On Thursday morning, more than 1,000 pairs of donated shoes were placed on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery for the 16th year to commemorate murdered women in B.C.
Dec. 6 is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women marking the 29th anniversary of the Montreal massacre at École Polytechnique when 14 women were murdered.
After the founder Patricia Kelln passed away last January, her husband John Johnson continued the project before passing it on to the United Food & Commercial Workers UnionLocal 247 to bring awareness to women killed as a result of violence.
“It’s something everyone can do something about,” Johnson said.
Melanie Kirkland found the name of her adopted mother on the Shoe Memorial list four years ago after returning to Vancouver. She has attended the ceremony each year since then.
“Today is one of the only days I have with Thelma, my birth mom,” Kirkland said. “I feel close to her here cause this is how I found out she was murdered. It’s important to speak up and share my story with other because we don’t know who around us suffers from violence.”
All the shoes will be donated to local resource facilities to distribute to women in need.
To find more information about the Shoe Memorial, go to shoememorial.com.