Woodlands: The Burden of Gravity

The Burden of Gravity, an anthology of poems by Shannon McConnell “challenges readers to consider how we, in the aftermath of de-institutionalization, choose to remember institutions like Woodlands School”.

The Burden of Gravity

LEES+Associates in collaboration with many individuals who gave generously of their time and ideas, designed a memorial garden to serve as a beautiful gathering place honouring former Woodlands residents.

The Woodlands Memorial Garden project involved the recovery of some 3,000 previously removed headstones marking the graves of former residents of the Woodlands School. This work has extended over several years from guiding the concept development process, design development to construction of the Woodlands Memorial Gardens.

Work on this project remains ongoing as more headstones are discovered offsite.


The Burden of Gravity – Shannon McConnell

Review: Shannon McConnell challenges her readers to witness the burdens of memory, abuse and erasure – from the Vancouver Sun

Woodlands Memorial Garden – Project Page


Woodlands memorial garden
Woodlands Memorial Garden, New Westminster, BC


May 5 Tulips

May 5 Tulips

May 5th 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. This victory was won largely through the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers, and over than 7,600 Canadian soldiers died in the effort. Every year since 1946, the Dutch government has sent thousands of tulips in thanks to Canada.

This year was to have been special, 110,000 red tulips (Canadian Liberator and Strong Love) were planted last fall in the City of Vancouver alone. Over 30,000 of these bulbs were planted by the staff at Mountain View Cemetery.

Although COVID-19 forced the cancellation of events, this week saw the peak of an astonishing display, as thousands of tulips bloomed along the maple allée that runs through three of the cemetery’s military sections.
LEES+Associates is proud of our small part in helping to celebrate this remarkable anniversary.

May 5 Tulips

May 5 Tulips

May 5 Tulips

A Night for all Souls

Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery held its 13th annual Night for All Souls last Saturday, October 28th 2017.
The highlight in a week of events honouring the dead, this year’s “Night” was blessed with wonderful weather. Hundreds of visitors—families, neighbours and friends of the cemetery—turned out for an evening of music and song, candle-lit shrines, personal tributes, and tea and flowers in the Celebration Hall.

In recognition of this wonderful tradition, we have posted a video from 2005 that tells the story of how it all began. Enjoy!