Canadian South Asian Literary Festival 2023

The first ever Canadian South Asian Literary Festival happened in Brampton successfully during August 25-27, 2023. The High Commissioner of India H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma and Consul General of India to Toronto Mr. Siddhartha Nath inaugurated Nalanda Awards Ceremony and the festival. “Nalanda Awards could be a future’s another Booker Prize for Literature”, said The High Commissioner of India to Canada. Speaking to Awards’ ceremony, Indian Consul General in Toronto emphasized Toronto’s importance on having such a multicultural event. There were in depth discussions on issues such as South Asian Literature outside South Asia, Canadian Landscape for South Asian Writers, Revisiting the legacy of Iconic Canadian South Asian Writers, Revisiting South Asian Peace Possibilities, South Asian Poetic Sensibilities in Canada, and Society’s well-being by South Asian Writers. The festival also arranged Kashmiri Writers’ Conclave, Bengali Writers’ Conclave, Punjabi Writers’ Conclave and Sindhi Writers’ Conclave. Prominent South Asian origin writers such as Anubha Mehta, Ashfaq Hussain, Ujjal Dosanjh, Sam Mukherjee, Irfan Sattar, Meena Chopra, Barrister Hamid Bashani, Silmy Abdullah, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Aruna Papp, Sumaiya Matin, Ajaib Singh Chatha, Dr Sunil Sharma, Subrata Das, Surjit Kaur, Hasan Mujtaba, Manoshi Chatterji, Vidya Dhar, Juss Kaur, Shailja Saksena, Kushal Mehra and many others participated in it. Also 21 Nalanda Awards were given to promising literary figures. The multilingual, multi-session, mega event proved to be a critical success in terms of serious and engaging conversations on books and literature. The festival spanned continents and cultures and writing systems encoded in the rich South Asian traditions, in the context of their host country Canada. There were also a poetry symposia in Punjabi, Hindi, Sindhi, Bengali, Urdu, Kashmiri and English. The flavours were enchanting! “It was an overall fruitful and productive exercise,” says Tahir Gora, also the CEO of Tag TV, main sponsor of the Fest, “We could conduct meaningful conversations on identities, geographies, linguistic and literary heritage of the writers coming from South Asia and hope to take forward this legacy in coming years through the support of authors and readers alike here. South Asian diaspora is strong and so is their contribution to the Canadian landscape. Diversity is the key term.” Nalanda Awards were given to the literary figures for their singular achievements.
  1. Best Author – Ujjal Dosanjh
  2. Best Novelist – Anubha Mehta
  3. Lifetime Achievement for Urdu Literature – Ashfaqe Hussain
  4. Best Contemporary Poet – Irfan Sattar
  5. Best Kashmiri Author – Hamid Bashani
  6. Best South Asian Non-Fiction Author – Ishtiaq Ahmed
  7. Best Research Author – Dheeraj Sharma
  8. Best Autobiographer – Aruna Papp
  9. Best contributor for Punjabi Language – Ajaib Singh Chatha
  10. Best Canadian Bengali Author – Subrata Kumar Das
  11. Best Hindi Poet – Meena Chopra
  12. Best Online Literary Magazine – SETU
  13. Best Literary Graphic Designer – Shivam Lakhanpal
  14. Best Literary Art Author – Juss Kaur
  15. Best Literary Activist – Vidya Dhar
  16. Best Sindhi Poet – Hasan Mujtaba
  17. Best Punjabi Poet – Surjit Kaur
  18. Best Literary Anchor – Dr Shailja Saksena
Nālandā Āwārds is an initiative of Canadian South Asian Literary Festival that would go to best fiction and non-fiction writers. The contributors of Nālandā Āwārds are of Bharati origin. They shall be establishing the value and the credibility of the Nālandā Āwārds parallel to international awards such as Oscars and Booker Prize etc in coming years. The name Nālandā comes from the ancient centre of knowledge from India.
Our Festival Program

Canadian South Asian Festival

August 26-27, 2023
Free Food and Free Entry Just send us an email for registration

Gala Music & Dinner Night

Jazz & Sitar Music



Friday, August 25, 6:00 PM - 12:00 PM
Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 90 Biscayne Crescent, Brampton.

2 Day Festival as Follows:

2 Vegetarian Lunches and 1 Mushaira Vegetarian Dinner are free. We expect 4000 – 5000 Spectators.

Special Guests:

50 Panlists

40 Poets

$10-20K cash literary awards will be given to best writers in best poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Festival Day 1

Saturday, August 26, 09:30 AM – 10:00 PM

Includes Awards, Mushaira / Kavi Darbar – Veg Dinner

Century Gardens Recreation Centre Brampton

Festival Day 2

Saturday, August 26, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Brainstorming Interactive Sessions Books on Cash Sale in our Book Fair
Century Gardens Recreation Centre Brampton

Media Gallery

Nalanda Awards’ Night at Canadian South Asian Literary Festival
Panel #1
South Asian’s Literary Contributions in Canada-Ajaib Singh Chatha, Ashfaque Hussain,Ishtiaq Ahmed

Panel #2

Canadian Landscape for South Asian Writers – Anubha Mehta, Subrata Kumar Das, Baldev Mutta

Panel #3

Bengalis in CanLit – Silmy Abdullah, Sam Mukherjee, Sumaiya Matin, Sreyoshi Bose

Panel #4

Revisiting the legacy of Iconic Canadian SouthAsianWriters-Ujjal Dosanjh,Juss Kaur,Aruna Papp

Panel #5

Canadian Bengali Writers’ Conclave -Sujit Kusum Paul, Chayan Das, Jakaria & Tasmina Khan

Panel #6

The Future of Kashmir? Kashmiri Writers’ Conclave – Hamid Bashani, Vidya Dhar&Ishtiaq Ahmed

Panel #7

Is Kashmir the gateway of South Asia’s Peace Possibilities? Ishtiaq Ahmed & Hamid Bashani

Panel #8

Punjabi Writers’ Conclave in Canadian South Asian Literary Festival 2023

Panel #9

SouthAsian Poetic Sensibilities in Canada-Meena Chopra,Irfan Sattar,Shailja Saksena

Panel #10

Sindhi Writers’ Conclave in Canadian South Asian Literary Festival 2023

Panel #11

South Asian Women Abuses in Canada – reflect SA Writers,JagTakhar,ArunaPapp,ParmSran

Contact Us

Sunday, August 27, 2:30 PM Mainstream South Asian Languages in Canadian Literary Land

2355 Derry Road East, Unit 35, Mississauga, Ontario – L5S 1V6
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