BRAMPTON, ON, Canada – When you mix a beautiful day, a national holiday, and pro wrestling with a great mix of superstars, the result is a huge turnout at TigerFest.
The scene on Monday, July 1st was Chinguacousy Park in Brampton, a suburb to the west of Toronto, and the holiday was, of course, Canada Day….and what a day it was.
A record shattering number of over 100,000 spectators attended this year’s Canada Day festivities throughout the 10-hour day event put on by the City of Brampton, which was headlined by TigerFest and the Canadian rock band Hedley.
The crowd was massive and as far as the eye could see for TigerFest. The official count was in the neighbourhood of over 25,000 people watched the wrestling action! The City took all the required safety precautions in closing down major road arteries leading into the park area, leading people to walk several miles to the venue. But the appeal of the Tigers far surpassed the boundaries of Brampton with dignitaries and fans coming in from different parts of the world and ten television networks recording the wrestling action, to be broadcast in over 100 countries.
The City spared no expense by having bands performing earlier, amusement rides and a variety of other activities to keep the audience engaged while the anticipation built for the climax of wrestling action. TigerFest was in support and promoted awareness for the William Osler Health System Foundation which oversees the two local hospitals in Brampton and the scheduled re-opening of Peel Memorial.
The official kick off for TigerFest was when Mayor Susan Fennell took to the stage and welcomed the thousands in attendance and expressed her gratitude for the Tigers loyalty in returning back to Brampton. The Mayor was accompanied by Member of Parliament and Minister of Sport Bal Gosal, Member of Parliament Parm Gill, Councillor Vicky Dhillon and Regional Councillor Gael Miles. “TigerFest is a significant charity event in our City,” said Mayor Fennell, “and I am proud to see it as part of our exciting Canada Day celebrations.”
Before the wrestling began, the audience was treated to approximately one hour of South Asian entertainment led off by the singing of the Canadian national anthem by recording artist Prita Chhabra, followed by Ishpreet Singh Devgun, Jadoo Entertainment (Bollywood dancers), NYPD Toronto (Bhangra) Dhol Circle and Ganghis Khan. The headliner for this year’s TigerFest was South Asian signing sensation Deep Jandu, who did a live rendition for Tiger Ali Singh’s intro music during his main event match.
Special recognition was given by living legend Tiger Jeet Singh to Brampton’s very own and Canadian Olympian Ohenewa Akuffo, who won the gold medal at the 2010 Pan American Games in the women’s amateur wrestling. Arda Ocal and Angelie Sood were the event guest emcees.
After a couple preliminary matches featuring several of the stars from Squared Circle Wrestling Promotion, the audience was treated to some great action by former WWE, ECW and TNA superstars by the likes of Angelina Love, Tyson, Sonjay Dutt with the main event being a hardcore (tables & chairs) handicap (3 against 2) match with Rhyno, Viscera and Darkko in one corner against Harry ‘Bull Dog’ Smith and Tiger Ali Singh.
Afterwards, the Tigers along with Harry Smith, Angelina and Sonjay were overwhelmed at the autograph table, where they remained for two hours signing for each and every last wrestling fan in line.
As for the Tigers, they were positively thrilled with the outcome of the event. “To be able to do such charitable work, to bring diversity together, and to be part of such a special day is an absolute honour,” said Tiger Jeet Singh.
“The bottom line is none of this would have been possible without the support from City of Brampton and our fantastic fans,” said Tiger Ali Singh. “My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Mayor Fennell, wrestling superstars, artists, sponsors, volunteers, and the staff at the city’s Community Services Department who worked tirelessly to put on such an extravaganza!”