6 Dec

In 1998, the December 6th Committee commissioned Artist Valerie LeBlanc to complete the commemorative sculpture Courage & Hope. The sculpture was designed to commemorate the loss of the fourteen young women killed in an act of violence against women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, 1989; and to give a sense of inspiration and hope for the future efforts and achievements of girls and women. The sculpture consists of a golden ladder set against a glass wall. At the base of the ladder are the names of the fourteen women who died. Carved on the glass are dreams and aspirations of girls and women. The ‘future wishes’ were gathered from schools, colleges, the Universite de Moncton, Womens’ Centres in the Metro Moncton area.

“The golden ladder has seven rungs to pass over the events of December 6th. The base has fourteen facets bearing the names of the fourteen young women The concept of Courage and Hope is to raise above what happened and built something that will take us further” – Valerie LeBlanc

Upon the glass wall are phrases gathered from female high school students in the Metro Moncton area, expressing their dreams and aspirations for the future. “To be appreciated as a woman and respected as a engineer” wrote one girl named Josee”.
Courage & Hope is on permanent display inside the entrance to Moncton City Hall.
655 Main Moncton NB E1C 1E8

Hope springs from tragedy
By Frank Carrol Times & Transcript Staff
Saturday, December 5, 1998 A3

December 6, 1989 was a day of terror and despair for Canadian woman. But an organization in Metrto Moncton has turned the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre into a day of courage and hope.

Yesterday, the December 6 Committee unveiled a monument called Courage and Hope to pay hommage to the victims of the Montreal Massacre.

Nine years ago on Sunday, a gunman walked into l”Ecole polytechnique with a gun and killed 14 female engineering students.

Since then Dec. 6 has become a rallying day for those who deplore violence against woman. Last year, the December 6 Committee in Metro Moncton commissioned visual artist Valerie LeBlanc to create a monument in time for this year’s commemoration. Courage and Hope consist of a golden ladder set against a glass wall. At the base of the ladder are the names of the 14 woman who died in the massacre.

Upon the glass wall are phrases gathered from female high school students in the Metro Moncton area, expressing their dreams and aspirations for the future.

“To be appreciated as a woman and respected as an engineer” wrote one girl named Josee.

“I want to be an RCMP officer and a loving mother”. wrote Laura.

The Montreal gunman snuffed out the dreams and aspirations of 14 people in 1989 because he had a personal vendetta against woman.

In large part, yesterday’s commemoration was a commitment by Metro Moncton woman to move beyond the tragedy and stay commited to their own aspirations, to fulfill what the victims of the Montreal Massacre were unable to fulfill.

That is why the golden ladder on the monument has seven rungs and not six, as in Dec. 6.
“To put that in context, we have to rise above what happened and build something that will take us further,” said LeBlanc.

The foyer at city hall was jammedpacked for yesterday’s unveilling ceremony. One of those present was Melanie Robichaud, a 16-year-old student from Ecole Polyvalante Mathieu-Martin, who gave the keynote address during the ceremony.

Robichaud pointed out in her speech that one in 10 Canadian woman is beaten regulary and that a woman is raped on average every 17 minutes in this country.

But most of her speech was devoted to pointing out the inequalities that exist between men and women in the workplace. For her, the monument was a reminder that women have to keep pursuing their dreams no matter what stands in their way.

“The ladder symbolizes that we have to keep striving for our goals and never settle for the minimum,” said Robichaud.
Nancy Hartling, chairwoman of the December 6 Committee, said the committee put a lot of work into making the Courage and Hope project a reality. She said the monument at city hall will remain there as a permanent reminder of the problem of violence against women – not only in distant places but in Moncton as well.

The unveilling of the Courage and Hope monument was followed by a ceremony in which local high school students placed roses in honour of each of the 14 victims of the Montreal Massacre.

To emphasize that violence hits close to home, a 15th rose was placed in remembrance of 10 women who died vioently in the Metro Moncton in the past decade. Their names were, Norma, Jessica, Joan, Nina, Marcia, Melissa, Monique, Laura Ann, Michele and Clair.

The December 6 Committee will officially commemorate the Montreal Massacre at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Caseley Park in Riverview.



See also: About Courage and Hope (2006)


See also: Présences du littéraire dans l’espace public canadien
PLEPUC.ORG is a Web site dedicated to the relation between literature and public space.

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About Valerie LeBlanc

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device.

L’artiste pluridisciplinaire Valerie LeBlanc est vidéaste, poète, performeuse et essayiste. Son travail oscille entre le remarquable et le quotidien. Elle a exposé ses œuvres en Europe, en Australie et au Brésil. Elle crée des vidéopoèmes depuis le milieu des années 1980 et a inventé le MediaPackBoard (MPB), un appareil de projection mobile pour la performance.

À partir de leur exploration du parc national des Everglades, Daniel H. Dugas et Valerie LeBlanc cartographient dans cet essai poétique les effets de la présence humaine sur le milieu naturel, les traces qu’elle y dépose. Everglades est une ode à la beauté, à la fragilité et à la résilience d’une nature aux prises avec une espèce envahissante, la nôtre.

Through their exploration of the Everglades National Park, Daniel H. Dugas and Valerie LeBlanc document, in this poetic collection, the effects of human presence in the natural world and the traces left behind. Everglades is an ode to the beauty, the fragility and the resilience of nature faced with the invasiveness of a particular species, ours.

Date : Mars 2018
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782897441029

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