A sombre crowd gathered Tuesday night in Halifax to honour the memory of the victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Nov. 19.

The shooting started in the late hours of a Saturday night, when a gunman opened fire into the nightclub, killing five people and injuring more than a dozen. 

The NSCAD Queer Collective hosted the vigil in the Granville Courtyard, outside of NSCAD’s Duke Campus, where a crowd of about 30 people gathered to mourn the five victims.

caption A crowd of onlookers congregate as the vigil begins.
Decklan Z. Rolle


caption Members of the NSCAD Queer Collective begin the vigil ceremony.
Decklan Z. Rolle

Janet Murray came to pay her respects and lament on how the people who were in that club just wanted to feel safe being who they truly were.

“They just wanted to love someone and enjoy their own lives and … they died for it,” Murray said.

caption NSCAD Queer Collective provided jars to hold candles, as well as testimonial posters for people to write their names.
Decklan Z. Rolle

Members of the crowd were invited to speak about how the shooting affected them, their fears of increasing hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community, and their own personal struggles.

A 2020 Statistics Canada report says that LGBTQ+ Canadians (59 per cent) were more likely to have been physically and sexually assaulted by people who weren’t an intimate partner than heterosexual Canadians (37 per cent).

In 2021, Statistics Canada recorded an index of police reported hate-crimes. From 2020-2021 police recorded hate-crimes targeting sexual orientation increased 64 per cent.

caption Onlookers hold candles as they listen to the vigil speeches.
Decklan Z. Rolle

“You can’t help who you fall in love with, why do you have to worry about dying because you love someone?” Murray said.

caption Madison Nelmark is a NSCAD student from Minnesota. She addressed the vigil, saying she is happy to be who she is in Halifax, but is scared by what happens back at home in the U.S.
Decklan Z. Rolle


caption Chris Catherine Cochrane, an actress and trans activist, spoke against violence against the trans and queer community. Her drag name is Elle Noir.
Decklan Z. Rolle

Andrew Deveaux is a NSCAD student and he said the turnout was good and it felt emotional to see that many people gathered to lend their support.

“Everyday has been emotional over the last sort of two weeks and throughout the month, with trans remembrance and trans issues being at the forefront and people struggling a lot,” he said. 

Deveaux said it felt affirming to see that many people come together in order to help one another.

caption Andrew Deveaux, left, joined other onlookers at Tuesday’s vigil.
Decklan Z. Rolle

Emily Belliveau, who said she was attending her first-ever vigil, said that when there is tragedy, it’s important to come together as a community and support each other, which she believes can help in the healing process.

caption Emily Belliveau said this was the first vigil she has ever attended.
Decklan Z. Rolle

“I think that we should try our best to be there for each other … if someone has a friend who’s struggling … be there for them as much as you can,” Belliveau said.

“If you’ve already lost someone, then do everything you can to remember them, make sure that their voice can still be heard.”

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About the author

Decklan Z. Rolle

Decklan Z. Rolle is a reporter for the Signal. He is currently majoring in journalism and gaining a minor in contemporary studies at the University...

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