Jaime Matyas and Chad Sikora hold roses and candles as part of the candle vigil to honour National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women, in downtown Kelowna Wednesday, Dec.6. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Violence against women an issue in Kelowna

A list of names of about 80 women was read during the annual Kelowna candlelight vigil

“The massacre happened over 20 years ago, yet women are still being added to the list every year. Every year we hope that we won’t have to add a name.”

The words came from Olivia Hofter, chairperson of the Central Okanagan Women’s Resource and Education Foundation, speaking at the annual candlelight vigil, held Wednesday, Dec. 6 in Kelowna, as part of National Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women.

More than 80 roses were placed at The Sails to honour women who were victims of violence.

The list started with about 20 names including the women killed in the Montreal massacre, and has since grown to include about 80 names, most of which are local.

In 1989, 14 women were killed at École Polytechnique in Quebec, making it the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.

Carol Taylor honoured the memory of the women, who were primarily engineering students, with a candle and rose.

They were massacred and they would’ve been in their late 20s, at the peak of their careers, she said. “This has to stop, violence against women has to stop. By coming out and honouring their memory we say ‘never again.’”

Sharon Currie attended the vigil with her friend and believes the issue is coming out into the open.

Currie saw an ad to end violence against women, which shows men in varying stages of their lives, highlighting that violence is unacceptable at every stage.

Olive Davis is a survivor of domestic abuse, and held a candle and a rose during the vigil.

“It’s empowering to know that there’s people out there that do stuff like this, I know when I was in that moment I felt very alone,” she said.

The candlelight vigil has been ongoing in Kelowna since 1990, according to event organizer Micki Materi, of the foundation.

“I don’t think the issue is changing, but I think as a society we are more aware,” said Materi. “In the ’90s when we started doing this generally if neighbours heard something next door they minded their own business because it was a family matter.

“But now, they’ll call the police because they know it can turn bad.”

Police response over the years has also improved, she said. “We continue to reach this mass of voices that say ‘no, we’re not going to take this anymore.’”

Only the victims names are broadcast during the vigil, not the perpetrators.

“I think we’re pretty good at the remembrance piece… the next piece of it that we cannot forget is the action piece and that is where we sometimes fall short. I want you to think of what you can do on an individual level to work to end violence,” said Hofter to the crowd of around 80 people.

A vigil was also held Wednesday at UBCO.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Reports of grass fire in West Kelowna

Grass fire reported in Smith Creek area of West Kelowna

Reel Reviews: Evil bloodlines and jewelry heists

We say, “Hereditary is refreshingly scary, Ocean’s 8 is familiarly okay.

Kelowna keeps up the ‘Pawsitivity’ for the love of dogs

The third annual ‘Pet2gether’ was held in the ‘Barkinglot’ today

Kelowna gets moving for prostate cancer

Raymond James Father’s Day Walk Run celebrates it’s twentieth anniversary

UPDATE: RCMP investigating overnight incident on Lakeshore Road

Evidence markers noting blood stains on road

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Fathers’ Day in the sun

Discovery House event draws a crowd to Penticton’s Skaha Lake Park

Book Talk: Okanagan beach reads

A cool, shady spot on the beach is a fine place to lose yourself in a book

Penticton Pistoleras seize second undefeated season

Penticton’s Pistoleras roller derby team wrapped up the season undefeated, thanks to… Continue reading

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Former Penticton Vee recovering in hospital

Pittsburgh Penguin prospect expected to make full recovery

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

Police say Salmon Arm youth who posted about shooting students no longer a threat

Group which alerted RCMP to tweets says it issued a Code Red, highest level of alert

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

Most Read