ArohaFest — celebrating the arts of India in Canada


ArohaFest — celebrating the arts of India in Canada

Date(s) - Saturday, August 12 - Sunday, August 13
All Day

Shenkman Arts Centre

On August 12 and 13th the National Capital Region will play host to ArohaFest: a celebration of the arts of India in Canada. The first fully bilingual festival celebrating the arts of India to be held in Canada will feature not only on-stage performances but also a full weekend of scheduled workshops, classes, and demonstrations.

ArohaFest is organized by Anjali Patil and her company Aroha Fine Arts of Stittsville. Anjali is not only one of Canada’s foremost Kathak dancers and choreographers but also is founder and artistic director of Aroha Fine Arts, a not-for-profit dance organization dedicated to excellence in professional classical Indian dance.

ArohaFest is being presented at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans, running from midafternoon through the evening on Saturday and Sunday in the afternoon.

“There is going to be something for everyone,” Patil says, “Over two days we will blow open the doors of the Shenkman Arts Centre – welcoming and drawing in audiences with live music, dance, visual arts and culinary treats. All events will be free and allow residents the opportunity to both participate in the arts of India through hands on participatory workshops, demonstrations, classes and to take advantage of world class performances of professional artists. We want to get all of Ottawa moving!”

Workshops, classes and demonstrations will be free with no registration required. There will also be an art exhibition featuring the work of Indo-Canadian artists and there will even a chance for audience members to indulge in the flavours of India at food stalls set up from some of Ottawa’s finest restaurants.

On-stage performances will feature a variety of performers, from Canada and India. These will include Bageshree Vaze, a high energy singer named a “rising star” by MTV India; Sujata Mohapatra, a stunning Odissi dancer who has performed around the world; Aishwarya Vijaykumar, an Ottawa based Bharatanatayam dancer and Artistic Director of Sadhana School of Indian Arts; Mushfiq Hashimi, a true renaissance man master of Indian classical music, an accomplished painter and calligrapher, an actor and former professor of Kabul University; and finally Anjali Patil herself with her company of extraordinary dancers.
“On the occasion of Canada’s 150th Birthday I wanted to offer ArohaFest to provide an opportunity for as many as possible to have exposure to all kinds of the arts of India in a friendly, inviting atmosphere. That’s why we’ve worked so hard to keep activities free and why there are participatory activities like the workshops in addition to the professional performances.” Patil says.

ArohaFest is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada 150 program in celebration of the sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

While all events are free and residents are encouraged to come down to the Shenkman Arts Centre to check out the action. Reservations for the evening programs are recommended. Free tickets to the performances can be reserved online at

Volunteers to help with ArohaFest as well as other events organized by Aroha Fine Arts are always most welcome and all volunteers are thanked with free show tickets. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the company at or by phone at 613-9865129. ArohaFest Saturday August 12, 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm Sunday August 13, 2017, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm Shenkman Arts Centre (245 Centrum Blvd.) | Tickets:

Aroha Fine Arts, based in Stittsville, is dedicated to excellence in professional classical Indian dance, specifically Kathak dance. It has presented dance presentations at the Shenkman Arts Centre as well as at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa and venues in Toronto and internationally in India.

Anjali Patil herself trained in India under renowned dance gurus and is known for her traditional and contemporary Kathak dances. She has performed at numerous dance festivals and conferences across Canada as well as in India and the United States. She has been highlighted in India’s leading dance magazine and she was recently awarded the Corel Endowment for the Arts Award by the Ottawa Arts Council.


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OttawaStart Staff

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