November 28, 2019

The 17th annual Shoe Memorial in Vancouver takes place Friday, December 6 at the Vancouver Art Gallery (Georgia St. side). The event runs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, with the ceremony starting at 1:00 pm.

The Shoe Memorial honours the memory of murdered women with a powerful visual display of a set of shoes for each victim placed on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, with their names displayed.

Started by the late Pat Kelln, the Shoe Memorial has become an important event every December 6 to help raise awareness about violence experienced by women. Kelln saw UFCW Local 247’s commitment to the Shoe Memorial project, and asked Local 247 to oversee the annual event.

“Pat Kelln saw this event as something that could be put together for very little cost,” says Suzanne Hodge, President of UFCW Local 247, "and we share Pat’s commitment to remember the victims and remind the public about violence against women. The focus isn’t to blame, but to remember the victims – the mothers, daughters, and sisters that no longer walk with us as a result of violence, and work towards ending this brutality.”

Brochures and info for the public on the issue of violence are distributed, including info on how to get help if someone you know is in a violent situation.

The Shoe Memorial, now in its 17th year, takes place each year on December 6, and is one of many gatherings and memorials across Canada to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which commemorates the 14 women who were murdered on December 6, 1989 at Montréal's École Polytechnique as the victims of gender-based violence.

What happens to the Shoe Memorial shoes?

In Canada, there are still over 100,000 women and children who have to run from the violence and abuse in their homes for women’s shelters every year. Each year, all the shoes and boots gathered for the memorial are donated to women's emergency shelters. These shelters look after women and children who have escaped violent households, often with just the clothes on their backs.

The UFCW Local 247 Women's Committee bagging up shoes for the December 6 Shoe Memorial in Vancouver. Pictured L-R are Kathleen Allen, Sandra Peters, Cathy Maw, Dawn Stevenson, Tima Dickerson, Ximena Mastrodonato, and Cathy Shannon.
Special thanks to the RCMP for their support of the Shoe Memorial and their work in donating shoes to this important cause.