Oakville/Ontario/April 27, 2017 – More than 200 people whose lives have been forever impacted by impaired driving come together this weekend to share their experiences, support one another and honour their loved ones at MADD Canada’s National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving.
The conference, running from April 28 – 30 in Toronto, provides a series of keynote addresses and workshop sessions to help delegates cope with traumatic, life-altering experiences. Topics include:
Surviving Adversity and Loss; Understanding the Criminal Justice System; Victims’ Rights in Canada; Coping with Anger; Healing Through Storytelling; and Surviving an Impaired Driving Crash. A separate stream of sessions and activities is available to youth aged 15 to 24, to help address the challenges and grief faced by young victims and survivors.
“Learning how to rebuild your life and keep moving forward after losing a loved one or suffering a serious injury often seems impossible,” said MADD Canada National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. “This conference offers a safe, supportive place where victims and survivors can share their experiences and learn coping strategies. Most importantly, delegates learn they are not alone. We can’t change what has happened, but we can gain comfort and strength from the support and fellowship of others.”
The emotional cornerstone of the weekend is a powerful Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance, held on Saturday evening. Delegates will gather for a moving ceremony to remember loved ones who have been killed and acknowledge injuries sustained in impaired driving crashes. Photos of victims/survivors are shown, a tribute is read and a candle is lit for each victim/survivor.
With hundreds of Canadians killed and tens of thousands injured in impaired driving crashes every year, the need to offer support and services to victims/survivors is crucial. Supporting victims/survivors is MADD Canada’s top priority. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across the country, MADD Canada offers: grief and bereavement support; support through the criminal justice system; assistance with victim impact statements; help with understanding victims’ rights; a lending library; brochures; community referrals; and trained victim service volunteers.
MADD Canada offers its thanks to Justice Canada, Manitoba Justice and Saskatchewan Justice for their generous support of the National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving and resource materials for victims and survivors.
To learn more about the conference, visit:
Media in the Toronto area are welcome to attend the Candelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance (please RSVP).
Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Presentation Hall – BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning, 3550 Pharmacy Ave., Scarborough, Ontario.
For further information or to RSVP for the Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance, call:
Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.