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Community News Current
October 31, 2017

Message received from Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa City Council

The Ottawa Baha'i community is pleased to receive the following greetings and congratulatory note from Mayor Jim Watson on behalf of City Council. The community has warmly welcomed a number of City Councilors who have participated in some of the diverse activities and events held across the City to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah.

Ottawa City Coat of ArmsOctober 22, 2017

Ottawa Baha'i Community

On behalf of Members of Ottawa City Council, it is my distinct pleasure to extend warmest greetings to the Ottawa Baha'i Community on the auspicious occasion of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the inspirational Founder of the Bahá'í Faith.

His philosophy embodies and promotes coveted universal values and principles, which contribute to building more harmonious, just, enlightened, healthy, equitable and compassionate communities.

As Head of Council, I want to offer my best wishes to the Ottawa Baha'i Community for a most memorable bicentennial celebration of the life of Bahá'u'lláh.

Jim Watson Mayor City of Ottawa

PDF of Message

Community News Current
October 22, 2017

Prime Minister Trudeau sends greetings to Baha'is of Canada on Bicentenary

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent the following message to the Baha'i community of Canada, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah.

Canada Coat of ArmsThe Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah:

“Today, we join the Bahá’í community in Canada and around the world to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Bahá’í faith.

“Baha’u’llah’s teachings aim to inspire respect, as well as to promote diversity and inclusion, gender equality, and education for all – values that we hold dear as a country.

“Canada’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths and sources of pride. This year, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I invite all Canadians to reflect on how they can put into practice these values of openness and respect.   

“Sophie and I extend our best wishes to all those celebrating this historic milestone for the Bahá’í faith.”

News Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the bicentennial of Baha’u’llah’s birth

Community News Current
October 19, 2017

National Chief Perry Bellegarde Message to the Bahá’ís for the Bicentenary Birth of Bahá’u’lláh

We are delighted to share with you a moving message from the Assembly of First Nations national Chief Perry Bellegarde, on the occasion of the bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.

Firts Nations LogoGreetings to the Baha’i Community of Canada!

It is my honour as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations to send my best wishes to the Baha’is of Canada and the entire Baha’i community around the world on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith. This is a milestone worth celebrating!

On behalf of all First Nations, I would like to thank the Baha’is of Canada for supporting First Nations inherent and Treaty rights. Baha’u’llah taught the importance of unity and justice among all peoples regardless of their race or faith. This message resonates deeply with First Nations peoples, as witnessed by the many First Nations people that are part of the Baha’i community.

I look forward to working together with the Baha’is of Canada as we walk together towards a new era of peace, justice and reconciliation.
Best wishes for a memorable and enjoyable celebration.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde
Assembly of First Nations

Community News Current
October 24, 2017

A Commemorative Quilt to mark the Bicentennial of the birth of Baha’u’llah

Quil MakingLeading up to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, Baha’is across the Ottawa region have found many creative ways of marking this important Holy Day.

“As a quilter,” said Nathalie Thirlwall, “the creation of a bicentennial quilt seemed a natural way to demonstrate my love of the Blessed Beauty.” Nine women, some new to quilting, joined in the project, which included several quilting workshops at the Baha’i Centre and Thirlwall’s home.

The quilt design consisted of nine blocks, each containing a large single star. Each woman sewed one block, using an array of turquoise, mauve and cream batiks. The main blocks were surrounded by a double border and once the batting was sandwiched between the top and bottom layers, Thirlwall quilted intricate motifs of leaves, roses, fleur-de-lis, lotus flowers and a single nightingale. Final touches included a label, binding the edges and a sleeve to hang the quilt. Read more...

Community News Current
October 3, 2017

Baha'is in Ottawa celebrating significant anniversary

Bahá'í CelebrationLike their counterparts around the world, Baha'is in Ottawa are celebrating a very significant anniversary in the history of their Faith this year - the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah, the prophet founder of their religion.
Although the anniversary marks an event in history, it is also a symbol for the belief of Baha'is that the pain which the world's peoples are experiencing, has a light at the end of the tunnel. It is a message of hope, upliftment and empowerment. The event is not only an anniversary it is an affirmation that a process started in the land of Persia in 1817 has begun to impact and transform communities and neighbourhoods around the world - in places like Cambodia, Congo, Colombia, India, Vanuatu, Germany, and Ottawa itself.
Bahá'í CelebrationExcitement has gripped the Ottawa Baha'i community and their friends as they organize diverse activities to mark and commemorate the Bicentenary Birth of Baha'u'llah. Although the actual Birth of Baha'u'llah is celebrated on October 22 this year, as many as 100 different activities will be taking place across the city over the coming month, with some events having taken place already.  The activities span a diverse range in form and nature, including concerts, creation of a special CD with music, celebrations for children and junior youth, story telling events, and programs which study the life of Baha'u'llah. Ottawa Baha'is Tony Michel and Jane LeFeuvre recently had a house concert that brought together their friends for a musical celebration of Baha'u'llah. "It was our small contribution," Michel said, "to a series of celebrations here in Ottawa and around the world.

The Ottawa Baha'i website plans to capture some of these Bicentenary activities through pictures and writeups in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned!

Community News Current
September 28, 2017

Ottawa Baha’i Choir enters its 25th year

Bahá'í ChoirFor twenty five years now, the Ottawa Regional Baha’i choir has enriched community life through its spiritually inspired choral music. With a regular influx of new members over this time, the choir has endured as a fixture in Baha’i community life and interfaith events in the region. It traces its roots to the mass choir that was created to perform at the Baha’i World Congress in New York City in 1992. Three Ottawa Baha’is were in that choir, and they brought back with them a body of specially commissioned choral arrangements for Baha’i sacred music. They were joined by several others, eager to sing this “new music” that they had seen performed at the Congress. Over the next few years, other choir members attended choral workshops in Green Acre Baha’i School and elsewhere, further expanding the Ottawa choir’s repertoire.

Members of the Ottawa Regional Baha’i Choir have always come from both sides of the Ottawa river, they have been Baha’is and their friends, with different levels of singing experience. There are no auditions for the choir and those new to singing are encouraged to learn as they go. The membership generally has fluctuated between 10 and 16, but has been as large as 24 and is currently 20 members strong. Over the lifetime of the choir, as about 200 members have participated, choir direction has changed hands, often rotating between members. Since 2016 Christopher Barham has been choir director.

Bahá'í ChoirThe group regularly performs at Baha’i events and holy day celebrations in Ottawa and Gatineau, and have also participated in many public events, at interfaith gatherings, arts nights, children’s classes, senior’s residences, hospitals, weddings, memorial services and many other unique events. One memorable performance was at the 1997 Interfaith Service at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, led by spiritual leaders from around the world, as part of ceremonies associated with the signing of the International Landmines Ban Treaty.

From its origins in the classical choral music composed for the 1992 Baha’i World Congress, the choir has expanded stylistically. The core of the choir’s repertoire is sacred music, primarily musical renderings of Baha’i prayers and writings, but also including Jewish and Christian songs. The choir has also performed selections from a growing body of Baha’i Gospel music. Linguistically, most of the songs have been in English and French, but the choir has also performed pieces in Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Ukrainian, Latin and several African languages. The choir is currently exploring pop songs, an old English folksong and musical stage pieces that touch on universal themes.

The choir’s next performance will be at a large public event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah. All are invited to attend this event and new members to the choir are always welcome.

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