Let Indian dancer Guru Suraj into Canada so he can pick up award @ Contact Dance Film Fest

This petition made change with 1,435 supporters!

Guru Suraj, a dance artist living in Chennai, India has been invited to Toronto by the Contact Dance International Film Festival (CDIFF) to present his film "Contact Improvisation Lab Goa" that he co-created with Rahul Varma and Hari Choudhary. The film is a Silver Award-winning jury selection of CDIFF, upcoming June 29 to July 1, 2019.

Guru's first visa application was denied because the Canadian Government said they did not trust he would leave Canada. This was despite the fact that he sent in:
- deeds to the property he owns in India
- letter from an employer (Any Ways Media) saying he is will be returning to work upon return
- a letter from CDIFF saying that they would pay for all his travel expenses while in Toronto.

After the first refusal, The Contact Dance International Film Festival and Guru crowdfunded $1700 to pay for Bondy Immigration Law to help Guru reapply for his Canadian visitor's visa a second time. There was an outpouring of support for Guru and the festival raised the money in one week! This time Guru added to his application:
- A letter from the Global Cultural Exchange Organization/Goa Contact Festival saying that we would be working as a  team organizer and teacher in their upcoming 2020 festival.
- Formal invitation letter from the Contact Festival Freiburg inviting him to teach in Germany in August 2019
- a support letter from Canadian member of parliament Arif Virani.

Two days after Guru reapplied, his application was denied for the second time with the same stated reason that they could not trust Guru would leave Canada. 

There is still a chance we can get Guru to Toronto. We have provided all the required paperwork. Guru has no reason or intention to stay in Canada after the festival is over. He will be continuing his career back home in India and internationally. Therefore, Guru has reapplied for the third time and we are currently awaiting results (application # V331286632).

We are putting forth this petition to show how much Canadian and International support Guru has and to show the Canada Government that the world is watching this unfold.

Please send a message to The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen Federal Minister of Immigration for Canada asking him to give Guru Suraj his visitor's visa so that he can come to Toronto to pick up his Silver Award and share his knowledge with the Canadian dance community.

Don't let unfair travel policies targeting certain regions prevent this talented dance artist from expanding his career.

Guru Suraj, living in Chennai, India is a painter, dancer, theatre artist, Yoga trainer and more. He graduated from one of the most established Art Institutions in India – The Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai and has a master’s in the philosophy of Yoga. He started practicing Contact Dance Improvisation 10 years ago and fell in love with the form. Guru has taught Contact Dance in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and UAE and is a teacher and team organizer at popular Goa Contact festival. Guru Suraj has been instrumental in building the contact scene in India through his group Contact Improv India Organization, which focuses on spreading Contact Improv around India and making it accessible for everybody.


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Kathleen Rea needs your help with “The honorable Ahmed D. Hussen Minister of Immigration in Canada: Let Indian dancer Guru Suraj into Canada so that he can pick up his silver award at CDIFF”. Join Kathleen and 1,434 supporters today.