The Centennial Foundation
The Centennial Foundation was formed in 1997 in commemoration of the centenary of Sikh settlement in Canada. The history of Sikhs during that century has been a largely forgotten episode in the epic that is the story of the evolution of Canada. Yet, the story of Sikhs in Canada has been a testament to the heroic contributions of all immigrants to nation building. In the face of colossal adversity- anti-immigration laws and riots aimed at keeping Sikhs out; disenfranchised and unable to join most professions and to own land in most areas until 1947; prevented from wearing their articles of faith - Sikhs have produced premiers, formidable entrepreneurs, athletes, poets, artists and everyday Canadian citizens proud to brandish the maple leaf and display their love of their faith.
It is this spirit that the Centennial Foundation celebrates every year at Vaisakhi. Every year Centennial honours individuals who have truly excelled in all walks of life. These individuals have reached their pinnacle of success because of the daily excellence of each Sikh- of the community without whose support and toil the "achievers" would be lesser people. This is their story and our triumph.
- Promote an awareness and understanding of Sikh milestones and organize the celebration of major Sikh events.
- Make Sikh heritage and history accessible to Sikh youth, in particular, and to the Canadian community at large.
- Promote an understanding of the Sikh way of life among the Canadian community at large.
- Ferment leadership training within the Sikh community that is based on core Sikh tenets of democracy, mutual respect and selfless community service.
- Create and foster a positive and accurate image of Sikhs in the media.
- Celebrate the participation and excellence achieved by Sikhs in all aspects of civil, social and cultural life, and to honour non-Sikhs as well who have lived their lives in accordance with Sikh ideals.
- Foster an appreciation and patronage of and support the development of Sikh art and culture.
- Produce and disseminate high caliber educational resources to promote knowledge and appreciation of Sikh history and tradition.