Thirty years ago, a young man walked into the engineering school at Montreal’s École Polytechnique carrying a semi-automatic weapon. Inside a mechanical engineering classroom, he demanded that the men and women stand on opposite sides of the room, then fired his weapon on the women, who he identified as feminists. Fourteen women were killed that night.
Fourteen universities across Canada are joining forces with Montreal's École Polytechnique to mark 30 years since the mass shooting and pay tribute to the women who lost their lives on December 6, 1989.
The brutal attack and blatant violation of a fundamental right sent a shockwave across the country, putting into question Canadians’ sense of safety and notions of gender equality.
December 6 has since been designated the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, or White Ribbon Day. Every year since 2014, the City of Montreal and their collaborators illuminate the night sky with 14 beams of light, one for each victim, during their annual commemoration ceremony at the Mont Royal lookout.
Moment Factory is the company behind the commemorative light beam installation. They are known as ‘builders of digital campfires’ because they develop large-scale audio-visual experiences designed to tell stories and bring people together, like a campfire.
This year, the City of Montreal, the Université de Montréal's École Polytechique and the Memory Committee, a group of volunteers including survivors of the shooting and family members of the victims, have invited 14 universities across Canada to light a beam next to their engineering schools in honour of the 14 victims. The national event will be broadcast live on RDI and CBC starting at 5:00 p.m.
The University of Ottawa will host a vigil, along with lighting a beam, in the courtyard between the STEM Complex and Marion Hall, off Louis-Pasteur Private. We invite you to join us for this commemorative ceremony to help keep the memory alive and show support for a safe and equal learning environment for all. Register for the vigil.
The victims’ names will be projected onto the exterior wall of the STEM building, and candles, flowers and white ribbons will be available at the vigil for those who wish to pay their respects.
Lightemotion Inc. collaborated with the University to develop the projection on the STEM building's facade.