Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017 - Sketching at Beechwood Cemetery

You are invited to join the Ottawa Urban Sketchers 
for a day of sketching at the historic Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.
Sign up here:

The Botanical Cremation Gardens Of Beechwood

After reading an article about the Beechwood Cemetery in the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Urban Sketchers contacted them to see about organizing a sketching event there. They informed us that they have never been approached to organize a sketching event before and they welcomed us!

I met with them this past week and have scheduled Sunday July 23, 2017 from 10-2 pm for our event. (I also attended the monthly Beechwood tour on June 25, 2017 and the photos here were taken on one of those two visits)

Some Interesting Facts About the Beechwood Cemetery

  • Beechwood Cemetery was established in 1873 and is recognized as one of the most beautiful and historic cemeteries in Canada. 
  • 80,000 people are buried there.
  • Originally outside city limits, Beechwood would be a day's outing by horse and buggy for a family, likely to bring a picnic lunch and spend time walking and admiring some of the more elaborately sculpted monuments -- the type that are rarely erected now
  • Beechwood Cemetery is not-for-profit organization.The Beechwood Cemetery Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, and is governed by an active volunteer board of directors.
  • Beechwood Cemetery is 64.7 hectares (160 acres) and is the largest cemetery in the city of Ottawa.
  • Beechwood Cemetery has been designated as a National Historic Site in 2001.
  • Beechwood Cemetery was designated the National Cemetery of Canada through an Act of Parliament (Bill C-17) in 2009.
  • Admittance to the Cemetery grounds is permitted daily from sunrise to sunset.
  • Beechwood cemetery is for everyone regardless of race, creed, religion or social standing.
  • Beechwood has been, from its beginning, non-denominational, an attractive feature for many Ottawa groups and societies such as the Home for Friendless Women, the Union Mission for Men, the Protestant Home for the Aged and the Protestant Orphans’ Home. 
  • The burial of  the first person of Chinese origin in 1903 led in the 1920s to the establishment of a burial place for members of the Chinese community, an area given its distinctive character      by the construction in recent years of a Pagoda of Remembrance
  • There are sections specifically designed for the Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Lebanese, Latvian, Muslim, Polish, Poruguese, Ukranian and Vietnamese communities.
  • Located in the southeast section of Beechwood Cemetery, the Macoun Marsh is a unique urban wetland named after John Macoun, a pioneering Canadian naturalist buried at Beechwood
  • Beechwood Cemetery has 28,000 recorded trees, 300 varieties of hostas
  • Following the death of Tommy Douglas in 1986, the City of Ottawa passed a by-law forbidding the construction of buildings that would block the direct line of sight from Tommy Douglas’ resting spot in Beechwood to the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. 
  • In November of 2007, 29 different religious groups came together to bless the new Beechwood National Memorial Centre. The ceremony, held in an auditorium known as the Sacred Space, was led by a 10-year-old child from a local school, and included a First Nations’ smudging ceremony around the great rock that sits in the centre of the room.

Useful Links About Beechwood Cemetery
Beechwood Map - We will meet in Section 60

Details About Ottawa Urban Sketchers Event

  • When:  We are scheduled to meet Sunday July 23, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm. You are free to arrive earlier or stay later.
  • Where: We will meet in Section 60. This is a lovely wooded area with some of the very oldest markers. It is near Poets Hill and the burial space for Tommy Douglas (Sect 64, Graves 285. 286)
  • How to get there: 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1L 8A6
    • By Car: There is ample parking at Beechwood Cemetery. You are also able to park your cars on any of the roads by pulling off far enough to allow other cars to pass.
    • By Bike: Please consult the google map link above for bike routes
    • By Bus: OC Transpo bus No. 7 stops near the entrance.
  • Washroom: There are washroom facilities open to the public in the main building
  • Cemetery Etiquette  
    • Be respectful of mourning families. 
    • We are holding our event on Sunday because typically Beechwood does not do funerals on that day. However, families will be visiting their loved ones and should be given space and privacy.
    • The cemetery has requested that we do not sketch any markers that are younger than 5 years old
    • FYI: Chamberfest "Mozart In The Morning" will be playing in the main building on the same day (at 11 am) as our sketch event.
Monument for Nicolas Flood Davin (1843-1901)

Beechwood has played a major role in ensuring that the sacrifices of our Canadian Veterans and War Dead are not forgotten. Beechwood’s Veterans and War Dead Section is the time-honoured final home of over 3,000 of our Canadian Veterans and War Dead.
Canadian Veterans and War Dead are not forgotten
Please remember to post your Beechwood Cemetery sketches to our Urban Sketchers Facebook Pages

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