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Marine Peace Park Salmon Arm, BC

'Peace Parks Across Canada' Commemorates 15th Anniversary

(Stowe-VT, 09 October 2007) Cities and towns across Canada re-dedicated parks to peace today commemorating the 15th Anniversary of their original dedication as part of Canada 125 Celebrations in 1992.

Fifteen Years ago as Canada celebrated its 125th Birthday, some 400 cities and towns across Canada dedicated a Park to Peace with most parks dedicated at Noon local time, October 8th, as the National Peacekeeping Monument was being unveiled in Ottawa. Each of the original Peace Parks incorporated a 'Bosco Sacro' (Peace Grove) of 12 trees as a symbolic link with one another, and with nature - and as a symbol of hope for the future. The 12 trees were also symbolic of Canada's 10 Provinces and two Territories. As there are now three Territories, a 13th tree was planted as part of the "Re-dedication Ceremonies."

In more than 25,000 creative grass roots initiatives, Canadians everywhere harnessed the occasion of Canada 125 in 1992 to express their enormous and completely justified pride for their nation - which that year was officially designated by the United Nation as the number one nation in the world to live in.

Five common themes that emerged during Canada 125 celebrations that expressed what Canadians value most about their country were: the freedom, opportunity and personal security enjoyed by Canadians; a common concern for the environment; the desire to help one another; a wish to know one another better; and the many achievements of Canadians.

The re-dedication of Canada's Peace Parks served as an occasion to reflect on these values and as a reminder of the common commitment of Canadians to peace and understanding at home and throughout the world.

"Peace Parks Across Canada" was conceived and organized by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) in collaboration with "CANADA 125" and the National Capital Commission. Supporters included the Federation of Canadian Mayors and Municipalities, Canada Parks and Recreation Association, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Heritage Canada, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Friends of the Earth, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, and local Rotary Clubs all across Canada.

Project sponsors included VIA Rail, Greyhound Lines Canada, Ltd., CP Hotels and Resorts, Ramada International Hotels and Resorts, Four Seasons Ltd., Meridien Hotels, Concept 3 Advertising and Programmed Communications, Ltd.

"Peace Parks Across Canada" has served as the foundation in launching the "IIPT Global Peace Parks Program" on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, 2000 &endash; the first year of the new Millennium - from Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Christ's baptism. The Program continues as a living legacy of the 1st Global Summit on Peace through Tourism, November 8-11, 2000 hosted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. His Majesty King Abdullah II was Patron of the Summit which &endash; like the Global Peace Park Program - was in support of the UN Decade of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

Notable among the IIPT Peace Parks dedicated to date in addition to that at 'Bethany beyond the Jordan" are IIPT Peace Parks at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii; the Dag Hammarkskjold Memorial Site, Ndola Zambia (site of UN Secretary Dag Hammarskjold's plane crash while on a peace mission to the Congo in 1961); Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (the world's first international peace park); Bagamoyo, Tanzania, (a UNESCO Heritage Site which served as a center of the slave trade for Eastern Africa); Victoria Falls, Zambia (one of the seven natural wonders of the world); Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; and Namugongo on the Uganda Martyr's Trail, a World Heritage site.

Cities and towns wishing to become part of the IIPT Global Peace Parks Program by dedicating a park to peace are invited to contact IIPT at: PeaceParks@iipt.org .

About International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT)

IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and poverty reduction, and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world.

For more information on IIPT please visit: www.iipt.org.

Media Contact: Karen Hoffman, The Bradford Group. Email

International Institute for Peace Through Tourism

685 Cottage Club Road, Unit 13, Stowe, VT 05672

Tel: +1 802 253 2658 • Fax: +1 802 253 2645

Email: info@iipt.