Earthdance is a global peace party that aligns with the UN International Day of Peace with the hope of bringing people of all walks of life together to look towards peace.
Music and dance are a part of the global synchronization that culminates in a non-denominational prayer for peace. Each year, hundreds of cities host a gathering where people are invited to socialize, enjoy the entertainment, eat, dance and pray together for world peace.
Red Deer’s party occurs on Sept. 20th on the Ross Street Patio, beginning at 3 p.m. The event is free, but visitors are encouraged to donate to the sponsored charity – Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE).
“We organize a festival to bring people together to celebrate and say this prayer for peace together and to take another step closer for ourselves, peace within our community and peace around the world. Each year we designate a recipient of any donations that come in – this year is CARE,” said Community Development Coordinator Twyla Joy Lapointe.
“Each year, more and more people come. We really like the idea of getting together for the sake of peace. It’s very family-friendly. We will have donation jars out for CARE because we always want a local charity to benefit from our Earthdance,” said Lapointe.
The event is a worldwide phenomenon with celebrations in Florida, Brazil, San Francisco, London, Zurich, Connemara (Ireland), Kuala Lampur (Malaysia), Byron Bay (Australia), Fethiye (Turkey) and many more cities. Each celebration promotes music, art, dance and togetherness.
The goal of Earthdance goes beyond an afternoon, organizers say. It is a designated time for communities around the globe to focus on the goal of world peace. Lapointe says that volunteers organize all of the events and they are all driven by the idea of uniting people around the world.
“I’ve always enjoyed the deep meaning of the prayer. There is something inside of me that just tingles when I know that I’m saying a prayer for peace along with so many people around the globe.”
Families are encouraged to bring their kids and friends to Veteran’s Park on Ross Street. Live music from Randi Boulton, community yoga, artists and art activities will all be enjoyed.
At 5 p.m. Red Deer will join hundreds of other communities in a prayer for peace. Following the international prayer, The Jazz Experimental will perform. CARE will also have a bake sale inside The Hub on Ross to raise funding for their programs.
Donations will be used to support programs such as English as a second language (ESL), translation and interpretation services, men’s and women’s support groups, and public and rural awareness programs within CARE.
“We all wish for peace but we need to talk and be proactive. Every time people come together we’re a step closer. Anybody can hold it in any community. There are a few celebrations in Alberta. We just want people to come out,” said Lapointe.
“We have everything in place from our wonderful volunteers and organizations and committee members. We’d like to thank all the people involved. But we’re looking for people to keep the momentum going and to talk with us, and to talk with us about the continuation of this movement.”
Lapointe said that the prayer is especially beautiful because it goes beyond religion and is simply an expression of the hope for peace. She said it is simplistic but profound and there is a deep meaning behind the prayer, which is available on the earthdance.org web site.