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New Westminster City Hall is turning red for 211 Day

British Columbians can call 211 for help with all sorts of services – and more and more folks  are making the call.
New Westminster has been lit up in purple for Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness but it will soon be going red for 211 Day.

New Westminster City Hall will be illuminated in red this weekend as part of 211 Day.

The City of New Westminster is joining with cities across Canada to light up landmarks on Sunday, Feb. 11 as part of 211 Day. Held annually across North America, 211 Day (2/11) aims to raise awareness and underscore the vital role of the 211 service in communities.

According to the United Way, this collective illumination, named the "United Glow," emphasizes that even in the face of adversity, 211 is ready to help.

211 British Columbia provides callers with information and referrals to a wide range of community, government and social services that assist with needs such as food and shelter, mental health and addictions support, legal and financial assistance, support for seniors, and more.

The United Way states that 211 is Canada's primary source of information for government and community-based non-clinical health and social services – and it connects British Columbians with information and support before crises emerge.

"Asking for help can be difficult, even more so when you're not sure what's needed or where to start,” said Julia Wu, operations manager of helpline services. “That's why 211 is such a valuable resource, as our navigators can listen to people's stories, ask questions to understand the situation, and provide information on available options. It's about wayfinding, and we want to help light the path.”

To connect with a trained resource navigator, people simply dial or text 211.


The United Way reports that since April 2023, 211 British Columbia has experienced a 19 per cent uptick in calls over the previous year, coupled with a 30 per cent rise in referrals to other agencies.

Financial assistance, housing and health remain prevalent reasons for calls, but resource navigators are witnessing a significant surge in questions related to citizenship and immigration (123 per cent increase), human rights (66 per cent increase), and employment (40 per cent increase), said a news release from the United Way.

On 211 Day, British Columbians are encouraged to show support by sharing photos of illuminated landmarks using the hashtags #211DayCanada and #HelpStartsHere and by spreading the word about the vital 211 service to friends and family.

New West aglow

In recognition of 211 Day, New Westminster City Hall will be lit up in red from Friday, Feb. 9 to Sunday, Feb. 11.

Folks passing by city hall on recent evenings may have noticed it was aglow in purple. From Feb. 1 to 8, it’s being lit up in recognition of Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness.

Upcoming events being commemorated with colourful lights on New Westminster City Hall include:

  • Guiding Lights across BC, organized by the BC Girl Guides of Canada – blue lights on Feb. 22
  • World Tuberculosis Day, organized by the BC Centre for Disease Control –  red lights from March 22 to 24
  • International Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness, organized by the BC Epilepsy Society – purple lights on March 26