Tamils live all around the world. India and Sri Lanka have been traditional homeland of Tamils. Canada has the largest population outside of these two countries. Most of the Tamils have settled in and around the City of Toronto, Ontario. However, there is also a large population of Tamils in Vancouver, British Colombia and Montreal, Quebec. The Region of Waterloo and City of Guelph have a steady growth since early eighties. Most of them are professionals, Industrial workers and University students. There is about 600 families of Tamils in this region. They are mostly from Sri Lanka and South India.
In 1989, Our tri-City area ( Kitchener – Waterloo – Cambridge ) Tamil community leaders decided to form an organisation called ” Tamil Heritage School ” to promote language and Culture in this region. Later in 2001, Tamil Heritage school was re-named as Tamil Cultural Association of Waterloo Region and the first South Asian Performing arts festival, Tamil Cultural Nite was inaugurated at the Humanities Theater, University of Waterloo.
Also, In the year 2001, the neighboring Tamils from the City of Guelph joined hands with the association. The association was later incorporated as a Non-Profit Organisation under the Ontario Corporation # 1509837.
Over the years, the association has donated goods and services to Nunnavil Children’s Centre, Jaffna., Ind. Rs 25,000 to fire victim in Trichy, South India., Cash donation to Ramakrishna Mission children’s Library – Batticaloa, Sri Lanka., St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Kitchener, ON., Rotary Club of Cambridge, ON.
2004 was a significant year for the association. TCAWR raised a total of $123,000 on behalf of Canadian Red Cross during Tsunami disaster. Relief materials and Cash donations were given to the victims in Sri Lanka and India. In 2015, Funds were distributed to the victims of Chennai flood.
Tamil community from Brantford joined the association in 2011. In the same year, the association re-established the Tamil language school. Waterloo Regional District School Board helped establish the center in Cambridge.
The association took the leadership to participate at the KW Multicultural festival. It is the region’s largest multicultural festival and an Indian & Sri Lankan food stall was established in 2012 and Waterloo Region’s Diversity Awards in 2014.
TCAWR is a Non-Profit, Non-Denominational, Non-Political community organisation promoting Arts, Culture, Language and Community services in the region. The membership include Tamils from Canada, Sri Lanka, India and Malaysia.
TAMIL LANGUAGE SCHOOL
Waterloo region’s first Tamil language class was started in 1987 with the support of Prof. Pala Kannappan, Prof. Selvakumar and Mrs.Pushpa Seevaratnam. It was held at Victoria Public School, down town Kitchener.
The first Tamil Variety show & Social Hour was held on December 5th, 1987 at Keatsway Public School, Waterloo.
Tamil Class was re-activated in 2000 at St.John’s School, Guelph under the ILP program. Mrs. Padhmini Swaminathan was the first teacher. In the following year it was moved to St.Peter’s School, Guelph and sucessive teachers were Shayamala Navam, Dharini Sivakumar and Shanthi Rajan. Classes discontinued in 2005 due to lack of students.
In 2011, Waterloo District School board in conjuction with Tamil Cultural Association recommenced the Tamil class at Hespler Public School, Cambridge. Mrs.E. Kunamalar is the current teacher.
Tamil Summer Camp 2013 in Kitchener.
TAMIL CULTURAL NITE
Tamil cultural Nite is a South Asian Performing arts festival held at Humanities Theater, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
The festival explores traditional Sri Lankan and South Indian Tamil Dance, Music and Drama and places it within the context of contemporary trends and dance styles from other cultures. Each festival is unique and colorful and whether a scholar, dance enthusiast or someone who is interested in expanding their knowledge of Indian cultural traditions.
The association has produced the festival since 2001. Its an annual event showcasing emerging artists from the Region of Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto. The festival creates and supports production and performance opportunities for artists of all levels and collaborations with other organizations and artists. Artists from Toronto and South India make it as their scheduled event.
The festival is sponsored by City of Waterloo, City of Kitchener and City of Cambridge.
Cultural Nite Sponsorship