Kristen Butler

Kristen Butler

Positivity focus of Nanaimo peace party

NANAIMO – On the International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, two Nanaimo organizations are hosting events to celebrate.

Shifting consciousness away from negativity to positive aspects of life is at the forefront of Nanaimo’s Peace Party in the park.

“We are celebrating what is possible,” said Pat Zogar, organizer and a member of Centres for Spiritual Living, adding people have to power to create peace.

The event, held on the International Day of Peace Monday (Sept. 21) from 1-8 p.m. in Maffeo Sutton Park, is a partnership between Unity of Nanaimo and the Centres for Spiritual Living. It begins with a peace march at 1 p.m.

“It’s so vitally important we have balance for our children,” said Zogar. “They see so much violence on TV that I’m afraid the generation growing up is going to think that is the norm.”

Zogar invites service and cultural groups and the public to celebrate. There will be live music, face-painting, displays of children’s art and poetry, origami folding, a flash mob choir and yoga on the grass.

Elsewhere in Nanaimo, yoga enthusiasts will stretch in support of the Speak Their Peace campaign at Moksha Yoga during candle-lit karma classes.

The class is an homage to the first Speak Their Peace event Moksha Yoga hosted to raise money for Amnesty International, whose logo is a candle wrapped in barbed wire.

“We’re the light within all darkness. It’s about feeding the light,” said Kristen Butler, owner of Moksha Yoga Nanaimo.

This year Speak Their Peace partnered with Pull-Together, a campaign created by Raven Trust and the Sierra Club of B.C., to help raise awareness and money for First Nation communities that are challenging the Enbridge pipeline in court. The campaign’s goal is $600,000 and Moksha and Moda studios want to raise $65,000 for the cause, with Nanaimo hoping to contribute $2,000 to that total.

Butler said the pipeline is a controversial and complicated subject, but the event is about creating a safe place for people to open up a dialogue to “make the world a better place.”

“It’s not about hippie yogis out to save the world. It is about being intelligent, thoughtful, educated and concerned citizens out to save the world,” said Butler. “This is exactly what I hope happens. That we ask questions, sit with questions, get educated about these questions, and then with a full heart and a clear head make an honest decision, not out of fear but out of clarity.”

Nanaimo Moksha Yoga is donating all money from its September karma classes to the campaign and is holding candle-lit karma class Monday, 8:30-9:45 p.m. at both its Dufferin and Rutherford studios. The suggested donation is $7.