By: Aron Anthonymuttu
Mayor John Tory is trying to bring Bollywood to the cold north as part of his trade mission.
In an announcement at the Adelaide Street office of Indian-based tech company Paytm, Tory unveiled his plans to expand Toronto’s film industry from Hollywood to Bollywood during a 10-day trade mission trip to India and Sri Lanka from March 15-24.
“Toronto already has an excellent reputation in India as a city that is welcoming to newcomers.” Tory said in a news release, “Now we need to get out and sell the benefits of doing business here in Toronto.”
Tory will be accompanied by Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta as a keynote speaker discussing Toronto as a global hub for film, television and digital media.
This trip is meant to help make overseas business less challenging for Toronto-based companies, said the Mayor’s communications spokesperson.
“Like our other business missions, the idea is to sell Toronto as an ideal location to do business and to help make that country more easier for our businesses in Toronto to export to.” said Shane Gerrard. “It’s really about making connections amongst private and public entities [in India] which the city of Toronto and the Mayor can do in a way that an individual business can’t.”
Tory will be joined by Ward 37 Councillor Michael Thompson and Ward 42 Councillor Neethan Shan. During this trip, they will take time to focus on Toronto’s budding markets in media, technology and education sectors.
Gerrard said Councilor Thompson has been to India a few times before on business missions. He also said the newly-elected Councillor Shan’s background as a Tamil made him an ideal candidate to liason with the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Toronto has the second highest Tamil-speaking population outside of Sri Lanka.
The Toronto delegation will attend over three dozen meetings in Hyerabad, Mumbai and New Delhi as well as Colombo and the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
They will also visit Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in India and visit Sri Lanka’s Northern Province most significant Hindu temple, Nallur Kandasamy temple. During the Sri Lankan diaspora, many temples in North America and Europe were built using the same name as Nallur Kandasamy temple as a cultural memory, including Toronto.
Business delegations that will also take part of this trip with Toronto is Lionheart Entertainment, Ryerson University, Seneca College, Paytm, among others.