Harleen Malhans Crowned Miss India-Canada 2013
…and drives away with a Chevrolet Spark
By A Correspondent
It was a night of entertainment, prestige and glamour all rolled up into one; the 23rd annual MISS INDIA-CANADA Event, which was presented by Chevrolet had it all this past Saturday! The sold out show was truly a memorable experience that those present will remember for years to come.
UK, Bhangra Ambassador, Jassi Sidhu, was this year’s guest of honour. The former lead singer of British Indian bhangra band B21, went solo in early 2000, where his career continued to skyrocket. Jassi went on to sing such hits as ‘Darshan’ from the blockbuster film ‘Bend it like Beckham’. Other memorable tracks include: Agg, Pabi, Yaariya, and Ki Kehneh, to name a few with. In 2011, Jassi also sang a song for a Canadian film, Breakaway which made inroads into Bollywood.
At the end of the evening, Harleen Malhans of Toronto, Ontario beat out 15 other contestants to win the esteemed title of Miss India-Canada 2013.
With a red carpet entrance, dazzling cocktail hour, and stunning stage set provided by Dream Party Decor, patrons were “Wowed” right from the very beginning. The 16 delegates began the evening with a high-energy dance sequence that captivated the audience and kept them in their seats for the remainder of the evening.
Notable attendees were Huse Madhavji, from television hit series’: Saving Hope and Combat Hospital; Ms. Charandasi, Consul & Head of Chancery, and Mr. Pardeep Kumar, Vice Consul – Consulate General of India Toronto, to name a few.
Soon after, the opening host, Aashish Rajhans, introduced the emcees for the evening—Karen Johnson, weather anchor of CTV’s Canada AM, and Mohit Rajhans, segment producer at Breakfast Television. They commenced the evening by introducing the distinguished Panel of Judges: Gurdeep Ahluwalia – CoHost of CP24 Breakfast and Anchor CP24; Deepti Aurora, Gala Committee Member – Scarborough Hospital Foundation; Rahul Bhardwaj, President – Om Financial; Dr. Arvi Grover, Director of Cardiovascular Research – KMH Cardiology; Hossein Hassani, Senior Manager of Customer Marketing – General Motors of Canada; Soula Kioussis, Director of Marketing – The Clorox Company of Canada; Sangita Patel, CoHost – Entertainment Tonight Canada; Rahul Shastri, Senior Partner – Kagan Shastri LLP, Melanie Solmon, President – Exec Assess.
The judges were then put to the test as each delegate completed the first three segments: Evening Gown, Talent, and Indian Dress.
Next, the emcees announced that Harleen Malhans of Toronto, ON won the Chevrolet Spark Award for Best Performance and the Zee Tv Canada Tv Personality Award, Aradhna Juneja of Toronto, ON won the Brita Miss Congeniality Award, Ruchika Bindra of Montreal, QC won Miss Photogenic, and Neha Bhatia of Scarborough, ON won the People’s Choice Award.
Organizers, Sanjay Agnihotri and Gautam Sharma were then called upon to say a few words and present UK Bhangra sensation, Jassi Sidhu with the Special Achievement Award for his contribution to South Asian music.
The top 5 finalists were then announced in random order: Jasreen Cheema of Brampton, ON; Reema Khithani of Mississauga, ON; Harleen Malhans of Toronto, ON; Nikki Shah of Richmond Hill, ON; and Lavanya Hiremath of Vancouver, BC. The final segment of Question & Answer involved asking each contestant a different question by the panel of judges.
As the anticipation of the winner grew, the audience was treated to two jaw dropping entertainment piece by two young, talented singers named Mohit and Anjali doing a fusion mash up.
Patrons waited in complete silence as Karen and Mohit announced the results from the accounting firm of Kunjar Sharma and Associates. The Second Runner-up was Reema Khithani, the First Runner-up was Nikki Shah and this year’s MISS INDIA-CANADA 2013 was Harleen Malhans.
A report in the NewsEastWest.com referred to what made the winner, Harleen Malhans, stand out from the other contestants:
“Harleen…dazzled the gathering and the judges with her all-round performance.
“In the final rounds, Harleen was asked: What is the best part of being a South Asian female in Canada and why?
“With poise and elegance, the tall contender replied that being a South Asian female in Canada means that you draw the very best from two cultures – your Indian culture and values and Canadian culture.
“Earlier, during the preliminary rounds when all the contestants were asked as to what was most important to them apart from their family, Harleen said south Asians needed “positive and influential’ role models.
“Her goal is to become a south Asian role model in television, said Harleen who already has some experience of being a Roger TV host.
“During her Indian dance performance, Harleen belted out high-energy, high-voltage bhangra, and during the gown competition segment of the pageant, she walked the ramp in a light-green, sequined saree.”
Harleen Malhans was born and raised in the beautiful, multicultural city of Toronto, Ontario. The 23-year-old is the youngest of four daughters.. She has been fortunate enough to share the stage with the Indian actress and politician Jaya Prada and one of India's most influential vocalists, Manna Dey. Harleen successfully earned a B.A. in Communication Studies at York University.
Currently, Harleen stays busy by juggling a career at Canada Protection Plan, assisting in the production of various shows with a Canadian television network, and is also the upcoming fashion host of a new Toronto-based television show. It is her life-long dream to become a successful and well respected South Asian television personality. Harleen passionately feels it is crucial to have positive South Asian role models in the media world who inspire and lead by example for younger generations. The experience of winning the Miss India-Canada 2013 crown has reconfirmed Harleen's belief that hard work, dedication, a positive mindset and a good sense of humour can result in a winning combination.
After the show, Mr. Sanjay Agnihotri remarked "This certainly was the most successful Miss India-Canada event to date. We were honoured to have Chevrolet on board for the very first time, and Brita back with us for a second consecutive year. And of course, having the Chevrolet Spark as our Grand Prize has made this year’s show incredibly special. I am also delighted that the audience not only got to witness a truly glamorous event, but also walked away with some complimentary give-aways, of which a Brita Filter bottle was included in each gift bag. Moreover, we are overwhelmed with the support we received from the community this year. I am also very proud that we have associated ourselves with a noteworthy cause: We Are Your Sisters (WAYS)"
Chrysler was the main sponsor this year. Brita was once again the associate sponsor this year. Other sponsors included Om Financial, Cuisine of India Catering, NHS Family Trust, Quality Street and Bigen Speedy Hair Colour, to name a few. This year’s show will be telecasted next month on Zee TV Canada, the exclusive broadcast partner.
Some of the past winners of the Miss India-Canada pageant such as Kamal Sidhu (1991), Ruby Bhatia (1993), Gita Bali (1994), Rishma Malik (1996), Komila Jagtiani (1999), and Neelam Verma (2001) went on to become actresses, models, television stars and show hosts.
Many top-notch Bollywood stars, including Dev Anand, Hema Malini, Raveena Tandon and Aftab Shivdasani, have been chief guests at the pageant.
There are links below with detailed Event reports from 2003 onwards:
Previous Pageant Reports
Anchal Sharma Crowned
A Remarkable Success: 20th Annual Miss India-Canada 2010
Aanchal Dogra Crowned Miss India-Canada 2009
At the 19th Annual Miss India-Canada:
Karen David and Rogers Award
16 Dazzling Finalists: All Set to Take the Stage
Miss India-Canada 2009 to be crowned August 22
Please click here for 2005 Pageant report