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Aga Khan's Global Centre for Pluralism
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canada's Global Advantage

On April 24th, the Global Centre for Pluralism hosted the launch of the report, “The Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage,” in partnership with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. The report presented the findings and policy recommendations arising from a year-long research project examining the links between diversity and economic prosperity.

The research project, led by Dr. Bessma Momani and Jill Stirk, and supported by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, showed positive correlations between workplace diversity and both revenue and productivity in companies in 13 industrial sectors in Canada. Across all the industries studied, a 1% increase in ethnocultural diversity was associated with an average 2.4% increase in revenue.

The launch event featured a panel discussion between distinguished representatives from the private sector, civil society, academia and the media. The discussion focussed on how their sectors are being impacted by, and responding to, issues of diversity in Canada. The event was attended by over 100 guests at the Centre, with exceptional online engagement and livecast viewing. The conversation online with the hashtag #diversitydividend trended in Canada.

The findings of this research project will have important implications for public policy and the public discourse around issues of diversity, immigration and the growth of the Canadian economy. The Centre was honoured to help share this report with Canadians across the country.

Report available at:
http://www.pluralism.ca/images/DiversitySpecial_Report_WEB.pdf

More...
http://mailchi.mp/pluralism/accounting-for-change-in-diverse-societies-le-franais-suit-963045?e=20f57ec9da
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Statement by Yasmin Ratansi Member of Parliament Don Valley East in the Parliament:

https://twitter.com/Yasmin_Ratansi/status/862401456216952833

Includes video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j56I12Qvls

Published on May 10, 2017

The Global Centre for Pluralism will officially open on May 16, 2017 in Ottawa. Diversity is a benefit and not a risk.
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ottawa al Akbar 2017, May

http://iicanada.org/national/insert-region-tuesday-may-9-2017-0#node14292

May 19 Special Video Showing on the Global Centre for Pluralism

A video highlighting the official opening of the international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism will be shown on Friday, May 19 after Jamati ceremonies. Members of the Jamat, including family members of other faiths, are encouraged to attend.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

H.H. The Aga Khan is expected to arrive in Ottawa, Canada early next week to attend at 10:30am on 16th May the opening of the new HQ of the Global Center of Pluralism at an event which will also be attended by the Trustees including The Governor General David Johnston, Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and many other high profile guests.


LIVE WEBCAST HERE on 16th May 2017 at 10:30am
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin wrote:
LIVE WEBCAST HERE on 16th May 2017 at 10:30am[/b]
Standard Eastern Time
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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Official Opening of the Global Centre for Pluralism’s international headquarters

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Livestream begins at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time

330 Sussex Drive, Ottawa

Watch the livestream below


His Highness the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims around the world, and His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada will welcome distinguished guests to the official opening of the Centre’s new permanent headquarters in Ottawa.

In the beautifully restored heritage building at 330 Sussex Drive, formerly the Public Archives of Canada (1905-1967) and the Canadian War Museum (1967-2005), the Centre will continue to expand its work as a global platform for comparative analysis, learning and dialogue about the importance of valuing diversity both in Canada and around the world.

The opening ceremony celebrates the long-standing public-private partnership between His Highness and Canada.

Please note this event is by invitation only. We invite you to participate by watching the livestream coverage and following us on Twitter @GlobalPluralism for live-tweets from the event with the hashtag #330Sussex.

http://www.pluralism.ca/en/events/official-opening.html

********
The Global Centre for Pluralism

May 12, 2017

Governor General to Attend the Opening of the New International Headquarters for the Global Centre for Pluralism

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will join His Highness the Aga Khan at the official opening of the new international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism, in Ottawa, on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.

During this event, the Governor General will deliver an address on the importance of pluralism and the role the Centre and Canada can play as leaders in this globally significant issue.

The event will be streamed live online at www.pluralism.ca.

About the Global Centre for Pluralism
Founded in Ottawa by His Highness the Aga Khan in partnership with the Government of Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism is an independent, charitable organization. Inspired by Canada’s experience as a diverse and inclusive country, the Centre was created to advance positive responses to the challenge of living peacefully and productively together in diverse societies.

https://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=16818&lan=eng

*******
New Global Centre for Pluralism combines timeless design and heritage details

BY Hattie Klotz

POSTED May 12, 2017 11:51 am


It’s been many years in the making, but the former Canadian War Museum (1967 – 2005) and before that the Public Archives of Canada (1905 – 1967), has been re-born.

Now known as the Global Centre for Pluralism, the building at 330 Sussex Dr. is a study in the combination of heritage details and historical context, with contemporary functionality and an eye for timeless design.

His Highness the Aga Khan, has invested $35 million in the restoration of this building, completed in 1905. A team of architects and designers has invested many years of thought, research, and planning into rejuvenating the building to 21st century standards, while at the same time advancing the idea that this Ottawa landmark might be a catalyst for improving its environs. This has included removing asbestos from the walls and then insulating them; replacing all heating, cooling and lighting systems to improve energy efficiency; and introducing contemporary design elements to the building.

More...
http://ottawamagazine.com/homes/design/new-global-centre-for-pluralism-combines-timeless-design-and-heritage-details/

*******
Former Sussex Drive war museum ready to reopen as the Global Centre for Pluralism

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen

The place where Canadians once came to commemorate this country’s contributions to war has been boldly reimagined for the 21st century as a centre that fosters pluralism and celebrates diversity as a new international value.

Built between 1904 and 1906, 330 Sussex Dr. was designed by David Ewart, the chief dominion architect. His other notable buildings include the Royal Canadian Mint and the Canadian Museum of Nature. It served as the dominion archives for 60 years before becoming the Canadian War Museum in 1967.

The three-storey Tudor Gothic stone building has been vacant since 2005, when the war museum relocated to its new space on LeBreton Flats.

Now, a decade after a $35-million restoration led by KPMB Architects — and paid for by the Aga Khan —began, the Global Centre for Pluralism’s international headquarters officially opens on Tuesday.

When the Citizen was given a sneak peek inside late last week, workers were busy with the finishing touches.

Photos and more...
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/former-sussex-drive-war-museum-ready-to-reopen-as-the-global-centre-for-pluralism


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Canada ahead of Global Centre for Pluralism opening



TheIsmaili.org

15 May 2017

Ottawa, 15 May 2017 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Ottawa this afternoon, accompanied by Princess Zahra and Prince Aly Muhammad. Tomorrow Hazar Imam will be joined by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada for the official opening of the international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism.

Soon after their arrival, Mawlana Hazar Imam, Princess Zahra and Prince Aly Muhammad visited the Global Centre for Pluralism, and were given a tour of the building by John McNee, Secretary General of the Centre.

Situated at 330 Sussex Drive, the new permanent headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism is a heritage building that served as the Public Archives of Canada between 1905–67 and as the Canadian War Museum from 1967–2005. The facility underwent a significant transformation before reopening its doors in January of this year.

The opening ceremony will be streamed live at the websites of the Global Centre for Pluralism, the Aga Khan Development Network and the Globe and Mail. The webcast is due to start at 10:30 AM EDT (Ottawa time).

http://www.theismaili.org/news-events/mawlana-hazar-imam-arrives-canada-ahead-global-pluralism-opening
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/former-sussex-drive-war-museum-ready-to-reopen-as-the-global-centre-for-pluralism

Former Sussex Drive war museum ready to reopen as the Global Centre for Pluralism

Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: May 15, 2017 | Last Updated: May 15, 2017 9:40 PM ED

The place where Canadians once came to commemorate this country’s contributions to war has been boldly reimagined for the 21st century as a centre that fosters pluralism and celebrates diversity as a new international value.

Built between 1904 and 1906, 330 Sussex Dr. was designed by David Ewart, the chief dominion architect. His other notable buildings include the Royal Canadian Mint and the Canadian Museum of Nature. It served as the dominion archives for 60 years before becoming the Canadian War Museum in 1967.

The three-storey Tudor Gothic stone building has been vacant since 2005, when the war museum relocated to its new space on LeBreton Flats.

Now, a decade after a $35-million restoration led by KPMB Architects — and paid for by the Aga Khan —began, the Global Centre for Pluralism’s international headquarters officially opens on Tuesday.

When the Citizen was given a sneak peek inside late last week, workers were busy with the finishing touches.

Project manager Farhad Mawani explained how Ewart wanted Ottawa to have buildings that befitted a capital city and, for their time, had modern touches, such as open concepts, plain white walls and exposed beams. Some of the materials used, then and now, include white oak and marble.

Considered a Class A national historic building, the highest rating possible, the renovations to 330 Sussex — which sits between the National Gallery of Canada and the Mint on a perch overlooking the Ottawa River — had to be minimal and sensitive. “We didn’t just want to start ripping everything out,” Mawani said.

The international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism (formerly the War Museum) at 330 Sussex Drive have undergone a major rehabilitation led by the award-winning architects KPMB and supported by a $35 million investment from the Aga Khan. May 12,2017. Errol McGihon/Postmedia Errol McGihon / Postmedia

The international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism (formerly the War Museum) at 330 Sussex Drive have undergone a major rehabilitation led by the award-winning architects KPMB and supported by a $35 million investment from the Aga Khan. May 12,2017. Errol McGihon/Postmedia Errol McGihon / Postmedia

Design work was completed in 2013, lead and asbestos were removed the next year, and construction began in earnest the year after that. The Centre’s 14 staff have been working out of it since January.

An addition, built in the 1920s, will be occupied by the Mint. A third wing never materialized, so the building has retained its asymmetrical, L-shape.

Two things now set the building apart from earlier versions of itself.

A new courtyard off Sussex featuring benches and blooming flower beds is intended to draw people in and create a new public space.

“Already, even though it’s been a bumpy start to spring, there are lots of people coming and sitting and chatting, and that’s the idea,” secretary general John McNee said in an interview.

The forecourt, as he called it, is unquestionably lovely, but the building itself feels austere, colonial and stuffy. It doesn’t scream pluralism or diversity.

But McNee said its august location on the ceremonial route between Rideau Hall and Parliament Hill sends a signal that these are important values in Canada. The idea for this centre dates back to the 1990s when the Aga Khan began asking Canadian leaders to explain the success of Canada’s approach to diversity.

Plus, when the building was the war museum, a giant tank greeted visitors. “That’s not terribly welcoming,” McNee said.

The other unique feature, on the building’s back side facing the river, is an angular window that juts out, bathing all three storeys in natural light. Viewed from inside, it acts as a magnet, pulling people to it, compelling them to stare out over the river below.

It symbolizes opening a door to the river and simultaneously acts as a nod to the organization’s raison d’être to position Canada as a country that’s open to the world.

KPMB took the trefoil design that’s repeated on the building’s parapet and reinterpreted it to create a pattern that is used as a screen on part of the window and also for acoustic panelling in one of the centre’s key spaces.

Elsewhere, walls are adorned with Canadian art. The idea was to choose artists or pieces that tell a story of pluralism in Canada. Former Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson, who sits on the centre’s board, was on the committee that selected the art.

The Global Centre for Pluralism is one of 150 buildings participating in this year’s instalment of Doors Open Ottawa. Curious members of the public can visit on June 3 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Global Centre for Pluralism is also part of the National Capital Commission’s Confederation Pavilions program. It will be open from June 7 until the end of October for self-guided tours on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

The international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism (formerly the War Museum) at 330 Sussex Drive have undergone a major rehabilitation led by the award-winning architects KPMB and supported by a $35 million investment from the Aga Khan. May 12,2017. Errol McGihon/Postmedia Errol McGihon / Postmedia

The international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism (formerly the War Museum) at 330 Sussex Drive have undergone a major rehabilitation led by the award-winning architects KPMB and supported by a $35 million investment from the Aga Khan. May 12,2017. Errol McGihon/Postmedia Errol McGihon / Postmedia

The international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism (formerly the War Museum) at 330 Sussex Drive have undergone a major rehabilitation led by the award-winning architects KPMB and supported by a $35 million investment from the Aga Khan. May 12,2017.
Errol McGihon/Postmedia Errol McGihon / Postmedia

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-a-no-show-at-event-with-aga-khan-in-ottawa/article35011593/

Trudeau a no-show at event with Aga Khan in Ottawa

Michelle Zilio

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, May 16, 2017 7:35PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, May 16, 2017 8:53PM EDT

he Aga Khan was in Ottawa Tuesday for the grand opening of the Global Centre for Pluralism, a think tank founded by the billionaire Ismaili Muslim leader with $30-million in federal-government support.



However, the Aga Khan’s long-time family friend, Justin Trudeau, was nowhere to be seen at the event. The Prime Minister’s absence comes amidst an investigation into his family’s vacation to the Aga Khan’s private island last Christmas.


A source familiar with the matter said the Prime Minister was invited to the event. But according to a PMO spokesperson, Mr. Trudeau was attending a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill at that time, about one kilometre from the centre.

The Aga Khan was not available to answer reporters’ questions Tuesday, according to staff organizing the event. Asked why Mr. Trudeau was not in attendance, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, who represented the Liberal government at the centre’s opening, refused to directly answer reporters’ questions.

“We were happy as a government to be here along with the Governor-General and of course His Highness, the Aga Khan,” Ms. Joly said. “This centre is extremely important for our government.”

Mr. Trudeau’s Open and Accountable Government rules prohibit ministers and parliamentary secretaries from accepting sponsored travel without approval of the ethics commissioner.

He came under fire from both the Conservatives and NDP for the ethics controversy again in Question Period on Tuesday. In what was likely to be her last question in the House of Commons to the Prime Minister, outgoing interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose demanded Mr. Trudeau reveal whether he has met with the ethics commissioner to discuss the vacation.

“This is likely my last question for the Prime Minister, so I am going to make him an offer. I will call off the attack dogs and nobody on this side will ask the question 18 more times. I think that sounds like a pretty fair deal. Let us end this with a real answer,” Ms. Ambrose said.

Responding to question, Mr. Trudeau said Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has asked him not to discuss the process.

Ms. Dawson, whose term ends on July 8, is currently investigating Mr. Trudeau for a possible breach of the Conflict of Interest Act for not seeking her approval before he took the Aga Khan’s private helicopter from Nassau to Bell Island.

Mr. Trudeau has admitted he did not seek Ms. Dawson’s approval, saying that he does not believe he did anything unethical as the only way to get to the island was to use the Aga Khan’s personal helicopter.

On Monday, Mr. Trudeau recused himself from making a decision on Ms. Dawson’s replacement, given the ongoing investigation into his family’s vacation. Government House Leader Bardish Chagger will be responsible for naming a replacement for Ms. Dawson.

The centre is also distancing itself from Mr. Trudeau’s vacation controversy.

“This is not a matter for the Global Centre for Pluralism,“ said John McNee, secretary-general of the Global Centre for Pluralism.

Mr. McNee said the centre is thrilled to officially move into its new office at 330 Sussex Dr. The federal heritage building, located beside the Royal Canadian Mint, used to be home to the Dominion Archives of Canada and the Canadian War Museum. It recently underwent a massive $35-million restoration, and now houses the centre in one wing and some Mint offices in the other.

The centre, which began operating in 2011, was housed at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, another Aga Khan building on Sussex, until renovations were completed this year.

Mr. McNee said the new building will allow the centre to establish itself in its own space. It will publish 25 analytical papers this year examining the state of pluralism around the world, including in Bolivia, Singapore and India. Mr. McNee said there will also be a $50,000 Global Pluralism Award for an international advocate or organization working to promote diverse, inclusive societies around the world.

“His Highness and our board see the Global Centre as a permanent institution because it deals with problems of human society that are never fixed,” Mr. McNee said.

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, who sits on the centre’s board, emphasized the importance of the centre’s work amidst the rise of populism and anti-immigrant sentiments around the world, including in the United States.

“What is happening in Canada and the Global Centre is extremely important because people are resisting migration and hopefully they are more sensitive to refugees. Migration will not stop. It will continue. What is important is for us to find a way of managing migration.”

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opening of the Global Center of Pluralism in Ottawa, Canada on 16 May 2017










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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://globalnews.ca/news/3454338/aga-khan-global-centre-for-pluralism/

May 16, 2017 5:24 am
Updated: May 16, 2017 1:25 pm

Aga Khan opens pluralism centre in Ottawa amid Trudeau vacation controversy

By Mike Blanchfield The Canadian Press



OTTAWA – The Aga Khan returned to Ottawa today to unveil the new headquarters of an international organization that is positioning itself as an antidote of sorts to the growing strains of populism and intolerance.

But if you thought for one minute that the wealthy philanthropist, who is hereditary spiritual leader to the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims, would talk about that helicopter ride he gave to Justin Trudeau over the Christmas holidays, forget it.

The 80-year-old Aga Khan kept the focus on the opening of the new home for the Global Centre for Pluralism – part think tank, part advocacy group – in a renovated piece of prime Ottawa real estate on Sussex Drive.

John McNee, secretary general of the centre, is well aware of the controversy that has dominated Parliament Hill in recent months: the prime minister’s ride on the Aga Khan’s private helicopter ride to visit his private island in the Bahamas.

“That’s not a matter for the Global Centre for Pluralism,” McNee said in an interview.

The Conservatives have loudly condemned Trudeau for the trip, which they say violated the Conflict of Interest Act, and are demanding to know more about an ongoing probe of the voyage by the federal ethics commissioner.
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1468702-aga-khan-opens-ottawa-pluralism-centre-and-board-members-blast-trump


Aga Khan opens Ottawa pluralism centre, and board members blast Trump


The Canadian Press
Published May 16, 2017 - 6:28pm

OTTAWA — The Aga Khan returned Tuesday to Ottawa to unveil the new headquarters of an international organization that is positioning itself as an antidote of sorts to growing strains of populism and intolerance around the world.



Board members of the Global Centre for Pluralism, including former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, singled out the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House as something that makes the centre's work even more relevant.

"We have to keep a very careful eye on not only the countries that have a history of turmoil but also on places like the United States, where the rule of law is being flouted by the president," said Clarkson.

"It is terrifying to see that on a daily basis, and think, how is that going to work out in the end because it's such an important power — it's a great country."

Board member Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general, singled out Trump for blaming foreigners for taking American jobs "and other bad things," and for deceiving unemployed Americans in the rust belt that he can revive the coal industry to create jobs.

"When you don't do that and you lie to them, I worry what happens (the) next time they realize they've been deceived," said Annan.

Controversy hovered over the Ottawa appearance of the Aga Khan, a wealthy philanthropist and hereditary spiritual leader to the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims. He gave Justin Trudeau a controversial helicopter ride to his private island in the Bahamas over the Christmas holidays, something the opposition continued to press the prime minister on during question period on Tuesday.

The 80-year-old Aga Khan kept the focus on the opening of the new pluralism centre — part think tank, part advocacy group — on a renovated piece of prime Ottawa real estate on Sussex Drive.

John McNee, secretary general of the centre, declined comment on the helicopter controversy, saying: "That's not a matter for the Global Centre for Pluralism."

The Conservatives have loudly condemned Trudeau for the trip, which they say violated the Conflict of Interest Act. They are demanding to know more about an ongoing investigation by the federal ethics commissioner.

A former aide to Stephen Harper says the Conservative ex-prime minister was hopeful none of that would overshadow the opening of the new pluralism centre headquarters, or its core mandate of promoting diversity in a troubled world.

"He's hugely supportive of it," said Rachel Curran, who served as Harper's policy director. "He's always thought the Aga Khan was one of the leading voices in the world for the promotion of peace and pluralism."

She said the helicopter controversy reflects more on Trudeau than the Aga Khan.

"I don't think it will reflect on the work of the centre or the Aga Khan's work . . . It's a distraction for sure."

Harper, who gave the Aga Khan honorary Canadian citizenship, visited his resplendent Ismaili Centre in Dubai in January and said in a tweet that it reminded him of "what a tremendous force for global peace and pluralism the Aga Khan is."

Trudeau, meanwhile, has said the Aga Khan is a longtime family friend, dating back to the early 1970s when his father, then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, gave sanctuary to Ismaili Muslims fleeing Ugandan despot Idi Amin.

"Liberal and Conservative prime ministers have all readily responded to the Aga Khan's interest in promoting pluralism in the world, drawing on Canada's experience," said McNee.

The centre is set up as a registered non-profit and had been operating since 2011 out of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, the Aga Khan Foundation's building also on Sussex Drive.

McNee said some of its previous activities have included keynote events featuring the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the architect of South Africa's post-apartheid constitution.

That's just a taste of what's to come in the centre's new home, which used to house Canada's war museum, said McNee.

There will be more speeches and public discussions, and research papers have been commissioned on the diversity challenges in places such as Bolivia, Singapore and India. There will also be a $50,000 Global Pluralism Award for an international advocate of human rights and "inclusion," said McNee.

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SPEECH DELIVERED BY His Highness the Aga Khan
LOCATION


Ottawa, Canada (16 May 2017)[/b]

VIDEO here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld0uDPsLz9E&feature=youtu.be

Opening ceremony of the new headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism



Bismillah-ir-Rahaman-ir-Rahim

Your Excellency the Governor General
Madame la Ministre
Excellencies
Fellow Directors of the Global Centre for Pluralism
Friends of the Centre

What a great day this is for all of us. And what a special ceremony, as we honour a beautiful symbol of Canada’s rich past, and rededicate it to the great cause of a pluralistic Global future.

As you know, the War Museum Building was designed well over a century ago by the great Canadian Architect, David Ewart. For its first half century, it was the home of the Dominion Archives, and then, for another half century, we knew it as the War Museum. For over one hundred years, all told, it was a place where the record of Canada’s proud and confident past was preserved and honoured.

I think you will agree with me that the past still speaks to us in this place. The architects, designers, engineers and so many others who have rehabilitated this wonderful Tudor Gothic building have taken enormous care to respect its distinctive historic character. We all join today in saluting the design and engineering team led by KPMB, the construction team, led by MP Lundy Construction, and so many other dedicated staff and volunteers who have contributed to this project.

J'aimerais partager une autre pensée alors que nous tournons nos regards vers ce passé si digne de respect. Je trouve en effet très approprié que cette cérémonie ait lieu cette année, l'année du 150ème anniversaire de la Confédération canadienne.

Je suis heureux de pouvoir me compter au nombre de ceux qui, cette année, évoquent avec une fierté particulière "notre" histoire canadienne. La raison en est bien sûr la générosité dont ce pays à fait preuve à mon égard, il y a plusieurs années, en m'octroyant le titre de citoyen honoraire du Canada.

But even as we celebrate the past today, we are also looking ahead, with joy and confidence, to a particularly exciting future.

That future has also been symbolized by those who have renewed this building, in two compelling ways.

First, they created a new garden in the forecourt, a tranquil space for contemplating the past and thinking about the future. And then, secondly, they made a dramatic new gesture for the future by opening this building to the river.

When I first visited this site, I went across the Ottawa River, to see things from the opposite side. From that perspective, I noticed that many buildings on the Ontario side had, over the years, turned their backs to the river. But as we began to plan, another possibility became evident. It seemed increasingly significant to open the site to the water.

Water, after all, has been seen, down through the ages, as the great source of life. When scientists search the universe for signs of life, they begin by looking for water. Water restores and renews and refreshes. And opening ourselves and our lives to the water is to open ourselves and our lives to the future.

In addition, the Ottawa River represents a powerful connection to other places, nearby and far away. It is not only a refreshing symbol, it is also a connecting symbol, connecting this site to the rest of Canada and the rest of the world.

Throughout the history of Canada, the Ottawa River has been a meeting place for diverse peoples, originally the First Nations, and then the British and the French, and more recently Canadians from many different backgrounds. It symbolizes the spirit of connection. And the spirit of connection, of course, is at the very heart of the Global Centre for Pluralism.

The new forecourt garden suggests that the Centre will be a place for contemplation and reflection. And the opening to the River suggests that it will also be a place for connection and engagement.

What happens at 330 Sussex Drive in the years ahead will radiate out well beyond its walls, to the entire world.

Let me emphasize a point about the concept of pluralism that is sometimes misunderstood. Connection does not necessarily mean agreement. It does not mean that we want to eliminate our differences or erase our distinctions. Far from it. What it does mean is that we connect with one another in order to learn from one another, and to build our future together.

Pluralism does not mean the elimination of difference, but the embrace of difference. Genuine pluralism understands that diversity does not weaken a society, it strengthens it. In an ever-shrinking, ever more diverse world, a genuine sense of pluralism is the indispensable foundation for human peace and progress.

From the start, this has been a vision that the Ismaili Imamat and the Government of Canada have deeply shared.

My own close association with Canada began more than five decades ago, with the coming to Canada of many thousands of Asian Ismailis, essentially as the result of Idi Amin’s anti-Asian policies in Uganda. That relationship has been re-enforced through the years as we have shared with our Canadian friends in so many great adventures, here in Canada and in other lands, including the Global Centre for Pluralism.

The Centre has been, from the start, a true partnership - a breakthrough partnership - a genuine public-private partnership. And one of my central messages today is how deeply grateful we are to all of those who have made this partnership so effective.

It was with Prime Minister Jean Chretien, that we first discussed the idea of founding a new pluralism centre, and it was Prime Minister Paul Martin who helped develop the plan. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government sealed the partnership and Minister Bev Oda then signed with me the establishing Agreement. Minister Mélanie Joly has also given strong support to the GCP. And Prime Minister Trudeau has articulated, with conviction and with passion, the need for pluralism in our world.

I think, too, today of so many other public servants who have helped guide this effort, including Universities Canada, the IDRC and other past and present members of the Corporation of the GCP. And I also thank the fine cooperation we have received from the Canadian Mint, who will share with us in occupying one wing of this building.

As we celebrate the progress we have made today, we also recognize the growing challenges to our mission, as nativist and nationalist threats to pluralism rise up in so many corners of the world. In responding to these challenges, the Global Centre for Pluralism has planned a variety of new initiatives. Among them are the new Global Pluralism Awards which will recognise pluralism in action around the world, as well as a distinguished series of new publications.

As we look today both to the past and to the future, we do so with gratitude to all those who have shared in this journey, and who now share in our pursuit of new dreams. Among them is someone whom we welcome today not only as a distinguished Statesman, but also as one whose personal support has inspired us all.

It is a pleasure and an honour to present to you His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada.

Thank you


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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 14660

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Global Centre for Pluralism

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, earlier today, His Highness the Aga Khan, joined by the Right Honourable David Johnston, officially opened the new international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism, located at 330 Sussex Drive in Ottawa, an event I had the honour to attend.

For over four decades, the Aga Khan has invested in Canada's cultural and social fabric. The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, the Aga Khan Garden in Edmonton, the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa and the Ismaili Imamat Centres in Vancouver and Toronto have become iconic places for engagement and enlightenment.

The Global Centre for Pluralism, which represents a unique partnership between the Ismaili Imamat and Canada, was inspired by a shared commitment with Canada's leadership to the profound importance that pluralism must play in an interconnected world. This commitment was shared by Prime Ministers Chrétien, Martin, Harper and Trudeau, all of whom contributed to the creation of this institution.

Honourable senators, in a time where politics is becoming increasingly divisive, the Global Centre for Pluralism is a reminder that diversity is not a weakness but instead is a powerful force for good — that values of tolerance, justice, pluralism and mutual respect are very much a part of the Canadian identity.

To quote His Highness the Aga Khan:


. . . pluralism, in essence, is a deliberate set of choices that a society must make if it is to avoid costly conflict and harness the power of its diversity in solving human problems.

Our hope and expectation is that the Global Centre for Pluralism will become a vital force in our world for research, learning and dialogue, engaging Canadians from all walks of life, and joining hands with a widening array of partners.

Honourable senators, I encourage you not only to visit the Global Centre for Pluralism, which is a restoration masterpiece in its own right, but to understand how this institution can be a force in promoting global stability and harmony.

Finally, I would like to congratulate His Highness the Aga Khan, chair of the centre's board of directors, for his significant investments in different regions in Canada and for the betterment of the world.

https://sencanada.ca/en/content/sen/chamber/421/debates/121db_2017-05-16-e#9
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam and Canadian Governor General open Global Centre for Pluralism headquarters

http://www.theismaili.org/news-events/mawlana-hazar-imam-and-canadian-governor-general-open-global-pluralism-headquarters

TheIsmaili.org

17 May 2017

Ottawa, 16 May 2017 — Mawlana Hazar Imam and His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada officially opened the new international headquarters of the Global Centre for Pluralism today.

Also see:
» AKDN press release
http://www.akdn.org/press-release/historic-pluralism-headquarters-launch-ottawa-anchoring-canada-global-hub-dialogue

and speech by Mawlana Hazar Imam

http://www.akdn.org/speech/his-highness-aga-khan/opening-ceremony-of-new-headquarters-of-global-centre-pluralism

» Video about the Global Centre for Pluralism

http://www.akdn.org/video/about-global-centre-pluralism


» Global Centre for Pluralism brief

http://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/documents/various_pdf_documents/2017_0516_canada_ottawa_-_official_opening_of_gcp_-_media_brief.pdf
» Website of the Global Centre for Pluralism

http://www.pluralism.ca/en/

The heritage building at 330 Sussex Drive that now houses the Centre was built over a century ago. It once held the archives of the Dominion of Canada, and later served as the Canadian War Museum. The building has been beautifully restored to its new purpose as the home of the Global Centre for Pluralism.

In the 150th anniversary year of Canadian confederation, “the past still speaks to us in this place,” noted Mawlana Hazar Imam. The renewed building, he said, connects “a new garden in the forecourt — a tranquil space for contemplating the past and thinking about the future” — with the magnificent and symbolic Ottawa River visible on the other side.

“Throughout the history of Canada, the Ottawa River has been a meeting place for diverse peoples, originally the First Nations, and then the British and the French, and more recently Canadians from many different backgrounds,” recounted Hazar Imam. “It symbolises the spirit of connection. And the spirit of connection, of course, is at the very heart of the Global Centre for Pluralism.”

Governor General David Johnston spoke glowingly of the mission of the Global Centre for Pluralism, and expressed gratitude to Mawlana Hazar Imam for establishing it in Canada’s capital city and “strengthening Canada’s commitment to a leadership of this issue for the world.”

The Governor General of Canada underscored the urgency of pluralism, saying that it is “critical for the long term peace and prosperity of societies worldwide.” Its success, he said, depends on developing a compelling narrative about the value of diversity.

“Pluralism will succeed if we’re able to tell the most convincing story,” said the Governor General. “Here in Canada, when we look around for this pluralism story, and listen for it, we begin to realise that in fact it isn’t a new story that we need, but a very old one that continues to unfold.”

Princess Zahra and Prince Aly Muhammad attended the event, along with a distinguished audience of more than 200. The gathering took place under a marquee erected in the gardens in front of the building. The Government of Canada was represented by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. John McNee, Secretary General of the Global Centre for Pluralism and its Board of Directors were also present.

Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Governor General unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion. Earlier in the day, the two had toured the building and had an opportunity to meet privately.

The Global Centre for Pluralism is a public-private partnership between the Ismaili Imamat and the Government of Canada. The Centre’s work includes conducting research into how countries have changed their approaches to diversity, hosting seminars with global communities of experts and practitioners to deepen understanding of pluralism and its applications, and creating educational tools to help teach the values underpinning pluralism.

The Centre’s Annual Pluralism Lecture, now in its sixth year, features international leaders who have dedicated their lives to advancing respect for diversity, and a newly established, bi-annual Global Pluralism Award celebrates extraordinary examples of pluralism in action.
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