Okanagan College to hold virtual vigil to mark 31st anniversary of massacre at École Polytechnique | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan College to hold virtual vigil to mark 31st anniversary of massacre at École Polytechnique

December 04, 2020 - 5:30 AM

The annual candlelight vigils at Okanagan College campuses to draw attention to violence against woman and mark the somber anniversary of the massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal 31 years ago will be held virtually this weekend.

A virtual candlelight vigil to mark the 31st anniversary of the Montreal Massacre on Sunday, Dec. 6, according to an Okanagan College press release. Communities in Salmon Arm and Vernon have in the past used their home campuses to host separate ceremonies but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the events are being combined and hosted virtually to keep organizers and participants safe.

“It was important to us to offer this event again this year, even if we cannot be together. We are incredibly grateful to all those who have put their time and energy into making this virtual event happen," stopping the violence counsellor with SAFE Society Kathy McIntyre-Paul said in the release.

READ MORE: Survey of Canadian women's shelters shows abuse more severe during pandemic

"COVID-19 has not made violence against women go away. If anything, women have been even more vulnerable during this time, McIntyre-Paul said. "The Dec. 6 event is an important way to remember and honour women who have lost their lives due to violence or continue to struggle with it.

The anniversary of the Montreal Massacre has come to symbolize the threat and reality of violence in women’s daily lives simply because of their gender. The potential for humanity is lost whenever a woman is murdered.

"This day of remembrance and action is a way of giving a voice to those who have no voice," Micki Materi, co-executive director of programs at the Archway Society for Domestic Peace, said in the release. "We must remember and then we must act to create a world where this does not continue to happen. We can start with a national action plan to ensure follow-up to the National Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women’s final report’s calls to justice.”

For information and to watch videos the day of the vigil, visit the Okanagan College website here.

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