About Kabir Center

Kabir Centre is a multi-disciplinary arts organization based in Montreal, contributing to the vibrant pluralistic arts scene of Montreal, Quebec and Canada through its dedication to South Asian Classical arts, especially to its diverse music and dance forms. Acting in the role of presenters, promoters and producers of various artistic events, the centre is in favor of exploring the frontiers in aesthetically pleasing ways between South Asian classical arts and comparable art forms elsewhere in the world.


Artistic Vision of the Centre :

  • Produce/Present events with the best artists of classical South Asian music and dance to the public of Montreal and elsewhere in Canada.
  • Promote concerts of fusion of the traditional South Asian Arts and and comparable classical arts elsewhere in the world
  • Promote the exploration of South Asian classical arts beyond the traditional religious frontiers and adapt them to secular and social themes pertinent to the world that we inhabit, including in this context folk music and dance forms.
  • Encourage and promote Canadian artists of a professional standard by presenting them in concerts and using their services in arts appreciation initiatives.
  • Present the best of contemporary South Asian productions in the domain of cinema through the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (a registered name of Kabir Centre)

Social Vision of the Centre :

The social vision of the centre, to which its artistic vision is anchored, aims to promote harmony and mutual respect among the members of the South Asian diaspora living in Canada and to build bridges with the larger Canadian society. Important initiatives such as monthly book club discussions (sometimes with the writers being present), biannual poetry sessions and an annual film festival of South Asian films reinforce this vision and make our activities known to a large section of the public.

Kabir Centre’s



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Raja Bhattacharya
Artistic Director
Raja studied law and worked at McGill before joining Concordia University as an administrator. He is trained in Hindustani Classical music and plays the Sarod. He is serving various community organizations since 2002 and joined Kabir Centre in 2013. He is primarily responsible for implementing the artistic vision of the centre.
Vanya Trifonova
General Management
Vanya is a versatile personality with qualifications in Law and Legal Administration. She speaks several languages including English, French, Russian, Bulgarian and Hindi. She is a student of Indian classical music, specializing Dhrupad art form. She has been involved with Kabir Centre for over a decade and helped the centre over the years with her voluntary work in its various tasks.
Syeda Nayab Bukhari
Film Festival
Syeda Nayab Bukhari earned her doctorate from the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Simon Fraser University, BC. Currently, she is pursuing her Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill University. Her areas of interest include race, class, and gender; immigration and integration studies; mainstream and ethnic media; and community-based programming for disadvantaged groups. Interested in qualitative research, she has engaged with several minority ethnic communities in Canada, learning about their lived experiences and transnational journeys. She is also interested in filmmaking as a visual research method for knowledge translation to a large audience. Syeda has published single-authored- as well as co-authored articles, reports, and book chapters in her areas of interest.
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Alaka McConnell
Book Club
Alaka taught for many years as a Professor of Nursing at Vanier CEGEP in Montreal. She holds science degrees in Nursing and in Psychology from McGill University. She is an enthusiastic reader of a variety of books and literature. For some years, she has been developing an interest in the literature and arts of South Asia leading her in 2011 to join the Kabir Cultural Centre. Since February 2021 she has taken on the role of coordinator of the Kabir Centre Book Club.
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Ambica Sharma
Poetry Club
Ambica Sharma is a Montreal based multidisciplinary artist, actor, dancer, and poet. She writes and publishes poetry and her keen interest in poetry has led her to perform at multiple platforms in North America. She has played lead roles with Theatre New Brunswick and choreographs and performs Indian dance forms through her dance group in Montreal. She hosts a daily live show with Radio Humsafar Montreal & CKUT McGill and curates Kabir Centre Poetry Club Montreal. She has developed a Dance Theatre piece with Teesri Duniya Theatre using her own poems.


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T.K. Raghunathan
Passionately interested in South-Asian arts for over five decades, TK (also known as Raghu among friends and family) is an engineer and consultant in aerospace industry. He has been with Kabir Centre from its inception and is currently the President & Co-Artistic Director.
Banasree Bhattacharya
Banasree is a professional in the field of early childhood education for over 28 years. She is a trained pianist, painter and textile designer. She is passionate about furthering the cause of Kabir cultural centre through active volunteering. She has been a Kabir Centre member since 2013.
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Tehzib Morad
Tehzib is an artist by profession and specializes in paintings related to South Asian culture. She is highly motivated to support the cultural harmony among the South Asian communities in Montreal. She thus identifies with the philosophy of the Kabir Centre in this respect. She volunteers a considerable amount of her time to support some charities and social organisations.
Shafina Karim
Shafina Karim
Shafina is a banking advisor who has managed to make a name for herself as an artist with her singing. In recent years, she has participated in numerous cultural events in Montreal all whilst anchoring for various programs and TV shows. She possesses a profound interest in cultural activities and is involved in a multitude of organizations.
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L. Nemani
Lakshminarayana is a professional engineer working in Aerospace Industry. He is interested in promoting South Asian culture including cinema. He has been in the Executive Committee since November 2011 and functions as its Secretary.
Padmini Seshadri
Padmini, a Quality Specialist in the Aerospace Industry, was previously in India where she organized several educational workshops for disadvantaged rural women and children in collaboration with the Sarojini Naidu Memorial Trust in Hyderabad. Now in Montreal, she loves bringing communities together and promoting various facets of the South Asian culture.
Nasim Omer
Nasim is a retired entrepreneur. Together with her late husband Omer Salim, they contributed immensely to the music landscape of Montreal by hosting distinguished South Asian musicians for many memorable concerts in their home. Eventually these concerts were moved to concert halls and led to the formation of Kabir Cultural Centre of which they were founding members. In addition to her engagement in arts, Nasim volunteers her time at the Jewish General Hospital.
Jean Rivest
Trained in education, Jean worked for 25 years in the field of teaching. At the same time, he created the Vox Populi Network which has presented more than 5000 conferences, workshops and concerts in Quebec and Europe. He pursues his passion for communication and also devotes himself to the field of publishing
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Arvind Pradhan
Arvind is an Information Technology specialist with a long career in the administration of townships. He is deeply interested in classical music of all forms besides being an avid reader and an intrepid traveller. He is a board member since 2014.
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Akhil Saksena
Akhil is a mechanical engineer with a professional career in hydrocarbon industry and specializes in national and international projects. He is interested in supporting the cause of Kabir Centre in the community and has been a member of the centre since 2010.
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Chinmay Kulkarni
Chinmay Kulkarni is a M.Eng graduate from University of Concordia and currently works in Logistics. With great interest In Classical Music and art forms, he is also a Tabla artist. He has been associated with Kabir as Volunteer since 2019 and joined the Members of board in 2020.
Dushyant Yajnik
Dushyant Yajnik
Dushyant is a former family physician, now a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist. He has wide interests in the arts, humanities and the social sciences. For several years, he organized the “Psychoanalysis and Cinema” series for the Quebec English Branch of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society. He played a leading role in organizing Kabir Centre’s South Asian Film Festival of Montreal in 2015, 2016 and 2020.