Despite drawing a crowd of 734, event organizers failed to break the Guinness World Record for largest human peace sign at UBC’s Matthews Field on Saturday.
Organizers Joyce Ross and Patricia Connor were hoping to see 5,815 participants beat an earlier — though unofficial — record of 5,814 people set in New York in 2008. As the day went on, however, it became increasingly evident there were not enough people to occupy the large peace sign outlined in chalk on the field.
At 2 p.m., a helicopter appeared above Matthews Field to take aerial photographs of the human peace symbol.
Last year’s Peace sign event was held in Cloverdale, Surrey, and drew in a crowd of 625 people. To encourage more people to participate, the organizers chose to change the venue of the event to UBC this year. They were hoping the university venue would entice students to take part in the event.
“I would be lying to say that I’m not disappointed that we didn’t at least double last year’s, but I’m so happy with the people who did come. So I’m not disappointed in the event. I’m not disappointed in the people,” Ross said.
The day-long event commenced with a prayer of support by members of the Musqueam First Nation and went on to feature numerous entertainers, ranging from musicians to guest speakers and a children’s clown. Speakers included Brock Tully, the founder of the World Kindness Concert; Tim Maloney, National Director of Mercy Ships Canada; and Ted Kuntz, author of Peace Begins With Me. The event also featured 16 musical performances.
“The people that are here, the quality, just the love and energy is quite delightful,” said Kuntz. “I’m also disappointed. I’m disappointed that this place isn’t all wall to wall people.”