About Us

About Us

We are Marilyn Zehr and Svinda Heinrichs. Our love for this part of the world drew us here and what the Land offers kept us here and continues to inspire.

Both of us, each in our own ways, experience healing from and with the Land, whether it’s by walking in the forest, hanging out with the goats and donkeys in the field, or sitting on a chair overlooking the southwest view. This is the place that “puts our pieces back together,” and something we feel called to share with others.

For more about our vision and mission click here

Marilyn built the first building on this parcel of Land in 2007 – a 10×12’ cabin – and put on an addition in 2015. When Svinda entered the picture in 2016 and considered moving to this part of the world full time (2017), she hoped for a flush toilet and a shower! But the donkeys were coming and so we completed the barn first in the autumn of 2018.

The dream of building an off-grid sustainable house that would facilitate shared experience of this Land had been percolating for years. This vision was tested with a circle of trusted advisors. All discernment pointed to “go” early in 2019.

We needed the home to provide space for us to “age in place” and a place to share with others. This meant making the spaces, well, spacious! and the ground floor accessible. Marilyn and Svinda created the basic shape of the house and took it to Svinda’s dad, Victor Heinrichs, Canadian architect and developer with several architectural awards and hundreds of creations across Canada, to make the dream a reality. We could not have done it without him and his amazing support.

We broke ground in the Spring of 2019, with our neighbours, the Robinsons, providing excavating and other invaluable assistance. Home builder Shawn Kelly, with key partners Cliff Crawford and Adam Plavlinskis, bravely took on the enormous of task of making this custom build a reality.

The construction of the house itself was based on our principles of stewardship to the Land and the natural surroundings which is why it is carbon-sequestering, off-grid, and sustainable.

We continue in our Land stewardship by being part of the Forest Management program which means that when we harvest wood, we do so sustainably, never taking more than we need.

This is an exciting time because in the spring and summer of 2022 we set our Vision and Mission with a key group of skilled supporters and began planning events, retreats and workshops for the coming year or so. Regularly we listen to Land and Spirit for ongoing inspiration. We experience ourselves as facilitators of what the Forest and Land and Creator want to share. We invite you to listen deeply to whether you are called to join us for an event, a retreat or in any other capacity. Reach out and let’s talk. info@riseaboveguesthouse.ca