This year Greater Victoria Peace and Intercultural Celebrations approached Jules Lamore of Peace Pals International with an application to host the 2015 Ambassador of Peace Art Exhibition.
The children’s artwork from the exhibit has inspired our community and we are enjoying expanding our number of exhibits in unique ways.
Our first exhibit was held on April 25th & 26th at the Fourth Annual Creatively United for the Planet Earth Week Festival hosted by Creatively United for the Planet. We had a unique opportunity to display the artwork in the storefront windows along a pathway in a beautiful three- acre garden at the English Inn located in one of our historical communities called Esquimalt. The art exhibition became a talking point with the Canadian Peace Initiative and local Sierra Club. Shortly after displaying the children’s artwork, it was noticed that T-shirts that had been donated to the table as a fundraiser had the same peace message, May Peace Prevail on Earth! The T-shirts were donated by one of our well-known early peace pioneers, Louise Taylor.
Our second exhibit was actually a talking circle with a group of 4th grade students at Brentwood Bay Elementary in our Greater Victoria Community of Central Saanich. The World Children’s Summit on Peace and Nature held four workshops with four classes in one day. The workshop topics were on: Storytelling, Nature Photography, Music with the Ukulele and Contemplation with the Labyrinth. As part of the Labyrinth Workshop the children began a conversation about values. This was introduced with the amazing artwork from children around the world that each piece of artwork had a different value focus. The children chose artwork that was meaningful to them to introduce as we went around our circle. They shared the country, the child’s name and the values they recognized. It started a lively conversation! The children then made up their own list of values identifying what was important to them in their classroom! At the end of the day we shared what we experienced in our workshop with the other three classes by creating a simple heart shaped labyrinth. We let the children choose one piece of artwork to walk with into the center of the labyrinth, while reflecting on the artwork they chose.
Reaching the center they put their artwork into the center heart! It was stunning to see eighty-six children walking through the labyrinth quietly!
For the month of June our Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch is displaying The Ambassador of Peace Art Exhibit to celebrate June’s World Refugee Day! They have created a beautiful display as you enter the Children’s area of their Library.
The Ambassador of Peace is currently scheduled to be displayed at a storefront gallery at the Fernwood Community Center the August 27th until September 13th, ’15. This display will compliment the host display called, “Puppets for Peace.” A unique creative project combining another form of art and celebration!
September 13th will kick off Greater Victoria ‘s 2nd Annual Peace Week Project with a Puppets for Peace Festival. This is a calendar of peace themed events to nurture a communities focus of attention on peace. A grassroots campaign to support local peace events with a vision of local schools, organizations and businesses hosting their own events with a willingness to talk about it! The grand event for September 21st this year will be hosted by the World Children’s Summit on Peace and Nature. Plans are for this to be Victoria’s final Ambassador of Peace Exhibit. The World Summit is planning to host guest speakers and entertainment based upon the theme of their workshops!
Submitted by: Renee Lindstrom