Options in Death Care for Nonbelievers

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Options in Death Care for Nonbelievers

January 12 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

At our January meeting we will be talking about death and what happens afterward. No, we won’t be talking about an afterlife; we’ll be about talking funerals, or as we Humanists often call them, Celebrations of Life. Many in the funeral industry today would like to sell you a perfectly manicured plot for a few thousand dollars, and then throw in a concrete liner, an $11,000 casket, and an eternal flame so that you’re ready to make your exit from this world in style… but most Humanists accept that when we’re dead, we’re dead, so what do we care?

So many choices

Funerals provide an opportunity for the living to get together to honour the memories of our loved ones. But the different ways in which we go about doing that make an interesting topic for discussion. What are your final wishes? What type of ceremony (if any) and disposal method would you prefer for yourself? Today there are so many options – you could consider casket burial, cremation, natural burial, burial pods, environmentally-conscious burial, promession (wanna be freeze-dried?), composting, or turning yourself into organic fertilizer. Maybe you want to keep the costs down for your family and have ’em just rent a woodchipper for a small get-together at the lake.

Leading this discussion will be our special guest Shane Neufeld of Integrity Death Care. He can let us know what’s new, what works and what doesn’t, what’s ‘green’ and what’s not, what’s allowed and what’s not (sorry, no wood chippers), and what’s happening in the funeral industry in Canada. Shane will also talk a little bit of about his journey through more than 20 years of work in the funeral industry (he’s pretty much seen it all, and has the stories to prove it!), and what eventually led to him opening his unique funeral business in Winnipeg.

Join us in January as we approach this very serious topic with a little humour, and you’ll gain lots of useful information for future reference.

Shane Neufeld is the Senior Consultant and founder of Integrity Death Care. He started as an apprentice funeral director/embalmer in 1990, and has extensive experience with Winnipeg funeral homes and cemeteries as both a licensed funeral director and embalmer and in corporate management. He has also worked within privately operated funeral home establishments, including Bardal Funeral Home, Thomson Funeral Home, Thomson “In the Park” Funeral Home, Green Acres Funeral Home, Leatherdale Gardiner and Wojcik Funeral Home. Shane’s experience as a funeral director has exposed him to a number of funeral home operators who operate with a maximum focus on the profitability of the establishment. He was recently interviewed on an episode of CBC’s Marketplace that focused on revealing some of the industry’s unscrupulous practices.


Our meet-and-greet will start at 5:00 PM in order to accommodate the AGM at 5:30. Dinner and social time will take place after the AGM (at around 6:00), followed by our regular meeting and speaker beginning about 6:45.

Please join us for the AGM – we need your support and input as we plan for the coming year! 

New venue! See you at the U of W

We’ll be trialing a new space for this meeting, at the University of Winnipeg in room 2M70. That’s the Board Room on the second floor in Manitoba Hall, located on Balmoral St between Portage and Ellice (see the Building map). Important! The entry door on Balmoral is locked on Saturdays. Enter through Centennial Hall (right behind the ‘castle’) if you are coming from Portage Avenue, or through Lockhart Hall if you are coming from Ellice Avenue. The Lockhart Hall entrance is the easiest for those with mobility issues. There is also an Accessibility map for more info.

Read more about the reason for this change of venue in our January newsletter.


It’s a New Year and a new venue, so we’ll be providing pizza for dinner at 6:00 (ish). There’s your incentive to attend the AGM! If you’re on a special diet or don’t want pizza, you’re welcome to bring your own dinner.


Parking may be a bit of a challenge. There’s on-street parking if you’re willing to walk a bit. There are also quite a few paid lots in the area (see Parking map). Consider sharing a vehicle (and the parking fee) with someone else from your part of town. If you need a ride or want to carpool, let us know and we’ll see if there’s someone else from your area going. 

About our Monthly Meetings 

Welcome! Our regular monthly meetings are always open to the public.

If you are new and just checking us out, you are welcome to attend one or two events before becoming a member. After that, if you wish to continue to participate, we ask that you support the group by joining. Our annual dues are reasonable and include a limited-income option. 

All events are subject to change, and some details may be TBA. In the event of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, events may be subject to cancellation or details may change. Check the Home page of our website, our Facebook page, or Meetup for information and updates. 

Charity of the Month

Our January charity is the Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre. More information about it in the newsletter.


January 12
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:




University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9 Canada
+ Google Map
204 786 7811
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