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Hollyhock Presenters

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Our presenters are curated for their quality, depth, integrity, and alignment with our educational purpose. Since 1982, a distinguished faculty of authors, educators, activists, artists, performers, and practitioners have shared their work at our Cortes Island campus and in Vancouver.

People smiling at Activate 2023 Hollyhock Leadership Institute

Desirée Dawson

Desirée Dawson is a JUNO Award nominated recording artist, songwriter, producer, yoga teacher and sound healing facilitator. Desirée is passionate about music’s role in collective healing by encouraging listeners to find a connection within themselves and the people and land around them. She moves in and out of genres seamlessly and can be found performing and creating many different styles of music. She is a lover of harmonies and her songs focus on her main instrument, which is her powerful yet soothing voice.

Highlights from the last year include a JUNO Award nomination for her album Meet You At The Light, two SXSW Music Video Award wins, a UK Music Video Award nomination, and recently she opened for Serena Ryder on her tour in the fall of 2022. In 2023, notable highlights include releasing a new single “Lonely” and single ” I am Blessed” which has become a viral video on both Tiktok and Instagram as well as performing in London, Liverpool and Greece. A CBC radio favourite, Desirée’s music has been featured on numerous CBC programs which have her songs on regular rotation across the country. Her songs have been heard on CBC Radio ever since winning Canada’s CBC Searchlight contest in 2016. Desirée passionately supports her community through a variety of music-based workshops and gatherings. Whether performing solo with her baritone Ukulele, in harmony with her band or leading sound healing workshops, Desirée’s music is made to get us feeling and healing.