Special Features - Tweed Magazine

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o a k b ay l ivi n G

Tweed FALL 2013

Sleeping beauty

New life for a century-old house

Close to the earth

orsers thrive AMID FAMILY AND FOOD

Surreal world

Artist Tristram lansdowne

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Fall 2013 Volume 1 Issue 4


10 Cover Story Meet the Orsers

— a family who embraces Oak Bay living — and makes it their business to highlight local, sustainible food.



Historic Oak Bay

The first Hollywood North: Oak Bay’s moviemaking history.


Romancing the Stove Join

Pam Grant at the home of Janet Flanagan.


Oak Bay Insider

It’s off to Trial Island with Christopher Causton.


Postcards Home Travel


Dogs on the Avenue



Sharon Tiffin and Don Denton capture the cute, the cuddly and the gangly in Oak Bay canines.



Tweed Magazine welcomes your Oak Bay suggestions for the next edition. So, do tell! Email editor Susan Lundy at: lundys@shaw.ca

44 14

on an African safari with Michael and Pamela Gallagher.


Tea With

Tweed editor Susan Lundy chats with Meribeth Burton.

36 4


FALL 2013


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TALK of the TOWN ! » A fundraising gala hosted

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by the Oak Bay Firefighters’ Charitable Foundation on Friday, June 7 was a huge success, raising $30,000 towards purchase of a new bus for Oak Bay High School. Over 100 people attended the event, held at the Oak Bay Golf Club, raising half the funds through ticket purchase ($200 each or $350 per couple), and the other half via a bus auction. The night included dinner and the auction, plus live music by Steph Greaves Trio. One of the night’s highlights was the guest speaker — Don Horwood — who coached basketball at Oak Bay (winning the provincials) and went on to coach successfully at the national level. The ultimate fundraising goal, according to Oak Bay firefighter Greg Swan, is $90,000, and he plans to meet with school reps this fall to “discuss moving forward to see the goal through.”

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FALL 2013

students were honoured at the end of the 2012-13 school year with citizenship, humanitarianism and service awards. Here are the winners: Merit Cup (awarded to students with outstanding qualities of scholarship, leadership, citizenship and participation in their graduation year) Evan Cambridge, Talen Rimmer. Kiwanis Cup (outstanding service and citizenship both in and outside of school): Kaisa Grant, Talia Glover. Humanitarian Awards: Pam Vickers Award, Leif Bradshaw; Lori Konkin-Barkes Memorial Award, Grace Hatherill; Jean Clark Humanitarian Award, Adam Walton, Ella Van Neutegem; Oak Bay Humanitarian, Emma Townsend. Service Awards: Manning Trophy, Olivia Smith-Ro-

drigues; Oak Bay Difference Maker, Sema Hamidi. Spirit Awards: Class of 94 Spirit Award, Michelle Sparksman; Jan Burns Grad Spirit Award, Aghigh Rabie. Fine Arts Awards: Leadership in Fine Arts, Melissa Maslany, Josef Turner; All-Round Jr. Achievement, Danika Postle, Kelsey Ward; All-Round Sr. Achievement, Lauren Hodgins. Athletics Awards: Top Sr. Female Athlete, Elise Butler; Top Sr. Male Athlete, Lars Bornemann; Sr. Spirit Award, Katie Hanson, Dan Philips.

» It’s not often United Way is the beneficiary of funds that are raised when the rules are broken. But when three Grade 6 students at Monterey Middle School set their sights on raising money for United Way, their “Break the Rules” day proved to be a legitimate hit. Olivia Bourque, 12, Hailey Gray, 11, and Kiara Jankowski, 11, came up with the idea that students at their Oak Bay school could pay $1 to either wear a hat in class, eat food in class, stay inside at recess, wear pyjamas to school or chew gum in school (the most popular choice). Of the $1,000 they raised in less than two weeks, almost $190 was collected during that one-day blitz. Other money-raising events included a bake sale and iTunes purchases.Part of the zeal with which they approached their fundraising may have had to do with their fundraising target, a disabled riders’ group, said Monterey Principal Judy Harrison: “They’re all passionate about horses.”

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hen Touchwood Editions asked me to write a book about heritage apples, I responded with enthusiasm: “What a great idea!” I exclaimed. Inside, I was thinking, “What the heck is a heritage apple?” Several months of research and a book later, I now know a lot about heritage apples — and about locavorism, the movement towards eating food that is locally produced. On a purely subjective level, heritage apples are those that link us to our past: apples that elicit memories and history and passion. Officially, they are trickier to define: some say apple varieties have to be over 100 years old to be considered heritage; others consider 1951 the cut-off date, since that year marked the widespread introduction of controlled hybridization. Many of the grand old apple trees in Victoria and Oak Bay are heritage varieties — the Kings, Gravensteins and Orange Pippins of our grandparent’s past — because in the 1800s, this was BC’s major apple growing region. While many of these old apples orchards are now overgrown or lost to development, many are being coaxed back to life. Like other locally grown, non-commercially packaged and shipped fruit, heritage apples are making a comeback. They are the apples of our past . . . and they will be the apples of our future as consumers seek out fresh, locally grown food. I thought about all this as I interviewed Oak Bay’s Daisy and Adam Orser, who are leading a charge towards locavorism by providing locally sourced and sustainable food at their niche grocery store, the Root Cellar. They source products from 200 local farmers and suppliers. The subjects of our cover story in this edition of Tweed, the Orsers manage to balance their lives between running a thriving business, embracing family time and “walking the talk” when it comes to eating and selling local and sustainable food. As I discovered with heritage apples, this is the food of our future. Locavorism will continue to grow as widespread interest in food sustainability, eco-consciousness and eating for good health gains further momentum. If I ever wore a hat, I’d tip it to the Orsers — as well as others highlighted in this edition of Tweed. Check out the stories on Oak Bay grandmothers Elizabeth Rutherford, Sally McQuarrie and Frances Quetton, who are raising money for fellow grandmothers in Africa; John Vickers, whose pumpkin art has collected 8


FALL 2013

thousands of dollars for charity; and Randy Wilson, who has lovingly restored a piece of Oak Bay history. There’s lot more to read in this, our fourth edition of Tweed — which brings me to another point. In December, we’ll publish our anniversary edition, and I’ve posted a few relevant “call outs” for it below. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this edition of Tweed — happy reading, and don’t forget, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. (My book is called Heritage Apples: A New Sensation and it’s available in various Victoria outlets.)

Derrick Lundy photo

Tell Tweed: • Christmas is coming and we’re collecting Oak Bay Christmas recipes and memories. Email me your anecdotes (200 words or less) and a photo if available, and we’ll create a compilation in our Christmas edition. • Follow me and Black Press on Twitter: @slundytweet and @BlackPressMedia • And don’t forget, we’re always interested in hearing your story ideas. Please send them my way (lundys@shaw.ca).

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.

CONTRIBUTORS ivan watson grew up in Oak Bay and is an alumnus of Glenlyon Norfolk School. He works as a freelance writer, historian and marketing and communications strategist. Follow him on Twitter: @watsonivan

ARNOLD LIM is a longtime photojournalist and videographer whose credits include the Globe and Mail, Sports Illustrated, the Toronto Star and Black Press.

chris causton is a former mayor, restaurateur and hotelier; and current Harbour Ferries Captain and Rotarian. He’s a voracious reader who still enjoys a good game of tennis.

Sharon Tiffin is an award winning photographer who has worked for Black Press community newspapers for 24 years.

ANGELA COWAN is a nationally published poet and award winning fiction author who moonlights as a freelance journalist and feature writer.

DON DENTON has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships, European Figure Skating Championships and a Royal wedding.

JENnifer BLYTH is an award-winning writer, photographer and editor, whose stories have appeared in BC Business, BC Home, WestWorld and Yes Magazine.

pam grant is a recovering chef, award winning writer and Victoria native, who enjoys music, travelling and epicurean adventures — especially those that involve eating dinner at other people’s homes.

Group Publisher Penny Sakamoto psakamoto@blackpress.ca Director, Sales and Advertising Oliver Sommer osommer@blackpress.ca Editor Susan Lundy lundys@shaw.ca

Creative Design Lily Chan Circulation Director Bruce Hogarth 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.

September to November


Sept. to Nov.

September 24

Artists’ work on display at the Marina Restaurant this fall includes Galen Davidson (September), Paul Shepherd (October) and April Ponsford (November). • Artists’ work on display at Winchester Gallery this fall includes Joseph Plaskett (September) and Adam Noonen (November). October is TBA. • Artists’ work on display at Eclectic Gallery includes Desiree Bond and Lynn Grillmair (September); Sharon Stone (opening reception, Oct. 3).

Emergency preparedness workshop, 7-9 p.m., at

Fall, 2013

September 18 Oak Bay BIA presents Oak Bay Village Night Markets, from 4-9 p.m., featuring local produce, fresh artisan bread, art, preserves, furniture, flowers, toys, magic, music and more.

September 21 Monterey Recreation Centre is hosting the band Rukus for a Rock n’ Roll Tribute Dance from 5-11 p.m. All adults are welcome. Tickets are $23 and include burger dinner and dessert.

Windsor Park Pavilion.

October 5-6 The annual Thermoplyae Regatta at Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

October 10 Seniors Emergency Preparedness Workshop, 1-3 p.m., at Monterey Recreation Centre.

October 12-13 Thanksgiving Junior Team Round Robin Tournament, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Takes place at Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

October 27 The annual Virtue Cup Trophy Race at Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

October 31 Giant community trick or treat: Participating merchants offer trick or treat in the stores from Foul Bay Road to Monterey Avenue between 2 and 5 p.m.

express yourself 2227 Oak Bay Ave. | 250.592.1412 | MON. - SAT. 10 - 5

FALL 2013



Eating close to the earth Oak Bay couple embraces food and family



At right: The Orser family (from left), Diem, Raine, Tai, Daisy and Adam, at their Oak Bay home.



FALL 2013

n Adam Orser’s youth, he was surrounded by good food and sustainable living. Daisy Orser grew up on an acreage where “all the good things” were kept in a root cellar. She ate quinoa and kale — years before they became trendy. And the Oak Bay couple’s first date? They laugh: “It was probably making pesto on the farm or picking berries for jam.” “Both our families were into food sustainability long before it was a fad,” recalls Adam as he and Daisy sit in the office of their bustling grocery store, the Root Cellar, which focuses on fresh, locally sourced food. The couple, who live in Oak Bay with their three boys, are definitely the product of their up-bringings. Most immediately noticeable at their store is a multi-hued, vibrant collection of produce, both inside and out of the 9,170-square-foot premise, located on the corner of Blenkinsop Road and McKenzie Avenue in Saanich. There’s a bloom-bursting floral department called The Potting Shed, a lush nursery, cheese and meat counters, and a bounty of specialty-items. The concept of “local” extends to their lifestyle, which embraces family and a home where “we can be close to the kids’ schools, close to the beaches and parks, and close to our boat.” “We work so much that we wanted our home to make life easy for us,” says Daisy, noting that her beautiful garden is her personal sanctuary. “We need to want to go

home and be thrilled to be there.” In August, the Root Cellar finally obtained rezoning approval to add a full-scale meat department — called The Chop Shop — featuring locally farmed meats. It’s been “wonderfully received,” says Daisy: “Customers are thrilled that we are now a one stop shop.” “Local” at the Root Cellar means produce and meats are sourced from within the Capital Regional District, which in addition to the Greater Victoria area, encompasses Metchosin and the Gulf Islands. In total, they sell food from over 200 local farms. “We built the store that we would love to shop in, [believing] it should not be hard to eat close to the earth,” says Daisy. “BC is an amazing province . . . we produce so many amazing things here, [and] we wanted to make them accessible to consumers like us.” She adds: “Above all, we strive to operate sustainably and always with a local focus. We want to make it easy (and delicious) for customers to make good decisions — for the local economy, for their health and for their pocketbook.” The concept has struck a chord within the community, which has embraced the Root Cellar to the tune of 10,000 to 15,000 customers a week, prompting the Orsers and business partner and longtime family friend Phil Lafreniere (”Uncle Phil”) to open a second Victoria store by next spring on Hillside Avenue close to Quadra Village. The Orsers and Lafreniere opened the Root Cellar in 2008 in the former Big Barn

FALL 2013



location after moving from Kelowna, where they were involved in a chain of four farm markets. The name Root Cellar stretches back to Daisy’s childhood, when she lived in Christina Lake on acreage rich with vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Her family’s root cellar was carved into the side of a mountain, and the Orsers liked the concept of their store being the root cellar for the community. The Big Barn continued running the nursery until this year, when the Root Cellar took over the space, essentially doubling its area and increasing revenue by 40 per cent. The expansion propelled construction of a new concrete floor and the removal of a wall separating the two areas, and resulted in an almost-etheral sweep of natural light. In the five years since its inception, the Root Cellar has expanded from three tills and eight employees to nine tills and over 80 employees. The store has won several awards, including Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s 2009 New Business





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of the Year award, when it exceeded projected sales in its first year by 430 per cent. But even more rewarding for the Orsers is the feedback they get from customers. “The constant endorsement . . . keeps the batteries charged and gives us the stamina we need to keep the freight train on track.” Part of their success has been the ability to balance the many things that are important to them, such as spending time with their three sons, Tai, 15, Raine, nine, and Diem, six. This means that when the Root Cellar first

opened, Diem — three months old — spent a lot of time strapped to Daisy’s back in a baby carrier. “The customers loved it and they still ask about him,” Daisy recalls. Sometimes this means answering work-related emails from their camper after the kids have gone to bed; or even commuting to work from a camping spot at Island View Beach. But it also means cutting loose from work entirely. “We camp, we have a boat . . . most of our hobbies revolve around nature and slowing things down — we’re not big fans of adding more chaos in our ‘down time,’” says Daisy. “Thank goodness the Oak Bay Tea Party is only once a year!” All three boys are into basketball and soccer, and love fishing with their dad. Adam is passionate about fishing, and the couple says they’ve never once had to purchase fish since moving to Victoria. With his boat docked at Oak Bay Marina, and his favourite fishing spot nearby, Adam can leave work at 6 p.m. and be fishing by 6:30.

“The ocean is his man-cave,” says Daisy, who enjoys gardening, outdoor activities and artistic endeavours in her down time. “She’s the crafty mom at school,” says Adam. They both love to cook, and find joy in “a good meal made with fresh local produce and fish we’ve caught, shared with good people over good wine.” Now aged 39 and 34, the two have been together for 18 years since they met at an environmental youth gathering in the Kootenays, where they both grew up. Working, living and raising a family together is a testament to their compatibility. “We get along,” says Adam, smiling. “And we both still like each other.” And this compatibility — along with days filled with good, healthy food, vibrant family time and lots of fishing — all add up to a fine life.

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Sleeping beauty Giving the kiss of life to a century-old house By Angela Cowan Photos by Arnold Lim


estled up to one of the highest hillocks in Oak Bay stands a house that’s been given a new lease on life. Built in 1908, the house at 2290 Woodlawn Crescent originally sat on the lot next door. When R.W. Gibson purchased it several years later, he decided it was too small for his growing family, and moved it to its current location via horse and log. Walking up the steeply inclining drive between two huge Garry oaks standing sentinel on either side, there’s a distinct feeling of discovery as I crest the hill and the house emerges before me. 14


FALL 2013


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Above: Fine interior detailing. Opposite page: The kitchen. Previous pages: Weimaraners Opus and Palmer, plus interior and exterior views of the original Gibson house, now located at 2290 Woodlawn Crescent in Oak Bay.

undergone a transformation worthy of a fairy tale urchin, acquiring dark walnut floors, granite and marble countertops, stainless steel appliances and beautiful lighting throughout. Wilson’s favourite room is the small den just off the front entrance — it’s a smaller room with wide windows and one of the house’s five wood-burning fireplaces. “I’ve never had my own den. Offices, yes, but never anything just for me.” He smiles as he pictures the scene: “Roaring fire, me sitting in my big armchair, library all around and my two dogs on either side.” This idyllic tableau seems to embody Wilson’s dream for the whole house. He enlisted the Oak Bay community in his mission to restore the property. Maximilian Huxley took charge of all the construction, Thomas and Birch installed the painted maple kitchen cabinetry, and Lisa Sinclair of Vita Design Interiors cultivated a balance between the original splendour of the house and the more modern additions. Many aspects of the house’s old world charm were preserved, and new ones installed. The kitchen boasts a hand-milled coffered ceiling; a butler’s pantry now bridges the space between the kitchen and formal dining room; and the trim and mouldings resonate perfectly with the original design.

Paying respect to the old didn’t preclude Wilson from adding in more modern touches to better suit his family’s needs. The narrow veranda in the back was expanded into a full balcony to accommodate summer barbeques and plenty of friends. All the bathroom floors are radiant — for warm toes in the dead of Victoria’s damp winters. And in the coming autumn months, Wilson is installing a small elevator that will run from the southeast corner of the third bedroom to one of the sunrooms on the main floor for an older and most cherished relative. While he retained the original hardwood downstairs, Wilson had engineered floors installed on the main level to accommodate the two newest members of his family: Opus and Palmer, two long-haired Weimaraners with big hearts and big paws. As we walk through the house, taking in the details from room to room, those two are never more than a few feet from ‘daddy’s’ side, dusty paw prints materializing when the sun breaks through the cloud cover for a brief moment. Their piercing blue eyes follow him with every step, though I am graced with some attention when I have treats to offer. A subtle longing for the good old days lingers around Wilson as he talks about what initially drew him to the house, such as its proportions, the size of the rooms, the 11-foot ceilings. The veranda that wraps around the whole front and side of the house is

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one of his wife’s favourite features, and Wilson loves it too. “People used to sit on the verandas and wave to their neighbours. It’s an era gone by,” he says, appreciative of such a communityminded neighbourhood. It’s the reason he and his wife have chosen Oak Bay as their home. “You can get the same kind of house in the Uplands, but all you do is live there. There’s nothing close by,” he says. “I prefer this to the Uplands [because] I can walk to the village, take the dogs out. This is the kind of life I want.” Walking through one final time, with Wilson’s strong voice and the occasional dog bark bouncing off the walls, I’m happy this house has finally been adopted. After nearly two decades of standing empty, with no relief from dreary winters and no light or life to warm it from within, the original Gibson house will again have a family. The Wilsons hope to move in by November, once construction of the elevator is complete. This winter will see fires once again blazing in their grates and mouth watering smells wafting from the kitchen. Just in time for the holidays.

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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. In this edition, photographer Don Denton’s camera eye explored Oak Bay boats and marinas, capturing the art of nautical knots.

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historic oak bay

The Original

Hollywood North “Father took me to the movie studio in the Willows Fairgrounds. I was very impressed with all the equipment I saw, but was more interested that standing near me were the actors and actresses I recognized from the silver screen.”

— Patricia Isaac



Above: Left to right, Oscarnominated Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942) was filmed in Oak Bay and Saanich; Alice Moore and Edgar Edwards starred in Woman Against the World (1938); Special Inspector (1938); Fury and the Woman, also known as Lucky Corriga (1936); and 19-year-old Rita Hayworth (left) in Convicted (1938).



oday it’s almost commonplace to see local landmarks such as Craigdarroch and Hatley castles featured in Hollywood films. But few people realize that the film industry’s love affair with our city began in the 1930s when Oak Bay pioneered film-making in Canada, and our very own Willows Park Studios became the bustling hub of the original “Hollywood North.” Films such as Manhattan Shakedown, Tugboat Princess, Secret Patrol and Woman Against the World portrayed escapist tales of romance and adventure, featuring villainous gangsters, courageous Mounties, suave detectives, sweaty lumberjacks and glamorous ingénues — all filmed in and around Oak Bay. Would-be movie moguls had long been attracted by Victoria’s beautiful scenery, relative proximity to Los Angeles and potential for year-round filming. Among other proposals, grand designs for a “Cinema City” were drawn up in 1926, but the business case simply didn’t add up. Yet within a few years, affairs half a world away would give Oak Bay a unique opportunity to take centre stage. In 1927, the British government, worried about the preponderance of American movies on British screens, enacted legislation that by 1935 would require a fifth of all films shown in Britain to be British or Empire-made. The British “quota” incentive made film-making on Vancouver Island a potentially lucrative business. Such was the hope of English-born Hollywood producer, promoter and hot-tempered hustler Kenneth J. Bishop, who arrived in Victoria in 1932, set up an office at the Dominion Hotel, and over the next five years manFALL 2013

aged to turn Oak Bay’s film-making potential into a brief, but glamorous reality. Bishop incorporated Commonwealth Productions in July 1932 and transformed the former agricultural building at the Willows Exhibition Grounds into a makeshift studio, initially by draping long curtains around the interiors to disguise the brick walls. Bishop delighted the city’s elite with dreams of Hollywood fame and fortune. In particular, Bishop captivated star struck socialite Kathleen Dunsmuir, who had toiled for years as a wealthy hanger-on in Hollywood circles. She lent Bishop $50,000 and was rewarded with a role in his first feature: The Crimson Paradise. Hastily shot over a few weeks, the film opened at Victoria’s Capitol Theatre on December 14, 1933. It was a premiere that almost never happened. Victoria’s theatres were owned by American companies and they tightly controlled the nightly playbill. Ivan Ackery, Capitol manager, had to negotiate with Famous Players to allow a screening of The Crimson Paradise only after the regularly scheduled movies finished at 11 p.m. To attract a full house at such a late hour, Ackery arranged for a plane to drop thousands of promotional leaflets around the city. Victoria’s elite appeared in full evening dress, floodlights lit the entrance to the theatre draped with a sea of Union Jacks, and the stage was garlanded with colourful floral arrangements. B.C. Premier T.D. Patullo and Victoria Mayor David Leeming gave congratulatory addresses, and expressed their hope that a bright future lay ahead for Victoria’s newest industry. Radio station CFCT broadcast the gala live and Canada’s first “All Talking Motion Picture” received a truly glamorous premiere. The Crimson Paradise was filled with “action, fine pho-

tography and beautiful scenes” noted the Daily Colonist. However, Bishop’s salesmanship exceeded his attention to detail; he had failed to check the requirements of the British quota law and his film did not qualify, rendering the print almost worthless. As filming continued for the company’s second feature The Secrets of Chinatown, Commonwealth Productions faced financial collapse and Bishop was forced to file for bankruptcy in February 1934. Kathleen Dunsmuir lost every penny of her $50,000 investment. When creditors arrived at the door of her mansion on Prospect Place in Oak Bay, she insisted on inviting them in for a drink before she was served with bankruptcy papers. Bishop persevered; in October 1935, armed with a contract to produce 12 films for Colombia Pictures and a clearer understanding of quota requirements, he re-launched his company in Oak Bay under a new name: Central Films. Between 1935 and 1937, Central Films produced 12 “quota quickies” made within a month and with budgets under $65,000. After each day’s shooting, film reels were air-lifted to Los Angeles for processing. Long-time Oak Bay resident Patricia Isaac remembers “father took me to the movie studio in the Willows Fairgrounds. I was very impressed with all the equipment I saw, but was more interested that standing near me were the actors and actresses I recognized from the silver screen.” The city was abuzz as stars took up residence at the Empress Hotel and filled the gossip pages of local newspapers. A young Rita Hayworth got her start in two Oak Bay films: Convicted and Special Inspector. Valerie Hobson, Lyle Talbot, David Manners, Molly Lamont, Alice Moore, Wendy Barrie and even the canine star Rin Tin Tin, Jr. all shot films at the Willows Park Studio. Martin Kroeger, continuity editor for Central Films, was interviewed in 1980 — he said Rita Hayworth was “pleasant” and gave a “very good performance”; Valerie Hobson was “rather

snobbish”; Wendy Barrie invited herself to tea but failed to appear after a late night out on the town; and Reginald Hincks, casting director, tended to “play favourites” and always reserved a “juicy part for himself.” Buoyed by the growing success of his quota films, Bishop built a laboratory on Cadboro Bay Road to process films locally. But in 1938 Britain amended its quota legislation to exclude films made in Canada. Companies such as Central Films were singled out for allowing Hollywood to circumvent the spirit of the quota law if not the letter. Production abruptly ceased in Oak Bay. But perhaps the finest chapter in Oak Bay’s film-making saga was its epilogue. In 1942, Hollywood was scouting locations to produce films for the war effort. Someone at Columbia Pictures remembered the old Willows Park Studio. With a million dollar budget and top stars including Paul Muni, Anna Lee, Lillian Gish and Cedric Hardwicke, Oscar-nominated Commandos Strike at Dawn was a polished and exciting tale of British Commandos on a daring raid against the Nazis. It proved a fitting grand finale to Oak Bay’s Hollywood era. For a few glittering years, Oak Bay’s Willows Park Studio was the epicentre of film production in Canada — Oak Bay Marina was the scene of a high speed boat chase involving gangsters in a dramatic shoot out; Bastion Square was dressed up to look like Manhattan; and the cliffs of the Saanich Peninsula were heroically scaled by British Commandos raiding Nazi-occupied Norway. Oak Bay’s reign as Canada’s movie capital was a short-lived but thrilling experiment! Email: watsoni@yahoo.com / Twitter: @watsonivan FALL 2013



OAK BAY BY THE numbers Oak Bay [ohk] [bey] 1. a vibrant community, a world away from the rush of everyday life. Num路ber [nuhm-ber] 1. a mathematical object used to count, label and measure.


small towN: The number of landowners in Oak Bay in 1906, the year of its incorporation.

PARKLAND: The number of acres of woodland trails and undeveloped natural reserve in Uplands Park, which was purchased by Oak Bay in 1946.

1921 5

MOTHER TONGUE: the approximate number of people in Oak Bay (according to the 2011 Census) whose first language at home is Gujarati. The same number applies to these languages: Portuguese, Sinhala, Afrikaans, Creoles, Croatian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Malay, Portuguese, Slovenian, Taiwanese and Turkish.

37 degrees

HEATWAVE: The record high for Oak Bay, since record keeping started in 1992.



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RIGHT ROAD RULES: The year the road rules changed in Oak Bay, requiring motorists to now drive on the right hand side of the road, and pass vehicles on the left.

HISTORIC MOMENT: The year Oak Bay was first spotted by Europeans, when the Spanish sailed into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and noted Gonzales Hill.

1790 4935

1300 4,425 97 STUDENT RECORD: The number of students enrolled in Oak Bay High School, grades 9-12.

GOLDEN AGE: the number of people aged 65 and older living in private households in Oak Bay, according to the 2011 Census


HOME SWEET HOME: The number of single detached houses (according to the 2011 Census) located in Oak Bay.

The number of Oak Bay men and women who died in World War Two. They are honoured at the Cenotaph in Uplands Park.

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Night Light Pumpkin Art Entrances Oak Bay

By Susan Lundy Photos by Don Denton


Above: Pumpkin artist John Vickers. At right: Heather Leary of the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association; and pumpkin carving detail.



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ot only has a collection of carved pumpkins brightened Octobers in Oak Bay, it’s added a little colour to carver John Vickers’ life. For Oak Bay, the annual display of Vickers’ carved pumpkins behind the municipal hall and hanging from lampposts on the Avenue draws in crowds of onlookers and expands an already-festive Halloween celebration. For Vickers, a 16-year stint as the creator of Pumpkin Art has changed his life, launching him from a career in professional security to “working fulltime to enhance my community.” Pumpkin Art offers Vickers the unique combination of raising money for charity and creating a visual treat for his admiring audiences. “Witnessing the joy that both young and old alike experience at Pumpkin Art has made me want to give back to the community even more,” he says. Over the years, this has led Vickers to found the Victoria Masquerade Ball, which continues to raise funds for various charities, and organize events such as the Victoria International Buskers Festival, the Victoria International Chalk Art Festival and the upcoming inaugural Victoria International Kite Festival. This October will mark the third year Oak Bay has hosted Vickers’ Pumpkin Art — an event that attracts thousands of viewers. The collection has travelled the continent, touching down in places like New York, the Royal Ontario

Museum in Toronto and Government House in Victoria (where one year, 25,000 people turned out to view it). “It’s pretty cool and people love it,” says Heather Leary, project manager for the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association, which organizes the pumpkin display. “They come back year after year.” Back in 2010, Leary says, the BIA was considering ways to enhance Halloween activities already occurring in Oak Bay, such as the ever-popular trick or treating hosted by local merchants and a huge community bonfire held near the fire hall. “We asked John if we could borrow a couple dozen pumpkins to place in shop windows,” Leary recalls. When the display was forced to move from the Victoria Truth Centre the following year, the Oak Bay BIA grabbed the opportunity to acquire it and give it a permanent home. In addition to organizing the main display behind the municipal hall, the BIA has had the city install power plugs on poles along Oak Bay Avenue and place pumpkins in baskets made specifically for the carvings. By adding to the lamppost display each year, the BIA hopes to eventually have pumpkins lighting the night all the way along the Avenue from Monteray to Foul Bay roads. Leary says the community has embraced the display, enjoying the vibrancy it adds to the neighbourhood. It’s also good for Oak Bay businesses, she says, bringing in hordes of people, including hundreds who have followed the display at its various locations for years.

Vickers was first inspired to create pumpkin art in 1997, when he saw his friends had used a string of Christmas lights to illuminate a Halloween pumpkin display — it was “sort of a power plant to light pumpkins,” he says. “That was the catalyst for me to try carving multiple pumpkins and simply plug them in at night,” he recalls. When he first presented carvings in his front yard in 1998, “word of mouth spread, and hundreds of people began visiting. The police even showed up one night to help direct traffic flowing through the neighbourhood,” he recalls. One night a UNICEF rep asked if the charity could put a donation box out with the display, and Vickers was thrilled the next morning to see it had collected $300. “UNICEF was very pleased and encouraged me to carve another display the following year as a neighbourhood UNICEF fundraiser,” he says, and “I was happy to oblige.” Since then, the display has raised more than $150,000 for charities such as UNICEF, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Victoria Youth Clinic and the Canadian Cancer Society. This year it will benefit Oak Bay’s Kiwanis Club. Vickers — who was born in New Brunswick and later lived “coast to coast” while working

in security electronics industry — left Victoria for several years in the late 1990s. He was living in New York at the time of the 911 attacks, and in the month following, presented Pumpkin Art as a fundraiser for firefighter families at Halloween. “The fire department welcomed the pumpkins to the extent they brought fire trucks to the display and had firefighters collect donations in their fire boots,” recalls Vickers. “It raised thousands of dollars.” Since launching Pumpkin Art 16 years ago, Vickers estimates he’s carved over 1,000 pumpkins, including cartoon characters, prime ministers, presidents, and television and historical figures. For the New York display, he carved a special theme of Broadway shows into the collection, and last year Kate Middleton was added to the Royal family display (begging the question — will a royal baby be added this year?). “The pumpkins were originally just a montage of everything,” Vickers says, but now, by carving themes, he gives the display a “foundation in which to grow further.” Today, Pumpkin Art has about 40 themed displays averaging from a few pumpkins each to around 40. “I also carve for all age groups so everyone can take something from them.” Early on in the process, Vickers realized that his collection was limited by the lifespan of a pumpkin — the earlier carvings were falling apart by the time he finished the later ones. “I discovered that if you soaked them in water overnight they would last several more days; however, despite a nightly ritual of filling my bathtub up with floating pumpkins, I was

still limited to 20 It’s pretty cool or so carvings,” he and people love it. says. Eventually he They come back discovered manuyear after year. factured, hollow, polyurethane heather pumpkins made of leary, a material similar Oak bay Business to compressed Improvement sawdust. Association “They could be bought for around $25 each and although they took twice as long to carve (up to two hours per pumpkin), the benefit was they lasted year after year. It gave me the ability to build up the display.” Vickers is often asked if he uses electric tools to carve the pumpkins. In fact, he hand carves everything, using a “very tiny three-inch jigsaw type blade.” Storing the collection — which also includes 1,000 milk crates used in the display — has always been an issue. (It once cost Vickers $7,000 for one year of storage.) So Vickers is thrilled that the Oak Bay BIA also stores the collection for him (in two shipping containers), and assists in the annual delivery of the event. “As we enter our third year in Oak Bay,” he says, “I’m glad that Pumpkin Art has been so welcomed by the local community.” Pumpkin Art lights up Oak Bay this year on Friday, October 25 and runs until Halloween. Watch for pumpkin-decorated lampposts, beginning in mid-October.

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feasting with the


. . . and a walk down memory lane Story by Romancing the Stove columnist PAM GRANT Photos by don denton



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s Janet Flanagan invites me to sit, she asks if I’ve ever talked to anyone on Skype. When I confirm that I have, she relates that her first digital phone call took place a few days earlier to granddaughter Chloaye, who recently moved to Shanghai to teach. “I was so stunned that I’m not sure if I actually said anything,” she confides with a look of bemusement. Indeed, one wonders what the world must look like today to someone who has lived in Oak Bay for over seven decades. Born Janet Hall, her family left Fairfield for Oak Bay during the Second World War and set up home in a grand residence on Radcliffe Lane, a stone’s throw from the Trial Islands. It was an era we can never return to — and Oak Bay was a very different place. If you stepped off the Willows street car in front of the high school and looked north towards the land between Foul Bay and Cadboro Bay roads, you wouldn’t have seen more than a handful of houses, Janet recalls. The scarred land where the once imposing Patrick Arena had burned to the ground just over a decade before was still empty, and the Lansdowne slope beyond was farmland. Below, surrounded by a vast expanse of green, was the Willows Fairground, with its grandiose exhibition hall and racetrack. Janet remembers black out curtains and barely lit street lamps during those years, but is quick to note that life was

good. She would saddle a horse at the riding academy near Willows school and ride through the adjacent bridle paths, perhaps wandering through Uplands, which had only a few homes then. Movies at the Oak Bay Theatre (12 cents per ticket) were followed by Cokes and fries at the Goblins Cafe, today the site of Ivy’s Bookstore. Skating took place at Olson’s Arena — until it became the second arena to burn to the ground in Oak Bay. “Did you and your friends get up to any mischief?” I asked, recalling my own somewhat different youth. No, she replies, but adds that during the summers people of all ages would walk along the beach in darkness to sneak into the pool at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Laughing, she remembers the summer when some boys from school visited Seattle in late August. When classes began in September, they arrived dressed in clothing they had bought in the States, only to be sent home by the principal, who told them not to return until they were properly dressed. Apparently corduroy slacks and checked shirts were inappropriate attire for young men who typically wore flannel trousers and sports jackets to school. During Grade 10, Janet was invited to a party by a friend, who also asked if she could think of anyone special she’d like to see invited. Could she ever. Janet had spotted a handsome boy named

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Edward Flanagan in the halls at school (not hard to spot since he was well over six feet tall), but being a year ahead of her, she didn’t know him. Within a year they were a steady item. Ed graduated on D Day and shipped out to Europe, returning within months to sign up for the war in the Pacific, but the conflict ended before he was due to leave. He enrolled in Victoria College, and after her own graduation, Janet studied interior design at the University of Washington, returning to marry the boy who won her heart. Ed apprenticed at the Parliament Buildings in the Provincial Architects Branch before moving to the Department of National Defense. Before he retired as chief draftsman, he undertook successive terms as alderman on Oak Bay Council, working diligently to preserve the heritage and character of Oak Bay. Janet’s own career at Standard Furniture was replaced by a new one — raising their five children. They were married for 52 years when Ed passed away nearly a decade ago. Janet now has nearly twice as many grandchildren as children, and she’s been an active volunteer for decades. Accordingly, she has happily let go of the reins in the kitchen tonight (shelves in her ample kitchen groan with cookbooks collected over the years) in favour of caterer daughter-in law Dolores, who arrived with her husband, their

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sons and a daughter-in-law of her own, for a multi-generational family dinner. The kitchen is filled with the sounds of happy chaos, and as food is laid out and drinks refreshed, Janet leads her brood out into the garden for pictures. Laughing, they traipse back into the dining room for a summery feast, including dolmades with tzatziki, chilled sockeye salmon with organic greens,

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grilled vegetables and, with a nod to Dolores’ Oxacan heritage, a sumptuous rice casserole with loaded with queso and poblano chilies. Dessert is a massive pie stuffed with homemade almond paste and rhubarb from Janet’s garden, made by daughter Linda. Later, as photographer Don Denton takes names for captions, everyone offers only their first name, laughing



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Above: Sauce on sockeye salmon with organic greens and grape tomatoes. Previous page: Food detail; and from left, Janet, Adrian, Amanda, Eric, Gabriel and Dolores Flanagan.

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TWEED READS A look at what locals are reading . . . and why ■ Rick Anthony, Constable with Oak Bay Police Department I chose Fatal Crossroads by Danny S. Parker because I met the last living survivor of the massacre, Ted Paluch, who is now in his 90s. He’s quite a fellow and he travels to military history conventions, meets hundreds of people and signs this book written about this terrible war crime. In my travels to WWII battlefields in Belgium in 2011, I actually visited the site of this event and stood right where it occurred. Here is a synopsis: “On December 17, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, more than 80 unarmed United States soldiers were shot down after having surrendered to an SS unit near the small crossroads town of Malmédy, Belgium. Although more than 30 men lived to tell of the massacre, exactly what took place that day remains mired in controversy. Was it just a ‘battlefield incident’ or rather a deliberate slaughter? Fatal Crossroads vividly reconstructs the critical events leading up to the atrocity — for the first time in all their revealing detail — as well as the aftermath.

Marg Palmer, Retired librarian, and member of Oak Bay Heritage Commission and Foundation. I chose Matt Cohen’s Typing, A life in 26 keys. This is the memoir of the well-known Canadian novelist and poet about living in France and then Toronto in the early 1960s. It includes witty accounts of his first university job teaching a subject of which he knew nil, and meeting famous Canadian authors of the day like Robert Fulford. Life amid that Spadina /Yorkville area brings back great memories as I was there just a few years later.



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Marianne Baatz, Circulation Assistant at the Oak Bay Library. I can’t decide which book I like more so here are two of my favourites: I’ve been reading Georgette Heyer since I was a kid, when my mother introduced me to her regency romance novels. Now I am reading through her mystery novels. It is exciting to find more writing by one of my favourite authors. The Unfinished Clue was my latest. Set after WWII, it is complete with English country house, murder victims who deserve to die and a love story. I also love reading non-fiction. I recently finished Debt: the first 5,000 years by David Graeber. It is a very readable account of debt through the lens of history and anthropology. The author is an anthropologist, so his viewpoint is very interesting and not usual. Check out his take on barter and violence!

Sonya Reuter, Head of Reception, Monterey Centre, Recreation Oak Bay At the Monterey Centre for Recreation Oak Bay, we have a little bookshelf called the Sunshine Table where folks leave books, and others can pick them up for a donation to the Oak Bay Senior’s Activity Association. I am constantly picking up, and leaving books there and every once in a while I pick up a little gem. I’m an avid reader, but not a very organized reader. I don’t seek bestseller’s lists; I just happily happen upon books either in articles, or by reading the jacket, or by reference from friends. I love the element of surprise when reading a book (or watching a movie) in what the book is about. So finding a good read on the Sunshine Table is especially delightful. One of my favourite finds, and a great summer read, is The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet, of Sidney BC. The story is about a widowed mother in the ‘30s and ‘40’s who, each summer, travels with her children up the coast of BC in a small boat. I lose all sense of time when reading this book, and can’t wait to get back to it. It is also a great testament to the spirit of adventure that women can find in themselves — despite parenting alone — which teach their children invaluable resourcefulness.





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Gardens past and present A floral explosion . . . and chickens that listen to CBC By Jennifer Blyth Photos by Sharon Tiffin


n visiting Pat and Gordon Rush’s beautiful south Oak Bay home, guests are treated to the tale of two gardens. The first garden, which stretches from the road around the house and through more than a third of the rear yard, was planted decades ago by Dr. Stuart Holland. A rhododendron enthusiast, Dr. Holland created a space of dappled sun and shade ideal for those varieties he grew from seeds brought in from India, China, England and elsewhere. From these, he also created his own hybridized varieties, such as Transit Gold, a blue-leaf, yellowflowered rhodo named after the street on which the home stands. At one time there were 200 species and some 300 rhodos, Pat says. Here and there are hydrangeas, camellias, a magnolia or two and other companion plants suited to a rhododendron garden. Beyond Dr. Holland’s garden sits a much different space, a mix of free-flowing nasturtiums, beds of plate-sized dahlias, herbs and a whole host of fruits and vegThe front I view etables . . . plus two urban chickens that provide the Rushes with fresh eggs. This as Dr. Holland’s is Pat’s garden. The Rushes discovered the garden. This is three-quarter acre property about 12 years my garden; this is ago — stumbled upon it, Pat says — and by then many of the original plants had where I hang out. outgrown their space. While the home and property struck her pat rush immediately, “I’m not a gardener,” Pat says. “I had no idea what I had walked into. When we first moved in, there wasn’t a bloom anywhere to be seen.” Some of the plants had been lost over the years, but many others, with love and judicious pruning, are thriving once again. Today, thick trunks reach skyward to the canopy overhead, tree-like rhododendrons that bloom in

Pat Rush in her Transit Road garden



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a riot of colour each spring. By design, the front garden blooms in blues and purples, moving to pinks along the path and in the back, “it’s bright, bright colours,” Pat notes. Below the trees and shrubs are weaving paths leading past the house to the rear garden. Lower perennials such as hostas and anemones mix with oxalis, thyme and other groundcovers to create a green carpet that requires very little maintenance. Past a sunny deck and into the rear garden is a particular favourite among the rhodos, an early bloomer called Christmas Cheer. “It’s the best bloomer of all and oddly enough I found out it’s where (Dr. Holland’s) ashes are,” Pat reflects. “It’s a year-round garden; it just gets accolades in the spring.” Emerging from the cool shade of the front to the sunny backyard, Pat’s sanctuary comes into view. “The front I view as Dr. Holland’s garden. This is my garden; this is where I hang out,” she says, opening the gate to the tall cedar fence protecting the flowers and edibles within from Oak Bay’s voracious deer, although the raccoons still gorge themselves on her yellow plums, and the squirrels on her hazelnuts. Watching it all go down are the Rushes’ chatty brown chickens that have been known to relax to the sounds of the CBC playing on the nearby radio. “For me, the starring attraction of the garden is right back here with my chickens. They’re pets and they’re spoiled rotten,” Pat says, tossing one a blueberry plucked from a nearby bush. “They like blueberries better than raspberries.” Organic in design, as well as application, the garden beds have few straight-lines, but rather undulating patches of zucchini mixed with

One of Pat Rush’s chickens enjoying classical music.

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lettuce and spinach, layered beneath apple trees. “Where I do anything in a row, it doesn’t work,” Pat laughs. Here and there along the rough paths are delicate white alyssum, orange nasturtiums growing happily at the base of cucumbers, peas and beans clambering up the nearest pole. Sharing space with the delightful array of edibles are large patches of cutting flowers — calla lilies in June, followed by cheery red geraniums and jaw-dropping dahlias in summer. A small greenhouse is ideal for a few tomatoes, eggplant and, of course, flavourful basil. “I don’t know anything about gardening but I love doing it,” Pat says, stopping at the thriving raspberry patch: “My friend was moving so I took a lot of berries she didn’t want.”

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While the garden is truly Pat’s passion, Gordon, a retired contractor, helps keep her organized. Were it not for him, she says, the raspberry canes likely would have taken root willy-nilly, rather that in an organized patch. “I think people follow the book too much, they don’t try things out. Plants are just like people — they’re all different. Who says you have to do it one way?” New paths this fall will also open up new possibilities for these two gardens. Pat would like to plant more cutting flowers and, as a homage to the Holland family, she hopes to replace a walnut tree that has died. When Dr. Holland’s first daughter was born, he planted the hazelnut, Pat learned, and when the second daughter came along, a walnut tree followed. The new tree will be a fitting addition to a garden that bridges generations, families and gardeners.





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Surreal The imagined world of Tristram Lansdowne Story and artist photo by Laura Lavin


n artist Tristram Lansdowne’s world, the real becomes surreal and the surreal settles into your bones. His images haunt, inspire and make the viewer question where reality ends and Lansdowne’s vision begins. It wasn’t always that way though. Lansdowne grew up a “regular kid” riding his bike in front of his Transit Street home, attending Monterey school and soaking up the creative atmosphere formed by his father, renowned wildlife artist Fenwick Lansdowne, who died in 2008 at age 70, and mother Helen, a teacher at Camosun College who still lives in Oak Bay. His younger sister Emma, a horticulturalist at Royal Roads, still lives here too; Lansdowne is the only one who has flown the coop. “(Oak Bay) was a really nice place to grow up. We had a lot of fun and it was really safe. We had the run of the place and my par-

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ents didn’t have to worry too much,” said the neatly dressed 29-year-old, as he sat outside Winchester Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue. “Now I live in the big city, I realize it was pretty neat living next to the beach as a kid, when you’d only have to come home in time for dinner.” Lansdowne now lives in Toronto, in the city’s west end “in a great neighbourhood full of artists.” While Lansdowne’s life as an artist may be an expected outcome, it’s one he says, not come by innately. “Most kids spend a lot of time drawing. I guess, because it was always around, I kept doing it. When it came time to choose what to study in university, it was the only thing I could think of doing.” He claims he was not the kind of person who had his heart set on being an artist at age five. “It was more of a ‘what do I do now?’ kind of decision.” After two years at the University of Victoria, he transferred to the Ontario School of Art and Design, Canada’s oldest and largest educational institution for artists situated in Toronto near the Art Blackwood told me, ‘you Gallery of Ontario. “I enjoyed both schools,” he said. “I want someone to look don’t think I made the decision to make at it long enough to art until my last year of school.” discover the mystery or Although his father was the artist, he said it was his mother’s support that reward the imagination.’ helped him accomplish his goal. “Her attitude when I graduated was, tristram if I can spend five years working at art lansdowne full time with a bit of her (financial) support, it would give me a chance to have a shot at being a professional artist, because it’s so difficult when you’re young.” Although those days are over for him, many of his contemporaries still work full time jobs and are only able to devote time to their craft on the weekends. “It gave me a chance to establish myself. It gave me a huge head start,” he said. Lansdowne got a “lucky break” early in his career when he received a government grant at the same time he was invited to do a show of his work. While just as detail-oriented in technique as his father’s art, Lansdowne’s creations take those details and set them on edge. His earlier works focussed on architectural subjects, then shifted to landscape and now include elements of the sea, islands and botanicals. “His work hugely informs mine, but my interests lie elsewhere,” said Lansdowne of his father’s vividly detailed watercolours. A studio visit from Canadian artist David Blackwood, known for his intaglio prints, also had an impact on Lansdowne.

Artist Tristram Lansdowne with his art. Above left: The Encyclops. Following page: Axis-Mundi (top) and Precipice.

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“He was quite critical. He said my work did not have enough mystery to generate enough interest for people to look at it for a long time… He said, ‘you want someone to look at it long enough to discover the mystery or reward the imagination.’” The young artist’s work is “landscapebased and centred around the artifice inherent in landscape. The way we visually order our physical surroundings.” He takes fragments of the visual order and redistributes them, producing works that intrigue the viewer. Lansdowne’s inspiration comes from early scientific illustrations and his own photography. “I started with more observational painting, drawing what was in front of me — the traditional landscapes you learn in high school.” Through university his watercolours began to take a more “fictional direction.” “You can make things up to a degree that it still looks convincing, so you don’t have to rely on reality so much.” His reality has come a long way from the boy who delivered the weekly Penny



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Saver and spent his earnings frivolously. “We’d hop on our bikes and go down Oak Bay Avenue, my friends and I would spend all our money on candy, then sit on the roof of the Blethering Place and eat it, then bike home,” he recalled. The young artist was back in town with his girlfriend Heather Rigg, who grew up in Victoria, to attend the wedding of his childhood friend Isaac Becker. “It was great seeing everybody. I spent a lot of time with his family, and he with mine when we were kids . . . It’s a different environment now for me when I come home. I’m more aware of the gardens and how neatly they’re kept. I love how much order is instilled in the gardens here, everything is perfectly cut and in place.” With that statement, one can almost see the gardens dissected in Lansdowne’s mind, the neatly trimmed falling away, the order fragmenting, the artist’s vision emerging. See samples of Lansdowne’s work at tristramlansdowne.com and at Winchester Gallery in Oak Bay.

oak bay insider

Tales of Trial Island A land in the fog

Christopher Causton was mayor of Oak Bay for 15 years, and now works as a Harbour Ferries Captain. He is the founder and former 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.


here is accommodation on the Oak Bay waterfront, with the best view in the world, where you can live without paying any property taxes. The catch is that it can get lonely, and this sometimes-foggy outpost can be very cold and windy. Built in 1906, the same year the Municipality of Oak Bay was incorporated, Trial Island lighthouse stands as a witness to what can be a very “cruel sea.” Named “Trial” because the Navy used to run ships out of Esquimalt Harbour to the island on test runs, this navigational hazard has seen its share of disasters, characters, stories and controversies. March 22, 1895 was the night that the “Velos” foundered on Trial Island resulting in a terrible loss of life. The result of this disaster, however, was serious consideration of the need for a lighthouse on the island. Captain Smythe of the ship “Egeria” likely gave a personal recommendation — after his vessel ran aground on the island in thick fog. Harold O’Kell was the first Keeper

and Meredith Dickman is the current one with many “character” lighthouse keepers in between. O’Kell bought himself a cow in Oak Bay and then transferred it out to the Island, whilst another keeper, Ian McNeil, had a unique way of driving his children every day to attend Monterey School. If the island seems “so close but so far away,” the 300 feet that separates Kitty Islet from the Island (there are actually two) has allowed Trial to be an unique habitat for all kinds of plants and animals. Designated an ecological reserve by BC Parks, it has several very unusual plants, some of which are never seen this far north. And, of course, the island has never been grazed upon by deer, although there was a visit last year by a wolf, which decided to swim to the island and stay overnight. Tough to observe up close without a boat, there are still numerous places to see the island from the Oak Bay shore. My favourite viewing spot is at the foot of the public beach access off Radcliffe Lane. On a dark and stormy night, take a blanket, sit on the driftwood bench, and watch the waves pound the shore. Years ago, I was agog when I saw two Santas take a boat to the island to bring Christmas cheer to that isolated spot. Those two Transit Road St. Nicks . . . Pen Brown, a former lighthouse keeper who spent his honeymoon on Fiddle Reef, and John Hasell, an inveterate windsurfer, made the Keeper very happy that day. A wonderful memory when the wind blows, the rain falls and the fog is like pea soup. FALL 2013



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Animal Kingdom African safari is trip of a lifetime

By Jennifer Blyth Photos submitted

❝ We went until we dropped and every day was a unique experience; we saw something different every single day. michael gallagher

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ichael Gallagher estimates there are about 3,000 photos tucked into print and digital photo albums from his and wife Pamela’s 2010 Tanzanian safari. And even that’s just a fraction of the memories the two brought back from the trip of a lifetime. While the couple has travelled considerably in the past, they hadn’t considered a safari adventure. But when options of Cuba and Italy didn’t seem to strike the right chord, a chance suggestion of Africa caught their attention. “We said we wanted to do something culturally different and exciting,” Pamela says. The seed of the idea was planted and after speaking with Athlone Travel’s safari expert, Jane Purdie: “We were hooked,” Michael says. Travelling in a small group of about a dozen people, with Jane leading the tour, Michael and Pamela spent 10 days in Tanzania. Like most safari travellers, the Oak Bay couple was on the lookout for the “Big Five” — lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and the cape buffalo, in addition to the many other species living in the west

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African country. Much time was spent on the vast Serengeti, with spectacular side trips to places such as the Ngorongoro Crater, the remnants of a former volcano and home to 25,000 animals. Converted Toyota trucks transported small groups between locations, with guides always on the lookout for animals. While the country itself is very safe, and the guides experienced, visitors heeded the caution not to step outside the vehicles when animals were in the vicinity — the most disinterested lion would sense dinner if tempted with an easy target. “You cannot set foot on the ground — that’s the absolute rule,” Michael says, recalling an instance when a truck in their group needed mechanical help, and the two guides arranged the vehicles so they could make the repairs without stepping on the ground. Reliving the trip through their favourite photos — Michael’s of the many animals seen, Pamela’s of the people met and the vast herds of animals mingling together — the journey’s profound impact is evident. Rather than seeing one or two animals in a zoo setting, for example, watching them interact with each other, in their home environment is remarkable. While Pamela was happy not to see a “kill,” they did see the results of one witnessed by an earlier group, the bones picked clean, first by the lions that brought it down, then by the hyenas, vultures, and smaller animals that followed, all along the carnivorous food chain. Not everything was about the animals, though. The couple


enjoyed the opportunity to stop at an orphanage and school to visit and drop off supplies for the children, and to experience the culture of the Masai warriors, whose simple, semi-nomadic lifestyle has remained much unchanged. “Their life is extremely simple because of necessity. Their homes are small — a cooking area and maybe one or two sleeping areas; everything else is done outside,” Michael notes. Inside a stockade-type perimetre topped with large thorns to keep the lions out are their small huts. Because the cooking area is an open fire on the ground, many of the women have vision problems brought on by smoke. As the safari wound its way around the Serengeti, the travellers were hosted every night or two in new accommodations — “tents” often in name, but much more luxurious. Roomy, clean spaces, large, comfortable beds and balconies to enjoy the breathtaking sunrises made it easy to relax and contemplate the day’s experiences and prepare for the journey to come. Mosquito nets protected them from bugs while they slept, though in reality they saw few bugs and no spiders, snakes or similar creatures. Before leaving home, however, a visit to their doctor and the Travel Clinic secured inoculations against malaria, hepatitis A & B, and a variety of other potential diseases. Outside, Masai warriors patrolled the perimeter at night to prevent animals from strolling into camp; one camp was even built on stilts to keep the hippos at bay. Packing light to accommodate the trucks’ limited space, each visitor brought only a few changes of wash-and-wear, earth-toned clothing (reds and blues can attract

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At right: Pamela with Masai warrior. Previous page: Lioness by truck.

animals, Michael notes), making it easy to shake off the day’s dust. Meals, which ranged from locally influenced offerings, such as lamb and curries, to Western items like pastas and salads, were taken in the main tent, which also had facilities to charge cameras, computers and phones. Both Michael and Pamela, a vegetarian, enjoyed the ample food selections, not to mention the huge box lunches for long days on the road. Days were full and began early — sometimes as early as 6 a.m. — to take advantage of the coolest temperatures when the animals are more active. “We went until we dropped and every day was a unique experience; we saw something different every single day,” Michael says. Knowledgeable guides made the trip even more rewarding, he says, recalling the time rhinoceroses — notoriously difficult to find because of their low numbers — were spotted in the distance. “Our driver knew their characteristics well enough that he knew where they would stop. The mother and baby rhino walked right in front of us.”

For Pamela, seeing the large herds of different animals was unbeatable. “They’re huge and when you see a herd and they’re all interacting, you hear the sounds and see the movement . . . It was the most amazing trip — the trip of a lifetime.” Taking that step outside their “comfort zone” to Africa also opened the couple to other possibilities they hadn’t considered, including a recent trip to Turkey and their next adventure: India and Nepal. So far, though, nothing has topped Tanzania. “Turkey was pretty remarkable, but the ruins don’t compare to the animals,” Michael says.


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for grandmothers

Three Oak Bay seniors aiding the cause By Angela Cowan Photo by Don Denton


hrough personal fundraising, charity dinners and an annual cycle tour, three of Oak Bay’s grandmothers — Elizabeth Rutherford, Sally McQuarrie and Frances Quetton — are all doing their part for Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, an organization started in 2006 to support the efforts of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. An entire generation in Africa has been largely wiped out by AIDS, leaving millions of children orphaned. With no one else to raise them, the continent’s grandmothers have stepped forward with open arms and I have six hearts. Canada’s Stephen Lewis Foundation grandchildren . . . and fundraises for these women, providing micro financing to help them establish what they we live in a place with need in their own communities. Through the foundation, African grandrunning water and mothers have the opportunity to spearhead electricity, and we all projects for things most essential in their know where our next areas, from daycare centres to clean water initiatives and beyond. Their proposals are meal comes from. sent to community boards and ultimately to frances quetton the Stephen Lewis Foundation for funding, so that instead of receiving an inconsistent assortment of donated materials, they’re getting what they really need. Oak Bay’s Elizabeth Rutherford has admired Stephen Lewis since he was a young man, and leapt at the chance to support his foundation and help these grandmothers. Although she is one of the founders of the VG4A, Elizabeth is quick to downplay her own involvement in its beginning stages. “[My friend] Carol Judd was going to listen to Stephen [Lewis] speak about his foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, and called to ask me if I thought we could get a local grandmothers group going. All I really did was say ‘yes,’” she says.



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Her own contributions went far beyond a simple assent, however. After holding the inaugural meeting of grannies in Oak Bay, Elizabeth spearheaded some of the initial fundraising efforts. She edited VG4A’s community cookbook, confident it would raise money for the cause. (It’s raised nearly $8,000 since then.) She’s opened her home countless times for meetings, was in the support vehicle for the first cycle tour, and hand crafts truffles for fundraising markets and bake sales. Elizabeth also transformed her 90th birthday celebration this past June into a benefit affair. Held at the Oak Bay United Church Hall, she encouraged friends and family to donate in lieu of bringing gifts, and raised over $1,700 for the cause. Aside from individual donations, the VG4A relies on two major fundraisers: the bi-annual African dinner, and the yearly cycle tour. Sally McQuarrie and Frances Quetton both came to be involved through the latter. A resident of Oak Bay for the past 26 years, Sally was one of the supporters at the finish line last year, cheering on her sister-in-law. She was blown away by the riders and decided to sign up, despite having never ridden long-distance in her life. Sally, who celebrated her 70th birthday this year, started training with the team in April, and was again amazed at the support she received. “When you’re with the group, you get so much encouragement and support. It carries you along like a wave. No one gets left behind.” She laughs remembering those early days on the road. “In the beginning I could barely keep up. I only just learned how to use the gears last year!” For lifelong cyclist Frances, 82, the bike ride is the reward for the fundraising. The route is approximately 275 kilometres long, and takes the riders from Campbell River to Victoria over three days. Travelling through scenic valleys and back roads as well as the highway, the views are breathtaking. Though not a full-fledged member of the VG4A, Frances has supported the organization several years’ running by taking part in the cycle tour. She says the idea of aging grandmothers in Africa having to take in all their orphaned grandchildren, and in many cases the village’s orphans, seemed unbearable.

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Seen here, from left, are: Frances Quetton, Elizabeth Rutherford and Sally McQuarrie.

“I have six grandchildren . . . and we live in a place with running water and electricity, and we all know where our next meal comes from. Of course you would do it, but [the idea of it] just appalled me,” she says. Having a way to help, even from a world away, lends a glimmer of hope to the dark situation. “This is a wonderful organization to support.” The Victoria Grandmothers for Africa have made a tremendous difference in the lives of the aging African women they support, raising over $625,000 since its inception in 2006. But the benefit doesn’t all go across the ocean. All three women say being involved with the VG4A has enriched their lives and brought a sense of purpose and belonging with this new community of Island grandmothers. Elizabeth especially credits VG4A with her longevity and spark for life. “It really renewed my life. I wasn’t really involved in the things I was doing . . . I was a widow by then,” she says, the gratitude etched on her face as she speaks. “I probably wouldn’t have had a 90th birthday if it wasn’t for the grandmothers.” For more information on the VG4A, visit www.victoriagrandmothersforafrica.ca.

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Tweed editor Susan Lundy chats with Meribeth Burton at Pure Vanilla Bakery and Cafe.

Meribeth Burton Claim to fame: BC Transit spokesperson and former reporter and CHEK TV news anchor. How long living in Oak Bay? I was born and raised in Sudbury. I have lived in the Victoria area since 1993. Bucket list? University for the first time (recently accepted at Royal Roads). Plus I am writing a pretty trashy novel. I hope to finish it. And I have a web series that is percolating.

What brought you to Oak Bay, and how long have you lived here? I went to a house party in Oak Bay in 1994 around the Commonwealth Games. The homeowner is a brilliant CHEK news videographer named Joni. He and his wife have two beautiful girls and lived on Townley St. I was a young woman and happily living downtown, but thought if I ever grew up, I would chose that Oak Bay neighbourhood to raise a family. I got lucky. Now my girls and I live in that Oak Bay neighbourhood. I like it more than my younger self could ever imagine. What is your passion? I would describe myself as a passionate person, so narrowing it down to a single passion is impossible. My daughters Kennedy and Sheridan are the very best and brightest people I will ever know. I love my job at BC Transit. I loved being a reporter and news anchor, but was ready for a challenge when my 23 years on television news came to an end. I love dancing, walking, bubbly drinks and bubbly baths and sharing a laugh with friends. Can you give us the highlights of your various jobs/career path? I have helped people who really needed an advocate. I was lucky enough to have jobs that allowed me to be that conduit for people who were denied health care or required financial assistance. I have been to Africa with the World Partnership Walk, to Hawaii with the Canadian Navy, flown with the Snowbirds, and interviewed amazing people both celebrities and

community leaders. As I head into the second half of my life, I am grateful to find a place at BC Transit where my head and my heart finds rewarding work; and a generous leadership team who encourages my professional growth. What’s the best thing about your chosen paths? Everything about the paths that I have either chosen and were forced upon me has led me to a place of excitement and happiness. One of my best friends, Naz Rayani, has an expression from his faith “inshallah.” It means as God wills it or as it should be. I have found when you let go and accept changes around you, you are getting closer to a place of contentment. What do you see as your greatest accomplishment? My healthy, intelligent, funny children are a blessing and I am thankful whenever I get to spend time with them. They are both well-spoken, charming and funny, just like my Mom. My greatest work accomplishment may have been helping Shira Fisher. Shira’s parents were told she would not live to see her second birthday. Shira has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she will never walk or even swallow on her own. What Shira does have is loving, intelligent and passionate parents who were unwavering in their determination to get their daughter life-saving medical equipment. I was working at A-Channel and through the magic of TV News not only did Shira get the equipment she deserved in 2005, today she is eight years old and thriving. FALL 2013




Love my dog! Photos by sharon tiffin and DOn denton



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Dogs [dawgs, dogs] 1. The best friend of men, women and children, bred in many sizes and shapes. The Avenue [thuh avuh-nyoo, -noo] 1. A popular destination for those seeking funky eateries, awesome art galleries and trendy stores in Oak Bay.

10 classes for only $39 Call Brenda 250-598-0830

Henderson, Oak Bay and Monterey Rec. Centres For new customers only. Expires November 30, 2013 real Results



It’s been said, “This is the world’s best hummingbird feeder.” New high perch for unobstructed bird viewing • High Perch™ - for Unobstructed View of Birds • Ant-Moat - Blocks Crawling Insects • Lifetime Guarantee • 8 oz and 12 oz Capacity • Made in U.S.A. HIGH PERCH™ • Four Feeding Ports • Easy to Clean • Bee and Wasp Free

hummingbird 250-595-3595


3631 Shelbourne Plaza


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: lundys@shaw.ca

Seen here, previous page and clockwise from left, are: Olive, a year- andhalf-old Portugese Water dog; Maggie, a three and a half-year-old Wheaten Terrier cross; Kona, a five-year-old Labrador and Border Collie cross; and Dyson, a two-yearold Standard Poodle. Above, is Hadley, a fivemonth-old Spaniel; and, at right, is Bonnie, a twoyear-old Cairn Terrier.


Now that summer is coming to an end... time to put away the shades and come in for a nice bath, some dinner and treats for dessert. Full Grooming Services All Natural Foods & Treats Collars & Leashes Specialty Beds & Carriers

2041 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria B.C. 250-590-2822

barkpetboutique.com FALL 2013




HERE&THERE: What your dollar will buy around the world 2013 Oak Bay home listed for $1,495,000 Cdn Features: Natural materials, innovative design and attractive landscaping bring a modern, West Coast aesthetic to Oak Bay in this new, five-bedroom, four-bath house from the award-winning Method Built Homes. With 3,265 square feet of living space on a 9,000-square-foot lot, the house boasts a luxurious master suite and beautiful kitchen, plus a great room with 14-foot ceilings and expansive windows for ample natural light. Outside, the private, professionally landscaped lot, including a sunken patio and fireplace, is ideal for relaxing. And with a two-bedroom guest wing, there’s always room for friends and family! Source: MLS Listings/www.realtor.ca

NEW ORLEANS, USA Listed for $1,435,000 ($1,508,902 CDN) Features: Find location, luxury and privacy in this 1870s-built, 3,750-square-foot estate home in historic New Orleans, Louisiana. Soaring 14’ ceilings, Victorian moldings and mill work, hardwood floors and updated kitchen shine inside this five-bedroom, six-bath home, while the exterior boasts a pool and hot tub, outdoor kitchen and cabana bathroom. Source: www.realestate.nola.com syros, greece Listed for 850,000 euros ($1,196,885 CDN) Features: Purchasing this home on the Greek Island of Syros, you’d have about 200,000 Euros left for updates or remodelling to an already stunning 2007 Cycladic villa just 300 metres from the sea, shops and taverns. A cultural and commercial centre, Syros is accessible to Athens by plane, ferry or highspeed boat. Enjoy dominating sea views, a swimming-pool, terraces and a large, beautifully landscaped property, alongside this three-bedroom, three-bath home with lounge and reception areas, large kitchen, dining area and separate guest accommodation. Source: www.hellenic-realty.com





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Dianne McKerrell Oliver Sommer, Director, Advertising Sales for Black Press Victoria is pleased to announce the appointment of Dianne McKerrell as Advertising Consultant for Oak Bay News and Tweed Magazine. Previously the Moderation Team Lead at UsedEverywhere.com, a subsidiary of Black Press, Dianne’s new role will bring her back to the community newspapers. She will be working with Oak Bay businesses to tailor marketing and advertising programs to suit their unique needs in both print and digital platforms. Dianne joined Black Press in 2012 as the Marketing Coordinator after completing her BBA Marketing Communication Management. A long time Oak Bay resident, Dianne brings a passion for the community, knowledge of the people and events that make Oak Bay special, and experience in the local market. In addition to her professional achievements, Dianne has recently completed the Leadership Victoria program and has volunteered with a number of community groups including; Victoria Conservatory of Music, SALTS Sail and Life Training Society as well as The Victoria Foundation. Black Press is Canada’s largest independent newspaper group with more that 150 community, daily and urban papers located in BC, Alberta, Washington State, Hawaii and Ohio.


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Meet our Advertisers 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 41

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 18


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


Trudi and Kay are the partners of BROWN HENDERSON MELBYE where the focus is family law. Together they have over 50 years experience resolving family law matters. See ad on page 23



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 49

works of art, the Gallery has the largest public collection in BC and is a vibrant and active part of Victoria’s arts community. See ad on page 41

premier re-upholstery, slipcover and draperies provider for nearly 40 years. Family owned and operated. See ad on page 6

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 12

With her doctorate in audiology and 17 years’ experience, Dr. Wright is well suited to improve your hearing, even in the most difficult listening situations. See ad on Page 27



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 37

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 28



Chef Keenliside invites you to enjoy the fresh tastes of the West Coast in a spectacular oceanfront setting. See ad on page 51

Like you, I live, work, and play in dynamic Oak Bay. Allow me to help you express your personal style. See ad on page 9





red art gallery is the fun,

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 43

small and unpretentious gallery where colour rules! Featuring contemporary, original art from award winning Canadian artists. Owners Bobb and Marion will help you find a work that will rejuvenate your living space. See ad on page 38

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 49

Swan, has designed, staged and renovated homes for the past 25 years. Combining her staging business, interior design consultation, with original art and funky furnishings for sale; ASGARD is a unique new store on the Avenue. See ad on page 16



Originally from Calgary, Franchisee Richard Searle has been a proud Victorian resident since 2006. Stop on by the store and discover a vast array of mouth-watering foods to fill your fridge and freezer. See ad on page 28 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


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 45


one direct volunteer support to individuals of all ages in Oak Bay. Drives, visits, repairs, etc. See ad on page 45

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 13

Oak Bay residents, Scott Elias and Darren Ausmus, are the proud owners of Luxe Home Interiors – where Victoria shops for quality custom home furnishings. See ad on page 2


for 25 years. Family owned and operated offering Premium appliances backed with unparalleled service. See ad on page 46


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been providing eye exams, glasses and contact lenses to the whole family for over twenty years. See ad on page 6

Celebrating 50 years in the community! See ad on page 56

“Our award-winning home support services are customized to fit your needs at any time.” See ad on page 3

Meet our Advertisers SCIENCE WORKS


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 31


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 46



CARLTON HOUSE OF OAK BAY satisfies expectations for



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 29


Island raises funds to support the health and well-being of children and youth on the Islands. See ad on page 23

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

has been serving Oak Bay for over 25 years. Ian Catchpole and Gerry Illmayer have over 35 years combined experience and are pleased to have joined Lisa, Pam and Terri at the clinic. See ad on page 34

a physically-attractive, wellmaintained and secure retirement residence, while fostering a supportive community of enjoyment, camaraderie and pride. See ad on page 6

owned 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

CHERYL’S GOURMET PANTRY TIGH-NA-MARA is your perfect choice for intimate gatherings or large celebrations.Call now and let the memories begin. See ad on page 43

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 29


An Ophthalmologist & Oculoplastic surgeon, specializes in eyelid & cataract surgery. Dionne, a Medical Scientist, assists him in the facial rejuvenation. See ad on page 7



BILL MURPHY-DYSON, family lawyer, mediator, and arbitrator at COX, TAYLOR, Chair of the Oak Tea Party since 1998. See ad on FINISHBay LIKE AN EXPERT page 46

Learn how to use electronic equipment in the comfort of your home. We provide custom tutorials for individuals or groups. GREEN LIGHT LOGIC... making sense of technology with you. See ad on page 35

DERMA SPA Providing a full



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

PURE INTEGRATIVE PHARMACY, blending traditional

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 45

Is your kitchen the heart of your home? At THOMAS AND BIRCH we can help you realize your dreams. Locally owned and operated we will listen to your needs, consult, design and install so you can capture exactly what you want. Call today for a consultation. See ad on page 16


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 15




McLeod for the ultimate travel experience in cruises and so much more. 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 29

like an expert with top quality products, competitive pricing and over 60 years of expertise in home finishing. See ad on page 50


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 49

pharmacy with complementary remedies to create YOUR HUB OF HEALTH. Come visit us at the corner of Fort & Foul Bay. See ad on page 18

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 9

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 17

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 33

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 35

To feature your business in the next edition of TWEED contact: Oliver Sommer Director, Advertising Sales

250-480-3274 | osommer@blackpress.ca FALL 2013



Photo by Carol McDougall

Parting Shot

A visual haven for artists


his lovely photograph was submitted to Tweed’s Parting Shot section by Carol McDougall, who photographed it one day after visiting her mother at Oak Bay Lodge. Here’s what she had to say about it: “The waterfront in Oak Bay is so inspiring. Yesterday morning, July 19, about 20 artists from Coast Collective www.coastcollective.ca (an artists’ cooperative) gathered for a session of plein air art. Each artist was painting a different subject, using different medians from a variety of vantages around Oak Bay Marina. They were a very friendly group who gave permission for photos and talked about their painting process. Imagine yourself painting here.” Oak Bay is home to numerous artists and art groups, including the long-standing Oak Bay Art Club. “Parting Shot” is a special photographic feature that runs in 54


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each edition of 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 for publication. 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/or who? Please ensure the resolution is high enough for publication. And don’t forget — this is all about Oak Bay. Submissions should express something about this vibrant and beautiful community. Please email your submissions to editor Susan Lundy at lundys@ shaw.ca.

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COMMUNITY SPIRIT od o F Ove ng r ti 50 d a Y ears o r of Go b e C el One of the few true independents left, Pepper’s is committed to sourcing local products and carries extensive lines from local business up and down the island. We have an in-house butcher, the freshest produce and a full service deli. Big store selection, intimate setting all at affordable pricing. Visit us today and see the difference local makes!

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Hours Mon-Fri: 8 am–9 pm, Sat: 8 am–7:30 pm, Sun: 8 am–7:30 pm

Quality & Service Guaranteed – 100% Victoria Owned

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