The figures released through a freedom of information request show that funds much as around Rs 520 crore (10.5 million Canadian dollars) was spent on the Bollywood extravaganza, IIFA 2011.
The media in Canada has reacted fiercely when the numbers were revealed, questioning the necessity of spending the taxpayer’s money on hosting a Bollywood award’s show.
The documents, received through a freedom of information request, show the government gave $10.5 million to Wizcraft, a dollar figure that includes $5.1 million for producing the actual show and a number of different events related to the film awards," reports Ottawa Citizen.
"The other half — about $5.2 million — covered the costs of hotel bills, hospitality costs, airfare, ground transportation and travel visas to ferry workers between Canada and India," the report continues.
The event was organised amidst fanfare and political support. Dalton McGuinty had his photos taken on the green carpet giving credence to the sentiment that he was wooing immigrant voters.
The government defended the spending of money saying: "This was the first time this prestigious event was hosted in North America and it drew tens of thousands of visitors to Ontario," said Mukunthan Paramalingham, a spokesperson for Minister of Tourism and Culture Michael Chan," reports Ottawa Citizen.
"Our preliminary research shows that earned media coverage of the event reached hundreds of millions of people worldwide, helping to raise Ontario's profile as an international tourist destination. That was valuable exposure for our province," the reports quotes Paramalingham as saying.