We think of The Sentinel as a custodian. A wise presence that watches over the land and cares for the people that live and spend time on this beautiful property.
— Gillian Maxwell & Richard Kay, Sentinel founders
A mindful world beyond conventions
The Sentinel exists to realize the full potential of humanity, creating a mindful world through cutting-edge transformative practices. We offer transformative programs and diverse gathering spaces in a tranquil setting overlooking Kootenay Lake and the soaring Purcell Range. Join us for one of our wellness programs or host your event with us.
The Sentinel is a place of transformation and inspiration. Situated on a spectacular property overlooking British Columbia’s stunningly beautiful Kootenay Lake, we host intimate workshops and retreats, as well as produce and curate virtual programming, all aimed at assisting humanity in attaining its highest potential in times of both challenge and promise.
We are also a serene boutique lodge, catering to discerning travellers looking for a restful and rejuvenating stay.
It is hard to know precisely how society may evolve, how our world may change in the wake of Covid-19. We believe it underscores the importance of both nurturing inner growth, and amplifying the importance of solidarity. We may not all be in the same boat, but we are definitely navigating the same storm.
This will be reflected, in constantly renewed ways, both through our programming, and the way we welcome you to this sacred place.
On the programming side, look for even more intimate gatherings, ensuring that participants will enjoy the most intense experience possible, while also allowing us to ensure our guests are hosted in the safest possible manner. We are also placing a renewed emphasis on creating and curating cloud content, allowing people everywhere in the world to benefit from the wisdom and knowledge of our outstanding workshop leaders, authors, speakers, and musicians without having to visit us physically.
This attention to ways of properly responding to a post-pandemic world extends to our hospitality services. We are constantly reviewing, and when necessary enhancing our housekeeping and cleaning protocols to secure the well-being of our guests. As well, going forward, we ask guests to refrain from booking multiple occupancy rooms with anyone not an immediate household member.
Your transformative journey starts here — while not in the middle of nowhere, precisely, we are somewhat off the beaten track. Which is what makes The Sentinel so special, and why you’ll want to make the effort to get here.
Practically, this means we are a four-hour drive north from the Spokane, Washington airport, and 10 hours from both Vancouver and Calgary. Edmonton is 12 hours away. Happily, the scenery between these hubs and The Sentinel is spectacular.
Our nearest commercial airport is in Castlegar, 90 minutes away. Trail (two hours drive) and Cranbrook (three hours) also have airports, all three with connections to either Vancouver and/or Calgary. If you wish to charter a small plane, or fly your own, the Kaslo aerodrome, featuring a 1 kilometre-long paved landing strip, is 10 minutes away from us.
Budget provides car rentals at the Castlegar airport (click on the link to the left or call 1 250 608-4591, and explain you are travelling to The Sentinel to receive the following rates):
- Regular car $60/day, unlimited kilometres
- SUV $85/day. unlimited kilometres
- tax/insurance not included in these prices
And there is a regular, eco-friendly bus service between Vancouver, Calgary, and Kaslo (less than 10 minutes from us). We can arrange pickup from the Castlegar airport, as well as group bus transportation from and to Vancouver and Calgary, by appointment (please call 250-353-2246).
As you can see on the map below, Nelson, one of North America’s premier skiing and mountain outdoor destinations, is the nearest town of any size to The Sentinel.
Nelson is less than an hour’s drive from Kaslo. By car from Nelson, head north across “Bob” (the Big Orange Bridge) on Highway 31A. In half an hour you will pass Balfour, the western terminus of the world’s longest free car ferry! 15 minutes north of Balfour brings you to Ainsworth Hot Springs. Owned and operated by Ktunaxa First Nation, Ainsworth’s healing waters have nurtured bodies and souls for millennia. Continuing north, the views become ever-more spectacular. Less than 15 minutes from the hot springs you will pass a lovely farmstead on your left (Aldinger’s Farm), followed by a right bend in the road, then a sharp left down a steep hill. As you begin the descent, look for the Sentinel sign and begin to slow — the right turn onto Amundsen Road is quite sharp, and easily missed, especially in the dark.
You will see our entrance at the bottom of the access road. Please note that this is a rural residential road, and drive slowly.
Thank you for your consideration.
RICHARD KAY, Founder
Richard was born in 1959 in New Zealand, and came to Canada in 1990. Originally a chef by training, Richard started his first business, a bistro in Sydney, Australia, at the age of 19.
His considerable culinary skills supported his sense of adventure and travel — in 1987, he was the chef for the Great Peace March. He ran a successful catering business while living in Marin County, California, and reaped the rewards of real estate investment on Lucas Valley Road while he studied art.
It seems there is nothing Richard cannot achieve once he puts his heart into a project. He is able to turn ideas into reality, with an uncanny ability to bring skilled, creative people together to fulfill his visions. His creative outputs can be enjoyed and savoured everywhere at The Sentinel.
Richard is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Business Management Program, and Landmark’s senior graduate course, the Team Management and Leadership Program.
The father of two adult children, he and his wife Gillian Maxwell consider the creation of The Sentinel a significant step toward their mutual goal of helping realize the full potential of humanity.
GILLIAN MAXWELL, Founder
Born in England, Gillian moved to Vancouver when she was 22, and became a successful realtor for over a decade.
Gillian has often found herself to be ahead of her time. She finds herself talking about things that have not yet happened, but appear obvious to her — things that need to take place to fulfill her purpose of realizing the full potential of humanity.
This propensity to speak to the future has led her to be a leader in promoting harm reduction. In 2012 she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service, for introducing harm reduction to Vancouver and successfully advocating for INSITE, North America’s first supervised injection site, that opened in 2003.
Gillian has been a leader in the global movement for drug policy reform. She co-founded the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC), and has spoken at conferences nationally and internationally. Gillian sits on the board of Canada’s Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS Canada), and most recently she and her husband Richard Kay are among the co-founders of the Canadian Psychedelic Association that supports the responsible use of psychedelic compounds to enhance our experience of life on planet earth, and make these sacred substances that have incredible healing potential for the mind, body and soul accessible to all.
JANET MAYFIELD, GM
After undergraduate studies in Art History at the Universities of Kansas, Madrid, and Alberta, Janet eventually launched a publishing career. She became national sales director for Canada’s largest independent educational publishing company, then went on to co-found one of the world’s first web-based publishers, Oz New Media. In 1998 she was named Edmonton’s Female Entrepreneur of the year.
Janet left publishing in 2000, and, searching for a more soulful outlet for her passions and strengths, became both a certified feng shui consultant and a professional organizer.
Soon after her arrival in Kaslo, BC in 2004, she became enthusiastically engaged in her new community, serving on the boards of both the Langham Cultural Society, and the North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society.
Relentlessly optimistic and positive, Janet’s smiling face, friendly attitude, and uncanny ability to spread joy at every turn are well-known — and well-loved by family, friends, colleagues, and guests alike. She brings a unique combination of life experiences, skills, and traits to her role on the Sentinel team.
RANDY MORSE, Communications
Randy has degrees in art and political science from the Universities of Oregon and Alberta. After his PhD thesis work at Oslo’s International Peace Research Institute, he launched a career that saw him create several groundbreaking publishing houses, including Reidmore Books, Oz New Media, and the Indigenous Learning Company. He served as president of the Alberta Book Publishers Association for several years, and sat on the national council of the Association of Canadian Publishers.
Since moving to Kaslo, Randy has become fully engaged in helping this very special part of the planet thrive. He founded the Kaslo Institute, produces a weekly show on Kootenay Co-op Radio, and is the communications director for the BC Rural Centre.
Author of five books and recipient of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s prestigious Dalton Camp Award, Randy brings his considerable communications skills, his many years of entrepreneurialism, his boundless enthusiasm, and a shared desire with the rest of the team to help others reach their full potential to our bountiful Sentinel table.
DUSTIN EAST, Operations
Dustin is a connector, and a passionate community leader. Dustin is a promoter of healthy rural living, and a strong youth advocate. He has hosted numerous economic development and agricultural events in the North Kootenay Lake region, and has been part of many community projects to help Kaslo and the surrounding area thrive.
Dustin practices Rebalancing massage, and is a dedicated Vipassana meditator. A life-long learner, he is continually studying the latest in neuroscience to help transform lives so we can all realize our fullest potential.
With his family, Dustin is developing a large sub-alpine property in the Selkirk Mountains west of Kaslo. He is passionate about creating sacred spaces in this spectacular setting, designing off-grid systems and developing buildings for the ultimate backcountry experience.
Dustin is an active community member, and enjoys making music, dancing, backcountry skiing, and being with family.
On the power of the Sentinel workshop experience….