by Elton Gomes
Air Canada has partnered with award-winning content creators Beautiful Destinations to revamp the Hooper’s Ground basketball court in the western suburb of Matunga.
The objective was to showcase Mumbai’s beauty, diversity, and vibrant culture. The initiative began as an attempt to create an enduring positive space in the community for people to come together — a space that would leave an artistic legacy that can be viewed from the sky.
Renowned Indian artist Sajid Wahid—through ST+ART India Foundation—used colour and design that were reminiscent of Canada and India. Designs including a moose and elephant motifs were used in creating the unique court.
Air Canada’s Fly the Flag initiative
Air Canada has been making efforts to improve connections between India and Canada since 2015. To celebrate people making a mark in India, Air Canada has introduced its ‘Fly the Flag’ initiative to Mumbai.
In this latest iteration, the ‘Fly the Flag’ initiative highlights how people all over the world are making an impact in local communities, while displaying the values of diversity, equality, and inclusivity.
Air Canada’s community basketball game introduced a diverse group of aspiring young players to the newly restored space that will be theirs to enjoy. The event also featured notable figures from Indian and Canadian culture and sports.
Indian basketball players, namely the Singh Sisters, Sajid Wahid, and Indian-Canadian musician Raghav Mathur were present at the unveiling. Additionally, the ST+ART India Foundation, The Dribble Academy, and NorBlack NorWhite, which was founded by two Indian-Canadians, were also in attendance. All of these entities have contributed significantly to the initiative.
Speaking at the event, Arun Pandeya, general manager of Air Canada – India & South Asia said, “At Air Canada, we believe that by doing good and by participating fully in the communities we serve, our airline truly thrives. We’re committed to giving back through a range of initiatives each year that help advance diversity, equality and inclusivity around the world.
Air Canada is grateful for the opportunity to add value in meaningful ways to the neighborhoods and communities in this wonderful nation. We thank our partners for making today’s event such a success, and the youth for taking part in the inaugural game on the new court.”
Pandeya said further, “We are optimistic that not only local youth and basketball enthusiasts but those from across Mumbai will visit here and benefit from the revitalization of the Hooper’s Ground. Today’s event is a reflection of our commitment to the Indian market and we hope to further strengthen connections between India and Canada.”
Air Canada’s other initiatives
Air Canada, in December 2017, announced that it has renewed its sponsorship as the official airline of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. The four-year agreement extends through the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as well as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.
“As Canada’s official airline, we believe our country deserves to be celebrated,” Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines at Air Canada, said in an official statement.
Smith added, “The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams represent the best of Canada, showing off the ambition and drive of our people. We’re proud to be a piece of home connecting those athletes to their country while they’re abroad, and helping to make sure they arrive ready to perform at their very best.”
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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