Caregiver’s Retreat

A chance for family caregivers to come together and recharge.

Thank you for your interest in the Caregiver’s Retreat

Due to the current pandemic we have had to postpone the Caregiver’s Retreat until September 2021. If you would like to be notified when registration opens, please e-mail us at 

“As Caregivers we put out so much, and sometimes we need to nurture ourselves before we bottom out.  At the time I went to the Caregiver’s Retreat I was hanging on by a thread, and it was absolutely revitalizing.  I would so recommend this retreat to other Caregivers!”

– Carolyn Main, Caregiver’s Retreat 2014 

About the Retreat

Being the primary support for a loved one who is vulnerable or who has a disability can be an all-consuming and sometimes overwhelming experience. Some of us feel isolated, exhausted and disconnected from ourselves outside of our caregiving role.

This special weekend retreat was developed by and for family caregivers to allow for the chance to relax, rejuvenate and connect with other caregivers in a beautiful setting. The weekend involves a gentle schedule of activities including group sessions, nature walks, art therapy, sharing stories, guided meditation, as well as alone time for personal reflection and relaxation. All delicious meals will be included.

We invite you to join with other caregiving individuals and couples who are looking for a renewed sense of self and deeper connection with their partners, friends, and community.

We hope that this opportunity will give you a chance to take a much-deserved break from your busy lives, to relax and share the experience with other caregivers. There will be no expectation of you other than to enjoy yourself.




Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort, Parksville, British Columbia


Single Occupancy: $325 per person
(Private room, kitchenette, full bathroom )

Double Occupancy: $475 for two people
(Shared room: 1 king bed + 1 queen murphy bed, kitchenette, full bathroom)

*Space is limited to 18 participants

These rates are heavily subsidized and include all meals, two nights accommodation, as well as organized sessions with our Retreat Facilitators. We are extremely grateful for the generous donations that make this retreat so affordable! 

*Please note that some financial aid is available. See The Diversity and Inclusion Fund information below for more details.


Cathy Anthony

Cathy and her family joined PLAN as young parents, and she truly feels blessed for the journey over the last 32 years which her son Josh has lead her on. What has enriched her has been the connection to families who have been her mentors, guides and supporters.

Tim Ames

As Executive Director of Plan Institute Tim is very aware of the stress and challenges that families face around supporting the needs of their relative with a disability as well as being able to find the time and place to look after themselves. Tim will bring more than 25 years of leadership knowledge and practical ideas from working with many families to find solutions to significant challenges. Tim is excited to meet the folks who attend the caregiver’s retreat and to create the space needed for dialogue and collaboration over the weekend.

Weekend Overview:

The Caregiver’s Retreat weekend will have a rough schedule of group time where you’ll be able to connect and reflect with other caregivers, as well as some scheduled free time for you to relax and recharge in whatever way works best for you!

We’re excited to be hosting this year’s retreat at the beautiful, Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort in Parksville, British Columbia. Below is a list of activities available at Tigh-Na-Mara that you may choose to participate in during your free time. Please note, while many of these activities are free, the paid activities listed are NOT included in your weekend registration fees.

Possible Activities:

Activity Location Average Cost
Pool house (indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna) Tigh-Na-Mara Free
Fitness Centre Tigh-Na-Mara Free
Sports (Tennis, basketball, ping-pong, volleyball, etc) Tigh-Na-Mara Free
Grotto Spa* Tigh-Na-Mara Beginning at $45
Wildlife Viewing/Bird Watching Tigh-Na-Mara Free
Outdoor Chess on Rooftop Patio Tigh-Na-Mara Free
Cathedral Grove (MacMillan Provincial Park) MacMillan Provincial Park (30-40 min drive) Free
Coombs (Goats on the Roof) Coombs, BC (15-20 min drive) Varies if purchasing items
Qualicum Beach Qualicum Beach, BC (15-20 min drive) Varies if purchasing items
Little Qualicum Cheeseworks & Mooberry Winery Parksville, BC (15 min drive) Self-guided tours: Free!
Rathtrevor Provincial Park Parksville, BC (4 min drive/25 min walk) Free
Milner Gardens and Woodland Parksville, BC (18-20 min drive) $9 plus cost of High Tea if desired
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park Errington, BC (20-25 min drive) Free

*Please note:
To book yourself a spa treatment at Grotto Spa, please contact Valerie at 250-248-1805 or Please mention the Caregiver’s Retreat when booking your appointment, as we have reserved time for spa treatments from 3pm-6pm on Saturday, October 5th. Due to the Spa’s popularity, all bookings must be finalized no later than August 15, 2019.

**Fees for spa treatments are the sole responsibility of participants, including any cancellation fees, should they apply.

The Diversity and Inclusion Fund

Through the generosity of our friends at posAbilities, the Diversity & Inclusion Fund was established to empower families and parents who are facing financial hardship to attend the annual Caregiver’s Retreat by offering bursaries towards the cost of registration.


  • Parents/Caregivers who are facing financial hardship
  • Decisions will be made by the Family Advisors facilitating the Caregiver’s Retreat, in collaboration with the Plan Institute management team.

How to Apply*

Registration and applications for 2019 bursaries are now closed.

*Please note that limited funds are available, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. We endeavor to use the available funds to assist as many families as possible and therefore prefer to provide partial bursaries. If there is a significant need, or in the event of a singular request, full registration bursaries may be considered.

To learn more about the good work being done at posAbilities in the areas of behavior consultation, community inclusion, employment services, and home living, please visit