This year’s Candlelight Vigil has moved from downtown Langley City (above) to the Bedford Landing in Fort Langley. (Langley Advance files)

Langley event moves to quash violence against women

A new venue and combined ceremony push to eradicate abuse of women in Langley.

It was Nov. 25, 1960 when three Mirabal sister were brutally assassinated.

In 1999, the UN general assembly declared Nov. 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Now, on Nov. 25, Langley will have its own special ceremony to bring awareness to violence against women -abroad and closer to home.

Program chair of Soroptimist International of the Langleys, Shirley Stewart, noted this year’s annual candlelight vigil, hosted together with Ishtar Transition Housing Society, will also include a new red sand ceremony.

The event takes place, for the first time, at the Bedford Landing Plaza in Fort Langley on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m., rain or shine. In past, the candlelight vigil was held in downtown Langley City.

This is the 12th year Soroptimist International of the Langleys and Ishtar have invited the community to support women through the candlelight vigil. The red sand ceremony is a new addition.

“The sand is red and it’s poured in the cracks of the sidewalk. It’s like a trail, a path,” Stewart said. “It’s actually very, very moving.”

Each attendee at the event will receive a tealight candle and some red sand to take part in the ceremony, which Stewart says brings the community together. She hopes to have enough sand for all participants who attend.

“There’s an organization that does the red sand. They sent us the sand and it’s all pre-bagged for us,” she explained.

Langley, like other communities, faces violence against women and Stewart sees events like the candlelight vigil and new red sand ceremony as a way to help victims.

“I think it’s always been important [to hold the event], and I think that we’re really starting to break down the barriers. Victims have felt shame or have felt fear and we’re finally breaking that down,” she noted.

“Whether that’s domestic violence, or the #metoo campaign, or any violence against women, we’re starting to realize that it’s okay to break down those barriers and it’s okay to tell somebody… and if we can do that with our little candlelight vigil I think that’s really important.”

Because the Soroptimist organization and Ishtar represent both the Township of Langley and Langley City, Stewart feels it’s natural to move the ceremony to different neighbourhoods within the region.

With the change in location to Fort Langley – at the plaza, between Lelem Cafe and the Fort Pub alongside the Fraser River – Stewart hopes more attendees will walk to the area to take part.

“There’s something very healing about water,” she said. “And Fort Langley is such a walkable area. I’m hoping this year we’ll have more [people out] because we’re changing up the location and format a little.”

“I think for the most part, we live in a very embracing community and to be able to let victims, either in our community or further away, know that there are people who care, it accomplishes a lot if we can get that message out,” Stewart added.

The event is free for all ages and this year builds on the Red Sand project started by artist and activist Molly Gochman in Art Basel, Miami in December 2014 to raise awareness of human trafficking.

READ MORE: #MeToo doesn’t go far enough: Langley transition shelter

Just Posted

RCMP hopes public help can solve several petty crimes

The police have released several photos of suspects in relation to local cases.

Teen arrested following Brookswood Secondary lockdown

Langley RCMP are still trying to determine if a real firearm was involved.

Langley RCMP warning: Wife scammed with border services money demand

Langley’s RCMP is warning the public about some scams going around and how technology is being used.

Langley City parade entries slow coming in

Festivities feature music, a tree lighting, and, of course, a parade.

Langley Advance partners with Envision to give aid

Donations are needed for the Full Cupboard program – in full swing to feed the hungry.

VIDEO: Langley concert and five new songs inspired by Canada’s 150th

Familiar faces from Langley Community Music School were asked to create Canadian pieces for Nov. 25.

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Santa Claus is coming to Aldergrove

Christmas celebrations and parade set for Saturday, Dec. 9

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Court adjourned again for man linked to Shuswap farm where human remains found

Curtis Sagmoen will appear back in court on Dec. 14

Aldergrove hockey fan sings Sinatra classic

Levi De Waal usually sings the anthem at the Kodiaks junior hockey games

Aldergrove Kodiaks stalled in losing streak

Kodiaks fall in back to back games vs. Hawks, Flames

Most Read