Issue 11 / TD Mosaic Festival Celebrates 10 Years In The City Of Mississauga

TD Mosaic Festival Celebrates 10 Years In The City Of Mississauga

Aug 20, 2015

TD's Mosaic – The South Asian Festival of Mississauga celebrated its 10th anniversary as the premier arts, culture and Bollywood festival in the City of Mississauga. 

The Mosaic festival was first held at Mississauga’s city centre in 2006, which was then called Civic Square. The festival's intent at the start was genuine: to leverage art and culture in order to promote healthy outdoor activities in Mississauga’s downtown core. Even more than that, the goal was to promote the beauty of the South Asian arts and culture scene in its full glory.

Over the past ten years, Mosaic has established itself as the largest festival of its kind in North America — and rightfully so. As part of the pioneering festival in the heart of Mississauga, alongside the Rock the Coliseum indie music festival, thousands of volunteers have devoted time and energy to make this year's event, Mosaic's tenth year, a success. Of course, the community at large flocked to Mississauga to enjoy the music, entertainment and food tents that promoted South Asian culture at its best. 

Shiamak Davar's dance crew entertains crowds at the Mosaic festival.
Photo Credit: Black Umbrella Photography 

In fact, festival co-founder Arshad Mahmood, a finance industry professional, envisioned Mosaic's objective long before the festival even came into existence. He saw it as a self-sustaining, volunteer-based project that would bring cultural and artistic development to a city with an increasing number of immigrants that needed a more inclusive identity.

"The Mosaic philosophy is that we are not just a festival, and we are not an end objective. Mosaic is simply just a means to an end and that is to celebrate a community that is engaged with the arts in Mississauga," said Mahmood to ANOKHI. "To be here for 10 years, well, It feels great. It feels overwhelming. We've been waiting for the 10th year to come for such a long time and we are so happy it is here. We were here when Celebration Square in Mississauga was even created, so our festival predates that. That is how long we have been around and we are looking forward to celebrating another 10 with the fabulous Mississauga community."

Mosaic Festival Emcees Dilshad Burman (left) and Randy Persaud (right) shake a leg together on stage. 
Photo Credit: Black Umbrella Photography 

And promoting engagement with the arts is something the Mosaic festival does well. This year, Mosaic featured many art exhibitions, artist workshops and educational activities — with a special literary segment called Mosaic Mushaira. 

This year, the festival also presented a special focus on Canadian Aboriginal dance, music and arts and crafts. Ojibwe Mississauga elder Greg Sault of Credit Rivers blessed the event with a traditional smudge ceremony and Enakshi Sinha, a classical Bharatnatyam dancer, presented her tribute to the Indian subcontinent. 

"When we first started, it seemed as if we could not get it off the ground, and now 10 years later, it seems like it was started such a very long time ago," said festival co-founder Asma Mahmood to ANOKHI. "This has been a long journey. We have faced challenges of inclement weather, fickle funders, crafty corporations and limited resources. We have picked up garbage, soaked our swollen feet in the fountains and heaved a sigh of relief at the end of every festival . . . often wondering why we do it. We strive to be the best year after year without any payment for the time invested and then we are reminded that we did not start it for ourselves — we did it for our children and our community with a hope that, one day, they will venture out and fall in love with the arts community the way we have at Mosaic. We hope this festival helps them achieve that!" 

Main Image Photo Credit: Black Umbrella Photography 

Daniel Pillai


Daniel is the Digital Media Manager for ANOKHI MEDIA and the host for ANOKHI's entertainment channel, PULSE TV. As part of the dream team, Daniel manages all multiple channels under ANOKHI’s portfolio, while also training new on-air talent, and showing budding p...


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