OUR Upcoming Courses

Courses and Events

Awakening the Dragon: reStorying Our Collective Future

The “Awaken the Dragon Project”
is a Call to Action !!!

In the days of a certainly uncertain future … it is an act of Radical Hope! The opportunity has never been greater for human beings to gather our intentions and transform our way of being/living on this planet.

In response to these times “Awaken…” has been created as a community animation towards creating as resilient community design and Deep Adaptation. The journey for 2020 includes celebrating OUR 20th Anniversary!

Healing, Past Lives, and the Journey of Your Soul​
7 to 9 pm on Saturday, April 11, 2020

This presentation is open to the public.

Join Wes Gietz, author of Born Whole, for an informative and expanding overview of the possibilities, benefits, and techniques of healing the hurts we experienced before we were born.

In this interactive meeting we will address these questions:

  • Can we heal emotional wounds and traumas that happened before we were born?
  • What about healing the hurts from our families, from previous generations?
  • Does our immortal soul have a role in our time on Earth? How can we know what that is?
  • How can we prepare ourselves to be good parents, doulas, grandparents, or friends to a baby as the baby travels on its journey to birth?
  • Design Your Natural Home
    Note this event has been postponed until further notice.

    Ready to start your natural home design?

    This weekend intensive is for those who are interested in actively being part of the process of designing their natural home. Learn about choosing the best site for passive solar performance and energy savings. In two days and an evening you’ll be introduced to a variety of building technologies- in theory and by taking an extensive tour through the buildings at OUR Ecovillage.

    There are exercises to work on with your peers around the table. There’s time for your questions to be addressed. You will learn about how to approach laying out a floor plan and how to move through a permit process. And if you have your project ready to work on you may introduce it to the group.

    Coyote Mentoring Weekend
    Note this event has been postponed until further notice.

    Thriving Roots' annual 3 day Coyote Mentoring Training for Adults is our only part-time adult program. Get out your play clothes and come join us for some serious outdoor fun! We’re taking the learning far outside the classroom and diving into the wild with our bodies, hearts and minds. Prepare to rediscover first hand what inspires deep learning and growth, experiencing traditions and skills that have inspired human development for thousands of years. Find your place in nature through these mentoring methods and glimpse into the way these natural cycles can inform our lives.

    2020 Introduction to Permaculture Design with Starhawk ONLINE
    April 24-26, 2020

    Here we are at this time of unprecedented change – and we recognize that every one of us is part of this new CALL TO ACTION!! Permaculture Design has been recognized the world over as a solutionary potency for creating amazing transformation within our full life systems and the needed planetary/earth healing as well. Ecovillage Design is now also known the world over, by Governments to scientists, as a earth/life design ‘to re-invent the future’. Starhawk and the Earth Activist Training international has teamed up yet again with OUR ECOVILLAGE in an effort to bring both of these design frameworks forward in service of the efforts we all need to make as we move into our collective future.

    Nights of Grief and Mystery
    May 2nd, 2020

    Nights of Grief and Mystery weaves together the extraordinary talents and skills of internationally renowned author, teacher, storyteller, and cultural activist Stephen Jenkinson with those of Toronto-based singer-songwriter Gregory Hoskins and his band. This an evening for young folk and old folk, for elders in training—an event of interest to parents and grandparents, teachers, scholars, health care professionals, clergy, counsellors, and anyone else pondering matters around human development, rites of passage, aging, and wisdom.

    This will be an exclusive all evening event at OUR ECOVILLAGE beginning with a dinner, concert, and after gathering with appetizers for those who want to start and continue the night in celebration with us.

    Awaken: Designing for Community Resiliency
    and Deep Adaptation Internship
    May 11 to August 23rd, 2020

    Building on 20 years of learning – OUR ECOVILLAGE is offering a ‘pay forward’ with so much learning in relation to the design, development and organizational process of creating/maintaining an ecovillage & intentional community.

    With a wide range of awards in design and precedent setting legal and regulatory work – this Pilot Project practicum style Internship experience is connected to a range of individuals from OUR ECOVILLAGE, Ecovillage Canada, the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Gaia Education, Bright Future Now Network… and many other interconnected organizations.

    Spring Writes - Write Your Way In
    Friday, May 29-30, 2020

    This retreat offers the opportunity to relax into your authentic voice, stretch those writing muscles, and focus on the story you want to tell. In whatever form you want to tell it—poetry, fiction, memoir or essay. All in a safe and nurturing eco-space.

    Whether you are reviving a dream of writing or well-established in your practice; an old pro or a nervous beginner, this retreat is certain to inspire and motivate you to explore, take risks, and listen deeply. The weekend program includes sensory exercises and meditation to heighten awareness and deepen your experience.

    Guided writing exercises are facilitated by Deepam with the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method.Friday evening introductory workshop for all levels of writing experience.

    Playing Full-in: h’Art Attack Part 1
    Sculpture, Plaster and Beauty Workshop
    June 9 to June 11 from 9am-5pm

    As part of OUR’s Awakening the Dragon project, traditional Pueblo clay artist builder, Athena Steen, will teach you to mix and apply a variety of plasters – for sculpting and finishing your natural design projects and bringing your visions to life. She is joined by Mistresses of Mud and Magic, Elke Cole and Shylene Schlackl.

    Find out how you can make improvements to the indoor quality and look of your home with simple, natural, low cost, & local ingredients.

    This is a unique and intimate opportunity to spend time detailing and designing. Whether your work in professional plaster heritage plaster, your own home finishing projects clay painting drywall, or public art projects . – these 3 days will be a great dive in for all who take the opportunity to work with the amazing circles of artist builders who will be in residence on this learning journey.

    Playing Full-out: h’Art Attack Part 2
    Sculpting and Plastering with Clay
    June 12, 7pm – 9pm and June 13 -17, 9am – 5pm

    Learn about color options and recipes and get plenty of practice on buildings and with other fun projects.

    Every day we integrate conversation with short lectures, giving participants plenty of time to take notes and ask questions. You will be part of transforming a variety of spaces into beautiful places with natural color and light.

    Lead instructors Athena Steen, Elke Cole, Brandy Gallagher, and Shylene Schlackl, and a number of the folks who are staying on after the Natural Building and Ecological Design Colloquium will be combining their skills and expertise in natural building/art forms of multiple genre and will be there to teach, answer your questions, jump off some big edges with you and help you gain confidence and experience to create your own projects regardless of level of background you are bringing in to the learning circle.

    2020 Natural Building & Ecological Design Colloquium
    June 12th to 14th, 2020

    The Natural Building Colloquium is a gathering for natural building enthusiasts: builders, teachers, professionals, and those who are passionate about natural building. It is a place to exchange the latest developments in practical applications and technology and share ideas with other people in the field. We will look at where the natural building movement stands in regards to professional support, permits, and finding qualified builders.

    OUR “Lawful Permaculture” Demonstration Site & Education Centre is an immersion of a wide range of natural buildings that are cob, straw bale, rammed earth, earthship/tire, living roofs, or rubble trench foundations and are all permitted and engineered. Whether you are a green builder, regulatory official, designer, or home owner/builder, this (un)conference will open the doors for whole new ways of understanding ecological design and building.

    Regenerative Land Management
    June 15th to 24th, 2020


    With Starhawk, Charles Williams and Guest Teachers

    Create a meaningful livelihood restoring land and revitalizing community!

    Our new long-term program is designed to give you the skills, experience and confidence to run a farm, ranch, retreat center or urban farm in ways that heal damaged ecosystems and sequester carbon.

    Why? We are beyond the tipping point for climate change, and to prevent global catastrophe we need to both stop emitting carbon and pull it out of the atmosphere. The best way to do that is by regenerating living systems, using trees and plants to change that carbon into wood and food and humus—soil organic carbon. Farmers are the new earth healers!

    2020 Introduction to Permaculture Design with Starhawk
    June 26th to June 28th, 2020

    Jump in to join the first few days of OUR 72 hour Permaculture Design course. This introductory course will teach you the basics of design, ethics, and principles of permaculture.

    This informative course will give you all the basics of design, ethics, and principles of permaculture as you join us for the first 2 1/2 days of our Permaculture Design Certificate course. Join us as we learn the basics in sustainable design with a group of like minded participants who are also on the journey of changing their way of thinking in the world and how they treat the earth.

    In this introductory workshop OUR Ecovillage will focus on organizing, activating, and educating through their real on the ground permaculture projects. Learn how we design human systems that mimic natural systems using a minimum of energy and resources and how to create real abundance and social/environmental justice. Explore the strategies and organizing tools we need to make our visions real, as well as the daily practice, magic, and processes that sustain our spirits.

    2020 Permaculture Design Certification & Earth Activist Training with Starhawk
    June 26 to July 13, 2020

    The Permaculture Design Course is an information packed 72-hour intensive course combining class theory with practical hands-on learning. Completion of the course earns participants a Permaculture Design Certificate – the foundation for further permaculture work and study and a prerequisite for the Diploma in Permaculture Design, offered through The Permaculture Institute in Australia. Participants will learn Permaculture design principles & techniques. The course includes lectures, discussions, hands-on, slideshows, field trips and design projects. We will examine the underlying assumptions of the current culture of consumerism and economic globalization and encourage exploration of ways to contribute to the emergence of a culture of sustainability, compassion and equity. The Permaculture Design Certificate course covers a broad range of subjects to provide a holistic overview of Permaculture systems and sustainable living.

    Ecovillage Design Education Program
    July 17 to August 2, 2020

    Learn permaculture from the experts by beginning with our Permaculture Design Certificate and how you can actually live and work in an ecovillage by being given leadership projects in our village after your course, applying your skills in a real life permaculture educational demonstration site.

    OUR ECOVILLAGE’s Ecovillage and Ecological Design” (EDE) joins with the Global Ecovillage Network to also teach the “Training of Trainers” and “Sustainable Development Goals” as part of the United Nations priorities for sustainability. Join us to deepen our community frameworks to create healthier systems which foster models of resilience and regeneration for processes/people/places for living into a shared collective future!

    2020 Little Permie Kids Camp
    June 26 to July 13, 2020

    OUR Little Permie Kids Camp – A Permaculture Camp for Kids! This camp is an educational immersion program for kids that runs alongside our Permaculture Design Certificate and Earth Activist Training. Jump in with our world renown permaculture teachers including Starhawk and Charles Williams, UBC teacher candidates on their practicum and a range of guest teachers through this program crossover catered especially for kids who want to learn permaculture amongst some of the best in the field.

    This permaculture camp is an opportunity for even the youngest permaculturalists to join in on OUR famous adult courses.

    Kids, join their adults and stay overnight at OUR village and discover the possibilities of what living and learning in the community can offer children, and how they can use these principles to live in harmony with the world they will inherit.

    Cowichan Forest Scouts Youth Forest Scouts
    Fridays, February through June 2020

    Forest Scouts Cowichan is a weekly program based at OUR ECOVILLAGE in Shawnigan Lake. It provides youth ages 7-13 with an exciting, safe and meaningful way to explore and engage in the natural world.

    Each week will be a new adventure on the land: playing games, hearing nature-based stories, building fire, carving primitive tools, weaving baskets, foraging for food and medicine, journaling nature mysteries, learning bird language, expanding our senses, exploring the pond, tracking wild animals and more!

    Before you go any further..

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