photo and article by Alastair Gregor
On Saturday, June 30, approximately 2,000 Walkers for Peace met at Kitsilano Beach (Arbutus and Cornwall) and joined together in unity to celebrate peace, on the 30th anniversary of Vancouver’s very first Walk for Peace in 1982.
We were welcomed to the land by Elder Henry Charles from the Musqueam First Nation, who blessed the land, and we also received a spiritual blessing delivered by Métis grandmother, pipe carrier, sundancer and singer Aline LaFlamme. Aline’s energy and words were inspirational: “We will show the way by going first. We will walk with love, honour, respect and compassion for all things in creation, including ourselves.”
At 1:00 PM we walked together, led by Fanny Starchild and Ross Barrett of the Carnival Band. United as one in peace, we walked along Cornwall Avenue, over the Burrard Street Bridge, west along Pacific, and south on Bute Street and crossed over Beach Avenue to gather in the natural amphitheatre of Sunset Beach Park. By the time the first walkers arrived, the festivities had already started on the main stage. Wonderful performers, speakers, entertainers and musicians delighted the crowd throughout the afternoon.
It was a beautiful afternoon celebrating and sharing peace and those who participated realized you cannot come to peace by just warring against war. We walked together in unity towards peace. Our slogan in 1982 was – and still is today – “There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”
We are continuing our work towards our next event and we are looking for sponsors who wish to come on board and help cover costs or share in kind. We greatly appreciate your endorsement.
We wish to thank our many volunteers and sponsors who fulfilled the role of Peace Ambassadors and helped to make the event so special.
- Media sponsor Common Ground Magazine: http://commonground.ca/ Read more inside!
- Rev. Bruce Sanguin (Canadian Memorial Church and The Centre for Peace) for providing the space for our organizational meetings.
- The Mayor’s office and the City of Vancouver for providing the Proclamation.
- Vancouver City Engineering for providing plumbing and the Parks office for rebuilding the Peace Flame and providing fresh water for the event.
- Daniel Sabina and the great staff at Show Max Event Services (604-639-4629)
- Ronnie Novak at Cats Eye Video www.catseyevideo.com (604-224-2466)
- Ehren Salazar designed our Walk for Peace shoe logo - thank you.
- General Paint - thank you Rob.
- Mr. Edit in North Vancouver for transcribing 1980s video to digital.
- Ishi Roberts Dinim for 30 years of inspiration and digital editing.
- Damien Gillis for such great film editing.
- SML Printing on Broadway for handbills and flyers.
- Myron Pajak, Dream Classic Charter Service (604-831-6445), for providing the classic vehicle that transported the veterans across the bridge.
- PacBlue Printing for the large outdoor Walk for Peace banner.
- Parallel Rentals Inc., Burnaby, 604-436-1418.
- Canada Wide Communications, 604-980-9071.
- The Teamsters Local 155 for event security – awesome guys!
- The BC Federation of Labour.
- The Flower Factory at 3604 Main St. for their Peace Wreath 604-871-1008
- RE/MAX Realty & Selina Jansen for their lovely tents.
- Laura-Leah Shaw RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside 604-551-9297 (please support a ‘cruelty-free’ world). Thank you Laura-Leah for transporting the huge peace sign.
- Kelli Turner from Vancouver Ambulance Service, for watching over us.
- Grady Mercs from Paul Mercs Concerts for great organization and promotion.
- Florence Etienne for feeding us all such incredibly delicious Vegan food.
- Mo Khani from Canada Green Pack (eco-server.ca).
- http://www.suprememastertv.com/ be Vegan make Peace.
- All our performers: Ross Barrett and the Carnival Band, Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Drew Rouse, Corinthian, Rachel, Sean, Kelsang, Lynn McGown & Michael Pratt, Mel Hertig, Hannah, Tony & Adrian, Suzan Law & Laura Swift, Woody Coward, David Laskey and Ed Livingstone of VANA, B.E.A.R and Mahara Brenna thank you! and especially Neil Weisensel for arranging such a fine performance with house band Peace in the City!
- To many of our wonderful organizational volunteers without which the event would not have been the same: Hazel Bell-Akoshi for her passion, Gerald Sze for his astute accounting, Lloyd and Felicia for everything! Thank you Phil Watson, Jillian Skeet, Sonya Weir, Hila Russ, Herb Barbolet, James McDonald, Chris & Reimer Kroecher, Dheera, Jake, Mary, David, Elizabeth, Paalin and Jeffery. Thank you all, and especially to Fiona Crossley, Mary Guilfoyle and Sandra Tait (Golden Seeds Event Marketing, 604-336-4212), whose help was invaluable.
And to Joseph Roberts, publisher of Common Ground Magazine, whose vision and dedication to peace sparked this event. Thank you for your inspiration.
And to you, our Peace Ambassadors, banner wavers, on-the-day volunteers, thank you, thank you for your belief that your actions can and do make such a significant difference.
And to all those who walked for Peace on June 30, 2012, and continue to Walk for Peace each day, thank you all for being willing to step forward and be the change you want to see. If we have inadvertently omitted anyone from our list of supporters and helpers, we apologize.
Youtube videos of our Walk for Peace:
From Ronnie Novak:
Thrive Living TV – Katherine of “RawsomeChef.com” Interview at the Walk:
Some great photos by Bruce Yu - our Vegan friend:
Photographs are available for viewing and through our Flickr page. Please send yours for us to upload:
Alastair Gregor was the event director for the Walk for Peace event, firstname.lastname@example.org