Home Vancouver Events Calendar OCTOBER Events in Vancouver in 2023 Vancouver Halloween Events Night for All Souls at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery

Night for All Souls at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery

Night for All Souls

A Night for All Souls is a free event about honouring the dead. It takes place in late October around Halloween at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery.

It’s one of Vancouver’s more serious and solemn Halloween events, but also interesting for people of all ages and backgrounds.

In 2023 there were both in-person and online activities between October 25th and November 1st.


Lost Souls of Gastown Tours at Halloween


A Night for All Souls at Halloween

Vancouver’s Night for All Souls is actually the opening night of a festival featuring a week of events about death, memorials and paying respect to the dead.

The series of events starts in the last week of October and ends on November 1st, which, according to many Christian denominations, is All Hallows’ Day, or All Saints Day, which is a time to honour long departed saints. In 2023 the event started on October 25th and ended on November 1st, and there were things to do online and in-person.

“Halloween” means “All Hallow’s Eve,” which is why it comes one day before November 1st (just like Christmas Eve comes before December 25th).

Halloween is also believed to originate from Celtic harvest festivals and to have pagan routes. All of this is usually evident at Vancouver’s Night for All Souls.


All Souls Night Tents and Silhouettes
Mountain View Cemetery at Night


When and Where

A Night for All Souls takes place around Mountain View Cemetery which is located at 5455 Fraser Street and bordered by Fraser, 41st Avenue, 31st Avenue and Prince Edward Street. It’s a pretty big cemetery!

In pre-COVID-19 years, there was a large opening ceremony on the first day of the event. Tea and personal memorials usually took place at the cemetery in the Celebration Hall every evening. On some of these evenings there used to be live background music and on the last day, there was a procession to various shrines within the cemetery.

Unfortunately, no in-person activities took place in 2020 because of concerns about the coronavirus. In 2021 and 2022, the event happened in a hybrid format, and the same was the case again in 2023.

Things that could be done in-person in 2023 included visiting shrines between October 25th and November 1st, along with getting memorial box lantern kits between October 19th and November 1st. There was live music on select days too.

In addition to the in-person activities, there was one main online activity available in 2023. An online mourners tea took place on October 29th. The virtual event was free to attend.

For more details about all the various activities, click All Souls Events.


Choir at Mountain View Cemetery


About A Night for All Souls

Unfortunately, the main Night for All Souls hasn’t happened since 2019. It is unlikely to return in future years.

In years when it did happen, the main Night for All Souls event on the Saturday before Halloween featured music, candles, tea, flowers, poetry and memorial shrines. According to the event’s website, it was a “non-denominational sacred event, and an opportunity for people to share their own customs and experiences.”

The event used to be sponsored by the City of Vancouver. It was free to attend and all were welcome.

At the event you would have seen a fair number of people plus candles flickering in the darkness, illuminated shrines and musicians playing contemplative music. It wasn’t a big event, but several hundred people typically attended.

Presented by artists Paula Jardine and Marina Szijarto, the series of events developed out of the organizers’ work together with Public Dreams which is the same organization that puts on the Parade of Lost Souls which is also Halloween-related and usually takes place on the Saturday closest to October 31st.


Mountain View Cemetery Shrine


Tips & Advice

Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most of your Night for All Souls experience.

TIP #1: The Saturday evening used to be an interesting event and we recommend going if it ever returns. It wasn’t for everyone, but it was suitable for folks of all ages.

TIP #2: A Night for All souls is similar to the Parade of Lost Souls which is also artistic and with a slightly Celtic flavour. The former is more solemn and serious. The latter attracts a primarily young-adult crowd, people in costumes and is more about fun and reveling in the Halloween season.

TIP #3: Don’t forget to take your umbrella if it looks like rain (which it usually does in Vancouver in late October). Boots or other waterproof footwear might be a good idea too if there’s a chance of puddles on the pathways.


Crafts and Tea in the Celebration Hall
People Doing Crafts in the Celebration Hall


Other Information

For further details about the event, see the Night for All Souls website.

For information about other Halloween-related activities, check out any of the following: