On a sunny Saturday afternoon on September 24, 2016 at Ashton Meadows Park in Markham, Ontario, & Oakridges, Canada, the ceremony of the Forest of Hope was held. Forest of Hope is dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial and in memory of the 1.5 million victims of Genocide where 100 trees were planted of commemoration to 100+ years since the Armenian Genocide unfortunately happened by the Turkish Ottoman Empire and Government on April 24, 1915.
The purpose of Forest of Hope is a symbolic way to give hope starting from the roots, to the branches where Armenians blossom around the world, to give us a new beginning to give us oxygen, life, and sense of community here in Canada, to put a mark on Canadian soil in Markham, Ontario. Many dignitaries, honoured guests, ambassador to Armenia in Canada Mr. Armen Yeganian, the Mayor of Markham Frank Scarpitti, Clergy and priests from churches in and around the GTA, Mher Karakashian who is part of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Chair, among many others who joined.
Daron Keskinian was the master of ceremonies, and host of the Forest of Hope event where he introduced many distinguished guests to speak at the podium, as well as inviting Governmental bodies to read letters from Premier Kathleen Wynne of Ontario, and Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau.
Holy Trinity Armenian Churches Sassoun Dance Ensemble performed 2 Armenian Traditional dances, as well as the Homenetmen Band played the National Anthems of both Armenia and Canada. Horovel Band also played. the event concluded with closing the ceremony with a ribbon cutting to unveil the Forest of Hope memorial plaque and closing prayer by the Clergy. After we walked around the path in our forest.
Thank you to those who were part of the organizing committee, who made this forest possible, who worked day in and out, also to all those who attended this important day. May the Forest of Hope bloom and grow always.