Roughly 120 people of different colours and creeds gathered at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral Tuesday night to pray for the people of La Loche.
The interfaith vigil came 11 days after four people were killed, and seven others gravely injured in the remote northern Saskatchewan community. It was also on the same day as the funeral for teenage brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, who were among the victims.
The service was an eclectic mix of indigenous drumming, traditional hymns, and passage readings from the Quran.
“Many of us come from backgrounds that have experienced terrible tragedy in our own midst, and friends and family continue to be victims of tragedy,” Islamic Association member Mateen Raazi said.
Raazi said one of the victims in La Loche, teacher Adam Wood, was a recent friend of his family’s. He said he was struck by Wood’s friendliness, and his desire to help others.
“What a wonderful young man,” he said. “To see him not have the time to live up to his potential is heartbreaking.”
Wood’s funeral, planned for his home town of Uxbridge on Saturday, will be the last of the four victims.
Also in attendance Tuesday was Harry Janvier, who is from La Loche himself.
“I talk to God just about every day and every night. I pray for the people back home, and for the families,” he said.
– With files from CKOM’s Bryn Levy