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The future blossoms in our hands: Third edition of Polytechnique Montréal’s Week of the White Rose

November 30, 2016 - Source : NEWS

As December 6 approaches and Polytechnique Montréal prepares for the annual day of remembrance of the tragic events of 1989, the institution invites members of the public to make a meaningful, symbolic gesture by taking part in the Week of the White Rose.

Giving a gift of virtual white roses to encourage the “blooming” of promising talents and stimulate an interest in the sciences that might not otherwise have emerged: that is the mission Polytechnique Montréal had in mind when it created the Week of the White Rose in 2014.

Over the years, the white rose has become the symbol of Polytechnique’s commemorative activities. During this annual fundraising campaign, Polytechnique invites members of its community and the general public, as well as corporations, to make a donation by giving loved ones or clients the gift of virtual roses through the site. All funds raised go to Folie Technique, Polytechnique’s science day camp, to provide girls from less affluent communities with the opportunity to take part in science awareness activities.

Since its creation, the Week of the White Rose has raised approximately $40,000 and enabled more than 3,200 young girls to be part of classroom science workshops and attend the Folie Technique summer camp. However, demand far outweighs this non-profit organization’s supply: there are long waiting lists for these popular “all-girl” groups.

Although they make up more than half the population, the number of Canadian women undertaking careers in engineering remains low. According to Engineers Canada, less than 12% of practising licensed engineers in the country are women. In 1989, at the time of the Polytechnique tragedy, women accounted for 17% of the student population at the school. As of 2016, nearly 28% of Polytechnique students are women, and there is gender parity in many specialized fields, such as biomedical, chemical, industrial and geological engineering.

While donations reach a peak during the week leading up to December 6, the Week of the White Rose transactional website is always live, making it possible to purchase a gift of white roses at any time of the year.

With the Week of the White Rose, Polytechnique reaffirms that it will never forget, but at the same time will always look to the future.

Other Commemorative Events

Order of the White Rose scholarship ceremony
On Monday, December 5, at 2 p.m., Polytechnique will hold the second annual Order of the White Rose scholarship presentation ceremony, during which a deserving Canadian woman engineering student wishing to pursue graduate studies will receive the $30,000 award. A media advisory will be issued shortly.

Placing of bouquets of roses at the commemorative plaque
On Tuesday, December 6, at 8:30 a.m., bouquets of white roses will be placed at the commemorative plaque by Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Principal and Chair of the Polytechnique Board of Directors; Christophe Guy, CEO of Polytechnique; Clara Levy-Provençal, interim President of the Polytechnique students association; and Joël Girard-Lauzière, President of the Polytechnique graduate students’ association. Staff, students and members of the public are invited to gather and reflect at the site throughout the day. The commemorative plaque is outside, on the southwest façade of the main building of Polytechnique.

Beacons of light on Mount Royal
For the third year in a row, the skies above Montreal will be lit by 14 beams of light on the evening of December 6, in remembrance of the victims. Those who wish to gather and reflect may do so near the beacons in front of the Chalet on Mount Royal, near the summit in Mount Royal Park. A news release will be issued shortly by the City of Montreal.

Week of the White Rose: The future blossoms in our hands.


Suggested Reading

November 28, 2017

The future blossoms in our hands: Fourth edition of Polytechnique Montréal’s Week of the White Rose

November 12, 2018

Activities commemorating December 6, 1989