Barefoot Sanctuary is an off-grid house located in Lumby. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Former circus performer goes “off grid” near Vernon

Barefoot Sanctuary is an off-grid circus arts and yoga centre located in Lumby

A former circus performer recently traded in his chaotic life in Las Vegas for an off-grid house in Lumby.

Alvin Tam and his wife, Jada Tam, have spent two years building Barefoot Sanctuary. Their ultimate goal is to mix their love of circus and yoga with environmental awareness through the teachings of an off-grid lifestyle.

Jada said the transition was gradual. They ran a successful yoga studio on the Las Vegas strip and organized yoga retreats around the world. It was visiting developing countries in Africa, South America and Asia that they fell in love with a simpler lifestyle.

“In Africa, you just walk through the village and see a completely different way of life, of learning and of living and it’s just, it’s so rich and so beautiful,” said Jada. “So even though there were great opportunities in Vegas, life was really busy and chaotic and we decided we wanted to cultivate some skill sets that weren’t possible in a big city like Vegas.”

“It also didn’t feel like it was authentic and didn’t really feel like we could really be an example there. We want to teach it by showing people it’s possible,” said Alvin.

Because his parents live in Kelowna, the Tams decided the Okanagan would be a great place to commit to living “off-grid” and becoming completely self-sufficient.

“We want to be part of a movement to protect the earth, or reverse or at least slow down climate change and for us, the best way was to come out here and live what we’re teaching,” said Alvin.

In March, they launched a GoFundMe page in the hopes that they can complete construction and begin using the space as a circus arts and yoga centre, offering classes and workshops.

‘The support we receive will benefit our local and global community by providing on-going events and services that unite education and environmental action,’ reads the fundraising page.

They hope to raise enough money to complete building in time for their Wilderness Workshop Weekend, which is set to take place Oct. 5-6.

To donate or to learn more about Barefoot Sanctuary, visit gofundme.com/f/barefoot-sanctuary.

Related: Le Cirque de la nuit comes to the Okanagan

Related: Circus coming to Vernon despite controversy

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