Frequently Asked Questions [re: World Religions Conference]
Q-1: Is there any cost to attend the conference?
Q-2: What are the parking arrangements at the venue of the event?
Q-3: How do you choose which religion will have representations and which does not?
Q-4: What criterion is used to select speakers?
Q-5: Is this an academic conference or church event?
Q-6: How can I volunteer for this conference?
Q-7: How can we request a table in the Conference bazaar?
Q-8: Can I come late to the event? Or leave early?
Q-9: Will there be vegetarian meals served at the event?
Q-10: Will there be kosher meals available at the event?
Q-11: Why do you organize this event?
Q-12: Is photography allowed at the event?
Q-13: Is video or tape recording allowed at the event?
Q-14: Why is the event being held on a Saturday? It is difficult for Jews who observe Sabbath to participate.
Q-15: How is the moderator of the conference chosen?
Q-16: How is the order, in which speakers speak, chosen?
Q-17: Do you provide invitation letter for international delegates?
There is no charge to attend the conference. Moreover, complementary refreshments and dinner is also provided at no charge.
The World Religions Conference organizing committee has made special arrangements with the University of Waterloo to provide free parking to all conference attendees in Parking Lot "H" that is across from the conference venue of Hagey Hall.
The list of religions chosen to have representation has a multitude of criteria. In order to accommodate the event within a reasonable time in one day, only a certain number of religions can be included. The general principle adopted by the organizing committee of the World Religions Conference is to include religions that have significant representation of followers in the region and within Canada in general. Other criteria used is (a) to include religions that are "established" religions of the world; (b) religions that are understood as separate "religions" around the world; and (c) religions whose followers have houses of worship in the region of Wellington and Waterloo. Denominations or sects of faiths are not considered separate religions and only "one" denomination or sect of a religion is chosen to represent a religion. In all fairness to those who do not subscribe to any religion or to the existence of God, representation from a Atheist philosopher is also included. A date is announced on this website many months in advance for Call for Speakers. Organizations are invited to submit nominations. If nominations for a particular group is not received within the deadline the religions representation is typically dropped from the list.
Speakers are selected after a vigorous selection criteria. Initially, partner organizations and faith groups who have agreed to participate in the conference are requested to make their selection and recommendations of the speakers representing the respective faiths. This selection is presented to the World Religions Conference Organizing committee. The committee reviews the background, qualifications and general popularity of the speakers. Speaker who are renowned among their respective faith communities, and those who are considered at least a reasonable authority to represent the faith are chosen. Speaker must agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the conference. These terms for speakers are can be viewed here.
Primarily, the conference is academic in nature. Since followers of several faiths and philosophical traditions are invited to participate (including Atheists), the event is classified as a "completely secular event".
The organizers of the conference welcomes volunteers from all faiths and philosophical traditions. There are number of volunteer activities you may get involved in to help in the organization, promotion and other activities of the event. Please contact us with your interests and skills if you wish to volunteer.
An online submission of WRC Bazaar Registration form is needed to reserve a table at the bazaar. Submission of this form must be received at least one weeks prior to the event to ensure proper allocation of space. Bazaar space is limited and therefore table space at the WRC-Bazaar will be provided on a first-come-first-serve basis. Table space is provided for displaying and/or sale of items. World Religions Conference Partner Organizations are entitled to table space at no charge. Other vendors and organizations will be charged $50.00 (administrative costs) for the day.
Yes. You are free to attend any segment of the event. However, if you have registered for the conference, and we have more than expected attendance, your seat may be allocated to another guest 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the event.
Yes. The food department of the World Religions Conference takes into consideration the needs of followers of all faiths and philosophical traditions. As such almost all meals are vegetarian. If you have any other special diet needs, please let us know. We will try our best to accommodate you request.
Yes. Kosher meals are available only if you request them while registering for the event.
The event is organized with the objective to promote peace, harmony, understanding and respect between the followers of various religions that reside in this region. We believe in embracing diversity and overcoming challenges through constructive dialogue and interfaith interaction. This conference brings together people of different beliefs in a spirit of interfaith appreciation and acceptance. Key objectives of the conference are:
- To explore the teachings and practices 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.
- The Conference continues to strive to shorten the gap between diverse communities, and to demonstrate that we can live together in the spirit of acceptance, harmony and compassion.
- The objectives of the event is to promote interfaith respect, harmony, inclusiveness and diversity. It inculcates mutual understanding and respect between different faith traditions and philosophies of the world. It promotes respect, harmony and cohesion among all people.
Photography is allowed at the event by the guests or general public, as long as the photographers take photographs from their seats and do not obstruct the view of the audience. Only conference designated photographers are allowed to put up tripods, have access to stage area or stand for photographs. Media, press and other photographers planning for special photography are requested to seek prior permission from the organizers of the conference.
Videography or tape recording is allowed at the event. Guests and general public are requested not to obstruct the view of the audience while doing so. Only conference designated videographers are allowed to put up tripods, have access to stage area or stand for videography. Media, press and other videography personal are requested to seek prior permission from the organizers of the conference.
This event in the past has been held either on a Saturday or a Sunday. Primarily because it is a day long event and Saturday/Sunday is a weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday is inconvenient for one or more faiths being represented. Christians, Buddhists and Hindus typically have services on Sundays and Jews observe Sabbath on Saturdays. Therefore, invariably, any day of the weekend cannot be 100% suitable for all the faiths being represented at the event. Nevertheless, every attempt is made to include and consider all faiths equally. Therefore, if there are not other constraints, the event is either held on a Sunday or a Saturday.
Moderator for the conference is chosen by the World Religions Conference organizing committee. A person, who is best suited to moderate the event in a neutral way is chosen. Typically a professional moderator, TV news anchor or media person is chosen for this purpose. Selected moderator is instructed not to be biased against any faith and remain neutral while moderating the proceedings of the conference.
In all fairness, the order in which speakers speak, is chosen via random draw. This draw is typically held at the end of the World Religions Conference for next year's conference in the presence of media and delegates of the conference.
The World Religions Conference welcomes delegates and attendees from throughout the world. However, the conference organizers do NOT provide any letter of invitations to attendees who register to attend for the conference. Once an intended attendee has registered online at this site, he/she will receive a confirmation email. This confirmation email confirms your registration and no further letters are provided. If you need to present proof to the Canadian Embassy or Canadian Consulate in your country, you may take a copy of the email a proof of your registration to the event.