Awakening also known as ‘Witch Camp’ is an Annual earth-based spirituality and creativity residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point. It is an intensive ten-day program to encourage participants to connect deeply to themselves and their environment via a programmed residency. The elements of earth, air fire, water and spirit are jumping off points for discussions regarding decolonizing spaces, art and witch practices.
The 2019 Residency is now closed to applicants
Applications for 2020 will be available in October
Do you identify as Pagan, Witch, Wiccan, practice animism, polytheism, or earth-based spirituality? If you write, draw, paint, have a current arts practice or wish to connect your art-based practice with this form of spirituality you may be suited to this 10-day Toronto Island residency. This is a safe space held for all genders, gender expressions, ethnicities, ages and cultures.
This residency is based on non-appropriative spirituality and development and does not adhere or subscribe to any one belief or identity and encourages everyone to engage in an open exploration of ones own connection to spirituality, creativity and ancestry.
This is an alcohol and drug-free residency
NOTE: This time and space is being held gratefully and respectfully on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation
7 Reasons to Apply
to Awakening (aka Witch camp)
1. DETOX - Remove yourself from the chaotic or soul-sucking stress of the city for 10 days on the island!
2. UNWIND - Enjoy the slower paced island life including the beach, evening fires and walks or cycling.
3. UNBLOCK - Enjoy creative and spiritual exploration during your stay through group discussions, ritual and exercises.
4. INSPIRATION - Feel the spark of spirituality and creativity return when it is given dedicated time and space and you are with like-minded people and an experienced facilitator.
5. INTEGRATE - Find your connection to your ancestry, your spirituality and creativity through experiencing the elements in this beautifully sacred space.
6. SPACE! - In conjunction with daily discussions and exercises, you also have lots of free and uninterrupted studio time to work on your novel, manuscript, painting, drawing, sculpture, dance, spoken word, video, photos or any creative expression you wish to explore.
7. OPPORTUNITY - You have a chance to apply to a unique and immersive experience and engage in thought-provoking discourse that includes geo-political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of spirituality and arts-practices in contemporary society.
The deadline for the next summer residency application will be early February 2020
PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK ___________________________________________________________
In 2017, artist Margaret Gissing attended the residency. To read her moving story, click here
The Awakening: Elemental Spirituality & Creativity Residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto, ON) was a truly transformative experience for me. The program was well-structured yet open-ended enough to allow us to go at our own pace and comfort level. Monica is an excellent facilitator who created a safe space for us to delve deeply into the various elements and consider our relationships with them. I was challenged to look at my creative and spiritual practices, to reach deeper and to integrate the two more fully in my life. I had to consider my role and perspectives on decolonization, appropriation and feelings of separation from the land. The residency was challenging and forced me to face some deep shadows but it was so rewarding. As a result, my work is so much more meaningful and I continue to apply the learning from this residency in my every day life. I also made some deep connections with other artists at the residency and we’ve stayed in touch. This residency isn’t just about spirituality and creativity. It’s also about creating a community and providing a space for us to be able to make connections within ourselves and with others.
I highly recommend this residency to any artist who is seeking to make deeper connections within themselves and who wish to take their art to another level. Monica is an excellent facilitator who has an intuitive feel for giving the right feedback just when you need it. She is an amazing and caring person. Her decades of experience as an artist, activist, witch and educator at OCAD University are invaluable. It’s worth going to the residency just for the opportunity to learn from her.
Rowena Katigbak, Visual Artist,
I cannot stress what amazing opportunity the Awakening residency was for me. I came into the experience with a background as an artist, however I had little familiarity with residencies and paganism. I found the structure of the residency to be conducive to sparking my creative inquiry while also giving me opportunities to engage in my budding earth based spirituality in truly meaningful ways.
Monica is a consummate professional, her knowledge of the arts and of her spiritual craft are bar none. I felt completely at ease to seek out her counsel and the community of other creators made me feel supported in my journey.
If you are even slightly interested in art or paganism, than you owe it to yourself to apply. I plan to apply to attend every year it is offered, the experience was that enriching for me.
Erin Zerbe, Associate Professor of Art erinzerbe.com
“I have been lucky enough to take a wide-rage of courses from Monica and I can say from experience that they all are taught with the same level of care and attention to detail. They connect the individual to the work and that has an incredibly transformative affect as I learn something new about myself or the way I see the world each time I take a workshop. I highly recommend Monica’s residencies to anyone seeking a deeper connection to themselves, the creative process and spirituality in an immediately beneficial way—new artists, curiosity seekers, and seasoned professionals alike.”
Lisa East, BA, Gender and Equity Studies Program, Photographer