50 Reasons To Love Toronto: No. 8, The Indian Oscars are here

50 Reasons To Love Toronto: No. 8, The Indian Oscars are here

No. 8, The Indian Oscars are here
(Diamond Jubliee: Aishwarya Rai performing onstage at the 2009 IIFA awards | Image: courtesy of Wizcraft) 

If you encounter more than the usual number of bhangra dancers on the streets this month, that’s because the International Indian Film Academy Awards are taking over the Rogers Centre on June 25. The gala will be watched by 600 million people in 60 countries and do more to raise Toronto’s profile than several G20 weekends. Forty thousand tourists will descend on the city’s hotels, and in the background, government and business officials will meet to build trade ties between Ontario and India. Infinitely more exciting are the many Indian movie stars who’ll be here, strolling in and out of the Thompson Hotel, signing autographs and, if we’re lucky, travelling the streets by elephant.