As children growing up, our innocence to believe and dream is an incredible one. As time transcends, individuals may forget to indulge in their innocence and fulfill their abilities to dream. However, there are some who can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary through larger-than-life dreams and ambitions to follow those dreams through. And these are the individuals, who were honoured and recognized at DARPAN Magazine’s 3rd annual Extraordinary Achievement Awards.
“It is our hope that the life and work of these Award recipients will serve as an inspiration for all South Asians to realize the power of their dreams,” say Publishers Gurvinder Hundal and Ramneek Dhillon. “From our inaugural event to now, our goal is to showcase the gems of the South Asian community and honour them with DARPAN Magazine’s Extraordinary Achievement Awards – we hope this simple act will trigger the ripple effect of inspiring more South Asians to do the extraordinary.”
Hundreds of individuals from all walks of life gathered to celebrate the achievements of 10 amazing individuals from the South Asian community for their extraordinary achievements and for reflecting their heritage in a remarkable way on Friday, September 14 at Royal King Palace & Convention Center. This red carpet gala was truly a night to remember, as guests upon arrival where ushered in on a red carpet to the lounge area to enjoy canapés and cocktails and the beautiful music of the sitar greeted their ears. Actress/Model Mannu Sandhu interviewed politicians, business elite and socialites, who were then photographed and had time to enjoy one another’s company before the main festivities began.
As cocktail hour commenced, the guests entered the spectacular banquet hall and were greeted by the Master of Ceremonies Husein Madhavji, a multi-talented host, actor and producer, who flew in exclusively from Toronto. He not only captivated the crowd with his humour and fun nature, but this Gemini-nominated actor presented the Awards with pride, sentiment and appreciation for the recipients.
“Hosting an event that honours individuals, who have accomplished the extraordinary is a wonderful reminder to me that no one is really ‘ordinary,’” says Madhavji. “We are all capable of achieving what we think is impossible, and there’s no better example of that than the remarkable recipients who were celebrated at Darpan Magazine’s Extraordinary Achievement Awards.”
Flying in from Edmonton, Chris Fowler, president and COO of Canadian Western Bank (title sponsor for the Awards), made an impressive speech followed by Keynote Speaker Suneet Singh Tuli, who also flew in from Toronto for the Awards.
A technology entrepreneur and visionary, Tuli mesmerized the crowd with his inspirational, motivational keynote. Through his company DataWind, Tuli is trying to narrow the digital divide through affordable, technological devices, including the Aakash/UbiSlate tablets, to educate and digitally-enable billions around the world.
“I was very impressed with Darpan Magazine’s Extraordinary Achievement Awards. The calibre of the guests, award nominees and entertainment made this one of the strongest events I’ve participated in this year,” Tuli remarks in reflection.
Well Groomed Design Studio and High Heel Obsessions put on a phenomenal fashion show displaying their latest works of art in South Asian haute couture. Shiamak Davar Dance Troupe entertained guests with their high energy performance dazzling the crowd with their sultry, bold moves. The highlight was when the dancers convinced guests to come onto the stage and show off their moves!
With over 700 guests in attendance, the highlight of the night was the main event – the Extraordinary Achievement Awards!
Ten individuals were presented with one-of-a-kind, custom crafted glass awards highlighting their achievements in 10 categories from Community Crusader and Breaking Barriers to Advancing Philanthropy and Young Wonder.
On behalf of the DARPAN Team, thank you to our sponsors and guests for making this a memorable evening. Moreover, thank you for joining us in recognizing our Award recipients and for your support.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman