Toronto — Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation in their own unique way Jewish, Ukrainian, Armenian, Greek and Rwandan communities came together on December 3 in a one-day Conference on Genocide, Multiculturalism and Human Rights. Organized by the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), in collaboration with the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC), the conference entitled “Canadian Stories: Shared Experiences Over 150 Years” was held at the Armenian Community Centres of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver simultaneously and broadcasted live.
The conference examined the history of early Genocide experiences and Canada’s response to them, the evolution of Canadian multiculturalism and the pivotal role Canada should play in International human rights today.
«The conference attained its main goals of showing our collective responsibility to a shared history and presenting a strong position paper to the Government of Canada, outlining the findings of the conference,» said Marianne Davitjan, chair of the organizing committee.
Endorsed by the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR), the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), the Canadian Hellenic Congress (CHC) and the Rwandan Humura Association, ANCC and HREC presented an impressive program, featuring renowned individuals from across Canada, including Indigenous Legal expert Jessica Labranche;, Jonathan Kay, a world renown journalist;, Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the Federal NDP;, John Young, CEO of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, and Dr. Irwin Cotler, founder and chair of the RWCHR and Canada’s former Minister of Justice. The conference also featured the expert opinion of MP Arif Virani of Parkdale-High Park and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Heritage, MP Garnett Genuis of Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, MP Anthony Housefather of Mount Royal, renowned professors of history, Dr. Frank Sysyn and Dr. Isabelle Kaprielian-Churchil and the executive director of the Montreal Institute of Genocide Studies, Kyle Mathews.
“In celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary, we demonstrated to the world, our country’s diversity, unity, and unparalleled legacy in upholding our shared values of respect, tolerance, and intercultural dialogue,” said Shahen Mirakian, president of the ANCC.
The opening remarks of the conference was delivered by the president of the UCC, Paul Grod, while president of the ANCC, Shahen Mirakian, concluded the event with remarks on behalf of the ANCC and the organizing committee. Both community leaders commended the work of everyone involved in organizing such an important conference and stressed the importance of working together, as we remember our past and shape our future as Canadians.
“Our objective was to provide a cross-Canada platform to share, learn and understand from our experiences and to further our commitment to human rights by empowering those who want to make a difference, strengthen, and enhance Human Rights, Fundamental Freedoms and Canadian multiculturalism” concluded Mirakian.
To watch the recording of the conference, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6rfNdlLaTc
The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Armenian-Canadian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-Canadian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Message for “Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experiences”
December 3, 2017
I am pleased to extend my warmest greetings to everyone attending Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experience over 150 Years.
This event, organized by the Armenian National Committee of Canada and the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium, is being held simultaneously in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and video conferenced across the country. I am certain that delegates will benefit from the panel discussions on multiculturalism, acts of genocide and human rights, and will leave with renewed enthusiasm to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
I would like to thank the organizers for putting together an informative program that is sure to offer insight into our shared values and history. This year, as we mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, let us take the opportunity to honour the many cultures, traditions and beliefs that make our country such a wonderful place to live.
Please accept my best wishes for an enjoyable and memorable event.
The Rt. Hon. Justin P.J. Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada
Minister of Canadian Heritage, Hon. Mélanie Joly’s Message for “Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experiences”
December 3, 2017
Welcome to all those taking part in the “Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experience Over 150 Years” conference.
Diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths. This diversity—the many cultures, backgrounds and perspectives reflected in our communities—continues to enrich and inspire us. This year, as we mark Canada 150, we have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the people and cultures that have helped make Canada what it is today, as we look to our shared future with hope and optimism.
As Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, I would like to thank the Armenian National Committee of Canada and the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium for making this important conference possible. I wish all participants a productive and enjoyable conference.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly
03 decembre, 2017
Bienvenue à toutes les personnes qui assistent à la conférence Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experience Over 150 Years.
La diversité est l’une de nos plus grandes forces. Cette diversité – les nombreux points de vue, cultures et origines des membres de nos communautés − nous enrichit et nous inspire. Cette année, alors que nous célébrons Canada 150, nous avons une merveilleuse occasion de rendre hommage aux personnes et de célébrer les cultures qui ont contribué à faire du Canada le pays que nous connaissons aujourd’hui. Ainsi, nous pourrons nous tourner vers notre avenir collectif avec espoir et optimisme.
À titre de ministre du Patrimoine canadien et de ministre responsable du Multiculturalisme, je remercie le Comité national arménien du Canada et l’Holodomor Research and Education Consortium, qui ont assuré la tenue de cette importante conférence. Je souhaite à tous les participants une rencontre des plus productives et agréables.
L’honorable Mélanie Joly
Hon. Andrew Scheer’s Message for “Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experiences”
December 3, 2017
I am pleased to extend my warmest personal greetings to everyone attending Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experiences over 150 Years.
I was heartened to learn about this innovative conference, which will examine the history of Genocide experiences, Canada’s response to them and our country’s ongoing commitment to multiculturalism and human rights. I know the position paper drafted following the conference will be a valuable resource.
I commend the Armenian National Committee of Canada and the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium for organizing this event. I also congratulate the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Canadian Hellenic Congress and the Rwandan Humura Association for endorsing it. Your shared commitment to examining history and imparting its lessons is truly admirable.
On behalf of the Official Opposition, I extend my best wishes for a successful and thought- provoking event.
The Hon. Andrew Scheer, P.C., M.P. Leader of the Official Opposition
3 décembre 2017
Il me fait plaisir de souhaiter mes meilleurs vœux à tous ceux qui participent à la conférence Canadian Stories: Our Shared Experiences over 150 Years.
J’ai été touché d’apprendre la tenue de cette conférence innovatrice, qui vise à étudier l’histoire des génocides, la réponse du Canada et l’engagement continu de notre pays envers le multiculturalisme et les droits de la personne. J’ai l’assurance que l’exposé de principe qui sera rédigé après la conférence sera une précieuse ressource.
Je félicite l’Armenian National Committee of Canada et l’Holodomor Research and Education Consortium d’organiser cet événement. Je félicite également le Centre pour les droits de la personne Raoul Wallenberg, le Congrès des Ukrainiens-Canadiens, le Congrès hellénique canadien et la Rwandan Humura Association de le soutenir. Votre engagement partagé à étudier l’histoire et à en communiquer les leçons est vraiment admirable.
Au nom de l’Opposition officielle, je vous souhaite mes meilleurs vœux pour un événement inspirant des plus réussis.
Veuillez agréer mes salutations distinguées,
L’hon. Andrew Scheer, C.P., député Chef de l’Opposition officielle