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Raymond Taavel Park to be dedicated during Halifax Pride candlelight vigil

Instead of at the Halifax Central Library, this year's memorial will take place at the end of Barrington St. where it curves around to Inglis St.
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raymond taavel
Raymond Taavel is shown in a 2008 handout photo THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Shambhala Sun-Marvin Moore

When Halifax Pride's annual candlelight vigil is held Monday night, it will be in a different location.

Instead of at the Halifax Central Library, this year's memorial will take place at 9 p.m. at the end of Barrington St. where it curves around to Inglis.

In addition to the gathering to remember the lives of those that have been lost, the park at that location will officially be dedicated in memory of Raymond Taavel.

"We decided it was most fitting to have the launch during Pride Week, so we reached out to the Halifax Pride committee and they were more than happy to help us with this event because Raymond was so involved as an activist with that community," explained Adriana Afford with the group Friends of Raymond Taavel Park.

"So it's a combination of the candlelight vigil and the opening of the park. There will be some quiet time, some music and then some speakers, including our mayor."

The HRM has already placed a sign at the park with information on Raymond, but Afford said they'd eventually like host special events at the location and beautify the space.

"As time goes on, we might be able to commission some sort of a functional art piece, like an interesting bench or some sort of a light installation, even some simple things like beautiful flower beds for next season."

She said discussions on how to keep Taavel's memory alive started shortly after the LGBTQ activist's tragic death in 2012.

"He was a wonderful man with love for just about everybody he met," said Afford.

She's expecting a lot of mixed emotions at tonight's event as they remember several people, including the man she says was an inspiration to many.

"[Taavel was] an average citizen that could stand up for people in his community, and different communities too, and he made a really big difference," Afford explained.

"All of us sort of think we can't make a difference because we're just one person, but here's somebody that actually did make a difference in his community, in his city and with all his friends and family."




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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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