A video promoting Canada as a harmonious nation was premiered on World Religion Day, Sunday, January 28, in Luther College, University of Regina auditorium to an audience of invited guests. Initiated by the Regina Multi-Faith Forum and produced by Access Communications Regina, the video featured children representing a variety of cultures speaking briefly about a harmonious and inclusive Canada. Each held a replica of familiar highway signs but with an inclusive message: a stop sign that said Stop Racism; a yield sign that said yield to the rights of others, etc. Segments of the video showed the children playing and participating in prayer together, and showed short performances, mostly dance groups, from a variety of cultural organizations, also by children. The Regina observance of World Religion Day was moved to Luther College from Beth Jacob Synagogue this year to accommodate the viewing of the video.
Regina Multi-Faith Forum’s Brenda Anderson MC’d the event. “We have all been inspired by the children in the video,” she said in her introduction. “This will be an education resource for schools. Access Communications will also be playing it and we are planning a major event sometime in March to an invitation list that will include many dignitaries.”
Krishan Kapila, one of the founders of the Multi-Faith Forum and current president of Multi-Faith Saskatchewan was co-chair of the video project along with Gagan Deep Singh. Both said the road to getting the video produced was long and faced many obstacles, but “a divine hand kept us going,” said Singh.
The video is 45 minutes and will be available to the public. “Access is giving us 60 DVDs and we will give one to each school division,” said Kapila. The cultural organizations that took part in the project will each receive two DVDs for their own use. Access donated its services, some funds were received from the Canada 150 Communities Fund, and from several arts foundations. Kapila said there were virtually no costs to Regina Multi-Faith Forum.
Speaking on behalf of Regina Multi-Faith Forum, Reverend Uttam Barua, a Buddhist monk, said, “We are one tree with many branches. Our goal is one. We are all Canadian. We understand and respect each other.” “Why did we come to Regina?” asked Kapila. “We are accepted; we can live together. We are one, maybe of a different colour. We must help and communicate with others. That is how we grow. Religion is very important to all of us.”
World Religion Day was established in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'i in the United States. It has spread around the world and is usually celebrated on the third Sunday in January.