Nova Scotia

Halifax festival marks International Day of Peace

Organizers behind a daylong peace festival held in Halifax on Saturday say the recent gun violence in the city highlights the need for more people to find peace within themselves.

‘You have to be really powerful to be peaceful, it’s not for wimps,’ says co-ordinator

The Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre organized the festival, which went ahead on Saturday at Pier 21 in Halifax. (Stephanie Blanchet/Radio-Canada)

Organizers behind a daylong peace festival held in Halifax on Saturday say the recent gun violence in the city highlights the need for more people to find peace within themselves.

Peace Halifax was a free event that featured guest speakers, yoga, art and meditation. The festivities focused on creating inner peace to try and make the world more peaceful.

"I feel in order to create a non-violent world we have to create peace," said Judy Johnson. "You have to be really powerful to be peaceful, it's not for wimps. I can hold my peace for two minutes on a meditation mat, but can I hold it in the midst of a heavy lineup in traffic or at the grocery store when I've lost my wallet?"

Johnson is a co-ordinator with the local chapter of Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, which its website describes as a spiritual movement that focuses on personal transformation, peace and the individual dignity of each soul.

'Spin out of control'

It organized the festival, which took place at Pier 21 in Halifax.

Johnson said that without peace, people "spin out of control."

"If we're going to do anything to improve the state of the world, we actually have to create something sustainable from the inside out," she said.

Michael Greenlaw volunteered at Peace Halifax. He said there isn't a simple solution to the violence troubling Halifax and other parts of the world, but said finding inner peace could help people tackle those problems.

"There's also opportunities to relax and be peaceful and take a step away from all that, the violence, war and travesties that are going on in the world and then come back in a clear mind and take on those," he said.

Peace Halifax was held in honour of the United Nations International Day of Peace, which is observed each year on Sept. 21.

With files from Stephanie Blanchet