Each year on December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the Shoe Memorial honours the memory of murdered women by placing a set of shoes for each victim on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, with their names displayed.
Started by the late Pat Kelln, the Shoe Memorial takes place on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery and in other communities right across the province and country – a powerful public display and a blunt reminder of how many women continue to be killed as a result of gender-based violence.
The time, energy, and commitment of UFCW Local 247 activists to the Shoe Memorial helped it grow significantly over the years. Pat saw Local 247 as the kind of progressive organization that could help make sure the Shoe Memorials would continue to speak for those victims of violence whose voices have been silenced.
UFCW 247 shares Pat’s commitment to remember the victims while reminding the public about violence against women. The focus is not to blame, but to remember the victims – the mothers, daughters, and sisters that no longer walk with us as a result of violence and to work towards ending this brutality.
The 21st annual Shoe Memorial in Vancouver takes place Wednesday, December 6 at the Vancouver Art Gallery (Robson St. side). The event runs from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, with the ceremony starting at 12 noon.
Each year, all the shoes gathered for the memorial are donated to agencies and organizations that directly assist women in need.