Take Back the Night 2019 tries a more community-based approach

Patrick Davies photos Little Katilayah Heward (from left) makes stress balls with her mother Tiffany Orgill and brother Kane Heward at Take back the Night 2019. Orgill said her family recently moved to Williams Lake from Chilliwack and saw the event as a great way to get to know the lakecity community.
Little Katilayah Heward looks up solemnly from playing a handmade stress ball at Take Back the Night 2019. Patrick Davies photo.
Little Katilayah Heward holds out her homemade stress ball, made using a ballon and flour, to an onlooker at Take Back the Night 2019. Patrick Davies photo.
Joe Borsato lifts his arms in triumph after emerging from one of the Potato House’s recycling bins. Borsato has started working for the Potato House as their ‘project alchemist’ and was on hand assisting Mary Forbes with waste management.
Elders enjoy some chilli and the ambiance of Take Back the Night 2019. Patrick Davies photo.

This year the annual Take Back the Night march tried something new by hosting a community get together in Boitanio Park prior to the march.

Traditionally, Take Back the Night in Williams Lake has begun around 5 p.m. with marchers walking from the Purple House around the bloc through the downtown area near Boitanio Park before ending where they take part in the ‘Love Is’ campaign and write messages on rocks.

This year, however, organizers set up a small party-style event in Boitanio Park by the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Amphitheater complete with food, entertainment and informational booths for local violence prevention and childcare groups at 4 p.m. The 30 or so people in attendance seemed to enjoy this new format as they chatted amongst themselves and listened to speeches given by organizers.

Read More: Take Back the Night Walk back this Friday

Cariboo Friendship Society member Tamara Garreau, who chairs the Violence is Preventable Committee, helped organize and re-imagine the event this year. Garreau said the primary purpose of Take Back the Night is to raise awareness and draw attention to violence of all kinds in society, regardless of perpetrators or victims.

Hosting this precursor to the march was their way of making the event more positive and family-friendly, Garreau said. For their first year of doing it, she felt the turnout was really good and better already than the previous marches.

“(This event) is to say we’re not afraid to be out at night. Most violence happens at the hands of someone you know, so for us to go out, we shouldn’t be afraid to go out as women we need to be in the public at night and not feel fear,” Garreau said.


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