An Inspiring Weekend Retreat Planned


Visitors to western Manitoba have come to recognize our region as one with many great attractions to visit. But organizers of the upcoming Valley Paradise Weekend Retreat (January 27-29) want people to know that we aren’t just home to great scenery, we’re also reach in hand on activities for an enriched visitor experience.

Marlies Soltys, the curator of the Inspire Studio of Fine Art had the idea for a women’s weekend retreat here in Minnedosa which combines art, cuisine, yoga and an invigorating three days that focuses on women’s health and wellness. Partnering with Allison Burgess of the Corner Stone Grill, Heidi Rae Yogini Lifestyle and Kim Burgess from Valley Art Therapy, the quartet has assembled a weekend with plenty of activities to explore your creative side and treat your taste buds.

The program is an example of an emerging trend in rural tourism, focusing on the visitor experience instead of the passive approach of simply marketing a destination. Increasingly, travelers are looking for an authentic experience that allows them to try their hand at a local custom and discover talents that they didn’t know they had. This new approach to visitation not only invites new people to the region, but also sends them home with a souvenir that they have created themselves.

Eastman Tourism offers a slate of four programs of a similar nature. One, called “Jammin’ in the Heartland” invites guests for a weekend to pick berries in Grunthal in the morning and then turn your yield into jam in the afternoon that you can take home or enjoy on site. Other sessions include snowmobiling adventures, a paddling safari and a forest excursion through Bird’s Hill Park. Given our geography in Minnedosa, Soltys feels that there is a lot of potential to develop a similar package of activities for those that are interested to fully experience what the valley has to offer.

For the Valley Paradise Retreat, the weekend begins on Friday evening with a wine and cheese reception at the Inspire Studio which will include a music appreciation “sound circle”. Saturday begins with a morning yoga session with Heidi Rae followed by a group art therapy session led by Kim Burgess. The afternoon includes an art class sponsored by Inspire Studio and the evening begins in the kitchen as Corner Stone Grill chef Allison Burgess leads the group in the creation of artisanal pizzas for supper. Sunday morning will include more activities hosted at the Inspire Studio with breakfast wraps and mimosas for all patrons. There will also be some open time throughout the weekend for patrons looking to engage in some retail therapy in downtown Minnedosa.

What we really want is for ladies to allow themselves the gift of time,” says Soltys. “Come for the weekend, and just let yourself be creative and explore new talents.”

For more information or to register, interested attendees can contact Marlies at 204-210-1993 or by e-mail at