– Please forward this notice to your friends, family, and networks –
20th Annual Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March
~ Two weeks of commemoration events starting Jan 30 2011
~ Annual Women’s Memorial March on Monday, February 14 2011.
* Sun Jan 30: Women’s sweatlodge ceremony from 2-6 pm. By the DTES community garden (Hastings between Columbia and Main). Women-only sweat, open to all women. Followed by feast at Aboriginal Front Door (384 Main St)
* Month of Feb – Community Archival Display, 3rd floor Carnegie Centre (Main and Hastings). Carnegie is under construction and the 3rd floor is regrettably not wheel-chair accessible.
* Wed Feb 2 – Women’s Talking Circle at DEWC (302 Columbia) 5 – 8 pm. Dinner served at 5pm. Open to all self-identified women residents of the DTES.
* Thurs Feb 3 – Art Auction Fundraiser at Interurban (1 E. Hastings) from 6 – 9 pm. Music, great food, and of course art and arty things. Some of the artists featured are Garnet Tobacco, Ben Houstie, Laurie Marshall, Esther Rausenberg, Diane Jacobs, the women’s craft group from WISH, and many more.
* Fri Feb 4 – Craft Night at WISH Drop-in 6 pm. Open to members of WISH Drop-in.
* Sat Feb 5: “Women’s Expressions” Art Opening at Interurban (1 E. Hastings) from 4-6 pm with drum group Harmony of Nations and speakers from Women’s Memorial March Committee. Exhibit runs Feb 7th to Feb 12th from 12-5pm.
* Sat Feb 5 – “Honouring Our Women”: Poetry Night, Carnegie Centre (Main and Hastings). 7 pm. Free admission, everyone welcome, free refreshments Sheila Baxter, Dalannah Bowen, Maxine Gadd, Leith Harris, Muriel Marjorie, Shauna Paull, Priscillia Tait, Karenza Wall, M.C. Diane Wood and open mic.
*Mon Feb 7 – “Native Women: Power, Beauty, Resilience” at Aboriginal Front Door (384 Main St) from 2-6 pm. Open event for everyone to attend. Speakers, food, traditional Grandmothers and Mothers will drum.
* Mon Feb 7 – SFU First Nations and Women’s Studies class event. Poetry with Janet Rogers and Joanne Arnott, followed by screening of Finding Dawn. SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings) from 1:30-4:30 pm. Discussion, and refreshments to follow screening.
* Tues Feb 8 – BWSS Women’s Craft Night at DEWC (302 Columbia) 5 – 8 pm. Dinner served at 5pm. Open to all self-identified women residents of the DTES.
* Wed Feb 9 – “Strength, Survival, Sisterhood”: Launch of DTES Power of Women movie, speakers from DTES, screening of “Finding Dawn”. Vivo Media Arts Centre (1965 Main Street). Doors at 6pm. Free and open to all. More information available by clicking here
* Fri Feb 11 – Night of Music at W2 (151 W.Cordova) w/Bitterly Divine, Murray Porter, Faith Nolan, Little Hawk & more. Doors at 7pm. Given limited space, event is for the DTES community only. We invite DTES agencies wishing to reserve free tickets for their members to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Mon Feb 14 – 20th Annual Womens Memorial March. Noon in Carnegie Theatre for families, friends, and DTES residents, 1 pm march starts at Main and Hastings – all welcome.
The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Her name is not spoken today out of respect for the wishes of her family. Out of this sense of hopelessness and anger came an annual march on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Coast Salish Territories. Twenty years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women.
In its twentieth year, we are hosting a series of events leading up to the memorial march from Feb 1- Feb 14. These events will include film screenings, educational events, art installations, DTES women’s poetry, a music night, and more to honour the voices of women and women’s leadership in the Downtown Eastside.
On Feb 14th, we will gather at the Carnegie Community Centre Theatre, 401 Main Street (corner Hastings, Vancouver) where family members speak in remembrance. Given space constraints, we ask the broader public to join us at 1 pm, when the march takes to the streets and proceeds through the Downtown Eastside, with stops to commemorate where women were last seen or found; speeches by community activists at the police station; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 3 pm; and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall. This event is organized and led by women in the DTES because women, especially Indigenous women, face physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence on a daily basis.
Increasing deaths of many vulnerable women from the DTES still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Over 3000 women are known to have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since the 1970s. Two years ago, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued this statement: “Hundreds of cases involving aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in the past two decades have neither been fully investigated nor attracted priority attention.” The February 14th Women’s Memorial March is an opportunity to come together to grieve the loss of our beloved sisters, remember the women who are still missing, and to dedicate ourselves to justice.
* SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH
There are many ways to support the Annual Women’s Memorial March:
1) Join us. Please join us (all genders welcome) to our events and to the Feb 14th march. We respectfully ask that you please do not bring your banners, flags, or leaflets as the Women’s Memorial March carries five banners only to honour the women.
2) Plan a memorial march in your community. We encourage women in other cities and communities to journey and heal together by organizing memorials on this day because women face violence on a daily basis. Last year, memorial marches were held in approximately ten other cities and communities. If you are organizing a memorial march please email us the details at email@example.com so we can maintain communication, compile the information on our website, and build strength in our coordinated efforts.
3) Organize an event. If you are a community centre, youth association, union, women’s group, educational institution, Indigenous organization, social justice collective, or artist space in the Lower Mainland and want to host an event during Feb 1-Feb 14, we encourage you to do so and to contact us. We can provide suggestions for speakers or films for your event, and we support a wide spectrum of individuals and groups raising awareness about the issue of missing and murdered women. We are compiling events on our website, so please email us details of your event at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Please donate. The February 14th Women’s Memorial March is made possible by organizations and individuals like you. Each year the Memorial March committee must raise funds to pay for such things as hall rental, sound system, food, red & yellow roses, memorial brochures, blankets, posters, candles, tobacco and other expenses. Our donation letter, in full, is here. Please make cheques payable to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, and include Women’s Memorial March on the memo line. Mail cheques to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, 302 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC V6A 4J1. All donations over $10 will be gratefully acknowledged with a tax deductible receipt.
Violence against women is always unacceptable; every life is precious and we must continue to honour and work for justice for murdered and missing women.
Thank you all for your support and commitment,
Women’s Memorial March Committee
Phone: 604 665 3005
Email: email@example.com (Committee Chair Marlene George)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=264380380945 or search “FEBRUARY 14 WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH DTES VANCOUVER”