Monument honouring survivors of sexual assault scarred

EGANVILLE – Undeterred by an assault on Canada’s first permanent monument to recognize survivors of sexual violence, The Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County (WSAC) continued with its planned vigil on May 31. The vigil in Centennial Park, Eganville, was to mark May as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The pebble mosaic monument was unveiled in Centennial Park in October 2016 after a two-year process led by WSAC, Red Dress Productions and the Ottawa Valley Creative Arts Open Studio. Members of communities across Renfrew County were engaged to imagine, build and install the monument in Eganville as well as the smaller “sister” monuments in Pembroke, Killaloe and Pikwakanagan First Nation. The building process included community members placing thousands of pebbles, some with initials or names of loved ones, into the mosaic. At the centre of the Eganville mosaic is a glass orb designed by Tanya Lyons of Killaloe. It was this glass orb that was vandalized by someone using a stone, scarring the surface. After the vigil, Tanya Lyons said that while people see glass as fragile, it has great strength. “It is a powerful material made from earth and fire that can survive through time for thousands of years. “Glass lends itself to conceptual art and represents the strength and power in this monument very well. Now the glass bares scars as many women do, adding depth and beauty while reflecting strength,” Lyons said. Pick up a copy of the June 6, 2018 paper to read the full story.