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General News · 2nd December 2011
Dear Neighbours,

Seems like spring was not so long ago, yet summer flowed deliciously and ebbed into fall, and the shortest day of the year is around the corner. We are wrapping up our 29th season here at Hollyhock- the busy activity quietens on the land, our kitchen packs up for the winter, the garden lies content under blankets of mulch.

Keeping our Cortes campus thriving has been hard work. Many hearts, hands and minds have contributed with extraordinary dedication, enabling Hollyhock to inspire, support and nourish people who are making the world better. Our wealth is in community, and we thank our incredible staff for all that they do, for their passion, commitment, intelligence, humour, kindness, and their voices.

We’ve had an exceptional year, in so many ways, and we feel really good about many things we were able to accomplish in our community this season:

Sharing a taste of Hollyhock: 44 presenter evenings and events in our community, bringing fabulous teachers, artists and performers to islanders. Nearly $8,000 raised for our Islander Scholarship Fund.
Cortes Scholarships: 27 partial tuition scholarships awarded to Cortesians from our Islander Scholarship Fund
Our local economy: Hollyhock paid over $990,000 in wages this season, employing approximately 70 island residents. We’re also proud of our relationships with local food producers, retailers, artists and service providers.
We’re listening! Three open Q&A staff gatherings and our 2nd online, anonymous staff survey were just two of the ways we invited and encouraged feedback on a range of topics. Staff responded enthusiastically, and we’re working together to use their valuable feedback.

Our social profit is strong, and our programs are having tremendous impact, both in individuals’ lives as well as in the wider community. Our leadership and social innovation programs are growing, and providing tools, inspiration and juice to emerging leaders and change makers in the region and beyond. Our arts and culture, wisdom practices, and personal development programs are providing depth and richness in the lives of thousands each year.

We think the words of our guests say it best:

“This [Hollyhock] experience has made a big change in my life and I hope that you will be satisfied to have changed the life of at least one person.” ~ 2011 scholarship recipient

"My peers who gathered at [Media that Matters] 2011 both supported and constructively challenged my ideas, affording me a safe opportunity to "put my cards on the table" and refine my work. It was a rare chance to collectively step back and look at the media and humanity's course on planet earth, and to compassionately grapple with the difficult questions that arise from this courageous inquiry." ~ Louis Fox, Founder, Free Range Media

“One month at Hollyhock was in many ways a richer and more enlightening experience than my last four years of University.” ~ 2011 Extended Stay Guest

”The experience was priceless” ~ 2011 Guest

We’re grateful for our Cortes Community. In so many ways, you are part of what Hollyhock is able to send out into the world. To our community leaders, business owners, volunteers, farmers, teachers, artists, fishers, forest workers, elders, families, students and dreamers: a thousand thank-yous for your support and all that you do in making our island home.

Warmest regards,

Dana Solomon
CEO, Hollyhock