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Advisory Council on the Status of Women

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2019 Purple Ribbon Campaign

SUPPORT SURVIVORS. Support the person ~ Involve the community ~ Right the World.

The ACSW purple ribbon theme focuses on supporting survivors of sexual violence to thrive. Being open, listening and speaking without judgment, and knowing how best to respond can have a huge positive impact on survivors and their ability to move forward. We have a responsibility to act with compassion and knowledge as individuals, and as a community, to make the world right. Gender-based violence can be stopped.

Annually, volunteers cut and pin more than 17,000 purple ribbons to bookmarks, for distribution across the Island. The purple ribbons are worn to honour the many lives lost to gender-based violence and to signify a commitment to ending violence in all our communities.

The Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence (Campagne du ruban violet contre la violence) was initiated by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women in 1991 to raise awareness about violence against women, to remember the 14 women who were murdered at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989, to remember the 10 Island women murdered by someone who knew them since 1989, and to call for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. December 6, 2019 marks 30 years since the Montreal Massacre. We are called to mourn and act to end gender-based violence that continues.


On Friday, December 6, 2019, a Montreal Massacre Memorial Service will take place at 12 noon at Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown. On the 30th anniversary of the horrific murder of 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, we gather to remember, to mourn, and to work for change. The service will also commemorate the ten Island women who have been killed since 1989 by men who knew them, and we will recommit to ending violence against women everywhere.


To mark the 30 years since the Montreal Massacre, the service will focus on intergenerational effects of violence and will include a Mi'kmaw welcome and prayer, an address by PEI feminist Dawn Wilson, moving musical performance, and the unveiling of a commemorative art commission created by Patricia Bourque. Family members, dignitaries, and community activists will light candles in remembrance of those whose lives were cut short because they were women. Everyone is welcome.

12:00 noon, Friday, December 6
Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre of
the Arts (venue sponsor)
Guest Speaker: Dawn Wilson - "Supporting Survivors in PEI: A Remembrance”
More info: 902-368-4510
PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women

12:00 noon, Friday, December 6
Presbyterian Church (next to Three Oaks High School)
130 Victoria Road, Summerside
More info: 902-436-9856
East Prince Women’s Information Centre


                   Poster (pdf)

An evening pinning bee to prepare ribbons and cards for the 2019-2020 Purple Ribbon Campaign was hosted by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

SUPPORT SURVIVORS—Support the person. Involve the Community. Right the world.

Our 2019–2020 Purple Ribbon Campaign theme focuses on supporting survivors of violence to thrive.

Join us on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 for coffee, tea, snacks and conversation.
Everyone welcome.
6:30 pm-8:00 pm
Confederation Centre Public Library
145 Richmond Street, Charlottetown

Annually, approximately 17,000 ribbons are cut and pinned to information cards by volunteers and distributed across the Island. The purple ribbons are worn to signify a commitment to remembering the 14 women murdered in Montreal in 1989, a horrific act of gender-based violence in Canadian history. We also wear purple ribbons to honour the memory of the Island women murdered by someone who knew them since 1989, and to call for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in our communities.

For more information contact the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women at or 902-368-4510.

To see a few photos from the Pinning Bee, click on this Facebook post link.

Orientation Sheet, 2013, PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women

Artwork: "Seeds" by Mari Basiletti. This work was commissioned by and hangs in the waiting room of the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre, Charlottetown.

  • December 6, 2019 Commentary/Commentaire ... link
    - Video featuring Chairperson Debbie Langston delivering the commentary:
  • 2019 Memorial Service Gallery ... link

A Feature of the 2019 Purple Ribbon Campaign

    • Handouts for Students / Documents à distribuer aux étudiants ... PDF
    • Resources for Teachers / Ressources pour les enseignants ... PDF


(Jpeg visuals of these resources can be seen on this blog page)
  • Purple Ribbon Backgrounder ... ENG-PDF / FRE-PDF
  • 30 Years After the Montreal Massacre ... ENG-JPG / FRE-JPG
  • Remembering the Montreal Massacre / Commémoration de la tuerie de Montréal ... JPG
  • Remembering Murdered Women / Commémoration des femmes assassinées ... JPG
  • Support Survivors ... ENG-JPG / FRE-JPG  / Bilingual - PDF

30 Years After the Montreal Massacre - Interviews

To create a resource for Purple Ribbon Teachers' Guides, Advisory Council staff interviewed three women with different perspectives on the Montreal Massacre, thirty years since it happened. We interviewed an engineer of the same generation as the women who were murdered at l'Ecole Polytechnique, a woman who immigrated to Canada in the wake of the massacre, and a Mi'kmaw woman who wasn't born in 1989 when the tragedy occurred.

Excerpts are available as a poster in English and French here ... PDF
You can read fuller versions of the interviews in English at the links below:


Download printable multilingual poster


(English and French)
Click to view larger version

Thank you to the 2019 contributors to the Purple Ribbon Campaign for generous assistance. 
  • Federated Women’s Institutes of PEI
  • Aboriginal Women’s Association
  • Confederation Centre of the Arts – Venue Sponsor
  • Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention (PAC)
  • City of Charlottetown
  • Translators: Service de traduction du gouvernement de l’Î.-P.-É. (French); Thirly Levi (Mi’kmaq); Krishna Thakur (Nepali and Hindi); Alex Yin (Mandarin Chinese); Antony Baker (Spanish); Caitlyn Huynh (Vietnamese); Fereshteh Shaer (Arabic and Farsi)
  • Paxton Caseley and Danya O’Malley of Anderson House, Family Violence Prevention Services
  • Francis Handrahan for extraordinary assistance with ribbon cutting
  • Confederation Centre Public Library and members of the public who attended the Pinning Bee
  • Reach Foundation participants
  • Holland College Child and Youth Care program students
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
  • Dawn Wilson, Guest Speaker
  • Vocalists Kate Dempsey, Allison Kelly, and Marlee Saulnier
  • Todd MacLean for piano accompaniment
  • Elder Julie Pellissier-Lush and Brittany Pellissier for offering Mi’kmaw opening and closing prayer
  • Pam MacKinnon and Eileen LeClair for the UPSE Silent Witnesses silhouettes
  • Michelle Buttery for providing emotional care during the service
  • Interministerial Women’s Secretariat for the bouquet of roses
  • Advisory Council members
  • Volunteers Kate Liu, Dan Lee, Melissa Bruce, Jennifer Jay, Bella Jay and Debbie MacInnis
  • Rob Warren and Paul Wood, Confederation Centre of the Arts
  • and all of the candle-lighters – family members and friends of murdered PEI women, representatives of organizations working to prevent violence against women, and community leaders/dignitaries

2019-2020 Bookmark



Download pdf of bookmark


Click for more on past Purple Ribbon Campaigns.          



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