Friday, June 30, 2017


6:00 PM


30 Vice Regent Blvd Toronto, M9W 7A4




We invite you to come and celebrate two very special occasions with us: Canada’s Sesquicentennial and Eid-ul Fitr!

On Friday, June 30th at Woodbine Banquet Centre, IDRF will host a lively, entertaining evening that will bring together Canadians from diverse backgrounds to commemorate 150 years of building one of the most inclusive and successful democracies in the world. As we ring in Canada’s Sesquicentennial, we will also mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan and celebrate the joyous occasion of Eid ul Fitr.

The evening will showcase beautiful performances featuring the cultures of several countries, including Persian and Indian dance presentations. These performances will reflect Canada’s rich cultural mosaic and will serve as a tribute to the peaceful and enriching co-existence of different cultures and ethnicities in our country.

Our celebrations will also raise funds for our education projects, which help vulnerable children acquire the building blocks for bright, strong futures.

Come with your family and friends and mark these two special occasions by enjoying dynamic performances, good company and delicious food in a family-friendly atmosphere. Together, we will celebrate the values that Islam and Canada hold dear: respect, inclusivity and being caring and generous towards our neighbours.


Iana Komarnytska is an award-winning dancer and choreographer based in Toronto, specializing in Middle Eastern and Central Asian dance styles. She is one of the most requested guest performers of Persian dance styles and performs at many events in the Iranian community. Over the last few years she has taught and performed in dozens of countries.


Paromita Kar holds a PhD in Dance Studies from York University (2014), and is the first to complete a doctoral degree in dance in Canada.  She is a professional classical Indian Odissi dancer, and a student of Guru Durgacharan Ranbir of Odisha, India but also performs Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Romani dances throughout Ontario and Quebec. Paromita is a recipient of numerous dancing awards. Some of her notable credits include The Canada Council of the Arts grant to Professional Dancers, The Chalmers Fellowship and The Ontario Arts Council Artist in Education (2016).

Esie Mensah

Esie Mensah is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, model and a recipient of the 2014 Black Canadian Award Winner for Best Contemporary Dancer and the 2015 recipient of the Cultural Promotion award from the Ghanaian-Canadian Association. Esie has worked with some of the industry’s biggest icons such as Rihanna, Drake, Janelle Monae, Nelly Furtado, Flo Rida, as well as Coca Cola, Luminato, TIFF, Estée Lauder, FIFA, WE DAY and more. Esie is currently the movement designer for 1837: Farmer’s Revolt directed by Philip Akin for the 57th season of Shaw Festival.

Kobena Aquaa Harrison

Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison is a prolific, multi-disciplinary artist from Ghana. Internationally respected in the arts & entertainment community, his work and awards span music, media, film, TV, dance and theatre including a Dora Mavor Moore Award, Chalmers Foundation etc. He is also Cultural Development Director at Abandze Embassy in Toronto, Canada.  @paapakobe

IDRF Education Projects



The education system in Pakistan is burdened by several hurdles: poverty, lack of safe learning environments and insufficient infrastructure, etc. prevent poor Pakistani children from achieving their potential. There is also a substantial lack of support for  children with disabilities, including deaf children.

Our education projects in Pakistan help children by providing a holistic curriculum that challenges their bodies and minds, while also providing specialized support to deaf children. IDRF is committed to improving the quality of life for orphans and disadvantaged children and youth in Pakistan by providing innovative and enriched programs of literacy to students, to enable them to achieve at their maximum potential.


The Syrian refugee children who have taken shelter reside in this country face a number of challenges to receiving quality education. In particular, during this crisis, poverty and lack of resources prevent children with disabilities from receiving the proper support and education that they need.

Through our innovative programs, children receive the support they need in the form of a community based rehabilitation approach. We provide support in and outside of the classroom, home base care for families, and referrals to specialized centres and therapists, with the aim of improve the lives of these traumatized children and bringing some assistance and hope to their anxious families.


Poverty remains a crippling force in the lives of vulnerable children, hampering their abilities to attend school, participate and achieve their potential.

Our projects seek to close this achievement gap by giving students access to good education,  providing school supplies, boarding and clothes, as well as medical care and treatment. Achieving literacy gives them the hope and potential of fulfilling their dreams.


Gazan children’s educational opportunities have been cut drastically short through eight years of a blockade that has choked their local economy and forced the community to depend on external aid to survive. International sanctions and cuts in funding to Gaza schools coupled with the region’s continuous closure has also severely impacted the skill development of teachers.

Our projects aim to alleviate this substantial knowledge deficit by providing essential remedial academic support, important psychological support to improve the mental outlook of traumatized students, enhance their academic performances and provide them with useful skills that will benefit them in their future lives.


Despite having a relatively high literacy rate, Guyana’s educational system still suffers from poor quality education due to inadequately trained staff and a high percentage of educated citizens leaving the country, further depriving the country of well-trained educators.

Through IDRF’s projects that focus on education, providing school supplies, as well as food and health care to orphans and vulnerable children and their families, we are helping them to build stronger foundations for their future.