Founded in November 1973, the India-Canada Society (ICS) is a secular non-profit organization devoted to upholding the rich social and culture heritage of Indians of South Asian origins, contribute to the enrichment of Canadian life and culture and championing the social and cultural interests of the Indo-Canadian community.
The Society holds a number of events for its members. Among these are annual picnics, formal
dinners and informal social get-togethers. It has also organized Indian language classes for children an
d cultural functions spanning music programs to major drama productions of such classics from Indian literature as “Meghadutam” (Cloud Messenger) written by Kalidasa.
India-Canada Society has a rich history of engaging actively both in policy making as well as public education, to promote such universal causes such as cultural diversity, community harmony, human rights, and nonviolence. For example, the Society played an active part in the establishment of a human rights committee during the mid-seventies. This committee was the first of its kind in the country and it included representatives from the regional police, the church, community leaders and government. The committee’s work and interest in the fight against racism generated significant civic awareness on the issue, eventually leading to the formation the Mayor’s Race Relations Committee.
ICS and the Gandhi Peace Festival
India-Canada Society started the Annual Mahatma Gandhi Peace Festival in 1993, a year before Gandhi’s 125th birth anniversary. It is now a co-sponsor of the Festival with the Centre for Peace Studies, McMaster University. Over the years the Gandhi Peace Festival has grown to become a cultural icon of the city, drawing participants from various cultural backgrounds and walks of life. The Society feels privileged to be working together with many groups in the community to promote the culture of peace as a counterpoint to the culture of conflict.