Community Deathcare Canada Third Annual Swan Song Festival

Toronto and across Canada – There could hardly be a more poignant time to talk about death, loss and grief. Eighteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic became a global threat, countless Canadians are mourning loved ones who have died and the collective loss for the world.

It is important to recognize and honour that grief in remembrance, according to leaders in the deathcare movement, who provide support and services for those approaching end of life and their families. They are giving Canadians an opportunity to do that at Community Deathcare Canada’s 3rd Annual Swan Song Festival. The two-day event, on Saturday, October 16th and Sunday, October 17th, will be held in cities across the country and online.

“Grief and loss are present everywhere during this unprecedented time,” says Judith McGill of Community Deathcare Canada, which presents Swan Song Festival and believes communities need to reclaim death as an important part of life.

“This year’s theme is “Remembering” and organizers hope to bring people together, whether they have lost a family member in a long-term care home, or simply want to express solidarity at a time of trauma and great sadness. There is deep sorrow touching all of us in some way, wherever we are. Developing rituals to acknowledge the shared grief and loss helps us go on, to bring light into this dark space,” says McGill.

This year’s Swan Song Festival will include online and in-person events, with intimate talks, meditations, and evenings of songs and poetry. Join a contemplative living death ceremony, or a mini-boat flotilla at a meaningful body of water. Learn about virtual memorials, end-of-life rituals, eulogies, legacy projects, and much more.There are several Toronto events being hosted.

Events are available free or for a nominal fee.

Community Deathcare Canada wants people to develop a more intimate and participatory relationship with dying and deathcare, which can lead to healing and transformation. The trailblazing group also believes death is a profound, mysterious and universal part of life, providing opportunities for loving and compassionate responses.

The festival invites the public to come together and collectively “imagine better” when it comes to dealing with the death of a loved one, particularly at a time when so many people have experienced loss.

For a full list of events and schedule please visit communitydeathcare.ca and the Swan Song Festival Facebook event. Check out individual events for details and pre-registry (if required).