Helping You Honour The Circle Of Life
KORU is a locally owned and operated, grass-roots funeral business, serving you from Vancouver and the North Shore. We provide simple and tailored cremation, burial and ceremony services that help you care for, remember, mourn and celebrate your dead.
KORU is a leader, innovator and educator in what we see as a new age of death, dying and end-of-life care. We have a keen interest in raising awareness about local sustainably sourced and community minded products and practices.
Some of the buzzwords – and these are just a few – around these interests are: green or natural burial, green cremation, natural viewings, celebrants and ceremony, green caskets, biodegradable urns, shrouds, sea scattering, memorial reefs, family-led or community deathcare, and home funerals. In life, many of us are concerned with our impact on the environment and the meaningfulness of our connection – so too can we be at death.
Our thoughtful approach is intended to support you to understand the scope of your choices and determine how we can best help you in your situation. We respect that you have your own set of circumstances, values, beliefs and past experiences that will guide your choices. We support you where you are at and we will walk with you for a time to help you move forward to where you are going.
We know and appreciate the value of hard work and have made deliberate choices to ensure that our pricing is fair and affordable without sacrificing your expectations and experience. Our facilities are modest yet comfortable, ensuring lower overhead costs than larger funeral home operations. By not having a chapel on-site, your choices for memorial and celebration venues can truly be customized to fit your needs and your tastes.
Thank you for your trust in us. It’s an honour to be of service to you in a way that fits with your needs and desires about how to care for, remember, mourn and celebrate your family members and friends.
If you have questions, need referrals or would like to take next steps with KORU as your guide, please call Ngaio (pronounced N-eye-oh) in Vancouver at 604.324.8285 or Wendy in North Vancouver at 604.770.1471 or email us using this contact form
WHY we’re called KORU
Ms. Ngaio Davis, the founder of KORU is rooted strongly to both Canada and New Zealand. Her Maori ancestry, alongside her Canadian heritage, figure strongly in her personal foundation. KORU is the Maori word for a symbol that perfectly expresses the spirit and intentions of our organization.
ABOUT Ngaio Davis
Nothing about the life of Ngaio, KORU’s founder, owner and Managing Director at the Vancouver location, has ever been “run-of-the-mill”. Born in Canada, Ngaio, was raised as a farm-girl in rural B.C. became a journeyperson carpenter in her early 20’s and, then, after many years of building and crafting in construction, Ngaio devoted herself to being of service helping people care for their dead.
Ngaio is a licensed funeral director and embalmer with more than 17 years experience. Prior to opening the doors of KORU in 2013 (formerly known as Classic Cremation & Funeral Services), Ngaio was a front-line worker and manager in both corporately and privately owned funeral homes on Vancouver Island and in Metro Vancouver.
Working in funeral service requires one to be wholly present in each and every situation, to be able to listen to and through the words of the bereaved and respond appropriately, to be able to adapt to an ever-changing landscape, and to quietly support the people you work with. These attributes are what drew Ngaio into funeral service and her dedication to stay true to them is what keeps her in this field. There is very little Ngaio hasn’t seen or dealt with around diverse funeral and mourning rituals, family dynamics or unusual circumstances.
When you call a funeral home, you’re usually at an incredibly vulnerable and intimate time in your life. Ngaio believes that the responsibility of funeral professionals is simply to serve people’s needs, whatever they are. Too often families are forced to compromise and settle for the services and products offered by funeral homes, even when what’s offered isn’t exactly what they want. Ngaio sets herself apart from other funeral directors and conventional funeral homes by simply asking, “How can I help you?” rather than providing a limited number of options and then asking you to choose one.
Ngaio is fully committed to offering you sincere and genuine assistance. She is also keen to encourage you to talk openly about death and dying, topics with which most North Americans have a poor relationship. Ngaio has experienced all too often the utter desperation people are faced with because they are not at all prepared to face a death experience. Now that she is leading her own company, Ngaio is relishing the freedom to help spearhead meaningful and courageous conversations in this realm.
ABOUT Wendy Rée
The words that come to mind, when thinking of Wendy are, “sunny, laughter, optimistic, effervescent, compassionate, quirky, thoughtful, courageous”. Those of you who know her well will no doubt be able to add to the list, but you get the idea – Wendy is a dynamic personality who brings much to the table as a funeral director.
Wendy Rée has lived fully since her birth and childhood years in small-town Ontario. From obtaining a BA from the University of Ottawa, to getting married and having three inspiring children, working and contributing to her parent’s car dealership business for many years, obtaining her business administration and marketing diploma from the Canadian Automotive Institute (Georgian College), creating and running her own cloth diaper business and completing her funeral director apprenticeship and working in the funeral industry for over six years. Together, her life and work experiences have contributed greatly to her focus on being able to have a “heart-centred” career, which she has found in funeral service.
Wendy came to funeral service after being moved by the care and professionalism she experienced at her grandmother’s death and funeral. She sees a strong correlation between the gentle approach of natural parenting and natural death care, a practice of embracing and celebrating the subtleties of individuals, making Wendy a natural fit with the KORU Cremation | Burial | Ceremony philosophy of funeral practice. She believes in families being fully involved in all death care decisions and thoughtfully provides ways to empower them to do so.
One of KORU’s passions is to focus on sourcing and offering Canadian and locally crafted funerary products. Wendy has been a great compliment to that focus and taken it one step further by building a casket herself – another budding carpenter?!
At KORU we believe strongly in the power of knowledge and sharing our wisdom, insights and experiences with our clients, peers and public at large. Some of the ways Wendy has contributed to this has been through hosting a home funeral practicum, participating in and successfully completing the Sacred Passages Death Doula training and preparing for the upcoming second annual public education event around death and dying put on by the Surrey Hospice Society in January 2018.
You will find that Wendy’s sincerity, kindness and gentle approach to death and dying will make her easily accessible to you.
From time to time, Ngaio and Wendy are asked to share their thoughts and observations on death and dying, trends and traditions in deathcare and their approach to assisting people when death happens or is expected.
“Death in the Family” a documentary about how the traditional, family-run funeral trade is being overtaken by big corporations. Produced by Al Jazeera.
“Funeral Business Aims to Start Conversations“, featuring Wendy Rée at KORU North Vancouver in an article in the North Shore News.
Click here for a link to a recent article by CBC.
Click here DYI Funeral series on CBC Radio One’s, “On The Coast” (starting at 01:08 into the broadcast). The series aired daily for the week of July 4 to July 8, 2016.
Click here to watch an interview with Ngaio Davis and host Andrew Chang on CBC’s 6 pm Vancouver news on Friday, July 8, 2016 (starting at 35:08 into the broadcast).
Click here to listen to a live call in-show on CBC’s, “B.C. Almanac” on Friday, July 8, 2016 (starting at 22:45 into the broadcast).
Listen to two radio interviews with Ngaio and Wendy on Vancouver Co-op Radio, 100.5 fm on the Death Matters Live regular program: