Solstice gathering

What it's all about  

Solstice is a week-long intentional gathering in the forest of Southern Ontario. Drawn by the summer sun, we camp, laugh, eat and dance at our temporary home in the woods. Sweetly anticipated by its community for the opportunity to gather, journey, love, stargaze, sunbathe, and more; Om Reunion Projects Solstice is in its 13th beautiful year.

We are an open and welcoming community. When you purchase a ticket to our event you are purchasing a Solstice membership, in part to ensure everyone arrives with acceptance in their hearts, and also to create accountability. All members are asked to adhere to our simple Gathering Guidelines, participate in a membershift on-site, and brings a $30 food contribution for the Kind Kitchen. Knowing everyone on-site also contributed to the functioning of the event leads to camaraderie, connection and empowerment.

 

 

 

What we're all about

Our history - a story by one of our founders, Aspa T. (1997 to 2004)

Tired of the dirty, commercial parties instigating the slow death of the rave scene in the late 90s, and yet inspired by the genuine love that permeated it, a group of young ravers and rainbow kids joined forces and visioned OM Festival over Thai Islamic noodles at Salad King in 1997.

 

They knew it was time to create something alive, thriving, living, breathing, CONSCIOUS, community bound. Fuelled by continual inspiration (a Plastikman rave in a corn field somewhere in southern Ontario?, a massive Teknival festival in Europe, a Rainbow Gathering, Burningman!) Sumkidz was created.

 

Through the blood, sweat and tears of a bunch of passionate party kids, OM Festival was born. They invested all their money and spent endless hours in collective meetings, planning and building through consensus.

 

The outcome - thousands of ravers, hippies, artists, musicians, poets, activists, health practitioners, knowledge-seekers and arts collectives from all over Canada came together to create a temporary autonomous zone based on free expression, and participatory culture. Bound by the idea that WE > I and a Leave No Trace philosophy, magic did indeed happen! Though there is much to describe, one certain thing is that it couldn‘t have happened without the countless volunteer hours, money invested by collectives, and dedication from the OM community, both leading up to and during the events! We thank you!!

 

With so much done by so few for so many, and with too many authoritarian obstacles - the equation had proven to be unsustainable. After 7 years, and partly due to increasingly false media surrounding electronic music, it became even more difficult to produce outdoor music events of OMs magnitude. Once dreams of buying community land began to fade, Sumkidz knew it was time to put an end to the huge multiple thousand person gatherings. Many of the original Sumkidz collective continued throwing events in Toronto, later reincarnating into SUMA, and remain very active to this day.

 

The end this festival chapter left many OMies dazed, disappointed and confused about what would be next...

Om Reunion Project is created (2005)

From the initiative of a small group of die-hard members, up sprung a week-long member-based gathering where everyone pays and everyone volunteers! Smaller, yet fuller in so many ways - enter the next phase, the beginnings of the Om Reunion Project. While some original Sumkidz members stayed on to work with ORP, many new organizers joined this new collective to continue the tradition of OM in a new cycle and format.

 

From 2005 to 2017, what prevailed was a smaller, more intentional gathering with less focus on big production and headlining acts, and follows the philosophy that EVERYONE contributes through payment and work-shifts on-site, whether they are organizing, performing, or coming to enjoy a week in the woods! This was a fundamental shift in the community, breaking down hierarchies and the need for high budgets to run a festival. Some people resisted but ORP gained lots of new followers. Many of the dedicated party goers from the OM days still continue to support the community in what has become a blissful annual event. Although the names were confusing (re:union, in:tent, re:treat, in:sight, re:leaf, in:fuse; re:generate), we can never forget our OM roots. 

 

The collective today

ORP continues to shift in new directions as the individual members grow. Based mostly in Toronto, the collective meet throughout the year to plan the current 7 year cycle of gathering, and collaborate on our renewed hopes for community land.

 

While Solstice is our main focus, we also host a Solstice Lost & Found event later in the summer, as a way to reclaim lost things and a reason to reconnect with new friends. Various collective members can be found throughout the year working on other electronic-music projects, including SUMA, Archi-textures and breakandenter events.

 

This years gathering marks the 13th year for the collective and the 4th Solstice gathering. Who knows what surprises they have in the works this summer?! Join the conversation on our Facebook Group and Event pages.

Gathering Guidelines

Respect yourself

Respect others

Respect the land

Leave no trace

Respect the local laws and customs