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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

In a first, fireworks to ring in Diwali at Niagara Falls in Canada

he first-ever Diwali celebration at this global tourist attraction is being organised by the non-profit Indo-Canadian Arts Council (ICAC), with the support from the Niagara Parks Commission.

world Updated: Oct 05, 2018 06:38 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times, Toronto
A family looks as the Maid of the Mist turns around at Niagara Falls.
A family looks as the Maid of the Mist turns around at Niagara Falls.(AP File Photo)
         

Canada’s iconic Niagara Falls will play host to the Festival of Lights for the first time this year, complete with fireworks.

The first-ever Diwali celebration at this global tourist attraction is being organised by the non-profit Indo-Canadian Arts Council (ICAC), with the support from the Niagara Parks Commission.

ICAC’s founder director Ajaay Modi was thrilled to receive permission for what he believes will be a spectacular event, given the scenic backdrop. He said, “We wanted to have a landmark destination for Diwali to be observed in Canada and we wanted an iconic location.”

He said ICAC has been working with local authorities over the past couple of years to make the objective a reality.

While Diwali falls on November 7 this year, the celebration will be held on October 14. The reason is that the later it gets, the weather for an outdoor event of this nature is less welcoming. Modi said: “That's one drawback of being in Canada, it gets very cold!”

The celebration will immediately follow the signature Diwali Razzmatazz programme from October 12 to 13 in Mississauga. The event has been drawing nearly 50,000 people in the five years since its launch. Among the highlights of the event, will be differently-abled performers enacting the Ramlila.

Modi’s organisation was responsible for the iconic falls being lit in the colours of the Indian tricolour on Independence Day this year. He expects the Diwali celebration to be viewed by a large number of people, not just visitors to the Canadian side, but those across the border in the US, as the waterfall lies between the Canadian province of Ontario and the American state of New York.

In addition, he said the number of Indian-origin people settled in the Niagara region has increased in recent years since many more students have started enrolling in colleges and universities in the area. He was hopeful that as the Niagara Falls are just a drive of over two hours from Toronto and close to the Greater Toronto Region (GTA), the numbers attracted by the inaugural celebration will be large.

The event will commence with a cultural programme in the afternoon before the fireworks display in the evening. This venue plays host to other celebrations with fireworks displays, such as Canada Day and Thanksgiving.

First Published: Oct 04, 2018 23:30 IST