In a fitting crescendo to an exciting 2017 edition of YMCA Peace Week, the YMCA of Greater Toronto held our annual Peace Medal Ceremony on November 23 in the Mississauga City Hall Banquet Room. This annual event celebrates individuals who have impacted their communities, and reflects on what it means to be an agent of peace in our community and how we all can bring inclusion and understanding back to where we live.
The entrance to the beautifully decorated venue featured a display highlighting the inspiring work of our two 2017 Peace Medal recipients, Wali Shah and Stronger Communities. Inside, Master of Ceremonies and previous Peace Medal recipient Isheeta Sharrma welcomed guests and introduced the first event: a chorus of children from Spanish 4 You Canada singing a song for peace, in Spanish.
The ceremony continued with a wonderful introduction to Peace Week by Isheeta, along with celebrations of the peacemaking work the YMCA does in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond by YMCA of Greater Toronto Board Chair Martine Irman and Esperanza Monsalve, manager of International Programs. Other speakers present were Tusma Sulieman presenting the selection process; Anish Chopra with a nomination speech for Stronger Communities; Meera Chopra who received the Peace Medal and spoke on behalf of Stronger Communities; and Wali Shah who spoke about receiving his Peace Medal. In between these inspiring messages of peace, the group Symbiosis provided musical entertainment.
The main event was the presentation of the winners of the Peace Medals to Wali Shah and Stronger Communities — an event preceded by Wali’s interview the morning of the ceremonies on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning program. Isheeta then closed out the evening after another performance from Symbiosis.
Learn more about Peace Week on our website.