TORONTO - Excitement is building among high-schoolers across Canada's largest city of Toronto for an annual Muslim interscholastic tournament.
"This weekend prepares to get Mistified!" Farah Khan, spokesperson for MIST Toronto, told OnIslam.net.
The Annual Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST Toronto) is set to open on Saturday, March 10 on the York University campus.
The three-day competition will culminate with the Awards Ceremony on March 12 at Oasis Convention Center.
"The goal of MIST is to bring high school students from all across the region to foster their creativity, promote communication, and motivate them to become leaders in their respective communities," Khan said.
"Going into its fifth year this upcoming weekend, MIST Toronto has quickly earned the reputation of becoming an educational, interactive, and captivating program amongst both students and parents."
Launched in 2001 by a freshman at the University of Houston, MIST is a fun, educational, interactive program of competitions and workshops.
It aims at bringing high school students together from around the country to develop leadership, communication, and other creative skills, all while gaining a deeper understanding of Islam and Muslims.
MIST Toronto was the first MIST region to be established outside of the United States back in 2008.
In just four years, MIST Toronto not only became the largest MIST region, but also it became the biggest Muslim high school event in North America.
"Starting out with just 80 high school students, today MIST Toronto has grown to accommodate 700 high school students from Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and the Greater Toronto Area," Khan said.
MIST Toronto currently features over 35 different competitions from Arts, Writing and Oratory, Brackets, Group Projects, Knowledge and Qur'an and Sports.
The Muslim event aims at reconnecting students to the basis of their spiritual values.
Themed "Family: Reconnecting our Hearts to Home", this year's event focuses on the role of families and the ideals of relationships with its members.
Although majority of the attendees will be the contestants, dozens of Muslim community members, industry professionals, and university and college students will be volunteering, judging, or moderating for various competitions. The winners from all 11 MIST Regions (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, South California, Toronto, and Washington DC) will qualify to complete the annual National Tournament on July 6-8 in Toronto.
"For the first time since its inception, MIST Toronto will have the opportunity to showcase its talent and its spirit to other MIST regions that have never experienced the same thrill and intensity offered by MIST Toronto," said Khan.Muslims make around 2.8 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the Roman Catholic country. A recent survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian, and that they are more educated than the general population.