The rituals surrounding death differ in every religion and culture and a new space in Grande Prairie is giving grieving families more options.

Bear Creek Funeral Home is opening their new facility with the only onsite crematorium in the region. Owner Eunice Friesen says that allows them to hold ceremonies that include cremation

“Asian and Indian cultures both do very ceremonial cremations. So, now we can accommodate those ceremonies in this cremation centre.”

Some design and textile choices were made to accommodate different traditions. No carpet in the building means smoke from ceremonies won’t cling to fabric.

Friesen says since performing cremations onsite they have seen a shift in preferences for cremation.

“We’ve noticed that European/North American families are appreciating the ability to accompany their loved one to cremation. It’s like we used to accompany to the graveside.”

The reception hall area can be isolated from the rest of the facility to allow for overnight wakes and rituals. Their space can accommodate almost 400 people including the overflow areas.