Fairmont Empress: End Fur Sales In Your Hotel!
The Empress is and has been the epicentre of Victoria, B.C.'s tourism industry for over 100 years. As a hotel that is a cultural symbol for the region and its colonial heritage, it continues to be a place of gathering and business for the wealthiest in Victoria and those abroad to visit. It is home to two fur-retailers, and just as recently as last year it hosted a hunting safari conference that supports trophy hunting around the world, just like the kind that killed Cecil the lion and millions of other animals each year for their heads and so the killers can get selfies with their victims. One such trophy still hangs over the Bengal Lounge fireplace as a reminder of this practice and maybe a welcome sign to the current killing culture.
While these issues give an example of the character of The Empress, it is also home to two fur retailers, which continue to sell fur-trimmed coats to tourists who likely wouldn't have a care to ever wear these inhumanely produced and literally dead "fashions" in Victoria. The Empress has become a safe haven for these antiquated and ethically unconscionable businesses to persist in relative obscurity to the general public, while privileged tourists can quietly tuck these coats away into their suitcases without fear of being called-out. While the world becomes more aware of the cruel and inhumane nature of the production of these coats from the bodies of animals kept in horrific conditions, The Empress still lines its hallways with this symbolic violence.
Currently, The Empress is under renovation after recently being purchased by Nat Bosa, a developer from Vancouver, who seeks to modernize the hotel. While many of the decisions made to change the look and appeal of the empress have been met with controversy by the local attending public, one change that appears to be a necessity to bring the hotel out of the dredges of its colonial past is getting rid of its fur retailers. This, along with taking down the tacky, faded, and disrespectful bengal tiger skin that hangs above the fireplace in the Bengal Lounge would bring the hotel in line with the current public distaste with fur products.
By signing this petition you are sending a message to Nat Bosa and Empress manager Cole Millen, requesting that part of the redesign of The Empress be the replacement of the current fur retailers with cruelty-free retailers. There is no need for fur coats or apparel in Victoria, B.C. or anywhere else. Being a responsible member of the business community means recognizing and adapting to the communities values and supporting abject violence against animals by selling pretentious fur coats to wealthy tourists is not part of those values.
As part of the National Anti-Fur Day movement across Canada, last year we demonstrated outside of Capital Iron, at that time a retailer of Canada Goose apparel, a U.S. based company, which kills Canadian coyotes using inhumane leg hold traps. 30,000 people from Victoria and across Canada signed that petition, now Capital Iron no longer carries that brand.
We continue to demonstrate inside and out of The Fairmont Empress to raise awareness of the two-retailers that operate inside the hotel. Many locals are not even aware that these fur-retailers exist as they seldom go through the hotel, but when they are told they are disgusted. We need every Victoria resident and visitor opposed to the sale of these fur products to contact them and tell them they do not support the fur industry or the sale of fur products in Victoria. You can follow our actions on our facebook page here. Your support can make a difference.
Island Animal Liberation
Victoria on unceded, unsurrendered Coast Salish Territory, Lekwungen.
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