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What is the weather like?


Dryden, Ontario, experiences a typical Canadian climate with distinct seasons. Here's a general summary:

Winter (December to February): Winter in Dryden is cold and snowy. Average temperatures range from around -15°C to -20°C (5°F to -4°F). Snowfall is common during these months, with significant accumulations.

Spring (March to May): Spring brings milder temperatures and the gradual melting of snow. Average temperatures rise from around -5°C to 10°C (23°F to 50°F). Precipitation levels increase, often including rain showers as the weather warms up.

Summer (June to August): Dryden experiences warm summers with temperatures averaging between 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). However, temperatures can occasionally reach higher, especially during heatwaves. Summers are relatively short but pleasant, with longer daylight hours.

Fall (September to November): Fall brings cooler temperatures and vibrant foliage as the region transitions to winter. Average temperatures drop from around 10°C to -5°C (50°F to 23°F). Precipitation levels start to increase again towards the end of fall.​

Overall, Dryden experiences a significant temperature variation throughout the year, with cold winters, warm summers, and transitional seasons characterized by fluctuating temperatures and precipitation.

Are you open year round?


Yes, The Bird House is open for every season. There is always something to do in all kinds of weather, from hiking to snowshoeing, or just staying indoors and watching the snowflakes fall. 

What kind of clothing should I pack?


You will want to pack clothing that will provide comfort depending on the season. In the winter, you will want boots and a jacket that are good for at least -25 weather. We always wear toques, scarves and mittens. Long johns are handy as are wool socks. In the spring, you will want a waterproof and windproof jacket.

Where can I rent a car to get to The Bird House?


If flying in to Dryden Airport, your best best for car rental would be right at the airport with National Car Rentals. From there, you are only a 5 to 7 minute drive to The Bird House. It is recommended that a vehicle is rented when staying at The Bird House so that you can make trips to town to enjoy some of the highlights Dryden has to offer, which is a 12-15 minute drive away.

Where do I get groceries?


Groceries can be purchased from several places in Dryden: there is a Walmart, No Frills and a Safeway. Arrangements can be made to have your groceries ordered in advance (via Walmart) and we will pick them up for an additional fee. Please keep in mind that you have a mini-fridge in your space. 

Do I bring my own bedding?


No. We would appreciate if you used our bedding, please.

Are pets allowed?


At this time, pets are not allowed. We have a dog (Willow). She is incredibly friendly and loves people but she is old and not a fan of other dogs. We do not want to stress her in her later years of life. We do have exceptions if you have a service dog. We recommend finding accommodations for your pet in your community as there are limited boarding opportunities in Dryden.

What art supplies are available?


You are responsible for bringing your own supplies, but I do have basic supplies set up in your studio (a pencil set, eraser, markers, crayons, and some paper).

What are the dates and duration of the retreat?


You can stay for just a day or up to a month. It's completely up to you and how much time you want to invest in your art.

What amenities are available on-site?


You have your own loft all to yourself. This loft, also known as The Raven's Roost, includes your own private bedroom, a full bathroom, and your own studio space. All is lockable so that your items are secure. There is no cooking in The Bird House. You are welcome to cook in the common room of The Bunkhouse, which is a space you will share with Rhonda and Brad. You also have access to 167 acres of land to walk through and enjoy.

We do not have a television in your room. It is recommended that you bring your own laptop and streaming services with you and hook up to our Starlink wifi. It's fast and efficient and you shouldn't experience any buffering.

What is the schedule or itinerary for the retreat?


This all depends on what time of retreat you are here for. The self-disciplinary residency is set up so that you are doing your own thing. The only time constraints will be your arrival and departure times. We will also only have the common room kitchen available at during times of the day. If you are taking the 2 hour workshops with Rhonda, you will both come up with a time that works for the both of you. If you are here for an artist in residence retreat, again, the times will vary and we will talk about that together well in advance to your stay.

Am I allowed to harvest anything from the land?


No, this land is to be appreciated but not touched. There are some instances where some harvesting is allowed, but it must be discussed with Rhonda first.

What should I bring with me?


You should bring the clothing you need for indoor and outdoor activities. You are also responsible for bringing your own art supplies. If you are taking the art lessons from Rhonda, a supply list will be shared with you for you to purchase on your own before you arrive.

Are meals provided?


No. You are responsible for your own meals. Cooking is not allowed in The Bird House and Raven's Roost retreat at all, but you have access to common room kitchen to cook and eat meals. You are also welcome to keep snacks and cold foods in your space. A mini-fridge is provided.

Is there a theme or focus for the retreat?


No. Each artist is a unique individual that is inspired in their own way. You are welcome to use the environment as a catalyst for your own creative journey. Rhonda has a Fine Arts degree with a thesis in Multi-Medium Drawing, so is versed in a variety of mediums and techniques. She tends to be influenced by nature, but also enjoys Abstract Expressionism and a combination of the two. As a teacher, Rhonda tends to guide through the creative process and showing people how to develop their own style and ideas.

How do I register or sign up for the retreat?


Please reach out to Rhonda by calling her at 807-220-2789, emailing her at or using the contact page on this website.

What is the cancellation policy?


  1. Full Refund Policy:

    • Cancellations made more than 30 days before the scheduled arrival date will receive a full refund of any fees paid.

    • For cancellations made between 15 and 30 days before the scheduled arrival date, a 50% refund will be issued.

    • Cancellations made less than 15 days before the scheduled arrival date will not be eligible for a refund.

  2. Changes to Reservation:

    • Participants may request changes to their reservation dates subject to availability. If the new dates incur additional costs, the participant will be responsible for covering the difference.

  3. Early Departure:

    • No refunds will be provided for early departure or unused portions of the reservation.

  4. Force Majeure:

    • In the event of unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, government restrictions, or other force majeure events that prevent the participant from attending the retreat, the organizers may provide a full or partial refund or offer to reschedule the reservation, depending on the circumstances.

  5. Cancellation Process:

    • Cancellations must be communicated in writing via email or through the retreat's booking platform.

    • Refunds, if applicable, will be processed within a reasonable timeframe, typically within 7-14 days of receiving the cancellation request.

Are there any specific guidelines or rules I need to follow during the retreat?


We are all about open communication and mutual respect. Because our studio spaces are shared, eventhough we are on separate levels, we will need to communicate about noise, disruptions, etc. You are coming into the space knowing that I am actively teaching on a regular basis and will need my guests to be quiet during those times. If those guidelines are not being expected, you will be asked to leave the premises without a refund.

Are there opportunities for networking or collaborating with other artists?


I am on all forms of social media and will happily share any information about you on my platforms. If you are interested in working with me or other artists in the area, I will try my best to connect you to the right people to make that happen.

Is there Wi-Fi or internet access available?


Yes. We have wi-fi via Starlink.

What should I expect in terms of privacy and personal space?


The Raven's Roost loft is all yours. It is completely lockable and nobody else is allowed upstairs. Depending on your stay, I will come up when you give me access, to do some light cleaning. When I am not working, the main level is locked up. You will not have access to the main floor studio, supplies, sink room, bathroom, etc. You will have access outside through the main entrance on the East side of The Bird House. 

Please note that we do have security cameras on our buildings for all of our safety. 

Are there any local attractions or points of interest nearby?


Dryden is a mere 12 to 15 minute drive away. I recommend you check out the city's website to see what events you might be able to enjoy:

Is the retreat accessible for individuals with disabilities?


Unfortunately at this time, the space cannot accommodate those with difficulties using stairs. When we originally designed this building, we did not know that it would be so high. It takes a full flight of stairs to access the main level of the building, and another flight to get to the retreat space. I am hoping to access funding so that I can put in a ramp at some point for access to the main level. I apologize for this physical barrier as I truly believe in full access for all.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions or concerns?


Feel free to reach out to Rhonda. She will do her best to respond in a timely manner. 

Do you pay a stipend to artist residencies?


No, The Bird House is not able to offer a stipend at this time. You may want to reach out to your local arts council for funding or your provincial/state or country's art council for grant opportunities.

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