(Clearwisdom.net May 15, 2003) Tuesday, May 13th was "World Falun Dafa Day" and also the day that both heaven and earth celebrated. Falun Gong practitioners in Toronto held grand "World Falun Dafa Day" celebrations on Philips Square, the plaza fronting the City Hall, to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of Falun Dafa's introduction. More than 1000 Toronto residents and government officials joined this grand celebration.

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áSpecially invited guest, Toronto City Council member, Mr. Michael Walker giving a speech. Philips Square, the plaza fronting the Toronto City Hall, is filled with the holiday atmosphere Dance: "Welcome the Dawn"
Displaying the yellow ribbon imprinted with petition signatures that were collected recently by Toronto practitioners Delivering a petition letter to the Mayor's office Chorus: "Falun Dafa is good!"

This is the third time that Toronto practitioners have conducted royal celebrations at the City Hall Plaza, which left a deep impression on Toronto government officials and local citizens. A few weeks earlier, practitioners advertized this event to local residents through the media. They also sent out beautiful invitation cards imprinted with the words, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" to all government officials. Under the situation that almost all large-scale activities on the City Hall plaza were cancelled because of SARS, this celebration effectively demonstrated Falun Gong practitioners' contributions to the local community, and support of the government. Especially under the circumstance that the Chinese community was under attack due to SARS, Falun Gong practitioners' endeavors were especially esteemed, which was fully reflected from the Provincial assemblyman's speech prior to the grand parade.

Philips Square is where the Toronto government is located. The square was decorated with hundreds of colorful balloons, various kinds of bright-colored flags, chromatic hand-made paper pinwheels and an elaborate stage. The entire plaza was filled with a holiday atmosphere.

The celebration began at noon. A Falun Gong practitioner gave the opening remarks. A specially invited guest, Toronto City Council member, Mr. Michael Walker, and Mr. Bas Balkissoon delivered speeches. Mr. Hong Shizhong, the leader of the local Chinese community and Chairman of the Toronto "Friends of Falun Gong" also gave a speech. Proclamations to honor Falun Dafa Day and congratulatory letters from local and national government officials were also read during the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, four practitioners dressed in fairy costumes set free 50 birds of peace to commemorate the Falun Gong practitioners who have lost their lives due to the brutal persecution. It also praised their pursuit of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and their persistent, peaceful appeal, and at the same time honored the Canadian people's values of justice and peace. Accompanied by music, the birds of peace circled the plaza four times and gradually left. The scene was quite touching. City council member, Mr. Michael Walker was almost moved to tears.

The excellent performance, which included singing, dancing, instrument performances, and short plays, displayed the rich and long-standing Chinese culture. On the plaza, practitioners also demonstrated and taught the Falun Gong exercises.

Practitioners delivered nearly 10,000 petition signatures they recently collected to the Toronto Mayor and City Council. A yellow ribbon full of petition signatures was delivered to the Mayor's office. Toronto practitioner and artist, Ms. Wang Yanying painted two traditional Chinese paintings and presented them to the Mayor of Toronto to express Toronto residents' gratitude towards his help in rescuing their family members persecuted in China, and encouraged the Mayor to further openly support Falun Gong and help stop the persecution.

During the event, the invited government officials from different levels, together with Falun Gong practitioners, promoted the spirit of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" to society.