Across Canada people have come together to support bereaved parents by donating time and wedding dresses to provide baby gowns to grieving families. Donated wedding gowns are used to sew lovely gowns for babies who have died too early. These gowns are prepared by volunteers and given as a gift to bereaved families, most often through hospitals or funeral homes.
Several countries already had very active movements that are often referred to as “Angel Dresses”. In Canada, the movement started with Becky Panter from Saskatchewan who is part of the Regina General Hospital NICU group. In February 2014 they talked about the NICU Helping Hands and that it would be great to have something like it in Canada. When Becky shortly after experienced her own tragic loss of a child, she did not want to send her own wedding dress to Texas, but instead reached out locally and quickly found seamstresses and received donated dresses. It grew from there with astonishing speed. On May 14 the CBC wrote an article about her group and on May 26 she appeared on the CTV Morning show. The Saskatchewan group surpassed 1,500 members in only a few weeks.
Since then groups have been started in several other provinces and you can get involved and support the movement. Volunteer seamstresses are very welcome to contact their provincial organizer and wedding dress donations are much appreciated. There are many tasks you can take on even if you cannot sew, such as collecting and delivering dresses. Please see these links to find the regional organizers.
- Manitoba: Manitoba Angel Dresses, Thera-Piecers Angel Gowns
- British Columbia
- Prince Edward Island
If you would like to contribute images of your gowns to this gallery, please upload your images into this group on Flickr.