Bahá'í Ottawa Community News

Bahá’ís in Canada: The First 50 Years
Mon, 21 Jun 2021 11:41:39
We are over 20 years into the second century of the Canadian Bahá’í community. Only five years after the name of Bahá’u’lláh was first publicly mentioned in the Americas at the first interfaith congress – the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 – He had followers in Canada. A half-century later, a handful of curious individuals had grown into a substantial presence on the Canadian spiritual landscape, one that continues to grow and contribute....more...

Gladys Harvey: The Woman Who Listened to the Stars
Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:45:47
Gladys Harvey (1916-1995), one of the first Bahá’ís in the Ottawa community, was also the first female radio astronomer in Canada. Born in Aldershot, Ontario, Gladys was raised by her paternal grandmother and father in an ivy-covered Edwardian house. When she was 15 her grandmother died, so Gladys joined her mother in the larger city of Hamilton. A gifted student, Gladys completed high school that year, and at 16 began her studies of mathematics and physics at McMaster University, graduating with a master’s in...more...

Vignette 1: A Handful of Flour
Sun, 6 Jun 2021 23:14:18
The nine-year boy with the large, luminous eyes and angelic face stood hiding in the doorway of a house, waiting for the street children who had been chasing and throwing rocks at him – all the while calling him a Bábí – to disperse so that he could return home from his aunt’s place with a coin wrapped in a handkerchief to help stave off the family’s utter destitution. Trembling, he...more...

Prologue: The Mystery of God
Mon, 31 May 2021 17:07:41
When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – also known as Abbas Effendi, the Master, the Father of the Poor, the Limb of the Law of God and the Centre of the Covenant of the world-unifying Bahá’í Faith established by His father, Bahá’u’lláh, in 19th century Persia – he who had been a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire for more than 40 years and an exile for 56 years and who had endured external and internal hardships that would have long ago crushed the average human being – was travelling on April 24, 1912 in a motorcar in Washington D.C. on His way to meet inventor Alexander Graham Bell, he was overcome by the amazing circumstances he now found Himself in...more...

Truth and Propaganda in a Polarized Society
Tue, 11 May 2021 12:16:53
“What does it mean to search after truth?” This question opened a spring 2021 presentation in the Big Ideas series to an online audience of over 80. Dr. Geoff Cameron, a political scientist specializing in immigration and refugee policy, and currently Director of Public Affairs for the Canadian Baha’i community, spoke of propaganda, truth, the meaning of freedom and the power of human speech. It was a kindly delivered challenge. ...more...

Earth Day and Beyond: Ideas in Sustainability
Sat, 1 May 2021 16:48:07
Earth Day has come and gone, but our responsibilities towards the planet and each other never ends, not even amid a pandemic. As the spring sun beckons the flowers to push through the earth, the tree buds to show their iridescent green faces and the many returning bird species to trill their welcoming songs, our spirits are lifted despite this Covid-weary world....more...

In Search of International Justice
Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:03:08
The 19th “Big Ideas” presentation was a series highlight. Speaker Dr. Payam Akhavan is a Canadian Bahá’í, a professor at the McGill and (currently) Toronto law schools. He has served widely as a human rights officer of the United Nations, and as a war-crimes prosecutor has appeared before the International Criminal Court and the United Nations’ International Court of Justice. His “human rights odyssey” was told in the 2017 Massey Lectures, later published as the best-selling In Search of a Better World....more...

Making Good Things Happen
Wed, 21 Apr 2021 11:57:19
Each of us can do our part to make good things happen for the environment according to Greeley-based Bahá'í Bill Kelly, who gave a recent Friday evening Big Ideas presentation about grassroots environmental action. Bill told the story of his family's environmental evolution from having two solar panels installed on the roof of their Texas home to celebrate their teenage environmentalist son's birthday, to a business involving several large commercial solar installations in both Texas and Vermont...more...

The River Walk Devotional Endures Despite the Pandemic
Fri, 16 Apr 2021 12:10:04
Back in 2016, Allison Wood and Wendy James, who both live in different neighbourhoods, began a River Walk Devotional that united two communities with the aim of blending both physical exercise in a beautiful setting and spiritual reflection. In other words, it was created by community for community. The path taken would stretch from Sandy Hill to Vanier and vice versa. Thus began an organic process that evolved into walk in which all walkers consulted on a reflection topic that was then supported by quotes, stories and prayers about virtues. A bond of love and friendship quickly developed...more...

City Hall Interfaith Service Commemorating the First Anniversary of Covid-19 in Ottawa
Sun, 11 Apr 2021 19:42:32
On Thursday, 25 March 2021, an event commemorating the first anniversary of Covid-19 in Ottawa and honouring the city’s citizens who lost their lives to the virus was held at the Marion Dewar Plaza next to the 2017 Cauldron. In addition to Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Vera Etches, the speakers included Chief Wendy Jocko of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, Reverend Dr. Anthony Baily of Parkdale United Church, Rabbi Idan Scher of Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Imam Samy Metwally of the Islamic Society of Gloucester and Mr. François Couillard, member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís Ottawa....more...

The Spirit (Still) Lives: A Resurgence of the Human Spirit
Thu, 8 Apr 2021 10:59:12
As part of the Big Ideas series, Louise Profeit-LeBlanc – a member of the Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation from Mayo, Yukon, captivated us with her stories on how she became a Bahá’í, with the soul-deep Indigenous connection with both the land and the Creator, and more importantly the role which she thinks Indigenous peoples are responsible for in greater measure, in bringing about the oneness of humanity in answer to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets of the Divine Plan.....more...

The Forest – a Model of Natural Cooperation
Sun, 4 Apr 2021 17:04:33
Forests are essential to life on Earth. Trees react to extraneous threats by creating interactions with plants, animals and fungi, thus helping them to evolve into a diversity of species, genes, functions, and ecosystems. It is therefore an organic system of cooperation and interdependence, of which humanity is also a part and from which it could draw lessons....more...

Land confiscation and mass displacement of Bahá'ís in Iran
Thu, 25 Mar 2021 15:58:48
In late 2020, two Iranian courts issued orders that declared ownership of lands by 27 Bahá'ís in the village of Ivel (pronounced ee-VELL), to be illegal due to their religious beliefs. Recent rulings decided that all properties belonging to Bahá'ís in the village of Ivel—some of which they have owned since the mid-19th century—be confiscated on the basis that Bahá'ís have “a perverse ideology” and therefore have no “legitimacy in their ownership” of any property....more...

Healing Wounds
Tue, 16 Mar 2021 23:21:10
The one-year anniversary marking the death of George Floyd is coming up. In many ways the multitudes of people who expressed anger at this particular death of a Black man were mourning the death of those who died before him and at the injustice that racialized people continue to experience today. The resounding response to....more...

The Creative Process — a Tool for Individual and Collective Transformation
Thu, 11 Mar 2021 13:55:36
In the Big Ideas talk given by arts and humanities professor, writer and self-professed dabbler in the arts on December 18, 2020, Anne Gordon Perry tackled the intangible nature of creativity by....more...

Back to School on a Friday Night
Tue, 23 Feb 2021 15:59:27
“Call me biased,” smiled speaker Jay Howden, “but this is the BIGGEST idea in the whole series!” A long-time high school teacher in Ontario with five years instructing university students in China, Howden presented the January 22 episode of the Ottawa Bahá’ís’ “Big Ideas” program to a virtual audience of about 80... ....more...

World Religion Day 2021
Wed, 3 Feb 2021 16:38:44
Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed January 17, 2021 to be World Religion Day in Ottawa. Whereas in recent years, the proclamation was presented at City Hall to two or three representatives of the Ottawa Bahá'í community, the pandemic prevented an in-person presentation this year. ....more...

The Full Moon Devotional Gathering
Thu, 7 Jan 2021 15:04:31
In celebration of raising up the next generation of strong spiritual females, an online space has been dedicated to exploring the sacred feminine within the structure of today’s society. The aim is to move towards building an awareness of how we each contribute to the upliftment of true equality between genders, as well as embrace our differences and use our unique qualities to contribute to the betterment of mankind.....more...

A New View on Governance
Mon, 21 Dec 2020 15:52:33
What brings someone to a spiritual awakening, or religious conviction?

One of the wonders of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation is that many come to believe in it because of its governance. (“I came to the Bahá’í Faith because it has the only organizational structure that can solve our problems!” says one Ottawa believer.) “How Can 8 Billion People Govern Themselves Better?” was Maury Miloff’s question, introducing another “Big Ideas” talk to over 175 listeners. .....more...

Creating a Refuge from Racism
Tue, 8 Dec 2020 16:58:48
Carol Mansour grew up in a racially segregated neighborhood in the United States, and was troubled by the many instances of racism she observed and witnessed while growing up, none of which seemed congruent with what she had learnt in church about God’s love for all His creatures. When she heard of the Bahá’í teachings as an adult, she was intrigued that working for the elimination of racial prejudice was deemed a spiritual obligation.....more...

The 20th Century: Tale of Woe or Turning Point?
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 21:07:37
Johanna Jochumsdottir, an Icelander-Canadian historian, recently made an outstanding presentation in the “Big Ideas” series to an online audience of 80. She took a counterintuitive approach to “Why History Matters” in her overview of the 20th century: can we see that astonishingly eventful period as anything but a catalogue of horrors?....more...

Reforestation in Skógar, Iceland: A Small Social Action Project and Participation in Global Discourses
Tue, 3 Nov 2020 21:17:43
For Bahá’ís the process of learning to improve material and social reality is guided by these words of Bahá’u’lláh: Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements. Bahá’ís are told to serve humanity selflessly and to contribute towards the betterment of the world by....more...

PANDEMIC SPARKS CRITICAL REFLECTION ON JOURNALISM
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 15:44:42
AMMAN, Jordan, 2 October 2020, (BWNS) — Earlier this year, as the pandemic was sweeping across the globe, something unusual happened in news reporting—profound ideas about social transformation and acts of solidarity were making headlines worldwide. Although less pronounced now, news outlets continue to feature such stories, many of which would have been considered irrelevant or insignificant before the crisis.....more...

SEEDING SUSTAINABILITY
Tue, 29 Sep 2020 20:10:13
For the last decade of the 19th and the first two of the 20th century, the community founded by Bahá’u’lláh (an Arabic title meaning “glory of God”) was guided by his son Abbás. Bahá’u’lláh referred to this eldest son and successor as “the Master”, a recognition of his exemplary character; meanwhile, Abbás refused this and many other honorary titles in favour of ’Abdu’l-Bahá (servant of glory, servant of Bahá’u’lláh). His astounding life, embracing both humble service and enlightened leadership, was featured on September 11, the 8th episode of the local “Big Ideas” series.....more...

THE CARBON CYCLE AND CARBON CAPTURE TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE
Tue, 22 Sep 2020 19:40:04
With the adoption of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including its social, economic and environmental dimensions, momentum for meaningful change has been building. As a result, a universal legally binding agreement on carbon emissions finally seems to be within reach.....more...

PUTTING OUR HOUSE IN ORDER
Mon, 7 Sep 2020 18:24:51
Since January 2020, wonderfully large ideas have been the topics of conversation among the Bahá’ís of Ottawa and like-minded friends. The climate crisis, human rights, decolonization, and the place of agriculture amidst industrialization are among the concepts explored, via the Bahá’í teachings, in the Big Ideas series On 21 August, Andy Tamas offered a Zoom presentation titled “Towards a New World Order: Governance Issues”....more...

RACIAL PREJUDICE and RACIAL UNITY
Tue, 1 Sep 2020 13:51:51
Incidents and events during the summer have focused the attention of the world on the issues of racial injustice, racism and prejudice. These are all longstanding blights which impact lives and serve to undermine humanity's progress towards building a more unified and just world, one where all its inhabitants are treated with dignity....more...

A VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAIN: COVID-19 AND THE CONDITION OF THE WORLD
Mon, 24 Aug 2020 12:43:20
Imagine: what if the world had a democratically elected council whose only mandate was to guide humanity’s progress toward oneness and harmony? Such an institution is no dream. The Universal House of Justice, conceived in the writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, was first....more...

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS REFLECT ON BUILDING A BETTER WORLD - ISGP
Wed, 12 Aug 2020 20:49:51
In late June 2020, a group of 12 university students met with the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ottawa to reflect on their experiences participating in ISGP (Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity) programs over the last year....more...

TANDEM CRISES: PANDEMIC AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Fri, 7 Aug 2020 12:26:02
Back in January, Ottawa’s Big Ideas series began in a way that now seems remarkable – in person in a crowded, hug-friendly upper floor of the Bahá’í Centre on McArthur Avenue. Diana Cartwright, a clean-tech analyst at Global Affairs Canada, spoke on ways in which the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith, and the global response to them, pertain to climate change. Recently, she shared further thoughts on ...more...

HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD WORK FOR 11 BILLION PEOPLE
Mon, 27 Jul 2020 16:05:40
As part of the Big Ideas series, on Friday, June 19, Paul Hanley, a longtime environmental columnist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, gave a Zoom talk on how to make the world work for 11 billion people based on his book, Eleven. Attended by around 50 participants, in a fascinating and thoughtful presentation supported by high quality slides and even a short video, Paul showed us ...more...

First Bahá’ís in Ottawa Break Racial Barriers
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 21:45:34
In 1940s Ottawa, as the civil service grew larger by the day to support the war effort, an increasing number of women were hired as the men went overseas to fight. Two of them were single women in their late 20s: Lucille Giscome, a young black journalist from Northern Ontario, and Winnifred Harvey, a white college teacher from Manitoba. Both came to Ottawa to ...more...

Statement on racial prejudice spurs vital conversation in the US
Wed, 8 Jul 2020 20:15:34
CHICAGO — A public statement from the Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly of the United States on racial prejudice and spiritual principles essential for progress toward peace released days ago has already stimulated critical reflection across the country. more...

Question: Does prayer change God’s mind?
Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:01:37
Question: Does prayer change God’s mind? ...more...

Question: What is the greatest human quality?
Mon, 8 Jun 2020 13:35:43
Question: What is the greatest human quality? ...more...

Question: How should we deal with spiritual doubts?
Sat, 30 May 2020 15:19:57
Question: How should we deal with spiritual doubts? ...more...

Question: What role should charity play in our lives?
Tue, 5 May 2020 16:27:59
Question: What role should charity play in our lives? ...more...

Question: Does “social” media bring us closer together or move us further apart?
Fri, 24 Apr 2020 22:31:50
Question: Does “social” media bring us closer together or move us further apart? ...more...

Question: “Where is God during a time of natural disaster?”
Thu, 16 Apr 2020 23:30:40
Question: “Where is God during a time of natural disaster?” ...more...

Junior Youth Camp Brings Many Blessings
Wed, 4 Mar 2020 14:13:42
During the last winter break, 30 junior youth aged 11 to 15 from three neighbourhoods in Ottawa (Overbrook, Pineview and Donald Street) participated in a day-long junior youth camp. Since the youth were all coming from different groups and were at different levels of study in the junior youth spiritual empowerment program, it was decided that the camp would focus on building bonds of friendship among these youth while ...more...

The Climate Crisis and the Bahá'í Vision
Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:35:12
An encouraging audience of 35 gathered at the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre at 211 MacArthur Avenue for the first evening of the “Big Ideas” series. Diana Cartwright, a federal civil servant, has dedicated her professional life to understanding and action on environmental subjects. Her wide experience, from local activism to international congresses, made her an ideal presenter...more...

A Devotional Gathering to Feed Body and Soul
Sun, 9 Feb 2020 17:15:09
As Wendy James and Bernie Benoit warmly greet people at the door of their lovely and inviting home, you can already feel the excitement and joy collecting among the people in the living room. Delicious potluck foods are filling up the counter in the kitchen, ready to regale the guests after spiritual food by way of a themed devotional, which begins with greetings and introductions. Wendy never ceases to amaze all those present with her capacity to remember everyone’s name, either new or regulars, which often runs to between...more...

2020 WORLD RELIGION DAY PROCLAIMED IN OTTAWA
Fri, 31 Jan 2020 16:25:36
On Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed January 19, 2020 to be World Religion Day in Ottawa. Deputy Mayor Laura Dudas presented the proclamation at City Hall to two representatives of the Ottawa Bahá'í community...more...

PERSIAN COOKING DEVOTIONAL IN NAVAN
Mon, 27 Jan 2020 17:28:04
On 18 January 2020, a Persian cooking lesson/devotional was hosted in Navan by Sylvie Nantais with Mahvash Changizi as instructor. On a day which featured Ottawa's first major winter storm of the year, thirteen hardy souls, including six friends from the surrounding area, participated in the event. The gathering began with introductions all around, then everyone received a set of printed recipes to use and keep. Because of the impending storm, everyone gathered in the kitchen without delay where the recipes were ...more...

OTTAWA BAHÁ’Í COMMUNITY CELEBRATES THE BICENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF THE BÁB
Mon, 9 Dec 2019 22:45:07
The year 2019 marked the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Báb, who was the forerunner and herald to the Bahá’í Faith. In the weeks preceding the anniversary Bahá'ís and their friends across Ottawa marked this special Bicentenary with a rich tapestry of celebrations involving over 80 events and 1,800 participants. The events ranged from...more...

May Maxwell and the Maxwells of Montreal – Course recently given by Jack McLean
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 21:28:37
Who was May Maxwell and why is she regarded as “the spiritual mother” of the Bahá’í community of Canada? Jack McLean’s recent course explored the fascinating life of this selfless individual and the contributions she and her family made over five decades of service to the development of the Bahá’í Faith. Approximately 25 friends attended the course, which was held on...more...

THE INTERVIEW OF SHAME
Sun, 27 Oct 2019 20:51:56
The Báb’s arrival at the mountain fortress of Chihríq in April 1848 set in motion the very same conditions that had occurred at Máh-Kú. The custodian of Chihríq, Yahyá Khán, soon fell under the spell of the Báb’s love and divine power and the region’s Kurds turned to Him in utter devotion, hoping for...more...

THE GREAT DIVIDE
Sun, 27 Oct 2019 20:49:39
The spark that set the city of Zanján aflame with persecution and great suffering was a small one: a simple quarrel between a Bábí youth and a Muslim youth. The Bábí youth was imprisoned by the governor, the Madju’d Dawlih – a maternal uncle of the new Sháh who was looking for...more...

WELCOMING A POET HOME
Sat, 19 Oct 2019 14:21:27
As a former writer with the Ottawa Creative Writers’ Group recently returned from a decade in Saskatchewan, I attended the book launch of their poetry chapbook, When Verses Fell, on September 28 at the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre. Several poets offered readings from When Verses Fell, along with...more...

HOOP DANCER KEVIN LOCKE GIVES TALK AT THE BAHÁ’Í CENTRE
Mon, 14 Oct 2019 18:43:58
On 16 September 2019, Ottawa received a special visit from Kevin Locke, a Bahá'í of Lakota background from South Dakota in the US. He was in town to give a presentation of indigenous music, song and stories at the National Arts Centre. While here, he...more...

THE FORT OF JOY AND WOE
Mon, 7 Oct 2019 18:17:29
The believers had left the home of Quddús after having happily shared a dinner with Mullá Husayn, who was visiting Bárfurúsh in Mázindarán and who was treated as a greatly esteemed guest. Quddús then asked Mullá Husayn about his visit with the Báb in Máh-Kú. “He told me this”, said Mullá Husayn: “On your way to Tehran, you should visit the believers in every town and village through which you pass. From Tehran you should proceed to Mázíndarán, for there lies a hidden treasure which shall be revealed to you, a treasure...more...

THE OPEN MOUNTAIN
Wed, 28 Aug 2019 18:23:02
Not long after the Báb’s proclamation in the Vakil Mosque, the governor watched incredulously as the Báb’s star burned even brighter among the people. “I swear by the imperial crown of Muhammad Sháh that this very night, I shall have the Siyyid-i-Báb executed together with His wretched companions! By this act, I shall have destroyed a heresy whose survival poses the greatest menace to the interests of the State.”..more...

BADASHT YOUTH CONFERENCE
Sun, 18 Aug 2019 15:08:37
During the Canada Day long weekend, the Richelieu Vanier Community Centre was host to a youth conference involving over 60 young people. On 29 and 30 June 2019, youth between the ages of 15 and 30, from all corners of Ottawa, gathered together in a spirit of joy, fellowship and camaraderie to participate in the Badasht Youth Conference...more...

HOW BAHÁ’Í TEACHINGS CAN BUILD A MORE JUST ECONOMIC ORDER
Tue, 6 Aug 2019 15:25:00
Although there is no Bahá’í economic model, the principles of the Faith are starting to take root in the economic arena worldwide. For example, a little over a year ago, an international team of three Bahá’ís – Augusto Lopez-Claros, Arthur Lyon Dahl and Maja Groff – received USD 600,000 for winning...more...

THE PURE ONE
Mon, 29 Jul 2019 18:07:33
The storm clouds were gathering and, fingering her beautiful silk handkerchief, the one she had long known would be wound about her throat – not with tender care but with violence – Táhirih prayed and fasted surrounded by myriad candles as she spiritually prepared for her reunion with her Beloved, the One she would meet for the very first time in the next world....more...

THE TEARS OF TRUTH
Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:35:32
“Azim, what do you think of the Siyyid-i-Báb? What kind of man is He? Did your interview with Him bear any ripe fruit?” “You will see when you meet Him yourself,” answered Mullá Shaykh ’Alí, known as ‘Azim, who was now a disciple of the Báb. “But as your friend, I would advise you to exercise the utmost consideration in His presence...more...

CELEBRATING RIDVÁN
Fri, 28 Jun 2019 17:32:44
More than 500 Bahá'ís and their friends came together in Ottawa on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to celebrate the 1st Day of Ridván on 21 April 2019. The Ridván Festival, which occurs over a 12-day period starting in late April and ending in early May, marks the anniversary of the time Bahá'u'lláh spent in a garden on the banks of the River Tigris in Baghdad prior to His exile to Constantinople (present day Istanbul). During this 12-day period, many of His admirers in the city of Baghdad came to bid Him farewell. It was also during this period...more...

THE PILGRIMAGE OF LIGHT
Sun, 16 Jun 2019 21:51:07
As his fellow Shaykhís gathered round to hear him speak near the entrance to the mosque, they noticed that although Mullá Husayn looked the same, he was somehow different. When he spoke, a new fire burned in his eyes. They still had not discovered the Promised One, but they sensed that Mullá Husayn knew, though he refused to say....more...

Reading the Spirit: A Book Club With a Difference
Wed, 5 Jun 2019 17:40:26
Elia Touesnard longed for a book club, perhaps with her Bahá’í friends in Ottawa. Inspiration came from some of the usual sources, and an unusual one: Azar Nafisi’s memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran, about an Iranian professor sharing literary enthusiasms with young women under cover of darkness (the Iranian Revolution had made such a meeting a crime). Meanwhile, Phyllis Perrakis was herself a University of Ottawa Professor, and in secret, she ....more...

Rúmí and the Bahá’í Faith
Fri, 24 May 2019 14:52:13
Mark Keedwell is a man on a mission. As he himself states, he is determined to fill in the blanks in progressive revelation and has put his considerable knowledge of world religions and philosophy towards educating people about the interconnectedness of all the major faiths with an emphasis on the connection between Islám and the Bahá'í Faith.....more...

WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?
Fri, 17 May 2019 14:49:50
Sadness and inactivity had settled among the disciples of Siyyid Kázim following their leader’s death three weeks before. Everyone seemed lost and grieving. This is how Mullá Husayn, a fellow disciple, found them when he returned to the Shaykhí school in Karbilá in Iraq after visiting his home in Bushru’i, Persia. He tried to cheer them up and reminded them of the need to fulfill their mission as Shaykhís: to find the Promised One. He scolded them and told them it was their duty to arise and follow their departed leader’s wishes.....more...

GLIMMERINGS ON DONALD STREET
Thu, 2 May 2019 14:48:14
We all yearn to live in a happy place surrounded by caring neighbors, children playing together in safety and joy, trusting the people we cross on our paths and feeling that we are part of a vibrant neighborhood. The Bahá’í community has been working on creating such beautiful neighborhoods for some years now, which is a challenge as it involves the participation of so many.....more...

I AM TWO YEARS YOUNGER THAN MY LORD
Fri, 24 May 2019 14:46:43
When the headmaster finally caught sight of Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad reciting prayers behind the school, he was determined to interrupt Him and punish Him for not returning to class in time. However, so beautiful was the sight of this small child – the sweetness and utter devotion in His expression, His face lifted heavenward and bathed in light – that he was utterly spellbound. At last the child bent his forehead to the ground in a final reverence. After a moment’s hesitation, the headmaster finally approached the boy....more...

Ayyám-i-Há led the way through the Fast and on to Naw-Rúz
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 14:45:00
Towards the end of an unusually long winter in the Nation's Capital, members of the Ottawa Bahá’í community celebrated Ayyám-i-Há in preparation for the period of the Fast, which began on March 2 and ended just before the Bahá’í New Year, on March 21st, coinciding with the spring solstice....more...

DARKNESS AT NOON
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:43:14
Three rows of 250 muskets were pointed at the two men who were suspended by a nail on a wall of the barracks square in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabríz. Some 10,000 people had thronged in the square and on the rooftops to witness the execution of one who claimed to be the Báb, and the bearer of a divine message destined to transform the spiritual life of humanity. ...more...

The year 2019 marks the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb
Wed, 3 Apr 2019 17:41:13
When a new messenger of God appears on earth, it is like a stone thrown into a still pond. Its impact is immediate and the rings are small, but they grow and widen until the whole pond is energized. In the spring of 1819, it was the Báb who was the stone cast into the pond of an unsuspecting, heedless world. Two hundred years later...more...

Ottawa Creative Writers’ Group in its 25th Year
Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:52:13
It’s hard to believe that the WG, as it’s affectionately known, is now in its 25th year. The brainchild of Larry Rowdon, Bruce Filson, and Linda O’Neil, soon followed by David Erickson, Jim Desson and Jack McLean, the WG first started in the summer of 1993 at a rented storefront and was then held at the Crichton St. Bahá’í Centre for a few years before moving on to holding its meetings in private homes....more...

Mercy's Blessing screened at the Mayfair
Wed, 6 Mar 2019 17:17:14
On an autumn Sunday afternoon in November, the Bahá’í communities of Old Ottawa South and the Glebe hosted a special screening of the award-winning film Mercy's Blessing at the Ottawa Mayfair theatre. As a special treat, the film writer and director May Taherzadeh was present and held a question-and-answer session after the screening...more...

Dramatic play reading that explored an episode of Bahá’í history draws large crowd
Tue, 15 Jan 2019 20:22:35
It was standing room only at the dramatic reading of the play, “Tabreez”, written by Marlene Macke, on Nov. 24 at the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre. The full-length play told the story of two families, one Persian, one British, living in Tabriz, Iran, and how their lives intersected around the execution of the Báb on July 9, 1844. The play offered a fascinating combination of historical and fictionalized characters who helped tell the story of this dramatic episode in Bahá’í history...more...

Children First
Sat, 5 Jan 2019 20:17:24
What if children’s education emphasized learning to think, reflect and apply spiritual laws that benefit both their life and their society? It sounds otherworldly, yet the young are our most precious treasure since the promise and guarantee of the future lie with them...more...

Power and Peace Workshop
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:13:34
In October 2018, a personal growth workshop took place in Ottawa led by Hugh Smiley, a very interesting Bahá'í from Toronto whom I have known for more than a decade. Hugh is a thoughtful, funny, well-read and highly experienced practitioner working in the area where spirituality, psychology and physical health meet. A Bahá'í who lived for five years in Paraguay, he now works as a psychotherapist and bodyworker; he also teaches meditation and creative voicework. His passions include...more...

The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá'í Faith Opens to a Packed House
Wed, 28 Nov 2018 13:12:07
On June 25, 2018, the Mayfair Theatre had sold out signs splayed across all its doors for the Ottawa premiere of Steve Sarowitz’ documentary film, The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith. The theatre was filled to capacity with over 330 viewers, which included members of the Bahá’í community and the curious.

Chicagoans Steve Sarowitz, founder of Paylocity, and Bob Hercules, a highly respected director, took three years to produce The Gate, resulting in a beautifully shot hour-long documentary that reverently and lovingly recounts the life of the Báb, the young prophet-founder of the Bábí Faith whose ministry only lasted from...more...

Ottawa Bahá'í Regional Choir Spring Concert Capped a Successful Year
Wed, 28 Nov 2018 13:08:16
On June 2, 2018 the Ottawa Baha’i Regional Choir performed their last seasonal concert with their out-going director Christopher Barham, and what a performance it was! The 11-voice four-part choir performed all their pieces a capella – that is, without accompaniment.

The program was varied and included songs that drew on the writings of the Bahá’í Faith, as well as other inspirational texts. Songs that were performed included O Thou Compassion Lord, Rejoice with Exceeding Joy, Down to the River to Pray, Holy, Holy, Holy and Les Temps de Vie. The audience...more...

River Walk Devotional
Wed, 28 Nov 2018 13:03:28
The idea of a river walk devotional was first planted by my neighbour. I asked her if she needed help pushing her baby stroller as she was heading out for her daily walk along the river. What followed next was an uplifting discussion and the realization that there might be a whole community of people in our neighbourhood who yearned for spiritual reflection, and could benefit from physical exercise while being immersed in the power and beauty of nature. Since my neighbour had shown me a path that looped over from Sandy Hill into Vanier, it seemed a very natural next step to...more...

Baby Devotional is Taking Off in Ottawa
Tue, 3 Jul 2018 20:03:37
Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh and His appointed successor, said that there is nothing sweeter in the world of existence than prayer.” How much sweeter can it get, then, when reciting prayers with precious little babies?

Over a year ago, two moms started a Facebook group with the intent of getting together with other new moms to say prayers and socialize. This group was called the Ottawa Baby Devotional... more...

Stittsville/Kanata Junior Youth Group Marks First Anniversary
Tue, 3 Jul 2018 19:59:18
April 2018 marked the one year anniversary of the formation of a new Baha’i junior youth group in the stittsville-kanata area. For the past year, this group consisting of 6 junior youth (11-14 year olds) and three animators (facilitators) have met every Sunday to study the Junior Youth Empowerment Program (JYEP) materials  by Ruhi Institute,   discuss spiritual topics,  plan service projects, and play and socialize with their peers. Over the past year, these youth have grown not only in height but in maturity as well.  more...

CELEBRATING THE DECLARATION OF THE BÁB
Sun, 24 Jun 2018 19:35:07
On the evening of May 23rd, Bahá’ís around the world celebrated the Declaration of the Báb, the prophet-founder who ushered in a new era for humanity. Bahá’ís observe this holy day by gathering at homes and venues to commemorate this momentous event....

Public Screening of Light to the World
Sun, 24 Jun 2018 19:33:20
A public screening of Light to the World, a 51-minute documentary film on the life and teachings of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh – which was produced to commemorate the bicentenary of Bahá’u’lláh’s birth in 2017....

ALL ABOARD THE NIGHTINGALE EXPRESS!
Fri, 18 May 2018 19:42:35
The Ridván period (April 21 to May 2 2018) saw many Baha'i families across the city celebrate this special time in a diversity of ways. The Talisman family which includes parents Brooke and Emad and their 2 children live in the Qualicum neighbourhood in Ottawa. The family created a magical..

Baha'is Mark the Ridvan Festival
Thu, 3 May 2018 19:43:23
Baha'is across the City of Ottawa marked the Festival of Ridván during the period April 21 to May 2 this year. The Ridván Festival has particular significance for the Baha'i community as it is the time when...

Bahá’í Community Celebrates Ayyám-i-Há!
Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:39:23
On 25 February 2018, a group of 40 Bahá’ís in the North Nepean area, along with their friends held their annual Ayyám-i-Há celebration at....

Light of Unity Concert Marks Bicentenary Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
Mon, 22 Jan 2018 20:40:03
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...more

Foster Farm Children's Class celebrates Bicentenary Birth of Baha'u'llah
Mon, 22 Jan 2018 19:32:17
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... more

Ottawa Baha'is Celebrate 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah
Sun, 26 Nov 2017 10:44:07
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 Baha'u'llah, Prophet Founder of the Baha'i Faith. Attendees represented a diversity of cultures and... Read more

Message received from Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa City Council
Thu, 9 Nov 2017 11:03:05
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...

Prime Minister Trudeau sends greetings to Baha'is of Canada on Bicentenary
Sat, 28 Oct 2017 16:16:04
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...

National Chief Perry Bellegarde Message to the Bahá’ís for the Bicentenary Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
Sat, 28 Oct 2017 16:15:07
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...

A Commemorative Quilt to mark the Bicentennial of the birth of Baha’u’llah
Tue, 24 Oct 2017 12:25:08
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 Day. "As a quilter," said Nathalie Thirlwall, "the creation of a bicentennial quilt seemed a natural way to...

Baha'is in Ottawa celebrating significant anniversary
Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:37:38
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 religion. Although the anniversary marks... Read more!

Ottawa Baha’i Choir enters its 25th year
Tue, 3 Oct 2017 15:00:24
For twenty five years now, the Ottawa Regional Baha’i choir has enriched community life through its spiritually inspired choral music...

The Continuing Persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran
Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:54:14
At age 66, Behrouz Tavakkoli is entering his 10th year in prison in Iran. His crime: helping to administer the affairs of the Bahá'í Community of Iran. Suffering from severe kidney and joint problems, he and the other six leaders of the Bahá'í Community face another year in prison. They are among... read more

Building Vibrant Communities
Thu, 1 Jun 2017 17:59:39
Ottawa Bahá'í Conference Explores New Patterns of Community Life

On May 13, 2017, approximately 250 community members from Ottawa and the surrounding region gathered together to learn about building vibrant communities. The group, consisting of ...

Not Another Year - Calling for the Release of Seven Baha'i Leaders
Fri, 12 May 2017 22:13:46
During the next week, the Baha'i community of Ottawa is holding a series of devotional gatherings across the city to pray for the seven Baha'i leaders who are starting their ninth year of arrest and imprisonment...

A Lofty Devotional
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:59:05
When my brothers and I got an apartment in Centretown four and a half years ago, we knew we wanted to make our home a haven for people from all walks of life...

A Passion for the Marimba
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 15:47:04
When you walk into Zvondai Muchenje’s living room in Ottawa the first thing you notice is a big marimba next to a piano. Zvondai’s love for the marimba is immediately apparent. For the past nine years he has been sharing this love with...

Canadian Baha'i representative participates in UN forum addressing anti-muslim discrimination
Tue, 7 Feb 2017 15:31:48
Director of Government Relations for the Baha’i Community of Canada, Corinne Box, a resident of Ottawa, participated in a recent High-Level Forum on Combatting Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Hate that was hosted at the UN Headquarters in New York. She was invited to...

Christmas Memories
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 18:00:07
Christmas time is a time of reflection and memories, but it is a religious holiday that I no longer celebrate. Yet, it was a big part of my life for over 50 years...Read more!

Joyce Frances Devlin: Artist in a “new era of energy and inspiration” Ottawa artist recognized in Vernon exhibit; reflects on art and spirit in history and her life
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 15:05:42
In her 85th year the Ottawa area artist Joyce Frances Devlin remains a dynamic figure, radiating energy and spiritual power. Every summer she opens her home gallery in Burritt’s Rapids to the public...

Anticipation rises for Chile Temple inauguration
Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:08:27
The world-wide Baha'i community envisions a time when every community will have its own Baha'i temple, which...

Ottawa Bahá’ís Participate in Sri Chinmoy’s 2016 Peace Run Welcoming Ceremony
Sat, 24 Sep 2016 14:33:08
On the morning of August 3, 2016 Mrs. Wendy James chanted these words by the son of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, during an interfaith welcoming ceremony...

Accompaniment: Ottawa Youth Group Translating Bahá’í Study into Community Service
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:27:00
Since 2013, a group of youth from the Nepean area have been growing together as they have completed five books in the Ruhi Institute series. As they have gained the knowledge, skills and capacity to serve their community...

November 27, 2014 Joyce Frances Devlin: An artist’s Professional and Spiritual Journey
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:43:20
On Saturday evening, September 20, 2014, a crowd of about 40 friends from Ottawa and West Quebec gathered at the Bahá'í Centre to hear the next installment in the Spiritual Autobiography Series. The featured speaker was the colourful, original and passionate artist Joyce Frances Devlin who lives and works out her studio-home in Burritt’s Rapids. Devlin discovered in her early childhood that...

September 28, 2014 Sellout Concert at CD Launch of Bruno AR’s "Celestial Mosaic"
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 13:11:32
A packed audience gathered at the Wakefield Cultural Centre on July 26 for a concert by Ottawa singer Bruno AR (Bruno Alain Randimbiarison). Launching his first recording of original musical compositions, Bruno was joined on stage by a diverse group of

September 10, 2014 Youth Conferences and Activities Raising Community Capacities in Ottawa
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:10:41
The Bahá’í community of Ottawa has seen an increased tempo of youth-focused activities and an increased engagement of young people since the summer of 2013, when 125 youth from the Ottawa area attended a Toronto Youth Conference that was part of a global...

May 20, 2014 Ottawa Bahá'ís participate in successful Reddit "Ask me Anything" discussion
Tue, 20 May 2014 13:09:09
The Bahá’í community on Reddit, a popular social media website, broke new ground recently when it hosted an online question-and-answer session known as an AMA ("Ask Me Anything") on May 13th. Several Ottawa Bahá’ís participated in the event, which attracted a...

March 15, 2014 Ottawa Youth Summit
Sat, 15 Mar 2014 13:07:13
Approximately 100 youth aged 15-30 gathered on March 1st at the Richelieu Vanier Community Centre for a full day of consultation, reflection and planning. The energy was palpable and appropriately accredited to more...

February 27, 2014 Bahá’í Award for the Study of Peace and Conflict
Sun, 30 Mar 2014 17:56:02
For the past several years, the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ottawa has sponsored the Bahá'í Award for the Study of Peace and Conflict at Saint Paul University. This award is granted...

January 19, 2014 World Religion Day Celebration in Ottawa
Mon, 3 Feb 2014 17:19:10
Ottawa’s fourteenth annual celebration of World Religion Day began with an Aboriginal welcome and blessing, followed by a Baha’i prayer for unity. As in previous years...

Review of Makhmalbaf’s "The Gardener" Ottawa premiere of documentary film on the Bahá'í Faith
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 12:38:31
For several days in mid-November, Ottawa’s Bytowne Cinema screened "The Gardener," the latest film by Iran’s award-winning producer and director Mohsen Makhmalbaf....

The Play of Light: a photo exhibit
Tue, 26 Nov 2013 18:00:48
A thought provoking photo exhibition of Stephen Thirlwall entitled “Myriad reflections on the automobile,” is currently being held at the Ottawa Bahá'í Centre until...

"Skywalkers, Mystics and Dreamers,"
Mon, 9 Sep 2013 18:52:44
Video by Ottawa Bahá’ís John Dickie and Barry Brown receives honourable mention in international competition...

Nathalie Thirlwall, Recipient of 2013 Interfaith Ottawa Award
Thu, 15 Aug 2013 18:51:34
On Sunday June 23, at Ottawa City Hall, Nathalie Thirlwall, a dedicated worker in the cause of interfaith cooperation and understanding, received a 2013 Interfaith Ottawa Award from Interfaith Ottawa. The award, presented by Mayor Jim Watson and Mike McIntrye, co-chairs of this organization, was

Ottawa Bahá'ís Remember those facing Persecutions in Iran
Sun, 7 Jul 2013 18:49:30
On Saturday June 22nd, the Ottawa Bahá’í centre hosted a gathering to remember fellow believers who have been, and continue to be, persecuted in Iran for their convictions. The thoughtfully prepared event...

Youth Circles: Local youth group creates spaces to ask life’s deep questions
Sun, 2 Jun 2013 14:41:56
A room full of youth sit in a circle of chairs and sofas, their heads bowed in prayer. When their prayers are done, they share news of the week that stood out for them, either from what they heard on the radio or TV or read in the newspaper. They discuss how...

Lloyd Axworthy, Bani Dugal and Canada’s press mark the fifth anniversary of the incarceration of Iran’s Baha’i leaders
Mon, 13 May 2013 14:40:36
"You are not alone. There is a unity. There are others who feel the same sense of outrage," said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs and...

Ottawa Bahá’ís Celebrate the Festival of Ridvan
Sun, 21 Apr 2013 14:38:18
This past month, the Ottawa Bahá’í community celebrated their most important festival of the year, the Twelve Days of Ridvan (pronounced Riz-wan). Each spring, between April 21st and May 2nd, Bahá’ís around the world...

Scientific insights into the reality of Man
Tue, 5 Mar 2013 15:05:41
On Friday February 8, during one of Ottawa's intense snow storms of the season, over 75 people gathered at the University of Ottawa to enjoy and learn from a presentation given by Dr. Mehrdad Ehsani, a member of the

Fourth Interfaith National Breakfast held on Parliament Hill
Mon, 24 Dec 2012 10:33:36
In November, the 4th annual Interfaith National Breakfast was held in the Parliamentary Restaurant on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The breakfast was sponsored by...

Prayer: Stirring the Spirit
Mon, 17 Dec 2012 10:48:14
The Ottawa Regional Bahá’í Choir was invited to participate in two recent interfaith prayer gatherings....

Empowering Youth in a Culture of Distractions
Mon, 10 Dec 2012 19:19:04
On Saturday, November 24th, Tammy Plunkett, a former nurse and mother of four, spoke at the Ottawa Baha’i Centre on the challenges youth face...

Talk on Maxwell family proves to be a "marvellous therapy"
Tue, 4 Dec 2012 10:25:22
5:00 AM, the alarm clock sounds, and another day begins for David Smith, Avionics Engineer at the Department of National Defence in Ottawa. At least that was David's daily routine before...

Law and Love: A Special Lecture on the Kitáb-i-Aqdas
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 09:12:04
On Saturday, November 17th, the Ottawa Bahá'í Centre was pleased to host a presentation by Dr. Lagha Fanaian, family law lawyer, and author of Loving Law: A call for a spiritual reform

Zumba Devotional for the body, mind and soul
Thu, 22 Nov 2012 10:21:28
Over the past few months, a group of friends have been experimenting with ways to fuse their dual passions for Zumba exercise and Bahá'í devotional gatherings...

New Book by Canadian Bahá’í Scholar Explores Writings of Shoghi Effendi
Mon, 12 Nov 2012 09:19:12
On October 20 an audience of sixty gathered at the Ottawa Baha’i Centre to celebrate with scholar Jack McLean the publication of his much anticipated book...

Artist Barbara Pope profiled in Capital Woman magazine
Tue, 6 Nov 2012 12:17:11
Barbara Pope, a local artist and member of the Ottawa Baha’i Community, was profiled in a recent issue of Capital Woman magazine. Barbara is a visual artist who...

Canada Day Celebration at the Ottawa Baha’i Centre
Tue, 17 Jul 2012 13:57:07
OTTAWA - On the afternoon of Canada Day, just a few kilometres east of Parliament in the neighbourhood of Vanier, the Ottawa Baha’i community organized a free outdoor...

Singer/Songwriter MJ Cyr in Ottawa
Sun, 27 May 2012 11:19:16
On May 12, over 60 people gathered at the Ottawa Baha’i Centre on 211 McArthur Rd. for a special devotional concert by Toronto singer/songwriter MJ Cyr....

Cleaning our environment
Thu, 10 May 2012 14:41:29
Over 50 people of five different faiths came together early evening on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 to clean up Mooney’s Bay Park. "Spring Cleaning the Capital Together" is an annual...

Bahá’ís in Ottawa gathered to elect the nine members of the Local Spiritual Assembly
Wed, 25 Apr 2012 11:58:13
As the Bahá’í Faith has no clergy, the Local Spiritual Assembly guides, and administers, the affairs of the community. In this way, governance in Bahá’í communities springs from the grassroots. Common activities in the Bahá’í Community of Ottawa include...

Problems continue for Baha’i educators in Iran
Sat, 7 Apr 2012 11:19:55
It’s 1998 in Iran, and a blow has been dealt to the attempts of the country’s largest religious minority to access education. Followers of the Baha’i faith, who since the Iranian revolution of 1979 have been virtually banned from attending post-secondary institutions, had ...

Happy Naw Rúz! Happy New Year!
Sat, 31 Mar 2012 15:21:43
On the evening of Tuesday March 20th, Bahá'ís and their friends in Ottawa and around the world celebrated the festival of Naw Rúz, the beginning of the Bahá'í new year. Naw Rúz coincides with the spring equinox...

The Ottawa Bahá'í Centre
Thu, 8 Mar 2012 08:18:59
I knew virtually nothing about the Bahá'í faith when I walked into the Ottawa Bahá'í Centre on McArthur Avenue last week....

Larry Rowdon Poetry Book Launch
Wed, 29 Feb 2012 13:40:34
On Saturday, February 18th, a book launch and memorial was held at the Ottawa Baha’i Centre for Larry Rowdon, poet, writer, painter, father, husband, and Bahá'í....

Sweets for the Soul
Wed, 29 Feb 2012 12:15:27
If you’re looking to enjoy an evening that offers the excitement of eating out with the intimacy of staying in, you may want to sample Barrhaven’s latest Baha’i devotional...

World Religion Day 2012
Mon, 23 Jan 2012 15:41:27
Mayor Jim Watson was on hand at City Hall on January 15th, 2012 to proclaim World Religion Day in Ottawa....

Ottawa Bahá'í Centre hosts community reflection meeting
Sun, 22 Jan 2012 10:50:30
On Sunday, January 8th approximately 50 people gathered at the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre to participate in a reflection meeting. Such periodic gatherings are held to reflect on...

Lloyd Axworthy and Allan Rock: "Canadians Can Help Stop the Persecution of Iran's Bahá’ís"
Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:30:11
Two pre-eminent Canadians, Lloyd Axworthy, President of the University of Winnipeg and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa and former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations and federal cabinet minister, have published an eloquent appeal on behalf of the Baha'is of Iran. Under the title "Canadians Can Help Stop the Persecution of Iran's Baha'is"...

Interfaith Breakfast Focuses on Freedom of Religion
Tue, 20 Dec 2011 11:01:31
Ten Ottawa-area Bahá’ís attended the 3rd Interfaith Breakfast on Parliament Hill on November 22nd. David Sweet MP and Rabbi Reuven Bulka, Co-Chairs of the All Party Interfaith Friendship Group, welcomed approximately 150 Members of Parliament, Senators, Ambassadors and faith community representatives to the breakfast in the Parliamentary dining room...

Choral ensemble performs at area interfaith events
Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:21:39
A Bahá’í choral ensemble recently performed in two area interfaith events, reaching about 150 people with their music. The choral ensemble comprised several members of...

Community Celebrates 100th Birthday of Ottawa Bahá'í
Fri, 11 Nov 2011 09:09:30
It took two days for friends, family and other special guests to honour Della Grace Ratcliffe and celebrate the achievement of her 100th birthday. Friends and family gathered on the upper floor of the Carleton Lodge on the afternoon of Sunday, June 19th, 2011 to hear stories about Della's eventful life and accomplishments and to be entertained by talented community members who provided...

The Birth of the Báb celebrated in six Ottawa gatherings
Sun, 6 Nov 2011 12:10:21
On October 20, Bahá'ís around the world celebrate the Birth of the Báb, one of the eleven Holy Days in the Bahá'í calendar. Bahá'ís in Ottawa...

CBC radio show features Ottawa Bahá'í devotional gathering
Tue, 25 Oct 2011 10:53:52
In late September, an Ottawa Bahá'í devotional gathering was featured on CBC’s political news show, The House. CBC national reporter Louise Elliott attended the gathering at the invitation of the Bahá'í Community of Canada’s Office of External Affairs. She was producing a story for...

Yoga Devotional at the Ottawa Bahá’í Centre
Sat, 15 Oct 2011 08:58:31
Every Monday night, around 20 neighbours and friends visit the Ottawa Bahá'í Centre on MacArthur Avenue to attend a Bahá'í devotional gathering featuring yoga. The purpose of this devotional program is to...

Iconic "Lotus Temple" focus of worldwide campaign
Fri, 7 Oct 2011 08:56:06
Step onto a bus in Ottawa, Canada; open a magazine in Paris, France; or look upwards at Rimini's railway station in Italy – all around the world, India's Baha'i House of Worship is capturing the public's attention...

Ottawa children come together for ‘Brilliant Stars’ camp
Mon, 3 Oct 2011 09:29:48
During the last days of their summer break, children from across the city came together for a one-day ‘Brilliant Stars’ children camp. The purpose of the camp was to...

Bridging the Rivers of Faith
Sun, 18 Sep 2011 10:22:16
An Ottawa group called Bridging the Rivers of Faith is celebrating the end of a successful year and the beginning of its second year of activities...

Religious Persecution and the Strength of the Human Spirit
Tue, 6 Sep 2011 10:28:36
On August 27th, some 100 people gathered at the Ottawa Bahá'í Centre for an evening of reflection and inspiration aimed at honouring and praying for the safety of the seven Bahá’í leaders imprisoned in Iran for their faith. The event featured the art of Rosita Niknafs and...

Kanata Lakes devotional gathering brings a spiritual respite
Tue, 9 Aug 2011 11:59:28
Once a month, about 30 adults and children gather together in Kanata Lakes for “Soul Food Sunday”. The gathering combines readings from the world’s great faiths with reflections from leading philosophers, authors, and thinkers, interspersed with live and recorded music. Participants often bring and share readings...

Bahá'í reflection meeting launches summer projects
Sat, 6 Aug 2011 11:47:04
"The spiritual energy in the room was palpable," one participant described the community's July reflection meeting. The Ottawa Bahá’í community jumped into summer as several dozen participants gathered at the Bahá’í Centre on MacArthur Avenue for the community's semi-annual meeting to reflect on how to strengthen and extend Bahá'í community life...

Carp Bahá'ís commemorate the life of the Báb
Fri, 5 Aug 2011 10:58:17
On Saturday July 9th close to 50 adults, youth and children residing in Ottawa’s west end gathered at noon for a neighborhood commemoration of a Bahá’í Holy Day, joining millions of Bahá'ís worldwide. Prayers, a video presentation, and ...

Gatineau author launches book of poetry, prose and fiction
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 09:06:42
David Erickson, a poet living in Gatineau, has just published his first book. The Flower at the End of the World.  There will be a launch to introduce the book to Baha'is and the general public at the Ottawa Baha'i Centre on Saturday evening, 6 August, 7:30...

Pursuing a life of distinction
Tue, 26 Jul 2011 10:27:54
21-year old area Bahá'í, Sherwin Habibi, has recently been awarded the Governor-General’s medal for his achievements as an undergraduate student at Carleton University...

Empowering junior youth to serve
Tue, 12 Jul 2011 14:09:16
I serve as an animator of a junior youth group in Ottawa. In one of our early meetings, I felt like giving up. My co-animator had cancelled on me, I was overloaded with school and other events, and I was unsure whether it was even worth it to have a meeting that week. Would the junior youth even be home this week? Would they be willing to learn? Or would they be busy...

Our Bahá’í Pilgrimage to Israel
Tue, 28 Jun 2011 16:26:03
During the last two weeks of May, my husband and I, along with my mother-in-law were blessed to have the opportunity to visit Israel on a pilgrimage to the Bahá’í Shrines and holy sites. There were about 300 other Bahá’í pilgrims during our stay. We met Bahá’ís from Singapore, Australia, Canada, Macau, Colombia, Malawi, USA, and many other localities...

Ottawa singers join Chicago choral festival
Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:41:17
Ottawa area choristers Ron and Juanita Perry, Ruth Willsher, Darlene Cameron, Erin Desson and Heather Harvey spent four days rehearsing and then singing before hundreds of people at the 2011 Bahá'í Choral Festival near Chicago...

Rideau-Ottawa Bahá'í Schools Initiative: Creating Memories for 25 Years
Wed, 15 Jun 2011 13:49:43
For the last twenty-five summers, the Rideau Ottawa Bahá'í Schools Initiative (ROBSI) has organized fun-filled, Bahá'í-inspired summer camps in the Ottawa area. Each July up to five different week-long programs are offered...

Dispatch from the Bahá'í Academy in India
Mon, 13 Jun 2011 10:34:17
I have always been fascinated by how Baha’i and Baha’i-inspired organizations tend to evolve so drastically to meet changing conditions and build on experience. The Baha’i Academy is a perfect example...

Neighbourhood friends gather to say prayers for Iran
Thu, 26 May 2011 09:24:38
On the evening of May 25th, around ten friends gathered together in an Ottawa apartment to say prayers for Iran. The atmosphere was quiet and reflective...

Ottawa-area Bahá'í youth receives Tony Blair Faith Foundation Fellowship
Mon, 23 May 2011 11:44:19
Eric Farr, a 24-year old Bahá'í from Chelsea, has been selected from among 700 applicants for a fellowship with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Eric was one of 30 young people from around the world who were selected for the Faith Acts Fellowship...

From Ottawa to Slovenia and back: A Bahá'í traveler’s story
Tue, 10 May 2011 19:55:47
Last week I returned to Ottawa from Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. I went there at the end of January to support the Bahá'í efforts to contribute to the spiritual advancement of their country. Slovenia is a small, beautiful country just northeast of Italy. Although it has been dominated by other forces throughout its history, what has made it possible for it to be a united country is its unique language...

Ottawa Bahá'ís gather to elect Local Spiritual Assembly
Sat, 30 Apr 2011 10:14:48
On April 20, 2011, Bahá’ís in Ottawa gathered to elect the nine members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Ottawa, the governing council that will manage affairs for the Ottawa Bahá’í community for the year.

Canadian Bahá’í Business Forum (CBBF) elects new Governing Board
Thu, 28 Apr 2011 22:38:34
The Canadian Bahá’í Business Forum (CBBF) held its 5th Annual General Meeting on Monday April 25, 2011. CBBF is a professional non-profit association of men and women practicing and promoting moral as well as ethical values in the workplace.

Ottawa Creative Writers’ Group launches poetry collection
Thu, 28 Apr 2011 22:28:40
A unique poetry reading evening was held on April 23rd at the Ottawa Bahá'í Centre on McArthur Rd., hosted by the members of the Ottawa Creative Writers’ Group. The evening served to commemorate the launch of a volume of poetry by the group in a collection titled ‘Markings’.

Bahá’í Community of Ottawa celebrates the Festival of Ridván
Sun, 24 Apr 2011 11:24:09
Ottawa Bahá'ís gathered on April 21 to celebrate the beginning of the Bahá'í Festival of Ridván, one of nine holy days in the Bahá'í calendar.

Plan, Act, Reflect, Celebrate!
Thu, 21 Apr 2011 11:24:10
On April 10, people from across the city came together at the Ottawa Bahá'í Centre for a ‘reflection meeting’ to sing, pray and consult about the processes of community building in our neighbourhoods.

Open doors to Bahá'í children's classes in Vanier
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 11:47:25
A visit with one of Ottawa's neighbourhood Bahá'í children's classes and junior youth empowerment groups.

Bahá’í Physician Receives National Recognition
Tue, 15 Feb 2011 11:55:57
Dr. Ruth Vander Stelt, a member of the Bahá’í Community of Gatineau, Quebec, has been named one of Canada’s Family Physicians of the Year

World Religion Day
Sun, 16 Jan 2011 09:19:45
Ottawa Faith Groups Celebrate World Religion Day