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

One night raises more than $100,000 for Kelowna charity

Third Space Life Charity’s gala raised more than $120,000 for mental health programs in Kelowna

Phone scam uses false RCMP ID on call display

North Okanagan RCMP say there are applications that allow people to change, hide call display info

Update: Power knocked out for 2,700 in Kelowna

FortisBC is working to restore power to area south of the highway Tuesday afternoon.

Get to know civic election candidates in Kelowna, West Kelowna

First of several all-candidates meetings scheduled for next week in the two cities

RE/MAX Kelowna helps kids in need

The real estate company donated $5,000 to the YMCA of Okanagan

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

VIDEO: a close-up look at what you were breathing during the wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Okanagan show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

South Okanagan neighbourhood surprised by emergency response team activity

RCMP officers were conducting emergency response training

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Thieves rip ATM out of Sun Peaks Resort

Kamloops Rural RCMP are investigating after an ATM was stolen from the Day Lodge at Sun Peaks.

Most Read