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Public memorial for 1 year anniversary of fatal Kelowna crane collapse

People are encouraged to gather at 10 a.m. on Bernard Ave.

July 12, marks the one year anniversary of the fatal Kelowna crane collapse.

A crane fell at a construction site in downtown Kelowna, killing five men and causing significant damage to surrounding buildings.

The collapse caused the evacuation of downtown and the city was forced to call a local state of emergency shortly after the incident.

The specialized heavy urban rescue team of first responders was dispatched from Vancouver to assist with the debris.

Four of the five victims were identified as construction workers on the site. Brothers Eric and Patrick Stemmer, of the family-owned Stemmer Construction that operated the crane on-site, while the other two victims were identified as Jared Zook and Cailen Vilness.

The fifth man, Brad Zawislak, had gone to work the morning of July 12, at his office in downtown Kelowna.

He and those he worked with were soon throttled by a crane crashing into their building around 11 a.m.

Zawislak was buried beneath the rubble and specialized rescue crews from Vancouver helped recover his body late Tuesday night, July 13.

The five men were fathers, brothers and sons that were loved in the community and will be remembered at the July 12 ceremony.

A memorial ceremony, held by the North Okanagan Labour Council, will take place in the 500 block of Bernard Ave., between the intersections of Bernard and Ellis Street and St. Paul Street.

Participants are encouraged to gather around 10 a.m. and the event will formally begin at 10:10 a.m

Agenda of the memorial:

  • 10-10:10am- Attendees gather
  • 10:10am- Welcome/Intros
  • 10:15am- Address from the North Okanagan Labour Council
  • 10:20am- Address from City of Kelowna Representative
  • 10:25am- Remarks from Dignified Speakers (Families, WorkSafe, Industry)
  • 10:55am- Moment of Silence
  • 11:00am-Clifford Kshyk (CEO - SICA) - Crane worker Legacy Fund
  • 11:05am- Farewells

Mission Group will halt work on all their construction sites on July 12.

READ MORE: Mission Group holds moment of silence on anniversary of Kelowna crane collapse

From 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. work will stop and five air horn blasts will play followed by a moment of silence.

Mission Group is asking other construction companies to consider the same recognition due to the large community impact the tragic event had.

READ MORE: Multiple deaths reported after ‘catastrophic’ crane collapse in Kelowna

READ MORE: 5th victim from Kelowna crane collapse identified


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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