Happy birthday, Gandhi!

Victorians can gather to celebrate the birth of one of the world’s most famous peace vigilantes, then do a little peacework too

James O'dea will talk peace in Victoria during the event sponsored by the Canadian Peace Initiative.

Peaceful Victorians can gather to celebrate the birth of one of the world’s most famous peace vigilantes, then do a little peacework themselves.

The Victoria chapter of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative will celebrate Mahatma Gandhi and the International Day of Nonviolence with a free event Tues., Oct. 2, 7-9pm at the First Metropolitan United Church (932 Balmoral). Just before that, on Sept. 27 and 29, international peace-builder James O’dea will be hosting two talks on how everyone can contribute to a better society.

“We are relatively peaceful in Victoria, yes, but we’re concerned with peace on the world scale,” says Saul Arbess, who co-organized the events. “There’s still plenty of violence and crime in Victoria. What we’re saying is let us enhance restorative justice, interethnic relations, and concern ourselves with empowering communities and working with them so they can respond to these issues.”

O’dea, author of Cultivating Peace: Becoming a 21st Century Peace Ambassador and former Washington office director of Amnesty International, has worked with peace efforts in Rwanda, Israel, Palestine and Northern Ireland. His talk comes on the heels of the United Nations’ announcement that efforts for the UN’s International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001 to 2010) will be renewed.

“It should be abundantly clear that planetary peace requires more than a little nudge. It requires a great turnaround,” says O’dea. “Genuine peace represents a whole new order of being and an evolutionary reframing … We were born for such a time as this.”

Meanwhile, Arbess believes there are still tangible ways everyone can contribute to peace in their own society — signing up to the Victoria chaper of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative, for example, or showing a little more kindness to all.

“There are a lot of ways we can think about peace, both outer and inner peace — how one works in situations of conflict or anger,” says Arbess. “Peace to me means ‘right’ relationship with one’s self, one’s community and the wider world.”

See James O’dea talk Thurs., Sept. 27, 7-9pm at First Metropolitan United Church (932 Balmoral), $10, or join in the workshop “Cultivating Peace: From the Inside Out” Sat., Sept. 29, 9am-5pm at New Horizons (234 Menzies), $75. To reserve a spot, contact Penny Joy at pjoy@shaw.ca or 250-383-5878. Visit departmentofpeace.ca for more. M

Just Posted

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

Astrocolor bringing unique funk-synth sound to the Capital Ballroom

Victoria band known for their festival shows making a rare appearance on their home turf

VIDEO: Ballet Kelowna brings steamy story, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Island

Okanagan ballet company brings a classic tale to the Cowichan Valley

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read