Halifax gathers for Raymond Taavel, gay rights activist and friend of many


Hundreds of friends and supporters of Raymond Taavel filled Gottigen Street Tuesday evening, holding candles and speaking tributes to the activist.

Taavel died early that morning outside of Menz and Mollyz Nightclub, in front of which the crowd gathered for his tribute. Andre Noel Denny has been charged with second-degree murder.

But that evening, the city came together for a man it remembered as working hard to better his community. Many students from the University of King’s College marched to join the vigil of friends from throughout the city, forming a crowd that filled the street and blocked traffic.

There, people shared memories of Taavel, a prominent LGBTQ rights and equality activist who worked with the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma publications, as well as Wayves Magazine and Halifax Pride, and also helped each other in a time of great confusion and grief.

“This is so beautiful, this moment, that all of you have come here. Raymond is loving this, absolutely loving this,” said Hugo Dan, one of Taavel’s friends, in front of the crowd. “This is the potential of our community, of this street, of this city.”

Photos by Mitch Ward