Royal Oak Burial Park’s Lorraine Fracy, the client services manager, and Crystabelle Fobler, the new executive director, are ready for the eighth annual Summer So(u)lstice on Saturday. Saanich News file photo

Royal Oak Burial Park event welcomes summer to Saanich

Park will be filled with art and music for Summer So(u)lstice on Saturday

Royal Oak Burial Park is ushering in the beginning of summer with its eighth annual Summer So(u)lstice on Saturday.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an afternoon visiting our beautiful grounds while remembering and honouring those who have passed on,” said Crystabelle Fobler, the park’s new executive director. “This year, we are thrilled to add a few new elements including a vintage car display as a way of honouring dads on Father’s Day weekend; and the unveiling of our new section.”

Music throughout the park will feature Victoria’s renowned acapella women’s choral group Ensemble Laude, B.C.’s only funeral processional Homegoing Brass Band from Vancouver, harpist Gwyneth Evans, and Erin Onyschtschuk’s and Dominic Thibault’s woodwind improvisations.

Yvonne Blomer, poet laureate for the City of Victoria will join poets Carla Funk and Susan Stenson to transform visitor’s memories into poems.

Visitors can create unique floral tributes, messages, parchment memory flags and burial park staff will be on hand to help visitors locate sites of ancestors.

Royal Oak Burial Park artist-in-residence Paula Jardine initiated the event out of her own need to reclaim community traditions to honour the dead.

“Summer So(u)lstice at Royal Oak Burial Park is an opportunity for people to remember their dead, whether buried here or elsewhere in an atmosphere of beauty where we can support each other and acknowledge death as a natural part of life,” said Jardine.

Visitors are welcome to tour throughout the Burial Park and see feature locations like the Woodlands Green Burial area, the Mausoleum, the Little Spirits Garden dedicated to infant loss, and the new development, Section T, Phase III.

Summer So(u)lstice runs Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and is free, suitable for all ages, and wheelchair accessible. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information about Summer So(u)lstice or Royal Oak Burial Park visit: www.robp.ca.

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