Memory March & Celebration of Women
Memory March 2012–March 25th, Abbotsford
We are doing a Shoe Memorial at the Civic Plaza behind Matsqui Centennial Auditorium-shoe display will be starting at 11 AM with The List of over 4,000 missing and murdered women and children. At 1 PM we will have speakers and a vigil to honour the missing and murdered.
If you can bring a pair of new or gently used shoes we will donate them to The Warm Zone run by the WRSFV in Abbotsford. If buying a $20 ticket to March 24th The Vagina Monologues-a donation of shoes will drop the ticket price to $15 but that has to be done before the Shoe Memorial of course.
Join us to raise your voice and tell people we are ‘done with it”. We are done with violence against women and girls!
Memory walk against violence to women marches home to Abbotsford
Standing together against violence to women
Gwynne Hunt believes the death of any woman and girl due to violence is inexcusable.
So inexcusable that she has organized an Abbotsford Memory March, a silent walk and ceremony in remembrance of the hundreds of women that go missing or are murdered each year across Canada.
Hunt hopes Abbotsford residents of all genders and ages feel equally outraged, and will attend the march on Saturday to remember the victims of violence and work for change.
The event follows hard on the heels of International Women’s Day today, a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
While women have secured many gains over the last few decades, freedom from violence is not one of them, said Hunt.
“We had the feminist movement in the 70s, but 40 years later the violence against women is still the same,” she said.
“There’s lot of equality in other ways, but not as far as violence is concerned.”
An average of 200 women and girls are murdered annually, said Hunt, who intends to display the names of almost 4,000 victims of violence at the end of the march in Thunderbird Memorial Square.
The catalogue of names is something Hunt took over in 2005 from another women’s rights activist, Mary Billy, who started the Femicide List after the Montreal Massacre in 1989 when Marc Lepine murdered 14 women.
“Mary wanted to list the names,” said Hunt.
“We all knew the name of Marc Lepine, but she couldn’t find the names of the victims anywhere.”
Seeing the names of murdered and missing women is important and makes their deaths more real, more concrete, she added.
“We need to honour all these women and children who are gone,” Hunt said.
“I don’t think many people know how many women are dying in a violent way.”
The Memory March is the fifth to be organized by Hunt, but it is the first time it’s being held in Abbotsford.
Previously, the event took place in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, but Hunt decided it was time to bring attention to violence against women in her hometown.
“I feel strongly there needs to be more of this kind of action in this city, and other smaller and medium-size cities, rather than just in large urban centres.”
The march is not just about grieving, but empowerment as well, as participants feel connected and hopeful of change, said Hunt.
Everyone is welcome at the event, she added.
“Feminism today is everyone working together [for change], rather than pointing fingers,” she said.
“We need to change the violence in homes and the violence we subject our children to.
“If we become more aware it, maybe we can change the problem.”
w The Memory March is Saturday, March 19 and starts at 10 a.m. from the Mill Lake water spray park at 2310 Emerson Street. The march will travel to Thunderbird Memorial Square adjacent to City Hall for the final ceremony and vigil. This year the Memory March is followed by arts performances at the International Celebration of Women from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and/or from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Best Western Regency Conference Centre, 32110 Marshall Road. Tickets cost $6.
For more information visit ragmag.net/memory-march/.
March 19, 2011 join us for an International Celebration of Women and the Memory March!
Saturday, March 19, 2011 at the Best Western Regency Inn in Abbotsford, celebrate with us . . . at the International Celebration of Women. We will be featuring the work of Amrita Ganguly (writer) and singer/songwriter Gwyneth Alicia Mawlong; both from India. There will be songs, dance, spoken word, poetry, and monologues from many talented women. This mini-conference will include speakers, workshops and entertainment. We are currently looking for women who are interested in forming a new Board (under the umbrella of Art Matters Society) who will organize and plan this day. We are also looking for women who want to apply to perform at this event. (if possible, honorariums will be paid)
Our fourth annual Memory March is being held in conjunction with the International Celebration of Women in Abbotsford; Saturday, March 19, 2011. Please commit to joining us and let us know who many walkers you will be bringing to honour the murdered and missing women and children on The List. (see more information below)
Announcing the presentation of an Art Matter’s Society publication; the book based on five years’s of research Rampage; the pathology of an epidemic will be released this fall. Research and writing done by Gwynne Hunt; with help from some grassroots activists across the country. The book contains over 4,000 names of missing and murdered women and children in Canada, and contains interviews with people who care, and stories of some of the women we have lost. It will be showcased at our new International Celebration of Women. Contact us to pre-order your copy. See www.ragmag.net for more details.
It is so important we continue this work of public education and social theatre.
Art Matters Society
604-859-2407 (Abbotsford #)
Art Matters Society has a rich theatre history;
producing live unjuried theatre
Memory March-a silent vigil and walk-Sunday, March 28, 2010-Vancouver
Although the numbers vary, the average number of women and girls are murdered in Canada each year is around 200. Each death is an inexcusable crime, and the death toll destroys the fabric of our society. Activist Gwynne Hunt draws attention to the plight of women and girls by gathering their names and asking individuals to remember, grieve, and work for change. On Sunday, March 28th, starting at 2:00pm in Crab Park, Vancouver, Hunt has organized The Memory March, a silent walk and ceremony in remembrance of murdered and missing women in Canada.
The march will start from the Missing Women’s Memorial in Crab Park at the foot of Main Street, and go to the women’s monument, Marker of Change, in Thornton Park at Main Street and Terminal Avenue. In the circle of Marker of Change, participants will honour the women and girls we have lost to violence.
They will also wear the names of the almost 4000 murdered women and children. Mary Billy began The Femicide List after the December 1989 Montreal Massacre. The list contained 1, 865 names of women and children murdered across Canada. Since then. Gwynne Hunt assumed responsibility for the list since 2005.
The Memory March is sponsored by Art Matters Society, a charitable organization based in Abbotsford, producing live, unjuried, social and political theatre. One of the Society’s mandates is to produce shows that help stop violence in the community Gwynne Hunt is the Artistic Director. Gwynne’s special focus is creating political theatre to help stop violence against women. In 1981, a fifteen year old family friend, Verna, went missing. She was never found. This tragic experience changed Gwynne’s life. In 2008 Art Matter’s produced Amrita Ganguly’s play from India at the Festival of Artistic and Creative Expression. In 2009 they produced Beth Hudson’s play Unwanted Dead or Alive. Beth is bringing a play back in 2010 with support from Art Matters Society as producers.
This is the 4th annual march. Come out and support us. Let us know how many people you will be bringing with you in 2010. Come out and watch The Vagina Monologues at the Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver at 8 PM the night before (Saturday, March 27); the official fundraiser for the Memory March (tickets $15), or see the performance after the March on Sunday at 7 PM at Massey Hall in New Westminster.($20)
For more information, please contact:
Gwynne Hunt: Phone: 604-859-2407
Memory March 29, 2009 Vancouver, BC
Thanks to all who came out . . .
Let’s not forget . . . violence against women continues.
Honour those who are gone and who have been murdered.
Memory March; a walk/vigil
Sunday, March 28 @ 2 PM in 2010
Support the Rampage Project; the Memory March and The List.
We will honour over 3,000 women and children next year by reading names, having a two minute silence and carrying their names as we walk.
Join us in Crab Park (Portside Park),
& walk with us up Main Street to Thornton Park
(at the Bus Depot).
The Memory March was a beautiful memorial in 2007; on a bright sunny day. We had about 100 people and everyone carried a sign with a list of 30 names; 2,625 names in all. (see editor’s notes about the 2009 walk)
We sang the Women’s Warrior Song and Squamish nation elder Audrey Rivers led us in prayer to start the walk in Crab Park.
We walked to Thornton Park where we lit 2,625 candles.
At the Marker of Change Memorial we all recited a meditation, with our two minutes of silence marked by chimes at the beginning and at the end.
When the silence ended we hugged one another and while there was a sense of sadness, we were also filled with hope. With social action we bring about change.
In 2008, it was a blustery cold day and about 70 people braved the cold Easter Sunday to share stories, hugs and memories. We were strong.
This year we continued to raise awareness and asked people to think about the rampage of murder in our society.
We are not going away . . .we will continue to advocate for a government agency to compile a database.
We will continue to keep the List.
Join us on Sunday, March 29, 2 PM at Crab Park-2010