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Calgary police’s YouthLink cancels, apologizes for ‘bloody’ Valentine’s event

A Calgary police-related outreach program aimed at educating youth to prevent crime is apologizing for a Valentine’s Day event following a domestic homicide.

On Wednesday, YouthLink’s executive director issued the apology in a video on social media.

“I want to offer my heartfelt apologies for the branding of our upcoming event ‘I Bloody Love You’ and the distress it may have caused, particularly given the tragic event that occurred this week in our community,” Tara Robinson said in the video.

According to images on social media that appear to come from the YouthLink website and Facebook page, the adults-only event was to include a one-hour presentation from retired homicide detective Dave Sweet on the “twisted side of love and relationships” and was for “the true crime junkies, the anti-Valentiners.”

Global News has not been able to verify the event details, as YouthLink appeared to have removed the event from its website.

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The executive director said she took full responsibility for the branding of the event that was to be held on Feb. 13 and 14.

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“The aim was never to trivialize domestic violence, but rather to educate and inform guests about the importance of seeking help if they find themselves in an unsafe situation,” Robinson said.

The apology came the day after a woman was discovered at the steps of a Calgary elementary school, suffering from apparent stab wounds and later dying from her injuries. The Calgary Police Service called the incident a homicide that was domestic in nature, but did not reveal the relationship between the victim and the suspect.

Police later found the suspect dead nearby.

CPS said the suspect was previously charged and released by the courts on a no-contact order and warrants were issued Tuesday morning for the man’s arrest in relation to domestic charges.

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Robinson said YouthLink cancelled the event and ticket purchasers will be refunded.

“I deeply regret any distress and offence this may have caused, and I assure you our team takes this matter seriously,” she said. “It became clear that our events branding may have failed to reflect the gravity and sensitivity required when discussing such significant matters, and this is in direct contrast to our intent.”

The YouthLink Calgary Police Interpretive Centre was opened in 1995 after a near decade of growing concern about youth crime and violence.

“We strive to prevent future victimization and criminal behaviours and are proud to be a key pillar in the Calgary Police crime prevention and early intervention strategy,” the YouthLink website reads.

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