Dong-Won Kim Joins Jesse Stewart on November 12

This exciting news just in! Jesse Stewart’s dinner concert just got even better. In addition to hearing Jesse play, he will be joined by fellow musician Dong-Won Kim. They’re both amazing—two musicians in one evening promises to be a November highlight.

DSC_0879Jesse’s music has been documented on over twenty recordings including Stretch Orchestra’s self-titled debut album, which was honoured with the 2012 “Instrumental Album of the Year” Juno award. OttawaJazzScene describes him as “one of the most innovative musicians in Canada” (2015). He has performed and recorded with musical luminaries including Jacques Israelievitch (former concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony), William Parker (acclaimed New York City jazz bassist), Pauline Oliveros (called the “godmother of American experimentalist music” by New Yorker magazine), and many others.  In 2010, he gave an invited performance for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 2014, he was named to the Order of Ottawa, one of the city’s highest civic honours.

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-1-49-31-pmDong-Won Kim is a Korean percussionist, pedagogue, vocalist, composer, and improviser. Since 1984, he has studied various forms of traditional music, ranging from farmers’ drumming and dance, shaman music, and Pansori accompaniment, as well as music theory from the great Korean music masters. Recognized internationally as a master of his form, he has performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall as a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble Project. While Dong-Won plays a range of percussive instruments, his primary instrument is the jang-go: an hourglass-shaped drum with two leather heads that are struck with mallets. One side of the drum has a higher pitch than the other. The instrument is used in samul nori traditional folk music, which was popularized by Korean farmers. Samul nori music typically features four different percussion instruments, each of which represents a force in nature. The jang-go symbolizes water or rain.

Register here for the evening with Jesse Stewart and Dong-Won Kim.

Whistler Independent Book Award Winner!

whistlerWe’ve been holding our collective breath ever since Gail Sidonie Sobat’s poetry book, How the Light is Spent, was named as a semi-finalist for this national book award. Gail’s book is published by Wintergreen Studios Press. Well, at the 15th annual Whistler Writers Festival, held 13-16 October, Gail’s book was declared the winner in the poetry category! This year’s festival hosted the inaugural Whistler Independent Book Awards, established to recognize excellence in Canadian independent publishing. The winners of the awards in four categories – fiction, non-fiction, crime fiction and poetry – were announced at the Festival’s Literary Cabaret event. “This was a truly national event, with the 12 finalists coming from all across Canada,” explained Lynn Duncan, director of Vivalogue Publishing, who organized the awards in conjunction with the Whistler Writing Society.

WhistlerWinner of the fiction category was Byrna Barclay (Saskatchewan) for her novel, House of the White Elephant. Miji Campbell from Alberta won the non-fiction category for her book, Separation Anxiety: A Coming of Middle Age Story. Ontario resident Gerry Fostaty’s novel, Stage Business, was the winner of the crime-fiction category. How the Light Is Spent, by Gail Sidonie Sobat, from Alberta, was named the winner of the poetry category.

The longlist for the awards was determined by Vivalogue Publishing, with the shortlist of three finalists in each category selected by members of Canadian Authors Vancouver. Award-winning author and former City of Vancouver Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau jointly selected How the Light Is Spent with author Mary McDonald of the Whistler Writing Society. They described Gail Sidonie Sobat’s work as poems which “illuminate unadorned lives” and that have “breadth and detail and the hope in the small things of everyday life.” Winners received a cash prize of $500 each and the opportunity to present their work to the Canadian publishers and agents who attended the Festival. Winning authors also read and participated in key events at the Festival.

Congratulations to Gail from us all!

Returning from a Camino

Saturday, October 22 (11:00 am) – Sunday, October 23 (3:00 pm)

Whether you’ve just returned from a Camino, or walked The Way years ago – or if you’re simply curious about what this is all about – join us for a weekend of stories and music and food, and be inspired by this ancient pilgrimage.

the wayIn the spring session, we offered series of practical sessions focusing on the “outer” journey … where to fly, what to pack… and there was talk, too, about the “inner” journey … meditative and spiritual aspects of the Camino that many experience.

It is the inner journey that will be the main focus of the fall session. What’s it like to return to the “real world” after experiencing the struggles and joys of a Camino? As with all of our Camino offerings, the weekend will be filled with Camino stories and recollections, and delicious Spanish-inspired food at every meal.

Learn more about the event here.

Beans, beans, beans!

beans There is no doubt that the drought has caused much wringing of hands and worry for us at Wintergreen. But, as usual, whatever the weather conditions are, something suffers and something thrives. This year it is the beans that are thriving. Just finished Frenching and blanching another batch, ready to serve at a Wintergreen event in the fall or winter.

beansWe’ll be sending out a newsletter soon with upcoming events and workshops. Meanwhile, mark your calendar for our Annual Fall Open House, in combination with the Natural Building Tour, which will take place on Sunday, October 2. This year’s event is supported in part by the Community Foundation of Ottawa. We’re delighted to have their support. We might even serve some of those garden beans!

Wintergreen Studios Press book – Finalist!

A few weeks ago, we announced, with great excitement, that Gail Sidonie Sobat’s book of poetry, How the Light is Spent, was selected as a semi-final entry for the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Well, it just keeps getting better! Gail’s heart-gripping meditation on love and loss, tempo and time, has now been chosen as one of three final entries. A great honour for Gail, and a thrill for our Press.

Wintergreen Studios PressYou can read more about Gail and her other writing on her websiteHow the Light is Spent is available from

Congratulations, Gail!

Whistler Nominee: How the Light is Spent

WhistlerWe’re thrilled to announce that Gail Sidonie Sobat’s book of poetry, How the Light is Spent, has been long-listed for the Whistler Independent Book Awards for 2016. How the Light is Spent is published by Wintergreen Studios Press.

How the Light is Spent is a meditation on love and loss, on time and tempo. From the Drumheller Badlands to Istanbul, Turkey and back to Canada, Gail Sidonie Sobat scores the light and the shadow of human relationships, composing an etude of how best to mark our allotted time. The first section, “Badlands,” constructs a narrative of a young couple in love who are eventually divided by war and tragedy, their story so poignant it never quite leaves the remaining pages. The middle collection of poems, entitled “Sailing to Byzantium,” sweeps readers across the ocean and drops them squarely into the heat and noise of an Istanbul market. A piercing impression of longing permeates this section, troubling the finality of the first narrative, as if the lover’s grief is embodied, restless. The third section, “How the Light is Spent,” replaces the exotic locale of the mid-section with more familiar scenes, at least for Canadian readers. The collection ends with a final cadence of poems revealing an almost familiar soul who attempts to “cheat autumn,” all the while dancing onwards with time. Gail Sidonie Sobat’s work has been variously described as “beautiful…and concise…at times sexy, and always quite human.”

Nominees for the Whistler Independent Book Awards have been selected because of the quality and publishing professionalism of their books in the fiction, non-fiction, crime fiction and poetry categories.

To recognize and support those writers whose books were also of high quality, the longlisting committee has decided to announce a WIBA “Honourable Mention” selection of Canadian self-published authors.

Longlisted nominees  for the Whistler Independent Book Awards are currently being judged by the Vancouver Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. Finalists will be announced on July 18, with the winners being announced at the Whistler Writers Festival, October 13–16.

Please join us in congratulating Gail – and click here to order a copy of her book from Amazon. It is an amazing collection, well worthy of the honour.

BioBlitz … Saturday June 4 and Sunday June 5

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.48.36 PMThe BioBlitz is this weekend! Come one, come all, rain or shine, to help us identify as many living organisms as possible in a 24-hour period. Experts and amateurs are all welcome to take part in this family-friendly free event.

Join us for a few hours, or stay for the whole event. In addition to the species ID and count, there will be workshops featuring wildflower identification, birds of prey, and reptiles and amphibians. Learn about our 20 x 20 metre biodiversity plot. Explore the trails. Feast on the food from the canteen. Enjoy a night of camping under the stars.

Read about all of the details here. And here’s a schedule of the events that will take place!

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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.