Our signature fundraising event of the year, the IDRF’s 2018 Annual Gala, will be presented on Saturday November 10th at 6 pm at the Pearson Convention Centre, in Brampton, Ontario.

We are delighted to announce that our Keynote Speaker will be Mehdi Hasan, the renowned Oxford-educated journalist, broadcaster and author.

This is also your chance to celebrate local heroes as the Gala will once again honor a few key people who have distinguished themselves by making invaluable contributions, in Canada or abroad.

We look forward to you joining us for an elegant evening of great company, engaging speeches, delicious food and exciting prizes. Your pleasure will be enhanced with the knowledge that all proceeds from the GALA will help IDRF Development initiatives and provide disadvantaged people with water, shelter, healthcare and education.



Mehdi Hasan is a columnist for The Intercept and host of the ‘Deconstructed’ podcast. He is also presenter of ‘UpFront’ and ‘Head to Head’ on Al Jazeera English, and has interviewed presidents and prime ministers from across the world. Mehdi has appeared as a guest on the BBC, NPR, CNN and MSNBC and is the author of two books. In 2013, his debate-winning speech on Islam and peace at the Oxford Union went viral, amassing more than 3 million views on YouTube.

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Farah Nasser is an award-winning, veteran journalist and the anchor of Global News at 5:30 & 6, bringing a wealth of experience acquired from numerous news organizations, including RogersTV, Newstalk 1010, Citytv and CNN.
As a graduate of Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program, Farah has used her journalistic skills to illuminate a variety of pressing issues for the GTA community for nearly twenty years. Among the notable issues that she has covered includes the Toronto SARS outbreak in 2003, the G20 Summit in 2010, the Toronto 18 terror trials and the Syrian refugee crisis.

In addition to her professional achievements, Nasser dedicates a substantial portion of her free time to philanthropy, volunteering as an emcee for community events and working with the Aga Khan Foundation, a renowned international development organization. Farah also serves on the board of directors for the University Health Network’s Arthritis Research Foundation and hosts their Power of Movement yoga fundraiser every year.

IDRF is pleased to have Farah Nasser as our Emcee and look forward to her amazing energy, wit and humour driving and sustaining the momentum of the evening.

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Azeezah Kanji is an accomplished academic and journalist, who received her law degree from the University of Toronto and her Masters of Law from The University of London, specializing in Islamic Law.  Azeezah’s writing has appeared in various media, such as The Toronto Star, National Post, OpenDemocracy and diverse academic anthologies and journals, where her work focuses on race, law and social justice from the perspective of an Islamic intellectual tradition. Currently, Azeezah also serves as the Director of Programming at Noor Cultural Centre in North York, Ontario. She is a regular speaker in community, activist, and academic spaces.

In light of Ms. Kanji’s considerable professional and philanthropic achievements, we are pleased to present her with this year’s Woman of Distinction Award.