Holistic Healing Fair pulls in steady crowds from across Manitoulin

Makea and Jerri of Sudbury are the owners of High Priestess Holistics. They thoroughly enjoyed their first trip to Manitoulin and plan to be back.

LITTLE CURRENT—Some 30 vendors offering a wide range of holistic products and services were packed into the Manitoulin Conference Centre’s main hall last weekend during the 2022 Manitoulin Holistic Healing Fair. Nearly half of the vendors were Island-based and many of those vendors follow organizer Vanessa Seiger across the province as she brings her travelling Holistic Fair to a wide variety of communities throughout the year.

Ms. Seiger has been operating her holistic fair since 2016, but like many things, the pandemic caused the event to go into hiatus over the past couple of years. “I run across Ontario from Windsor to Sault Ste. Marie and everywhere in between,” she said. “I have done Manitoulin before; this was supposed to go on in 2020 but it has been cancelled three times. We are so thankful to finally be back.”

“I try to have a lot of local, but a lot of them they follow across Ontario,” she said. “It’s all things wellness. When people think holistic there are so many factors, mental, spiritual, physical, what we put in our bodies and just learning about it.”

One of the sponsors of the fair is Gore Bay’s Peaces of You Manitoulin, which offers Reiki classes, intuitive classes, hypnosis, past life regression, emotion code and compassionate inquiry. They join with Kagawong’s Bare Naked Beauty Spa and Boutique to help bring the fair to Manitoulin. Bare Naked Beauty Spa and Boutique is a wellness spa that offers holistic, shamanic and beauty services using their own all-natural vegan beauty products to nourish “from head to toe.” Their products are advertised as “Safe for you and the environment! Never tested on our animal friends.”

Peaces of You Manitoulin owner Ashley O’Connell was at the fair with her daughter Serena McCarthy and was very pleased to now be living here on Manitoulin Island. Her family moved here from the Kawarthas with Serena’s dad, who is a mechanic and took up a job offer as a Caterpillar mechanic on Manitoulin. “My business is pretty mobile, so here we are,” she said. “I can pretty much operate anywhere. We love it here.”

As well as being a local sponsor of the event, Ms. O’Connell is one of the vendors who follow the “holistic trail.” “We have done the Barrie show and the Orillia show, next year we want to do Newmarket and Orillia again,” she said.

Among the patrons at the show was Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes, who took the opportunity to relieve stress by relaxing with some good music, great vibrations and warm cozy blankets at a booth offering the opportunity to “Come explore the possibilities of sound.”

Vendors at the show included guided journalling, light sculptures, arcane alchemy, massage therapy, Neumi skin care, Island-based Pheasants Original, a girls’ art corner, High Priestess Holistics with a wide variety of crystals, altar and “higher self” accessories to fit your everyday modern witch needs, a booth offering “The Laughing Forest” through nature trails, labyrinth prayer walks, chakra walks and meditation in “70 acres of whimsical old growth forest in Spanish, along the North Channel,” Sax and The Eclectic Tea Cup offering a huge range of teas and gem bracelets for chakras, tarot card readings, Doterra Essential Oils, as well as vendors of clothing and a host of other products and services—there was even a wizard in the form of Gore Bay’s Dylan Whyte.

Attendees came from all across Manitoulin and walks of life, some ardent devotees and others just “holistic curious.” Judging from the burble of conversations and interactions taking place in the room it could be said a good time was being had by all.