Canada, April 21 : After about a four-month-long wait, Henry mesmerised the Canadian audience at the Henry Nite in Canara Kala Saanz - 2009 at the Living Art Center's Hammerson hall, the state of the art theatre in Mississauga on Sunday, April 19th 2009.
It was a stupendous show which rekindled a keen interest and respect for the Konkani language among the North American Mangaloreans. It is the fervent desire of the organisers of the event to keep the flag of Konkani flying in Canada, which was hoisted by the Konkan Kogul Wilfy Rebimbus in 2005.
The event was the first ever performance by Henry D'Souza who mesmerized 800 plus of his fans who came from many states of America and different provinces of Canada. Henry D'Souza sang immortal numbers along with other local Konkani singers- Gerry D'Mello, Wilson D'Souza, Oscar Nazareth, Anita Prabhu, Sheila Castelino, Lara Rebello & Louisa Pais with superb music by Joyson D'Souza & his troupe.
The evening commenced with the National anthem of both India and Canada played magnificently by a Multi media presentation.
Flavian Pinto the organiser & Main Sponsor of the show introduced Shri Henry D'Souza with a glimpse of his profile. He then handed over the floor to Mr. Donald Alva who compered the rest of the show with his impeccable Konkani language.
The maiden appearance of Henry D'Souza started with a heartfelt rendition of his new song "Jai Canada" which was composed exclusively for his Canadian fans. Henry kept the audience in awe throughout the afternoon as he delivered a myriad of his immortal hits such as "Ye Ye Kathrina", "Ami Dogi Sezara", "Sylvia", "Bombay Shehar" and many others.
The excitement of the evening heightened with hilarious comedy skits performed by Flavian Pinto, Fr. Henry Alva, Max Mendes, Austin Prabhu, Vijay Dante, Wilson D'Souza, Peter D'Souza & Precilla D'Cunha along with a newly integrated Goan Skit performed by goan artists Jr. Menezes, Sera Barbosa & A.C. Pereira. The talented actors kept the audience in stitches of laughter providing them with a comic relief throughout the afternoon.
The glitter & glamour of the show was enhanced by participation of young dancers for the song Bombay Shehar performed by Vinisha & Clarissa D'Souza, Shaina Mendes, Samantha & Savanna Goveas, Oliver Mathias, Sid Pereira & Melden Pereira, the dance was choreographed by Vinisha D'Souza. For the Jatkas & matkas of the song Chonevalli was well performed by the pair Oliver Mathias & Crystal Lobo, choreographed by Zinnia Mathias.
At regular intervals there were short commercial jingles performed live by our very own young artists Oliver Mathias, Crystal Lobo & Shaina Mendes.
There was a surprise vote of congratulations for Ligori and Eliza D'souza who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on this very day. They were blessed and gifted with a plaque by Rev.Fr. Henry Alva. The audience cheered for the Golden Couple on this happy occasion.
Posthumous awards were given to the invaluable contribution by our Konkani brethren. Miriam Pinto, in her speech spoke about the contributions of these remarkable individuals. The awards were given to Mr. & Mrs. Henry & Rose Castelino who were the pioneers that came to Canada four decades ago and helped many new immigrants and initiated series of programs and networking partnership to keep the community together. Mr. Herbert Lobo for his contribution to Konkani and his future vision towards revival of Konkani culture in Canada. Dr. Sheela Basrur the renowned Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Health for her dedication and hard work during the SARS outbreak in 2003. The members of the Organising committee Irene Mathias, Nancy Mendes & Vijay Dante respectively presented a plaque to the families of these celebrated figures.
The Felicitation Ceremony was commenced by Nancy Mendes, inviting prominent Konkani and other dignitaries on stage one of which was Mr. Ted Opitz the representative of Mr. Jason Kenny minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism. Mr. Ted Opitz addressed the community and read out the Minister's greeting, he then presented the greetings to Max Mendes, President of Canara World Foundation Inc.
Shri Henry D'Souza was bestowed with the 'Canara Kala Sanketh' Award by Max Mendes. Ms. Melissa Bhagat- Personal Advisor to Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and who represents the Indo-Christian community in Ontario was gifted with a bouquet by Miriam Pinto for her support to Konkani and the community.
Henry D'Souza addressed his fans and said that performing in Canada was an epitome of the fruit of his service to the mother tongue Konkani. He also Congratulated & thanked the Organisers for making this feat achievable. He praised his fans for coming in such large numbers in a North American country where the denomination of the Konkani people was minuscule compared to Indian and other countries where he performed.
Canara World Foundation initiated a new program - 'Excellence in Education Award' to recognise the achievements in education of the youth. Paul Mathias presided the proceedings of this ceremony and the award was bagged by Merwyn Rosario in the senior category & presented by Martin Menezes and Vinisha D'Souza in the intermediate category presented by Ivan D'Lima.
The event was flawless due to the able management of multi media presenter Stanley Pereira & Upasana Singh. Backstage management was coordinated by Zinnia Mathias, Nilufer D'Souza and sound & light control by Michael Serrao.
The jam-packed program closed with the vote of thanks from Max Mendes and a harmonious rendition of "Ami Dogi Sezara" by Henry D'souza with an impromptu dance by the Organising committee, volunteers, artists & singers.
All in all Henry Nite in Canada was a magnanimous show by any standards, thanks to the Star of the evening Shri. Henry D'Souza, generous sponsors, multi media presenters, musicians, Artists, dancers, volunteers, media partners: www.canaraworld.com, www.daijiworld.com & www.mangalorean.com the audience.
It was a memorable night where the Konkani community in North America, truly came together to share in their art forms, culture and traditions by putting their God given talents to great use.