UFCW Canada activists in BC gather support for December 6 memorial


(l-r) Sandra Peters (RCSS, Delta); John and Pat Keln; Dawn Stevenson (RCSS, Delta); Karen Christiansen (SAFEWAY, Surrey)

Vancouver – December 4, 2013 – This Friday, December 6, UFCW Canada activists in BC who have been gathering donations over the past months, will join other community members for Vancouver's annual Shoe Memorial. UFCW Canada Local 247 activists, members, and family members generously donated dozens and dozens of pairs of shoes and boots to the Shoe Memorial campaign.

In total, more than 700 pairs of shoes will be displayed on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of the Shoe Memorial. Each pair will have a card next to it with the name of a woman who died as a victim of gender-based violence. The Shoe Memorial, now in its thirteenth year, is one of many gatherings and memorials across Canada to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which commemorates the 14 women who were murdered on December 6, 1989 at Montréal's École Polytechnique as the victims of gender-based violence.

In advance of the December 6 event in Vancouver, Local 247 shop stewards Sandra Peters, Dawn Stevenson, Karen Christiansen, and union representative Tima Burgess (who is also a member of the National Council Women's Advisory Committee) recently met at the home of Pat Keln (the Shoe Memorial's founder) to package up the shoes and boots gathered up by campaign. The sisters will also be helping to set up the December 6 display outside the gallery.

Following the Shoe Memorial, the shoes and boots will be donated to women's emergency shelters in Vancouver; some of which service women and children who have escaped violent households, often with just the clothes on their backs.