Pictures from 33rd World Religions Conference

Picture Gallery from the 33rd World Religions Conference

Theme: "Religious Freedom as Practiced by Founders" 

Held Sunday, Sun October 06, 2013 at the River Run Centre, Guelph

Photo Credit: Tanvir Sheikh (WRC Volunteer Photographer)



Event Date: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Location: River Run Centre, Guelph

Phone: 1-877-INFO-WRC (1-877-463-6972)

Note: WRC organizing committee is releasing these pictures. These images are copyright protected. Please seek permission from WRC organizing committee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you wish to use or make any alterations in these images. 



Theme (33rd WRC)

Religious Freedom as Practised by Founders

of Sikhism, Humanism, Aboriginals, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity

Each year the conference explores a new theme. This year's theme, Religious Freedom as Practised by Founders is inspired by the recent inauguration of Canada's “Office of Religious Freedom”, recognizing that freedom of religion including the ability to worship, or not-worship, in peace and security is a universal human right. The conference aims to explore the teachings and practises of the founders of different religious and philosophical traditions, with the hope that such mutual exploration will encourage better understanding and promote harmonious co-existence among the members of Canada's cultural mosaic.

Promotional Pictures (33rd WRC)

Sample Promotional Displays of the 33rd World Religions Conference in Guelph, Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge:

Connestoga Mall, Waterloo:


Stone Road Mall in Guelph:

Cambridge Centre Mall in Cambridge:


University of Waterloo, DC Library Entrance:

Student Life Centre, University of Waterloo:


Downtown Guelph Kiosk:

Bulletin Boards:


Guelph Transit & Grand River Transit Buses:


Banner at Downtown Cambridge - Grand River


Promotion in downtown Guelph:



Speaker Profiles (33rd WRC)

Distinguished Scholars of the World’s Religions and Philosophies

Presided and Moderated by

Presided and Moderated by
Matthew Kang
Famous TV and Radio Journalist

Vastly admired as a fair and credible journalist. Matthew is one of the reporters with the CBC's new bureau in Kitchener-Waterloo, where he covers news and current affairs for Waterloo Region and the Guelph area. Formerly, he was a video journalist with CTV Kitchener and a radio/online journalist with the English service of Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster. In 2012, he was awarded by RTDNA Canada with the Adrienne Clarkson Diversity Award.

Representing Sikhism
Balpreet Kaur – Ohio, USA

Inspired Sikh activist and leader. Balpreet is studying International Development and Neuroscience at Ohio State University. Inspired by the universal tenets of love and service in Sikhism, engages in critical interfaith dialogue with college students through Interfaith Youth Core as well as on campus as President of the campus inter-faith movement, Better Together. Actively involved in leadership programs, youth camps, and conferences across the Midwest and on TEDx.

Representing Humanism (Atheists and Agnostics)
Doug Thomas – Elmira

A life-long Agnostic, Doug has been an active Humanist since 2002. As President of The Society of Ontario Freethinkers, and Secular Connexion Séculaire, he advocates consistently for Humanist rights and separation of church and state. This year, Doug was nominated for the J.S. Woodsworth Award for Human Rights and Equity. He is a published historical fiction novelist, edits Canadian Freethinker E-zine, and contributes regularly to Huffington Post.

Representing Aboriginals
Rev. Kathryn Gorman-Lovelady – Tiny, ON

A well-known Aboriginal Spiritual Teacher and Speaker. Kathryn is a psychology alumnus of the University of Guelph. Post-graduate work includes theology, and traditional healing. Licensed minister, Elder, shaman and Moderator of Wolfe Island Métis Interfaith Church. Kathryn is of First Nations heritage and presently the chair of the north-central region committee of the Ontario Multifaith Council. As a textile artist, runs a studio in Tiny, Ontario.

Representing Judaism
Rabbi Dow Marmur – Toronto

A Jewish scholar and an advocate of interfaith relations, Rabbi Marmur is the President of Jewish Synagogue, Toronto. Born in Poland, and graduated from Leo Baeck College, London. Served 2 congregations in Britain, Senior Rabbi of Holy Blossom, Toronto. Executive Director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, Jerusalem. Recipient of Poland's Order of Merit, and Ohev Yisrael Award. Authored 6 books and a regular columnist in the Toronto Star.

Representing Islam
Mubarak A. Nazir - Toronto

Prolific speaker. Mubarak is the Senior Vice President and Missionary Incharge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada. Regularly appears on broadcast media, and has lectured at numerous forums explaining contemporary Islamic issues. A graduate with a scientific background. After dedicating his life, served as Missionary both in Africa and Canada. Principal of various Ahmadiyya Islamic Schools in Africa and most recently of the Ahmadiyya Institute in Canada.

Representing Hinduism
Swami Haripriya Parivrajika – KW

Disciple of H.H. Brahmrishi Shri Vishvatma Bawra Ji Maharaj, Haripriya completed M.A. in psychology from Rijks University of Leiden, Holland. In India did spiritual practices, studied Sanskrit, Yoga, Upanishad and other scriptures and since 2001 a preacher at Brahmarishi Mission of Canada. Teaches Yoga, Sanskrit and delivers discourses at various places including Universities in Canada, India and Europe. Organizes and conducts Yoga Camps and courses for children and adults.

Representing Buddhism
Venerable Jue Qian – Mississauga

Chinese Buddhist Nun and Dharma teacher, Jue was ordained as a nun in Taiwan, Fo Guang Shan Temple. Holds a Master's Degree in Business from Australia, and a Master's Degree in Chinese Buddhism from Tsung Lin University. As the member of Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto and the person in-charge of the Waterloo Buddha's Light Centre, teaches Buddhism Dharma and meditation workshops in temples, high schools, colleges and universities.

Representing Christianity
Dr. Don Posterski – Toronto

Renown presenter. Don Posterski completed his tenure with World Vision International as the Director of “Faith and Development.” Former professor in Christianity and Culture at McMaster University, Don has written several books interpreting gospel and culture. Most recent publication is “Jesus on Justice: Living with compassion and conviction.” A frequent conference speaker, his global experience required him to interface with the complex dynamics of other world religions.


Program (33rd WRC)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

River Run Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Presided and Moderated by

Matthew Kang
Famous Radio Host
(CBC Radio Kitchener-Waterloo)

Opening Session : 10:00a — 12:00p

10:00a Doors Open

— Welcome and Registration
— Complimentary Brunch and Social
— Visit to the World Religions Displays

10:50a    Opening WRC Multi-Media Presentation

10:55a    Welcome by the Presiding Chair - Matthew Kang of CBC

10:49a    Reading from the Holy Scriptures — Representatives of all Faiths

11:13a    Opening Ceremony - Introduction of Speakers and Dignitaries

— Introduction of Speakers and Dignitaries
— Unveiling of the World Religions Conference Plaque
— Singing of O'Canada - National Anthem of Canada

11:20a    Introducing the Conference

— Mr. Lal Khan Malik, National President, AMJ Canada

11:24a    Introduction to theme — All speakers *

11:25a — Sikhism: Balpreet Kaur – Ohio, USA
11:28a — Humanism:  Doug Thomas – Elmira
11:31a — Aboriginals: Rev. Gorman-Lovelady – Tiny, ON
11:34a — Judaism: Rabbi Dow Marmur – Toronto
11:37a — Islam: Mubarak A. Nazir - Toronto
11:40a — Hinduism: Swami H. Parivrajika - Kitchener
11:43a — Buddhism: Venerable Jue Qian – Mississauga
11:46a — Christianity: Dr. Don Posterski – Toronto

11:49a    Messages and Greetings from Guest Dignitaries

— Local, Regional, Provincial and National Leaders (tentative):
- Honourable Tim Uppal, MP, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
- Honourable John McKay, MP for Scarborough-Guildwood
- Susan Truppe, MP London North Centre
- Frank Valeriote, MP for Guelph
- Stephen Woodworth, MP for Kitchener Centre
- Lois Brown, MP for Newmarket-Aurora (on behalf of Hon. Christian Paradis, Minister of Int'l Dev.)
- Liz Sandals, MPP Guelph

....[More later - as confirmations are received]....

12:00p    Banquet LUNCH and SOCIAL Break


Theme Session "Religious Freedom as Practised by Founders" * - 1:00p — 3:36p

Seven World Faith representatives and a Humanists philosopher (Representing Atheists and Agnostics) will present his/her view of their respective faith on the theme "Religious Freedom as practised by Founders" (13 minutes each). Each speech will be followed by a spiritual presentation of a poem or hymn reinforcing the concept presented by the respective faiths religious group (5 minutes).

1:00p    Introduction to Theme Session — Event Moderator - Matthew Kang


1:02p    Sikh Perspective — Balpreet Kaur – Ohio, USA
1:15p    Sikh Spiritual Poem or Hymn — Sikh Student's Association, UW

1:20p    Humanist Perspective — Doug Thomas - Elmira
1:33p    Secular Poem or Song — Society of Ontario FreeThinkers

1:38p    Aboriginal Perspective — Rev. Kathryn Gorman-Lovelady – Tiny
1:51p    Aboriginal Spiritual Poem or Hymn — Aboriginal Community

1:56p    Jewish Perspective — Rabbi Dow Marmur – Toronto
2:09p    Judaic Spiritual Poem or Hymn — Local Jewish Community

2:14p    Islamic Perspective — Mubarak A. Nazir - Toronto
2:27p    Islamic Spiritual Poem or Hymn — Ahmadiyya Muslim Children

2:32p    Refreshments & Social Break

2:52p    Announcing Rules of Upcoming Q/A period - Moderator

2:53p    Hindu Perspective — Swami Haripriya Parivrajika – Kitchener
3:06p    Hindu Spiritual Poem or Hymn — Local Hindu Community

3:11p    Buddhist Perspective — Venerable Jue Qian – Mississauga
3:24p    Buddhist Spiritual Poem or Hymn — Local Buddhist Community

3:29p    Christian Perspective — Dr. Don Posterski – Toronto
3:42p    Christian Spiritual Poem or Hymn — Local Christian Community


Concluding & Interactive Session : 3:37p — 4:24p

3:37p    Recognition of Speakers and Volunteers

— Vote of Thanks — Azhar Kamal Mian
Regional President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Western Ontario, Canada

3:51p    Open Questions Session with Speakers of the event


4:21p    Closing Remarks — Event Moderator, Matthew Kang


4:23p    Silent Prayers — Multi Faith


4:24p    SOCIAL & Adjournment


(* The order of speakers presenting various religious perspectives was determined via random draw at the last conference held on October 13, 2012)