Honour the dead at Vancouver’s only cemetery during A Night for All Souls


A Night for All Souls offers a week of programming to honour the dead at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. Photo: Mountain View Cemetery – Vancouver/Facebook

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.

Beginning Saturday, October 26, and running through November 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 truly a special place in Vancouver. As the only operating cemetery within the city limits, and one that 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 offers attendees 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

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom