Young Adult Symposium: Leaning into Life

This is the first of what we hope will be an annual Haven-hosted gathering of folks aged 19 to 35, interested in creating a more connected, passionate, and caring world. This is a space for rejuvenation, inspiration, and practical tool-building.


Key-note speakers, conversations with elders, break-away sessions, and lightning talks on topics that affect all young adults include:

-    Anxiety, Stress and Depression
-    Health, Financial Wellbeing, and Self-care
-    Relationships and Sexuality
-    Affordable housing, Social justice, and Sustainability

See a full list of presenters and workshops below. 



The Haven is a beautiful ocean-side retreat. Soak in the hot tub, walk on the beach, or join the group for nature walks, activities of creative expression, and yoga. Saturday night, dance and get to know everyone at a social, with music by DJ O Show. 


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Friday to Sunday (Full Weekend) - $280
Saturday and Sunday Only - $220
*Meals and shared accommodation included

What you get for your money: 

  • 2 nights accomodation at The Haven's oceanfront property on Gabriola Island 
  • 6 all-you-can-eat buffet meals
  • Diverse learning and engagement opportunities with 12 presenters and expert-led workshops
  • Facilitated social and recreation opportunities: yoga classes, guided hikes, live DJ, and more
  • Access to our pool, gym, hot tub, library, meditation room, pool table, games, and more!
  • Shuttle service to and from the ferry

List of Presenters and Workshop Leaders: 

Developing Future Literacy 

with Mackenzie Dickson
What do you imagine when you think of the future? Whether you feel overwhelmed, excited, numb, or playful thinking about the future, there is a lot to unpack. The ways that we think about the future change the way that we make choices in the present. Join me for an introductory session as we explore what it means to develop futures literacy.     
Mackenzie Dickson - futures literacy - symposiumMackenzie Dickson works as an educator and facilitator supporting young people in making new choices for their future. He is excited to share with you some of the highlights from his Master’s of Science in Futures Studies and from his time working internationally with the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on what it means to develop futures literacy. 

Foundations of Health 

with Dr. Clare Craig
In this presentation we will explore diet, lifestyle, sleep, stress and exercise, and how to incorporate them in a functional way into our lives to stay balanced and healthy.
Clare Craig - Foundations of health - symposiumDr. Clare Craig is a Naturopathic Physician at Island Optimal Health & Performance in Nanaimo.  She is certified in Acupuncture, trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and licensed to prescribe in B.C.  She has additional training in Medical Herbalism, Bowen therapy, Homeopathy, and Mind-Body Medicine, and is a certified Doula.  


Harnessing Anxiety 

with Jennifer Hilton and Laurel Aasen​
In this session you will broaden your understanding and challenge societal beliefs and your own attitude about anxiety. Develop more understanding about your fears, how they generate anxiety and how you can make your anxiety work for you instead of against you. Walk away with an alternative perspective on anxiety and transformative tools to support harnessing anxiety and fostering courageous life choices.
Jennifer Hilton - harnessing anxiety - symposiumJennifer Hilton CEC, DipC, owner of Take The Next Step Coaching. Jennifer co-leads the popular Haven affiliate program Transforming Anxiety and Stress and she wholeheartedly believes she is meant to facilitate learning about anxiety as she knows it so well herself! Jennifer is a relationship-focused, certified coaching practitioner. 
Laurel Aasen - symposium - harnessing anxietyLaurel Aasen, MCP, RCC. Laurel is passionate about heart-centred connection. She received her Masters in Counselling Psychology and now works as a clinical counsellor in Vancouver. Over the past 6 years, she has taken a deep enjoyment in learning and supporting with programs at the Haven , including assisting with the Teens Alive and Transforming Anxiety and Stress.

Indigenous Myth-Busting and Allyship 

with Gina Mowatt and Morgan Mowatt​
This workshop will offer a presentation on the myths and mistruths that have been created about Indigenous peoples in Canada and have shaped Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations up to present day. Participants will be invited to co-create an Indigenous allyship toolkit and collective declaration to help utilize their new teachings in everyday life. This session is committed to addressing the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class and ability.
Gina Mowatt Morgan Mowatt - indigenous myth-busting - symposiumGina Mowatt is a member of the Gitxsan Nation and is the co-founder of the Innovative Young Indigenous Leaders Symposium. She is currently finishing her MA in history on Colonial Education as an attempt of Genocide and an oral history colonial education in the Gitxsan Nation.
Morgan Mowatt is a member of the Gitxsan Nation and is passionate about Indigenous sovereignty, cultural resurgence, and youth empowerment. She is a PhD student in Political Science and Indigenous Nationhood at the University of Victoria.


Just Don't Do It 

with Sean Kearns
“One of the most lethal drugs I have messed with is distraction, and it almost killed me!” Join Sean in a fascinatingly transparent dialogue on being distracted and how he believes it subconsciously cost him his freedom. Warning…… Sean has a unique way with words. Political correctness is not his strong suit.
Sean Kearns - symposium - just don't do itSean Kearns is a filmmaker, producer and entrepreneur who gained public attention during the late '80s and early '90s as a professional Snowboarder and a sponsored Skateboarder. In 2006, Kearns and his company Infamous Entertainment Inc. partnered with Apple and created the first studio that facilitated independent content providers to find their way onto the itunes store. Currently Kearns works with pro athletes and type A entrepreneurs to reinvent themselves before blowing up their careers like he did.


Mock Your Inner Critic 

with Henry Osborne and Louise Amuir
Learn tools to deactivate your negative self talk so you can access more creativity, confidence and joy to act in the world. In this interactive experience, have fun, get more connected and open up to presence and creativity.
Henry Osborne - Symposium - mock your inner criticHenry Osborne has been involved with the Haven for the past 8 years, as a participant and assistant in programs for teens and young adults. Outside of the Haven he works as a swim instructor and lifeguard, attends university for nursing, and loves writing original songs and stories.
Louise Amuir - symposium - mock your inner criticLouise Amuir, Dip Haven Counselling, is interested in creativity and expressive arts as a means to connect with self and others. Her varied life experience in theatre, writing, art, dance, music, parenting and meditation bring humour, mindfulness, curiosity and play to her work with people. Louise assists in Haven core programs and is a long-standing Haven staff member.

Money Matters 

with Mariska Rienerink​
We deal with money everywhere in our lives. We have learned how to make money, how to save money and especially how to spend money. But have you ever thought about what your relationship to money is? Mariska will go beyond dollars and cents into what really matters when it comes to you and your money, how our brain and body influence our money decisions, and how our Money Archetypes show up in our lives. 
Mariska Rienerink - symposium - money mattersMariska is one of a select few Certified Behavioural Money Coaches worldwide, and is also a Certified Financial Planner with 20 years of experience. As a Money Coach, she  helps her clients identify their relationship with money, and uncover subconscious patterns and behaviours to overcome, transform, and truly connect to their passion and values, fully supported by money. 


Slow Dating 

with Mel Cassidy
We live in a culture that still pressures us to prove our value as adults based on our capacity to ascend the escalator of relationships and form life-long committed pair-bonded relationships at the exclusion of all else. In this session you'll find out what your authentic relational style might be, and learn new ways to explore both romantic and platonic relationships. We’ll examine the risks of modern approaches to relationships, and dive into the merits of ‘slow dating’ as a means for creating lasting experiences of intimacy. 
Mel Cassidy - symposium - slow datingMel Cassidy is a sex-positive relationship nerd who guides social misfits and cultural rebels to experiences of joyful, embodied, authenticly open relationships. Mel has two decades of experience teaching and facilitating, with a reputation for innovation, novelty, and both thinking and living outside the box. Mel is queer, and experiences relationships as a solo polyamorous individual.

The Neurobiology of Transformation 

with Eva Johnson and David Raithby​
This session explores the body and brain processes involved in intelligence, thought and beliefs, and the neurobiological basis for transforming ourselves, our relationship, and our world.
Eva Johnson - Symposium - neurobiology transformationEva Johnson is an undergraduate student pursuing studies in neuroscience and psychology at the University of Washington. She has worked at the Haven for several years as an intern at Kids in the Spotlight and at Teens Alive. She hopes to develop her two passions, child/adolescent psychology and neuroscience, into a career in education and research.


David Raithby - symposium - neurobiology transformationDavid Raithby DipC MEd RSW  works to encourage transformational presence in all aspects of personal and working life. He has worked locally and internationally for over 40 years, is a senior faculty member at The Haven and has co-authored the book ‘Living With Passion’ with Sandey McCartney, his life and work partner of 36 years. 

The Sex Ed Class You Didn't Have In Schoolp 

with Solanna Anderson and Jay Wade
What passes for conventional sex education generally centers on fear-based messages and most of us aren’t ever taught how to have pleasurable sex.  “Consent culture” is an important new buzz phrase -- but how do we move from just stopping harm towards actually creating deeply pleasurable consensual experiences? In this hands-on, clothes-on workshop, we’ll explore touch, presence and desire through playful games and experiential exercises. 
Solanna Anderson - Symposium - sex edSolanna Anderson (MA) is a Vancouver-based Sex Educator who works with groups and individuals to co-create delicious consensual experiences.  She is certified in Counseling skills (Haven), Sexological Bodywork and Somatic Sex Education (Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality). 
Jay Wade - symposium - sex edJay Wade is a facilitator who leads transformative programs with youth and adults exploring masculinity, sexuality, gender, sustainable living and nature connection. He is a Youth & Family Worker, Certified Sexual Health Educator, Intern at the Haven, and  involved with the Haven’s Sexual Intelligence facilitation team.



Wild Embodiment: Cultivating Wellness and Resilience through Nature 

with Daniella Roze
Explore and deepen your connection to self, community, and the natural world.  Learn nature-based practices that cultivate mindfulness, foster greater self-awareness, and contribute to overall wellness.  During our time together, we will connect with the wisdom of our body and our own vitality through authentic movement, while exploring play as a pathway to presence and relationships with others.
Daniella Roze - Symposium - Wild EmbodimentDaniella Roze specializes in developing and facilitating nature-based transformative education.  As a teacher and curriculum design specialist at Fresh Air Learning Elementary, and the founder of Thriving Roots Wilderness School, she is committed to guiding others in recognizing their innate wholeness, fostering self-understanding, and aligning their lives with their deepest values. 

Conscious Breathing 

with Linda Nicholls and Ian Fischer Baldwin
Breath has been referred to as the cord that ties the soul to the body.  How you breathe massively impacts the quality of your life. The ancient art of consciously breathing has been lost to the extent that now it is a skill that has to be learned. It's a skill worth developing. And it's fun and free!
Linda Nicholls - Symposium - BreatheLinda is a Haven Elder.  She guides transformational circle work drawing upon adventures in business, athletics, counseling, exploring the natural world, widely varied aspects of relationship, sexuality, non-ordinary states of consciousness and a vast variety of the wildly wonderful ways of being human.
Ian Baldwin - Breathe LeaderIan Fischer Baldwin is a recent graduate of Quest University Canada in Squamish, BC. During his time at Quest he studied psychology, philosophy, and social justice, which culminated in a Capstone that took the form of a proposal for a social and emotional learning program. Ian has been involved with youth programs at The Haven, first as a participant and then an assistant for the last 15 years. 


Click here to view the brochure and here to view the poster! 

Please disregard the statement below about room and meals costing extra - for this program it is included in the price as we wanted to make this offer as accessible and affordable as possible!