For Ifeoma Kasimanwuna, the local immigration partnership coordinator with the Timmins and District Multicultural Centre, the display of flagpoles at Schumacher International Peace Park in Timmins, Ont. is a reminder of how important and fragile peace is.
“With the happenings around the world right now, nothing better points to the fact that you have to protect peace when you have it, because any little thing can just turn it upside down.”
Recently, a ceremony took place at Schumacher International Peace Park to hoist a dozen national flags on painted poles to celebrate the growing diversity and multiculturalism in the Timmins-Porcupine area.
These new poles were an addition to the existing 20 national flags that represent some of the cultures that founded Schumacher back in the 1930s.
The city has welcomed many newcomers in the time since – from all over the world.
It’s a very inclusive space and it’s in a natural setting where [people] can find the priority in their language or any language they understand– Ifeoma Kasimanwuna, the local immigration partnership coordinator with the Timmins and District Multicultural Centre
“There’s a sense of pride,” Kasimanwuna said she noticed people felt when they saw their flags hoisted.
“They saw their flags, they know – OK, I am represented here, I belong here, I am a part of this community,” she added.
The unveiling was accompanied by group performances, music and refreshment at the pavilion.
Kasimanwuna said the flags have brought more traffic to the park, as people visit to see if their country is represented.
Now, she said there is a wait list of people eager to see their country’s flags at the park.
The unveiling was organized by Timmins Local Immigration Partnership in the Timmins & District Multicultural Centre and Timmins Multicultural Society, and supported by the Schumacher Lions Club, Schumacher Arts Culture and Heritage Association(SACHA), and the City of Timmins.
The Peace Park was built to help the Schumacher Lions club renovate the former McIntyre Park and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of SACHA in 2021.
The Schumacher International Peace Park consists of a peace garden, surrounded by creatively decorated Peace Poles.
Each pole has a peace prayer – “May peace prevail on earth” written in various languages spoken in the Timmins-Porcupine area.
The park also has peace benches, a large momument of a heart, and a monument plaque.
Kasimanwuna expressed that the intention for the space is for people to come there to reflect on peace.
“It’s a very inclusive space and it’s in a natural setting where [people] can find the priority in their language or any language they understand.”