TORONTO — The Intl. Indian Film Academy has tapped Toronto as the host city for its 12th awards, a three-day, Bollywood star-studded event culminating with the IIFA awards ceremony on June 25 at the Rogers Center.

It’s the first time IIFA has held its awards and related marts and shows in North America. Event never takes place in India — the IIFA org prefers to market the industry abroad at celebrations in foreign host cities including London, Dubai, Bangkok and Amsterdam.

The greater Toronto area has a South Asian population of more than 500,000, and Indian cinema is a major draw at the multiplexes and the Toronto Film Festival.

On Wednesday actor Anil Kapoor (“Slumdog Millionaire”), in Toronto to promote the event, said, “IIFA’s journey over the last 10 years has opened many doors for the Indian film industry in the host country, be it in terms of film shooting avenues or the assistance given to filmmakers from government and tourism bodies.”

The IIFA event is expected to draw 40,000 visitors to Toronto.