Frequently Asked Questions


Tracy McFee – General Manager

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you. Services are usually held at a funeral home or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from religious, non-religious up to something more non-traditional. Our F uneral Directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can - in fact more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody ’ s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life. Let our funeral directors know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is recommended to have an obituary notice placed in a local newspaper or online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased ’ s full name, age, city and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased ’ s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of your loved one. An online obituary or memorial website likes ours offers you the chance to add more information about the deceased.

Who are funeral directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the details following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for receiving your loved one into our care, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of your loved one. Beyond the details, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for families coping with death.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

A t Oliver’s we are here to help. Our Funeral Directors are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world.   We at Oliver’s have extensive experience with repatriation back to Grande Prairie from Arizona, California, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Hawaii.   We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have the remains return to the community.

Click here to learn more about insurance for deaths away from home.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body. It also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

Do Clergy always officiate at a funeral service?

A Minister or a Non-Denominational Celebrant may officiate.   Family and friends may share personal thoughts, memories and feelings about the deceased as part of the service. If a family does not have a Minister to officiate we would be pleased to assist in arranging a Minister/Celebrant of the family's faith background or one appropriate for the type and style of service being arranged.

Note:    Having a celebrant is a relatively new concept for Funeral Services. Similar to the concept of a Justice of Peace for weddings, a Celebrant will officiate at a Funeral Service with little or no religious involvement - depending on the family's wishes.

At Oliver’s we strongly encourage families regardless of their level of involvement in the past or present to contact their loved one ’ s last place of worship and speak to their Pastor or Minister regarding their involvement with the funeral service.   We believe that the spiritual and emotional support offered by our faith leaders and communities is an important part of the healing process.   At the same time we do respect and appreciate each family ’ s unique needs and desires.

What should we provide as an honorarium for the Minister / Celebrant?

Some place of worships have stated fees in place indicating the honorarium required for their Minister to officiate at a funeral service.   We encourage families to consider the time and effort that a minister may invest in meeting with the family via the telephone or in person, preparing the order of service, the sermon, travel time and expenses involved in traveling to the Visitation or Prayer and Funeral Services.   At present we are finding that honorariums are ranging from $265.00 to $300.00.

Honorariums should be presented to the Minister the day of the funeral service and prior to the service beginning; this is due to the fact that for most families after the funeral service they become quite involved in receiving and thanking friends for attending the service and unintentionally forget to see the Minister.   Families find it most convenient to provide one of our funeral directors with an envelope for the Minister containing the honorarium and a thank you note, allowing the Funeral Director to ensure that the Minister receives the envelope and its contents prior to the start of the funeral service.

Note: Here at Oliver’s for the family’s convenience we usually take care of the Honorarium and add the fee to the family’s account. If the family is handling the honorarium directly themselves both cheques payable to the Minister and cash are acceptable forms of payment.


What is a memory table and/or a memory board?


At Oliver’s, we use a memory table to display personal items of the deceased, such as a hat, fishing rod, crafts. This may also include the Urn. A memory board would have a collection of family photographs attached and can be displayed on an easel at the funeral home or place of worship for visitors to reminisce about their life experiences with the deceased.

Why do funerals seem expensive?

Funerals are labour intensive and require a lot of work with the help of a lot of staff. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.  

If you have any further questions or wish discuss things further please contact us at any time: 780.532.2929

We are here to help make this difficult time as easy as possible.

That is our promise to you.


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