International Overdose Awareness Day 2021


International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31 each year, aiming to spread the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering without stigma, those who have died or sustained a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Symbols of International Overdose Day include the silver badge, the purple wristband, and purple lanyard. Together, they raise awareness of the detrimental effects overdoses have on those who suffer them, as well the people closest to them. Wearing these symbols is a demonstration of support for all who have experienced such loss. They are also a reminder that every life is precious and holds meaning and value.

Below is a list of events taking place across British Columbia.
Wear purple to mark the day, and find an event near you.

If you would like to add an event to this page, please send the event details to Dakota Fayant:
[email protected]

BC International Overdose Awareness Day Events

Province Wide – Online Event

Online Candlelight Vigil of Remembrance, Hosted by Moms Stop the Harm. Starting at 6:30PST. This will be an evening of music and words of remembrance featuring guest speakers: Lisa Lapointe, BC Coroner and Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth, BC Representative for Children & Youth, and Leslie McBain, Co-Founder of MSTH.
Facebook Event Page

Abbotsford – Tuesday, August 31st

Hosted by Abbotsford Drug War Survivors. 3-7PM. March from Jubilee Park to the Trinity Memorial United Church. Start at 2552 Mccallum Road, Abbotsford, followed by a free BBQ, awards, music and speakers at 33737 George Ferguson Way.
Facebook Event Page

Campbell River – Tuesday, August 31st

Hosted by Campbell River Community Action Team. 11-3PM. Meet downtown Campbell River in Spirit Square. Community partners will be on-site with education stations, pop-up Naloxone training, community art-making, and resource tables.
Facebook Event Page

Castlegar – Tuesday, August 31st

Hosted by Castlegar & District Community Services Society. 11-4PM. Meet at 1660 Columbia Avenue, former Flamingo Motel Parking Lot. Free barbeque, harm reduction supplies, naloxone training, as well as relevant information and local resources will be available.
Facebook Event Page

Kamloops – Tuesday, August 31st

Hosted by the Addiction Matters Kamloops coalition. 5-7PM. Meet at McDonald Park
262 King Street. A public gathering to remember, without stigma, those we have lost to overdose through art, education, Naloxone training, music, poetry, bannock and more.
Event Flyer

Kelowna – Tuesday, August 31st

Meet in Kerry Park from 7-10PM. 7-10PM. Event will include music, Naloxone training, drug checking demo and candlelight vigil.
Event Flyer

Langley – Tuesday, August 31st

On August 31st a memorial walk is planned for 6pm from Derek Doubleday to Douglas Park (~1.3km). Upon arrival at Douglas Park there will be Naloxone training, a community BBQ, speakers corner, and culminating in a candlelight vigil & memorial.

Langley will be hosting dual static displays at two sites. A display of empty shoes at Derek Doubleday representing the lives lost to overdose since a public health emergency was declared in our province five years ago. A second display of crosses tied with purple ribbons at Derek Doubleday.
Facebook Event Page

Mission – Thursday August 26th & Tuesday, August 31st

Hosted by Mission Overdose Community Action Team with support from Mission Downtown Business Association.
Community Picnic & Art Making Dialogue – August 26, 3-6PM. Fraser River Heritage Park.
International Overdose Awareness Day ArtWalk – August 31, 4-7PM. The art will be displayed in businesses on First Avenue for the Flower Power Community Art Show on Aug. 31.Music by MarKaren Music, Low Barrier Chorus (harm reduction choir) and more. Resource tables, Naloxone training and conversation.
Facebook Event Page
News Article

Powell River – Tuesday, August 31st

Hosted by Moms Stop The Harm, Powell River CAT and SUSTAIN. March will begin at Powell River City Hall at 5:30PM and walk to Nicholas Simons office where a “Die in” will be preformed. From there march will continue on to Willingdon Beach’s “Upper Lot” where there will be Naloxone training, Memorial table, Candlelight vigil, pizza and refreshments

Ridge-Meadows – Friday, August 27th

Meet at Memorial Peace Park 12 – 3PM
Free Community Event, Resource Fair, JLunch, Low Barrier Chorus, Personal Experiences Speakers and Tributes
Facebook Event Page

Surrey (online) – Tuesday, August 31st

Hosted by the Surrey Community Action Team. Join online from 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM PDT for a panel discussion to mark International Overdose Awareness Day. Join to learn about overdose prevention and awareness from leaders on the front line of the overdose crisis. Including those with lived experience, family, Indigenous, medical and first responder perspectives.
Event Registration

If you would like to add an event to this page, please send the event details to Dakota Fayant:
[email protected]