Hearts & Minds Living Library Compassion Catalogue - Hearts & Minds Living Library
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Hearts & Minds Living Library Compassion Catalogue

Our Featured Event

The Institute of Canadian Archives is proud to unveiled our featured event of the year, the Hearts & Minds Living Library – Compassion Catalogue. Built around our Living Library sessions, the Compassion Catalogue will be a day-long event full of conversations, panel discussions, and art.


Quick Breakdown:


  • Location: Toronto City Hall
  • Date and Time: September 9th, 2017 – 10 am to 4 pm
  • Five Programs
  • General Registration (TBA) Recommended
  • Living Library Sessions Registration (TBA) Required
  • Theme: Compassion

Living Library Sessions (11:00am – 3:40pm)

The (Hearts & Minds) Living Library is an equities tool that seeks to challenge prejudice and discrimination. It works just like a normal library: readers browse the catalogue for available titles, choose the Book they want to read, and borrow it for a limited period of time. The only difference is that in the H&MLL, ‘Books’ are people, and ‘Reading’ consists of a personal dialogue: one-on-one conversations held in an open anti-oppressive space.

Books are volunteers who have either been subjected to discrimination themselves, or represent groups within society that are at risk of suffering from stereotype, stigma & prejudice. They might have personal experiences of discrimination or social exclusion they are willing to share with Readers. The Readers get permission to enter into a dialogue with their Books: this is a unique opportunity for an interpersonal interaction that is rarely available in contemporary society.

See Our Living Library Lineup
Book, Breast Cancer Survivor, Jewish, Organization Founder, Refugee
Anishinawbe, Artist, Book, Indigenous, Youth Advocate
Book, Christian, Humanitarian, Organization Founder, Volunteerism
Behavior Therapist, Book, Human Activist, International Student, Third Culture Kid
Book, Humanitarian, LGBT Advocate, Mother, Muslim, Youth Advocate

Naheed Mustafa – Master of Ceremonies and Moderator


Naheed is an award-winning writer, producer and broadcaster known for her work in many CBC Radio and podcasts as well as international outlets. She started out as a freelance journalist reporting conflicts in Pakistan and later in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, working with Canadian and International media. Her past works with CBC Radio include Dispatches, As It Happens, The Current and Ideas.


Born in the UK and later moving to Sudan, Pakistan and finally Canada Naheed’s exposure to multiple cultures and view points allow here to give insight to events happening in the world and Canada today.

Fireside Reading (11:00am – 3:25pm)

The Hearts & Minds Fireside Reading sessions are curated group readings with our ‘Best Sellers’. These Books provide a unique personal insight into their own journeys in search of justice, faith and equity. From published authors to politicians and faith leaders, these group readings provide a cozy and informal exchange of ideas which are designed to challenge our stereotypes.

Our Bestsellers
Activist, Art, Bestseller, Storyteller
Atheist, Bestseller, Interfaith, Scholar
Actor, Bestseller, Director, Muslim, Producer, Writer

Compassion Panel: Compassion in the 21st Century. Where does Canada stand? (11:00am – 12:15pm)

The Hearts & Minds Compassion Panel is a series of talks recognizing compassion as a necessity and not a luxury in contemporary society. It is a value binding all of us together, beyond any societal constructs of self and identity. The panel will explore intersectional compassion themes & the myriad of commonalities. These panelists, politicians, artists, academics, and professionals share how all journeys coincide at one point in the end: Compassion. This Compassion Panel will be: “Compassion in the 21st Century. Where does Canada stand?” dealing with spirituality and LGBTQ+ values.

Our Panellists
Activist, Interfaith, Muslim, Organisation President, Panellist

Comedy Panel: Laughter Is the Best Medicine (1:00pm – 3:30pm)

The Hearts & Minds comedy acts provide a moment of reflection on our commonly held stereotypes. Humor allows us to laugh at ourselves and at life. It oils the wheels of life and helps to keep it running smoothly. A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable. Our diverse curated acts will gently challenge us to laugh at ourselves. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine.

Anto Chan

Anto has traveled across North America and Asia, inspiring audiences through laughter. He strives to help people realize the potential within themselves through intimate personal stories.  With a passion in humour and a degree in Early Childhood Education, he has toured in many stand-up comedy tours and mentored children in India and Kenya.

Anto carries with him his high-energy humour and brings the room together with hilarity, excitement and true emotion.


Hosts Courtney Gilmour and Dan Curtis Thompson talk to comedians about religion and spirituality.


Courtney Gilmour is a graduate of The Second City Training Centre. In 2017, Courtney was an I Heart Jokes awards nominee for “Breakout Artist Of The Year”. She co-hosts and produces the monthly clean-themed stand up show “So Fresh N’ So Clean” at Comedy Bar in Toronto and can also be heard on SiriusXM’s Canada Laughs.


Dan Curtis Thompson is a writer and actor. Dan has made his way across Canada performing on stages acting in plays and musicals, and telling jokesDan produces shows such as “New Faces of Comedy”, a show for new comedians to try the craft out, and “Character Comedy”, where comedians perform stand up from the perspective of their chosen character.


Based in Toronto, the two comics come together to talk to other funny folks about about Canadian society, race/culture and faith (or lack there of). Their banter is very funny; this podcast is highly recommended, go listen to it yourself!

Schedule & Location

This event is hosted at the City of Toronto City Hall Council Chambers and Members’ Lounge for use as a public space. For more info and the Terms and Conditions Click Here.