Bollywood is coming to Vancouver.
The city is set to host the Times of India Film Awards this April 4-April 6. More than 30,000 film fans are expected to pour into Vancouver for a three-day celebration of Hindi films slated to draw some of Bollywood’s biggest stars.
This is the inaugural instalment of the awards, which are based on global fan voting on the year’s top Bollywood hits. Vancouver won the rights to the event after the province agreed to spend a total of $11 million on hosting and related expenses, with an eye toward strengthening ties between British Columbia and India.
(The Times of India Awards are not to be confused with the International Indian Film Academy Awards – the Indian equivalent of the Oscars. British Columbia initially bid to host this event but was rejected.)
So what’s in store for the gala celebration? Things kick off on Thursday, April 4, with an Indian musical extravaganza at Pacific Coliseum. Leading musicians from the Hindi film industry will take the stage to “regale audiences with a concert,” according to organizers. On Friday, April 5, the year’s most popular Hindi films will be screened at theatres across the city – a kind of mini Hindi film fest for moviegoers.
On Saturday, April 6, the event culminates at B.C. Place with a red-carpet awards ceremony, where Bollywood’s biggest stars will be on hand to collect their honours (Attention paparazzi: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Abhishek Bachchan are all scheduled to attend).
The awards will be seen by hundreds of millions of viewers in India and around the world, putting Vancouver square in the global spotlight. Between tourism and new business opportunities, the event is expected to bring from $13 million to $18 million to the province. In fact, based on the description of Vancouver featured on the awards website, it’s hard to imagine how a traveler could resist coming:
“Brush shoulders with your favorite stars as you holiday in Vancouver and surrounding areas of British Columbia. Blessed with breathtaking landscapes, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is home to a geographical diversity that lends itself to a vast array of activities and adventures. From sophisticated cities to breathtaking scenery, there is something for everyone in British Columbia.”
What do you think about the Times of India Film Awards? Will you be watching the red carpet? Let us know below.
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