div#slideshow{left:20;position:absolute;top:0px;margin-left:0px;}?>Skip Navigation

The Baha'is of Ottawa Header

Devotional GatheringsStudy Circles
Children's Classes
Junior Youth Groups
Community Photo Tab
On January 18th, 2016 approximately one quarter of the Bahá'í Community of Ottawa gathered for the Feast of Sultán (Sovereignty) and this group photograph was taken. Click here to see photo!
Community Photo
Upcoming Event left tab
April 7, 7:30 PM
Words of God are the King of Words
With Foad Seddigh
Spiritual Biography of Daoud Toeg
Saturday April 1st
Bahá'í Choir
April 2, 9, and 23 7:00 PM
Ridván - Children's Party
Sunday April 23rd, 11:00 AM
Sunday Morning Devotions
Sunday April 9th, 10:00 AM
Marriage Workshop
Saturday April 15th, 12:00 PM
Book Club: Reading the Spirit
Tuesday April 11th, 1:00 PM
Movie Night!
Miller Prediction
Saturday April 22nd, 7:30 PM
Mondays in April 6:45 PM
Tuesdays in April, 6:30 PM
First Day of Ridván
Thursday April 20, 2017
Ninth Day of Ridván
Friday April 28, 2017
Study Group
Wednesdays in April 11:00 AM
"Century of Light"

Art logo

The Art of Jane Macmillan on display this March  in the Fireside Gallery downstairs. Poster Here.

Devlin painting entitled “Nan Gordon” (1963) from the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

Bahá'í Holy Days
There are eleven holy days on the Bahá'í calendar  more..

Ottawa Bahá'í Centre tab
Ottawa Bahá’í Centre
211 McArthur Ave. K1L 6P6
Facebook Logo
TEL: 613-742-8250   Map 

Official Baha'i Websites

Bahá'í Perspectives Tab
"Bahá'í Perspectives" is the Bahá'í response to the "Ask the Religion Experts" column series that formerly ran in the Sunday edition of the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. Read here...

Subscribe to Community News Tab
RSS Feed LogoSubscribe to Community News Feed using your web browser.

Email IconSubscribe to receive Community News Updates  via email:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Share this page with a friend,
enter their email address here:


Welcome Tab
The Bahá'ís of Ottawa come from a variety of backgrounds, brought together by a common belief in the oneness of humanity and the unity of religion. We work alongside others to become a force of positive change, applying insights from the Bahá'í teachings to bring about a more just, peaceful and unified community.

Community News Current

March 28, 2017

A Lofty Devotional
A Lofty DevotionalEditor’s Note - Devotional gatherings are an important part of Baha’i community life in Ottawa and around the world. There are no set formulas for how such devotional gatherings are run and much room for creativity and learning. It is in this spirit, we are very pleased to feature a special relection from Ottawa Baha’i Hayley Miloff, sharing her personal experience hosting devotionals.

When my brothers and I got an apartment in Centretown four and a half years ago, we knew we wanted to make our home a haven for people from all walks of life. We wanted to create a space where people would feel comfortable, would be able to build meaningful friendships and would always leave feeling better than when they arrived. We also wanted to create opportunities for friends to express their love for the Creator, whatever their faith or lack thereof, and to have open conversations about life’s big questions. We decided to host a gathering, which we affectionately called Lofty. And so it began.

Like many things worth doing, Lofty took some effort. It started out as a brunch, so my brothers and I would wake up early Sunday mornings and run around buying cheese and bagels and orange juice. Over time, we realized the gatherings were just as sweet when they were simple. In fact, going crazy over the food sometimes took away from the real reason we were all there: to share prayers and writings from all the world religions, and to praise the one same God. So Lofty evolved over time, sometimes bringing people together for meals and other times simply for prayer, upliftment and enjoying each other’s company.

A Lofty DevotionalLofty became an experiment in how to foster spiritual connection. We hosted Lofty in our living room, as well as under a tree in the Arboretum and in parks in downtown Ottawa. We had morning Lofties and evening Lofties. We had some gatherings with people of all ages, others focused on youth, and some specifically for parents and babies. We paired Lofty with arts and crafts in the afternoons (lovingly coined ‘crafternoons’), board game nights and soccer games. We hosted it weekly when we could, and less frequently when work and school got crazy. At times, we asked for help organizing the program, bringing snacks, and reflecting on how we could make it better, and people always came through with tremendous support.

Lofty has been blessed by a diverse array of enthusiastic guests, people from Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, agnostic and atheist backgrounds, exploring ideas of inner transformation and social change together. Sometimes we would have rich conversations with one guest and other times had to move to a larger home to accommodate some 50 people. Participants made Lofty their own by contributing poems, songs, prayers and quotes from their favourite spiritual teachers, philosophers and writers. We discussed dozens of themes picked by the group, from joy, contentment, and relationships, to nature and sustainability, the spiritual education of children, mothers and mentors, and the harmony of science and religion. We even had a special Lofty to inaugurate the opening of the Baha’i temple in Santiago, Chile in October. When one brother moved to Stockholm, and the other to Arizona, a series of different roommates added to Lofty’s energy and vitality. At the end of the day, I came to realize that a devotional is not about the venue or the hosts, but has achieved its goal “where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.” And so it continues. If you ever want to join our ever-expanding group of eclectic friends for prayers, feel free to be in touch (hmiloff@gmail.com). We’d love to meet you!

1 Bahá’u’lláh

Community News Current
March 16, 2017

A Passion for the Marimba
Ottawa Baha’i Zvondai Muchenje, shares his love for music, teaching and marimbas

A Passion for the MarimbaWhen you walk into Zvondai Muchenje’s living room in Ottawa the first thing you notice is a big marimba next to a piano. Zvondai’s love for the marimba is immediately apparent. For the past nine years he has been sharing this love with children and adults, having formed a children’s marimba band called the Colour of Diversity and an adult band called Tine Rufaro (We Bring Joy).

How did all this musical richness start?  As a child Zvondai had played drums in his native Zambia and then as a teenager he learned marimba, playing by ear the traditional music of the Shona, Zimbabwe people, that has been passed along orally for thousands of years.
After coming to Ottawa he missed this traditional music and purchased his first marimba from British Columbia in 2006.   Soon he began not just playing the instrument but building his own marimbas. As he said “when you have a passion for something it is not that hard.” By 2008 he had five marimbas and three little children of his own. It was time to start a marimba Band.

A Passion for the Marimba“As a Baha’i I wanted my kids to enjoy going to Baha’i activities, like monthly gatherings called Feasts and Baha’i Holy Days. So I formed The Colour of Diversity Band so that they could develop a talent and have something to share at Baha’i functions—something they loved.”

When they began, Zvondai explained, there were only five children, feeling shy and embarrassed to perform before others. Now there are seven children in the band and they can “wow their audiences” with their ability to make breaks and restart all together. There are also fourteen children he is teaching. This means Zvondai has built seven marimbas—one large bass, one baritone, two tenors, and three sopranos--and has spent many Saturday afternoons teaching children.

Nowadays the children do not just play at Baha’i activities. They reach out into the community around them and play at senior residences, low income sites like Ottawa Community Housing projects and, in November, at City Hall for the mayor at an interfaith meeting. Furthermore, the band no longer consists of only Baha’i children as others have joined them.

A Passion for the MarimbaSome of the kids from the first group in 2008 are in university now, but they still enjoy playing with the band when they come home for breaks. As Zvondai points out, playing in the band “builds memories. It is an important part of their lives.”

Zvondai’s love of music extends to playing gigs with his adult marimba band as far away as Cornwall, Kingston and Peterborough and teachings workshops in secondary schools and classes for children and adults every Friday night in New Edinburgh. He is also looking forward to building a new marimba this summer. When you love something, nothing is too hard.

Community News Current
January 20, 2017

Canadian Baha'i representative participates in UN forum addressing anti-muslim discrimination - New York

Panelists and moderator for "Positive Narratives to Promote Pluralism and Inclusion"

Director of Government Relations for the Baha’i Community of Canada, Corinne Box, a resident of Ottawa, participated in a recent High-Level Forum on Combatting Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Hate that was hosted at the UN Headquarters in New York.  She was invited to participate by the Government of Canada.

The event, which brought together people of many faiths and backgrounds, representatives from several nations and international bodies, and individuals working in a variety of sectors, saw a unified response emphasizing the need to focus on our common humanity.

A video message from the new Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, framed the discussion of anti-Muslim discrimination in the contexts of both this period in history where tensions are rising around the globe, and of the many forms of discrimination that plague and hinder us. In his remarks, he noted that, “discrimination diminishes us all; it prevents people and societies from achieving their full potential.” He further urged those gathered to “draw strength from the values of inclusion, tolerance, and mutual understanding - that are at the heart of all major faiths, and the United Nations charter.”

Throughout the day, speakers and panelists made explicit what it means to be inclusive and tolerant and what one might try to do to encourage mutual understanding - in the context of societies plagued by anti-Muslim discrimination and hate. The Baha’i representative, Mrs. Box, a resident of Ottawa, was invited along with Zarqa Nawaz, Director of Little Mosque on the Prairie, to speak in an afternoon panel session.  The panel, titled, Positive Narratives to Promote Pluralism and Inclusion, was organized and moderated by Richard Arbeiter, Director General of the Office of Human Rights, Freedom and Inclusion in the Global Affairs Canada Department (the former Department of Foreign Affairs).

In her comments, Mrs. Box noted that it is “important to give more space to the positive influence of religion in society”. In that connection, she shared the modest, yet concrete example of the Baha’i Community of Canada’s collaboration with other organizations to bring about the Our Whole Society conference series, which aims to open the space for voices from a wide range of secular and religious positions to discuss the role of religion in Canadian society.

Echoing the message shared by the Secretary General in his opening remarks, Mrs. Box later affirmed, “we are all part of the same human family,” and in a brief exploration of the implications of this conviction, she noted our differences, our profound interdependence, and emphasized the organic relationship that exists between us, whereby “damage to one part will damage the whole”.

Participants in the high-level forum left well-informed of the reach, depth, and some of the sources of prejudice against Muslims, as well as some indications of modest steps that have helped to counter harmful narratives. A press release on the event from the Canadian government can be read here.

Home     Contact   Site Map    Web Support

© The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ottawa, Canada