It was truly a celebration of all things extraordinary – the much-anticipated DARPAN Magazine’s 4th annual Extraordinary Achievement Awards took place on Friday, October 4 at Royal King Palace & Convention Centre. The honoured guests – business and social elite, and politicians – arrived to a grandiose experience entering an expansive red carpet within a gorgeously draped tent. Upon entering the exclusive space, guests were treated to a luxe multi-BMW showcase, media centre with live interviews, a DJ spinning upbeat tracks, a media wall to pose for photographers and champagne and mocktails.
The last three years of Darpan’s Extraordinary Achievement Awards have been full of splendour, wonderment and inspiration. This year’s Awards was no exception, as the magical evening was elevated to new heights of magnitude proportions for guests in attendance from the glitz and glamour to the fashion showcase and entertainment. The highlight of course, was the amazing gems in the South Asian community, whose stories not only uplifted, but inspired others for greatness and to pursue the extraordinary!
“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results,” according to legendary American athlete Wade Boggs.
Keeping this thought in mind, Darpan’s Publishers Gurvinder Hundal and Ramneek Dhillon created the Extraordinary Awards to honour 10 amazing individuals from the South Asian community for their extraordinary achievements in their respective fields and for reflecting their heritage in a remarkable way.
“It is our hope that the life and work of these award recipients will serve as an inspiration for all South Asians to realize the power of their dreams,” say Hundal and Dhillon. “From our inaugural event to now, our goal is to showcase the gems of the South Asian community and honour them with Darpan Magazine’s Extraordinary Achievement Awards – we hope this simple act will trigger the ripple effect of inspiring more South Asians to do the extraordinary.”
Master of Ceremonies Huse Madhavji flew in from Toronto to host the Awards for the second consecutive year. He kicked off the festivities with humour, than turned the mic over to Darpan’s Editor-in-Chief Renu Singh-Joseph and Marketing & Business Development Manager Junita Thakorlal. They spoke on behalf of the Darpan team and introduced the audience to the essence of the Awards and Darpan Magazine’s mandate to continue to evolve and reflect South Asian achievement both locally and globally.
The Shiamak Davar Dance Troupe mesmerized guests with an exhilarating opening performance. These talented dancers, led by renowned Indian choreographer Shiamak Davar, infused high-energy into the crowd, and guests even came onstage and showed off their moves. The entertainment segment lavishly celebrated 100 years of Indian cinema and the dancers highlighted the brilliance of Bollywood in their performances. The opening and closing entertainment sequences were rich in entertainment with popular Bollywood numbers, dazzling costumes and unbelievable talent.
The 100 years of Indian cinema was the central theme for the entertainment sequences, which was also gracefully blended with the fashion showcase. Gorgeous models strutted down the runway showcasing brilliant works of art with intricate designs, highlighting latest sarees, lehengas and suits by ‘Miss India.’ Divided in two segments, the fashion show featured a remix of old Hindi music with a video of the three divas of Indian cinema from various eras – Madhubala, Rekha and Madhuri Dixit, then later transgressed to breathtaking astrological images of the cosmos for the latter half.
A monumental moment of the evening is when Dr. Narinder Kapany, the Father of Fiber Optics, graced the stage with his keynote speech. During his 15-minute address to the crowd, he talked about his life journey, scientific inventions and breakthroughs, successful business ventures, his philosophy on philanthropy and much more. He was truly inspirational and the crowd honoured him with a standing ovation. Kapany had flown in from California to be present at the Darpan’s Awards, and he recently graced the Cover of our Sept/Oct issue.
The moment that everyone was waiting for – the Awards! Ten outstanding individuals were recognized with a Darpan Extraordinary Achievement Award in 10 diverse categories. A video clip introduced the winners and their life stories to the audience, followed by the winners making their way to the stage, where they were presented with the stunning Darpan Award, designed by award-winning craftsmen. The award recipients then took to the podium and concluded with short, but motivational speeches of gratitude.
The Shiamak dancers brilliantly concluded the festivities, and took guests on a journey from the black and white era of the Indian film fraternity to the glorious heights it has reached today. The audience was not only mesmerized by the superb energy of the entire team, but stood up and danced along with the dancers. Madhavji thanked all the sponsors, event contributors, advertisers and readers, thus concluding the formal festivities.
Overall, the night brilliantly showcased glamour, fashion, entertainment and of course, the valued award recipients. Each year, Darpan seeks to infuse motivation and determination amongst individuals to go beyond the ordinary, by recognizing those who have achieved the extraordinary. Like the previous three Awards, the 4th annual Extraordinary Achievement Awards celebrated the achievement and success of the South Asian community on a grand stage. Darpan Magazine and its team will proudly continue its endeavour of honouring those who embody the extraordinary!