Thousands to gather across Canada to celebrate historic bicentenary

Thousands to gather across Canada to celebrate historic bicentenary


From St. John’s, Newfoundland to Port Alberni, British Columbia, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario to Whitehorse in the Yukon, Baha’is and their friends have been preparing for months to celebrate a momentous occasion with millions around the globe: the bicentenary of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet and Founder of the Baha’i Faith.

More than 1,000 events are planned across the country, ranging from small gatherings of friends, neighbours and families in homes and community centers, to gala events in large auditoriums accommodating hundreds of people. Diverse in size and setting, these celebrations of the birth of Baha’u’llah also reflect the diversity of Canada itself: commemorations will include round dances and ceremonies, art, crafts, and music from a host of cultures, and events will be hosted in a number of languages.

These celebrations are a time to remember the life of Baha’u’llah, whose life and writings have influenced individuals and communities in every corner of the world. Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings revolve around the oneness of humanity, and His Revelation signals a special time in history as the entire human race moves to a new stage in its collective maturity and wholeness. He explained that the world is on the threshold of an age in which education for all, equality of women and men, a just and equitable system of governing the earth, and upholding science and religion will be among the values and achievements of a prosperous and peaceful world society.

Many celebrations plan to screen all or part of a feature film produced for this occasion, Light to the World, which tells the story of Baha’u’llah’s life in the context of humanity’s progress through history. Notably, the film will be shown in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montréal, a building designed by the renowned Canadian Baha’i architect, William Sutherland Maxwell.

Other programs will include the presentation of original paintings, the unveiling of a sculpture (Riverview, NB), plays (Edmonton, AB, Ajax, ON, Qualicum Beach, BC), music (Saanich, BC, Toronto, ON, Longueuil, QC) , storytelling (Chatham-Kent, ON) , poetry (Baie-D’Urfé, QC), and puppet-theater (Westmount, QC), all made in honor of this bicentenary. Many of these artistic expressions tell the story of Baha’u’llah’s life, explore a teaching or principle which He expounded, or are otherwise inspired by Him. Some examples of art produced for the bicentenary in Canada are shown, together with others from around the world, on this page.

These and other celebrations around the world will be documented live on a website dedicated to this bicentenary, a glimpse into the global community of those whose lives have been affected Baha’u’llah.