A crowd gathers at the Sails in downtown Kelowna on Sunday, July 7, to honour the late Elijah-Lain Beauregard. (David Venn - Capital News)

A crowd gathers at the Sails in downtown Kelowna on Sunday, July 7, to honour the late Elijah-Lain Beauregard. (David Venn - Capital News)

Eli to be remembered by bridging the gap between Kelowna’s communities

The candlelight vigil brought together people from all walks of life

In the hopes of a few attendees, perhaps Elijah-lain Beauregard’s candlelight vigil on the evening of Sunday, July 7, could be a milestone in breaking the housed-homeless divide.

Throughout the diverse crowd, people shouted their favourite stories of Eli. From one attendee: “He was a little daredevil!” Another said, “Eli, you touched a few old souls out there.” And from one lady who, admittingly, did not know Eli, she said, “He was loved. That is so beautiful.”

The atmosphere shifted from a sense of hampered joy in remembrance, to melancholic reality when a woman shouted that this could happen to anyone. “Something has to change. Things can change if we all say something.”

Since Eli’s death, his father has emphasized the need for public dialogue regarding homelessness in attempts to negate the odds of such an incident happening again.

READ MORE: Dozens remember life of slain teen at candlelight vigil in downtown Kelowna

“I think by bringing everyone together like this, we break barriers,” Eli’s father Robyn Beauregard said.

Jeanette Fischer lives on the street. She attended the vigil and placed a flag made of tattered yellow fabric and a light brown stick on the ground. On the flag were purple and orange scribbles, articulating her frustration with the stigma that engulfs the homeless population.

“You are sick of homeless people? Well, we are sick of being homeless,” she said.

Before Eli began living in precarious housing, he grew up in Penticton skateboarding, attending school and, as lifelong friend Ayden Chura explained it, being one of the “S—t-disturbing twins.”

READ MORE: The life of Eli’s father: How a youth stab-victim ended up on the streets

“Good or bad: there wasn’t one thing we couldn’t do together,” Chura’s mother laughed and brought her hand to her face, nodded and shook her head all in one motion. “Mom knows,” he said.

Chura and his family attended the vigil at a skate park in Penticton the night prior, on Saturday, July 7, where many of the attendees were figures of Eli’s youth; whether they were teachers, friends, parents of friends and whomever else. Coming to Kelowna, a fair portion of the mourners were from the transient community; a glaring sight in which the contrasting and adjacent roads of Bernard and Leon Avenue drew parallels.

“This is the way it really should be,” Chura said. “You shouldn’t have to sit there and judge somebody about whether they are homeless or not because in all honesty, you really don’t know their story.”

READ MORE: Stabbing victim succumbs to injuries in Kelowna hospital

Beauregard said any funds received by donation will go to the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs (OBGC). He and the OBGC may potentially create a space in Eli’s honour, in which teenagers get to decide what activities are available for them. Or as Beauregard explained it, “Whatever it is that kids are into these days that will keep them off the street.

“You might see someone who is down on their life; don’t judge them. They have a family that loves them just as much as you love your family.”

READ MORE: Downtown Kelowna stabbing victim in critical condition


@davidvenn_
David.venn@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Kierra Smith (Contributed)
Kelowna swimmer headed to Toronto hoping to qualify for Olympics

If she qualifies, it will be Kierra Smith’s second time swimming at the Olympics

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read