Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in the launch of the Year of India in Canada 2011 which aims to highlight India’s culture, traditions and diversity, and celebrate the contributions of the Indian diaspora to Canadian society.
He was joined by Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Shashishekhar M. Gavai, High Commissioner of India to Canada. “Our country is home to a vibrant, nearly one-million strong, Indo-Canadian community that plays a vital role in Canada’s economic and cultural landscape,” said the Prime Minister. “This Year will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase India ’s colourful culture and traditions while strengthening connections between our two countries.”
Organized by the High Commission of India in Ottawa , the Year of India will feature a number of cultural and artistic events across the country, including musical and theatrical performances as well as literary gatherings, book fairs, business meetings and children’s events. The festivities will give Canadians the opportunity to learn about Indian culture, taste Indian cuisine and gather information about travelling to India.
Canada and India have a relationship based on shared values of democracy and pluralism and a mutual interest in expanding trade. In recent years, Canada has sought to cultivate this growing partnership through increasing government-to-government ties. Twenty Canadian ministers have visited India since 2006, including an official delegation led by Prime Minister Harper in 2009.
The prime ministerial visit was reciprocated by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June 2010 – the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Canada since 1973.
Canada and India are broadening bilateral relations across a wide range of sectors, including education, energy, science and technology, culture, agriculture and the environment. Increasing ties between Canadian and Indian colleges and universities have also played a significant role in building bridges between future decision makers in both countries.
For more information on the Year of Canada and related events, visit www.hciottawa.ca.