Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to be an artist, or be good at making art in order to participate?
Absolutely not. Most people who enjoy our workshops and retreats are not artists, and some haven't made art since grade school.
The creative exercises are about expressing yourself without words, having fun with different materials, discovering how texture, colour and shape can speak for you. The final piece is then explored and we talk about the creative process that you experienced- it isn't something to be judged or compared to with others, and doesn't have to look like anything. We get around the most common block, which is the perception that you need to know how to draw something 'to look just right', by making available user friendly collage, clay, plasticine, finger paint and found objects. There is no wrong way to do these exercises and there is always something valuable to discover. Most people are surprised to find out they are more creative than they previously thought.
No. We've coined what we do as art & therapy; specifically, Expressive Art and Gestalt Therapy. Expressive Art includes visual art like painting,as well as music, writing, dance and drama. Although our primary modality is visual art, the other arts are included to varying degrees whenever appropriate. Gestalt therapy is a psychotherapy whose principles are beautifully conducive to affectively exploring creative endeavors. Our retreats are about personal growth and living more fully and authentically in the world.
Gestalt means whole in German. Gestalt therapy came about in the 1950's
as part of the Human Potential Movement. It is an accessible, practical
psychotherapy that encourages self-acceptance and self-support. At its
core is an interest in how, not why, we choose to limit our awareness.
It demonstrates ways to work towards expanding our observations of the
world and ourselves, and acknowledges the individual as connected and
responsive to the immediate environment.
By exploring the emotions, feelings and perceptions of the present moment, Gestalt therapy heightens awareness to behavior patterns. This is the first step in therapeutic change. Those who practice Gestalt therapy develop an awareness of the excitement and immediacy of being fully present in the moment, which fosters an ability to respond authentically. This leads to being open to more appropriate choices previously unconsidered, rather than continuing with habitual behavior. The result is an evolution towards living a more meaningful and authentic life.
Don't worry, the kayak retreats are geared for beginners. We have qualified
instructors to teach strokes and safety techniques. We also have double
kayaks for those who prefer to kayak with a friend on board.
Sea Kayaking is our favored activity because it is an extraordinary way
to spend meditative time outdoors. It provides the sublime experience
of feeling at one with the water while offering the heady liberation of
self-propulsion with the vessel's quick and elegant responsiveness to
the gentle stoke of your paddle.
Sea Kayaking is an easy activity to learn and doesn't require a high level of physical strength or fitness. So don't be deterred if you've never imagined yourself gliding under the sun in a sea kayak before. Once you have tasted the pure pleasure of this sport you'll be ignited in a way that you'll never forget!
What risk is the West Nile Virus on the Ontario retreats?
This answer comes courtesy of Black Feather May 2003 Newsletter
Good News - the risk of West Nile Virus is extremely slight for wilderness
adventurers. For the last 2 summers Black Feather has organized and led
an expedition for a group of scientists to Nunavut and the NWT where they
are studying Black Flies. Last Saturday, the Toronto Star ran a very interesting
article on the virus, interviewing one of these experts, Doug Currie.
Doug is the Curator of Entomology at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Absolutely! On our registration forms you'll find places designated for these important details. We then let the cooks know so they can work their culinary magic. Please forward your forms quickly in order to give us plenty of time to address your needs. Delicious meals are never a problem to create as alternative diets are in high demand. With severe and prevalent allergy cases, however, when menu options become too limited to be easily accommodated to satisfy a group, you may be asked to bring your own meals to ensure that your specific dietary needs are met.
Exploring themes with art activities and Gestalt therapy principles is
a proven way to inspire and promote awareness and insight. Respectful
small group discussions enable participants to be heard, seen and understood,
while similarities and differences between group members become more clearly
defined. In addition to making art, suitable outdoor activities such as
labyrinth walks, hikes and sea kayaking enhance the collective experience
Beautiful locations host these retreats and workshops, making it a pleasurable,
relaxing time of self-discovery. We arrange comfortable accommodations and
we also gladly collaborate with the retreat center of your choice.
To arrange an appointment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-696-0086.