On Sunday, June 25, 2023, the Community Day celebration took place in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Toronto marking an important event for BAPS in Canada. The Hon. Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport for Canada; Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario; Shri Sanjay Kumar Verma, High Commissioner of India to Canada; and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, kicked off the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of BAPS Community Service in Canada.
The day recognized the growth of BAPS Canada over the past 50 years, the impact BAPS activities and volunteers have had while supporting the community, and the impact felt by well-wishers. The story of BAPS in Canada began in 1974 when His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj first visited the country. While there were only a handful of devotees at the time, their desire to serve their communities was strong. Over the years, Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj visited Canada more than 20 times to foster the community's growth and its activities. Today, this humble beginning has evolved into a nationally recognized charitable organization, with thousands of volunteers serving individuals and families in over 25 centres across Canada.
Videos and speeches given by the dedicated volunteers highlighted the growth of BAPS from a small community to a nation-wide organization dedicated to serving others. These presentations were followed by a panel discussion with senior volunteers from BAPS, who highlighted their experiences from participating in many of the BAPS activities.
Following the panel discussion, senior BAPS swamis provided guidance on maintaining a positive community spirit and treating everyone with mutual respect. Their wisdom and teachings added depth and perspective to the event, emphasizing the importance of unity and seeing good in all.
Throughout the celebration, various incidents were shared with the attendees, highlighting the inspiration and vision Pramukh Swami Maharaj provided directly to devotees and Mahant Swami Maharaj's immense admiration for the volunteers committed to serving others.
The Community Day event was graced by many esteemed guests who recognized and appreciated the valuable contributions of BAPS volunteers to society. 
The special guests included: 
  • The Hon. Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport for Canada
  • Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
  • Shri Sanjay Kumar Verma, High Commissioner of India to Canada
  • Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South
  • Shafqat Ali, Member of Parliament for Brampton Centre
  • Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge
  • Hon. Michael D. Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism for Ontario
  • Hon. Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education for Ontario
  • Hon. Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Housing for Ontario
  • Deepak Anand, Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga-Malton
  • Rudy Cuzzetto, Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga-Lakeshore
  • David Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough Centre
  • Graham McGregor, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton North
  • Aris Babikian, Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt
  • Logan Kanapathi, Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham-Thornhill
  • Amarjot Sandhu, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton West
  • Sheref Sabawy, Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga-Erin Mills
  • Mayor Neil Ellis, City of Belleville
  • Councillor Vincent Crisanti, Councillor for Etobicoke North for the City of Toronto
  • Councillor Josh Matlow, Councillor for Toronto-St. Paul for the City of Toronto  
Minister Alghabra brought special greetings from the Prime Minister of Canada. Minister Algahbra, Premier Ford, and Shri Verma all spoke highly of the BAPS service to the community, acknowledging the tireless efforts of the volunteers and their unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on society.
The Community Day celebration resonated powerfully, showcasing the impact BAPS has had on the community over the past half-century. Through captivating videos, insightful discourses, and panel discussions, the event effectively emphasized the power of selfless giving and the incredible service carried out by BAPS volunteers. The presence and support of notable guests further solidified the importance of the organization's service to the community. Community Day served as a reminder of the transformative impact that can be achieved through dedicated volunteers serving others with humility and respect.

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