28 August 2011
Abbotsford, British Columbia
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today visited the Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford, B.C., as part of the year-long centennial celebrations of North America’s longest-standing Sikh temple.
"It is an honour for me to be here today to celebrate the Gur Sikh Temple’s 100th
anniversary," said the Prime Minister. "On this occasion, we reflect on the tremendous contributions of the Sikh community in Canada – a community that continues to play an important role in building our strong, dynamic society while taking great pride in their faith and traditions."
Also known as the Abbotsford Sikh Temple, the Gur Sikh Temple is a reminder of the religious, social and political role that temples played in Canada’s earliest Sikh communities. The Temple embodies the courage, hardships and perseverance of Sikh pioneers, as well as their success in retaining their religious beliefs, while adapting to new conditions and integrating into Canadian society. The Gur Sikh Temple was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2002.
To celebrate this special milestone, the Government has contributed to several infrastructure projects and activities through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program. Funding will be used to build a museum within the temple, a mural and monument commemorating its creation, as well as a new gate to the Gurdwara – or temple. A series of artistic and cultural activities will also be held, enabling local residents to celebrate this historic anniversary along with the Sikh community.
Canada is home to more than 300,000 Sikhs. Their extraordinary success in every field of endeavour – including business, science, medicine, the arts and politics – has helped shape the strong and dynamic country we know today.