The fifth annual Peace Days festival of peace and compassion launched yesterday in a series of events starting with a Sunrise Pipe Ceremony at the Forks at 6:30 a.m., followed by an official Peace Days flag-raising at City Hall with Mayor Sam Katz and culminating in a Peace Walk at the Forks and the official opening of the festival.
“This year is an especially poignant Peace Days Festival because it coincides with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights official opening, and it is an honour to help raise the Peace Days flag at City Hall,” said Mayor Sam Katz.
“I encourage everyone to take a moment each day this week and practice spreading peace through compassion and kindness. Share a smile with someone on the street, or do something nice for a stranger, friend, or family member – a small gesture can make a big difference.”
Following the raising of the Peace Days flag at 9 a.m. at City Hall, more than 1,200 students from schools across the city participated in a Peace Walk at the Forks to launch Peace Days in a ceremony that included opening remarks from Rick Frost, CEO The Winnipeg Foundation; June Creelman, Director of Learning and Programming, Canadian Museum for Human Rights; David G. Newman, Q.C., Co-founder and Co-chair of Rotary World Peace Partners and Peace Days organizing commmitee; and a proclamation from the Honourable James Allum, Minister of Education and Advanced Learning and MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview.
Two doves, the international symbol of peace, were released by Noah Long and Kaylyn Daher, students at École Margaret Underhill during the ceremony.
Peace Days brings together a variety of events that celebrate peace and compassion, beginning with the Compassion Games on Thursday, September 11 and ending with A Walk for Peace and Community on Sunday, September 21. Peace Days (http://www.peacedays.ca/) will take place September 11-21 at various locations throughout the city.
“Our purpose at Peace Days is to facilitate and inspire people to work together on issues that advance understanding, goodwill, peace and compassionate action,” says Peace Days spokesperson David G. Newman. “It’s fantastic that our celebration this year coincides with the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and opens up the discussion of Winnipeg’s place as a compassionate city.”
In addition to celebrating the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, key events in the Peace Days line-up include:
Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest
September 11 -21
Keynote speaker: Freedom in Forgiveness
Thursday, September 18, 7 p.m.. Adults $25, Seniors & Students $15
Friday, September 19, 9 a.m. – noon workshop. Tickets $75
Peace in Policing Series
Various dates and locations
Building a Culture of Peace art exhibition
September 15-21, Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Community Center, 1185 Pembina Highway
A Ceremony and Walk for Peace and Community
Sunday, September 21, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm Meeting place: Saint-Boniface Cathedral Ruins (walk to the Forks)
Peace Days encompasses the United National International Day of Democracy, September 15 and International Day for Peace, September 21. Peace Days were inspired and have been facilitated by Rotary International District 5550 World Peace Partners since the inception of the event in 2010. For full event listings and ticket info: http://www.peacedays.ca/