National Day of Remembrance vigil will “reaffirm commitment to fight against hatred and misogyny”

Eliza Gardiner holds a bouquet of red roses and stands next to Joy Gugeler and a student during the 2022 vigil.

During the 2022 VIU vigil, Eliza Gardiner, left, Joy Gugeler and a VIU student gather at the Jardin de Quatorze garden to remember the 14 women murdered at École Polytechnique Montréal in 1989. Vancouver Island University Photo


November 24, 2023 - 10:00am

VIU community members unite to host events during the 16 Days of Activism campaign.

 The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign asks people to take action to end violence against women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals.

This year several organizations at Vancouver Island University (VIU) have come together in support of the movement. VIU’s Faculty Association Women’s & Gender Equity Committee has partnered with Thrive, the Positive Space Alliance and VIU Students’ Union to host a vigil on December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. 

“Women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals face unacceptable violence and discrimination; this event is about remembering those who have experienced gender-based violence and about taking action to prevent more suffering and loss,” said Eliza Gardiner, Chair of the VIU Faculty Association Women’s & Gender Equity Committee.

The event begins at noon at VIU’s Malaspina Theatre lobby (Building 310) on the Nanaimo campus, with guest speakers and tribute activities. Participants will then walk to the Jardin de Quatorze, a garden which commemorates the 14 women murdered at École Polytechnique Montréal in 1989.  

“We’ll spend time reflecting on the Montréal massacre and reaffirm our commitment to fight the hatred and misogyny that led to this tragedy,” said Gardiner.

The Women’s and Gender Equity Committee is also hosting a screening of the docudrama Polytechnique on December 6 at 7 pm in the music building (Building 320) in the Choral Room (Room 105). The film tells the story of the tragic school shooting that took place at Montreal’s École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989, from the perspective of two students. It is free to attend.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign begins Saturday, November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and runs until December 10 – World Human Rights Day.  

The Government of Canada’s theme for 2023 is Listen. Learn. Act. It encourages people to support survivors who share their experiences and experts working on the front lines. To educate themselves about gender-based violence, how the spot the signs and how to prevent it. It also asks people to take the information they learn and apply it to their daily lives.

Although sexual violence affects everybody, some populations are more likely to experience higher rates of sexual violence. According to Women and Gender Equity Canada:

  • 2SLGBTQI+ individuals are almost three times more likely to be physically or sexually assaulted.
  • Indigenous women are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than non-Indigenous women.
  • People with disabilities are more than two times as likely to be sexually assaulted as those without disabilities.

For more information, please email Gardiner at


Media Contact:

Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.0373l E: | X: @VIUNews

Tags: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence | In the Community

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