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara, the Hopewell Rocks on the East Coast, and the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia and Alberta.
The program also highlighted a number of beautiful dance presentations from local groups including the Milton Chinese Arts Society, Akwaba Cultural Exchange, Dance Today, The Bollywood Dance Company, Swar Gunjan Dance Academy, Bollywood Dance Queens, Anokhi Dalvi Dance Group and Odissi Dance Academy. The South Asian Mommies of Milton also shared their group dance created individually during the quarantine.
The video closed with clips from past Canada Day celebrations – giving hope that we can all celebrate together in 2021. HGSS can be found at hgss.ca.