Festival reflects on diversity and peace

Brantford hosted its third annual Peace Festival in the downtown core on September 18. Organized by Ten Thousand Villages and Peace and Diversity, the Brantford Peace Festival ran in conjunction with the International Day of Peace.

Founded three years ago by Julie Fancoeur, owner of downtown eatery Stir It Up! the Brantford Peace Festival hosts a variety of workshops and acts to commemorate peace in all of its forms.

Francoeur believes the purpose of the festival is “to educate, to inspire, and to unify”.
Acts consisted of a solo dance, solo singing, and a band. There was also a workshop on meditation.

Carrie Sinkowski, one of the organizers for this year’s festival shared why she believes the Peace Festival is important.

“The festival is important for different reasons. To connect Brantford to the global community in terms of thinking about things that are happening outside the boundaries of the city, and also to take time to reflect on diversity and on peace.”

The Brantford Peace Festival included representatives from local organizations sharing information about their community services. A few of these local organizations consisted of Aboriginal Student Services, Brant/Brantford Roundtable on Poverty, Laurier Brantford’s Human Rights and Human Diversity Student’s Association, Why Not City Missions, and YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services.

Fair trade was also a key aspect of the festival, especially attempting to highlight that trade should seek greater respect and equity in international trade, and promote sustainability.
The international day of peace was first held in 1981 as a celebration of peace the beginning of each day of peace is marked by the sounding of the Peace Bell at United Nations headquarters in New York.

The Brantford Peace Festival also coincided with Stir It Up!’s closing. With the closing of her business, Francoeur plans on writing a recipe book.

Although Francoeur has passed down the torch, the festival is in its third year and continuing with great success. There is now a committee dedicated towards planning the Peace Festival.

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