An evening with Lorna Crozier

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.01.29 PMWe are thrilled to welcome Lorna Crozier once again at Wintergreen, and to experience her delightful and witty wisdom. Join us for what promises to be a memorable event on Thursday, May 19. The evening will begin with a gourmet dinner, followed by Lorna’s reading. Tickets available online.

Lorna Crozier has published 17 books of poetry which have garnered Canada’s top awards, including the Governor-General’s Award, two Pat Lowther Awards and the National Magazine Award’s Gold Medal for Poetry. She is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Victoria and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2005 she read at a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II.  In 2011 she was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is a frequent guest on CBC radio and has read her poetry on every continent except Antarctica.  Her poems have been set to music, made into a film and used as themes in paintings and pottery. Her most recent collaboration with photographer Ian McAllister, The Wild in You, is #1 on the BC Bestseller list.

Come celebrate “the wild in you” on May 19 at Wintergreen.

Quick Sketches

The Wintergreen Sauna

With the buds becoming noticeable on the trees there is the usual feeling of expectation, wanting to get on with it, this wet and messy thing called Spring. But there is another part of me that laments the passing of winter; the walks on snow that make the woods so much more accessible, the way the shadows fall vivid blue on white in the late afternoon, the excuse to ignore all the work that is buried under the winter blanket, and the knowledge that the elegant lines of winter trees will soon become the solid shapes of summer foliage. Small things to offer in exchange for longer days washed with warm light and lush growth in the gardens I suppose, but now is the time to make quick sketches of what will change so quickly, so soon.

And look at the exciting workshops that also come with spring at Wintergreen! Really, there is so much to look forward to.



May 6-8: Buddhist Psychology for Turbulent Times

May 15-21: A Passion for Poetry with Lorna Crozier

May 28-29: Sketch Journal with John Wright

June 4-5: BioBlitz 2016

July 9-10, 23: Drum and Stick Making, Drum Awakening

July 16, 24: Drum Making and Drum Circle for Children

Sept 16-18: Wellness Weekend

Oct 29: On Dying


Preparing for a Camino

Preparing for a Camino
Camino Primitivo

Hundreds of thousands of people set out every year, making their way to Santiago de Compostela. Most walk the Camino, but some travel by bicycle or by horse or donkey! Some travel the Camino as a religious pilgrimage, and others hike the route for travel, for the physical challenge of walking a long distance, or for a break from our modern (and technology-driven) lives.

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Stopping for lunch on the Camino Primitivo

The oldest route to Santiago de Compostela, first taken in the 9th century, is referred to as the Original Way or Camino Primitivo, which starts in Oviedo. However, the most popular route is the French Way (Camino Francés). Common starting points are Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port , on the French side of the Pyrenees, and Roncesvalles on the Spanish side.  Another popular route is the Portuguese Way, which starts either at the cathedral in Lisbon or at the cathedral in Porto in the north of Portugal.

In April we will be offering a Camino weekend at Wintergreen, focusing on various aspects of preparing for a Camino. Some of you will know that this is the fourth Camino event offered at Wintergreen — it’s a topic that has had appeal for over a thousand years, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that it continues to have appeal at Wintergreen! The workshop takes place Saturday April 2 through to Sunday April 3.

This weekend is the first of two Camino weekends we will be offering in 2016. The April Camino weekend will highlight preparing for a Camino; the October Camino weekend will focus on what it’s like to return after completing the Camino de Santiago.

Whether you are planning your first Camino or have already made a pilgrimage (or two) and want to re-live the journey, join us and be inspired by The Way.



Workshops coming up in 2016

As we approach the shortest day of the year (can another year have passed already?), we at Wintergreen are turning our thoughts to workshops for 2016. There are some exciting programs coming up!

Some are already posted — Lorna Crozier will be spinning her spells on poets and prose writers in May, we’re planning a BioBlitz for June (free of charge to the public), there will be drum making workshops in July, and there will be two Camino weekends, one in April and another in October. We’ll announce details about all of these events when they get closer.workshops 2016

You can already sign up for Lorna’s workshop, for drum making, and for the BioBlitz.

What’s a BioBlitz, you ask? It’s a 24-hour “race” to locate as many living organisms and species as possible in a designated area — to raise interest and awareness of the land, and to provide a measure of species diversity. Learn more by clicking on the image below.workshops 2016









We look forward to seeing you in 2016, and wish all of our Wintergreen friends a safe and happy holiday.

Welcoming Diane Black

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Diane and Hayden in the Wintergreen kitchen

Many visitors to Wintergreen will already have met Diane Black, our new Operations and Facilities Manager. Diane has been volunteering and working in the kitchen since the spring, and has been gradually taking over the role that Karen Smereka has been in for the past five years. We’re thrilled to be adding Diane to the family of Wintergreen employees, and equally thrilled that Karen isn’t exactly leaving… just concentrating more on her very fine work at the Yoga Connection in Perth. So those of you who have already signed up for next year’s workshops can expect to see Karen and Diane in the kitchen and in the gardens, picking produce to prepare for your dining pleasure.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 10.42.11 AMWhen Diane is not at Wintergreen, she will likely be working away on the straw bale home that she started building this year, or creating beautiful work in her studio in Perth. Diane is an artist, specializing in sculpting with clay and iron. Diane also teaches adults and children through various workshop venues. Perhaps you will see her teaching at Wintergreen one day!

Death and Dying

There are still a couple of spaces for Saturday’s workshop, On Death and Dying. Register online or give us a call at 613 273 8745.

Join us for a day of thoughtful repose as we contemplate the many ways that our physical bodies might leave the Earth. Enjoy meaningful conversations, beautiful surroundings, and fine food as we talk about a topic that affects us all but rarely enters our daily conversations.

We will be guided throughout the day by Dr. Brian Goldman and Julie Vachon. Brian Goldman is an emergency department physician and host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art. Julie Vachon is a Metis woman who lives and shares the sacred teachings. The discussion will be moderated by Lawrence Scanlan, writer and veteran journalist, and a member of Wintergreen’s Board of Directors.


Change in the Canadian Climate

Canadian climateThere is change in the air. With the new cabinet announced this week, Trudeau is sending a strong signal that climate protection is high on his agenda. Quoting an article from the National Post,

“As signals go, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put a big green light on his Liberal government’s promised climate change agenda.

Catherine McKenna, an international lawyer with an eye-popping resume, was named the new minister of “environment and climate change” Wednesday at Rideau Hall as Trudeau installed his new Liberal cabinet.

But the signs of climate policy green shoots go well beyond a high-profile new MP and the semantics of a ministerial name change.

Former Liberal environment minister and party leadership climate advocate Stephane Dion is Canada’s new foreign affairs minister — a powerful post that will give him oversight on ensuring climate policy is integral to Canada’s foreign policy.

Dion was also named chairman of a new cabinet committee on “environment, climate change and energy.”

Read the full article here.

There have been many terrific posts about the new cabinet and the new government. Here’s one of our favourites:Climate Change

Better yet, the Canadian public seems to be holding Trudeau accountable for his 184 election promises. The Trudeau Metre website ( shows us that two of his promises have already been fulfilled, the first of which was to name a cabinet with gender parity. Not bad for the first three days in office!Canadian climate

So now, we keep up the pressure, in the most forward-looking and positive ways possible. Join us for the march on Parliament Hill on November 29, organized by 100% possible. Because. It. Is. 100%. Possible. Now it’s up to us to make it so.

You can learn more about our sister organization, the Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-operative on FB or on the website. Better yet, join us for the AGM on December 3. Details will appear on the Co-op website in the next couple of weeks.

Momma’s Prayer Flags

prayer flagsJoin us in celebrating the publication of Momma‘s Prayer Flags by Wintergreen Studios Press! This collection of poetry was written at Wintergreen during the workshop led by Lorna Crozier earlier this year. It features an extraordinary collection of poems written by the 11 people attending the workshop. The book is available online from (it will be available through in a few weeks). It can also be purchased at Wintergreen – pick one up the next time you visit!

Congratulations to the poets, and a big thanks to Lorna Crozier and Susan Olding for their work in pulling together this fine collection, and to Melanie Craig-Hansford for gracing the cover of the chapbook with her drawing.

Book launch – tomorrow!

first gearCome and celebrate the remarkable memoir by Lorrie Jorgensen at tomorrow’s book launch, Saturday October 10, at 3 pm. This is a free event — everyone welcome! You will have a chance to meet Lorrie, as well as her mentor and teacher, Helen Humphreys. Lorrie will read from First Gear, share stories, and we will all have much to be grateful for on this weekend of Thanksgiving.