The Words Of The Wilding Family
Vancouver, Canada -- In what has become an annual event, the Colors of Peace Festival was held on July 1 in Richmond, British Columbia. The theme chosen this year was "Celebrate Canada Peace Festival," as it was held on Canada Day, a national holiday commemorating the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
Through the collaboration of Universal Peace Federation's Western Canada Director, Mr. Alan Wilding and the President of Lions International, Mr. Paul Chung, a full program that included speeches by religious, political, and business leaders as well as cultural performances was attended by an audience that at times swelled to 5,000 people.
Mr. Wilding served as the evening's Master of Ceremonies. The program began with a Native Welcome by representatives of the Oceanside Dakota Tribe, Mr. Darcy Demas and Clayton Gordon.
The Honorable Dr. Alice Wong, Cabinet Minister and a Conservative Member of Canada's Federal Parliament, spoke first on the magnificence of Canada as a country that welcomes people from all over the world.
She was followed by the Honorable Linda Reid, Deputy Speaker and Liberal member of the Provincial Legislature of British Columbia representing Richmond. She shared how over the years her district has been transformed into one of the most vibrant multi-cultural communities in Canada.
Canada's Secretary General for the Universal Peace Federation, Mr. Franco Famularo, then shared that he believed the reason for Canada's greatness can be found in the opening statement of the Canadian constitution, which states that "Canada is founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law." Adherence to such principles and the respect for the rule of law have served Canada well as it has grown to a population of 35 million with likely the most diverse and multi-cultural population found on this planet, especially in its major cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.
He went on to elaborate that the "One Family under God" vision of the Universal Peace Federation is one that Canadians should promote and export to all corners of the earth.
Mr. Paul Chung, a business owner who has organized an International Summer Night Market where foods and wares from the world over are sold during the summer months, expressed his commitment to promoting peace and good will through providing opportunities for small business owners from the world over.
The program continued with the cutting of the Canada Day cake in honor of Canada's 144th Birthday.
Then religious leaders and community leaders gathered on stage to participate in a Water Ceremony signifying the unity of humanity: Dr. Yuri Pankratz of the Children of Chernobyl; John Amin, an Ambassador for Peace and Bangladesh community leader. Mr. Li Huen Kwan representing the Interfaith for World Peace Society; Rev. Father L. Alwin Hyndman, Pastor of the Orarory of Our Lady of the Nativity; Dr. Michael Khan of the Royal Institute of Technology; John Murray of the Feed the Hungary Project; Imam Abdul Halim of the Fraser Muslim Community Center; Mr. Hafizur Jahangir, a Bangladesh community leader; and Rev. Inkyu Kim, Pastor of the Vancouver Family Church.
Each faith leader shared a few words essentially expressing that there can be no peace unless there is peace among the religions.
The evening continued with the introduction of various participants from a multitude of countries such as Russia, Iran, China, India, Peru, and the Philippines, to whom gift card prizes were given.
A video of UPF's most recent worldwide activities was shown, and many copies of UPF founder's autobiography, A Peace-loving Global Citizen, were distributed to many of the participants.
Performances by representatives of widely diverse cultures followed: the Surrey Folk Bhangra Club Dancers, Edgar Muenala playing Peruvian pipes, Shimmy of the Soul Belly Dancers, Fresh Groove Hip Hop, Filipino and Mexican dancers, and guitarist Peter Paulus, who led the audience in singing the Canadian national anthem.
More than four hours after the program began, the audience continued to be enthralled by the peaceful and talented young people who entertained till well past midnight.
In summary, many thanks to the organizers, performers, and participants for a beautiful and inspiring annual event that reflects the ideals of the Universal Peace Federation.