09 Mar National Day of Observance for COVID-19

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced the Government of Canada is designating March 11th, 2021, one year after the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic, as a National Day of Observance to commemorate the people who have died due to COVID-19.

He issued a statement on March 8th, 2021, in which he recognized that “…our lives, and the lives of everyone around the world, were forever changed by the emergence of COVID-19. Today – one year after the first known death of a Canadian to the disease – we now mourn the tragic loss of more than 22,000 parents, siblings, friends, and loved ones.”

Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledges “…health care and other essential workers have put themselves at risk, working long hours, so we could get the services and care we needed. And as efforts continue to get vaccines to every Canadian as quickly as possible, we thank them now more than ever.”

He “…invite(s) all Canadians to join together in honouring the memory of those we have lost, and the people they left behind. We will also recognize everyone who has been impacted by COVID-19, and pay tribute to all those who continue to work hard and make incredible sacrifices in our fight against the virus. Together, we will beat COVID-19.”

For Prime Minister Trudeau’s full statement, please view it here.

RNAO Candlelight Vigil

Join RNAO Candlelight Vigil on Thursday, March 11th, 2021 online all day and at 7:00PM (ET). You can learn more here.

What: Candlelight vigil to remember those who have died of COVID-19 and reflect on the hope that lies ahead.


1. Light a candle at 7 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, March 11, 2021

2. Online: All day on Thursday, March 11, 2021


1. At 7 p.m. (ET):

  • Step out onto your balcony, porch or driveway and light a candle to honour the lives lost due to COVID-19  
  • Encourage your family, friends and neighbours to get involved
  • Share your tribute on social media using the hashtags #Candle4COVID and #TogetherWeCanDoIt

2. Online all day:

  • Profile your online presence with the image of a lit candle and the hashtags #Candle4COVID and #TogetherWeCanDoIt

We want to remind members of the public to follow public health measures in effect in their respective communities and regions. This includes minimizing contacts, wearing masks, practising physical distancing, washing your hands frequently and following public health advice regarding gatherings inside and outside. Encourage everyone around you to get a vaccine when it is offered to them.

For more information, please view RNAO media release.