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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2015, 12PM - 3:30PM
(Doors open at 11)
All Nations, All Traditions - A Circle of Friendship

Friends for Peace Day is a diverse, unique Ottawa experience. A day to celebrate the consciousness of peace, social justice and planetary care. A day to recognize individuals and groups who make outstanding contributions in those areas. Friends for Peace is an integral part of the Annual Ottawa Peace Festival.

2015 Peace Awards and Grants Ceremony honors Jurme Wangda, founder of Ottawa Friends of Tibet and Coleen Scott, founder of Karen Learning and Education Opportunity. Speeches are short, people are awesome, food is incredible, music is outstanding with great deals at the Silent Auction. Entrance is by donation, and all money raised goes directly to groups working for peace, social justice and caring for the planet.

Friends for Peace Canada is a registered non-profit organization. The intent is to create a different form of peaceful expression to create infrastructure in our institutions that value peace and planetary processes. Onstage program with music, speeches, and other talent starts at noon with The Valley Men Choir, Roumy Mounzer, Orkidstra, Dialog of Friendship, Lucille Hildesheim and others.

Come have fun, enjoy the music and food, connect with others. Building Community to Heal the World. Keeping Vision Alive. Taking Action. Celebrating. Join us for this important 13th anniversary.

Contact: Dr. Ian Prattis, or 613-726-0881

Program of Events

12:00pm   The Valley Men Choir — Keith Bailey, Director
12:30pm   Romy Mounzer — Songstress
1:00pm   Lalith Gunaratne — Reconciliation in Sri Lanka
1:10pm   OrKidstr Ensemble — Tina Fedeski, Executive Director
1:30pm   Peace Awards & Grants Ceremony
              Jurme Wangda (OFT)
              Coleen Scott (KLEO)
2:15pm   The Bhakti Connection — Joseph Ronco, Amanda Porter, Reaz Bacchus, Prema Gaia
2:35pm   Lucille Hildesheim — Celtic Harp
3:00pm   DjembeCat — Catherine Veilleaux, Director
3:30pm   Close*

*Silent Auction runs for 15 more minutes. Get your bids in!

All Nations, All Traditions - A Circle of Friendship

On Friends for Peace Day (2014), our 12th anniversary, the Peace Awards will be presented to Romola Trebilcock, Circle of All Nations, for fostering Grandfather William Commanda's Vision and to Viriyadhammo Sam Rath, Abbot of the Cambodian Temple, for community building. Peace Awards are given annually to outstanding citizens. Douglas Cardinal, Max Keeping, Bruce Cockburn, Dave Smith, and Jack Layton to mention only a few.

It is a day to celebrate the consciousness of peace, social justice and planetary care rather than bemoan their scarcity. There will be music, speeches, dancing - all day. Treasures to bid for at the Silent Auction, fabulous food and a chance to learn and connect with like-minded people. It's a day for young and old as the diversity of Ottawa turns up for a great time.

Friends for Peace Canada is a registered non-profit organisation. Donations fund Peace Grants to organizations making a difference. In Ottawa grants have gone to Orkidstra, the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, Child Haven International, USC Canada, Minwashin Lodge and Physicians for Global Survival. Globally, there are projects supported in Africa, India and Nepal. One planetary care project supported the campaign that made the Dumoine River watershed a protected conservation park.

The onstage program includes SIFA A Cappella choir, Yoga for Peace with Ichih Wang, Drums4Life, the KLEO Weaving Project, Salvadorian guitar, Orkidstra chamber ensemble, The Bhakti Connection, International harp artiste Lucille Hildesheim, and many others with a rousing closing by the Trinity H.S. Jazz band.

A Silent Auction, Connection Centre, Community Tables and Servery with delicious food, complete the extravaganza of sharing unity of purpose. Folk leave at the end of the day with confidence and hope. Please join us for this important 12th anniversary.

No admission fee, donations accepted to support local organizations making a difference.

Building Community to Heal the World. Keeping Vision Alive. Taking Action. Celebrating.

Program of Events — Morning

11:00am   SIFA Choir African A Capella Group — Neema Lukumbuzya, Director
11:30am   Yoga for Peace — Ichih Wang
11:45am   Salvadoran Canadian Guitar Youth — Adrian Trejo
12:15pm   The KLEO Project — Nancy Maddams
12:30pm   Drums4Life — Jesse Maththews
1:00pm — 1:45pm   Lunch Break

Program of Events — Afternoon

1:45pm   Orkidstra Chamber Ensemble — Tina Fedeski, Director
2:00pm   Bhakti Connection — Joseph Ronco, Reaz Bacchus, Amanda Porter
2:30pm   Peace Awards Ceremony — Romola Vasantha Thumbadoo introduced by Robert Lavigne.
              Honor Song from Asinabika Drum Circle.
              Maham Rath San Viriyadhammo introduced by Visita Leelaratna.
              Chants by Cambodian Children and Monks.
3:00pm   Celtic Harp — Lucille Hildesheim
3:30pm   Trinity HS Jazz Band — Neil Bateman, Director
4:00pm   Close

Canadian Architect and Museum Curator
Receive 2013 Peace Awards

Ian Prattis

11th Annual Friends for Peace Day
Saturday, September 28, 2013, 11am — 4.30pm,
Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall
All Nations, All Traditions — a Circle of Friendship

Friends for Peace Day is an awesome, diverse, unique Ottawa experience. It is a day to celebrate the consciousness of peace, social justice and planetary care rather than bemoan their scarcity. Mayor Jim Watson had this to say: "Friends for Peace is an outstanding organization that does very important work, promoting, strengthening and maintaining peace, planetary care and social justice within our communities and the environment."

There will be music, speeches, dancing, fabulous food at the Servery, and a chance to learn and connect. The day opens with Orkidstra followed by the Dandelion Dance Company. These young people signal that we have a future. Peggy Taillon will talk about the Hera Mission in Kenya. And all-time favorites, Big Soul Project, close the morning program by raising the roof with their exuberance and joie.

The Lunch Break is an opportunity to browse the Silent Auction, visit the community tables, check out the Connection Centre and enjoy the country bazaar nature of the event. The afternoon program begins with a First Nations theme - Asinabika Drum Circle and Idle No More. The 2013 Peace Awards will be presented to architect and visionary Douglas Cardinal and to curator Dr Amber Lloydlangten and her team at the War Museum for their magnificent Peace Exhibition. From Montreal - a great band with Sonja Ball and Friends, followed by Lucille Hildesheim on Celtic Harp. Samba Ottawa close the day with their rhythmic magic.

Entrance is by donation. All funds raised enable Peace Grants to be presented every year to organizations making a difference in our city and internationally. The intent is to create a different form of peaceful expression that appeals to a wide cross section of Canadian citizens who want to create infrastructure in our institutions that value peace and planetary processes.

Get there early for the opening with Orkidstra. Doors open at 10.30am. Watch this glorious song by Orkidstra at the 10th Friends for Peace Day in Ottawa:

Program of Events — Morning

11:00am   OrKidstra — Kidplayers, Kidsingers, Exec-Director: Tina Fedeski,
            Directors: Margaret Tobolowska, Jeannie Hunter, Jennifer Martinez
11:30am   Friends for Peace — Ian Prattis
11:45am   Dandelion Dance Company — Hannah Beach, Director
12:15pm   The Hera Project — Peggy Taillion
12:30pm   Big Soul Project — Roxanne Goodman, Music Director
1:00pm — 1:45pm   Lunch Break

Program of Events — Afternoon

1:45pm   Asinabika Women's Drum Circle
2:00pm   Idle No More — Robert Lavigne, Metis
2:30pm   Peace Awards — Douglas Cardinal, Dr. Amber Lloydlangston
3:00pm   Friends of Peace — Sonja Ball and Friends
3:30pm   Celtic Harp — Lucille Hildesheim
4:00pm   Samba Ottawa — Isabelle St-Amour — to be confirmed in August
4:30pm   Close

Coffee, Snacks, Vegetarian Chili, Buns to be served at the Servery by the entrance to Jean Pigott Place thanks to:

Emerald Bakery
Newport Cafe
Lucy's Pantry
Rainbow Foods
Green Door
Swizzle's Cafe
The Table
Harvest Loaf
Aahar-Taste of India



ALSO SUPPORTED BY (Silent Auction)

Pine Gate Sangha
Steve Priebe
Words of Peace
Rama Lotus Yoga Centre
Basia Going
Ruth Lewis-Tratch
Serendipity Books
Koozma Tarasoff
Friends of USC
Swiss Embassy
Leading Note
Timothy's Coffee
Santosha Yoga
Village Cafe
Crystal Dawn
Adi Shakti Yoga Centre
Pranashanti Yoga
Canvas Resto-Bar-Etc
Organic Farmers Market
Familiar Faces
Ottawa Blooms & Interiors
Singing Pebble
Archer Environmental Solutions
and many others...


Healthwise Ottawa
Family Federation For World Peace
Walkers for Peace
Words of Peace
Adi Shesha Yoga Centre
Balance Your World
Ruth Lewis-Tratch - Shaklee
Ananda Marga Ottawa
Sylvia Parker
Heart Shrine
Children's Aid Society of Ottawa
World Federalist Movement
Dr. Angela Smith

Peace, Social Justice and Planetary Care in Action
Ottawa City Hall

All photos by Raham Bindi,

Click here to see YouTube Videos - October 13, 2007

Peace Prayer Day Speech, October 4, 2003 

Ian Prattis

I want to talk to you about our children and the kind of future we are creating for them. Do we teach them peace? Or through neglect do we allow violence to flood their minds so they learn war? Even worse, do they live out our own personal wars expressed through our violent attitudes, speech and actions towards them? I ask every adult here, particularly men, and in our country to deal with their internal wars so that only the best in us is passed on to our children, not the worst in terms of violence.

As a noble contrast, we experience peace together at this Peace Prayer Day at Alumni Park, Carleton University in the City of Ottawa. We come together to celebrate peace - First Nations, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Sufis and Hindus. Peace, environmental and meditation groups from all traditions. All walks of life, all colors, all ages. Our determination to be peace and courage to stand for it, no matter what, creates the energy and power for change. The pouring rain has not deterred us as we provide a beginning anew for our city. It represents the tears of the world that we can take care of by being resolute examples of peace. We are bridges across the boundaries that separate, a microcosm of the world in harmony and at peace. This is all very wonderful, but how does it translate into action?

The first step is already clear - we must deal with our internal wars, hatreds and fears. How do we do this? We stop running and hiding behind addictions and busyness. We stop, look deeply into the eyes of our children and make a commitment to face our internal demons and transform them by stepping on to the path of compassion, whatever the tradition. Not by transmitting our wars to the children of the world. We need community for this, to support us in sacred ceremony, meditation and creative spirituality so that we raise our consciousness and refine our speech, attitudes and actions. We show our children the way to peace by learning to be it. By our example we send a very strong message of encouragement to our children.

Let us be clear about the world we have created for our children. Since 9/11 the level of hate and violence globally has increased dramatically. America has used excessive violence to suppress violence. This is not the correct way to proceed and America must wake up to this. During the Vietnam war the US search and destroy campaign succeeded only in creating more communists, with the resulting reality that the present regime in Vietnam is a communist one. In Afghanistan and Iraq, US military force has succeeded in creating more terrorists. The shock and awe campaign of bombing Iraq has repercussions that reach right back into the heart of America. There is no "them" and "us". We either learn to live peacefully or we all suffer and die together.

All violence is injustice and we have to teach our children the truth about war. Not about winners and losers, but about the long term suffering on both sides. A desperate statistic, however, is that America goes to war every 18 months, supported by a misguided American public believing in a false sense of patriotism. The truth is that America has yet to recover from the wounds of the Korean War, and certainly not from the suffering of the Vietnam War. To hide the fear and insecurity that runs through America, the industrial-military-imperialist complex of America rushes to war. This must stop and it is only citizens of the world standing together for peace and saying "No to War" that will stop it.

But the hatred grows, the suffering increases. What can we do as individuals to change this? We uproot the violence and war within ourselves. To prevent war we nurture non- violence. We practice meditation and prayer in daily life to transform the poisons within ourselves and within our nation. Doing this in our family, in our community produces positive feedback loops throughout our society and government - which is ultimately accountable to each one of us. We just have to realize this and make it so. 

We enter into true peace negotiations by learning the methods of deep listening, respectful communication, understanding and peace. The art of deep listening enables us to listen to the suffering within our nation, then to the suffering within nations we are in conflict with. In this way we create bridges of understanding across the cultural and religious boundaries that separate. We create peace by knowing that compassion is the antidote to violence and hatred. This is the remedy for our troubled times. Compassion, however, has to be generated in our heart by first of all taking care of our internal wars and violence. Then we are able to touch the depth of compassion, strength and clarity within us and take wise action. These actions are taken to the political and economic infrastructures that surround and often oppress us. It also means letting go of our ego, of our individual agendas and finding the middle way to represent the collective, thereby becoming an Ambassador for Peace.

We must also make peace with Mother Earth. If we injure Mother Earth, we injure ourselves. Our civilization has caused such deep harm to the earth that we humans may soon become an endangered species, so we must change our ways. George Bush and Tony Blair have been looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. They ignore their civilizations' creation of the biggest weapon of mass destruction - Global Warming. This is created by our collective greed, produced by our industrial processes and consumerist madness. The result is damage to Mother Earth. This summer's unprecedented heat wave in Europe killed 10,000 people in France, 6,000 in Italy. 3,000 died in the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. I do not diminish that tragedy but point out that the rising sea levels produced by Global Warming will kill millions, displacing millions more. What could the 200 billion dollars recently spent on war have done to alleviate Global Warming? I leave the reader to assess the priorities here. We must change our ways and make peace with Mother Earth, otherwise we will not survive. Our collective greed, mindless consumerism, industrial pollution and government irresponsibility must change. We must also rescue the UN from the devastating effects of US and UK indifference to the one world body that can make a difference. Our Peace Prayer Day is squarely in support of UN peace processes and not in support of the violent excesses of the US.

As an Ambassador of Peace we champion the cause of Mother Earth, the cause of non-violent relationships in political and global affairs. This means our leaders have to be trained in the art of deep listening and stopping before contemplating violent action. We must make it clear to our political and corporate leaders that business as usual is not an option. As an Ambassador of Peace we speak out to corporate and political leaders - but not as individuals but as representatives of groups, coalitions and nations. As we go deeper spiritually, we can take care of our internal wars as we realize that everything interconnects. We do not neglect the political and economic infrastructures that frame our lives. We hold them to account, we influence them with our clarity, wisdom and courage. We consume carefully, rejecting the mindlessness of an uncaring consumer society. We act as Ambassadors for Peace and make it safe for children not yet born for seven generations into the future. This is a teaching from Native American wisdom. The actions we take now are shaping the possibilities for future generations.

Today we presented Peace Awards to three outstanding local citizens, whose work for peace stands as an example to all of us gathered here. They have transformed people and communities with their wisdom, love and compassion. They are examples of "Being Peace." Our thanks to you Grandfather William Commanda spiritual leader of the Algonquin Nation; to Sr. Jean Goulet of the Catholic Archdiocese and to Michael Monner the editor of Tone Magazine. 

So here is our challenge. Today, Ocotber 4, 2003, in the pouring rain and thunder storms at Alumni Park, Carleton University in the City of Ottawa - we have experienced peace, a deep peace shared between many traditions, cultures and religions. As such we represent the diversity of the world - an example of what can be. This experience, however, evaporates into nothingness if we do not translate it into action. Begin the work on yourselves today, so that your attitudes, speech and actions become an example to your children, friends and communities. Take the practical steps to make peace with Mother Earth in terms of what you consume and support. Then represent your community, in coalition with other communities, to political and corporate leaders so they know the general public means business. But if we want them to change their ways - we first of all have to change our ways. Show clearly that we are choosing peace and harmony within ourselves, within our communities and with Mother Earth. Today's experience asks that of us. We can do it. Together. We are supported. We can overcome. We are Ambassadors of 

Peace after all.
October 4, 2003

Ian is a poet, scholar, peace and environmental activist. As a Professor of Anthropology and Religion he teaches courses on Ecology, Symbols, Globalisation and Consciousness. As a meditation teacher he encourages people to find their true nature, so that humanity and the world may be renewed. Ian is an ordained Dharmacharya in the Engaged Buddhist tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, giving dharma talks coast to coast in Canada and the US while also conducting retreats in India, Europe, North and South America. He has trained with Masters in Buddhist, Vedic and Shamanic traditions. The meditation teacher is not separate from the professor or the global citizen. He has formed a coalition of meditation, peace and environmental groups to work for peace. It has a website with posters, vision statements, guidelines and press releases freely available to any community wishing to use the material.