Sam Fillipoff was a tireless advocate for a Culture of Peace for the children of the world. He was an elementary teacher in Vancouver and advocated for equality for all students. He was also a Race Relations Consultant for both the Vancouver School Board and the BC Teachers' Federation until his retirement from teaching. He continued to advocate on behalf of others as a peace activist during his retirement.
Sam brought his ideas to a new level at The World Peace Forum held in Vancouver in 2006. As part of the Education Committee, he came up with the idea of children putting all their war toys into a huge pile and burning them, much like his ancestors the Doukhobors had done with their weapons. The potential pollution shut that idea down but Navnit Dosanjh came up with the brilliant idea of transforming the war toys to art depicting peace images of peace.
Susan Ruzic, another Committee member, brought the idea into her classroom in Coquitlam, and carried it into the school district. Parents, other teachers, administration and the community supported her with the project and thus Toys for Amnesty was born. It evolved from it's first project at Moody Elementary in Port Moody and the first art showing was in the Port Moody Art Gallery to the UBC Museum of Anthropology for the following six months to open for the World Peace Forum. It has continued to grow to other parts of the province. This past spring, the town of Smithers with the guidance of Sarah Milner completed this project and had it on display at their local art gallery.
Sam Fillipoff tragically succumbed to Crutzfeldt-Jacobs disease in July 2008. However his vision of a world based on peace lives on with Acts of Transformation: War Toys to Peace Art. We hope you'll join us in that pursuit.