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May 4, 2010
Toronto celebrating May as Asian and South Asian Heritage Month
Mayor David Miller has proclaimed the month of May as Asian and South Asian Heritage Month in Toronto to honour, showcase and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of people of Asian and South Asian heritage, and to pay tribute to them and the organizations that contribute to the social, cultural, economic and political life of our city.

Immigrants from Asia currently constitute the largest source of immigration to Toronto. Asian and South Asian Heritage Month provides an opportunity to learn about the experiences of people of Asian and South Asian heritage and the vital role they have played throughout our shared history.

The City of Toronto is collaborating with the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC-TO) and the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) on this annual heritage program, which will include a panel discussion and information displays at Toronto City Hall. Programs provided by these agencies can be found at and

A panel discussion on the theme “Working toward Systemic Change” will be held in Committee Room 3 at Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St. W.) at 3 p.m. on May 20, followed by a reception. Information displays will be featured in the Toronto City Hall Rotunda from May 17 to 21.

Throughout May, the Toronto Public Library is featuring Asian and South Asian Heritage, with programs at branches throughout the city. Details:

Official recognition of South Asian Heritage month came in 2001 when the Ontario Government declared May 5 South Asian Arrival Day to observe the earliest recorded arrival of South Asians - on May 5, 1838.

In 2001, the Canadian Senate proposed Asian Heritage Month as a tribute to the contributions made by Canadians of Asian heritage. Details:

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America . Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto 's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contacts:
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Manager, Diversity Management and Community Engagement, City Manager’s Office, 416-392-6824,
Winnie Ng Falkenstein, Diversity Management and Community Engagement Consultant, City Manager’s Office, 416-397-0929,



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