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Mindful : October 2017
Described variously as a New Age retreat center and a leadership learn- ing center, Hollyhock, according to its mission, seeks “to inspire, nourish, and support people who are making the world better.” The center’s 35-year history spans its roots as “the Esalen of Canada” and its present form as Canada’s “lifelong learning center.” These days, Hollyhock draws upward of 2,000 visitors annually—some for unstructured personal getaways, oth- ers for high-energy leadership confer- ences, and most for workshops. “Hollyhock has always been a place where inner skills are developed not to make yourself a better human but to affect the communities and the lives outside of yourself,” says Dana Bass Solomon, longtime CEO and board member of Hollyhock. From April to November, the cen- ter’s calendar accommodates nonstop offerings on subjects of wellness and wisdom, leadership and arts, with classes ranging from “Somatic Yoga: Movement Solutions for Pain-Free Living” and “Money Mindfulness” to “Mushrooms: Wild & Mysterious” and “Joys of Ukulele.” The program is carefully curated to foster inner skills of self-understanding, listening, and learning to respond rather than react—all essential for making posi- tive change in the world. Hollyhock is situated on the south- eastern tip of Cortes Island, part of the Discovery Islands archipelago between Vancouver Island and main- land British Columbia. Its location in the coastal temperate rainforest and just a hundred miles from the US border endow the place with what Solomon calls “a gentle feeling.” She adds, “ We’re in this beautiful, soft location that is different because it is in Canada, which is, after all, a peaceful place, and there is something different that happens here.” Solomon, who makes a point to read all of the comments in Hollyhock’s guest books, says that part of that “something different” can be captured by the words she invariably encoun- ters: “beauty,” “enchantment,” “deep listening,” and “connection.” → Founded 1982 What’s Offered 5- and 6-day workshops Accommodations Private rooms, dorm-style rooms, cabins, and campsites with a cedar bathhouse Program Calendar April to October Fun Fact The center’s biodynamic gar- den occupies an acre of land in the center of the campus and provides organic herbs and vegetables for meals and fresh flowers for common areas and bedrooms. During June the gardens produce over 100 heads of lettuce every week. PHOTOGRAPHSBYJANCORNELL(LEFT)ANDKATEARMBUS(RIGHT) Cortes Island, British Columbia hollyhock.ca Hollyhock AT A GLANCE retreats