Lata Pada conferred with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award

January 12, 2011

Lata Pada, Artistic Director of Sampradaya Dance Creations in Canada, has been awarded India's highest award for overseas Indians. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman was conferred on Lata Pada by Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the President of India, on January 9, 2011 in New Delhi, to commemorate lifetime accomplishments in the global Indian Diaspora. Lata is one of 15 individuals of Indian origin who were conferred this honour.

The Awards ceremony took place during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, an annual global meet hosted by the Government of India's Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. In the citation read during the ceremony, Lata was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the promotion of Indian dance in Canada as well as for her role in pressing for an Inquiry into the bombing of the Air India 182 Kanishka flight in 1985, and for her advocacy role in anti-terrorism legislation.
Dancer-choreographer Lata Pada is the Founder and Artistic Director of Canada's leading South Asian dance company, Sampradaya Dance Creations. She is also the Founder-Director of Sampradaya Dance Academy, a premiere professional dance training organization. Trained under distinguished gurus in India, K Kalyanasundaram and Kalanidhi Narayanan, Pada has had an extensive career as a Bharatanatyam soloist with over 1,000 performances in prestigious dance festivals worldwide. Pada has made Canada her home since 1964; she holds a Masters in Arts from York University. In 2009, Lata was awarded the Order of Canada, by the Governor General of Canada; she holds the distinction of being the first South Asian artist to be awarded this prestigious national honour.

She brings a contemporary worldview to her award-winning inter-cultural and interdisciplinary creations, a large number of which have been created in collaboration with leading Canadian and international choreographers, composers, designers, playwrights and musicians. She has received several awards and honours for her contribution to the arts in Canada, including the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Toronto Sanskriti Sangha, the 2006 Best Teacher Award from the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, the 2003 Professional Woman of the Year Award from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, the 2000 New Pioneers Award and the 1995 Mississauga Arts Award. Lata is a leading Canadian arts advocate and a frequent presenter at international dance conferences and symposia. She is a regular motivational speaker and workshop leader for corporate and community organizations speaking on her life, creativity and collaborations in the arts. Her vision for the Company's expanded role as a dance development agency has led to the formation of SADAC, the South Asian Dance Alliance in Canada and the production of the 2009 DanceIntense in Toronto in collaboration with Sampad, England.

Founded in 1990, Sampradaya Dance Creations is a dynamic Canadian dance company, committed to showcasing Bharatanatyam as a world art form that explores contemporary, innovative and diverse movement styles and themes and spans a range of solo and ensemble choreography. Sampradaya Dance Creations has been awarded the 2008 Mississauga Arts Award for the Best Established Performing Arts Organization. The Company and Sampradaya Dance Academy operate from a 3,500 square foot state-of the-art facility in Mississauga; this venue is a vibrant hub for training, creation and presentation of South Asian arts.