BC event raises $26,000 for people living with HIV

Positive Living BC’s special event, REINSPiRE, raised over $26,000 to assist people living with HIV to lead healthier lives.

The 62 guests in attendance at the Thursday evening (Sept. 5) event viewed displays of the NAMES Project – Canadian Memorial AIDS quilt and the momentous “One World – One Hope” quilt created by the late Doreen Rennschmid and based on the work by Joe Average.

Average explained that his design, which was commissioned for the International AIDS Conference in Vancouver in 1996, signifies the interconnectedness of the world’s population affected by HIV/AIDS.

“I used kind of a stained glass effect to show that we’re all fragile in the face of HIV and AIDS and there’s a heart in the centre that joins us all,” he said. “Love joins us all.”

Seeing the quilt unveiled for the first time was one of the “greatest moments” of his life, he explained.

Judy Weiser, a former board member of the NAMES Project, spoke about how the Canadian AIDS Memorial Quilt came together as a way to help Canadians remember loved ones based on the same principle as the National AIDS Memorial Quilt in the United States – to honour the identity of each person who died in a personal way.
taking a weekend volunteer workshop at AIDS Vancouver.

“Soon after organizing the very first quilt display in an Aboriginal setting anywhere in the world at the Friendship Centre in Vancouver in October 1995, where there were sections each containing a panel by someone who was Aboriginal who passed from AIDS related causes, Frederick had died,” she said.
One of the panels on display at the event was created by Weiser to honour Haineault.

Although Haineault had a mission to educate other Aboriginal people about HIV/AIDS, Weiser said he never let the disease define him. That’s why it was important for the creators of the quilt panels to portray the individuals represented, each in their own way.

Hosted by Deborra Hope of Global BC with live auction conducted by David C Jones, the REINSPiRE event raised funds for Positive Living’s Complementary Health Fund (CHF), which helps people living with HIV afford health-related goods and services not covered by other plans such as supplements, over-the-counter medications and alternative therapies.