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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
 

 

 

COMMEMORATIVE ACTIVITIES

 

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.

Photo Exhibit

The Association Étudiante de Polytechnique and PolyPhoto, in collaboration with PolyCopie, is presenting a photo exhibition that renders homage to the 14 women whose lives were cut short on December 6, 1989. Exactly 30 years later, 14 female members of the Polytechnique Community, alongside employees and students, have sat for pictures to highlight the shadow cast from the loss of these women. The exhibition was created to enable the public to better get to know the 14 women who were killed.

Photos were taken with a Mamiya RB67 analog camera, equipped with a 90 mm lens, on Ilford Delta 100 film, because that would have been the equipment PolyPhoto would have used 30 years ago for photos of the 14 women. The exhibition will be displayed in the tunnel that joins the Main Building and the Lassonde building, from November 28 to December 10, 2021. 

 

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.

Virtual ribbons on Facebook

From November 30 to December 7, you will also be able to display the white ribbon on Facebook by using the frame created for the occasion. Go to Facebook, click to change your profile photo, select the "Add a frame" tab and look for the Polytechnique - ruban blanc frame. 

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: Polytechnique Montréal, by invitation only  

This year, Polytechnique will hold the 7th edition of the Order of the White Rose scholarship ceremony. 

This order recognizes a Canadian engineering student wishing to pursue graduate studies, who is awarded a $30,000 scholarship. 

The event will be broadcast live on Polytechnique’s Montréal various social media accounts: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube.

Learn more about the Order of the White Rose

Light Beam Ceremony on Mount Royal

At 5:10 p.m., the time when the first shots were fired, 14 beams will illuminate the sky above Mount Royal. Light beams will illuminate one at a time, every few seconds, as the names of the 14 victims are called.

In order to keep the memory alive of the 14 women who lost their lives in the anti-feminist attack of December 6, 1989, the Comité Mémoire, in collaboration with the City of Montreal, will light up the Montreal sky for a 8th consecutive year. The Comité and the city wish to continue this highly symbolic tradition by lighting the 14 beams to pay tribute to the victims (an installation created by Moment Factory).

Should you so desire, we invite you to observe a minute of silence as the beams are lit.

Live broadcast: FacebookLinkedInTwitterYouTube.

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.

Learn more.

 

Recipients

2021: Willow Dew

2020: Brielle Chanae Thorsen

2019 : Édith Ducharme

2018 : Viviane Aubin

2017 : Ella Thomson

2016 : Liane Bernstein

2015 : Tara Gholami

POLY SE SOUVIENT

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.

PLACE DU 6 DÉCEMBRE

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.