Take Back the Night will return to downtown St. Catharines with speakers from local community agencies, inspirational music and a candlelight walk after two years of online activities.

The annual international event, hosted by the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre for over 40 years, is held to advocate for an end to violence against women. This year, the location has changed from the Central Library courtyard to the Market Square building beside city hall.

The theme for the evening is “Community, we’re still here” after the challenges to provide services for victims of violence during COVID lockdowns and restrictions.

“We felt it was important to remind the community about the many agencies that are available to help in times of crisis,” said Donna Christie, public education coordinator for the sexual assault centre.

“Many of us saw a spike in crisis calls and requests for services over the past two years,” she said. “It was such a difficult time for many people who were unable to meet with service providers in-person.”

There will be speakers from Victim Services, Gillian’s Place, Positive Living and the DSBN. St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik will deliver the opening remarks.

The music will be provided by Leanne Vida and her band for the first time at Take Back the Night. Several community partners will have also have tables set up.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. The speakers and music will start at 7 p.m. followed by the candlelight walk. Everyone is welcome to attend.