Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer So(u)lstice at Royal Oak Burial Park

Last October, I was pleased to share an interview with artist Paula Jardine about her All Souls Night project at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC.  That project tied in to the Autumn remembrance of the dead that is a part of many cultures.  Paula is one of the driving forces engaged in bringing communities back into cemeteries to experience moving and meaningful rituals and ceremonies, revitalizing themselves and these important places.

This morning I received news of another project of Paula's, this time at Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria.  Royal Oak is another wonderfully innovative Canadian Cemetery that I highlighted in my interview with the Landscape Architect firm, Lees + Associates.  

Here is some information about this event, taken from the Royal Oak Burial Park site:

Royal Oak Burial Park in collaboration with local artist Paula Jardine will once again create a unique public event marking the beginning of summer. This will be an opportunity for the community to have a different cemetery experience.
Summer So[u]lstice at Royal Oak Burial Park will have 4 distinct but interwoven elements;
EXPLORE the history of the Burial Park on guided tours with Dave Obee local historian and author of “Royal Oak Burial Park – A History and Guide’.
MUSICAL ELEMENTS will add to the atmosphere as people move through and visit featured areas. Performers will include the ‘a cappella’ voices of Ensemble Laude; early music group Banquo; Harpist Alison Vardy; Spring Burke solo violinist; and Celtic musician Greg Joy.
FIND family members who may be interred at the Burial Park. Staff will be on hand to help locate gravesites and answer questions visitors may have about the Burial Park.
REMEMBER the dead, whether interred at the Burial Park or elsewhere, with unique floral tributes, personal poems, messages and paper prayer flags.
POETS Wendy Morton and Rhonda Ganz will recite and compose poems for individuals and small groups.
SEE the recently restored Art Deco Garden Chapel, the Woodlands green burial site, the expanded Terraces area with water features, and see plans for a new remembrance feature and cremation terraces.
PAULA JARDINE, a Victoria resident, is building on the popular success of the Night for All Souls, an event initiated by her as artist in residence at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. “Inviting the public to the cemetery is a part of a reinvigoration of the role of the cemetery in the life of the community. It’s also a great way to introduce adults and children to the subject of death in a friendly social setting, where we can support each other and acknowledge death as a part of life.”
This event is suitable for all ages, and is wheelchair accessible
Follow this link for a map to Royal Oak Burial Park  4673 Falaise Drive, Victoria BC

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Funeral service faces a crisis of relevance, and I am passionate about keeping the best traditions of service alive while adapting to the changing needs of families. Feel free to contact me with questions, or to share your thoughts on funeral service, ritual, and memorialization.