ANNOUNCEMENT - SIXTH ANNUAL CANADIAN PEACE AWARDS - 2005

SUMMARY: In celebration of Peace Champions in Canada and the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World, the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace hosts the Annual Canadian Peace Awards.  Awards are generally presented in 10 major categories for Canadian achievements in building a Culture of Peace and Non-violence, at home and abroad.  The presentations also culminate in the inductions into the Canadian Peace Hall of Fame to be housed at the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace and on its web site at http://www.peace.ca  

The Award categories include peace achievements in government, business, the media, education, peacekeepers, peacebuilders in civil society, peace philanthropy, youth, and multi-cultural relations, to name a few.

The Awards are in the form of an engraved, soapstone 'Inukshuk'.  For millennia, massive stone figures built in the image of a human have stood silhouetted on the treeless Arctic horizons.  Created by Inuit people, these Inukshuks serve as guides to point out a journey or a safe passage.  The Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace believes this is a fitting Canadian symbol of the journey to safe and caring communities and world.  [See the Award at http://www.peace.ca/inukshukaward.htm ]  The Awards have been crafted by the Inuit of Nunavut and supplied by the Nunavut Development Corporation.

Generally, the awards are presented on November 11 each year.  November 11 was chosen as it is Remembrance Day in Canada .  Each one of us has an obligation to the memory of the many men and women who died for our peace and freedom, to today's millions of needless victims of violence at home and abroad, and to future generations to do everything we can to bring peace to the world and preserve the integrity of this planet.   The awards stress everyone's responsibility and potential influence in building peace in our families, communities and world.

Our vision is for the Canadian Peace Awards to take a prominent place among Canadian celebrations, fitting of the importance of the topic.  In these violent and rapidly changing times, what could be more important than to celebrate the building of a Culture of Peace at home and abroad, for current and future generations?

For more information, contact Robert Stewart , Director, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace at stewartr [at] peace.ca; or visit our web site Awards Page at http://www.peace.ca/peaceawards.htm


 

Government Award

Some 80 years ago there was inscribed in the Peace Tower , that magnificent symbol of peace which gives world-renowned character to Canada 's Parliament, the words from Proverbs: "Where there is no vision, the people perish."  As we move into a new century and a new millennium, we should think deeply about this scriptural admonition.  What is our vision? What do we see for Canada ; a bounteous land blessed with space, industry, resources, technological advancement, and immense human energies?  How do we see Canada related to the world at this pivotal moment in world history where human beings have in their power the means to fashion human security for everyone on God's planet, and the power to blow it apart?  Leadership is key to effective team building, community building, nation building and peace building.  We elect our government leaders to provide visionary leadership.  While it is easy to be critical of government, this award celebrates what has been done, rather than what has yet to be done or done differently in future.


 

Government – Canada’s Mayors for Peace, represented by Calgary Mayor David Bronconnier   

In August 1945, atomic bombs instantaneously reduced the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to rubble, taking hundreds of thousands of precious lives. Today, more than fifty years after the war, thousands of citizens still suffer the devastating aftereffects of radiation and unfathomable emotional pain. To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continually sought to tell the world about the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons and have consistently urged that nuclear weapons be abolished.

On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at UN Headquarters in New York , then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima proposed a new Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. This proposal offered cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. Subsequently, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on mayors around the world to support this program.

The Mayors for Peace is composed of cities around the world that have formally expressed support for the program Mayor Araki announced in 1982. As of May 26, 2005, membership stood at 1,036 cities in 112 countries and regions. In March 1990, the Mayors Conference was officially registered as a UN NGO related to the Department of Public Information. In May 1991, it became a Category II NGO (currently called a NGO in "Special Consultative Status") registered with the Economic and Social Council.  In Canada , there are 16 cities that subscribe to the Mayors for Peace, as follows:

 

CANADA (16 cities)

Badger

Burnaby

Calgary

Edmonton

Grand Forks

Kamloops

Lethbridge

Montreal

Ottawa

Powell River

Qualicum Beach

Terrace

Toronto

Township of Smith- Ennismore-Lakefield

Vancouver

Winnipeg

 

 

 

The Mayors for Peace is designed to build solidarity and facilitate coordination among the cities that support the Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. Its primary goal is to work internationally to raise consciousness regarding nuclear weapons abolition. It is also formally committed to pursuing lasting world peace by working to address starvation, poverty, refugee welfare, human rights abuses, environmental destruction, and other problems that threaten peaceful coexistence.

First elected to Calgary City Council 1992, David Bronconnier was elected Calgary 's 35th Mayor, October 15, 2001.  Mayor Bronconnier is a past member of the board of the Glenbrook Community Association and has volunteered for a wide variety of community groups and organizations. He is a third generation Calgarian and grew up in the southwest community of Glenbrook. Mayor Bronconnier is married and has four children. 

Mayor Bronconnier proclaimed *September 21st, 2005 International Day of Peace *shortly after joining the Mayors for Peace campaign this spring. In his proclamation, Mayor Bronconnier states:  “Working towards the complete abolishment of nuclear weapons, the day was established to facilitate collective efforts towards this goal.  Nations and people all around the world are encouraged to honour a cessation of violence and hostilities for the duration of the Day. I join with the Mayors of cities everywhere by calling upon them and their citizens to abolish these weapons and observe this day of peace.”

 

Other related articles for reference:  

Presentation Speech by Robert Stewart, Director, September 21, 2005

The Mayors for Peace in Canada are shown at http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/mayors/english/membercity/northamerica.html .   The Mayors for Peace website, with programs and how to join, is http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/mayors/english/index.html

Calgary and Edmonton (another Mayor for Peace City) are home to a large number of organizations actively promoting peace, as shown at  http://www.peace.ca/albertapeaceeducation.htm

Calgary (Okotoks being a “bedroom community of Calgary ) is home to:
• the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace, the foremost peace education centre in Canada (see http://www.peace.ca ),
• the Canadian Culture of Peace Program (see http://www.cultureofpeace.ca ),
• the Canadian Peace Education Foundation (see
http://www.peace.ca/foundation.htm ).

SPEAKING AND DOING PEACE AT HOME IN CALGARY , ALBERTA , by Larry Fisk, PhD.

 

Only one Canadian Peace Award has been presented to date in 2005.

For more information about the Canadian Peace Awards - contact Robert Stewart, C.A., C.M.C., Director, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace at stewartr [at] peace.ca; (telephone - 403-461-2469; fax - 309-407-6576; mail - Box 70, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada T1S 1A4; web site - http://www.peace.ca )

"The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything."