Menaka Thakkar wins National Cultural Diversity Award 
May 16, 2008 

On April 16, 2008 Menaka Thakkar, Artistic Director of The Menaka Thakkar Dance Company won a national "Excellence in Multiculturalism Celebration" Award for Arts and Education presented by the EMCY (Enriching My Canada and Yours) Awards Foundation.
The EMCY Awards Foundation is a national awards program that recognizes individuals, institutions, companies and organizations for their working fighting racism, creating inclusive work places and stimulating dialogue and action on making Canada a nation open to the diversity of the human condition.  The EMCY Awards Foundation was established in 2008 to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations who have displayed: Vision, Leadership, Innovation, Achievement and Impact in cultural diversity within their respective categories. There were 10 Categories: Business, Youth, Media, Humanitarian, Arts/Education, Sports/Fitness, University, Province/Territory, City/Community, and Lifetime Achievement. 
Menaka Thakkar was honoured for her continuing legacy of having introduced Indian dance to Canada over 37 years ago through performance and education and for her work in attaining recognition of classical Indian dance as an art form and part of the Canadian cultural landscape.  

"I am particularly pleased to receive this beautiful award as it represents to me what it means to be a Canadian. We are all people who have come from other cultures, who come together to share and learn from one another," said Ms. Thakkar upon receipt of her glass crystal award. "This award is an acknowledgment of the importance of the arts in Canada for raising understanding of our diverse cultures."
Other winners included: Reginans Jeanne Martinson (the for business award), Richard Engel (sports) and the University of Regina (university); Sask Intercultural Association (Saskatoon); Hannah Taylor of Winnipeg (Youth); City of London, Ont. (city/community); and Kai Liu of Ottawa, Ont. (lifetime achievement).