The Times of India Film Awards main event was held Saturday night in Vancouver, where fans had been crowding outside downtown hotels for days with the hopes of catching a glimpse of their favourite celebrities.

The province said it would spend $9.5 million to bring the show here in the hopes of a bigger return, expecting that more than $20 million will flow into the local economy.

Restaurants and hotels around the city have been seeing a boost in spring business, but Tourism Vancouver says the story will also be told through longer-term effects.

 

Vikram Vij, owner of Vij's restaurant — which is catering TOIFA's red carpet event —  says he, too, is excited at the international exposure the event is bringing to Vancouver attractions.

"[I'm] so excited. It doesn't get any better than this. I mean, to showcase Vancouver to India," Vij said.

B.C.'s faltering film industry could also benefit, with so many of Bollywood's élite here.

Laura Ballance, spokeswoman for the Times of India Film Awards, says a number of filmmakers who have never been to B.C. before have been getting to know the local industry during their trips here for the awards.

"A lot of the greatest directors and producers of Bollywood are here and they are doing nothing but set location," she said.

The three days of TOIFA events in Vancouver began Thursday night with a musical extravaganza at the Pacific Coliseum at Hastings Park.

It's estimated more than 30,000 people attended the main awards show Saturday night at BC Place.

Host Ranbir Kapoor, who was introduced as "the heartthrob of millions, his awesomeness," took the stage with co-host Anushka Sharma in a glittery act.

Shah Rukh Khan, who had the audience bursting into frenzied applause every time his image flashed on the jumbotron.

He gave a sweat-soaked performance that had the audience on their feet as the clock struck midnight, but still ended up losing out in the Best Actor category to Kapoor.

Barfi, a film about a deaf and mute man caught in a love triangle, won Best Picture, while the film's director, Anurag Basu, was also victorious in his category.

Priyanka Chopra won the Best Actress award for her work on the same film.

With files from the CBC's Deborah Goble and The Canadian Press