Acknowledgment: Original ICFC logo conceived by Ms. Sarina Anand. Redesigned and animated by Mr. Santosh Shail.
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2011 Events (in reverse chronological order)
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Speaker: Lata Pada
Founder, Director & Principal Teacher
Sampradaya Dance Centre, Toronto
Topic: In the Further Soil
(Reflections on Vitality and Achievements
of Indian Diaspora in Canada)
                                                          Ackert in Yoga

About the topic:

The words of poet laureate, Rabindranath Tagore are the inspiration for the title of my presentation:

"To study a banyan tree, you must not only know its main stem in its own soil but also trace the growth of its greatness in the further soil. For then only can you know the true nature of its vitality."

India is that great banyan tree whose roots have grown so strong and deep in Canada.  I have made Canada my home for the past 47 years and I reflect on the vitality and achievements of the Indian Diaspora in Canada.

I believe that with the maturing of our community here in Canada we must reflect on our role and contribution to Canada as well as being the conduits in forging important cultural, busines and trade links to India.  I trace my own journey in the arts and my work in building an appreciation for India’s performing arts. Parallel to my life in the arts, has been the advocacy role I played in the Air India Inquiry.

Sampradaya Dance CreationsAbout the speaker: Lata Pada is Artistic Director of SAMPRADAYA Dance Creations, an award-winning professional South Asian dance company. Originally from India, Lata has made Canada her home for the past 47 years. Lata holds a Masters in Dance from York University and is an Adjunct Professor at York University. In 2011, Lata was conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman ("Indian Diaspora Honour") by the President of India, the highest civilian honour for non-resident Indians. Lata was conferred the Order of Canada in January 2009 and holds the distinction of being the first South Asian artist to receive this award.

Under her artistic stewardship, Lata has created one of Canada’s leading, innovative and progressive dance organizations. She has initiated unique arts learning, community outreach, cultural leadership and mentorship projects for performing artists. She has trained a generation of dancers who perform professionally on international stages. Lata is an articulate speaker and workshop leader - through her art, she has served youth, new immigrants and marginalized communities.

Lata is a founding member of the South Asian Advisory Committee at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She has served on the Board of the Canadian Dance Assembly and is the Founding Member of the South Asian Dance Alliance of Canada. Lata has served on the Advisory Committees of Cultural Pluralism in the Performing Arts Movement, York University’s Fine Arts, theCanada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and the Laidlaw Foundation.

Sunday, September 18, 2011
Speaker: Jamine Ackert,
Yoga Teacher

Topic: How Yoga Works – and why it might make you healthier and happier!
                                                          Ackert in Yoga

About the topic: Jamine Ackert will be discussing how yoga is perceived and how it really is. Yoga is not a series of stretching moves, rather it is a set of directions for how to create greater inner freedom and alignment.

She will highlight some of the basic yogic teachings and show how the ancient yoga sutras of Patanjali are actually current guidelines for life in the modern world. Hopefully people will be encouraged to learn more about yoga and come at a physical practice from an internal place.

About the speaker: Jamine Ackert, originally from the United States, grew up in Toronto. She attended McGill University in Montreal where she took her first yoga classes. After university, she travelled to Asia, including India, where she studied Buddhist meditation and met Mother Teresa in Calcutta. She returned to North America and found a home at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, where she lived for over 3 years as a disciple of Yogi Amrit Desai. It was at Kripalu where she became a certified yoga teacher back in 1992, but her main job was training staff on computers and helping to run the Programs Department.

She left Kripalu and assisted their workshops in India for 3 months in 1994 at the ashram of Rajarshi Muni in a town not far from Baroda, Gujarat. She studied some yoga philosophy as well as other traditional yogas besides hatha yoga.

Jamine moved to Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in New York, where she worked as the Marketing Manager, as well as using her yoga teaching skills during the summer to lead open classes to the many guests. She continued her yoga training with teacher of Ashtanga yoga and other styles.

Moving to Ottawa in 1999, Jamine started teaching regular classes at Rama Lotus in 2001. Besides public classes, she has taught diverse groups including being a part of the Senior Police Administrators Course at the Canadian Police College, and to kids at CHEO in the Eating Disorders Program, which she continues to teach today.

Jamine has taught over a dozen yoga teacher training programs in Ottawa and recently developed a Mother-Daughter Yoga retreat, which she and her 12-year old daughter lead annually at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck.

In addition to designing and delivering yoga and stress reduction workshops, Jamine has started a company that helps people build their own apps for the iPhone and iPad, and has over 10 yoga apps in Apple’s App Store right now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011
Speaker: Dr. Veena Rawat
Past President, Communications Research Centre Canada
Topic: Telecommunications Growth in India and Partnerships with Canada
Stephen Inglis

In this talk, Dr. Veena Rawat reflected on partnership between Canada and India relating to growth of mobile communications in India and unique challenges in the provision of mobile broadband services in rural India.

Dr. Veena Rawat has been the President of the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) since 2004. The CRC, an agency of Industry Canada, is responsible for conducting applied research and development in radiocommunications, broadcasting and information technologies.

Dr. Rawat has 34 years of senior management experience with Industry Canada. Before joining CRC in 2003 as Executive Vice-President, she managed Industry Canada programs related to spectrum engineering, standards development, access to spectrum for new radio services, and technical regulatory issues for all radio services.

Dr. Rawat has extensive experience working with senior officials of Canadian and international organizations (e.g. CITEL/OAS, APT, CEPT, ITU). She has led Canadian delegations and negotiations at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, as well as CITEL, a constituent entity of the Organization of American States. In addition, she has led teams negotiating with U.S. government organizations including the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. This included co-chairing the Canada-U.S. Committee to negotiate spectrum use along the border, from the mid-nineties to 2003.

In 2003, she became the first woman to chair the World Radiocommunication (WRC) Conference of the ITU, where issues impacting billions of investment dollars in the communications industry are addressed. The Secretary-General of the ITU awarded Dr. Rawat a gold medal for her chairmanship.

Dr. Rawat has also represented Canada on a number of bilateral groups advancing joint science and technology (S&T) agendas, including the Canada-India Joint S&T Cooperation Committee. She is currently the Canadian Government R&D representative on this steering committee.

Her work has garnered her much recognition both nationally and internationally, including the Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) Woman of the Year Award, and the International Leadership in Government Award from the Wireless Communications Association International in the U.S.

Sunday, June 19, 2011
Speaker: Dr. David M. Malone

President, International Development Research Centre
Topic: Does the Elephant Dance?
Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy

About the Speaker: Dr. David M. Malone, President, International Development Research Centre and Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law

David M. Malone was appointed as President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in 2008. Prior to that, Mr. Malone served as Canada's High Commissioner to India and non-resident Ambassador to Bhutan and Nepal. He has also served as a Canadian Ambassador at the United Nations. He has published extensively on peace and security issues, in book form and in journals. He has taught at Columbia University and the University of Toronto. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor at the New York University School of Law and is a Senior Fellow of Massey College in the University of Toronto. His most recent book is The Law and Practice of the United Nations (OUP, 2008). Previously, he wrote The International Struggle Over Iraq: Politics in the UN Security Council (OUP, 2006). With two co-editors, he is currently completing a volume on the contemporary governance crisis in Nepal.

Does the
                                                          Dance?Synopsis of the talk: This talk will be about his forthcoming book "Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy.

India today looms large globally, where it hardly loomed at all twenty years ago. It is likely to be a key global actor throughout the twenty-first century and could well emerge soon as one of the top five global powers.

Does the Elephant Dance? seeks to survey the main features of Indian foreign policy. It identifies elements of Indian history relevant to the topic; examines the role therein of domestic politics and internal and external security challenges, and of domestic and international economic factors; and in successive chapters delves into the specifics of India's policy within its South Asian neighbourhood, and with respect to China, the USA, West Asia (the Middle East), East Asia, Europe and Russia, and multilateral diplomacy. It also touches on Indian ties to Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. India's "soft power", the role of migration in its policy, and other cross-cutting issues are analyzed, as is the role and approach of several categories of foreign policy actors in India. Substantive conclusions close out the volume, and touch, inter alia, on policies India may want or need to change in its quest for international stature.

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Speaker: Dr. Roseann O'Reilly Runte

President & Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

Topic: Carleton University's
Canada-India Centre for Excellence
Synopsis: Dr. Roseann Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University, will speak about Carleton University's partnerships and initiatives under the Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy and our collaboration with the Indian High Commission in celebration of The Year of India in Canada 2011 activities.

Dr. Roseann
                                                          RunteAbout the Speaker: Dr. Roseann Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University, obtained her MA and PhD from the University of Kansas. She has previously served as president of l'Université Sainte-Anne, principal of Glendon College, president of Victoria University and of Old Dominion University.

Dr. Runte is the author of numerous scholarly works in the fields of French and comparative literature and has written extensively on economic and cultural development, higher education and the importance of research.  In addition, she is a creative writer and has received a prize in poetry from the Académie française. 

Dr. Runte has been awarded the Order of Canada and the French Order of Merit and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has also been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Palmes Académiques and several awards for her work on the environment and for community and national service. In addition, Dr. Runte holds a number of honorary degrees.

Dr. Runte has served on numerous boards and commissions in both Canada and the United States. She was president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, president of the Humanities Federation of Canada, a member of the advisory board of the National Library of Canada, EXPO 2000 and the Associated Medical Services, an Ontario-based health charity, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. She was also chair of the Board of the Foundation for International Training, a non-profit development services agency, vice-chair of the Board of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto, member of the Virginia Commission for Industry and Economic Development and the Virginia Shipbuilding Integration Center. She currently serves on the advisory board of SunGard SGT and the board of the National Bank of Canada.

Dr. Runte took up her duties at Carleton University on July 1, 2008.