The line up for Coventry Peace Festival has been announced with large-scale online events, community projects and commemoration of Coventry’s 80th Blitz Anniversary billed to take place.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Coventry’s Message of Peace to the World’ and it will run until November 16.
The annual event celebrates Coventry’s work as an international city of peace and reconciliation, and in the past has seen a network of events take place across the city.
This year however, the festival programme is heavily impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 situation and as a result many of the events will be taking place virtually.
2020 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Blitz in Coventry and as a result many of the Peace Festival events are heavily influenced by this.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr Ann Lucas said: “Once again, Coventry will celebrate its recognition as a city famous for being a leading city of peace and reconciliation with our Peace Festival.
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“Now, more than ever, the world needs to focus on peace, love, compassion and understanding. Communities in Coventry have shown how many different faiths, cultures and languages can live together, support each other through difficult times and now have a chance to highlight the ongoing work for peace constantly taking place in the city.”
She added: “Due to the ongoing challenges we all face with COVID-19, this year’s programme does reflect the need for us all to host safe, well managed events and ensure everybody taking part can do so in an appropriate environment. I’m delighted with how many of our community groups have risen to this challenge and are hosting creative and safe activities.
“It’s a fantastic programme full of fascinating and interesting content. I hope that everyone takes the time out of their day to take part in this festival that makes our city so special.”
What events are taking place?
Be aware that events will run in line with local and national government guidelines at the time of the festival and some might be cancelled at short notice.
At the time of writing, Gaia, the installation of the Earth sculpture at Coventry Cathedral had been cancelled.
Here’s some of what you can expect to see from Coventry Peace Festival:
Neighbours’ Positive Images Peace Festival Poetry Competition
This is the 5th annual competition on a topic relating to Peace and Reconciliation and is run by the Positive Images Festival team.
The topic for 2020 is Neighbours and an online Readings and Awards Ceremony will be held, using the Lord Mayor’s Covtelecon zoom facility, 2pm-4pm Saturday 21 November.
Date: Thursday 1 October to Saturday 21 November
Location: Online only
All events that are not online will now be subject to Covid-19 restrictions. You can find the latest on the Coventry City Council website, and see the latest local Covid-19 figures below:
World Tree of Peace
Date: Sunday 1 – Sunday 15 November 2020
Location: Exhibition display plus YouTube film / outdoor park (Memorial Park)
Multilingual messages of peace collected through different social media channels will be imprinted on coloured ribbons and displayed prominently on a tree in Coventry’s War Memorial Park. Red for remembrance, white for peace, sky blue for Coventry. The tree will stand as a peace exhibit 1 – 15 November.
Date: Monday 2 November – Friday 6 November
Location: HAGARD community space – Willenhall village green
Willenhall has been celebrating Peace Festival for a few years now with numbers growing over the years as residents come together to remember those they have lost during the period of Remembrance.
There’s an opportunity for all age groups to take part in one activity, from poems from local children on the Blitz, to a craft group displaying their creations, to memories of local residents on what the Blitz means to them.
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Peace of mind
Date: Tuesday 3 November, Friday 6 November, Tuesday 10 November, Friday 14 November.
Location: W.A.T.C.H Ltd and via Zoom
Peace of mind workshop will engage with BAME communities and those families affected by the fire in the tower block in Hillfields, exploring the idea of inner peace and how to obtain it in traumatic times. The participants will discuss ideas and experiences of peace on a personal level and what it means to have inner peace.
Rap for Peace
Date: Saturday 7 and Saturday 14 November
Location: Zoom and Hillz radio/ W.A.T.C.H Ltd
Through a Rap and Poetry workshop Hillz radio will engage with young people to encourage self-expression of what Peace means to them, using their own experiences and words to form a piece of creative writing. The work will be showcased on Hillz radio with some of the best pieces forwarded to BBC CWR as part of their promotion of local radio.
Watch: Hillfields residents on what community means to them
Twin cities poetry: Coventry-Cork exchange
Date: Wednesday 4 November 2020
Location: Virtual event, via Zoom/livestream
The Coventry-Cork twin cities poetry exchange has been taking place since 2008, to promote peace, friendship and cultural understanding between the two cities as creative communities. In addition to performing at special poetry events, the poets explore each other’s cities, take a tour of significant landmarks, network with other local writers and pay state visits to both the Coventry and Cork Lord Mayors.
Reprint Coventry Peace trail
Date: Wednesday 11 November
Coventry City Centre Peace Trail is a guide to a walking tour of over 30 sites associated with peace located within Coventry city centre and describes each of them. It begins with the ruins of St. Michael’s Cathedral, blitzed in 1940, and concludes in Millennium Place. You can find an interactive map or print off the trail at: covpeacetrail.uk
2020 Coventry Young People’s Peace essay competition – award ceremony
Date: Sunday 15 November
Location: Online via Zoom
At this online event, United Nations Association Coventry Branch will announce the winners of the 2020 Young People’s Peace Essay Competition and the winners will be invited to read their essays on the subject of: “The Role of Young People in Building Peace” Prizes for the three winners aged under 17 will be: £25, £10 and £5 plus a certificate.
The prizes for the three winners aged 17-25 will be: £50, £25 and £10 plus a certificate.
For more information on how to submit an essay visit: www.unacov.uk/young-peoples-peace-essay-competition-2020
Events may be cancelled at short notice due to Covid-19 restrictions. Keep up to date by checking the Coventry City Council events website: https://www.coventry.gov.uk/news