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Day of the Dead event destigmatizes death in Vernon

Hospice teams up with immigration society for cultural celebration
The animated hit Coco will be shown at the Towne Theatre for Day of the Dead Nov. 2. (Disney movie still)

The season of spirits doesn’t end with Oct. 31.

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), observed Nov. 2, celebrates and remembers family members who have passed on.

To mark the event, the North Okanagan Hospice Society (NOHS) and Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society (VDICSS) bring a community celebration to the Vernon Towne Cinema Thursday with the showing of the 2017 Disney film Coco. The family friendly movie is a lovely representation of the heartwarming tradition of Dia de los Muertos.

“A part of the mission of NOHS is to destigmatize death and dying with all age groups and to be inclusive of all cultures in the North Okanagan, and this is a wonderful opportunity to do both,” said NOHS executive director Lisa Matthews.

A representative from VDICSS who grew up in Mexico will give a short presentation on the significance of Day of the Dead.

“This cultural celebration is a beautiful reflection of love for family and friends, even when they are no longer here with us. Sharing and learning about other people’s cultures and customs is a great way to build more inclusivity in our diverse community,” VDICSS executive director Amelia Sirianni said. “We can’t wait to learn more about Dia de los Muertos and hope many others in our city come out to participate as well.”

Admission is $5 for adults and $3.50 for children and seniors. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the 90-minute film starting at 6. Tickets available at

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Jennifer Smith

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