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spRING 2014

SANCtuARy fOR All SeASONS transitioning between indoors and outdoors

COmOX ◗ COuRteNAy ◗ CumBeRlANd

JeNN fORSlANd teaching the world to sing with a passion for music that touches all ages.

lOuISe ReyNOldS Join us as we reminisce with a fascinating woman whose life is rich in adventure.

homes ◗ garDens ◗ Travel ◗ arT ◗ CulTure ◗ real esTaTe ◗ healTh ◗ fooD


Choosing Chris and Errol Flynn proved to be the Best Real Estate Investment ever for these happy home owners.

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So nice

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We offer Independent Living, Assisted Living and Residential Care.

For a personal tour please call Leah 250.331.4365 Info@comoxvalleyseniorsvillage.com 4646 Headquarters Road, Courtenay

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Oh Spa HPV Peter

Publisher Editor Features Editor Writers/Photographers

Zena Williams Mark Allan Jennifer Cox Renee Andor Earle Couper Erin Haluschak

Creative Director of Sales Advertising

Jacoba Primrose

Cover Photo by:

Karen McKinnon

Joanna Ross Peter Diespecker Donna Lafontaine Tracey Lawrence Liz Royer

Trio is the Comox Valley’s leading lifestyle magazine. To advertise or learn more about advertising opportunities please send us an email at sales@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Mailing Address:

765 McPhee Ave, Courtenay, B.C., V9N 2Z7 1-250-338-5811

Trio is produced by:

Your community. Your newspaper. a division of www.comoxvalleyrecord.com Trio magazine is published quarterly by Black Press. The points of view or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necesssarily reflect the views of the publisher of Trio. The contents of Trio magazine are protected by copyright, including the designed advertising. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent of the publisher.


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◗ C O m OX ◗ C O u R t e N Ay ◗ CumBeRlANd

inside

spring 2014 volume 1 issue 3

F E at U R E S

10 Cover Story

Jenn Forsland has big dreams: to teach the world to sing. Whether working with young or old, her goal is to inspire students to be comfortable sharing their voice.

12

A Sanctuary for all Seasons

An East Courtenay sunroom is transformed into a sanctuary that transitions beautifully between indoors and outdoors.

16 Duchess of Dirt

42

Reminiscing with Louise

94-year old Berwick resident, Louise Reynolds is a writer, a world traveller and a dedicated wife and mother. Her story is a legacy to future generations.

What do you need to do to attract bees to your garden?

18

Backyard Beekeeping

Pauline Thompson and Robert Eberle have created a haven for honey bees in the garden sanctuary of their Comox home.

to 30 Yucatan Guatemala To avoid 'vanilla tourism' a Comox Valley couple visited Guatemala.

36

2014 Mini World Cup

The biggest little soccer tournament on the Island is returning. 6

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42 16

18 12

36

30


Kevin Reid

CONtRIButORS

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kAReN mCkINNON Karen is a well applauded local photographer, who is driven by the beauty of connection and continually fascinating qualities of light. She can be found at www. mckinnonphotography.com

lISA GRAhAm Lisa Graham's love for photography sparked while scuba diving off the coast of Cozumel. Much of her work involves water. Lisa lives near a beach in Comox.

Kevin makes every one of his client’s real estate experiences both remarkable and personal • Committed to the highest quality service possible • Background in business • Comox Valley resident of 40 years Q UA L I T Y

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leSlIe COX

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Leslie loves to share her gardening experiences through her writing and is especially thrilled to be teaching local schoolchildren all about gardening. Visit her website at www.duchessofdirt.ca.

Featured Home Builder

dAVId ANdeRSON David and Mary Anderson are 'adventure' travellers, exploring different parts of our world in a variety of contexts. The Comox Valley has been their home since 2010.

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I was impressed with Renee Andor’s wall climbing adventures (page 39). She admits it was scarier than expected but she didn’t let fear get in the way of a good time. She plans to try again- overcoming her fears one upward step at a time.

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his issue of Trio has me itching to get out on an adventure but adventures usually get me in trouble! (I still remember the time I took my kids hiking and didn’t realize until we returned to the car that I left my keys on a rock near the top of our climb. It was harder to convince them to go hiking with me after that!)

For Allison, the hardest part of living abroad is being separated from family- an experience Louise Reynolds knows well. The 94-year old Berwick resident (page 42) experienced the joys and challenges of world travel over thirty-five years following her husband’s career as a diplomat.

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I’m sure there were some precarious moments for Mary and David Anderson as the retired couple adventured through Guatemala and Mexico (page 30), and I’m inspired by the ambition of Gabriela Haydeé Moreno Corral. She shared her experience as an international student at North Island College, while Allison Jeffrey told us what it was like studying in London, England (page 34).

I don’t have any grand travel plans this year but the Comox Valley continues to astound me with the diversity of adventures in our own backyard. As I researched this issue I discovered the joys of glass-fusing (page 27), the wonders of beekeeping (page 18), inspiration for an all season sunroom (page 12), and had a dynamic conversation with Jenn Forsland (page 10), whose firm belief in the importance of each persons unique musical voice is truly inspiring. This issue of Trio is an amalgamation of voices from across the community but if you are inspired to head out on adventure- take one word of advice from me: keep your keys in your pocket.

Features Editor | Comox Valley Record 399 Clubhouse Drive, Courtenay, BC V9N 9G3 | 250-703-5054 8

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Jenn Forsland

Teaching the world to sing

T

Jenn Forsland has a passion for music that touches all ages. Asked to describe her role as a music teacher she exclaims that her days are filled with play. “We literally sing, dance and play instruments all day long,” she says.

Forsland is a popular musician who performs at multiple venues throughout the year but if you asked her what she is most proud of she would say, hands down - her students. She divides her teaching time between Brooklyn Elementary and Vanier Secondary School. As Musical Director for the Celebration Singers Community Choir and a member of the female cappella jazz quartet Swing Set it is not a stretch to say that in any given day she is shaping the voices of five to 85 year olds. “I really have always known that this is my contribution to making the world a better place,” she says when asked about her passion for music education. By connecting with students and giving them a voice in choosing the repertoire Forsland has seen amazing results. In her first year at Vanier there were only eight students in the choir. Over four years she has expanded it to over 80 students and it continues to grow. Their technical skill is so strong they have been invited to perform alongside 10,000 of Canada’s finest musicians at the Nationals-MusicFest Canada. Seeing this level of growth in a few short years is exciting. One of Forsland’s favourite singers is Holly Cole. Last year, she created an opportunity for her high school choir to perform with the popular jazz artist. “It was electric!” she says. “ If I could have floated off stage with those kids I would have. They were just buzzing- it was a super powerful experience!” It is not uncommon for Forsland to bring in guest musicians to perform with her students. Roots musician Luke Guthrie has worked with her on many occasions and is always impressed with her ability to bring out the best in others. “She has a way of demanding respect without demanding it,” says Guthrie. “That’s the difference with Jenn. Her students really care about her. She is upbeat and friendly but goal oriented!”

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Though she always had a passion for music it wasn’t until joining choir in grade 11 that she found her calling. “I had a very dynamic director who was very inspiring,” says Forsland, noting that though she learned a lot she doesn’t model her teaching style after her. “It was a complex thing working with her because she was both terrifying and inspiring!” She had always imagined herself teaching high school so when she landed a job as an elementary music teacher she felt out of her element. Like many times in her life she quickly realized that she was exactly where she needed to be. “Highschool programs don’t exist unless the kids have it built in to them,” she says on the importance of instilling music in elementary aged students. “Music is in all of us,” she says. “It’s just finding the right way to unlock it.” On her hopes for her future, Forsland laughs and exclaims that her five-year plan is not to have a plan! It is such a gift to live in the moment and enjoy today. But she does have a dream. Her taste in music is eclectic; roots, funk, soul, bluegrass, rock and musical theatre, but one of her passions is world music. “I teach a lot of world music and would like to go to those places and be inspired and then bring that back to the valley,” she says breaking into song. “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony!” Her eyes sparkle as she imagines what it would be like to work with diverse cultures, bonded by a communal love of music- a universal language of song. “That’s my mandate,” she says. "To teach the world to sing. To travel the world and let them teach me while I teach them.” by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record

JeNN fORSlANd

Whether working with young or old her goal is to create an environment where people are comfortable to share their voice.

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sunroom to integrate with the landscape, balancing budget with quality of materials to create a sleek contemporary look. As the sunroom took shape, she contracted a concrete artisan to build a rock sculpture planter box at the base of the patio. It looks like rock but in fact is designed with concrete. Adding this landscaping feature balanced the design. Building a hybrid timber post and beam sunroom was a challenging project for Pearce but seeing the design come together was a gratifying experience. “From beginning to end this project took well over a year,” she says explaining that it was a complicated project because it combined the natural craftsmanship of clear red cedar with the sturdy construction of steel beams. Each cedar post was designed with a specific slope to fit the steel precisely. Speaking of slope- with any home addition it is important to tie into the existing roof structure. The home has what’s called a hip roof, with four sloping sides braced by hip rafters. She specified steel I-beams framed

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in cedar to allow for the sunroom to be built with a lower profile in line with the slope of the roof. She also added a steel t-connection for sheer strength while maintaining a clean, modern look, intentionally leaving some bolts showing for character. “Don’t hide the structural components if they look cool,” she says. Pearce has a few tips for anyone considering a sunroom for their home: Insulate the roof and walls and install low-e glass windows and large skylights to create a space that is cool in summer and cozy on a winter’s day.

This East Courtenay sunroom has 60” x 42” tilt and turn windows that open fully for maximum breeze on a hot summer day and a heated floor that provides warmth in winter. Pearce stresses the importance of using interior paint. Exterior paint is toxic when used indoors. Pearce was 25 when she entered the North Island College drafting program and began her career as a design/build contractor in 2010. She approached architects, designers and builders asking questions and researching career options until she found her niche.

“It just goes to show that if you’re driven to accomplish a goal, you can do it!” she says. “Its fun to get on site and solve problems, and gain respect on the job letting my work speak for itself!” For Pearce, every element has a reason and a purpose, balanced according to the rest of the design. “The reason this project was a success is because I was able to talk to the builders myself - coordinating the project from start to finish,” says Pearce. “This is what I like most about what I do!”

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ex is everything. Especially in the garden. Without sex there are no fruits, no vegetables, no flowers. And since very few flowers are self-pollinating, it takes a third party to come in and assist in making the sex act happen for each flower on every plant.

Mostly, it is the native bees, honey bees, some wasps, numerous butterflies, moths and the hummingbirds who are the third party. Sometimes us humans help out; sometimes it is the wind who spreads the pollen grains around. By far, the most industrious are the various insects and hummers. These are who we want to attract to our garden because, most assuredly, we want the sex to happen. In all honesty, if you plant flowering species in your garden, the pollinators will come. Flowers are very good at sending out the right signals to attract the right pollinator. The key is to coordinate your garden design so there are flowers in bloom from early spring through to late fall.

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To this end, it would help if the gardener understood some of the science behind the sexual attraction the different plants exhibit. Called "pollinator syndrome," it describes an animal's preference for a particular flower shape, colour, or scent. Some understanding of this phenomenon helps us predict which flowers will attract which pollinators. For instance, it is well known hummingbirds gravitate towards red-, pink- and orangecoloured flowers. And they prefer tubularshaped ones such as honeysuckle, crocosmia, Buddleja ssp. and Phygelia spp. But did you know bees and butterflies can only see green, blue and ultraviolet? If you do spot them on a red flower, it is because of their ability to see in the ultraviolet range which allows them to pick

out the alluring patterns on red flower petals invisible to us. Flower shape divides the bees from the butterfly pollinators in many instances. Butterflies gravitate to flowers with short nectar tubes such as the multiple flowers on delphiniums and campanulas. They are also attracted to umbellifer-type flowers. Fennel and Queen Anne's lace are good examples of this type. Bees ... honey bees, bumble bees and native bees ... are also attracted to flowers with short nectar tubes but gravitate more to bellshaped ones such as those on foxgloves, bear's breeches and monkshood. With their strong legs, bees are able to push their way inside to reach the nectar ensuring they are wellcoated in pollen for their trouble.

Bees are also attracted to flowers in the Asteraceae family. These include calendula, asters, goldenrod, sunflowers and many, many others. Flowers in this group are heavy nectar producers. And there is the tradeoff. Butterflies and bees will collect nectar and some pollen grains as a food source for themselves and/or the hive. During the process of collecting these items, they cannot help but spread pollen from one flower to the next, fertilizing them and thus completing the necessary sexual cycle towards producing fruit. How lucky we are to also be beneficiaries to this symbiotic relationship between plants and pollinators. For without these industrious little creatures, we would not be so well fed.

Leslie Cox co-owns Growing Concern Cottage Garden in Black Creek. Her website is at www.duchessofdirt.ca and her column appears every second Thursday in the Record.

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stroll through Pauline Thompson and Robert Eberle’s Comox property welcomes you to a garden sanctuary that is a haven for honey bees. Well-loved patches of plants provide nourishment as honey bees buzz from flower to flower foraging for nectar and pollen.

A range of blooming flowers, trees and shrubs provide opportunity for bees to pollinate throughout the season. Blueberry and blackberry bushes, providing sustenance on a variety of levels, surround the yard. Because there is a very small flower on some blueberry plants it can be difficult for honey bees to pollinate. The bumble bee is able to vibrate the pollen out but it takes more effort for a honey bee to stick its front legs into the narrow flower in order to retrieve the pollen. Honey bees prefer plants of European origin, and it is interesting to note that they have favourite colours- finding blues, purples and violets most attractive.

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Eberle points out that honey bees are smart enough to always put the same pollen in a matching cell in their hive, making it possible to match the honey produced to the plants they have pollinated. He points to the popular maple pollen as an example. “If you watch the pollen baskets that are coming in with just maple and if you pull the frames when the colour changes you will have maple honey,” he explains.


Because honey bees originated in Europe, they gravitate towards European plants such as lavender and thyme. These delightful herbs make excellent ground cover and add a wonderful flavor to the honey. Perennial geraniums are another favouriteespecially the lovely pink cranesbill. “They love it and it grows like crazy,” says Thompson. She points to crab apple, pear, cherry and hazel trees. “When it comes to your garden you shouldn’t forget that your trees are a terrific source of pollen,” she says. “Linden trees are amazing. If you’ve ever been under a linden tree in bloom, it is just buzzing with bees!” Chives are another favourite, along with rosemary and catmint. “A lot of people have chives in their garden,” says Thompson. “I’ve started to make borders out of chives because they’ll flower several times during the year and bees love them!” Eberle and Thompson are continuously fascinated by their bees. “The bees themselves are interesting,” says Eberle. “Their social life in the hive is even more interesting. And the hives existence within the natural world just blows your mind!” “There is nothing like the smell of a healthy hive. It’s amazing!” says Thompson. According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture website, the first two hives of honey bees arrived in Victoria by ship in May, 1858. There are now over 2,300 beekeepers operating 47,000 colonies across BC. “Beekeeping leads you to think about all the connections- a third of what we eat is a result of pollination. You start to notice the plants in your garden and what’s in bloom and whether

fASt fACtS: ◗ A single worker bee produces up to a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime ◗ A honeybee can fly 24 km in an hour. Its wings beat 200 times per second. ◗ honeybees have 125 km of wing time and then the edges of their wings begin to fray. ◗ A queen bee can lay up to 1500 eggs a day

phoTography by shaWna eberle anD pauline Thompson

there’s pesticides,” says Thompson, pointing to further benefits of beekeeping such as wax, propolis, and honey. “…And the thrill of making your own queens,” she smiles. When Thompson and Eberle first started keeping bees they joined the Comox Valley Bee Club where they discovered a great place for mentorship and connection with other beekeepers. When their grandson comes to visit from downtown Toronto, where he lives, they are thrilled to introduce him to the wonders they experience caring for their hives.

They do not primarily keep bees to produce honey; rather it is the love of honey bees that motivates Thompson and Eberle to continue their small-scale beekeeping operation. The delicious wildflower honey that Thompson and Eberle produce is sold at the Filberg Gift Shop but they only produce a limited supply of honey each year, and it sells quickly. For anyone interested in learning more about small-scale beekeeping, members of the Comox Valley Bee Club are always happy to share their knowledge and experience. Visit their website at: http://www.comoxvalleybeeclub.com

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record

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fROm fARm tO tABle WIth

TANNADICE F A R M S M E AT S

K

phoTo by Karen mCKinnon

now your farmer. Know your food! This is the mantra of the local food movement that has been growing strong in the Comox Valley for a number of years.

Tannadice Farms is well known for its commitment to ethical and sustainable farming. Heather and Allen McWilliam have remained true to this value since they began farming in 1974.

For Chef Steve Dodd at Bisque Restaurant buying direct from local farmers is a matter of ensuring food value. Dodds has a hard time describing his menu in any one genre, but a theme that holds true in every dish is wholesome ingredients you can trust.

“We’re not trying to sell pork to everybody,” says Allen. “We do want to satisfy that group of people out there who want to know their food has been produced in a safe and sustainable way.”

“There are no fillers,” he says. “We serve good, clean, local food because my job is to make a meal that tastes really good. If you leave feeling full, but as if you could still have another bite I’ve done my job!” He points to Tannadice Farms bacon as an example of nourishing, high quality local product. There are no growth hormones or animal by-products in Tannadice pork. “The shrinkage isn’t there,” he says noting that mass-produced store bought bacon shrinks quite a bit when cooked. “With Tannadice bacon, the food value is there and the flavor is there!”

Serving the Comox Valley Since 1969

The original vision for Tannadice farms began with a herd of purebred Black Angus cattle. When it came time to register their herd, the McWilliams turned to an atlas – searching for a name that would reflect the couple’s Scottish roots as well as the Black Angus’s origins in the region of Angus, Scotland. When they discovered the village of Tannadice they felt that the name fit their farm perfectly. The cattle are still a component of the McWilliams farm but the focus of operations has changed over the past five to six years. Today they are primarily food producers, providing a variety of pork products, as well as a limited supply of beef and chicken to over 30 grocers and restaurants across Vancouver Island.

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Recipe Courtesy of Chef Steve Dodd, Bisque Restaurant

Tannadice Fettuccine Tasty hams, thick-cut bacon and a variety of delicious sausages are available direct from the farm, which is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and on any other day by appointment or by chance. Allen notes that there are between 600-700 pigs on the farm at any one time. Breeding, weaning and farrowing is a weekly activity as he works to ensure the availability of fresh pork throughout the year. “We try to breed three sows, farrow three sows, and wean three sows each week” explains Allen. “It’s very routine but gives you a product to market every week.” At Tannadice Farms, High Health pigs do not need antibiotics in their feed because they have been sheltered from common porcine diseases. Maintaining the high health standard is extremely important at Tannadice Farms. Meticulous cleaning of the barn, thorough record keeping, regular veterinary check-ups and diligence adhering to biosecurity guidelines help reduce the chance of disease. Tannadice pigs live in a well-lit barn. A cement floor helps maintain the cleanliness of the herd, but a thick layer of sawdust softens their step and provides entertainment for the intelligent, curious creatures. “Peoples attitude towards their food has changed,” says Allen as he reflects on over 40 years of farming. “They like to meet the person that raised the animals. It gives them confidence that their food is produced in a way that satisfies them.” Steve Dodd echoes this sentiment. “I like food,” he says explaining his passion for fresh, high quality ingredients. “Every plate should be a small presentation.” A favourite menu item during the annual Dine Around the Comox Valley event, which most recently took place from February 19 March 16, 2014, is a generous serving of Tannadice Fettuccine. This savory dish has lots of texture and is satisfying to the very last bite. by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record

Ingredients: 18 local clams 4 strips Tannadice Bacon 2 tannadice chorizo sausages 1 small onion, chopped fine 1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, chopped 18 Moroccan olives ¼ cup white wine ¼ cup whipping cream Fettuccine noodles salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: Precook fettuccine noodles (we use our own house pasta). Sautee clams, bacon and sausage. Drain extra fat. Add ½ of wine to deglaze pan. Add vegetables, stirring until cooked Add remaining wine and cream. Stir with salt and pepper to taste. Top with Asiago and extra-aged Parmesan cheese

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SPRING 2014 | T rio maga z in e

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Now much each


the ARt Of the

A

As a youth, Young Shin thought he might become an artist, but after spending a lifetime admiring his father he determined that he would follow his footsteps as a Sushi Man. Soon after graduating high school Shin began to dream of one day opening his own Japanese restaurant. This dream became reality when he discovered that his cousin by marriage, Ted So, shared his dream. The two joined forces to open Sushi Wara in September 2013, located at the Port Augusta Hotel on Comox Avenue.

WARA: COme heRe Wara is a word that Shin associates with the phrase “come here”- and according to Shin, customers are coming. The community response has been fantastic. “I didn’t expect it to be this busy,” he says. “I was planning that it would be slow in the beginning but it became busy right away.” As the main restaurant falls into place, plans are underway to create a sake bar in an adjacent room- the only one like it in the area. Complete with a karaoke machine this party room promises to make Sushi Wara a Comox Valley hotspot.

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BeCOmING A SuShI mAN: After studying culinary arts at George Brown College in Toronto, the desire to open his own business became stronger so Shin put

phoTography by Karen mCKinnon

aside academics to build work experience. He wanted to be a Sushi Man like his father. “I didn’t study about the sushi restaurant. I studied western food,” explained Shin of his experience at George Brown. After leaving college, Shin began working in a high-end sushi restaurant in Toronto, his desire to become a Sushi Man with his own kitchen never wavering. He found that the training he had received at George Brown helped define his own unique style, fusing western and eastern traditions. Shin has created many spectacular menu items such as sushi pizza and a variety of designer rolls. “Japanese food is very colourful,” he says. “In Western food there is a lot of cooking style. I always wanted to mix them together!” After moving to Vancouver, Shin discovered specialty rolls soaring in popularity, much more so than in Eastern Canada. This gave him the freedom to experiment with designing his own rolls. Anyone presented with one of Shin’s remarkable lobster rolls - topped with delicate strings of deep fried yam and surrounded by decorative swirls of special sauce - will quickly see Shin’s eye for design and passion to create food that is visually beautiful. His specialty rolls are extremely popular. “It is a very creative, artistic process,” he says. At age 27, he exhibits a keen eye for detail and acumen for business that his father can be proud of.


Everything Shin does, he attributes to his father. “My dad has helped me a lot. He is a smart guy,” Shin says. His father moved to Canada as a young man to open a successful restaurant chain in Toronto. “He liked to work with his hands and create rolls,” says Shin. “I think that is where I got my talent. There are over a dozen specialty rolls on the Sushi Wara menu. One of Shin’s favourites is the Burning Volcano roll, which is as spicy as the name promises. The Awesome roll contains the same basic ingredients as the popular California roll, but it is presented in a manner that defies comparison with a burst of tempura flaring from the centre and a delicate sauce drizzled decoratively across a layer of colourful yams. After being presented with this delicious masterpiece, one thing is clear-Young Shin truly is an artist.

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advertising feature

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ANADA’S RENO REBATE INC. continues to spread the word about government rebates for new-home purchases, owner-built homes and substantial renovations to existing homes during the tenure of the HST throughout the province. Happy clients are receiving up to $42,500, which is the upper limit a homeowner can receive for a project. Together with the Ontario-based company Rebate4U, Canada’s Reno Rebate Inc. has already helped homeowners apply for rebates totaling over $8 million. “There is a misconception that if your home is worth more than $450,000, you are not entitled to any government rebates, but this is just not true — you are entitled to a portion of the PST embedded within the HST,” says Sean Leitenberg, manager of the Victoria office of Canada’s Reno Rebate Inc. “‘Do I qualify?’ has to be the most frequently-asked question my staff get,” says Sean. “Each renovation or new build is not exactly the same, so we have to determine that the best we can on a case-by-case basis.” There are definitely some clear-cut rules, though. There is a deadline of two years to apply from the time you completed your major renovation or new build, though there are a couple of exceptions to that rule, too. To qualify for a major renovation, you must do substantial work to the majority of the inside of your home. If your work was limited to a small portion of your home, such as a bathroom or kitchen, or if you just painted and put down new floors, you would not qualify. The end result of your renovation should be substantial enough that your home or condo is like a new home. The money spent on the exterior qualifies for the rebate, but only if you have done enough work to the inside of the home first to qualify. A new roof or landscaping is not enough on its own, but would be included in the rebate if the inside of the home qualifies. If you purchased a new home from a builder, the builder may have claimed the rebate and credited it back to you by lowering

the price. In this case, the rebate has already been claimed. If your home is worth more than $450,000, you are not entitled to a federal rebate, but you may be entitled to a provincial rebate if a portion of the construction took place while the HST was in effect. If your home is worth less than $450,000, you are entitled to both a federal rebate and a provincial rebate for the portion spent during the HST period. A new home built or renovated for yourself or for a family member’s primary place of residence qualifies if it was completed within the last two years. If the home’s value is more than $450,000, then the homeowner is only entitled to a rebate for money spent between July 1, 2010 and March 31, 2013. Canada’s Reno Rebate Inc. currently has representatives throughout the province who are happy to help clients with the forms that need to be signed and the brief questionnaire that needs to be filled out. If you live in an area where the company does not have a representative, or if you would prefer to download the forms from the comfort of your home, you can find everything on their website and use their courier service at no charge. The time involved is minimal and your rebate could be huge. Canada’s Reno Rebate Inc. also has a brief questionnaire on their website that allows you

to see if you qualify for the rebate and only takes 60 seconds. Or, give them a call and in just a few minutes, they can determine if you qualify. Everyone seems to know someone who has built a home or done a renovation, so if you know homeowners who might qualify for this rebate, make sure to let them know before they miss their deadline. Canada’s Reno Rebate Inc. handles all the paperwork and follows through with the government until you receive your cheque. Because Sean and his staff know the forms, the processes, and who to call, they efficiently and quickly collect the information and submit exactly what the government agencies need. The company charges no upfront fee and if you don’t receive a rebate, the application costs you nothing. “So give us a call or check out our website,” Sean says. “What have you got to lose?”

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GlASS StudIO

fIReWORX

ConneCTing arT, CrafT anD CreaTive minDs at fIReWORX GlASS StudIO SABINe AReNdS has a vision- to connect art, craft and creative minds! Her Headquarters Road glass studio, Fireworx, is more than just a place to do art. It is a place to make new friends and find inspiration. Arends began taking glass mosaic classes over a decade ago. As the mother of three active girls, she was looking for something she could do at home while balancing her family’s schedule.

SABINe AReNdS

loves the unique effects of dichroic glass to create one of a kind art pieces that reflect different color depending on the angle of light.

After discovering two old ceramic kilns at the military family centre in Moose Jaw where she was living at the time, she began to experiment with glass fusing and found her calling both as an artist and a teacher. Even as she was taking her own beginner classes she would hold

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myfireworx.ca Article continued

This gallery has featured exhibitions and sales by established and emerging local artists since 1977. It is a registered non-profit Society composed and operated entirely by volunteers. Tuesday - Saturday 10am-4pm, Sundays 1-4pm, and closed Mondays. Free Admission. New members are always welcome.

1729 Comox Ave., Comox 250-339-2822

Until March 9 Ablaze Metal Art & Brenda Chalifoux-Luscombe “Diversity in Action” Mar11 to Apr 6 Pearl Ellis Gallery Members’ Spring Show Apr 8 to Apr 27 Monday Bunch Apr 29 to May 11 Carole Goodwin and Wilma Richardson May 13 to June 1 Vivian Lochridge June 3 to June 22 Highland Secondary Senior Art Show June 24 to July 13 Pearl Ellis Gallery Members’ People Choice Awards Show

workshops to share her newfound skills with others. “Whatever I learned, I taught,” she remembers. “It was an ongoing rotation. I helped others and they helped me!” A decade later she is a skilled glass artist specializing in mosaics, stepping stones, stained glass and fused glass art. Arends philosophy of continuous learning is a foundation of her business. She is always on the lookout for guest artists to demonstrate new skills. At the entrance to her studio she has displayed a beautiful driftwood sculpture that she created after being inspired by an artist from the Netherlands, and recently she met a quilter skilled in a pen and ink craft called zentangle. Thinking that this would transfer beautifully into fused-glass art Arends invited her to the studio, stepping into the role of student in order to add a new element to her own teaching and art.

www.pearlellisgallery.com

This class inspired her desire to create art that she ultimately wants to transfer onto glass. From drawings to print making she would like to experiment with west coast images such as salmon and ferns to create dynamic glass-fused wall art. Arends is brimming with ideas and admits there is not enough time to create every new concept, but this doesn’t stop her from looking to others for inspiration, often incorporating new ideas into her art. CERTIFIED AND INSURED

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Her teaching style is warm, generous and engaging. With over a decade of experience she shares tips on what works and what doesn’t and she allows her students free range to create their own masterpieces.

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Since moving with her family to the Comox Valley in 2012, she has been inspired by the west coast, making beautiful wind chimes with unique pieces of driftwood and colourful glass as well as wall hangings, plates and unique jewelry.

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When she is not in her art studio you will likely find her in her car, taxiing her girls to swim meets and friends houses.

250.702.7927

www.loisinteriors.ca 28

“It’s a coincidence, depending who I run into and who likes what I’m doing and how this goes together,” she says of the connections she is making with other artists. “I see what others are doing and get inspired!”

lois@loisinteriors.ca

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(As I was interviewing Arends for this story one of her daughters phoned home requesting that her mom bring a cooked turkey to school for a class party taking place later that morning!)


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“There is always something coming up,” she laughs good-naturedly. “Even though I’m driving around like a crazy mom right now, the time will come when I’ll miss it.

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“I try to find the balance,” she says. Spending time alone in her studio to practice and play is important to maintaining this balance. She schedules this time while her daughters are in school, holding classes on evenings and weekends, which she coordinates around the needs of her family.

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Family is clearly a priority for Arends. One of her favourite glass fusing classes is one where she taught three generations of one family. “It was amazing to see this family together,” she says. “Each person had a completely different energy and they all worked so well together” She remembers how the grandmother was nervous at first to cut into the glass. She saw a piece on display that Arends had made and asked if she could just buy that instead. Arends did not sell her sample. Instead, she came alongside her, working together to create something new. “She was so proud and it!” says Arends. In the Fireworx Glass Studio, students of all ages and backgrounds gather around a large square table in the centre of the studio. “Everyone gets their own workspace and tools, she says. “It’s like scrapbooking.” She holds up a glass plate. “This looks so interesting but its actually all done with straight cuts.” She explains that making a straight cut is fairly easy. “It gives confirmation that even people who aren’t crafty could do this.” Arends takes time to explain how to make colour choices and cut glass, which she fires in her kiln when everyone is done. Glass needs to be fired slowly at very precise temperatures and she is diligent about filling every square inch of the kiln as it is expensive to run. “Temperature and time play a crucial role in the final result,” she explains. Each piece requires two firings. The first firing fuses the glass. The second stage is called slumping, as the glass takes on the desired shape of the mold. Arends has a unique ability to forge friendship and make those around her feel right at home. She was born in Germany and moved to Canada in 1995 after meeting her

phoTography by Karen mCKinnon

Canadian husband. His military career has moved them across the country to Ontario, Saskatchewan and BC. Each move is an adjustment, with new schools and unfamiliar faces, but Arends bridges this gap with her warm, engaging personality. She loves to meet people from different cultural and artistic backgrounds. When she first moved to the community, Arends began connecting with other artists as part of the Comox Valley Newcomers Club, connecting with the Comox Valley Art Gallery, and displaying her work at events such as Elevate the Arts. One of her favourite ways to connect with others is through dynamic classes in her rural art studio. More information and samples of student work can be found on Facebook or by visiting the Fireworx Glass Studio website http://myfireworx.ca

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record

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Postcards Home

Yucatan to Guatemala

RetIRee BACkPACk AdVeNtuRe

San Pedro volcano viewed from SANtA CRuZ lA lAGuNA — across the lake from the town of SAN PedRO. The lake is about 20 km long and 10 km wide and has a dozen population centres of various sizes.

A view of lAke AtItlAN ANd VOlCAN SAN PedRO, GuAtemAlA, from the top of INdIAN NOSe. The town of san pedro spreads out to the point on the shore 2,000 feet below and behind us. left to right: stephanie (Calgary), Dolfino (guide), mary and me (David anderson).

Colourful flOReS, GuAtemAlA, is built on an island in a lake. originally a mayan town when the spanish came, it is the gateway to Tikal, an ancient mayan city ruin which began about 400 bC.

E

ach year, Mary and I take a trip to ‘somewhere exotic,’ striving to avoid ‘vanilla’ tourism.

This winter, our destination was Guatemala, where we infused our time with a greater purpose than simply escape — by committing to study Spanish for a month. Both retired and in our early 60s, we challenged ourselves by backpacking using public transport. What could be more adventurous? We began with a flight to Cancun, a good jumping-off point for bus adventure to Guatemala’s gorgeous Lake Atitlan. Spanish schools are concentrated in several lakeside towns. Travelling by bus in Mexico is both economical and comfortable — if you avoid the dreaded ‘chicken’ buses. We did, by choosing reasonably priced deluxe buses. Moving south through the Yucatan, we stayed at Puerto Morelos, Tulum (with its Mayan ruins), and Chetumal, a ‘non-


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the mAyAN CIty RuIN At tIkAl had a population of 100,000 when london’s population was 30,000. it was inhabited between 400 bC and 900 Ce, a span of 1,300 years. six hundred years later, it was “rediscovered” by the spanish and remains an important archeological site today. a typically bustling saturday morning market in SAN PedRO lA lAGuNA, lAke AtItlAN.

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touristy’ contrast. All are coastal centres, each with its own distinct character.

the descendants of Caribbean slaves, and even Chinese.

Crossing the border into Belize (formerly British Honduras), we could now communicate in English, an official language. Unfortunately, older converted school buses are the only option for public travel. Belize has a distinctly different flavour than Mexico.

Entering Guatemala from pretty San Ignacio, we went directly to the colourful island town of Flores, joined to the mainland by a causeway and close to spectacular Tikal — among the largest Mayan city ruins known. Some buildings rise 230 feet (70 metres) above the steaming jungle with its echoing tropical bird calls.

Although the country is poor, the people are cheerful and open. They form a multicultural mix of indigenous Mayans, Spanish,

Back on a deluxe bus, we took a comfortable 14-hour overnighter to colonial Antigua, a designated World Heritage city. There, we

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strolled cobbled streets and admired 16th century stone buildings, all dwarfed by surrounding (and stillsmoldering) volcanoes. Next, a shuttle bus took us three hours northwest to large and lovely Lake Atitlan. Formed in a volcanic crater, it sits at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1,500 m) and is over 1,000 feet (300 m) deep. A dozen Mayan towns dot its shore, ranging from a few hundred to over 30,000 people. Mayan dialects and Spanish are the main languages, although English is spoken. The engaging and charming locals wear colourful traditional clothing. We chose San Pedro La Laguna as a base. With a population of 15,000, it has good Spanish schools that provide inexpensive one-on-one instruction. View of an active volcano from a rooftop restaurant in Antigua, Guatemala. Antigua is a gracious colonial city first built by the Spanish in the 1500s. It is now a declared World Heritage site.

San Pedro also has economical restaurants.

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excellent, Studying

Spanish was challenging, but hard work led to significant progress over 20 instructional days. By the end, we felt more comfortable communicating in basic Spanish and expect to build on that base. Weekends saw us exploring the area, visiting market days in different towns, climbing Indian Nose, a 2,000-foot (600-m) ridge, hiking between villages along picturesque trails, and visiting a coffee plantation on horseback. Sadly, we began the trip back to Cancun and home, busing north to another World Heritage city, San Cristobal, Mexico. It lies cradled in a mountain valley at over 7,000 feet (2,100 m). When the sun goes down, so does the temperature. After nine weeks of backpacking, we looked forward to the beautiful Comox Valley. It’s good to be home.

by David Anderson | Special to the Comox Valley Record


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At hOme ANd ABROAd Have you ever wondered what it would be like to study in another country, to immerse yourself in a new culture and develop a deeper understanding and respect for the diverse world we live in? For many, this is a life changing event. the experience of studying internationally allows students to immerse themselves in a new culture while learning valuable skills and achieving educational goals. the Comox Valley, which is so familiar to local residents, is a culturally rich landscape for international students. the 2013/14 academic year has seen the largest international student enrolment in North Island College’s history, with close to 200 students enrolled in a variety of programs, a 40% increase over the previous year. 34

T r io m ag a zine | S PR I NG 2 014

GABRIelA hAydeé mOReNO CORRAl grew up in Chihuahua, mexico. her friends call her gabby. as an international student at north island College’s Comox valley campus in fall 2013, she enjoyed studying french, Canadian literature, business Writing and philosophy. she recently returned to Chihuahua, mexico to pursue a degree in linguistics at the autonomous university of Chihuahua.

AllISON JeffRey grew up in the Comox valley. she graduated from highland secondary before heading to uvic for a bachelor of education, which she completed in 2004. Trio caught up with her in london, england where she is working towards her masters in applied positive psychology at the university of east london’s stratford Campus.


how did you find out about your program of study?

What has been the highlight of your experience so far?

AllISON: An inspirational friend of mine graduated from this (Masters in Applied Positive Psychology) program.   Before meeting him I had no idea a program like this existed.  It is right up my alley and will push my career to an exciting level.

AllISON: Many highlights- Meeting very inspired people, challenging myself to write at an academic level, and the endless buzz of London. It is never dull here. I’m always amazed by the sensory explosion that London offers!   There are so many crazy speak-easy hideouts, pop-up events, shows at great theatres, art galleries, and markets to explore.

GABRIelA: I had been looking for an exchange program for over a year. In my country it is difficult to get involved in these kind of programs, but I discovered that NIC offered courses similar to my linguistics degree. Later I realized that one of my friends, Gustavo Coss, had been at NIC already. When I spoke to him he highly recommended me to go, he loved it- the people and the teachers. What motivated you to study in another country? AllISON: While Positive Psychology can be theoretically studied at various universities at the Masters level, the Applied Positive Psychology program is only offered at three Post-Secondary Institutions.  The other two are private Universities in the US, so the price was right in the UK. GABRIelA: First of all I wanted to know more about other cultures. My dream is to work at the UN as a translator or interpreter so I really needed a deeper knowledge of the languages I know so far, and also to live this lifetime experience of studying abroad. What are your living arrangements like? AllISON: I'm living in a shared two-level flat (apartment) with two flat-mates.   Canadians beware...when you say roommate that translates as someone who is actually sharing a room with you (this is also an option to cut costs).  There are lots of great websites with people advertising rooms so don't feel you need to be in the University Residence (although I hear they are quite nice).   If you are feeling adventurous just go for it. There are so many great areas to live in London. I've settled in the East. It’s pretty artsy and vibrant.  It's neat to just get out, walk around, and be amazed. GABRIelA: I had a scholarship from my University, which covered my homestay, which included food. It was an amazing experience to be living with a Canadian couple and an Indian roommate! They became my family very fast. how long are you there for? AllISON: Good question. Right now my grad date is January 2015. If I’m accepted for a Ph.D., I may apply for an extension of another 3 years. Time will tell! GABRIelA: I was in the Comox Valley for 4 months.

GABRIelA: I met people from around the globe, who also became my friends. It was amazing to meet so many diverse people. I was so delighted to get to know them. Even now, some of them would like to come to Mexico to visit and I would love to visit them in their countries some day! What has been the most challenging of your experience so far? AllISON: Being away from loved ones is always tough, but Skype makes that more manageable.   Funny, I have lived abroad before but it seems more difficult this time.  As I get older, I realize the special bonds of family and friendship.  I guess that could be another plus- I've come to realize my core values! GABRIelA: It was very challenging to realize that not all my friends were looking forward to learning about the new culture they were living in. But besides that, I think nothing was really challenging. I loved every difference I found from my culture and from what I was used to. I felt so happy to realize that my perspective of the world was changing. I felt that every difference was helping me understand more about other cultures. What are your goals for the future? AllISON: I would love to combine my previous education work with positive psychology. If a PhD opportunity arose, I would jump on the chance.  Meeting interesting people from varied backgrounds has shown me that the possibilities are endless within the field I am studying.   GABRIelA: First of all to finish my degree, and then to become a translator or interpreter for the UN. how has your international student experience helped you realize these goals? AllISON: Studying abroad has helped me achieve goals that were both scary and thrilling.  Pushing myself to excel has forced me to expand my understanding of who I think I am and what I think I can achieve.   GABRIelA: This experience helped reassure me that I would love to work with languages. It just fascinates me the way they can be a barrier and yet also the way they speak by themselves about the culture where they are used. This amazing experience also made me realize that I can learn a lot from the people around. Undoubtedly I would recommend these programs and I am looking forward to doing it again.

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record

AllISON ANd GABRIelA’S eXPeRIeNCe AS INteRNAtIONAl StudeNtS demonstrates the rich intercultural learning experience that exists when a person steps outside familiar territory to study abroad. If you are looking for ways to incorporate travel into your post secondary goals you should contact the college or university you are interested in to find out what their admission requirements are. Not all internationally earned credentials are recognized in Canada so it is important to diligently research your options before committing to a course of study. ask lots of questions and never stop dreaming big!


A taste of Greece

in Downtown Courtenay

the BIGGeSt lIttle SOCCeR tOuRNAmeNt ON VANCOuVeR ISlANd

2014

is returning to the Comox Valley May 10 and 11, 2014.

Mini World Cup Comox Valley

T

he Comox Valley United Soccer Club is hosting the 2014 Mini World Cup on May 10 and 11, with some 1,000 young players (age groups U8 to U11) taking part in the non-competitive tournament.

it up a notch," Smart laughed. "We have a huge opportunity here.

This will be the third time the CVUSC has hosted the event (previous years were 2003 and 2008) and MWC chair Robin Smart says the club is really excited to be staging this year's tourney.

The Comox Valley Record and JET-FM are the media sponsors for the event, and Smart said they are working with the CVUSC to make the 2014 MWC more than just a soccer tournament.

"It's going to be a weekend event, attracting people from outside the Comox Valley," Smart said. "Traditionally we've had 50 teams from the Valley entered, out of the 100 teams that play.

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"We have the ability to double (the number of teams)," Smart said, adding she'd like to see 150 teams at the Mark Isfeld and Valley View fields this year. "The Comox Valley is known to hold the best Mini World Cups ‌ so we're taking

"We can make it more of a family event. We will have a small expo on site and create some events within the community, and we're looking for the community to help us out with that."

"We want to get other people out. It's not just about soccer, it's about having fun. That's what this event is really about." Regular meetings are being held to come up with creative fundraising ideas to keep costs down for participants, and also to lineup more sponsors, volunteers and activities. With Bouncy Castles, music and food (and other special events to be announced) the MWC will definitely be a family-friendly event.


photography by Earle Couper

If all goes according to plan, up to 200 youth soccer teams with participants aged 7 to 10, will hit the field in the 2014 Comox Valley United Mini World Cup next spring.

Event planning has kicked into high gear, teams from all over the North Island and Sunshine Coast will be competing, including Port Hardy, Campbell River and Powell River. 

Smart said the club wants to hear from entertainers and vendors who will be on-site both days.

Nanaimo and other Island locales, and Smart said the Powell River ferry renovations (and subsequent rescheduling of sailings) will make it difficult for teams from that city to participate.

"We require many, many volunteers during the event," she added. Those interested in being part of the fun can contact Smart at robinjsmart@gmail.com or the club at cvuscsoccer@gmail.com. They can call the office during regular business hours at 250334-0422, Smart added. She said it is possible that out-of-town teams and their families could be in the Comox Valley on the Friday before the MWC starts, which would be an added boost for the local economy. The MWC format sees players dressed in colourful T-shirts with the name of one of four countries on the back. Each T-shirt features a logo created by the winner of a design contest. The tourney kicks off Saturday morning with a parade around the Valley View fields by all participants, accompanied by bagpipes. Teams are coming from Victoria and

Smart notes there is plenty of interest in soccer in the U8 to U11 age groups. "We have about 1,100 to 1,300 house league kids in spring soccer, and the Lower Island Soccer Association has about 4,100 players in that age range." Smart, the vice-president of CVUSC Youth House, says her daughter is in her fifth season of playing the game and is loving it. "It's such an amazing experience with United soccer ‌ the coaches and staff and the other parents. The camaraderie is amazing and we want to showcase that on the weekend." The MWC rotates between Island soccer clubs and Smart notes, "The thing we have going for us is we have one location for all of the games." Another big plus is the passion the coaches bring to the game and the amazing parents behind the scenes, she said.

by Earle Couper | Record Staff | sports@comoxvalleyrecord.com


What’s your favourite Books? We asked 3 local elementary school students what books they liked to read.

Aneka

Jack

Amélie

Grade 2 student Courtenay Elementary School

Grade 3 student Queneesh Elementary School

Grade 3 student École Au-cœur-de-l'île

A trip to the Titanic Belfast Exhibition last summer started Anika on a mission scouring second hand shops to collect a fantastic crosssection of Titanic books.

Jack is an avid reader with a thirst for adventure. His mother has been reading to him as long as he can remember and when a book is difficult she is happy to read it with him. Sitting together reading classics such as The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander gives her the chance to inspire her son with literature. “So many classic novels depict children as heroes,” she says. “Jack gets so caught up in the stories, he doesn’t want them to end.”

Amelie enjoys books that feed her imagination such as Pippi Longstocking.

After watching How to Train your Dragon, Jack was excited to hear it was based on a book. He has read every book in this fantastic series by Cressida Cowell and just finished reading#11 - How To Betray a Dragon's Hero. “It’s exciting and adventurous,” says Jack. “I like everything about it!”

“She is a real chatterbox,” says Amelie when asked to describe the precocious Anne.

She loves books with lots of pictures. “We call it taking a picture walk,” says Aneka’s mom. “She will gather a pile of books beside her and walk through the stories on her own.” Aneka’s love of all things Titanic introduced her to the fun and educational Magic Tree House Series. She was walking past her school’s book bank when she saw Tonight on the Titanic by Mary Pope Osborne and took it home for her mom to read to her. When asked what she loves about these books, Aneka is quick to answer. “They go on adventures and they are really funny.”

“I like how she’s really strong and lives alone!” exclaims Amelie. Amelie is learning to read in French with classic books such as the Monsieur/Madame series by Roger Hargreaves. These books increase her vocabulary in French and she reads them on her own, but Amelie’s favourite time of day is reading with her mom. One of her favourites is Anne of Green Gables.

Amelie was inspired to read the 1911 classic, The Secret Garden after her dance class performed the ballet. The magical wonder of the book captivated Amelie who now wants to build a secret garden of her own.

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WALL

everything was going fine

UNTIL I LOOKED DOWN.

CLIMBING

T

phoTography by erin halusChaK

hat was when my heart started hammering and my hands broke out in a sweat.

I was about halfway up the Cumberland Recreation Institute's indoor climbing wall. The wall is about 30 feet high so I was just 15 feet or so off the ground but, for someone with a fear of heights, distances always seem greater when looking down. I must have made some noise that gave away my fear because Cumberland climbers John Waters and Clive Powsey started shouting words of encouragement from the ground. At their direction, I leaned my weight onto the rope Waters was securing from the ground as my belayer. Then I — slowly and hesitantly — took my hands off the wall, held onto the rope and pushed my body out from the wall with my feet, so I was held up in the air solely by the rope and harness. Putting all my weight on the rope reminded me that I was secure and I was able to climb again. This time I got to about two-thirds up the wall before noticing how high I was and having another bout of height terror. Powsey says he had trouble getting to the top, too, pointing out he started climbing at age 50 because he wanted to overcome his fear of heights. "If the problem is heights just do it enough to develop confidence in the rope and the belayers, and once you overcome that you can basically do anything," he says, adding his fear is still there but he's learned to trust the rope. "If you do everything right this is an extremely

safe sport," he continues. "It's probably much safer than mountain biking, for example." Cumberland's climbing wall features toprope climbing — where the rope is tied to the climber's harness and goes up through an anchor at the top of the climbing area, then down to the bottom to hook onto the belayer's harness. Powsey says it's the safest style of climbing, and children as young as three climb this wall. As well, Comox Lake features rock climbing options for various skill levels, and then there's plenty of alpine climbing in Strathcona Park for more advanced climbers. Climbing has plenty of health benefits, says Powsey, who has a bad back. While I struggled mentally with the height, I really liked the physicality of climbing; it seemed to strengthen and stretch at the same time and I could see how regular climbing would be a great workout. Powsey also points to the social aspect of climbing; though climbers don't usually talk too much to one another while they climb, connections are made. Although I didn't make it to the top on my first attempt, I would like to try climbing again, and photographer Erin Haluschak — who did reach the top on her first attempt — says she really enjoyed climbing and would try it again, too. For more information about Cumberland's climbing wall, visit www.cumberland.ca or call 250-336-2231.

by Renee Andor | Record Staff | writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com


S E T T I N G

THE STAGE AlICe eASt guest Contributor

as a realtor and home stager with re/max ocean pacific realty, alice east believes that staging is an integral part of every home’s marketing plan.

W

Who knew that being a preacher’s daughter, helping my mother prepare our house for guests, would end up as invaluable training for a career in real estate and staging! We scrubbed floors, displayed fresh flowers, and put away clutter. Our house, which always looked inviting, smelled of tea and homemade bread. I began staging my own homes in the early 1990’s. At that time I thought everyone did what I did to get the best offer: paint the home inside and out, clean every room from the windows to the base boards, landscape the front yard, and trim the grass.

As a realtor, I believe that staging is just as important to a home selling for top dollar as price, terms, location, market and condition. In fact, when 90% of buyers start their research online, a home has to have Internet appeal to get noticed. I continuously research trends most likely to attract buyers. My primary staging training came from Interior Designer, Judith Moore, and Staging Diva Debra Gould. The current trend in staging is “life-style” staging. In a family home, a tray of fruit drinks alongside

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In a 55+ home, the table might be set casually for afternoon tea with a friend. A home suited to empty nesters might feature travel books or a bottle of wine. For sellers living in their home, preparing it for buyers is an opportunity to discover exactly what items they can’t live without. My job is to rearrange these items and place them in the home in such a way that what buyers see is modern and inviting. Home staging can include everything from small repairs, to lighting updates, to renting furniture and accessories.

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S e t t I N G t h e S tAG e

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1. Staging BEFORE a house goes on the market is important because you don’t get a second chance to impress realtors or potential buyers. It takes about three seconds for buyers to form an opinion from the curb! 2. Staging your home often helps sell your house before having to reduce the price and usually costs less than a price reduction. 3. A professional stager will tell the homeowner the truth about their home and what they see or don’t see, including smells that might deter buyers from loving their home. 4. Most buyers have difficulty imagining how a home will look with their belongings in it. Staging helps by taking away the distractions. 5. Approximately 90% of buyers view homes online and choose only homes they want to see based on pictures they see on the Internet so it is important these pictures tell a story that intrigues potential buyers enough to call their realtor.

the RIGht uPdAte: Sellers sometimes get carried away. Update one thing that will really make an impact such as light fixtures. For very little cost, new lighting will completely change the look of a room. deeP CleAN: Buyers and realtors always notice and appreciate a clean home so even if you think your home is clean, hire a professional cleaning service to make sure your home sparkles from top to bottom, inside and out. de-ClutteR By PuRPOSe: In an open concept room, make sure it’s easy to identify the purpose of each area and leave ample room to move between them. Also, buyers don’t want to see just a master bedroom or ensuite. For example, a TV in the master bedroom does not fit the average buyer’s vision of a restful retreat and can take up a lot of space, making a room seem smaller. Toothpaste and toiletries on an ensuite counter don’t support a buyer’s dream of having a “spa sanctuary” even if they would never live that way!

ReASONS hOme StAGING IS ImPORtANt:

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phoTos from louise reynolDs privaTe ColleCTion

Reminiscing with

Louise Reynolds As society undergoes countless changes from decade to decade, the senior citizens in our community are a rich and important resource of knowledge and experience. Taking the time to listen to their stories and memories can teach us important life lessons, inspire us, and provide context for future generations. So sit down, pour yourself a mug of tea and join us as we reminisce with a fascinating woman whose life is rich in adventure94-year-old Berwick resident, Louise Reynolds, nee MacLeod.

born in her family home in Kinross, prince edward Island, on october 9, 1919, Louise moved to the Comox valley a decade ago to be close to family. here is her story… Louise was nine when L.M. Montgomery, of Anne of Green Gables fame, turned up at a Sunday service with family members, causing quite a stir within the small farming community of Kinross.

Ralph enrolled at Queen’s University after the war before joining the Department of External Affairs. His thirty-five years as a diplomat led the family of two boys and two girls to Europe, Africa and Central America.

Like Anne, Louise began her education in a one-room country schoolhouse in rural PEI. There was a woodstove in the middle of the room, which held two rows of desks, a blackboard, a globe and a portrait of Queen Victoria.

Their first posting was to Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1953. It was the Cold War and the country was behind the Iron Curtain. Louise recalls the difficulty of learning how to be a diplomat’s wife in a vastly different country beset by problems, including access to food and the children’s education.

Louise, 94, also remembers the school route. “It was a lovely walk through woods, down the hillside, across a little stream and up the other side.” One of the county’s top students, Louise gained a scholarship that earned her a teacher’s certificate. She began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. Her first class had twenty pupils from grades one to ten. With the onset of World War II her life changed. Louise moved to Ottawa for civil service work. There, she met and married Ralph Reynolds, an Air Force pilot.

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“Because of my tuberculosis we moved from Prague to Geneva, Switzerland where we all thrived and emerged as French speakers,” says Louise. After Switzerland the family moved for three years to Copenhagen, Denmark. “All of these postings had their own merits. We learned different cultures, languages and types of food, some of which we still continue to share together, such as smÆorrebrÆd, Danish open sandwiches that we drink with Akvavit and Tuborg beer.”


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Louise Reynolds’ keen eye for detail and fascination with historical figures led her to research and write two biographies before turning her pen to her own family history. Returning to Ottawa from Copenhagen in the late 1950's, Louise enjoyed a career as a CBC broadcaster and a CJOH producer at the capital’s newly opened TV station. Her new career was interrupted by postings to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and San Jose, Costa Rica when Ralph was appointed Canadian ambassador at these two diverse countries. “Ralph and I met Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia [from 1930 to 1974] and other members of the Selassie family who we entertained at the residence,” Louise recalls. “It was a time of turmoil at the end of our five-year posting. Many Selassie family members perishing due to a political coup.”  On return to Ottawa from postings in 1988, Louise became a hospital volunteer, notching up 25 years of service. Her love of research and politics led her to write two published books: Mackenzie King: Friends and Lovers, and Agnes: The Biography of Lady MacDonald. Her most recent writing project is a legacy to future generations; a family history that outlines the Reynolds family’s roots in Scotland, Germany and England. A long-held wish to create a record of her family’s heritage led Louise to contact Barbara Page of the Comox Valley Family History Research Group. With her sterling help, the Reynolds Family History, a legacy of stories, memories and family trees, was published in 2012. From ancestors panning for gold during the California Gold Rush to shipbuilding and fishing in Nova Scotia and PEI, to careers as teachers, farmers, engineers, journalists and miners, Louise has documented an eclectic and interesting past but the adventure continues. “I don’t think it’s ever truly finished!” she says with a twinkle in her eye.

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by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record SPRING 2014 | T rio mag a z in e

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Both locations are open 5 Days a week We welcome new patients and accept all dental plans

COURTENAY 101 - 389 12th Street • 250-338-5011 LADYSMITH 27 - 370 Trans Canada Hwy • 250-245-7151 in the Coronation Mall

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is Comox Valley’s #1 Full Service Real Estate Brokerage. See our ad on page 15.

Core Systems Island Dentures

Your source for 100% permeable paving products for driveways, pathways, parking areas, slope stabilization, patios, roof-top gardens. Their fast, easy installation is ideal for both contractors and DYI! See our ad on page 16.

Casa Loma & Comox Valley Seniors Village

Dove Creek Timber

offers a full complement of denture services. Our professionals provide you with precision dentures, and we guarantee our work. See our ad on page 31.

Pre Loved Fashions

A wide selection of women’s clothing and accessories. We are located at 307-D 14th Street Courtenay B.C. Visit us at www.prelovedfashions.com or call us at 250-871-0373 See our ad on page 27.

Kevin Reid Coast Realty Group (Comox Valley)

Established since 1985. Supplying the public with quality lumber specializing in cedar. We cut various species and custom cuts. “If We Don’t Got It, We’ll Cut it! “ See our ad on page 13.

Independent/Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities, located on Headquarters Rd., in Courtenay. See our ad on page 3.

A Comox Valley resident for over 40 years. With his years of experience Kevin can provide the insight to the real estate market and is committed to the highest quality service possible. See our ad on page 7 .

Clairmont Custom Draperies & Decor

Grains Bakery

Odlum Brown

We are committed to understanding your investment goals, your risk tolerance and providing you with successful financial and estate planning solutions. See our ad on page 33.

makes beautiful & functional draperies, blinds, roman shades, bedding, pillows, throws, monogrammed towels & napkins. Donna welcomes the opportunity to brighten your home. See our ad on page 40.

Welcome to Grains Bakery. We strive to provide, in all of our baking and cooking, ingredients that are natural, fresh, and preservative free.. See our ad on page 20.

Lois Interiors Blinds & Bubbles Boutique The North Island’s only Hunter Douglas Showroom. See our ad on page 13.

Shelley’s Studio

Lois North is passionate about design and decorating. She is art savvy and lives for creating composed and stylish homes. Decorating is a combination of science and art to construct a space that is useful and smart. See our ad on page 28.

Couverdon

Sublime

Lara Austin

Couverdon is the real estate business of TimberWest Forest Corporation, the largest private landowner on Vancouver Island. See our ad on page 19.

Dierdre, Leah & Rina offer sublime guests an exciting personal shopping experience… Celebrating women and their individual beauty and style through fashion.... For special events, work or just for fun ! See our ad on page 24.

30 years of design & display experience creating your style on your budget. References & portfolio available. Serving the Comox Valley and surrounding areas. See our ad on page 14.

Investment Advisor, B.A. Hnrs,CIM, FMA. Lara works with successful retirees and professionals; providing resources in planning for income,portfolio management, tax strategy and estate planning. See our ad on page 9.

Axis Heating & Cooling

HOME S • GARDE NS

2nd generation, family business operated by Kristen & Mikhail Pronick. We are the authorized installation provider for heat pumps, furnaces & generators through the Home Depot and your local Trane & Mitsubishi dealer. See our ad on page 15.

Affordable Sewing & Vacuum Centre

North Vancouver Island’s largest sewing machine outlet, “after the sale, it’s the service that counts” See our ad on page 38.

• TRAVE L • ART • CULTU RE • REAL ESTAT E • HEALT H • FOOD

The bounty our commun of ity at TRIA’s

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A volunteer run non–profit society showcasing local artists all year long. See our ad on page 28.

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acquired my first underwater camera in 2001. It was a Kodak disposable film camera designed for use to a depth of 15 feet.

I was scuba diving in Cozumel and took it all the way to 60 feet. Surprisingly, it didn’t implode! My intention was simply to take some photos to show family and friends the underwater realm that I had discovered. By pure luck, I had one image turn out beautifully. I was hooked! Fast forward more than a decade and I’ve expanded my photography skills to include portraiture and fine art, as well a stock image library on land and underwater.

Lisa G ra h a m P

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Last summer, I was motivated to create a distinctive series of images under one of

my favourite waterfalls. There, in the clear green water, with dancers, models and synchronized swimmers below and hot summer sunshine above, I spent several afternoons capturing their tranquility and grace. What I love about underwater photography is that each session is truly unique. I gather inspiration from fashion, the water and natural lighting adds its own special ambiance and each subject brings her unique skills. Like the natural flow of water, each session unfolds into a new, and always beautiful, direction. Nikon D300, ISO 100, Tokina 10-17mm lens f9.0 1/200 Ikelite Housing, Dual DS160 strobes. To see more of Lisa's images, visit www.seadance.ca. SPRING 2014 | T rio mag a z in e

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March 11, 2014