We're turning down the flame.
To our Fireside friends and family:
In 2015, 65 incredible people joined us for the first Fireside Conference at Camp Walden Canada. Rain and cold pervaded much of that weekend but on Saturday afternoon, the clouds parted as the sun set beautifully over Red Pine Lake. It was a quintessential Fireside moment.
Some of the best moments at Fireside are shared with others, while many of us also have reveled in the personal joy of moments disconnected (Christina taught us that). At Fireside, it’s possible to find your perfect moment. A campfire, a conversation, a stretch, a laugh, a cry and a moment to pause.
For the past five years, Fireside has been run as a labour of love. Each year, more and more members of the community extended a hand, joined a movement and volunteered to help our fire grow. As kids who grew up understanding the pleasure of camp and the connections that are made when we are disconnected from our day-to-day lives, Fireside was something we wanted to create. And then, once it existed, we never wanted it to end.
Fireside has grown bigger than any two people or any two hearts. What started out as a hobby has grown into something so much bigger. It has changed people’s careers, perspectives, lives - including our own. Our own lives and our own careers have changed profoundly over the last couple of years. At the same time, our families, obligations and responsibilities have grown tremendously as well.
Fireside is more than a gathering around campfires, it is a state of mind. It is a way of being and doing that is carried in every one of us.
This past September, as we closed out our fifth year, you could hear a pin drop as our very own Peter Katz sang the following words (another one of those quintessential moments) to over 450 of us:
What is it exactly
How can I describe
All that I discovered
By that fireside.
We, like you, are grateful for Fireside in ways we cannot describe. Our current careers were very much born out our time at Fireside and some of our closest friendships and bonds have formed around our fires.
We started our journey with a mission to preach the benefits of disconnection. We’re realizing now that taking a moment to pause is just as important. It’s after great contemplation that we have decided to take our very own moment to pause Fireside.
Each January we consult with a small team of mentors, alumni, friends and family to discuss the year to come. After a great deal of discussion, consternation and contemplation, we’ve taken the difficult advice of the people around us. We tried desperately to forge a plan that was practical and possible and that would allow us to volunteer our time to once again produce Fireside this September. After exhausting nearly every option, it has become clear to us over the last few weeks that this is not possible. This is one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made.
Rest assured, Fireside has not been extinguished–we’re just turning down the flame for now.
It is time, however, for us to pause and reflect on what the future holds for Fireside. So, with a heavy heart -- that is also filled with excitement about the future -- we want you to know that we will not be hosting Fireside this September.
We can’t wait to speak to you soon.
PS - For those of you who have already purchased a 2020 pass, your full refund is already in progress.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
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"It’s tempting to describe Fireside as an innovators version of Woodstock. However it wasn’t Woodstock – or Coachella, Glastonbury, Afrika Burn, or even Burning Man. It was all of them and none of them at the same time."
an excerpt from Innovation in a State of Nature by Mitch Kowalski
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