Join us for a three-day retreat on Bowen Island, British Columbia and develop your skills and confidence as a song leader! Share in a spacious time of learning, singing, and reflection with leaders from Music that Makes Community and fellow musicians, clergy, educators, and community leaders.

The workshop will be facilitated by Conie Borchardt and Paul Vasile, joined by Caitlin Reilley Beck, Patti Powell, and Emilie Teresa Smith, leaders of the Vancouver Sacred Song Circle.

  • Learn leadership skills and strategies for sharing paperless (aural/oral tradition) songs;
  • Build a repertoire of songs that can be led with groups of varied ages and musical experiences;
  • Worship and reflect in community, deepening into spaces of listening and mutual support;
  • Compose paperless music to share with your community;
  • Develop your skills in small group sessions;
  • Connect with like-minded leaders and find resources for creative worship and liturgy;
  • Explore how the energy we create through singing affects what we do in worship as a whole, as well as other parts of our human lives;

Rivendell Retreat Centre is located on 6 1/2 acres atop Cates Hill on Bowen Island, a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay and West Vancouver. It is hosted by a volunteer Christian community, rooted in the gospel values of Jesus and the practiced traditions of prayer, silence, simplicity and hospitality. 

Check-in begins at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday and we'll officially begin with dinner at 6:00 p.m. We conclude our time together on Sunday morning, departing before noon. View the retreat schedule here.

Fees are on a sliding scale, from CAD $450 to 700 CAD per person, including three nights of lodging at Rivendell, healthy, catered meals, and all workshop materials. We ask you to pay what is generous and affordable for you, with gratitude for the time and skill of our presenters.

A few single rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are comfortable sharing a room please indicate on the registration form and we would be happy to pair you with a compatible individual.


Many denominations have continuing education or professional development funds that may be used to cover costs. Scholarships also are available for students, seminarians, seniors, and congregations with limited financial resources. Please contact Paul Vasile at [email protected] or (929) 266-4662 if you have any questions or to inquire about financial support.

Travel and Carpooling
The only route to Bowen Island is via a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay. For details of ferry fares and schedules please refer to For detailed directions to Rivendell, visit their website

We are pleased to offer the option of carpooling with others and will hire a small van if additional space is needed. Please indicate if you can transport others or will need transportation on the registration page. 

Music that Makes Community is a non-profit organization working with ecumenical communities and leaders to empower and liberate communities' spiritual life through singing. For over ten years we have developed and shared music leadership practices grounded in a theology of welcome and generosity for the benefit of musicians, clergy, and lay leaders throughout the United States and Canada. Our hope is that MtMC offerings supplement and enhance what congregations already do, offering repertoire and leadership skills that support vibrant, communal music making. Watch this short video to learn about the unique work we're doing around the United States and Canada.

June 11, 2020 at 6:00pm - June 14, 2020
Rivendell Retreat Centre
PO Box 402
Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G0
Google map and directions
Paul Vasile · · 929-266-4662

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Music that Makes Community
304 Bond Street * Brooklyn, NY 11231

[email protected]
(612) 204-2235