Akshay Kumar hosted the state dinner at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle and Convention Centre last Sunday. The Bollywood star formally introduced India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and wife Gurusharan Kaur to the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen.
Says Pauline Dhillon, the spokesperson for the Canadian Embassy, “Akshay Kumar delivered a speech in English interspersed with Punjabi and Hindi words. He was a riot. He formally invited our Prime Minister to the podium. Mr Harper had a word of praise for Mr Kumar and his efforts towards building bridges between the two countries. We screened an audio-visual documenting India and Canada’s bilateral ties.”
The high-powered dinner, attended by 200-plus world leaders, had an extensive menu that was a mix of Indian and Canadian
delicacies. Akshay Kumar was with wife Twinkle. The other Indian guest present was choreographer Shiamak Davar, accompanied by assistant Merzi and his younger brother.
During their visit to Mumbai last year, Harper and his wife were introduced to Davar at RK Studios, where he was shooting for the dance reality show, Dance Premier League. He was impressed with Davar’s s popular Indo-West fusion dance form that is taught at studios in several Canadian cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary.
The following morning, King Kumar, as he’s lovingly addressed in Canada, was formally announced as Canadian Tourism Commission’s ambassador to India. “He has lent his name to various sporting events in Canada and even ran with the torch during the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. We really like him a lot,” says Dhillon.