Crystalline sound and frequency alchemist Eduard Ballesteros demonstrates his techniques at last year’s Wellness Festival.

Since 1997, the Sun Valley Wellness Festival and Conference has been dedicated to the promotion of physical and metaphysical health in the Wood River area. Throughout the years, the festival has brought scores of presenters from around the world to enlighten audiences and guide them toward healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.

    The 22nd annual Wellness Festival is scheduled for the waning days of June, but passes are now on sale and the festival has announced its roster of headlining speakers. Each speaker serves to help underline the mission and central unifying doctrines of the festival.

    “The four pillars of our festival—body, mind, spirit and environment—are well-represented in this year’s program,” said Andria Friesen, board president of the Wellness Festival. “We remain committed to providing powerful, life-changing presentations.”

    Highlighting the diverse range of topics on offer this year, Friesen said, “This year, we are excited to feature experts on leading-edge wellness topics such as traumatic healing, mindfulness and medical cannabis.”

    Those examples connect to the lectures of Buddhist teacher and Zen priest Roshi Joan Halifax and Dr. David Hepburn.

    Hepburn is widely considered among Canada’s leading specialists on medical marijuana education. His work not only seeks to inform the general public, but also physicians, pharmacists and legislators on the pros and cons of regulated medical cannabis use.

    Halifax and Hepburn join an expansive cast of experts for this year’s festival. The lineup includes New York Times best-selling author Roger McNamee, who will speak upon the potential health risks of social media, a topic he explored in his book “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.”

    Dr. Steven Gundy, another New York Times best-seller and author of “The Plant Paradox” and “The Longevity Paradox,” will touch upon the science of aging and help shed light on how to age gracefully and healthily to maximize longevity.

    Triple board-certified physician Dr. Zach Bush will focus on the interplay between science, nature and humanity to benefit the furtherance of all three and transform the world for the better.

    James Beard Medal-winning chef Sean Sherman, founder of The Sioux Chef, will discuss the health benefits of an indigenous diet, and speak upon the history of the internationally renowned indigenous cuisine movement.

    Other speakers include physicians, psychologists, authors, activists, dentists, astrologers and coaches, covering the full spectrum of health and spiritual wellness.

    “[We] have put forth significant effort to assemble a diverse yet integrated conference program that will be of interest to anyone seeking to prioritize their wellness,” Friesen said.

    Dr. Joe Dispenza will serve as this year’s keynote speaker. The best-selling author of “Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon” has gained an international following through his work to maximize the potential of the brain and the body. His talk will illuminate simple practices that anyone can do to help make themselves healthier and happier.

    The program extends well beyond lectures, however. The Wellness Festival hosts both a Movement Studio and an Experience Hall.

    In the former, attendees can enjoy a cornucopia of exercise and wellness classes, including meditation sessions and yoga seminars.

    The Experience Hall will host a small shop of the latest innovative wellness products, as well as some free samples of services like massages, intuitive readings and reflexology. This will also feature an Insight Stage where professionals and experts will deliver brief presentations on a variety of topics. The Experience Hall will require no entry fee and will be open to the public for the duration of the festival.

    Rounding out these festivities is a lineup of live music and a special film screening of the documentary “The Last Dalai Lama?,” presented by filmmaker Mickey Lemie. The film analyzes the tense relationship between Tibet and China, the Dalai Lama’s role in political, spiritual and educational dealings, and plenty of insight into his own personal views and philosophies.

     A full, detailed schedule of the festival—set to take place from Friday, June 28, until Monday, July 1—will be confirmed soon. Check for details.

    Passes for the 2019 Wellness Festival and Conference are currently on sale from As the festival offers a plethora of events, lectures, activities and more, prospective attendees have tiers of passes from which to choose.

    The Presentation Pass, priced at $250, covers admission to all daytime presentations on Saturday and Sunday. It does not include the keynote lecture, the Friday opening speaker or workshops, but does include all movement classes.

    The next level up is the Festival Pass, available for $475, which provides access to everything except the workshops, which can be unlocked via the All Access Pass for $950. The All Access option also provides priority admission and reserved seating for the keynote and Friday opening speaker.

    For those specifically interested in movement and not in the lectures, the festival has a Movement Pass on offer for $95. It provides admission to all exercise seminars.

    Depending on initial sales, tickets to individual speakers may become available on June 1. Keep an eye on the website for details.

    Mark the calendar and gear up for a summer of healthy eating, exercise, education and more.

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