An Exercise in Reverence

by Ben Samann

Recently, on a beautiful rainy Sunday, I resolved an issue that has weighed on me for years.

I ran into an old friend of the resort, Cathy, who is currently in a seminary school. Cathy is lovely, passionate, and very respectful, so I asked her a favour: help me sort out the assortment of religious and antique items in our old chapel.150523-tk_viamede_selects_00401


For a bit of context, in 2001, the previous owner of Viamede relocated a little chapel to the property. It had been built in 1877 as St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Haultain, about 10 minutes up the road from us. When this was moved, it came with a huge assortment of religious items, from crosses and bibles to bits of fabric and wooden plates. I’m not a religious man, and so I had little understanding of which items hold meaning, and for what reason.

Cathy and I spent time looking at, through, and into box after box of items. Her respect of both religion and the world came through over and over, as she described the significance of items both as religious symbols and their meaning to the community. The kneeling bench, of a rather odd design, she suggested would be more valuable to us than to another church. “How many people knelt on this during the most important times of their lives?”

We found countless linens, candle holders, and plates, each with their own mysteries, and each with a clear connection to the region. Some were donated by the community, with names and dates, others with limited context except to show a general purpose. And as we unraveled a green linen, to signify new life, we discovered a mother mouse with 3 babies trying to escape the plastic tote it was stored in.

Some quick reactions (and mediocre pictures) later, she was running off into the bushes behind the chapel, carrying off one baby after another.

Cathy left with an assortment of crosses and other items. I left with a much better understanding of the respect the remaining items deserve. My task has grown monumentally – find a way to showcase and respect the human history intertwined with the countless items that remain.


Calvinisms to get us through

Summer is upon us!

….well, “summer.”

Despite doom and gloom forecasts by foreboding dogs named “Storm“, Viamede is getting all the sun it needs.

Plenty of guests are getting out in the boats, 1and most aren’t getting soaked. And let’s be honest, it has its upsides.2

Character-building aside, we’re having one of the least buggy summers in years.3

Right now, we have a few avid fisher-kids here, and they’re having a great time. I have never seen so many sunfish caught off our dock, and some kids have even stopped using worms. Except sometimes – as John said, “suddenly the small ones stopped biting.”


 It comes down to packing –


bring the sunscreen and bug spray, but also the raincoats, quick-dry underwear, and lightning-proof iPhones.

Ultimately, everyone’s having fun – when the sun comes out, the beach fills up, the water trampoline gets used (even by a surprisingly athletic fawn), and we have a line-up of kids to go tubing. We’re building memories5

and friendships.


No matter what the weather, the kids are having fun.

As the sun sets on another glorious day on Stoney Lake, we’re all thinking the same thing.


Welcome to Viamede: The First Week on the Job

Welcome to Viamede:  The First Week on the Job

By Alyssa Joynt


My very first interaction with Viamede was a few years ago, when my parents decided to treat us to a nice meal at Viamede’s 1885 restaurant after a summer of BBQs.  I was maybe 12 at the time, and I started fantasizing about Viamede weddings.  As I got older (and slightly more realistic), I started thinking about working at Viamede.  I had an interview in January, and, well, you know the rest.

My first day was a whirlwind.  I worked breakfast, Front Desk, and housekeeping, all in the short span of 6 hours…and it was great.  I left work looking forward to the next day, and that hasn’t really changed.

The great thing about working at Viamede is that it doesn’t always feel like work.  The staff are all lovely, and there is a real sense of friendship amongst the Viamede team.  I’ve only been here a week, but I know people and people know me, and it’s easy to share a laugh.  The light-hearted conversation makes the day fly by.

The same can be said for the guests.  Everyone who stays at Viamede is happy and patient, which is especially great when you’re new and have no idea what you’re doing.

The best part about Viamede, though, is the environment.  It’s beautiful and comfortable resort feel is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I get to enjoy it every day.  On top of that, I am working in cottage country.   I get to wake up and watch the mist drift off the smooth glassy surface of the lake as I eat my breakfast, and I get to enjoy the beautiful views of rural Ontario as I work.  I am literally forced to stay on the lake all summer.

Some people dread going to work in the mornings.  I am glad to say that I am not one of those people.  My first week at Viamede has been busy and eventful, but it’s also been a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store.