Exeko, one of our NGO members, launched the Inclusive Culture Laboratory in October 2016, a three-year participatory research project that explores how Le Groupe des Onze can help make Montréal’s most important cultural institutions more inclusive of and accessible to marginalized people. Exeko also hosted a symposium that month on the role of intellectual mediation in social transformation, a project supported by the McConnell Foundation and the Lucie et André Chagnon Foundation.
Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto hosted an extraordinary exhibit called “Syria: A Living History” (October 2016 – February 2017). Created by eight major international cultural institutions and supported by UNESCO and CCUNESCO, the exhibit provided an impressive view of Syrian history, highlighted the crisis of cultural heritage under threat in conflict zones, and raised awareness of the diversity of Syria’s historical cultures in a way rarely available to people in Canada. Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, the Director General of Antiquities in Syria, was a featured guest.
Photo: Aga Khan Museum
On October 4, 2016, TVO launched Striking Balance, an educational documentary series about Biosphere Reserves in Canada. Produced in collaboration with CCUNESCO and several other partners, this series celebrates the role of eight Canadian Biosphere Reserves in areas such as sustainable development, the preservation of biodiversity, and reconciliation. A supplementary ebook, Sustaining Home, is available, written by member CCUNESCO Maureen Reed and edited by Peter Kingsmill.
UNESCO Associated Schools Network
With CCUNESCO’s support, the UNESCO Associated Schools Network in Quebec launched Bourse du carbone Scol’ERE in 2016/17. This educational program supports UNESCO’s efforts in promoting education for sustainable development by engaging youth and mobilizing them to foster eco-responsible behaviours. Other initiatives involving UNESCO Associated Schools in Quebec are ongoing, including their participation in a France Télévisions pilot project aimed at celebrating International Day of Peace.
Photo: Isabelle LeVert-Chiasson
Association francophone pour le savoir
The 85th Congress of the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) was held in May 2017 at McGill University. Knowledge and research in the context of Canadian francophone culture were strengthened and disseminated thanks to the work of over 2,800 contributors from 213 knowledge sectors. The congress also offered free activities and panel sessions for the general public.
Photo: Hombeline Dumas
Canadian Heritage Information Network
In May 2016, the Canadian Heritage Information Network and its partners hosted the Colloque international sur les usages du patrimoine culturel immatériel at Université Laval. Over 200 international heritage experts reviewed the progress made in the ten years since UNESCO launched its Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and discussed strategies to expand the important work of preserving intangible cultural heritage—a vital piece in the protection of cultural diversity around the world.
Photo: Chantal Lévesque
Canadian Network for Arts and Learning
Arts education is key to Global Citizenship Education and helps individuals thrive. To reinvigorate discussions about arts education, the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning and its partners drafted a position paper entitled Preliminary Strategy for Partnership on Initiatives in Arts and Learning. This paper expands on international goals and priorities in arts education, as set out in the 2010 Seoul Agenda. The paper was launched at CCUNESCO’s 2017 AGM and is circulating in the international community.
Photo: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning
Centre for Global Education
With the input of over 1,300 students from 11 countries, the Centre for Global Education and its partners produced the International Youth White Paper on Global Citizenship. The white paper is the result of over 10,000 hours of student collaboration, and will act as a teaching and professional development tool for those engaged in Global Citizenship Education (GCED). During a Virtual Town Hall, the students participated in an international conversation that gave them a chance to share their ideas and visions for GCED worldwide.
Photo: Ezra Bridgman
Exploring by the Seat of your Pants
This non-profit organization, which promotes science, exploration and global citizenship in classrooms, celebrated the 2017 International Day of Women and Girls in Science by directly engaging hundreds of female students who are passionate about these topics. EBTSOYP’s full-day event featured Google Hangouts that brought together students and leading female scientists, explorers and conservationists, including recent L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards laureates.
Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Museums Association
Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Museums Association co-hosted Taking It to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums [LAMs] in a Changing World. This 2016 summit focused on the value of LAMs, such as their social, research, creative and economic benefits, and explored their role in the 21st century. Participating Canadian LAMs adopted the Ottawa Declaration, which commits them “to continually adapt and reinvent our institutions, and to promote the full value of libraries, archives and museums to Canadians.”
Photo: Robert Suraki Watun
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region
To help support reconciliation in Canada, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (BC) created a video that provides a governance model for UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Reconciliation in Action in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (2017) highlights the importance of roundtable collaborations between Indigenous Peoples and local governments, and of valuing the contributions of Indigenous Peoples not just in the realm of sustainable development, but in all matters.
Photo: Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region
Radio-DoDo is a radio show designed to help soothe the children of Syria to sleep, whether they are caught in conflict zones or starting a new life in Canada. This non-profit initiative, hosted by Syrian-Canadian entertainers Marie-Anne Alepin and Chadi Alhelou, offers a weekly radio show in Arabic and French to children ages 3-7. Radio-DoDo distributed radios and blankets to children in need when it launched in January 2017.
Photo: Radio-DoDo Facebook Page
Royal BC Museum and First People’s Cultural Council
In March 2017, the Royal BC Museum partnered with the First People’s Cultural Council to co-host Indigenous Perspectives on Repatriation: Moving Forward Together, held in Kelowna, BC. The symposium gathered Indigenous organizations and museum and archives professionals to review an enduring priority: how tangible cultural heritage, such as ancestral remains and sacred objects, can be repatriated to home communities. Participants also discussed strategies and resources for Indigenous Peoples working with cultural institutions in repatriation efforts.
Photo: Sebastian Irvine
Tsá Tué Biosphere Reserve
The Sahtuto’ine Dene keepers of the world’s first Indigenous-led UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Tsá Tué in the Northwest Territories, produced a video about the importance of Indigenous knowledges and practices to sustainable land use. Elders Speak (2017) is modelled on TVO’s Striking Balance series, which promotes the value of Biosphere Reserves in Canada and showcases their educational, environmental, community and research significance. The video, an example of successful cooperation among Indigenous Peoples and local governments, also addresses the impacts of climate change on the Arctic. It was screened for an international audience at EuroMAB 2017 and at CCUNESCO’s 2017 AGM.
Photo: Kuba Bakowski via Pew Charitable Trusts
Ville de Varennes
As a member of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism (CCMARD), the city of Varennes, QC produced a YouTube video promoting the #ItStartsWithMe initiative in 2017. The video was created in response to CCUNESCO’s call for CCMARD members to demonstrate their commitment to building more just communities, which was launched on the International Day for the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination. In the video, the Mayor of Varennes and members of the municipal government describe important priorities in the fight against discrimination in their city.
Photo: Ville de Varennes
Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom
Each May, cities around the world observe World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness about threats to journalists, and to promote freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Some 100 events were organized around the world in 2016, supported by civil society and media organizations. On May 3, the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom gave the 2016 Press Freedom Award to Ben Makuch of Vice News for his efforts to protect a news source, while the first prize in the World Press Freedom International Editorial Cartoon went to Mary E. Lurvey (USA).
Photo: Winner of the 17th World Press Freedom International Editorial Cartoon Competition - Mary E. Lurvey, USA