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'Kaleidoscope' of culture at Diwali celebration in Bradford

Event to raise funds for charity educating tribal, indigenous children in rural India and Nepal

Bradford residents are welcome to enjoy an evening of music, dancing, food and performances — all for a good cause.

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of Canada is hosting Sparkles — A Diwali Fundraiser at the Portuguese Cultural Centre at 767 Simcoe Rd., on Saturday, Nov. 25 with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

The evenings festivities are set to kick off at 7 p.m. with a DJ and dancing, photo booth, three-course Indian meal, a raffle for gifts and vouchers, plus cultural performances including: percussion instruments, Indian classical dancing, Bollywood dancing and singing.

Guests can also expect a talent show including: kids keyboard performances, dance, chanting, singing and a kids theatre act portraying folktales.

“Attendees will experience a kaleidoscope of Indian culture and performances,” Piyush Shrivastav, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation Of Canada’s chapter chair for Northern Ontario said via email. “The take away will be a lifetime of happy memories and an understanding of the variety that Indian culture provides.”

There is no dress code, but there will be a contest for best-dressed male and female.

All are welcome to experience Diwali, the Indian festival of lights frequently celebrated by adherents of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, which brings together friends, family and neighbours to celebrate the victory of light over darkness.

“Diwali is connected to various religious events, deities and personalities, such as the day Lord Ram returned to his kingdom in Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman after defeating the demon king Ravana. It is also widely associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and Ganesh, the god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles,” Shrivastav said.

The foundation is a registered Canadian charity working to educate tribal, indigenous children in rural India and Nepal.

Its mission is the holistic development of villages through basic education, digital literacy, skill development, health awareness, modern sustainable agricultural practices and rural entrepreneurship. The vision of Ekal Vidyalaya is to facilitate the process of empowering communities based on the concept of social, economic and gender equality.

“There will be families coming together to have fun and raise funds for the cause that Ekal Vidyalaya works for — getting education to every child,” Shrivastav said.

Tickets are $45 for adults, $20 for children aged eight to 12 and free for children younger than eight, and can be purchased on the foundation’s website at

For more information call Piyush at 647-675-5824, Richa at 437-777-5824, or Vinil at 647-467-2912.

Michael Owen

About the Author: Michael Owen

Michael Owen has worked in news since 2009 and most recently joined Village Media in 2023 as a general assignment reporter for BradfordToday
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