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Because your voice matters.

The Commemorative Canvas: Event to Honour Hundreds of Souls Lost to the Overdose Crisis

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August 31, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Downtown Eastside community partners Culture Saves Lives and Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, in collaboration with Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD), will be hosting an event on August 31, International Day for Overdose Awareness, to memorialize those lost to British Columbia’s overdose crisis.

According to the BC Coroners Service, between January 2016 and May 2017 there have been 1,607 illicit drug overdose deaths in British Columbia. Despite the mass attention that this has attracted both from the public and the media, efforts have been unable to successfully reduce the number of overdose incidents, and people continue to die at alarming rates. In May of 2017 129 people died of suspected overdose; this equates to more than four people every single day.

It’s easy to talk about these numbers and lose sight of the devastating human loss, and the effects that this loss has at a community level. This event will give a voice to those that have been affected by this crisis. The day will feature a commemorative art canvas and attendees will be encouraged to add the names of those lost, as well as artistic tributes, to the canvas using paints or markers provided by the organizers. The hope is that this canvas will make its way to Parliament Hill in Ottawa where it can tell a more personalized story of the overdose crisis in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The day will also feature speakers from local organizations that support harm reduction, and will include those with lived experience and allies, as well as First Nations elders. Food will be provided by the organizers.

This event is one of several coordinated events being organized by CAPUD across Canada in honour of International Day for Overdose Awareness.

For more information, please contact Holly Kleban at 604.642.5809 or



August 31, 2017
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


International Overdose Awareness Day
Culture Saves Lives
Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society
Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs


58 West Hastings Street
58 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4 Canada
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From Our Community

Ovey Yeung

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Ovey Yeung

Being involved in the Patient Voices Network has broadened my understanding of the system and helped me empathize with health care challenges and limitations. What matters to me is to walk away feeling that my experience matters, that I matter!