December 13, 2016


The Institute of Canadian Archives employs the use of narratives as a tool to teach, relate, empathize with and celebrate our diverse society. To increase intercultural dialogue and community cohesion, we should actively encourage cross-cultural interaction and opportunities for local people to meet people from communities other than their own.

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

At any given moment, we have numerous initiatives underway.

Hearts & Minds Living Library: 

A Hearts & Minds Living Library is an equalities #storytelling tool that seeks to challenge prejudice and discrimination. It works just like a normal library. The only difference is that in a H&MLL, Books are people, and reading consists of a conversation.

The first two events will focus on Interfaith dialogue and Islamophobia. The 2018 H&MLL iterations would individually focus on Holocaust survivors, Holodomor remembrance, and Reconciliation Best Sellers. In 2018, we will witness H&MLL going into public school.

The Hearts & Minds Interfaith Living Library Compassion Catalogue was launched at the Toronto City Hall on Sep 9th,  2017. Recruitment for 2018 volunteer team is underway.



CompassioNotes™ is a social enterprise supporting our work, and connecting compassionate communities focused on storytelling.

CN™ is designed to ‘ … spread compassion, one narrative at a time’. A narrative can be a sticky note, a zen doodle coloring book, tote bags, t-shirts, fortune cookies etc.




Life of I: 

The ‘Life of I’ is an innovative filmmaking and intergenerational storytelling initiative. The project engages socially isolated seniors through digital storytelling and oral history. Youth participants receive training in how to navigate through the art of storytelling and the use of technology to produce a final story. The resulting stories are presented at a community festival at the end of the project.