For the first time ever, the IIFA Awards will travel to a North American city – to Toronto in 2011. This follows a very successful commercial visit to India by the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. News of the decision was announced by Ontario’s Prime Minister Dalton McGuinty. “With so many film buffs living in Ontario, Indian film stars and executives will feel right at home,” he said. The venture is expected to draw 500 top Bollywood players to the city, 40,000 visitors and inject over a billion pounds into the local economy.
Armin Sethi, editor of Bollywood Filmfare Canada, a magazine with a healthy circulation of 90,000 amongst Toronto’s South Asian population, which numbers around half a million, says the decision “is definitely another feather to add to the hat of Toronto’s ability to capture different ethnicities and give them adequate space to become recognized.”
The event in Toronto will be held from June 16th-19th 2011. Strangely, there is still no news on the location for the 2010 awards. An announcement is expected in January. “There are quite a few countries who have made a strong bid and tough negotiations are in progress,” said a spokesman.