As the sun sets over Mountain View Cemetery on October 25th, the first ceremonial candles will be lit, marking the returns of All Souls for its 19th year. All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery invites community members to light a candle, write a message, and leave a personal memorial on shrines as an act of remembering their loved ones.
All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery 2023
- Location: 5455 Fraser St, Vancouver
All are welcome at the wheelchair accessible event, even if their loved ones are not interred at the cemetery.
The shrines will be lit throughout the memorial period from October 25 to November 1, 2023 during which live music will fill the cemetery’s surroundings in the evenings and on weekends. Familiar shrines will light up with candles and personalized memorial box lanterns, including a new memorial to commemorate the lives lost to Vancouver’s toxic drug supply epidemic.
Also new this year, Mountain View Cemetery’s office windows transform into poetic lanterns themselves, and will feature poems curated by the City of Vancouver’s current Poet Laureate, Fiona Tinwei Lam. The Poet Laureate will read from her book, The Rainbow Rocket, a story of a young boy and the death of his grandmother.
Find all events online here.
Memorial Box Lanterns Kits
October 19 to November 1
Kits will be available and can be found outside the Cemetery Office to take home and personalize. Memorials can be placed on the shrines at Mountain View Cemetery beginning Oct. 25.
October 25 at 6:00pm
Beginning at sundown, a gentle ceremony will mark the official start of All Souls’ 19th year.
RedDress Tree ceremony
October 28th 1:00pm-4:00pm
With Elder Kelly White & Moonstone
Moonstone Indigenous Women’s Singing and Drumming Group
October 28th 1:00pm-4:00pm
Mending/Tending – Ecological Grief
October 28th 2:00pm-4:00pm
Hands-on creative offerings for personal ceremony. Led by artist Keely O’Brien.
Fiona Tinwei Lam Reading
October 29 at 1:00pm-2:00pm
Vancouver’s Poet Laureate will read from her book, The Rainbow Rocket. The reading will be followed by a hands-on opportunity for creating a personal ceremony with visual artists Keely O’Brien and Jessie Orr.’
Online Mourners Tea
October 29 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm
A community conversation about death and grieving through personal experience. Register by emailing [email protected].
November 1 at 7:00pm to 9:00pm
The annual walk to each of the shrines to close the All Souls event.
Additional musical features and spontaneous events will be announced on Facebook and Instagram throughout the memorial period.
About All Souls & Mountain View Ceremony
Mountain View Cemetery, located at Fraser Street and East 39th Avenue, opened in 1886 and is the only cemetery within Vancouver. Owned and operated by the City of Vancouver, the cemetery is an important civic space and provides interment options and event space.
The cemetery is an embodiment of Vancouver’s history, serving as the final resting place of almost 150,000 people, including several past mayors; veterans from World Wars; notable citizens such as Vancouver’s first lifeguard Joe Fortes and businessman and activist Yip Sang; and people of varied faiths, ethnicities, ages and contributions to Vancouver’s past, present and future.
All Souls emerged out of a collaboration between artists Paula Jardine and Marina Szijarto, who came together in 2005 to find artistic ways to honour the dead and provide opportunities for people to share their traditions in a gentle and tranquil atmosphere.
Throughout the years, the event has been touched, changed and inspired by the many artists, community participants and members of the public who have shared their love and regard for their dead.