In 1929 Rabindranath Tagore came to Vancouver to address a conference of the National Council of Education of Canada. This article analyzes his reception as reported in the news media, but primarily examines the educational priorities he chose to elaborate. One major theme that he emphasized was 'freedom' in education: physical, mental, spiritual, and moral freedom, and freedom from racial and national prejudice. In particular he stressed the role of leisure in education and human life at large, in contrast to relentless competition for material advantage. He urged that imagination and creativity, especially artistic creativity, be nurtured, reflecting his own experience of growing up in a remarkably creative Bengali Indian family.