Candlelight AIDS vigil looks back and forward

HONOURING: Mayor John Tory and Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam at the vigil.

More than 300 community members gathered at Barbara Hall Park on Tuesday evening for the 35th annual Toronto AIDS Candlelight Vigil.

More than half the park at 519 Church St. was filled for the vigil to honour those who were lost or suffered due to HIV and AIDS. Under the theme of “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” the event also advocated continued work to help sufferers and eliminate the stigma.

Among those paying respects at the vigil were Toronto mayor John Tory and local city councillor Krystyn Wong-Tam.

In addition to the candle-lighting ceremony, the event featured a drag queen performance, songs and stories of people affected by AIDS.

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STAGE SHOW: Drag queen Jade Elektra lights the candle on stage. She also performed her song, “Undetectable,” which has become an online sensation.

Toronto drag queen Jade Elektra became the first drag performer to sing at the vigil, performing her gone-viral version of the Nat King Cole song “Unforgettable,” with her change of the title and chorus to “Undetectable” and spoken sections against the stigma associated with being HIV positive.

Candlelight vigil passes on the flame
KEEPING THE FLAME: The vigil remembered those who had suffered from AIDS in the past and advocated to eliminate the continued stigma associated with it.