The website “Buddhism in Canada” (www.buddhismcanada.com) has closed, after 16 years.
The site was operated by George Klima, out of St. John, NFLD. A great debt of gratitude is owed to him for his unstinting service to the far-flung communities that the directory served. It grew to more than 400 temples, centres, associations, charities, groups, etc. over the years and required constant updating. Thank you, George!
Last year, the site was re-designed by Sumeru and moved to a WordPress platform, to make the site more useful to viewers, but also to simplify administration. Various features were added, such as searchable entries, improved navigational tools, and a clean new look. Geo-tagging was also introduced, to allow viewers to find entries on a map.
Unfortunately, in spite of these changes, maintenance of the site was still more than George was prepared to continue, having put so much effort in over the long haul. Last week he pulled the plug.
While we can only commend George for his dedication, the fact remains that Buddhism in Canada was a critical load-bearing pillar in the identity of Canadian Buddhists and it will be sorely missed. It was arguably the most-visited Buddhist website in Canada for many years. Not to have such a gateway would be a terrible loss to the community.
Some discussion is underway between Chris Ng, of the Buddhist Education Foundation for Canada, and members of the Toronto Sangha Council, to see if support is there to revive the site on a database platform, possibly in a multi-lingual format. Such a plan would require a clear, unified vision that will be hard to achieve. It would also require significant commitment of time, resources and money.
In other words, even if those efforts are successful, it will be quite some time before they bear fruit.
If you would like to extend your thanks to George, or share a story about how the Buddhism in Canada website helped you in your journey, please join the discussion by commenting below.
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