2019 Thakore Visiting Scholar Award Is Being Presented To Children’s Entertainer Raffi

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VANCOUVER – The Thakore Visiting Scholar Award is presented annually to outstanding persons who have made the welfare of society their lifetime work. This year the Thakore Charitable Foundation, The Institute for the Humanities and the J.S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University celebrates the 28th annual Gandhi Jayanti Celebration with an award to *Raffi Cavoukian* for his lifelong focus on “honouring children,” education, and the promotion of an overall “culture of peace.”

A renowned singer known by his first name alone, Raffi was a pioneer in quality recordings for children. For millions of fans, Raffi’s music was the soundtrack of their childhoods, and they took his signature song “Baby Beluga” to heart. These “beluga grads” now share his music with their own children. Raffi has been described by the Washington Post and the Toronto Star as “the most popular children’s entertainer in the English-speaking world” and “Canada’s all-time children’s champion.”

Raffi is a music producer, author, entrepreneur and ecology advocate. In 2010, he founded the Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring <https://raffifoundation.org/>—a global movement that views honouring children as the best way to create sustainable, peacemaking cultures. Raffi has received the Order of Canada, the Order of BC, the U.N. Earth Achievement Award, and four honorary degrees.

In a career spanning four decades, Raffi has refused all commercial endorsement offers and has never taken part in advertising to children. He is a passionate supporter of a commercial-free childhood, and in 2006 was awarded the Fred Rogers Integrity Award for this work.

More information on Raffi is available on www.gandhijayanti.com and https://raffifoundation.org/

*About the Events*

*The Garlanding Ceremony will be held on *October 2nd, 2019* at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi located in the Peace Square on the SFU Burnaby campus (south side level 3 of the Academic Quadrangle) from *6:45pm – 7:30pm*. Note parking at SFU Burnaby campus for the garlanding ceremony is free in the parkade under the convocation Mall. For directions, parking instructions and more information about these events, please visit www.gandhijayanti.com.

*The Gandhi Commemorative Lecture and presentation of the 28th Thakore Visiting Scholar Award and the annual Gandhi Student Peace Award on *October 3rd, 2019, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm* at the SFU Harbour-side (downtown) campus (515 West Hastings). More information is provided on the Gandhi website (www.gandhijayanti.com)

*Film screenings*

This year there will be two film screenings to honour Gandhi’s 150th anniversary. Both film screenings are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

· Gandhi (dir. Richard Attenborough). September 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Westminster Savings Lecture Theatre (Room 2600), 50-13450 102 Avenue, Surrey, BC

· Gandhi My Father (dir. Feroz Abbas Khan). September 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pmSFU Goldcorp Theatre, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1H4