Mississauga Ontario 43° 34' 44" N, 79° 39' 30" W Festival Group
Mosaic Festival also known as Mosaic - South Asian Heritage Festival of Mississauga in Ontario, Canada founded by Arshad Mahmood, is North America's largest free multi-disciplinary arts festival featuring South Asian culture. CCAI's primary objective is to work towards promotion of arts and culture in the Canadian community. CCAI is governed by a 10 member board of directors. All CCAI board positions are voluntary.
The festival began in 2005 and was organized by Canadian Community Arts Initiative (CCAI) an Ontario-based non-profit organization. Asma Arshad Mahmood, a professional artist from Mississauga was the first chairperson of CCAI and Mosaic festival director. Asma stepped down as festival director after 6 years in 2011, replaced by Anupama Vittal.
The first Mosaic festival took place on May 20 and 21 2006 at Mississauga's old Civic Square. The old Civic Square was replaced by a multi-million dollar Celebration Square thanks to a government infrastructure grant. The new Square is the largest such facility in the Greater Toronto Area. The first Mosaic festival attracted almost 2,800 visitors before the organizers shut down the festival due to extremely harsh climate. The temperature had dropped to single digits with heavy rains and high winds on May 20, 2006.
Mosaic 2007 was held in June. The festival attracted over 18,000 visitors during two days. In 2008 attendance grew to 30,000, in 2009 38,000, in 2010 over 50,000 and in 2011 Mosaic attendance grew to over 60,0000 making it the largest such festival of North America.
Mosaic components include: Mississauga Talkies, Rock the Coliseum, Underground Garage Sale, VIRSA, Vendors Bazaar, South Asian Film Festival, South Asian Food Court and Nachchange Saari Raat. Mosaic added a third day in 2008 and a fourth day for Mosaic 2012 (August 16-19, 2012).
Performers have included Oliver Rajamani from Austin, Texas, SWAMI from UK, RDB and Nindy Kaur from UK, Vidha and Abhimanyu Lal from India, S W Storm, Josh, Bilz and Kashif, Ustad Irshad Ahmed Khan, Ustad Anwer Khurshid, Shahid Ali Khan and BBC Folk Voice Legendary Sayein Zahoor Ahmed from Pakistan. Shiamak's Indo Jazz Dance team closed the festival Saturday every year since 2006. Mosaic 2012 signed the seventh generation Patiala Gharana singer and Bollywood super sensation Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan as its Saturday headliner act.