Bay Street Bull Women's 2017 | Deepa Mehta

Page 1

Tech Investing in Women

Culture Alt-Right Fashion


Feature LSD’s Redemption

Fashion Exquisite Timepieces

Food & Drink Rise of Cultural Cuisine

MEHTA Filmmaker. Feminist. Fearless.

Women’s 2017

P. 4 0 0 0 / 1 0


3 D AYS A U TO M AT I C ORO ROSSO - Ø 42MM / 4 5MM ( R E F. 67 7 - R E F. 6 7 5 )



+ 1 87 7 726 3724


The Gospel of Deepa Mehta An Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Mehta dives deep on feminism, world divide, and the state of Canadian film through her eye-opening work. 66



22 Investing in Women

54 About Time

Venture capitalists need to be a force for good in the world of tech. At the top of the agenda? Look within.

Food & Drink 30 Haute Out the Kitchen

From Japanese ramen to Filipino sisig, when it comes to “trendy” ethnic cuisine, popularity doesn’t happen by accident.

Culture 39 A Mother’s Work

Francesco Carrozzini’s documentary on his mother, Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani, pays tribute to a woman who aimed to tackle global issues.

44 A Nazi in Sheep’s Clothing

Why the Alt-Right’s interest in sartorial advancement is their most dangerous weapon yet.

48 Atomic Blonde

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’s Allana Harkin makes sure the jokes land with a punch – and if you’re offended, it’s on you.

06 Editor’s Letter 07 Contributors 08 Events 12 The Report 20 How It’s Made 24 Ask An Expert 84 Where to Take Your Clients 85 What to Get Your Clients 86 Exit Interview 4 WOMEN’S 2017


Leslie Kobrin’s appointment as the head of one of the world’s oldest luxury timepiece brands shows us that horology isn’t just a “boy’s club” anymore.


Features 56 Fearless

The fight for women’s equal rights has reached a boiling point. Those leading the conversation – and challenging the status quo - consist of these fearless Canadian women.

72 New Horizons

LSD has been vilified for decades, but its positive effects on mental health prove that the drug is more than just a “trip.”

Fashion 78 A Night at the Museum

Call it a watch or call it jewellery, the most revered horology brands are also masterful pieces of art.



Women’s ISSUE

Cover Story

DEAKIN & FRANCIS Manufacturing the finest cufflinks and accessories since 1786.

C R A F T S M A N S H I P - D E S I G N - H E R I TA G E


The Great Divide

Here at Bay Street Bull, we don’t consider ourselves a gender-specific publication. We are neither a men’s magazine, nor are we a women’s magazine. Our reader base consists of both, and occupies a colourful spectrum of cultures, upbringings, interests, and industries that are reflective of the social ecosystem that exists within Canada. Given this rich diversity, the common denominator is the shared pursuit of success ­– of realizing one’s potential and achieving purpose in life. That being said, it would be grossly inaccurate to assume that the opportunities and circumstances are equal between both genders when it comes to achieving said success. The fact of the matter is, it’s not an even playing field. It never has been and it still isn’t. There is much work that still needs to be done. In a 2015 Statistics Canada survey by Melissa Moyser, titled “Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report”, it was found that women earn $0.87 for every dollar earned by men, largely due to gender wage inequality within occupations. Furthermore, a report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (a think-tank that focuses on economic and social policy) earlier this year found that out of Canada’s 100 richest CEOs, only two were female. On top of that, only eight women occupy the same position out of Canada’s 100 biggest companies, according to consultancy group, Rosenzweig & Co. Let that sink in for a minute. In 2017, equal opportunity is something that is still being fervently discussed. It’s outrageous, yet unsurprising. Clearly, the climb to the C-suite is an arduous one for women, the “glass ceiling” ever so present, robust, and difficult to break through. As discouraging as it may seem, the good news is that things are slowly changing. The foundation has started to be laid so that we can have a more inclusive future for those behind us. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to a gender-balanced cabinet (the first in Canadian history) back in 2015 was a hopeful sign of things to come. But while decisions like these are being made from the top, it’s just as important to impact change from the ground-up; a grassroots approach to rally the community to change perception.


At the beginning of the year, we decided to introduce a new issue to our editorial calendar to further support female leaders who are paving the way. While featuring inspiring women is a mainstay of our editorial work, we felt that more was needed. And so, here in your hands, you have our first Bay Street Bull Women’s issue. Leading the way, Academy Awardnominated filmmaker, Deepa Mehta, graces our cover – the perfect subject for this inaugural issue. The Indo-Canadian director has always walked to the beat of her own drum, casting stories into the universe that focus on strong female-driven narratives. In “The Gospel of Deepa Mehta” (page 66), you will discover a woman that makes us contemplate our notions of feminism, identity, home, and “the other” throughout her bold portfolio of work – themes that are particularly relevant in today’s socio-political landscape. Throughout the issue, you will meet some other incredible women that (regardless of whether you are a male or female) will inspire and move you. In “Fearless” (page 56), we gathered a group of women that are making their voices heard and forging their way to the top, all while battling the patriarchy in its many forms. They are savvy entrepreneurs, world-dominating business moguls, and trailblazing social activists. Elsewhere, we interview Allana Harkin (“Atomic Blonde”, page 48), producer and correspondent for the sharp-as-a-tack Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and discuss how the Torontonative has used satire as way to deal with Trump’s presidency. And in “A Mother’s Work” (page 39), we take a look at one woman’s impact on a man as he pays tribute to her legacy as both an iconic career woman and, more personally, his mother. (You’ll have to flip to the story to find out who.) This issue is a commitment we’ve made to champion gender equality for our readers, but also to ourselves. We know we can do better. So in addition to our Women’s issue, we commit ourselves to highlight more – more women, more visible minorities, more sexual minorities, more perspectives; just more. We want to champion diversity and all its beautiful colours, shapes, and sizes. After all, isn’t that what Canada is made up of?

Publisher David King Editor-in-Chief Creative Director Lance Chung Art Direction & Design Sali Tabacchi Inc. Advertising & Partnerships Greg Hutton Online Editor Christina Gonzales Digital Manager Ross Dias Copy Editor Benjamin Chacon Contributing Photographers Adrian Armstrong Mauricio Calero Janick Laurent Contributing Writers Popi Bowman Tristan Bronca Pasquale Casullo Noah Davis Ash Elwood Sunil Gurmukh Jayne Ashley Heaton Sabrina Maddeaux Michelle McBane Christopher Metler Renee Sylvestre-Williams Miroslav Tomoski Contributing Illustrators Vesna Asanovic John Holcroft Head Office Suite 302 183 Bathurst St W Toronto, ON M5T 2R7 Canada Subscriptions & Inquiries

Made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation

Lance Chung Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director @mrlancechung 6 WOMEN’S 2017




Michelle McBane is a director at MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund. She is also an instructor in the entrepreneurship department at Ryerson University and an active member in the technology community as an advisor and an observer on the boards of several companies. Michelle has over 22 years of operational and venture capital experience as well as managerial, sales and marketing roles in both engineering and scientific industries. She holds an MBA from McMaster University and Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa.

Janick Laurent is a photographer based out of Toronto. He studied Photography at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and has an interest in monochromatic portraiture. He currently operates J Studio shooting portraits, editorials and commercial work. He is also a huge advocate of the arts and has a passion for cinematography and film theory. When he’s not behind the lens, he’s addicted to mountain biking and motorsports. You can check out his photography at and follow him on Instagram @janicklaurent.

Sabrina Maddeaux is an award-winning lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Toronto Sun, NOW Magazine, and other prominent outlets. She also makes frequent TV appearances as a style and pop culture expert on Cityline, ET Canada, and The Morning Show.

Jo Jin is an off-figure, prop and fashion stylist. As a former fashion coordinator at a men’s lifestyle magazine, Jo has an extensive understanding of the business and the market. She loves curating goods to tell a story in an artistic way and lives in the Toronto west-end with her bengal cat, Tigger.

Popi Bowman writes about many topics, but one of her guilty pleasures is horsepower. She was the editor of Audi and Volkswagen’s custom publications in Canada for two years, and while living in the U.S. she worked at popular magazines such as Motor Trend and Nylon; her articles have also appeared in the National Post, Marie Claire, Azure and others.

Sunil Gurmukh is a lawyer at the Ontario Human Rights Commission in Toronto. He has worked on significant human rights cases at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was the winner of the 2016 Precedent Setter Award and the Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilège Award, and was recently featured in Bay Street Bull’s 2017 Power 50 Guide. When he’s not fighting for vulnerable communities, he’s living the South Asian version of Everybody Loves Raymond. Following him on Instagram @sunil_gurmukh.

@BayStBull 7


HUGO BOSS Celebrates I, Tonya

Photos courtesy of George Pimentel

On a balmy summer evening, HUGO BOSS toasted to the Canadian premiere of I, Tonya at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Director Craig Gillespie and the star-studded cast (which included Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, and Justine Bateman) celebrated throughout the evening inside trendy resto-lounge Montecito as patrons sipped on Perrier-Jouet Champagne and snacked on eggplant caviar, duck kromesky, and seared tuna crostini. Notable guests included Lanita Layton, Managing Director of HUGO BOSS Canada, and Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF.

8 WOMEN’S 2017


Women in the World Summit

Photos courtesy of Women in the World

On September 11th, Women in the World held its first-ever summit in Canada at the Art Gallery of Ontario during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Tina Brown, founder and CEO, opened the conference and led a discussion on women’s rights and feminism with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Angelina Jolie and author Loung Ung talked about their film, First They Killed My Father, which premiered at TIFF. Other highlights on the day included a discussion on how to break “bro code,” and two mothers on either side of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict who banded together after losing their sons.

@BayStBull 9


Vacheron Constantin debuts in Canada with Bay Street Bull

Event photos: Elaine Fancy

Kicking off September’s packed social calendar, Bay Street Bull partnered with luxury Swiss timepiece company, Vacheron Constantin, to celebrate the opening of their first Canadian boutique. Held at The Adelaide Hotel, the evening saw a mixture of Toronto’s most influential men and women from a variety of different communities – from finance and technology to fashion and sports – come together in their shared appreciation for fine watchmaking. Guests were greeted upon arrival with glasses of champagne before making their way into the main room where they were able to try on pieces from Vacheron Constantin’s collections, including their signature Overseas range. Leslie Kobrin, President of Vacheron Constantin Americas, and Lance Chung, Bay Street Bull Editor-in-Chief, mingled with guests before their welcoming remarks to thank everyone for attending and announce the timepiece brand’s new Yorkdale location. Throughout the evening, passed canapés of sliders and spring rolls were served, while a raw bar station was set up for patrons to help themselves to ceviche, crab legs, octopus salad, and oysters. Guests were also invited to the Vacheron Constantin photo lounge, where professional portraits were taken as a memento of the evening, before helping themselves to a dessert station as the final touch of the event.

10 WOMEN’S 2017

@BayStBull 11

Lounge photos: Shalan and Paul


The Panel In our ongoing series, we ask our panel of experts what advice they can offer on a given topic. This issue: personal finance.

Michael Katchen CEO, Wealthsimple “The best financial advice is to save. Save what you can, when you can. Save early. Save often. Get into the habit of saving so it becomes automatic – it becomes a habit, like brushing your teeth. Even better, make it literally automatic by setting up recurring deposits into a savings or investment account so that you never have to think about it, and you can’t convince yourself you’ll put aside extra next month because you “need” those new sneakers now. It’s not the most exciting advice, but good financial advice never is!”

Derrick Fung CEO, Drop “I always advise that young investors spread their investment timeline and diversify. Being able to call tops and bottoms is extremely time consuming, and like winning the lottery, it’s very rare. Professionals dedicate their lives to timing the market, and competing with them is always going to be a challenge. Instead, leverage platforms that have low fees and do the hard work for you. If you’re younger and have a higher risk tolerance, set aside a small percentage of your funds for new and exciting investments (i.e. cryptocurrencies) but don’t go all in. Most importantly, invest in yourself and your own ideas. That will always pay off in the long run.” 12 WOMEN’S 2017

Alex Benjamin CEO, Lendful “It’s important to set a series of goals that will help you prepare for the expected and unexpected. If you’re young, it’s OK to go without more and suffer in the short-term. The fancy car or shiny new phone will always get better year after year, so be a little frugal and don’t get caught up in fads. You have to think long-term – what will life be like at retirement? When we have children? If one of us gets sick, or if we lose a job? Also, do your research and buy a property as soon as you can. Buy where you can afford, even if it’s an hour away. While mutual funds and shares will usually incur capital gains tax, a property is your only tax-free asset (if you live in it).”


From inspiring entrepreneurs to start-up success stories, head online for the best in Canadian content.


@BayStBull #Baystreetbull


Inn the Moment

1 Azuridge Estate Hotel, Priddis, Alberta Inspired by the design of the CP Railway’s Rocky Mountain train stations, the Azuridge is a curvilinear, thirteen-suite hotel spread over thirteen acres. It’s the only property in Canada that has a team of butlers trained by the esteemed Clarence McLeod, who served Queen Elizabeth on her jubilee visit to Winnipeg. It may be tempting to stay indoors and be tended to, but horseback riding, hiking, and skiing in the Cowboy Trail-region beckon. After all that outdoor activity, ringing a butler will feel all the more earned.

For travellers seeking a special adventure away from it all, our gigantic backyard is a good place to start. If you’re looking to find yourself outside of Canada’s typical urban hubs – somewhere a little less expected – we have plenty of mountains, valleys, and coastal hideaways, as well as tiny towns for those in need of an escape. Here are a few recommendations off the beaten path that come fully loaded with luxury and charm.

2 Le Monastère des Augustines, Quebec City, Quebec A peaceful existence free of modern distractions is a true luxury. Joining a monastery requires much devotion, but for the uninitiated, a short, ascetic stay is possible in these restored, former cloisters of the Augustinian Sisters. Rejuvenating guests through holistic activities to re-affirm their humanity, as well as bring peace and relaxation,

Written by Pasquale Casullo



14 WOMEN’S 2017


is the mission here – the Sisters have a history of providing healthcare and wellbeing to communities. Authentic “cells” may be selected, but some less intense contemporary rooms are also available. 3 The Walper Hotel, Kitchener, Ontario The Walper Hotel has been restored to its former glory so thoroughly that even its wood floors maintain their original squeaks. Built in 1893, it can be found in Kitchener’s revitalized downtown area near restaurants, museums, art galleries, and the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts. Inside, the hotel is filled with Victorian spirit, a rich history (it was a hot spot years back when Kitchener was a cultural and social hub), as well as rooms that are singular in design. Perhaps you, too, will enjoy eating in Eleanor Roosevelt’s preferred breakfast location, on the interior terrace. Or, if it’s more your speed, boxing as Lennox Lewis did in the crystal ballroom.

4 Blue on Water, St. John, Newfoundland Found in the middle of downtown St. John’s, on the oldest commercial street in North America, Water on Blue is a cozy eleven-room boutique hotel. An important mark of a welcoming spot is good food, and that can be found in the well-loved dining room, headed by Fogo Island Inn alumni, Adam Grevatt, who only uses the freshest ingredients available. Do remember: the bar has the largest collection of Scotch on the island. 5 Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, British Columbia Perched on the edge on the western coast of Vancouver Island, every room has a serene panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. The Wickaninnish Inn (its namesake, an island, is over further west) makes becoming one with your surroundings second-nature. Whether inside or outside, cedar, fir, driftwood, and stone are everywhere, along with local art and artisan hand-crafted furniture, making this West Coast abode the perfect retreat. Encouraging

outdoor exploration, rain boots and rain gear are never in short supply should you want to go on an impromptu adventure before hitting up the spa. 6 Drake Devonshire, Wellington, Ontario Prince Edward County, situated on Lake Ontario, is becoming popular with the hipper, younger set. So it’s hardly a surprise that The Drake would pop up in Wellington. The hotel, housed in a former foundry, provides a sort of grown-up camp feel, but is more aesthetically pleasing, filled with curated art, and more comfortable than you may remember from your youth. After a farm-to-table meal in the Devonshire’s dining room, sitting waterside by a roaring fire with wool blankets is all you’ll need to top up on your R&R.




6 @BayStBull 15


Unconventional Booze When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what do you do when life gives you rice (or buckwheat honey, or milk, or molasses)? Thankfully, some intrepid individuals are out there answering these questions with delicious, boozy results. While we consider distilling a serious business, some of the following spirits are deemed interpretations rather than the real thing. (But that’s hardly a reason not to enjoy them.)



Written by Pasquale Casullo




1 Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka With its 260 grass-grazed cattle, this West Dorset, England-based distillery makes a rich, high-fat milk. And from that comes the earth’s only pure-milk vodka – yes, you read that correctly. By using whey processed with a special strain of yeast, this milk first becomes milk-beer before being distilled into a clear, smooth, and surprisingly delicious vodka. Before you ask, yes, even the lactose-intolerant can enjoy. $45 for 700mL 2 Whitley Neill London Dry Gin Johnny Neill is fascinated by Africa for its vivid beauty and mystery. And while distilled in Birmingham, England, this gin contains two distinct African botanicals, Baobab fruit and Cape gooseberries, drawing inspiration from stories Neill’s African-born wife shared with him. Constance, a hundred year-old copper still, is a 16 WOMEN’S 2017

special worker in this operation, reflecting Neill’s twenty-first century outlook, as well as referencing this spirit’s rich pedigree. $40 for 750mL 3 Botanist Gin Gin, for some, conjures that slick, industrial liquid consumed by Winston Smith in George Orwell’s classic novel, 1984. Botanist offers a completely opposite vision: made with twenty-two hand-foraged ingredients, including local juniper, chamomile, meadowsweet, berries, and barks, it’s a gift from Mother Nature, not Big Brother. What makes Botanist Gin particularly interesting is that it’s currently the first and only gin distilled in Scotland’s Isle of Islay, known best for its peaty Scotch. $55 for 700mL 4 Ironworks Distillery Bluenose Rum Ironworks is a detailed, historical-minded distillery, started by a couple who left creative careers in

Toronto for a life in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Preferring to keep production as Canadian as possible, traditional cane sugar for their rum is replaced with an all-natural high-grade molasses from the Caribbean, imported into Nova Scotia since 1879 by the Crosby Molasses Company of St. John. Aged in Kentucky oak bourbon barrels, it’s a light, fresh rum with depth. $45 for 750mL 5 Kikori Whiskey A whiskey comprised entirely of rice from the Kumamoto region in southern Japan, Kikori is different from usual rice-based spirits, sake and shōchū. Made with pristine, volcanic rock-filtered water, a funky mould called Koji is used for the fermentation process, breaking down the starches in the rice and converting them into sugar, resulting in a whiskey with a traditional smoky flavour. $55 for 750mL


Objects of Affection

1 Shinola leather piggy bank This little piggy made you audibly sigh. Stitched by hand, this tan leather farm animal with studs for eyes will be the cutest object to ever cross the four walls of your workspace, bar none. A shiny lock and key is the perfect measure to safely guard all your valuable nickels and dimes. In business, every penny counts. $235

When it comes to the workplace, utility lends itself well to productivity. However not everything has to have a purpose outside of simply being nice to look at. Admit it, your office could use a little personality and these (functional or not) desktop objects are perfect for the job.

2 Versace Medusa Lumiere ashtray Smoking cigarettes indoors is from a bygone era, much like Medusa’s Greece, but that’s hardly a reason not to appreciate something as beautiful as this. A transparent glass and crystal is just what you need to collect your thoughts and memories (or simply, hold your papers together). If you’re lucky, someone will come up to your desk, pick it up, and ask you what it is. $310

Written by Ross Dias

3 Stéphane Dufour Porsche 917 long tail gulf racing model With this nifty friend by your desk, your day will more than just fly by. Really, the stunning mini-sculpture is an entry point to a dream; its smooth curves a sweet reminder of the air, feel, and swoosh of colours that come with sitting in a beauty like the Porsche 917. Limited to 200 sculptures, each piece is made to order. $680 1

4 Concrete Cat camera The world is quickly making the flip from analog to digital, and nothing represents this metaphorically better than Concrete Cat’s camera. The Edmonton-based company specializes in making objects for your space with their unique approach to mixing pigment with concrete, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces that you can truly call your own. Perfect for the industrialist with creative flair. $250 5 MB&F MusicMachine 1 This out-of-this-world music box is a unique collaboration between timepiece brand MB&F, and luxury music maker Reuge. For the nerd in all of us, this work of art has all the trappings of a high-end music machine but is designed in a completely unconventional way. Two cylinders come pre-loaded with classic tunes, the left side blasting Star Wars’ “Imperial March” and the Star Trek theme song, while the right, playing tracks like John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” that will bring you right back to Earth. Price available upon request.


2 5

4 @BayStBull 17



1 Yabu Pushelberg Heath sofa At a certain point in life, self-assembled Swedishdesigned couches just won’t cut it anymore. For something as important as your seating area, it’s worth investing a little more in exchange for a luxury home experience. Internationally-renowned Canadian design firm Yabu Pushelberg’s Heath sofa is the epitome of #loungegoals. Made of fabric or supple leather, this sturdy sofa is injection molded on a metal frame for a beautifully classic look that will last for ages. Price upon request, available at Avenue Road

A regular roundup of glorious domestic products. Written by Ross Dias


2 String Theory Origami scarf Science geeks, rejoice! Montreal-based String Theory (whose name is derived from theoretical physics) may be your new go-to accessories brand. Parallel lines intersect with zigzags and triangles to mimic the compositional folds of traditional origami in this stunning scarf, which is made from cotton and Peruvian baby alpaca, handwoven in North Carolina, and finished between Quebec and Ontario. $160 3 Charlotte & Castel pine + lavender sea salt soap bar It is all about the materials at Charlotte & Castel, a small-batch, handcrafted company that’s completely transparent about every ingredient used in its products. Committed to creating products made from natural ingredients with no additives or added colouring, they go one step further to ensure their goods have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible (their packaging uses 100 percent recycled paper and vegetable oil ink). This oil-based bar of soap alone features toxin-absorbing Mediterranean sea salt, damaged skin-replenishing coconut oil, and the all-healing charcoal powder. One thing’s for sure: this is a company you can feel good about supporting. $15


4 PUBLIC Transit backpack PUBLIC, a new collection from Toronto accessories hub, ZANE, is more than what meets the eye. The “transit” backpack, along with the “statement” card holder and “park” large tote, neatly correspond to every aspect of a city dweller’s on-the-move lifestyle; be it a jaunt in the park or your daily commute. Constructed locally with leather sources in Spain, the bag features two continuous straps that wrap around the front into buckles, fluidly transforming it from a tote to backpack depending on your mood. $395, available at Zane

2 4

5 18 WOMEN’S 2017

5 wings+horns Cabin Fleece robe Clean, minimalist, and cozy. Your lounge game just went up a notch with this boxing-inspired robe that packs a serious punch. Vancouver-based cult favourite, wings+horns, have always been masters of casual luxury, and this instance is no different. Featuring a quilted interior and triple-layered fabric, the body will keep you nice and bundled up without overheating. Additional details like patch pockets and ribbed wrist cuffs are the perfect examples of how utility can inform sleek and smart design. $230

We Sell Unreal Estate.

Š Bahar Photo Studio

Join a real estate company that is making big moves across the city.

Toronto’s premier full-service brokerage. 625 King St. West (Upper), Toronto

How it’s made

Rado & Bay Street Bull

High Time

The Rado True Phospho, part of the brand’s limited-edition True Designers’ Series

Written by Christina Gonzales

In 1962, Rado debuted its iconic DiaStar 1, marketed as the world’s first scratchproof watch, made from hard metal and sapphire crystal. Since then, material science has advanced a lot, and Rado continues to be pioneering. Best known for their transformative use of ceramic, one of the lightest and most durable materials used in high-end watchmaking, here’s the science behind Rado’s high-tech ceramic. High-tech ceramic feedstock

Zirconium Oxide

Plasma High-Tech Ceramic

A high-tech ceramic timepiece starts off as an ultrafine powder made up of zirconium oxide, a compound used in medicine and space technology. Pigments are added to the powder to set its colour. Because zirconium oxide has an extremely high melting point (above 2,000 degrees Celsius), the material can’t be cast. Instead, the powder is injected into a precision mould and sintered. “Most people shy away from using ceramics because they’re harder to process than most metals,” says Rodney Rice, professor of ceramic processing at Purdue University in Indiana.

Plasma is achieved by taking the already sintered high-tech ceramic pieces and inserting them into an oven that blasts the material at 20,000 degrees Celsius. The ceramic itself reaches a temperature of 900 degrees, and its colour changes into a metallic grey – the look of metal, with the advantages of ceramic. Freshly injected high-tech ceramic cases

Sintering Process The zirconium oxide is sintered at 1,450 degrees Celsius, shrinking the material by 23 percent and making it fully dense. The result is a revolutionary scratch-free ceramic that’s light and smooth. For high shine, the pieces are polished for days or receive a matte finish. The colours offered include black, white, lunar grey, forest green, inky blue and chocolate brown, as well as plasma, a metallic-look treatment that doesn’t use metal.

The Rado True Designers’ Collection, made with high-tech ceramic, is an exclusive series of six limited-edition timepieces produced in collaboration with renowned designers around the world. The resulting watches are luxe, wearable, and classic marvels of innovation, which will last a lifetime. High-tech ceramic is truly the hallmark of Rado design.

Photos courtesy of RADO

Ten times harder (yet two-and-a-half times lighter) than gold, hypoallergenic, and adaptive to the temperature of the wearer’s skin, Rado’s high-tech ceramic is a lesson in design and innovation

Startup Spotlight

Nanoleaf Is this the coolest light you’ve ever seen?

Photos courtesy of Nanoleaf

Written by Pasquale Casullo

“How many guys does it take to screw in a light bulb?’ By now, the three founders of Nanoleaf must have been asked that question a million times over the past five years. But Gimmy Chu, Christian Yan, and Tom Rodinger have only themselves to blame: in 2012, they started Nanoleaf, a company specializing in the world’s most efficient LED light bulbs and fixtures, and have since changed the way we illuminate our spaces. Meeting in 2005 while working on University of Toronto’s solar car racing team, the engineering and sciences students had a seed for sustainability planted in their heads, and, post-graduation, commenced work on creating green energy products for the planet. Nanoleaf One (originally called NanoLight), their launch-product, uses only twelve-watts of power and runs at a lower temperature than other LED bulbs. A Kickstarter campaign for NanoLight would act as a catalyst to the beginnings of the company, surpassing their goal of $20,000 and reaching a whopping $250,000 by the campaign’s end. A second Kickstarter for a new dimmable bulb was launched, but it didn’t matter: the trio found backers in Hong Kong businessman, Li Ka Shing, and Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins. Zipping along, Nanoleaf has since opened offices in Hong Kong and a headquarters in Toronto – a combined coffee shop and pub on King Street West. Aurora, another pillar in their growing portfolio that was inspired by the Aurora Borealis, is a modular smart lighting panel system that is easily customizable and can be controlled by the swipe of your finger or sound of your voice. Rhythm, their latest, combines the senses by transforming Aurora light panels into a real-time music visualizer. “How you experience each and every moment of your day is largely determined by light, so we wanted to give that experience back to the user,” says Chu. They’ve got the basics down and are now changing the design industry, too. @BayStBull 21


Op-Ed: Beyond Investing in Women

How venture capitalists can be a force for good in the world of tech Written by Michelle McBane

This past summer began with the resignation of Travis Kalanick from his reign as CEO at Uber. It was yet another instance in a wave of troubling reports of toxic culture permeating throughout Silicon Valley, not just for startups and venture capitalists (VC), but for big tech companies as well. These giants often have teams dedicated to tackling the diversity challenge, which just goes to show how deep-seated the problem really is. Recent news has rightfully made issues of diversity and the treatment of women in tech top of mind. With much of the venture capital community under increasing scrutiny, it’s time to look at how we can be a part of the solution instead of the problem. As the investment director at the world’s largest urban innovation hub, I’ve seen first-hand that investing in female entrepreneurial efforts and encouraging diverse thought across the staffing of a startup can yield great business rewards. It’s one of the main reasons we decided to launch StandUp Ventures, one of the few funds in the world with capital dedicated exclusively to women-led ventures. Though the industry is smaller in Toronto, we’ve benefited from this closer community with more checks and balances to our actions. As a result, there’s less room for poisonous environments. 22 WOMEN’S 2017

If Silicon Valley wants to address its culture problem and reap the benefits of a diverse community, VCs can play an instrumental role not only in the companies they invest in, but also in how they build culture on their own teams.

Be as data-driven as the companies you invest in

Hard evidence of sexist attitudes are often difficult to pin down. According to a meta-analysis of studies by Lilia Cortina of the University of Michigan and Jennifer Berdahl of the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, only a quarter to a third of people who have been harassed at work report it, and only between two to 13 percent file a formal complaint. What’s more, anecdotes and sentiments can be hard to act on, especially if it’s unclear where the source of the issue is, or if the issue is tied to workplace culture instead of one specific person. In the BetterWorks court filing, the case argues that “women who attempted to complain [about harassment] to HR and upper management were deterred from complaining and told to be a ‘cool girl’ or that ‘it’s a female issue’... or were simply ignored.” In the absence of hard evidence, we often need to act as sleuths to suss out what’s really going on with a company’s culture. For instance, when evaluating startups to invest in, I often find that unexpected employee data offers valuable insights into culture problems. In an industry that prizes being “data-driven,” it’s astounding that this same approach isn’t always applied to employee-related matters. Real insights can be gathered from employee feedback on social media, like Glassdoor, while retention numbers that show high turnover – particularly among women or minorities – may be a sign of an unwelcoming atmosphere. VCs should ask for these statistics before investing and take them seriously when they hint at troubling trends. The startup Hubba, which released an open source framework to help companies track diversity in their teams, is a great example. By deeply understanding the dynamics of their teams, they’re better positioned to think about the types of roles they hire for, the job descriptions, and the hiring process – all of which contribute to creating an inclusive work environment.

Illustration by Sali Tabacchi

Recognize that gender balance starts with you

It’s easy to assume that the answer to the sexism problem in tech is simply to invest in more women-led ventures – in fact, I’m proud of StandUp Ventures, which encourages more women to step up and become entrepreneurs, moving us beyond the outdated assumption that the reason we have so few women in tech leadership roles is solely a “pipeline problem.” But the reality is that we need both men and women at the table – both at the startups we invest in and our own firms. Only this will lead to true diversity of thought. One of the best ways to increase gender balance is to stop hiring for “culture fit” and start hiring people who have

strengths that your existing team might lack. We naturally gravitate toward funding and hiring people who are just like us; it’s human nature. When we’re recruiting, I challenge my team to take an honest look at the core skills (and soft skills, too) that we’re weak on and evaluate 100 percent of the talent pool for those qualities. VCs who take board seats can also influence the conversations at the table. They should be pushing founders and senior leaders to take these issues seriously.

Invest in leaders who prioritize gender diversity

Venture capitalists often say they invest in people, not just ideas. I believe this is true, and that it’s essential for our community to thoroughly vet a founder’s approach to gender diversity. Leaders are ultimately responsible for everything that happens on their watch – which is why founders like Travis Kalanick should be forced to resign if numerous sexism scandals occur under their watch, regardless of whether or not they were personally involved. Many have argued that he allowed that culture to intensify from the start. Of course, the counter argument is that Uber is a wildly successful company in spite of its attitudes toward women. While that may be true now, I don’t think that’s a sustainable approach to building a strong company. Employees and consumers alike are becoming less tolerant of sexist attitudes, and social media is making it easier than ever for their voices on the matter to be heard. At the same time, Trump’s presidency is reigniting people’s activist spirits, meaning we’re likely to see more grassroots campaigns in the #DeleteUber vein. Tech is ultra competitive, even when you’re a unicorn. So it’s smart to invest in leaders who prioritize gender diversity from the start and have a demonstrated track record of creating inclusive work cultures. These are people you can trust to protect and enhance their company’s reputation as they grow and make sure there’s gender balance from the get-go. Because once you get on the wrong track, especially at high-growth companies, it can be hard to course-correct while in flight.

Make the headline we all want to see

If we as a VC community make the right moves now and tackle these problems head-on, the next controversial headline about Silicon Valley you read won’t be about culture at all – it will be about a founder who is too ambitious or because a VC took a risk on an entrepreneur with a bold vision. As this year of scandals draws to a close, it’s time to get back to the real reason why we all got into this industry – to be a force for good and change the world. Michelle McBane is Investment Director at the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund; Managing Director, StandUp Ventures

@BayStBull 23


Islay’s Heirloom A LESSON IN CRAFT AND QUALITY FROM ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST ICONIC SCOTCH BRANDS Written by Ryan Yuh Photography by Mauricio Calero Grooming by Temi Marie

We’ve all been there before – perusing the aisles of a liquor store on a Friday night hoping to find something nice, only to find yourself staring blankly at a shelf of Scotch whiskies with nary a clue on how to navigate it. It’s an understandable predicament to find oneself in. After all, as with any craft that has been cultivated over several generations, the repertoire of knowledge can be vast and daunting to make sense of. Which is where Marcio Ramos comes in. As a luxury brand ambassador for Beam Suntory, Ramos comes armed with a wealth of knowledge on some of Scotland’s most revered whisky brands, including Bowmore. With a job that has taken him around the world, Ramos has noticed that the one common denominator between everyone he has come across – as diverse as they are – is a thirst for knowledge, to know more in order to appreciate the beauty of Scotch. Here, Ramos sheds light on one of the most iconic (and oldest) Scotch brands, and why its expressions are the next step on your Scotch journey.

BOWMORE & Bay Street Bull

THE MALT WITH MORE What makes Bowmore so special out of all the Scotches available? For a lot of people, when they think about Islay whisky, they believe that they’re all the same – peaty and really smoky. One of the things that I stress is that there is a light, medium, and heavy peat available on Islay. We use the metric of parts per million (ppm) to measure peat. In the north, they’re known to be light-peated with up to 15 ppm. In the south, we have heavy-peated like Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg that have 45+ ppm. Bowmore stands apart in the middle as the only Scotch with 20 ppm, and with a medium peat it’s a great transition whisky for someone who is on a Scotch journey. Bowmore is also the first recorded distillery on Islay and one of the oldest in Scotland. How has that time allowed for the cultivation of craft and innovation? It’s funny because the limited amount of technology we use in production never ceases to amaze people – and that’s the beauty of it. There is no way you can program a machine to do the things that each member of production has done generation upon generation. It’s really about the passage of knowledge in the community. Bowmore is one of the most iconic brands because it has withstood the test of time - we’re talking since 1779. We have so many different expressions that showcase what we can do. There is something for everyone.

Nature’s Gift Why are Bowmore’s No.1 Vaults so unique and important to the process? Our No.1 Vaults are the oldest in Scotland and are located below sea level, producing unique conditions impossible to replicate anywhere in the world. In fact, the north-facing walls of the vault meet the rolling waves of the Atlantic. What many people don’t know is that barrels are water-tight, but not air-tight. Throughout maturation, barrels will expand during the warmer months and contract in the colder months. This gives the damp, cold temperatures and sea air an opportunity to seep into the barrels and impact

the liquid. It’s important to note that this continued expansion and contraction is also what causes a phenomenon we call Angels’ Share, where approximately two to three percent of the liquid will evaporate and go straight to Scotland’s angels (the happiest in the world!)

with what we call the Oyster Luge. It’s a simple technique where you eat the oyster, rinse the oyster shell with Bowmore 12 Year Old, and drink it from the shell. The combination between the iodine and the brininess of the oyster, paired with Bowmore, is just a match made in heaven.

Clearly geography plays a big role on the final result. In this case, how does it manifest in the specific characteristics of the liquid in each bottle? You won’t get loads of sea salt of course, but you will get a bit of brininess and seaweed that relates to the iodine in the sea air. Also, because of the distinct type of distillation and fermentation, many Bowmore marques have a rich finish, with lots of floral and velvety honey notes.

On the Bowmore website, I noticed there is a virtual reality tour. Can you tell us more about it? We’ve had amazing reception by the public with the launch of the virtual reality tour. The tour takes you on a journey to the coast of Islay to the Bowmore distillery. We’ve been talking a lot about the No.1 Vaults and this is where you can have an interactive look inside of them. It’s really a way for us to transport people to the coast of Islay without, of course, the travel. As often as possible, we offer a 4D experience where your senses are engaged with the smell of burning peat and whisky to really immerse yourself in this journey. Anyone is able to access the tour through the Bowmore website –

Bowmore has a vast range of products. What are some of your favourites? A staple in my cabinet is the 15 Year Old Darkest, I call it a “hug-in-a-glass.” I enjoy it most when relaxing from a busy day. It’s aged for 12 years in second-fill bourbon casks and another three to finish, which is not very common. Usually a finish in a second type of oak will be upwards of 18 months, but the results of three years is heavy dark chocolate and delicious spice notes. The Vault Edition Atlantic Sea Salt was an amazing surprise and captures the North Atlantic Ocean in a bottle. Of the barrels in our warehouses, some of them had a greater Angels’ Share than others. Instead of the typical three percent, it was more like five and six percent, which meant that the barrels were more porous and, thus, had more interaction with their surroundings. These casks were then selected and moved into the No. 1 Vaults, close to the ocean facing wall, to really capture its essence. It’s quite impressive.

A SCOTCH JOURNEY What are the biggest myths and misconceptions around Scotch, especially those coming from Islay? That it’s very smoky. I have a lot of people ask me, before they actually even pick up the glass, if it will be smoky. I think this is a common misconception for Scotch in general, not just Islay malts. That’s why as a brand ambassador, your job is to be a constant source of information so that when people are in the right environment and are able to ask questions, their experience is much more pleasurable and they love what they learn. It all comes back that common thread – the thirst for knowledge. What is your favourite way to enjoy a dram of Bowmore? I’ll have it neat at room temperature, but there’s no such thing as the perfect way to enjoy whisky. Whisky has around 180 different aromas, which make it one of the most complex spirits out there. Water, ice, and other ingredients in mixology will affect the flavour, sometimes enhancing it and other times dampening it, so ask your bartender what might open up the aromas and flavours. We also have an incredible way to enjoy Bowmore

For someone looking to add to their top shelf, what would you recommend as a gift to themselves or others? I would recommend the 18 Year Old. It’s just north of $100 and is a quintessential Bowmore expression. It’s a continuation of the 12 Year Old aged in second-fill bourbon casks, and offers a very gentle approach to the peat level. The peat flavour evolves from smoke and iodine, to tobacco. Of course, if you really want to treat yourself or somebody, Bowmore is known globally for its special releases and limited-edition bottles. Vault Edition Atlantic Sea Salt is the first of four limited releases and, coming in at approximately $200, it’s much more affordable than a trip to Islay! If budget is no object, Bowmore has an exclusive range of 50 Year Old releases. Keep an eye out for them as they’re very rare marques to get your hands on!


Natural Revolution Everything you need to know about natural, organic, and biodynamic wine Written by Christina Gonzales

Let’s clear the confusion. What’s the difference between organic, biodynamic, and natural wine? Merrin: Organic and biodynamic reference farming practices: organic means you’re not using any pesticides or chemicals on the crop, and biodynamic is organic, but on another level. Ann: Biodynamics has the basis of organics behind it, but it enables the organics to be more successful. In addition to not being able to use herbicides, for example, it gives us a set of composts that are specific in the nutrient content they bring to the soil. Biodynamics is about looking at the entire farm system as a whole: we raise our own animals to produce our compost. We have land dedicated to the animals, and their reproductive cycles bring energy to the land. We also have a forest, which promotes 26 WOMEN’S 2017

biodiversity. We grow a multitude of plants in and around our vines so that insects, birds, and other microbes can survive on the land, and we promote harmony and balance through that interplay of life. Merrin: Organic and biodynamic speaks to the farming, and then natural speaks to the production of the wine – it’s viticulture versus viniculture. When winemakers are pressing grapes into juice and fermenting it into wine, natural speaks to all the things that you can or cannot add at that point. Natural producers only use wild yeast. They don’t use sulfur early on, which kills off natural yeast. Sulfur kills bad bacteria, but it also gets rid of good organisms that are going to help the wine develop complexity in flavour. If natural producers do use sulfur it’s usually below 25 milligrams. They never use new oak or other manipulators to change the flavour because natural wineries are all about having those specific grapes from that pot of soil and from that vintage shine. They want the wine to speak to the terroir. How much sulfur is used in conventional winemaking? Chris: The Romans would have burned sulfur in clay pots to sanitize them, so it’s been around for as long as wine has existed. However in conventional winemaking in the US, 350 parts per million of sulphur is allowable in a bottle of wine, whereas with certified organic wine it’s much lower. To certify as organic,

Illustration by Sali Tabacchi

The world “natural” is used to describe so many things these days, but when it comes to wine, what gives? What was originally pegged as a fad has turned into a full-on shift. Now everyone wants a sip. (Don’t forget, there’s also organic and biodynamic, too.) So how do we tell the difference? Thankfully, we’ve scouted some of Canada’s top winemakers and sommeliers – Ann Sperling of Southbrook Winery, Merrin McHugh of Actinolite, and Christopher Wickens of La Banane – to give us the basics on the trio.

you’re only allowed 100 parts per million of sulphur for red wine, and 150 parts per million for white and rose. That’s already a contrast from conventional winemaking, and it just shrinks from there: biodynamic wine has no more than 70 parts per million for red and no more than 90 parts for white. For natural wine, there’s really no description, but generally speaking, you can presume that there’s less than 20 parts per million, which is a far cry from conventional winemaking.


Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes, Le Soula Rouge, France

How can people distinguish between biodynamic, organic, and natural when they’re buying a bottle at the store?

The fruit is sourced from elevated vineyard sites near the base of the Pyrenees, within Roussillon, Southwest France. It’s an elegant, balanced wine.

Ann: In Canada, we have to use the Canadian organic regime logo. It’s a round logo with the maple leaf on it, and it says “Canadian organic standard.” We also have to say who certifies us, and in Southbrook’s case it’s ProCert. On the back label, it’ll show both of those. Then on our biodynamic wines, the bottles say we’re certified by Demeter, which is the organization that regulates biodynamic production.

Southbrook Estate, Skin-Fermented White, Niagara This antique style is known as orange wine. It offers fascinating aromatics, a bracing texture, and endless food pairing options.

Merrin: But natural doesn’t really have one kind of body that’s overseeing everything and that’s what’s kind of tricky about it. There isn’t a “certified” natural. Why do you think there is a growing interest in these wines now?


Chris: Biodynamic has been in the conversation since the 1920s. It didn’t get good reception then but it has gained traction with the consumption of organic produce. I think it’s a natural extension of that, where people are seriously aware of what they’re putting into their bodies and what they’re consuming. Where can people source some of your favourite natural wines?

Chateau le Puy, Emilien, Bordeaux, France

Merrin: Go through an agent. I think people have this misconception that you have to be someone that buys a ton of wine or buys really expensive wine to go through an agent, but that’s not true. The Living Vine, which is owned by Mark Cuff, is great. Everything he does is organic, biodynamic, or natural. That’s his specialty, so he’s a good one to go through. I strictly go through agents now. You just have to buy in a case: 12 or six bottles depending on the wine. I often just split with people. Three people get together on a case, so it’s not that big of a commitment.

The chateau is family-run and has employed natural practices for over 400 years. The wine has a rustic edge, but maintains a strong sense of fruit and good structure.

Escoda-Sanahuja, Les Paradetes, Catalonia The Les Paradetes is a Garnacha blend that’s funky and earthy, with tons of acidity and tart red fruit. It lends itself well to fermented foods. @BayStBull 27

Glenmorangie & Bay street Bull

From Barrel

From the Highlands to the highway, Glenmorangie and Renovo join forces to bring forth the world’s only bike made from real whisky casks written By Jayne Ashley Heaton

To Bike

Glenmorangie’s most popular single-malt whisky, The Original, has long been a favourite of Scotch connoisseurs and novices alike. And while its distillation in Scotland’s tallest stills makes for a delicate natured spirit, it’s the decade of maturation spent in ex-bourbon casks (crafted from meticulously selected, slow grown American White Oak) that gives the spirit its signature characteristics: its pale golden hue, warm vanilla and toffee flavours, bursts of crisp citrus, rippling floral notes, and a long finish of ripening peach. Many of these flavours emerge from the chemical interaction between the spirit and this specially chosen wood. “We have a very, very rigorous wood management policy, unlike any other company in the industry,” explains Dr. Bill Lumsden, the brand’s director of distilling, whisky creation, and whisky stocks.

For The Original, each cask is filled only twice in order to maximize the flavours derived from the wood. “Most companies will use the barrels four or five times,” says Lumsden. “By the fifth fill, you’re still getting something from the barrel, but not really what I’m looking for.” All that fine oak, and no further use for the barrels inspired Glenmorangie’s Beyond the Cask program. Innovation, creativity, and a near-obsessive appreciation for wood’s unique properties are an integral part of Glenmorangie’s M.O. Beyond the Cask aims to connect Glenmorangie with other brands that share their enthusiasm for the materials, and enlists their expertise to breathe new life into the casks. This year, Glenmorangie partnered with Renovo, pioneers of the world’s first engineered wooden bicycles.

Wood on Wheels

Ken Wheeler, founder of Renovo, has a background designing and manufacturing airplanes out of composite. “I was not a woodworker, and still I am not a woodworker,” he says. But through engineering he learned about the structural properties of wood. An avid tour cycler in his spare time, travelling long-distances on two wheels set him into problem-solving mode. As many cyclists know, a smooth ride is key when you’re moving fast and for long distances at a time. Wheeler wanted to make a better bike. “Wood absorbs vibration four times better than carbon, better than steel and titanium,” he says. “That makes a very smooth-riding bicycle, which was the point.” It also resists stress, and doesn’t fatigue as easily as the metals most often used by bike manufacturers. Not to mention it’s easier to repair and any scratches incurred can be mended without affecting performance. However, “if you dent metal, that is a stress riser, and eventually [the damaged frame] will fail from fatigue, and it cracks. Metal frames are susceptible to that, but wood is not.” So Wheeler, along with his son Stuart, got to work designing state-of-the-art tools to make Renovo bikes a reality – no woodworking classes necessary.

Casks to Cycling

Photos courtesy of Glenmorangie

The transformation from barrel to bike involves a few extra steps in the production process. Glenmorangie packed four plasticwrapped palettes holding a thousand wooden staves that once made up the whisky casks, and sent them to Renovo’s Portland, Oregon workshop. Each curved stave is charred on one side (the inside of a whisky cask is either charred or toasted to facilitate flavour mingling), and weathered on the other: “We prefer cool, damp warehouses,” explains Lumsden. “When the wood leaves our warehouse it’s actually more moist than when it goes in.” Staves are kiln-dried for three to four weeks to lower moisture levels from 20 percent on arrival, to six. The natural drying that would occur with time would warp the finished product, so drying the

wood prior to cutting is imperative. One interesting side-effect of drying the wood in-house, Wheeler admits with a grin, is that it made the entire workshop smell like a distillery. “It was so nice,” he says. Once dried, the charred and weathered layers are carved away, and the remaining barrel-curved staves are split in two. Though the company’s four engineers spend months designing strong, lightweight, and elegant frames, using “computer solid monitoring, finite element analysis, virtual testing…” a series of other high-tech processes, and a healthy amount of trial-and-error to achieve the perfect result, the actual wood-cutting process is swift and efficient. “It’s machined on a computercontrolled router,” says Wheeler, which ensures consistency. It also cuts down on time, as each bike takes 15-20 hours to complete. Achieving the perfect frame by hand would probably take hundreds, Wheeler estimates.

The Ride

Once the pieces are cut, they’re sanded by hand, stained, and the hollowed-out shapes are fit together to form the tubes that make up the bike’s frame (and conveniently house the break-cables for a streamlined look). “We seal the [tubes] against moisture on the inside as well as the outside. Moisture is the enemy for wood,” says Lumsden. Though the hollowed shape adds even more strength: “If one side wants to warp, the other side won’t let it.” All of Renovo’s designs are put through the ringer and meet some pretty extreme strength standards before they’re ready to hit the road, so you can rest-assured they’ll stand up to any rigours their riders might put them through. A final polyurethane coating is applied to make them waterproof and able to stand up to the hottest, coldest, or rainiest climates. The finished Glenmorangie Original bike showcases a curved down tube that mirrors the curvature of the casks that inspired it. A glossy finish brings out the natural oak grain, and gold letting showcases the Glenmorangie logo and a limited-edition number. The Glenmorangie Original by Renovo are available at, from $6950-$11,450 USD.


Haute out the kitchen From Korean bibimbap to Filipino sisig, in today’s North American cities there’s always something new to discover. But why do some cuisines make it big while others flounder? Turns out, it takes a lot more than an Insta-trend to do the trick WRITTEN By Christina Gonzales illustration bY VESNA ASANOVIC

30 WOMEN’S 2017

“Does he eat sushi?” asked Kate, in reference to her friend’s new boyfriend. It was a rhetorical question, of course. It wasn’t about said boyfriend liking sushi per say, it was about a whole lot more. Over the last 100 years, ethnic food in North America has become a form of cultural currency. Just like music, art, or architecture, it has worked its way into the hierarchy of cultural commodities, revealing to us much more than just our culinary preferences. Similar to the way in which musicians and artists are leaders in the cultural conversation, so too are those who are experts on food. To put it plainly, the more you know about ethnic food and the more of it you eat, the more sophisticated you are. This is especially true for educated, enlightened millennials. In their world, eating a variety of ethnic foods implies superior social, cultural, and intellectual status. Kate’s liking for sushi cements her on an invisible hierarchy of cultural progressiveness—she goes to museums, she appreciates classical music, she eats sushi. And while sushi is certainly commonplace in North America, it’s a good example of the way in which people judge each other based on what foods they do or don’t eat.

@BayStBull 31


A Brief History This fascination with ethnic food and drink in North America began among white elites in the 1800s, says Krishnendu Ray, author of The Ethnic Restaurateur and food studies professor at New York University. “In the New York Times in the 1880s, [journalists] talk about ‘German, exotic beer’ and how interesting it is,” Ray says. German beer was considered fashionable then, now it’s Filipino sisig, Cypriot halloumi, Malaysian laksa. There are a number of reasons why minority food has become a fundamental part of the cultural world, explains Ray. First, the language around food changed with the Civil Rights Movement. “We were no longer publically allowed to display disgust and disdain towards other people’s food,” Ray explains. Thus, the consumption of ethnic foods became a virtuous act. The reason why certain ethnic cuisines go “haute,” (and by this, we mean redecorated and packaged in way to suit white, upper-middle-class tastes) in North America, seemingly over night, is to feed what sociologists like Ray call “cultural omnivorousness,” defined by a need to consume more genres of cultural commodities, from art to music to food, by the upper-end of the social world. Highbrow cultural activities used to be going to the ballet, attending a lecture by a novelist, or going to the theatre. Now it includes dining at Michelin Star restaurants, or a visit to one of the World’s 50 Best.

Does Everything Need To Be Elevated? Food critics are some of the leading voices in the discourse surrounding ethnic food in North America – its authenticity and accessibility. And they often determine what’s considered trendy in any given North American city. Chris Nuttall-Smith, food writer and ex-restaurant critic at The Globe and Mail, believes people in North America are impatient for food to mature. “We want more variety, better-quality food, and – I hate the word ‘authentic,’ – but [dishes] similar to how you’d find it at its source,” he says. And while Nuttall-Smith was one of the most revered restaurant critics in Canada, he certainly recognizes his place as a Caucasian food expert writing about other races’ foods. When asked why certain cuisines become “elevated,” it touches a chord: “What do you mean ‘elevation?’ Does Thai food need to be elevated?” He asks. “Elevated just connotes that it’s better all of a sudden, right? You see white people using ‘elevated’ a lot. They say, ‘Oh, you really need to elevate this dish.’ Because nobody ever says you need to elevate a French dish, you just assume it’s already elevated.” Ray says that the term ‘elevate’ with regard to food means that a dish has been made using French cooking techniques with Japanese plating style. That’s the Western definition of a refined dish. But some proponents of ethnic cuisine, like Amy Besa, author of Memories of Philippine Kitchens and co-owner of Purple Yam, a Filipino restaurant in New York, feel that Western acceptance is irrelevant. “[Filipino] food has its own integrity and its own inherent value,” Besa says. “That value does not depend on the validation of outsiders. We do not need Western journalists to tell us how good our food is. ‘Haute cuisine’ is a Western standard. For me, it does not apply to our food.” “I can only speak to people who truly love the food,” Besa explains. “I have many customers who are not Filipinos, who have never been to the Philippines, but totally get the food and love it. If people don’t love it, then they’re not my audience.”

32 WOMEN’S 2017

Whether Filipino restaurateurs need recognition from the Western world or not, the upscaling of Filipino food has begun in North America, with restaurants popping up from Calgary to Chicago. Ray says the burgeoning of Filipino cuisine has a lot to do with the economic status of Filipinos in the United States and Canada: “East coast Filipinos have some of the highest per capita income (higher than whites by the way). [And second-generation Filipinos grew up in] social worlds that are largely multiracial, white, cultural worlds.”

How To Go Haute An ethnic minority group with an upper, professional middle class that’s “savvy enough to realize food has become sexy,” says Ray, is one of two key ingredients by which cuisine goes “haute.” For example, when a Filipino dentist brings his white colleagues to lunch at Purple Yam in Brooklyn, suddenly, Filipino becomes part of their cultural conversation. Once this happens over and over again, Filipino food suddenly becomes hip. The second key component of ethnic food going haute, Ray says, is the existence of a star chef. “Who’d have thought that Scandinavian food would be the next big thing?” questions Ray. “It’s a food of scarcity; nothing grows in the place half the time. So you take moss and wild berry [and put it on a plate], but you still need a René Redzepi,” the head chef of Noma in Copenhagen, which has been awarded two Michelin stars and was ranked the world’s best restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. “But remember,” Ray explains, “René only happened because Ferran Adrià, [head chef of the famous El Bulli], happened before him. You need a celebrity superstar chef with a signature.”

“Elevated just connotes that it’s better all of a sudden, right? You see white people using ‘elevated’ a lot. They say, ‘Oh, you really need to elevate this dish.’ Because nobody ever says you need to elevate a French dish, you just assume it’s already elevated.” Adrià’s signature was molecular gastronomy, and Redzepi’s was foraging from his own – albeit sparse – soil. But for others, a signature can be simpler. Hence, David Chang’s ramen and steamed buns, Markus Samuelson’s Swedish meatballs, Yotam Ottolenghi’s Israeli-British brunch. The above chefs propose more than just meals. They propose an ideology, and what they offer extends beyond the meal itself. Chang does Momofuku, but he also does Mind of a Chef. Samuelson does New York City, but he also does Bermuda and Sweden. (After all, doesn’t Samuelson’s Ethiopian roots and Swedish upbringing only contribute to

First Quencher 1840

A Bavarian immigrant named John Wagner was the first to brew lager and set up shop in Philadelphia.


There were five Chinese restaurants in San Francisco that fed immigrants from the California gold rush.


The first Chinese buffet in Canada appeared in Gastown, Vancouver to satisfy hungry Scandinavians working in the woods and mills.


Tex-Mex cuisine (chilli con carne) was popularized in San Antonio, and sold for a dime. It came with a glass of water and bread.


A man named Gennaro Lombardi applied to the New York City government for the first license to make and sell pizza in the US


A New York Times journalist discovered the first Indian restaurant in Manhattan, which sold curry and rice.


The Miyako Sukiyaki, one of the first distinctly Japanese restaurants in San Diego, charged $1.25 for a sashimi dinner.


The first Thai restaurant appeared in Los Angeles (unnamed), and served Thai rice noodles, Chinese egg noodles and stir-fried spaghetti.

his Western appeal?) Meanwhile, there’s not a food lover’s home in London, England where you won’t find one of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks.

Barriers To Entry Unfortunately, for other cuisines, like Caribbean or Eastern European, the jump into the haute category is proving to be more challenging. Food sociologists believe that a nation’s standing in the hierarchy of the global economy is at the crux of it all.

“The barrier is black-white racial relations, which is harder to mend compared to Asian relations. That’s linked to Asia as a major economic power.” “If you call it ‘soul food,’ it becomes impossible to charge more than $10 to $12 [for a meal], unless you’re in Harlem and Bill Clinton frequents your spot,” Ray says. “The barrier is black-white racial relations, which is harder to mend compared to Asian relations. That’s linked to Asia as a major economic power. That’s the major story in the second half of the 20th century – the rise of Asia, the rise of Asian elite, the rise of Asian middle class. And we’ve never had that with an African class. We haven’t had that story yet.” There are major players in the worldwide food game, and popularity doesn’t happen by accident. Often times, a nation’s government funds the marketing of their cuisine. Just look at Spain, Norway, Thailand, and South Korea. The familiarization North Americans have with their food is a years-long, ongoing process, which encompasses everything from food trade shows, to lavish dinners with food thought leaders, to pilgrimages across the globe. Coincidentally, as Filipino food approaches its peak, Besa, along with Manila-based chef Myrna Segismundo, were given a budget by the Philippine Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs to cook dinners across Europe and North America, showcasing native Filipino ingredients. Segismundo covered London, Brussels, The Hague, Amsterdam, and Berlin. And this fall, Besa’s tour includes New York, Toronto, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle. While the exact cost of the tours is unknown, one can say with certainty that awareness is always backed by money. – This is exactly what the unknowing millennial food enthusiast might not know. That every restaurant concept popping up in their city, from Royal Thai to Andalusian tapas, has a story that encompasses so much more than what’s “trending.” Cultural cuisines go haute almost exactly the same way a hip-hop group becomes famous. “The formulas are parallel,” Ray jokes. “You’ll need a good musician, a good manager, a good promoter, [and] you’ll need some good luck.”

@BayStBull 33

bombay sapphire & Bay street Bull


How Bombay Sapphire balances commerce and creativity by fostering emerging talent Written by Christopher Metler

Artist Benjamin Lee

Sitting aside the crystal clear River Test in rural Hampshire, England, Laverstoke Mill is a site steeped in natural beauty and home to Bombay Sapphire’s iconic distillery. It’s where some of the world’s finest gin is created, via a precise, one-shot method of production called ‘vapour infusion,’ known to render every last drop of the distinctive spirit with the flavour and aroma of ten hand-selected botanicals. The uncommon process involves using ingredients picked from exotic locations around the world, alcohol brought in from a separate supplier, water from Lake Vyrnwy, a still originally developed in the 19th century, and a team of meticulous technicians to get everything right. There is no room for error here. Every batch of Bombay Sapphire comes out perfectly. As a matter of interest, this commitment to artistry and craft is one that Bombay Sapphire has pledged to uphold not only in the gin they bottle, but also through independent endeavours that aim to cultivate and enrich vibrant communities, all while still building out the brand’s own business in an authentic and inspiring way. In fact, Bombay Sapphire has a long and rich history within the creative community, ever since they first launched nearly 30 years ago. And over that length of time, Bombay Sapphire has continued to reinforce its dedication to the arts sector by supporting emerging artists with programs like the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, a competition founded in 2010 that advances the talents of emerging visual artists throughout North America. Through each edition of the Artisan Series, thousands of submissions from both online and local gallery events get narrowed down to a small number of finalists. These finalists then receive the chance to travel to Scope Miami

PHOTOs courtesy of Bombay Sapphire and Artsy


Beach – the premier showcase for international up-and-coming contemporary art – to feature their oeuvres in front of the top art critics and buyers in the world. Now in its second year in Canada, the competition has again partnered with Artsy, an online platform for the discovery, education, and collecting of art. Boasting a growing collection that comprises 350,000+ artworks by 50,000+ leading artists, Artsy offers one of the largest bodies of contemporary art available in the digital space. For Elena Soboleva, a contemporary art specialist who leads Artsy’s special projects, it’s only natural to team with brands like Bombay Sapphire that reflect Artsy’s own values of making art accessible and part of our everyday lives – brands that maintain a genuine engagement with art as a core value, and are committed to supporting artists. When it came to Bombay Sapphire, she saw a natural fit. “They have a track record of providing emerging artists with an international platform to showcase their work,” Soboleva says. “While the artists range in age from recent graduates to those taking up art as a second career, most don’t have gallery representation. It’s exciting for Artsy to be able to partner with Bombay and offer these artists an opportunity to reach a wider audience, and position them for next steps in their development. Along the way, we create amazing content that can help all artists as they develop.” After all, it’s been said that exposure is the holy grail for young artists. Especially in Canada, which plays host to such a fierce and saturated scene for its relatively small population. Consequently, getting eyes on your work – especially when the prospect of international attention comes hand-inhand – can mean a world of difference in a young artist’s career. Just ask Vancouver’s Benjamin Lee, the 2016 Artisan Series victor. Like a lot of the artists, he entered the competition hoping he might someday get to work with Bombay Sapphire in an artistic capacity. But since winning it, opportunities have come in the form of private acquisitions and interest from galleries to showcase his work. Ultimately, the experience taught him that the business of being an artist is almost exclusively about – and here’s that magic word again – exposure. “That is the only real power behind advertising. It’s the commonality that art and advertising share,” Lee opines. “You can make the greatest work, whether it be a painting or a frypan, but if nobody sees it and nobody knows about it, then its value is finite. But if you share that work, it takes on a life of its own.” “The old adage rings true: If a tree falls in the forest… You can’t make art in a vacuum.” Lee isn’t the only success story recently spun from Bombay Sapphire’s Artisan Series. In 2012, artist Hebru Brantley sold his finale piece to Jay-Z during Scope Miami Beach, and was commissioned to create a custom work for producer Swizz Beatz in 2013. Then, in 2015, artist Kristine Mays sold hers to George Lucas and wife Mellody. The couple went on to personally task Mays with creating two other custom-made wire dresses for their daughter, Everest. It all serves as testament to the exceptional caliber of talent being supported by the Artisan Series, in addition to the public notice which Bombay Sapphire’s annual arts competition affords. Furthermore, the Artisan Series has demonstrated that prominent corporate entities like Bombay Sapphire – itself a property of billion dollar spirits titan, Bacardi – can not only partner with the creative community to support emerging artists in an authentic fashion, but still support their own business in the process. “Leading visionaries within these corporations understand that art has the potential to disrupt preconceptions and be an absolute form of self-expression,” says Soboleva. “Brand support is an amazing way to increase funding to the arts and offer more opportunities to artists, but it has to be done in a way which places the highest regard on the artist’s intent.” “This means a real sense of collaboration and respect for their work.” Well, as it pertains to the Artisan Series, it can be confidently stated that the spirit of Bombay Sapphire – self-expression, creativity, and imagination – lives unequivocally in its competition’s artists and their opuses.

“if nobody sees it and nobody knows about it, then its value is finite. But if you share that work, it takes on a life of its own.”

Artsy’s Elena Soboleva


My First Watch One man’s journey to finding the timepiece that was destined for him Written by Noah Davis

“I absolutely refuse to go to Beverly Hills right now,” I say. I’m sprawled in a lounge chair by the pool reading to my kids. My wife is standing over me, explaining that she needs to go because there’s a small boutique that carries a makeup product that she must have. She is relentless. Groan. What I don’t realize is that this conversation is one of the final stops on a journey that has taken over a decade. – Twelve years earlier, I was living in Los Angeles, working as an assistant to a director. I was a wide-eyed, small-town kid, and my boss was a worldly man of discerning taste. Working for him was an education in many things: food, architecture, design, photography, art, kindness, surfing… the list goes on. Although he had many fine things, nothing was flashy or ostentatious. His inclination towards understated and thoughtful design had a huge influence on me. He had one watch. I remember it vividly. The moment I saw it, I was spellbound. I had never laid my eyes on anything like it. At first glance, it appeared beautifully simple. But upon closer inspection, it would reveal itself to be full of detail. The gold hands caught the light in a magical way. The numbers on the dial were striking. A bold chunk of metal covered the crown with a clever little lever to ensure the case would be watertight. It was big, yet surprisingly comfortable to wear. Even the strap was a work of art: a thick slab of honey-coloured leather that matched those gold hands. I was enchanted. It was a Panerai. And from that moment I made up my mind that I was going to own one for myself. I’ve always had an in interest in watches. I had a Kenneth Cole that my girlfriend bought me once, which was pretty awesome. But I knew nothing of luxury watches. Looking at that Panerai, I realized it was a different animal. It was more than simple admiration: I identified with this watch. But I couldn’t make the financial commitment to purchase it and resolved that I may never own one. 36 WOMEN’S 2017

As the years passed, my desire for that watch never waned. I would ogle the brand in stores and came upon other nice watches that were closer to my price range – but I waited. My girlfriend became my wife, we moved to Toronto, built a home, had two kids, and achieved various other milestones that come with adulthood. – Now, twelve years later, that Panerai still feels like a distant possibility. What I know for a fact, though, is that I am going to drive through LA rush hour to take my wife to buy makeup. We load the kids into the car. They’re overtired, but they’ve had too much sugar to fall asleep as the car starts and stops down Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s not an easy drive. When we finally arrive in Beverly Hills, my wife gets excited as she sees a parking spot. “Park there, park there!” It isn’t until I’m in the spot that I notice we’re parked directly in front of a Panerai boutique. I lose myself, dreamily looking through the window display for a moment. When I turn around, my wife has a devilish look on her face. “Let’s get you your watch.”

It was a Panerai. And from that moment I made up my mind that I was going to own one for myself. I’m not sure I hear her correctly. She repeats herself as I start to realize that she never had any intention of getting makeup. She discovered that a Panerai boutique had opened in Los Angeles and she’s brought me here to finally get my watch. The boutique is tiny. My kids are on fire, hooting, running, spinning around on the floor. I’m looking in all the display cases, both excited because I can’t believe I’m about to get a Panerai, and panicked because I’m not seeing the one. The salesperson is Lisa. I try describing the watch I originally fell in love with, but what I don’t realize is that my boss’ watch was a highly coveted Special Edition, the PAM00127, which had tripled in price on the aftermarket. She listens and thinks for a moment before saying, “Look at this one.” My heart skips a beat. My breath gets caught in my lungs. The ceiling opens up and a brigade of angels descend singing Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” aria, dropping sweet rose petals – at least that’s how it went down in my head. I take the watch in my hand and hold it close. This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for.

Very few items have the enduring and emblematic power of a beautifully crafted timepiece. After all, nobody is going to be handing down their iPhone 5s as a family heirloom.

“I love this so much,” I whisper. So many years desiring a Panerai, and here it is. This watch in my hand has that special thing, a mysterious power that commands your attention and respect. Aside from my boss’ timepiece, this is the only other watch I have ever seen that has given me the same emotional charge. Heck, I like this one even more. In front of me, Lisa is explaining the history behind this specific model, the features, and the little details that make it unique. And while I’m taking in what she’s saying, I can’t help but feel completely absorbed by this watch. Then, as if in a dream, I’m walking into the evening sunshine with the Panerai PAM00372 strapped to my wrist. It feels like it’s always belonged there. I’m in shock, my wife is beaming, even my kids think it’s cool.

Photo courtesy of Noah Davis

– This watch will open my mind and heart to the world of fine timepieces, and be the first in a small, carefully curated collection. It will be an introduction to other watch enthusiasts who will become good friends. The luminescent markers on the dial will delight my children as I turn off the lights to tuck them into bed. They will pull my wrist to their ear to hear the gratifying tick of the mechanics inside. The leather strap will take on the smell of campfire smoke. The little scuffs and scratches on the case will be reminders of the adventures this watch has joined me on. The timepiece itself, a reminder of the lasting love and partnership I share with my wife. In addition to the tremendous symbolic value this watch holds, I will discover how this little piece of horology ties into my identity. Anything we buy, from cars to clothes to technology, reflects our personality. But these things are transient in our lives. Very few items have the enduring and emblematic power of a beautifully crafted timepiece. After all, nobody is going to be handing down their iPhone 5s as a family heirloom. When the day comes for me to shuffle off this mortal coil, I believe my kids will look at my Panerai among my collection of watches and know that it’s the piece that most clearly represented me. For this reason, my first real watch will also always be my most important. @BayStBull 37


Making Khaki “Cool” Again One woman’s quest to redefine the past glory of a classic men’s brand

Everybody remembers Dockers. Long recognized as one of North America’s favourite heritage lines, at its zenith, the khaki trailblazer – established in 1986 – astonished the clothing world by transforming casual pants into a billion-dollar business. It’s only by touring their vault at Levi Strauss & Co. headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area – glimpsing at their rich roots and while witnessing firsthand how they inspired a generation of men to show up differently to work – that you really begin to grasp the kind of impact the brand once had on the culture of fashion. “When Dockers was born back in the ’80s, it was at a pinnacle time. Men were breaking away from business suits and showcasing more of their individual style.” At least that’s how Janine Chilton-Faust, the Global VP of Dockers Design, articulates it. An accomplished design and development leader, Chilton-Faust forms part of a dedicated team tasked with tapping into 30 years of the brand’s innovation to make khaki “cool” again. Not too long ago, Dockers defined the khaki category. But by the brand’s own admission, they lost their direction along the way in an attempt to diversify and forget their roots. To capture lightning in a bottle for the second time, they’re committed to staying true to their heritage and DNA: to keep khaki at the core of everything they do. For her part, Chilton-Faust is no stranger to creating the vision and strategy necessary for products to capture relevant trends and market share. As the VP of Levi’s Design (Mens, Boys & Premium) from 2002 to 2006, she defined the brand’s design philosophy and was instrumental in launching a premium business for men and women. After a stint working as VP of Women’s Design until 38 WOMEN’S 2017

2009, she then served as VP of Global Design for Levi’s Women’s until 2012, a role which saw Chilton-Faust craft, lead, and present seasonal concepts and designs for multiple channels while manufacturing an innovative global fit platform. All in a day’s work. Hey, it’s probably no small coincidence that denim experienced its own resurgence in popularity throughout these very same years. So now, how do Chilton-Faust and company intend to reinvent the men’s classic that is Dockers? First, by introducing a product they claim optimizes khaki pants with comfort that goes beyond fabric. The Smart 360 Flex innovation was constructed, featuring a flexible waistband and four-way stretch. “We wanted him to look sharp and professional, but still have the ease of movement. It’s an amazing fabric that works well on a workday or a weekend,” says Chilton-Faust. They contend that there is no other product in the market like this, which modernizes business casual for the next generation of men. And as a means of generating the exposure necessary to make this group of men aware of it, Dockers is supporting a campaign they dub Always On, which aims to ensure guys aren’t just dressed for the occasion, but have the confidence to seize any opportunity. Although the early results of Always On have been encouraging, Chilton-Faust understands that the road ahead to making Dockers a cultural phenomenon once more will be paved with unique challenges. “The workspace isn’t what it was 30 years ago. We shop differently, so much has changed. It’s only natural that our relationships to clothing and shopping and how we dress will evolve. We are again responding to how the world is changing.”

Photos courtesy of Dockers

Written by Christopher Metler


A Mother’s Work Photos courtesy of Franca The Movie LLC

Icon, powerhouse, visionaire: a son’s touching tribute to his trailblazing mother WRITTEN By Ross Dias

Francesco Carrozzini had just shown his mother the first cut of his documentary, Franca: Chaos and Creation, about her life’s work at Italian Vogue. While watching her son’s production, the humorously blunt Franca Sozzani looked at him and remarked, “Congratulations, this is shit.” Dejected, Carrozzini sought the advice of Baz Lurhmann, an Oscar-nominated director and trusted friend, who told him the documentary was good, but could be better. “Do one thing - and this is the best advice I can give you - make the movie only you can make.” To Carrozzini, Sozzani was more than just a mother. She raised him by herself and when he left Italy for a life and career in New York City. Their relationship blossomed into a close friendship. Occasionally, when he photographed for publications under Italian Vogue, she was his boss. Carrozzini was raised in an environment unfamiliar to many: surrounded by women who were leading the charge within female-driven industries. His aunt, Carla Sozzani, is behind the Italian art and fashion commercial concept, 10 Corso Como, and his cousin, Sara Maino, is renowned for introducing emerging designers to Italian Vogue’s audience as their head of talent. “After my grandfather died, for many, many years my Christmas @BayStBull 39


dinner would be my mum, my grandma, my aunt, and my cousin. It influenced me greatly. In that sense, I see myself as different from a lot of my friends.” As an eight-year-old, Carrozzini was convinced his mother worked at a newsstand selling magazines. He was partially right: Sozzani did sell magazines, albeit by the truckload. For longer than a quarter of a century, before her untimely death in 2016, Sozzani headed Italian Vogue with a gusto unheard of at any international edition of the fashion staple, churning out controversial and genre-challenging “special issues” that featured fashion spreads of global significance, covering racism, plastic surgery, domestic violence, war, and the degradation of the environment. It was proof that fashion has always served as a reflection of the times. Part satire, part social critique, the images from these issues, however heavily dissected at the time, have now permanently entered the lexicon of fashion imagery and magazine publishing. Be it a model whose face is wrapped in gauze after a cosmetic procedure, or one in a feathered dress lying in a slick pool of oil a few months after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Sozzani’s direction was always about more than just “fashion.” Her revolutionary ‘Black Issue’ in 2008, 40 WOMEN’S 2017

“It’s not a cult film,” Carrozzini says, “but it’s a film about a person that was cult herself.

which featured only black models in its pages, was reprinted three times over and can now be found on eBay retailing for more than 30 times its original price. She was convinced to do the issue after seeing the widespread rejection of diversity in fashion pages and on the catwalks. The special issue was her proudest moment as an editor. The intimacy between mother and son drives the documentary. “It’s not a cult film,” Carrozzini says, “but it’s a film about a person that was cult, herself. She taught me to be very courageous, even at the cost of being a little controversial.” Carrozzini is granted a level of access, frankly, only he could do justice. Who else could film his mother serenely gazing into a mirror and putting on her jewelry before an event? Sozzani’s successes have been well-documented outside the world of her sons’ documentary, but her personal relationships have been a mystery, sometimes even to her son. While filming his mother sitting in the backseat of a moving car, for the first time Carrozzini learned that his father was married to another woman at the time of his conception. He also learns that his father was her greatest love. “This film is a bridge between two different lives for me,” Carrozzini says. “A life where I was a photographer, where I had a mother, where I saw the world in a different way. And then a world where I’m more of a filmmaker, where I have no mother and I’m looking at the world completely differently.” Sozzani’s solitude is a pre-occupation of the film. Carrozzini asked both Peter Lindbergh (a world-renowned photographer) and his mother if they ever felt love for one another. Lindeberg said yes, Sozzani said no. At the Venice

“Even though one’s best legacy is their children,” Sozzani says in the film, “if you leave some- thing independently of your family, you become part of history.”

Film Festival world premiere of his film, three months before her death, Sozzani’s face was in her hands and Lindbergh looked at her with tears rolling down his face as they heard each other’s responses for the first time. Sozzani’s independence was a source of strength for her, allowing her to run free with her ambition and creativity. If she were to advise a woman in her shoes today, Carrozzini doubts a change in attitude. “She was very firm on being a strong woman and being an achiever, so I think she would have said, ‘Do what I did.’ The movie wants to create a bit of friction. Was she 100 percent happy? Are any of us 100 percent happy?” As for himself, “If I can do both, great. If I can’t, I’d rather prioritize my happiness over leaving a mark.” At the following Venice Film Festival, actress Julianne Moore was awarded for her talent and charity in Sozzani’s name, an annual addition to her legacy by Carrozzini, her sister, and niece. “Even though one’s best legacy is their children,” Sozzani says in the film, “if you leave something independently of your family, you become part of history.” The award is close to Carrozzini’s heart. It was in Venice where mother and son would enjoy films alone together, to cap off the summer with “three days in a magical place.” In the future, Carrozzini will be releasing a book based on the film, but he is also planning something less conventional. “We have to think about the full story. She’s dead and she died because of a late-diagnosed cancer. This is something that is happening to people every day. I lost both parents for the same reason. I want to do something where we help screen people.”

“It’s strange because it’s now nine months since she passed and I still feel like she’s here,” Carrozzini says. “I almost feel like I am thinking with her mind. She had such a strong presence that it’s so hard for it to fade. The fact that she had a very strong spirit – it makes her live.” In her features, Sozzani brought issues to light that people refrained from discussing even outside the walls of fashion. Her work helped pave the way for those voices in the industry where social, political, and economic challenges are brought to the public’s attention daily. If anything, Sozzani’s legacy will not be first and foremost as a Vogue editor, but as a woman that fearlessly went against the current and challenged us to think about the world around us. “She came before others. She understood that the world has to also communicate through fashion, the last place you would expect it to. Fifteen years later, we are in a world where nothing excludes anything, where everything is interconnected. It’s not a world anymore where fashion is fashion, music is music, or film is [just] film. She lived that transition in a very particular way.”

@BayStBull 41


Written by Sunil Gurmukh

Earlier this year, we watched in horror as neo-Nazis, skinheads, and members of the KKK descended on Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s easy to look to our neighbours down south and assume that the same couldn’t happen here. But hate is a disease that knows no borders, especially in the digital era, and Canada has no immunity. Despite the growing legion of white nationalists, we can still rally together and do more to fight cyber hate. Prime Minister Trudeau and Canadians can no longer sit idly by and continue to let this vitriol pass – legally, online, and offline. The Aryan Guard, Blood and Honour, and Alternative for Canada are just some of the groups here in Canada that identify, or have been classified by the RCMP, as white supremacists, white nationalists, or the alt-right. In 2016, researchers who conducted a study on right-wing extremists in Canada determined that there were at least 100 active right-wing extremist groups across the country. Since then, the number has increased by another 25 (at a minimum, according to Dr. Barbara Perry, the lead author of the study). 2015 also saw a five percent increase in hate crimes, and there is anecdotal evidence that they have increased even further over the past eight to 10 months, which conveniently coincides with Donald Trump’s campaign, victory, and presidency. When hatemongers spread propaganda, it cuts hard and deep. Their targets experience anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and social withdrawal. 42 WOMEN’S 2017

It also encourages discrimination in employment, housing, and services. Most alarming is the greater risk of violence, like what we witnessed in Charlottesville and Quebec City earlier this year. In many instances, women are powerless when confronted by hate speech. This is especially the case when multiple aspects of their identity intersect and increase their vulnerability. For example, hate speech has portrayed Indigenous women as dispensable “squaws” who are lustful, unfeeling, and immoral; black women as oversexed, animal-like and diseased; Muslim women wearing niqabs as terrorists who seek to destroy our society; and lesbians as predators, bent on luring and abusing children. These sickening messages about women weren’t delivered using leaflets on a street corner. They were posted publicly online by Canadians or on websites controlled and administered by Canadians – the ever-expanding forum of choice for recruitment and networking of like-minded white supremacists and neo-Nazis. However, Canada lost an important weapon in the fight against homegrown cyber hate. In 2013, the Harper government repealed section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibited public communication of hate propaganda online. That weapon needs to be reactivated and reloaded. Legally, the repeal only leaves the Criminal Code, which does not provide access to justice. Although it is capable of targeting hate speech online, the Criminal Code is typically used for offline offences. Under section 13, anyone was able to make a complaint, but criminal charges for hate speech require the consent of the provincial Attorney General – a rare occurrence.

Illustration by Sali Tabacchi

Op-Ed: Canadians Must Do More to Tackle Racism

It’s understandable that the Criminal Code would be reserved for the worst cases. A criminal conviction for hate speech carries with it a criminal record and can include jail time. However, the repeal of section 13 means that there is no legal recourse for homegrown cyber hate that falls just short of criminal behaviour but still seriously harms vulnerable groups. Without section 13, education and prevention also suffer. Both are hallmarks of human rights legislation and commissions, but not the Criminal Code. Without section 13, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is limited in its ability to speak out against cyber hate speech and deliver public education about its effects. Moreover, the human rights process can no longer be used to challenge cyber hate speech. That process, which includes mediation, can provide guidance to individuals so that they can express their views in ways that don’t expose others to hatred. Critics of section 13 say it amounted to censorship, but it isn’t about censoring ideas or requiring people to think “correctly.” Nor is it about offensive rhetoric, satire, private communications, or subjective feelings. It’s about the extremely vilifying messages that target vulnerable groups online. These messages don’t encourage the exchange of opposing views, they do the opposite. They shut down dialogue. The law, while important, is not enough to disrupt cyber hate. Canadians need to report it to internet service providers, web hosting companies, social media platforms, and developers. Change will follow. Both GoDaddy and Google recently evicted an infamous neo-Nazi website, The Daily

Stormer; Airbnb deactivated the accounts of several users who planned to attend the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville; and Twilio mandated a prohibition on hate speech to its acceptable use policy. We must also mobilize counter-narratives and prevent recruitment by challenging the belief structure of white nationalists in the online and offline world. Online, we need to use our voices and directly engage white supremacists using social media, their discussion forums, and comments sections. Offline, we need to create change at the grassroots level. Good work is already being done. For example, Fighting Antisemitism Together, a Canadian human rights activist group, developed Voices into Action, an antiracism education program that empowers secondary students with information so they can choose empathy over hate and positive action over apathy. The day after Charlottesville, Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted that Canada condemns racist hate “in all its forms.” If he’s serious, he’ll remember how the courts gave section 13 their constitutional seal of approval, and how the Liberals opposed its repeal. He’ll put section 13 back on the books. And if Canadians are serious about a future without hate, we’ll continue to build online and offline communities where it isn’t tolerated. I refuse to let my daughter grow up in a society where swastikas and shields run rampant. Sunil Gurmukh is a lawyer at the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in Toronto. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect the views of the OHRC. @BayStBull 43



a nazi IN SHEEP’S clothing Why the Alt-Right’s fashion makeover is their most powerful and underestimated weapon Written by Sabrina Maddeaux Illustraions by John Holcroft


Idealists like to believe that politics is all about character, integrity, and mental fortitude – superficial qualities be damned. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. From Reagan, Kennedy, and Hillary Clinton to Thatcher, Trudeau, and Sarkozy, outer appearance has played a significant role in who rises to power and how long they stay there. Thatcher’s pussy bow blouses strategically softened her image, while Clinton’s stuffy pantsuits left voters confused about whether she was part of the patriarchy or fighting against it. It’s not just politicians that tap into fashion’s unique power to project ideas and gain influence. Over the centuries, political movements have embraced signature styles to aid in their causes. During the French Revolution, traditionally aristocratic materials such as silks, taffetas, and velvets were eschewed by those seeking equality and liberty for all. The Civil Rights Movement brought afros into pop culture, allowing African Americans to publicly embrace their ethnicity for the first time, while women of the 1960s donned mini skirts as a way to liberate themselves from years of conservative dress and gendered expectations when it came to sexuality. As well,


The problem is while Neo-Nazis may look more harmless than ever, they’re actually more dangerous.

Anti-Thatcherism became the punk movement, which embraced deliberately offensive t-shirts, leather jackets, BDSM-inspired clothing, and body piercings to oppose the status quo and promote anarchy. Of course, fashion can also be used for evil. Some of the most infamous politically-charged styles in history come courtesy of the Third Reich. An entire style of moustache has remained taboo for over half a century due to its association with Hitler. Fashion was a core part of Nazi propaganda: they knew tailored uniforms would exude power and command respect, while Hitler discouraged women from wearing fancy dresses or excessive makeup so their true “Aryan beauty” could shine through. After Hitler’s regime fell, it was looked down upon and even illegal to express Nazi sentiments. So white supremacists created a new uniform: the white hood and robe that bolstered their fearsome image while making sure their identities remained hidden. However, recent events in Charlottesville and across the Western world show neo-Nazis have ditched the white robes of their fathers for a stark new look. White supremacists today look less like loathsome villains and more like the harmless accountant who lives next door. Clothing items of choice include Fred Perry polos, khakis, and button-up shirts. Their hairstyle of choice? A clean high-and-tight cut. There was even an incident where neo-Nazis tried to claim New Balance, purveyor of “dad shoes,” as their own. Things took a dark turn for the brand when a white supremacist blog declared them the “official shoes of white people” and encouraged like-minded readers to buy them. Luckily for the brand, a quick PR response that disavowed the endorsement saved them from becoming the next Fred Perry. This drastic image makeover didn’t happen by accident. Before the Charlottesville protests, the founder of popular hate site The Daily Stormer


unleashed a tirade of fashion advice for the big day. He encouraged supporters to looking “appealing,” “sexy,” and “hip.” He only got more specific from there, sounding more like a GQ columnist than a neo-Nazi leader: “The worst look ever is a baggy T-shirt. Wear fitted T-shirts, where the sleeve goes to the middle of your bicep. It should not hang lower than the base of your member.” He also encouraged followers to go to the gym, trim their beards, and cut their hair. This wasn’t just for the sake of vanity; neo-Nazi leaders have an agenda and know they need fashion to achieve it. He continued, “We need to be extremely conscious of what we look like, and how we present ourselves. That matters more than our ideas. If that is sad to you, I’m sorry, but that is just human nature.” The problem is while neo-Nazis may look more harmless than ever, they’re actually more dangerous. For decades their style choices made it clear they were on the fringe of society. Now, they aim to be the norm. By blending in, they can make their beliefs seem more mainstream than they actually are and lend an air of respectability to their otherwise completely unrespectable ideas. It also isn’t lost on them that it’s important – especially in America – to be associated with business culture and success. It’s so ingrained in the population that clean-shaven, well-dressed men must also be successful, wealthy, and powerful, that vulnerable people feel inclined to follow in their footsteps based on that image alone. They’re projecting the image of the American Dream. Now, even mainstream media is calling neo-Nazis they profile “dapper” (Mother Jones), “trim and athletic,” (The Guardian) and “disarmingly wholesome” (The New Yorker). These are words one uses to describe the sartorially-inclined; not a group of white supremacists. This successful rebranding not only makes members of the Alt-Right look cool, but also attractive. When neo-Nazis appear desirable and eroticized, lonely and disenfranchised men (their target audience) begin to look up to them. If they join the movement, they too will be attractive and desirable. This sort of coverage is one of the movement’s most subtle, yet powerful, recruiting tools. As news becomes increasingly visual, it’s never been more important to be not just politically literate, but fashion literate. The leaders of the white supremacist movement certainly are, and are counting on their ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ turned ‘Nazi in rich man’s polo’ strategy to make them seem less scary and more normal – the scariest thing of all.



Priced from: $64,996.00 plus HST & Licensing

Budds’ Imported Cars

Atomic Blonde CULTURE

As producer and correspondent for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Toronto-native Allana Harkin makes sure the jokes land with a bang – and if you’re offended, it’s on you WRITTEN By Popi Bowman

48 WOMEN’S 2017

While much of her recent career (and Twitter feed) involves ridiculing Donald Trump, Allana Harkin had a very different premonition of her life as a producer and correspondent for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee; before the election, she was especially excited to move her family to New York City (from Toronto) at a time when America’s first female president was going to be in office. “I don’t know if it was optimism, or just that it seemed insane that Trump could even get elected. I’m sure part of it is a little bit of being blinded by hope,” Harkin admits, “but I have to say, I remember on the day of the election, I was like, ‘It’s not going to happen, don’t worry about it – she’s got this one in the bag.’ I really did believe that.” Even the least expected (or desired) outcomes can have a surprising serendipity. Now Harkin finds herself on the front lines of the comedy world’s attack on Trump, and while many of the skits and punchlines may lend brevity to an otherwise frustrating political climate, don’t get her

Photos courtesy of Turner Entertainment Networks

ic de

@BayStBull 49


wrong: Harkin doesn’t find Trump amusing, in the least. “People say it’s great material, but we would give it up in a heartbeat,” she says. “It’s not worth it.” Admittedly, since Trump won the presidency, nothing has seemed normal. “I’ve had moments where I’ve been walking down the streets of Manhattan and just kind of stop and I’m like, ‘Okay, universe, what’s going on? Why now, why here, why this?’” says Harkin. “But in terms of where I’m at in my career and the kind of opportunities I’m getting here, I guess it is the perfect storm.” Only on air since February 2016 and already multi-award winning (including at this year’s Emmys), each episode of Full Frontal reaches millions of viewers, both on TBS – in Canada, on The Comedy Network – and through YouTube, where some of the show’s most popular segments have passed two- and three-million views. The most popular clip to date, “A Totally Real, 100% Valid Theory,” has topped 4 million (and counting). “We’re a comedy show, but we’re also catharsis,” Harkin explains. “A lot of people are tuning into our show because they feel the same way, and we’re saying it, on television, in a way that a journalist can’t – they just can’t.” So, while we might be drowning in political misery, we’re also swimming in some of the best punchlines late-night has seen. We can blame Trump, but we can also credit the friendship that blossomed when “Sam” and Harkin met in the ‘90s, while forming Toronto’s all-female comedy troupe 50 WOMEN’S 2017

“We’re a comedy show, but we’re also catharsis,” Harkin explains. “A lot of people are tuning into our show because they feel the same way, and we’re saying it, on television, in a way that a journalist can’t – they just can’t.”

Atomic Fireballs; now, almost two decades after they met, the best friends are a comedic partnership driving one of today’s hottest late-night shows. And, historically, one of the few hosted by a woman. When Samantha Bee launched the show, Harkin was quickly brought onto the project – and their friendship certainly played a part. Even so, starting a career in New York City wasn’t a cakewalk: “The only thing I had is that I knew Sam, but I had to work from the ground up because I came from another country. They didn’t know me here, so I had to bust it, and I had to bust it really hard. And I think that women are great for that!” Harkin quickly admits to generalizing, but jumps back into the topic: “What I’d really like to see is women helping other women,” she says. “I read about women not getting opportunities, men not giving women opportunities – but I think, in fact, there are a lot of women out there actually not giving other women opportunities, and I think there’s a lot more that we can do to bolster each other.” After 20-plus years of experience in theatre, acting and comedy, Harkin is more than ready for the spotlight – but she’s almost more excited to be working behind the scenes. “I’m always challenging myself,” Harkin admits. “When I came into Full Frontal, I wasn’t working as a director, but I knew I wanted to do that. So I had to look at the situation and say, ‘how am I going to make that work?’ I think it’s really important to be clear about what you want, and say it out loud – just say it out loud – whatever industry you work in.” Besides the opportunity to direct, one thing Harkin clearly loves about her job is the creative freedom of comedy, especially outside of Canada. “I worked on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and even there you got the sense of being quite polite,” she explains. Whereas, on Full Frontal, “We’re not very polite – we just kind of go for it! I’ve been working in comedy since my mid-20s and, you know, I have a lot of things that I want to say. This show allows me to do that, and allows me to have opinions that I haven’t necessarily been able to have.” Naturally, with opinions and comedy, there comes the discussion of what’s “off limits” – which, of course, brings up the controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin’s bloody Trump head. While Harkin agrees it’s a sticky topic, she won’t blame any comedian for a bad joke. “When you go see a comic and say, ‘That crossed the line,’ what that means is that crossed the line of your moral compass. That has nothing to do with them, and it never should have anything to do with them.” She laughs, as if being offended by a joke is another punchline. When it comes to her own jokes, almost anything is fair game. “Comedy to me is like, where’s the joke? What’s the most interesting situation to explore? As a comedian, in the most dire situations, you’re thinking, ‘Okay, I’ve gotta write about this!’” she laughs. “I find that relationships are the most interesting, and right now we’re in a relationship with the president of the United States, and it’s a really complicated relationship. That’s an interesting thing to explore.”

Harkin isn’t comfortable joking about everything, however: “There have been times when I’ve said I think that’s pushing it too far. I’ve said that before, definitely. I’m like, I don’t want to make that joke because I feel like it could hurt somebody. But that’s just where I’m at, and it doesn’t mean that somebody has to play by my rules. I’d hate for comics to start censoring themselves – that would make me sad!” Yet again, it comes back to one’s moral compass. But in this case, it’s the comedian’s. “At the end of the day, you’re the one that has to live with it,” Harkin explains. “The thing is, it’s okay if you do something as a comic, or an artist, or anything, and then afterwards you think, ‘You know, I have second thoughts about that.’ It’s like anything in life. I’m constantly learning things – I’m constantly reminding myself to not take things personally, to know that things constantly change.” She pauses, then laughs. “And, just don’t be a dick!” Now if only Trump would heed her advice. @BayStBull 51


Mentorship Why taking a risk could mean big rewards for your career Finding a mentor can be a formative moment and pivotal part of any career path, so why aren’t more people seeking out mentorship relationships in the workplace? American Express Canada’s Nyree Embiricos shares her mentorship experience and provides a reason why more young professionals may not be looking for a mentor. By Renee Sylvestre-Williams

There’s no secret roadmap for successfully navigating your career. Finding success takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance. And even with the right tools and a positive mindset, it can be difficult to track your way to success, which is why, sometimes, a little bit of good advice can go a long way. That’s where a mentor can help. Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t seek out mentoring relationships and are missing out on the kind of guidance that can help take their career to the next level. For Nyree Embiricos, VP and Senior Counsel at American Express, mentorship has always been a powerful force, in her personal and her professional life, helping to shape her career. “I believe in the power of mentorship,” she said. “I’ve had many mentors in my life, beginning with my father when I was young, to my days as a junior lawyer in the UK, and even today at American Express, I have those who I go to for professional guidance and advice. If I didn’t have these types of mentor relationships early on in my career, and even now, the invaluable lessons and advice I have been given may not have taken me to where I am today.”

Mentors can be key in developing a successful career, says Embiricos. They can encourage, motivate and advise on all aspects of your career, from reviewing a business plan, to the best way to handle your first big meeting. However, Embiricos believes many people are missing out on the benefits of mentorship, for any number of reasons. While some people may simply be unaware of the value of mentorship, others might be intimidated by the prospect of reaching out to someone senior for career guidance. “I’ve heard people say they are too shy or worried that no one would be willing to take the time out of their hectic schedules to mentor them,” she said. “But the reality is that, given the chance, many people would be open, even flattered, to be a mentor.” When Embiricos thinks back to the beginning of her career and the impact of mentorship, one situation stands out. She recalled a high-pressure meeting during which she was running the agenda and trying to advance her client’s position. Her mentor was in the room taking part in the discussion but also observing how Embiricos was handling the subject matter and the situation. Aware that it had been a tough meeting and that she’d been frequently interrupted and spoken over, she met with her mentor for feedback, “what she said stuck with me, ‘there is a lot of hot air in these meetings, but you kept your cool and got the job done. Keeping your act together is half the battle.’” Embiricos’ passion for mentorship extends to her own experience now as a mentor herself. She regularly shares time with younger lawyers and business colleagues at American Express. She also she helped to create the Women in Law network, ensuring that young professionals whose position she once was in aspire to reach their highest potential. Her advice to her mentees often involves focusing on the big picture of what they want out of their career, without neglecting the small details about how to get there. Embiricos also encourages her mentees to remember to take care of themselves. “Don’t be afraid to work a little longer and a little harder, but when you push yourself too hard, there can be a point of diminishing return,” she said. “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be your best self at home or at work. I also always recommend surrounding yourself with people who you respect, who respect you, and who truly value your time.” For anyone looking to make the most of a mentorship opportunity, Embiricos recommends preparing concrete objectives and clearly stated goals, that way the mentorship will begin with a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect. It’s the clearest path to success for both the mentor and the mentee. “These types of relationships are some of the most important you will ever make in your career.”

Why Mentorship Matters

What’s the value?

More mentorship needed Only



of women currently have a mentor


of workers in corporate Canada say they believe reaching the c-suite is achievable That number jumps to

92% Data commissioned by American Express in partnership with Women of Influence in 2015.


of women who do have a mentor, saw the benefit in having one

of women said they felt mentorship or sponsorship was “critical” to their career advancement



if they have a mentor

if they have a sponsor

Finding Your Path Catherine Finley, VP of Human Resources, American Express, shares how to seek and create mentorship.

How do you define the difference between sponsorship and mentorship?

How do you recommend structuring a mentorship/ sponsorship relationship?

Both mentorship and sponsorship have their value. Mentorship can be asked for, and can be either formal or informal with an advisor or peer who acts as a role model and provides advice on professional development. Sponsorship, on the other hand, is earned on an individual basis, rather than assigned. A senior colleague advocates on your behalf and helps to create and guide you through high profile career changes within an organization.

Mentorships are formed and carried out in many ways. Some mentorships happen organically, while others are the result of being matched up with your peers. There is not one specific way to structure a mentorship, but I do recommend starting the process by asking yourself why you want a mentor, what you’re hoping to get out of the relationship, and what you would value in a mentor.

How can mentorship and sponsorship influence career ambitions? All levels of employees can benefit from mentorship and sponsorship, not just those at a senior level. In fact, a recent survey Amex conducted in partnership with Women of Influence revealed that 99 percent of women who have a mentor saw the benefit in having one. Furthermore, our survey revealed that only one-third of female workers in corporate Canada said they believe reaching the c-suite was achievable, however, that number jumped to almost 50 percent when they had a mentor and 61 percent if they had a sponsor, exemplifying the need for these types of relationships.

What do you recommend young female professionals look for in an organization to help support their career advancement? Find an organization that is dedicated to fostering female talent and bringing strong, diverse talent on board. I like to recommend looking for an organization with HR professionals who strive to foster an environment that promotes sponsorship and mentorship among women, by taking clear action and providing opportunities for likeminded women to lean on each other for advice and support.

Getting Started Seek out the right employer Look for opportunities at organizations that not only support a diverse and inclusive culture, but prioritize it too

Take charge Why not be in the driver’s seat of your own career? Ask for a mentor. This can be someone you trust and respect, or reach out to HR for guidance on setting up a mentorship relationship

Set goals What are your career goals? Clearly identify these and work with your mentor to take action that will get you there

Put yourself out there Leverage your network of colleagues, friends and family, and don’t be afraid to participate in industry and company events that can be great networking opportunities

Pay it forward Support other women looking to advance their careers by becoming a mentor or a sponsor yourself


About Time As the first female president of the Americas for luxury timepiece brand Vacheron Constantin, Leslie Kobrin couldn’t be more excited for the road ahead Interview by ASH ELWOOD

The world of luxury timepieces is a magical one, filled with a passionate legion of followers that keep track of industry movements with bated breath. But it’s also a community that has largely existed as a boy’s club for evangelists and leaders alike. That’s why Leslie Kobrin’s recent appointment as president of the Americas for one of the world’s oldest watch companies is a big deal. At the helm of Swiss luxury brand Vacheron Constantin, Kobrin talks about her vision and the benefits of diversity in an organization. What was your first memory around a timepiece? Not a lot of people know this, but my father and my uncle were both retailers in the jewellery business. My dad sold watches (not quite at this level of the industry), which definitely gave me my first exposure to all the classics at the time: Timex, Casio, Seiko, and even some children’s watches. My Mickey Mouse watch is probably my first proud moment of having a watch. So here we have what triggered your first love for the world of watches. How did you get into it, career-wise? I feel really fortunate because around seven years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Nicolas Bos, who’s now the global head of Van Cleef & Arpels. We met, and eventually I joined the team and was with them for six years. I would say that was my first real exposure to watches at a luxury level. 54 WOMEN’S 2017

As the first female president of the Americas for the brand, what does it mean to hold this position? I’m definitely honoured. For anyone to find himself or herself in the role of president for such a prestigious and historical watch brand is pretty special, regardless of gender. I do think that it’s a sign of change, though. We see this across industries where you have more diversity of people across culture, background, gender, and more. It brings something different to an environment. What have been some of the challenges to get to where you are now, not just as a woman, but also as an individual? My father always told me that everything is a learning opportunity in life, especially in the day-to-day. I think the biggest learning for me has always been to remember that things never stay the same, and how to manage change. I love change and, for me, that has been one of my strengths – to manage what might be looked at as a hurdle and ask, “What’s the upside on that?”

PHOTO courtesy of Vacheron Constantin

What do you think sets Vacheron Constantin apart from its contemporaries? It’s not an easy question, but there are a lot of great brands out there and we’re all kind of in this really great category of business together. What sets Vacheron apart, though, is our history. We have over 260 continuous years of history, which nobody else can claim. There is also our expertise and craftsmanship in building one-of-a-kind watches. It’s really at the service of the client and whatever they are looking for. It could be something extremely complicated that they just have as a part of their collection, or a jewelled watch. Whatever their dreams are for that perfect timepiece, we can create for them. Where do you look for inspiration and insight? For me, it’s important that we have this work-life environment and passions that feed into that. Personally, I’m really passionate about baking and photography. I have a lot of friends in the creative field that are incredibly inspiring. Do you consider the creative side of watchmaking separate from the business side? You need to have both. In this day and age, you can have all the creativity in the world, but if you can’t connect with clients, how do you create continuity in business? With so many means of

connecting to people out there, whether through influencers or retail channels, I don’t think there is an exact formula to do that anymore. So as much as I think it is important to have these beautiful creations, you need to consider the business side as well. You need to have a balance – you need somebody that can bring structure to creativity. Vacheron Constantin is well known for looking into its past for inspiration, which is a wonderful privilege. But, in some instances, it can be a hindrance. What do you think is the difference between originality and authenticity? It’s true, we stand on these very strong legs of our history, but when you look at the collection today, it stands strong in its modern edge. There are collections like the Overseas or even the Harmony where, even though it was inspired by the ‘20s, it’s still modern today. I do believe that there is dynamism within the organization. We tend to talk at a whisper, we don’t roar. You could say that, in some respects, that has been a negative for us because it doesn’t make us as visible as some of the other brands. But we have still stayed strong within what we do, and when people discover Vacheron Constantin they actually like that about us. It is a quiet strength. What would you like to see from the watch world right now? For North America, I would like to see a change in culture and understanding of Swiss watches. There’s work to be done for the industry, and there are brands out there that are trying to create more awareness. But I believe that we could do a better job as a category to educate consumers that are either existing or prospective clients. The second part is really trying to reach clients who don’t know us or are not familiar with the watch world, but will get excited about it. Frankly, whether they’re ready to buy or not, it’s about how we can get them into our communities so that they know about us. We know that not everyone is ready for a Vacheron, but if they can be educated and start to aspire, then that’s a great thing. You know when people talk about watches that they would like? To be able to name Vacheron Constantin as one of them means we’re doing something right.

@BayStBull 55


Women’s Issue






Photo: Dreamstime/Yelena Rodriguez

While 2017 has proven to be pretty dismal, the silver lining behind it all is that this year’s chaos has inspired legions of people to stand up and confront the existing state of affairs. The fight for women’s equal rights has reached a boiling point, with conversations surrounding reproductive rights, the gender pay gap, domestic violence, and a host of other issues moving straight to the top. In our inaugural women’s issue, we gathered a group of bold Canadian women who are challenging the status quo (read: patriarchy) and living life on their own terms. They’ve started empires, raised their voices, fought for freedom, and, most importantly, paved a path for those behind them. Read on. Get inspired. Women’s Issue


Inspiration comes from many places.

Written by Tristan Bronca, Christina Gonzales, Renee Sylvestre-Williams

Kavita Dogra & Deb Parent



Great minds think alike, and two minds were thinking the exact same thing in Toronto in late-2016. Kavita Dogra of We Talk Women and activist Deb Parent both applied for a permit to hold the Women March Toronto at Queen’s Park in January, compelled to raise their voices in support of women’s and human rights a day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Little did they know just how big the march would become. Dogra and Parent are used to organizing events. Dogra was born in New Brunswick but moved as a young girl to India, where she came face-to-face with the effects of poverty. It was after she watched The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, that she began taking action. She joined Women for Women International (a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides support to

women survivors of war), and after holding several successful events, she founded We Talk Women in 2012, which works to raise awareness about local and global female rights issues. Parent, a self-defence instructor, has been an activist for 40 years. She has worked with Toronto rape crisis centres and fought for women’s and gay rights. “Our expectations for that day started very humbly,” says Dogra. “When I filled out that form, I put down maybe 500 people.” Parent agreed. She originally planned to go to the US to participate in one of the marches. “I asked on Facebook for about a week if people wanted to go to Washington, but conversation turned to what was happening in Canada. The Conservatives were having their leadership convention and Kellie Leitch was there with her agenda.” They applied separately on the same day but Dogra got the permit. Parent got a call from Queen’s Park security, letting her know that someone else had applied. They wouldn’t give her Dogra’s name so Parent asked them to pass on her information. Within hours, the women connected, talked, and together started a committee to organize the event. That was in November 2016. The committee fundraised and pulled together the event in six weeks. Interest was growing in the event and more people followed their progress on Facebook. “On our page there were 10,000 and then 20,000 people who said they were attending, but those numbers don’t really mean anything. We were just excited at the thought of people showing up,” says Dogra. “I was doing interviews with the media prior to the speeches [at Queen’s Park] so I wasn’t facing the crowd. I turned around five minutes before [we] were going to start talking and I saw a sea of people. It was unbelieveable. I’ve never seen or addressed a crowd of that size before.” Those 10,000 people had swelled to an estimated 60,000. While the march was successful, the women are not resting on their laurels. “It’s a really important time in Canada’s history right now,” says Dogra, referring to Canada’s 150th anniversary and the various groups that have called on the federal government to acknowledge their historical role in oppressing racialized and marginalized groups. “It’s time to let different issues that weren’t talked about take the front seat.” — RSW


Restaurateur and author


Women’s Issue

Photo by Jenna Marie Wakani

Jen Agg

Jen Agg is a standout in an industry dominated by vibrant, colourful personalities. Agg’s business resume, which includes Rhum Corner, Cocktail Bar, the fabled Black Hoof, and her latest, Grey Gardens, has made Torontonians rethink how and what they eat. But she’s not one to rest on her success. When she’s not launching the next hot dining spot or chatting with Anthony Bourdain, she’s tearing down the patriarchy and sexism that permeates the industry. While Agg has always spoken about sexism in the industry, she was furious at the silence and lack of support from other chefs and restaurant owners when, in 2015, Kate Burnham, a former pastry chef at King West’s Weslodge, filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging sexual harassment in the kitchen. Agg took to Twitter (she has 15,000 followers), calling out the industry. “It’s difficult, because when you’re an employee and your boss is the one making you feel uncomfortable, and the manager is nice, but pretends to not notice how toxic the culture is, who do you complain to?” She says. “The industry is a bit selfperpetuating that way – as in normalized. Bad culture gets learned and then comes full circle when the harassed becomes the harasser.” Agg turns a light onto the dark secrets of the industry that don’t want to be revealed, and it hasn’t made her popular. She doesn’t care. In fact, she used a oft-heard refrain in the title of her recent book, I Hear She’s A Real Bitch. “Women, especially women in power, are 100 percent judged by a completely different set of standards than men are. It’s total bullshit and I’m not going to sit idly by and tacitly approve an oppressive system,” she says. She uses her authority to push down the barriers facing women in the industry and if people don’t like it, that’s their problem. — RSW

Saadia Muzaffar Photo by Anna Keenan Photography; Photo courtesy of Vicki Saunders

Saadia Muzaffar

Vicki Saunders

Founder, TechGirls Canada

Founder, SheEO

In 2011, after a stint in finance, Saadia Muzaffar got a job at Toronto startup incubator, Research Innovation Commercialization Centre. That’s when she began to notice that she was often the only woman (and most certainly the only woman of colour) in boardroom meetings. “In my first year, I never saw anyone like me as a founder, and that was so concerning,” she says. “I don’t need to see a person of colour in every room in order to feel like I can provide value, but you can’t help but feel, ‘Wow, nobody will understand if I bring a specific gendered or racial or migrant perspective to the discussion without me having to fight for [that perspective], because it’s something they’ve never experienced.’” That’s why she started TechGirls Canada (TGC) in 2013, at a time when adding diversity was code for human resource departments hiring more women – with white women filling in as a monolith for all women. Muzaffar wanted to challenge that. Over the past five years, she’s turned TGC into a hub and community that champions women of colour, LGBTTQ2SI, and Indigenous folks in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). And while there are some people who are still on the fence about the diversity problem across STEM fields, Muzaffar says that needs to end. “If you were black or disabled or trans, I don’t think that fence [would] exist for you, so there is an amount of privilege that allows you that protection of being ‘undecided’ about the serious pervasiveness of this problem.” For Muzaffar, tackling the diversity problem at its source doesn’t mean hiring more of the groups you don’t have, like women or visible minorities. It means building an equitable and fair playing field in place from the get-go, at the startup phase, even if you don’t have a dedicated human resources team. So as the startup grows and balloons quickly (the same way that tech giants like Facebook and Uber did), those diversity values still carry through. “[It’s] extremely hard to retroactively fix [a problem like diversity] if it wasn’t part of the fabric of your startup,” Muzaffar explains. “You have to remember that you can change your policies, but people you add to your teams along the way come in with a certain set of expectations. They’re hired on a premise of permissiveness around certain kinds of behaviour, and that’s where the values of inclusiveness are either woven in or lost in the fabric of your company culture.” In May 2015, Muzaffar partnered with Canadian software development company TWG on a year-long pilot to explore, test, and report on diversity strategies for startups. They dubbed it Change Together. From hiring to communication to cultivating a diverse work environment, Change Together is a startup or scale-up’s guide to diversity. Since its release this past March, it’s been downloaded by over 1,000 startups across the world and featured in Fortune. For Muzaffar, it’s a win – another stepping-stone towards real change. — CG

One out of every 23 dollars that’s loaned goes to a female entrepreneur, and Vicki Saunders, founder of SheEO, didn’t like that statistic. As a serial entrepreneur, Saunders has decades of experience in the startup world in Silicon Valley. “The predominant investor is a male, and we tried to have men invest in women and it’s just not happening,” she says. “So I think women have be investing in women to really solve this problem.” That’s why Saunders created SheEO, a global innovation platform with the goal to finance, support, and celebrate female entrepreneurs, avoiding the traditional, male-dominated model. In 2015, Saunders had $500,000 to be split among five female entrepreneurs, and instead of turning it into a competition where the winner takes all, she asked the women how the money should be split between them. That led to the creation of SheEO’s Radical Generosity program, where 500 women or activators each give $1,100 as an “act of radical generosity.” The money is pooled and loaned-out at a low interest rate to five ventures, selected by and led by women. Loans are paid back over five years, creating a perpetual fund to sustain the next generation of women entrepreneurs. The selected ventures must be revenue generating, have export potential, and create a better world via their business model, product, or service. The model has been so popular, it has grown out of Canada to 150 regions including Australia, Mexico, and the Netherlands. For Saunders, cultivating companies that are run and funded by women also helps nurture the next generation, and that’s close to home. “I have two nieces that are in high school, and there’s no exposure to them of what kinds of businesses women are running, and the range and diversity of those businesses because no one’s really writing about them,” she explains. “When they’re an activator with SheEO, they get to read hundreds of applications and see all these cool ideas that women have of these businesses that are flourishing. It gives them inspiration and also gets them to start imagining the possibilities.” — RSW

Dani Roche Dani Roche says most 16-year-olds today are, in a way, entrepreneurs. They’re online constantly, cultivating a following, making a name for themselves. But when she was 16, growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, people didn’t do that sort of thing. Which is why Roche kept it a secret when she founded her first ecommerce store as a teenager, the precursor to her creative branding agency, Kastor and Pollux. “I hid it from my parents for two years,” she says. She knew the familiar taboos about talking to strangers on the internet. She knew the stigma that came with posting pictures of oneself - especially a teenage girl - online. When she sold something, she would take the cash and stash it under her bed. But for Roche, the risk was worth it. She needed those connections. “Growing up, I was surrounded by people who were, conventionally, very book smart, and I was always this obscure artsy kid,” she says. The web became a way to find kindred spirits, people who liked to create and could appreciate what she was creating. It didn’t really matter if they were in London or Australia. And that’s why the online store never felt like work to her, even if looking back, the tedious hours spent teaching herself how to code should have. In that sense, Kastor and Pollux has been no different. Roche, who is now 25, founded the company with a high school friend, and, in its first full year, brought in six figures in revenue. Despite being repeatedly told as a kid that creative types don’t make money and that there was a rigid formula to success, the market confirmed her instincts: that authenticity, a commitment to oneself, always plays better. She’s been gaining momentum ever since. Her abiding curiosity has pushed her into unfamiliar and often risky projects. She’ll forgo what’s safe if it means doing something interesting. Her latest venture is a unisex clothing line called Biannual. The goal of the brand, which features “really quality function pieces” made from sustainable materials, is to get people to reevaluate what they wear and why. It’s a sort of antidote to a culture that incentives consumption – a culture of more. More clothes, more friends, more followers, more content. “It challenges societal expectations that women should want to wear conventionally flattering silhouettes,” says Roche, whose own wardrobe is full of men’s T-shirts, oversized trousers, tent-like dresses. And right now, she’s seeing a shift that suggests people are ready to dismantle the same conventions that she has. — TB


Women’s Issue

Photo courtesy of Dani Roche TK

Founder, Kastor & Pollux

Ginella Massa

Photo courtesy of Ginella Massa


On November 17, 2016, Ginella Massa became the first woman in Canada to anchor the news wearing a hijab. It was the 11 p.m. slot on Toronto’s CityNews and the regular anchor had left to watch a hockey game. “It didn’t feel like that big of a deal,” Massa recalls. “I had heard my news director say in other interviews that they thought about the decision for like five seconds.” At that point, Massa had been working at the station for just under a year and she often opened the nightly newscast with one of her stories. “It was just like, ‘Why shouldn’t we let her anchor?’” And yet despite the stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vogue, the Q&As and TV interviews, Massa has had to reckon with that very question: why shouldn’t we let her anchor? She had aspired to a job in front of a camera from an early age but it always seemed out of reach. She remembers telling her mother that maybe she should go into radio because then it wouldn’t matter what she looked like or what she wore. That’s the thing about discrimination: it’s rarely explicit. It manifests as self-doubt and ambiguous responses from people of authority. It’s the “We don’t think you’re the right fit,” or the “We’re moving in another direction.” Always, Massa needed to make sure they didn’t have another reason to say no.

She spent three years as a writer and producer before she landed her first on-air position with CTV News Kitchener in 2015. Massa never doubted her work ethic or news judgment, but she knew other people would. At first, she worried the network would get an influx of hateful emails. She worried that the people who hired her might think they had made a mistake. That never happened, though. There was some hate, sure, but it was minor compared to the outpouring of support (less than a month after the election of Donald Trump, no less). It also brought greater attention to her work, both within Toronto’s Muslim community and beyond. For her, anchoring meant representing the diversity of the city in a way that had been lacking in the past. And in that, Massa sees some hope for would-be TV journalists. She had never seen a Canadian anchor on TV who looked like her, but the anchors of the future will. — TB


Jeanette Stock

Lorraine D’Alessio

Chair, Venture Out

Founder, D’Alessio Law Group


Photo courtesy of Jeanette Stock; Photo courtesy of Lorraine D’Alessio

Diversity in technology has an uneasy relationship. Much has been written about the lack of diversity in the tech world, and while a lot of discussion has been had about potential solutions, Pressly’s Jeanette Stock has taken action as the chair of Venture Out, the first conference for LGBTQA+ inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship. Venture Out was created to help connect the LGBTQA+ tech scene in the GTA, and eventually across Canada, by creating more job and mentorship opportunities for young LGBTQA+ tech people to learn, grow, and strengthen the industry. Stock started Venture Out in 2016 while working in Toronto’s tech sector because she often felt like she was the only LGBTQA+ person in the room. “Statistically I knew that couldn’t be true, but it’s not like there was an existing community that allowed me to connect with other folks who shared that experience with me,” she says. On the flip side, she would go to LGBTQA+ events from work and be the only person in the room not in a suit. “There was this awesome, really supportive, thriving career community for folks in business. But I think a lot of the times, folks in the tech and entrepreneurship space don’t necessarily see themselves in that conversation either.” Venture Out also addresses diversity, the big buzzword coming out of Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. Stock mentions a Harvard Business School study that found companies that have diverse teams are 45 percent more likely to report an increase in their firm’s market share over the last year and 70 percent more likely to report the capture of a new market. “If you build a diverse team, people are constantly confronted with the reality that not everyone thinks the same as us,” she says. “I think that’s a really powerful underlying aspect to have as a piece of your everyday work.” — RSW

Before Lorraine D’Alessio founded her own legal firm, she was a model. She worked for Ford, Snickers, Lipton, and Volkswagen, all of which involved a lot of travelling. “I had to get used to dealing with the man with the badge at the border,” she says. But she never really did. Even when she relocated to Los Angeles (where she currently lives and works), D’Alessio was often given advice that was plain wrong. Now, as a US immigration attorney who was recently named lawyer of the year by California’s Century City Bar Association, D’Alessio sees that she wasn’t the exception. It’s easy to get lost in the US immigration system. The Mississauga native has built her small empire from the ground-up, working with artists, entertainers, investors, and some of the biggest firms in the film and television industry to help them immigrate to the US, and personally overseeing her firm’s employment-related immigration initiatives. In Trump’s America, where policy is driven by nationalism, virtually all global industries (including the entertainment industry) have been hampered, so D’Alessio’s advocacy is becoming especially relevant. She speaks and writes frequently for media outlets like the Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter, and has written a book, Going Global: Investing in US Immigration, which was published this spring. Success hasn’t come easy though, especially given that both her own legal niche as well as the entertainment industry are run, for the most part, by men. When she was looking to set up a new business within her firm for athletes, she went to a fellow lawyer for help with referrals. “The next thing I know, he is telling me that we should give up a whole area of practice and refer our clients to him,” she recalls. He insinuated that because he hadn’t seen her at any sporting events, she “must not be a big deal.” But D’Alessio didn’t dwell on the episode and today her law firm has more female decision-makers per capita than any of her competitors. “There have been a number of very cool female powerhouse attorneys who have wanted to work here,” she says. When asked what advice she had for young women, her answer was simple: “Don’t be afraid of failure.” “I think women are told that they need to perfect,” she says. “Trying to be perfect gets in the way of what you’re trying to achieve.” — TB

Next-level custom catering + event planning for all your special occasions.


Women’s Issue

Written by Christina Gonzales Photography by Janick Laurent Hair & make-up by Tashinga Chauma

The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker dives deep on feminism, world divide, and the state of the Canadian film industry



just wants to be in her jeans. The Oscar-nominated director and one of the foremost women in Canadian film feels at home during our interview, where she can dissect her curiosity. In front of the camera, she’s polite, striking, and receptive, but eager for it to end. Mehta’s used to being on the other side of the viewfinder. On her own sets, she’s commanding. She runs the show. “I’m really aware that it’s my set,” she says. After all, Mehta grew up in a household with parents who taught her that what she could have – as a girl growing up 1950s India – was virtually limitless. Her progressive upbringing was a stark contrast to the idea that most girls in India should be subservient to men. From girls being married off as children to ancient customs like sati, where a woman commits suicide as result of her husband’s death – these rituals lingered in the consciousness of the nation, reiterating a narrative that stated women are not independent, they are owned. As a young child, Mehta was observant. She wondered why her mother was treated with careful respect in her own home, while others were belittled in theirs. Why was dignity a right afforded only to some women? Why was it circumstantial? The wicked duality of the world revealed itself early on in her childhood – an imprint that would manifest itself into of one of the most celebrated, fearless, and thought-provoking Indo-Canadian filmmakers of the 21st century. At a time when conversations surrounding women’s rights, immigration, and racial relations has reached a tipping point, Mehta is a resounding artist who, by way of her films, urges viewers to look inward. Through Fire (1996), Water (2005), and Heaven on Earth (2008), Mehta forces us to face ingrained misogyny. In Earth, an account of a group of friends divided by India’s partition (2017 marks its 70th anniversary), Mehta examines the Pakistani-Indian divide and its resulting wounds with a rawness that no other filmmaker has achieved. The message is clear: Although we’re not one, we still share the same scars. In her latest movie, Anatomy of Violence (2016), she’s just as forthright: What role does society play in making a rapist? The question forces us to confess our collective sins. Whether Mehta’s message is inherently political doesn’t matter. “All art is political,” she says.


Home Initiating hard conversations comes at a cost. Water, the third movie in Mehta’s Elements trilogy (which includes Fire and Earth) is an agonizing story about institutionalized Hindu widows who are shunned and depraved. It’s told through the eyes of an eight-year-old widowed child. The mere script made Hindu fundamentalists seethe. Production was halted in the holy city of Varanasi after extremist mobs appeared on the second day of filming: they lit the set aflame, threw its shatters into the Ganges, and accused Mehta of being anti-Hindu for shedding light on subject matter deemed derogatory to Indian women. Those acts were the ones that were inherently political, she maintains. It was on the flight back to Toronto from India after shutting down Water (the film was eventually completed in Sri Lanka), when she felt a new sense relief – she was finally heading home. But what does “home” mean? Mehta arrived in Canada in 1973. Her 1991 directorial debut, Sam and Me, was a thematic depiction of her immigrant experience: The story of a young Indian man who moves to Toronto in the ’90s. He ends up being a caretaker to an old Jewish man who also longs for the idea home. “Does it ever leave us?” she asks. It took her another decade after Sam and Me to realize that she could have two homes. Closed-border politics makes the idea of “home” a contentious topic in today’s larger social dialogue. Home can mean one’s origins; where they were born and the language they speak. But it can also be a place that provides oneself with their core necessities – clean water, shelter, access to healthcare. Just ask the 46,000 Syrian refugees who entered Canada in 2016. For them, the idea of home isn’t so clear-cut. “A desire for safety for yourself or your children is so palpable,” Mehta says. Protection and wellbeing satisfy her notion of home. During the 1947 partition of India, 12 million people lost their homes. Displacement is etched into her psyche. It’s what makes people vulnerable, she says, and it takes on many forms, whether it’s a war-induced migration crisis or an arranged marriage. Of her films, Heaven on Earth is one of her favourites. It’s centred around a Punjabi girl who immigrates to Canada and finds herself victim to domestic violence after she marries a man she’s never met. “You don’t have your mom, you don’t have your sisters, you don’t have your friends, and you’re unfamiliar with the land,” Mehta says. Strip a woman of her network and she’s defenceless, even in her socalled home.

Anatomy of Violence (2016) A fictional dramatization on the lives of rapists in New Delhi, based on the 2012 gang rape of a woman on a moving bus.

Midnight’s Children (2012)

An adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s acclaimed novel. It centres around children born before India’s independence from Britain, who find that their world is a stark contrast from their grandparents’.

The Great Divide Women, first and foremost, are the focus of Mehta’s films – the world through their eyes. The context of her films are Eastern, but try and insinuate that the subject matter only pertains to gender politics in the East and one misses the point. Mehta’s stories are universal. “You’re talking about eons of teachings and behaviour patterns, which [suggest] that a woman is easy prey and belongs to a man,” Mehta explains. “That’s the inequality.” Gender disparity, she says, isn’t just an Eastern problem. It’s global and far-reaching, affecting women everywhere. The Fox News scandal, Harvard rape case, and, most recently, sexual assault allegations towards Hollywood titan, Harvey Weinstein, are some highly publicized examples.


Heaven on Earth (2008)

A Punjabi woman moves to Canada to marry a man she’s never met. She finds herself living in a crowded suburban house with his family, and victim to domestic violence.

Water (2005)

A group of widows are left at an impoverished ashram and battle with social restrictions forced on them while Gandhi’s party tries to push for women’s rights.

Less publicized is the way in which women, even in the Western world, carry most of the burden when it comes to household duties. (According to Statistics Canada, women spend 50 percent more of their time doing chores at home than men.) “How do we begin to fix it?” I ask. She bluntly tells me what her family imparted to her on feminism: “No one told me to go to a cooking class.” Sometimes, it’s not as explicit as getting paid millions of dollars less than your male counterpart in a Hollywood production, a discussion that’s at the forefront of the global film industry, and spearheaded by Hollywood titans like Jennifer Lawrence and Patty Jenkins who, earlier this year, brought in the biggest domestic box-office opening of all time for a female director for Wonder Woman. In Mehta’s films, the female lead gets paid the same as the man. And if there’s no male lead, her lead actress makes significantly more than the other actors. Sometimes, Mehta says, it’s as simple as raising sons who don’t believe that they’re more privileged, or better at doing certain tasks, solely based on their gender. Breaking deep-seated social norms starts in the home with the stories we tell our children. Perhaps it’s okay for a daughter to help her dad with lifting wood and nailing the shed, and okay for a son to help cook and serve dinner. Ultimately, Mehta realized early on that every opportunity boys had, she should have too. That included making films.

The “Other”

Earth (1998)

A group of friends made of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, are torn apart during India’s partition when Lahore is given to Pakistan. Told through the eyes of a Parsee girl’s adult self.

Fire (1996)

Two women stuck in loveless marriages seek comfort in one another and become romantically linked.

Through film, Mehta’s able to challenge gender inequality, whether it stems from out-dated traditions or world leaders. Misogyny is normalizing, and it’s because of Trump, she says. The fact that more Caucasian women over the age of 30 voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton still perplexes her. “How can you respect somebody who talks about ‘grabbing pussies’?” She declares. Meanwhile, someone as brilliant as Angela Merkel lost 33 percent of votes in Germany’s recent election to the alt-right. “Are we becoming neo-nazis, all of us?” Mehta reveals herself with questions. Division among genders, races, sexualities, and countries is at an all-time high. She’s attuned to it. “Everyone’s feeling angry. Everyone’s been done in. When you look at Indigenous people and you look at their history, it’s a horrific story,” Mehta says. “You look at what happened with slavery in the United States, and what continues to happen to African-Americans, it’s terrible. You think of Holocaust and the Jews, it’s terrible. You think of the partition of India and the colonization of the world by the British, French, and Dutch – half the world was slaves.” She could go on, but halts: “I think all of that history brings us to this point.” There always has to be an “other.” There always has to be an enemy. We fight, but the scars are all the same – she tried to tell us this with Earth. Human conflict is cyclical, and they provide Mehta with the base for her work: Currently, she’s knee-deep in a film based on the semi-autobiographical novel Funny Boy, written by Sri Lankan-Canadian author Shyam Selvadurai. It’s set to come out at the end of the 2018. Arjie is the protagonist, who comes to terms with being a homosexual male against the backdrop of the civil war between the Tamils and Sri Lankans. People around him make fun of his feminine qualities and call him a “funny boy.” Conflict always starts with the idea that someone is different or unlike us. Whether “otherness” is a threat to one’s identity is a psychologist’s work. Mehta begs the question: Aren’t we all the same?


Women’s Issue



“You’re talking about eons of teachings and behaviour patterns, which [suggest] that a woman is easy prey and belongs to a man,” Mehta explains. “That’s the inequality.”

Leaving a Legacy There’s a major problem that Mehta has with Canadian film. It’s that Canada calls itself a diverse and multi-cultural country, yet filmmakers aren’t granted access to funds from government bodies unless the movie is made in English, French, or an Aboriginal language. “If you’ve come from Syria, and you want to make a film on what the experience was like crossing into Turkey, and you want to do it in Arabic, you will not get money,” she explains. So filmmakers concede and make their movies in English. “The minute you compromise your language, that’s the minute you compromise the content of your film,” Mehta says. “I can’t imagine making Water in English. It would be ridiculous.” The integrity of her films is a non-negotiable. Cameron Bailey, a colleague of Mehta’s and the creative director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), agrees that the funding structure for Canadian films needs to change. “[It] was designed decades ago,” he explains. “Before you saw filmmakers like Deepa Mehta making films in India, in Indian languages, or Albert Shin, a Canadian filmmaker making films in Korea, in Korean language, or Lena Rodriguez in Colombia, [making films] in Spanish. This is part of Canadian cinema now.” Recently, TIFF launched Share Her Journey, a five-year commitment to increase participation and opportunities for Canadian women behind and in front of the camera. Mehta is one of the campaign ambassadors. “With all of the success [Deepa’s] had and all of the access that she now has as a filmmaker, she’s still really in the trenches,” Bailey says. “She identifies as an independent filmmaker, she’s aware of the barriers that are currently in place for women who are independent filmmakers, and she’s doing everything she can to help.” Mehta lists off a number of young Canadian filmmakers she admires: Atom Egoyan, Patricia Rozema, Federica Foglia. She tells me about Salar Pashtoonyar, a filmmaker and refugee from Afghanistan who lived in a Pakistani refugee camp with his mother and four sisters before he came to Canada. Pashtoonyar just released his first drama, which was filmed in Pashtu, and shot in a women’s prison in Afghanistan. Is he going to get funding? Likely not. The thought rattles her core. If she can leave a legacy that allows for young filmmakers, storytellers, and writers to be able to make Canadian films in the language of their own choice, then she’ll be satisfied, she tells me. Until then, the work doesn’t stop. –


The photographer is asking Mehta to move around her churidar kameez, an Indian garb. “Can we try a few shots without it?” He asks. “No,” she answers. “It’s traditional.” She’s not rude, nor bothered, only sure. When I ask her who she surrounds herself with, she tells me that like most artists, she’s a loner by nature. Surely there’s some glitz she can share about filmmaking, so I push further: “Did being nominated for an Academy Award change things for you?” She shrugs. The look on her face is indifference. It’s not like she’s ungrateful for the recognition and for the opportunities, she says. “It was wonderful, it was lovely, but it doesn’t change.” She confirms. The benchmark for Mehta’s projects have always been what moves her. And what moves her and piques her curiosity are stories that are from home, with themes that are universal. Stories that nudge viewers to be more introspective: the struggles and tenacity of women, the pain caused by divide, the war against the other. When she looks at the shots of her portraits in the viewfinder, Mehta knows what she likes. The photographer succumbs to her. Mehta’s decisive. She runs the show.



Science has taken a psychedelic turn, showing promising results on mental health by way of LSD. Can the vilified substance break taboo to become the next wonder drug?

Fifty years in the dark can do a lot for a reputation. It can breed a sense of mystery that captivates and terrifies, or it can drive us to discover more. Nowhere has that veiled mystery done more damage than in the study of psychedelics. After half a century of hiding in the shadows, the future of these substances is brighter than ever. The relatively new field of psychedelic science is the key to understanding human consciousness. As this field of study is revived, the breakthroughs made by its modern pioneers have us all asking whether fifty years was far too long to spend in the dark. After years of prohibition, science is finally beginning to explain the vibrant visuals and emotional responses induced by psychedelics. Much more than that, it’s reviving the medicinal properties that early researchers found promising.

Mapping the Future Within the US and Canada, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Sciences (MAPS) is on the verge of receiving FDA approval of its MDMA-assisted therapy for patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In late August, this treatment method received the FDA’s ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ designation – a major step in accelerating its clinical trials and eventual approval, which is expected to come by 2020. A year ago, MAPS completed six trials in the US, Israel, Switzerland, and Canada where patients with treatment-resistant PTSD found success with MDMA-assisted therapy. The process is one in which patients undergo a regular therapy session, followed by two sessions in which MDMA is administered by their therapist. In their latest trials, which included 107 patients, MAPS found that 66 percent no longer qualified for PTSD after just two sessions. The treatment, which is currently in its final phase of clinical study, has been fast-tracked by the FDA because of its immense success against a stubborn illness. “Physicians and patients alike are at their wits end for better treatment for PTSD,” says Brad Burge, director of strategic communications for MAPS. “The idea that there could be a treatment that is effective after only a couple of sessions, rather than administering a drug every day for the rest of their lives, is extremely promising both for the treatment providers and the patients themselves.” In the next phase, and with the Breakthrough Therapy designation, MAPS will continue their clinical trials and provide training for up to 100 therapists to be certified in administering MDMA. Part of that training is administering the substance to the

professionals themselves so that they can understand what their patients are going through in their treatments. This is all part of the process of ensuring that an infrastructure exists to make the treatment widely available by the time it’s approved. “The goal is to do enough public education and to help enough people learn about it and to train enough therapists so that by the time we have approval from the FDA, in about 2020, we can have a very fast rollout,” Burge says, insisting that the attitudes of officials changed as researchers began to see results. Both the FDA and DEA have been receptive to MAPS studies in a way that could be considered unusual for such vilified substances. Part of that has been the organization’s risk management strategies, including a patient registry and a 5000-pound safe bolted to the floor, where a few grams of the purest MDMA in the world is kept. As for its addictive qualities, Burge insists that there is no evidence that a few administrations of MDMA could cause dependence. Of the more than 100 patients who have received the treatment, he says only a few have sought out the substance outside of their clinical trials. In these cases, the patients returned to MAPS with regret because simply taking MDMA is not what the treatment is about. The drug is only a catalyst or aid which

Illustration by Sali Tabacchi

Written by Miroslav Tomoski





allows the patient to become more receptive to regular therapy. This means that the setting is just as important as the drug itself. “Engaging those issues outside of therapy can actually make it worse and most participants understand that it’s not about the drug, it’s about the therapy, the connection, and the work that you do,” Burge says. “That’s how we’re looking at the drug. Not as a treatment, but as a tool for facilitating the treatment.” As a result of the breakthroughs made by MAPS, MDMA is likely to become a household name for those suffering from PTSD. It’s the path that many psychedelics are now taking and it bears a resemblance to the way in which cannabis found its way into the mainstream: first as a medicinal substance, then as a socially acceptable high. But one psychedelic which still has a long way to go to climb out of the underground is a chemical compound that once showed the most promise: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). It’s widely known as the drug of choice for the counterculture of the ’60s and a sure-shot way to induce insanity. Yet much of its fearful reputation has come from a decided lack of information rather than experience.

Out of the Dark On April 19, 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD while studying ergot fungi for pharmaceutical company, Sandoz. The company initially had very little interest in the substance, but Hoffman was fascinated by it. His first major trip has now entered LSD folklore as Bicycle Day, in which Hoffman rode two-and-a-half miles home after accidentally absorbing the substance through his fingers. In his autobiography, LSD: My Problem Child, Hoffman describes his experience by saying: “I had to struggle to speak intelligibly. I asked my laboratory assistant to escort me home.

On the way, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had travelled very rapidly.” The experience which Hoffman encountered was the result of double the regular ‘street dose’ of 100 micrograms. At the time, he and others in the scientific community believed that LSD simulated the effects of psychosis, as Sidney Katz of Maclean’s magazine outlined in his 1953 article, “My 12 Hours as a Madman.” But Hoffman and others who took a closer look – as well as several doses of the drug – eventually discovered that it was much more than a simulated mental illness. It offered a greater connection to and understanding of human consciousness in a way that couldn’t be fully understood without the technology of modern science. That’s where the Beckley Foundation of the United Kingdom comes in today. Their

Photo courtesy of the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme

Brain scans showing the effects of LSD


organization aims to bring science back into the world of psychedelics and are helping to revive the decades of lost research on the subject. Two years ago, when I first spoke with Amanda Feilding, the director and founder of the Beckley Foundation, she explained that they had been testing the effects of psilocybin (the active chemical in magic mushrooms) on depression with remarkably promising results. “Things have changed quite a lot,” she says excitedly. “Psychedelics have gotten a lot more acceptable largely due to our research.” Scientists found that the results were not unlike those experienced by MAPS and MDMA-assisted therapy. When administered in a proper setting, those who had be diagnosed with severe depression found themselves more open and receptive to therapy. Now Fielding says her focus is squarely on LSD. Having been immersed in the world of psychedelics since before they were outlawed, Fielding had taken part in some of the earliest studies. She’s witnessed first-hand the compound’s positive effects, as well as the years of misinformation that drove career-spanning research into obscurity. The early days of psychedelic research were largely decentralized, with most research being done by scientists who had been captivated by the drug’s potential. While excessively relaxed in their regulations, these studies were very much in line with the practices of the day. Those loose methods produced now infamous psychological studies, like the Zimbardo Prison Experiment, which inspired modern ethical standards of practice. As Fielding points out, the concern with studies of the day was mostly with the result rather than the method. Yet those methods cost many their careers and, in hindsight, they cost substances like LSD their reputation.

Championing A New Era Many who studied LSD were enthralled by its potential. The story of Timothy Leary, the pop scientist who famously invited the world to, “turn on, tune in, drop out,” is one that can be seen across the spectrum. Leary was ousted from Harvard University in 1963 for what can be seen as an excessive enthusiasm for the substance and off-campus dosing of unapproved clinical subjects. It was this carefree way in which researchers used LSD, as well as its association with anti-war subculture, that would eventually have it classified under the highly-restrictive drug category of Schedule 1. But before Richard Nixon introduced the world to the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, LSD had a major role to play in the scientific community, particularly in psychology. In the 1950s and ‘60s, more than 3000 research papers were published on the effects of LSD, while tests were conducted on 40,000 individuals around the world between 1950 and 1963. By 1955, Time magazine referred to LSD as, “an invaluable weapon to psychiatrists.” Among these early researchers was Ronnie Sandison, whose work at Powick Hospital for the mentally ill is recognized around the world as a breakthrough in the treatment of mental illness. In an 11-year span from 1952 to 1963, Dr. Sandison worked with nearly 500 patients (administering micro-doses of 20 micrograms and regular doses of 100 micrograms) and discovered that the substance was far more effective than any conventional treatment. Beyond Powick, Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, believed that alcoholics could benefit from a spiritual awakening. Far from the religious undertones which now permeate the program, the awakening Wilson was originally referring to was one which could be brought about by LSD. At the time, alcoholics would undergo something known as delirium tremens, which induced states of distress in the patients similar to aversion therapy. But researchers in Canada felt that LSD could be used instead to accelerate the process while also eliminating the extreme discomfort patients often experienced. Among these scientists was UK expatriate, Humphry Osmond (who also administered LSD to author Aldous Huxley). He championed LSD as a cure for alcoholism and coined the term psychedelic, which meant, ‘mind manifesting.’ Osmond had moved to Canada after his work was rejected in the UK and worked together

with Canadian chemist Abram Hoffer at Regina General Hospital. By the 1960s, over 2000 patients had participated in their studies with over half remaining sober a full year after their therapies. But these, as with other studies, were lightly controlled to the point that even nurses and hospital staff were participating while external factors such as music and environment were not taken into account.

Breaking Barriers LSD had become a cultural icon of its own and, more importantly, it became associated with the counterculture. As the government and the public by extension began to drive that counterculture underground, the research went with it. “If you wanted to kill your research career in academics, you did research on psychedelics,” Professor David Nichols of Purdue University told Popular Science in 2013. It wasn’t until the 1990s that organizations like MAPS and Beckley began to emerge through the cracks of taboo and investigate the positive effects of psychedelics. Since its founding, the Beckley Foundation has sought to revive this lost field of study. With the use of modern scientific methods and technologies, Beckley has now brought a more rigorous scientific method to the research that preceded them. “When I started the Beckley in 1996, I always wanted to bring the very best science to the psychedelic subject,” says Fielding. “I always knew that it was only with the very best science that we would break down the taboo and open up knowledge of how these substances work and why they’re so useful.” In 2015, the Beckley/Imperial College Research Programme gave the world the first images of the brain on LSD. The scans, which were conducted by 20 volunteers, used fMRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG) technology on subjects who received either 75 micrograms of LSD or a placebo. The images, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed a stunning picture of the human brain in which something known as the Default Mode Network (DMN) had been dissolved. “What a psychedelic does – and particularly LSD,” Feilding explains, “is reduce the level of blood supply to the Default Mode


Network – which is the controlling repressive part of the brain – thereby allowing the whole brain to communicate with itself.” In essence, the use of LSD breaks down the barriers in the brain which assign specific tasks to particular parts within the organ. It opens these channels and allows them to communicate with each other, permitting the brain to work more freely as a whole. “It explains why there is a sort of rebooting of the personality” she continues. “Secondly, it explains why the experience is so much deeper and richer and why there’s a tendency to have more creative thoughts that sprout up because different parts of the brain are communicating with each other that don’t usually have a connective wiring.”

Myth Busters But of course, when discussing LSD, we also have to consider a mythical experience which is the source of fear for many: flashbacks. Clinically known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), the infamous acid flashback is a psychological reality. But its origins are far less understood than its myth. A 2002 review of research from Harvard Medical School, titled Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder: what do we know after 50 years?, found several interesting facts about HPPD. “It is often unclear whether symptoms occurred exclusively following hallucinogen intoxication. It is also difficult to rule out other medical or psychiatric conditions that might cause ‘flashbacks,’ including current intoxication with another drug, neurological conditions, current psychotic or affective disorders, malingering, hypochondriasis, or even other anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” Like many things about LSD, this experience too is plagued with serious misinformation or an entire lack thereof. “We have to re-educate people because they’ve been terribly miss-educated over the last fifty years,” Feilding says. “They really believe the stories about psychedelics frying the brain. It’s been thrusted on people for so long they’ve really come to believe it.” Rather than causing a haunting perpetual trip, what researchers at Beckley have found is the presence of an afterglow that is familiar to those who have taken the substance, but perhaps unclear or illusive in its origin. “We’ve noted that several of our studies – from psilocybin to LSD and Ayahuasca – quite often have a very positive afterglow which can last weeks or months,” she points out, going on to say that the experience of psychedelics is far different from the chemically distinct effects of antidepressants. “I think that is the problem of antidepressants,” Fielding says. “They are slightly clouding perception, whereas a psychedelic is more opening it up and hopefully enabling the patient to be more positive so they are approaching the problem in a different way.” That is one reason she also believes that micro-dosing could be the key to mainstream acceptance of LSD. The practice, which only requires a barely noticeable dose of up to 20 micrograms, is already a popular method for increased productivity among programmers in Silicon Valley. With the example set by tech workers, the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme will soon undertake the world’s first scientific study into the efficacy of micro-dosing. Using ‘Go,’ an ancient Chinese strategy game, they plan to investigate whether small doses of LSD can enhance intuitive pattern recognition and creativity. In addition to this, they’re reviving old theories of the effects of LSD on alcohol addiction with the benefit of modern technology and methods.

A Brighter Future Admittedly, Feilding agrees that the biggest obstacle will be a shift in societal perception and allowing doctors to prescribe doses that a patient can take from home. But the progress made by researchers thus far has her cautiously optimistic for the future. In any case, she believes it’s better to take the leap then to never try at all.

“Everything has a little bit of risk, riding a bike, climbing a mountain, walking across the road,” she says. Still, while Fielding hopes that one day psychedelics will make their way back into a world of open acceptance, she concedes that they are not for everyone. Her main goal is to educate those who do wish to accept Leary’s cosmic invitation and to ensure that they have a safe trip. Part of that safety will come from the information that organizations like Beckley can provide, such as proper dosing or the importance of maintaining blood sugar and vitamin C levels to quell a bad trip. “It’s one of the essential bits of knowledge for the safe taking of psychedelics and that’s why I am very much in favour of moving towards a carefully regulated legal market,” she says. “For one thing, it would mean that what people are taking is what it says it is. Secondly the dose would be known. And finally, there can be instructions on how people should be taking it safely. It is available, as everyone knows, on the black market and through that you get the worst of all three.” As psychedelics slowly make their way out of fifty years in the dark, organizations like MAPS and the Beckley Foundation are helping to shine a light and distinguish myth from fact. It’s a snail’s pace process, but one which promises to help millions suffering from mental illness, as well as those who have been stigmatized for their preferred state of mind. As Fielding says, it’s impossible to imagine that anyone would think of criminalizing different levels of consciousness. “Doing what you do in your own head is none of anyone’s business,” she says.

Subscribe now

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for exclusive access to events, original features, and the latest news around the world.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ishmil waterman newsletter

@BayStBull #Baystreetbull

A Night at the Museum

Alluring. Magnificent. Dangerously beautiful. Today’s most revered horology brands also double as masterful artists, going above and beyond to create exceptional timepieces for your wrist. Call it a watch or call it jewellery – these stunning works of art command attention (and protection). Photography by Adrian Armstrong Styling by Jo Jin

Vacheron Constantin


Heures Creatives Discrete $204,700

Tiffany & Co.


Cocktail 2-Hand PavĂŠ $30,700



Mademoiselle Privé Camélia Nacré $40,800



Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 $55,550



Galactic 36 $14,990



Malachite Serpenti $79,000


Foreign Concept Chef Duncan Lee’s vision of Foreign Concept, the alternative-Asian Calgary restaurant that serves up small plates of Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese fusion is an ambitious one. He uses locally sourced ingredients, which marry well with Asian flavours. The menu is inventive but accessible: miso-baked sweet potato with cheese curds, char siu pork and foie gras steamed buns, a Vietnamese coffee parfait. Inside the L-shaped restaurant, designer Alykhan Velji created custom iron screens, which mimic Colonial Vietnam. In terms of seating, there’s a relaxed charcuterie bar and floor-to-ceiling windows on one side, which compliment the noisier, turquoisetoned murals of animals, people, and plant life on the other side. Eccentricities like Persian rugs and a wall of vintage Chinese moon cake molds are a nod to the menu’s pan-Asian flavours. Let’s not forget the cured meat. Get a load of this selection: Korean beef jerky, Viet mortadella, and five-spice proscuitto. If Foreign Concept is worth taking your guests to, let it be because of its inventive charcuterie. 84 WOMEN’S 2017

Photography by Colin Way

Where: Calgary, Alberta What: Restaurant; Vietnamese, Pan-Asian


CB Reserve Program

Trying to find a decent bottle of wine is, in many instances, more work than it needs to be. Unless you fall short of being a sommelier, perusing the aisles of a liquor store can leave you scratching your head in confusion. So, why not have it delivered straight to you? Better yet, why not let an expert find a batch of exclusive wines not available anywhere else and have it delivered straight to your door or office on the regular? Enter: the CB Reserve Program. The Charlie’s Burgers (yes, the same people from the rotating dinner series featuring high-profile chefs) wine program is a deluxe service that delivers an enticing new wine every quarter. Imported exclusively and directly from the best wineries in the world, each edition features three to six bottles packaged neatly into a charming wooden box with your name engraved on it, handdelivered by Charlie’s team. For the past five years, the CB wine team has regularly travelled to wine-producing corners of the globe to source interesting wines for the program – they taste over over 600 bottles a year. Each box comes with a sheet detailing the history and tasting notes of the wine, as well as appropriate food pairings from chefs that have partnered with the program, including chef Rob Gentile of Toronto’s Italian hotspot, Buca. An added bonus: these restaurants will even waive the corkage fee when you bring a bottle of CB wine in. If you’re looking to make someone happy (including yourself), a hand-delivered gift for your personal wine collection should do the trick. Just ask Charlie. — RD

Photo courtesy of Charlie Burger

Prices range from $400 to $1,200 each quarter.

@BayStBull 85


Monica Gomez Founder, The Concierge Club You could call Monica Gomez a maestro. As the founder and director of The Concierge Club, a Toronto-based, full-service event production agency that has worked with high-profile clients from Cadillac Fairview to Guerlain cosmetics, Gomez knows what it takes to build an incredible experience. Here, she shares her advice on entrepreneurship, networking, and what it really means to be a #girlboss. written by Christina Gonzales Photography by Mauricio Calero


What’s the most challenging part of starting your own business? When I was first starting out, I remember reading a quote that stuck with me forever: “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” I was working from 6:00 a.m. until midnight every single day because I was running the business on my own. I was the one doing all of the bookings, sales, accounting, and bookkeeping. Everything you can think of, I was doing it. And at the same time, any money that’s coming in, you’re investing right back into the company. What advice would you give women about starting a business? Be really optimistic and patient, because you’re not going to build an empire overnight. You just have to believe in it – in your business and in the process. It’s about never giving up just because doors are closing. I’ve had so many doors closed on me, but another one always opens up. Optimism all the way. How do you roll with all the uncertainty of the entrepreneurial lifestyle? A lot of people end up giving up. They’ll go into their second or third year, and it’s not where they want to be, so they get nervous and quit. And then they go and get a nine-to-five job because it’s safe. You have to keep going. Even during your worst moments, when uncertainty gets to you, you have to keep moving forward. How important is networking when you’re starting a business? Business is about relationships and developing those relationships. At the end of the day, people want to work with people that they like. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. We go out with our clients – we go out for dinner, drinks, and we’re constantly entertaining them. But the relationship is authentic. Once you’ve built that relationship with your clients, they won’t want to go anywhere else so long as you’re giving them the best possible service. What are your tips on mentorship? Early on in my career, I’d watch CEOs or those in management positions interacting with people “below” them in the corporate hierarchy, and I was appalled by the lack of respect upper management had for their employees. I don’t let staff call me “boss” because I don’t consider myself that. I’m a leader, so I need to lead by example. If I’m at the “top,” and I’m treating my employees negatively, those values trickle down. Mentorship and leadership have one thing in common – respect. I’ve shown my employees that respect is one of the most important things, and a fundamental piece of our corporate culture. How do you give back to the community? We’ve recently partnered with SickKids. By December 2017, The Concierge Club has committed to raising $50,000 to assist with research and the ongoing development of SickKids campus. Given that I have two children, making sure that every child has access to top-notch healthcare is super important to me. It’s a cause that’s very close to my heart.

Events | Staffing | Sponsorship