In 2001, representatives of several faith communities began to meet regularly, organizing multi-faith gatherings at the Cadboro Bay United Church, and street festivals near St. John’s the Divine Anglican and First Metropolitan United Church. Included in these gatherings were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Bahá’í, Buddhist, Unitarian and several other faith communities. The response was extraordinary and the need for a formal association was evident.
At a meeting held in April, 2006, at the Interfaith Chapel at UVic, a Board of Directors was elected, and a series of Objectives were adopted. The name Victoria Multifaith Society was chosen.
Membership was and is open to individuals who share in the vision and objectives of the society. It is hoped that the witness and work of the society will represent the very best in our respective faith traditions and lead to greater understanding, respect and co-operation of everyone living in our region.
Current Activities (see also posts on our Home page)
- 14 October 2015: The Spirit of Health Project, operating under the VMS banner, presented “The Art of Mental and Spiritual Self-Care Forum & Fair” which was sponsored and funded by the UVic Student Mental Health Initiative.
- In February 2016, a Family Faith Fair was held in honour of the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week with over 150 attending. Eight world faiths had colourful fair exhibits at Cadboro Bay United Church, and over $900 was raised for the CBUC’s Syrian refugee sponsorship program. The Fair also featured a World Café, First Nations dancer Amanda Edward, a report by Dr Sabine Lehr on the refugee sponsorship effort in Victoria, keynote speaker Dan Vaillancourt on “The Soul of Education”, multicultural dances from India and the Philippines, and storytelling.
- In May, VMS participated in the World Partnership Walk organized by the Aga Khan Foundation, held at the University of Victoria. On the VMS team page $1160 was raised for charitable projects aimed at “the poorest of the poor”.
- September 21: UN International Day of Peace. VMS is a proud sponsor of this event spearheaded by the Unity Church, and present on the organizing committee.
- September 24: One Spirit, Celebrating Our Faiths Together, hosted by VMS and the Hindu Parishad and Cultural Centre in Saanichton, where the event will be held. Several world faiths will provide artistic and devotional presentations, followed by a catered meal.
- September 29 – October 27: Lunch & Learn Series will be hosted by VMS and Christ Church Cathedral from Noon to 1 p.m. weekly. A different world faith will be presented each Thursday, and refreshments served.
A Sampling of Past Events
A multifaith book club studied each major Faith for one 3-month season, looking for what is beautiful and essential in each one (2007-2008);
Learning Circles, began September 11, 2007 – studied one Faith per month, with presenters giving overviews followed by questions and answers;
- The 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was commemorated in 2008 with a multi-cultual, multi-faith program attended by about 150 people.
General meetings to involve exploration of ethical and moral issues combined with time to share and socialize with other members – ongoing.
- The first Family Faith Fair was held in January 2010, in honour of World Religion Day, with a multi-cultural, multi-faith program, keynote speaker, World Café, and activities for all ages.
- Joint projects were held over several years with the Inter-Cultural Association (ICA) to promote interfaith dialogue and sharing. These included Open Houses hosted by various faith groups, storytelling, and multicultural meals.
Anyone interested in attending multi-faith activities such as these, who would like to be on the email notification list, may contact email@example.com
We also offer speakers to businesses and organizations. Please email for further information.
To demonstrate that people of faith can work respectfully together
To be a resource for the community by:
Responding to emergent humanitarian issues which impact on relationships between communities of Faith
Liaising with and providing resources to those wanting information and educational material on multifaith perspectives and social issues
To increase engaged and committed membership