Tag Archives: Cortes Island

Hang Out At Hollyhock

By Cherie Thiessen via BC Magazine

The northern reaches of the Strait of Georgia are gently rippling today, and in the background the lofty Coastal Mountains still wear a skiff of snow while overshadowing the gentler profiles of the Discovery Islands. I’m glad we have 45 minutes aboard the refit relief boat, Quadra Queeen II; time to savour the pristine, open view before arriving at Whaletown on Cortes Island, British Columbia.

We let our senses quietly expand and absorb. The day will culminate in Hollyhock’s hot tub overlooking the Strait of Georgia and Twin Islands, after three relaxing ferries and leisurely Vancouver and Cortes island drives. Oystercatchers will be calling close by our beachfront cottage and my friend, Pat Crossley, and I will fall asleep listening to the slurp of waves.


Continue reading Hang Out At Hollyhock

A Story of Hollyhock

By Joel Solomon

Just past the end of the gravel road, at the end of the highway, on the left coast of the continent, across a short body of water, is a place where I was fortunate to find myself. There are many sacred places on the planet. In fact, the whole planet underneath what humans have built, changed and affected over time, is sacred. However, at this time in history, places like I have just described have special qualities that still are radiant and can be felt. That is the geography of Hollyhock, and I consider it a very unique one.

N2670748986_1c8ba14093_zorth of Hollyhock and the end of that road is one of the few remaining vast, natural areas on the planet that is still relatively intact. Indigenous people on their land live better here than in most places in the world. In this area, there remains the possibility of a great, green place, with large species and vast areas that are underdeveloped by humans. Continue reading A Story of Hollyhock

Swamp’s Edge

Poem by Anne Haven McDonnell

She studied bat voices, slowing them down
enough to hear, to draw a voice in lines.
Two people can lean into
a crack in night’s breath.
Candlelight on the dock
astonishes the water, licking
the surface of the swamp.
A beaver slaps its fat tail,
a heron scream cuts the dark. A small
wooden bridge leads them to the beach,
a rocky cove where they farm oysters,
wolves watching from the trees.

Continue reading Swamp’s Edge

Hollyhock’s Magic & the Story of ZAG Heartbeats

Content & Featured Image Source: Hollyhock’s Magic and the Story of ZAG Heartbeats : ZAG Group

Hollyhock’s Magic and the Story of ZAG Heartbeats 

Change is like a tree growing from the earth. It starts with the smallest of seeds, and, as if by magic, it grows into a movement laying seeds for others to grow and blossom. ZAG Heartbeats is one such tree, and Hollyhock is the tree from which this magical seed was planted.

In 2014 Steve Curtis the Founder of Zag Group visited Hollyhock’s Social Change Institute. To paint a picture for you – imagine 100 of the most influential leaders behind social, environmental, and political change gathering in a place of heaven. In this perfect environment, they bare their souls, share their struggles, express their joys, and ask for and provide help with full vulnerability and hope. Continue reading Hollyhock’s Magic & the Story of ZAG Heartbeats

My Hollyhock Catalogue arrived!



As I left my house to start my day I stopped at the mailbox to collect my mail.  Amongst the routine brown and manilla envelopes was a brochure, a purple page with a sharp white banner ‘HOLLYHOCK’.  I smiled with joy, my Hollyhock Brochure had arrived, brightly colouring the collection of letters received.

Surprisingly, I chose to slip the brochure in to my bag.  I didn’t want to look at it briefly.  I wanted to savour every page, and that would have to wait until the evening.  I promised myself that I would make some tea and sit in front of the fire that very evening to enjoy the experience.  That is how I turned the pages of the 2015 catalogue, comfortably and relaxed in my living room.

First I read the welcome from Dana and Joel Solomon, CEO and Board Chair.  I browsed each page, enjoying the moments of familiarity – the staff, the gardens, the buildings.  Memories of my time as a volunteer in 2013 filled my mind as I recognized returning Program Leaders and events.  I reached the end of the catalogue, and then started again.  This time my focus was more deliberate.  What was happening in my home town of Vancouver?  If I had to pick  one program on Cortes, which would it be?  I moved between the pages, backwards and forwards, building a mental list of courses that I wanted to take, and spending an imaginary budget on programs and accommodation.  I envied the volunteers of 2015 who will attend Cortes for 6 weeks to help run the facility.  My own trip was four weeks and it wasn’t long enough.  How could I go back again and take programs and volunteer!??

I am convinced that I would not have experienced quite the same joy in researching the catalogue online.  The touch of the paper, the photographs, the living room, the tea.  I am grateful for the catalogue  being delivered to me and brightening my day, just like any trip to Hollyhock brightens a person’s day.

Which program will you take?   Hollyhock Programs 2015