On Thursday November 13th, WSO joined several other faith and cultural communities in Vaughan for the Festival of Light.
The Festival of Light was organized by the National Congress of Italian Canadians (N.C.I.C.) -Toronto District in collaboration with the City of Vaughan, Hon. Julian Fantino, PC, MP, York Region Police, and Rotary Club of Woodbridge.
The Festival of Light was organized to learn more about one another by sharing each of our interpretations of light and its significance to one’s culture. This event was not a religious event, however many of the interpretations were tied to religion.
The event which was MC'd by CBC's Suhana Meharchand and attended by guests such as Minister Julian Fantino and Vaughan's Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. WSO’s legal counsel Balpreet Singh presented the Sikh interpretation of light and spoke about the significance of light as being spiritual wisdom for Sikhs and the importance of not just lighting physical lamps and candles but also of lighting within ourselves the lamps of wisdom, compassion and kindess. Balpreet Singh also spoke about Bandi Chhorr Divas and the significance of the sixth Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib having freed 52 political prisoners. He stressed the importance of also remembering those individuals who are oppressed and not free because of their political or spiritual beliefs.
Other members of WSO’s team were also on hand to greet visitors and also to help serve samosas. Each community also brought their own traditional delicacies.
Other participants in the Festival of Light were:
•Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
•Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
•Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women
•Roman Catholic Christian Community
•Sikh Dharma of Ontario
•Ukrainian Orthodox Christian Community
•Vaughan African Canadian Association
The event was a fabulous opportunity to learn more about the diverse faiths and cultures in Canada and to celebrate our shared values.