Third edition of Polytechnique Montréal’s Week of the White Rose takes place November 29 to December 6, 2016
As December 6 approaches and Polytechnique Montréal prepares for the annual day of remembrance of the tragic events of 1989, the institution invites members of the public to make a meaningful, symbolic gesture by taking part in the Week of the White Rose. [...]
Giving a gift of virtual white roses to encourage the “blooming” of promising talents and stimulate an interest in the sciences that might not otherwise have emerged: that is the mission Polytechnique Montréal had in mind when it created the Week of the White Rose in 2014.
Over the years, the white rose has become the symbol of Polytechnique’s commemorative activities. During this annual fundraising campaign, Polytechnique invites members of its community and the general public, as well as corporations, to make a donation by giving loved ones or clients the gift of virtual roses through the whiteroseweek.org site. All funds raised go to Folie Technique, Polytechnique’s science day camp, to provide girls from less affluent communities with the opportunity to take part in science awareness activities.
Give the gift of white roses and let the future bloom
- One rose ($10) pays for transportation for a girl to attend a science activity.
- A bouquet of 14 roses ($50) funds a science activity in an elementary school classroom.
- A bouquet of 25 roses ($150) pays for a girl to attend a week-long Folie Technique science day camp in the summer.
Since its creation, the Week of the White Rose has raised approximately $40,000 and enabled more than 3,200 young girls to be part of classroom science workshops and attend the Folie Technique summer camp. However, demand far outweighs this non-profit organization’s supply: there are long waiting lists for these popular “all-girl” groups.
Although they make up more than half the population, the number of Canadian women undertaking careers in engineering remains low. According to Engineers Canada, less than 12% of practising licensed engineers in the country are women. In 1989, at the time of the Polytechnique tragedy, women accounted for 17% of the student population at the school. As of 2016, nearly 28% of Polytechnique students are women, and there is gender parity in many specialized fields, such as biomedical, chemical, industrial and geological engineering.
While donations reach a peak during the week leading up to December 6, the Week of the White Rose transactional website is always live, making it possible to purchase a gift of white roses at any time of the year.
With the Week of the White Rose, Polytechnique reaffirms that it will never forget, but at the same time will always look to the future.
OTHER COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS
Order of the White Rose scholarship ceremony
On Monday, December 5, at 2 p.m., Polytechnique will hold the second annual Order of the White Rose scholarship presentation ceremony, during which a deserving Canadian woman engineering student wishing to pursue graduate studies will receive the $30,000 award. A media advisory will be issued shortly.
Placing of bouquets of roses at the commemorative plaque
On Tuesday, December 6, at 8:30 a.m., bouquets of white roses will be placed at the commemorative plaque by Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Principal and Chair of the Polytechnique Board of Directors; Christophe Guy, CEO of Polytechnique; Clara Levy-Provençal, interim President of the Polytechnique students association; and Joël Girard-Lauzière, President of the Polytechnique graduate students’ association. Staff, students and members of the public are invited to gather and reflect at the site throughout the day. The commemorative plaque is outside, on the southwest façade of the main building of Polytechnique.
Beacons of light on Mount Royal
For the third year in a row, the skies above Montreal will be lit by 14 beams of light on the evening of December 6, in remembrance of the victims. Those who wish to gather and reflect may do so near the beacons in front of the Chalet on Mount Royal, near the summit in Mount Royal Park. A news release will be issued shortly by the City of Montreal.
About Polytechnique Montréal
Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada’s leading engineering teaching and research institutions. It is the largest engineering university in Québec for the size of its graduate student body and the scope of its research activities. With over 45,700 graduates, Polytechnique Montréal has educated nearly one-quarter of the current members of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. The institution offers more than 120 programs. Polytechnique has 250 professors and over 8,200 students. It has an annual operating budget of more than $210 million, including a research budget exceeding $70 million.
About Folie Technique
Folie Technique is a non-profit organization established in 1991 at the initiative of engineering students at Polytechnique Montréal. Its mission is to give young people the opportunity to explore the worlds of science, mathematics, engineering and technology through creative, interactive and accessible activities. More than 20,000 young people aged 7 to 17 take part in Folie Technique’s activities every year.
AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS
Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Principal and Chair of the Board of Directors of Polytechnique and the school’s first woman graduate in civil engineering
A young Folie Technique camper
Julie Doucet Lamoureux, Executive Director of Folie Technique
Thank-you video from young Folie Technique campers