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Theatre alum’s haven for creatives and wellness practitioners combines self-care and PEI charm

The Hideout offers residencies, scholarships and a space to recharge
April 3, 2024
By Kay Pettigrew, BA 22

Smiling man wearing grey tank top and athletic pants sitting on a wooden floor next to a mug and notebook. A wooden fence is in the background. Joshua Lewis is co-owner of The Hideout, a vacation spot on Prince Edward Island.

By now, most people know about the importance of self-care. But finding time for it in a busy schedule is another story.

For Joshua Lewis, BFA 03, his own self-care practice began with his studies in theatre performance (now the Acting for the Theatre program) on Concordia’s Loyola Campus. He says that what started with a “Fame”-style audition — “They actually posted a piece of paper with the names of those who were accepted to the program on the door of the school!” — has since become both a passion and a way of life.

Nowadays, Lewis is no longer entertaining on stages. Instead, he entertains guests as co-owner of The Hideout, a vacation spot on Prince Edward Island that he runs with his partner, writer Trevor Corkum.

A space to recharge

Lewis says that he and Corkum created The Hideout as a place for guests to take time to prioritize well-being, however they define it.

“In order to do the work that we each do, we need space and time to recalibrate and reconnect,” Lewis says. “It’s taking self-care off of a t-shirt or an Instagram post and actually asking, what is that in a qualitative way?”

Self-care practices like yoga, meditation and therapy have become central in Lewis’s life. As a psychotherapist and long-term yoga teacher, he says his focus on wellness is a natural progression from his studies at Concordia.

A sunny room with three large windows, small desk and two chairs, with a blackboard.  Joshua Lewis and his partner, Trevor Corkum, created The Hideout as a place for guests to prioritize well-being on Prince Edward Island.

“For me, theatre was always about communicating emotionally with people — being on a stage, telling a story to an audience. As I started to explore, essentially, the things that allowed me to do theatre — my own self-care practices — that became more and more a part of my world,” he shares.

More than a vacation spot

The Hideout is located in Albany, on PEI’s scenic South Shore at the end of a private country road not far from the Confederation Bridge. Guests are surrounded by local wildlife. The rooms are decorated with art by Island artists and amenities feature items from local shops.

Lewis says it was especially important for him to prioritize other artists and wellness practitioners in creating the space. So, for five years, The Hideout has hosted affordable, self-directed, low-cost residencies in the shoulder seasons.

This year, writer Christopher DiRaddo, BA 98, will become The Hideout’s inaugural artist-in-residence.

“We see the artist-in-residence program as an extension of the residencies already on offer,” he notes.

In keeping with its focus on supporting the local community, The Hideout also offers one full scholarship annually for Maritime-based artists and wellness/mental-health practitioners. Applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of colour, or as 2SLGBTQIA+, are especially encouraged to apply.

Family ties

For Lewis, the community and support he received during his time at Concordia lives on through his close relationships with former classmates.

“I still think of many of them as family, even though I’m not pursuing a career in the theatre like I was at that time,” he says. “I feel that same sense of support from them and for them, for all the different ways we’ve gone out into the world and pursued the things we love.”

He describes the theatre department as appealing for its “intensity and intimacy.” And he says that the self-development he experienced as a student has translated into creating practical opportunities for self-care for others.

“We worked really closely with our professors, and they instilled in us that real ownership not just of what we were studying, but how we were developing ourselves as both performers and people.

“They really instilled those values in me, and it still drives me to this day.”

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