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August 15, 2013

Nathalie Thirlwall,
Recipient of 2013 Interfaith Ottawa Award

Nathalie Thirwall
On Sunday June 23, at Ottawa City Hall, Nathalie Thirlwall, a dedicated worker in the cause of interfaith cooperation and understanding, received a 2013 Interfaith Ottawa Award from Interfaith Ottawa.   The award, presented by Mayor Jim Watson and Mike McIntrye, co-chairs of this organization, was in recognition of almost thirty years of work in this field by the recipient.

In her acceptance speech, Nathalie defined Interfaith as “loving others, learning from them, and living together peacefully, thus reflecting the concept of unity in diversity.”

Nathalie has worked to show forth these principles in interfaith work at the local, regional and national levels. 

At the local level, she was a founding member of many interfaith initiatives including; the Interfaith Office of the Ottawa Bahá’í Community, the Canadian Federation of University Women - Ottawa Chapter, “Bridging the Rivers of Faith”, and Interfaith Ottawa.  She has been on the board of directors of United Way, was president of the Capital Region Interfaith Council and co chair of Interfaith Ottawa. She also served on the Royal Ottawa Hospital Spiritual Care Committee.  Over the years, she has made presentations, moderated panels, organized city-wide prayer services and contributed to interfaith television programmes for Vision TV and CTV.  She has also been active at the provincial level.

More recently, Nathalie has been active in national initiatives.  She is a founding member of the All Party Interfaith Friendship Group, and has assisted with National Interfaith Breakfasts and other interfaith events on Parliament Hill.  She is currently the co- chair of this group with Mark Adler, MP. 

After thirty years, Nathalie continues to see this work as vitally important.  She states, “We are all members of one family and when one faith suffers, all suffer... Interfaith calls us to go beyond self-interest or any exclusivity that states “Only we are right” and move to the level of principle that honours all faiths as we jointly address the problems and injustices in society.”

Congratulations Nathalie!

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