Smiths Falls’ focus on health and wellness is once again coming to the forefront, with the announcement of a brand-new community event – the RISE Yoga and Wellness Festival. Running from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2019, this free, family-friendly, and educational event will celebrate the community and embracing a healthy lifestyle.
The RISE Yoga Festival will have something for every age and ability. Taking place in Centennial Park alongside the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal, the first annual RISE festival will offer a wealth of yoga-inspired activities for participants of all ages and abilities. This dynamic and fun event will feature three yoga classes on the main lawn and six workshops on varying topics such as SUP Yoga, Acroyoga, Oov mobility, barefoot mobility, and mobility tools.
Visitors will be invited to take part in as many or as few events as they wish, spend time relaxing in a community tea tent, or learning more about health and wellness from the on-site product vendors. After working up an appetite, visitors won’t need to go far, there will be nutritious food and drink vendors on-site to complete the health and wellness experience.
For families, child and family-friendly classes, and an interactive children’s area will keep young people occupied throughout the day, while a two-kilometre children’s run will get the day started on the right foot.
The festival is the culmination of more than six months of planning, and was inspired by the already existing health and wellness focus in Smiths Falls, and the intent to draw visitors from farther afield to come and celebrate what Smiths Falls has to offer.
The festival organizing committee includes local health and community advocates and professionals, including Becky Allen, Alexis Office, Emily Dickson, Jarryd Lee, Josie Wittmer, Jacqui Stanzel, Bryan Pankow, Tanis Cowan, and Smiths Falls Councillor, Lorraine Allen.
Emily Dickson is the owner of Serendipity Lane, a yoga studio in Smiths Falls, and is part of the organizing committee that created the RISE event.
“We wanted to create a new and vibrant event that would not only interest members of our own community, but those in surrounding areas as well. We’re thrilled to be able to showcase all of the health-focused businesses and people who have chosen to call Smiths Falls home,” Dickson said, “This event is about celebrating yoga, health, wellness, community, and recognizing that we are all much more similar than we are different.”
Another committee member, Jarryd Lee, has been captivated by the practice of yoga since 2009, and has completed over 2,000 hours of yoga teacher-training in the United States and India. Lee explained that the word yoga can be translated as “union” which is significant in terms of the concept the event committee is trying to promote.
“We are trying to embody the concept of union by bringing local residents and visitors together and introducing them to different wellness modalities and practices. I think we’ve done a good job and have created something that is truly unique to the Ottawa Valley,” Lee said.