O A K B AY L I V I N G
TWEED SPRING SPRI SP RING NG 2013
Custom made KYLE VUCKO ROCKS THE WORLD OF MEN’S FASHION
All aboard at GNS LOOKING FOR HOGWARTS IN OAK BAY
ROMANCING THE STOVE A French Affair with Pam Grant ARTIST JEREMY HERNDL Plein Air POSTCARDS HOME Doreen Hall on a Walkabout
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Spring 2013 Volume 1 Issue 2
F E A T U R E S
inside 10 Cover Story
Meet Oak Bay’s Kyle Vucko, the 27-year-old CEO of Indochino, an online custom suit-making company.
D E P A R T M E N T S
Historic Oak Bay
Turn back the clock and visit the Oak Bay Tea Party in years gone by.
Capturing the cute, the cuddly and the gangly in Oak Bay canines.
Romancing the Stove
Pam Grant feasts with authors Mark Craft and Diane Shaskin.
Postcards Home Join
Oak Bay Insider
Dogs on the Avenue
Doreen Hall on her “walkabouts” through the United Kingdom.
Tweed Magazine welcomes your Oak Bay suggestions for upcoming editions. So, do tell! Email editor Susan Lundy at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Close up and personal with water fountains via Christopher Causton.
Tea With Join Tweed editor Susan Lundy and Oak Bay “lifer,” Zulu Kendall, for a cup of tea.
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“engrossing show of dance, music and wit,” Will Millar’s Ireland takes the stage with an impressive group of musicians, March 15 to April 20, as part of a six-week dinner theatre engagement at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Millar, an IrishCanadian singer best known as the 30-year leader of the Irish Rovers, has “turned his creative talents” for the last four years to producing Ireland. Featuring music, dance and inspiring visuals, the show has played three seasons to sell out crowds in New Zealand and Australia. Reservations are at 250-5984556.
» Hattie’s Heist — Oak
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Bay Avenue may be “closed due to robbery,” during the upcoming filming of Hattie’s Heist, a short comedy caper about a bank-robbing senior, set in Oak Bay. According to producer Prudence Emery, shooting dates are tentatively set for June 8-10. Local actor John Krich has joined the cast as Hattie’s suitor and an retired RCMP officer. Maxine Miller is Hattie, Hattie
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Maxine Miller, on set for a robbery in Oak Bay
Will Millar presents “Ireland”
who “steals from the rich to feed the poor,” and Matt Frewer plays a flummoxed policeman foiled by Hattie’s gang. Visit www.hattiesheist.com for more info.
» 100 years — Glenlyon Norfolk School is celebrating 100 years with several events planned for May 17-19. Festivities occurring May 19 at the Beach Drive campus in Oak Bay, include “Tea and Tours at the Beach” for GNS alumni and families (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and an everyone welcome “Garden Party at the Beach” (noon to 2 p.m.). There is also a reception planned for alumni and staff at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, from 5-7 p.m., on May 19. More info on the GNS website.
» Red art up for grabs — Three local charities will benefit from the “Picture a Cure” fundraiser at red art gallery in March. The gallery is donating 33 per cent of its sales for this event, which runs March 13-31, and 15 local artists have developed new work for it. Only 33 tickets (at $33) were sold for the opening event March 13, which included wine and appetizers, plus an early chance to buy art and bid on auction items. Check the website at www.redartgallery.ca for more details.
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The right to slow down
used to mock my partner Bruce about his smartphone. I’d pose questions like, “so, if your iPhone and I were both drowning, who would you save?” and “oh look, the floor needs sweeping, does your iPhone have an ‘app’ for that?” He and his techno-mistress were inseparable. Then I got my own iPhone and discovered that not only could I too be lovingly attached (texting, surfing, googling), I was suddenly connected All The Time. I could send emails in grocery store line-ups; check Facebook during a party. Nothing was sacred; even my former Fortress of Alone Time — the bathtub — could easily be invaded by access to the world via iPhone. With this connection came the corresponding need to Respond Immediately. A soft-but-persistent hum of anxiety persisted if I didn’t respond to emails right away, and to texts even faster. I felt naked without my phone, and a bit panicked if I went too long without checking in. So when our annual trip to Point No Point near Sooke beckoned amid approaching Tweed deadlines and a spate of meetings, I braced myself against unplugging and disconnecting for two days. No internet, no cell coverage. My phone and I entered a period of separation — I sat on my hands to avoid plucking it from my purse — and learned to walk without feeling like I was missing an appendage. But as Bruce and I traipsed along the beach, hiked the trails, sat in the hot tub, sipped Prosecco, watched the sun set and the waves crash in and roll back out again, I realized how little I missed my pocket lover. More importantly, I discovered how very important it is to take time out of this fast-paced, frenetic world, and just Be. Because we are constantly connected, existing within this urgency of immediateness, it’s harder to step away and play. Our leisure time gets hijacked by a “quick text,” or “I should take this call,” or “hang on, I’m just gonna check my email.” But nothing plumps up the soul
Unplugging on the beach.
like disconnecting from the world and setting a slower, simpler pace. I got thinking about all this again as I started reading stories in this edition of Tweed. In “Plein air” (page 32), artist Jeremy Herndl says, “Everyone’s so busy. Everything is urgent. It used to be enough just to go on a drive or a picnic — and the drive there would be amazing.” For him, painting is like “declaring your right to slow down . . . your right to have time in your life.” And I like the point made by Kyle Vucko in the story “Custom made” (page 10): “I work a lot,” he says. “And when you work a lot, it forces you to get focused on what you like to do.” Identifying what we like to do — and doing it unplugged from our busy, multi-tasking, hyperconnected lives — is all part of grabbing that “right to slow down.” We need to be deliberate about disconnecting and taking a “time out” to play. Now, where’s my phone? Maybe there’s an app for that.
Susan Lundy EDITOR
Born and raised in Victoria, Susan Lundy has worked as a journalist, editor and freelance writer for over 25 years. She is also editor of Soar Magazine and her columns on family life run in several Black Press newspapers. Her first book — Heritage Apples: A New Sensation — is being published this spring by Touchwood Editions.
March to May
OAK BAY DIARY Mar. 15- Apr. 20
WILL MILLAR ART EXHIBITION in partnership with
Winchester Galleries, at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.
March 28 OPENING RECEPTION for Local Shadows and Light, featuring artist Deryk Houston at Eclectic Gallery. Show runs until May 4.
— a non-traditional petal paintings exhibit at red art gallery.
April 20/May 11 DIEMAHLER CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES, led by Maestro Pablo Diemecke, at St. Mary the Virgin Church. April 20 at 2:30 p.m. — The Classics; May 11 — Latin Music.
March 30 EARTH HOUR Everyone Welcome Skate at Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.
OAK BAY ARTISTS’ STUDIO TOUR opens the doors to visitors during this self-guided tour of over 20 local artists.
April/May WENDY PICKEN is the featured artist at the Oak Bay Marina Restaurant in April, followed by Wendy Oppelt in May.
Start of PHEE HUDSON’S west coast landscapes show at Eclectic Gallery. Show runs until June 15.
OAK BAY HIGH SCHOOL grad dinner and dance at Laurel Point Inn.
WEST COAST CHOIR FESTIVAL — an all-day event
at Oak Bay High School in the West Auditorium.
MOMS SKATE FREE at Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
CONTRIBUTORS SHARI MACDONALD’S photography includes ﬁne art exhibitions, covers for books, CDs and magazines, brochure and web imagery, as well as a line of greeting cards. Find her at sharimacdonald photography.ca
ARNOLD LIM is a long time photojournalist and videographer whose credits include the Globe and Mail, Sports Illustrated, the Toronto Star and Black Press.
DON DENTON has photographed numerous high-proﬁle events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships, European Figure Skating Championships and a Royal wedding.
ANGELA COWAN is a nationally published poet and award winning ﬁction author who moonlights as a freelance journalist and feature writer.
JENNIFER BLYTH is an award-winning writer, photographer and editor, whose stories have appeared in BC Business, BC Home, WestWorld and Yes Magazine.
BENJAMIN YONG is a freelance journalist, feature writer and community news reporter. He enjoys writing about lifestyle, culture and cars. Find him at www.twitter. com/@b_yong.
Editor Susan Lundy firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Design Lily Chan
Group Publisher Penny Sakamoto email@example.com
Circulation Director Bruce Hogarth
Director, Advertising Sales Oliver Sommer firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover Photo: Arnold Lim
www.blackpress.ca 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1E4 Phone 250-381-3484 Fax 250-386-2624
TWEED magazine is published quarterly by Black Press. The points of view or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of Tweed. The contents of Tweed magazine are protected by copyright, including the designed advertising. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent of the publisher.
CUSTOM MADE YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR DRESSES THE WORLD IN STYLE By SUSAN LUNDY Photos by ARNOLD LIM AND EVAN JOSEPH IMAGES INC.
t’s not often that an “ill-fit” becomes the perfect fit — but that seems to be the case for Kyle Vucko and Heikal Gani, co-founders of Indochino, an online custom suit-making company.
Vucko, the 27-year-old CEO of Indochino, grew up in Oak Bay and graduated from Glenlyon Norfolk School. He may have been a “Lululemon and Birkenstock kid at times,” but he’s never far from a suit now. “I always wear suits,” Vucko says. “Even on an airplane. People would give me dirty looks if I didn’t.” Launched just six years ago, Indochino has 70,000 customers in 60 cou o double sales each year. In addition to selling suits, it offers shirts, coats and accessories such as ties, clips and scarves. Its lofty goal is to “help men dress in stylish, custom fit suits and . . . in doing so shape a new and improved world of custom men’s fashion.” The company took form in 2006 when the two young men were studying at the University of Victoria, and Gani went to buy his first suit.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t get what he was looking for,” notes the Indochino website at www.indochino.com. “[He] diligently searched for the right attire in local department stores and online but couldn’t find anything that would fit or that he could afford. Eventually he had to settle for a generic, off-the-rack garment that required extensive and expensive tailoring.” He decided there “must be a better way for men to select and buy this essential component of their wardrobe.” So he took the conundrum to Vucko, whose “head for business recognized the potential to shake up the men’s online fashion world.” The concept is simple, Vucko says: “Our focus is to make it easy for men to get dressed. Generally guys want to look good, but don’t necessarily know how to go about it.” By operating online, Indochino protects men from the “pain of shopping,” but still allows them to personalize their suits by choosing fabric, style and specialized touches. With principal investment from former Yahoo president Jeff Mallet — who Vucko and Gani also met at UVic — Indochino has rocked the men’s fashion world, offering custom made suits that use top-quality material, but are unbeatable in price. “We’ve perfected the concept of producing mass
At top: Indochino “pop-up” store in New York. At left: Kyle Vucko in Oak Bay. Above: Heikal Gani, left, and Vucko.
Above: Vucko and Gani. Following page: Indochino models and suits.
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customized clothing at scale,” says Vucko. While other companies can mass-produce identical suits, Indochino is mass-producing clothing in which every garment is fundamentally different. “No one has done this before,” says Vucko. “Our price point is untouchable, making the suits accessible to the ‘average’ guy.” While many of the first Indochino customers were young professionals, today’s clients include “everyone from high school students looking for prom suits to professionals of all ages, many used to buying much more expensive suits.” Indochino has also found a niche in men’s wedding wear, especially among groomsmen, who for a little more than the cost of rentals, can show up wearing matching, but custom-fitting suits. And returns are low, Vucko adds. (Under its “perfect fit promise,” Indochino offers a $75 alteration credit towards local tailoring if the suit doesn’t fit, as well as remakes and fully refunded returns.) These days, Gani is based in Shanghai, where he heads up the company’s 50 employees at the “creative heart of Indochino’s multi-national operation,” while Vucko runs the 40-plus employees at the Vancouver office in Gastown. Vucko travels to Asia frequently (four times last year), and lived there for over two years while the company started up. He also comes to Vancouver Island often, visiting family in Oak Bay and his girlfriend in Saanich. “Generally, I like where my life has gone and how it has evolved in the last few years — being CEO of a successful startup, having a wonderful relationship with my partner and girlfriend,
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getting to see my family regularly. While there is always more to be had, the progress and direction feel genuinely right.” He’s philosophical about his limited leisure time, noting, “I work a lot. And when you work a lot, it forces you to get focused on what you like to do.” For him, this includes reading an “eclectic mix” of books — from sci-fi to business and science — watching movies and working out. He says his memories of growing up in Oak Bay have left him with a “feeling of comfort” and a sense of timelessness. “I work in Vancouver and still find myself on the island, often in Oak Bay, every weekend. The way it feels is somehow largely the same — the friendly people, the comfortable pace, the trees and air on a spring day.” As for the future, Vucko says Indochino has lots of room to grow both online and offline. In the “offline” realm, the company has launched a series of “popup” stores, which offer “a retail experience for how we think men like to shop. Men can come in, get measured,
feel the fabric, and figure out the style they like. They can ask any questions and not feel silly.” These retail outlets have “popped up” for a week or so in places such as New York’s Grand Central Station, Chicago, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. But in the meantime, Vucko says, he is less focused on achieving goals than on creating a life “that you want to be in every day.” “I go through phases of enjoying travel or being by myself or wanting to buy something special,” he says. “I like having a life and outlook on life that enables me to adjust over time to these natural currents . . . I have goals, but goals have a way of taking a lot longer and showing up really differently than what I initially set out. They’re almost always for the better in retrospect, but [in the interim] that usually requires more flexibility and ‘go with the flow-ness.’” Ultimately, it appears that whatever the future holds for Vucko, the present is a perfect fit.
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Schooling history GLENLYON NORFOLK SCHOOL: NOT QUITE A HOGWARTIAN EXPERIENCE By SUSAN LUNDY | Photos by ARNOLD LIM
If you board a train on Platform 9 3/4 from Oak Bay Avenue, do you arrive at Glenlyon Norfolk School on Beach Drive?
At top: Exterior of Glenlyon Norfolk School on Beach Drive. Above: Interior details. At left: Stuart Brambley. Following page: The principal’s ofﬁce at GNS. 14
I’m wondering this as I drive to the private school’s history-laden Oak Bay campus. As much as I’d like to compare it to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, the similarities fade as I enter the yard amid the happy squeals of kindergarteners playing in the hedges. Inside the school — the former waterfront home of famous B.C. architect and Oak Bay politician Sir Francis Rattenbury — the cheery, lightinfused space, complete with non-wizardlooking children, further dispels any visions of bewitchment. However, GNS’s Beach Drive campus is a glorious space, filled with fine architectural details, mysterious historical elements, riveting stories with delicious embellishments, and, at its core, a successful school of 230 students. The campus will play host to several events this May, as GNS celebrates its 100th anniversary. My tour of the campus begins with
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documents at the Oak Bay Archives, continues “on location” with Stuart Brambley, the school’s vice principal and self-described “small a” archivist, and concludes with a reading from Keith Walker’s Truth and Courage — an Informal History of Glenlyon School 1932-1986. While dates and details don’t always jive among the sources, I discover for certain that Rattenbury built his house in at least two stages and styles, and that the school has maintained a strong sense of the structure’s integrity as it once existed. Rattenbury’s original house was constructed as an “English interpretation of Queen Anne Style” in 1898 and can be distinguished today as the south portion of the school, wrapped in a stone exterior. The front door once led to an entrance hall with access to a sitting room and parlour, later used as a study by the four headmasters and four principals of Glenlyon. Writes Walker: “These rooms, together with the magnificent stairway — and a washroom strategically situated underneath — are still located as they were in 1899.” Following construction of the original house, Rattenbury built a Tudor-style addition, doubling its size, and giving it a manor appearance, especially on the ocean side. Not long afterwards, he added a coach house as living quarters for his Cadillac and his chauffer. Today, the coach house has been “successfully adapted [to classrooms] with little disruption of the original design;” however, Rattenbury’s boathouse, also classrooms, has been expanded fairly significantly. Inside, the school carefully maintains a heritage flavour, using richly coloured rugs on the polished, original wood floors; and choosing period furniture in several rooms. Beautiful original windows, and interior features such as the woodwork, fireplaces, decorative plaster and marble remain true to Rattenbury’s residence. “The spaces, other than those from the extension periods, have been untouched,” notes Brambley. “Much of the interior is unchanged, only updated.” Several mysteries remain about the house, including a door that goes nowhere in paneling near the entranceway; and, in the basement, two windows with sills sloping outwards that suggest the ground outside was once excavated to allow infusion of daylight into that area.
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Above: Period furniture found inside various rooms at GNS’s Beach Drive campus. Following page: Stairs to the basement used by midcentury students at the school.
Touring the basement, I get one of those “Hogwarts” moments, as Brambley points out a narrow, steep, concrete staircase, which he says midcentury students were forced to use as a link between their outside activities and their boarding quarters and classrooms. (I imagine an eerie, mystical walk, but I doubt the staircase moved around in any sort of Hogwartian way.) There are many riveting stories attached to the house — like pieces of marble, apparently hijacked en route to construction at Government House — and the “Rat room,” which doesn’t refer to Rattenbury,
but “was so named because a rat died within the walls and for a long time it stunk,” says Brambley. The school also has a ghost story, stemming from one of the many archival photographs displayed on its walls. “The story develops from a photo of Wee and Chew (Rattenbury’s house boys), which has a face in the background that is barely visible,” says Brambley. “The story develops from there, depending on the age of kids etc. as to whether it goes into the attic or down into the basement. Or sometimes, if they haven’t been picked up by parents, I might kid them that they have to stay in the house overnight, but to be careful of the
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friendly ghost!” According to Walker’s account, Rattenbury’s final renovation occurred in 1926, when he enlarged the house on the ocean side, incorporating a music room for Alma Pakenham, who he married in 1925 after divorcing his first wife, Florrie Nunn (much to the fury of Oak Bay’s Victorian society). After Florrie died in 1929 — Rattenbury was further shunned, and the following year, he and Alma returned to his native England. (There he met a tragic end — murdered by Alma’s 18-year-old lover — but that’s another story.) In the meantime, Rattenbury’s business manager, Mr. Chettleburgh, took over the house before it was purchased by the Simpson family in 1935 and turned into a boarding school for boys. Glenlyon School amalgamated with the girls-only Norfolk House in 1986, but continued as a campus for boys until 2003, when it became co-ed. The school obtained heritage designation in 1990, acquiring some advantages, such as funding for exterior maintenance, and some challenges — exteriors have to remain largely the same and certain aspects of the interior cannot be modified. But Brambley believes that the historical setting has a positive impact on the school
environment, noting “it’s an advantage to have a unique building with its character and history interwoven with school history . . . [parts of which] are incorporated into the children’s studies.” Aside from offering students an excellent education amid a historically rich backdrop, GNS has won 38 championships in 14 different sports since 1986, according to Wikipedia. However, despite extensive archival research — plus a keen eye on the lookout for children flying on broomsticks — I found no reference to any sort of prowess in the sport of quidditch. Therefore, again, I must conclude that a train from Platform 9 ¾, would not, in fact, disembark at the GNS Beach Drive address.
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Share your story… The Anglican parish of St. Philip, Oak Bay will be celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2014. We’re looking for photographs that shaped the life of our parish and we’d like to hear your story. We would love to hear from you. Contact Gillian Fosdick
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OAK BAY REAL ESTATE REVEALED
HERE&THERE: What your dollar will buy around the world
1912 HOME IN SOUTH OAK BAY LISTED FOR $2,399,000 FEATURES: This six-bedroom Samuel Maclure-designed home has been updated with an eye to the heritage details that have made it special for more than a century. Featuring more than 6,000 square feet of living space, homeowners will enjoy a grand entry, period stained glass and millwork, modern kitchen, elegant master suite, four bathrooms, a loft studio and three-car garage. Located on a half-acre property, this beautiful home enjoys a private, landscaped setting located within a few minutes’ walk to Oak Bay Avenue. Source: MLS Listings/www.realtor.ca
PARIS, FRANCE | PRICE: 1,880,000 EUROS FEATURES: Step back in time with this four-bedroom apartment in Paris’s 16th District, a gracious residential neighbourhood near the Eiffel Tower and Seine River. The second floor apartment offers 1,862 square feet of living space, including an entrance gallery, large salon, small salon, dining room, study, kitchen, three bedrooms, bathroom, shower room, powder room and two cellars. A separate maid’s room is located on the building’s top floor. Character features include high ceilings, original mouldings and solid wood floors. Described as in good condition but needing to be refreshed. Source: www.french-property.com
PHOENIX, ARIZONA | PRICE: $2,500,000 (US) FEATURES: Live in luxury in this six-bedroom, ninebathroom 8,105-square-foot Phoenix estate. Located on a 5.89-acre hillside property in the coveted Canyon Reserve, this 2008-built home offers privacy, serenity and mountain, canyon and city views. All three levels can be accessed by an elevator. Spacious rooms, high ceilings and an open floorplan combine to create a home well-suited to the expansive site. A chef’s kitchen, wine cellar and dining area are ideal for entertaining. Enjoy hardwood and stone floors, glass walls, an elegant master with fireplace, marble shower, spa tub, imported stone vanities and his-and-hers walk-in closets. Relax in the large theatre or the negative-edge salt water pool and spa, gas firepit, outdoor kitchen Source: www.realtor.com with misters to combat the heat.
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One:06 THE STREETS OF OAK BAY
OAK BAY LANDMARKS One:06 features unique Oak Bay landmarks as seen through a roving camera eye. “One” honours the uniqueness of Oak Bay and 06 gives a nod to its history — 1906, the year it incorporated into a municipality. For this edition of One:06, photographer Don Denton explored neighbourhoods and side streets, capturing some of the quirky names and visually interesting street signs in Oak Bay.
HISTORIC OAK BAY
Party on! A TASTE OF TEA PARTIES PAST By SUSAN LUNDY
Top right: Butler Bill Brimbleclombe with other servers in 1962; and a parade ﬂoat, 1966. Above: Program from 1962; and outside the tweed curtain, 1970. 20
hen Cecil Shaw describes the Oak Bay Tea Party as “singularly different” than all other community events, he’s not referring to oddities such as teacup racing or official tea tasting. Shaw, a member of the Oak Bay Tea Party Society, which oversees the annual bash, says he is overwhelming impressed by the community spirit that guides it. Now in its 51st year, the party has grown, evolved and changed like the tides since its swanky start in 1962. In that year, according to information compiled by Don Reksten at the Oak Bay Archives, “The official Tea Party was held on the lawn at the rear of the municipal hall on Sept. 21. Some 200 invited guests sat at tables under the oak trees, where they were served tea, crumpets and strawberry jam by ladies from Oak Bay United and St. Mary’s churches, garbed in the costumes of 1862 . . . Among those at the head table were Lieutenant-Governor, the Honorable G.R. Pearkes and Mrs. Pearkes, representatives of the Federal and Provincial governments, the Judiciary, the Clergy, The Armed Forces, Mayor R.B. Wilson and Mrs. Wilson, Reeve Stanley Murphy of Saanich and Mrs. Murphy, Reeve A.C. Wurtele of Esquimalt and Mrs. Wurtele, Reeve G. Murdoch
of Oak Bay and Mrs. Murdoch, Reeve Gordon Lee of Central Saanich.” A program for the tea party published in the Oak Bay Leader, on Sept. 19, 1962, identifies a public tea event, officiated by Reeve George Murdoch, as occurring at Wilmont Place and Oak Bay Avenue at 2 p.m., followed by the municipal lawn party at 3 p.m. There was also an open-air auction at the Shop Easy parking lot, bingo, children’s rides and games, and a “come-as-you-are” dance at Club Tango. A second day included activities at Oak Bay Marina — a bass derby for kids and salmon derby for adults, a log race, boat drill team, and swimming race from Jimmy Chicken Island (now Mary Tod Island) to the marina. On the “Avenue” were events such as horseshoe pitching, a matinee at the Oak Bay Theatre, and a Chinese Drill Team parade. A wrap-up story in the Leader the following week said more than 10,000 people attended, with nearly 1,000 turning up for the final attraction — “the sunset retreat by the Canadian Scottish Princess Mary’s Pipe band at Willows Beach.” The Jimmy Chicken race drew the largest crowd, with 5,000 spectators lining up to watch Bruce Parker top the pack of 20 race entrants. An editorial raved about the tea party, noting, “The gaiety, originality and sheer enjoy-
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ability of the tea party has been enthusiastically acknowledged in many quarters and there is little doubt that Oak Bay’s reputation as a good and gracious neighbor has been enhanced among the residents of our sister municipalities.” Following what was planned as a one-time bash in 1962, the tea party was taken over by volunteers, many from the local Kiawanis Club, who called themselves “The Oak Bay Bored of Trade.” Archival documents show that by 1970, the tea party had expanded to include a midway and carnival rides, a variety show, and events such as wheelbarrow and sack races, sea and air activities, plus an ever-growing parade. The official tea ceremony in 1970 featured “butler” Bill Brimbleclombe pouring the first cup of tea — an action he apparently undertook for nine years. Another interesting aspect of the tea party in the 1960s and 70s was the presence of a tweed curtain — huge lengths of dark burlap, strung from telephone poles across Oak Bay Avenue at Foul Bay Road. Border passes were handed out in a sentry box, “manned by students dressed in Tweed finery — straw boaters and long scarves,” notes archival documents. Tom Croft, realtor and president of the Oak Bay Community Association, recalls passing through the curtain as a youth en route to the tea party. He believes a second curtain may have been hung at the intersection of Cadboro Bay and Foul Bay roads. It was really funny, he recalls: “We thought it was a lark.” Although attempts were made to find the tweed curtain during Oak Bay’s centennial celebrations in 2006, their whereabouts remains a mystery. There’s always a chance they’ll turn up in some random barn — where, in fact, says former Oak Bay mayor Christopher Causton, the tea party’s famous floating teacups were discovered in 2001. Shaw, who has been tasked with gathering historical information on the tea party, says many of its events have been ongoing for years. The bathtub races, for example, started in 1967 to celebrate Nanaimo’s centennial, and continue today. The “baron of beef” tradition also started in 1967, while the ladies’ nail-driving contest, corn on the cob, and pancake breakfast are other long-time events. Tetley Tea, which hosts a tea tent, is the party’s oldest corporate sponsor. One of the most enduring, long-time features of the party is the Saturday morning parade — a spectacle that has become a huge community event. “Everyone knows everyone — if you’re not in it, you’re watching it,” says Causton. Every year, Shaw is impressed with the massive number of volunteer hours put into the party. In the “beef pit,” where he works, volunteering is a family affair and multiple generations can be found there. Thirty-year veteran Peter Insley, he adds, is the party’s longest serving volunteer. Since 1990, the tea party has been run by the non-profit, Oak Bay Tea Party Society, currently headed up by chairman Bill Murphy-Dyson. As the party gears up for its 51st appearance this spring, it’s once again changing with the tides — this year will see a third day added, with the midway opening Friday night, May 31. And no doubt, the Oak Bay Tea Party will continue to be “singularly different” than all other community celebrations as it parties on into the future.
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By PAM GRANT Photos by DON DENTON
COOKBOOK AUTHORS SHARE THEIR LOVE OF FRANCE am standing with Mark Craft and Diane Shaskin in their enviable Oak Bay kitchen — a room that can only be fully appreciated by people who truly like to play with their food. Craft and Shaskin certainly do; indeed, they will tell you quite cheerfully that after their son Alexandre and each other, their lives revolve around their shared love of food, wine and travel. They are clearly good hosts, appearing only mildly fazed by the intrusion of a photographer and a writer with a list of questions, neither of whom they have ever met before. I imagine that they are often referred to as foodies. I don’t know how they feel about this label, but it seems they would far prefer to be described as bon vivants, which for my money they epitomize. I have just finished reading their topselling book How to Cook Bouillabaisse in 37 Easy Steps — equal parts travelogue, memoir and compendium of essential French cuisine. It is simply one of the best food related books I have
read in years. Craft and Shaskin fell in love with France not long after they fell in love with each other. Shaskin had moved into a housing coop in Edmonton when some of her new neighbours invited her for tea, along with Craft, who lived across the street. It wasn’t long before Shaskin was advised that Craft seemed to be coming for tea far more often than usual. Eventually, this CBC television producer (Shaskin) and Craft, a builder of absurdly energy efficient homes (fancy an annual heating bill of less than $200 in Alberta?), forged a new path together, discovering a shared passion for quality food and wine, leading to trips to northern California and eventually the establishment of Planet Organic food stores in the mid 1990s. Though they have moved on from the world of retail — today they are concentrating their significant expertise on travel websites and writing — their commitment to sharing the good things in life is undiminished. Back at their Oak Bay home, initial
Above: Columnist Pam Grant and food lovers Mark Craft and Diane Shaskin share a toast prior to lunch. At left: The couple’s top-selling book, and some of the ingredients and utensils used to create a divine meal.
pleasantries are out of the way, and we get down to business. Glasses of Languedoc are offered, and the wine’s luminous ruby hue creates a perfect contrast to the kitchen counters, which are brushed in sunny gold strokes that bring to mind rolling fields of sunflowers in the Provencal countryside. It occurs to me that this subliminal message would be the perfect antidote to even the dreariest west coast day — and probably far from a coincidence. Why the fascination with France, you may ask. This is hilariously explained in the book. Though the plan was move to the Napa Valley, Shaskin told Craft that she wanted them to go to
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France together before committing to their new life. Craft, the book explains, chose his response extremely carefully, given the fact his wife was weeping in a restaurant. On her birthday. Despite his position that the timing wasn’t right, they found themselves — three months to the day — sipping Champagne on the left bank of Paris in the 6th Arrondissement. It wasn’t long before they realized this is where they were meant to be. Many trips were taken over the following years, to such an extent that people began asking “why?” Their response: “Why not?” Why not indeed? We discuss misconceptions that the French are arrogant, and their cuisine
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complicated — when often meals are crafted from a few quality elements — and how food, even a cup of coffee, is so very different — not consumed but appreciated. We feast on individual quiche Lorraine, mixed lettuces with classic vinaigrette and creme brulee, and laugh over a scene in the movie Ratatouille where mordant critic It is simply one Anton Ego is transported back of the best food to childhood by related books a single bite of I have read food. They saw the movie in Paris, in years. and confirmed that the French PAM GRANT laughed too. Even if you are not as brave as Craft and Shaskin, who drive vehicles up impossibly steep and narrow roads, and rent homes in towns most of us would be reluctant to even try to pronounce, you may change your mind if you read their book. Like many travelers, they make mistakes
Above: Mark Craft and Diane Shaskin at their Oak Bay home. At left: Making lunch. Following page: Creme brulee for four.
Treat yourself and your visitors to a delicious lunch or afternoon tea. Amazing food in an atmosphere of casual elegance Easter Tea Mar 27, 28 & 30 Celebrate springtime and join us for a festive & delightful Afternoon Tea for two. Closed Good Friday Mother’s Day Tea May 12 Join us on Mother’s Day for a very special Afternoon Tea. Reservations required.
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along the way. For example, in testing their language skills, they discovered that one cannot simply buy a roast chicken in the market Vaison-la-Romaine, one must order it in advance. But these are shared mistakes and learning opportunities. Initially struggling to decipher menus, they threw themselves into cooking classes and wine tastings whenever possible. When Craft, whose photographs dot the book, points to a picture in their living room that he shot when they visited the Mecca of all things culinary — the kitchen of the Ritz Hotel — I am officially jealous. They have created a parallel life in France, which son Alexandre isn’t quite as enthused about. “What’s your favourite thing about France?” asks his father. “Leaving” he replies quietly, with a tiny smirk. His mother smiles as she prepares our unexpected lunch. I think she knows, as I do, that he’ll change his mind one day. HOW TO COOK BOUILLABAISSE IN 37 EASY STEPS is available at Ivy’s Bookshop, 2188 Oak Bay Avenue, or from Craft and Shaskin’s equally addictive website, http://www.parisinsidersguide.com.
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What is Oak Bay watching? There are LOTS of ways to watch movies nowadays, whether it be in theatres, or via DVD, Blu-Ray, Netflix or TV. This spring, Tweed turned to some familiar Oak Bay faces and asked…
“What are your favourite movies of all time?” ■ DAVE COCKLE Oak Bay Fire Department Chief as of May 1 I tend to gravitate towards the action ﬁlms because they are mind numbing, cheesy and quick entertainment. My favorite action movie character is Bond; I am a huge fan of the James Bond franchise. My favorite early James Bond is Sean Connery, suave, sophisticated and quick with the one-liner. Diamonds are Forever, was his best in my opinion. If you are a Bond fan and you have not seen Skyfall as of yet it I highly recommend it.
■ MARYBETH HALL Oak Bay resident with the Movie Monday program (www. moviemonday.ca) Scent of a Woman: It impressed upon me the importance of building character and having integrity. Al Pacino’s powerful monologue at the end always gives me chills. Plus, Pacino is one of my favourite actors. Old School: I can watch this movie over and over purely for its comic value. It’s hard to beat the hilarious cast of Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Forrest Gump: Who doesn’t love this epic movie? It highlights how a life well lived is determined more by the depth of someone’s heart and soul than their intelligence or other “advantages” given at birth.
■ NILS JENSEN Mayor of Oak Bay My recent favourite is The Castle, a small budget (A$19,000), Australian ﬁlm that is unpretentious, subtly humorous and very heart warming. Australians loved it — it grossed over $10 million. Made in 1997, it tells the story of the Kerrigan family who live modestly and happily next to the Melbourne Airport until they are faced with expropriation. The location is terribly un-Oak Bay being next to a runway, on top of a toxic landﬁll and beneath power lines. But to the Kerrigan’s, it’s their home, their castle. Love and justice prevail in the end. Highest recommendations.
e h t e k Ta ! e g n u l P Oak Bay Recreation Centre 250-595-SWIM oakbay.ca/parks-recreation
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■ TO T TOP-RATED OPP-RA RATE RATE TED D MOVIES MOVI MO VIES VIES VI S of of all alll time time • According to the Internet Movie Database (IMBd), the 10 top-rated movies by users are as follows: The Shawshankk Redemption; The Godfather; The Godfather — Part 11; Pulp Fiction; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; 12 Angry Men; The Dark Knight; Schindler’s List; The Lord of the Rings — The Return of the King; and Fight Club. • Some of the movies included in Rotten Tomatoes’ “best of all time” list (based on the Tomatometer Score) include: Toy Story; Man on Wire, Taxi to the Dark Side; The Interruptors; Citizen Kane, North by Northwest; and Rear Window. • Wikipedia’s list of “ﬁlms considered the best” as rated by audiences includes: Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Seven Samurai, The Godfather and Star Wars series; and Cross of Iron.
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OAK BAY BY THE NUMBERS Oak Bay [ohk] [bey] 1. a vibrant community, a world away from the rush of everyday life. Num·ber [nuhm-ber] 1. a mathematical object used to count, label, and measure.
ANNIVERSARY NOTATION The number of years Boorman’s Real Estate has been operating in Oak Bay.
HOME ON THE RANGE Average price of a single family home in Oak Bay in 2011, according to the latest Census.
HERITAGE LIVING The year Tod House was built. Located at 2564 Heron Street, it is the oldest home in Oak Bay and the oldest continuously-occupied home in Western Canada.
ON THE GREEN The approximate number of members in the Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club.
FIGHTING FIRE Years the Oak Bay Fire Department has been serving the community: 1938-2013
607.6 WET COAST The average amount yearly precipitation in Oak Bay.
HOUSE STATS The number of singlefamily dwellings in Oak Bay, according to the 2011 Census.
FABULOUS FIFTIES The median age in Oak Bay, according to the 2011 Census. This compares to the median age of British Columbia, which was 41.9 years.
TEE UP The number of golf courses in Oak Bay, including two private courses and the public Henderson Golf Course, in operation since 1970.
CADDY UNDER THE SEA The number of sightings of Oak Bay’s famous Cadborosaurus sea monster.
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WALKABOUT DOREEN HALL TOURS THE UK ON FOOT By JEN BLYTH Photos by DON DENTON and contributed by DOREEN HALL
here’s a tradition for those about to embark on the Coast to Coast Walk between St. Bees, on the west coast of England, to Robin Hoods Bay on the east coast. Walkers must dip their boot in the water, pick up a pebble from the beach and carry it with them for the next 14 days and 300 kilometres, and then drop it on the opposite coast. Doreen Hall has marked this tradition four times. In addition to the renowned Coast to Coast Walk and various other “walkabouts” in Ireland, England, Wales and Spain, the South Oak Bay resident is planning her next excursion this summer: walking the Thames from its source to Greenwich, east of London — a 17-day walk with stops in Windsor and Oxford. Hall grew up just outside of Manchester and as a young teacher followed her retired father to Canada in 1969. She had always been active — hiking, jogging, power walking and playing golf and tennis, — but it was a visit back in England with friends, who had recently returned from their own
walking holiday, that sparked the idea. “I said, ‘I’m so envious; I would want to do something like that,’ and they said, ‘Why don’t you do the Coast to Coast?’ They really inspired me.” Back home, Hall gathered five friends to join her on the adventure and the next summer they followed the custom of dunking their boots in the Irish Sea at the town of St. Bees, preparing for the sometimes grueling, often breathtaking, 13-day journey to come. The walk concludes at Robin Hoods Bay on the North Sea after crossing the Lake District and the Yorkshire moors, three national parks and absolutely spectacular scenery, Hall says. The outdoors has been part of Hall’s life for as long as she can remember. “When I was in my 20s, it was an easy trip to the Lake District to camp and hike,” she recalls. “I like the exercise and seeing places I haven’t been to before. I love the vistas and the rolling green hills, and the camaraderie. It’s a great feeling at the end of a day of hiking – you feel healthy and the people you meet are terrific.”
That first journey was all it took to get her hooked. Returning to Victoria, one thing led to another, and Hall became one of the leaders of a second Coast to Coast trip with a dozen other Victoria hikers. Other walks over the years have included Cotswold Way, from Chipping Camden to the resort town of Bath, in southwest England; Wicklow Way, from Dublin, Ireland to Gorey, and with just one other friend, walking around the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, between England and Ireland. With the Coast to Coast, “the first five days are
Above: In Peel, on the Isle of Man (right); and Ambleside on the Coast to Coast Walk. Previous page: Doreen Hall in motion (top), and poppies growing in a ﬁeld of ﬂax. Following page: In Yorkshire on the Coast to Coast Walk.
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the most difficult because it’s in the mountains in the Lake District,” Hall says, recalling one particularly treacherous day when they were at the highest point in the walk, “hopelessly lost in fog” brought in by a hurricane that was wreaking havoc farther south in Birmingham. The trick is to pack for Britain’s changeable weather and be prepared, she adds: “On all the walks I’ve been so lucky with weather,” averaging just one badweather day per walk. Each walk is planned according to the locations of
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bed-and-breakfasts along the route, especially on rural routes like the Coast to Coast, where the longest day is 23 miles and villages are few and far between. Despite its sometimes grueling route, that walk remains her favourite, in part because it was her first, Hall reflects. Not all walks are as long, allowing more time to build in sightseeing. The Cotswold Way and South Downs walks, for example, were both eight days. â€œWe stopped for lunch and to smell the roses along the way â€” we probably stopped every two hours for a break.â€? Unlike Canada, where trails are generally in designated parks or along roads, UK walking trails traverse farmersâ€™ fields and open countryside, adding to the sense of really exploring the local environment. Sometimes, though, exploring in depth is exactly what you donâ€™t want, Hall says with a laugh, recalling one situation on the Coast to Coast when her group had to cross two boards bridging a cesspool from a nearby cow shed. While the first two in her group crossed without incident, a wobbly board nearly sent Hall for a very smelly swim â€” luckily, quick
reactions from her companions saved the day! While walkers carry essentials like raingear, water and lunch in their daypacks, other belongings are carried from village to village on a luggage van. And if a day arises when someone doesnâ€™t feel up to the walk, he or she can always catch a ride in the van or train to the next destination. Good preparation goes a long way, though. Leading up to a walking holiday, Hall adds more power walks into her routine, including challenges like Mt. Doug and Gonzales Hill. â€œPeople donâ€™t realize there are hills (in the UK),â€? she notes. Among the most valuable advice sheâ€™s garnered along the way, Hall says, is to put a little sheepâ€™s wool in your socks to combat blisters: not only is the wool soft, but the lanolin moisturizes the skin as you walk. Walking poles are another great addition, especially helpful for the knees on the downhill sections. â€œItâ€™s like four-wheel drive for walkers,â€? Hall quips. Looking ahead, Hall would like to do another northern walk, perhaps Hadrianâ€™s Wall, and a walk in Cornwall to the south. Of course, with hundreds of possible walks in the UK, choosing may be the real challenge.
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A CORNER OF AN OVERGROWN BACKYARD; a 1970s-era condo glimpsed through a thin screen of trees; a cross section of new-growth forest transected by a pedestrian overpass — these are the spaces brought to the eye in Jeremy Herndl’s paintings.
THE IN BETWEEN SPACES OF JEREMY HERNDL By ELIZABETH NOLAN Photos by SHARI MACDONALD
In large-scale works and smaller studies, Herndl has focused his attention on those places that are hard to define and often overlooked. Expressive paintings in thickly applied oils shed new light on the spaces found somewhere between urban sprawl and derelict abandonment. “The fact that humans are rearranging the landscape is on everybody’s mind,” Herndl says, and with scientists taking a dim view of humanity’s role on the planet, one might assume his paintings are meant as
criticism. But a more complex view that acknowledges how humans are themselves part of a natural world, which can’t be held back, is more in line with his interests. His current work, exhibited at Winchester Gallery in Oak Bay, centres on places where both human production and nature are present. Herndl’s painting Crepuscular (show on the following page) suggests a visceral form of perception. The painting combines the sparks of emerging stars with the brighter lights of an industrial area in Surrey (where Herndl was born). The backdrop of hillside lights is seen through a screen of young alders in the foreground, reaching the full height of the canvas. Wide strokes found both in the blackberry bushes in the immediate foreground (an invasive species, as Herndl notes) and the tree tops above work together to create the idea of a nearer plane and great space behind. It’s a spectacular view, and as Herndl points out, one that only exists because of human action. Herndl’s academic background includes a BA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1996), studies at Ecole Nationale Superieur Des Beaux- Arts in Paris and a MAA from Emily Carr University. He worked for several years as a scenic painter, helping create the visual world of the Tokyo DisneySea Park, and did a one-year, self-directed residency in Poland. He now teaches painting at the Vancouver Island School of Art in addition to maintaining his practice. He is the recipient of two major grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in Montreal. Though he has worked in other media, painting is the lens through which Herndl sees the world. “Once I started painting there was no going back. It’s just that I was continually drawn to it,” he says. “It’s like a conversation. You start it and it just doesn’t come to an end.” Herndl is not concerned with developing a trademark style. His recent work is plein air, painted from life outdoors. He describes the process as
Above: Herndl’s painting, Oasis. Previous page: Jeremy Herndl and a plein air piece at Colquitz River. Following page: Herndl’s painting, Crepuscular.
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Twins Jean Kean and Bonnie Howley Residents at the Wellesley. Read their storyy at wellesleyvictoria.com y
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similar to a sustained photographic exposure, where the source of light can’t really be detected. Though his expressive, thickly textured technique offers relief from the ugliness the urban interfaces often contain, that is not his goal. Instead, he works from a long-held belief that the space he enters is an active participant in how he perceives it. This consciousness informs the work and dictates the manner in which Herndl paints it. “I’m not really concerned about style at all — I’m suspicious of style,” he says, explaining that seeing can be thought of as a form of touching. We have a visual experience of space because photons are impacting our eyes. “It’s not really about style at all. When you see something, what you see is mass and colour. And that’s what paint is too,” he says. “Seeing is touch, and painting is touch.” Because he paints outdoors, the physical environment has a direct impact on his work. The oil paints react to conditions such as temperature and moisture, so that distinct moments in the day make their way onto the canvas. In an earlier series of work, Herndl employed simple forms with an almost geometric grace: blocks of dark suits and hats against the backdrop of jets, or a family seen just as dark legs against a tiled floor. The paintings have the brevity of impressionism combined with a graphic ordering of space, resulting in compositions of immediate visual impact. His paintings of nature sneaking through the cracks are more richly textured and contemplative, inviting a deeper consideration of those overlooked spots. The results speak to Herndl’s conviction in his practice. “Everyone’s so busy. Everything is urgent. It used to be enough just to go on a drive or a picnic — and the drive there would be amazing,” he says. “One thing painting is doing is sort of declaring your right to slow down … whether you’re buying it or making it, it’s like declaring your right to have time in your life.” Herndl’s painting Oasis is another example of the strange cohabitation of species. Painted on the scene at a “toxic” corner of Victoria, the work portrays a small green space edged up between apartment buildings. As the former site of both a drycleaner’s and a auto dealer, developers haven’t been willing to even attempt to remediate the soil, but plants have somehow managed to grow. “I think there’s tremendous hope in a place like that,” Herndl says. “Even in this poisonous place, nature always finds purchase. I find that wonderful.” Seen through his eyes, it is possible to gain that perspective. Jeremy Herndl will be featured in a joint show with video artist Sylvia Grace Borda at the Surrey Art Gallery in September 2013.
OAK BAY INSIDER
THE STORY OF OAK BAY’S FOUNTAINS By CHRISTOPHER CAUSTON
Photo by DON DENTON
Water, water everywhere One of Oak Bay’s famed water fountains.
Christopher Causton was mayor of Oak Bay for 15 years, and now works as a harbour ferries captain. He is the founder and owner of Jason’s (Camilles) and Rattenbury’s (Spaghetti Factory), and is a classically trained hotelier. He is a keen tennis player and member of the Harbourside Rotary for 29 years. He is also working with the VI Spine Trail Association to link trails from Victoria to Cape Scott.
ast your mind back, if you can, to the very first Royal Victoria Marathon in 1981. Runners pounded through Oak Bay on their way to the turning point at Exeter Road in the Uplands. The route, with some small changes that now take it through the Village, was basically the same as it is today. But one thing was missing . . . water. On the Oak Bay portion of the race, there was only one water source and it wasn’t a fountain, merely a tap at the corner of Beach Drive and Transit (still there today). This stretch of Beach Drive, from King George Terrace to the North Uplands Gates, is a favourite of runners, walkers and cyclists. And so it was, in 1997, a series of water fountains along the waterfront was planned. It fell to Lorne Middleton, the pa parks manthen it was ager, to lay out the sites, and th The King necessary to find sponsors. Th George Terrace site was easy. easy Back in 1989/1990 Alan Potter, at the time living on Barclay Terrace, had been instrumental in convincing Oak B Bay Council to build a proper lookout at the site. Harbourside Rotary and O Oak Bay Rotary provided volunteer volun labour, and the project was competed in 1990. 199 As a thank you, when it i came time to encourage encoura water fountains, Alan’s colleague at Harcolleagues bourside Rotary th money raised the fo for a fountain. Several years later, k it was knocked w down when a miss the corcar missed
ner and plunged into the ravine, narrowly avoiding a house. The fountain was replaced by the municipality, using insurance money. One kilometre further on, at MacNeil Bay, right opposite that only tap, another fountain was installed. This one was provided by the Botterell family in memory of their mother, Betty, who lived happily on Transit Road in a Maclure designed home, for 50 years. Past Kitty Islet (the chairs and picnic table will make another story!) and two kilometres further on, is a fountain dedicated to Joan and Walter Rothe, which has been donated by their family who live close by. Walter was rumoured to skinny dip in the waters off Oak Bay Marina. (He found MacNeil Bay too cold, and with too many spectators!) Past the beloved, romantic wooden swing (hopefully fully restored now for 30 more years of cosy chats!) and at the junction of Oak Bay Avenue and Beach Drive there is a fountain, dedicated by his family, to Alexander Ian MacMillan. Walk another kilometre and there are two fountains at Willows Park. On Beach Drive, Charlie and Florence Clark, who lived on Shady Lane, are fondly remembered; and on the beachfront, next to the Tearoom, is a fountain dedicated to Pat Snow by his friends at Kiwanis Walking two more kilometres, past Cattle Point (an ideal spot for another fountain), there is the final water fountain located at the right-of-way at Lansdowne and Beach Drive. Dedicated to Aggie Fougner, it includes a reminder for all of us on life’s values. The final ideal spot, sadly so far without a fountain, is right by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. But what a walk/run — 6.5 kilometres with seven water fountains. Eight if you count that old tap! SPRING 2013
GROWING IN OAK THE ARTIST'S WAYBAY
FINNERTY GARDENS — A YEAR-ROUND GEM Story by JENNIFER BLYTH Photos by SHARI MACDONALD
Oak Bay is renowned for its private landscapes, from charming pocket gardens to stunning waterfront acreages. In north Oak Bay, however, tucked into a quiet corner of the University of Victoria, Finnerty Gardens is a beautiful year-round public garden, popular with both avid gardeners and those looking for a quiet escape. Founded in 1974, the 2.6-hectare garden features one of Canada’s best rhododendron collections, with more than 1,500 rhododendrons and azaleas and a spectacular array of artistically displayed companion plants. Beyond this remarkable collection, the garden contains more than 4,000 different trees and shrubs, complemented by three tranquil ponds, and an inviting network of winding, wheelchair-
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accessible paths and benches, each with its own distinctive view of the gardens’ ever-changing splendour. Friends of Finnerty Gardens Advisory Board chair Carmen Varcoe has been involved with the gardens since the early 1980s, first as a volunteer with the annual plant sale, “and then it morphed into something else, which it always does,” she says with a laugh. The board guides the garden’s development, and in the belief that it should be a space for all seasons, a number of plant acquisitions in recent years have been designed with that in mind. “We try to get more plants, different plants and think outside the box,” Varcoe says, pointing out fragrant witch hazel and delicate cyclamen. “It gives us an oasis for students, staff and the public at large, and it’s free, and you don’t always find that,”
Varcoe says. However, “it’s a little bit of a hidden gem, and sometimes people don’t know how to access it.” Finnerty’s stunning rhododendron collection began in part with Dr. Richard Stoker, a retired officer with the British Army Medical Corps, who with his wife Susan, settled at Lake Cowichan at the turn of the century. (As in interesting aside, Richard Stoker was the brother of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula.) The amateur botanists found the west coast setting ideal for growing the seeds they had collected during postings in Afghanistan and India. In 1912, George and Suzanne Simpson settled on a parcel of land purchased from the Stokers and developed a nursery that included upwards of 200 species of rhododendrons. In 1966, Suzanne Simpson arranged to move her collection to the University of Victoria and this legacy, with other significant plant donations, became the foundation of Finnerty Gardens. Other rare species have been added over the years. Stopping at the Kreiss collection of magnificent, large rhododendrons donated from a garden near Sooke, “you could probably spend 40 years in a garden and not get one this size,” Varcoe reflects. “That was a real coup.” Another must-see in late-May is the Rhododendron loderi “Miss Josephine Firth,” with its pale pink, dinner plate-sized blooms, arbutus-like branches and a lovely light scent. While the rhododendrons can be seen in flower from mid-January until late June, Rhonda Rose, campus horticultural advisor, and the two full-time UVic gardeners responsible for the garden’s planting and maintenance, have created a stunning four-season display. Witch hazel, camellias and hellebores add winter interest to the structural elements that form the foundation of the garden, including both deciduous and evergreen trees, bamboo and a substantial collection of mature magnolias that flower from March through June. A brilliant show of climbing roses blooms in June, followed by lush perennial beds and hydrangeas, a newer addition bringing colour through the hottest summer months. “So there’s really something to see whatever the month,” Varcoe says. “We’ve tried to make it multi-layered with little surprises.” As west coast gardeners know, the backdrop to a garden is an important foil to the plants in the foreground, especially in a garden as large and diverse as Finnerty. “Here we have a lot of conifers that really give us the mix of canopy that we need,” Varcoe says. While two former sloughs are now ponds favoured by ducks, another water-heavy area has become the bog bed, featuring largeleafed plants that thrive atop the high water table. One of the most recent additions has been a “stumpery,” reminiscent of a similar garden at Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate in England. Fallen logs from other areas of campus have been tucked into the shade cast by large Garry oaks to be planted with lush green moss and a variety of ferns. The tree cover makes Finnerty Gardens a favourite haunt of owls, while the flowering shrubs, perennials and groundcovers attract songbirds and hummingbirds. Investing in deer fence has been instrumental in protecting the garden from the voracious deer S SPRING P R IN ING G 20 2013 0 13 3
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Above: Flowers blooming in February at the all-season Finnerty Gardens. Previous pages: Carmen Varcoe admires a witch hazel tree in bloom, and ducks forage in the Woodland Pond by the big leaf rhododendrons.
common to Oak Bay and neighbouring Saanich. In addition to memorial benches, memorial pavers offer another way to remember loved ones who have enjoyed the gardens, or families can contact the board to see if there’s a particular plant or tree they can donate in a loved one’s name. Volunteers are currently busy potting cuttings and seedlings from garden plants for the annual plant sale, coming up May 5 at McKinnon Gym, and awaiting a free public lecture in May stemming from a Finnerty Gardens-sponsored botanical expedition of modern-day plant hunters to China. “We hope to reap the benefits of the unusual plants” discovered on the trip, Varcoe says, noting “another role of the garden is to preserve these plants that are at risk of being lost.” For both locals and university community, though, Finnerty Gardens’ greatest role may well be as a beautiful refuge. “You can come up here pretty much any time and have parts of this garden to yourself, and I think the privacy and serenity of it makes it special,” Varcoe says. “It’s really a lovely little oasis in the middle of the city.” Here are some visiting tips: • Enter the gardens near the University Interfaith Chapel, accessed from Parking Lot 6. Metered and user-pay parking is available Monday to Saturday, with free parking on Sundays. • The gardens are open free to the public every day during daylight hours and are wheelchair accessible. • Visitors should allow about one hour to tour the gardens. • Visit in April and May to see the rhododendrons at their best.
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All natural A WINDOW TO NATURE AT BUILDER BARRY WILKIN’S ROMNEY ROAD HOUSE By ANGELA COWAN Photos by ARNOLD LIM
STRIKING A DELICATE BALANCE between clean, contemporary design and the warmth of abundant natural light and materials, the latest creation of homebuilder and designer Barry Wilkin stands at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac right on the border of Oak Bay. The house at 2024 Romney Road features tall, squared off rooftops and immense windows that draw the eye upwards, but as commanding as the façade is, it doesn’t impose on the landscape. Instead, it merges with it. Expansive windows in 40
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Above: Exterior view. Previous page: Builder Barry Wilkin. Following page: Inside view of living space and outdoor patio; plus the kitchen and one of four bathrooms.
the two-storey staircase tower invite sunlight to filter through from the back of the house, while the oversized front door — a ruddy, vertical grain fir — lends a sense of solidity and stature akin to an old-growth forest. The five bedroom, four bathroom home is far enough from Foul Bay Road that traffic noise diminishes behind Garry oaks and cedars. Large concrete planters flank the front entrance, and the splash of bright-faced primulas and hellebores at ground level is a testament to both Oak Bay’s mild winters, and the owners’ keen interest in gardening. This house is the latest project in Wilkin’s career. Born and raised in Victoria, and a long-time builder of homes in Oak Bay, Wilkin has been in the business for 30 years, starting off with small renovations and migrating to custom-created houses. “I’ve always done start to finish. Hands on . . . and I keep up the standard, which has always been important,” he says. Although he’s built between 50 and 75 houses over the last three decades, Wilkin says the house he built and lived in at 1857 Crescent Road is his favourite. Less than two kilometres from the heart of the Oak Bay Village, it was also the former location of his construction company W-2 Designs Ltd. “It’s probably the most reviewed house I’ve ever done. It [received] the most positive feedback,” Wilkin says. “Just the combination of materials that were in it, and the look and feel, probably [makes] it the most interesting house I’ve done. It had a lot to offer, straight panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains . . . lots of natural light, lots of solar gain.”
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Wilkin’s high standards and attention to detail are evident at the Romney Road house, which is next door to his own house, and currently on the market. During a tour, he runs his hands over nearly every surface as he walks through the rooms, displaying an intimate knowledge of every corner of the building. He points out heated tile floors, unobtrusive recessed lighting, a built-in sound system, and perfectly placed windows for maximum natural light. “We spent an inordinate amount of time on window shape and size, and how they were going to be broken up. A large part of the budget was windows alone.” As sunlight streams in effortlessly across the wide plank, white oak floors in every room, it’s obvious the money was well spent. The triangular, open-concept main living space is Wilkin’s favourite spot, both personally and as the builder. “I really like the kitchen. It’s quite functional . . . for just two . . . [but] also, if there’s company, there’s [an opportunity] for interchange between the company. No one feels left out.” The kitchen flows easily into the joined dining and living rooms, also making the area perfect for entertaining. Framing the living area are extensive floor to near-ceiling windows with two sets of sliding doors leading out to the patio. “It’s a smooth transition. In the summer you can have both sets of doors open . . . the way the decks are laid out, you have a movement of people. You can have conversations and still have a nice flow,” Wilkin says.
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The area could easily serve as a three-season space. With its sheltered southwest exposure, the backyard patio captures a little heat from the struggling mid-February sun, and the outdoor gas fireplace wards off the late afternoon chill. On the second floor of the house, two bedrooms and a den branch off a small common area at the top of the floating fir staircase. The northeast bedroom boasts a view of Mount Baker, while the southwest den is lit golden with afternoon sun. A door-sized window at the top of the stairs opens fully to allow access to the rooftop patio, echoing the downstairs use of outdoor space as living space. With white oak floors, cabinetry of maple and walnut, fir trim and doors, each wood lends warmth, while other natural materials like granite, marble, and quartz anchor the spacious contemporary design. Standing in virtually any space in the house offers at least two window views, and natural light permeates every room, including the legal basement suite. Wilkin’s respect for the natural world comes out as he circles the property. The area is an important habitat for a variety of birds and ground creatures, he says, recalling an afternoon last year, when “a snowy owl came right down over us.” Wilkin now lives immediately next door, in the original house on the property. Built in the late 1940s and home to long-time Oak Bay family, the Turners, Wilkin purchased it for its potential of two lots. There’s an additional lot on the other side, which he’s getting ready to start building on as well. No doubt it too will meet Wilkin’s high standards, his love of natural light and materials, and his respect for the outdoors.
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WATER WAYS YACHT CLUB LAUNCHES UNIQUE YOUTH SAILING PROGRAM By BENJAMIN YONG Photos by ARNOLD LIM
FOR MOST MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OAK BAY AND BEYOND, the physical education curriculum doesn’t stray too far from staples like basketball, track and ﬁeld or rugby.
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Learning to cope and finding hope Meet the an Morricals, Oak Bay family learning to type cope with 1 diabetes
that he discovered his seventh uncan Morrical diabetes on returning had type 1 family was Spring Island birthday. His to Salt every from an excursion bathroom to go to the thirsty. extremely when he needed the He was also five minutes. trip home going between Duncan “I spent the and the bathroom,” the did water fountain thirsty all day and lot of Coke.” a said. “I’d been thing by drinking in the soft absolute worstto Duncan, the sugar his body nst Unbeknow his blood sugar, causing , which I drink raised it out through urination “The more to try to flush ed him even more. he recalled. in turn dehydrat to blur thirstier I got,” a the of drank, is still a bit Dave What followedparents, Susan and The his Duncan and took him to their doctor. hospital. who the to sent Morrical, was quickly emergency room, his youngster sugar at the Normal blood the When he arrived in level was 35. blood sugar or blood glucose level concentration range of four to eight.for a twothe hospital staff blood is in admitted to Sharon Tiffin/News staff managed dad Duncan was the which medical with his during 11, right, and determine helps week stay pump that ering his condition need to function. It Duncan Morrical, to stabilize the insulin he would administ boy. David, holds levels of insulinprocess for the young alive by regularly finger pokes keep him was a difficult 48 hours he had 37 recalled Susan. insulin. “In the first kids and I.V. draws,” were great, a point with (blood tests) brave, and the staff “There’s never consistently in his disease. “He was veryhard time.” where you’re took him off, a a (with diabetes)Anything can throw and Dave each but it was decides to diabetic time, Susan a good place. a cold, or even if he During that to be trained by the work the hard facts stressful day, a week off gave them separate who grow.” how, on three blood sugar teaching team Susan disease. David recounted Duncan’s Absolutely,” about the he checked fallen asleep to find a fear factor? as it got later.” occasions, “Was there scary his son had it wasn’t as even with levels after had “crashed.” said. “Still, learned that an insulin that Duncan Later the familyent and the use of of really in control careful managem was never pump, Duncan
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The Royal Victoria Yacht Club (RVYC) is trying to change that, however, with the launching of the Vancouver Island School Sailing League — the first of its kind in Canada. Introduced last fall, some 100 students from schools all over Greater Victoria and even Salt Spring Island took part in the league, which teaches the rudiments of sailing and ends with a two-day regatta (a series of boat races). “It was a fabulous success. The program is going to start up again in early April for the spring session,” says Randy Diamond, director for the RVYC junior program. Diamond says the yacht club got the idea for the youth league from warmer parts of the United States where sailing teams are commonplace in many schools. “The challenge we have in Canada, aside from Vancouver and Victoria, is that there are not too many places to sail in the winter time.” Participants meet twice a week over a three-month period — one day after school At right: Youth sailors Sam Gustin, left, and Kristine Williams. Previous page: Young sailors practice just off shores of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
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and on Saturdays — and certified instructors teach the operation of small sailing dinghys called optimists (operated by middle-school kids) and larger, two-person boats known as 420s for highschoolers. Besides providing basic training, the program aims to impart some knowledge of racing — lessons put to good use in the program-culminating regatta, which takes place in the waters at the club’s Cadboro Bay location. “During the races, we pair somebody that has a little bit more experience with a novice. Even if they’re two novices, it all works out in the end when they sail in a team,” says Diamond. The RVYC will accept registration until the end of March from schools wanting to join the program, the only requirements being a commitment from a minimum of two students at the school and an adult sponsor. The cost per student is $200, and that covers instruction and supplies like the sailboats and various other equipment. There is also a dinner following the regatta. “The league is all about getting people interested in sailing. Some people haven’t had the opportunity to try sailing and it’s a way they can get out there. There’s a lot of teamwork involved, particularly in the double-handed boats, and there’s a lot of good athletic skills, strategy and experience that can be gained out of it,” says Diamond. “The teachers (at the schools) also kind of like it because it gives the combination of athletics and adjusting sails — applied science type stuff. It combines several subjects into one fun thing to do.” The spring session runs from April 6 until June 1, and interested schools can register at www.sailingreg.com. For more information, visit the RVYC website at www.rvyc.bc.ca or call 250-592-2441.
Ida Chong, MLA Proudly serving as Oak Bay’s MLA since 1996
I Want To Hear From You 218-2186 Oak Bay Avenue 250-472-8528 www.facebook.com/idachongmla email@example.com
TEA WITH MAXIMILLIAN “ZULU” KENDALL
Tweed editor Susan Lundy and Zulu Kendall at the Penny Farthing Pub. (Photo by Don Denton).
Maximillian “Zulu” Kendall Art student, model and Oak Bay “lifer.” HOW LONG LIVING IN OAK BAY? LIFE = 25 years CLAIM TO FAME? Happiest Oak Bay resident and second place for mostcaught-ﬁsh from a canoe in waters off Oak Bay. CURRENT PASSION? Surﬁng, art-making and picking up garbage off our streets. BUCKET LIST? Motorcycle through the desert, have a gallery show, get famous . . . eat oysters in France . . .
You grew up in Oak Bay. Tell us a little bit about yourself. My father is Dr. Perry Kendall, the provincial health officer. My mother is Rena Kendall-Craden, a communications and public relations expert, and my sister, Sahara Tamarin, co-owns Ulla Restaurant in downtown Victoria with her partner Brad Holmes. I went to Margaret Jenkins, Lansdowne Junior Secondary and Victoria High schools. Now I’m at Camosun College, studying fine arts. I think growing up in Oak Bay made me incredibly kind and caring, outgoing and active — creativity flows in my genes — and I love everyone. I find it very hard not to smile, and I’m fairly certain anyone who knows me will say I’m quite fun, and know how to have a good time. What are some of your favourite childhood memories of Oak Bay? The Oak Bay Tea Party is by far the most memorable event as a child growing up. (And for those who don’t know it, “the Zipper” is the cat’s meow in that department.) The annual Christmas Light-up is a close second, and skim-boarding everyday as well. But in the summer, there’s nothing like paddling around our beaches and coves, soaking up the sun, looking out at the Olympic Peninsula, and hoping to score a few crab or a nice-sized lingcod for dinner. What are you up to these days? I’m currently attending the diploma program at
Camosun College and applying to finish my degree at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I also work doing some modeling and freelance graphic design. I landscape in the summers, and gardening has turned into somewhat of a hobby. For the last few years, on and off, I’ve worked at the Penny Farthing Spirit Merchants (where you may recognize me) in Athlone Court. Does the future look bright? What are your plans? The future always looks bright! I’m fortunate to have a good community of friends and family that support me in whatever I do. I see good waves and good food and maybe some great adventures in the future. I plan to move to Nova Scotia, pursue a Master’s degree from NSCAD in visual arts to become an arts instructor, and then leave and explore the planet! Stoked! You know a lot of people in Oak Bay — who are some of your favourite characters? Oh, there are too many legends and greats in Oak Bay to simply name a few! Larry and Critter, for sure, get the commendable character award. Growing up, officer Ron Gaudet in the Oak Bay police department was a hero and legend. And the Penny boys and girls, Janice Hutson and Sean Peel, are some others — to name a few. And has anyone seen the owl that flies around at night? That thing is mythical! SPRING 2013
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DOGS ON THE AVENUE
LOVE MY DOG! Photos BY DON DENTON (UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
Dogs [dawgs, dogs] 1. The best friend of men, women and children, bred in many sizes and shapes. The Avenue [thuh av-uh-nyoo, -noo] 1. A popular destination for those seeking funky eateries, awesome art galleries and trendy stores in Oak Bay.
On this page: Right, Rebel, below, Magnus (submitted by “pup-artist” Marion Evamy).
DOGS ON THE AVENUE
On this page: Clockwise from top left, Leno, Ceilidh (seen here in a police car — Ceilidh was frightened by a loud noise and a kind Oak Bay constable brought her home — submitted by Irene Robirtis and photographed by Phil Renouf), Rio and Osa, Theo, Monty and centre, Racer.
Some say that Oak Bay loves dogs so much, that canines are actually considered honorary citizens. If you agree, tell Tweed! Send photographs of your “Dogs on the Avenue” to: email@example.com
St r e n gt h with
MEET OUR ADVERTISERS
BOORMAN’S 80TH ANNIVERSARY We are family owned
10 classes for only $39
and operated providing Real Estate, Insurance and Property Management services. A Trusted Name…it takes generations to build a reputation! See ad on page 46
Call Brenda 250 250-598-0830 598 0830 3 locations in Oak Bay For new customers only. Expires May 31, 2013 facebook.com/oakbayjazzercise
BROWN HENDERSON MELBYE
Make every tree a feeder
BARKBUTTER exclusive to:
3631 Shelbourne Plaza • 250-595-3595
Come take a peek and stay for a treat.
FFull Grooming Services
Laura Atkinson a family law lawyer with a focus on ﬁnding practical solutions for clients regarding parenting arrangements, support and property. See ad on page 6
ATHLONE TRAVEL is a full service locally owned travel agency – serving the community since 1986. Our experienced team would be delighted to assist with all of your travel needs. See ad on page 31
BARK, BATH & BEYOND PET BOUTIQUE A family operated business specializing in taking care of your furry ones. We provide everything you need from grooming to foods and everything in between. See ad on page 51
Ron & Greg DIAMOND EYECARE after serving Victorians for 20 years from the Douglas St. store, locally owned Diamond Optical has brought their commitment to quality and customer service to Oak Bay. See ad on page 21
All Natural Foods & Treats A Collars & Leashes C SSpecialty Beds & Carriers
Mandu Goebl has worked in the Victoria auto industry for over 10 years and is proud to raise his family here. He is delighted to offer quality vehicles to CAMPUS ACURA customers. See ad on page 12
BILL MURPHY-DYSON, family lawyer, mediator, and arbitrator at COX, TAYLOR, Chair of the Oak Bay Tea Party since 1998. See ad on page 21 2041 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria B.C. 250-590-2822 www.barkpetboutique.com
MEET MORE ADVERTISERS ON THE NEXT PAGE SPRING 2013
MEET OUR ADVERTISERS LÛXE HOME INTERIORS Oak Bay residents, Scott Elias and Darren Ausmus, are the proud owners of Lûxe Home Interiors – where Victoria shops for quality custom home furnishings. See ad on page 2
BRAD FRIESEN is a lawyer and notary. He and his erstwhile companion Fergus are happy to greet all new or old clients (dog treats welcome) – weekend appointments available! See ad on page 27
IDA CHONG has represented Oak Bay-Gordon Head as MLA since 1996, and is Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. See ad on page 46
CHILDREN’S HEALTH FOUNDATION of Vancouver Island raises funds to support the health and well-being of children and youth on the Islands. See ad on page 30
GREGG’S FURNITURE has been providing Victorians with top quality craftsmanship for over 55 years. Contact David Screech @ Gregg’s for all your re-upholstery and upholstered furniture needs. See ad on page 41 DR. MARIA PAYNE BOORMAN, Naturopathic
one direct volunteer support to individuals of all ages in Oak Bay. Drives, visits, repairs, etc. See ad on page 44
THE L&P GROUP An award winning full service group with over 40+ years of experience that specializes in all aspects of real estate sales and marketing in Greater Victoria and the surrounding areas. See ad on page 15
RE/MAX in the heart of Oak Bay Village. Our agents are available to help you 7 days a week! See ad on page 48
LANSDOWNE APPLIANCE GALLERY A Victoria favorite
for 25 years. Family owned and operated offering Premium appliances backed with unparalleled service. See ad on page 24
COSMEDICA is one of Canada’s foremost dermatology and cosmetic laser clinics, offering a comprehensive range of treatments for skin and body rejuvenation. See ad on Page 13
Celebrating 50 years in the community! See ad on page 56
red art gallery is a small, unpretentious gallery featuring contemporary, affordable and original art. Owners Marion and Bobb make it easy to help you ﬁnd a winning work! See ad on page 33
Dominion Securities has lived and worked in the Victoria area for the past 17 years. Jason enjoys the outdoors and spends most of his spare time with his wife Nancy and their nine year old son. See ad on page 25
Gurmit Sandhu has owned and operated WEST COAST BREW SHOP for four years. He is happiest when he is helping his customers make award winning wines and beer and playing cricket with the Oak Bay Cricket Club. See ad on page 23
JASON EASTON of RBC
NANCY, MARESA BOUTIQUE
OAK BAY ‘73: Celebrate 40 years with us this summer. July 26 & 27. Find us on Facebook. See ad on page 21
Do you know that 44 gallons of blood gets washed by our kidneys every day! That’s almost 2 bathtubs full. See ad on page 45
A full service travel agency offering exclusive payment options and travel rewards. Travel experts have over 40 years combined industry experience! See ad on page 45
Don Wuest, owner at WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED, wants you to have the best bird feeding experience possible. After all, it’s the most relaxing, fulﬁlling, educational and exciting hobby that everyone can enjoy. See ad on page 51
Locally owned and operated by Michael Hansen, WINDSOR PLYWOOD Westshore strives to bring the most unique products to the market place. From Live Edge Mantels to hardwood ﬂoors we invite you to walk through our doors and walk on our ﬂoors. See ad on page 41
A warm welcome awaits you at The WELLESLEY of Victoria where you can enjoy retirement living at its ﬁnest; we offer both independent and assisted living options. Voted number one retirement community in 2012; BCSLA member. See ad on page 34
BLUE BRIDGE is professional
EXPEDIA CRUISESHIP CENTERS Victoria, Call Jeremy
OAK BAY OPTOMETRY has
OAK BAY SENIORCARE
been providing eye exams, glasses and contact lenses to the whole family for over twenty years. See ad on page 12
“Our award-winning home support services are customized to ﬁt your needs at any time.” See ad on page 3
McLeod for the ultimate travel experience in cruises and so much more. See Ad on page 30
OAK BAY VOLUNTEER SERVICES. We provide one-to-
Like you, I live, work, and play in dynamic Oak Bay. Allow me to help you express your personal style. See ad on page 30
Physician. I am proud to be both a parent and a professional in this wonderful community. I provide expert integrative advice and a collaborative approach to your health issues. See ad on page 38
ALISON ROSS B.A., M.A., CPPA, Owner/Auctioneer/Appraiser. Downsizing, estate, art & antique specialist. As seen on History Television’s “Pawnathon Canada.” Kilshaws Auctioneering Ltd. has been serving Vancouver Island since 1949. See ad on page 15
non-proﬁt theatre society that seeks to provide opportunities for young emerging artists and professional performances focusing on classical and modern European and North American traditions. See ad on page 9
MEET OUR ADVERTISERS With over 18 years investment experience, Paul Holmes and his pre-eminent wealth management team at HOLMES WEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP deliver strong, risk-adjusted returns together with the highest level of personalized client service. See ad on page 55
Maria’s vision of an inviting, wholesome community place that welcomes everyone has come to life at CRUMSBY’S, in Estevan Village since 2009. See ad on page 23
WHITE HEATHER TEA ROOM
BRUCE READ – TD Let me
OAK BAY PHARMASAVE
help you ﬁnance the home of your dreams. My experience includes 34 years of providing ﬁnancial solutions. I can provide you with expert advice to navigate the new mortgage rules. Call me at 250-514-1026. See ad on page 43
Tony Tucker has operated the store since 1985; he’s very appreciative of his amazing staff and the community of people in Oak Bay that make up his loyal customers. See ad on page 27
We’re a family owned and operated showroom celebrating over 50 years as Leaders in Lighting. Come in to our Victoria or Nanaimo showroom today for the most extensive lighting selection on the Island. See ad on page 42
We live in Oak Bay – continuing White Heather’s long tradition of serving delicious lunches & Afternoon Teas to Oak Bay and surrounds. See ad on page 24
LANDECA is a Victoria, BC based services company delivering a unique approach to providing services to property owners and contributing to our community, while respecting our natural environment. See ad on page 39
ST. PHILIP ANGLICAN CHURCH - contemporary and traditional worship – in your neighbourhood for 60 years. www.stphilip.bc.ca See ad on page 17
MORGAN’S FABRICS & INTERIOR has been Oak Bay’s premier re-upholstery, slipcover and draperies provider for nearly 40 years. Family owned and operated. See ad on page 6
CHRISTINA FRIESEN is a therapist/counsellor. You and your family are her concern. Her focus is on child relationship & anxiety issues. See ad on page 27
CHERYL’S GOURMET PANTRY THE
FINISHING STORE FINISH LIKE AN EXPERT
like an expert with top quality products, competitive pricing and over 60 years of expertise in home ﬁnishing. See ad on page 18
Cheryl has been providing gourmet take out, catering services, and picnic baskets for over 25 years in Oak Bay. Personal favourite: Roast Chicken dinner. See ad on page 25
With a focus on caring service, Tracy at CENTRAL PARK DENTURE AND IMPLANT CENTRE builds her reputation smile by smile. She has worked in Australia and Calgary and now, for over a decade, has cemented a practice in Victoria. See ad on page 42
Sean Warren is a proud 3rd generation Victoria resident. Sean has been with the CAMPUS AUTO GROUP since 1999 and has earned a reputation for top quality service selling top quality products! He is an avid car enthusiast with a love of the outdoors and skiing. See ad on page 5
CAPITAL IRON Victoria’s original
DR STEPHEN BAKER
general store for over 75 years! With 15 different departments & over 60,000 items in stock we have everything you need - from ﬁshing rods to espresso machines. See ad on page 38
An Ophthalmologist & Oculoplastic surgeon, specializes in eyelid & cataract surgery. Dionne, a Medical Scientist, assists him in the facial rejuvenation. See ad on page 7
THE FINISHING STORE Finish
BRENDA RICHARDSON, JAZZERCISE. I have been teaching Jazzercise for over 20 years, 13 in Oak Bay (Henderson, Monterey & Oak Bay Rec). I am truly blessed to be doing what I love! See ad on page 51
ROB TOURNOUR MASONRY
is Victoria’s leading masonry contractor in commercial and residential masonry, the only mason company on Vancouver Island that has a certiﬁed Quantity Surveyor on staff, plus a certiﬁed Safety Ofﬁcer. See ad on page 16
is 100% locally owned and operated. We have been serving Victoria and the Island since 1977. Come down to our store at 715 Finlayson to view our huge 35,000 sq. ft. showroom. See ad on page 43
RECREATION OAK BAY Is your place to come and recreate yourself. Where the fun lasts a lifetime! Drop in today! See ad on page 26
Swan is the owner and Designer at ASGARD DESIGN on 2004 Oak Bay Ave. Offering an eclectic mix of artistic home styling items. See ad on page 46
DERMA SPA Providing
a full range of medical aesthetics under the direction of Dr. Harlow Hollis, F.R.C.S.(C). At Derma Spa ‘It’s all about you!’ See ad on page 17
As a lifetime resident of Oak Bay, I am your neighbour and an
OAK BAY REAL ESTATE EXPERT who you can trust to sell your home. See ad on page 26
Call to feature your business in the next edition of
Director, Advertising Sales
250-480-3205 250-480-3274 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com SPRING 2013
Photo by NANCY PEKTER
TIME TO REVEL IN THE SPRING pring in Oak Bay brings an invitation to enjoy the outdoors, whether it’s via a hike along the waterfront or a moment spent enjoying the fabulous view. We felt this photo submitted to “Parting Shot” by Oak Bay resident Nancy Pekter, summed up that invitation. This is what she said about it: “I took this photo down at McNeill Bay on Kitty Islet. You probably know the story of the chair(s). First, for years and years there was one blue Adirondack chair. Then a ‘storm’ destroyed it (seemed to me that it was more likely a storm of vandals, however). Eventually, a new blue chair, plus a blue and red matching pair, showed up to replace the original. The Oak Bay News ran a story about the chairs perhaps two years ago, I think. They are very popular with locals, tourists and crows alike!” Thanks, Nancy, for the submission!
“Parting Shot” is a special photographic feature that runs regularly in Tweed, and we want you — our readers — to contribute. This spot is reserved for the best images we can find of places, people and things in Oak Bay. We’re inviting you to “give us your best shot.” We’ll consider all submissions — although we are limited by size and resolution requirements. In other words, the photos have to be large enough to reproduce well in a magazine format. Contributors should keep in mind the seasonal aspect of this feature, and be prepared to tell us a little bit about the photograph — where, when, what and who? And don’t forget — this is all about Oak Bay. Submissions should express something about this vibrant and beautiful community. Please send your photo submissions to editor Susan Lundy at firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL you Conservative Wealth Management customized to you and your family’s needs
“I’ve found that consistent returns over time can be achieved when you create a balanced portfolio of securities producing cash ﬂow in the form of dividends and interest payments.” – Paul W. Holmes, MPA, CIM, CFP Portfolio Manager If you’re unhappy with how your investments are being handled and you’ve hit the investment milestone of $250,000, Paul and his team at Holmes Wealth Management would like the opportunity to discuss why their conservative investment approach has stood the test of time.
(250) 389-2131 email@example.com Visit our website at
Proudly Serving Canadian Investors Since 1921
holmeswealthmanagement.com ® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used by ScotiaMcLeod. ScotiaMcLeod is a division of Scotia Capital Inc. (“SCI”). SCI is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
YUMMM ood F od Go of ears usY lo u b Fa Thank you, our loyal customers, for all your support. You have ensured the success of Pepper’s for 50 years and by staying true to our community and ourselves, we hope to serve you for 50 more.
od o F d oo G of Years 50 ating C e leb r
Quality & Service Guaranteed – 100% Victoria Owned
250-477-6513 • 3829 Cadboro Bay Rd. www.peppers-foods.com Hours Mon-Fri: 8 am–9 pm, Sat: 8 am–7:30 pm, Sun: 8 am–7:30 pm