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Exploring life's final chapter with insight and support

Dying with Dignity Canada is hosting a forum in Victoria to guide community discussions surrounding navigating and planning end-of-life choices
Gwen Anholt, co-chair, Dying With Dignity - Victoria Chapter.

The Victoria Chapter of Dying with Dignity Canada (DWDC) is set to host a significant community forum dedicated to discussing end-of-life choices. This event aims to engage the public in essential conversations about life's final chapter, shedding light on the options and resources available. 

Scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 6, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Oak Bay High School, this gathering promises to offer invaluable insights into navigating end-of-life care and decisions.

A day of learning and engagement

The day-long event, costing a nominal fee of $10 for registration, is structured to maximize engagement and learning. 

The forum features a lineup of speakers, including Dr. Blair Bigham, a respected figure in emergency and critical care medicine, and Sandra Martin, an award-winning journalist and author known for her profound work on A Good Death. In addition to the keynote speakers, the day-long event will involve a series of panels, with experts covering topics from emergency care, palliative care, dementia and Alzheimer’s in the context of medical assistance in dying (MAID), to opportunities to enhance quality of life in later life.  

Their expertise will provide forum participants with a comprehensive understanding of current challenges and considerations regarding  end-of-life care. 

"We tend to spend more time planning our next vacation than thinking about what we should have in place should something happen to us," says Gwen Anholt, co-chair of the Victoria chapter, emphasizing the forum's commitment to thoughtful end-of-life planning.

She adds that the program will tackle the multifaceted aspects of end-of-life planning, ensuring participants are well-informed about their choices and the resources at their disposal.

Broadening the conversation

Anholt also emphasizes the importance of broad participation. 

"We hope people bring their family members. This is an opportunity to have the conversation about end-of-life choices and wishes," she says. “This forum will offer valuable insights and information for adults of all ages.” 

The design of the forum encourages interactivity, offering participants the chance to engage deeply with the subject matter, ask poignant questions and share personal experiences over the light lunch included in the registration fee and during breaks, making it a crucial gathering for anyone eager to explore informed end-of-life decisions within their community.

Empowering the community through knowledge

During breaks and lunch, participants can visit information tables of 20 community partners, including the Alzheimer Society of BC, Canadian Red Cross, Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, and Parkinson Wellness Project. Related books will be available for purchase on-site from Munro’s.

“We encourage people not to be a spectator in their own life but take charge right to the end,” Anholt says. “Workshops like this can get them started.” 

The forum is open to the public. Registration and more information can be found online at