Year of India 2011 in Canada (YOI): Pursuant to the announcement made by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada in November 2009 in New Delhi, Prime Minister Stephan Harper officially inaugurated Year of India on March 4, 2011, at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. Among the Indian dignitaries who officiated at various Year of India events included Ms. PreneetKaur, Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr. D. Purandeswari, Minister of State (HRD), Mr. ArunMaira, Member, Planning Commission, Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Mr. ArjunMunda, Chief Minister of Nagaland, Mr. Neiphiu Rio, and Mr. Suresh Prabhu, former Minister of Power.
Over a hundred events were held across Canada on the occasion. India’s rich, diverse and vibrant culture was presented through dance, music, drama, fine arts, literature, cuisine, films and Bollywood. In Addition to this cultural munificence, Year of India became a celebration of the extensive and rapidly growing relationship between India and Canada in virtually all areas. For the first time ever a Higher Education Summit followed by an Innovation Summit was held in Ottawa under the Year of India umbrella. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, a major diaspora event, was inaugurated in Toronto by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston. An India Trade Show with the participation of over 150 engineering goods manufacturers from India was organised in Toronto. The grand finale to a very successful Year of India was provided by the Diwali celebrations in Ottawa which was graced by the Canadian Prime Minister Harper Stephen, his senior colleagues and other dignitaries. The High Commission of India, Ottawa issued a publication in an effort to capture the highlights of Year of India 2011.