• Our 2020 Swan Song Festival Event

    in partnership with Community Deathcare Canada

  • 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

    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network


    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.


  • Daytime, Upstairs

    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.

  • Festival Spotlight



    Thanks to Barb Brown, Volunteer Curator of the Parkside Art Gallery in 100 Mile, we are honoured and excited to be sharing some of the beautiful Death themed artwork from their current show.

    Works by Barb Brown, Claudia Ring, and Anita Edwards.

    You don't want to miss this.

    WE DIE

    Opening October 11th at the Parkside Art Gallery with a reception 5 to 7. Show closes Nov 9th.

    and on display at the Swan Song Festival ~ Breathing Life into Death OCT 26th.


    Anita Edwards, Barb Brown and Claudia Ring, three local artists, are using their media of collage, drawing, encaustic and felting to explore their ideas and questions around death.

    Anita Edwards

    Death and life are inextricably linked. In this show entitled “We Die” I focus on this linkage. By juxtaposing skulls and flowers, two recognizable symbols, I illustrate the overlap of death and life.

    I believe that life and death are a process. Part of a cycle leading ultimately to enlightenment. How we live determines the speed with which we progress towards Nirvana. Therefore, I do not fear death but when the time comes embrace it as the next step in my evolutionary journey.

    Barb Brown

    After observing deaths of family members and close friends, I realized that I and many others did not have a vocabulary to talk about the process of dying and death.

    Drawing from life..models and friends I imagined and drew faces either dead or dying. I also worked the death face in encaustic.

    I have no sense of afterlife for me. I see my dying as an energy released to the universe and a decaying of my body. I am trusting that my willingness to explore dying and death will serve me well to live fully in the present.

    Claudia Ring

    The year I was born 10 million people suffered a violent death caused by my country.

    Like everybody my age I have witnessed the death of my grandparents, parents and siblings and lately my son.

    Reading “Lincoln in the Bardo” and “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” inspired me to phantasize about the Bardo. Bardo being the state of existence after death, when one's consciousness experiences a variety of phenomena, which I see as manifestations of unresolved issues, or the three poisons; attachment, anger and ignorance.

    As I am 75 years old now, it is high time to deal with these forces and felting them seemed like the right approach to bring them into view.


    Claudia Ring, Felted Shroud

    Claudia Ring

    Felted Burial Shroud

    Barb Brown, Encaustic. Wax on Slate

    Barb Brown

    Encaustic. Wax on Slate

    Anita Edwards, Collage

    Anita Edwards



  • Williams Lake DEATH CAFE ~ first of the Fall  On Oct 19th at the library meeting room 6 - 8pm

    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 info@ccdcnetwork.com

    Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram

    The second tenet of the Death Positive Movement: at Order of the Good Death

    Daytime and Evening Events are Free Admission.

    The Festival is for community members of all ages and from all walks of life.

    Donations will be gratefully accepted to further our deathcaring work in the community.

    Official Festival Poster

  • While admission is free, space is limited.

    Please register on Eventbrite. Thanks.

    Swan Song Festival. October 26th, 2019

    PO Box 4744 Station Main
    Williams Lake, BC V2G2V7
  • With the support of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society

    and the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake.


    Our thanks also to KORU Cremation in Vancouver

    who procured the pine cremation tray for us at cost.

    ~ 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.

  • Connect With Us

    CCDC Network on Facebook

    CCDC Network

    CCDC Network on Instagram


    Email us:  Nicola Finch and Angela Gutzer


    Cariboo Community Deathcaring Network Website


    Swan Song Festival on Facebook

    Swan Song Festival