IDI Toronto held its 7th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner at the Royal York Fairmont’s Imperial Room on January 12th, 2012 with the participation of some 250 distinguished guests. This year’s theme was “Living as Neighbours in the Global Community of Toronto”. In congruence with the theme, IDI Toronto gave two “Excellence in Community Service” awards. While one of the awards went to CBC’s Metro Morning host Matt Galloway, the other one went to Toronto Community Foundation (award received by Rahul Bhardwaj, CEO).
It was a night to remember with two keynote speeches from Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri, President of York University and Dr. Usha George, Dean of Community Services at Ryerson University. The work of IDI was honoured by the opening remarks of Hon. Charles Sousa (Ontario Minister of Immigration and Citizenship), and by the messages from Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; from Jason Kenney, Federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration read by MP Mark Adler; from Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario; and from Rob Ford, Mayor of City of Toronto. MP Corneliu Chisu, Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs; Margarett Best, Ontario Minister of Consumer Services; MPP Cheri DiNovo, MPP Christine Elliott, Councillor James Pasternak, and Councillor Joe Mihevc were only some of the other dignitaries who honoured the night with their presences. Live calligraphy show by Salih Gocmen, who came from New Jersey, US; and live music performance by guitar maestro Paul Deslauriers, who came all the way from Montreal for this special event, by Sitar maestro Anwar Khurshid, and by tabla maestro Ravi Naimpally brought joy to the event. Musideum staff, who set up an exhibition of many interesting musical instruments from many different cultures all around the world, made the night even more colourful.
Our special thanks goes to Robert Fisher of CBC who ran the event smoothly as the MC of the night.

Matt Galloway’s Remarks after receiving the award

Rahul Bhardwaj’s Remarks after receiving the award on behalf of TFC

York Celebrates Diversity: President Shoukri’s keynote address

Living as Neighbours: A Canadian Perspective from IDI Toronto