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VPL launches new online gallery highlighting Women’s Memorial Quilt

Project digitizes panels remembering murdered and missing women of the DTES


March 28, 2017

VANCOUVER, B.C. – A new online gallery launches today to share the Women’s Memorial Quilt, a tapestry of more than 120 panels remembering the murdered and missing women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Vancouver Public Library worked with the quilt’s creator, Diane Wood of the Women’s Memorial March Committee, over several months to carefully photograph each of the hand-sewn and hand-decorated panels for the online exhibit, Remembering our DTES Women: Stories Behind the Women’s Memorial Quilt.

A special event this afternoon at the library features several of the quilt’s creators discussing the making of the quilt, sharing memories of the women and, with VPL staff, introducing the online gallery.

To celebrate the online launch, VPL and the march committee are displaying the quilt for the next month at VPL’s main branch downtown.

“The library has been honoured to be involved in this project,” says Kay Cahill, VPL’s manager of digital services and the leader of the team that worked on the gallery.

“For the first time, people across Canada – and around the world – can see the panels and hear the stories of the murdered and missing women of the Downtown Eastside.

“Family members and friends who don’t live in Vancouver and who aren’t able to see the quilt in person can now see the panels created to commemorate their loved ones,” she says.

Included in the gallery – reached via thisvancouver.vpl.ca – is a special image viewer that can zoom in on the intricate details on the panels, which remember the women with warmth and love: as mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties, friends and community members.

VPL has been working with the community to gather stories from people who knew and loved the women commemorated in the quilt; these sound recordings of their memories will become part of the online gallery.


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Community members who would like to contribute a story or memory to the project about one of the women commemorated, or who were involved in making a panel, can get involved by contacting cdi@vpl.ca or speaking to staff at VPL’s Carnegie branch.




About Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library has been dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading and information needs of Vancouver residents for more than 100 years. Our vision is an informed, engaged, and connected city. Our mission is a free place for everyone to discover, create and share ideas and information. Last year, VPL had more than 6.8 million visits with patrons borrowing almost 9.4 million physical and digital items including: books, ebooks, movies, music and magazines. Across 21 locations, VPL is the most-visited major urban library per capita in Canada.