Each year, April 28 marks the observance of the National Day of Mourning in Canada. This day serves as a day of remembrance for those who have been lost due to workplace-related injuries or illnesses and as a day of reflection on the importance of safety in our day-to-today lives.

This year the Grande Prairie and Area Safe Communities and Grande Prairie Regional Safety Committee are working together to host the annual National Day of Mourning Memorial Ceremony.

Day of Mourning Photo:Submitted

The ceremony is open to all and will take place at 10:45 a.m. in the Memorial Garden at Safety City. Following the ceremony, guest speaker, Spencer Beach, will share his story of survival after experiencing a horrific workplace injury and reflect on why safety matters. Tickets are required for Spencer’s presentation due to limited space. These are free and can be reserved on Eventbrite.

“So much of our time as teens and adults is spent at our workplaces. It is so important to have space, like the memorial garden at Safety City, for families to honour the memory of those that have been lost, and to remind us that these losses can be prevented,” says Cindy Blinston, Executive Director of Grande Prairie and Area Safe Communities. Each life lost has a ripple effect on the community. To prevent these tragic losses, each one of us has a responsibility to foster safety in our workplace, she says.

“As regional representatives of the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA), we understand the role safety plays in the workplace and at home,” says Sherri Shumko, Chair of the Grande Prairie Regional Safety Committee (GPRSC). “On April 28, we honour and pay respects to those who have lost their lives, been injured or developed illnesses while on the job. Day of Mourning is an important date that reminds us to stay committed to continuous improvement to health and safety in our workplaces and prevent future work-related injuries or death. Our committee works diligently with the communities we live and work in to make sure safety is top of mind.”

If members of our community would like to honour those lost to work-related incidents beyond the activities on April 28, the Day of Mourning Memorial Garden in Safety City hosts a space where mourners can place memorial plaques in remembrance of a loved one lost to workplace injury or illness.

For more information on having a plaque placed, please contact Grande Prairie and Area Safe Communities. In addition, the annual Steps for Life Walk will happen in Grande Prairie on May 7, 2022 in support of families who have lost loved ones to workplace tragedies. Please consider donating or joining the walk to raise funds for this cause.