February 2019

FIRST EVER: Young Adult Summer Retreat Weeks - at Wakefield Quebec and at Glencolton Farms

RSCT Offers First-Ever Retreats for Young Adults (18-35)

This year, for the first time ever, the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto will be offering retreats for young adults, between the ages of 18 and 35. Two different retreats will be offered on two different dates and in different locations.

In the world we live in today, there is great need for deeper understandings of what lies behind the material. Many are suffering from the dissonance created by the disharmony of our modern civilization. These weeks will help us to penetrate the greater currents at work in the world today and to find a way to bring harmony back into our lives and the world around us. 

1. At Glencolton Farms in Ontario in July 2019

The first will be July 21st to 27th at Glencolton Farm near Durham Ontario. This is the farm of Michael Schmidt and Elisa van der Hout. The theme for the week will be “Experiencing Anthroposophy on a Biodynamic Farm”. This is billed as a seven-day retreat for young adults from around the world, interested in deepening their knowledge of anthroposophy and nature. 

Glencolton Farm is a fully diversified 200 acre biodynamic farm in Grey County, Ontario, with cattle, chickens, pigs, horses, an orchard and a garden. There is also an extensive on-farm bakery operation.

The farm has hosted many young people from around the world who come to participate in biodynamic apprenticeship programs and school class visits.

Glencolton Farm has also been the venue and producer of an annual summer music festival, Symphony in the Barn, and a winter Christmas fundraising market for the Edgehill Country School, the Christkindl Market.

Not content to innovate solely in the means and methods of production, the farmers at Glencolton Farm have also developed a unique and innovative ownership structure. The farm is cooperatively owned by the farmers themselves. it is financed cooperatively with the investment of the community of people who eat the food which the farm produces, who are then not merely consumers, but also people who have “skin the game”. 

Glencolton Week Leaders

Michael Schmidt is a career farmer, who came to Ontario from Germany in the early 1980s to establish a biodynamic farm and help build community. In addition to his contributions to the Ontario biodynamic scene, he helped start the Edgehill Country School, and has pioneered a series of Symphony in the Barn summer music festivals on his farm, helping to bring not only biodynamic agriculture but also musical, and Waldorf educational culture, to rural Ontario.

Michael has also been a pioneer in the struggle — still ongoing — to legalize raw milk in Canada. And he has worked with others across Canada, and in the United States, and even in the political arena — running several times for public office and working with politicians — to promote freedom of choice when it comes to the foods people eat and drink. Court challenges and appeals are still ongoing with this work.

Elisa van der Hout, who will also be helping lead the week, is a Guelph university agriculture graduate who has been working in biodynamics now for 19 years.

The third leader for the week at Glencolton will be Greg Scott, who is a sculptor, Waldorf teacher, and adult educator.

Click here for more info on Glencolton Farm Young Adult Retreat

2. at Wakefield, in the Gatineau Hills in August 2019

The second retreat will be from August 18th to 24th, near Wakefield, in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec. There the focus will be deepening knowledge of art, anthroposophy and the natural world. Although this retreat will be held in Quebec where both French and English are spoken, this retreat will be conducted in English. Five people will be sharing the leadership of the Wakefield conference. 

Wakefield Leaders

Jean-Charles LeGal-Leblanc has been a Waldorf teacher since 2005 and holds certificates from the Foyer Michael in France, and Waldorf teacher education from Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto. He currently works at Trille des Bois, a French public Waldorf-inspired school and lives on a farm in the Wakefield area. 

Julie Le Gal is a professional actor trained in Speech and Drama work and particularly in the Michael Chekhov technique. She has taught acting for professional actors in Melbourne, Australia, in the US and Canada. She has studied and worked with the findings of anthroposophy for over 20 years and lives with her family in the Wakefield area.

Sylvie Richard, is a Spring Valley Eurythmy School graduate. She currently teaches pedagogical eurythmy to children in Ottawa and freelances in the United States. She holds a Biographical Counselling diploma from the Biography and Social Development Trust in England as well as a Masters in Education from Antioch University. Her thesis is titled “The Teacher as Artist”.

Marc-Antoine Brodeur works as a trained eurythmy therapist and Waldorf teacher in Stuttgart, Germany. He studied eurythmy in Botton Village Camphill, England. After having taught theatre, singing, anthroposophy and eurythmy at the Foyer Michael foundation year in France he took part in a world eurythmy tour and then completed a curative eurythmy therapy training. 

Jean-Michel Brodeur has been working in artistic education since 2002, creating and leading theatre workshops for the Stratford Festival, Théâtre français de Toronto and the Toronto branch of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada.  He has a certificate in artistic education from York University.  

As a professional actor, Jean-Michel has acted on stages across Canada and screens around the world. He has trained in theatre at Studio 58, the Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival and the Actors Conservatory at the Canadian Film Centre. A co-founder of ArtiCulture, Jean-Michel is passionate about bringing people together with art and nature.

Click here for more info on the Wakefield Young Adult Retreat

A word about Schedules

The seven days of each retreat include the day of arrival and the day of departure. Transportation to and from local airports is provided, as are all meals and accommodation during your stay at the retreat. This means that there will be five full days of program not counting the arrival and departure days.

Help Sponsor a Young Person to Attend

There may be young people who would like to take part in one of these young adult retreats but who cannot themselves afford to pay the costs involved. If you would like to help sponsor a young person to attend one of these events, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the RSCT's sponsorship fund. Your generosity could make a big difference in someone's life. Here is the link for making that donation.

EXTRA: Waldorf Alumni/ae World Festival

Coincidentally, these RSCT young adult retreats are scheduled both before and after the Waldorf Alumni/ae World Festival that will be taking place this summer in Halifax from August 7th through 12th. 

If you are coming to Canada this summer to attend one of these young adult retreats, why not plan to stay a bit longer and also go to the Waldorf Alumni/ae World Festival in Halifax.

Waldorf Schools, Summer Festival