Day of Peace commemorated with film screening 

Jeremy Gilley’s The Day After Peace is just one part of a four-day event

Caterina Alberti wants to help put Whistler at peace.

The owner of Crossover Coaching is helping to put together Whistler's second annual International Day of Peace celebration from Sept. 20 to 24, including two screenings of The Day After Peace on Sept. 21 .

"...that film is powerful. It shows the perseverance of the human spirit, it's really a must-see film," says Alberti,

The award-winning film from UK director Jeremy Gilley chronicles the activist's efforts to establish a permanent day of peace.

It will be preceded by video screenings of Whistler youth delivering their own messages of peace.

The film screens at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, and will also include interactive chants, drums and door prizes. Tickets for the screenings are available at Fruv Freedomwear and the cultural centre for $13.

Saturday will see the Day of Peace host a Metaphysical Market, which will have booths advertising corridor services such as community healers, acupuncture, massage, reiki and psychic readings. There's a $2 entry fee and a raffle draw at 4 p.m., and the closing ceremony will be held the very same day.

Alberti says the event aims to bring awareness of inner and outer peace.

"There are communities that create peace events all over the world for this day," Alberti says. "It's just we're not doing it here and it seems like the most beautiful, peaceful place and we should be doing it here."

The International Day of Peace is an annual event sanctioned by the United Nations that aims to provide an opportunity for people, organizations and countries to perform acts of peace on a shared date.

First celebrated in 1982, the UN has since set September 21 as the permanent date for the Day of Peace. The UN asks that the world observe the day by ceasing all hostilities for 24 hours, enabling relief workers in conflict zones to provide people with food, water and medicine.

In Whistler, the focus will be less on preventing war than on creating inner peace through a variety of activities including dialogues from aboriginal grandmothers about peace and reconciliation, as well as movie screenings, a food drive and a "metaphysical market."

The celebration will begin with an opening ceremony on the evening of September 20. There will be a candlelight circle, a meditation and the Whistler Children's Chorus will sing in Whistler Olympic Plaza. The ceremony is to begin around 7 p.m., at dusk.

"That's just to kick off the event and start off the event in a manner that is, I think, respectful to the whole process that we're trying to bring awareness to," Alberti says.

Accompanying the Day of Peace celebration will be the Great Food Drive of 2011 to benefit the Whistler Food Bank, which has seen record numbers of people lining up to get food.

Taking place at different markets every day from September 20 to 24, it is being hosted alongside WMN.fm. Anyone stopping to drop off food will get a chance to deliver a message of peace, live on the radio station.

"It's kind of encouraging people to say what they think would help peace in the world," says WMN founder Steve Clark.

Ultimately, Alberti wants to celebrate a Day of Peace to benefit her children.

"My children are born and raised here," she says. "It is important that I leave this for my kids and that's why I do what I do for my community."

 

 

 

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