The industry's only national chain - Quebec City-based funeral services company Harmonia opens for business in Montreal with a unique competitive offer

Thanks to its business model, Harmonia has enjoyed annual growth of 25% since its inception in 2006

MONTREAL, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The arrival of Harmonia (www.harmonia.ca) in the Montreal market may not herald a revolution, but it certainly marks a major innovation in the packaging and delivery of funeral services built on the company's remarkable success in Quebec City since 2006.

"Discreetly under the radar, the funeral needs, expectations and practices of Quebecers have significantly evolved in the past decades. We took an in-depth look at these changes, and developed a new approach, unique in the Province of Quebec. Our exclusively contemporary approach emphasizes the ceremonial rather than incidental aspects and provides one of the finest and most affordable funeral accompaniment services on the market," says Harmonia CEO Alain Chartier

Rethinking the business model
The traditional funeral service model was based on an age-old formula: embalming, a casket purchase, funeral home wake, religious service and disposition of the remains, all difficult steps Quebecers have had to take over the decades in the event of death.

However, in addition to an increasingly significant shift in funeral rite preferences, the conventional model is costly for both funeral homes and consumers. "The high cost of building and maintaining a funeral home, operating a fleet of vehicles, purchasing and maintaining a casket inventory can easily result in a traditional service price tag of between $8,000 and $15,000. Our model is more focused on cremation, paying last respects to the deceased and ensuring their memory lives on, and this reduces the cost to from $1,500 to $4,000," Chartier says.

Focus on the essential spiritual and material aspects
Rather than embalming and a funeral home wake, the starting point of the Harmonia approach is cremation, a practice that has increased from just 3% in 1970 to fully 75% today.

Following cremation, Harmonia invites family and friends to gather in the presence of the urn in a meaningful site predetermined by the deceased or their heirs. It could be a place of worship or one of the increasingly popular choices of a cultural setting, such as a museum or historical site, or a private property. These options offer a more personal and generally less expensive way to mark the final farewell.

The next step is disposition of the ashes. Harmonia offers a variety of choices in this regard: internment in a cemetery, columbarium or cinerary park, which is the case most of the time. Ashes can also be scattered outdoors on a site chosen for its natural beauty or special significance. Harmonia can work hand-in-hand with clients to organize this type of ceremony.

Today, a frequent request is perpetuating the memory of the deceased. Harmonia offers a full range of avenues to fulfill this wish, including the Harmonia Memorial Web, the personalized guest remembrance bookmark, the Memorial Diamond, the Memorial CD, life story or memorial album.

Finally, Harmonia's one-stop planning centre provides peace of mind through the pre-arrangement of funeral services entered into with a living person who records their last wishes without a financial commitment through a cremation will.

Doing things properly at reasonable cost
"The founding principle of our company is offering services to those who want a different funeral experience, commemorating the memory of the dearly departed with sensitivity and good taste without spending a small fortune, especially given the difficult recent economic times," says Alain Chartier. "We also founded Harmonia to introduce people to other avenues that offer a streamlined, personalized, high-quality and affordable experience."

About us
Founded in Quebec City in 2006, Harmonia (www.harmonia.ca) is the only national chain that offers affordable funeral support and planning services to anyone regardless of beliefs or religious denomination. Harmonia's event-based approach to funeral rites and cremation-focused services sets a new standard in paying last respects and perpetuating the memory of the deceased. Harmonia has approximately 30 employees, with service locations in Quebec City, Montreal, Saint-Georges de Beauce, the South Shore of Quebec, and Saint-Apollinaire.

SOURCE: Harmonia

For further information:

Nadia Said
Zone franche
514-317-5715, extension 205
nsaid@zonefranche.ca

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Harmonia

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