Almost 100 people crowded into a third floor room at My Sisters' Place on Wednesday, the 28th anniversary of the day 14 women were gunned down by a man at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique.
They were killed simply because they were women.
Kennedy said that's still an issue in this country with hundreds of indigenous women who haven't returned home to their families yet today.
In Ottawa, flags at all city sites will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise to sunset to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. She calls the killings a "premeditated attack against women who were breaking barriers and pursuing their dreams in a field traditionally dominated by men".
"It actually seems to me the start of a culture change, that women aren't going to be as afraid to come forward".
Mercifully, there were no new local names to add to the list of victims this year, said Andy Lou Somers, with East Prince Women's Information Centre and one of the memorial's organizers.
"And yet, to think that there are still women here in our community, in Markham, in York Region, that face violence, that face threats every single day is truly a sad commentary on our progress as a society".
The stark reality is that half of all Canadian women have experienced at least 1 incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
Police enter the École Polytechnique after a lone gunman opened fire at the school in Montreal on December 6, 1989. Nirmala Armstrong, herself once a victim of domestic violence, said. By lighting the night, they hope to draw attention to the need for action on violence against women in Canada.
"It's a very fitting connection", Keefer said.
"We as individuals have a responsibility to respect everyone regardless of their gender", said Nagpal.
Canadians have the support of this Government, whether it be through the first federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the National Housing Strategy, and investments in shelters.
Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.