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DD International Women’s Day Celebrations & Award Nite 2016

The International Women’s Day has been celebrated the world over with events marking and celebrating the day since 1911. This year, the Dancing Damsels Inc., a registered non-profit multicultural dance promotions company for women empowerment, commemorated the day at the Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga on Saturday March 5, 2016. The event, DD Awards Nite 2016, celebrated and recognized the social, economic and political success of women in our community.

Jo-Ann Savoie (President of the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement) Anu Srivastava (Chair,Panorama India), Kripa Shekhar (Executive Director of SAWC), Esther Enyolu (Executive Director, WMRCC of Durham), Myra James (Instructor - Ontario Police College, Chair of Women in Law BUILD), Lillian Kwok (President Mississauga Chinese Business Association), Sanjay Makkar (President ICCC) and Gary Gu (President of Mississauga Mandarin Association) lighted the lamp and formally inaugurated DD Awards Nite 2016. Chief Guest Jo-Ann Savoie (President of the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement) made the inaugural address to officially open the festivities of the evening.

Hon. Dr. Kirsty Duncan MP (Minister of Science) & Harinder Malhi MPP (Parlimentary Assistant to the Minister responsible for Women Affairs) were the Guests of Honor who greeted for the organizers of the event and gave away the prestigious DD Women Achiever Awards for 2016.

“Fear and guilt close to our heart.........when we let go fear and guilt we can hear our heart whisper........ when we can hear the whisper, we believe in ourselves.......we can make our dreams come true and the key to that is gratitude.for what you have........trusting your heart is the right thing to matter what" (Shannon Skinner - Key Note Speaker @ DD International Women’s Day 2016 )

Shannon Skinner (an award-winning TV and radio host, and author), the key note speaker, inspired the audience of over 500 people to “follow their heart” through her mind blowing motivational speech.

Indira Naidoo-Harris MPP - Politics, Kiruthika Rathanaswami – Performing Arts, Dr. Suhara Panthapulakkal – Academic Research, Vidhya Jayapal – Enterpreneurship, Manju Rose – Science & Technology, Shobha Shekhar – Music, Shalini Srivastava – Community Service, Chinnamma Tina Belgaumkar – Healthcare, Esther Pierce – Community Leadership, Kantha Arora – Media & Communications, Dr. Brenda Beck – Literature were the recipients of the DD Women Achievers award 2016.

Netra Unni – received the “Rising Star” award being the young achiever for her excellence in scientific research.

Hon. Dr. Kirsty Duncan MP (Minister of Science) presented the life time achievement awards to Hon.Hazel McCallion and Hon. Dr. Asha Seth in recognition for their exceptional skill, dedication, community service and vital contribution to our community. Hon. Hazel McCallion stole the show with her characteristic charisma and candor while according her praise and support for all women.

“Women can do anything that a man can do........Women are much better drivers than men......We are taking over gentlemen, so step aside..... ..............Act like a lady; think like a man and work like a dog...........Women have to support women.............Real progress will happen only when women start supporting women” - Hon. Hazel McCallion (DD Lifetime Achiever, 2016)

Rees Moves & Dance, the Brampton Acro Ropers, WOMB, Happy Mountain Miao Tripe – Mississauga Chinese Arts Organization (MCAO) and K-POP by RPM delighted the audience by their captivating entertainments .

The organizers surprised the audience with the launch of their very own Women Only Multicultural Band (WOMB) who mesmerized the audience with different musical flavors from the Far East to West End of Mexico.

Sunny Dhaliwal (Host - Kitty TV) & Anushree Joshi (Miss Indo-Canadian Princess ) were the MCs of the evening.

Shallet Ann James from Royal LePage, Menon Law Office, Sonijya Raj Remax Realty, Chennai Caters, Deol Law Office, Sujit Nair from CanFIN Financial Group, Vince Thomas from Royal Lepage, Vivek Bhatt – Advisor; Compliance-Risk Management-Insurance-Investments, Ekta's Design Studio & Taal's Collections - were the sponsors of the event.

This event was flawlessly organized under the leadership of Mary Ashok (Managing Director), Smriti Dash (VIP & Media Coordinator), Shamitha Barathan (Program Coordinator), Manjula Das (Entertainment & Catering Coordinator), Bindu Mathew (WOMB Coordinator) and Jane Jomy (Volunteer Coordinator).

There was a Raffle Draw to raise money for the Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Foundation.

Another new attraction at this event was an East Indian drum concert called " Chendamelam" by women. Here again, the women musicians gave an impressive performance boldly entering into the here-to-fore all-male dominated world of traditional drums. DD Awards Nite 2016 was indeed a true testimony to Dancing Damsels commitment to recognizing women success and to encouraging them to pursue their aspirations.

Mary Ashok, Managing Director of Dancing Damsels Inc. thanked the audience, sponsors, media and volunteers. She concluded the event with an invitation for the reception party of DD Women Achievers 2016 (DD Mother’s Day Dinner & Dance) which will be held on Saturday May 7th at Payal Banquet Hall, Mississauga.

Dancing Damsels’ International Women’s Day celebration 2016 was a celebration that was enjoyably inspiring and rendered it a day to be remembered for the speakers, awardees and audience alike.

Report by: Jaison Mathew

2015: DD International Women's Day Celebrations on March 8 @ The Meeting House, Oakville.

Toronto: The International Women’s Day has been celebrated the world over with events marking and celebrating the day since 1911. This year, the Dancing Damsels Inc.-now known as "Team DD"- a registered non-profit Multicultural Arts Promotions Company for Women Empowerment, commemorated the day at The Meeting House,Oakville on March 8, 2015. The event celebrated and recognized the social, economic and political success of women in our community.

Federal Minister Dr..K Kellie Leitch MP (Minister of Labour & Status of Women), Bonnie Crombie (Mayor, Mississauga), Provincial Minister Kevin Daniel Flynn (Minister of Labour and Member of Treasury Board) and Dr. Asha Seth (Canada’s first Indo-Canadian female Senator) jointly inaugurated the event by the lighting the traditional Indian lamp followed by the Canadian National Anthem.

Usha Venkatesan (Vice Consul Consulate General of India), Anu Srivastava (Chair, Panorama India), Kripa Sekhar (Executive Director of the South Asian Women’s Centre (SAWC), Dr.Deepali Dewan (Senior Curator at the Royal Ontario Museum, & Teacher in the Dept. of Art @ University of Toronto), Lata Pada (Founder & Artistic Director of Sampradaya Dance Creations), Shobha Shekar (Carnatic and Hindustani Classical Singer), Dr.Kala Sridhar (Assistant Professor within the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Toronto & head of the genitourinary cancers medical oncology site group at the Princess Margaret Hospital), Anu Vittal (Executive Director of the Mississauga Arts Council (MAC)), Sandhya Srivatsan (Carnatic Musician, Gerontologist and Music Therapy Researcher), and Indira Naidoo-Harris (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, focusing on long-term care) attended the event and shared their thoughts on women empowerment.

Hon.Dipika Damerla MPP (Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, responsible for Long-Term Care and Wellness )-Politics, Asha Vishwanath (President of Kannada Sangha Toronto) -Community Leadership, Brandy Leary (Founder Anandam Dancetheatre)- Arts & Cultural Integration , Thresia Thomas (Woman behind the success –through various Associations) -Community Service,Ramneek Singh (Indian Classical Vocalist) -Music, Ravinder Malhi (Founder of Toronto Aesthetics & Hair Academy -Business, Malavilly Varatharajan (Provincial and Regional record holder in cross-country)-Sports, Puja Amin (Owner and Director of Sanskriti Arts in Toronto and President of Bollycore! )- Performing Arts, Dr.Arthy Saravanan (Mrs. India International 2014) –Volunteering , Angie Seth (On Air Reporter Global News Toronto )-Media & Communication, Reena Deon (South Asian creative still Photographer ,Photo Journalist) -Photography, and Lata Menon (Barrister and Solicitor ) -Law, Mary David (the first woman in the Seiwa Kai (“Say wa keye”) GoJu Ryu Organization in Canada to earn her 5th Degree Black belt) –received the DD Women Achievers 2015 Awards.

Bolly core; Belly Up; Zumba; Ontario Heartland Chorus; RAW; Toronto Strings; Mommy and Baby Fitness; etc performed. In addition, there was Martial Arts –Karate by Mary David and live concert by Ramneek Singh.

Team Sonijya Raj of Re-Max Realty was the Mega Sponsor of this event.

The other sponsors are: Kulwant Singh Deo (Deol Law Office), Air Route Travels, SandS Holidays, Riya Travels, Chaitanya Health Services, The Nilgrisl Tandoori Cook House, Joseph Shaji (Homelife Today Realty Ltd.), Sujit Nair (CANFIN Financial Group), Sunil Vazhavilla (Mortgage Alliance), Thomas Classes, Smt. Mala Pisharody of Adishankara Academy of Performing Arts, JoseKutty Jose of Remax Realty, Suresh Raman of Kingsway Real Estate Brokerage, and Zac santhosh Koshy (Re-Max Realty).

Bindu Mathew and Minu Jose were the MCs of the evening.

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Toronto: March 8th, International Women's Day! A special day for women to celebrate. Dancing Damsels, a non-profit dance company is leading this year's celebrations. This resplendent event will be held at North York Memorial Hall, Yonge Street, Toronto from 6:00pm onwards.

The theme of the event will be: “INSPIRING CHANGE”.

Most often people think that such celebrations are nothing but a proclamation by a group of feminists for women's independence. However Dancing Damsels are seeing these celebrations as means of empowerment and inspiration for women to pursue their dreams. They hope to encourage women to stay confident without spoiling their individuality, to express the human emotions and enjoy the beauty of life.

As more women are becoming educated and financially independent we need to bring a change in society and its outlook on women. When we say “change”, it doesn’t mean to challenge men or create rivalry but to encourage them to see that women are not a sexual object only but she is an individual who has desires, aspirations, dreams and talents just as men. This new face of women has to be understood and the approach to women should be changed. Through this celebration Dancing Damsels hope to facilitate and inspire that change.


MARY ASHOK: A medical graduate (MBBS) pursuing classical dance for more than two decades, is the Founder and Managing Director of Dancing Damsels Inc.


Womanhood will become strong only when women support, encourage, empower and accept each other. We hear of abuse, torture, inequality of women and sadly we too are responsible for this. For any positive outcome we too have to accept and change our outlook. If we respect ourselves as women, support other women and remain united as women then all the atrocities against women will be terminated. Through this event Dancing Damsels hope to advocate and inspire that change.

Dance is the initial emotion that holds the activities of all the members of Dancing Damsels. Women who have learnt dance once, those who have kept it aside for bringing up a good life are called back to their old path through Dancing Damsels. This group has grown and have reached where an encouragement is given for an inspiring change.

12 successful women from different fields of the society are adorned during this magnificent event and thereby to let more women to come forward and be in the field according to their wish and share the rights with men, are also some of the aspects that Dancing Damsels believe.

Nirmala Thomas (Literature), Mercy Elengikal (Leadership), Jennifer Prasad (Volunteering), Maria Easow Jobson (Health care), Reshmi Nair (Media), Rathika Sitsabaiesan (Politics), Minu Jose (Engineering), Mala Pisharody (Arts), Sonijya Raj (Self Employment), Kanmani Dhanasekar (Marketing), Uma Suresh (Social Service) and Meena Mulpury (Charity) are this year's award winners.

Hedvig Christine Alexander is the Keynote speaker of the day. Dr. Asha Seth, Jo-Ann Savoie, Priscila Uppal, Dr. Raymond Cho, Esther Enyolus, Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, Dr. Alakananda Nath and Shashi Bhatia are the chief guests of this year's celebrations.

Special stage performances by Dancing Damsels, Joanna de Souza, Dhanwantary Kumari, Nrutha Kala Kendra Dance Academy, Infusion Dance Studios, Shivangi Bhrambhatt, Hannan Belly Dance Studio, Marathi Dance, Zumba Dance, Prima Dance School, The Trifecta, Egyptian Dance Company, Academy of Spanish Dance, Nrutha Kala Mandir and Born to Dance will definitely shower colours to this great occasion.

A wide variety of snacks and dinner and also provided during the event. The entire program is free due to the generosity of the eminent sponsors Thomas Mathews (Remax Crossroads Reality Inc), Sujit Nair (Sun Life Insurance), Air Route Travels, B & B Alarms, Idlycious, Alex Alexander (HomeLife Top Star Reality Inc), Dr. Chinnamma Belgaumkhar, M. Joseph Shaji (HomeLife Today Reality Inc), Santhosh Mathew (Team Alliance Reality Inc) Mariam Beauty Parlour, Idlylicious, The Nilgirs and Chaithanya Health Services.

"Dancing Damsels have decided to celebrate March 8th as International Women's day every year. To achieve the goals, we have also proclaimed to bring up more men to this celebration." the Managing Director of Dancing Damsels Inc.Mary Ashok said.

Report: Jeraldi James

Telugu Alliances of Canada

TACA cordially invites you to Sankranthi Sambaralu 2014 on Saturday January 18th, 2014

Mississauga Kerala Association- ANNUAL Dinner AND AWARDS NITE on Friday JANUARY 17, 2014

Nair Social Society of Canada (NSS)

January 2014 BHAJANA


Sunday - January 12, 2014

AT 10:00am

TamilNadu Cultural Society of Canada (TNCSC)

Guruvayurappan Temple Brampton

Toronto Malayalee Samajam (TMS)

Candian Malayalee Association (CMA)

Visit: for the latest updates

Brampton Malayalee Samajam (BMS)

CMA Honours Dancing Damsels with Recognition Award

Toronto: Canadian Malayalee Association (CMA) honoured the Dancing Damsels dance group with a special recognition award on Saturday, December 14th, during the Canadian Malayalee Association annual Christmas & New Year bash Chill 2013. They were recognized for their outstanding performances & remarkable support extended to the Malayalee Community during the year 2013. The award was presented by Mr. Kulwant Singh Deol of Deol Law Office and was received by Ms. Mary Ashok, Managing Director and the Lead Choreographer of Dancing Damsels dance group.

Dancing Damsels dance group, made its successful entry into the cultural arena of Toronto with the presentation of a Bollywood medley dance in 2012.

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