“The shoes seem to be a symbol for people who aren’t there.”
Jenny Toone, vice-president of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) in Richmond, encouraged the public to join the club for Richmond’s first Shoe Memorial on Dec. 6.
On Friday, over 100 pairs of shoes will be on display to represent women who have been killed as a result of domestic violence.
The memorial specifically commemorates the death of 14 women who were murdered at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.
The day also coincides with Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
Deborah Track, president of CFUW, said the shoes were donated by members of community organizations and the Twoten Foundation.
Track added that it’s important to remember “significant dates, even if they’re bad news.”
“This is the 30th anniversary of the massacre in Montreal, and (with) Richmond being such a multicultural city, there may be lots of people who still don’t know anything about (the incident), and it’s kind of important to bring awareness to it.”
Toone and Track said they also found 24 names, over a 25-year period, of Richmond women who have been murdered and they were surprised to see many ethnic Asian names on the list.
“It’s just shocking and to know that they’re obviously long-time Canadian women too,” said Toone, adding that they hope they can extend their reach to women in the non-English speaking community through this event.
Toone wants women in Richmond to know there are local resources in the city that help women escape domestic violence, such as the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, the Grandmothers, Turning Point and CHIMO.
“It’s important to try to help educate women who might be being abused or in danger, and don’t know that there are all (these) resources available to them, so I think that education is really important,” said Toone.
After the event, the shoes will be distributed to the organizations that serve women in need.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Richmond Cultural Centre Plaza.