1. How much does the average burial, or the average cremation cost?
There are many options offered and decisions to make that go into arriving at the final cost for a burial or a cremation arrangement. Because every family and the decisions they make are unique to them and their circumstances there is no way to adequately quote an ‘average’ cost for our services.
Every family can be assured that we will provide clear, itemized pricing for any services discussed or selected. Pricing discussions are provided on a no-obligation basis, in a no pressure environment.
2. When I buy a grave at the Burial Park do I own the land?
No. When you ‘buy’ a grave you are actually purchasing a Right of Interment. The Right of Interment entitles the purchaser or assignee the exclusive and perpetual right to use a grave and/or control who else can use the grave.
‘Owning’ and using a Right of Interment is subject to compliance with the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations of the Burial Park.
3. Why are there so many rules at the Burial Park?
Provincial cemetery legislation requires cemetery operators to have written bylaws, rules and regulations. These bylaws cover how interment rights are sold, how they can be used, how services are provided, the types of memorials that are permitted, and address other operational considerations.
Our bylaws ensure every family is treated equitably, and they help to ensure the Burial Park is operated in a safe, dignified and sustainable manner. The reason for a particular bylaw may not always be apparent, but it will be based on a legal, practical or operational justification.
4. How are fees set at the Burial Park?
The Burial Park is operated on a not for profit, 100% self-funding model. All fees charged at the Burial Park are used to cover our costs and in the event a surplus may be realized in a given year, then those funds are reinvested solely for the benefit of the Burial Park. Fees are set on the basis of four criteria:
- Recover the costs incurred for past land acquisition and development;
- Pay current expenses for ‘day-to-day’ operations – administration, provision of services and goods, and grounds maintenance;
- Save sufficient funds to acquire new land and develop new interment spaces as existing land and interment space is depleted, and;
- Grow the perpetual Care Fund to ensure adequate funds are in place to care for the Burial Park – in perpetuity - when it is fully ‘sold out’. (The Care Fund, and the levels of contribution made to the fund, are mandated under provincial cemetery legislation.)
5. Who owns and operates Royal Oak Burial Park?
In 1922 the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich established the Board of Cemetery Trustees of Greater Victoria to develop, operate and maintain Royal Oak Burial Park on behalf of Victoria and Saanich.
The Burial Park opened in November 1923 and has been continuously operated by the Board to the current date. The Burial Park is operated on a non-profit, full-cost recovery basis and we do not receive a taxpayer subsidy for any of our development, operating or maintenance costs.
The Burial Park is an independent, community owned service provider and is not owned by a local funeral service provider, or a national or international death care corporation.
6. Does the Burial Park offer pre-arrangement?
Yes. All cemetery lots and most services or goods related to the use of a selected lot can be pre-selected and prepaid. Products and services that are prepaid at today’s price are guaranteed in perpetuity, meaning no additional fees will be charged for those items at the time of use.
7. Does the Burial Park operate a funeral home?
Not at this time. At a time of death the Burial Park assumes responsibility for coordinating the ‘final’ disposition of the remains; either through cremation and the interment or scattering of the cremated remains, or; a green burial, conventional casket burial or mausoleum entombment. The Burial Park has a professional working relationship with all of Greater Victoria’s local funeral service providers.
The Burial Park does offer some of the same goods and services that are more commonly found at a funeral home so it never hurts to “Call Us First” to determine if we can provide a particular service or item you are seeking.
8. Who regulates the cemetery and funeral business in B.C.?
The establishment and operation of cemeteries, crematoriums and funeral homes is regulated under Province of BC legislation and regulation, namely through the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act, and the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
These acts and regulations are enforced – through licensing, inspections and enforcement actions – by Consumer Protection BC. They have an excellent website at: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca with a lot of good content about consumer rights generally and cemetery and funerals specifically.
9. Where do I go for more information?
Contact a member of our family service team. Our team, and our mission is all about providing answers to every question, no matter how unique the question may seem. We are here to assist, educate and deliver information in a comfortable environment, free of sales pressure, and without obligation. Even if you’re not using our services we may be able to help you find the directions or answers you need to questions you may have.