The Times of India Film Awards kicked off on Thursday night in Vancouver with a musical extravaganza at the Pacific Coliseum on the PNE grounds.

The show started late and there were plenty of empty seats, but the crowd continued to build and thousands of excited Bollywood fans raised the roof when the stars of the show hit the stage.

Earlier in the day hundreds of fans were at the Vancouver airport hoping to catch a glimpse of the film stars arriving.

Shaguftah Patel was one fan who came from across the country for the chance to see them in the flesh.

"I'm here for Ranbir Kapoor. I came out from Toronto to see him," she told CBC News.

On Friday night the main event will be a private nominations gala and technical awards night at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Then on Saturday night the action shifts to the big awards show at BC Place. There are still good tickets available, according to spokeswoman Laura Ballance

"Overall ticket sales for the total three-day presentation are above expectations," said Ballance.

"At the big awards show on Saturday night, which originally started in the area of about 20,000 tickets sold, we're probably going to be double that by Saturday night," she said.