Issue 62 / #ANOKHI13 Was In Full Force At ANOKHI Media's Annual Star-Studded Awards Show

#ANOKHI13 Was In Full Force At ANOKHI Media’s Annual Star-Studded Awards Show

Sep 11, 2016

On Thursday, August 25th, ANOKHI MEDIA honoured members of the global South Asian community at a star-studded, sold out awards show held in Toronto.

The ANOKHI Awards 2016, hosted by ANOKHI MEDIA, rolled out the red carpet and pulled out all the stops to ensure that it celebrated the global South Asian community lavishly.

Held at 11 Polson Pier, with a view of the beautiful Toronto skyline, ANOKHI MEDIA's 13th Anniversary Awards, Fashion and Entertainment show (#ANOKHI13) honoured South Asians from across the globe.

The sold out evening with 600 attendees began with a sizzling red carpet reception with over 40 celebrities and personalities making the fateful walk down the 36-foot red carpet which included ANOKHI PULSE TV's first ever celebrity red carpet lounge with a gold, Swarovski crystal-studded sofa to sit and chat to ANOKHI PULSE TV red carpet lounge host Daniel Pillai.

ANOKHI PULSE TV red carpet lounge host Daniel Pillai interviews Manj Musik, Nindy Kaur and their son Anoop.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

This was followed by a three-hour auditorium style awards-fashion-entertainment show hosted by eight prominent personalities in media and entertainment presenting 16 awards honours and included seven live musical performances.

The evening started off with a Bajhan giving the evening an appropriate spiritual send off. Dutch songstress Anita Lerche dazzled everyone with her on-point performance of traditional Punjabi songs. Tabla fusionist Shobhit Banwait conquered the percussion with his brilliant east and west blend and Amrit Dasu soulfully graced the stage with his groovy R&B spirit.

Danish-Punjabi Singer Anita Lerche opens the show.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

R&B Singer Amrit Dasu performs.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios


Juno-award nominee Alysha Brilla — along with her guitar — injected her inimitable indie musical vibe and Gingger Shankar was simply riveting with her performance with the double violin. Arjun had us all swooning with his hypnotic hip hop beats and Rajé Shwari along with Gadiva and Lontastic brought down the house (and brought us to our feet) with their amazing closing performance. 

Soul crooner Alysha Brilla performs.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Bollywood Hip-Hop Artist Raje Shwari along with Lontastic (left) and Gadiva (right) closes the show.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

The fashion show — by noted American celebrity designer Bibhu Mohapatra — had Bollywood starlet Aditi Rao Hydari as the showstopper and served as the stylish grand finale for the evening. Also, for the first time in the brand's history, there was on the spot, spontaneous and extensive live coverage of all the buzzing moments as they happened on Facebook Live with our very own Facebook Live Host Dilshad Burman.


Aditi Rao Hydari walks the ramp as showstopper for designer Bibhu Mohapatra at #ANOKHI13.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

To celebrate, ANOKHI launched its 2nd limited edition commemorative coffee table book, The ANOKHI List 2016, at the event which showcased 30 of today's most prolific South Asian success stories. From those 30, 16 recipients were honoured with awards in five categories: Glamour, Film and TV, Music, Media, and Crusader. Over 600 guests attended this glamorous event and were all gifted a complimentary copy of the book as they left for the night. So how was this year's ANOKHI List different from those in years past? Editor-in-chief Hina P. Ansari tells us why.

"We're really proud of this year's collection because it's so varied and eclectic and shows success on so many different levels and in so many different areas," says Ansari. "And in this day and age where it seems that we are bombarded with negativity, it makes this book all the more relevant where we can provide a platform, a shining example of the positivity and inspiration that our global South Asian community provides."

The ANOKHI List 2016 cover art.
Photo Credit: ANOKHI MEDIA

The ANOKHI List 2016 coffee table book also included official congratulatory letters from John Tory, the Mayor of Toronto, who noted: “ANOKHI MEDIA is dedicated to showcasing and promoting South Asian cultures and celebrating regional, national and international success stories of prolific South Asian personalities."

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne added “This is a celebration of success stories of the Canadian and global South Asian Community. I commend ANOKHI MEDIA for staging this event to recognize and honour these achievements."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated, “I am delighted to join you in congratulating all those being recognized tonight. I would also like to commend ANOKHI MEDIA for bringing these portraits of success to the attention of a wider public.”

ANOKHI MEDIA's Founder/CEO Raj Girn poses on the red carpet.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

So why and how did The ANOKHI Awards come into existence?

"ANOKHI was started because I felt that there wasn't a medium that represented people like me living in the west and our stories. It's really interesting because I wasn't sure where it was really going to go, but I felt there was a need for it," said ANOKHI MEDIA's founder and CEO, Raj Girn. "Now, 13 years later, and thousands of success stories later from people who have elevated to a global level, is the reason why ANOKHI MEDIA is still around today. It's because there is a story that still needs to be told,” she continues.
One of the special moments of the evening was when ANOKHI MEDIA's founder, president and CEO, Raj Girn, was presented with a scroll from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on the occasion of the anniversary. She was presented with the scroll by Indira Naidoo-Harris, Member of Parliament Halton, who commemorated the occasion by saying a few words on stage. "I am here to congratulate ANOKHI MEDIA and my friend, my very dear friend, the president, founder and CEO of ANOKHI MEDIA, Raj Girn.

"More than 13 years ago, I met a young woman who kind of had a sparkle in her eye, who I realized was hard working, talented, dedicated and had a vision. At that time, I knew that she was someone special. She had this one very big idea, and that idea was ANOKHI MEDIA. Fast forward 13 years and here we all are celebrating South Asians all around the world, and celebrating 13 years of ANOKHI," said Naidoo-Harris.

Indira Naidoo-Harris, Member of Parliament Halton, commemorates The ANOKHI Awards 2016 by presenting a special scroll to founder Raj Girn
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

The official scroll presented to ANOKHI MEDIA founder and CEO Raj Girn by Indira Naidoo-Harris, Member of Parliament Halton.

Photo Credit: Epic Studios

"On behalf of myself and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario we would like to extend our sincere congratulations to ANOKHI MEDIA on the occasion of your 13th Anniversary. Thank you for your continued dedication, commitment and support of enhancing the cultural fabric of our community and for being an unwavering leader in South Asian media here in Canada. Congratulations on reaching such an incredible milestone," she continued on stage.

The winners of The ANOKHI Awards 2016 included:

Hosted By: Travis Dhanraj, Anchor/Reporter, CP24       

 Inkquisitive: Most Promising Media Artist 2016
Jus Reign: Comedy Media Personality Of The Year 2016
Farah Nasser: Excellence In News Media 2016

Ink Illustrator Inkquisitive posing with his ANOKHI Award.
Photo Credit: ANOKHI MEDIA 

Jus Reign accepts ANOKHI Award.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Farah Nasser on stage accepting her ANOKHI Award from host Travis Dhanraj.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios 

Hosted By: Hina P. Ansari, Editor-in-Chief, The ANOKHI List 2016
Dr. Sapna Sriram: Most Promising Wellness Crusader 2016
Ajay Chopra: Crusader Of The Year For The Underdog 2016

Dr. Sapna Sriram accepting her ANOKHI Award.
Photo Credit:Epic Studios 

Political Lobbyist Ajay Chopra receives his ANOKHI Award from Hina P. Ansari on stage.

Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Hosted By: Farah Nasser, News Anchor, Global News
Vikram Vij: Excellence In Food Entrepreneurship 2016
Shama Hyder: Excellence In Social Media Entrepreneurship 2016

Shama Hyder accepts her ANOKHI Award from fellow awardee Farah Nasser.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Vikram Vij accepts his ANOKHI Award from fellow awardee Farah Nasser.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Hosted By: Gabe Grey, Canadian Actor
Shobhit Banwait: Most Promising Musical Fusionist 2016
Amrit Dasu: Most Promising Musical Artist 2016

Shobhit Banwait accepts his ANOKHI Award from host Gabe Grey.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Tabla Fusionist Shobhit Banwait performs on stage after receiving his ANOKHI Award.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Amrit Dasu accepts his ANOKHI Award from host Gabe Grey.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Amrit Dasu seduces the crowd with his vocals at The ANOKHI Awards.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Hosted By: Huse Madhavji, Canadian Actor
Arjun: Musical Artist Of The Year 2016
Gingger Shankar: Excellence In Music Artistry 2016

Composer and Instrumentalist Gingger Shankar performs.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Gingger Shankar poses with her ANOKHI Award.
Photo Credit: ANOKHI MEDIA 

Arjun rocks the stage. 
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Arjun accepts his ANOKHI Award from host Huse Madhavji.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Hosted By: Sangita Patel, Entertainment Reporter, ET Canada
Aditi Rao Hydari: Most Promising Style Icon 2016
Hussein Dhalla: Fashion Designer Of The Year 2016
Bibhu Mohapatra: Excellence In Fashion Design 2016

Aditi Rao Hydari accepts the ANOKHI Award from host Sangita Patel.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Hussein Dhalla poses with his ANOKHI Award.
Photo Creidt: ANOKHI MEDIA

Binhu Mohapatra accepts the ANOKHI Award.
Photo Creidt: Epic Studios

Hosted By: Zaib Shaikh, Toronto Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries
Melanie Chandra: Actor Of The Year 2016
Deepa Mehta: Excellence In Film Innovation 2016

Melanie Chandra accepts the ANOKHI Award from host Zaib Shaikh.
Photo Credit: Epic Studios

Deepa Mehta poses with her ANOKHI Award.
Photo Credit: ANOKHI MEDIA

The seven live musical performances were as eclectic as the genres of music showcased:

–        Gingger Shankar, Award-Winning Composer, Instrumentalist
–        Arjun, R&B Singer-Songwriter
–        Amrit Dasu, R&B Singer-Songwriter
–        Raje Shwari, Legendary R&B/Hip-Hop Artist
–        Alysha Brilla, Juno-Nominated Singer-Songwriter
–        Anita Lerche, Renowned Punjabi Singer
–        Shobhit Banwait, Tabla Fusionist
First-time Canadian showcase of New York based celebrity fashion designer:
–        Bibhu Mohapatra, Celebrity Fashion Designer

We Sincerely Thank Our Valued Sponsors And Partners For Their Invaluable Support:

The night ended with an exclusive post show soiree with three celebrity deejays — DJ Fizza, DJ Amita and DJ Jiten — who entertained the guests. For those who were unable to attend due to the event being sold out one week prior to, you can check out ANOKHI PULSE TV's two-part coverage of the awards show here:

And you can view snippets of our high action, and fun Facebook Live feed coverage of all the action as it happened, right here on our Facebook Page:

Main Image Photo Credit: ANOKHI Media 

Daniel Pillai

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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