Dalai Lama’s visit intended to inspire compassion, collaboration

By Laura Bardsley

One of the most influential voices in the world is being hosted by the University of Calgary starting Sept. 30. His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, will be speaking as part of the university’s event NOW.

According to the U of C website, the two day event/conference was inspired by His Holiness, as it “draws on values of compassion, connectedness and collaboration.” The visit, the first in 30 years, aspires to “reinforce the U of C’s commitment to international engagement and social responsibility.” The first day of the conference, the Dalai Lama will be addressing the Saddledome and on the second an audience on campus. These keynote sessions with His Holiness have attracted the interests of young and old. Tessa O’Byrne, an 18-year-old U of C student, is excited for her chance to participate.

“I was offered a ticket, not knowing previously about his visit, and I automatically said ‘The Dalai Lama’s coming? Who would miss that!’ I see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and am so glad that I have this chance.”

The conference showcases not one, but two Nobel Peace Prize winners, as well as celebrity hosts Sandra Oh and Mark Tewkesbury. Focusing on speakers fluent in peace and education, the event is being used to drive home responsibilities and moral values.

The conference contains some challenges for interested parties; actNOW is the conference’s “Day of Action,” held Oct. 2. This day is being called the “catalyst to increase community engagement in Calgary . . . a springboard for a movement of inspired people who will create significant [and] positive change in our communities.” Held at various locations, the participants should expect to engage in activities promoting compassion and peace.

ActNOW suggests simple things like warm clothing collections or classrooms making sandwiches for the Drop-In & Rehab Centre would be very beneficial.

Tickets are still available and registration can be completed on the website dalailamacalgary.com. EngageYOUTH is featured on the website, which offers lower ticket prices and bursaries for students who wish to represent their high schools as leaders. Also featured are speaker bios and schedules for the keynote sessions and events.

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