Arts & Culture Initiative of South Asia (ACISA) is a non- profit organization with a vision to:
Promote cross cultural understanding with the aim to bringing a diverse community together in celebration of life, culture, art and tradition.
- To promote the diversity of South Asian art forms by showcasing local artistes and providing them with an opportunity to present their work to a wide range of audience (Non South Asians & South Asians)
- To break cultural barriers and encourage participation, allowing all communities from Brampton to experience the different forms of South Asian Arts and culture
- To showcase South Asian heritage as it continues to evolve imbibing the cultural values of Canada
- To communicate key messages that share the philosophy of diversity with residents of Brampton
Vibrant Brampton, Visual Arts of South Asia-Arts Festival (V.A.S.A) and META Brampton – Digital Arts Music & Media Festival, focus on promoting cross cultural understanding, which is critical for the success of multiculturalism that is one of the cornerstones of the Canadian constitution and growth of economy. Cultural expressions are tangible in the form of art, literature, music, dance, theatre, film, storytelling etc. Such manifestations can also be of economic value. Projects such as Vibrant Brampton,Visual Arts of South Asia-Arts Festival (V.A.S.A) and META Brampton – Digital Arts Music & Media Festival are not only harbingers of social development, but also bring economic value to local business community. Here’s how we aim to achieve this.
- Promote local talents – will provide a free platform for up and coming artistes to showcase their talents;
- Grow community pride – by showcasing traditional and fusion art forms, we create an inclusive platform for advancement, support and respect for art, artists and the community; we create cross cultural understanding to grow community pride;
- Strengthen civic engagement – by engaging local residents and newcomers in our communities, we help them integrate into the Canadian multicultural way of life; and create communities which are stronger and connected with each other;
- Celebrate the spirit of diversity – by showcasing the diverse South Asian culture, we embrace the uniqueness and bring out the similarities that help unite people;
- Increase attendees and tourist visitation and expenditures by bringing in performers Canadian and International, with huge fan following that spend money at various local establishments and will provide an economic boost ;
- Targeting people from neighbouring cities, from cities like Ottawa and Montreal, South Asian arts lovers from USA and our strong west coast South Asian population e.g. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Surrey and Vancouver will help in growing the Ontario economy. This will also enhance and strengthen Brampton and Ontario tourism brand image in Canadian and International markets
Board of Directors
Arpan Banerjee – Founding Director
Besides managing mega projects for an IT company, Arpan has a passion in the field of events and entertainment worldwide. He has his pulse on the latest production and technological breakthroughs in the entertainment industry and constantly innovates and experiments with new technologies. He has been closely involved in producing mega events in India, besides being involved with TIFF and South Asian festivals in Canada.
Ricky Bajaj – Founding Director
An active member within the media community in Canada, Ricky has spearheaded and managed several mega corporate events, as well as lending his strategic foresight for some of the company’s biggest brand launches and corporate events. Ricky heads the Sales and Marketing Team as well as the Corporate and Brand Activation business. He is also on board of directors for various South Asian festivals in Canada as well as works with various immigrant service providers in organizing Internationally Educated Professional (IEP) conferences & fairs all across the nation.
Sandeep Prabhakar – Founding Director
Sandeep is the driving force behind Vibrant. His experience in the entertainment industry is immense. With an experience of 16 years in advertising, marketing and organizing events in the ethnic communities for 10 years, has given Sandeep the expertise to gauge the needs of the South Asian community and how to integrate the community members in the events being organized. Since 2003 have been organizing numerous musical dance, talent hunts and dinner nights for various occasions.
Aparna Rangnekar – Director, Visual Arts
In a career spanning over two decades, Aparna Rangnekar has created dynamic paintings exploring form and texture through various mediums. She is known for her use of vibrant colours and bold textures to create striking compositions that have a childlike simplicity encouraging playfulness in life. Her murals in the community have been described as “conveying joy and happiness”. In addition to being a Muralist and an Art Educator. Aparna is also engaged in various art activities including facilitating community art projects in Milton for the Ontario Culture Days.
Anthony Tirado – Director of Multicultural Artist Procurement
Bronx, New York born, Anthony Tirado is a gifted latin dance artist based out of Brampton, Ontario and the founder of Neo’s House of Movement. Since joining the ACISA group, he has been creatively developing a way to fuse Cuban Salsa and Bollywood together to create more stories through culture and dancing.
Nav Nanwa is a media personality and culture curator based in the Peel Region. He previously was a producer/host for Rogers TV Peel for almost four years. He is a prominent event emcee within the GTA having hosted various functions ranging from music festivals to political town-halls with the Premier. In 2017, he was recognized by the Brampton Board of Trade as one of Brampton’s ‘Top 40 Under 40″ for his various business accolades and contributions to the community.
He will be leveraging both his creative muscle and his love for the arts in his role as the programming curator for META Brampton this year.
We regularly see Annie putting her different talents to use, as a television interviewer, photographer, emcee, media/communications director and as an event consultant. Her voice is well recognized through her work in the South Asian community, in her role as a host for local and international events. It has also been used in ads and films in India and Canada. Established in 2016, the GTA South Asian Media Network has developed a reputation for expertise in Media Relations, PR and Promotion of those in the arts, media and entertainment industries, as well as in Marketing and Community Outreach. The working brand, Annie J Koshy – Media Consultant, is a triple award winner and has a vast network, both within the South Asian as well as the mainstream communities and has the leverage to develop meaningful associations amongst individuals, businesses and within the media fraternity. More information can be found at www.anniejkoshy.com
Japinder Kaur, known as the youngest Bollywood Director and renowned Fashion Designer, has her production house and fashion label running across the globe. Born in Dubai and now settled in Toronto, she adorns many hats of being a TV Presenter, Writer, Painter and a magazine Editor too. Her sense of style and social presence also makes her a popular influencer who walks the Cannes Red Carpet every year for prestigious fashion brands.
Originally from India, Peeyush is a well-known name in Downtown Brampton. Serving as a chair for downtown Brampton BIA, Peeyush envisioned an idea of bringing together several festivals in this area and successfully implemented it during his tenure. A successful businessman, Peeyush is married and has 2 children.
Innovative brand specialist with over 10 years experience, Harpreet has worked with diverse clientele in 10 countries. A creative brand strategist, she specializes in digital and visual media. Passionate about traveling and yoga, she runs multiple blogs on lifestyle and technology.
Sharon has a degree in Music and one in Education, has produced over 35 productions in the Brampton and surrounding area and jumped at the chance to support ACISA in this endeavor. While her passion is really as a vocalist, creator and musical director, she tends to end up often participating in larger initiatives in some support or production facilitator. Sharon is particularly excited to have met and become acquainted with all of her new colleagues at Vibrant Brampton and is excited to have fostered a new artistic relationship with hopes of new ventures to come. Sharon has been giving back her talent and passion for the arts for most of her adult life but began to contribute significantly to the arts in Brampton at the age of 25, over 30 years ago. She took over as President of BMT in 2012 when the organization was near collapse as has revived it into a thriving successful pillar of artistic leadership in the community in Brampton and of this she is extremely proud. She is also the interim chair of the newly form Brampton Arts Coalition Committee, committed to reviving the Brampton Arts Council and equally committed to a stronger force for the arts in the city of Brampton. She continues to give back to her community in memory of her late son Keerin John Reid 1994-2017, gone too soon. This one’s for you son.
She is the founder and teacher at Mudra school of dance, currently imparting instruction to students of all age and levels across GTA and Winnipeg and has been trained in Kathak(Indian Classical Dance) for over 20 yrs. A Nritya Visharad from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya (India), she has performed at various events across Canada, UK and India. Pooja ‘s vision is to impart disciplined and structured training in Kathak. She is very well connected in the classical art community and has been collaborating with various artist across Canada for events and performances.
Kamil Mytnik – Multimedia Designer
Kamil works as a graphic designer, photographer, front end web developer and sometimes tackles video editing.
Safi Nomani – Graphic Designer
Safi has a ton of experience in Graphic designing. He has worked across the Globe including with leading media companies in Middle East and Canada. He now runs his own creative studio in Toronto.
Mika Parial – Graphic Designer
Mika Parial is a second year Graphic Design undergraduate student at Ontario College of Art and Design University. She enjoys creating design that not only talks about a user’s personal experience but can connect widely with others through design. During her off-time, she likes playing with her dogs and patting their head.
Itina Bajaj – Volunteer Coordinator
Itina is a student at the University of Toronto. She enjoys working with people of all ages and devotes her free time to volunteer with several non-profit organizations across the GTA. Her passions include, teaching/education, dancing, and makeup artistry.
Ambuja Banerjee – VASA Arts Festival Coordinator
Ambuja’s passion to advocate for intercultural understanding and to celebrate diversity has played an instrumental role in the success of ACISA since its inception five years ago. Although Ambuja is a graduate student at the University of Toronto, she is constantly seeking out avenues to cultivate unity in the community through her involvement with ACISA, William Osler Health System, SciHigh and many more educational and cultural programs in the GTA region.”