Sampradaya Dance Creations completes pilot program
Cultivating cultural “Leaders of Tomorrow” in the GTA

December 15, 2011

There is an impressive cultural leadership initiative getting off the ground in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and it is gaining momentum from the inaugural group of participants who saw it through to its conclusion the weekend of November 12, 2011 at the Sampradaya Dance Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. This pilot program being presented by Sampradaya Dance Creations called Leaders of Tomorrow has brought into focus the importance of cultivating strong cultural leaders in our communities.

Introduced in the summer of 2011, Leaders of Tomorrow is the newest development program to be offered by Sampradaya (a Mississauga-based professional dance company led by Artistic Director Lata Pada), as a resource to inspire South Asian artists and arts administrators regardless of discipline or years of experience, who are working on their own paths to become great cultural leaders. The program aims to provide an opportunity for a group of arts-focused individuals to meet and network as a group and over the course of the program, be introduced to successful leaders in the community from the arts world and corporate sector, over a series of scheduled lectures and workshops during a period of six months.

In its first presentation, the program has already garnered the support of a number of local, high profile business and cultural leaders including: Lalita Krishna (award-winning filmmaker), Jane Marsland (arts consultant, advocate and 2011 Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leadership Award recipient ), Ian Bradley ( former President of Mattel Canada), Dr. Hargurdeep (Deep) Saini (Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal University of Toronto, Mississauga), Preeti Saran (Consul General of India, Toronto), Charles Smith (poet, playwright, essayist and lecturer in cultural theory and cultural pluralism in the arts, at the University of Toronto Scarborough).

Front Row (L- R): Hari Venkatacharya, Piali Ray, Lata Pada, Ian Bradley
Back Row (L-R): Abha Athale, Aarti Joseph, Noora Sagarwala, Kevin Singh, Dinesh Sachdev, Najia Alavi, Mazarine Memon, Jasmine Sawant
With only 10 spots available in the program, this experience is a one-of-a kind opportunity for South Asian artists who show promise in their respective arts specialties from film production to visual art. Collectively, they have shared their personal projects and dreams, which have moved each of them to closer making their ideas become a reality. Mazarine Memon, a visual artist and instructor from Toronto comments on her experience, “It was fun, creative, educational and a life experience in itself to see our projects crystallize in real life - not to mention the friends we made and the networking possibilities created through this project.”

“The road to success can be a difficult one, which is why the Leaders of Tomorrow program is focused on providing inspiration and motivation. We are offering a platform where artists can share the individual projects they are working on or have been dreaming about making a reality. We get them thinking about a clear path to success and connect them to a peer network and introduce them to accomplished leaders in the community. As facilitators of process, we are extremely proud,” says Lata Pada.

Although the program has concluded for this year, the Company plans to present the program on an annual basis. Artists who may be interested in applying to Leaders of Tomorrow program are encouraged to learn more about by visiting the Company website at The program is open to South Asian artists and arts administrators over the age of 20 from any arts discipline.

The model for this program was developed by Piali Ray, OBE, Director for Sampad – an arts organization based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Sampradaya has received targeted support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to present the Leaders of Tomorrow program. The Company receives on-going operational support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Mississauga.

Sampradaya Dance Creations is a Canadian, Mississauga-based professional dance company specializing in the creation and production of classical and contemporary dance works rooted in the tradition of Bharatanatyam, a South Asian dance form. Founded in 1990 by Lata Pada, accomplished dancer and choreographer, the Company continues to inspire audiences with annual productions produced locally and internationally while continuing to nurture the talents of emerging young dancers.