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The core aspect of cultivating a culture of peace is sustainable, conscious communities that live, breathe, grow, learn, and thrive. With that in mind and heart our focus this year will be celebrating and advancing “Conscious Communities” at the Ninth Annual Conference on Peace Education in Canada.

The conference will aim to advance the cultivation of peaceable communities at two scopes: local communities and communities of common interest.

The local communities scope will include the core educational needs that must be satisfied to allow all members of a physically local community to flourish. Topics explored may include but are not limited to: “transition towns” movement, local and organic foods, ecological literacy, renewable energy, arts, living wages, conflict transformation, Peace Cafés, School Peace Program, social entrepreneurship, education in local histories, storytelling, and democratic participation.

The communities of interest scope will explore the unique challenges and needs of individuals that are not necessarily physically close to one another, but share common experiences. Topic areas explored may include but are not limited to: social networking, online collaboration methods, solidarity work, the exchange of best practices between communities, social entrepreneurship, new media, marginalized communities, fair trade, literacy, access to education, and more.

Call for Proposals

Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace is seeking proposals for workshops and presentations during the “Conscious Communities” conference.
Workshops will be 50 or 100 minutes in length, and are encouraged to include participatory aspects to their design.

New this year: public mini-keynote presentations

Evenings of the conference will include a series of free, open-to-the-public 15-minute “mini-keynote” presentations at various locations in the city of Hamilton. Applicants are welcomed and encouraged to also propose a mini-keynote presentation either as a “sampler” of a proposed workshop, or of another topic of interest – keeping in mind that the audience demographics will be a more general public. Different forms of presentation will be considered for approval, including but not limited to a prepared talk, film short, multimedia, performance art, and storytelling.

Link: Online Proposal Form for Conscious Communities 2010

Published in News
Thursday, 17 June 2010 14:04

Hamilton Rural Routes Bus Tours

This summer, HSR passengers will be going the distance to meet their City’s hardworking farmers; many city folks will discover first-hand that it can be a short distance indeed, from "field-to-fork". The newly developed “Rural Routes” countryside bus tours offers monthly farm excursions and is a collaborative projected being presented by Hamilton Eat Local, Smart Commute, Hamilton Street Railway (HSR), and Tourism Hamilton. These tours will provide Hamilton's public transit users with access to some of the area’s most dynamic farms; promote imaginative ways of using the City’s public transit system as a viable means to commute; and get urbanites excited about 'agri-tourism' by showing off the lush and beautiful countryside that surrounds our 'steel' city.

Karen Burson of Hamilton's Eat Local is so excited about this event that she can barely sit still while she's describing it. "As someone who decided a long time ago that I would rather be a transit-user than a driver," she enthuses, "I have been frustrated about the fact that the only way to visit the farms that I love has been by car. It seemed to me that there are a lot of Hamilton residents who might be just as eager as I am to find a way to get out of the City once in a while".

Inspired by a student-led environmental bus tour project called "Seed to Scrap" which took place in Fall 2008, and by a gastronomic tour of the Niagara region that had been organized by Slow Food Canada, Burson believed that a tour that explores Hamilton's agriculturally rich outskirts was a compelling idea. Each month’s Rural Routes tour will offer a unique program developed by the host farm. Each will also offer an on-farm market stand so participants can purchase a variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, meats, and more before boarding the bus for the return trip to the City. The tours will run on selected Saturday afternoons from 1:00pm to 3:30pm. The pick up point for each tour is the Bread & Roses Cafe at the Sky Dragon Centre (27 King William St.). This innovative cafe will be offering Rural Routes ticket holders a free cup of their organic, fair trade coffee which is roasted in-house (which is about as local as coffee can get)! Adult tickets are only $5 for each trip while children and seniors tickets cost only $2 each. Here is a look at the schedule:

• June 12: Rural Routes will take passengers to ManoRun Organic Farm located in Copetown. ManoRun is well-known for their relationship with the Ancaster Old Mill. Denise Trigatti, farmer at ManoRun, will lead passengers through a herb garden discovery, livestock milking demonstration, and a talk about the joys of growing and eating food that is both local and organic.

• July 10: Morden’s Organic Farm and Farm Store located in Dundas will be the next destination. Morden’s is a co-operative of local farmers who bring their meats, dairy and seasonal fruits and vegetables to this health-food hub. Sandy Morden, owner and operator of Morden’s, will provide a tour of the farm and a visit with the farm animals.

• August 21: Rural Routes travels to Puddicombe Estate Farm & Winery of Stoney Creek, where staff will teach visitors the correct way of caring for peaches including canning and freezing techniques. There will be fresh corn in season available for purchase as well, so don't miss out on this traditional family treat.

• September 11: Carluke Orchards in Ancaster welcomes you. One of Hamilton’s best-known apple orchards will offer Rural Routes passengers wagon rides and guided walking tours. They are also well known for their tasty farm-baked apple pies.

Tickets will be available at Bread and Roses Café at the SkyDragon Centre (27 King William St.). There may be tickets available on the day of the tour at the pickup point, but seats are limited! For more information about Rural Routes, please visit or call Hamilton Eat Local at 905-549-0900.
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