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    Jun 2009
    Spain BCN (Barcelona)

    Default Toronto to host IIFA 2011, dates for 2010 to be announced in January

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    Mumbai, Dec 10 : In an entertainment coup, Toronto has bagged the prestigious International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) 2011, even before the venue of the IFFA 2010 has been announced.

    The city will also have the honour of being the first city in the North American continent to host the IIFA awards.

    Toronto, capital of Ontario, Canada, with a strong Indian population of over 5,50,000 has a close relationship with both cinema and the Indian diaspora. It is also one of key destinations for Indian film stars when on a world tour.

    Announcing the venue here yesterday, IIFA director Viraf Sarkari said the key factor in deciding Toronto as the venue for IIFA 2011 was the aggressive marketing and keeness shown by the city's leaders.

    ''Indian cinema has gained more popularity in Canada and it will be the first North American venue for IIFA. With more than 25 events over the weekend, we expect between 60,000 and 70,000 visitors,'' he said.

    So keen was the city to host the IIFA, that the venue for 2011 awards was finalised before the 2010 awards by the advisory board, he added.

    Welcomming the event to the city, Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty said Toronto was a city of film buffs and host to renowned festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the Luminato.

    ''With 1,100 films produced every year, and with more than three billion tickets sold - double that in the US - every year, Indian cinema is huge. It is also a medium that brings people together,'' he added.

    IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, who is in Dubai to recieve an award, also extended his felicitations to the Canadian city and officials on their success via a taped video clip.

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