Chronology of the Bahá'í Faith in Canada

This chronology is an updated, expanded version of A Basic Baha'i Chronology by
Glenn Cameron and Wendi Momen. To help add or correct entries, contact Glenn.
Chronology home Canada 1860s 1870s 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s
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Newest 100 entries (Canada) sort earliest first, ascending

date event tags
2024 1 Feb The Office of Public Affairs announced the launch of a new website for the National Bahá'í Temple. The website allows visitors to learn about the sacred purpose of a Bahá'í Temple and be informed about ongoing project developments. It also serves as a primary point of contact for temple-related inquiries from the public. Office of Public Affairs; Baha'i National Organization
2023 27 Nov The National Spiritual Assemblies announced the names of those who were selected to serve on the Regional Councils for the following year. [Bahá'í Canada online]

Alberta: Milad Asdaghi, Nazila Ghasemi, Tony Liu, Shamim Mehrabkhani, and Sina Misaghian
The Atlantic Provinces: Ryan Brennan, Kristi Petro, Hedda Schuurman, Gnei (Kumala) Sobhani, and Kelley Wright
British Columbia:
Charlene Antinuk, Jason Burtwistle, Tabasom Eblaghie, Nabet Fani, Neil MacMillan, Chohre Rassekh, Alaleh Rohani, Pegah Seisan, and Cindy Snedden
Sonya Appadoo, Tyrone Davids, Livia Dittmer, Jeff Hamilton-Bachiu, Jane Hoy, Pejman Mosleh, Roya Mostaghim-Vaezi, Todd Smith, and Melanie Vafaie
Josée Cardinal, Dave Courtemanche, Gregory Fortin-Vidah, Mitra Javanmardi, Nabil Nakhostine, Ilya Shodjaee-Zrudlo, Leyla Shodjai, Anne Skeaff and Laurie Zrudlo
Saskatchewan and Manitoba:
Sandra Agahi, Sally Greenough, Ward Johnston, Payam Towfigh, and Joanne Yeo

Regional Council
2023 19 - 22 May The following individuals were elected by the delegates at the 73rd National Convention to serve as members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the coming year: Mehran Anvari, Alex Arjomand, Jordan Bighorn, Zelalem Bimrew Kasse, Hoda Farahmandpour, Gerald Filson, Judy Filson, Ciprian Jauca and Karen McKye. [letter from the National Spiritual Assembly S128070 23 May 2023] iiiii

Longtime members Elizabeth Wright and Deloria Bighorn retired from service on the National Assembly. Deloria Bighorn was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada in 2009, and has served as the Chair of that institution from 2012 to 2023. [Bahá'í Canada 24 February 2023]

National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Toronto, ON
2023 3 Feb The architecture firm Hariri Pontarini Architects presented their proposal for the National Mashrigu'l-Adhkár and Bahá'í National Centre to be built in Markham, ON. The temple design is reminiscent of the continental temple completed in Santiago in 2016. * Mashriqu'l-Adhkár (House of Worship); Markham, ON
2023 8 Jan The publication of the paper Rising to the Challenge of Reconciliation by Roshan Danesh and Douglas White III in the on-line site The Bahá'í World.
2022 23 Nov The National Spiritual Assembly announced the results of the election for the Bahá'í Council of Québec. Those selected were: Josée Cardinal, Dave Courtemanche, Gregory Fortin-Vidah, Mitra Javanmardi (Chairperson), Nabil Nakhostine (Treasurer), Ilya Shodjaee-Zrudlo, Leyla Shodjai (Vice-chairperson), Anne Skeaff and Laurie Zrudlo (Secretary). [Letter S124188 refers]. In a subsequent message from the Council the names of the officers were announced. Regional Council, appointment of; Quebec, Canada
2022 19 Nov The passing of Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford (neé Moar)(b. 17 March 1929 Indian Head, SK) from complications after falling and hitting her head in Victoria.

She had earned a medical degree at the age of 52 and practiced as a family and palliative-care physician.

In 1984 she became active in the nuclear disarmament movement and a member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada and co-wrote a book, Enough Blood Shed: 101 Solutions to Violence, Terror and War.

Awards she received over the years include the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal from the Governor General, the Gandhi Prize, the Award of Excellence from Doctors of B.C. and, with Down, the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention. [Condolences; Times Colonist 18 December 2022]

Mary-Winne Ashford; In Memoriam; Limbé, Camaroon; British Columbia, Canada; Indian Head, SK; Saskatchewan, Canada
2022 22 Sep - 1 Oct Edmonton filmmaker, Nauzanin Knight debuted two short films at Edmonton international Film Festival: Colourblind and Abu & Mo; Two Orphans . Colourblind , is about a white supremacist who has a laser eye surgery mishap, goes blind for a day, and falls in love with a Black woman while Abu & Mo is Set in 1889 Damascus and loosely inspired by real events about two orphans who, despite the differences in their religious backgrounds, develop an abiding friendship and inspire a divided community to come together to pray. Nauzanin Knight; - Film; Edmonton, AB
2022 8 Sept The passing of Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (b. 21 April 1926) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during her lifetime and 15 at the time of her death. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days is the longest of any British monarch, the longest recorded of any female head of state in history, and the second-longest verified reign of any sovereign in history. She was succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. Charles was officially proclaimed King on the Saturday following the Queen's death, the 10th of September. This event took place at St James's Palace in London, in front of a ceremonial body known as the Accession Council. [Wikipedia; BBC News] In Memoriam; Queen Elizabeth II; Baalmoral Castle; Aberdeenshire, Scotland; Scotland
2022 29 - 31 Jul The 46th Annual Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies. The conference was held virtually and enabled attendance of over 1000 people fro 30 countries.
The concept of "reading groups" was introduced. The reading groups were born out of a question before the ABS about how the principle of consultation can be applied in various contexts to facilitate the generation of knowledge. Eric Farr, who also assisted with coordinating collaborative initiatives, said that the "groups typically identify an initial reading list of relevant literature, which can be expanded and refined over time. As participants of a group review these materials together, they try to understand the underlying assumptions, central concepts, and highest aspirations within a discourse that have shaped thought and practice in their fields, correlating them with the Bahá'í teachings." These groups, who met throughout the year, and each focused on a topic such as education, economics, climate change, dynamics of social change, the harmony of science and religion, justice and reconciliation, law, media, public health, and urban planning. Dr. Todd Smith, the secretary of the ABS executive committee, said: "Many of the presentations in this year's program were the fruit of collective learning initiatives, such as reading groups or thematic seminars, that took place in the months between the 2021 and 2022 conferences. The program was further enhanced by the contributions of presenters engaged in other academic and professional endeavours."
Presentations and supplementary materials from this year's conference program, along with an archive of presentations from previous years are now available at the website of the Association for Bahá'í Studies. [ABS website; BWNS1616]
Association for Bahá'í Studies (North America); ABS Annual Conference; Ottawa, ON; Ontario, Canada; Canada
2022-06-01 The Don Valley Educational Centre was acquired.
  • Photos.
  • Training Institutes
    2022 11 May The National Spiritual Assembly advised that the Universal House of Justice had renamed the Disaster Relief Fund, established some years ago, and called it the "Humanitarian Relief Fund". The National Spiritual Assembly added it to the Contribution Management System so that the friends can earmark donations for it and they set a goal of $100,000 in their own budget. [letter from the National Spiritual Assembly dated 11 May 2022 S120189] Disaster Relief Fund; Humanitarian Relief Fund
    2022 1 May The National Spiritual Assembly announced the results of the election: The following individuals were elected by the delegates at the National Convention to serve as members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the coming year: Mehran Anvari, Deloria Bighorn, Zelalem Bimrew Kasse, Hoda Farahmandpour, Gerald Filson, Judy Filson, Ciprian Jauca, Karen McKye and Élizabeth Wright.

    In addition, the National Assembly is pleased to convey the results of the election of its officers: Chair – Deloria Bighorn; Vice-chair – Ciprian Jauca; Treasurer – Mehran Anvari; Secretary – Karen McKye. [Bahá'í Canada 3 May 2022

    National Spiritual Assembly, election of; National Convention; Toronto, ON
    2022 29 Apr-2 May The annual Bahá'í National Convention was held at the Toronto Bahá'í Centre. This was the first time the gathering could be held since 2019, owing to the conditions of the pandemic.
    The following individuals were elected by the 171 delegates at the National Convention to serve as members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the coming year: Mehran Anvari, Deloria Bighorn, Zelalem Bimrew Kasse, Hoda Farahmandpour, Gerald Filson, Judy Filson, Ciprian Jauca, Karen McKye and Élizabeth Wright. [CBNS 30 May 2022]
    National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Mehran Anvari; Deloria Bighorn; Zelalem Bimrew Kasse; Hoda Farahmandpour; Gerald Filson; Judy Filson; Ciprian Jauca; Karen McKye; Elizabeth Wright; Toronto, ON
    2022 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly announced that two localities, Toronto and Ottawa, would be the first in Canada to elect their Local Spiritual Assemblies using a two-stage process as described by the Universal House of Justice in their Message of 30 December 2021. These two Clusters were the first in Canada to reach the goal of having 1,000 core activities. [Bahá'í Canada 30 June2022] Local Spiritual Assembly, election; Two-stage election; Elections; Toronto, ON; Ottawa, ON
    2022 15 Mar The passing of John Charles (Jack) Bastow (b. 21 April 1929 Montreal) in Nelson, BC. Jack was a teacher, a professional photographer, magician, historian, and a Bahá'í scholar. A Bahá'í since the age of 19 when he was taught by John Robarts and Angus Cowan. In 1976 he and Gretchen Jordon of New Denver were married in Nelson in a ceremony officiated bye the Nelson Spiritual Assembly. [Tribute Archive] In Memoriam; Jack Bastow; Montreal, QC; Nelson, BC
    2022 6 Mar The passing of Mr. Bahram Gustaspi, a devoted, steadfast servant of the Cause. At the time of his passing, Mr. Gustaspi was serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh in Canada and as its Secretary. In addition to this honoured service, he had, until very recently, shouldered responsibilities as a member of the Bahá'í Council of British Columbia for many years. [Bahá'í Canada 8 March 2022] In Memoriam; Bahram Gustaspi; Board of Trustees of Huququllah; Port Moody, BC
    2022 20 Feb Tina Rouhandeh created a woven textile project using the ancient Iranian scribing practice of Mastar. The project is called "Inquiry about Forgotten Birds," and was about the people of the Bahá'í faith who were being silenced in Iran. Her art form was passed down from her grandmother. She hand stitched, weaved and used calligraphy to make the tableau that recorded the persecution. The project took about three years in preparation, every piece told a different story. [CBC 20 February 2022] Tina Rouhandeh; Mastar; Inquiry about Forgotten Birds (textile project); Persecution, Iran; Windsor, ON
    2022 Jan It was announced that the property, formally known as "Providence Point", located near Lanark on the Clyde River, was purchased for the sum of $2.15M by the Ottawa Spiritual Assembly. The property included 60 Acres of land and 1,140 feet of waterfront. The 6,490 sqft Conference Centre included a 600sqft conference room and a dining room The property also had several small cabins. [from a report from the Ottawa Assembly Sharaf 178] iiiii
  • Photos.
  • Training Institutes; Ottawa, ON; Lanark, ON
    2021 17 Nov The premier of the film The Legacy of Saskatoon's Secret Forest [CBNS17 November 2021]
      The inspirational story of Richard St. Barbe Baker, aka the "Man of the Trees," The heritage documentary The Legacy of Saskatoon's Secret Forest tells the story of his remarkable life and achievements. Note there is a 15 minute version heritage documentary and a one hour long presentation with greetings from around the world. The 15 minute prequel film "Richard St. Barbe Baker Park" tells how the heritage documentary came to be. From roots in Saskatoon he went on to inspire tree planting and forest protection around the world. The International Tree Foundation, which he founded in 1922, is still active in 14 countries. Countless people motivated by him are environmental champions today. A companion curriculum describes his holistic world view, and his daring life of action on behalf of the earth.
    The Legacy of Saskatoons Secret Forest; Richard St. Barbe Baker; Saskatoon, SK
    2021 13 Aug The passing of Bruce Kenneth Filson (b. 4 December 1952 in Saskatoon). He was interred at the Valley View Memorial Gardens in Surrey, BC. [Saskatoon Star Phoenix 18 August 2021] In Memoriam; Bruce Filson; Saskatoon, SK; Surrey, BC
    2021 17 Jun The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced the nomination of the Honourable Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court. [PMO website]
  • A brief biography can be found here on the Prime Minister's website.
  • See also CBC story.
  • See his interview with CTV's Omar Sachedina about one year after his appointment.
  • Mahmud Jamal; Ottawa, ON
    2021 15 Jun The Universal House of Justice determined that, exceptionally, the new term for Auxiliary Board Members would begin on 1 July 2021 rather than on the Day of the Covenant this year, to provide the Board members with sufficient time to make preparatory arrangements for the conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors and Auxiliary Board members called for January 2022.

    The Continental Board of Counsellors appointed the following 26 Auxiliary Board members to serve in Canada. Those serving on the Propagation Board:

      Mert Ozyonum, Atlantic Provinces
      Betty Dai, Anthony Jjumba, Shawyun Refahi and Anisa Skuce-Newell in British Columbia
      Lita Cameron, Elisa Cooper, Neda Farahmandpour, Caitlin Moore in Ontario
      Maëlle Turbide in Québec
      Dagmawit E. Habtemariam in Saskatchewan-Manitoba
      Drew Erickson in Alberta
    Those serving on the Protection Board:
      Alanna Robertson Vreeland in the Atlantic Provinces
      Agazzi Abay Tsehaye, Nabih Ardekany, Navid Jaberi, Lori Mason in British Columbia
      Ravin Appadoo, Rebecca Hamilton-Bachiu, Justin Kianfar, Bronwyn Naylor and Golbon Singh in Ontario
      Mona Pirmoradi in Québec
      Anis Sabet in Saskatchewan-Manitoba
      Karolina Drabik and Shabnam Shakibaei in Alberta

    The Counsellors expressed their love and gratitude to these distinguished friends who have served so faithfully and sacrificially and who will be relieved of this service as of 1 July 2021. They were: Sara Chesley, Sohayl Ghadirian, Alaleh Rohani, Robert M. Ngunjiri, Rhona Scoffield, Sophie Turbide, Stacey-Michelle Tekye, and Tahirih North. [Letter from the National Assembly to the Canadian community dated 16 June 2021 S113255]

    Auxiliary board members and assistants
    2021 Ridván There was no National Convention this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A small team of delegates served as tellers to count the ballots cast by the 171 delegates. 100% participation was achieved. The names of those elected were: Mehran Anvari, Deloria Bighorn, Zelalem Bimrew Kasse, Hoda Farahmandpour, Gerald Filson, Judy Filson, Ciprian Jauca, Karen McKye and Elizabeth Wright. [Bahá'í Canada 27 April 2021] National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Mehran Anvari; Deloria Bighorn; Zelalem Bimrew Kasse; Hoda Farahmandpour; Gerald Filson; Judy Filson; Ciprian Jauca; Karen McKye; Elizabeth Wright
    2021 5 Feb More than 40 prominent members of Canada's legal community, including former Supreme Court judges and justice ministers, have penned an open letter to the Chief Justice of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, in order to draw attention to what they call "an alarming new chapter" in Iran's state-sanctioned persecution of its Bahá'í religious minority. Their letter came in response to a series of court rulings in 2020 that sanctioned the confiscation of the properties of dozens Bahá'ís in the village of Ivel in northern Iran justifying the seizure and sale of land on the grounds their religion denies them the right to own property. [Globe & Mail 8Feb21]
  • For a complete report see Land confiscation and mass displacement of Bahá'ís in Iran.
  • For the letter and the list of signatories see Open Letter to the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney included his signature on this open letter. [BWNS1488]
  • Australian farmers have released a video message drawing attention to the unjust confiscation of lands belonging to their "farming brothers and sisters" in Iran. [BWNS1492]
  • The Collective Statement by Iranian Religious Modernists Condemning Confiscation of Baha'i Property.
  • Persecution, Iran; Ivel; Mazandaran, Iran; Iran
    2021 20 Jan The Canadian Council of Imams made a statement in protest the ruling issued by an Iranian Court to confiscate the properties of 27 Bahá'ís in the farming village of Ivel in northern Iran. They went on to state that in Islam, all properties and dignity of every human beings are to be preserved and protected regardless of creed or ethnicity. This ruling is not in conformity with Shariah.

    Canadian Council of Imams is an organization of religious leadership of Imams (Sunni and Shi'ia), representing the Islamic Community in Canada. [Office of Public Information]

    Canadian Council of Imams
    2021 10 Jan The passing of Marlene Marie Macke in St. Marys, Ontario, She had been a member of the Bahá'í Faith for over 50 years. Obituary.

       After leaving a career in market development in the federal tourism agency that included postings in Sydney, Australia and St. John's, Newfoundland, Marlene served in the community development department of the Bahá'í National Centre in Thornhill, Ontario. Back in St. Marys, she devoted her life to working at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, travelling and writing. She loved working as a Festival usher and, more recently, as a volunteer tour guide. Many of her trips involved Bahá'í service projects in destinations such as Cyprus, Ireland and Western Samoa and some quirky journeys such as travelling on a cargo ship from New York City to Chile and back.

       Marlene authored two biographies, Take My Love to the Friends: The Story of Laura R. Davis and Faithful Friends: Founding the Toronto Bahá'í Community 1919–1938, one play named Tabreez, several dramatic readings and essays and a dozen essays on Shakespeare plays. Joining a group of writers at the Desert Rose Bahá'í Institute in Arizona for annual winter gatherings, she co-founded the "Write Life", an annual writers' retreat, serving as a co-facilitator for two years. Marlene was named the first Writer in Residence at Desert Rose.

       For a list of Marlen's Dramatic Readings see Bahá'í Library.

    Marlene Macke; In Memoriam; St. Marys, ON
    2021 - 2022 One Year Plan One Year Plan; - Teaching Plans
    2020 30 Jan The Office of Public Affairs launched a new website.

  • The mandate of the Office of Public Affairs was to represent the Canadian Bahá'í community at a national level by participating in conferences and other public events, liaising with the press, engaging with provincial and federal governments, and maintaining a national presence of the Bahá'í Faith on the web. Offices were established in Toronto and Ottawa and they worked with collaborators and local representatives across the country to contribute to projects and processes that relate to Bahá'í principles and values. [Bahá'í Canada 30 January 2020]
  • Office of Public Affairs; Toronto, ON
    2020 30 Dec The passing of Rene A. Steiner (b. 1922) in Grand Bend, Ontario. He was predeceased by Nura, his wife of 55 years in 2014. They had three sons, René, Roy and Marc. iiiii In Memoriam; Rene A. Steiner; Rene Steiner; Nura Steiner; Grandbend, ON
    2020 22 Dec The passing of William (Billie) Ekomiak (b. 23 December 1943 in Cape Jones, QC (now Pointe Louis-XIV)), in Messines, Québec from complications of COVID-19. He was buried in the Cimetière St. Raphael in Messines, QC. [Obituary]
  • His mother, Lucie Menarik Ekomiak, passed away while he was a small child and he was adopted by Aunt Martha and Uncle Thomas Ekoomiak.
  • He was educated at St. Phillip's Anglican school in Fort George (Chisasibi), located further south on James Bay.
  • Billie was one of the first two Inuk in the world to become a Bahá'í. He first heard about the Faith in the home of Arthur and Lilianne Irwin in Ottawa and enrolled as a follower of Bahá'u'llláh at a Naw-Rúz party in 1965 in Beau Lac along with his cousin, Johnny Weetaltuk.
  • He trained as an electrician in Winnipeg and assisted in the building of the Bahá'í Houses in both Baker Lake and in Iqaluit.
  • For a history of the Ekomiak (or Ekoomiak) family see Speechless by Maureen Flynn-Burhoe.
  • Billie felt his life's mission was to share the news of Bahá'u'lláh with Indigenous Peoples and he crisscrossed Canada and the United States offering firesides that wove together the teachings of the Faith with First Nations' prophecies and spiritual insights. His most memorable presentation was at the International Teaching Conference in Anchorage in 1976. [from the announcement of his passing by the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of La Pêche]
  • In the early 1970's the CBC contracted musicians to produce 45-RPM discs for its Northern Service. Billy was one of the 75 musicians recorded. [Encyclopedia of Native American Music of North America p248]
  • An example of Billy's fiddle playing can be viewed on YouTube. It was recorded at an event in Wakefield.
  • A talk has been recorded and presented on YouTube.iiiii
  • Douglas Martin; In Memoriam; Universal House of Justice, Members of; Toronto, ON; Canada; Chatham, ON
    2020 2 Jun The passing of Hossain Banadaki Danesh in Victoria, BC
  • His major publications were:
    • The Violence Free-Society: A Gift for Our Children. Bahá'í Studies. Vol. 6. 1979.
    • Unity: The Creative Foundation of Peace. Bahá'í Studies Publications, Ottawa 1986.
    • The Psychology of Spirituality. Paradigm Publishing, Manotick, Ontario 1994.
    • The Violence Free Family. Building Block of a Peaceful Civilization. Bahá'í Studies Publications, Ottawa, Canada 1995.
    • Conflict-Free Conflict Resolution (CFCR): Process and Methodology. with Roshan Danesh. Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall. (March 21, 2004).
    • Unity of Faith and Reason in Action 2010.
    • The Unity-Based Family. An Empirical Study of Healthy Marriage, Family, and Parenting. H.B. Danesh, MD, FRCP(C), with Azin Nasseri, PhD. Cambridge Scholars Publishing; 1 edition (1 April 2017). It was illustrated by Katia Breton.
    • The Mysterious Case of the IWs: A Story to Help Children Cope with Death Published by Efp-International Press (April 16 2012).
  • For a more complete list see his website.
  • Documents by Hossain Danesh on
  • YouTube.
  • See His website.
  • See article by his son Roshan Danesh about the passing of his father and his son. [Times Colonist 30 July 2020] iiiii
  • Hossain Banadaki Danesh; In Memoriam; Victoria, BC
    2020 28 Apr The National Assembly announced the results of the election of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada. Because the Convention had to be cancelled owing to public health guidelines related to the COVID-19 health crisis, delegates mailed in their ballots or made arrangements to phone them in. The election had 100% participation. [Letter from the NSA to all LSAs dated 28 April 2020]
  • Those selected to serve on the National Spiritual Assembly were: Mehran Anvari, (treasurer), Deloria Bighorn, (chair), Zelalem Bimrew Kasse, Hoda Farahmandpour, Gerald Filson, Judy Filson, Ciprian Jauca, (vice chair), Karen McKye, (secretary) and Elizabeth Wright. [Letter from the NSA to all LSA dated 7 May 2020; BC vol 33 No 2 May 2020 p7]
  • National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Mehran Anvari; Deloria Bighorn; Zelalem Bimrew Kasse; Hoda Farahmandpour; Gerald Filson; Judy Filson; Ciprian Jauca; Karen McKye; Elizabeth Wright; Toronto, ON
    2020 28 Feb A Facebook page called The Spark 1967-1973 was established with the goal of preserving the history of the Bahá'í youth movement in Canada from 1967-1973. A call was made to contribute archival materials related to the history of the Faith in Canada during that period. The eventual goal was to create a non-academic history website by collecting photos, newspaper articles, recordings.
  • Of specific interests were stories of the positive influences of the following groups on individuals, communities and the general public: The "Mozart Group" (1967-1969); The "Multimedia Environment" Proclamation Team (1969-1970); and "Jalál" (1970-1973). [Bahá'í Canada 28 February 2020]
  • Lynn Echevarria; Garry Brown
    2020 22 Jan The Baha'i Community of Canada's Office of Public Affairs has launched a new website, which joins and the Canadian Baha'i News Service as part of a family of national Baha'i websites.

    The Office of Public Affairs works on a range of topics and issues that are related to the well-being of Canadian society. Many of these issues fall within one of our areas of focus, which are broad domains in which we try to build relationships, develop content, and create opportunities for learning and dialogue that can eventually contribute to public policy.The areas of focus are: Citizenship and Diversity, Reconciliation, Religion in Public Life, Gender Equality as well as The Role of Youth in Society and Relationship with the Environment.

    The Office also communicates with the Canadian government regarding the ongoing persecution of Baha'is in Iran and Yemen.

    The site also hosts a document library with official statements and reports produced by the Office. [CBNS]

    Office of Public Affairs; Baha'i National Organization
    2019 (Fall) The publication of Hidden Words and Sounds: Tracing Iranian Legacies and Traumas in the Music of the Bahá'ís of North America by Daniel Akira Stadnicki, a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Music at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. This dissertation examines music in North American Bahá'í communities and artistic contexts by focusing on the Faith's legacy of Persian culture, aesthetics, and history of religious persecution. Daniel Akira Stadnicki; Thesis; Edmonton, AB
    2019 8 - 11 Aug The 43rd Annual Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies–North America was held in the Westin Hotel in Ottawa.. The four day conference was attended by some 1,400 persons. [BWNS1347; CBN 27 August, 2019]
  • Plenary session recordings of past sessions are available for free streaming and downloading on the ABS Vimeo page.
  • Photos.
  • Association for Bahá'í Studies (North America); Ottawa, ON
    2019 26 Jul The Canadian Bahá'í News Service announced that a new edition of the Wings of Grace prayer book had been published that included several prayers in Hul'q'umi'num', a Coast Salish language spoken in several dialects along the West Coast but which is "critically endangered".
  • The cover has the image of a beaded necklace with an eagle on it. It includes prayers on courage, generosity, honour, humility, respect, thankfulness, and trust. "It is very common amongst many of the Indigenous peoples across Canada to think of their major teachings in terms of seven virtues as seven is considered to be one of the sacred numbers often used," said Deloria Bighorn, who helped to create the prayer book.
  • To help readers of the prayers to pronounce the Hul'q'umi'num' words, videos were created of a number of elders reciting the prayers. The prayer book includes QR codes that link to YouTube videos of each prayer being recited. The prayers were originally translated by a team of the family of Robert George, a Cowichan Baha'i who comes from a family of Hul'q'umi'num' speakers.
  • Wings of Grace; Hulquminum; Deloria Bighorn; Robert George; Prayer; Translation; Native Americans
    2019 17 June The publication of The Bridegroom from Baghdad by Star Mitchell. The book was published by BookBaby and is available from the publisher.
      From the windswept Canadian prairies to the cities and villages of Europe and North Africa, Shar Mitchell's search for meaning and purpose ultimately led her to embrace the Bahá'í Faith. In this unselfconsciously honest memoir, she explores life's changes and chances—from her youthful exploration of new places and ideas to her experiences with love, marriage and loss. After her first marriage ended in divorce, she met and married her "bridegroom from Baghdad", Redwan Moqbel. Born to a poor Bahá'í family in a dusty border town between Iran and Iraq, he was an internationally-renowned medical scientist by the time he and Shar married. But his own life wasn't without tribulation. Iraq, a country that persecuted its Bahá'i minority, sentenced Redwan to life in prison in absentia and jailed his mother for many years. Shar's dream of meeting her courageous in-laws would finally come true because of a catastrophic health crisis—Redwan's difficult battle with cancer. Revealing the facets of a life equally shaped by curiosity, hardship and faith, The Bridegroom from Baghdad is an inspiriting window into facing even the most difficult challenges with courage, acceptance, and resilience.
  • See 9 October 2013 for the "In Memoriam" for Redwan Moqbel, the "bridegroom".
  • Shar Mitchell; Bridegroom from Baghdad (book); Redwan Moqbel
    2019 28 Apr The passing of Don Otto Rogers (b. 1935 in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan) a former member of the International Teaching Centre, in Picton, Ontario. He was buried in the Rose Cemetery in Waupoos, ON.
  • He enrolled as a believer in 1960 while resident in Saskatoon. [CBN No 124 May 1960 p6; Bahá'í Canada 30 April 2019]
  • He served as an Auxiliary Board Member and then as a Continental Counsellor followed by a decade as a member of the International Teaching Centre and upon returning to Canada, served on the National Spiritual Assembly. [BWNS1323; Wikipedia.]
  • As an accomplished artist, he was known as "Otto Rogers". He taught at the University of Saskatchewan (1959-1988) after receiving his MA in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin. Mr Rogers helped sustain the Emma Lake Workshops, a meeting place for some of North America's leading artists including Barnett Newman, Jules Olitski and Mr Rogers himself. His work was held in more than 30 public collections including: the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
  • His website.
  • His works at the Oeno Gallery in Prince Edward County.
  • Canadian Art.
  • Video The Artist In Us Interview—Painter Otto Rogers.
  • A talk by Otto Rogers entitled Artist's Studio.
  • The Canadian Encylopedia.
  • The National Gallery of Canada.

    His publications:

    A publications about his work:

  • Don Rogers; Otto Rogers; Continental Board of Counsellors; In Memoriam; Auxiliary board members and assistants; Kerrobert, SK; Milford, ON; Waupoos, ON
    2019 28 Apr The following individuals were elected by the delegates at the 71st National Convention to serve as members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the coming year: Deloria Bighorn (chair), Karen McKye (secretary), Mehran Anvari (treasurer), Hoda Farahmandpour, Ciprian Jauca (vice chair), Élizabeth Wright, Zelalem Bimrew Kasse, Gerald Filson, and Judy Filson. [from a letter from the National Spiritual Assembly dated 1 May 2019 to all Local Spiritual Assemblies, Regional Bahá'í Councils and Registered Groups]
  • Letter from the delegates to the Uiversal House of Justice and photo. [Bahá'í Canada 03 May 2019]
  • National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Deloria Bighorn; Karen McKye; Mehran Anvari; Hoda Farahmandpour; Ciprian Jauca; Elizabeth Wright; Zelalem Bimrew Kasse; Gerald Filson; Judy Filson; Toronto, ON
    2019 6 Mar The Bahá'í Community of Canada's Office of Public Affairs, together with the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs sponsored a seminar on religion and migration, which explored the various ways in which religious groups, immigration, and public opinion are interconnected. The seminar examined how religion shapes migration and vice versa: How have faith groups influenced immigration patterns and policy? How is immigration changing religion in a secular Canadian society? And what do Indigenous experiences of displacement tell us about popular narratives of welcome? The seminar was part of the University of Toronto Global Migration Lab's series of seminars on Global Migration Challenges, organized in partnership with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. [Canadian Bahá'í News Service] Migration; Seminar; Toronto, ON
    2019 2 Feb The Baha'i community of Canada relaunched its official websites at a new domain: [CBNS] Websites; Baha'i National Organization
    2018 1 - 7 Nov More than 7,500 people attended the Parliament of the World's Religions held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This forum began in 1893 at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago as an effort to promote an emerging international movement devoted to promoting dialogue among religions. Since that time, it has been held in Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009) and Salt Lake City (2015). [Website] Bahá'í presenters were:
    • Bani Dugal: "The Equality of Women and Men: Divine Imperative for an Age of Transition."
    • Hugh Locke: "Half the Sky, Half the Land: The Role of Women Farmers in Transforming Agriculture,"
        Hugh Locke is president and co-founder of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), a non-profit working with small-scale family farmers to help feed and reforest a renewed Haiti. He is author of The Haiti Experiment, and writes and lectures extensively on smallholder farming and sustainable development. Earlier in his career Hugh was director of the Office of Public Information at the Baha'i International Community in New York and served as a member of the program committee for the 1992 Baha'i World Congress. He was mentored by forester and environmentalist Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889 – 1982), established the Baker archives at the University of Saskatchewan, and continues to serve as literary trustee.
    • Payam Akhavan: "Equality and Justice, Global Perspectives" and "Countering War, Hate, and Violence Assembly."
    • Emily Wright: "Making Interreligious Chaplaincy Education Meaningfully Inclusive" and "A New Cup of Grace—A Ukulele Opera
    • Hooshmand Badee: "Interfaith Peacemaking Perspectives from Across the World."
    • Nader Saiedi: Presenting the new documentary film The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá'í Faith.
    • Paul Hanley: "Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Environmentalist."
    • JoAnn Borovicka: "Amazing Faiths! An Interactive Workshop on Interfaith Dialogue."
    • Robert Atkinson: "New Thoughts in Interfaith Spirituality."
    • Robert Stockman: "The Characteristics of Bahá'í Interfaith Dialogue." Candace Hill: "From Shiraz to Chicago: Bahá'í Women of the East and the West"
    • Edward Price: "The Divine Curriculum: Understanding the Báb, Divine Educator for the Modern Era."
    • Sovaida Maani Ewing: "Achieving World Peace: Bahá'í and Catholic Teachings."
    • Jean Muza: "Bahá'í Civic Engagement: How to Maneuver in America's Divisive Political Landscape."
    • Robert Atkinson: "The Golden Rule as the Basis for a Global Justice System: An Interfaith Perspective with a Call to Action."
    • Edward Price: "The Divine Curriculum Concept as a Framework for Interfaith Inclusion and Love." [CBN-Preparation; CBN-Inclusion; CBN-Films]

      The Hindu Swami Agnivesh said that instead of spending trillions of dollars on the war system, the peoples of the world need to unite and create a world parliament based on an Earth Constitution. He said that "without a world government, we cannot solve our major world problems." [Black News 6Feb2022]

    World Parliament of Religions; Toronto, ON
    2018 Oct The publication of Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist. by Paul Hanley. It was published by the University of Regina Press.
      Richard St. Barbe Baker was an inspirational visionary and pioneering environmentalist who is credited with saving and planting billions of trees. He saved lives, too, through his ceaseless global campaign to raise the alarm about deforestation and desertification and by finding effective, culturally sensitive ways for people to contribute to a more peaceful and greener world. He was also an Edwardian eccentric whose obsession with trees caused him to neglect his family; the devout son of an evangelical preacher who became a New Age hero; an unapologetic colonial officer fired for defending indigenous Africans; a forester who rarely had a steady income; a failed entrepreneur and inventor; a proud soldier and peace activist; a brilliant writer, speaker, and raconteur who made wild claims about the effectiveness of his conservation efforts. His encounters with historical figures like FDR, Nehru, and George Bernard Shaw are eye-popping, as were his accomplishments.
  • See BWNS1292.
  • See 9 June 1982.
  • Richard St. Barbe Baker; Man of the Trees; Paul Hanley; Regina, SK
    2018 28 Sep The passing of Aghdas Javid (b. 16 July 1924 in Hamadan, Iran) in Dundas. She was born a third generation Bahá'í; her grandfather became a Bahá'í in Hamadan in the 19th century when a large number of Jewish Persians became Bahá'ís. [Find a grave]

    She and her husband, Dr Mirza Javid, had been residents in the Hamilton area since 1968 when he was employed by the public health department. Prior to that they had lived in Montreal where they had settled when they first arrived in Canada in 1966. Aghdas was famous in the Hamilton area for her Friday night firesides which she held faithfully, sometimes attracting as many as 80 attendees.

    In 2001, she was chosen to be among a group of Canadian Baha'is — part of 4,500 from around the world — to travel to Israel to witness the opening of a kilometre-long series of garden terraces surrounding the Bahá'í temple on Mount Carmel. [Bahá'í Canada Vol 14 Issue 3]

    Every year she would hold a tea to which she invited local dignitaries. [Bahá'í Canada Vol 16 Issue 1 May 2003 p31]

    She had been predeceased by her husband in in 1999. She left children Sussan, Ladan and Jasmine, four granddaughters, one grandson, one great-grandson and family in Iran, England, Germany and Brazil. [Hamilton Spectator; Dignity Memorial]

    Aghdas Javid; Hamilton, ON; Dundas, ON
    2018 15 Aug Mr. Enayat Rawhani asked to be permitted to relinquish his membership on the National Assembly. He had sought and received guidance from the Universal House of Justice, consequently a bi-election was held to fill the vacancy and Mr. Zelalem Bimrew Kasse was elected. [Message from the National Spiritual Assembly dated the 16th of August, 2018] National Spiritual Assembly, By-election; Zelalem Bimrew Kasse; Enayat Rawhani; Toronto, ON
    2018 3 Jul In Queen's Park in New Westminster the 7-foot totem pole that was first installed in 1990 in honour of Dorothy Maquabeak Francis was re-erected after having been refurbished. Ella Benndorf, a Bahá'í who knew Dorothy Francis, took the initiative to have the totem restored to more suitably reflect the person it represented as when it was first erected. The totem was originally carved by Joseph Norbert Courville, a prison inmate who had met and was inspired by her while she was working to implement First Nations programs in correctional institutions and the restoration work was done by Bear Sam, a carver of the Tsartlip First Nation of the Saanich Peninsula. [CBNS] Dorothy Francis; Dorothy Maquabeak Francis; Ella Benndorf; Joseph Norbert Courville; Bear Sam; New Westminster, BC
    2018 Jul The opening of the Greenboro Neighbourhood Centre in a strip mall in south Ottawa community of Greenboro.

    The neighbourhood of Greenboro had been a centre of intense activity since 2014, with high receptivity. When the renting of facilities to accommodate these activities on an ad-hoc basis became impractical, the National Spiritual Assembly approved the rental of a former commercial space. Volunteers worked tirelessly to renovate the property to suit the activities that would take place there. This initiative was made possible because of the the National Assembly's Community Properties Fund. [Bahá'í Canada 2019-03-27]

    Community Properties Fund; Ottawa, ON
    2018 20 May The publication of Stumbling in the Half-Light: The Stories by John D Sargent. The book was publish by Friesen Press.
  • See the official website.

      Stumbling in the Half-Light follows a self-professed "chubby little half-breed" from the Six Nations reservation as he embarks on a lifetime of spiritual adventures within the Baha'i community. Through fifty-two short, autobiographical stories, John Sargent retells a life of humour, humility, loss, and faith. John's endearing openness leads him through a life of adventure—from a childhood on the reserve, to years in Africa, to a career in architecture and finally as an administrator of First Nations communities. But his real calling: was to bring the Bahá'í faith to First Nations communities throughout North America.
  • John Sargent
    2018 26 May The following individuals were elected by the delegates at the 70th National Convention held at the Toronto Bahá'í Centre to serve as members of the National Spiritual Assembly for the coming year: Deloria Bighorn, Karen McKye, Mehran Anvari, Ciprian Jauca, Élizabeth Wright, Gerald Filson, Hoda Farahmandpour, Judy Filson and Enayat Rawhani. The officers chosen were: Chairman — Deloria Bighorn; Vice-chairman — Ciprian Jauca; Treasurer — Mehran Anvari; Secretary — Karen McKye. [Message of the National Spritual Assemlby 30 May, 2018]
  • A by-election was held to fill a vacancy on the National Spiritual Assembly when Enayat Rowhani resigned after nearly four decades of service. Mr. Zelalem Bimrew Kasse was the newly-elected member. [Bahá'í Canada 30 May 2018; Bahá'í Canada 29 August 2018; Bahá'í Canada 20 July 2018]
  • Deloria Bighorn; Karen McKye; Mehran Anvari; Ciprian Jauca; Elizabeth Wright; Gerald Filson; Hoda Farahmandpour; Judy Filson; Enayat Rawhani; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Toronto, ON
    2018 May The launch of the book Equals and Partners: A Spiritual Journey Toward Reconciliation and Oneness, Wazin Îchinabi, a memoir written by southern Alberta author Patricia Verge. The book is a history of the Bahá'í Faith on the Stoney Naked Nation over a period of 35 years.
  • See Bahá'í Blog for a brief interview with Pat.
  • The book was published by Friesen Press and is available at
  • See Pat's website.
  • Equals and Partners: A Spiritual Journey Toward Reconciliation and Oneness; Patricia Verge; Stoney Nakoda First Nation, AB
    2018 26 Mar The publication of Equals and Partners: A Spiritual Journey Toward Reconciliation and Oneness, Wazin Îchinabi by Patricia Verge. It was published by Friesen Press.

    Canada is poised to reconcile its centuries-long fraught history with Indigenous peoples and to establish justice. What fundamental spiritual principles should guide this challenging process and bring together peoples who have been separated for so long?

    In this part-memoir, part-scholarly work, Patricia Verge records her decades-long friendship with the Stoney Nakoda Nation in southern Alberta. She explores how her spiritual journey has been intimately entwined with service among Indigenous people and confronts her own ignorance of the true history of Canada, taking for her guidance this quote from the writings of the Bahá'í Faith: "a massive dose of truth must be administered to heal."

    An engaging and timely work, Equals and Partners is ultimately a story of love and commitment to the principle of the oneness of humanity.

    Patricia Verge; Nakoda First Nation
    2018 (In the year) The publication of Faithful Friends by Marlene Macke. It was published by Art Bookbindery.
      In 1919 a small and diverse group of people in Toronto, Ontario accepted the teachings of a new divine educator, Bahá'ú'lláh. During the next nineteen years, they kept the flame of faith alive until achieving the major milestone of electing the first local governing body of their Bahá'í community. Faithful Friends documents the trajectory of a faith community building its Bahá'í identity.
    Faithful Friends; Marlene Macke
    2017 7 Dec In its letter to all Local Spiritual Assemblies the National Spiritual Assembly introduced the Community Properties Fund, "to be established to support the acquisition, maintenance and use of properties at all levels of the community," including possibilities such as facilities with residential space "dedicated to all forms of educational activity, offices to serve the needs of regional agencies and neighbourhood space to support children's classes, junior youth groups and study circles".

    The Community Properties Fund were intended to provide the ongoing material resources necessary for this advancement. The National Spiritual Assembly contributed an initial $2.5 million to this Fund, and called on the community to match this amount over the remainder of the current Five Year Plan. Returns from this sum will then generate funds allocated to community properties. [Bahá'í Canada 2019-03-27

    Community Properties Fund
    2017 1 Dec The International Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh announced the appointment of the new Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh to serve in Canada, Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Those appointed to the three-year term were: Mr. Bahram Gustaspi, Mr. John MacLeod, Mr. Bruce Moore, Mrs. Donna Seyed Mahmoud and Dr. Faran Vafaie.
  • The primary function of a Board of Trustees is to educate the friends on the spiritual significance of the mighty law of Ḥuqúqu'lláh, enabling them to better appreciate that obedience to this law is "bound to attract divine confirmations, heavenly blessings and incalculable favours, and to promote the manifold interests of the International Bahá'í Community". [Letter from the NSA to the Bahá'ís of Canada 7 December 2017]
  • Photo.
  • Huququllah, Trustees of; Bahram Gustaspi; John MacLeod; Bruce Moore; Donna Seyed Mahmoud; Faran Vafaie; Canada; St. Pierre and Miquelon
    2017 21 Sep The passing of Raymond Theodore (Ted) Anderson (b. 5 August 1924 Mount Horb, WN) in Innisfail, AB. [Find a grave]

    He earned his BA and two master's degrees in Oregon and Chicago where he became a Bahá'í. Ted met his wife Joan Storie at the Bahá'í House of Worship in Chicago. They married in 1951 and pioneered to Whitehorse in 1953 where they earned the title, Knights of Bahá'u'lláh. During their time in the Yukon they were adopted by the Tlingit First Nations of Carcross-Tagish. In 1965 Ted was appointed as an Auxiliary Board Member for Alaska by Zikrullah Khadem and served in that capacity along with Howard Brown.

    Ted and Joanie relocated to Red Deer, Alberta in 1972 and Joanie passed away in 2000. [Bahaipedia; CBN 410 p5; Find a grave]

  • See mention of the Andersons in A New Skin for an Old Drum: Changing Contexts of Yukon Aboriginal Bahá'í Storytelling by Lynn Echevarria.
  • See as well The Yukon Bahá'is: Establishing an Archive of Historical Materials and First Nations Life Histories by Lynn Echevarria.
  • Ted Anderson; Joan Anderson; Joanie Anderson; In Memoriam; Knight of Bahá'u'lláh; Auxiliary board members and assistants; Howard Brown; Tlingit; Lynn Echevarria; Mount Horeb, WI; Whitehorse, YT; Innisfail, AB
    2017 30 Apr In his address to the Canadian National Convention on behalf of the Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh for Canada, Dr A-M Ghadirian stated that there were 1,115 Representatives and Deputy Trustees worldwide in 31 National and Regional Boards of Trustees. Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Statistics; `Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian; Toronto, ON
    2017 (In the Year) The publication of Sole Desire Serve Cause: An Odyssey of Bahá'í Service: Gale and Jameson Bond by Don Brown. It was published by George Ronald Publishers. Jameson Bond; Gale Bond; - Knights of Bahá'u'lláh
    2016 7 Sep The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada paid tribute to Professor Irwin Cotler at the Reception Centre of the Bahá'í Shrine in Montreal. They expressed the gratitude of the Bahá'í community for his unwavering defence of the Bahá'ís in Iran over more than 25 years in public life and presented him with a beautiful piece of Arabic calligraphy – the second of Bahá'u'lláh's "Hidden Words" – that highlights justice as "the best beloved of all things in My sight".

    Professor Cotler was the Director of the Human Rights program in the Law Faculty at the University of McGill and was a Member of Parliament from 1999 until 2015. During this time he served as Justice Minister from 2003-2006.

    After his retirement from public life Mr Cotler founded the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. [CBNS 27 Sep 2016]

    In late 2022 the film First to Stand: The Cases and Causes of Irwin Cotler was released. It was written, directed and produced by Irene Lilienheim Angelicco and Abbey Jack Neidik and follows international human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler and his team of young activists at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre as they take on the cases and causes of political prisoners and human rights activists including Raif Badawi and Shaparak Shajarizadeh, battling against the world's most repressive regimes.

    Montreal, QC
    2016 4 Aug In a letter to National Spiritual Assemblies, communities were encouraged to establish electoral units on the basis of the cluster. The population of the country is divided by the number of National Convention delegates allowed by the Universal House of Justice to determine the number of electors per delegate. [from UNIT CONVENTION PLANNING GUIDE 2021 provided by the National Office]
  • See 21 July 1985.
  • Elections; - Bahá'í World Centre
    2016 Jul The publication of A Love That Could Not Wait: The Remarkable Story of Knights of Bahá'u'lláh Catherine Heward Huxtable and Clifford Huxtable by Jack McLean. It was published by One Voice Press in Essex Maryland.
  • This is the remarkable story of the love, marriage and pioneering exploits of Cliff and Catherine Huxtable, Knights of Bahá'u'lláh to the Gulf Islands and pioneers to St Helena Island, a goal of the Ten Year Crusade.
  • The book is available in pdf and Word format on Jack's website.
  • Jack McLean; Wes Huxtable; Catherine Heward; Catherine Huxtable; - Knights of Bahá'u'lláh; Regina, SK; Salt Spring Island, BC; St. Helena
    2016 Apr From this time forward the Board of Trustees for the Huqúqu'lláh had representation at the National Conventions, National Convention
    2016 23 - 25 April The 68th annual National Convention was held in Calgary; Those elected to serve on the National Spiritual Assembly were: Enayat Rawhani, Mehran Anvari, Karen McKye, Gerald Filson, Ciprian Jauca, Deloria Bighorn, Judy Filson, Élizabeth Wright and Hoda Farahmandpour. [Bahá'í Canada 27 April 2016]
  • Letter from the National Convention to the Universal House of Justice.
  • The National Convention was addressed Counsellor Antonella Demonte from the International Teaching Centre.
  • National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Calgary, AB
    2016 (In the year) The publication of Tending the Garden: A Biography of Emeric and Rosemary Sala by Ilona Weinstein. It was published One Voice Press of Essex Maryland.

    Tending the Garden is a biography of Rosemary and Emeric Sala who became Baha'is in Montreal at a time when there were some sixty members in all of Canada. It is told in the Sala's words, using excerpts of letters and papers spanning the years 1926 to 1990. Included is correspondence to and from Shoghi Effendi, Ruhiyyih Khanum, May and Sutherland Maxwell, among many others.

  • Facebook Page.
  • Bahá'í Blog.
  • Ilona Weinstein; Tending the Garden
    2016 - 2021 Fourth Five Year Plan Fourth Five Year Plan; - Teaching Plans
    2015 24 - 27 Apr The 67th annual National Convention was held in Toronto. Those elected to the National Spiritual Assembly were: Karen McKye (secretary), Mehran Anvari (treasurer), Deloria Bighorn (chair), Enayat Rawhani, Susanne Tamas, Hoda Farahmandpour, Judy Filson, Ciprian Jauca and Élizabeth Wright (vice chair). [Bahá'í Canada 1 May 2015] National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Toronto, ON
    2015 20 Feb The National Spiritual Assembly of Canada announced the names of the five members appointed by the International Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh to serve on the Board of Trustees for Canada and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, with a three-year term of service, commencing 1 December 2014.
  • Those appointed were: Dr. Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian, Mr. Bruce William Moore, Ms. Nasrin Neyestani, Mrs. Donna Ann Marie Seyed Mahmoud, Mrs. Shabnam Tashakour.
  • In its letter to the National Spiritual Assembly announcing these appointments, the International Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh shared the following regarding their service:
  • The primary function of a Board of Trustees is to educate the friends on the spiritual significance of the mighty law of Huqúqu'lláh, enabling them to better appreciate that obedience to this law is "bound to attract divine confirmations, heavenly blessings and incalculable favours, and to promote the manifold interests of the International Bahá'í Community. [CBNS20150220]
  • Huququllah; Board of Trustees of Huququllah; `Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian; Bruce William Moore; Nasrin Neyestani; Donna Seyed Mahmoud; Shabnam Tashakour; Toronto, ON
    2015 10 Feb The passing of William (Bill) Skuce (b. 30 August 1935 in Ottawa) in his home in Sooke, BC. He was an artist and a teacher. He and his family spent many years in the north of Canada. He was survived by his wife Houri, daughter Anisa (Andrew) and granddaughter Ahdiyeh. [Times Colonist] Bill Skuce; Houri Skuce; Anisa Skuce; In Memoriam; Sooke, BC; Ottawa, ON
    2015 27 Jan The National Spiritual Assembly of Canada announced the names of the Members of the Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh for Canada and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The members were: Mr. Bruce Moore, Mrs. Donna Seyed Mahmoud, Mrs. Nasrin Neyestani and Dr. Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian.
  • In December of the same year they announced the new term of service for the Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh in Canada and added an additional member with the appointment of Dr. Faran Vafaie as Deputy Trustee member of the Board of Trustees. [BCNS31Dec2017]
  • Huququllah; Board of Trustees of Huququllah; Bruce Moore; Donna Seyed Mahmoud; Nasrin Neyestani; `Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian; Toronto, ON
    2014 24 Apr The members elected to serve on the National Spiritual Assembly were Karen McKye, Mehran Anvari, Deloria Bighorn, Enayat Rawhani, Susanne Tamás, Hoda Farahmandpour, Judy Filson, Ciprian Jauca and Élizabeth Wright. The National Assembly's Chair Ms. Bighorn; Vice-Chair, Ms. Wright; Secretary, Ms. McKye; and Treasurer, Dr. Anvari. [Message]
  • Message to the delegates from the National Spiritual Assembly.
  • Message from the Board of Trustees of Huqúqu'lláh to the National Convention delivered by Donna Seyed Mahmoud.
  • The 157 delegates to Canada's 66th National Convention met at the Toronto Bahá'í Centre. See report and photo.
  • National Spiritual Assembly, election of; Karen McKye; Mehran Anvari; Deloria Bighorn; Enayat Rawhani; Susanne Tamas; Hoda Farahmandpour; Judy Filson; Ciprian Jauca; Elizabeth Wright; Donna Seyed Mahmoud; Toronto, ON
    2014 20 Mar The passing of Dr Ross Woodman, (b. 28 November 1922 Port William, Nova Scotia), at his home in London, ON. He was a member of the first National Spiritual Assembly of Canada when it was elected in 1948. He was interred at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London. [Find a grave]

    He was survived by his wife Dr. Marion Woodman, an internationally-known author and psychoanalyst, who passed away in 2018. [CBNS 27 March 2014]

      A film called Rebel Angel was made about their marriage.

    For nearly forty years Mr Woodman was Professor in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario, where he taught Romantic literature, until his retirement in 1989. In 1993 he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Keats-Shelley Association of America.

    His publications include: The Apocalyptic Vision in the Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley and a book about celebrated Canadian poet and fellow-professor at the University of Western Ontario, James Reaney.

    Mr Woodman contributed several articles to The Journal of Bahá'í Studies.

    Ross Woodman; In Memoriam; National Spiritual Assembly; London, ON
    2014 1 Apr  Allison Healy, a residential school survivor and member of the Bahá'í community of the Kainai First Nation, Alberta, spoke regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final national event in Edmonton, "The truths have been told, we all have learned about the horrible truths; now we really have to move forward to reconciliation and act." [CBNS. 2014]. "Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final National Event concludes in Edmonton." Canadian Bahá'í News Service. Edmonton, Alberta). Allison Healy; Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Kainai First Nation, AB; Edmonton, AB
    2013 9 Oct The passing of Redwan Moqbel in Winnipeg. He was recruited to the Department of Medicine, University of Alberta as a Professor in 1995 and served as the Director of the Pulmonary Research Group. There he received such prestigious awards as Alberta Heritage Medical Senior Scholar, Heritage Scientist and Heritage Senior Investigator. In 2008, Redwan became Professor and Head of the Department of Immunology at the University of Manitoba, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta. He was well recognized for his mentorship of young biomedical scientists, whom he encouraged to adopt "a noble goal." [Winnipeg Free Press]
  • Celebration of Life.
  • In Memoriam; Redwan Moqbel; Winnipeg, MB
    2013 20 Sep Deloria Bighorn, chairperson of the National Spiritual Bahá'ís of Canada, presented, on behalf of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the BC National Event held in Vancouver from September 18th to the 21st. The formal presentation followed a panel organized by the Canadian Bahá'í Community and Reconciliation Canada. The previous week 250 people listened to Chief Doug White, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, and Dr. Paulette Regan from the Commission discussing the challenge of reconciliation. [T&R website, CBN 24 September, CBN 9 February, 2018, BWNS1248]
  • For the text see Submission of the Bahá'í Community of Canada to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission or download PDF.
  • The Bahá'í community also produced a short film, The Path Home, which it screened in Ottawa in association with the final national gathering.
  • Native Americans; Indigenous people; Reconciliation; Cultural diversity; Human Rights; - Documentaries; - Film; The Path Home (film); Vancouver, BC
    2013 13 Aug The passing of former Universal House of Justice member Mr. Hushmand Fatheazam in Vancouver, Canada. He served on the Universal House of Justice for forty years since 1963. [BWNS964]
  • See Life of Hushmand Fatheazam as told by Fariborz Sahba.
  • Hushmand Fatheazam; In Memoriam; Vancouver, BC
    2013 24 Jul The Universal House of Justice addressed a message the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada regarding the Association for Bahá'í Studies. The Universal House of Justice reiterated a number of issues that the Association had addressed since its inception in 1975:
    -an appreciation for the importance of personal study of the Revelation,
    -correlating the teachings with contemporary thought,
    -defending the Cause,
    -encouraging young believers in their academic pursuits,
    -attracting the interest and involvement of non-Bahá'í academics to the extent possible, a
    -providing a forum for Bahá'í academics to collaborate with one another, thereby helping to raise capacity among those who participate within a wide range of disciplines and, particularly, in specific fields associated more directly with the study of the Faith, such as history, the study of religion, and translation.
    Bahá'í Studies, Associations for; Canada
    2013 (In the year) The publication of Bright Glass of the Heart - Elder Voices on Faith by Heather Cardin. The book was published by George Ronald.
      It is an inspiring collection of thirty-seven personal stories of elder Bahá'ís whose commitment and service laid the foundations of the Bahá'í Faith around the world.
    Bright Glass of the Heart; Heather Cardin
    2013 (In the year) The publication of An Uncommon Canadian: The Story of Fred Graham by Dale Sims The book can be ordered directly from the publisher's website.

    Fred Graham was a man of humble beginnings who met trials and tests with an indomitable spirit and emerged as one of the foremost Canadian Baha'i servants in the time following the turmoil of the Great Depression and the Second World War. In the words of the Universal House of Justice, Fred Graham became a "devoted servant," an "inspiring teacher" and an "exemplary believer".

    Fred Graham; Dale Sims; Auxiliary board members and assistants
    2012 (In the year) There were 400 Baha'is in the Edmonton Baha'i community representing "a wide variety of races, cultures and social classes. [Edmonton History] Statistics; Edmonton, AB
    2011 Ridván Gregory Newing served as the Area Teaching Committee for the Outaouais Cluster during the Five Year Plan (2011-2016) while serving simultaneously as the Outaouais Cluster Development Facilitator.

    At Ridván 2016, with the start of the new Five Year Plan, Darlene Cameron was invited to serve with Gregory on the new Area Teaching Committee.,

    Outaouais Cluster; Gregory Newing; Darlene Cameron
    2011 (In the year) The publication of The Maxwells of Montreal Vol 1 - Early Years 1870–1922 by Violette Nakhjavani with the assistance of Bahiyyih Nakhjavani. It was published by George Ronald of Oxford.
      Beginning with their childhood years, this is the story of May Bolles and Sutherland Maxwell; their youth, their meeting and courtship in Paris; their marriage;their first pilgrimages; the birth of their daughter and the historic visit of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to their home in Montreal in 1912.

    The second volume The Maxwells of Montreal: Vol 2: Middle Years 1923-1937, Late Years 1937-1952 was published by George Ronald in 2012. It appears that it is only available in the Kindle edition.

      Completing the story of the Maxwells, including the pilgrimages of May and Mary Maxwell in the early years of the Guardian's ministry; their contributions to the advancement of the Bahá'í Faith in Canada, the United States, France and Germany; the marriage of Mary Maxwell to Shoghi Effendi; and Sutherland Maxwell's crowning achievement as architect of the Shrine of the Báb.
    Bahiyyih Nakhjavani; Violette Nakhjavani; The Maxwells of Montreal
    2011 (In the year) The publication of Return to Tyendinaga: The Story of Jim and Melba Loft, Bahá'í Pioneers by Evelyn Loft Watts and Patricia Verge. It was published by One Voice Press of Essex, Maryland.
  • See a review by Lee Brown.
  • See a review by Louise Profit-LeBanc that was published in The Journal of Bahá'í Studies Vol 24 Issue 3/4 (Sep-Dec2014) p107-109.
  • Evelyn Loft Watts; Patricia Verge; Tyendinaga First Nation, ON
    2011 - 2016 Third Five Year Plan Third Five Year Plan; - Teaching Plans
    2009 14 Apr The passing of Knight of Bahá'u'lláh Gale Bond, née Keass (b. 13 November, 1919 in Emod, Hungary) in Cowichan, BC. [SDSC397]
  • See Sole Desire Service Cause An Odyssey of Bahá'í Service: Gale and Jameson Bond by Don Brown published by George Ronald for a biography.
  • Gale Bond; In Memoriam; - Knights of Bahá'u'lláh; Emod, Hungary; Hungary; Cowichan, BC
    2009 Apr Beth McKenty, longtime pioneer to Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada received the Caring Canadian Award from the Governor-General of Canada for her work in the community. [BWNS711]

    Beth, a teacher by training, has taught English in Arizona, China, Japan, and Sakhalin Island, then pioneered to Nunavut where she, among many other things, started a painting project, "The Arctic Youth Art initiative," which has reached youth in many Inuit settlements and led to her winning this award.

    Beth McKenty; Caring Canadian Award; Governor General Award; Iqaluit, NU
    2009 24 Feb The Canadian Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Human Rights adopted a strongly worded motion demanding the immediate release of the seven Bahá'í leaders held now for more than nine months without formal charges and no access to lawyers. Appearing before the committee were the Bahá'í Community of Canada's Director of External Affairs, Susanne Tamas, and McGill Law Professor, Payam Akhavan. [Iran Press Watch 1597] Susanne Tamas; Payam Akhavan; Persecution, Iran; Yaran; Ottawa, ON
    2009 17 – 18 Jan The Universal House of Justice called for 41 Regional Conferences to be held over a four month period to mark the mid-point of the Five Year Plan. A Regional Conference was held in Vancouver. [BWNS689] - Conferences, Regional; Five Year Plan (2006-2011); Vancouver, BC
    2009 10 – 11 Jan The Universal House of Justice called for 41 Regional Conferences to be held over a four month period to mark the mid-point of the Five Year Plan. A Regional Conference was held in Toronto. [BWNS687] - Conferences, Regional; Five Year Plan (2006-2011); Toronto, ON
    2009 (In the year) The publication of Take My Love to the Friends: The Story of Laua R. Davis by Marlene Macke by Chestnut Park Press in St. Marys, ON.
  • See a review of the book by Lynn Echevarria-Howe.
  • Marlene Macke; Take My Love to the Friends (book); Lynn Echevarria; St. Marys, ON
    2008 27 Jun The passing of Eric Norman Hyde (b. 2 January 1923) in Courtney, BC. Eric was the son of Reginald and Maisie Hyde. He lost his wife Novella in 1996 after 48 years of marriage. He was survived by his children Karyne Kongo (Marcelino), Sharel Downey (Frank) and Valery Puetz (Bernie) grandchildren: Warren, Amber, Ashley, Sareh, Kisa and Iko Miala and great granddaughter Ella. [BC Local News 27 June 2008] Eric Hyde; In Memoriam; Comox, BC
    2008 (In the year) The publication of Legacy of Courage - The Life of Ola Pawlowska, Knight of Baha'u'llah by her daughter Suzanne Schuurman. It was published by George Ronald Publishers in Oxford.
  • See In Memoriam for Ola Pawlowska.
  • Ola Pawlowska; Suzanne Schuurman; Legacy of Courage; Knight of Bahá'u'lláh
    2007 29 Nov The passing of Angéla Szepesi (b. 9 April 1920, Igló, Hungary (now Spisska-Fova-Ves, Slovakia)). She was buried in the Malloch Road Cemetery in Arnprior. [DRDA13; Obituary]

    She first learned of the Faith from Val (Mrs Hayden Nichols neé Valeria Lamb in Lisbon in 1948. Val had been taught by Beulah Storrs Lewis in 1936 in Los Angeles. [DRDA157]

    She pioneered to her native Hungary, Säo Paulo, Brazil, various place in Canada and spent three and a half years in Martinique.

    In 1995 she published her first autobiography, it was in Hungarian. Her English autobiography was called Dreams, Nightmares, and Dreams Again and it was published in 2000 by White Mountain Publications. [DNDA76]

    Her Master's thesis at Laval University was A proposed world order: Baha'i teachings and Institutions 1968. [DRDA120,144]

    In Memoriam; Angela Szepesi; Dreams, Nightmares, and Dreams Again; Arnprior, ON
    2007 21 Nov The election of the Regional Council of Québec. Those elected were: Monique Robert, André Bergeron, Nabil Nakhostine, Leyla Shodjai, Laurie Zrudlo, Nicole Lachance. Ilya Shodjaee-Zrudlo, Marilyn Ghadirian, and Anne Skeaff. Regional Council, appointment of; Quebec, Canada
    2007 14 Nov In a letter to the Students, Staff, Parents and Supporters of Maxwell International School the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada announced that the school would close (at the end of the term). Financial considerations were cited as the reason.
  • Maxwell had provided an accredited academic program for grades 7–12 leading to British Columbia high school graduation certification.
  • The school had been established in 1989 as a non-profit educational institution with a strong emphasis on the performing arts. The Maxwell Dance Workshop used dance, music and drama to challenge young people to find new solutions for the issues facing their generation.
  • The school also had an ESL (English as a Second Language) program to accommodate foreign students who came from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. [Maxwell International School on A-Channel News]
  • Maxwell International School, Canada; - Bahá'í inspired schools; Dance; Dance Workshop; Shawnigan Lake, BC
    2007 9 - 11 Nov The Bahá'í Medical Association of Canada (BMAC) held an international conference in Montreal on the theme "Balancing the Social and Spiritual Determinants of Health". It was attended by 110 people and was chaired by National Spiritual Assembly member Dr David Smith. [Canadian Bahá'í News Service 23NOV2007] Bahá'í Medical Association of Canada; Montreal, QC; Quebec, Canada
    2007 16 Oct The passing of Charlotte A "Gale" Burland in Milton, ON. She was buried at the Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St Catherines, ON. [Find a grave]

    Gale was a member of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Milton and formerly lived in Shelburne and in Saskatoon.

    She was the mother of Dr. Susan G. Burland (George T. Plumb of Hinsdale, Ill.), Anne L. Burland of Albany, N.Y., and William B. Burland of Saskatoon. [from the Halifax Herald 10/18/2007]

    In Memoriam; Milton, ON; St. Catharines, ON; Shelburne, NS; Saskatoon, SK
    2007 Aug-Sep In memory of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and because the Native people had such a special place in her heart and that of the Guardian, Violette and 'Ali Nakhjanání travelled throughout North America during the months of August and September visiting aboriginal believers. They visited Vancouver, Anchorage, Juneau before going to South Dakota, Montana, Arizona and Atlanta, Georgia where they spoke with 450 African-American believers. They visited the temple in Wilmette and then the Eskasoni First Nations in Nova Scotia.
  • The primary purpose of their visit was to meet with and encourage the aboriginal believers and to remind the of their responsibility and high destiny in the Faith. [CBN Vol 20 No 3 Winter 2007/2008 p23-25]
  • `Alí Nakhjavání; Violette Nakhjavani; Native Teaching; Vancouver, BC; Eskasoni First Nation, NS

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