June 9, 1962 - April 17, 2012
Pride 2009. Photo by AnitaMartinez
After a short stay in Halifax in 1993 - 1994, Raymond moved permanently from Sault Ste. Marie in the late '90s, and in 2001, got involved with the local PrideWeek organizing committee. In 2003 he took over the highest profile job with Pride, that of co-chair; that year he organized a reception for LGBT community pioneers, Years Of Pride at the Halifax Club, and created a number of Halifax Pride firsts, including in 2003, a downtown merchants' window decorating contest, and garden tours in south end homes. He represented eastern Canada on the board of Fierté Canada Pride, the national organization of Pride Festivals.
In 2003 he became Prime Minster (that is, Chair) of ISCANS, the local drag queen organization, and began a relationship of very successful of fundraising and a transition from "Barony" to "Imperial Court" with peers around the world.
After several years of writing articles and press releases, in 2004, Raymond joined the production team of WayvesMagazine as Editor and Managing Editor. Raymond produced spectacular events, wrote hundreds of interviews, news pieces, opinion pieces, took thousands of photographs and most importantly, coached a hundred writers, professional and non, into taking an interest in their communities and making things better by shining light on the beautiful parts of life -- and the ugly.
In May 2010, Raymond wrote (page 14) in Wayves Magazine, Why I’ll Mark May 17 -- about being assaulted after leaving a bar.
In January 2011, he left Wayves, with, he said, plans to change the world in new ways.
On April 17, 2012, Raymond was murdered. Facts about the incident are being accumulated here. That evening, over 1000 people gathered at a vigil.
Above all other things Raymond was an idealist; he believed that a perfect world was attainable -- with just a little more work. In his words, "It's a big world out there; on so many levels there's much that needs to be done."
If you had anything to do with the LGBT community in Atlantic Canada, you knew Raymond's name and he had probably encouraged you to think, write, and do something make the world a better place.
Raymond's eulogy, written by DarrenLewis? and delivered at his funeral service by his boss Barry Boyce at his funeral on May 6, 2012, is here.
On October 15, 2012, Raymond received the Governor General's Diamond Jubillee Medal, via a volunteer committee organized by Halifax MP MeganLeslie?, one of 30 allocated to her, and 60,000 given out across the country.
August, 2013: Garden in Raymond's memory created in the empty lot across from Menz
- Here is the OpenFile Halifax piece
- and the Herald piece
- and the Metro News
- and The Coast
- Globe and Mail
- National Post
- CBC Video footage of the vigil
- The Sault Star, from Raymond's home town.
- Shambhala Sun online - Raymond's workplace
- A moving spoken-word piece by Tanya Davis, performed at the Halifax vigil.
- Video by Jon Blanchard
- Videos from TheCoast: Tanya Davis, Halifax Poet Laureate; Barry Boyce, his boss at Shambhala Sun; Rouge Fatale; Stewart Leger
- Province, Capital Health to Conduct Joint Review
- "Rainbows For Raymond" blog from Live 105 host Floyd Blaikie
- Huffington Post piece by BenjieNycum
- Xtra article by SimonThibault
- QMI Agency articles by Sheena Goodyear
- King's College The Watch Magazine
- BBC's The World interview with Hugo Dann
- Metro News piece about Denny's appearance in court.
- 2012-04-22 Chronicle Herald Editorial and Editorial Cartoon
- Mary Burnet in the Halifax Media Co-Op
- Letter from Raymond's family in the Herald
- Vigil & Memorial in St. John's, Newfoundland
- Memorial Video by produced by his family to be screened at his funeral service with KristaSnow?, KevinKindred, MeganLeslie?, BarryBoyce, RandallPerry, DougMelanson, and others.
- Video created by Aaron Eliot: Part 1 and Part 2
- Trying to undersdand a tragedy in The Brief, published by the NB Media Co-op.
- CBC Radio Maritime Magazine piece, "Where There's Smoke...." by Mackenzie Grisdale." Originally aired October 1, 2013, and in October, 2013 won an award for "Special Mention for Excellence in Health Reporting in Radio" in from the Canadian Medical Association Includes interviews with KristaSnow? in Menzbar. original show here
May 6, 2011 Memorial Walk And Celebration Service Media Coverage
Chronicle Herald Editorial Cartoon Sunday, 22 April, 2012
- April 17, 2012, Halifax: Gottingen Street near MenzAndMollyz
- April 17, 2012, Antigonish: Chisholm Park gazebo
- April 20, 2012, Sydney: 5:00 PM at Wentworth Park Band shell. Facebook event here
- April 22, 2012, Halifax: Remembering Raymond variety show at MenzAndMollyz. More information is available from the Facebook event
- April 24, 2012, St. John's, NL: Harbourside Park (Further details on Facebook)
Raymond Taavel Trust Fund
A trust fund account has been created to help Raymond Taavel's family cover funeral and other final expenses. Donations can be made at any TD Canda Trust branch in the country. Donate to Account Number 0036 – 6399950
This page is a part of the HistoryProject.
2009. Photo by RandallPerry