ARC Institute on Twitter The ARC Institute on Facebook


Pietro Abela

Pietro Abela, is the visionary and co-founder of The ARC Institute and the creator of ARC Bodywork. He has been an ARC Practitioner since 1990. Pietro is also a distinguished teacher, mentor and workshop leader and writer.

Following careers as a professional musician and school teacher, Pietro began an intensive two year training in nutrition in 1986. He later studied with renowned teachers throughout North America, such as Barbara Brennan, Rosalyn Bruyere and Ron Kurtz. Pietro's studies and research on stress, emotional issues and their connections to physical well-being led him to development of ARC's powerful self-healing methods.

Many of his clients wanted to learn his highly successful health care techniques. This led to the creation of the first ARC class in 1994. The classes grew in popularity and eventually developed into program. The ARC Institute was born in 2000, as a school of consciousness. 

Pietro travels internationally with his wife Melanie, teaching for The ARC Institute. He has recently completed his first book, A Return to Consciousness, and awaits a publishing date. 

Melanie Abela

Melanie Abela, M.A. is the co-founder, Spiritual Director of The ARC Institute. She has a B.A. in psychology from Ohio University, an M.A. in Art Therapy from Wright State University and a postgraduate diploma in Spiritual Direction from the Chalmers Institute in Vancouver, BC.

Melanie's career encompasses 30 years combining art, therapy, and spiritual care. She has worked in rehabilitation hospitals and as a creative workshop leader for programs that specialize in serving individuals witrh varios disabilities. Her work as an art therapist has received acclaim from the governor of North Carolina and Self Magazine.  

Melanie currently has a private practice in spiritual and creative arts mentoring called Stillpoint Spiritual Care in Qualicum Beach, B.C. She is also an assemblage artist and has her work exhibiting on Vancouver Island.

Glen Timbers

Glen is ARC's Executive Manager and brings thirty-two years of acclaimed experience in health management to the team. 

As President and CEO of the United Church Health Services Society, he was directly responsible for the establishment of the Health Services Society, stressing the importance of community ownership and holistic services in health-care. Glen was the founding Director of the Community Care Facilities Branch and Director of Licensing for the Ministry of Health in British Columbia. Additionally, he has worked extensively towards improving health and access to health services in First Nations communities. 

Glen is devoted to his own spiritual and personal growth work and enjoys traveling and spending retreat time in his cottage in British Columbia.

Jo-Ann Svensson

Jo-Ann Svensson is a Director for The ARC Institute, an ARC Instructor, a Certified ARC Health Practitioner and the creator of The Interdependent Life Workshops. She is committed to helping others rediscover a sense of trust, safety and joy, and brings to ARC a wealth of knowledge on how to begin this journey. 

In 2000, after several years of community outreach in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Jo-Ann initiated a government contract for energy practitioners to work with people in early recovery from a substance abuse. She conducted research studying the efficacy of ARC therapy and her work was documented in Massage Magazine and Vancouver's Georgia Straight. Jo-Ann opened her private practice in 2000 and also volunteers her services at the North Shore Women’s Centre. She is a published writer, avid hiker and adventurous explorer of life’s magic. 

For more information check out her website and blog at:

Heather Faris

Heather Faris, BFA, is an ARC Institute Instructor, a Certified ARC Health Practitioner and an Animal Communicator. She has been in private practice as an ARC Bodywork Therapist since 2003. Heather brings to ARC a wealth of experience evolving out of a commitment to her own creative healing process and spiritual journey.  

Over the last twenty years she has studied and explored various healing arts including Hakomi, Reiki, Qi Gong, Authentic Movement, Creative Visualization and Journey Work. Heather has a degree in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria and is a graduate of ARC's Spiritual Deepening and Self Care Program. Her role as instructor for The ARC Institute supports her commitment to facilitating ways for people to live more embodied, heart-centered lives.

Heather is passionate about working in circle and uses it as a creative vessel to offer workshops. She developed and facilitated Corporate Circle Workshops for lululemon athletica (Calgary) and is creator of the ARC Circle workshops. She currently teaches workshops in Animal Communication and Developing Intuition in BC and Alberta.

Heather believes we all have rich inner worlds and recognizes the value in being acknowledged or witnessed in a deep respectful way.

April Inness

April Inness is an ARC Instructor and a Certified ARC Health Practitioner. Her determination to pursue her personal healing journey brought April into the realm of many spiritual, self help and personal growth experiences. These have provided her with a broad foundation of knowledge, skill and insight.

In addition to her ARC studies, April is a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner and has completed course work for Loving Presence, Hawaiian Huna, Therapeutic Touch, Energetic Anatomy and Physiology and, Developing Your Intuitive Mind. For nine years April has had an ARC practice in Powell River.

April discovered that improving awareness of her inner Self increased her personal empowerment as well as improved her parenting and relationship skills. This led her to become an ARC Instructor and also to develop and teach a course called "Who Am I?"

As a facilitator and teacher April is committed to helping others awaken to a stronger sense of Self, thereby assisting them to recognize and embrace the power in their own personal journey.

Her passion in teaching both for the ARC Institute and the "Who Am I" classes comes from her belief that we all have access to inner strength and personal power. April's heart is nourished by helping others to obtain the tools that support the journey of enhancing emotional and physical health.  


The Gateway Courses are ARC's introductory workshops. Completion of at least one Gateway Course is a prerequisite to The Journey to Consciousness and The Traveler's Guide to Presence Programs.  more >


The Journey to Consciousness is a program designed to support the unique path of your personal growth process and at the same time, provide you with the skills to assist others in their own growth process.  more >


Please email for a scheduled time that you can book to speak with our Teachers or Practitioners through SKYPE.

Don’t have SKYPE click here to download this FREE chat/video program.


A Path to Authenticity is the ARC Program that exclusively focuses on the exploration of personal change and self-discovery. It takes place in either a period of five weekend sessions spread over one year, or in a 10-day intensive retreat setting.  more >


Come experience ARC at one of our presentations. ARC presentations are educational, entertaining, dynamic and enriching. In an ARC presentation everyone leaves with a different perspective on life and the lives of those around them.  more >