As we’ve seen another year of tragic losses of life due to the global pandemic, today, Mayor Brian Bowman announced a temporary memorial similar to last year’s to honour the Winnipeg lives lost.

“This Friday marks the 2nd year since the global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020,” said Mayor Bowman. “Candles will once again be lit in front of a dimmed Winnipeg sign from March 11-13 for each of the Winnipeggers lost to COVID-19.” 

The day after the WHO pandemic declaration on March 11, 2020, Winnipeg saw its first presumptive case of COVID-19 within our city. 15 days later, on March 27, 2020 Winnipeg learned of its first local loss of life. Last year’s memorial was updated each day and ended with a total of 650 candles. Unfortunately, since that time, another 408 candles will be added to last year for a total of 1058, as of today, and updated daily, as required. To date, there have been over 6 million deaths worldwide due to COVID-19. 

“While we’ve all watched for the daily statistics on COVID-19, we can sometimes lose track of the fact that these are all people with families and friends in our community,” said Mayor Bowman. “We have continued to lose Winnipeggers sooner than we would have without the pandemic and this memorial is meant as a small gesture to the families and friends who’ve lost someone to COVID-19.”

The team at the Forks will assist with setting up the candles and the CN Stage Sign will also be dimmed to coincide with the memorial from March 11-13. 

“This memorial at The Forks is an important reminder to look beyond the statistics and honour the human beings that have been lost to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years,” says Sara Stasiuk, Chief Executive Officer, The Forks North Portage. “We want to let our community know that while they may be gone, they are not forgotten.”

“I’d like to thank the team at the Forks for partnering on this temporary memorial,” said Mayor Bowman.