On Sunday, April 19, 2015 over 5000 Toronto Armenians joined by various communities such as Pontian Greeks, Assyrians, Jews, Kurds, Rwandans and Cypriots, gathered at Queen’s Park to commemorate the Armenian genocide in 1915.
The honourable guests attending this event were Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne, The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defense and Minister for Multiculturalism, His Worship Mayor John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, parliamentarians, federal and provincial officials, His Excellency Mr. Armen Yeganyan, the Ambassador of Republic of Armenia in Ottawa, His Graces Bishop Abgar Hovakimian and Bishop Meghrig Parikian, Reverend Fathers and Leaders of Armenian churches and organizations in Greater Toronto Area. The keynote speaker was renowned film director Atom Egoyan.
The Unity March started following the speeches, from Queen’s Park towards the Metropolitan United Church of Toronto to participate in Ecumenical Service. This commemoration prayer service was organized by Toronto Armenian Churches’ Interdenominational Committee, consisting of Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church, St. Gregory’s Armenian Catholic Church, and Armenian Evangelical Church with the participation of their united choir. The Metropolitan United Church was packed by unprecedented number of faithful who participated in this service inside and outside of the church.
On behalf of the Armenian Interdenominational Committee, Rev. Archpriest Fr. Zareh Zargarian, Pastor of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church welcomed all and acknowledged the presence of His Excellency Mr. Armen Yeganyan, the Ambassador of Republic of Armenia in Ottawa, as well as representatives of Canadian Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments. He extended heartfelt gratitude to Archbishop Thomas Cardinal Collins – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, Archbishop Colin Johnson – Diocese of Toronto Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Mina – The Coptic Church Diocese of Mississauga & Vancouver, as well as to clergy members representing Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada), Holy Synod Of Ethiopia in Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, Metropolitan United Church, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, United Church of Canada and Canadian Council of Churches.
Messages were delivered on behalf of Republic of Armenia, by Ambassador Yeganian, and on behalf of the Canadian Armenian Faithful, Bishop Abgar Hovagimian and Bishop Meghrig Parikian.
The sermon of the day was preached by the Roman Catholic Archbishop Thomas Cardinal Collins, dedicated to the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
This peaceful Ecumenical Service paid its utmost respect to the memory of all martyrs and was aimed to prevent the violence and prosecutions around the world. A heartfelt gratitude to the House of Commons and the Government of Canada for the recognition of the Armenian genocide.
A big thank you to the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Canada for their outstanding commitment and dedication.