The Callanish team members are all experts in their fields and passionate about their professions. They draw participants deeply into their humanity and collectively create the Callanish experience. The team includes a physician, two counsellors, an art therapist, a musician and a songwriter, a massage therapist, a yoga and qigong teacher, fabulous cooks, volunteers and more. Every team member has been deeply affected by cancer and commits to bringing their whole selves to the Callanish community.
"The warmest, most caring, loving and supportive group of individuals I have ever met in my life."
— Callanish retreat participant
Who You Will Meet First
Janie Brown, RN, MSN, MA (Psych)
Janie is the Executive Director and co-founder of Callanish. Janie has worked with people with cancer and their families for over 30 years, including several years at the BC Cancer Agency as a clinical nurse specialist and over 20 years in her oncology counselling practice. www.lifeindeath.org
Justine is our Wizard of Operations. She has an extensive background in nonprofit leadership and systems expertise. Bringing her clarity of mind and warm heart to each day, Justine ensures flow in the day-to-day running of the organization, while infusing the vision for the future with her well-earned wisdom.
Susie Merz, MC, RCC
Susie has worked as a therapist for over 14 years, both in nonprofit agencies and in her own counselling practice. She first came to Callanish as a retreat participant in 2015 and has since joined the staff team as a clinical counsellor.
Allison Prinsen, BA, MA
Allison is our Creative Arts director, providing leadership in design and the healing arts for individuals, families, teams and our organization. She first came to Callanish as a retreat participant in 2007, and has volunteered in many roles since. Allison brings many years experience as an art director and is also a clinical counsellor.
Danielle Schroeder, MA, CCC
Danielle is the Young Adult Program coordinator at Callanish, facilitating groups and providing counselling for young adults and their families. Danielle is a clinical counsellor and a restorative yoga teacher.
Other Facilitators You May Meet
Margaret Bacon, RMT
Margaret is a registered massage therapist working in private practice in Vancouver. She loves combining a heart-centred approach with the skill of massage therapy to care for people of all ages and states of health. Margaret volunteers in the relaxation program at Callanish in Vancouver, as well as offers massage on retreat.
Tessa Cherniavsky, RMT
Tessa is a registered massage therapist with a massage and Breema therapy practice in Vancouver. She is trained in bodywork techniques from a variety of cultures that support and enhance relaxation and wellbeing. She has provided massage on retreat for over ten years, and also to past participants at the end of life, at home, hospice or hospital.
Andrea Freeman, MLIS
Andrea is a Leadership and Career Coach and works on the leadership team with the Vancouver Public Library. At Callanish, she offers sweet support in all that she does, whether it's finding a helpful library resource or preparing healthy, delicious food in the kitchen at Callanish in Vancouver, or on retreat.
Daphne Lobb, MD, CCFP
Daphne is a palliative care physician in Vancouver who has worked for many years in hospital and home settings. She teaches widely on many issues related to living well with cancer and is committed to helping people find ways to maintain a good quality of life. She is a co-founder of Callanish and has attended every weeklong retreat to date.
Laurel is a Vancouver singer, improviser and performer. She has worked with Callanish since 2004, weaving her voice and a variety of atmospheric instruments into ethereal soundscapes that support deep relaxation. Laurel also teaches vocal improvisation and offers "Sound Journeys" at public and private sessions. She co-facilitates the monthly relaxation group in Vancouver. www.laurelmurphy.com
Nicola wears many hats. She works in floral design and decor for the special events industry, is an art conservator/restorer, the mother of a teenage daughter, an avid outdoors woman, who in her spare time is becoming a chocolatier. She loves to cook for Callanish on day and weeklong retreats.
Maryliz Smith, BMus, MMus
Maryliz is an international performance artist, composer, facilitator, and music educator. On retreat, she uses music to draw people deep into themselves, from playing music as a backdrop for personal work to engaging participants in a process of song-making. She also leads the morning qigong and meditation session. Maryliz is a co-founder of Callanish and has attended every retreat to date. www.marylizsmith.com
Carol works at the Integrative Healing Arts Clinic in Vancouver as a clinical associate with people concerning health and nutrition. Carol is an exceptional cook with a great love of providing healthy organic food on every weeklong retreat.
Claire Talbot, BSc, MD
Claire is a palliative care physician in Vancouver who has worked with people in hospital, hospice and home environments. She is also the Director of the Student Health Clinic at Langara College. Claire offers her support and expertise on retreat as well as in the city, and also volunteers in the kitchen and on the Board of Directors. She is a longtime practitioner of Zen Meditation.
Board of Directors
Victoria Cook, MD, FRCPC
Physician, Respirologist, past retreat participant
Daphne Lobb, MD, CCFP
Physician, Palliative Care
Eva Matsuzaki, BArch, MAIBC, PP/FRAIC
Architect, past retreat participant
Writer, Artist, Business Storyteller
Clinical Associate, Integrative Healing Arts
Claire Talbot, MD
Physician, Palliative Care
Communications Specialist, Writer, past retreat participant