This comes on short notice for anyone not already planted on Cortes Island, but if you happen to be anywhere near that cosmic wonderland on the evening of August 13th be sure to drop by Hollyhock to see The Oompah Opera, featuring performers Cosmo & Merlin and special guests Gregor & Andy.
Let's see...Gregor. Tuba. Hollyhock. Could it be our beloved Mayor...?
Well, we know that the dude is up on the hippie heaven known as Cortes, despite the fact his fist-pumping tweets have almost dried up since the Pride Parade. Interestingly, hizzonner is involved in yet another fundraiser for the island retreat, this one dedicated to the Hollyhock Scholarship Fund for Youth & the Hollyhock Piano Fund.
What exactly is the Hollyhock Piano Fund? Is it like the Campus Greening Fund, which allows you to give a fully tax deductible charitable gift to help Hollyhock install three composting toilets and a grey water system? Or is it perhaps like the Hollyhock Garden Fund, which allows you to give a tax deductible donation to help Hollyhock build a new greenhouse?
Or is it perhaps like the Hollyhock Program Development Fund? That's the money you could put toward their research to find "the highest quality programming and presenters in the world". Yes, for your tax deductible donation, you can help someone scan the globe to find more great presenters like Caroline Casey, whose recent course on Compassionate Trickster Training will fuel your pragmatic mysticism. After all, Trickster medicine is the essential ingredient in creating social change. If only we all knew about democratic animism, wouldn't the world be a much better place?
Or you might be looking for a course provided by the Hollyhock Farm Ltd. (they note that it is "a for profit corporation"). For $353 you can savour a visit to their garden, take a 3-hour kayak ride, get a free yoga session, and a complimentary bottle of BC wine. All meals and accommodation (on average 200 bucks per night with shared bathroom) is extra.
Maybe it's a dumb question – but do they just want to buy a piano for Hollyhock? If so, why does it need its own fund?
It's kind of impressive to think that through the magic of Canada's Charities Act that any of us can get a tax receipt while helping Hollyhock finish up that greenhouse, or finally install those composting toilets. They're able to do this with the help of the Next Wave Foundation, which a recent society search listed Tzeporah Berman, Joel Solomon and James Morissey as directors. Most know the famous eco-activist and former Cortesian Berman, Solomon of course is the go-to guy behind all of this, and Morissey is the ubiquitous board member and senior adviser to Renewal Partners. His bio says he's a leading expert in tax and finance regulations.
It appears that Next Wave will become redundant if plans go forward to create Hollyhock as a charity. As the Renewal Partners website states, the "45 partners have decided to donate 100% of their ownership of the land, buildings and name to the new Hollyhock Foundation. This initiative was developed to enhance the long-term stability and growth of this venerable educational retreat centre."
This "venerable" retreat centre sits upon about 33 acres on the southern tip of Cortes Island. Most of the property (29 acres) is registered as a seasonal resort (Hollyhock Centre Ltd.) by the BC Property Assessment Authority, valued at just over $2.1 million with land and improvements (buildings, etc.). Part of the land (4 acres) is set aside as a farm – the aforementioned "Hollyhock Farm Ltd", which according to the BC Assessment office is used to grow flowers. The farm property has an assessed value of about $2000.
Charitable status for the resort property provides other charitable foundations with the opportunity to share their resources with Hollyhock (read: pour money into it). According to the post on RenewalPartners.com, the transaction to make Hollyhock into a charity is still underway. The Hollyhock Foundation has been registered with Berman and Solomon also as directors, as well as Eduardo Schwartz, a UCLA professor of real estate & land economics and board member of Hollyhock.
The change to become a charity is happening with strategic support from Solomon's Renewal Partners. Of course, Solomon's wife Dana Bass Solomon is the CEO of the retreat, and Joel is a director on the organization's board. The two are featured prominently in Hollyhock's 2010 program which CityCaucus.com has obtained a copy of.
The brochure's introduction by the retreat's bosses uses a New Age-y text to set the tone. Lots of sentence fragments and odd syntax used for effect. Here is how Joel and Dana describe this happy place:
We are blessed as ancestors to live now. Our intentions and potential are the DNA of the future.
Hollyhock advances our effectiveness and well being. We gain ease and flow. Adaptation and change follow. They are the true resilience.
Like repositories and mystery schools of times past, Hollyhock is an eclectic recipe for education of the heart, mind, body, and spirit. What follows is empowered citizenship and the success of meaningful enterprise and social profit.
Real capacity for generative solutions is an imperative. Times require joyous optimism for the grand cosmic dance.
Explore the exceptional teachers and the legendary conferences. Immerse in comfort and care, real food, scents, sounds. Sweet sleep. Be the spectacular natural wonders. Slow time and deep renewal. Massage, Ocean, Art. Music. Wisdom. Introspection. Rejuvination. Family. Purpose. Peace. As we invest in compassion, generosity, and good work, we assume stewardship. We are more adept.
We love better and get smarter.
These are the alchemical golden treasures of the ages.
Find Hollyhock in your Will. Make automatic monthly donations.
Share stories. Return.
Signed Joel & Dana Bass Solomon
Sounds. Like quite a. Place. And it's convincing enough apparently for many to dig for their wallets, or put Hollyhock in their will. Having the Mayor make special appearances to play his tuba – well, you know that new piano is a virtual certainty.
- post by Mike
UPDATE: We should have realized this earlier that the "Andy" on the bill was Andrew Weil, and the show indeed featured Gregor Robertson, our farmboy Mayor. This tweet verified it: