December 16, 2016


The Institute of Canadian Archives is a storytelling initiative which creates, curates and celebrates narratives that strengthen the Canadian social fabric. We bring together individuals and organizations from all walks of life to raise awareness about contemporary issues of hate, diversity, xenophobia and intercultural dialogue.

Intercultural dialogue is a process that comprises an open and respectful exchange or interaction between individuals, groups and organisations with different cultural backgrounds or world views. Among its aims are: to develop a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives and practices; to increase participation and the freedom and ability to make choices; to foster equality; and to enhance creative processes. – European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research

Our most recent project is the ‘Hearts & Minds Living Library series’. The HAMILL project is a series of interventions designed to increase social cohesion and intercultural dialog. The project brings together like-minded individuals and organizations that share our vision of eliminating racism and celebrating the richness of Canadian diversity. We create space for dialogue to identify and dismantle pre-conceived notions about race and equality.

Human Libraries challenge what we think about other members of our community by offering people as ‘books’ lent out to curious readers.

The Human Library is a space for conversation. Visitors speak with “people on loan” who challenge their perceptions on community groups. This could be a religious minority, sexual minority or other members of the community who are exposed to stigma, stereotyping or prejudice. Within this positive framework, difficult questions are accepted, expected and appreciated. Human Libraries aim to help build social cohesion and increase understanding of diversity in the community. As well as community building, Human Libraries highlight how people are the experts on themselves. They are an active resource that can contribute to coproduction, coaching and as critical friends.

 We’re thankful to our main partner ‘the Christian-Jewish Dialogue Toronto’, and for the support we have received by the Olive Tree Foundation.