Cortes Island’s history as a centre for retreat and transformation stretches back over 40 years.
Originally, the Hollyhock land was a summer gathering place of the coast Salish people. In the 20th century it was a pioneer homestead. In the early 70’s it became Cold Mountain, an important human potential education centre. In 1982 the property was bought by a group of friends with a dream of creating a lifelong learning curriculum immersed in nature. An educational institute began, dedicated to personal, professional and organizational development committed to advancing consciousness, connection and community toward solutions for a better future. It was named for the bight red flowers in the overgrown garden. More than 30 years later, Hollyhock continues to welcome guests each year from across Canada and around the world to its lifestyle and social innovation programs and conferences.
Hollyhock’s impressive roster of world-class teachers infuses our community with a rare spirit of transformation and healing. This attitude has been nourished by the Linnaea Farm Society, which oversees the management of the projects and activities taking place on the 315 acre farm along the shore of Gunflint Lake. Farm projects include organic farming activities and educational programmes, offering the public education for ecological and sustainable living. Past projects of the Society have included the Linnaea School, which proudly offered a rich programme of creative, nature-based, global and alternative learning for hundreds of students over 23 years, and the Linnaea Ecological Gardening Program, which offered a thorough grounding in small-scale organic gardening and farming, with the intent to impart an understanding of the values and practical skills of ecological land stewardship since 1987.
Located on a spectacular 140-acre conservancy of mature forest and mossy bluffs along a long expanse of breathtaking coastline, Channel Rock is a living example of sustainability. At the center of Channel Rock lands is a heritage permaculture Garden. Drawing form what the land offers, Channel Rock is completely off the grid and relies primarily on solar power.
The land itself is brimming with a natural beauty and bounty that is found in few places. A taste of this bounty: bio-luminescent plankton in the warmest waters north of Southern California, northern lights, starry skies and moonlight, gorgeous sunsets over water and mountains, mature forests, tall mossy bluffs, a heritage food garden brimming with flowers, honey bees and just picked fresh food, wild sourced mushrooms and seafood, singing wolf packs, friendly deer, eagles, herons, seals, whales, giant octopus, purple starfish, a sand bar littered with sand dollars, song birds, medicinal plants.
This is a place where even the most skeptical guests have fallen in love with the natural world.
Before Channel Rock was an educational retreat centre, it was the holmstead of Gilean Douglas. Arriving in 1953, she owned and homesteaded this 140-acres for 40 years. Before her passing in 1993, Gilean chose the Pinchot family to succeed her as stewards of this Protected Place. Together they created a vision for what Channel Rock is today. The Friends of Channel Rock Society was created to carry forth that vision.
Cortes Island School
Cortes Island Elementary/Junior Secondary is part of School District 72 (Campbell River). Cortes Island Elementary/Junior Secondary strives to meet the diverse needs of every child. Its core values are Caring, Learning, Community, Diversity and Safety. The school is located on Beasley Road in Manson’s Landing.