Posted Fri, April 5, 2013 8:30pm IST

TOIFA kicks off in true Bollywood style with a musical extravaganza, as more stars reach Canada for the main awards ceremony

Bollywood celebrities Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Neha Dhupia, Abhishek Bachchan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Ileana D’Cruz, Anurag Basu, Prabhu Deva and Manoj Bajyapee were among those who arrived in Vancouver in the past two days for the Times Of India Film Awards (TOIFA) 2013. Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Madhur Bhandarkar, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Sujoy Ghosh are expected to join them tonight.

The first ever TOIFA kickstarted with a musical extravaganza at the Pacific Coliseum on April 4. Sunidhi Chauhan, Mohit Chauhan, Hard Kaur, Kavita Seth and Shalmali Kholgade delivered high-voltage performances who belted out hit numbers like Pee loonMasakali and Ishq sufiyana, leaving the audience craving more.

Host Neha Dhupia thoroughly entertained the eager crowd with her humour and witty oneliners. The icing on the cake was a competition titled Kaun Banega Neha Ka Pati (husband) where Neha asked a few Punjabi boys from the crowd to dance on item songs and later shortlisted the best among the lot.

Multifaceted choreographer Shiamak Davar, revisited his singing days by crooning Jaane kisne song from his own album. Another surprise for the evening was a duet by Shalmali and Hard Kaur. They mesmerised the audience by singing hits like Daaru desi and Ek glassy and their closing act of Gangnam style was the cherry on the cake.

Vineet Jain, MD, Times of India Group said the award is yet another step “for us in getting closer to millions of Indians across the globe”. “TOIFA’s Musical Extravaganza is a tribute to the legendary Hindi cinema music that audiences have been cherishing for 100 years now. It’s a great way to kick-start the TOIFA celebrations in Vancouver and we are looking forward to a gala weekend ahead,” he added.

With inputs from agencies

Photos: TOIFA Awards Facebook page and Yogen Shah