Royal Oak Burial Park is welcoming summer with the sixth annual Summer So(u)lstice, an afternoon to stroll the burial park with friends and neighbours in a gentle, social setting featuring music and poets and, naturally, to remember departed friends and family.
“This event highlights the beauty of the burial park as a community landscape and creates a setting to remember family and friends who have passed,” says Royal Oak Burial Park executive director Stephen Olson.
“It’s a welcoming atmosphere and can be a very comforting and uplifting way to take a moment to reflect on life, and on loss.”
Music throughout the park will include Erin Onyschtschuk’s woodwind improvisations in the Woodlands along with harpist Gwyneth Evans. Victoria’s renowned choral group Ensemble Laude, will also sing in the Mausoleum at 2:15 p.m. and Vancouver’s Homegoing Brass Band, will perform processional music at 1:30 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. to end the day.
Visitors can create unique floral tributes, messages and parchment memory flags. As well, local poets will turn visitor’s memories into poems.
“I was inspired to create Summer So(u)lstice as a way for the public to remember their dead in a beautiful and friendly social setting, where we can support each other and acknowledge death as a natural part of life,” says local artist Paula Jardine, who initiated the event six years ago.
Visitors are welcome to tour throughout the Burial Park and see feature locations like the Woodlands green burial area, the mausoleum and the Little Spirits Garden, a special community memorial dedicated to infant loss. Staff will be on hand to help visitors locate sites of ancestors.
Summer So(u)lstice is June 20, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Royal Oak Burial Park is located at 4673 Falaise Dr. in Saanich.