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 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
Jim Watson Mayor City of Ottawa
PDF of Message
Minister Trudeau sends greetings to Baha'is of Canada on Bicentenary
Prime Minister Justin
sent the following message to the Baha'i community of Canada,
celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following
statement to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah:
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.
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.
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
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
Chief Perry Bellegarde Message to the Bahá’ís for the Bicentenary Birth
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.
to the Baha’i Community of Canada!
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!
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.
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
Commemorative Quilt to mark the Bicentennial of the birth of Baha’u’llah
Leading 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
“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
in Ottawa celebrating significant anniversary
Like 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
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.
Excitement 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!
Baha’i Choir enters its 25th year
For 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.
The 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
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