January 14, 2021

John Longhurst will receive the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, February 16 at 7 pm . 

Advance registration is required. To register for the event please visit”

“In this province where we so proudly embrace multiculturalism, Mr. Longhurst’s vision, passion and commitment to bring voices from our diverse religious and cultural communities together, truly exemplifies the spirit of this award,” said Lt.-Gov. Janice C. Filmon. “It will be my pleasure to formally recognize Mr. Longhurst for his work in building harmony and understanding in our province, our country, our world.”

For decades, Longhurst has served as an advocate and chronicler in the fields of Christian ecumenism, and interreligious dialogue and understanding. Most of his engagement over the course of his career has been avocational: a labour of love. The breadth of vision attained through his international work has opened his heart and mind to diversity in such a way as to make him a champion for the interfaith enterprise in Manitoba and across Canada. He is committed to a ‘level playing field’ for religious expression and religious freedom.

He has been a Faith Page columnist with the Winnipeg Free Press since 2003 and his continued work gives him the unique position of being able to document, on a weekly basis, the impact of COVID-19 on the faith community, along with the response of people of faith to it. 

The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding is traditionally presented each year at a ceremony at Government House, most often to an individual, who best embodies understanding between all religious groups.  

Past recipients include:

  • Sensei Fredrich Ulrich – A trusted leader and voice in the Buddhist community in Manitoba who continues to build bridges of understanding with other faith communities.
  • Michel Aziza – the driving force behind the Operation Ezra project to rescue, sponsor and resettle Yazidi refugees since its very inception;
  • Manju Lohda and Ray Dirks – collaborators on numerous educational multi-faith initiatives, including the In the Spirit of Humanity project, and Leap of Faith DVD;
  • Devon Clunis – former chief of police for the City of Winnipeg;
  • Rev. Karen Toole – former provincial spiritual care co-ordinator, radio host and newspaper columnist;
  • Rabbi Doctor Neal and Carol Rose– professor of religion at the University of Manitoba for more than 30 years and Carol is a writer, poet and spiritual teacher;
  • the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy – former minister of foreign affairs and president of the University of Winnipeg and life-long active lay member of the United Church of Canada;  
  • the late Dr. Redwan Moqbel – former head of immunology, faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba and a member of the Bahai Faith; 
  • Dr. Atish Chandra Maniar – a Hindu priest;  
  • Mae Louise Campbell – an Ojibway Métis elder; and 
  • Zane Zalis – a composer and musician.  

For further information on this award and others given to exemplary citizens by the lieutenant governor of Manitoba, visit the lieutenant governor’s website at

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Contact:  Belle Jarniewski, Manitoba Multifaith Council, 204-295-3947

    Kate Gameiro, Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, 204-945-2752.