LSM Newswire

Monday, February 15, 2010

South Asian culture is celebrated at the first Masala! Mehndi! Masti! Winterfest at Harbourfront Centre

Join us for a winter celebration of South Asian culture!

TORONTO, ON (Jan. 22, 2010) – After nine spectacular years of programming, producing and presenting some of the world’s finest and most eclectic multidisciplinary artists, Masala! Mehndi! Masti! (M!M!M!) kicks off its 10th anniversary celebrations with the first-ever Masala! Mehndi! Masti! Winterfest. Come out and enjoy South Asian inspired culture in the middle of Toronto's notorious winter from Feb. 19-20 at Harbourfront Centre.

Opening night M!M!M! Rocks! concerts are headlined by Canadian Pakistani Rockers Kazak who mark the worldwide release of their debut CD Avaraga and music video at the festival. This showcase also features Montreal's Prita Chabra who recently opened for UK R&B superstar Jay Sean (another MMM alumnus) and up-and-coming singer Naomi Zaman (of Miss Pakistan World 2005 fame).

The Dhol Circle and their 'dholis' (drummers) and percussion friends come together for a unique jam session. Everyone is invited to participate in this live, all-ages event and rock-out to the funky beats. (Participants are encouraged to bring their own drums as a limited number of instruments are available) Stick around for a Dhol Circle Late Night Party presented by Desiwear ($10). This 19+ event features emerging DJs playing traditional and contemporary Bhangra and Desi music.

10 Years of Lal celebrates the growth and development of Toronto’s premier South Asian drum & bass band with an eclectic collective of spiritual music presented by Sacred Arts Music Affiliates. Another festival highlight is a lecture and demonstration by the incomparable Onkar Singh, accompanied by his guests on tabla and flute.

GhuMMMo! a collective of diverse Toronto-based dance companies presents a number of signature performances. Highlights include Indo-Persian dance collaborations presented by Paromita Kar and Ida Meftahi, the vibrant and passionate troupes DIYAS Arts & Entertainment, Ismailova Theatre of Dance, 7 Arts Dance and Melange Entertainment. DIYAS Arts are also conducting FREE kids and adults dance workshops!

Theatre performances include Sally Jones and Rasik Arts presenting Tea with Tagore, a one-man show starring Ishwar Mooljee. Also featured is Umbereen Inayat's Meri Kahani: My Story, a varied perspective of South-Asian survivors of abuse featured on CBC Television and Omni TV.

M!M!Movies! features a special screening of Dileep Mehta's film Cooking with Stella starring Lisa Ray, Don McKellar and Seema Biswas. Dileep Mehta's documentary The Forgotten Woman is also screened followed by an exhilarating Q&A with film members.

The literary arts section is headlined by Sheniz Janmohamad's The Universe Within: a sufi-inspired poetry performance with harmonium and vocals specially created for M!M!M! Winterfest.

Dance and music workshops, panel discussions, lecture-demonstrations, cooking classes and kids activities will be presented in various artistic genres. Of course no South Asian festival can be complete without a bazaar and traditional foods. To warm your heart and soul, favorite South Indian and North Indian delights prepared by Udupi Palace Restaurant and Elite Banquet Hall and snacks and sweets by White Gold Sweets are served.

This scintillating multi-generation presentation connects today's world with the wonders of 5000 years of civilization, its ancient traditions and modern influences.

For additional information and complete event listings, visit and or call 416-973-4000. For participation and sponsorship call 416-MMM-9494.


The primary objective of SAA is to create opportunities for the presentation of South Asian arts and culture for the education and entertainment of Canadians everywhere. The creation and ongoing production of the South Asian arts and culture festival “Masala! Mehndi! Masti!" is the first undertaking of the organization. This spectacular multi-generational presentation connects today's world with the wonders of 5,000 years of civilization, its ancient traditions and modern influences. Our vision is not only to make South Asians proud of their heritage but to make them proud partners in Canadian culture. It provides an opportunity to established and emerging artists in traditional and contemporary spheres of music, dance, film, theatre, literature and poetry, natural health practices, social issues, cuisine, arts & crafts and much more. We open doors to cross cultural collaborations and diverse thinking.


Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.


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