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ABout us
Our story

Rise Wellness Festival, formerly known as Elevate Festival, was started in 2021 by a group of friends. Initially, we were looking to open a transformational healing retreat center where people could come to heal through dance, yoga, art, and other alternative healing modalities. While we were looking at properties we found a beautiful property that would make the perfect festival location and decided why not start a small yoga, dance, and wellness festival in this location. This all happened just as COVID lockdowns were being lifted and it was a little risky as there were restrictions on gatherings still occurring. Luckily for us in 2021 the gathering restrictions were limited to 100 people, and so in our first year, we were exactly 100 people in attendance. We had one main stage in the campground next to the Similkameen River, we had our kid zone, and a couple of workshop areas at the resort of Similkameen Wild - located just outside of Cawston.

Since the first year was such a HUGE success, with lots of good feedback, we decided to run the festival a second year, this time at a different location - Lazy River Campground located just outside of Hedley. In 2022, we were 150 people in total and expanded to include two different stages, the Main Stage + Rainbow Lounge, the Kid zone, Elevate Spa & Healing Center, and an expanded vendors section.

In 2023, the festival was again another huge success and we had approximately 100 festival attendees. Due to the nearby wildfires in BC we lost a lot of interested participants and this year as a result we are moving our festival dates back to Sept long weekend. In 2023, we had to change our official festival name to RISE WELLNESS FESTIVAL, as there was another little festival called ELEVATE in the area. We decided to go with “RISE” as it has a similar connotation to “ELEVATE” and in general, speaks to the idea that we hope to raise your vibration and overall well-being by attending and participating in our small, yet mighty, festival.

RISE in 2024
This year the festival will be held August 29th - Sept 1st at Raven Ridge, an off-grid event space near Rock Creek. We will continue to make the festival 4 days long, as we know that many of you love festival life and would love a little more time in community at Rise Wellness Festival. We encourage our guests to arrive on Thursday, settle in, and enjoy the natural surroundings. We want you to soak up everything this festival has to offer!

Our vision

Our vision is to create a beautiful festival utopia for a weekend of dance, yoga, wellness, and healing.

A place where you can connect to yourself, to others, to nature and to spirit.

Feel it to Heal it!

A message from the Festival Director
I hope this writing finds you well. My name is Laurita, meaning “little Laura” in Spanish. I am the co-founder and director of the Rise Wellness Festival and I am honored to share my story with you.

I am a two-time Breast Cancer survivor and it is a miracle I am alive and thriving today! I believe that I am thriving with my left breast still intact, due to extensive art therapy along with ecstatic dance, these two modalities allowed me to connect with my body in a way that nothing else could.

I feel incredibly blessed to be growing with this beautiful community. Witnessing the unfoldment and impact the festival has had on people leaves me in amazement every year.

This festival is truly a reflection of my cancer journey and has been birthed from the place of living through a profound and life-changing experience; the modalities I tapped into on my journey are at the festival to create a space of wellness, play, laughter, relaxation, and the remembering of Hope & Love. I invite you to come to the festival with an open mind about what healing should look like and learn about the powerful ways that ecstatic dance, Kizomba, yoga, meditation, Kirtan, sound healing and bodywork, can all heal the body, heart, and soul. All of these modalities have left a profound impact on my life and my healing journey that brings me to this point in my life.
Since recovering, I have held the prayer for a healing centre, where people are naturally encouraged to connect to Spirit and feel togetherness. A space we can Rise in our authentic joyful expression and remember that healing is our birthright. We are in this together. We are walking each other home, may we remember the healing hands around and within us. The vision of a healing centre has been born through the playfulness of the festival and continues to grow stronger roots each cycle, to one day bloom into a centre of healing modalities for all to be nourished by.

It is my hope that in gathering together, building community, and weaving together, we remember the art of play and the healing power of dance. May we remember that it is in the simplicity of human connection and openness we can breathe the miracle of Love into our lives. We have the miraculous ability to heal now.

The power of my mind & heart working together, the power of faith, the power of community, the power of playfulness, the power of dance, and the power of sound healing have been a fundamental part of my journey in overcoming cancer. I learned to grieve. I learned about the importance of self-love and forgiveness. I have been blessed with a beautiful cancer journey which has been none other than a spiritual awakening for me.

I hope you feel the power of these healing modalities present at the festival, and maybe seek out these modalities in your home communities after the festival. The power to heal is within us and these various ways of connecting bring it out. We got to feel it to heal it!

Looking forward to meeting you on the dance floor.

With Gratitude,
Laurita Love