Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of the conference is to provide an environment and structure where loving couples can build on the strengths in their relationship. Couples are provided with an opportunity to explore concepts and feelings allowing relationships to grow and flourish.
The conference is led by a couple who are professional facilitators; they provide information and lead participants in exercises for both couples and individuals. The focus of the conference is to allow couples time to share with each other, so the facilitators design the sessions with this in mind.
The facilitators are professionally trained couples’ therapists with extensive and varied backgrounds, and years of experience leading couples workshops.
The setting and room allows for private conversations between couples. The sharing that happens between couples is not shared with other participants – unless they choose to.
The conference is for couples who are in a committed relationship and want an opportunity to learn more about each other to strengthen their bond. It is not intended to be couples therapy, or for couples who are currently experiencing significant struggles. Think of it more as a relationship enrichment experience.
The Conference is offered in a large group setting where you work privately with your partner, so it is safe and confidential. However, it is a workshop and not a therapeutic setting. If you have major difficulties in your partnership, the environment can be a great support if you are already receiving help and therapy elsewhere. It is not a replacement for therapy.
You don’t need to be completely happy and functional as a couple to attend but you do need to be able to have at least adequate communication with each other to benefit from the exercises in the workshop, since there is no individual attention provided to couples.
No, many couples who are not married attend the conference.
There are two fees associated with the conference.
Registration fee: This fee covers the facilitator’s fees, meals, travel, accommodations, audio & visual, Music for the Saturday night dinner/dance. Any funds in access of what is directly spent running the conference are used to run the Societies legal and administrative costs which are minimal as it is completely run by volunteers.
Hotel group package fee: The Hotel package covers the cost of a standard room, meals, refreshments, conference facilities, discounted self parking, services, taxes and service charges. This rate is negotiated by the committee using our buying power as a large organization to achieve the best price for conference attendees. See hotel section for more details on services included in the group rate.
When choosing a facility we determined the appropriate location by looking at factors such as suitability for conference sessions, a location that couples would consider a relaxing “retreat” away from it all and high value at a reasonable cost.
A weekend without distraction: Our 5 decades of history have proven that a focused retreat setting maximizes the benefits to all participants. The setting provides an environment to put into practice those things you are learning and experiencing without the interruption of day to day life.
Group purchasing power: The hotel costs are the single largest cost for all of us this weekend and our group buying power allows us to negotiate rates and services that would not be affordable to all if we did not participate as a group. The group rates provide for the use of conference facilities, and services for sessions and our Saturday night dinner / dance. None of these facilities and rooms would be affordable without group purchasing.
The cancellation policy is on the website and it says:
“Conference cancellations received on or before November 30th will recieve a full refund. Those recieved after November 30th and before Jan 15 will be given a 50% refund of the Conference Registration fee. No refund will be given for cancellations after January 15th.”
Because we are committed to pay all of the expenses after this date for the facilitators, music, etc., we can’t offer a refund as a non-profit, volunteer society. We make no money on this – we just pay the expenses we have committed to.
Cancellation arrangements with the hotel will need to be made directly with the hotel. Depending upon how many days in advance the cancellation occurs, the hotel may refund some or all of the room package.
This conference has been held annually for 45 years and is run strictly by volunteers. The conference fee for all of the sessions, run by well qualified facilitators, is under $350 per couple for the whole weekend. Searches on the Internet reveal that fees for comparable couples weekends in all parts of North America start around $750. The main part of the conference cost is for the hotel, food and entertainment provided by the Chateau Lake Louise which costs around $400 per night per couple. You would pay close to that price just to book one room at the Chateau for that weekend.
Given that the cost of a contested divorce in Canada in 2008 was an average of $12,875 and now would probably be higher, we believe that the Conference and the benefits so many attendees report make it excellent value – even if couples have to save for it.
For more details about the cost of divorce in Canada, check out this link.
Yes, Saturday afternoon from about 3:30 pm until dinner is free time to explore the area. You may also choose to arrive early Friday or stay extra nights, the hotel will honour the reduced conference rate for 3 day prior and 3 days post the conference. In addition, the hotel will store your luggage after you checkout on Sunday. You can use the afternoon to relax and enjoy the Chateau and the grounds before heading home.
Please register online here.
Throughout the conference you will hear more about the conference planning committee and how you can participate. Click here for more information.