Wellness Sessions

The Friends’ Wellness Program is designed to engage community members and foster overall wellness.

Don’t we all simply feel better when we are outside?  There are many health benefits associated with spending time in the outdoors, and Fish Creek Provincial Park is a perfect venue to take part in activities that support a balanced, healthy lifestyle.  The Friends’ Wellness Program was conceived as a way of encouraging people to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, and provides a variety of programming in support of health and wellness.   Over the past five years, these sessions have provided many opportunities for people to engage their senses in the outdoors,  allowing the beauty of the park’s natural surroundings to nurture and support their physical/mental/spiritual health and creativity.

Wellness Program Kickoff Event! – Wednesday, June 21st from 7-8:30pm at the Bow Valley Ranch

Join our instructors as we launch our Wellness Program this year with a fun night of yoga, meditation and Spring Forest Qi-Gong on the evening of the summer solstice!  Following your practice, you can stay to mingle and meet with the instructors and enjoy tea and light treats.

Only $10Register on Eventbrite


Yoga in the Park

Naomi Parker and Gwen Draude team up again for their fifth season of yoga in the park!  They focus on a form of practice known as Raja or “Royal” yoga, which emphasizes the connection between body, energy, and mind through postures, meditation, and breathing techniques; it incorporates all eight limbs of yoga, and each session will include breath connection, asanas (poses), relaxation, and meditation.  Creating a connection to your body through your breath will ensure your learning in honouring oneself, gaining a more balanced mind, body and spirit in the process.  Find your balance with Naomi and Gwen in beautiful Fish Creek Provincial Park and connect with true bliss – if only for an hour & a half at a time!

Sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30pm (June, July and August) and from 7-8pm in September

All sessions are outdoors and will be held at the Bow Valley Ranch.  

$10 per session Register through Eventbrite by clicking on a date below


Full Moon Meditation

Our Wellness instructors will each take a turn in offering full moon meditation sessions on full moon evenings throughout the summer.  Join in on the amazing full moon energy!

All sessions are outdoors and will be held at the Bow Valley Ranch from 7-8:30pm

$10 per sessionRegister through Eventbrite by clicking on a date below


Spring Forest Qi-Gong

This meditative practice is based on the ancient wisdom and belief that we all have the power and ability to heal ourselves.  Spring Forest Qi-Gong incorporates simple moving meditations to help open your heart, mind and physical self. Side effects – more happiness, improved mobility and health!   Join instructor Diane Smith on a journey towards balanced and flowing energy this summer!

Sessions run from June 26 to August 28, Monday evenings from 7-8pm

All sessions are outdoors and will be held at the Bow Valley Ranch

$10 per sessionRegister through Eventbrite by clicking on a date below

Painting in the Park

Join the Friends as we venture into all things artistic with a few fun and creative outdoor painting workshops at various locations in the park. 

Please note that these outdoor workshops may need to be moved indoors due to inclement weather.

Paint Out!

June 23 and August 18

What better way to connect with nature than to immerse yourself and try to capture it in paint!  This 2.5 hour painting workshop lead by instructor Gerry Mulhall, will help you learn to simplify composition and capture the natural light using a limited palette and your imagination!  Perfect for those with a bit of experience, and you can paint in any medium (oil, acrylic or watercolour.)

View Supply List

Only $35 (8 spaces available) – Register through Eventbrite

For Painting in the Park classes, please print your ticket and bring to Kensington Art Supply & Instruction for a 15% discount on supplies

(120, 6999 – 11 Street SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2S1 403-283-2288)

A look at our Wellness Program Instructors

Diane Smith is one of 90 people in the world who has completed level 5 in Spring Forest Qi-Gong (SFQ). She is one of four Certified Instructors and Master Healers in Canada. Diane is a passionate student of SFQ. While practicing SFQ, she experienced a profound shift in her life and is now passionate about sharing how SFQ as a lifestyle can positively influence health and well-being. Diane’s practice has given her balance, joy, peace, creativity and a stronger sense of self, family and community.

Gwen Draude received her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification in 2012 from Sunshine Yoga Academy in Calgary.  Yoga continues to teach her the fundamentals of slowing down, being present, breathing deeply, and learning to let go of meaningless worries or thoughts.

Naomi Parker, of Elemental Wellness, is a Certified Fairy Intuitive Healing Practitioner, Reiki Master, Registered Yoga Teacher, Mudra Therapist, and Spiritual Response Therapist (SRT). She grew up in Northern Alberta where, surrounded by wilderness, grew a fondness for the Earth and its elements. She has been practicing yoga for over 10 years.  You can find out more about Naomi’s practice and services offered through Elemental Wellness at www.elementalwellnessandyoga.com

Gerard Mulhall is originally from Tipperary, Ireland, and received his BA in Art and Design Education as a mature student from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.  Many of his paintings reflect his love of nature and Alberta landscapes, and he is an experienced instructor and member of the Leighton Art Centre and Calgary Sketch Club.

Here’s what people are saying about these programs:

“I loved learning a variety of techniques, the license to experiment and play, and enjoyed the surroundings.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, please repeat this class!”

“Excellent class, I hope you do more!”

“Wonderful instruction, relaxing, excellent, FUN!”

 Past programs this year…..

Yoga in the Snow?  Winter Qi Gong?

For a little extra winter fun, Gwen, Diane and Naomi offered our first ever “Snow-Qi” class to a sold out crowd!  the group took part in a snowshoe trek to peaceful spot followed by some yoga poses and meditation (and hot tea!).  We’ll make sure to offer this class again next winter!

We are hoping to expand our Wellness Program offerings in 2017 and are looking for people with a deep connection to Fish Creek Provincial Park who might be interested in teaching a plein-air painting workshop, drumming circle or other activity that can promote personal wellness by engaging people in the outdoors. 

If you have an idea, please contact Shana Barbour, Program Coordinator, at shana@friendsoffishcreek.org