Overview

On this page you will find information on how to:

  • register a new cemetery
  • expand an existing cemetery site
  • establish a columbarium
  • operate, establish or alter the size of an existing mausoleum

Cemetery

Cemetery means land that is set apart or used as a place for the burial of dead human bodies or other human remains, or in which dead human bodies or other human remains are buried.

To establish a cemetery the owner must be a religious organization, a religious auxiliary or a municipality.

How to apply

To register a new cemetery or expand an existing cemetery site you will need to complete an application form, provide a sketch plan, provide local regional health authority recommendation, and provide subdivision approval. To get started, follow these instructions to save and open the application and other applicable forms.

Failure to provide complete information will delay processing of your application and may result in a closure of your file.

Step 1. Fill out the application form

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

Application for Provisional Approval of Cemetery (PDF, 507 KB)

Religious groups must be registered with Corporate Registry. Call 780-427-2311.

Step 2. Provide sketch plan

Provide a sketch plan of the proposed site which shows:

  • legal description of the quarter section
  • the general slope of the land
  • all buildings used for human habitation and all domestic water supplies within 150 metres of the site
  • cemetery boundaries must be marked and measurements indicated
  • placement of the cemetery within the quarter section showing the distance between a reference point and the cemetery boundaries

Step 3. Obtain and provide local regional health authority recommendation

Obtain and provide local regional health authority (PDF, 476 KB) recommendation or comments (this can be provided on the enclosed form or a letter of approval will be accepted).

Contact a Public Health Inspector or Environmental Health Officer from Alberta Health Services to arrange inspection of the cemetery site. This can be arranged by contacting your local Public Health Office. Find your local Public Health office by accessing the Alberta Health Services website and searching under “Other Facilities with this Service.”

Step 4. Obtain and provide subdivision approval

Obtain and provide subdivision approval for the land to be used as a cemetery (this approval is called an "Approved Subdivision" application; each subdivision authority has their own format).

Step 5. Submit the application form

Email your application form, sketch plan, local regional health authority recommendation, and subdivision approval to cemeteries@gov.ab.ca.

You may also mail or drop off your application package to the address noted on the application.

When the above information is received and processed, a Provisional Certificate of Approval may be issued. The Provisional Certificate is issued as our approval for the land to be established as a cemetery site. This certificate is issued for a one-year period but does not permit the use of the land for burials.

After you apply

The Provisional Certificate of Approval may be required by the municipality in order for them to approve the zoning and subdivision of the cemetery land. The cemetery owner must obtain a clean and separate title of the actual cemetery site. This title must be free and clear of any liens and/or encumbrances.

Once the owner has obtained title to the site, a copy is to be forwarded to our office for review. If the proposed cemetery is described by a plan number on the title, a copy of the registered plan must also be submitted. If the title is in order, a Final Certificate of Approval may be issued. The Final Certificate of Approval permits burials to take place on the site.

The Director of Cemeteries may impose other requirements and/or conditions on the cemetery registration, which will be identified on the Provisional or Final Certificates of Approval. The Director of Cemeteries has the authority to inspect any proposed cemetery sites.

Columbarium

A columbarium is a structure designed for storing the ashes of dead bodies or other human remains that have been cremated.

Service Alberta is not responsible for approving requests to establish new columbaria.

Columbaria may be established on a cemetery, a church, or as part of a crematory's facilities. Only religious organizations and municipalities can establish columbaria. Municipal approval for the columbarium location is required.

Cemetery owners should advise the Director of Cemeteries of the creation of columbaria within their cemeteries.

Mausoleum

A mausoleum is a structure wholly or partly above the level of the ground and designed for the burial or storage of dead human bodies.

Only a religious auxiliary, religious organization or a municipality may establish a new mausoleum. A mausoleum only needs to register if the structure contains more than 12 compartments. It must be located in a registered cemetery.

An organization wishing to operate, establish or alter the size of an existing mausoleum shall apply to the Director of Cemeteries for approval of the mausoleum and its site. The application shall be in the form set by the Director and accompanied with any information required by the Director.

The owner of a mausoleum shall obtain any permit or approval required by any enactment or municipal bylaw in respect of the construction or operation of a mausoleum. The Director of Cemeteries has the authority to inspect any proposed mausoleum sites.

How to apply

You will need to complete an application form, provide local regional heath authority approval, and provide municipal or regional planning approval. To get started, follow these instructions to save and open the application form.

Failure to provide complete information will delay processing of your application and may result in a refund of your fees and closure of your file.

Step 1. Fill out the application form

Application for Approval of Mausoleum (PDF, 460 KB)

Step 2. Obtain and provide local regional health authority approval

Obtain and provide local regional health authority approval (Regional Health Authorities may use their own forms or provide approval on health authority letterhead).

Step 3. Obtain and provide municipal or regional planning approval

Obtain and provide municipal or regional planning approval (Note: This may include development approval. Municipal or regional planning offices may use their own forms or provide approval by letter).

Step 4. Submit the application form

Email your application form, local regional heath authority approval, and municipal or regional planning approval to cemeteries@gov.ab.ca.

You may also mail or drop off your application package to the address noted on the application.

Other cemetery licences and registrations in Alberta

Your responsibilities

Copies of legislation can be obtained from the Queen’s Printer Bookstore.

Contact

To connect with the Consumer Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4088
Toll free: 1-877-427-4088 (in Alberta)
Email: cemeteries@gov.ab.ca