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International recognition for Cranbrook’s Idlewild Peace Park

(From left) Mayor Wayne Stetski; Councillor Diana J. Scott; Eileen Braaten, Cranbrook Celebration for Peace Society spokesperson; Gerry Robbie, Cranbrook Celebration for Peace Society; Councillor Sharon Cross; Councillor Bob Whetham. - Photo submitted
(From left) Mayor Wayne Stetski; Councillor Diana J. Scott; Eileen Braaten, Cranbrook Celebration for Peace Society spokesperson; Gerry Robbie, Cranbrook Celebration for Peace Society; Councillor Sharon Cross; Councillor Bob Whetham.
— image credit: Photo submitted

 

The Idlewild Peace Park, located on the east end of Idlewild Park in Cranbrook has officially been added to the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) list of Peace Parks in Canada.

The ‘Peace Parks Across Canada’ initiative began some 22 years ago in 1992 when the Federal Government and like-minded non-governmental organizations such as the IIPT, began this movement to establish as many Peace Parks across the Canadian landscape as possible to bring the idea and notion of ‘peace’ to all citizens. Canada took this initiative to the world in 1993 and since then the United Nations International Day of Peace is commemorated each year on September 21.

The Idlewild Peace Park was built in 1992 but unfortunately it was never formally registered as one of Canada’s Peace Parks. Over time it ended up neglected and overlooked. In 2010, the City of Cranbrook, the City’s Leisure Services department and the local Baha’i community collaborated to first beautify the Idlewild Peace Park and secondly to bring the notion of ‘peace’ to the forefront in the community and to showcase the Peace Park to residents perhaps unaware a park like this existed in the community.

At the same time Eileen Braaten of the Peace Society and Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski began lobbying the IIPT to formally register the Idlewild Peace Park and were finally successful in February 2014.

“I really want to thank Eileen and the other members of the Cranbrook Peace Society for their perseverance in getting Idlewild Park registered as a Peace Park,” says Mayor Stetski. “The Society also needs to be thanked for the wonderful celebrations of peace that they have organized in recent years. It is important that we never take peace for granted even though we live in Canada.”

In 2014, the 4th annual International Day of Peace celebration, coordinated by the Cranbrook Celebration for Peace Society, will be hosted in Rotary Park in Cranbrook on Sunday September 21 from 1 to 4pm. The public is invited to attend the celebration of peace, which will also highlight plenty of local talent from musicians and artists to dancers and singers.

Those interested in participating in the celebration can contact Eileen Braaten at esbraaten@gmail.com.

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