Calgary is blessed by a broad diversity of religious faiths whose origins and history originate from places that span the globe. These religious communities embrace an equally broad spectrum of ethnicities whose languages, foods, and cultures define Calgary’s international flavour. The ability of these religions, in particular, to flourish in a setting of respect and dignity is essential for the city’s future.
The Calgary Interfaith Council’s goal is to be the central address and voice of the interfaith community in Calgary. It seeks to accomplish this goal in the following three ways by:
- Promoting and modeling respect, understanding, and collaboration among the religious communities of Calgary (through education, dialogue, mutual worship experiences, and social justice),
- Providing all citizens and organizations in Calgary with resources and information that can help them facilitate better relationships with religious faith communities other than their own,
- Providing government and media with a single reputable contact for information and communication with and about the various religious communities in Calgary.
The Calgary Interfaith Council is an all-volunteer organization comprised of interested clergy, lay leaders, and representatives of faith institutions and communities. A Leadership Steering Team oversees the activities and organizational responsibilities of the CIC. Membership in the CIC is open to clergy, religious lay leaders and religious institutions.
The Calgary Interfaith Council invites you to join us in this exciting interfaith effort to harness the wisdom and good works of Calgary’s religious communities for the greater good of our city.
A Brief History of the Calgary Interfaith Council
The CIC was originally conceived as the religious support group for the work of the Metropolitan Alliance for the Common Good (MACG). Its first meeting occurred in September, 2014 at Temple B’nai Tikvah with a call to organize and support the Poverty Reduction Initiatives of MACG. As such, the CIC held several workshops and programs to educate the religious community about the issues surrounding poverty and to mobilize them to action. After a year of involvement with MACG, the participants in the CIC began to address other interfaith concerns and the organization embarked upon a broader interfaith focus.
At the same time, an effort began to amalgamate the smaller, existing interfaith groups into the CIC in order to create a more effective interfaith organization with greater resources and potential for impacting the quality of life in Calgary. The amalgamation was successful and was approved in January, 2017. The newly amalgamated CIC launched its first program in February, the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. This program brought together clergy, religious leaders and interested Calgarians into a week of learning, dialogue, worship, social justice and relationship building. It touched the lives of thousands of Calgarians and was recognized by Mayor Nenshi with a City Proclamation designating the first week of February as UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.
The CIC’s successful program was recognized by the United Nations and was awarded the King Abdullah World Interfaith Harmony 2017 First Prize. Three representatives of the CIC, Rabbi Shaul Osadchey, Rev. Debra Faulk, and Imam Fayaz Tilly were invited to Amman, Jordan for an award ceremony where they received the Gold Medal and a $25,000 prize.