Remembering David Holtzman

Celebrate Queer Vancouver and Launch of Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Andrea Reimer with David Holtzman

I was on the bus reading my Twitter stream enroute to a friend’s birthday when I suddenly stopped to read an article from Metro Vancouver (excerpt below)

A prominent community organizer and activist from Vancouver’s queer community, David Holtzman, died suddenly this week while on vacation with his partner in Palm Springs, Calif. He apparently suffered a heart attack, according to a source close to his friends and family. Holtzman was director of operations at Vancouver’s Out On Screen Film & Video Society. He had previously been the executive director for A Loving Spoonful, which provides meals, nutritional support and counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, and also briefly served as executive director for the Wilderness Committee in 2010.

The news caught me completely off-guard and left me in a bit of a shock. After all, not long ago had I seen a check-in from David on my Facebook news feed talking about his holiday. “This can’t be possible“, I thought to myself. I wish it weren’t. I still can’t fathom it. I was at David and Peter’s for drinks just a few months ago. Vancouver and the queer community have lost an amazing community builder.

David Holtzman was always a friend to me, someone who extended his welcoming embrace even when I felt that I was just a newbie in covering issues related to the queer community. He and Peter (his partner) made me feel as welcome in their home as though we had been friends forever (even though we hadn’t – and here is where I wish I had spent more time getting to know him).

Every single time we saw each other at any event (be it Project Empty Bowl, or Vancouver Pride, or the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, or the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival), David was incredibly nice and always made sure to introduce me to everyone. I could always count on David to make me feel connected to my community. He was a role model and will continue to be in memory.

Peter, my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. David, I wish I had spent more time knowing you, but I am grateful for the time we spent together and for your help in connecting me with the queer community. Your community building work will have a lasting legacy, and I personally felt honored that you and Peter gifted me with your friendship.

Related posts:

  1. Blue Jean by David Bowie #MusicMonday
  2. My interview with David Berner on The Power of Social Media in Public Policy
  3. David Guetta at the Vancouver Convention Centre (win tickets) #MusicMonday
  4. Happy birthday, David Drucker!
  5. David Beckham is a class act.

Comments (3)

Orlando PalmaApril 11th, 2012 at 9:07 am

The news is very shocking. May David Holtzman rest in peace. How old is he by the way? People will surely remember his great deeds.

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tinafreysdApril 12th, 2012 at 3:48 am

I am really sad to hear this news..Hope his good deeds will always remember..Thank you for sharing..
tinafreysd recently posted..Acne Medication Treatments

Andrea ReimerApril 18th, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for posting this, and for the photo Raul. Remember the event so well but hadn’t seen the photo. Still a very shocking loss.

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