Workshops and Artist Bios


Arlington Beach, Last Mountain Lake

All workshops are optional. Please be choosy and don’t over-extend yourself!

20170318_134322Shannon Shakoto will help facilitate the whole-group sessions, infusing the entire weekend with her insight and experience. Shannon is interested in how human beings play and solve problems and innovate by making stuff — starting with their imaginations, working down through the heart and then the hands. Which includes spaces and gadgets and things beautiful, tasty, quirky, and sturdy. If you can sing while doing this everything is even better. She gets to live in the tiny village of Forget, SK with a tiny bunch of people who make her laugh, cry, and shake her head every day.









Jeffery Straker will be performing Saturday evening and is a Canadian folk/roots/pop singer-songwriter, splitting his time between Regina SK and Toronto ON. His piano-driven music style has drawn comparisons to early Elton John, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Chapin and Rufus Wainwright. Straker performs over 100 shows per year across Canada, has recorded for CBC radio’s ‘Canada Live’, and had a music video chart in the top 10 nationally.  He’s toured internationally as far as Peru, Mexico, Chile and across Europe.  His tour stops range from intimate house concerts to club and theatre shows and include recent sold-out concerts with several Canadian symphony orchestras, performing his own songs.  Several of his tunes are story-songs in the folk tradition, speaking to a broad range of subjects including underdogs, humanity, love and Saskatchewan geography.  For more, see Home


Drama Improv: We improvise every day; when the chicken is frozen and we have to scramble for supper, when the windshield scraper is missing, or when we forget the notes for our speech. But with this workshop there’s no work! Come have some laughs with Twila and practice spontaneity, listening, and storytelling in a safe atmosphere. This session will warm up your brain and body for a productive weekend of creating. (No extra cost.)

twila picTwila Napoleoni is a Visual and Performing Arts Educator. She has had the privilege of sharing what she knows in Guatemala, Papau New Guinea and Canada. In 2008, after traveling around the world, she set her feet back on Yorkton soil, where she currently lives, and created her own teaching academy, Bara’ Academy of the Arts.




Spinning Straw Into Gold (writing workshop): Life often gives us things that are unwanted, uninvited, and otherwise difficult to deal with. One way of turning those dark moments into gold is to write about them. Moments of failure can become moments of light. This session will explore the world of creative non-fiction (aka the personal essay), how it is written and the power that it offers. Participants will complete a number of exercises and work with material that could be used to create a piece of creative non-fiction. (No extra cost.)

bill bunnBill Bunn is the author of five books, including Out on the Drink, published February 2018. Bill lives in Millarville, Alberta, with his wife, Linda. He is currently trying to revive a 1953 Chevy pickup and teaches English at Mount Royal University. For more about Bill Check out and



Pottery Workshop: Let Marea’s infectious enthusiasm and creativity rub off on you during this 1.5 hour session where you will be creating a pottery mug using a tin can as a mold. Marea will take the cups home to fire and glaze them in her studio, then make arrangements for delivery. (Cost: $20 for materials +$12 postage if she is unable to arrange delivery)

IMG_7282(1)Marea Olafson is an experienced art teacher and potter. She has been creating pottery for 15 years and teaching pottery classes for last 5 years. Besides managing her own studio and store, she teaches art in school, is an independent consultant with Steeped Tea and lives in a century-old home with her husband and two daughters. Look for Freba pottery between Wynyard and Dafoe on Highway 16 in SK or find her at



Plein Air Painting workshop: Get outside and paint/draw/sketch the landscape along with Sarah. She will complete an acrylic painting in approximately one hour, then be available to offer individual attention and advice. Artists of all skill levels and backgrounds will appreciate Sarah’s expertise, warm insight and sense of humour as she shares her methodology and technique. No materials are provided in order to make this a more sustainable art experience. Bring whatever is in your closet–acrylics, oil paints, canvases, water-colours, or a pencil and sketch pad! (No extra cost.)

sarah jane river pic Sarah Jane Fougere is an accomplished plein air oil painter. She developed as a performance artist, painting portraits while in the gallery at ACAD in 2004 and later at Vancouver’s Black and Yellow Gallery, where she completed 50 portraits in 15 days. Her project “100 Portraits of Calgary Artists”, a time senstive, painting-from-life performance, was added to the Glenbow Museum’s permanent collection. Since then she has spent time in both New York City and small town Saskatchewan, where she co-ran the “National Gallery of Saskatchewan” and starred in a TV show “The Painting from Life with Sarah Holtom Show!” She has also been an Artist in Residence in Ivvavik National Park. Sarah currently lives in Canora, SK where she balances motherhood with studio practice.


Fibre Arts Workshop: Christine will be working with you to experiment with natural dyeing techniques. At the end of this 1.5 – 2 hour workshop you will come away with your own beautiful, hand-dyed silk scarf.  We may even find some time on Saturday morning to hunt around outside for materials to use in the workshop! (Cost: $20 for materials)

christine fraserChristine Fraser is a maker who is always interested in developing new skills and making, well, pretty much anything! Christine’s long-held devotion to all things fibre and textile – knitting, weaving, sewing, embroidery–consumes most of the time she carves out for creative endeavors. Christine lives with her daughter and husband, struggling to keep the wool and fabric from taking over their small century-old house in Calgary, AB.



Hike n’ Write: Explore how walking can be a part of your writing practice, and welcome inspiration with movement in this meditative workshop with Tricia. We will write and walk, then write and walk some more, stopping each time to pay attention to our senses and spirit. Bring your own writing materials and a beach towel to sit on. (No extra cost.)

IMG_4120Tricia Friesen Reed is an educator, writer and storyteller with international experience in teaching and community development. She loves to see people recognize and use their creative gifts and her own work has been published in literary journals, magazines and her blog: Tricia enjoys gardening, wild-crafting, and back-country canoe trips. She is the founder and facilitator of Wonderscape Retreats.