Settle in and get cozy while you read about what’s in store at Nurture this November 18-20th. If you’d like to join our waitlist for first access to tickets, sign up via the button below.

Tickets open to the waitlist on Thursday, September 22nd.

Tickets open to the public on Thursday, September 29th.

ACCESS CREATIVITY IN YOUR EVERYDAY EVEN WHEN EVERYTHING FEELS OVERWHELMING.

Your life is a mirror. Everything reflects everything.

It reflects where you and the work that matters to you shine, but also highlights your insecurities and shadow spots around issues of worth, integrity, communication, and self care.

What helps this reality is a soft place to land. A community that has your back and champions you while offering solidarity for what it’s like to be a human that creates.

When you fold in the global events of the last few years and the myriad of ways both big and small that they have left their mark, it becomes clear finding a new way to navigate is necessary.

We need to build a new world and we cannot build it alone.

We’ve got a recipe for that, and it involves showing up exactly as you are.

YOU’RE AMONG FRIENDS HERE IF…

  • You’d like to remember to put yourself first more than once in a blue moon – ahead of your work, your partner, your friends, your children, or the latest global crisis, because you know doing so will help you show up better to the communities and causes you care about.
  • You miss your creative self. You might feel restricted, burnt out, resentful or simply numb but those inner whispers refuse to be quiet and you want to finally listen.
  • You want to define what success looks like for you compared to how it’s ‘supposed to’ look. You’re seeking new ways to succeed that don’t come at the expense of your own intuition.
  • You find the ‘old ways’ don’t work anymore and you’re hungry to find methods that feel good to your heart, the people in your life and the planet we’re lucky to call home.
  • You often default to battling feelings of heaviness, overwhelm, isolation and self-doubt or condemnation in your journey of personal growth and discovery. You are tired of those feelings being the first responses to the inevitable struggles in your life and you crave a more tender way.
  • You wonder how to balance daily functioning and being responsible for those in your care (at work or at home) with your calling. You recognize the need for creative agency and meaningful boundaries in your own life.
  • You often struggle to meet your own needs because you’re focused on accomplishing goals, helping others and doing important work in the world. You want to actively know that you are allowed to have needs; to meet those needs; to realize that those needs are okay; and embrace the fact that all of yourself is okay. 

ME TOO.

Hello, dear friend. I’m Sonja. Everything you read up there? I grapple with all of it and it’s only ever gotten easier when I added good company, good food and a good sense of humour. 

I started Nurture out of an inner invitation to work creatively with my darker, needier, or unmet parts. Those parts all seemed to grow stronger once I figured out what I’m meant to do in this world: feed and connect people.

Not unlike many other entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to, Nurture was built on the fertile ground of a bonafide ‘Long Dark Night of the Soul’. I was stuck, sad, and full of patterns of self condemnation that left me with a powerful choice: Ye Familiar Road to Victimhood or, perhaps the scarier option: learn to love myself.

I only knew how to do the things I thought I was ‘supposed’ to do: journal; meditate; pursue all manner of personal and spiritual development. I felt anxious because I thought I needed to be, well, PERFECT at it, which, on my better days, even I could recognize was impossible. Confused and tender, I asked out loud to my living room: what does that actually LOOK like?! What is the ACTION?

A still, small voice inside me whispered: Sonja, do the things you love to do.

Was it really that simple? Yes and no. I started following the inner tugs of my heart, which lead me to activities that lit me up for their own sake. My creativity started pouring out of me. Not only was I experiencing connection and joy, the most powerful byproduct was I suddenly had a foundation of self esteem I’d never had before. This foundation not only provided me with a compass to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of starting a business, it also provided a personalized map to inner clarity and integrity about what I was supposed to do (and not do) in my life. I don’t use the word ‘miracles’ lightly, but they started to occur daily in the form of synchronicities; offers of assistance; generosity of strangers; a community of kindred spirits, and – most importantly – a feeling of inner peace and faithful direction that continues to feed me today.

I can think of no honour greater than creating spaces that feed you, in your own personal journey, in this way. To gather inspiring people to share their wisdom because they, too, have found both answers and solace in their own creative practices and intuitive rituals. This retreat is one of those spaces and I’ve put my whole heart and soul into every detail for you.

WHAT IS NURTURE?

A weekend retreat to nourish the parts (of yourself & what you are bringing to the world) that need tending. A haven for artists, leaders, entrepreneurs, caregivers and professionals desiring to connect with their creative hearts and with one another. A sanctuary of personal, creative restoration and inspiration where you feast on good food, made with love, and are reminded of the sound of your own soul.

WHAT IF YOU FELT YOUR CREATIVE SELF STIRRING AGAIN?

What if you found a space where you can really hear yourself and get some answers, or, more importantly, ask the right questions?

Imagine…You’ve signed up for Nurture, and you’re packing your bag and your heart for:

  • A cozy, restorative weekend getaway to connect with kindred spirits in sisterhood, solidarity and self care.
  • Creative, compassion-filled antidotes to the feelings of heaviness, overwhelm, isolation and self-doubt or condemnation that often accompanies being a leader or entrepreneur.
  • Open, safe & nourishing space to look at things that are asking for the light to be brought to them.
  • Creative workshops that put you in touch with the deep, pleasant sense of your own company with beautiful, tangible handmade take-home items infused with your spirit from each workshop.
  • Connections that offer community, support and perspective, not to mention belly laughs and real witnessing.
  • Memories of shared candlelit meals, fresh air and new friendships that continue to nourish your life (and, by association, your professional and creative endeavours) beyond the retreat.

NURTURE IS FOR YOU IF …

  • You run a business and/or are a leader in your field or community. You might also be a caregiver or working professional in an industry where you are looking after others (hello also to moms!) but want to focus on looking after you.
  • You are feeling creatively stagnant in your work and wish to nurture the seed of a creative idea or project that is brewing within you.
  • You long to hear your own voice again, and be introduced to creative ways to re-calibrate your life so that you are at the top of your own priority list. You want to know what that looks like for YOU.
  • You value aesthetics and the power of beauty, intentionality and creativity.
  • You love good food and eating and enjoying meals with others. You’re excited to experience sumptuous meals that tell a story, make you feel nourished and alive and bring your sensual self to the surface via a harmonious approach to colour, texture, flavour and seasonality.
  • You crave a supportive, purpose-filled and equity-driven community of kindred spirits whose values include: integrity, creativity, honesty, service, warmth, wholeheartedness, imagination, boundaries, respect, and inclusion.
  • You thrive in this community because you actively pursue personal and professional growth and are intentionally showing up in your own journey to embrace the full spectrum of emotion and human experience from a place of love and compassion, just as you desire to provide that space for others.
  • You yearn for some time to contemplate, unwind, connect and restore in a natural setting. You’re into forests, flowers, lakes and fresh air to restore you, invigorate you, and inspire you.

NURTURE IS NOT FOR YOU IF…

  • You are looking for a business retreat. While many of us attending and facilitating Nurture own our own businesses, and our businesses benefit organically from attending, we do not cover business topics and our workshops are not business-centred.
  • You are looking for a crafting or maker retreat. While elements of each workshop centre on learning tangible skills to create and make, the lessons of each workshop are about the inherent metaphors each area of creativity has to offer, and how these metaphors can influence and inspire our lives.
  • You are expecting deluxe accommodations. The bedrooms at our location are beautifully simple and comfortably rustic. The vibe is less ‘luxury getaway spa’ and more ‘cozy cottage’. Slava, the retreat centre’s beautiful housekeeper, makes her own cleaning liquid with cedar boughs from the property, boiled down. The bed linens are washed in this and hung on the line to dry in the fresh air.
  • You are in the middle of a personal or existential crisis where more support is needed. While this Retreat and its activities are therapeutic in nature and a safe space is intentionally created, it is not therapy, nor are any of the facilitators registered or licensed therapists or counsellors. Should any personal issues or associated emotions arise that are beyond the scope of our ability to hold the space for, we are more than happy to direct you to safe, effective and accessible resources.
  • You are not that into food or sharing meals. Mealtimes at Nurture are both magical and metaphorical, and the heartbeat of the retreat

THE VENUE

Set in a rambling, 1930s farmhouse on a cliffside overlooking Lake Simcoe. Accommodations are simple and cozy, with vintage quilts adorning the beds, and clawfoot baths to soak in (there is also access to a shower, if you prefer). A bright, open sunroom space features a long harvest table where we’ll gather for workshops and sumptuous meals, with windows that look out onto the gorgeous lake view from 3 sides. The property features stunning flower and rock gardens, with walking paths and sweet nooks, swings and benches to retreat to. Stairs lead down to the lake, with dock seating, while a forest path leads to a full-size labyrinth nestled amongst the pines.

THE FOOD

At Nurture, the food is a notable highlight – it’s what we are known for. From the ingredients to the styling and presentation, everything is custom-designed to best support and nourish you, the story of our retreat, and the work we are doing together. Nurture menus are primarily vegetarian – inspired by a whole foods, seasonal approach featuring local, organic produce. Intentionality and organic sensuality shine through in all of the dishes. Everyone feels welcome and included, as allergies and food sensitivities are fully accommodated.

Breakfasts and Lunch are build-your-own from a smorgasbord of delightful, nourishing offerings that you can enjoy anywhere you like – the table; a hammock; your room; picnic-style on the lawn. Dinner on Saturday and brunch on Sunday are sumptuous, candlelit communal meals, at the gorgeously-styled harvest table featuring a family-style feast of platters heaped with sensual, seasonal bounty.

 

THE TEAM

FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR – SONJA SEILER (she/her)

Sonja (@nurtureretreats) is very fond of spaces that celebrate community, connection, and butter. Through Nurture, she tells stories and creates community through thoughtful, nourishing food experiences and retreats. Words and music are Sonja’s second love – she sings professionally on the side, and, when writing in any genre, unapologetically pretends she is Jo March in her garret. It is her belief that the spaces we create in and the creations we make there can equally feed our souls, nurture our ideas and nourish our relationships.

CREATIVE PRODUCER – STEPHANIE PELLETT (she/her)

Stephanie (@stephpellett) is a magical being, who will be assisting with all aspects of the retreat to make sure you are comfortable and happy. Aside from intentionally infusing all Nurture systems and retreat logistics with love, Stephanie is a sought-after business coach, educator and community builder who devotes her time, energy and skillset to lifting up the kinds of work she want to see more of in the world. In her spare time she spends a lot of time walking in the forest, reading books, and playing with her puppy Bruno.

RETREAT PHOTOGRAPHER – AMBER ELLIS (she/her)

Amber Ellis of Creating Light Studio (@creatinglight.studio) will be gorgeously capturing the beauty and the essence of our weekend with her camera and her truly aesthetic and poetic eye. Amber is a writer, and a feeler; someone who cries when she sees the trees; a craver of wind whispers on skin. She is equal parts homebody and world adventurer. An awkward dancer, on purpose. An independent spirit. A deeply spiritual soul. A creator of light.

THE WORKSHOPS

Nurture workshops explore creativity as alchemy. We dive into creation (and creative business) as a mirror to our own inner selves: our light and darkness, struggles and triumphs, how we can work with and through this reality. For this retreat, we also are taking into consideration the degree to which the events of the last few years have impacted our creativity and seek to provide a safe and soft place for the full spectrum of feelings to land. 

Each facilitator chosen for Nurture actively navigates the relationship between self care and creativity through the specific lens of their own unique expression of creative talent. In our workshops, we seek to explore how that influences, inspires and informs their lives: as women or non-binary individuals, as business owners and in their own personal and professional development.

While each of the workshops will provide you with the basic skills needed for each offering and a tangible takeaway, you will be immersed in the spirit of the form of creation itself as a way IN to your own Self. Your workshop facilitators will guide you on this journey of working with a variety of materials that have spoken to them, so that you can be inspired, ignite any areas of stagnancy, and learn about your own creativity through the lens of a creative pursuit from a facilitator who lives and breathes it.

 

WORKSHOP 1 – LANDING, WITH A MAP

Facilitated by: Julia Nethersole (she/her), journaling workshop facilitator and ritual artisan for life’s big moments

Found at: @glass.full & glassfull.ca

Working with: journaling, ritual-building, intentional ceremony

Anchored in the belief that when we meet our own needs, we are better equipped to show up for others, Julia and her work with Glass Full brings humans together in the spirit of soul-deep self-care.

Julia finds meaningful and creative ways to build ceremonial spaces (virtually and in real life) for people to feel seen, heard, connected, and cared for, showing others that we pour out most powerfully if we are full. Her mastery is in laying the groundwork for soulfully navigating liminal spaces and rite of passage moments, inviting bravery, beauty and mindfulness.

We’ve all been through a lot these past few years, much of it unacknowledged or set aside for competing priorities. Together, we’ll explore what needs opening or closing, action or surrender, and, through writing, reflection, meditation and custom ritual, we will build personal maps to help us navigate where we’re headed next.

WORKSHOP 2 – TURNING, TOWARDS YOURSELF

Facilitated by: Talia Silva (she/her), ceramist

Found at: @taliainko & taliasilva.com

Working with: clay and paint

Talia spends her days with her hands deep in clay, creating objects in porcelain and stoneware to encourage wonder, contemplation and meaningful connection between object and person. Tactile and whimsical, the objects playfully inquire about one’s place in the natural world and reflect on the temporal and cyclical nature of being.

No stranger to the life-death-rebirth cycle at her pottery wheel, she interacts with what is brittle, pliant, flexible and fired up – in her studio and in her life. There is beauty in the breakdown of her creative process, as remnants or projects that didn’t quite spin or fire properly are broken down and reintegrated to form the foundation for new creations.

Together, we will be exploring the metaphors inherent in working with clay during all its stages.

WORKSHOP 3 – REIMAGINING, AS WE GATHER

Facilitated by: Romina Kwong (she/her), Founder, Lead Consultant and Speaker of Eco-Friendly Events, a consulting agency that supports event organizers and businesses by bringing a holistic, accessible and realistic approach to implementing green initiatives.

Found at: @ecofriendly.events & ecofriendlyevents.ca

Working with: (eco)systems for hosting in support of a happier, healthier lifestyle and planet

As we re-learn how to meaningfully gather after years spent apart, it’s become clear that we must also consider the impact that our gatherings have on both our nervous and ecological systems.

Crucially, Romina’s focus is on increasing connection – not only out of respect for the finite nature of our typical ‘throwaway’ resources (and adopting creative alternatives) but with one another.

Together, we will learn creative methods in which our social gatherings can be structured to support heartfelt community while also supporting social and environmental justice. We’ll look at ways of minimizing hosting anxiety and environmental impact simultaneously. Structured in a very hands-on way, we’ll be actively infusing these practical philosophies into our daily rituals while at the retreat, with a specific focus on our fancy Harvest Table Dinner on the Saturday evening.

WORKSHOP 4 – NURTURING, WHAT’S IN STORE

Facilitated by: Sonja Seiler (she/her), Founder of Nurture

Found at: @nurtureretreats & nurtureretreats.com 

Working with: yeasted dough, reimagined pantry ingredients & creative ‘best’overs

Aside from her calling of ‘feeding people who create’, Sonja is equally passionate about finding ways to reimagine what’s in the fridge and pantry as a creative act and setting up kitchen spaces so they intentionally support the rhythms of daily life.

At a time where grocery prices are dear and daily menu planning bandwidth is low, Sonja’s approach to meal prep not only significantly minimizes food waste, it increases agency in the kitchen and prioritizes connection. Together, we’ll learn ways to feed yourself, your creativity at large and anyone else you’re nourishing.

YOUR RETREAT DETAILS

DATE: November 18 – 20th, 2022 (Arrive: 2 PM on Friday, Depart: 3 PM on Sunday)

LOCATION: Loretto Maryholme Retreat Centre, 379A Bouchier St., Roches Point, ON, Canada

ACCOMMODATIONS:

  • Nurture Cozy: simple private bedroom, shared bathroom (1 spot available)
  • Nurture Together: large shared bedroom, private bathroom with clawfoot bath (2 spots available in 1 room)
  • Nurture Lush: large private bedroom, private bathroom with clawfoot bath (SOLD OUT)

Occupancy is first-come, first-served.

WORKSHOPS:

Four 2 hour hands-on workshops and all materials. See above for full workshop descriptions.

FOOD:

All meals, snacks and drinks. Wine served with dinner. Menus are mostly vegetarian & all allergies, sensitivities, and strong dislikes are happily accommodated.

  • Cocktails and Grazing Dinner (Friday evening)
  • Buffet-Style Breakfast & Lunch, Harvest Table Family-Style Feast (Saturday)
  • Harvest Table Brunch (Sunday)
  • Coffee, tea, and snack stations set up for grazing when needed.

YOUR SURROUNDINGS:

  • rest, relaxation and time for solitude and contemplation in a beautiful, natural setting
  • a full-sized labyrinth in a pine grove
  • gardens
  • lake access
  • walking paths

NURTURE SELF CARE KIT:

A collection of curated gifts to nourish your body and soul throughout the retreat and to remind you of the retreat when you return home. All items are sponsored by local women-run Canadian companies.

BELONGING:

Membership in a growing, collaborative community of like-minded creatives with opportunities to cross-pollinate in other creative ventures, projects and mutually beneficial personal and professional relationships.

PERKS:

Nurture Alumni pricing on other Nurture events and offerings.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED & CANCELLATION POLICY

TRANSPORTATION:

Transportation to and from the retreat is NOT included. When your application is accepted, you’ll be added to a private Nurture Group where you can connect with other attendees to arrange rides, etc.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

The Retreat Founder reserves the right to cancel the retreat at any time, for any reason. In the event of a cancellation, your ticket amount will be returned to you, minus a nominal administration fee, or you can choose to apply your ticket amount to a future scheduled retreat at no cost to you.

In the event that you are unable to attend the retreat, for whatever reason, as much advance notice as possible is appreciated. With more than 30 days notice, your ticket amount will be refunded to you in full, minus a nominal administration fee. With less than 30 days notice, there is no refund. Should there be someone from the waiting list available to take your place, your ticket amount will be refunded to you in full, minus a nominal administration fee.

DEAR FRIEND, I THINK YOU READ THIS FAR FOR A REASON …

If you’re ready to commit to yourself and your creativity

If you’re tired of feeling guilty for taking the time for yourself

If you need to disconnect, recharge, and reinvigorate yourself

If you need a creative community of support

THERE’S ROOM FOR YOU AT NURTURE.

Choose your accommodation preference below to check out and we’ll send you a sweet package to your inbox with all the details and next steps. We can’t wait to share this weekend with you!

NURTURE COZY

  • Simple private bedroom
  • Shared bathroom
  • All meals, snacks & drinks
  • Artisanal workshops
  • Nurture Self-Care Kit

$1200

NURTURE TOGETHER

  • Shared upgraded bedroom
  • Private bathroom
  • All meals, snacks & drinks
  • Artisanal workshops
  • Nurture Self-Care Kit

$2400

(per room, includes 2 spots)

NURTURE LUSH

  • Private upgraded bedroom
  • Private bathroom with clawfoot tub
  • All meals, snacks & drinks
  • Artisanal workshops
  • Nurture Self-Care Kit

$1450

At checkout, you will be charged 50% up front. The remaining 50% will be charged to your card six weeks later. Occupancy is first-come, first-served.

TESTIMONIALS

I have told everyone who will listen how much Nurture helped me. It was three days, but I came back feeling like I’d been gone a week. I learned so much about myself and what I need to do to keep myself sane. It really did so much for me. Also, I was able to connect with some really beautiful women, and there are a few I still chat with, which has been incredible. Nurture really is an investment in yourself. There’s no way around it. I drove into the driveway feeling heavy and overwhelmed and alone and left feeling light, in control and supported. I think most women I know would benefit from attending, and I have been quite vocal in telling them that.

 

Nikki Carradine, Sydenham Ridge Estate Venue Coordinator

Nurture was a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere with creative time to re-set and nurture ourselves.

Lisa Sanguedolce, Le Dolci

A unique weekend at the most perfect location. An inspiring mix of top-notch activities and thought-provoking conversation. Incredible meals and comfortable accommodation. I would recommend this retreat to anyone looking to recharge their creative spirit.

Samantha Clark, Graphic Designer

I’ve described Nurture to several friends and each time the feeling of being taken care of, through the food, the other women, and the space comes through. I described it as a womb-like space. It is a container for you to be. To be held, contained, carried, loved. However you are in that moment, with whatever you need in that moment, you are welcome. From the moment you walk in, you feel embraced. The food is so special and nourishing and creative. The meals shared over the harvest table rather than hastily prepared and eaten while scrolling through your phone. The time and space to tune in to your needs, to wherever you are in that moment, and to meet those needs through reading, walking, napping, laughing, journaling.

It is for women who sometimes struggle to meet their needs because they’re focused on accomplishing goals, helping others, doing important work in the world. They sometimes forget that they are allowed to have needs, to meet their needs, to realize that their needs are okay, that all of themselves are okay. For women who have done some personal growth work and are on that inner journey, looking to more deeply connect with themselves and with others in deep and meaningful ways. It’s remarkable that this feeling of safety, of a net, a womb, is established so quickly, and I think that’s because of you and the depth of your inner work.

Nurture came at a perfect time. I’ve been going through a lot personally, and haven’t been making enough space to really process it all, trying to keep it all together so I can get through my weeks. This seeps into my professional life, where I’ve been feeling tapped out and uninspired. As soon as I arrived, I knew this was a space where I could unfold, unravel, and be with whatever came up because it would be contained, by the space, and by the women who were there. So, I let myself heave cry in the labyrinth and journaled a lot and took fresh air and walks and got deep hugs and knowing ears. And while it’s still too soon to say, I do feel like I moved through something that I needed to move through. Now, I’m riding high because my urban retreat is getting a good response, and while you know I am a skeptic, there may be something about my energy now, having made some space for myself, that is drawing people in, more than it otherwise would have when I was feeling emotionally blocked.

Or Har-Gil, Art Therapist

Sonja is a visionary. A nurturer. A beautiful, bountiful, blissful soul. I met her online {as we do these days} and followed her {soul’s} path on IG. I was pulled. Drawn to her. Instantly. Her words. Her purpose. I knew I had to attend the Nurture: A Retreat this past May. The weekend was MAGNIFICENT. Really, that word does not do it justice. The experience was unsayable. From the nourishing food Sonja lovingly prepared by hand. To the artistry and creative expression {and expansion} explored through the hand lettering and floral crown workshops {foraging our own flowers!}. The group of women – connected. Deeply. And in a matter of 48-hours became life-long friends. There is power in what Sonja is doing. There is power in bringing together sisters. There is power in creating a safe space for women to unfold, to undo, to let go. You find a new part of your soul on these retreats. So grateful to know Sonja and have had this experience. Forever engraved on my heart.

 

Mary Lynn Futers, Holistic Nutritionist

It was a soulful refreshing experience. My favourite part was connecting quietly with myself and remembering the creative things I love to do. That don’t feel like “work” , the just being of it. Enjoying the magic.

Connecting with other women was profound, I got a lot out of hearing their stories and connecting with them on a deep level in a fast amount of time. I felt immensely grateful for being there with everyone. The intention and space provided was the most powerful part. The food, my god it was good. I felt the love of the space and the group, it was a very supportive grounded space to recalibrate in.

After leaving my phone as untouched as possible for 2 days my mind felt more free and I did feel more relaxed coming home. Nurture retreat is a beautifully curated gathering of women to take the time and the space for yourself to breathe, connect, ground and simply be. The sessions that are guided by the facilitators are varied, thoughtful and enchanting to all the senses. It’s a rustic, peaceful and safe space to explore deeper aspects of yourself while nourishing your mind, body and spirit.

Brittney Mishio, Dombri Design

THERE’S ROOM FOR YOU AT NURTURE.

Choose your accommodation preference below to check out and we’ll send you a sweet package to your inbox with all the details and next steps. Can’t wait to share this weekend with you!

NURTURE COZY

  • Simple private bedroom
  • Shared bathroom
  • All meals, snacks & drinks
  • Artisanal workshops
  • Nurture Self-Care Kit

$1200

NURTURE TOGETHER

  • Shared upgraded bedroom
  • Private bathroom
  • All meals, snacks & drinks
  • Artisanal workshops
  • Nurture Self-Care Kit

$2400

(for two spots)

NURTURE LUSH

  • Private upgraded bedroom
  • Private bathroom with clawfoot tub
  • All meals, snacks & drinks
  • Artisanal workshops
  • Nurture Self-Care Kit

$1450

Photos on this page by our incredible Nurture guest photographers:

Nautica Simone | Katie Harrison | Jodianne Beckford | Lauren Kolyn | Sara Monika | Liat Aharoni | Evonne Bellefleur | Alyssa Wodabek