Here’s what’s happening across Metro Vancouver for Truth and Reconciliation Day

This article contains details that may be distressing to some readers. The Indian Residential School Survivors Society operates a 24-hour crisis line to support survivors and families across the country. The Lamathut Crisis Line can be reached by calling 1-800-721-0066.

On Saturday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be observed across Canada, with events set to take place throughout B.C.

Legislation passed in B.C. earlier this year means the day to honour residential school survivors and their families is now recognized by the provincial government as a statutory holiday, which will take place Oct.2.

Orange Shirt Day, as it is also called, is a movement stemming from Phyllis Webstad’s story of her first day of residential school. As a six-year-old girl, her new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken away from her.

The date is significant because it coincides with the time of year Indigenous children were taken from their homes to attend residential school.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the day for reconciliation is about reminding Canadians of the country’s dark history, but it’s also about a path forward.

“We must focus on the path forward. A path that should be illuminated by a sense of hope of reconciling the past with the present, so we may create a better future for all people and all children in Canada,” he told CityNews.

Events are being held across Canada this weekend to deepen Canadians’ understanding of residential schools and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the process of reconciliation.

Due to the day falling on a weekend this year, public institutions will be closed on Monday to observe the stat holiday. Some shops and attractions will also be closed Saturday.

Here’s what’s happening in Metro Vancouver this weekend to mark this day of awareness:


Art displays, plays and a film screening will be happening at City Hall and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts on Saturday.


Events, including a drop-in skate and film screening, will be held at the Glen Pine Pavilion, Place des Arts and Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex on Saturday.


Blanket exercises will be held on Saturday in Ladner at the Harris Barn.


A vigil, walk and guided activities will be hosted by few Langley churches at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Saturday, beginning at 5 p.m.

Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows

PLEA Community Services will host an event on Saturday at Memorial Peace Park, beginning at 10 a.m.

New Westminster

A pipe ceremony will be held by the Spirit of the Children Society on the Westminster Pier between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

North Vancouver

A cedar brushing ceremony will take place at the Polygon Gallery Saturday, beginning at noon.

The Museum & Archives of North Vancouver will host activities from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

A Cedar Rose Weaving ceremony will take place at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre Saturday.

Port Moody

A talk and collaborative art project will be happening at the Noons Creek Hatchery on Saturday at 1 p.m.


The Richmond Public Library will host family story time and the Richmond Cultural Centre will have an Indigenous art exhibit on Saturday.


Skookum Surrey is hosting an event from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday in Holland Park, which will feature food and drumming.


Intergenerational March for Orange Shirt Day

An educational march will be held on the UBC campus Saturday from noon until 3 p.m, by the UBC Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre Canada.

Workshops with Indigenous artists

Arts Umbrella on Granville Island will host workshops and lectures with Indigenous artists between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Britannia Orange Shirt Day gathering

A gathering will be held at the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre and Grandview Park between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Templeton Orange Shirt Day gathering

Speakers, art and drumming will be part of the free event happening at the Templeton Welcome Garden on Saturday from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

West Vancouver

The West Vancouver Memorial Library will host a storytelling event on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. to educate and spread awareness about the day.

White Rock

The Semiahmoo First Nation will host a walk for truth and reconciliation from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., beginning near the Grand Chief Bernard Robert Charles Plaza.

-With files from Maria Vinca

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