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Ottawa's Harmony One brings many diverse groups together

Peggi Sioux — October 1984

OTTAWA – This past Labour Day weekend, Ottawans were once again treated to a peace festival. As distinguished from Peace in the Park held two weeks earlier, the two-day Harmony One celebration focussed on personal growth as well as peace and development.

Numerous booths and displays were located throughout Major’s Hill Park, providing a wealth of information about various spiritual and personal growth groups – the Sri Chinmoy, Baha’i Faith and Institute of Applied Metaphysics included among these. Also represented were local, national and international peace organizations, including the Peace Train, a relative newcomer, which seeks to enhance East- West relations by establishing a people exchange program between North America and the nations of the Eastern bloc by the autumn of 1985. The Plenty Canada international development organization based in Lanark Ontario, and the Dandelion intentional community (one of five such communities in North America inspired by B.F. Skinner’s utopian novel Walden Two) also provided information to interested passers-by.

Artisans displayed their wares, and delicious food, including vegetarian dishes, tacos and soya bean “ice-bean” was available. A special children’s area as well as workshops and films were provided throughout the two day event.

Of course, no peace celebration would be complete without music. Local and imported musicians played continuously. In the evening, a performance by the Theatre of the Giants impressed and delighted many an adult and child, as mysterious giant fish were transformed into strange, webbed creatures.

The number of individuals who attended Harmony One was not as large as organizers expected, despite an advertizing campaign which included the distribution of posters throughout the city and the printing of 25,000 copies of Harmony News several weeks before the celebration.

Harmony News provided a comprehensive overview of local and nationally-based international peace, spiritual, ecological and development organizations, many of which were represented at Harmony One.

For copies of Harmony News, or to help the organizers reduce the $5,000 deficit which was incurred, readers can contact Harmony One Peace Celebrations at 207 Rideau St., Ottawa KIN 5X8.