2019 Swan Song Festival Event
Saturday, October 26th, 2019
in Williams Lake, BC
VISIT the archive at www.ccdcnetwork.com for photos and videos of this inaugural event
The Swan Song Festival
Breathing Life into Death
In Partnership with
Community Deathcare Canada
The Swan Song Festival focuses on Death.
Yours and Mine.
This inaugural annual festival is intended to mobilize communities across Canada to re-engage with dying and deathcare in more meaningful, holistic and environmentally sustainable ways.
Stay tuned for more details on the days' events including ritual, art, spoken word, an open mic, music, interactive activities, children’s activities, workshops, and information on home funerals, Advance Care Planning. Join us for shroud painting, add your wishes to the 'Before I Die' wall, design your own headstone and bring something to add to the Shrine of Remembrance.
Things to explore at the Swan Song Festival
'Before I Die' is a global art project that invites people to contemplate death and reflect upon their lives. Originally created by Candy Chang on an abandoned house in New Orleans after losing someone she loved, today there are over 5,000 walls around the world. Add your statement to the wall.
Join us in decorating a communal cotton canvas burial shroud. Add the name of a beloved who has died, add a quote that has meaning to you, draw flowers, write a few words to a deceased loved one, be creative. The communal shroud is intended as a gesture of remembrance to our ancestors.
“Unlike with personal bereavement, we don’t have a vocabulary for the grief people have for the loss of the natural world.” Join us as we take a moment to write notes of condolence and hope for our planet; addressing our Global Grief.
Write your own Obituary ~ we'll provide some guidelines.
"Do you want to be remembered on your own terms? Try writing your own obituary.
It can be a meaningful way to come to terms with the idea of dying, no matter how far in the future that may be. As you write, you can reflect on your life, reminisce and recall favourite memories, and say goodbye to family and friends.
When you write your own obituary, you get the last word. (Toss in one final zinger, and you can even get the last laugh.) Your loved ones, meanwhile, get a lasting memorial that preserves your life story, details the family history, and showcases your unique personality."
( Jessica Campbell, Legacy.com )
Explore what a simple Cremation Container looks like, how it works and how it might be used in a home funeral situation. We'll have one on display.
Film Corner. Pull up a cushion or a chair and watch one of the short films we're showing on Living and Dying
Art Installations from the WE DIE show now on at the Parkside Art Gallery in 100 Mile House. We are honoured and excited to be sharing some of the beautiful Death themed artwork from this show. Works by Barb Brown, Claudia Ring, and Anita Edwards. You don't want to miss this.
Design and decorate your own headstone. Just for fun ... with paint and pens. What would you want as your epitaph?
Mirror, Mirror. With a nod to Alua Arthur. Look yourself in the eye and repeat 3 times "I am going to die." How does that resonate?
Let's talk about your Advance Care Plan. Do you have one? Have you had The Conversation with the people you love? Because it's always too soon until it's too late. We will have information and resources available. #ACPAnywhere
Visit the Rainbow Bridge Leave a remembrance of a beloved pet. Take a moment to visit with Karen Wright and Molly; her St John Ambulance trained Therapy Dog.
Walk the Labyrinth at St Andrews Church (Outdoors) "The labyrinth, finally, is the journey of the self to wholeness. Although the ancient Egyptians or Greeks may not have phrased it this way, their architecture and myths point to the same conclusions Jung and other later psychologists have come to: that it is in working one’s way through the labyrinth of one’s present circumstances that one comes to realize one’s purpose and a final meaning for existence." Source Joshua J Mark.
Walking the Labyrinth can be a gentle meditative way to bring closure to the day's events.
Two workshops are being offered during the day in the Open Studio.
Sound Meditation and Writing to The End
Children's activities will also be happening in the open studio outside of the workshop times.
We will have a wee 'Cafe Corner' for tea, coffee, and Cookies by Niki. Find her on Facebook @dpdaisycakes.
Daytime in the Open Studio
Meeting the Timeless Self
with Venta Rutkauskas 11:30 - 1:00 pm Saturday, Oct 26th
"Like Yin and Yang, there is a moment in time where life and death meet... Do they embrace, like lovers or old friends, or is the relationship more fraught and complex? Through grounding techniques, embodiment, visualization and writing exercises, we'll explore the longings and beliefs we hold around living and dying.
Soundscape and Guided Meditation
with Chanti Holtl and Angela Gutzer 3:00 - 3:30 Saturday, Oct 26th
Chanti will provide a soundscape to journey deep within while Angela provides guided meditation. Chanti uses various sound tools including the didjeridu and crystal bowls.
Downstairs in the Lounge ~ for the Kids
Snuggle down and watch the movie COCO Beginning at 11:30
followed by Day of the Dead Mask decorating and art activities for Kids
in the Studio 1:30 to 2:30
COCO will play again at 2:30
7 pm to 9 pm
Join us for an evening of poetry featuring local writers, performers and creatives' poetry and music around death and dying, grief and loss. It will be a celebration in creative expression of the procession we each walk towards the end of life.
We are delighted to have Poet and Spoken Word Artist, Sonya Littlejohn performing and organizing the Evening Event. The Evening will open with a musical performance by Al-Lisa McKay followed by poetry, spoken word, and open mic. Please contact Sonya at email@example.com if you would like to be added to the open mic portion of the evening. There will be a signup sheet at the festival as well.
Do you have a story about a loved one? Or a poem that expresses your journey through grief and loss? We accept all ranges of emotion: happiness, joy, sadness. Open mic!
Join us, October 26th, from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Arts Centre in Williams Lake.
FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT on GLOBAL GRIEF
Pre-festival Death Cafe
Join us for Coffee and Conversation on Saturday OCT 19th at the Library Meeting Room in Williams Lake. Talk about Death and Dying and leave feeling a little more alive.
We are inviting Death Cafe participants to bring something to add to the Wall of Remembrance that will be on display at the Festival (OCT 26th) A photograph of a loved one who has passed (please don't bring originals) a flower, a drawing, a poem ...
We look forward to reconnecting with those who've attended other Death Cafes and we welcome anyone new to this enlivening event. Free Admission with Donations welcome.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Festival Poster
~ Tremendous Thanks to our good-humored and hardworking Volunteers
as we navigate our way through our first Death Festival ~
Our local festival is in partnership with Community Deathcare Canada
Community Deathcare Canada is bringing together the first annual Swan Song Festival (OCTOBER 19th, 2019) as a national celebration of the re-engagement with death and dying in meaningful and community-based ways.