“Vibrant and healthy communities
are possible when people get
to know one another”
The purpose behind last year’s Canada’s 150th grants was to “build vibrant and healthy communities with the broadest possible engagement…” as well as affect “a deeper understanding about the people, places and events that shape our communities.”
Inspired by these words and their faith, a core group of organizers came together to create the “Kingston 150+ Interfaith Celebration”. A “+” was added to the 150 in acknowledgement of the spiritual traditions that existed on this land before confederation.
Over a hundred and fifty people gathered to celebrate the contribution their faiths have made to Kingston and area. Baha’i, Buddhist, Sikhism, Christian, Hindu, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian presented while other faiths and non-faiths enjoyed two evenings of food and sharing.
A colour coded system ensured that guests sat next to members from different communities. Organizers hoped that people would engage strangers in conversation.
Talk they did. Memorial Hall in Kingston’s City Hall was filled with chatter, smiles and laughter. So many voices filled the room that the events started and ended late.
When invited to say a few words Tina Bailey, Community Foundation for Kingston & Area Executive Director observed “when I sat down I knew no one at my table, now I feel I made seven new friends.”
Through sharing of food, songs, history and prayers, differences were celebrated and similarities were discovered. Everyone understood a little bit more.
Vibrant and healthy communities are possible when people get to know one another.
on behalf of the Canada 150+ Interfaith Celebration Committee
Photos taken during each event can be viewed here: