Hollyhock creates meaningful experiences
that inspire personal growth and social transformation.
We offer about 100 programs and conferences each year to help you connect to yourself, nature, and community.
Our Cortes Island campus rests in the traditional and ancestral territories of the Klahoose, Tla’amin, Homalco Nations. We are committed to renewing our relationships with the First Nations peoples whose territories we are the current stewards of.
We also offer programming in Vancouver and other urban centres across North America, as well as online with our virtual programming. Vancouver programs are located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Our vision is to achieve a future where people live in right relations
with ourselves, each other, and nature – understanding that these are intricately connected.
Cold Mountain Institute
In the early 1970s, before it was Hollyhock, our Cortes Island campus was a human potential education centre called Cold Mountain Institute. Cold Mountain was driven by Richard Weaver, a visionary who trained at Esalen Institute, and who introduced many group therapy processes – such as Gestalt, Encounter, role-playing, and body work – to the West Coast of BC.
Weaver died suddenly in 1975. His pioneering work at Cold Mountain put a cultural stamp on the future of the space with many of the traditions continuing on into the present day at Hollyhock.
In 1982, a group of 10 Hollyhock founders purchased the land from the abandoned Cold Mountain Institute. This twist of fate has its origins in a miraculous story that includes The Vancouver Folk Festival, a fortune teller, the founder of Greenpeace, and red Hollyhocks growing over a hedge.
Originally named “Hollyhock Farm,” the founders ran seminars and workshops for environmental activists. They viewed Hollyhock as a place where the “innies” – those dedicated the internal arts of personal and spiritual development – and the “outties” – those dedicated to change-making and activism – could meet and inspire one another.
Hollyhock Leadership Institute
In the early 2000s, Dana Bass Solomon became CEO. Soon after, like many others at Hollyhock, she found unexpected love. She married Board Chair, Joel Solomon, a social enterprise impact investor. Together they led the organization for two decades.
In 2008, the founding group and a collection of generous Hollyhock Shareholders donated their full ownership and Hollyhock became a registered not-for-profit charity. Around the same time, Hollyhock launched it’s Leadership Institute Conference series, connecting progressive leaders across sectors and generations with peer-to-peer learning, skill-building, and support.
In 2018, permanent legal protections were placed on the land, and Hollyhock launched the Dana Bass Solomon Scholarship Fund, offering full-ride scholarships for emerging leaders in community innovation, arts and culture, or social and environmental change.
In the Fall of 2017, Hollyhock welcomed a new CEO, Peter Wrinch, followed by a new Board Chair, Mike Rowlands, in May 2019. These transitions come after a multi-year, planned generational transfer of leadership, as outlined in Hollyhock’s Strategic Plan: Towards 2020.
In this new era, we are deepening our commitments to equity and reconciliation, expanding our Leadership Institute conferences, and re-invigorating the internal culture and capacity of our team. We are also continuing to steward the visions, hopes, and dreams of the many people who have contributed to our rich living history.
We hope you’ll join us along the journey.
Generational Transfer of Leadership
Listen to this Hollyhock panel on the topic of “Generational Transfer,” featuring founders Siobhan Robinsong and Rex Weyler, graduated CEO Dana Bass Solomon, graduated Board Chair Joel Solomon, and current CEO Peter Wrinch.
This conversation was hosted at Hollyhock for the 2019 Holistic Centre’s Network Gathering, and was a beautiful testament to love and passion that has gone into Hollyhock for the last 37+ years.
Hollyhock Theory of Change
Our Theory of Change articulates how we believe our mission and activities as an organization will lead to achieving our vision:
Hollyhock creates, curates, and hosts inspiring, meaningful experiences that provide both the inner and outer skills for personal growth and social transformation.
Participants develop the skills, personal qualities, values, and networks that support them to live a life full of wisdom, compassion, and social impact. They in turn, inspire others to do the same.
Together we create a critical mass of people who are contributing to creative social, environmental, and cultural systems change.
We achieve a future where people live in right relationship with ourselves, each other, and nature; understanding that these are intricately connected.