While late October and the Halloween season conjure up thoughts of carved pumpkins, piles of candy and costumes, for many it’s a time to honour and reflect on the lives and impact of those who are no longer living.
In keeping with their tradition, Vancouver’s only cemetery, Mountain View, will once again offer a week of thoughtful and inspiring programming during their A Night for All Souls events.
Beginning Saturday, Oct. 26, and running through Nov. 1, Mountain View offers multiple ways to pay respects to the dead every evening of the week.
The week begins with an opening ceremony on Oct. 26, when you can expect the cemetery to come alive — so to speak — with music, poetry and flickering candles. The first fires of the observance are lit, and you can head to the celebration hall to find tea to sip on, as well as flowers, papers and candles to craft personal memorials for placement. During opening night, Mountain View staff will be on hand to help you locate gravesites of loved ones you may wish to visit and honour.
Mountain View is the only operating cemetery within the city limits, and one has been owned and run by the City of Vancouver since 1886. Several prominent Vancouverites are buried there, as are many of the city’s residents. Uniquely, Mountain View allows multiple people to be buried within the same gravesite (this maximizes precious space). There are many unmarked burial locations as well, so having someone to guide you as you seek out graves can be very helpful.
Each night during All Souls attendees have the chance to visit the celebration hall to create a memorial, and on some evenings there is additional programming.
On Oct. 27 there will be a an evening dedicated to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and their families, while on Oct. 29 it’s an evening dedicated to remembering victims of hate. The annual Mourner’s Tea is offered on Oct. 30, while on Halloween night you can enjoy a live harpist.
The closing night procession on Nov. 1 brings the week of memorials to its conclusion.
A Night For All Souls
When: Evenings, Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2019
Where: Mountain View Cemetery – 5455 Fraser Street, Vancouver