Frequently Asked Questions

Faq’s about Abbey Retreat Centre

We answer your frequently asked questions about Cancer Retreats, Rentals, About Us, Giving and Volunteering.
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Cancer Retreats

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to be a participant in a Cancer Retreat?

To apply to join us for a retreat, please contact or give him a call at 705-754-2966. Barb will answer any questions you might have and send you a preliminary application.

Who typically attends a Cancer Retreat?
Abbey retreats are for people with cancer who are looking for an educational program that complements traditional treatment programs. We offer integrative approaches providing opportunities for skill development in coping with stress, anxiety, depression or any of the other feelings associated with a cancer diagnosis or caring for someone who has a cancer diagnosis.  The retreats are designed not only for the person with a cancer diagnosis, but also for their primary support person, who has a difficult journey of their own to navigate that includes physical, financial, emotional, and mental complexities.
How do I qualify to attend a Cancer Retreat?
Abbey Retreats are for anyone at any stage of a cancer journey. Participants and their primary support person must be able to care for themselves, able to participate in the daily program, and sufficiently medically stable to spend 4 days in a rural retreat setting. 
What is the cost to attend a retreat?
It is our goal to make our retreats available to our participants at no cost. We understand the financial burden that can often accompany a cancer diagnosis and we strive to provide a place of healing that does not add to that burden.
How do participants get selected for a retreat?

Participants are welcomed on a first come, first served basis. A preliminary application is required. This guarantees you a place on our waiting list. Please contact to request an application.

How many people are at a retreat?
Our retreat is typically for 8 participants. 
How long is a retreat?
Each retreat is four days and runs from Thursday evening to Sunday evening.  
What kind of food is served at a Retreat? Can you meet my dietary restrictions?
The delicious food at our Cancer Retreats is based on a plant-based diet. We are able to meet any dietary restrictions that you may have.
How far away is the nearest hospital?
The Haliburton Highlands Health Services hospital in Haliburton is an 18 minute drive from ARC. Map

The Haliburton Highlands Health Services hospital in Minden is a 25 minute drive from ARC. Map

Are there medical staff on site at ARC during the Cancer Retreats?
We do not have medical staff on site at the Retreat Centre.



Frequently Asked Questions

How far is ARC from the nearest town?
ARC is a 14 minute drive from the Village of Haliburton. Map

ARC is a 23 minute drive from Minden. Map

Do I need to rent the whole Centre or can I just use part of it?
Our beautiful new Retreat Centre can be rented as a whole when your event requires accommodations. We also rent individual rooms and offices by the hour, half day or full day.
Can I bring alcohol on site for my event?
Alcohol is permitted on site for private events held at ARC. In some cases, a special occasion permit may be required.
Why should I hold an event at ARC?
All funds generated through facility rentals, fundraising events and generous donations, help us to keep our facility beautiful and increase the programs that we are able to offer. Holding your event at ARC will help us to continue to offer our cancer retreats to participants free of charge. Enjoy your event with us even more, knowing that you are helping to support people living with cancer in our community.
Does ARC have high speed internet for my business meeting?
ARC has high speed internet through Bell. 
What are your rates for renting the facility?
We have found that each rental is unique. Contact us with some details about your event and we will create a custom quote tailored to your event.
Who provides food for events at ARC?
Food is important to us at ARC. We are happy to help you design a custom menu for your event that takes into consideration any special dietary requirements for your guests. We have our own food service professionals that provide food for our retreats, or we can arrange with our partners at our amazing local restaurants to have food catered to our site.
Can we bring in our own food and prepare it on site?
Yes, we have a commercial kitchen that is available for rent. We also have a BBQ available on our patio overlooking the pond.
How many people can ARC accommodate as overnight guests?
ARC has 4 bedrooms. Each bedroom has two single beds that easily pull together to form a queen size bed. The bedrooms have shared bathroom facilities. 


About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

How was ARC created?
Abbey Retreat Centre was created through the vision of John and Thea Patterson. 

John and Thea believe that by creating ARC and the Patterson Institute they are planting seeds that will assist in the transformation, strengthening and integration of cancer care in Canada.  Integrative cancer care has personally touched the Patterson family and played a pivotal role in John’s eight-year journey with cancer.

The Abbey Retreat Centre is a retreat for people with cancer and their supportive partner or caregiver.  At the Abbey Retreat Centre, a blend of the social, psychological, emotional, spiritual and functional aspects of the patient journey are provided in a peaceful setting called Abbey Gardens in Haliburton, Ontario.


What is ARC’s vision?
To be a safe, loving and healing community that supports people on their health and healing journeys, especially those living with cancer.
How can I join the ARC team?

ARC is not currently hiring for any specific positions. New positions will be posted here and on our social media accounts as they become available.

Please contact for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions

I was thinking of making a donation to ARC. How does my money get used?
How can I get involved and help out at ARC?

At ARC, we are grateful to everyone that donates their energy, time, and money to support the Abbey Retreat Centre. We make every effort to keep operating costs low and focus on allocating the funds we receive to support people on their cancer journey. We need your help and support to continue to offer our retreats to participants free of charge.


I would like to donate something specific to ARC.
As we build and expand our beautiful facility, we are always looking for donations of quality goods to make our centre feel more like a home. We have received a BBQ, a wonderful dock, an amazing Lily garden and other items that we are very thankful for. If you have a special skill or items that you would be willing to donate to ARC, please give us a call at 705-754-2966 or 


Frequently Asked Questions

I was thinking of making a donation to ARC. How does my money get used?

There are many ways to get involved at ARC. Please contact to request a copy of our volunteer application. We always need help to keep our facility beautiful, to welcome our renters and their guests and to help our during our Cancer Retreats.


Who are the ARC Angels?
The ARC Angels are a group of wonderful volunteers who take time out of their busy schedules to help keep ARC beautiful and to assist us with our events. Some of these angels are past participants from our Cancer Retreats. The ARC Angels meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10am to 3pm (includes lunch). Please contact if you would like to join the ARC Angels. 

Your Donations Make a Difference!