Iris Moore – Artist

At Life’s Door 

Iris Moore is an artist and animator living in Victoria, British Columbia.  By incorporating whimsical imagery into her work, Iris strives to evoke the imagination, and bring people into their sense of wonder and beauty.  She believes that by engaging with inspiring imagery, we have the capacity to become more receptive to insight, wisdom, and curiosity, and she strives to encourage this with each piece she creates. 

Her portrait series “At Life’s Door,” features portraits of people who are facing their mortality.  Iris spent 6 months chatting with subjects about their thoughts on death and their experiences being faced with it.  On the project page, you can view the portraits, write-ups of the conversations, audio clips, and a recording of a live exhibition done online in March. 

At Life’s Door – An End of Life Portrait Project 


Lisa Bosman – Musician 

Lisa Bosman’s classic songs provide the perfect foundation for her rich smooth vocals, influenced early on in her singing career by Janis Ian and James Taylor. She has performed on stages from LA to New York and is a welcome addition to Deathly Matters 2020.


Josh Neufeld, Photographer

Grief Narratives – Stories of our Shared Experiences 

Josh Neufeld is the founder of Grief Narratives. He’s a photographer based in Vancouver, Canada. In 2015, death took his dad rather quickly. When they found the cancer, it had already taken up residence in his pancreas and spread to his liver. What Josh discovered during the process was that though he felt alone and unique in his grief, the reality is, so many share a story so similar to his. At the time he was beginning work on a photo project around terminal illness and mortality. Suddenly, his father became the subject. Capturing moments and writing about the process allowed Josh to connect with so many others experiencing something similar. It created the desire to build a space for people to be able to do the same. So, he built the Grief Narratives site to share stories.


Sylvia McAvany – Sound Weaver

Sylvia McAvany from Sound Weaver Energetic Arts has been sharing her healing music in Hospice for over two years now.  The handpan/tongue drum, known for bringing balance and alignment back to the mind, body and spirit using frequency and vibration is conducive to healing is the perfect meditative energy to bring calm and peace to the Hospice ward for both guests and staff.

Feel welcome to reach out to Sylvia@SoundWeaver.ca


Candy Chang

Before I Die Wall 

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget what really matters to you.  Before I Die is a global public art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public. Originally created by artist Candy Chang on an abandoned house in her neighbourhood in New Orleans after she lost someone she loved, there are now more than 7,000 walls around the world. 

We invite and encourage you to write your own statement, and see what others want to do before they die. The Wall will update throughout the Conference so you can reflect on and be inspired by others in your community.  


Shylene Schlackl – Artist & Community Builder 

Death is on the Table   

We plan for weddings, the birth of a child, our retirement, university, holidays but almost no one plans for death when it’s the only guarantee in life!

So, let DEATH be on the table and RestSure.

The Death of Cards (DOC) system was created using the comprehensive RestSureTM program.

There are eight sections assembled to support individuals and families navigate and contemplate the death, dying and the dead, so they can all RestSureTM

These cards will identify the W5 of you in regards to living & dying:

  • Who you are and who is important to you?
  • What you believe and what matters most in considering your eventual death?
  • Where you are now and where you plan to go after you die?
  • Why all of this important to you?
  • How you imagine your end of life, and how others can support your End of Life (EOL) wishes?

click the link to pick a card and start a conversation at http://restsure.ca/doc

Sari Alesh –  Musician   

Syrian refugee Sari Alesh played with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, prior to his arrival in Canada in 2016 and Deathly Matters is grateful to be able to share his beautiful music as part of our community event.  

Sari arrived in Canada on his own through funding by a private-sponsorship group and now in his fourth year in Canada, is pursuing his teaching studies at the University of Victoria.  






Munro’s Books – Victoria, BC 

Online Bookstore – Death, Dying, Loss, Grief, and more 

Munro’s Books has been a destination for book lovers for more than 50 years. With their Victoria heritage building and striking artwork, they are often included in lists of the world’s most beautiful bookstores.

The Munro’s Book Table features a variety of authors and books related to death, dying, and grief. We hope you find a helpful resource or inspirational read on the virtual bookshelf.  

click here to access the Deathly Matters Bookshelf

Shylene of RestSure
Dying to TALK (Requires Registration)

This session is no longer available

Death of Cards death is on the table. How is death speaking to you? 

These cards will identify the W5 of you in regards to living & dying:

  • Who you are and who is important to you?
  • What you believe and what matters most in considering your eventual death?
  • Where you are now and where you plan to go after you die?
  • Why all of this important to you?
  • How you imagine your end of life, and how others can support your End of Life (EOL) wishes?

Shylene Schlackl has been collaborating for many  years within the larger community around the healthy death movement which is sweeping our culture.  Co-creating  programs and tools that will help groups and individuals navigate the changing approaches to death and dying in the 21st century.  At RestSure, through their eclectic backgrounds, Shylene & colleagues have explored various approaches to this changing field. From ritual and ceremony, artistic expression to personal healing, RestSure provides services and programs that empower individuals and families to embrace the reality of the end of life.

We all die and everyone we know will die; so why not begin to face this with openness and clarity. At RestSure they promote new approaches to death, dying and the dead, firstly by encouraging open dialogues, que DEATH OF CARDS.  

For more than a decade Shylene has been working in community development, and in these many years of serving my community, she has witnessed a large gap in our resources around the end of life. She has  felt a strong drive to create a way to help myher family and community ease the trauma around death and dying. Dedicated to helping build relationships, networks and resource sharing in community, Shylene sees end of life planning and support as the most important service she can provide. She enjoys working with all ages in our community and she sees RestSure as a way to continue to bridge the gaps in our culture. Helping family members to have a conversation about their wishes, their beliefs and their fears. Through deep and honest conversation, planning and organizing, Shylene believes much ease can be brought to families, loved ones and communities.

RestSure  is Shylene’s way of being of greatest service to her community.


Jenafor Ryane

Yoga Nidra: A Practice for Deep Rest and Healing (Requires Registration)

This session is no longer available     

*This session is designed to be interactive and has limited attendance capacity. 

“Take a break to reset in this guided Yoga Nidra meditation with Victoria based yoga teacher and Death Doula Jenafor Ryane. Yoga Nidra or “yogic sleep” prompts the body to relax deeply while the mind remains inwardly alert. The goal of this practice is to achieve a “hypnagogic state” — the state between wakefulness and sleep. As well as providing an opportunity for nourishing rest,
Yoga Nidra offers the opportunity for emotional integration and release. Other benefits include, reduced levels of depression, stress, and anxiety—and an increase in mood, quality of life, and well-being. This session will end with a seated meditation, and time to check-in with community if you so wish.
Yoga Nidra is practiced in a supine (lying down) position. Your ease and comfort are of prime importance for this practice, so please gather pillows, blankets, and layers to keep your body supported and warm while you rest.
Best if not practiced directly after a meal. 
All bodies welcome. 
No previous experience is necessary.

Having experienced the death of her Father in 2011 to a long-term illness, and left with questions unanswered and needs unmet, Jenafor wondered is there a way that we could do death better?  And so began her exploration of approaches to death and dying, and ultimately her journey toward offering end-of-life care and services to individuals, their loved ones, and caregivers as a Death Doula. Jenafor formally trained with the Conscious Dying Institute in 2018. 

During this journey of exploration and healing, Jenafor also completed her Yoga Teacher Training at Semperviva Yoga in Vancouver, B.C. in 2011. 

Jenafor’s nearly decade long experience as a Yoga and mindfulness instructor informs her Death Doula practice, as she often draws on the ancient wisdom of Yoga to increase comfort and presence, and decrease stress for her clients. 

Jenafor’s warmth and groundedness are always welcomed and appreciated. Whether teaching Yoga and meditation, facilitating challenging conversations, supporting advance care planning, offering respite for loved ones, or comforting care for the dying, it is Jenafor’s intention to bring presence, meaning, compassion, and love to the ways in which we approach life and living, death and dying. 

Death is an integral part of life. In order to embrace life fully, we must also open to life’s sacred dance with death. 

It is Jenafor’s honour to support you in your journey through life, including death. 


dr. liam ‘captain’ snowdon

Queer Dying – Having a Sensational Death (Requires Registration) 

This session is no longer available 

How can we bring eros to our dying days? 
What are some sensations that give us pleasure? 
How can we plan and let go into queer mystery in the end? 
In this experimental container we will have a taste of the work and play of Queer Dying: a mashup of eros, sensation and end of life visioning done in community.  Through conversation, touch based practice and writing we will dip our toes into the river.  This session is for queer folk and non-queer folk alike.

dr. liam ‘captain’ snowdon is a genderqueer-queerdo-faery-faggot-witch living uninvited on the territory of the Lekwungen speaking (Songhees and Esquimalt) and WSÁNEĆ peoples aka Vancouver Island. They are in love with co-facilitation, spending time with their 89 year old father,  creating community at Grey Dragon House/SPARC, sidewalk chalk and the ocean. The most recent incarnation of their work is Queer Dying –  Part end of life planning and part experiments in sensational dying. Their background is in somatic sex education  social justice, street outreach, counselling, harm reduction, anti-violence work, poetry and performance art. Captain is new to professional death care and is  looking for queer co-creators on this journey.  www.captainsnowdon.ca