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Sikh Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board – April 2023

Categories: Happenings @tdsb News

Sikh Heritage Month has proudly been recognized at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the month of April since 2016. The TDSB became the first school board in Canada to designate April of each year as Sikh Heritage Month. This designation matches the recognition by the Province of Ontario that proclaimed the Sikh Heritage Month Act in December 2013, and the recognition proclaimed by the Government of Canada on April 30, 2019. Sikh Heritage Month is recognized nationally across Canada.

Sikh Canadians have lived in Ontario since the turn of the twentieth century. They have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of Ontario and their traditions and culture continues to be a vibrant part of every aspect of life of Canadians today.

This year our theme is Kes. Kes is one of the five Kahaars, indicators that Sikh individuals must acknowledge as part of their faith. The five Kakaars are five sacred articles of faith prescribed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. They are also known as the ‘Five Ks’ because each one starts with letter K representing Kakka in the Punjabi language. The five K’s are:

  1. Kes;
  2. Kirpan;
  3. Karra;
  4. Kangha;
  5. Kacchera.

We are inviting all TDSB community, students, and staff to join our virtual Sikh Heritage Month launch to recognize the contributions of Sikh Canadians. Join us for a remarkable morning of information and celebration.

The results of our Sikh Heritage Month Poster/Video Contest is posted below. Kudos to all our students for their submissions, we’re so proud!

As part of the celebrations to mark Sikh Heritage Month at the Toronto District School Board, we are proud to share a three-part Podcast series with staff, students and the TDSB community on:

  1. Episode 1 looks at SEVA: Selfless Service (Episode 1 Transcript);
  2. Episode 2 discusses Oneness: Equity and Justice for All (Episode 2 Transcript);
  3. Episode 3 talks about Chardi Kala: External Resilience: Optimism and Joy (Episode 3 Transcript).

Each episode has discussion questions to help listeners to follow along.

Lastly during the month of April, Sikh Canadians recognize Vaisakhi, also known as Khalsa Day, which celebrates the Sikh New Year across Ontario. This year Khalsa Day will be celebrated on Sunday, April 30th in downtown Toronto at Exhibition Place. This celebration is the third largest parade in Canada with thousands of individuals joining in the festivities! We hope you are available to join us and join the event!


Sikh heritage month poster by Yuvraj, Grade 4