Families gathered near a tree at night time.

All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery honours old and new traditions

October 18 2021 –

The annual All Souls, a unique artist-led event which offers people in Vancouver the opportunity to memorialize loved ones who have passed, returns to Mountain View Cemetery for its 17th year. 

Starting October 27, people are invited to create personal memorials for their passed loved ones and place them on a public shrine at Mountain View Cemetery until November 1. 

With the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid epidemic separating us from our loved ones, All Souls offers a respectful opportunity to grieve and reflect among community during this critical time. 

All Souls will once again feature familiar shrines, including a special tribute to the plum tree that has held the memorial cradles in the infant burial area. Socially distanced mourners can also reflect and leave offerings at the ‘reDress’ memorial for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls where red dresses line the distinctive Crimson King maple tree.

Due to COVID-19 and public health measures, the 2021 activities for All Souls will be held largely online. The City and organizers of All Souls will adhere to public health orders for any on-site programming and ensure a respectful and safe environment for all participants to mourn and remember their loved ones.  

Virtual events for 2021

  • October 23 (noon-1:30pm)
    • A ‘Memorial Box Lantern Demonstration’ with artist Marina Szijarto, who will share instructions on crafting a personal memorial for the All Souls shrine, or personal at home shrines. RSVP to info@nightforallsouls.com for the Zoom link.
  • October 29 (7:30-8:30pm)
    • Introduction to Ancestral Lineage Healing, an online circle hosted by artist Marina Szijarto. 
  • October 30 (noon-1:30pm)

Key dates for All Souls 2021

  • Starting October 20
    • Memorial box lanterns will be available outside Mountain View Cemetery’s office to take home and personalize. Memorials may be brought back to the cemetery to be placed on one of the outdoor shrines starting October 27, or post a picture of your home shrine on the All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery Facebook page.
    • All Souls organizers also invite people to visit the popular triptych, located outside, and write the names of their ancestors, family and friends. Those unable to attend may send the names by e-mail, to be added by the artists. 
  • October 27

All Souls history 

All Souls at Mountain View 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.

Mountain View’s historic role in Vancouver

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.