Downtown Brantford hosts the world on September 18 with the second annual Brantford Local/Global Peace Festival. The festival, hosted by the World University Service of Canada and the not-for-profit fair trade vendor Ten Thousand Villages, will be held in Victoria Park from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Organizer Elizabeth Baisley, a third-year Human Rights and Human Diversity student, hopes the event, scheduled in conjunction with the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21, will show individuals how they can work with different groups to advance peace.
“Peace doesn’t just happen on an international level,” Baisley says, “there’s steps that are taken locally.”

The festival, organized by the Human Rights and Human Diversity Students Association, features student, local, national and global organizations. While many scheduled groups participated last year, this year brings both new local additions like Why Not City Missions and national organizations like Katimavik and TransFair Canada. Rob Rainer, Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty, will be speaking in the morning, beginning at 9:30 AM. Local musicians will also provide entertainment, and a craft table will be available for children. Last year’s host, the organic fair trade cafe and local art gallery Stir it Up! will also be a vendor along with event sponsor Ten Thousand Villages. Baisley admires the organization, which this year will have a number of products made by Haitians, because they provide “not just strictly charity.”

Baisley, who said working on the festival for the last several months has shown her different ways to advance human rights, hopes the event will encourage action. Peace, she’s come to understand, is something that needs to be created.

“Peace isn’t just an ideal,” she says. “It’s also a task list. It’s not something that just ‘is’.”
Those interested in volunteering are asked to email brantfordpeacefestival@gmail.com or visit www.brantfordpeacefestival.wordpress.com. Plans are already being made for next year’s event.

Coverage of last year’s festival can also be found at http://www.thesputnik.ca/accounts/19/articles/20648