World Peace Forum and March

June 23-28, 2006 Vancouver, British Columbia
Click on Photos to ENLARGE
 Click to ENLARGE
Doukhobor and Friends For Peace Choir, 175 singers
  1. Mae Popoff, a retired librarian and Doukhobor elder from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who participated in the Choir.
  2. Reactions by Jack and Jan Tarasoff, Calgary, Alberta educators, also members of the choir.
  3. Bill Bhaneja, a Gandian retired political scientist from Ottawa, Ontario who participated in the discussion on creating a Department of Peace.
  4. Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun reporter
  5. Richard Sanders, coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) and editor of COAT's magazine, Press for Conversion!

Doukhobors helped to plan and lobby for this Peace Forum, then 175 sang and many more helped march for world peace — a 1-1/2- year effort. Stacey Makortoff, of Vancouver, presented her Doukhobor / Peace Thesis at the, International Peace Education Conference on June 27, 2006

Doukhobors and Friends For Peace Choral Singers

Choral Peaces — Sunday June 25, 2006,  1 PM
The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
Chan Shun Concert Hall, 6265 Crescent Rd, UBC

Doukhobors and Friends for Peace Choir (DFPC) consist of 3 generations and 175 Doukhobor singers from 3 provinces. Through their traditional choral presentations, DFPC aims to guide us through a deeply moving and empowering journey, commencing with the burning of weapons and total renunciation of militarism in Russia, to their ongoing nonviolent action in Canada. Joined in song with friends sharing common values, DFPC reflects heartfelt friendship. Their goal is to provide an uplifting vehicle that unites all to the vision and quest for peace, social justice and sustainability for life. Their hope is to inspire people to reach for the noblest of visions, so that all may live in harmony and work together to build a more safe and just world - a world where humankind can triumphantly celebrate the power of love.
"Vancouver Peace Forum at Risk - Contact City Council"
A notice posted on, March 28, 2005, was relayed by Marion Pape, Canadian Voice of Women For Peace to 75+ people, including Sam and Ruth Tarasoff.

Diana Markin-Jewell (Canadian Action Party) reports: "Marion, I'll continue to do what I can. On Valentines Day, hearing that our retrograde mayor [Vancouver], Janice Harris, was set to dump the Peace Forum, I got some friends together to make speeches, and did one myself, and got a former Granny to don hat, shawl, and make a 30 second speech, while I and another older friend, hat and shawl, came up and did about a minute of a peace chant to the council. It was well received, and also got written up in the North Shore News with my picture in hat and another shawl, this one hand made in the 1930s by my mother, of Doukhobor background, stating that our ancestors left Russia and came to Canada to avoid war and conscription. I'll send some e-mails, and spread the Word."

Peace and Justice Committee
Monday, February 6, 2006
1. Sub-Committee Updates/Reports
     e. Public Participation Sub-Committee
Sam Fillipoff [retired Vancouver teacher] provided an overview of, and circulated documents related to, local activity of the World Peace Forum/International Peace Education Conference, which included: Doukhobor's burning of arms: a backgrounder
Click to ENLARGE
Doukhobor sign at Peace March, June 24th 2006.
Click to ENLARGE
Sign: Toil and Peaceful Life: ‘No army can stop an idea whose time has come. All we are saying is Give peace a chance.’
1.  Mae Popoff’s report  (
The opening ceremonies for the World Peace Forum were held on Friday, June 23, 2006 at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia.

While the Doukhobors were being introduced by the MC, the 175 members of the Doukhobors and Friends for Peace Choir assembled on stage. ‘As one human family, let us honor Peace and Freedom in the brotherhood of man,’ sang the choir in Russian and English.

Haida First Nations, Sing Australia Choir, Vancouver Chinese Choir as well as musicians and soloists entertained on the peace theme. The song ‘I Didn’t Raise the Boy to be a Soldier’, from the handout Songs to Change the World for Peace, Social Justice and Sustainability, created a sensational aura and atmosphere for Peace.

At the opening ceremonies, speakers representing international communities proclaimed ‘peace is possible’ if there is ‘a global vision for peace’. We can embrace that hope and become powers for constructive changes in the future. Lt. Gov. Iona Campagnolo welcomed the opening ceremonies, as did the representative for the International Mayors for Peace.

The peace walk in the World Peace Forum was on Saturday, June 24th. Doukhobors, with their banners ‘ Doukhobors and Friends for Peace,’ ‘Youth for Peace,’ ‘Where there is Love, there is God’ and other slogans led the parade. At the peace rally and concert at Sunset Park, the Doukhobor banners were on display while entertainers Buffy Saint-Marie and others addressed peace in song and words. Approximately 10,000 citizens participated in the peace march. The prevalent theme was ‘Crowds speak out for peace’.

The Chan Centre, at the University of British Columbia, was a major gathering place on Sunday, June 25th. Doukhobors and others gathered outdoors at the Chan Centre Gardens for a prayer service commemorating the 111th anniversary of the destruction of firearms when Doukhobors refused military conscription to preserve the sanctity of life and respect for Peace. Here Alex Wishlow, Canadian Doukhobor Society, paid tribute to Matvey Lebedev, the hero as the first Russian Doukhobor who dropped his gun in 1895. The combined three generations of Doukhobor voices from three western Canadian provinces commemorated our ancestors with prayers, singing and a hymn that was composed to honor our forefathers as ‘spiritual eagles’.

The World Peace Forum Society advertised the Sunday Chan Centre at UBC as Choral Peaces – ‘an extraordinary gathering of choirs from here and abroad that sing for peace, justice and a sustainable world’. The Doukhobors and Friends for Peace Choir opened the concert with a dramatic song ‘Peace is Flowing Like a River’. This was followed with ‘Spirit of Love’, ‘Toil and Peaceful Life’, ‘Brother, Give Me Your Hand’, and ‘Unite All Voices for Peace and Freedom’.
Narrator Sasha Shevchenko aptly introduced the English and Russian a cappella numbers. Frances Kanigan directed the 175 member choir of all ages. The audience at the Chan Theatre responded with a standing ovation.

Choral Peaces
also featured a mass choir from Victoria with 300 members, a Muslim Youth Choir, a combined Canadian and USA (Phoenix) Children’s Choir, a Solidarity Choir, a Seattle Peace Chorus and a Sing Australia choir. The Vancouver Chamber Choir and Unitarian Choir performed in a later program. The Gage Towers residence was a Peace Place with a Peace Café, peace displays and giftware areas, peace sessions and information areas featuring musical entertainers. Spectacular voices sang the message of Peace and Harmony with the expectation that peace can happen.

The World Peace Forum held a series of workshops towards the creation of National Ministries and Departments of Peace. International panel members provided information and updates on the global movement of over twenty countries towards global alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace. Activists called for the creation of Peace Departments.

As a member of Doukhobors and Friends for Peace choir, Helene Jones also attended the World Peace Forum sessions from June 23 to June 28, 2006. She appreciated the unity within the choir. When she heard speakers from different parts of the world, she experienced the ‘deepest emotions’. She felt that we all spoke with one voice, saying that war is wrong and that ‘Peace is the right thing’. But to make this happen, we must work for it.

More than 4,500 registrants, 10,000 marchers, thousands of onlookers, a 1000 choir members, multitudes of volunteers, presenters, staff, entertainers, musicians, global participants and the media were involved at the World Peace Forum.

As Doukhobors and our kindred friends the Quakers and Mennonites, we express our sincere gratitude to the organizations responsible for the World Peace Forum. We appreciated the group dynamics on the bus, the performances, the luncheons at the Spaghetti Factory and the Vancouver museum. The grand finale boxed lunch reception provided by the Vancouver and surrounding area Doukhobors was another opportunity to mingle and express our appreciation and our gratitude to all the organizers (esp. Nadine Podmiroff, JJ Verigin Jr, the Kanigan’s, the Davidoff’s, the Rezansoff’’s , the Bonderoff’s, and Alex Wishlow) as well as to all those who came out to raise their voices for world peace.
Click to ENLARGE
Photo of Peace March published at, downloaded July 2006.
Click to ENLARGE
Three participants in choir, left to right: Alex Wishlow, Julia Ewashen and Alex Ewashen, all from Creston, BC.
2. Report by Jack & Jan Tarasoff  (
For us in Calgary, Alberta, the invitation to participate in the combined Doukhobor choir was an inspiring moment. As we practiced three times a week, our spirits rose more and more. When we joined the 175 member choir on stage at the conclusion of the 59th Annual Doukhobor Youth Festival in Brilliant, BC in May, it was awesome. We all felt a unity of purpose: Peace. In the end, nine Alberta Doukhobors came to Vancouver for the Peace Forum.
For us it was an enlightening and uplifting experience to participate in the choir and in the peace march. It was good to rub shoulders with other activists for peace from diverse groups: government, union, nurses, scholars, seniors, ethnics (there were many Japanese and Chinese), artists and musicians.

In sum, we feel this is the beginning of a revival of a mass movement for world survival and peace. We need to rally more people around this mission until we achieve our ends. Peace is everybody’s business! We need peace Now!
Click to ENLARGE
Prayers at UBC
Click to ENLARGE
Doukhobor ladies at UBC prayer service
3. Report by Bill Bhaneja  (

Here is the summary report of the Second Peoples Summit of the Department of Peace Initiative held in Victoria, June 19-22, followed by a panel at the World Peace Forum on June 25th in Vancouver. The Summit was attended by approximately 83 citizen representatives from 20 nations, double the number of countries present at the first Peoples Departments/ Ministries of Peace Summit in London, UK, last year. This year's representation covered countries of both North and South, large and small, as well as for the first time government representatives from Philippines, Solomon Island, Uganda and Liberia.
The Summit communiqué was tabled by an international panel at the World Peace Forum in Vancouver. The Department of Peace panel was chaired by Congressman Denis Kucinich (USA), Dr. Chesterfield Evans (Australia), Hon. Douglas Roche (Canada), Franklin Quijano (Philippines), Paul Von Toengeren (Netherlands/EU) and representatives from Japan and Solomon Island.

As a result of such wide participation, a key outcome of the summit was the creation of a Global Alliance of Department and Ministries of Peace. The discussions dealt with identifying ways to broaden the base of countries with DOP/MOP initiatives, sharing valued experience of current 20 national campaigns with their successes and problems encountered in building networks. Topics dealt with raising awareness of politicians, voters, peace activists and organizations; how to enhance engagement of youth; and training of civilian peace workers in national campaigns. Additionally, decisions on International Initiative structure, its mandate, strategy, and fund-raising. A Steering Committee and a number of Working Groups were set up to deal with issues in more detail.

The Summit was hosted by the Department of Peace Victoria chapter coordinator Saul Arbess and his team of volunteers. Ottawa chapter was
represented by Bill Bhaneja, Peter Stockdale, and Murray Thomson.

The next Summit on the Department of Peace will be held in Japan in 2007. For additional information on Canada's Working Group on the Department of Peace, visit our new website:
4. Doug Ward:  ‘Activists call for peace department
It's a new idea that is gaining popularity among grassroots groups in the United States’
© The Vancouver Sun, June 26, 2006
Two prominent American activists attending the World Peace Forum called on national governments Sunday to create departments of peace, which could promote peace initiatives at home and abroad.
"I think it's inevitable that there's going to be departments of peace and non-violence, and not only in the U.S.," said Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat congressman from Ohio.

Supporters of the concept say that peace departments would promote the values of peace just as environment departments – relatively new agencies – protect the environment.
Kucinich introduced a bill last year that would create a cabinet-level department of peace. Seventy-three members of the U.S House of Representatives have said they would support the legislation.
"All over the world people are looking to establish these structures, and I'll tell you why," said Kucinich. "Because people don't want to live in fear."
Kucinich said that the war in Iraq is "an example of the false assumption that you can bomb the world to peace.
"You cannot use force to change people's minds. Force just separates us further."
The department of peace is a new idea that is gaining popularity among grassroots groups in the American peace movement. Its main advocates have been Kucinich and motivational speaker and author Marianne Williamson, who also attended the World Peace Forum.

Williamson is chairwoman of the Peace Alliance, a grassroots campaign supporting legislation before the U.S. Congress to establish an American department of peace.
Williamson said the legislation "represents a more spiritual, progressive and enlightened consciousness."
"We are living in a time of a great split in the U.S. I see an intensification of fear and darkness and I see an intensification of love and light.

"And the contest is on. Like the bell has wrung. It's a race, it's an absolute race."
In Canada, former Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy has backed the call for Ottawa to create a department of peace. "As Canada is pressed to forge ever-closer ties with U.S. defence policy and the 'war on terror,' it is time to create a department of peace, committed to peace-building, conflict prevention and disarmament, central to our political tradition," said Axworthy, in an open letter distributed at the World Peace Forum.
Former federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough, a World Peace Forum participant, backed the idea, but said "there are reasons to be skeptical in the short-term about how any government headed by Stephen Harper or George Bush is going to embrace the concept."
Meanwhile, at the World Peace Forum Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti attacked the Conservative government's plan to spend $13 billion on new military hardware.
"We pay, our families are paying, when the military budget soars and there is still no money for a childcare system, no commitment for a national pharmacare program, no new investment in post-secondary education, in effective apprenticeship programs."
5. Richard Sanders' report and slide show presented at the Peace Forum
After the Forum Sanders submitted several announcements to

Back to Excerpts
Back to