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About TOWN Winter 2012

Set sail for adventure

WinterFest comes to downtown

A table for two: Michael’s Off Main

3 17 PAPER



This About Town supplement is available online: CARL TESSMANN PHOTOGRAPHY

“Searle’s for that hard to fit foot”

Serving the Comox Valley for over 80 Years

Latest in fashion, fit and comfort.

OPEN: Monday - Saturday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm Friday till 9:00 pm 250 Fifth Street, Downtown Courtenay



Wednesday, November 28, 2012




RECORD Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joanna Ross Feature Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jennifer Cox Additional writers . . . . . . . . . . . . Meaghan Cursons Photography . . . . . . Erin Haluschak, Renee Andor, Earle Couper Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (250) 338-5811 Fax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (250) 338-5568 Mailing Address: 765 McPhee Avenue, Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2Z7 E-mail: All material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. Reproduction is expressly prohibited by the rights holder.


The president’s message

elcome to our winter edition of About Town. This year has been especially exciting with the introduction of our WinterFest 2012 festival. When the VestaFire performers lit up downtown with their fire spinning and gorgeous costumes at the opening of our Moonlight and Magic weekend of Nov 16 and 17 the crowd was wowed, and we have much more going on until Christmas Eve designed to make the festive season engaging and fun for everyone. I hope you’ll check our seasonal events on the Downtown Courtenay WinterFest Facebook page, or our website for all the details. The Comox Valley Christmas Parade this past Sunday was as amazing as ever, and I want to personally thank everyone who participated and made it a success! It was great to see so many families lining the street to enjoy the costumes and music of the

contest continues until season. We owe a debt of December 5. You can vote gratitude to the Downtown for your favorite window Courtenay Business display for a chance to Improvement Association win one of the four shop(BIA) board of directors, ping spree prizes; $1,000 + committee members, and $500 + $250 +$250. Look other volunteers who have for the 84 participating put in so much time and businesses by the special effort planning our seadecal on their windows. sonal events, and to our A good place to start with community sponsors withWalk the Windows is the out whom we could not be DCBIA president Comox Valley Art Gallery so successful. Your efforts Mark Middleton on Duncan Avenue. This and support continue is always a special season to make downtown the downtown, with shops decorated and vibrant community centre that it is. The City of Courtenay Public Works full of wonderful unique products and services designed to tantalize, and crews put in many hours decorating merchants eager to serve. our trees and streets with lights and The businesses that make up banners, and cleaning the streets the Downtown Courtenay Business before and after events. The results Improvement Association (BIA) thank are greatly appreciated. everyone who shops locally. Together Downtown merchants take pride we all make this place we call home in their window displays, so don’t the special place that it is. forget that the “Walk the Windows”

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A dazzling blue sea serpent stares out from a display of popular Folkmanis puppets in Whales Tale Toys. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK

inter weather can mean long days indoors, but that does not have to spell boredom. This is the perfect time of year to engage children in imaginative play. At Whales Tale Toys creativity is ignited the moment you walk through the door. It is like boarding a ship set sail for adventure and the only criteria for boarding is a passion for play. When Owner Judy Osbourne is select-

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ing toys, she asks herself “Are these items I would want to keep, to pass on to the next generation?” With items like Brio, Lego, and Playmobil the answer is a resounding yes. These toys have stood the test of time and are just as popular today as they were forty years ago. “I love Playmobil,” says Osbourne. “It’s Continued on page 4

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There’s a reason Gund calls itself the worlds most huggable bear. This one is giving out free hugs at Whales Tale Toys in Downtown Courtenay. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK Continued from page 3

great for the imagination. You can mix so many sets together for lasting play.” She is quick to point out that it’s important to consider ages and stages when choosing the perfect toy. Babies love Sophie the Giraffe. It is easy to grip and stimulates their sense of sight, touch and sound. Toddlers love push and go toys such Dudley Dump Truck made by Wow Toys. No batteries are required to manoeuvre these durable vehicles around the room. Melissa and Doug’s Big Rig Building Set is a hit with both toddlers and preschoolers. This company makes quality wooden toys and crafts that are affordable and fun. School Age children need toys that encourage creativity. Puzzles and games challenge their minds while Shleich knights, horses and dinosaurs invigorate their imaginations. Folkmanis puppets are beautifully designed, with intricate details that spark imagination. The sea serpent pictured on page 3 has eyes that wiggle, along with a moveable mouth, tongue and fins. Not far from the puppet stand is a selection of costumes designed by Creative Education of Canada. A fanciful dragon cape flips over, transforming the child to a knight. Children love to lose themselves in the land of fairies, princesses, knights and pirates. These costumes inspire fantasy. Building a puzzle is a fantastic way for a family to bond while providing chil-

dren an opportunity to learn new skills. Ravensburger puzzles are made of high quality, durable materials with colourful images that excite young minds. Families really enjoy playing games together. It is a perfect way to turn a rainy afternoon into a memorable moment. “Games are really big this season,” says Osbourne, and not just for kids. “We sell a lot of games to adults.” Games such as Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne are fun for all ages and teach children mapping, collaboration and planning skills. Orchard games provide a fun way for younger children to learn colour recognition, language and counting. One of Osbourne’s favourite toys is Brio. The popular toy was unavailable for a few years while Brio underwent some changes. Osbourne is thrilled by its return. “I was one of the first stores in B.C. to get Brio and one of the last ones to hang on until there were no supplies. I’m so happy to have it again.” Brio is an example of the kind of durable toy that spans generations. The wooden railway, with its interconnecting tunnels and bridges, provide hours of imaginative play. Osbourne holds up the Neighbourhood Toy Association catalogue as a fantastic resource of top toys recommended by independent retailers across Canada. “People want toys that are high quality and won’t fall apart,” she says. “When choosing toys for the store I look for the ones that will last.”




BRIDGES 244A 4th Street • “4TH STREET SQUARE” UARE” • Courtena Courtenay • 250-338-5712


Wednesday, November 28, 2012



itting the sl o pes in styl e H


hen Art and Joanne Hobson opened Ski Tak Hut in 1976, it was a small shop tucked into the back alley of its present location. It has grown to 3000 square feet and is an established hub for the ski and snowboard community in downtown Courtenay. Ski Tak Hut has expanded its retail space and grown from 4 to 24 employees but it has maintained its focus on customer service. The original back alley shop where it first opened is still where all repairs, rentals and demos take place under the expert care of Elliot Hobson. Maude Hobson, (Art Hobson’s mother) was passionate about customer service. She would bring fresh cinnamon buns into the store every week, reminding staff that “Everyone that walks in here should walk out as a friend.” “This is what we still believe,” says Dunnett. “We treat our customers like we would a guest in our house.” “This place has survived on service,” agrees Cam McDonald. An avid skier, McDonald moved over from Vancouver nine years ago. He joined Ski Tak Hut first as an employee and then business partner. “It’s been the best move ever!” says McDonald who works as a fishing guide during the summer as Ski Tak Hut is open from the day after Labour Day until the end of April each year.



“The seasonal aspect of our business is a unique thing,” says Dunnett, “but the reason for our success is that we love what we do.” Technology has changed rapidly since Ski Tak Hut first opened. At that time, traditional skis were narrow, straight looking boards. By the eighties, snowboarding was increasing in popularity. Snowboard Manager, Chris

We sell skis to ❝ our friends and our neighbours. We don’t just sell to them. We ski with them.

– Cam McDonald

McKenzie joined the company during the snowboard boom. “At that time we thought snowboarding was the future,” he explained. “The young people all wanted to snowboard.” “It was a faster learning curve and had a cool factor that skiing didn’t have at that time,” remembers Dunnett. “Snowboarding was taking a foothold and skiing was taking a backseat, so we moved with the trends while at the same time continuing to grow our ski business.” The snowboarding boom led to new technology in skis, forcing manufacturers to search for ways

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to invigorate production. “When it started coming into fat skis and shapes, long time snowboarders began switching to skis,” recalls McKenzie. “Shaped skis brought people back into the sport,” said Dunnett. Engineered and developed by Elan in the mid nineties, they made skiing easier and more fun. The parabolic side cut allowed skiers to carve clean turns with ease. Freeskiing started to evolve with the invention of the twin tip ski. Kids were now able to do the same tricks on skis as on snowboards. Reverse camber technology made skiing powder almost like surfing. “The twin tip ski brought the cool factor back into skiing,” said Dunnett. “You could ski backwards, do big jumps… People were really excited about skiing. It was a big deal” The excitement for the industry is contagious when Dunnett and McDonald swap ski stories, but their biggest passion remains their regular customers and staff. “We are not a big box store,” says McDonald. “We sell skis to our friends and our neighbours. We don’t just sell to them. We ski with them.” Dunnett is proud of the personalized service Ski Tak Hut offers. “We are still a bricks and mortar store and believe the world still needs us. The world needs service and that is what we are about.”

The powder skis Al Dunnett and Sydney Moncrief, of Ski Tak Hut, are pictured with are fatter than traditional skis and perfect for carving through for deep snow. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK

Celebrating 16 years of the simple things

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250 338 9838


Wednesday, November 28, 2012



e g a t e h t S g n i t t e S


Trends in fashion for the modern man

uke Guthrie is a popular Comox Valley entertainer whose strong stage presence reveals a deep authenticity as a performer and individual. He will soon be heading to Alberta to tour his recently released CD, Oil and Water. About Town staff caught up with Guthrie at Jim’s Clothes Closet where he was a willing model for this season’s latest fashions. For Guthrie it is important to be both comfortable and stylish. Though he

Men want to look good but be comfortable at the same time.

doesn’t consider himself a trendsetter he does have a distinctive home-grown look. Guthrie’s music is influenced by the social and philosophical writings of artists such as Bob Dylan. Like Dylan, Guthrie has an air of poetic lyri-

cism and his fashionable poise reflects this. For today’s photo shoot, Guthrie looks stylish in slim fit Buffalo jeans with contrast stitching. There is a selection of light to dark washes to choose from but Guthrie wears a dark denim for the versatility of being able to dress them up a notch when needed. A swoosh of leather accent adds flair to the back pocket but what he loves most about these jeans is the comfort factor, an important consideration when

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Last months in the “Year of the Water Dragon” t'shirts. 479 - 4th Street, Downtown Courtenay 4 Local Musician Luke Guthrie has fun modeling the latest fashions at Jim’s Clothes Closet. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK

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spending hours on stage. There are so many great shirts to choose from. Sales Associate Jennifer Haslam suggests Guthrie try a cotton dress shirt by Bugatchi. The shirt’s geometric pattern and shaped fit make a bold statement without overwhelming. For an added bit of fun, there is even a selection of matching Bugatchi socks on display by the change rooms. “Contrast collar and cuffs are becoming popular in all the guy’s shirts now,” Haslam says. “They look dressy without wearing a tie and work great with jeans.” With such a striking shirt, it is hard to put on a jacket but the days are getting colder. Guthrie owns a fantastic houndstooth jacket. He sings that “every time I wear this jacket the world shows up at my door …makes me feel so good inside, walkin’ along whistling a song without a care.” The houndstooth jacket is perfect with jeans for a look that is casual yet refined, but today Guthrie is trying to complement the Bugatchi dress shirt. He finds exactly what he’s looking for in a blazer made by Montreal designer, Jack Victor. A slim fit design and a stylishly layered four-button cuff adds a touch of class to this casual dress coat. Store Manager Drew Bradley also

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blundstones, available at Searles, are comfortable and stylish, can be worn casual or dressy and are built to last. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK

recommends the custom designs manufactured by S.Cohen. “We offer custom suits for men who want a specific fit. They can choose the lining, fabric, buttons and style that works for them.” Bradley is quick to point out that made

to order jackets and suits are cost-efficient and do not take long to order. “You can receive it in two to three weeks,” he says. “We measure it up and build it on the IPad, and as soon as we click submit it is transmitted to Montreal where they


start pulling fabric and laser cutting the design.” The cost is only marginally more expensive than buying off the rack, with the added benefit of tailoring specific to the customer’s needs. More information on this service can be found by clicking on the custom suits link that runs along the left of the screen at www.jimsclothescloset. com. Across the street at Searles there is a great selection of shoes. The Ecco New Jersey slip-on, in black or brown, is very popular according to Derek Newnes. He notes that the trends in the Comox Valley lean towards casual. Many, including Guthrie, are attracted to this area for a slower pace of life. Men want to look good but be comfortable at the same time. A pair of Blundstones is a simple answer for any outfit. “I know guys who wear their Blundstones with suit pants!” says Newnes. They are easy to slip on and off, can be worn anywhere and are made of high quality leather that stands the test of time. Whether you choose the chisel toe or the original they are the go-to shoes for a toe tapping good time, and that is exactly what you’ll be doing if you are listening to Guthrie crooning out his soulful tunes.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012



t f o d n S a y k l i S Lather up with natural, organic soaps personalized just for you


t is one of those rare intersections where drivers actually grin when they are stopped at a red light as the bubble machine outside Silk provides a steady stream of floating bubbles that dance across the busy corner of Cliffe Ave and Fifth Street. Soap Designer and Store-Owner dreamed up the bubbles Lorie Milbank d as a friendly way of greetvisitors to Downtown ing gv Courtenay. Bubbles mean Cou ur different things to different diff fer people peo opl but almost always evoke evo oke a childlike delight. “People pop their head “P the door to say thanks in tth the bubbles,” she says. for th makes me smile.” “It m Bubbles are central to Bu Silk soaps. “If it doesn’t all Si lather lath he I don’t want to make Milbank declares with it,” M passion. pa ass The lather is what makes her soaps so m refreshing. High qualre ity, ity y, oorganic ingredients leave lea ave the skin feeling silky smooth. sm moo “The name silk refers “T how your skin feels once to ho h use our products,” says you uu Milbank. Mil lba An island based business nes ss that started from scratch scr rat in the Comox Valley, Val lle Silk soap products distributed globally to over have been distr The company has recent160 countries. T ly stopped distribution as it shifts its focus to developing its franchise operations. The first franchise opened in New Zealand and another recently opened up in Campbell River. The company has over 3000 in-stock mold patterns dedicated to franchisees. Milbank is proud to carry the larg-

est variety of soap patterns in North America and is especially proud that each soap mold is individually designed right here in the Comox Valley. Silk’s unique soap designs have even attracted the attention of Oprah Winfrey. Milbank had the opportunity to create Oprah’s own personalized soap design, S’Oprah. “She has a real thing about soap. Nobody can use her soap so she had us design her own personalized bar,” explains Milbank. Another exciting celebrity moment was receiving a call from Paris, France. Chanel’s head designer Karl Everything Lagerfield had a new bath line I do in soap coming out and I do in asked Milbank to design one chocolate. of a kind soap – Lorie Milbank for the photo shoot. Delicious looking cupcakes with bubble bath icing are a big hit in the store. These are popular for weddings and bridal showers as well as making great gift items for the hard to buy for friend on your list. They are intricately designed and look so delicious it is tempting to take a bite. Fortunately, Silk can create an edible version of all soap products. “Everything I do in soap I do in chocolate,” she says with a smile explaining that cupcakes and other food products are created off site in a commercial kitchen. “For wedding receptions we are often asked to create chocolate menus as a centrepiece for each table. “By the second glass of wine there is always someone who will break a corner off,” she laughs. “And then everyone is into it!” Milbank works with wedding planners to create unique wedding favours,

Lorie Milbank creates delectable cupcakes with bubble bath icing at Silk, the new soap store in Downtown Courtenay. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK from specially designed bars of soap to beautiful Calla Lilies engraved especially for the bride and groom. Birthday parties at Silk are extra special. The children are invited into the store after hours where depending on age and ability they learn to make bath bombs or specialty soaps. The parties include a goody bag, helium balloons and the supplies for their craft. The kids have a blast and Milbank has just as much fun, finding their enthusiasm contagious. “They are so eager and keen that it

is just a pleasure to me,” she declares. “They are amazed by everything” Kids and grown ups love the open kitchen design which allows them to come in and see the soap-making process unfold. It is inspiring to observe and Milbank is always thrilled to share her passion. It is important to Milbank that her soaps are made with organic oils and local ingredients whenever possible. “The biggest difference that sets my product apart is that I don’t skimp on the ingredients.”


Wednesday, November 28, 2012



n o i t i d a r t n i S teeped TEA CENTRE



hether you enjoy tea in the morning or as an afternoon treat, teatime is the perfect break from a hectic schedule. A hot tea on a cold day warms the soul. In the words of the Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, “You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy tea. Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup… can you savour the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.” At the Tea Centre, Marny and Suzanne Tsai are all about appreciating the delicacy in each cup of tea. They have dedicated the past ten years to providing their customers with quality tea, and they look forward to many more years of success. The Tea Centre is unique in that it imports its own tea. Marny and Suzanne personally visit tea farms, ensuring only the freshest quality teas make it into their store.

“We buy direct from the farmer,” says Marny in a short break between customers. “There is no middle person. We know the farm. We know the soil is clean and the farmer does not use chemicals.” Instead of chemical pesticides some farmers plant fruit trees amongst the tea harvest. This is a natural


way to keep bugs away and enhances the tea’s flavour. “It is interesting to see the different growing techniques and traditions,” says Suzanne. “Learning how to process tea is a real art.” Matcha tea is a high quality Japanese tea that has been stone ground into a fine powder, best prepared with a special bamboo tea whisk called a chasen. First, dissolve the matcha in hot water, then move the whisk briskly in a zig zag motion until a soft, light foam develops. This drink is fun to prepare and is said to burn

It is always time for tea at the Tea Centre where Marny and Suzanne Tsai celebrate their ten-year anniversary in Downtown Courtenay. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK fat. Maybe that is why it is also a popular ingredient in ice cream and cookies! “There are many ways to use tea in cooking,” says Suzanne, “It is used in cocktails such as tea martinis and infused vodka.” Oolong leaves are tasty

is popular and comes in a variety of flavours:

• Hot and Naughty Chili Chocolate- Assam black tiger tea, cocoa, red peppercorns, anise star, cinnamon pieces, cardamom, cloves, chili flakes, and ginger. • Masala — Assam black tiger tea, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, anise star, peppercorn, orange peel, coriander seeds, ginger, and cloves • Tiger — Assam black tiger tea, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, and peppercorn • Vanilla Spice — Assam black tiger tea, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorn, ginger bits, and cloves. • Rooibos — Rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cracked pepper, and cloves.

Please drop into our office while enjoying the incredible downtown shopping and services.

in salad dressing and bean salads. Lapsang Souchong is a smoky black tea, delicious as a marinade. Yerba Mate is a stimulating tea with a rich, robust flavour. A perfect mid afternoon pick-meup, it is said to boost the immune system and increase energy. Fruit tisanes are always popular. Children love the sweetness of the Canadian blend made with Saskatoon berries, apples, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, linden flowers, cranberries, cherries and orange. For those that love sweet tea nothing beats bubble tea. As this story

was being written a customer came in to order herself a passion fruit bubble tea with vanilla soy. There just happened to be enough left over for a sample and it was the perfect afternoon snack. “Bubble tea is like a tea smoothie,” says Suzanne. “They are refreshing, filling and come in many different flavours. All ages love a bubble tea. Once you start having them they are slightly addictive.” There are so many incredible teas available it is hard to touch on them all. Fortunately the Tea Centre always has a sample pot brewing to keep you coming back for more.

There’s nothing like a good book!

Don McRae, MLA D Comox Valley

Constituency Office 437 5th St., Courtenay BC V9N 1J7 Phone: (250) 703-2422 Fax: (250) 703-2425 Email: Monday to Friday, 9AM - 4PM


286-5th St., Downtown Courtenay 250-334-2511 Mon. to Sat., 9:30 am to 5:30 pm OPEN 24 HRS A DAY AT: Sun., 12:00 to 4:00 pm


Wednesday, November 28, 2012



A vision for downtown


DCBIA event sponsorship keeps downtown vibrant

and attract community residents and visitors he DCBIA works with local merchants to raise awareness of the dynamic community into the downtown of Courtenay.” Events that are family-friendly, environmenthat exists downtown. A variety of unique tally friendly and located downtown are given shops, restaurants and offices create a welcompriority, though the DCBIA is open to sponsoring atmosphere where you can find everything ing any event in the Comox from gift items and live Valley if they feel it will conmusic to fresh, wholesome Exciting, thoughttribute toward inspiring the meals to share with friends. provoking and fun events public to visit downtown. The DCBIA Board is pasSome of the events they sionate in promoting arts are an integral part of have sponsored in 2012 are: and culture. One way they do downtown. Georgia Straight Jazz Society this is through event sponsorship, which promotes the – Kim Stubblefield 2012 - 2013 Season, Comox Valley Youth Music Centre community atmosphere that DCBIA Executive Director 2012 Season, Soroptimists Downtown Courtenay is so International-Visit to well known for. Downtown Coupons, Classic Cruisers Graffiti According to the application, downloadable Bash Show & Shine and the CRA Halloween online at, Parade & Party. they are especially interested in sponsoring Though some sponsorship is financial, not events that, “improve the business environment all sponsorships require a grant. For more of the DCBIA community; promote the growth Vintage cars lined the streets of Downtown Courtenay during the 2012 information email info@downtowncourtenay. of community identity and spirit; derive ecoGraffiti Bash Show & Shine. PHOTO BY EARLE COUPER nomic benefits for citizens and local businesses, com.

Together Forever Always


320 - 5th Street, Downtown Courtenay



Wednesday, November 28, 2012





riends and neighbours in Downtown Courtenay look forward to the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market’s yearly sojourn to their neighbourhood. Familiar faces can be found each Saturday morning wandering from booth to booth while listening to live music in the Native Sons Hall where the market takes place from 9 a.m. to noon throughout the winter months. The market is a great place to enjoy a delicious Saturday morning surrounded by homegrown product and there is always a pot of locally roasted, organic, fair-trade coffee brewing. Market goers can indulge in a great selection of treats at the Little Orca Bakery, while Tria Catering tempts hungry shoppers with delicious crepes and other food items featuring local ingredients. Legato Gelato serves up decadent goat’s milk gelato while Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt offers artisan yogurt handcrafted Hubert Gravouille of Little Orca Bakery serves up sweet treats as Tamara with milk, honey and fruit from local Cunningham tries to decide which farms. one to choose. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market provides the community with a fanshipped 2,400 km. to reach their table. tastic opportunity to meet the farmers People want the increased nutrition and that grow their food. This is becoming flavour of locally grown food, freshly ripincreasingly important as many conened and picked off the vine. sumers are beginning to realize that the There are many specialty items availonly way to ensure a healthy diet is to able at the winter market. Happy Creek support local agriculture. Local farmers Farm sells hazelnuts care deeply about their and walnuts, as well as product and are proud of There are walnut oil which is delithe high quality, freshalways fresh greens cious on salads and an ness and flavour of their way to enhance the harvest. such as sprouts, kale easy flavour of your favourite “There are always and spinach. dessert. fresh greens such Morrison Creek as sprouts, kale and – Vickey Brown Alpacas joins the market spinach,” says Market when they can, offering Manager, Vickey Brown. luxurious wool in a variety of colours She is thrilled with the year round and weights for weavers and knitters. selection of fresh produce. Bee Happy, Simply Divine Farm and The farmer’s market is not just fruit Watrin Orchard carry a wonderful selecand vegetables. Local farmers sell beef, tion of pure unpasteurized honey as well chicken, seafood and baking to help as cosmetic quality beeswax and beesshoppers fill their pantry with local wax candles. options. Walking past booth after deliYou can even find treats for your cious booth provides a glimpse into the favourite furry companion at the booth bounty that surrounds us in the Comox of Faithful Friends. Their grain-free pet Valley. treats are made in small batches using People do not want mass-produced only the very best ingredients. genetically modified food that has been

A trip to the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market is a fun opportunity to support local farmers while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere that forms when you combine locally grown food with live music. This year the hall will be over flowing as there are more vendors than ever vying for space at the Saturday market. Seating is very limited in the hall as vendors take up most of the floor space. They are working on solutions such as moving the music and some seating to the upstairs balcony overlooking the hall. Despite space constraints, the Native Sons Hall is the perfect venue in the midst of a growing city, fostering a strong sense of community amongst farmers and residents of the Comox Valley. For more information and a list of local farms and vendors, visit

CE SIN85 19

WE KNOW MEAT & WE’RE HERE TO SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE WITH YOU, whether it’s in choosing the perfect juicy steak, a slab of ribs, pork steaks, a fresh chicken, a grade A turkey, one of our smoke products including gluten free pepperoni or our famous sausages that are made fresh daily in the store.




We have a great selection of deli meats & cheeses!

319 4th Street 250-338-1412 Toll Free 1-800-893-2011

OPEN: 9:30-5:30 Monday to Saturday


Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Ready for adventure


Start your quest with the knowledge and services of downtown travel agencies and retailers

o you have adventure on your bucket list? Louise De Armond of Square One Travel says go! “You want to do it now while you can because these are special trips that you may not be able to do again.” Steve Boggis at Market Travel always tells clients that it is important to research the destination. “Travel agents know the ropes for getting along in various countries around the world,” says Boggis. “Part of my job is to research the regulations and ensure you have everything you need.” All countries require a passport. Some require the passport be valid for up to six months after arrival and some even require a travel visa. Boggis remarks that Vietnam and India are popular destinations, while De Armond’s eyes light up when she talks about New Zealand and Africa. Vietnam: For a cultural experience, start with an urban adventure through Hanoi. Visit ancient pagodas and French colonial buildings before heading to Halong Bay for a traditional Vietnamese boat cruise. Cycle amongst the lime karsts, and take a rowboat through Tam Coc to explore magnificent caves. India: For a trip of a lifetime, start in New Delhi, head to Agra to explore the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal. Explore the rich history of Varanasi, walking along the wide stone steps known as ghats that lead bathers to the River Ganges for a holy dip.

Finding peace on the rapids of the Kaituna River in Rotorua, New Zealand is a must for the adventure traveler. PHOTO BY RENEE ANDOR New Zealand: Start in Auckland where you can take a walk around the outside ring of the famous Sky Tower in full body harness to protect you from the 192 meter drop. (After that you might want to tour some of the

Travel agents know the ropes for getting along in various countries around the world.

– Steve Boggis local wineries!). A trip to ninety-mile beach to body board through the sand dunes is amazing. White water rafting along the Kaituna River in Roturua is exhilarating. Wake up early for a trip in a hot air balloon, or enjoy the sunset on horseback along the beach. African Safari: A fundraising tour taking place in Fall

2013 offers travellers an opportunity to support the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation while experiencing wonders such as the Samburu National Reserve, home to lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinoceros. “There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the animals run free,” says De Armond. “You can be within ten feet of a pride of lions. It is just amazing.” Polly Fox at Jet Stream Travel Fashion Boutique recommends vented clothing in light colours for hot climates like Africa. Ex Officio garments are designed with climate and environment in mind. If you are travelling down a river in the tropics you will appreciate the insect shield and UPF protection. If you are headed to the mountains you will be thankful for the fabric’s durability. Fox recommends keeping valuables such as ID,

passport, money and credit cards in a neck or waist stach with alloy lined radio frequency blocking protection to prevent unauthorized access to personal information by electronic pick-pocketers. When trip planning, people will often assume it is less expensive to book online but it isn’t. “We offer the same prices as the Internet, and if anything goes wrong you want to have a travel agent to mediate on your behalf,” says Boggis. “I had a case a few months ago where a couple arrived at the airport without the correct documentation. I was able to work

from here to back them up and solve their problem.” De Armond points out that registered BC travel agencies have access to Travel Assurance Funding that can provide compensation to consumers who do not receive travel services purchased. This is important if you have booked a tour only to find out on arrival that the company no longer exists. Hiring a knowledgeable travel agent and purchasing the right tools to secure your belongings allows you to leave all your worries behind as you embrace adventure. Planning ahead is the key to a great trip.

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ooking for ways to bust b winter boredom? The education education-based n-based toys and games att Pl Planett Ki Kids ids spark id k the th imagination and ignite nite a passion for learning. Trying to teach your children chemistry? The periodic table shower curtain is a fun and popular way to help both kids and grown ups remember er the various elements. Kids will be thrilled to discover that there are ele-ments everywhere, even n in their bath water. Each molecule of water contains two hydrogen atoms and one oxy oxygen atom. (Otherwise know as H2O). Afraid you might not be able to answer all the questions your new shower curtain evokes? Planet Kids has a great selection of books to help parents and kids unravel the mysteries of the periodic table and other scientific queries. The Newton’s Cradle is a popular item. It is a simple construction of small balls suspended by wire in a metal frame. It is an excellent tool for teaching kids about energy. All a child needs to do is pull on one of the balls and let it fall to see how the momentum of energy changes from ball to ball. Model building kits by companies such as Air Fix and Revell have stood the test of time. Younger children can be introduced to the craft with snap-tight kits that require no painting or glue. More advanced kits are available for the older child (or child at heart). Watson highly recommends these kits for learning and developing fine motor skills. The Leonardo Da Vinci models by Pathfinder Toys are extremely popular for ages nine and up and come with everything you need to build a reproduction of the original. “Kids can build catapults and trebuchets that really work,� Pam Watson says, remembering the time her own son built a catapult and spent hours shooting cherry

This re-creation of Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th Century catapult is on display at Planet Kids. All pieces are precut and easy to assemble.

pits at the fence in their back yard. On more than one occasion, Watson has had grandparents come in the store to buy one kit, only to return for more as their grandchildren combine the kits to create backyard sieges with toy knights and dragons. There are hours of entertainment within the lens of a high-quality microscope. Planet Kids also microscope carries real slides, with everything from mold spores to bug wings. More

adventurous kids will be thrilled to know they can also buy kits to prepare their own slides. Kids love to learn about electronics. Snap Circuit electronics kits are fantastic for providing stimulating projects such as AM radios, burglar alarms, and doorbells. The directions are easy to follow, and no extra tools are required. The kits come in a variety of sizes for different levels and ages. A larger kit contains multiple projects and hours of amusement. “Robotics is so big in our community,� says Watson, pointing to exciting new programs, such as Navigate, that operate through the local school district. “Robotics are great for younger children and teens,� she says explaining with excitement how much fun kids have building robots. Kits range from beginner to advanced, providing hands-on opportunities to learn about technology and engineering, developing important problem solving skills. “Earth science has taken off like a house on fire,� says Watson. Crystal making kits teach chemistry and geology while fascinating kids with beautiful formations. Planet Kids carries rock samples that demonstrate differences between rocks in their raw form and polished rocks. For only a few dollars kids can buy a geode, an ordinary looking rock that, when cracked open, reveals a crystal hidden inside. Watson admits she can spend hours researching interesting toys. She is passionate about anything that invites exploration and feeds a child’s imagination.



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The Montreal Guitare Trio will be performing their not-to-be-missed show January 20, 2013 at the Sid Williams Theatre.


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A great lineup at the Sid Williams Theatre

here is something dreamlike about the thick velvet curtains opening across the stage as the lights dim and an eager audience is transported to another place and time. From the magical presentation of Winter Harp to the energetic beat of Digging Roots, there is a must-see line up of topnotch performances this season at the Sid Williams Theatre. The modern building on the corner of Fifth St. and Cliffe Ave has been a landmark in the Comox Valley for over 25 years.

The contemporary facility has seating for 500 and is home to many fantastic performances throughout the year. The ticket booth is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and one hour before all shows. Tickets will sell quickly for the December 6th performance of Winter Harp, which this year includes Comox Valley singer and instrumentalist, Roger Helfrick. Performers captivate the audience in traditional medieval costume, playing rare instruments such as the one-of-a-kind

psaltery, the 12th century organistrum and the melodic nyckelharpa. The delightful evening of caroling includes Celtic and classic harps, flute, percussion, poetry and song. On January 20th the Montreal Guitare Trio will thrill audiences with their upbeat acoustic performance. Their music covers multiple genres, spanning everything from flamenco and Argentinean tango to Brazilian samba and California surf guitar. Louise Pitre is performContinued on page 15

333 5th Street (Above Ski & Surf)

250-871-7225 Email:


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Continued from page 14


live theatre. Purchasing a prices, advanced ticket membership in the society sales, extended hold privisupports these endeavors leges, and invitations to and helps ensure a lively galas and member socials. arts and culture commuMembers also receive a nity in the Comox Valley. newsletter that publishes A trip to the theatre is three to four times a year, like a temporary vacation keeping them in the loop on what’s happening in the from the hustle and bustle of daily life. theatre comWith the Sid munity. A trip to the William’s The Sid Williams theatre is like a tem- Society annual fundTheatre porary vacation from raising rafSociety is the nonthe hustle and bustle fle, one lucky winner will profit of daily life. also have organizathe chance tion that to be transported further operates the theatre. It from home. The grand strives to maintain an prize for this year’s raffle accessible and affordable is a round trip ticket for facility for arts and culture organizations in the Comox two to anywhere WestJet flies. Raffle tickets make Valley; to showcase quality fantastic stocking stuffers performances throughand can be purchased until out the year; to provide the draw takes place on educational opportunities New Year’s Eve. for youth and; to ensure Wouldn’t that be a wonlow-income families and youth have the opportunity derful way to welcome in 2013! to experience the joys of

ing on February 6th. Her concerts, with accompaniment ranging from solo piano to big band ensembles, have been popular across North America. She is well known in Toronto, Montreal and Paris for her signature performances as Fantine in Les Misérables and she received a Tony nomination for her part in the Broadway hit Mamma Mia! Her love of music and dynamic performance will shine across the stage. What a perfect way to spend a February evening. Digging Roots is a Juno award-winning band from A multifaceted performer with a career that spans theatre, television and concert Ontario that will be in stages across North America and Europe, Louise Pitre is Canada’s first lady of musical the Comox Valley for an theatre. Pitre is stopping by the Sid Williams Theatre Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. PHOTO SUBMITTED energetic performance on March 7th. Their music has a hip-hop reggae shows to choose from, a performances include the stage into a magical beat with a hint of the membership in the Sid violinist Martin Chalifour, secret garden. blues. According to their Williams Theatre Society tenor Ken Lavigne The Mattina Musica Facebook page they are is an ideal way to support and viola player, Vaida series, provides classic interested in “using music local theatre. Members Rozinskaite. music lovers a refreshing to spread love and affect receive discounts on ticket In addition to their own opportunity to start the positive change in this line up of performances, day off in style. The 5 concrazy world.” On this note, the theatre hosts a varicert series is co-presented they have been hard at ety of shows throughout by Sarah Hagen and the work preparthe year. In ing for their December, CD, Love the Irish Drive, to be Rovers released this Christmas Music, live theatre, comedy, spoken word… Theatre spring. Concert and gift certificates make great gifts! Treat your family and The Banff Yellowpoint Island s friends to the experience of live performances and tyle sports and fashions Mountain Christmas support arts and culture in the community. Film Festival’s Spectacular Gift certificates can be purchased in person at the Radical Reels are sure on March 16th ticket centre, online at or to be big is a fun night hits. From by phoning 250-338-2430. out that is Boxing Day sure to inspire. to New Year’s The audience will be at the Sid Williams Theatre sociEve the Courtenay Little ety. Each concert takes edge of their seats as they Theatre will be performing place on a Monday mornenjoy high-energy films a pantomime of The Magic ing at 10:45, ending just depicting gripping advenTinderbox, a great way to in time to grab a bite of ture sports such as skiing, enjoy some family time lunch with a friend in one snowboarding, paddling over the holidays. of Downtown Courtenay’s and mountain biking. Randy Elvis Friskie will FROM TECHNICAL BASE LAYERS many restaurants. For On April 27th the audirock the stage January those that prefer to catch ence will be delighted as 27th with his engaging TO OUTERWEAR, HEAD TO HANDS AND FEET up with friends before the Ballet Victoria comes to tribute to the great king FASHIONS AND FOOTWEAR, town to perform The Secret performance, the lobby of rock n’ roll and the WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED! and so much more! will open at 9:45 to give Garden and Other Works. Courtenay Little Theatre’s concert-goers a chance to This one act ballet tells a rendition of Winslow Boy 333 FIFTH ST., COURTENAY • PH. 250-338-8844 share stories over a tea or heart-warming story that will entertain audiences a coffee before the enterwill inspire and delight all from April 11-20. tainment begins. Upcoming ages as dancers transform With so many great

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Winter Harp December 6 Montreal Guitar Trio January 20 Louise Pitre February 6 DiggingRoots March 7 Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Radical Reels March 16 Ballet Victoria: The Secret Garden April 27

Just Current Swell January 25 added! Said The Whale February 9 Sid Williams Theatre Society & Sarah Hagen co-present MATTINA MUSICA featuring: Martin Chalifour (violin) February 4 Ken Lavigne (tenor) March 11 Vaida Rozinskaite (viola) April 22 Visit our website for tickets & show info WWW.SIDWILLIAMSTHEATRE.COM

2 1 0 2 t s e r e t F n i W An inaugural celebration of arts, culture, commerce and community

Walk the Windows Make sure you check out the incredible window displays during WinterFest. Participating businesses (over 80 of them!) are decking the halls, d painting their windows and stringing the lights. Stop in at any participating business and a you have the chance to vote for your favourite window and win big cash prizes for one of four shopping sprees in Downtown Courtenay. You’ll know which businesses are taking in part by the silver circle sign in their window.

The WinterFest Hub On Saturdays from 11 to 3 the Corner of 5th and England (the McConochies Building) is home to the WinterFest Hub. Special guests from a variety of arts and environmental organizations will be hosting free arts and crafts by Meaghan activities for kids. Cursons Guest facilitators will include Kevin Flesher from the CVRD, Motif Music and the crew from Elevate the Arts. Check the DCBIA website and Facebook events page to find out what is scheduled for each weekend.

Busking for Charity

250.338.2430 ext 1 Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 4pm


Local musicians of all styles are taking part in an exciting Busking for Charity program throughout WinterFest 2012. Look for your favourite local players as they open their cases and collect spare change for important local causes. Busking for Charity participants will have signs to let you know where the proceeds for the music is heading. Stop by, listen to a few tunes and

A community band plays carols. thank them for sharing their talents for those most in need!

Downtown Courtenay WinterFest The inaugural Downtown Courtenay WinterFest kicked off on Friday November er 16th with events, activities, and entertainment continuing each weekend right through till Christmas. Downtown merchants have joined forces for this great celebration right in the heart of our community. Shoppers enjoyed fire, lights, magic and music at the recent Moonlight and Magic weekend Nov. 16-17 and were swept away by dreams of a Green Christmas on Nov. 23-24 with an incredible selection of gifts, projects, crafts & eco-friendly inspirations. As this issue of About Town


arrives on your doorstep, downtown merchants will be gearing up to welcome December with a weekend of tantalizing and tasty treats during Delicious Downtown, Nov. 30-Dec.1. You’ll definitely want to head downtown for a Walk on down the W Wild Side Dec. 7-8. to explore explor art, adventure and unusual gift ideas. Downtown Courtenay will be transformed into a tra Winter Wonderland W Dec D 14-15, a perfect weekend to reflect on w those winter th i t wishes, dreams and fantasies (like snow!) that make Christmas a time of wonder and excitement. If you’re looking for that old fashioned Christmas feeling, head downtown Dec 21-22 for Twas the Night Before. Shoppers will enjoy carolling, story-telling, old-fashioned crafts and more. Well known as one of the most


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Streetlights shine like stars welcoming shoppers downtown.


purchase your first special piece of furniture for your new home. It is where you rent your first tuxedo or buy your first business suit. These are things that are directly connected to how we celebrate our lives. Our downtown core faces many challenges as the Comox Valley grows and development Downtown patterns change. New Courtenay is shopping about shopping, opportunities in large but it’s also format stores about so much mean even more commore. It is the petition for cultural heart small businesses. But of the Comox with all these changes come Valley… amazing opportunities. Downtown Courtenay is building on their unique selection of gift items to become a destination for both residents and tourists. If we treat our downtown core as a place where commerce, culture and community come together, it can and will flourish. Downtown Courtenay WinterFest is part of that celebration. It is about inviting the community to come and discover first hand the special sense of community that comes from the unique little shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants - and people - that make up downtown Courtenay. It is a place to spend time, together with family and friends, celebrating life.

A shopper stops (left) to enjoy a window display. A street performer (above) delights the crowd as downtown celebrates WinterFest. PHOTO AT LEFT BY ERIN HALUSCHAK, OTHERS SUBMITTED

charming downtown’s on the Westcoast, Downtown Courtenay is home to an eclectic mix of businesses, professionals and organizations. Add to that world-class cultural facilities like the Comox Valley Art Gallery, the Courtenay Library, Sid Williams Theatre and the Courtenay Museum and you have a dream destination for shoppers and cultural tourists.

Downtown Courtenay is about shopping, but it’s also about so much more. It is the cultural heart of the Comox Valley, filled with great heritage buildings and adjacent to the beautiful Old Orchard neighbourhood with some of the most amazing heritage houses in the Comox Valley. Situated alongside the Courtenay River, Downtown Courtenay is a place where friends and family meet for all kinds of occasions. The shopping is amazing too. Downtown is a place where you can find the perfect items to help to mark special transitions and rights of passage in your life. It’s where you find quality gifts for babies and new moms, pick up chocolates for your sweetheart, discover the perfect first Christmas tree ornament and

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Fuel your body with Rawthentic You are what you eat, as the old saying goes, which is why it is so important to incorporate raw food into your diet.


aw food, also known as living food is delicious, healthy, and rich in enzymes for maintaining healthy weight and glowing skin. Ultimately, eating raw food whenever possible will improve your health, energy, immune system and digestion. Our bodies need enzymes to break down fat, protein and carbohydrates. In cooked and processed foods, the enzymes have been destroyed. “The more you process food the less net energy you’re going to get from it,” explains Bill Hadikin, of the new Rawthentic Eatery in Downtown Courtenay. “I like to say good, better, best. It’s good if you can get more raw food in your diet. It’s better if you can have raw options along with cooked portions and best if you can eat a fully raw meal.” When Hadikin switched to a raw diet he admits that he couldn’t give up potato chips. That is, until he discovered kale chips, a great raw substitute and a lot healthier too! To make raw kale chips with all the enzymes intact you need a food dehydrator at no more than 108 degrees (the magic number for maintaining those lifegiving enzymes!). Drizzled with cold-pressed olive oil and sprinkled with Himalayan mountain salt, kale chips are a nutritious snack that you don’t need to feel guilty eating! Throughout the week, Rawthentic carries a great selection of smoothies and raw juice as well as salads,

smoothie bar has a wide Eatery the focus is on delilooking for ways to share selection to kick start your cious, gourmet food that knowledge and ideas with day. invigorates the body. other raw foodies. “It’s Red alert juice conThe dessert tray is free. All you have to do is temptingly delicious with a taining carrot, apple and bring a dish. For newcomginger is a great ers we always say just bring I like to say good, better, best. energy boost and jolly nog, with some chopped up It’s good if you can get more raw almond mylk veggies, find out what everyone food in your diet. It’s better if you can nutmeg and cinnamon is a perelse is doing and have raw options along with cooked fect winter treat. enjoy the food.” At the For those portions and best if you can eat a Rawthentic interested in fully raw meal. – Bill Hadikin Eatery there is learning more, a great selection raw food classes great assortment of treats. of raw, vegan and gluten take place in the store Apple pie, macaroons and free meals to choose from, bi-weekly, providing parberry cheesecake are just a leaving diners with more ticipants with food, recipes few healthy choices. energy than ever to do the and knowledge. The raw juice and things they love. At the Rawthentic

An extensive menu includes this delicious falafel wrap served with vegan caesar salad for only $13. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK

Eatiwng ra

Increase your enzymes (and your energy levels) by

• Fruit and vegetables, ripened (Especially papaya and pineapple) • Nuts and seeds (soaking nuts releases enzyme inhibitors and increases its nutritional value) • Sprouts (Richer in enzymes than any other raw foods.) wraps and delicious pizzas. On Friday nights they step it up a notch with unique meals that are not available in the restaurant day to day. There is a real com-

munity feel to the restaurant, which is encouraged through educational classes and potlucks. “Every third Sunday we host a raw potluck,” says Hadikin who is always


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times the art on display is not for sale. “I love the diversity of the art, it is always a surprise to me,” she says with a smile. For the holiday season, Bell has contracted local artist Benjamin Dunstan to paint the café windows in a whimsical winter scene. His colourful stylistic designs are delightful and will certainly add to the ambiance of downtown during WinterFest. The windows at Zocalo Café are always inviting and when they are not painted with delightful designs they may be displaying unique glass and iron art such as the pieces recently exhibited by Roberta Meilleur, combining rusted metal with vintage chandelier crystals to make striking sun catchers. Here is a highlight of some of the amazing talent you might see if you head to the café for a bite to eat: James Kasper is a Victoria-based singer songwriter who describes his music as

Party rtyy Dresse Dr Dresses ssse ses

W ed

t the Zocalo Café there is an everchanging display of original art. From Thursday to Saturday diners can also enjoy live music. Tapas have been added to the menu on performance nights for diners to share with a glass of wine. As the restaurant fills up quickly it is a good idea to reserve a table in advance. The diverse group of musicians that entertain the crowd on a regular basis is part of what makes this restaurant so special. When Catherine Bell took over the café three years ago she loved the ambiance of local artists and musicians and has worked hard to establish a regular roster of jazz, acoustic and vocal performers as well as regular art shows that give artists and community groups a venue to showcase their work. “I like the buzz!” exclaims Bell. “I like the community feel.” If artists price their work, Bell is more than happy to sell pieces, though some-

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Flying Debris gets ready to play classic and original tunes at Zocalo Café during a recent music conference. PHOTO SUBMITTED



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211 Simms Street, Courtenay 250-338-6621 2 21 Look for us in the alley (Between 5th & 6th off Cliffe)

Courtenay & District Paintings by local artist Maddy Elia are an example of the vibrant and thought-provoking art Zocalo CafĂŠ is becoming so well known for. PHOTO SUBMITTED but certain shows only last a week. Some “a refreshing hybrid of dark, dreamy roots shows are by individual artists and others, rock tunes and angsty blues-harmonica such as the recent L’Arche Community Art solos.â€? He will be performing on Thursday Show are collective efforts. November 29 and again on December 27. “Four Cats art school put on a show Pamela Tessman’s rich voice and soullast year and they were only planning to ful lyrics are captivating. Her upbeat, display for a week but it was so popular vibrant personality energizes the crowd. I asked them if they would leave it up for Whether she is playing new songs or old a month,â€? says Bell. “I am hoping to have favourites, fans love to see her creativthem again.â€? ity flow, which it has been lately as she In May 2012 Gordon Ross showcased begins work on her next album. She will an amazing exhibit called be performing December 1 Tattoo and You. This disat 7:30. The diverse play was a part of the Forbidden Jazz is a group of musicians Elevate The Arts event that fantastic trio consisting took place downtown and is of Jake Masri on trumthat entertain the a great example of Zocalo pet, flugelhorn, & vocals, crowd on a regular CafÊ’s dedication to supJim Chew on guitar and Grahame Edwards on basis is part of what porting and promoting local talent. One of those dynamupright bass. The group makes this restauic art shows will have you is sure to provide lively yearning for more. entertainment on Friday rant so special. Another local artDecember 14 and again on ist whose work has been January 11. extremely popular is Martha Ponting. Thursday to Saturday nights are great When her work was displayed last year it for grooving to jazzy blues. Acts such as had a great response and Bell is hoping to Indigo Jazz, Paul Rodgers, Bee Wolf Ray, host a show again in the coming months. Blaine Dunaway, Celtic Cargo and the Black Swan Fiddlers always entertain, but Her art covers a diverse range, from realist to abstract to whimsical. Images of the fun doesn’t stop there. If you are looklandscape, horizons, forests and marine ing for a relaxing brunch with live music, life all reflect Ponting’s spiritual connecSunday afternoon from 12-2 is the perfect tion with her surroundings. time to head downtown and listen to flaThe Comox Valley is teeming with menco guitar. You’ll find your feet tapping to the rhythm as you sip your coffee over a artistic talent. The artists mentioned in this article are only a few of the dynamic delicious home-cooked meal. individuals you might find on any given While live music is typically reserved day at the Zocalo CafĂŠ. If there is an for the weekends the dynamic and diverse entertainer you are looking forward to displays of art are on display throughout seeing confirm dates and times at the week. The art shows typically rotate monthly

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Tips for a healthy back Keep your back healthy and strong with massage therapy


Clisby describes our bodies as an elaborate pulley system that is best operated from a neutral position. “Injuries or poor posture will ultimately lead to pain, keeping you from enjoying an active lifestyle,” says Clisby. “Each vertebrae and rib needs to move independently to enjoy full and free range of motion for a healthy back.” Clisby stresses the importance of massage to manage aches Whether you are looking to hit and pains before the slopes or get on the ice this winter, they spiral into sympnow is the time to tend to your body to chronic toms or further prevent missing out on those bluebird injury. Shawnna powder days that are just around the Karras, RMT corner. – Leslie Clisby, RMT also has an office downprevent missing out on those town. She specializes in therabluebird powder days that are peutic and relaxation massage, just around the corner,” says dividing her time between Leslie Clisby, RMT. Lasqueti Island and Downtown Clisby just celebrated Courtenay and can be reached at the one-year anniversary 250-338-9815. She explains that, of Functional Massage in “the various techniques of masDowntown Courtenay. More sage therapy can be excellent for information on her services preventing winter sports injuries is available at http://funcby releasing and internally She cating muscles and joints so they has many years experience will have more glide, spring and working with athletes and is a resilience.” member of the board of direcKarras advises the following tors for SportMedBC. home care tips to maintain a t is important to maintain your fitness regimen during the winter months. Sometimes in the process of trying to keep in shape we push our body too hard and our body starts to push back. This is where massage therapy steps in. “Whether you are looking to hit the slopes or get on the ice this winter, now is the time to tend to your body to

Live Music

healthy back and prevent injury: 1. Hot and cold: Hot baths are great when you’re feeling sore. Adding 2 cups of Epsom salts helps pull inflammation out of tissues, but drink lots of water before and after to rehydrate. 2. Stretching and strengthening are important to keep backs and other areas healthy. Abdominal exercises, such as crunch sit-ups, with feet on the floor, build support for the low back. 3. Posture is a great thing to become aware of. Many of us have too much forward head posture, especially noticeable when driving or doing computer work. It’s good to think of lengthening our spine and bringing back our head and upper body when they’re hunching forward. 4. Squatting right to the ground rather than bending over at the waist when picking something up is wonderful for keeping the back long and healthy. 5. To help pelvic balance, avoid too much one sided crossing of one knee over the other. 6. Warming muscles up before sports activities is important to mobilize and ready joints and muscles. Stretching after activity releases restrictions and lengthens worked muscles and helps remove lactic acid. Following these tips, along

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Breakfast • Lunch Specials • Dinner • Tapas • Licensed

Massage therapy loosens tight muscles, helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent injury. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK with a regular trip to a local massage therapist, helps ensure your back stays healthy throughout the year. “Massage therapy can be a wonderful aid towards a healthy back, says Karras. “It releases restrictions and restores healthy


circulation at the spine and in the soft tissues.” Massage therapy helps maintain healthy, happy muscles, which ultimately means better strength and endurance to enjoy a healthy, active (and pain-free!) lifestyle.

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Ergo Carriers - Ju Ju Be Diaper Bags Aden & Anais - GAIA Natural Baby Robeez - Beco Carriers - Skip Hop - Bella Band Glamourmom - Stonz Booties Tea Collection - Petunia Picklebottom

Mon - Wed, 7am - 5:30pm • Thurs, 7am - 9pm • Fri & Sat, 7am - 10pm • Sun, 7am - 5pm Phone 703-9516

226-5th Street Courtenay

Visit us on


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bop City Records

Linda’s Leather and Shoe Service

Tiny but mighty they ordered the new Beachboys CD for me - perfect for a special birthday.

Butcher’s Block Meats Not only excellent selection of meat and poultry but also a great deli that is a lunch favourite for me.

Did you know you could get your shoes and leather goods repaired Downtown?

Penny Tyme Fashion

My 10 ect picks perf

This is the shop I go to when I need a special outfit for a special occasion.

W Who: ho: E Evelyn velyn l G Gil Gillespie illlespiie Where: In our beautiful Downtown Courtenay What: Laughing Oyster Bookshop PHOTOS BY ERIN HALUSCHAK

HiTec Screen Printing

Sylvie’s on Fifth

2012 is the year of the Dragon. Did you see that amazing dragon they produced? I did and had them put it on a T-shirt for me.

Right next door, she carries petite sizes!

Comox Valley Art Gallery Between their changing and often challenging exhibitions and their excellent gift shop, CVAG is an important anchor to our Downtown.

Fifth Street Florist I love starting my week with a fresh flower arrangement from Steve - always unique!

Courtenay Branch, Vancouver Island Regional Library Another anchor to our Downtown - the library is a bustling centre of activity, hosting public events like author readings regularly.

Zocalo Café Another excellent lunch spot (and dinner too Thursday to Saturday). Wifi and electrical outlets make it a great spot for a working lunch.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Calendar of


One distinct shopping experience.

Cakes Bread Coffee Pastry Gifts Meals Eat in/Take out • • • • • •

• Truffles • Chocolate • Gelato • Fudge • Candy • Gifts

Walk the Windows — Get the festive feeling with the delightful window displays that line the streets of Downtown Courtenay.

NOVEMBER November 28 to 30 The Potters Place — Featured artist for November at Potters Place: Laurie Davis sets the Potters Place on fire! – Wait until you see what she’s been smoking! November 28 38th Annual CVAG Christmas Craft Fair — December 29, 2012 Contemporary Gallery, Community Gallery and CVAG Gift Shop

www hotch hoccolates

368 Fifth Street, Downtown Courtenay Telephone: 250-338-8211 Find us on Facebook

November 28 to March, 2013 Signs of the Times – Courtenay Museum — Signs can advertise a business, promote a cause or even tell you where to go and how to get there! In fact, signs are the backdrop to our workaday lives. Some are “just the facts, m’am”

others are eye-catching for their use of colour and design. Some signs can become so well known to us that it’s a sad day when they are dismantled or removed.But fear not, this new exhibit is sure to bring back some memories. Our second floor temporary gallery area will display “Signs of the Times” – an exhibit featuring artifacts and signage of Comox Valley history from our permanent collection. You can expect to see the Gaiety Theatre sign and “Leung’s Fruits and Vegetables” among many others. November 28 to December 5 Walk the Windows: Get that festive feeling with the delightful window displays that line the streets of downtown. Vote for a chance to win one of 4 shopping sprees!

November 30 Beyond the Kitchen Door — Cooking class — Everyone Can Cook Everything. Celebrate cooking everything with chef Eric Akis November 30 and December 1 Downtown Courtenay — Delicious Downtown: Tantalizing Tastes in Downtown Courtenay

DECEMBER December 1 Courtenay Museum – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Open House. Beverages, treats and crafts for Children to make. Door prizes. December 1 Beyond the Kitchen Door — Book launch with chef Eric


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DECEMBER Continued from page 24 Akis — Everyone Can Cook Everything. Join us at ‘Beyond’ the Kitchen Door for a special book signing and cooking demonstration with chef Eric Akis. December 6 Winter Harp – Sid Williams Theatre — An ensemble of harps, medieval instruments, flute, percussion, poetry and song. Join this world-class ensemble for a concert of heartwarming carols, songs and stories in celebration of the Christmas and winter season. December 7, 8 Downtown Courtenay — Walk on the Wild Side: Exploring Art, Adventure and Unusual Gift Ideas. December 8 Comox Valley Art Gallery 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Discover Art — Free Admission. Everyone welcome, family friendly so bring the kids! Discover Art Saturdays is an interactive visual art experience held on occasional Saturdays at the

Comox Valley Art Gallery. This event is for everyone of all ages who are looking for fun, creative, affordable activities, with emphasis on families. Featuring 2 hours of drop in art making, this event will take place in the Contemporary Gallery (main space) of CVAG.

former with a career that spans theatre, television and concert stages across North America and Europe, she is Canada’s first lady of musical theatre.

MARCH March 7 DiggingRoots – Sid Williams Theatre. A group that combines elements of traditional Indigenous influences, hip-hop, folk, reggae, and blues and roots styles of music wowing audiences around the world.

December 8 Courtenay Museum – Christmas Craft Sundays – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids will have a chance to make Christmas stars, spice balls or painted pinecones to decorate the Christmas tree. Admission by donation. December 14, 15 Downtown Courtenay — Winter Wonderland: Winter Wishes, Dreams and Fantasies December 15 Courtenay Museum – Christmas Craft Sundays – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids will have a chance to make Christmas stars, spice balls or pinecones for the Christmas tree. Admission by donation.

The featured artist for November at Potters Place is Laurie Davis. The store also has a variety of styles and offerings for art lovers to display and use. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK fashioned Crafts and more.

JANUARY January 20 Montral Guitare Trio – Sid Williams Theatre. This trio’s virtuosity, rigor, creativity, and dynamic stage presence

December 21, 22 Downtown Courtenay — ‘Twas the Night Before … Caroling, storytelling, old



Now Available


Bring back your

232 5th Street, Courtenay, BC V9N 1J6 | 250-338-2519

Read About Town cover-to-cover on-line. Now available in an easy to read downloadable and printable format.


About TOWN Winter


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A table for Michael’s two: Off Main

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FEBRUARY February 4 Mattina Music featuring Martin Chalifour – Sid Williams Theatre. Pianist Sarah

Hagen has invited some of her favourite musical personalities to share the stage with her in this classical music series. This performance features Martin Chalifour. February 6 Louise Pitre – Sid Williams Theatre. A multifaceted per-

March 11 Mattina Musica featuring Ken Lavigne — Pianist Sarah Hagen has invited some of her favourite musical personalities to share the stage with her in this classical music series. This performance features Ken Lavigne. March 16 BMFF’s Radical Reels – Sid Williams Theatre. A night featuring the best highadrenaline films of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival competition.

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Rosemarie Clark Family Service Advisor



Wednesday, November 28, 2012



A delicious new look Hot Chocolates and Cakebread redesigned for faster service


he foundation behind recent renovations at Hot Chocolates and the Cakebread Artisan Bakery can be easily summed up in the business’s motto, “two great brands, one experience.” Owner Jorden Marshall was prompted to make some changes when, on a typically busy day, he noticed a customer standing in two separate lineups, first to purchase bakery items and then again to purchase chocolate. “I saw this happening and thought, we can make this work better,” said Marshall. “We wanted to make the customers experience more efficient.” With this in mind, Marshall began work with his design team to come up with a dynamic new floor plan with the right combination of ambiance and efficiency. “There is no better place for us than downtown,” explained Marshall. “So we are throwing everything in to this to make it as enticing and efficient as we can.” Opening earlier, at 8 a.m. was the first step towards becoming more customer-friendly. The next step was to create an opening between the two sides, creating one cohesive space where ultimately all customer needs

can be met. “It’s been quite a challenge,” says Marshall adding that it is the staff’s dedication to serving customers and making topnotch product that forms the backbone of the business. “I’m thankful that I have a team that does this with me because there’s no way I could do it on my own.” The shop is open for

We wanted to ❝ make the customers experience more efficient.

– Jorden Marshall business, after having to close for a few weeks in the fall, but renovations are still underway and shoppers will continue to notice changes over the coming year. For instance, an incredible concrete countertop with embedded seaglass and polished stone is still in production. There will also be another, smaller gelato showcase arriving in the spring. Renovating is never without its mishaps. When the first gelato showcase arrived from Italy this fall, the company shipped the equipment and didn’t ship the controls with it. By the time the controls arrived, electricians were hard at

Hot Chocolates and Cakebread Artisan Bakery staff are dedicated to serving customers and creating quality product. PHOTO BY ERIN HALUSCHAK work to ensure the showcase was wired correctly. Marshall points to the crossfire laminate he chose for the cabinetry. He recalls the day he chose it because he loved the way it caught in the light as he tilted the sample piece from side to side. Installed on a flat surface it loses some of that glimmer but it is still a striking and modern choice. “Part of what I enjoy is the colours and textures,” says Marshall as he discusses the renovation process. He points to the wood floor. “This floor is sixty years old and it is real. Even though there are all sorts of laminate on the market nowadays, nothing compares to an authentic wood floor.” Hot Chocolates is renowned for their great selection of hand-dipped chocolate truffles with tantalizing flavours, but what makes the shop truly excellent is the community. “We see generations of families,” says Marshall. “Even as kids leave home and move out of the valley they will remind their parents - don’t forget to send chocolates!” Marshall sees his establishment as a gathering

place where people can build tradition around quality artisan chocolate and baking. “I think the community is better for it.” Marshall states, noting that an important aspect

of Hot Chocolates and Cakebread’s business practice is to give back to the community, supporting arts and culture in the Comox Valley. There is a buzz in the

air as music plays and shoppers chat over coffee and chocolate. There is laughter and intimate conversation. Yes, the community is definitely better for it.

Burton • North Face • Salomon • Rossignol • Helly Hansen Orage • Dakine • Bonfire • Foursquare • Special Blend Blizzard • Libtech • Oakley • Ride • 686 • Armada

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your ski and snowboard specialists since ‘76


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


ADVERTISER DIRECTORY BAKERY Cakebread Artisan Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 BEAUTY Salon Bridges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 BOOKSTORES Laughing Oyster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 BUTCHER SHOP Butcher’s Block Meats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 CHILDRENS CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES Kradles Baby Boutique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 DELICATESSEN Runge’s Deli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 ELECTRONICS Visual Sound AVU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 FASHIONS - Men’s • Women’s Be Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Jim’s Clothes Closet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Maida’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Packables Travel Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Robert A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Secret Drawers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Shar-ons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 FITNESS Freedom Now Yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 FLORIST Courtenay 5th Street Florist . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 FURNITURE McConochie’s Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 GROCERIES/HEALTH FOODS Edible Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Thrifty Foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 HOME & GIFTS Beyond the Kitchen Door . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Hot Chocolates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Romance Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 JEWELLERS

MUSEUM Courtenay & District Museum . . . . . . . . . . 21 POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES Don McRae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 RESTAURANTS/CAFÉS

Francis Jewellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Atlas Café . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Graham’s Jewellers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Billy D’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

MUSIC Bop City Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Cardero Coffee & Tea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Michael’s Off Main . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


Union Street Grill and Grotto . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Searle’s Shoes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Zocalo Cafe & Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Shoebiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4



Hi Tec Brazenwear Sportswear . . . . . . . . . . 6

Ski & Surf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Nowicki & Rae, Lawyers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Ski Tak Hut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Piercy’s-Mt. Washington Funeral Home. . . 25 Ruth Ewert, Denturist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Delicados . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Sharon Hadden, CGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Early Bird Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Shawnna Karras R.M.T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

THEATRES Sid Williams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 TOY STORE Whale’s Tale Toys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Early Bird Café

DOWNTOWN a taste of

Delicious diversity hardly begins to describe the eateries in Downtown Courtenay. From steaming espresso and fresh-squeezed juices, gourmet pizzas to tempura and teriyaki, you’ll find fabulous fare sure to tempt everyone’s tastebuds.



The café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a global flair – “a little something for everyone” featuring freshbaked goodies, espresso and fruit juices. Licensed. 250 Sixth St. Phone: 250-338-9838.

“Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!” Enjoy breakfast all day and lunch 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Licensed. 355-Fourth St.


In business since 1969, Runge’s offers sandwiches, cold beverages and sweets to go, plus all the fixings for your picnic – sliced meats, cheeses, potato salad and more. Open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 347 Fourth St. Phone: 250-338-8621.

Check out for our fabulous daily specials. We are located downtown at 268 Fifth Street. We serve mountains of nachos, colossal platters and everything else your appetite may desire. With our huge portions and low prices you won’t find a better deal. Phone: 250-334-8811.

CARDERO COFFEE AND TEA CO. Find coffee, tea, light lunches, ice cream, blended drinks, smoothies, plus an internet lounge. Open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Located at 232 Fifth Street. Phone: 250-338-2519.

DELICADO’S SOUTHWESTERN CAFÉ It’s a funky, high energy restaurant/deli that screams personality, which translates into a fun and exciting atmosphere at Delicado’s. Eye-catching decor, excellent service, great music and wholesome, reasonably priced food have made Delicado’s famous. In the Courtyard on the corner of 5th and Cliffe. Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Phone: 250-338-8885.

EARLY BIRD CAFÉ Breakfast served all day. Daily homemade soup and sandwich specials. Also burgers, wraps and salads. Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 307-Fourth St.; Sunday breakfast buffet, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone 250-897-7025.

Phone 250-334-2071


Come see what’s cooking! Specializing in fresh homemade Breakfast, Lunch and Sunday Brunch! 307 - 4th Street Downtown Courtenay • 250-897-7025

Buy 1 Rollup, Get the 2nd Rollup 50%OFF Coupon Expires: December 31, 2012

A Southwestern Café serving a delicious variety of flavourful, colourful and healthy southwestern food In th the Courtyard on the Corner of 5th & Cliffe | 250.338.8885 Parking behind building by Central Builders


Neighbourhood PUB

UNION STREET GRILL & GROTTO Open every day at 11 am. Licensed. Families Welcome. The Grill ~ A unique downtown restaurant serving fresh West Coast foods with an innovative, jazzy atmosphere. Come and enjoy lunch or dinner. The Grotto ~ Offers a quick serve, fun, casual atmosphere. Offering the same great menu as The Grill. A great place to eat, meet and drink! Phone 250-897-0081




Featuring fresh, delicious food, specialty coffees and teas, café events, local art, wireless internet and more. Licensed. Open Mon. – Wed. 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 208A Fifth St. Phone 250-331-0933.


268 Fifth Street, Downtown Courtenay 250-334-8811


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Travelling? ... Stop in at Packables Travel Solutions located on corner of 5th Street and Duncan. Owner Deb Dewar not only has a great selection of travel wear she also has travel clinics to show you how to pack!

s e c a l aces P

& F

Silk Soap Factory is owned by Lori Milbank a 3rd generation soapmaker. Not only an amazing artist on canvas, Lori uses luxuriant ingredients to create soaps of every imaginable shape for every occasion! It’ easy to find Lori on the corner of 5th and Cliffe ~ just follow the bubbles!

Serenity Acupuncture Studio on Cliffe Avenue (across from the Sid Williams Theatre) is where new owner Hsiu-chen Lin provides her clients with high quality and affordable acupuncture for all types of treatments ranging from arthritis to injuries.

Sharon Hadden CGA located across from the Sid Williams Theatre, has years of experience managing a business. You most likely recognize her from Fanny Bay Oysters! Sharon understands the challenges you face and works as a team to grow your business with sound accounting practises and tax planning.

Carosel Consignment is now located at 515 Cliffe Avenue. Owner Camilla Rosnes has a great selection of funky frugal fashions for women of all ages!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012



J • E • W • E • L • L • E • R •S Downtown Courtenay

Dressing Men of all Ages


Diamond Line Bracelets & Necklaces

G I F T C A R D S AVA I L A B L E DOWNTOWN COURTENAY 231 5th Street, 250-338-2624


PORT ALBERNI 4716 Johnston Road, 250-723-5231

simply knee sock, socks over the knee, stay-ups, tights.... leg wear for everywhere. 431 Fifth Street, ❦ Downtown Courtenay ❦ 250-897-7488



250.897.0081 5th Street, Courtenay



Wednesday, November 28, 2012



e l b a t A two for i

Michael’s Mi h l’ Off M Main i

had breakfast on chairs from the old Loft my mind as soon as Cabaret are tucked up photographer Erin to a beautiful old trestle Haluschak and I made table. The diners next to us plans to head to Michael’s were gathered around an off Main for a mid-week expandable wooden table lunch date. Breakfast after with beautifully carved oak all, is what barley twistby Jennifer Cox Michael’s ed legs. Off Main Michael is famous for. Delicious Gilbert and Terry Chaney benedicts with homelove bringing pieces of hismade hollandaise sauce, tory together to create a french toast with real welcoming atmosphere for maple syrup, tasty crepes their regular customers. with your choice of bacon, “I didn’t want everyseafood or shrimp… My thing to be the same,” mouth was watering before explains Chaney. “Some I even stepped out my of it is family history and front door. other pieces we’ve collected But as I entered across the island.” through the stained glass I asked Gilbert and door that leads into the Chaney how they got into eclectic 4th street restauthe restaurant business rant the delicious hearty and both agreed that it smell of beef barley soup was their love of good food had me shifting gears. that inspired them. Chaney The restaurant has a used to invite friends over wonderful down home feel as guinea pigs to try on to it, with a diverse assortnew recipes. When she ment of artwork, including realized they were lining a collection of convex glass up outside her door she pieces. knew it was time to open a The walls are really a restaurant. lesson in art history. There What she really wanted is everything from the diswas to own her own space tinct art nouveau stylings but that reality seemed of Alphonse Mucha to the far off until Chaney got neo-classical imagery of lucky at bingo. Yep, bingo! Maxfield Parrish. In one lucky night she won Even the tables in enough to make her dream Michael’s Off Main are a reality. works of art, each unique This is one of those feel piece collected from aucgood success stories that tion houses and vintage still makes her eyes light furniture stores across up when she talks about it even though it’s been a few Vancouver Island. Lounge

Quesadilla (top) with guacamole and house salad (above left), $9. Spinach salad wrap (above right) with beef barley soup, $10. PHOTOS BY ERIN HALUSCHAK years and a lot of sweat equity since. In addition to a great atmosphere, there seems to be a real camaraderie amongst the staff and regular patrons. “I feel fortunate to have the staff we have,” Chaney exclaims. “We run this as an old fashioned place with a strong sense of trust and kinship that I am so thankful for.” Our server, Michael O’ Donnell was excellent. He had a great sense of humour and despite the

fact that every table in the restaurant was full, he never missed a beat ensuring that Erin and I had everything we needed. My coffee was topped up regularly and our lunch was served much faster than we expected considering that everything is made to order, fresh and delicious. The efficiency was appreciated as both Erin and I were taking a break from a busy workday with deadlines looming over our heads. I was so thankful for a

break in my workday to catch up with Erin over a delicious meal. I ordered the spinach salad wrap with of course… a steaming bowl of beef barley soup. Comfort food at its finest! Erin also considered ordering breakfast but she ultimately decided on a cheese quesadilla and a large house salad served with flavourful and tangy fresh dill dressing. Both of our meals were so filling that we had to pass on dessert. Knowing

from experience how decadent their cheesecake is we should have followed the advice on our menu, “life is uncertain, eat desert first” but we were completely satisfied as we headed out the door. The afternoon sun was shining and we both felt more than ready to conquer the rest of our workday. It’s amazing how some good wholesome cooking can make all the demands of the day fade away and suddenly seem so much more manageable.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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November 28, 2012  

Section Z of the November 28, 2012 edition of the Comox Valley Record

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