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Cremation Cost in Saskatchewan

Daniela Fortino
Daniela Fortino
September 16th 2022 - 13 minute read
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Cremation cost in Saskatchewan is examined in this post, including each fee you might encounter in a cremation or aquamation package typically offered by service providers.

Cremation costs in Saskatchewan are similar to the rest of Canada, falling between $1,000 to $10,000 on average. However, the prices are dependent on a variety of factors, such as location and included services. This article looks at the cost of cremation services in Saskatchewan and outlines standard and optional fees.

Summary of cremation costs in Saskatchewan

Listed here is an itemized summary of costs you can expect to pay for cremation arrangements in Saskatchewan.

Cremation funeral package fees

Cremation funeral packages in Saskatchewan range from $1,000 to $4,500+ for a basic cremation arrangement. Included in these packages are two types of fees:

1) Required services: These fees are included in all funeral packages. They include documentation, storage/preservation, transportation, body preparation, and professional and staff costs.

2) Optional services: These are fees for services or products that are not required by law but may be chosen by the deceased person and their family. This can include urn purchase, interment, and funeral celebration or ceremonies.

Families are advised to ask funeral providers for an itemized price list to ensure they are paying for desired services.

Detailed cremation cost in Saskatchewan by category

Below is a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with the itemized categories listed above.

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Cremation documentation in Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, all deaths must be registered with eHealth Saskatchewan to legalize the death and order a Death Certificate.

Registering a death involves completing two documents: A Medical Certificate of Death and a Registration of Death form. A burial permit must also be obtained to inter or cremate human remains. These documents are discussed below.

  • A Medical Certificate of Death. This form contains details about the death. It is filled out by a physician, coroner, or prescribed practitioner and must be completed to obtain a burial permit. The certificate is forwarded to the funeral director, who will receive the body.
  • Registration of Death. This must be completed by a funeral director and sent with the Medical Certificate of Death to eHealth Saskatchewan to finish death registration.
  • Burial permit. This is completed by a funeral director on behalf of the family.

A Statement of Death may also be needed. This document is filled out by the funeral director containing personal information about the deceased person, such as name, date of death, age, etc. It serves as a confirmation of the death and can be used to help verify the death for estate matters.

After the death is registered, families can apply for a death certificate. This is needed for settling an estate or applying for benefits. There are three types of death certificates:

  • Frame Certificate. Contains information about the deceased person, including name, date of death, place of death, etc.
  • Certified Copy. This is a photocopy of the original death registration.
  • Genealogical Copy. This contains information from the original death registration, excluding the cause of death and is stamped "FOR GENEALOGY ONLY."

Documentation costs in Saskatchewan

A medical professional or a licensed funeral director must complete all documentation in Saskatchewan, excluding the death certificate. Therefore, documentation fees are usually included in cremation packages. They may be listed as a separate fee or included under professional and staff costs. Documentation fees typically range from $100 to $300+.

In Saskatchewan, the price for a Frame Certificate is $35. A Certified Copy and Genealogical Copy of the death certificate costs $55 each. Learn more.

Transportation of a body in Saskatchewan

After registration has been completed, the deceased person's body must be transported to the facility where the body will be prepared and cremated. In Saskatchewan, transportation is handled by a funeral provider or a transfer service.

Many funeral providers include transportation fees in their price lists. The costs change based on distance and time travelled, but fees are typically $200 and up (and are based on distance).

Body storage and preservation

While arrangements are being made, the deceased person's body must be stored or preserved to slow down physiological changes that begin a few minutes after death. Standard preservation techniques are refrigeration and embalming.

In Saskatchewan, embalming is not required but may be recommended depending on the circumstance of the funeral or if the body will be viewed. Refrigeration can be used instead of embalming.

Body storage (or "sheltering") fees vary based on the length of time the body is kept in the funeral home's facilities and the type of refrigeration used. Storage fees start at a flat rate of $150 (for a defined period of time). Additional storage time may increase overall storage fees. Embalming typically costs between $500 to $800+ in Saskatchewan.

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Body preparation and cremation

In Saskatchewan, flame cremation and aquamation are available to residents. Learn more about the processes below.

Flame cremation vs aquamation

Flame cremation uses extreme heat to cremate a body. The body is placed in a chamber and exposed to high temperatures (760 to 980 Celsius), which incinerates organic matter and leaves behind bone fragments and non-combustible materials. Non-combustible materials are removed and recycled (if possible). The bone fragments are reduced into a coarse grey or brown powder called cremated remains, or "ashes."

Aquamation is a water-based final disposition option that reduces a body to ashes using alkaline hydrolysis. The body is treated with a combination of heat, pressure, water, and alkali (potassium hydroxide) that speeds up the process. The end result is bone fragments and a sterile liquid. The liquid is disposed of as wastewater into the municipal sewer system, and bone fragments are reduced to a fine, white, or tan powder.

Cost of body preparation

Preparation for flame cremation consists mainly of removing items from a body or casket that are dangerous to crematorium staff (e.g., pacemaker) or that the family does not want to be destroyed (e.g., jewelry). Other implants or belongings that do not pose a safety risk (e.g., metal fillings) remain with the body and are destroyed or removed from the ashes after the cremation.

Unlike flame cremation, medical implants do not get destroyed during aquamation, so they do not need to be removed. However, clothing and personal items that are not protein-based (e.g., wool) must be removed.

If desired, body preparation may include services like embalming, makeup, dressing, etc., which are selected if a body will be viewed.

Fees for body preparation are typically between $100 to $700+.

Cremation and aquamation fees

Cremation and aquamation packages typically include a fee for disposition services paid to a crematorium or hydrolysis facility. This ranges from $400 and $900+ on average but may be more or less depending on the services the fee covers. For example, body preparation or cremation container cost may be included in the cremation fee.

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Professional and staff fees

Funeral providers are hired by families to take the lead in funeral planning, providing services and guidance to the deceased's loved ones. Professional and staff fees compensate the funeral home, crematorium, or hydrolysis facility for their time and assistance. This can be a separate fee or cover several of the fees mentioned above. The cost often falls between $200 to over $1,000.

Urn purchase

An urn is a decorative container that holds cremated remains. Urn prices depend on the style, type, material, size, etc., but can cost as little as $10 and as much as $2,000 or more. Most urn purchases are in the $300 to $500 range. (Learn more). See a selection of urns and their prices here.

Urn interment

Urn interment involves placing and housing cremated remains in the ground or a columbarium. A columbarium is an above-ground structure that stores cremated remains in niches. Niches hold the urn and items that memorialize the deceased person.

A single niche in Saskatchewan often costs upwards of $1,000 and can range anywhere from $600 to over $3,000. Conversely, a single burial plot is often cheaper than a niche, typically starting under $1,000 but can cost anywhere from $600 to over $3000.

These prices vary mainly due to location and demand. Generally, interments in cemeteries and columbariums in larger cities are likely to be more expensive than in smaller cities or towns. The location within a cemetery may also affect cost. For example, indoor niches are often more costly than outdoor ones since they are shielded from the elements.

Purchasing a family niche or burial plot can help reduce interment fees. These can fit two or more urns. Because of this, there may be a larger upfront cost, but the price per interred urn will be lower. Another way to reduce or eliminate interment fees is to scatter ashes or keep them within the home. There are few scattering restrictions in Canada (learn more), and some cemeteries may allow for the purchase of scattering rights or plots for a minimal fee.

Grave markers

When interring or scattering at a cemetery or columbarium, families may choose to purchase a grave marker. This can consist of a headstone, engraved plaque, grave monument (e.g., bench), etc.

The cost of a grave marker depends on the size of the plot, how large the marker is, how elaborate the design is, what is engraved, etc. For example, a simple engraved plaque may cost a couple of hundred dollars, while a gravestone may be upwards of $5,000. Grave monuments can be even more expensive.

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Cremation ceremonies and celebrations of life

The cost of a funeral ceremony or celebration can vary dramatically depending on the activity. For example, for a full memorial service, families may need to pay for embalming, viewing, wake, committal service, additional travel, etc. In contrast, an ash-scattering ceremony can be held in someone's backyard or a public place for free or at a minimal cost.  

Formal services typically cost $2,000+, while informal services are often under $1,000. Small or simple funeral events (like a family gathering in a private home) may only have a nominal cost.

Sales tax in Saskatchewan

Expect to pay 11 per cent in sales tax on most products and services discussed in this article. This includes:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) of six per cent
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of five per cent

Cost of a direct cremation arrangement vs full-service cremation funerals in Saskatchewan

Direct cremation is a basic arrangement that eliminates additional funeral services such as a viewing, visitation, wake, etc. Instead, the body is cremated shortly after death, and the ashes are returned to the family promptly (typically in no more than a week). Because of this, direct cremation is often more affordable, ranging from $1,000 to over $4,500 on average in Saskatchewan. In contrast, a traditional cremation funeral with a viewing, visitation, graveside service, etc., may be upwards of $10,000.

Additional cremation cost resources

Questions?

Eirene's experts can answer your questions about cremation costs. Email support@eirene.ca. Our company offers services in Ontario and Nova Scotia. You can see our cremation packages here. An application to start operations in Saskatchewan is pending regulatory approval.

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