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Golden Thread Contest

Submissions to the Golden Thread Contest are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted their stories!

Winners will be announced on Nov. 6


Are you a 30-or-younger Canadian with a story to tell about the way faith is present in the world around you?

The Thread of 1000 Stories has launched the Golden Thread Contest, which seeks to gather stories from younger Canadians – their stories of faith past, present, and future – to help celebrate our country’s 150th birthday.

Every submission, text or video, to the Golden Thread Contest will be considered for publishing on our Thread of 1000 Stories website. Additionally, winners will be chosen for prizes of up to $5000.

What kind of story are we looking for? Your story. Or the story of your grandparents, your parents, your family and friends. Or the story of someone you’ve just met who’s new to Canada and has brought the richness of his or her faith tradition to add to our diversity.

Faith is an essential part of Canadian life. Understanding faith, in all its varieties, is a vital part of understanding Canada. Your stories will help promote that understanding.

The thread our judges will be looking for in the texts and videos is the role of faith in inspiring Canadians. Or mobilizing Canadians. Or helping Canadians to overcome struggles that afflict them. Or simply letting Canadians live out their daily lives in response to the religious sense that is part of being human.

Why stories on faith? Because we believe, as Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau once said, “Faith is the golden thread that binds all of us together.” The Thread of 1000 Stories is an initiative of the think tank Cardus, home of the Faith in Canada 150 project.

The goal of the Thread is to gather in one place ( as many stories about faith in common life as we can during Canada’s 150th birthday year.

The Golden Thread contest is the chance for you, a young Canadian, to add to that store of stories, and maybe come away with a little gold of your own. 


There are two age categories for submissions:

  1. Age 14-18
    1. $1000 to the winner of the written category
    2. Four $100 gift cards for the runners-up in either text or video
  2. Age 19-30
    1. $5000 to the overall winner of either a text or video story
    2. Four $250 gift cards for the runners-up in text or video
  3. All publishable submissions will be added to our Thread of 1000 Stories initiative
  4. Winners will be notified in early November and announced on November 6, 2017. Our judges’ decisions are final


  • All submissions must be made by residents of Canada
  • Deadline for submissions was September 25, 2017
  • Submissions must be sent to
  • Texts or videos must be original unpublished work created by the person making the submission
  • All work becomes the property of Cardus, Faith in Canada 150, and the Thread of 1000 Stories. Re-publication must credit Cardus, Faith in Canada 150 and the Thread of 1000 Stories
  • Judges’ decisions are final
  • Texts should be no more than 1200 words. Videos should be no more than three minutes. Submissions that exceed these limits will not be considered for prizes.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed, and while all have the potential to be published, only one will be selected for judging. 


Dr. Imam Hamid Slimi

Dr. Imam Hamid Slimi is an academic scholar, a spiritual leader, a teacher, and a community developer.

He is the Founder and President of Faith of Life Network, Imam and Founder of Sayeda Khadija Centre, and Professor at the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies and UIN University in Indonesia.

Dr. Imam Hamid Slimi

Golden Thread Judge
Anna-Liza Kozma

Anna-Liza Kozma is a producer and writer for CBC Radio Current Affairs in Toronto and a Visiting Fellow at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto.

She attended schools in Africa and England and started making tea on a local newspaper in Kent when she was 19. She has managed cunningly to stay employed in journalism ever since.

Editors have sent her on assignment to exotic places in the Middle East, the Canadian Arctic, Transylvania and Perth, Ontario and she always returns in time to bake cookies for her three children.

She trained as a journalist at the BBC and has worked as a staff producer and writer at CBC Radio for more than twenty years. Her columns, essays and features have appeared in books, journals and newspapers in Canada, England and the US.

Her favourite stories include a fire-eating English vicar who lights his altar candles by opening his mouth and a series on theologians called Truth Claims for CBC Ideas.

She holds a BA Honours from the Polytechnic of Central London (University of Westminster) in Journalism and Media Studies and an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

Anna-Liza Kozma

Golden Thread Judge
Judy Csillag

Judy has over 40 years of experience working in the not for profit world with a wide variety of organizations including Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Canadian Centre for Diversity, Skills for Change and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

She has been the pivotal leader, developing interfaith and intercultural programming for both youth and adults and maintains a broad network of clerics, corporate and diversity leaders not only in Toronto but also nationally.

In 2009 Judy was invited to Damascus Syria to lead a series of workshops about diversity and interfaith understanding for Arab women.

In 2007 she was the recipient of “The Interfaith Dialogue Award” from the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and has worked on a variety of symposiums with such notable heroes as Romeo Dallaire and Eli Wiesel.

In 2011 and 2014 Judy helped organize The Path of Abraham – an 8 day trip to the Holy Land with Jews, Muslims and Christians

Today, Judy consults with numerous organizations such as school boards and not for profits on interfaith dialogue, understanding and acceptance.

Judy Csillag

Golden Thread Judge
Natalie Morrill

Natalie Morrill, an Ontario writer, holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her first novel, forthcoming from HarperCollins Canada in May 2018, was recognized with the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction upon acceptance. She helps edit the American Catholic literary journal Dappled Things and is the former Writer-in-residence for the Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA), an organization supporting members with lived experience of mental illness. She teaches literature and writing in a variety of post-secondary and community settings, and she's passionate about art, faith, and health (especially when these intersect with one another).

Natalie Morrill

Golden Thread Judge
Terry LeBlanc

Terry is Mi’kmaq / Acadian. He and his wife Bev are in their 45th year of marriage and have three adult children – twin daughters and one son. In addition to being the Executive Director of Indigenous Pathways.

Terry is also the founding Chair and current Director of NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community.

Terry LeBlanc

Golden Thread Judge
Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan-Kaplan

Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan-Kaplan is an academic scholar, popular speaker, spiritual teacher, blogger, and award-winning educator of teens and young adults.

Rabbi Laura works as Director of Inter-Religious Studies at the Vancouver School of Theology and is Rabbi Emerita of Or Shalom Synagogue. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and musical partner Charles, their young adult children, and a changing array of companion animals.

Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan-Kaplan

Golden Thread Judge

Questions can be sent to


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