Dec. 6, 2021

Today we honour 14 womens' lives cut short in senseless act of gender-based violence

Online ceremony Dec. 6 honours victims of Montreal Massacre
George Becker from Pexels

On Dec. 6, 1989, the lives of 14 women at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal were cut tragically and senselessly short in a misogynistic and hateful act of gender-based violence. The University of Calgary marks the sombre anniversary of the Montreal Massacre with resolve and hope for a better future.

In memorials across Canada marking the 32nd anniversary, we come together to remember those women whose lives were taken so unjustly. It is a moment for us to raise awareness about the need for change, educate our community, demand an end to gender-based violence, and to offer hope for the many women and girls who continue to experience gender-based violence.

“Our community’s resolve to help end violence against women and girls is critical,” says Debbie Bruckner, senior director, student wellness, access and support. “In this time when so many of our current students are too young to remember the Montreal Massacre, it’s more important than ever to continue remembering the lives lost. All of us have a personal story that helps us relate to the loss and trauma at L’École Polytechnique. Our way forward into a more just and equitable society depends on our commitment to change.”

As another reminder of the importance of this day to help end gender-based violence, look to the Calgary skyline this evening. To mark the remembrance, the Calgary Tower will display orange LED lights.

UCalgary's memorial to be livestreamed Dec. 6

This year’s memorial will be livestreamed from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6. Deanna Burgart, engineering teaching chair and faculty member in the Schulich School of Engineering and Dr. Teri Balser, provost and vice-president (academic) will give this year’s keynote addresses. 

Hosting the event will be Assad Ali Bik, Students’ Union vice-president student life, and Tanille Shandro, president of the Graduate Students' Association. 

Jarome Harlea (piano), Margaret Hornett (flute) and Isaac Willocks (violin) from the School of Creative and Performing Arts will provide music. Lighting of candles by Kelly Jones from Campus Security will be a central part of the ceremony.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

16 Days of Activism is a global campaign dedicated to ending gender-based violence. The campaign uses the days between the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov. 25) and International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) to reinforce that violence against women, girls, gender non-binary people and the LGBTQ2S+ community is a human rights violation. Every year, the Women’s Resource Centre adopts the 16 Days of Activism campaign to focus on gender-based violence, and what individuals can do to prevent it.

Upcoming events:

  • The Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) will be selling handmade beeswax candles to help fund vital programming to end gender-based violence. The candles were made by campus community members, including students, faculty and staff. They will be sold for $5 a pair. Purchase candles in person by dropping by the WRC (MSC 482) Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • REAL Talk with Sagesse offers a guide to help understand and talk about domestic violence. It empowers change and brings people together. The workshop runs on Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m.