John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” could be the slogan for the Largest Human Peace Sign Concert Sept. 21, which is the United Nations International Day of Peace.
Vancouver event organizers are hoping to make the Guinness World Records by gathering 5,815 people to form the largest human peace sign, but they say the record is just part of the more important goal of spreading a message of peace. Organizer Joy Ross said forming the symbol is a way to express “hope for a peaceful world.” By making it into the record book, she hopes others around the world will be inspired to follow suit.
To qualify for the Guinness World Records, the event first had to be registered with Guinness as making an official attempt. Numbered tickets will be given to each participant to ensure an accurate tally and aerial photos will be taken for submission.
The group failed in its attempt last year in Surrey, attracting only 700 participants. Fellow organizer Patricia Connor said the midweek, noon scheduling was to blame for the low turn out. In spite of disappointing numbers, event committee member Katharine Fahlman said the day was inspiring.
“When we were all in formation, a moment of hush came over the crowd. Everyone was singing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine.’ It is incomparable,” she said.
Fahlman said she has heard from people from all over the Lower Mainland and even from the United States who will be travelling to the University of B.C. to be a part of the upcoming attempt so she expects this year’s event to be just as moving only on a grander scale.
Rehana Nanjijama, a Vancouver writer in the Heartmind Wisdom Collection, published by the company presenting the event, Kindness is Key Inc., said she plans to attend again this year. “I believe in the vision and purpose of it. It is a wonderfully engaging event that brings together really diverse people and there is an energy of positivity you don’t normally see.”
The free Largest Human Peace Sign Concert is at UBC’s Matthews Field. Onsite donations will go to Mercy Ships Canada and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. The concert starts at noon and the human peace sign at 2 p.m. For more information, go to humanpeacesign.com.
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