9th Edition of the Week of the White Rose and Commemoration of December 6, 1989 at Polytechnique Montréal

MONTRÉAL - The 9th Edition of the Week of the White Rose is taking place from November 28 to December 6. For the occasion, Polytechnique Montréal is inviting its entire community and the general public to make a symbolic and inclusive gesture by offering virtual white roses as a means of encouraging young women to go into engineering.

Week of the White Rose
November 28, 2022
Week of the White Rose

The campaign is named after the flowers used to commemorate the tragic events of December 6, 1989. White roses now represent the blossoming of female interest and talent in the fields of science, technology and engineering.

Each rose purchased on the roseblanche.org transactional website is a donation supporting Polytechnique Montréal’s Folie Technique, an organization that runs science workshops and a science-based summer camp for thousands of girls every year.

Polytechnique Montréal created the Week of the White Rose in 2014 in the hopes of building a more inclusive society that is better prepared to overcome the challenges it faces. Since then, more than $170,000 have been raised for Folie Technique. During the summer of 2022, approximately 60 girls received scholarships to girls to attend a week of camp and more than 2,160 elementary school students were given the chance to attend science workshops.

How to donate

The purchase of virtual roses on the roseblanche.org website funds the following activities:

  • 1 rose ($10): a lunch for a young girl during a week of day camp.
  • 14 roses ($50): the purchase of materials for a science experiment for a "100% girls" group.
  • 25 roses ($200): a girl's participation in Folie Technique's summer science camp.

Folie Technique, one of Canada’s oldest science camps

Created in 1991 as a Polytechnique Montréal student initiative, Folie Technique is one of Canada’s oldest science camps. The organization aims to introduce children and youth to the world of science and engineering by sparking their interest and allowing them to explore their abilities—regardless of their gender, socio-economic situation or geographic location. The camp provides opportunities to more than 20,000 youth every year, through its summer science camp and various science workshops. Girls who participate in these activities are encouraged to challenge stereotypes about women and science, and to increase their confidence in their ability to succeed in these fields.

Polytechnique Montréal: a driving force for women in engineering

While Québec and Canadian averages for female engineering graduates hover around 23%, Polytechnique reached an historic milestone in 2020 with 30.2% of its undergraduate engineering students being women (in 1989, women were only 17% of Polytechnique's student body).

This breakthrough is the result of the institution’s consistent efforts the over the past three decades to encourage the next generation of women in engineering. Folie Technique, and the support it receives from Week of the White Rose, are all a part of this effort.

Polytechnique's achievement proves that Engineers Canada's national goal of increasing the rate of newly licensed female engineers to 30% by 2030 is indeed achievable.

Statistics about the evolution of the number of female students at Polytechnique, as well as the list of initiatives implemented by Polytechnique are available on the Women in Engineering page.

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Order of the White Rose Scholarship

On Monday, December 5, 2022 at 11 a.m., Polytechnique will hold the 8th annual Order of the White Rose Scholarship ceremony. The event is by invitation only and will be held in person in the main Polytechnique building. This scholarship recognizes an exceptional Canadian female engineering student who chooses to pursue graduate studies and is awarded a $30,000 scholarship.

Laying of Rose Wreaths on Polytechnique’s Commemorative Plaque

On Tuesday, December 6, at 8:30 am, a wreath of white roses will be placed on the commemorative plaque that honours the victims of the December 6, 1989 attack, placed by representatives of Polytechnique and its student associations. All members of the Polytechnique community (students, staff, alumni) and the general public are invited to be present at the memorial for a moment of contemplation, at any point during the day. The plaque is located outside, on the south-west wall of Polytechnique’s main building.

Light beams on Mont Royal

For the 9th consecutive year, light beams will illuminate the Montréal sky to keep alive the memory of the young women who died on December 6, 1989. In a presentation created by Moment Factory, 14 light beams will be lit, one at a time and a few seconds apart, as the names of the 14 victims are called at 5:10 p.m. The display will be live-streamed on Polytechnique's social media: Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

White Ribbon distribution

On December 6, 2022, white ribbons will be distributed at the main entrances of Polytechnique Montréal buildings.

Association étudiante de Polytechnique Photo exhibition

The Polytechnique student association and PolyPhoto present, in collaboration with PolyCopie, an exhibition in tribute to the 14 women who lost their lives on December 6th 1989. Fourteen women members of the Polytechnique Montreal community pay tribute to the 14 women whose lives were taken that tragic day. This exhibition was motivated by the desire to make these 14 exceptional people known. The photos were taken on a Pentax 67 II silver camera, with a 105 mm lens, on Ilford Delta 100 film since this is how PolyPhoto would have illustrated these 14 women in 1989. The exhibition will be presented in the tunnel linking the main and Lassonde buildings from December 5 to 9, 2022.

About Polytechnique Montréal

Established in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada’s largest engineering education and research universities, and is located on the Université de Montréal campus – North America’s largest Francophone university campus. With over 57,000 graduates and over 120 academic programs, Polytechnique has trained 22% of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ)’s current membership. Polytechnique Montréal is also distinguished by its more than 300 talented professors and 10,000 students. Its overall annual budget is $300 million, including $100 million reserved exclusively for research.

About Folie Technique

Folie Technique is a non-profit organization created in 1991 by engineering students from Polytechnique Montréal. It offers young people the opportunity to explore the world of science, math, engineering and technology through creative, interactive and accessible activities. Each year, Folie Technique activities reach more than 20,000 young people aged 7 to 17.

Interviews available

  • Julie Doucet-Lamoureux, Executive Director of Folie Technique
  • Student associations:
    • Association étudiante de Polytechnique (AEP)
    • Association des étudiants aux cycles supérieurs de Polytechnique (AECSP)
  • Student committees: Poly-Fi, Poly-L and GéniElles
  • Folie Technique camp leaders

Media contacts and interview requests

Annie Touchette


MEDIA KIT: https://bit.ly/3AK3wGR
Week of the White Rose website: https://roseblanche.org/en
Women and Engineering website: https://www.polymtl.ca/femmes-genie/en/
Folie Technique website (in French only): http://folietechnique.com/
December 6 website: https://www.polymtl.ca/december6/

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