Lynn Valley flash mobs reclaim square as safe public space
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. -- In the square outside Lynn Valley Library, the scene of so much unexpected senseless violence and heartache two weeks ago, there is once again light, there is once again love, and there is now dancing.
“After the events of March 27, this place felt different. It didn’t feel as safe as it once did,” said Nicole Byrom, organizer of a series of dancing flash mobs on Sunday. “So, part of our purpose today was to reclaim that space, this space, as a safe place for us to be, to bring our families to."
In small, physically distanced groups, members of the community performed a short dance routine as a way to come together and demonstrate that Lynn Valley will not be intimidated by the actions of the person who randomly stabbed seven people on March 27, leaving one dead.
They danced in the square, and at North Shore Rescue headquarters, and in fire halls across the city and district of North Vancouver.
Friends Julie and Julia helped teach people the routine and performed alongside those who felt they might forget some of the moves.
“I think it’s really cool to see how many people came to do this project,” said 11-year-old Julie, between routines.
“It’s really cool how many people showed their support and empathy about what happened,” added 10-year-old Julia.
Members of the Lynn Valley Lions Club were on hand selling t-shirts to raise money for survivors, and off-duty firefighters handed out ‘Lynn Valley Strong’ bracelets.
“It’s something that we just wanted to do to give back to the community for all they did during the tragic events,” said city firefighter Mark Farrally.
Bystanders joined first responders in the immediate aftermath of the incident, doing what they could to help the survivors, including Susanne Till, a mother of three who lost an eye in the attack.
Till showed remarkable strength Sunday, returning to the square where she was stabbed to watch her friends dance for her in front of the community.
“Today, to come here and see a survivor here, brought tears to my eyes and made it come home even more,” said Byrom. “And it made the purpose that much more meaningful … and really quite overwhelming actually.”
Lynn Valley will never forget what happened in that square, but one tear-soaked hug at a time, the community will move forward together.