of Unity Concert Marks Bicentenary Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
Fiona Armstrong had a strong
desire to befittingly commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of
Baha'u'llah. To fulfill this wish, she conceived a plan for a musical
gala which would celebrate and pay tribute to Bahá’u’lláh. This wish
and plan became the Light of Unity Concert which drew many attendees on
Saturday evening September 23, 2017. The concert was held in the
Freiman performance hall in the University of Ottawa Music building, a
building Fiona was well familiar with, as a recent graduate from the
University's music program.
A diverse audience enjoyed an evening, which was stunning in its
musical diversity and quality, a worthy gift for Bahá’u’lláh.
The program opened with hostess Vivi Sorensen performing an East
Greenlandic drum dance. Melody Rowhani then sang Bahá’í prayers
accompanied by the ukelele, a rendition which created a reflective and
spiritual atmosphere for subsequent performances. Fiona played cello as
part of three very different duos: a lovely classical cello duo by
Handel with Natalie Salguero; a beautiful tune composed for the
occasion by Fiona and May-Jun Li, who played piano and sang; and two
modern pop-based pieces with Tyler Carlson on guitar.
The audience was treated to
performance by a number of other highly accomplished musicians. This
included Leslie Opatril who performed a soaring flute solo. Valeria
Dimitrova presented moving piano solos by Barber and Beethoven. Kevin
Burke’s rich baritone was accompanied by pianist Ylan Chu in a series
of chansons romantiques. A week later, Kevin sang with the Ottawa
Symphony Orchestra at the Shenkman Centre. To close the show, Risa
Tonita talked about Robert Schumann and read his love letter to Clara
(later his wife). She then performed two of Schumann’s piano
Farm Children's Class celebrates Bicentenary Birth of Baha'u'llah
On Saturday, 28 October 2017,
almost 40 students, parents, friends and teachers from the Foster Farm
Children’s Class, came together to celebrate the bicentenary of the
birth of Bahá’u’lláh.
The children had been preparing for this celebration for a number of
weeks. One week, the children prepared invitations for
parents and friends to attend the celebration. Another week,
they worked on crowns, inscribing them with Bahá’u’lláh’s
message: “Attire mine head with the crown of justice, and my
temple with the ornament of equity.” There was a decorative
paper chain created with the attributes: justice, unity, love
and peace to name a few written on each link. Over the course
of several weeks, work was also undertaken to prepare a large-scale
mosaic art piece to mark the 200th anniversary of the Birth of
Baha'u'llah. The children worked hard on creating this art piece which
used large letters to state “Happy Birthday Bahá’u’lláh".
The program included prayers, songs, readings, games and refreshments
(including a birthday cake). Participants from different age-groups,
including two babies, enjoyed a joyous afternoon of
This celebration was one of over 80 celebrations held across the City
of Ottawa during the October/November time period to celebrate the
Bicentenary Birth of Baha'u'llah.
The Foster Farm children's class is held weekly, with the objective to
inspire in each child a love for our diverse human family as well as to
cultivate a praiseworthy character, developing spiritual qualities such
as truthfulness, generosity and kindness. Based on the teachings of
Baha'u'llah, these classes seek to inspire in the children a love of
God and His Prophets, with the intention of assisting the children
ultimately to contribute to the well-being of their neighbourhoods.
Baha'is Celebrate 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah
On a glorious Sunday afternoon,
22 October 2017, around 800 Baha'is along with their friends and
family, gathered at the Sala San Marco Convention Centre in Ottawa,
Ontario to celebrate the Bicentennial anniversary of the Birth of
Prophet Founder of the Baha'i Faith. Attendees represented
a diversity of cultures and age groups, including many children and
The participants were warmly welcomed by the MCs and acknowledgement
was given to the fact that the celebration was taking place on
traditional Algonquin territory. The programme began with prayers
chanted, sung and spoken in English, French, Persian, Arabic, Spanish
and Cantonese, representing some of the many diverse peoples that make
up the Ottawa Baha'i community.
The group was then enchanted by songs presented by the 30 member Baha'i
children's choir who, in sweet clear voices sang about Baha'u'llah, as
the Prince of Peace and the Promised One of All Ages. A joyful
rendition of "We are the World" followed, bearing the message
that, "there comes a time...when the world must come together as
one". Another local musician then performed a rendition of
the Dan Seals song "Help us all proclaim the Greatest Name" and another
crowd favourite from Fred Ward "In this day, Baha'u'llah..." Read
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