Exploring Canada's Global Leadership
What is Canada’s role in a world where poverty and hopelessness thrive?
With this provocative question, BRIDGESTHATUNITE, an interactive travelling exhibition, invites visitors to consider Canada’s role in the world through the lens of a remarkable 25-year partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Built on a set of common values, such as pluralism, democracy and peace, this unique partnership is transforming lives around the world.
Canada’s unique connection to the developing world
BRIDGESTHATUNITE showcases Canada’s ability to bridge the developed and the developing worlds. From investing in community development and higher education to preserving and nurturing cultural heritage, the nature of this work requires a long time horizon, and a commitment to social change over a generation or more. In quiet, forceful ways, Canada and Canadians have demonstrated this commitment.
At a time when the effectiveness of development assistance is widely debated, BRIDGESTHATUNITE explores the idea that a hand up is more helpful than a hand out. Visitors to the exhibit will be inspired by the ways Canada, in partnership with the AKDN, has been innovative and bold in its search for solutions to some of the world’s most critical issues, including:
• creating spaces for democratic participation and good governance
• educating tomorrow’s leaders for a globalized world, and
• negotiating the role of diverse cultural heritages and traditions in a modern society.
Engaging Canadians in a thought-provoking experience
Through powerful stories and images, evocative soundscapes and multi-media components, BRIDGESTHATUNITE will challenge visitors to reframe their perceptions about international development, and what can be achieved in the developing world – injecting evidence about Canada’s own experience into the public debate.
Sparking conversations across Canada
Provocative questions throughout the exhibit suggest a new way of seeing the challenges of human development: Why invest in a university in a country struggling to provide even primary education? Why restore a 16th Century garden in war-ravaged Kabul, Afghanistan? In both content and approach, BRIDGESTHATUNITE seeks to bring together diverse voices, perspectives and experiences from across Canada and around the world in a vibrant and vital public conversation.
Agents of Change
BRIDGESTHATUNITE introduces visitors to ten Canadians, of various backgrounds and professions, who, through their work, in some of the most difficult environments, are helping to transform the lives of millions and reshaping the way we think about some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
A platform for dialogue
In its efforts to catalyze a forward-thinking, informed public debate, BRIDGESTHATUNITE will draw on the shared experience of Canada and the AKDN in the developing world to stimulate dialogue on critical global issues. The goal, ultimately, is to inspire a dynamic and constructive vision for Canada’s role in the 21st Century.
Continuing the conversation – www.bridgesthatunite.ca
The BRIDGESTHATUNITE website (www.bridgesthatunite.ca) serves as a resource and platform for discussion. Canadians working with the AKDN have created many bridges: bridges between people, between societies, nations and cultures; bridges that are helping to make the world more peaceful and prosperous. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with these Canadians who have either returned from or are currently working with initiatives on the ground in Asia and Africa. These individuals will put a face to Canada’s development efforts and answer visitor questions about the challenges and rewards of working in some of the poorest parts of the developing world.
For more information, please visit www.bridgesthatunite.ca or contact Aga Khan Foundation Canada at 1-800-267-2532.
Bridges that Unite is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan IV, the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the AKDN is an international group of non-denominational development agencies that undertakes a wide-ranging humanitarian agenda of social, economic and cultural development.