Harnessing their collective genius to tackle the big issues

The Cornwall Interfaith Partnership brings together a diverse group of spiritually minded people to harness their collective genius to address the big issues of our day. KAV Productions was invited to produce a documentary that would encapsulate their story as part of their presentation, later this year, before the Parliament of World Religions.

Sharing their experience and providing highlights of the CIP’s achievements, are participants who represent the gamut of faiths and cultural backgrounds: John Towndrow (Spritiual but not religious), Bev Pyke (Indigenous), Usha & Mohinder Kapoor (Hindu), Donald Wachenschwarz (United Church), Paula Wheeler (Catholic), Barbara Lord (Jewish), Neil & Jane Macmillan (Baha’i), and Barbara Helms (Muslim).

Donald Wachenschwarz expressing his ideas to the group.

A Grassroots Model

As a port of entry for immigration situated along the borders of Ontario, Quebec, New York and the Akwesasne (Mohawk First Nation), the Cornwall region has a rich cultural and religious diversity.

I was introduced to the CIP by two of the group’s key members, Neil Macmillan and John Towndrow. Their goal was to produce a documentary that would capture the essence of their grassroots movement and show how its success could be a model for dialogue and cooperation between world religions. The open structure and collaborative effort of the group is perhaps the key to it’s success. In a safe, respectful and sharing environment, the group hosts community events and welcomes participation of the public as they collectively tackle such issues as: discrimination, human rights, persecution, poverty, peace and the environment.

Making the Documentary

Working closely with this fascinating group of individuals and learning from their approach to issues, I have taken away an impression that we are seeing a microcosm of the Canadian experience. While diversity is embraced, collectively, their humanity allows them to stand united in their honourable goals.

As these themes presented themselves my task as an editor was to weave together the testimonials with supplemental music and imagery to reinforce them.  Since we shot in spring, local scenic shots of winter melting away under the warming sun help underline the mood and evoke hope and inspiration.

Neil Macmillan and John Towndrow discussing before a CIP event.



Production Credits

Executive Producers: Neil Macmillan, John Towndrow
Directed & Edited by: Kevin Lamoureux
Production Assistant: Khadijah Vakily
Camera & Sound: Kevin Lamoureux, Khadijah Vakily
Post Production Studio: KAV Productions Inc.
Special Thanks: Knox-St. Paul’s United Church, Cornwall
Copyright © 2018 Cornwall Interfaith Partnership