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Expanding Support and Resources for CHD Patients

The Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA) and The Beat Retreat are proud to announce that after eight years of building and developing a viable and sustainable annual event, the Beat Retreat is being spun off as a separate entity.

This annual four-day event for adults living with congenital heart disease (CHD) has been registered as a new, all-volunteer, non-profit entity – The Beat Retreat Congenital Cardiac Camp (The Beat Retreat).

Spinning-off The Beat Retreat from CCHA will allow both organizations to focus on their core objectives and better serve the CHD community.

“This is a big step, but also a positive one,” says Toby Cox, co-founder of The Beat Retreat and head of the new entity. “It will ensure we can continue to provide CHD patients with an opportunity to connect, learn and enjoy the camp experience many of them missed out on as kids.”

“It’s fantastic to see that under the nurturement of the CCHA, the foundation of an idea has grown into such an important program for CHD patients,” says Krista Vriend, President of the CCHA.  “We hope that this will be the start of similar support services that we can help develop, and bring to sustainability on behalf of the Canadian CHD community.”

Despite the change in structure, The Beat Retreat will continue to provide attendees with the opportunity to:

  • Meet and share experiences with others who have a similar heart history.
  • Connect with an established peer support network.
  • Participate in a wide range of activities geared to their physical abilities.
  • Learn the skills needed to better manage their healthcare and cope with health-related challenges.


The change in structure is not expected to alter the goals, format or spirit of the annual Retreat; however, followers of will notice some changes. “For starters,” says Toby. “We’ve launched our own website; however we’ll continue to use our existing Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.”

“In addition, we’ll need to boost our registration fee – at least in year one – while we gear up our fundraising efforts.” Participants will now be asked to pay $150 to attend the four-day event, which notes Toby is still “a great deal.” The fee includes all meals, accommodation and programming for the four-day retreat. Several payment options will be available for those who need it.

The retreat will also continue to be held at the same location – Camp Quin-mo-lac on beautiful Moira Lake.

Guiding the new organization will be a committee that includes familiar faces from past Beat Retreats, including Toby Cox, Ted Thaler, Rone Reis, Lori Constable-Smolcic, and Yvonne Lute-Dover.

If you have any questions about the change, you can contact:

  • Toby at info@thebeatreatcamp.comor visit us at thebeatretreatcamp.com, or
  • CCHA Executive Director, Allan Weatherall at info@cchaforlife.org.