On December 6, 1989 at a busy college campus in Montreal Quebec, 14 women were brutally murdered by a man targeting women. The man claimed he was “fighting feminism” according to news outlets capturing the horrible event and had placed blame on “feminists” for ruining his life through political motives.
Three years following the massacre, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women was created in order to commemorate the women killed and as well as recognize gender-based violence still plagues communities all over Canada.
As such, more than 32 YWCA’s across Canada are calling for dramatic action to end violence against women and girls. YWCA Canada, the nation’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service association, launches its annual Rose Campaign on Parliament Hill on December 6, 2014 to recognize this important day.
Violent assaults still appear in many forms and afflict Calgary today. This year to date, nine women have been murdered and multiple women have been assaulted in both the daytime and evening hours throughout the city. Included in the list of assaults are a recent kidnapping and brutal attack of a woman, two attacks on women on their way to stay in the YWCA Winter Emergency Response Program (WER) and currently, a Calgary woman is missing.
On Saturday, December 6, 2014, the YWCA of Calgary will join other YWCA’s across the country to ‘Light the Night’ against violence. From coast to coast, local structures and monuments will be lit red in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Montreal massacre and ask Calgarians, and Canadians to take a stand against violence directed at women.
In addition to ‘Light the Night’, on Saturday, December 6, 2014, from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. a local Calgary restaurant, the Black Cat Lounge and Grill is holding a Celebration of Life to honour one of those nine murdered woman, Susan Elko. Not only will they be celebrating a life lost to violence but they will also provide support for other women who are struggling.
Susan Elko, a former staff member at the Black Cat Lounge, was stabbed to death in her home in Calgary in September. “She was just about the friendliest, most full of life, beautiful girl you ever met,” Susan’s father, Mark Elko, told the media at the time of the murder. “We can’t believe something like this happened.”
The Black Cat Lounge and Grill will be donating all food and beverage proceeds from the day to the YWCA Sheriff King Home emergency shelter and the Elko Family. The Black Cat staff will donate their time and tips as well. For more information on the event please visit: