HOOKED: Rug Hooking Retreat with Graham Hollick 2024

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for Hooked 2024!  


Hooked is a curated two-day luxury rug hooking retreat and a wonderful opportunity to explore new approaches to your own artistic practice while working alongside renowned contemporary textile artist and creative director, Graham Holllick.
 Hollick will share his diverse knowledge through discussions and provide insight into his own process as inspiration for creative growth and exchange. The retreat will include an artist talk, on-site wool boutique, pop up exhibition and ample time to delve into your own work while enjoying all the amenities of the Hockley Valley Resort, a glamorous boutique resort located in the Hills of Headwaters, in the heart of Ontario’s most picturesque countryside. 

Event Date:  Tuesday April 9th – Wednesday April 10th 2024 

Your Hosts 

Martina Lesar Hooked Rug Studio
Bear Epp, Common Craft

Your Hooked Retreat Includes:                                                  

Two full days of rug hooking with guest artist and mentor Graham Hollick from London, England. We will be spending our days in the Aida Room, a beautiful large space with abundant natural light from the garden doors which open onto the terrace overlooking scenic landscape and gardens.

All meals and snacks are included in the Retreat package.  Expect delicious farm-to-table organic culinary experiences. Vegetarian options are available upon request and your dietary restrictions will be accommodated if you notify us when you register.  Dinner will be served under the grand chandeliers in the beautiful Montclair Ballroom ! A perfect setting for socializing, viewing the participant exhibition and Q&A with Graham. 

Artist Talk  with  Graham Hollick. 

Graham Hollick is a textile artist and a creative director with an extensive international background, Graham Hollick is a recognized expert in art direction, creative consultancy, design and trend forecasting.

Graham will share examples of his work and the inspiration behind his ideas and design process.  He will discuss the trend forecasts in textile based arts and specifically contemporary rug hooking.

Swag!  Bigger and better every year.  Upon your arrival you will receive a stunning selection of wool fabrics and fibers carefully chosen for the Hooked Retreat as well as many other gifts and treats.

Lottery Prizes!  During the retreat we will draw names for beautiful wool/fiber bundles, linen, dyeing wool, silks, finishing basket, patterns, the studio footstool designed for a hooked top, 2 tickets to the annual summer bbq and the grand prize….a ticket for Hooked: 2025 valued at 600.00 (does not include accommodations)

On-site Wool Boutique:  An exceptional selection of rug hooking wool fabric, fibers and supplies will be available for purchase during the retreat.  For your convenience, a Beeline cutter with a full range of cartridge sizes will also be available for use.

A 25.00 spa voucher.  You will be able to use the voucher toward any treatments. RMT excluded.  You need to book your treatment in advance

About our retreat mentor Graham Hollick   

Graham Hollick is a textile artist and a creative director with an extensive international background. He is a recognized expert in art direction, creative consultancy, design and trend forecasting. Hollick also founded the ethical home textiles brand Stitch by Stitch, which works with textile artisans in India and Nepal. Now based in London, Graham has an impressive list of international clients. His work ranges from producing catalogues and styling photo shoots to art directing advertising campaigns. 

 Hollick graduated from Winchester School of art with a degree in textiles and fashion in 1988, around 30 years later he took up the age old art of rug hooking and since the first covid lock down this has become his obsession. 

All his pieces are created using entirely reused materials from strips of textiles cut from used clothing to the backings made by repurposing coffee sacks.  Hollick’s innovative imagery and inspirations have meant that his rug hooked work has been quickly recognised.  In 2022 he was published in celebrated textile magazine Selvedge, and is currently preparing an exhibition to be shown in the flagship store of respected London craft jeans producer Black Horse Lane

We look froward to welcoming Graham Hollick to his first visit to Canada.

He currently lives and works in London, England. 

https://www.grahamhollick.com/           https://www.instagram.com/grahamhollick/

The Location:

Hockley Valley resort is a five star boutique resort, situated in the stunning countryside of the Hills of Headwaters just 45 minutes north of the GTA.  This contemporary, elegant resort offers beautiful guestrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub, sauna, gym and an 8000 square foot full service spa.  The resort also boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, 16 ski/snowboard runs , a winery, a two acre organic fruit and vegetable garden and back to nature walk/bike trails.

Hockley Valley Resort is less than an hour’s drive  from the Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and most of the Greater Toronto Area. It is easily accessible via many of Southern Ontario’s major highways.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hockley-valley-front-2.jpg              Wedding ceremony set up in the ballroom


The rooms are spacious and elegant.  Comfort is key with upgraded hotel amenities plus a sitting area with amazing views, writing table, a Keurig coffee machine, a flat screen tv with complimentary wifi and spa style bathroom.

As Retreat participants, you are responsible for booking your own hotel room. We have secured an incredible rate of 148.00 plus tax and fees per night for a single occupancy and 78.00 plus tax and fees per person for double occupancy.  We have also negotiated the same rate for anyone wanting to arrive on Monday or stay an extra night on Wednesday.   These rates are for  Hooked Retreat participants only  (more than 40% off regular price).  Rates are valid for dates April 8th – April 10th, 2024.  

To receive this special rate, you must first register for the Retreat.  Once registered we will provide you with the hotel booking code via email.

**Accommodations at the Hockley Valley Resort must be booked before February 28th 2024 to secure the retreat pricing .  Please review the room cancellation policy for Hockley.

It is required that registrants must stay a minimum of one night at the resort.  If you are sharing a double occupancy room, you must provide the name of your room mate when booking your room.

Cancellation and Vaccine Policy:

Health protocols will be followed based on the government requirements at the time of the retreat.

In the event that Hooked Retreat is forced to cancel due to unforeseen circumstance such as, but not limited to, acts of nature, labor strikes, pandemics,  100% of your paid fees will be returned to you. Please note all refunds take a minimum of 14 days to process.  If you choose to cancel before February 1st, 2024, you will receive a 50% refund on your retreat investment. After February 1st, 2024 no monies will be refunded.  Room refunds fall under resort policies.  Please be aware of room cancellation charges.

There are no exceptions to this cancellation and refund policy, including for reasons related to weather, border restrictions, personal, family or medical emergencies or any other circumstances beyond our control. You may however re sell your retreat spot.  Refunds will not be issued should the borders close or if government travel restrictions prevent entry to Canada.

What to bring:

  • A rug hooking project, new or in progress  
  • You are welcome to bring your own cutter however, we will have a Beeline cutter on site with cartridges for cuts #3-#8.
  • A bathing suit for those who would like to indulge in the pool 
  • Your favourite hooked rug  for the evening rug display (optional)

Any further questions regarding the Hooked Retreat, please send us an email at studio@martinalesar.com

Hooked: Itinerary        

Day One

8:00 – 9:00 am         Arrive at Hockley Valley Resort.  You may check in at the front desk as you wont be able to get access to your room until 4:00 please consider leaving  your luggage in your car until your room when it is ready.  Bring in your rug hooking gear and go to Aida Room to drop off your rug hooking gear and receive your name tag.

8:00 -9:00 am  Continental breakfast is served in the Aida Room

9:00 am      Aida Room.  Introduction and artist talk.  Your day of rug hooking commences with your fellow participants.    Morning refreshment with coffee/tea/beverages and baked goods will be available.

12:00 – 1:00 pm     A delicious buffet lunch is served in Restaurant 85. 

1:00 – 4:30           Rug hooking commences in the Aida Room.  Afternoon refreshments will be available while you continue to work on your projects

4:30 -6:00             Free time to indulge in the amenities of the Resort.  Indoor pool,  gym or book a treatment in the incredible 8000 sq ft. spa

6:00 – 9:30           Dinner and evening social in the Monctclair Ballroom.  Two complimentary glasses of wine or cocktails/mocktails.     There will also be a cash bar.                                   A lively Q & A following up from the morning artist talk 

Day Two

7:00 – 9:00 am       Breakfast buffet is served in Restaurant 85 

9:00 – 12:00         Aida Room.  Your day of rug hooking commences with your fellow participants.  Resort staff will have prepared a refreshment table for you to enjoy throughout the morning session.  Remember to check out of your room before 11:00 am.

12:00 – 1:00pm    Buffet lunch is served in Restaurant 85

1:00 – 4:00pm     Rug hooking resumes in the Aida Room where Resort staff will make available afternoon refreshments.

Please note alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this retreat with the exception of 2 complimentary wine or cocktails at the dinner and evening social.

Hooked Retreat Registration Info:  Price 598.00 plus tax.  For room rates, see ‘accommodations’ above.

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