Spectacular and inspiring fundraising gala moves everyone to tears!
Vancouver: The first ever Victory Ball, held on Friday, May 25 at the Royal King Palace in Surrey, was a huge success. Besides raising funds to expand the Victory dance as therapy and dance for good programs for people of all abilities across the Lower Mainland, the evening was packed with awe-inspiring performances that moved the audience to tears.
Hosted by Shiamak’s Victory Arts Foundation, the ballroom was filled with over 500 guests, performers, volunteers, donors and some prominent members of the community. The evening began with a high energy ‘swag’ welcome by the Victory Dancers from North Shore ConneXions Society supported by the Shiamak Vancouver Dance Team. The performance brought the audiences up on their feet to give them a standing ovation. It was followed by a performance by the Victory Dancers from Down Syndrome Research Foundation and a Para Taekwondo demonstration by Sirota’s Alchymy Martial Arts Group.
National Rhythmic Gymnastics medalist and Victory dancer Danielle Juilfs performed a beautiful contemporary duo with Akash Deo of Shiamak Vancouver to Vishal Patel’s soulful piano rendition of the Bollywood hit song Tum Hi Ho.
However, the highlight of the evening was a breathtaking fashion segment showcasing the RaasLeela collection by renowned Vancouver-based duo Parvesh Jai. The stunning outfits were modeled by Vancouver’s top models, but the showstoppers were the Victory dancers themselves as they walked onto stage with some of Vancouver’s prominent celebrities including immigration consultant Neera Agnihotri, Spice Radio’s RJ Gaurav Shah, fashion icon Kanika Sasan and Kerry Gibson – President of EcoCentury Technologies. Emotions were high as an overwhelmed designer Jai Singh escorted the final showstopper, Victory Dancer Jessica Makowsky, down the runway. The audience was moved to tears and rose to give them another standing ovation.
In his video message, founder and artistic director Shiamak Davar said, “I am thrilled that we are hosting our first ever Victory Ball in Vancouver to celebrate inclusion and the spirit of triumph. It is heartwarming to see the impact and the joy that dance has brought to our students and their families. I am grateful for all the love and support my team and I have received.”
The amazing hosts Ronil Desai and Safeeya Pirani conducted a talk show with Jennifer Stevens, Rosemary Ramsay, and Susan Juilfs, parents of Victory Dancers Gallagher Stevens, Nicholas Mascott and Danielle Juilfs – who have been students with the foundation for many years. Jennifer Stevens said, “Yes, they are ambassadors now, and it’s amazing to see how far all our children have come. And now they get to inspire so many others on the same journey as them and it’s all thanks to the Shiamak dance classes.”
“Inclusive activities as showcased at the Victory Ball are imperative to encouraging healthy participation in community living. Victory Canada funds not just dancing, but self-esteem, teamwork, coordination, and other skills that are important tools for all of us to possess that can then be used to apply to other endeavors. I am happy to have been asked to support such an important program.”, says Kerry Gibson
The second entertainment segment saw almost an hour of stunning Bollywood performances by the Shiamak Vancouver Dance Team led by their Star Performer Rohan D’Silva, before the floor was opened and guests danced the night away.