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DARPAN Awards 2023 A Night To Cherish

Naina Grewal Darpan, 17 Oct, 2023
  • DARPAN Awards 2023 A Night To Cherish

The 2023 DARPAN Extraordinary Achievement Awards was a night of sheer enchantment. The event's red carpet was abuzz with prominent figures from the community, distinguished political leaders, and esteemed socialites.

Meanwhile, the captivating cocktail lounge provided the perfect ambiance for guests to mingle and enjoy impeccable hospitality. The awards ceremony not only added a touch of glamor to the evening but also infused it with a vibrant spirit and boundless enthusiasm, making it an unforgettable occasion.

DARPAN Magazine had the honor of hosting its 13th Annual Awards in the presence of revered individuals from the realms of social service, business, and politics. The Royal Bank of Canada, the presenting sponsor for the magnificent red carpet event, set the stage for an evening of grandeur.

This remarkable event took place at the Aria Convention Center in Surrey on Friday, October 13, 2023 and was graced by the presence of distinguished political guests, including MP for Surrey-Newton-Sukh Dhaliwal; and MP for Steveston-Richmond East-Parm Bains, MLA Surrey-Green Timbers-Rachna Singh, MLA Surrey-Fleetwood Jagrup Brar, Minister Brenda Bailey, MLA for North Delta Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Surrey South-Elenore Sturko, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale-Mike Starchuk, and Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke to name a few. 

With an attendance of over 850 distinguished guests, this black-tie affair commenced at 6:00 pm against the backdrop of opulence. On the red carpet, a live media station engaged esteemed guests, gathering their expectations for the evening, while photographers were busy capturing beautiful moments. Exquisite dance performances set the stage for the night ahead.

The Master of Ceremonies for the event was the renowned Canadian actor and television personality, Huse Madhavji. Madhavji, a multifaceted host, actor, and producer, best known as the former face of Star! Canada, kicked off the festivities.

The evening also featured a soulful singing performance by the accomplished folk music sensation, lyricist, singer, and rising artist, Bunny Johal.

The highly anticipated awards ceremony followed, where ten exceptional individuals from the community were honored for their extraordinary accomplishments and their remarkable contributions to their heritage. These 10 leaders, who exemplify the spirit of community and actively contribute to the broader Canadian society, received the prestigious Darpan Extraordinary Achievement Award.

The International Sensation Award recipient, Anand Kumar, was the evening’s Guest of Honor. Having personally experienced financial difficulties preventing him from accepting admission to Cambridge University, Kumar dedicated his life to aiding students from disadvantaged backgrounds, sons, and occasionally, daughters of rural laborers, rickshaw drivers, and brick-kiln workers, secure admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).

This year, Kumar was bestowed with India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri, for his outstanding contributions to literature and education.

Kumar was presented the award by RBC’s Regional President, Martin Thibodeau, Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, Vineet Verghese, and Vice President, Commercial Financial Services - Public Sector, Non Profit and Business Professionals, Kam Raman. 

The Breaking Barriers Award recipient, Jugpreet Bajwa, is an inspiration to all. Despite visual impairment, he has excelled in the field of music, with training in Indian classical music and the ability to sing in 16 languages. His exceptional talents have led to performances on some of the world's most prestigious international stages. The award was presented by Garry Sangha, CEO of Allure Ventures.

The Community Crusader Award recipient, Dr. Randeep Gill, has tirelessly advocated for healthcare within the community, raising awareness and bridging the gap in healthcare accessibility within the region. He has been the voice of the community, addressing healthcare crises at Surrey Memorial Hospital and supporting community needs. The award was presented by Nav Grewal, Vice President of WBI Home Warranty.

The Industry Marvel Award recipient, Neetu Garcha,, is a trailblazer in the media industry and a well-known figure in media circles. She has covered a wide range of topics, from crime and politics to breaking news and international crises, earning the title of 2022 Broadcast Performer of the Year from the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters. The award was presented by Peter Heppner, President of Preston Cadillac.

The Young Wonder Award recipient, Joesh Khunkhun, secured the prestigious $100,000 Loran Award at the age of 17 and was honored with the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award. Today, he passionately advocates for mental health and serves as a role model for young people. The award was presented by Bisman Arora, CEO of Excel Career College.

The Corporate Engagement Award recipient, Juggy Sihota, is Chief Growth Officer at TELUS, she is behind the launch of of Consumer Health and introduced TELUS Health MyCare to Canadians in 2019, just before the pandemic. Today, TELUS Health MyCare is the fastest growing and highest patient-rated virtual healthcare service in the country used by millions of people coast to coast. The award was presented by Mr. Amar Doman, BC Lions owner

The Advancing Philanthropy Award recipient, Amarjit Dhadwar, has dedicated countless hours to charitable causes, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for important endeavors. Always at the forefront during community crises, he embodies the ripple effect of taking action. The award was presented by Jeet Dhindsa, Owner of Van Gogh Designs.

The recipient of the Heritage Defender Award, Karen Dosanjh, has made significant efforts in preserving the history of South Asian communities in Canada. Her work, including the book "Untold Stories: The South Asian Pioneer Experience in BC" and the documentary "Hidden Histories: The Sikh Migration Path to Canada," showcases the remarkable stories of pioneers for future generations. The award was presented by Yves Giroux, Vice President, and Perminder Chouhan, Managing Director at Desjardins Group.

The recipient of the Artistic Visionary Award, Ishq Bector, has left his mark in both Bollywood and Hollywood as a musician and music composer. He is known for his work in Bollywood films like "Gully Boy," "Besharam," and "Fukrey," as well as for numerous web series, including "Ms. Marvel." The award was presented by Dr. Aly Kanani of Guildford Orthodontic Centre and Langley Orthodontics.

The recipient of the Spirit of Sport Award, Nishan Randhawa, has achieved success at every level in the sport of wrestling. Nishan's illustrious wrestling career has seen triumphs at every level, underscoring his exceptional talent and tenacity, including winning gold for Canada at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The award was presented by Jacqueline Huynh, ML Emporio.

The evening concluded with a captivating performance by a highly celebrated Punjabi singer Jasbir Jassi. Known for his high-energy stage presence and chart-topping songs, he has performed at prestigious international stages, including the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. His electrifying performance had guests dancing the night away, providing a dynamic and energetic close to a truly spectacular night.

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