The Toronto AIDS Candlelight Vigil returns June 21, 2022
After two long years, the Toronto AIDS Candlelight Vigil is proudly returning in-person to Barbara Hall Park (519 Church Street, Toronto) on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Finally, hundreds of 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and allies will be able to gather together to honour the lives of those who have passed from AIDS or AIDS-related illnesses or have given their lives in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In its 38th year, the vigil theme is ‘People, Purpose, Passion’ and focuses on those who live with HIV; those we have lost; along with how the vigil’s purpose has changed over time; and the inclusion of additional barriers such as language, housing and pension.
“We are so grateful to return in person to Barbara Hall Park, to support, care and advocate for all communities affected by the HIV/AIDS virus,” says Pedro Ribeiro Schuurhuis (They/Them/Their), AIDS Vigil Committee of Toronto Co-Chair. “Since its inception, the AIDS Candlelight Vigil has served as the annual community event for people living with HIV/AIDS, including friends, family, allies and the broader communities; honouring the lives lost to the disease and celebrating those who live with the virus. After two years of online ceremonies, it is meaningful and emotional to be able to return to honouring these individuals in the spirit and way the Vigil has always intended: together.”
It is estimated that six people out of every 100,000 in Canada become newly infected with HIV every day. Over 20,000+ people in Toronto have been diagnosed with HIV since 1985, and it is estimated that about 10,000+ people are currently living with HIV in Toronto. One in eight people who are living with HIV doesn’t know their status.
This year’s vigil will be hosted by Muluba Princess Habanyama and Randy Davis (bios included below) and will include performances from musicians Ryan Kerr, Christine Jackson and Moses. The event will close with a reading of the names of those who have passed from HIV/AIDS or AIDS-related illnesses, followed by a candle-lighting ceremony. The names read before the candle lighting ceremony will be engraved on the long-standing AIDS Memorial in the heart of Barbara Hall Park.
About The Toronto Candlelight AIDS Vigil:
The AIDS Candlelight Vigil is an open community event held annually at the AIDS Memorial to remember, honour and celebrate the people who have died of AIDS or AIDS-related illnesses, or who have given their lives in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Every year, thousands of candles are lighted to honour and remember those who have died and to encourage and support the tens of thousands of others who live with this disease every day.
The Vigil embraces diversity, accepting and respecting people of all cultures, faiths, traditions and communities. The Vigil welcomes all people who have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and embraces anyone who has experienced a loss or loss due to HIV/AIDS.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.