By Canadian Peace Initiative
The Canadian Peace Initiative (CPI), together with Ottawa's peace community, is holding the 9th Annual Peace Festival from September 21st to October 2nd 2015. Over 25 admission-free events across 18 locations in the nation's capital are offered, including a program of Anti-war Film Festival, Peace Arts Night, Upbeat Peace Party, and Panels on peace and environment issues.
Highlights this year are: a photo exhibit of peace philosopher Leo Tolstoy at the Main Ottawa Public Library; keynote address by James Loney, Activist and Author of bestseller Captivity at Saint Paul University; Global Friends for Peace Day at Ottawa City Hall; panels on: Algonquin Elder Grandfather William Commanda's vision of Circle of All Nations, Canada and Global Peace and Security Issues, Ethics of Drone Warfare, Conflict and Development, Fighting for Peace in Democracy, Documentary Film Production and Activism, and Holistic Care - Self, Earth, and Water.
The theme of this year's festival is "Does Peace Get Democracy or does Democracy beget Peace?". It is about what lessons we have learnt from the violence and its prevention at home and abroad over the past century. Other events being planned cover: Mahatma Gandhi and his nonviolence, Making World Free of Nuclear Weapons and the impact of putting dams across our rivers.
On September 21, the annual proclamations of Day of Peace will be read at the Parliament Hill.
"With a different kind of peace event every day throughout the 12-day festival period, we hope these fun and friendly events will give folks a chance to know what's happening in Ottawa to build community peace," said Bill Bhaneja, the festival co-convenor. His counterpart, Peter Stockdale noted, "[w]e've been getting accustomed to believing that peace and non-violence are for sissies, and that we need to define ourselves as bullies, not peacemakers. This festival re-examines that kind of assumption, which is very relevant on the eve of a federal election."