By ahnationtalk on April 19, 2017

SFU – 6 Degrees Vancouver asks: Are You Home?

Global forum brings former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, John Ralston Saul, and more to Vancouver on April 24
April 13, 2017

On April 24, Simon Fraser University’s Public Square, SFU International, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) and Vancity, will bring a global interactive forum on inclusion and citizenship in British Columbia.

6 Degrees Vancouver will bring 250 participants together at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts for a day-long forum exploring the feeling and being of “home.”

The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, ICC co-chair, will moderate a panel discussion on belonging in Canadian society, and renowned author, philosopher, and ICC co-chair, John Ralston Saul will moderate a second panel on the role of Canadian institutions in driving and fostering inclusiveness.

“This event is about building inclusive communities and who does or does not feel at home in Canada,” says Janet Webber, executive director of SFU Public Square.

“In March, our Community Summit asked what Canada’s role is in the world. With 6 Degrees Vancouver, we are bringing our focus inward and asking who is at ‘home’ in Canada and how does that affect our national identity?”

Panel discussions will feature speakers such as journalist Angela Sterritt, writer and performer Ivan E Coyote, co-executive director of Canadian Roots Exchange Max FineDay, refugee resettlement counsellor with Immigrant Services Society of B.C. Mohammed Alsaleh, Indian Summer Festival director Sirish Rao, and filmmaker Nelofer Pazira.

Speakers will frame dinner-table conversations on a round central stage, with frequent audience interventions. The two panel discussions will be punctuated with audience exchanges, culminating in a final open forum.

The conversation follows the successful international debut of 6 Degrees in The Hague, Netherlands on April 3 and the successful inaugural 6 Degrees Citizen Space that took place in Toronto in September 2016.

Tickets to 6 Degrees Vancouver are $50 and $25 for students. Media are invited to attend as participants and are encouraged to RSVP in advance.


Canadians are reacting to issues on immigration, inclusion and diversity following the recent rise of populist and isolationist movements in Europe (such as Brexit) and the United States (the election of Donald Trump).

Flash points include illegal refugee crossings at the Canada/U.S. border and statements made by federal Conservative leadership candidates.




The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) inspires Canadians to be inclusive, embrace fresh thinking, practice active citizenship, and own our collective culture and spaces. 6 Degrees, an initiative of the ICC, frames and reframes contemporary issues through conversation, exchange, artistic expression, and direct connection between people.


Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 523,000 member-owners and their communities in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. With $25.6 billion in assets plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada’s largest community credit union. Vancity uses its assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.


As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 145,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.

This article was published originally on Nation Talk on April 19, 2017.