Nova Scotia

Virtual vigil honouring victims of N.S. shootings planned for Friday

Signs of solidarity and words of support have flooded social media this week as Nova Scotians lean on one another in the aftermath of one of Canada’s deadliest mass killings. A virtual vigil will be held Friday evening to remember the victims.

CBC will have a special broadcast of the online tribute beginning at 7 p.m. AT

People can't gather together physically due to public health orders, so organizers have planned a virtual vigil to pay tribute to the 22 victims of last weekend's mass shootings in Nova Scotia. (Riley Smith/The Canadian Press)

A virtual vigil to mourn the victims of one of Canada's deadliest mass killings will take place Friday and be available to people across the Atlantic provinces on CBC. 

RCMP have confirmed 22 people died when a gunman went on a 12-hour rampage through several rural Nova Scotia communities over the weekend.

Many of the tributes to the victims have been collected on a Facebook page called Colchester- Supporting our Communities, which will be live streaming a vigil called Nova Scotia Remembers Friday at 7 p.m. AT. It will also be streamed on YouTube. 

CBC will have a special broadcast of the vigil that will air in all the Atlantic provinces on CBC Radio, CBC TV and online. It will also be carried on CBC News Network.

The TV special will be hosted by Tom Murphy, co-host of CBC Nova Scotia's supper hour news program, and the radio special will be hosted by Jeff Douglas, host of Mainstreet.

"As a community and as a province and a country, we need to try to understand and we need to do something. You know, the helplessness is real. It really is," organizer Tiffany Ward told CBC's Information Morning on Wednesday.

WATCH | 'Nova Scotia Strong' becomes rally cry after shooting:

People from around the world are sharing condolences and tributes using the phrase Nova Scotia Strong to bring them together. 2:07

Ward lives in Economy, N.S., which is almost 20 kilometres from where the violence began on Saturday night in Portapique, N.S.

"We're all sort of waiting with bated breath to see that this is really over because the news keeps changing," said Ward, who knew some of the victims.

The tragedy has left her feeling numb, she said, but she hopes the vigil will be a place where people can start to process what happened, even if they can't physically gather due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"In other places where this has happened, you know, the next day the community is together, the community's having a vigil. They're at the church, they're at the community hall," Ward said. "We can't do anything like that."

On Friday night an online vigil will take place to honour the victims killed this past weekend. 7:43

Ward helped start the Facebook page earlier this week, which now has more than 55,000 members. She said she's finding comfort in people's posts.

People are sharing photos and memories of the victims, as well as poems and displays of Nova Scotia pride like tartans and flags.

"For me, it's very fulfilling to see that people are sharing and that we're all in this together and we're all going to grow and find our peace together and then we're going to rise."

WATCH | Grief counselling, financial support for N.S. shooting victims:

Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair talks to Adrienne Arsenault about services available for victims of the Nova Scotia shooting rampage, including grief counselling and the possibility of financial support. 2:52

The online vigil will include music from local artists and pre-recorded messages from political, spiritual and community leaders, Ward said.

If you are seeking mental health support during this time, here are resources available to Nova Scotians.

With files from CBC's Information Morning

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