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Vancouver and Montreal – December 12, 2018 – UFCW Canada activists stepped up to raise awareness at December 6 Shoe Memorials in British Columbia and Quebec to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
At the memorials, participants gave hundreds of pairs of women's boots and shoes to be donated to local women's emergency shelters. The footwear will go to women and children who have escaped violent households.
The first-ever Shoe Memorial was held in Vancouver in 2003 to commemorate the 14 female students who were murdered at Montreal's École Polytechnique in 1989, as well as thousands of other women in Canada who have been victims of violence and murder. Since then, citizens across the country have joined the Shoe Memorial effort to honour women who have lost their lives, as well as those who have survived gender-based violence.
In Vancouver, activists from UFCW Canada Local 247, along with community members and volunteers from Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, the Atira Women's Resource Society, and Mercy Canada participated in the 16th Annual Shoe Memorial on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, where attendees honoured victims of gender-based violence and donated over 1,000 pairs of shoes to local women’s shelters.
In Montreal, TUAC Quebec activists partnered with the Chez Doris Montreal Day Shelter for the second annual shoe memorial, donating more than 250 pairs of women’s shoes and boots for those in need. As part of the event, participants gathered at Montreal’s Cabot Square and heard from numerous speakers, including Anouk Collet, UFCW Canada Executive Assistant to the National President, and Alain Lachaîne, President of TUAC Canada Local 501.
In addition to supporting Shoe Memorials in B.C. and Quebec, UFCW Canada and its Local Unions also participated in the 16 Days of Action initiative throughout November and December. As part of the campaign, activists from across Canada shared images and videos on social media relaying their stance against gender-based violence between November 25 and December 10.