In a peacock-themed room, guests wearing brightly coloured outfits watch as members of the Maritime Bhangra Group take the stage. Showcasing a traditional Punjabi dance, the group of three entertains the crowd with an energetic and lively performance of synchronized dance moves.
Saturday’s second annual Bollywood Night kicked off at the Westin Hotel in Halifax in support of the IWK Health Centre and IWK Foundation. The event included a photo booth, a sit-down dinner featuring Indian cuisine and performances by the Maritime Bhangra Group and dancer Chandni Sehgal.
“It’s really about Bollywood. But, in my mind, it’s more about just elegant East Indian culture. It’s about the food. It’s about the clothes,” says event organizer Kavita Khanna.
Om and Meena Khanna founded the fundraiser in Truro three years ago. Since last year, their son, Sanjay Khanna, a member of the IWK Foundation’s board of trustees, and his wife, Kavita, took over and brought the event to Halifax.
Meena Khanna “wanted to do something for the community,” her husband says. “We had been part of the community for such a long time, so we thought we would do some social work, some kind of contribution to the community.”
After raising almost $10,000 last year, Kavita Khanna hopes Saturday’s fundraiser will generate between $15,000 and $16,000 from sponsors, ticket sales and a silent auction.
“It’s a very rewarding experience,” she says. “Nothing ever felt this good. Never have I ever felt this good working this hard for something.”
“It’s absolutely amazing,” adds IWK Foundation trustee Sue Stanfield.
“It combines the importance of the work of the IWK along with some culture. That is so important to Nova Scotia as a region.”