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Organization: The Virtues Project Canada
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: Jan. 26 2010,19:46 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

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PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity

TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity

PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

• The Virtues Project Canada is part of The Virtues Project™ worldwide (more than 90 countries) Homebase: Canada. www.virtuesproject.com
• Participation in Alliance for a New Humanity: Building Bridges to Peace. http://anhglobal.ning.com/group/anhporthopeontario/forum/topics/experiencing-and-expressing
• Father Involvement - Building our Children’s Character Program (FI-BOCC) http://www.thefiboccprogram.ca
• In Parry Sound, a small town of 6500 in Northern Ontario we have been using The Virtues Project to create a ‘culture of peace’ explicitly since 2001.
• Parry Sound Teachers at the High School began looking for a way to involve more of our student population in the Virtues Project which resulted in a 5 Day Training of many of the high school teachers & staff members.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

Virtues Camp 2005-present.  An annual week-long neighbourhood summer camp with music, arts and crafts, drama and sports for children aged 3 to 18.  The camp focuses on a different character attribute each day.  Daily arts, music, drama and sports activities are geared toward empowering children to practice using the virtue in their language and their actions.  Peacefulness, Gentleness, Respect, Truthfulness, Service, and Unity are just a few of the character attributes we have studied over the years.  

Virtues in the Schools- 2005-present
Collaboration with neighborhood schools by supporting the character education programs by integrating the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project.

Children's Virtues Classes-2005 - present.  Weekly neighborhood classes for children between 2 and 10 where through art, music and stories, children learn to discover their gifts of character-their virtues.



As a result the Language of the Virtues has permeated the school in Parry Sound.  It is how students, teachers, coaches, counselors and principals identify themselves and their accomplishments  Honouring the Spirit of our Graduates, our athletes, our artists and our student leaders & citizens.  

We began focusing on developing mentoring relationships between older and younger students through Virtues Visits.  These Visits into the elementary schools are supported by the Local School Board as an integral part of the Character Development Program of the elementary school students.  During the Visits the high school students run activities that create ‘Teachable Moments’ that the younger students can process and learn from.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

Yes. Our organization has seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in our domain of action.  


“The mission of The Virtues Project is to provide empowering strategies that inspire the practice of the virtues in everyday life through programs of simplicity and excellence which support people of all ages to cultivate their virtues-the gifts of character”.  The virtues are those qualities of character that exist in potential in each and every one of us like, respect, courage, empathy, truthfulness, integrity and honour to name just a few.  The 5 strategies of The Virtues Project can enhance our quality of life though improving communication by understanding the way we speak has tremendous impact, recognizing the gifts in life’s lessons with humility and confidence, knowing our boundaries so we are safe and healthy, honouring our spirit by expressing what is meaningful in our lives while respecting the dignity of others,  and offering spiritual companioning with compassion and deep respectful listening to friends in need.  Facilitators empower and foster a deeper understanding of the strategies of The Virtues Project  in age-appropriate workshops  through drama, music, art and games.  This is a very interactive and engaging process.  Students who have experienced the training put the strategies into practice in every workshop and are encouraged to continue using them daily through the support and mentorship of  The Virtues Project facilitator and school staff.


We are all born with our gifts of character in potential.  Awakening the Virtues within our children is a powerful parenting skill. Character is our most precious possession.   Self-esteem is the biggest gift we can nurture in our children.   Using The Virtues Project's 5 simple strategies as a guide for parenting has many positive effects on a child's self-esteem.  For  parents The Virtues Project facilitates a clearer understanding of  the power of language and its ability to discourage and inspire.  Parents are encouraged to help their child to see the gifts in life’s lessons.  As well, are empowered to help their children learn to establish healthy and safe boundaries and build healthy relationships.  Parents and children respect the dignity of every individual and acknowledge what gives meaning to their lives.  Parents are deeply present and listen with compassion to their children when practicing the art of Spiritual Companioning, which is a peaceful and respectful way of listening someone into thier own truth.   By  using the 5 strategies parents are “mentors not tormentors” to children.  Parents can impart these life skills to their children by modeling the strategies.   Workshops in Awakening the Virtues within our children are available in several formats from hour-long introductions to weekly tele-classes.


Character finds its expression in everything we do at home and on the job.  Virtues are our qualities of character like loyalty, truthfulness, respect, integrity, responsibility and justice, which exist in potential in all employers and employees.  Work can be a big part of who we are.  It gives us opportunities to belong and become a part of something bigger, to be competent and have a chance to make a difference, and to grow personally and find meaning.  In business, Virtues are the keys to the success to getting the job done!  From maintaining a sense of purpose, to practices of truthfulness, determination, excellence, flexibility, loyalty, respect, consideration, responsibility, trustworthiness and  justice, to ensuring the effective use of resources through stewardship for efficiency and service for effectiveness.   Workshops in The Virtues Project inspire the practice of the Virtues in many business organizations.

The Virtues Project, in Parry Sound for instance, has expanded out from an individual, to a high school community, to the feeder schools and finally to the communities of the region. Perhaps the most profound peace creating effect of The Virtues Project has been the bridge that The Virtues Project has helped create between the white students and the First Nation students… The Seven Grandfather Teachers are after all Virtues!    Friendships and connections have been created and maintained through this shared language and appreciation. Respect for and pride in the First Nations culture is dramatically more apparent now, and shared as a gift with the white community.
- It began in response to a crisis, a crisis of some poor behaviour. When our high school was without custodians for a day, some of the students vandalized the school forcing it to close.  It was in the midst of this crisis that an opportunity to learn about The Virtues Project emerged.
- Gradually the Language of the Virtues began to be presented in wider and wider circles in our community through the local paper, the local radio station, posters presented to local businesses, and shared Virtue of the Month initiative with all the schools.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

• Some school boards are not open to utilizing "outside" programs and opportunities to change the culture of caring in their classrooms happen slowly, usually by the initiative of a teacher or a parent.
• The lack of resources to support programs & training. Much of the leg-work is done on a volunteer basis.
• A lack of evidence. There is little research to identify what the positive effects of using the 5 strategies are on individuals, in families, in communities, etc.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

• Developing a business plan for research & development
• Partnership with the YMCA is under development
• Continued Facilitator trainings for the FI-BOCC Program - 2 annual
• Proposal to the justice dept - working with incarcerated fathers who are transitioning home to their children

To involve our entire community in Parry Sound every spring we hold a CommUNITY Consultation inviting everyone & anyone who cares about our children to come for an evening of fun, friends, food and picking our Virtues of the Month for the next school year.   We mix the VIP’s with the young and the old to get to know each other better and consult about how we want to be as a community.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

There is a serious lack of resources and understanding. Through researching the effect that our words and actions have on our children we could clearly exhibit what every Virtues Project participant comes to know - that the content of our character is our virtues.
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Organization: The Virtues Project Canada

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