TORONTO - Marking ten years of success, a Toronto Muslim festival has attracted Muslims, politicians and artists, celebrating a diverse and proud Canadian Muslim community.
Congratulations on celebrating the festival's 10th year, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a support message sent to MuslimFest and cited by OnIslam.net.
This festival is an opportunity for Ontarians of all heritages to experience Muslim culture in all its vibrancy.
It is also an ideal occasion for the Muslim community to celebrate their identity and achievements, and to strengthen the bonds that keep them together, added Premier Wynne.
MuslimFest, now in its 10th year, featured over 50 local and international artists, concerts, stand-up comedy shows, workshops, film screenings, and art exhibits.
A multicultural bazaar and an outdoor children's carnival and fun-village' were also held during the festival.
Some highlights of the two-day festival included performances by local Canadian favorite, Dawud Wharnsby, and vocal artist, Junaid Jamshed, from Pakistan.
South African performer, Zain Bhikha, was also among attendants at the event in addition to Anas Sayed and hip-hop group Native Deen.
An up-and-coming Canadian teen group, Mustaqeem, captivated the audience with their renditions of popular nasheeds.
Attendees were also entertained by the juggling and laser show of Bob Cates, and a special 10th anniversary presentation.
A poetry show titled, Voices and Shadows', featured performances about social justice and self expression by Amal Al Baz, Sofia Baig, Gaith Adhami, and Brother Dash.
The festival concluded on a high note with a comedy show that showcased talented comedians Waseem Moe'Money, Omar Regan, and Aman Ali.
The event attracted over 25,000 participants including Toronto politicians who praised it for showcasing the province's diversity and promoting understanding among citizens.
Ontario greatest strength is our diversity, said Premier Wynne in her message.
We embrace our multiculturalism, strive for authentic dialogue and seek genuine mutual understanding.
Today, our diversity is an inspiration to countries around the world.
Launched in 2004, Muslimfest is a joint initiative of DawaNet, Young Muslims Canada, and Sound Vision.
It aims to connect with the broader community through the language of art, humor, and meaningful entertainment.
The success of Muslimfest this year sets the stage for next year when the popular event will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary.
Over the past 10 years, it has been expanded to two days and moved to the city's public outdoor square, Celebration Square, where it attracts more than 25,000 visitors each year.
The festival was chosen by Festival and Events Ontario (FEO) as one of the top 100 festivals in the province in 2013.
Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country's statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada's Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade - from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.
Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada's total population.
A recent survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net