Candlelight vigil for Vancouver musician Randy Ponzio to be held this evening


Friends ofRandy Ponzio plan to hold a candlelight vigil tonight (November 21) for the Vancouver musician, who was found dead in a Downtown Eastside rooming house over the weekend.

The vigil will take place at 6 p.m. outside the Canada Line station at Granville and West Georgia streets, where he used to busk.

Kei Baritugo, a Vancouver publicist who was friends with Ponzio, is helping organize the event.

An emotional Baritugo told the Straight that Ponzio’s music will be played at the vigil and members of his family may speak. Attendees are encouraged to bring candles and flowers.

“Randy was an amazing musician,” she managed to say over the phone.

Ponzio’s friends are raising money to help support the three children he left behind.

They’ve set up a website,, and are collecting donations. As of noon today, over $6,000 had been raised, according to Baritugo.

Some of his CDs will be on sale at the vigil, and a downloadable version of his EP is being made available on a pay-what-you-can basis.

Ponzio, who was 35 years old, went missing on November 15. He was found dead at the Balmoral Hotel on Saturday evening (November 19).

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Comments (5) Add New Comment
Rick in Richmond
The Balmoral is not a 'rooming house'. It is one of the worst SRO hotels in the DTES, owned by the notorious slumlords, the Sohata family.

Unhoped-for irony in this un-hoped-for case -- the Balmoral is located 2 doors east of Insite.
Rating: +1
Niki Acosta
Tonight, I light a candle from Austin, TX, to remember you, Randy.
Rating: 0
Dr Octagon
@Rick in Richmond

Where is the irony? You seem to be suggesting that Mr Ponzio died of an overdose. I wasn't aware that a cause of death has been established.

And even if he did die of an overdose in the Balmoral two doors down from InSite...that in itself isn't ironic. Had he died of an overdose after writing a song about shooting up in a safe-injection site - THAT would be ironic.
Rating: 0
The circumstances surrounding his death are extremely suspicious and out of character.

remember: "suspected overdose" is one of the vpd's favorite terms to use. if that's what they thought it was they would definitely say it.
Rating: +2
Love Peace Foundation
It doesn't matter what happened at this point. Let's just honour this wonderful and beautiful artist's memory by listening to his music, buying an album and helping his kids and his family go through this terrible ordeal. Rest in peace Randy Ponzio, Vancouver is mourning but will never forget you!
Rating: -1
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