The Hearts of Freedom Gala is an opportunity to look back on the history of Southeast Asian refugees and to celebrate, 30 years later, the day the people of Canada were awarded the Nansen Medal by the United Nations in recognition of their essential and constant contribution to the cause of refugees.
This gala aims to promote wider public awareness about the contributions of the people of Canada, who were recognized with the Nansen Refugee Award 30 years ago. The event also highlights the challenges faced by Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese refugees on their journey to freedom. The celebration is especially timely: the Canadian Museum of History has recently decided to include stories of Southeast Asian refugees and the Canadian humanitarian effort in the new Canadian History Hall. The Hall is scheduled to open on the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
Through music and dance performances, the gala also aims to highlight the vibrant cultural diversity that the Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese communities bring to the National Capital Region.