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Winner of Inaugural Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship Announced



Attention: Global leader honoured for lifetime commitment to ideals of belonging and inclusion

At 7:30 pm on September 21, 2016 at Koerner Hall in Toronto the inaugural Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship will be awarded at the marquee event of 6 Degrees — the new public initiative of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.  The prize will be given annually to an individual who has, through thought and dialogue, encouraged approaches and strategies that strive to remove barriers, change attitudes, and reinforce the principles of tolerance and respect.

The symbolic importance of this prize has never been greater. In a time of unprecedented movement, displacement and re-settlement by immigrants and refugees, one of the central challenges we face is how we all live together.

We are pleased to announce that His Highness the Aga Khan is the first recipient of this globally relevant prize.  The 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, His Highness has dedicated his life’s work to improving living conditions for the world’s most vulnerable populations, and to fostering an understanding of the importance of pluralism to global harmony.  The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), founded and chaired by His Highness, is active in 30 countries and employs over 80,000 people.  Its non-denominational agencies work in areas ranging from health and education to rural development, architecture, culture, economic sustainability and strengthening civil society.

At the award ceremony, His Highness the Aga Khan will receive the prize from the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, and will share his wisdom and experiences with the audience on issues confronting the world today.  He will then be joined on stage for a conversation with Madame Clarkson.

Remarking on the prize and the selection of the recipient, Adrienne Clarkson says: “Through his words, through his actions, and through the results obtained by the institutions that he has pioneered, he is a beacon of light in much of the world’s conflicting darkness.”

The internationally-acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Rufus Wainwright will perform in honour of the prize recipient.

The jury for the 2017 Adrienne Clarkson Prize has also been announced.  It will consist of The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, P.C., The Hon. Bill Graham, C.M., P.C., John Ralston Saul, CC, and the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson.  The prize will be awarded on Sept 27, 2017.

For more information about the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship, and on 6 Degrees, please visit

For more information on the Aga Khan Development Network, please visit

Media contact:

Julie Phillips
Manager, Communications
Institute for Canadian Citizenship