Dr. Prashant Jani is once again bringing an evening of Indian food and live entertainment to Sault Ste. Marie after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
India Fest takes place March 20 at the Marconi Cultural Event Centre, bringing a catered vegetarian meal along with live music, traditional dance and singing to the venue on a Sunday night.
“People might be a little nervous about the COVID situation, but we have a big enough space for social distancing and all the protocols will be followed,” Jani said.
Singers, dancers and musicians are being brought together from across Canada for the event, with chefs coming in from Toronto to prepare the food.
Jani is an associate professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Thunder Bay, and has been hosting similar events in that city over the past 13 years. He's been taking the production around Ontario for the past few years, including two events in Sault Ste. Marie prior to the pandemic.
“I try to spread the culture and the food and the music of India all over northwestern Ontario,” he said.
When Jani isn’t working as a doctor and medical school professor in Thunder Bay, he can often be found using his vacation time in order to bring Indian food and live entertainment to others.
“We hardly make any money ever,” he said.
Jani hopes to do a little more than break even financially in the future. But for now, he’s hoping for a good response to India Fest and is counting on last-minute ticket purchases in Sault Ste. Marie.
“We hope more people will join and be part of this event,” Jani said.
Tickets are $54.06 for general admission and $32.84 for students. More information on how to buy tickets can be found on social media.