General News » News

Local hospice to host Butterfly Release virtually this Sunday

July 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Butterflies represent life, and, in many cultures, they are associated with a person’s soul.

In the Christian faith, butterflies are seen as a sign of resurrection, but around the world they can signify endurance, hope, change and transformation.

Hundreds of butterflies are being released back into nature this Sunday, July 19, by community members as they honour and memorialize loved ones who have passed away through Matthew’s House Hospice’s Annual Butterfly Release.

“This year’s a little bit different because we can’t get together to do it,” noted Brenda Pufek, Matthew House’s Community Engagement Coordinator.

“Generally, we would do it in our back garden here [at the hospice] and everyone would come together to hear some lovely poetry readings and live music,” she continued.

“We would then read the names of everyone that is being honoured on that day, but this year – not being able to gather – we are doing a virtual Butterfly Release.”

Those looking to participate in this year’s event still purchase a living butterfly in honour of someone special, but will be releasing them on their own accord, instead of as a group at Matthews House.

“People can release them in the comfort of their own garden or somewhere that’s special to them,” said Pufek.

“They will also receive a link to a video that we have created for the butterfly release, so the ceremony [will] be in the video.”

People who purchase butterflies before Wednesday, July 15, can request that the names of the individuals they are honouring be included in the virtual video that’s coming out July 19.

“The link to that video will be sent to everybody’s email and they can watch it whenever they like. They can watch it when they release their butterfly… or forever after,” Pufek explained.

Eryn Manchanda, Compassionate Care Lead at Matthews House is the host of the virtual video and filming has been underway since early last week.

The in-person experience of traditional live music, poetry readings, and supportive conversations will be dearly missed for this year’s event, but the important component of releasing a butterfly in memory or in honour of a loved one will live on.

Butterfly purchasers will go to Matthews House on July 19 to pick up their beautifully colourful winged creatures and are asked to bring a cooler to keep their butterfly cool before they’re released.

Pick up time is between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the back entrance on Nelson Street.

Drury’s Funeral Centre has been a long-time supporter of the Butterfly Release and is again sponsoring this year’s event.

Butterflies can be purchased online at or by calling Matthews House Hospice at 705-435-7218

“It’s a nice way to stop and think about our loved ones or think about someone that we’re missing,” Pufek smiled.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support