The public viewing of the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II at the Performing Arts Centre was a total bust - ten people showed up

By Pepper Parr

September 19th, 2022



Not what I expected.

I really thought every one of the 730 seats in the Performing Arts Centre would be filled and that after the viewing of the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II, they would all flood into the large Family Room and mingle and chit chat.

The camera man from Cogeco thought the same thing.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward was the first to arrive and for a good fifteen minutes she was by herself tending to her email.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward was the first person to arrive at the Performing Arts Centre to watch the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II – she was one of ten people to do so. She is sitting – upper right corner.

By the time the funeral started there was a total of ten people in the audience.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte was the only other member of Council.

Meed Ward, who is an American by birth, is believed to have come to Canada at about the age of ten.

The funeral was quite something. It reminded all those who watched what a Christian nation the Monarchy sees itself as.

The quality of the image was as good as it gets – there was one glitch when the signal was lost – lasted a couple of seconds.

The service itself was quite formal.

For the first time since Henry the VIII there was a Roam Catholic taking part in the numerous prayers that were recited.  The Archbishop of Canterbury pointed out that Westminster Abbey is where Elizabeth was baptized, Confirmed, Married, Crowned, attended her husband’s funeral, spoke to the Nation about overcoming the Covid 19 lockdown – and today she was celebrated as the Monarch who was no longer with us.

The almost last event of the funeral was the singing of God Save the King.  In my time, when we went to the movies the practice was for the audience to stand up when the Anthem was sung.

Not a single person stood to sing that Anthem this morning.  I did, my Oath to the Crown at the age of 17 when I was made a part of the Royal Canadian Navy required me to do so and I did so proudly.

The last item was a Lament played by the Queen’s Piper who stood in a gallery high up in Westminster Abbey.

The pall bearers then lifted the casket, slowed marched it to the gun carriage where it was transported to the next event.

What does the total failure on the part of the citizens of Burlington to show up mean?

There were two rows reserved for the dignitaries.  Someone thought they were going to show up.

Is this a sign of what the municipal election turn out is going to be?

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12 comments to The public viewing of the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II at the Performing Arts Centre was a total bust – ten people showed up

  • Shsron

    I was up at 4am., got everything ready I needed too for work, so I could watch to the last second.
    Unfortunately not all of us had the day off!! I don’t work for the City!

  • Helen Donohoe

    Thank you David Barker for pointing out Omar’s Sachedina’s mispronunciation of Edinburgh. It could be worse though. There are some who say Edinburg.

  • Joe Gaetan

    Watched it for most of the day in the comfort of my home. Too bad only 10 showed up at BPAC. What that means is a loaded question, and out of respect to Her Majesty, best left alone.

  • Bev Jacobs

    I preferred to watch the service in my home. Out of bed at 4 a.m. to make sure I had my English Breakfast tea ready and could watch in the privacy of my own home. A wonderful idea from our Mayor to open the PAC. But I think many wanted to stay home while others had to goto work. Mr Ford didn’t declare a holiday.

  • Carol Gottlob

    I, like so many others, had to get up and go to work, duh!

  • Stephen White

    We shouldn’t read too much into this lack of attendance.

    I was up at 4:00 a.m. this morning to watch it on television. I daresay many others did too preferring to view it from their own homes. Some people feel the need to share their grief and respect in the company of others, and some prefer to do it privately. Different strokes for different folks.

  • Mr Bean

    With operating costs exceeding $500,000 annually, who can tell us how much this ‘event’ at at our performing arts centre cost us Burlington taxpayers?

    Editors note: Next to nothing. The ushers are all volunteers.

    Two staff people in the equipment room. It would have been the bargain of the year had the public appeared.

  • Wendy

    Did Councillor Nisan show up ?? for the photo op ?

  • David Barker

    The very low turn out today, I think, is totally unrelated to any other event, whether municipal election or anything else.

    In 1953 at the coronation, not many people had TVs. So the gathered in groups around shares TV sets. For Princess Diana’s funeral people stayed home and watched with the families. Why I don’t know the organizers would have a thought that Burlington residents would turn out in the middle of the night to a location not as convenient as their living room. Not only can the watch it live from there living rooms but also record it and watch at a more social hour.

    As to people not standing for the UK’s national anthem, we’ll that’s is not too surprising. It is no longer Canada’s national anthem I am sure if it still was, people would have stood. Generally people here only stand in observance of anthems of other countries when they are played in combination with the Canadian national anthem.

    I mostly watched the past ten days via the BBC. I did from time to time watch on CTV. Can someone please coach Omar Sachedina as to how to pronounce “Edinburgh”. He continually pronounces it Edinbro not Edinbrer. Lisa Laflamme would never make that sort of mistake.

    Editor’s note: We are a Constitutional Monarchy – Charles III is our King.

  • Pamela Cowan

    More of the same City Hall incompetence re lack of communication.
    If?! this missed opportunity had been professionally broadcasted then Burlingtonians would have been in attendance- especially our British Seniors who loved the Queen so dearly. It’s not only a much missed opportunity but hugely embarrassig as well. How can you drop the ball so badly on a once in a lifetime occurrence such as this.

    • Pamela while we believe you are right in terms of incompetence re. lack of communication, a complaint we are repeatedly hearing from Burlington residents, we believe there are many like us who wanted to say our final goodbye’s in private. We both found it far too emotional to view in a public place when we were unable to be there in person. Our civic leader, the Mayor, and others present not standing in respect for the reigning monarch when God Save the Queen/King was played is the last straw for us.

      MMW knew not to stay seated at the Naval Memorial when God Save our Gracious Queen was played in her presence at the numerous November 11th Remembrance Services she has been at. Staying seated is hopefully the last time she will show disrespect for our reigning or past Head of State. Others include: no mention of the Queen’s 70th Jubilee in Proclamations; no mention of our Head of State passing until it became a union issue in terms of the Federal Holiday; no comment on the Queen’s picture returning to the Council Chambers after a very lengthy absence and no intention apparently to take an oath of allegiance to KIng Charles III before October 24th the day the people of Burlington get to say their piece about their confidence in her leadership abilities.

      If we were not so close to an election, there would, we believe, have been an outcry at MMW’s behaviours indicative of no respect for a wonderful example to us all. Her Majesty is a woman who is not only our Head of State but an amazing example of the characteristics of a leader and a much beloved member of society as the comments from some of the 750,000 plus, including Beckham , who lined up for up to 20 hrs for a one minute view of her coffin shows.

      • Pamela Cowan

        I am so happy for all that I am not in politics as the current regime needs to be culled as badly as the coyotes. The coyotes however are more clever. This is all just too beyond embarrassing for the unworldly people that just don’t get it.