Minutes of the Monthly Meeting held on July 11, 2011 at Queen’s Park



 Thomas S. Saras

 Ahmed Hotaki

 Asha Rajak

 Syleyman Guven

 Neel Nanda

 Mohamed Tajdolati

 Bahram Bahrami

 Marek J.D. Goldyn

 Ranjit Wics

 Srimal Abeyawardene

 Emmanuel Ayiku

 John Saraidaris

 Luba Cherny

 Dumitru Popescu

 Mohammad Bagher Samimi

 Bob Ristic

 Teshome Woldeamanuel

 Raffi Der-Boghossian

 Paulraj R.

 Moorthy Sellathurai

 Hai Tien Lin

 Ned Blair

 C. Senthi

 Sabnam Janani

 D. Nishantha A. (Ceylon Express)

 Parry Long

Charles Devasagayam

 Michelle Williams

 William Doyle-Marshall

 Saad Alsafar

 Shahioul Mint

 Mila Astroga-Garcia

 Hermie Garcia

Luba Cherny




Clyde McNeil






1.      Welcome Remarks by the chair.


2.      Minutes of the previous meeting.


3.      Presentation by Behrouz Amouzgar- Director, Public Relations Tirgan


4.      Presidents Report


5.      New Business


6.      Adjournment





Welcome Remarks by the Chair:




Thomas Saras chaired the meeting and declared the meeting open. William Doyle Marshall moved a motion to approve the agenda and Dr. Tajdolati seconded it. The motion was carried








Minutes of the previous meeting:


Dr. Tajdolati moved a motion to approve the minutes of the previous monthly meeting held on June 13, 2011 Ahmad Shah Hotaki, seconded it.  The motion was carried.






President’s Report/Discussions


·        The Canada Day celebration took place on Saturday July 2nd with a dinner and entertainment at the Whistler’s (McNeil Room) 995 Broadview Avenue. There were a lot of dignitaries and VIPs present to celebrate the event. The event was a huge success as there was huge turnout and participation from various cultural groups. President Thomas Saras thanked everyone who contributed and participated towards the event.


·        NEPMCC Awards. In October we will organize our Awards ceremony. Effective from January 1st until end of June 30, 2011, members were asked to download nomination form from our website and submit names of members they propose from their community, media or organization who they think are eligible for recognition or to receive the NEPMCC Awards. . Members were earlier asked to send the completed nomination form to either Dr. Tajdolati or to the office of the President.  President Thomas Saras mentioned that NEPMCC has received only 5 nominations for the annual awards. The deadline for submission of nomination for awards was June 30, 2011.This was very disappointing as there were repeated reminders before the deadline. President suggested that the deadline be extended for the very last time    Motion: Ned Blair moved a motion to extend the deadline of nominations to July 31. Senthi Chelliah seconded it. The motion was carried.


·         President Thomas Saras mentioned that when we are deciding on an award we are recognizing a publication due to their attendance and for their commitment in supporting the organization by working hard for the cause of the ethnic media and the Council


·        Asha Rajak is working hard to get financial donations from different financial institutions to meet the expenses of the award ceremony.


·        The office of the President has already sent the questionnaire of the economic survey via email to all the members of NEPMCC along with reminders. President urged members to cooperate and respond to the economic survey undertaken by NEPMCC as it was in their own interest to participate. Only a small number of members (less than 200), out of more than 600 members have participated in the survey so far. President Thomas Saras, expressed disappointment at the rate of responses by the members. Students may be employed to call ethnic media outlets individually, if the responses continued to be poor. Employing students will also have an additional cost to the organization.  Seneca College will receive the responses of the survey and tabulate and present the findings of the survey in a report.  To make a conclusive report based on the findings, participation in large number is required. Based on this report of the economic survey, The National Ethnic Press and Media Council will prepare a three day convention and seminar for the members of the sector next year in 2012 and apply for Government funds accordingly. This national convention in turn will provide to all of the members the important information and education about the Canadian Laws on Journalism. The questionnaire which was prepared with the help of Seneca College was designed to make a decision about the nature of the educational material the Seneca College should prepare for the three day national convention. Besides this we are working with the government in order to get some benefits for the members of NEPMCC. In order to be successful we have to show to authorities that most of our members are professionals and they are contributing to Canadian economy. This will only be possible if the members participate in large numbers.


·        Senthi Chelliah suggested each volunteer dial at least 10 ethnic media outlets for conducting the survey. He urged members to volunteer some of their time towards getting remainder of the surveys filled. 5 volunteers agreed to participate and forwarded their names to Asha Rajak and Neel Nanda.


·        President reminded members of a motion which was unanimously passed in the previous meeting.  The motion was as follows “The Board authorizes the administration to proceed with the application for funds from Heritage Canada for CNE, Awards Ceremony, The Word on the Street festival in Toronto, Vancouver and other Canadian cities, as well as for other promotional projects/events for the community” Irene Keroglidis had moved the above motion in the floor in the previous monthly meeting and William Doyle Marshall had seconded it. The motion was unanimously carried. In this regard the office of the president is working for funds towards future events


·        Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). This year we have requested for space on international pavilion where we can display exhibition of the ethnic press for 18 days.  Members were urged to ask their local businesses to sponsor some prizes which are going to be announced through lucky draws for the people who visit our pavilion. (August 18- September 5,) There will be various prizes for the draw depending on the sponsorship. We are going to participate 18 days at CNE. The Prime Minister may inaugurate the opening ceremony of the exhibition. The opening ceremony is on August 19, 2011. Insurance is required for the event.  President urged members to volunteer for the event spanning to 18 days. Members who decide to volunteer will be given passes and also food tokens for the days they decide to participate and volunteer. Besides volunteers NEPMCC may employ students for this event. President suggested Asha Rajak and Neel Nanda to coordinate the activities with the volunteers during the event.


CNE Committee:  The following members agreed to volunteer their time for the event.


Senthi Chelliah, Saad Alsafar, Raffi Der- Boghosian, Ranjit Wicks, John Saras, Asha Rajak, Neel Nanda, Michelle Willliams,  Oniccka Wathe, Sherlock Wathe, Shabnam Janani and Bob Ristic


·        Word on the Street. Besides Toronto, this year we are going also to organize this exhibition in Vancouver on the same day with Toronto.




Presentation by Behrouz Amouzgar- Director, Public Relations Tirgan:




Behrouz Amouzgar thanked President Thomas Saras for inviting him to make a presentation to the council. He began his presentation by informing about the background of “Tirgan”


The following are some of the highlights of his presentation followed by discussions




·        The Iranian Canadian Centre for Art and Culture, ICCAC, is a not-for-profit, non-partisan and non-religious organization, registered under the Canada Corporation Act in Ontario, Canada.


·        ICCAC which organizes Tirgan are confident that Tirgan which is a regular biennial event, with the help of friends, volunteers, and sponsors, Tirgan 2011 will surpass our expectations in terms of quality and outreach.


·        In collaboration with the Harbourfront Centre, Tirgan 2011 will be the event of the summer as more than 100,000 enthusiasts gather on Toronto’s lakefront to celebrate art, culture and diversity.  Transpiring from July 21 – 24, Tirgan 2011 will remain true to the festival’s ancient roots in showcasing the tremendous ethnic diversity within Iran by celebrating the country’s music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature, the visual arts and culinary cuisine


·         Tirgan 2011 – with the theme of 'Visions of Eternity’ – takes many years of invaluable experience to new heights as it commemorates Tirgan, an ancient Iranian celebration observed in the month of July (the month of Tir in the Persian calendar).


·         There are many legends on the origins of Tirgan. One legend describes that Iran and Turan, two long standing enemies, decided to declare peace by demarcating the boundaries between the two empires. Arash, the best archer in the Iranian army, was chosen to ascend Mount Damavand to shoot an arrow whose landing location would determine the boundary. The arrow flew from dawn to noon and fell on the banks of Jihun, and the boundaries of Iran expanded beyond all expectations.


·         This led to Tirgan festivities and contributed to enhancing the richness of the Iranian culture over the course of three millennia. Today, Iran’s population is composed of over fifteen different ethnic groups with their own dialect or language, outfit, music, dance, and cuisine.


·         After a successful appearance during its 2008 summer event in Toronto, Tirgan has geared efforts in organizing yet another extraordinary celebration of Iranian culture and Canadian diversity, once again in Toronto, in July 2011. Tirgan is built upon the contribution of over 300 young volunteers, who have worked side by side to contribute to the diverse cultural mosaic of the Canadian society, by promoting a cross-cultural dialogue and understanding between the Iranian community and the community at large.


·         Tirgan 2011 will present Iranian art and culture through a four-day festival in Toronto – a city that rightfully prides itself in welcoming diversity.


·          There will be contributions from various ethnic groups in Iran in as many artistic and cultural disciplines as possible, showcasing internationally acclaimed as well as local artists and performers of Iranian descent, who celebrate Iranian heritage through music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature, and visual arts. Tirgan also features Iranian cuisine and special arts and crafts presentations made available by vendor kiosks. This is going to be an engaging, educating, and entertaining experience for a wide range of audiences.


Many members participated in the discussion following this presentation.


Behrrouz Amouzgar invited all ethnic media representatives to this event and handed out his coordinates to all members present for media passes for Tirgan 2011.




New Business:


Bob Ristic invited members of NEPMCC to the Serbian Flag Raising Ceremony on July 29 to be held in front of the Legislative Building, Queens Park at 6 pm. This will be followed by reception in room 228-230 of the Legislative Building at Queens Park at 6:30 pm.


President Thomas Saras informed the members that the Legislative Building will be closed in September for provincial elections I October. He suggested postponing the meeting in September or holding it in another venue. Members present at the meeting agreed to the suggestion of having the September monthly meeting at City hall.


 Adjournment: John Saras moved a motion to adjourn the meeting, Dr. Tajdolati seconded it. The motion was carried. The chair adjourned the meeting at 10:30 pm. The next meeting would take place on August 08, 2011