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December 6

Memory and Remembrance



December 6, 1989, an armed man killed 14 women, and injured 13 other individuals at Polytechnique Montréal.

Still incomprehensible to this day, this anti-woman attack stunned the entire country, and sent shockwaves throughout the entire world.

Polytechnique’s desire to honour the victims of this massacre remains strong.

By commemorating this painful event, we also highlight the courage, solidarity, and dedication to equity that the Polytechnique community continues to express.

The triumphs and successes of our community are the most sincere way to honour the 14 women whose lives and dreams were dramatically and unjustly cut short.




14 women


Polytechnique remembers the 14 young women whose lives tragically ended on December 6, 1989.


Geneviève Bergeron (21 years old)
Mechanical Engineering student

Maryse Laganière, (25 years old)
Employee, Finance Department

Hélène Colgan (23 years old)
Mechanical Engineering student

Maryse Leclair, (23 years old)
Metallurgical Engineering student

Nathalie Croteau, (23 years old)
Mechanical Engineering student

Anne-Marie Lemay, (22 years old)
Mechanical Engineering student

Barbara Daigneault, 22 years old)
Mechanical Engineering student

Sonia Pelletier, (28 years old)
Mechanical Engineering student

Anne-Marie Edward, (21 years old)
Chemical Engineering student

Michèle Richard, (21 years old)
Metallurgical Engineering student

Maud Haviernick, (29 years old)
Metallurgical Engineering student

Annie St-Arneault, (23 years old)
Mechanical Engineering student

Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, (31 years old)
Nursing student (Université de Montréal)

Annie Turcotte, (20 years old)
Metallurgical Engineering student





Each December 6 since the tragedy in 1989, Polytechnique solemnly remembers the 14 women who were murdered on that date, as well as the additional victims, and their families.

This event also serves as an occasion to reaffirm our enduring hope for and belief in the future. While time cannot fully heal so great a wound, life is sacred and it is important that we honour it, even with our pain.

Each year, Polytechnique and the Comité Mémoire honour the December 6 1989 victims.

Wearing a White Ribbon

In the spirit of solidarity, and to raise awareness of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (also December 6 each year), many individuals choose to wear a white ribbon on their clothing. The ribbon, when viewed upside down, becomes a letter V, an eloquent and powerful symbol that condemns all violence against women and girls.

Due to the current pandemic, the distribution of white ribbons at Polytechnique’s entryways will not take place. Regardless, Polytechnique invites everyone to wear a white ribbon to show support for this important cause.

Week of the White Rose

The first week of December, a national fundraising campaign is launched wherein Polytechnique’s current and former community members as well as the general public, are encouraged to make a donation and in exchange, receive a virtual white rose.

All funds raised are then given to Folie Technique, Polytechnique’s scientific outreach kids camp program. They in turn use these funds for all-girl science camps that offers young girls and women from disadvantaged communities the chance to get acquainted and develop a love of the fascinating universe that is engineering and the sciences.

The White Rose Week online donation site is accessible all year long.

Learn more.


Order of the White Rose

Location: virtual event

This year marks the sixth time that Polytechnique Montréal will award the prestigious Order of the White Rose, this year, with a virtual ceremony.

This $30,000 bursary honours and encourages a Canadian female engineering student who intends to pursue graduate studies anywhere across the globe.

Engineering in Her Voice

40 women/40 weeks. From March 8 to December 6, 2020, Polytechnique Montréal has published a series of video clips starring professors and master educators, all working in engineering.   
Addressing the theme - Polytechnique Montréal: Engineering in Her Voice - these women share their passion for teaching and research, while explaining how they’ve helped transform the world using scientific advances in their varied engineering specialities. View the videos.

Book: Because They Were Women (English translation of «Ce jour-là – Parce qu’elles étaient des femmes»)

Written by former Devoir journalist Josée Boileau, this timely book is available in both French and English - published in French by Éditions La Presse, and by Second Story Press in English (book launched November 10, 2020). A work of both memory and analysis, the book contains archival photos, a factual description of the events that unfolded, a look at the lives of the 14 victims, eye-witness accounts of those who experienced the trauma themselves, an analysis of the 1980s as an historical period, and an examination of society at the time.

An initiative by the Comité Mémoire (made up of volunteers), and supported by Polytechnique Montréal.

Order of the White Rose

Over the years, the white rose has become the symbol of Polytechnique Montréal’s December 6th commemorative activities. In 2014, Polytechnique Montréal created the Order of the White Rose bursary as a tribute to the 14 victims as well as the wounded, their families, faculty members, employees, and students who were forever affected by the tragedy.

This $30,000 scholarship is awarded annually by the Polytechnique administration, to a Canadian female engineering student who intends to pursue graduate studies (Master’s or Doctoral), in the institution of her choice, regardless of its geographic location in the world.

Thursday, December 3,  2020 at 9:30 AM, Polytechnique will hold a virtual ceremony for the sixth annual awarding of the Order of the White Rose. 

Learn more.



2020: Brielle Chanae Thorsen

2019 : Édith Ducharme

2018 : Viviane Aubin

2017 : Ella Thomson

2016 : Liane Bernstein

2015 : Tara Gholami


Following the Montreal massacre, a group of Polytechnique students, graduates and victims’ families launched a six-year struggle to finally obtain, in December 1995, a comprehensive set of gun control measures. In 2009, as a response to new political threats seeking to dismantle these precious gains, the Polytechnique community regrouped once again under the name PolySeSouvient (“PolyRemembers”), to fight to protect these laws. Their mission is to push governments to maintain or implement measures that are necessary to minimize gun-related deaths and injuries, and the group asserts that all firearms are dangerous - thus their sale, possession, and use should be strictly controlled, including the prohibition of certain weapons and accessories whose risks outweigh any potential benefit to society.

Learn more.


This park has been dedicated to the memory of 14 woman killed during the mysogynistic December 6, 1989 Polytechnique Massacre. It is a space where one can pause to revisit the fundamental necessity of respect, and condemn all violence against women.

Located at the intersection of Rue Decelles and Chemin Queen-Mary, the Place-du-6-décembre is a setting that remembers and honours the victims of the 1989 tragedy.

A piece of public artwork entitled “Nef pour quatorze reines" was designed specifically for the Place-du-6-décembre, in honour of the 14 women whose lives were cut short.