SGI Canada Celebrates The New Year In High Spirits
By Dwight Rudisuela
On January 1, SGI Canada celebrated 2017, “Year of Developing Youth in the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu,” in high spirits. These New Year meetings were held from Vancouver Island to the Atlantic coast. Although in some places the meetings were cancelled due to inclement weather the SGI members remained undaunted in working for kosen-rufu.
Each meeting heard an encouraging message sent by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda in which he emphasized the importance of young people and for everyone to maintain a youthful outlook throughout one's life by having the spirit of challenge, learning and open dialogue.
The members of SGI Canada were eager to start the new year by refreshing their practice of Buddhism and make determinations for the coming year. In some places, new practitioners were officially welcomed into SGI Canada and leadership appointments were announced.
In keeping with SGI Canada's goal of reaching 10,000 members by November 2018, each person received an altar card on which they can list friends they are chanting for. The card quotes a portion of President Ikeda's poem for SGI Canada "A Rainbow Over Niagara":
You must treasure each and every friend
No matter what,
For everyone has his or her own supreme mission
Youth played a prominent role in most of these meetings as they take the lead in this significant year. In addition to personal experiences, they read messages, emceed meetings and performed in choirs and other cultural performances.
The new year meetings, many with numerous guests attending, were full of joy and eager determination to make 2017 a time for personal growth and sharing this philosophy of life with others.
Toronto West and Halton-Peel Areas in Central Region
Ontario East, Ontario West and Central Chinese Areas in Central Region
Toronto East and York-Simcoe-Northern-Ontario Areas in Central Region
Above: Calgary's Cha Cha Cha Chapter (left) and Unity and Northern Lights Chapter (right)
Above: Edmonton (left) and Ottawa (right)
Above: Quebec City (left) and Victoria (right)
Above: Grand Falls, NB (left) and Saskatoon (right)
New Year's meeting was cancelled at the Vancouver Culture Centre due to weather. Above: Members from the Soka Group (young men's behind the scenes support group) clearing the snow on New Year's Day