• Dorm bed (upper) - Participant – CAD $1,400.00
  • Dorm bed (lower) - Participant – CAD $1,400.00
  • Basic Room - Shared - Participant – CAD $1,468.00
  • Basic Room - Private - Participant – CAD $1,664.00
  • Forestview - Shared - Participant – CAD $1,551.00
  • Forestview - Private - Participant – CAD $1,814.00
  • Oceanview Room - Private - Participant – CAD $2,080.00
  • Oceanview Suite - Private - Participant – CAD $2,200.00
  • Staying off-premise - Participant – CAD $1,260.00

Date & Time Details:
Nov 24th - dinner at 6pm, first session follows at 7:30pm
Nov 27th - finish with lunch with lunch on the last day and an afternoon session from 1-5pm

Location: In Person at The Haven

240 Davis RdGabriola Island, BC V0R 1X1Canada

Haven Registrars, register@haven.ca
1 800 222 9211 x1

Email us about program

ONSITE: Here I stand! A Creative Dive into Finding and Crafting Purpose (Winter session)

With Damian John and Sue Muirhead

November 24 - 28, 2022

This four-part series honours the themes of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. These programs can be taken as standalone experiences or together as a year-long exploration through the seasons. Scroll down to explore the themes of each season!

Winter – Loss, Grief, Anxiety, Death, Cold, Darkness, Quiet, Slowing Down, Endings

After the bounty of the fall, a summer full of growth and sun, we move into the quiet of winter. Squirrel and bear, ant and oak, all of nature shifts as the earth wobbles eternally around the source of all life, the Sun. My ancestors, your ancestors, those who came before us all shared intimately in this rhythm. Spring, summer, and fall all culminating, with luck and hard work, in a slowing down, a time for reflection. A time to gather ourselves anew.
Winter also brings with her the quality of ending. Trees shed their leaves, animals seek shelter and the dreaming, and the cool, darkness settles in. The change accompanying winter is significant and felt by many. We have chosen to use this beautiful slowing as a time to reflect on change and the grief that is often its companion.

This reflection is meant to be timely, for those of us feeling grief and pain, for those of us reeling from some inevitable and powerful change. As an indigenous artist who uses the creative to process powerful emotion, I see you. Together we are going to use nature, connection, writings, movement, and music to help stir, move and voice this. We are going to co-create together a kind artistic ritual honouring change, our feelings, our time on this planet, and our deep connection to everything.

For a moment in time we will become creative rebels together, forging new and never before seen ideas into something of substance and meaning, giving it a space to live and breathe so that we know we don’t have to carry it alone. I believe this is the true beauty of shared creativity, knowing that we’re all in this together, that we all have a story worth telling, and that we are all worth being listened to.

It will be our humble attempt to make beauty and share it with one another, with our broader community and family… rippling out to the world in ways both quiet and loud.  We will be aided by the natural rhythms of the seasons, engaging in this ceremonial dance together.



The workshop will be largely experiential: a collective of individuals all using their creative energies to shake themselves up, awaken our ancestral wisdoms through artistic expression, and perhaps shape some collective healing along the way.

This is one of four workshops that can be taken as a series or standalone.  Each weekend will be infused with curated readings, poetry, music, and visual art.  Prior to coming to the workshops we will be doing things for ourselves that set the stage for where we wish our minds and creative selves to land.

We will be following themes that are infused by the seasons themselves and the art we create will be in relationship to both the seasons and some of the emotional qualities/ideas these times of year bring.

You do not have to be an artist.  You just have to want to engage in the world in a way that enlivens you through art, movement, and connection.


This program is for people who want to:

  • Use nature, movement and creativity to stimulate art that helps you find your voice
  • Rebel by finding your ground and stimulating your critical thinking
  • Generate creative moments that move your energy in an artistic fashion
  • Connect with yourself, your community and the world around  you


What you will need:

Please dress in comfortable clothing that you can move in.  Some sessions and activities will be outdoors so bring appropriate outer wear.

Art supplies will be provided.

Optional and highly recommended pre-program reading and listening:

Martin Prechtel’s grief and praise talk, here on YouTube. One can also buy it but this is the best access:
Martin Prechtel’s book – The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

Francis Weller’s talk on the 5 gates of grief:
Francis Weller’s book – The Wild Edge of Sorrow

Seasonal Themes

Winter – Loss, Grief, Anxiety, Death, Cold, Darkness, Quiet, Slowing Down, Endings

Spring – Growth, Rebirth, Courage, Hard Work, Awakening, Movement, Connection, Freshness, Moisture

Summer – Heat, Rage, Anger, Fruiting, Smoothing Out the Edges, Bringing Things to the Light, Discovery, Siesta, Rest, Beaches, Life, Resourcing, Readying, Building, Sun Worship, Shade Worship, Water Worship, Water and Heat Connection

Fall – Gathering, Fruits of Our Labours, Readying Oneself for the Cold and Dark, Taking Stock, Celebrating and Thanking Those That Keep us Alive and Well, Coming to an End, Holding Sadness and, the Circle of Everything.



We are offering Earlybird tuition pricing of $900 if you register and pay in full up to one month before the program start date.  Shared and private room options are available. Each season’s program will be listed separately once details are available, and participants joining in multiple seasons will receive special pricing on subsequent sessions as part of a series package.

Accessibility and inclusion are important to us.  If you can’t attend due to financial constraints please be in touch as we have some limited support options available.  Contact morag@haven.ca.

You can find our cancellation policy here



A movement/embodiment session will be offered each morning before breakfast.

  • Breakfast 8:00 – 9:00am
  • Morning session 9:15am to noon
  • Lunch noon to 1:00pm
  • Afternoon session 1:00 – 6:00pm
  • Dinner 6:00 – 7:00pm
  • Evening session is open for art, connection, or self-resource.  Damian will be available informally for creation and connection.

Your program finishes with lunch on the last day and an afternoon session from 1-5pm.


Covid 19 Protocols and Mask Mandates:

The Haven is currently following the BC Provincial health guidelines which means that proof of vaccination is no longer required to register for this program.  Masks will no longer be required to be worn inside session rooms, while those who wish to continue wearing masks may do so.

Participants are required to self-monitor for symptoms of illness, and are asked to isolate from others when showing symptoms.

Review our current Communicable Disease Safety Protocols to keep us all healthy on property.


Admission requirements: The student must have the desire and ability to learn.  Must demonstrate a capacity for responsible self care, responsible self organization and sound mental health.  The student must understand and speak English.

This program does not require approval by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.  As such, the registrar did not review this program. What does this mean? Click here to learn more.



Damian John
My name is Damian John, Damia, Denechoh. I am 45 years old this year and lead a life I am currently very happy with. I have been pursuing art as a primary part of my life for the last 6 years and have established myself as an artist exploring what it means to be a modern Indigenous person in this country we call Canada and the world. I have decided to use my art as voice for myself, my ancestors, and my relatives, my family. I am using it to explore the difficul#es, the beauty, and all the ranges in…
Learn more about Damian John
Sue Muirhead
Sue Muirhead, Dip C, MEd, RCC is a lover of deep connection, the wild, windy world, and passionate, soulful creating of all kinds. In her practice as a counsellor she shares with individuals, couples, families and groups.  She has been involved with The Haven since 1993.  She is committed to sinking into the profound and meaningful aspects of our human existence – living fully and facing dying with awareness and curiosity.
Learn more about Sue Muirhead