Online Candlelight Vigil
Candlelight Virtual Vigil video
Why our communities mark Dec. 6
Many activities stopped as a result of the 2020 pandemic. Violence against women, however, is not one of them.
This is why communities in the Okanagan and Shuswap are paying special attention to the 31st anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre, in addition to the ongoing cases of missing women from the region, with a Virtual Candlelight Vigil on Dec. 6 co-hosted by a network of organizations and volunteers. In previous years, communities in Salmon Arm and Vernon would use their home campus to host separate ceremonies. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the event is being combined and hosted virtually to keep organizers and participants safe.
Light a candle and join us
We have posted the "Virtual Vigil" video featuring a territory welcome and prayers offered by elders from both the Okanagan and Secwepemc territories, and Welcome Songs from both regions will be performed by band members. Representatives from the different nations will speak. A roundtable discussion, organized by OCSU and the VSAOC, exploring how safe students feel on campus will be presented. Drumming and the Women’s Warrior Song are key online features, in addition to music by Jessica Heaven, Jake McIntyre-Paul and Patrick Ryley.
Light your candle of remembrance
Anyone who visits this page, watches the video or marks Dec. 6 are asked to light a candle of remembrance in honour of the victims and survivors of violence toward women, and share a photo on social media. We must remain physically apart this year, but we can still remember together.
Resources and information
Here is a list of resources from sponsoring agencies:
- Okanagan College Aboriginal Services | Department email
- Archway Society for Domestic Peace | Society contact
- Okanagan College Students' Union
- Vernon Students' Association of OC
- Native Courtworker Association of BC | Local contact email
- Legal Aid contact
- SAFE Society | Society contact email
- Victim's Services email contact
- Women's Shelter: 250-832-9616
Help is available
The topic of violence against women can be triggering for many people. If you require support, please check these resources:
- Crisis Line: 1-833-456-4566
- Here2Talk counsellors for post-secondary students
- HealthLink nurse phone line: 811
The Candlelight Vigil co-hosts greatly appreciate the contributions of community members and organizations collaborating to put on this event: Splatsin Band Councillor and Elder Edna Felix, Elder Penny Lawrence (Okanagan Indian Band and RLTC Board Member), Laureen Felix (Splatsin Band member and local youth advocate), Justen Peters (OKIB), United Church Rev. Jenny Carter, Karen McAndless-Davis (author of When Love Hurts), Michael Ochoa (OKIB), Jacquelyn Rose (Métis Nation) and Deanna Gooden (Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC).