Royal Oak Burial Park celebrates So(u)lstice

Saturday’s event will feature music and poetry

Royal Oak Burial Park invites the public to welcome summer by joining with them at the ninth annual Summer So(u)lstice, on Saturday, June 16, enjoying a stroll in a gentle, social setting featuring music and poets, while remembering departed friends and family.

“We are very much looking forward to hosting our ninth annual Summer So(u)lstice at Royal Oak Burial Park and celebrate our 95th anniversary of serving the people – our families – in this community. This event continues to offer a great opportunity to remember and honour our loved ones, while enjoying an afternoon on our beautiful grounds,” said Crystabelle Fobler, the park’s executive director. “After the kick-off you will once again enjoy the activities and entertainment as in past years, including a vintage car display in honour of dad on Father’s Day weekend.”

A highlight for many is to hear Victoria’s renowned acapella women’s choral group Ensemble Laude, singing throughout the park, and scheduled at 3:30 in the Mausoleum.

Local composer Brooke Maxwell who has gathered local musicians to create The Sweet Chariot Processional Band – harpist Gwyneth Evans, and clarinetists Erin Onyschtschuk’s and Dominic Thibault’s can also be enjoyed in the landscape and for scheduled appearances in the Mausoleum. An event map with performance schedule is posted on: www.robp.ca.

Once again the public can have a personal poem composed by resident poets, this year including Victoria Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer, Carla Funk and Wendy Morton, whose random acts of poetry inspired this unique tradition.

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.

“Summer So(u)lstice at Royal Oak Burial Park has become a real tradition for many; an opportunity to come and remember our dead whether interred in the burial park or elsewhere, in a beautiful and supportive social setting. Working with staff and a few volunteers to welcome the public is something I look forward to every year,” said local artist Paula Jardine, the founder of the event.

Summer So(u)lstice runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, with an official kick-off ceremony at 1:30 p.m. It is free, suitable for all ages, and wheelchair accessible. Light refreshments will be served.

Royal Oak Burial Park is the only not-for-profit, community-owned burial park in Greater Victoria. The 134-acre facility is operated by the Board of Cemetery Trustees of Greater Victoria. The board was created in 1923 to develop, operate and maintain the cemetery on behalf of the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich.

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