The 10th annual free Ottawa Peace Festival 2016 aims to educate the public with daily events held across the Ottawa metropolitan area. Some events are planned for children, youth, and women. Panel discussions, displays, speeches, films, art, dance, marches and other methods will be used to bring people of all kinds and ages together for “Peace and Emerging Consciousness”, this year’s theme.
On September 1, the 32 day festival is introduced with an exhibition of paintings by Spanish Canadian artist Alberto Agrasso at the Ottawa Public Library. On September 10, a series of 4 weekly films with discussion begins at the University of Ottawa.
The main Festival launches on International Peace Day, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Paul University with a reading of the City of Ottawa Peace proclamation, and the documentary “In Pursuit of Peace” about Canadian youth building peace in South Sudan, Turkey, Congo and Iraq. A panel discussion follows. Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor David Chernushenko, and Senator Sinclair are expected to attend.
Over the next 12 days, 20 additional free events will be held in 14 locations across the capital. These include: a Peace Film Festival by Cinema Academica at Ottawa U, the First Nations’ peace and justice programs, indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal presents his vision for a Centre for Peace for the sacred islands in the Ottawa River.
World Changing Kids will host activities about kindness, friendship, music, dancing, yoga, painting, arts and crafts, biking, sports, mindfulness and more, at Heatherington Park (September 24) and Fairlea Park (September 25).
Novelist Mark Frutkin will read at Peace Arts Night at the Unitarian Church. A nuclear disarmament exhibit entitled, “Everything You Treasure” will be held at City Hall (Sept. 29) in English and French. A “Walk for World Peace” will swarm to Parliament Hill (Sept. 24). There are panels on Algonquin Elder William Commanda’s vision of a Circle of All Nations, Canada’s Role in Global Peace and Security Issues, Preventing Gender Violence, Annual Mahatma Gandhi Peace Lecture, and Peace through Friendship.
“With a different fun and friendly peace event every day, we hope folks will learn what’s happening in Ottawa to build community peace,” said Peter Stockdale, festival coconvenor. His counterpart, Bill Bhaneja notes, “Peace unites, violence divides. Peacebuilding transcends race, cultures, religions and genders.”
Ottawa Peace Festival 2016 program, maps, and hosts are at OttawaPeaceFestival.blogspot.com.