MEDIA ADVISORY: Candlelight memorial for those who have died while experiencing homelessness

The Longest Night of the Year, a commemoration of lives lost in homelessness

December 21, 2017

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This winter, on Thursday December 21st in Shaw Millennium Park, Calgary will hold a city-wide memorial service for those who have passed away while experiencing homelessness in our city. Coordinated annually by the Client Action Committee (CAC) at the Calgary Homeless Foundation, this memorial, called the Longest Night of the Year, will give a place for many to remember those they have lost. For most individuals who have passed, this candlelight memorial will be the only commemoration of their lives lost due to homelessness. The Longest Night memorial service is open to every Calgarian.

WHO:         Nigel Kirk, Client Action Committee Member
Randy Pages, Client Action Committee Member
John Gibson, Client Action Committee Member
Devon Ouelette, Vulnerable Persons Unit, Calgary Police Service
Michael Grant, Community Engagement Specialist, CHF
Diana Krecsy, President & CEO, CHF
Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary
   
WHAT: The Longest Night of the Year is a memorial coordinated by the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Client Action Committee, a volunteer committee of individuals either currently experiencing homelessness or who have lived experience of homelessness. There will be a blessing, singing and drumming provided prior to a name reading as well as a minute of silence for those who have been lost.
   
WHEN: Thursday, December 21st, 2017
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
   
WHERE: Shaw Millennium Park
1220 9 Ave. SW
Calgary, AB
   


AGENDA:
5:00pm       Event Start. Introduction by Randy Pages
Guests invited to write down names of those they have lost.
5:30 Opening prayer and blessing, Elder Kelly Good Eagle, Siksika Nation
5:35 Welcome, Diana Krecsy, Preseident & CEO, CHF
5:40 Address, Mayour Naheed Nenshi, City of Calgary
5:50 Singing & Drumming, Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary
5:55 Poetry Reading, John Gibson, CAC Member
6:00 CAC, name reading
6:10 Minute of Silence
6:11 Nigel Kirk, CAC Member
6:16 Devon Ouellette, Vulnerable Persons Unit, Calgary Police Service
6:20 Non-denominational prayer, Hilda Nauenburg
6:23 Diana Krecsy, Invites others to share
6:28 Diana Krecsy, Closing Remarks
6:30 Closing Prayer, Elder Kelly Good Eagle, Siksika Nation
   

Media are invited. There will be interview and photo opportunities following the event.

QUOTES:

Randy Pages, Client Action Committee Member
“You know, for many they were just another face on the street, but what people don’t always realize is that they’re somebody’s brother; somebody’s daughter; somebody’s husband - and they all need to be remembered.”

Diana Krecsy, President and CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation
“The Longest Night of the Year is an important memorial for volunteers on the Client Action Committee, for staff at the Calgary Homeless Foundation, and our partner agencies. Those who have died while homeless and sleeping rough on the streets of Calgary were our fellow citizens and we want to honor their lives by acknowledging their existence and remembering them. Tonight is about sharing our humanity; about honoring the lives of those who mattered to us and sharing our compassion for each other and for those we have lost. They were people and they mattered.”

His Worship Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary
“As we continue to fight homelessness in our community, we cannot forget those we’ve lost. But, like the winter solstice, we come together in the darkness to be reminded of the light ahead. There is no place for homelessness in our community. Together, we have the resources and the right solutions to make sure every Calgarian has a home.”

About CHF

The Calgary Homeless Foundation is a catalyst and enabler for Systems and Service Agencies to optimize client success. CHF focuses on four strategic pillars of work; Research and Development, Community Mobilization, Funder of Outcomes and Impact, and Public and Political Will. CHF addresses gaps and identifies best practices to improve the system of care. Through mobilization of collective impact, CHF is committed to moving forward in partnership with the many homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary. For more information, visit calgaryhomeless.com

About the Client Action Committee

The Client Action Committee (CAC) is a volunteer committee of individuals who have experience of, or are currently experiencing, homelessness in Calgary. They are a committed group of Calgarians who consult on a bi-weekly basis with the Calgary Homeless Foundation to provide a lived experience voice and perspective. Not only do they play an advisory role within CHF, they have coordinated multiple events for the community such as the 2015 Mock Election, the annual Longest Night of the Year memorial, have both attended and presented at the 7 Cities Conference of Housing and Homelessness on the benefit of client committees and have consulted on the federal National Housing Strategy.

Media Inquiries: 
  
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Joel Sinclair
Director, Marketing and Communications
Media Line: 403.615.7607
joels@calgaryhomeless.com
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Emily Bedford
Communications Specialist
Media Line: 403.615.7607
emilyb@calgaryhomeless.com