On April 23rd, 2013 Honorable David C. Onley, the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario hosted a reception in honour of the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI). The reception was held at LG’s suite at Queen’s Park and hosted around 100 guests including members, volunteers and friends of the institute. Representatives from different chapters of the institute (GTA, Ottawa, London, Hamilton and Kitchener) in Ontario joined this event. A number of distinguished guests and supporters of IDI were among the attendees.
Honourable David C. Onley welcomed the guests at the reception and started his remarks by expressing his pleasure to attend IDI GTA’s Dialogue and Friendship Dinner in January, 2013. Speaking about the work of IDI, His Honour noted that events such as the Boston Marathon Bombing on April 15 can divide people of different faith and beliefs. However, referring to the interfaith prayer service held for the victims of this horrific event in Boston’s the Holy Cross Cathedral, His Honour further noted that the same events may become a force which can unite people. In this context, Lieutenant Governor stressed the importance of coming together and engaging in dialogue.
His Honour concluded his remarks with a quote from Martin Luther King “Men hate each other because they fear each other and they fear each other because they don’t know each other and they don’t know each other because they are often separated from each other” and added that “it is dialogue between cultures and religions that can break down the walls that separate us”.
National Director of Intercultural Dialogue Institute was one of the speakers at this event and offered some remarks on behalf of the Institute. David Rivard, CEO of Toronto Children’s Society and the advisory board member of the GTA chapter of IDI offered greetings on behalf of the advisory board. He touched upon the success of some of the institute’s initiatives e.g. Dialogue and Friendship Dinners, Intercultural Study Trips and Noah’s Pudding and the impact they make in bringing communities together and promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.
The speeches were followed by a reception where guests had a chance to meet and talk in an atmosphere of friendship and cordiality.