The B.C. government is providing $100,000 to help create a memorial garden at Royal Oak Burial Park where families can grieve pregnancy and infant loss, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett announced today.
Little Spirits Garden provides a public, community memorial for families facing the profound sorrow of pregnancy and infant loss. When completed next spring, Little Spirits Garden will be available for all families, regardless of where or when they experienced their loss.
The Board of Cemetery Trustees of Greater Victoria contributed $50,000 to develop the plan for Little Spirits Garden and dedicated a site within Royal Oak Burial Park. The board and the Saanich Legacy Foundation set out to raise $295,000 for the project. The B.C. government's support comes from a community gaming grant and represents the first major contribution toward the fundraising goal. The board and Saanich Legacy Foundation will continue with a fundraising campaign to support the project.
Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong represented British Columbia at a ceremony at Little Spirits Garden, honouring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on Monday, Oct. 15.
Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development -
"Only those who experience the loss of a pregnancy or an infant child can know the grief that follows, but we can all understand that these families need a special memorial place. Little Spirits Garden will be there to help families."
Ida Chong, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head -
"Family life brings joy - and sometimes great sorrow. Parents facing inexpressible grief over the loss of a pregnancy or an infant child need a special place for remembrance and solace."
Stephen Olson, executive director, Board of Cemetery Trustees and Royal Oak Burial Park -
"The need for moms, parents, families and the community at large to have a special place like the Little Spirits Garden to create memorials in acknowledgment and remembrance of the tragedy that is the loss of a pregnancy or a stillbirth cannot be overstated. The Board of Cemetery Trustees is very grateful of receiving this significant support for the Little Spirits Garden from the provincial government, especially so early in the ongoing fundraising campaign."
Paul McKivett, president, Saanich Legacy Foundation -
"The board of the Saanich Legacy Foundation is honoured that the Province has demonstrated such leadership in achieving this garden by contributing one-third of the necessary funds to bring this to completion. We ask other organizations and the general public to join with the B.C. government, Royal Oak Burial Park and the Saanich Legacy Foundation to raise the balance of the funds necessary in our campaign."
- During 2012-13, the B.C. government will approve about $135 million in gaming grants that will benefit communities throughout the province.
- Royal Oak Burial Park and the Saanich Legacy Foundation are hosting a candlelight Vigil of Remembrance in honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, beginning at 7 p.m., Oct. 15, at Sequoia Gardens Memorial, 4665 Falaise Drive, Victoria, next to Royal Oak Burial Park.
- The Board of Cemetery Trustees of Greater Victoria, established by the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich in 1922, manages Royal Oak Burial Park.
- Saanich Legacy Foundation, founded in 1999, supports community-based projects that continue to make Saanich a vibrant and caring community.
For the most recent posting of community gaming grants approved by the B.C. government, visit: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming/index.htm
Visit the Saanich Legacy Foundation at: http://www.saanichlegacy.ca
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development