Massacre in Orlando: Victims of Pulse Nightclub shooting identified
'Hate will not be the last word': Orlando shooting inspires acts of kindness
A man paid the bills of patrons at 15 tables in a Vancouver pub as a way of honouring a friend who died in Orlando.
Nearly 50 people were killed in an attack on a gay nightclub over the weekend in what officials are calling the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
As the city mourns its dead, shows of solidarity are appearing around the world, including in Vancouver.
One of those came from David McCann, a property manager on Granville Island, who learned that a man he met on vacation died in in the shooting. His friend's was the first name he read on a list of victims of the shooting.
Wanting to do something to counter the act of hate, McCann decided to spread a little love in his home city.
So he went to the Fountainhead Pub on Davie Street, located within the city's gay village, and paid for everyone's lunch.
He said he wanted to change the conversation from one of hate to one of growth.
"The conversation should be, 'What can we do so these things don't happen?'" McCann said.
"We can make sure people that hate as much as (the Orlando shooter) did don't win. That would be the tragedy."
McCann chose to pick up the tab quietly, and the pub handed customers a typed note that read, "A customer has paid your bill anonymously – a random act of kindness. He has done this in memory of what happened last night in Orlando. Please pay it forward and help change the world for the better."
And the gesture appeared to mean more than just a free meal for many of the patrons.
"The first 15 tables that we paid for, 14 of them cried," McCann said.
Michel Duprat, managing partner at the restaurant, said the act of kindness touched staff as well as patrons.
He'd been on the phone with his business partner at the time, discussing how they were going to respond and whether they'd choose a charity to support.
In the middle of the call, he received another call saying that McCann was donating $1,000. McCann told Duprat what he wanted to do, and what his message was. The restaurant decided to match his contribution.
"It was very inspiring and moving," he said. "Violence and hate doesn't conquer violence and hate, love does."
Duprat said he feels "blessed" to have met McCann.
While some honoured the victims through acts of kindness, others gathered together to spread the message of love at local landmarks.
A vigil was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday night, attended by MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert and City Coun. Tim Stevenson.
The Telus building and B.C. Place were lit up in rainbow colours, and Pride flags flew at half-mast outside of Vancouver City Hall and the legislature in Victoria.
"Hate will not be the last word," Stevenson said Sunday.
"The last word will be love."
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson