Friends For Peace Day 2015 Highlights

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Photo's by: Robert S. Vibert Photography

Friends For Peace Day 2014 Highlights

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Friends For Peace Day 2012 Highlights

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Friends For Peace Day 2011 Highlights

Friends For Peace Day 2010 Highlights

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

Photos by Raham Bindu

Chad Wolfe Step Dancers

OTTAWA, CANADA — Friends for Peace sets aside a day each year to celebrate what we can do rather than bemoan the obstacles. In 2010, on October 2 in City Hall, the response blew everyone away!!

Highlights of Friends For Peace Day 2010:

Clive Doucet, candidate for Mayor, not only danced a great number with Big Soul Project, he gave a stirring speech on Cities of Peace - a vision for Ottawa. Metis story teller — Jo Maple — recounted the fable of Hummingbird — "Doing The Best I Can." Alex Cullen, Paul Dewar and other municipal and political figures were in attendance. The National Capital Peace Council were all there — to listen to founder Daniel Stringer receive a Peace Award and speak about practical peace projects. He is running for City Council in Kitchissippi Ward. Jen Hunter, a candidate for a federal riding in the next election talked about planetary care. Dr Ian Prattis asked the crowd if their light was fierce and were they ready for tomorrow's child, not yet born. This child has difficult questions — "What did you do when there was still time to create a sustainable world?" "On your watch, was there intelligent life in humanity's leaders and decision makers?" A resounding affirmative was delivered by the diversity gathered on this day.

A rousing wake up call from Pipers for Peace began the day long celebration. The aboriginal women's drum group from Minwaashin rooted the event in planet Earth. Koozma Tarasoff introduced a magnificent Leo Tolstoy exhibition and spoke eloquently about this pioneer of a culture of peace. Big Soul Project raised the roof. This Gospel Choir partnered with Friends for Peace to donate a Peace Grant to Pakistan Flood Relief. The biggest Silent Auction ever, raised sufficient funds for two further Peace Grants — to Peace Camp Ottawa and to Minwaashin Lodge for Aboriginal Women. The gentle tones of the Chalice Choir took the event in to the lunch break.

Over $5,000 was raised to continue the work of Friends for Peace. The day was an epicentre of intent and action — intense at times as people were moved to both tears and laughter. It was fun, poignant and direct. The intensity and joy rippled through the diversity — all generations, faiths and cultures in our northern city. Moving Mysteries led by the Sacred Dance Guild wove the generations and crowd together in the opening dance of the afternoon — all directors of Friends for Peace were on the dance floor. Young people were there — teen step dancers, Holy Trinity High School Rhythm and Blues band, university students. They seized the day, converging on the Connection Centre, which linked projects to people. This new initiative had a petition for a Department of Peace, a scroll full of citizen concerns for the government to pay attention to. Hand written on a parchment, to be delivered to Parliament Hill, where MP's Paul Dewar and Tom Siksay will take it further. African World Music continued the theme played up through Bhakti Connection's kirtan. Slam poet John Akpata, sound channel Amaeil and meditation teacher Ana-Karyn provided an unusual and effective meditation sequence. Incredible support from retail outlets, contributions to the Silent Auction and from the 20 community and activist tables on the day.

The force of the epicentre roared through the community and activist tables, Muslim families, Asian groups, elders, young folk, the volunteers — the diversity of Ottawa gathered, listened, danced, laughed, cried — and took home an unforgettable experience of hope and confidence.

The day long event drew in over a thousand people and was filmed for CTV's nightly newscast. Some came just for the morning and then stayed all day.

The directors of Friends for Peace are Robert Lavigne, Sat Hari Kaur Khalsa, Vivian Dickie, Carolyn Hill & Ian Prattis.