NEW WESTMINSTER, June 21, 2021 – We are excited to announce the official name change of our organization to Lumara Grief & Bereavement Care Society, a name that captures the spirit, intention, and depth of care we offer for people of all ages who are coping with serious illness, grief, and bereavement.
A year of collaborative and creative work with professional guidance and community participation led to the selection of our new name, Lumara. “Lumara means bringing light to grief and sorrow,” explains Lumara’s Executive Director Dr. Heather Mohan. “The new name beautifully captures the essence of our mission and the legacy of all who have inspired and shared in our journey for the last 14 years.”
The strength of community is at the heart of our organization. Grief is often dark and isolating for those who have lost a loved one. But when we surround those who are grieving with a community of caring and compassion, we light the path for each person to respond with courage and to uncover their own resilience. This is our Lumara community.
“We have grown and developed from the first small retreat in B.C. for grieving families to a Canada-wide community of care that supports thousands of people each year,” notes Joshua Dahling, current Director of Operations and one of the Society’s founders. “With a breadth of services that includes virtual and in-person support groups, counselling, expressive arts therapies, retreats, education, and outreach, it was time to embrace all we do and all we serve with a new name.”
Lumara also honours the legacy of Kerry Kirstiuk, a remarkable young mother who inspired the very first family bereavement retreat and the original name Camp Kerry. “Kerry’s light will continue to shine on through everyone who is touched by the extraordinary work of Lumara Grief & Bereavement Care Society,” reflects her brother-in-law and current Board President Steve Kirstiuk. Our signature retreats will continue to be lovingly called ‘Camp Kerry’ to honour Kerry and those who have generously supported the organization in her memory.
The decision to change the name was a strategic one. Since the organization was first established years ago, the services offered have grown and evolved to support even more Canadians on their journey with grief. After approval at a special general meeting of the Society on April 27, 2021, the name change to Lumara Grief & Bereavement Care Society officially came into effect on May 27, 2021 with formal approval by Canada Revenue Agency. The charitable registration number 848764684RR0001 remains the same.