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Between October 5 and 27, marking the 20th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's visit to Canada in October 1993, SGI-Canada held celebratory meetings in 17 cities including Vancouver, Quebec, Ottawa and Calgary.
The meetings were open to members of the community and varied in size from nine people at the meeting held on October 6 in the city of Saint John's in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to some 2,900 people who attended the Vancouver meeting held on the same day.
The meetings featured experiences showing the transformative power of Buddhism, discussions based on the writings of Nichiren and SGI President Ikeda's guidance, poetry readings and musical, choral and dance performances by SGI-Canada groups, including many led by youth. Performances reflected Canada's cultural diversity and also included guest performers.
At the Vancouver meeting, held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the English and Chinese language versions of the exhibition "Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change," jointly created by SGI and Earth Charter International were also on display.
The events also featured video messages from people who have engaged in dialogue with Mr. Ikeda, including René Simard, former rector of the University of Montreal, and Dr. Lou Marinoff, president of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA) and professor of philosophy at City College of New York. SGI-Canada also received congratulatory messages from key figures such as Ontario Province Premier Kathleen Wynne and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
In his message marking the anniversary, President Ikeda commended SGI-Canada members and stated that the purpose of SGI activities is "to spread absolute respect for life and human dignity throughout the world, based on Nichiren Buddhism, and to build a society of peaceful and harmonious coexistence."
[Adapted from articles from SGI-Canada Online News and an article in the November 4, 2013, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-Canada]
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