VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Every year, in the days leading up to the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre volunteers like Tima Dickerson cram their cars full of women’s shoes.
Every year, the number of pairs they collect to commemorate women murdered in B.C. grows.
This Friday, there will be 1,038 pairs of shoes lined up on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery along with the names of women who have been murdered in the province in the last 25 years.
“The display does grow every year with the number of victims,” says Dickerson who organizes the memorial for UFCW Local 247.
It has been 30 years since a man walked into Montreal’s École Polytechnique and murdered 14 women while proclaiming “You’re all feminists and I hate feminists!”
“Women and girls are being killed needlessly every day–still,” says Dickerson.
She says the team of volunteers will make sure to have the arresting display set up by 8 a.m. so it can be seen during the morning rush.
“When they see that number of shoes it really does hit home, and they will stop and they will give you an opportunity to talk to them. When you explain to them that in Canada alone — on average — a woman or girl is killed every 2.5 days, they’re absolutely taken back.”
The Shoe Memorial is in its 17th year and people have come to expect it on Dec. 6.
“I’m surprised how many people actually come out specifically on this day knowing that we are there,” Dickerson explains.
There is a ceremony in addition to the display. A series of speakers, beginning at 1 p.m., includes a member of the union whose sister’s murder remains unsolved after 30 years.
A list of events in Metro Vancouver to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre can be found here.