parade of life

Paula Jardine


Royal Oak Burial Park

Summer So(u)lstice at Royal Oak Burial Park began in 2010, as an opportunity for the public to remember their dead in a gentle social gathering. It features ambient music, flowers and and a unique gift of personalized poetry.

There is live music throughout the landscape, and the accapella group Ensemble Laude have established a beautiful tradition of singing in the mausoleum. Poets Wendy Morton and Rhonda Ganz sit with people and listen to their memories and stories of loss, afterwards presenting them with poems based on their own words.
People write their poems, stories, messages and prayers on paper flags that catch the wind.
Flowers are provided for people to create tributes to place on graves or along the memorial walk for those not interred at Royal Oak.

Royal Oak Burial Park is home to the first intentionally created urban woodland burial site in BC.

Besides the So(u)lstice event, I have coordinated other events that invite the public to enjoy the Burial Park, including celebrating the Dawn Chorus of birds with biologists and long time Royal Oak employees, and a bicycle tour of the trees in the burial park with Saanich Arborist, Ron Carter.

Both of the cemeteries I work in are municipally owned; Mountain View Cemetery is run as a department under community services, and Royal Oak Burial Park is a self sustaining not for profit.

link to article in Boulevard magazine