Unity and diversity are words thrown around a lot in this country. To politicians, it’s a way to appeal to potential voters of all shapes, sizes, background, colours and creeds.
To those of the Baha’i faith, it conjures a sense of “oneness” in spite of our differences.
“It's unity as in bringing people together and our diversity is mixing everything up,” according to Christine Spear, of the Baha’i chapter in Orillia.
“Personally, I'm glad that diverse people and experiences are crossing my path more and more. For awhile, (the feeling) can be uncomfortable but that doesn't last.”
Baha i is universal – much as the term “catholic” used to mean universal – a world religion whose purpose is to unite all the races in one universal cause and one common faith.
“We're now in every country,” Spear tells BarrieToday. “The founder of this faith, Baha'u'llah said ‘the world is but one country and mankind its citizens’.”
She continues, “We believe that although we all differ physically and emotionally and all have different talents and capacities, we come from the same root, the same human family.”
That belief and that fervour will be expressed in music Friday, Oct. 20, at the Orillia Opera House during the Crimson Fire fundraiser, something Spear says shows the gratitude of Baha’i followers toward their community.
“When we considered how we wanted to celebrate our 200th anniversary, we wanted to give the town something and specifically The Sharing Place Food Bank and Couchiching Jubilee House. Some of us have previously been involved with the Peace Concerts.”
The title was chosen because “Crimson is one of the most beautiful and noteworthy colours and fire spreads remarkably quickly and in all directions.” So the performers (who are waiving their fees) come from all walks of life.
Alex the Folk Band is among the scheduled performers, an eight-member cooperative that specializes in harmony vocals and fiddle-based instrumentals.
Joe Crone is a singer, songwriter, dramatist and educator. His evenings are spent sharing his songs at pubs, coffeehouses and festivals. His CD, We Can Move the World, is played in classrooms and by families stressing global citizenship and character education.
Toronto-based Jason Mastrandrea is a passionate musician whose current musical project is an electric acoustic experience blending psychedelic rock, electronic music, entrancing rhythms and spacious rock soundscapes.
Marg Raynor is a Metis singer-songwriter who approaches music through stories and local history for inspiration.
It all takes place Friday, Oct. 2o. To learn more, click here.