Ploughshares Calgary has been active on issues of peace, justice and disarmament since 1982 and has made contributions to advocacy efforts on a local and national level. Initiatives of Ploughshares Calgary and individual members of the organization have won a total of 10 peace medals from the YMCA of Calgary.
Raised awareness of American cruise missile testing in northern Alberta.
Instrumental in establishing a Peace and Conflict studies group at the University of Calgary. This group hosted lectures, debates, panels and films at the university for 10 years.
Successfully lobbied, through the Calgary Disarmament Coalition, for Calgary to become a nuclear-weapon-free zone, an important symbolic victory.
Appeared before a Senate committee holding hearings on Canada’s involvement in NORAD. Protested Canadian involvement in President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative through a letter-writing campaign and an academic position paper. Canada eventually opted out of the plan.
Through an offshoot off Ploughshares Calgary, Educators for the Environment, Peace and Social Justice, held peace conferences for hundreds of Calgary children annually for six years.
Provided an alternative viewpoint to world media during a nuclear planning meeting of NATO defense ministers in Kananaskis by providing pro-peace messages to world media at the event. Ploughshares was quoted in European media coverage of the meeting.
Provided education to churches and school groups and mounted a letter-writing campaign on the topic. Civil society groups like Ploughshares around the world were instrumental in bringing about the Mine Ban Treaty in 1998, which has now been signed by 162 countries.
Provided a forum for young people to engage with peace issues through the Youth Action for Peace Forum. A large mural depicting their vision of peace was displayed at the UN Summit on Racism in Durban in 2001.
Provided anti-bullying education to over 40,000 students and teachers through the Puppets for Peace program.
Successfully lobbied for the Calgary Mayor’s Office to join Mayors for Peace, a group of 6,800 mayors around the world striving for a nuclear-free world. Ploughshares also hosted Mayor Akiba of Hiroshima, the leader of the group, on an official trip to Calgary.
Raised funds for a Sierra Leone peace centre through annual Calgary Peace Run.
Hosted the annual Floating Lantern Peace Ceremony at Olympic Plaza in commemoration of the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The ceremony was held in solidarity with events in many other cities around the world.