Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinners on January 22nd at the Royal York Fairmont Hotel in Toronto. The event hosted numerous distinguished guests including Senator Don Meredith, Hon. Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Training, Universities and Colleges, MP Mike Sullivan, Hon. Tracey MacCharles, Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services, Hon. David C. Onley, Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, MPP Shafiq Qaadri and others. Dr. Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto and a world renowned expert on urban economies offered the keynote address of the evening entitled: “University and City-Region: A Partnership for Innovation and Opportunity”.


IDI GTA also presented its Excellence in Community Service and Emerging Young Leaders Awards at the event. The recipients of this year’s Excellence in Community Service Award were Hon. David C. Onley, Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Pathways to Education Canada. Hon. David Onley’s award was presented by Dave Ryan, Mayor of the City of Pickering while Pathways to Education’s Award was presented by Senator Don Meredith.  The Emerging Young Leaders Awards were presented to young poet Mustafa Ahmed and Danny Richmond of the Inspirit Foundation. Their awards were given by Hon. Tracey MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services and MPP Shafiq Qaadri.


Excellence in Community Service Award is awarded annually by Intercultural Dialogue Institute GTA to recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts and commitment to serving their communities. It’s selected by the Hosting Committee of Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinners hosted by IDI GTA. Some past recipients of this award are Matt Galloway (CBC Radio), Toronto Community Foundation, Maytree Foundation, Ken Shaw (Anchor, CTV News), CivicAction GTA and Dr. Charles Pascal, OISE, University of Toronto.

The event was concluded with closing remarks made by Tony Pontes, Director of Education of the Peel District School Board and the Hosting Committee member of the 10th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner. IDI GTA extends its special thanks to Chief (Ret.) Armand LaBarge of York Regional Police for his outstanding job in hosting the evening.

The SickKids Foundation was the charitable partner of the event. 30% of ticket sales was donated to the foundation.

Click here for the online copy of the dinner booklet

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