MareGold Retreat Centre

The Location

The MareGold Retreat Centre is located on 30 acres of stunning oceanfront property in the village of Victoria Beach, 30 kilometres from the town of Annapolis Royal, in the southern Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.

What will MareGold Retreat Centre offer?

MareGold Retreat Centre will welcome guests who are looking for something beyond the ordinary: a place to immerse themselves in beautiful natural surroundings while taking part in guided retreats and short educational programs or just taking time out to refresh and rejuvenate.

The Centre will also be available for corporate and business retreats and will provide an outdoor performance space for concerts, theatre events and other offerings.

The Environment

Guests can explore a stimulating variety of settings—from an oceanfront of private coves, cobbled beaches and waterfalls to an old-growth beech forest. Built structures such as gazebos and a lookout tower will blend into the natural environment. Guests will also have access to herb and vegetable gardens and an earth-sheltered greenhouse.

Retreats/Programs

The MareGold Retreat Centre will offer programming that reflects its philosophy of promoting healing and spiritual growth while preserving and enhancing the natural environment. Retreats and courses will encourage healthy living through organic gardening, yoga, meditation and various healing modalities; creative exploration through writing, painting and local traditional crafts; and the revival of forgotten trades.

Some courses will be initiated by the centre, using in-house expertise or bringing in well-known practitioners/experts, while other retreats/courses will be organized and led by instructors and groups renting the space.

Classes/groups will come together in the rustic meeting building, the café, the outdoor meeting space or in some of the natural settings.

Accommodations

Guests can choose from a variety of cabins built in private settings around the property. Each cabin will be individually designed to align with the natural environment, whether situated on a cliff to take advantage of the ocean view or nestled in a wilderness sanctuary. In addition to the cliffside, wilderness and field cabins, there will be an English cottage next to the brook, a gypsy-style caravan, as well as luxury shelters and walled tents for a “glamping” experience.

When not in use by retreat/program participants, the cabins will be offered for rent as weekend getaways or for a longer term lease. Allowing guests to return to the same cabin each year at the same time will foster a sense of attachment to the centre.

The Food/Cafe

Guests can prepare their own meals or take advantage of the MareGold Café’s menu of freshly prepared, healthy, organic meals made with ingredients grown on-site in the gardens and greenhouse, complemented by locally sourced produce and seafood. The café will be open to the public for Sunday dinners on a regular basis.

The MareGold General Store

The General Store will offer herbs, creams, health products, books, clothing, household items and antiques, as well as a unique line of crafts including Lyshniks (wool blankets with healing properties). Many of these items will be developed and branded as exclusive MareGold products. Products will also be sold online as well as through a market stall.

Local Impact

MareGold Retreat Centre will create jobs in the area during both the construction and operation phases. The cabins and common areas will be constructed by local tradespeople using materials purchased locally. The cabins will be built using locally harvested and milled lumber.

Likewise, the Centre will recruit staff from the local area.  The Centre will also purchase lamb, fish and other supplies for the café locally, as well as organic produce, to supplement the fruits and vegetables harvested from its own gardens and greenhouse. 

In addition to the jobs created, the Centre can be used as a meeting place for local groups, as well as a destination for weddings and other celebratory gatherings. MareGold Retreat Centre’s outdoor performance space will attract concerts and theatrical events that will entertain audiences from throughout the Annapolis Valley. The café will be open to the public on a regularly scheduled basis.

Management/Staff

During the construction phase, Co-Managing Director Russell Floren will draw on his previous project management experience to supervise a construction team of local tradespeople.  Floren—an entrepreneur who has owned/operated a five-star inn, a bookstore and a film production/book publishing company—will manage the centre with his Co-Managing Director Maryna Cassar—a medical herbalist trained in London, UK, who previously managed a staff of 50 at a botanical garden in Scotland.

 

The Centre will recruit its operating staff from the local area. Freelance instructors will lead the retreats/programs. In addition to the paid staff, the Centre will develop a program for volunteers and interns, providing them with free room and board and allowing them to access programs and retreats at a reduced cost.

 

The Timeline

 

Spring/Summer 2019

  • Construction of 2 cabins, renovation of Hilltop house for a dining room and meeting space and two rooms and an earth-sheltered greenhouse.

 

Spring/Summer 2019

 

  • Construction of Alpine nest cabin

  • Construction of boardwalk

  • Construction of Ship platform and pond

 

Spring/Summer 2020

  • Construction of Rose Cabin

  • Construction of outside kitchen.

July 2021 Re-opening

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