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Where eaGles Perch small space architecture, expansive ocean views

comoX ◗ courtenay ◗ cumberland

Generations of farminG deeKaytee ranch

run JumP Weave

Having fun with dog agility training

homes ◗ gardens ◗ TraVel ◗ arT ◗ culTure ◗ real esTaTe ◗ healTh ◗ Food

A taste of Greece in Downtown Courtenay

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Cover Photo by: Contributors:

Karen McKinnon

Jennifer Cox Jacoba Primrose Liz Royer Peter Diespecker Donna Lafontaine Tracey Lawrence Liz Tribe Leslie Cox John Cox Karen McKinnon Linda Matteson-Reynolds Julia Loo Paul Weed

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

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 Available online: 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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summe r 201 4 | T rio maga z in e


c o m oX

F e at u r e s

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spring 2014 Volume 1 issue 4

18 Cover Story For the Thran family, farming is not just a job; it is three generations of commitment to local agriculture.


Where Eagles Perch




Artisan Sea Salt


A Gift of Music


Paddling in Unison


Floor to ceiling windows showcase a spectacular view of Georgia Strait in Steve and Jocelyn Ondre’s customdesigned home.

Dog Agility trials provide both dogs and owners with a fun environment to learn new skills

Salty seawater is transformed into pure flakes of hand-harvested salt at Clever Crow.

Gratitude for Vancouver Island MusicFest inspires long time attendee to donate handcrafted guitar.

All ages and abilities can experience the benefits of recreational dragon boating


T r io m ag a z ine | s um m er 2 014

Features Editor, Comox Valley Record

◗ noteWorthy


love the Comox Valley year round but the summer months are some of my favourites. This issue of Trio is filled with stories that showcase the bounty of our region.

A strong sense of community is nurtured through fun-filled programs such as dog agility trials (page 22), recreational dragon boating (page 32), and the ever-popular Vancouver Island MusicFest (page 30).

22 26

30 32

For farm fresh produce and a great selection of quality meat products head down to DeeKayTee Ranch. Their story (page 18) is a heart-warming tribute to generations of farming. If you’re driving past the fairgrounds on a Saturday morning you’ll want to stop at the weekly farmer’s market to visit the Clever Crow booth for pure flakes of sea salt hand-harvested from local beaches (page26). For a delicious, hearty meal, complete with live music and belly dancing, head over to Yiammas Greek Taverna. Their food is always delicious, but their specialty Greek nights are energetic, dynamic events that bring the community together (page 24). The rich and diverse landscape of the Comox Valley is what attracted Steve and Jocelyn Ondre to the area to build their dream retreat (page 12). As the stories in this issue demonstrate, we truly live in the land of plenty.

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in the sky second lieutenant dylan Wightman (left) & Captain sarah graves (right), air traffic Control officers with the royal Canadian air Force, check their radar displays for approaching aircraft in the 19 Wing Comox Contol tower.


t all began with a model airplane, explains Captain Frank Jaerschky, whose passion for building and flying remote control planes inspired his career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. “If you love what you do you never work a day in your life,” he says. “I’ve always been a bit of an airplane geek, so coming into work and playing with airplanes, being involved with the aviation industry - I love it.” Working out of the CFB Comox Instrument Control Centre, Captain Jaerschky is responsible for aircraft operating under instrument flight rules. Planes operate under two sets of rules: instrument flight rules which allow pilots to navigate through fog and cloud, and visual flight rules which require the pilot to see where the aircraft is going. On a clear day pilots can fly up to 12,000 feet with visual controls. After that


T r io m ag a zine | s um m er 2 014

phoTographY bY TreVor reid

they require an instrument reading and pressurized cabin. “When we have those weeks of fog it shuts us down big time!” Captain Jaerschky exclaims. “Even on an instrument approach, a pilot needs to be able to take over and see where he’s landing. In everything we do the primary concern is safety.” The terminal control area is a lot larger than many Comox Valley residents realize, extending 108 x 75 nautical miles, up to an altitude of 16,000 feet, controlling commercial passenger flights such as WestJet, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal. CFB Comox is unique in that at least 75% of traffic is civilian. Not only do they control Comox, but Powell River, Campbell River, and Qualicum Beach as well. The moment a plane switches to visual flight rules, terminal control passes the torch to

the tower where the view stretches across 360° of ocean, mountain and sky. Captain Sarah Graves, tower controller, enthuses that she has one of the best jobs, and certainly the best office, in the country. “It’s like dancing in the sky and you’re the choreographer,” she says. “You can lose yourself in controlling. Your whole mind is in it.” But, it is a very complex dance. Simultaneous conversation with pilots, terminal controllers and ground control requires a high level of concentration. This ability to keep multiple details straight is referred to as a third ear. “We are always thinking in three dimensions,” she says. “It’s challenging but fun at the same time.” In order to manage the airways, controllers track details such as altitude, wake turbulence, weight, and estimated arrival times. A pilot does not take-off, land, or adjust any navigation without permission from Air Traffic Control. “Speed is a huge issue,” Captain Jaerschky says. “You don’t want a faster aircraft behind a slower aircraft at the same altitude.” The complexity of the airspace makes it difficult to pass the rigorous training process that qualifies Air Traffic Controllers to take charge. Trainees work with simulators until they acquire enough skill to work with live traffic. Second Lieutenant Dylan Wightman is working through the steps to qualify, which can take up to 6 months. He is confident in his ability, despite the 70% failure rate. “There is a constant learning curve and it’s always upward,” he says. “You have to take it one day at a time and keep going.”

Despite the rigorous demands of the job he wakes up excited to go to work. Buffalo, Cormorants and Auroras are familiar sights. CF-18s and Snowbirds take part in annual drills. From his position in the control tower he has a front row seat. “When I was a kid I used to go to airshows. Now I get an airshow every day,” he says. Warmer weather means an increase in air traffic and the popular cadet glider program poses additional challenges. “Their movements are always unexpected,” Captain Graves explains. “If there’s an inbound plane you cannot release a glider within 15 minutes of arrival so we need to communicate with terminal for a wheels down time.”

Make the

Outdoors Yours

“Communication for us is key, Captain Jaerschky says. “We always strive to eliminate any ambiguity. It has to be pin point precise.” To keep the pressure of the job from becoming too strenuous it is important to maintain a sense of humour. Captain Graves admits to looking forward to the explosive range being active on the base during golf season. “We find entertainment watching the golfers as they blow stuff up,” she laughs. “It’s hilarious to watch the golfers react to the boom!” It is important to be a proactive controller not a reactive controller. “One of my biggest challenges is learning to see things before they’re going to happen,” says Captain Graves, a tip that she might give those golfers if it wasn’t so much fun to watch them jump.


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ave you ever sat on the beach and dreamed of building an amazing fort overlooking the ocean?

When Jocelyn and Steve Ondre purchased their treed oceanfront property at the end of Eagles Drive they would pitch a tent amongst the ferns, watch eagles soar overhead and imagine their retirement. “It’s our fortress of solitude,” says Steve proudly. A spectacular view of Georgia Strait dances through the trees as you make your way down the long, curving driveway toward their home, which is fifteen metres from the beach. “We put the house as close as they would let us,” Steve says. “We had a surveyor draw a line and pushed ourselves as far forward as we were allowed.” The residence, which was designed and built by Steve Ondre, has floor to ceiling windows to show off the natural beauty of the sea and forest. The open design and high curved

ceilings gives an aura of space despite the home being under a thousand square feet. "I have always loved Steve's home designs,” says Jocelyn. “Not only are they functional and well crafted but there is always a strong artistic element." A favourite piece in their living room is a chaise lounge designed by Le Corbusier, a pioneer of modern architecture. “It’s an iconic piece,” says Jocelyn. The chaise has its own special place beside the floor-to-ceiling living room window, with an unobstructed view of Georgia Strait. The Ondre’s spend hours watching wildlife from this perch. Eagles, herons and loons are frequent visitors. “It makes you feel like you’re part of the outdoors, even when it’s stormy,” says Steve. Volcanic jade stone tile heated flooring and a modern high-efficiency Moreso pedestal woodstove ensure the house maintains a warm cozy atmosphere even in the worst west coast storm.

The couple deliberated for many hours over lighting, looking for something both warm and contemporary. In the kitchen they chose a gorgeous Larkspur glass pendant with a larger matching fixture above their dining room table. Smooth silestone quartz countertop is silky to touch while being naturally porous and therefore easy to maintain. The same material is used throughout the house, in the kitchen as well as the two bathrooms. “We love entertaining,” says Jocelyn. “Usually when we have people over we end up in the kitchen!” The curved red cedar ceiling framed with fir glulam roof beams is a striking feature. “I like the loft feeling that it gives you when you’re inside,” Steve explains. “I like modern architecture but often it has flat ceilings. Unless you put them up really high you feel a bit enclosed.” The home is a work of art designed to integrate with the landscape. For both Steve and Jocelyn it is the natural environment that makes their space so special. “We’re ocean swimmers and we paddleboard so we just fell in love with this area,” says Jocelyn. “We are so blessed to be here. It’s mesmerizing.” by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record





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T R IO M AG A ZINE | S UM M ER 2 014

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In a bit of playful nostalgia, we asked a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker...

What’s your favourite nursery rhyme?



Winston Bonerguard

David Murray

Gunter Bros Meat Co., Courtenay BC

Cumberland Village Bakery, Cumberland BC

Fanny Bay Candle Company, Fanny Bay BC

“Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow, And everywhere that Mary went, The lamb was sure to go...” –Sarah Josepha Hale (1830)

“Three blind mice. Three blind mice. See how they run. See how they run...” -Old English Nursery Rhyme (1805)

“I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle. Here is my spout...” -George Sanders and Clarence Kelley (1939)

David Murray has been baking Cumberland’s favourite donuts for the past decade at Cumberland Village Bakery. When asked to name his favourite rhyme, he fluctuated between Pease Porridge Hot, which he remembers from his childhood, and Three Blind Mice, which he has recited to his children many times over the years. He loves the rhythmic, vocal dance of Three Blind Mice, the way the rise and fall of verse inspired his children to dance around the room in delight.

The first time Donalda Lauzon made candles, she was a young girl working alongside her grandmother. Seven years ago she turned her craft from hobby to thriving business.

Winston Bonerguard has been working in a butcher shop since he was a young lad growing up in England. He continued his trade at Gunter Bros. within two days of moving to Canada in 2007. Though he grew up surrounded by books, he did not choose his favourite from those childhood memories. His favourite nursery rhyme is Mary had a Little Lamb. The rhyme, which was first published in 1830, is a top pick for Bonerguard because it reminds him of one of his favourite customers, aptly named Mary. A regular at Gunter Bros over the past few years, Mary arrives each season with her lambs in tow.

candlestick maker Donalda Lauzon

Pease Porridge Hot was first published in 1760. Murray interprets this verse as accepting one another’s differences because, “some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot nine days old…”

Story time and nursery rhymes were a nightly tradition in Lauzon’s family. This ritual has passed to her grandchildren. Rub a Dub-Dub is one of their favourites. “I have a picture of my three grandchildren in a tub full of bubbles singing rub a dub-dub, three men in a tub,” she says laughing. This is a great memory, but her favourite rhyme is I’m a Little Teapot. She used to love singing it with her girls, dancing in a circle, pretending to be teapots.

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here are about one hundred species of roses and a very large number of cultivars thanks to the efforts of avid rose breeders, particularly through the last three centuries.

Some roses are shrubs with an erect or arching habit. Some are climbers, still others are scramblers. Sizes range from the very diminutive to pure brutish in their vigour. They come in floral colours of red, pink, white, yellow and orange with every exquisite shade in between. There is one colour exception, however. You will never see a naturally blue flower because roses lack the gene, delphinidin, which produces this colour. Of note, roses are native only to the northern hemisphere. It is not clearly understood why none have been discovered growing naturally in the southern regions.

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July 29 to Aug 17 Pearl Ellis Gallery Photo Members’ Vicki Lapp Memorial Award Show Aug 19 to Sept 7 Susan Schaefer & Jill Paris Rody Sept 9 to Sept 28 Pearl Ellis Gallery Members’ Anniversary Show Sept 30 to Oct 19 Gordon Greenhough 16

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Fossils of wild roses, or species roses, discovered in Asia date back seventy million years. Those uncovered in North America have been dated at thirty-five million years old. Some rose species, although not all, have been valued throughout the ages for their culinary and medicinal properties, as well as for their fragrance. Various parts of the rose plant are used to treat ailments such as influenza, colds, stomach upsets, kidney problems, menstrual cramps, bacterial infections and snow blindness to name but a few. Depending on the species, roses have a hardiness range from Zone 2, tolerating temperature lows down to -45 degrees Celsius, through to a mild Zone 10...meaning these species will not tolerate freezing temperatures well. Generally blooming only once in spring, species rose flowers are simple with only five petals. Through breeding, old garden roses such as the Gallicas and Albas were developed from these. These groups are where multi-petaled flowers first appeared.

photography by John Cox

The arrival of the China rose towards the end of the eighteenth century offered Europeans their first taste of repeat blooms. Crossbreeding with the old garden roses extended the range of varieties in that group. Repeat-flowering Tea roses were introduced in the nineteenth century. From this group, a Frenchman bred the first large-flowered Rose...the very rose which heralded the prolific breeding of our modern day roses. While species roses are generally bullettough, our modern day roses require some pampering. Careful scrutiny should be

engaged when selecting roses for your landscape. Newer roses can be susceptible to pests and diseases which will require more constant care. Some, however, have been specifically bred to be more pest and disease resistant. So do your research before you head off to the nursery. And never is it more imperative to dig a $100 hole for a $50 plant. Providing your rose with lots of friable room for root growth, plus amending the planting hole with good manure and a healthy scoop of organic

Discover YOUR

fertilizer will repay you in spades. One final caveat. While there are a few roses that will tolerate a minimum of six hours of direct sun, most prefer at least eight hours in order to put on their floral show.

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

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summe r 2014 | T rio maga z in e


MORE than just a


phoTo bY Karen mcKinnon

three Generations of farminG at deekaytee ranch


hen Horst Thran arrived in the Comox Valley from Prussia in the mid 1920’s, he couldn’t stop thinking of the girl he’d met at his farewell party.

“When I get set up, I’ll send for you,” he promised. But Anna was engaged to someone else and there was little chance they’d meet again. As letters travelled across the miles a love story unfolded – one that would set the stage for three generations of farming.

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Horst wrote Anna offering to pay her passage to Canada. Years later their youngest son, Dan, recalls their story. “When Mom got the letter she was going to be married soon, and the mother-in-lawto-be was telling her the potatoes needed digging…”

Anna made her decision. She left the potatoes in the ground, her fiancé in the dust, and packed her bags for Canada. “When she got here she worked at the Kilpatrick Farm,” Dan says. “She wouldn’t take the money from Dad because she didn’t want to be indebted to him.” Horst and Anna married, and in 1927 they purchased their 80-acre property on Headquarters Rd. “There was a lot of subsistence living in those days,” explains Dan. “There wasn’t a lot of money around so Dad started milking cows.” By the 1940’s they began shipping to the creamery, one of many dairy farms in the community. The focus of the farm has shifted over the years. Primarily DeeKayTee is a beef farm, though they provide a mixed range of product.

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Save up to $2,500 instantly. horst and anna thran began farming on their headquarters rd. property in 1927. Dan is nostalgic for the close-knit community of farming families he grew up with. “I remember when I was ten years old, loading loose hay. A car stops up the road and these two boys, the von Schilling boys, hop the fence, grab pitchforks and help out all afternoon.” When they aren’t working the land, the Thran family loves nothing more than sharing their passion for farming with others. Though they are no longer a dairy farm, Dan and his wife Maggie keep one dairy cow on the property- Buttercup. When Dan heard about a woman from Ladysmith whose bucket list included milking a cow, he invited her over. “We went into the barn and Buttercup was there and she got some milk out of her,” Dan says. “She was thrilled!” Dan has spent a lifetime farming. When his father passed away in 1962, he was in grade 7. His older brother and two of his three sisters were already adults. He worked alongside his mother, developing a lifelong love for the land.

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Fast forward to the 2000’s and Dan’s son Ryan carries on the family tradition. He and his father take turns working in the market that they opened on their property in 2002. 416A Puntledge Road • 250-334-3666 •

This 1931 photograph of the Thran family’s Headquarters Road property depicts an agriculturally rich landscape that has supported three generations of family. Diversification has been key to the farm’s success.

They sell produce from local farms, a freezer full of beef, chicken and lamb, and a selection of jams so delicious that some customers buy ten jars at a time. They also sell an eclectic selection of vintage items, adding to the charm of the market.

two log cabins on the property. “At our peak we had 254 nights of the year booked.” Dan says. “To be honest with you that filled in a lot of gaps when times were lean on the farm.”

Through the week, Ryan is responsible for chicken, pork, and lamb production while his father manages the beef.

As large-scale farming becomes more predominant it is even more important to support local agriculture.

“Diversification is what has allowed our farm to sustain itself,” says Ryan. “If you relied solely on beef and the market drops how do you make your money?”

“It’s going to change so much over the years as food production vanishes from smaller places like this and goes to large operations in the Fraser Valley and Alberta,” says Dan.

In a move towards agri-tourism, Dan built

This hit home for them recently when they

cut back on chicken production. The stores they were supplying had trouble finding an alternative source. “They asked if we could please bring it in again because they couldn’t find a suitable producer on the island,” explains Ryan. “So we decided to go back into it.” For the Thran family, farming is not just another day on the job. It is a necessary commitment to the community. The DeeKayTee Farm Market, 6301 Headquarters Rd., is open year-round, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is well worth the trip.

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record |

RE: Think fruit


4905 Darcy Rd., Courtenay, BC | 250-338-9765 | 20

T r io m ag a zine | Sum m er 2 014


havinG fun at doG aGility

phoTo bY linda maTTeson-reYnolds


by Linda Matteson-Reynolds | Special to the Comox Valley Record

og Agility has exploded onto the scene in the Comox Valley and Campbell River Region since the island’s founding father, Ian Pate introduced the sport to the area in 1993.

Pate’s passion for the sport was infectious throughout the community where he soon had his group of disciples keen on learning and training their dogs.

From the modest beginnings of “Coasters Agility” sprouted Ian’s past students forging ahead to start their own agility businesses and clubs.

Creek run Incredible Canines, conducting workshops, training camps and seminars from the recreational handler to the serious agility enthusiast.

TaG, owned, operated and coached by Glenn Tiede teaches classes in dog agility, fly ball and host trials throughout the year. His advice to new students comes with a caution, “be warned, dog agility can be highly addictive”.

In Campbell River, the Roadsters Agility Club has a team of coaches offering agility training. Their philosophy is to create a positive relationship between dogs and handlers through the use of positive reinforcement.

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BEAT the Summer HEAT TailBlazers is the newest addition to agility coaching on the island. Owner Kathy Smith feels that the mental and physical benefits for both the handler and their dog makes agility the perfect sport for young and old.


It’s all about developing team work – trust, patience, leadership and the building of confidence of both the dog and the handler whether for competition or just for fun, the sport has benefits for both mental and physical health.

The sport of dog agility is where a handler directs a dog through a set obstacle course – ramps, teeter-totters, tunnels, hurdles, tires and weave poles. The race is to navigate the course with precision and speed both being equally important. Dogs must “run naked” – no leash, no collar, no food and no toys as incentives must be allowed in the ring. The handler can neither touch the dog nor the obstacles. Consequently the handler's controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.


Trials are held both indoors and out-of-doors and the surface may be of grass, dirt, rubber, or special matting.

“It’s not unusual to see upwards of 80 dogs at one of our local trials” states TaG coach Glenn Tiede.

Designed by an agility judge, courses are set to be complicated enough that a dog could not complete them correctly without human direction. In competition, the handler, after being given a course map and an opportunity to “walk the course”, must decide on handling strategies and direct the dog through the course.

Most trials have multiple rings and multiple judges so that each class of dog has their turn in Standards, Jumpers, Snooker and Gambles.

Kathy Smith from TailBlazers admits, “you’ll see that each handler develops their own strategy to accommodate for their dog’s speed, strengths and weaknesses”.

HOW TO GET STARTED Before heading out to your first agility class, be sure to get a veterinary check to ensure that your dog is in good health and up-to-date on the necessary vaccinations. There are many different “classes” or courses for you and your dog to enter and compete at an agility trial. All skill levels from junior novice handlers to advanced and masters find their rightful place in the ring.

The morning of an agility trial is a hubbub of activity, courses are being built, shade tents erected, crates and dog paraphernalia unloaded. The noise decibel level then rises with the arrival of the barking competitors. The fur is flying as dogs of every breed, size and shape jump hurdles, run up A-frames and dive through tunnels.

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After the early morning briefing from the judges, tension builds before the first dog is “on the line”.

Once all of the dogs have run in one class then the ring builders begin to build the course for the next classes. The judge ensures that each course built is to their specification and adheres to the A.A.C. (Agility Association of Canada) rules and regulations. Trials and training classes generally run all year round leading up to the Provincial Regionals in June and Nationals in August. Winter months are spent training in cold dreary barns but come spring, the trials move out-of-doors. Members of the public are welcome to come out, bring a lawn chair and share in the excitement. Visitors can watch with amazement some of the fastest dog/handler teams advancing to the National and World Team levels.

Jo-Anne Collis gives this advice, “before starting out in agility, your dog should have an understanding of basic, informal obedience and commands like ‘stay’, ‘down’ and ‘off ’, that come from a good foundation of puppy training”.

The best reward at the end of the day is seeing the enjoyment you and your dog have together. The ribbons, titles or awards are insignificant in comparison to the great time people can have and the bond they develop playing agility.

The Roadsters Agility Club believe that the skills required for a great agility dog emerge from a great pet and they strive to help owners and their dogs experience joy throughout their training and performance.

Kathy Smith from TailBlazers says, “Have fun out there. Above all, agility is fun and it’s not about who wins the competition but how big the smiles are when the last obstacle is cleared - that goes for human and canine.”

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his could be the scene of a dinner party in the small Greek village of Periklia where Chris Zmeis’s extended family still farms the land.

In fact, the setting is Yiamas Greek Taverna on 8th Street in Courtenay. From an early age Zmeis knew he wanted to follow his father’s footsteps and open a restaurant. At 18, he travelled to Greece to reconnect to the roots of his parent’s culture. The small village where his father was raised welcomed him with open arms. His grandmother, aunts, great-aunts, as well as friends he made in the community were happy to share family recipes with him.

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“My grandmother had a backyard full of vegetables,” he says. “She’d pick tomatoes and serve them with fresh feta and olive oil, roasted red peppers and a fresh loaf of bread. That is still my favourite meal!” Zmeis was raised in the kitchen. Working alongside his father, he was eager to learn. “He’d show me how to cook slowly. By age twelve, I was a full line cook,” Zmeis says proudly. “I was very close to my father,” he says, reminiscing. “After school I’d run down to the restaurant and sit there with my dad peeling garlic and onions.”

When Zmeis moved to the Comox Valley to open his restaurant two years ago, he wanted to create a place to share a meal and conversation over a hearty serving of authentic Greek food. But at Yiamas the experience goes beyond the menu. “We try to learn the customers name and know what they like,” he says. “To have a real conversation, not just about the food but how their day was.” When live music is playing it is not unusual for customers to get up from their table to dance in celebration. Zmeis encourages this festive mood by hosting specialty Greek nights with live music and a belly dancer. On at least one occasion diners took part in a traditional Greek plate smashing at the end of their meal. “It’s a fun opportunity to see how another culture celebrates,” he says. For special events, Zmeis often invites his mother to his kitchen. She is happy to share her traditional recipes and assist with preparations. When planning a trip to Yiamas it is best to go on an empty stomach as entrees are substantial. “We don’t want anyone to leave hungry,” Zmeis says with a smile. “Just like when you go to your mom’s house and she says eat, eat, eat… we want you to do the same here.”

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ramona’s belly dancinG caPtivates Guests. some even rise from their tables and join her in dance. special performances like this take place every few months at yiamas.

phoTo bY Karen mcKinnon



ia and Brian McCormick are clever crows! Carrying large buckets they collect salty seawater at high tide from local beaches to hand harvest their popular artisan sea salt. “It can be humorous collecting water,” Lia admits. “We’ve never fallen in, but one of these days we will.”

Curious onlookers approach the couple with questions and offers of help. “I feel really proud of what we’re doing,” Lia says. “We’ll always accept help and we’re totally happy to answer questions!”



They collect eight 40-litre buckets at a time- enough for two small batches. It takes 80 litres of water and five days of processing to make three kilograms (just over six and a half pounds of salt.) After filtering and boiling down the water, the McCormick’s continue to simmer the salty brine until it evaporates into pure flakes. Crystals form on the surface of the water before sinking to the bottom of the pot to be scooped out and smoked or dried. At this stage they transfer to the commercial kitchen at Prontissima

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“It’s a deep red ruby colour with a nice aroma to it,” Lia says. “You can put it on green beans or asparagus for colourful presentation. I like to sprinkle it over Natural Pastures buffalo mozzarella with a balsamic reduction.” PHOTOGRAPHY BY JULIA LOO

Pasta where a variety of artisan flavours are blended in delicious combinations and packaged for sale. It took six months to perfect the process, determining the right balance of timing, flavour and texture to create the flavourful fleur de sel, which they sell in its pure form as well as infused with natural ingredients.

Sea salt has an abundance of minerals compared to conventional table salt making it a healthier choice in the kitchen. It is healthy and delicious. Lia pinches some salt between her fingers and spreads it over freshly cut cucumber and radish to demonstrate how easy it is to infuse flavor into a meal. by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record

Clever Crow Sea Salt is available at Signature Wines in Comox, Prontissima Pasta in Courtenay and Seeds Market in Cumberland, but Lia’s favourite venue is the Comox Valley Farmer’s Market, which takes place at the Exhibition Grounds every Saturday throughout the summer. She loves the opportunity to interact with her customers and has made many close friends amongst other small-scale food producers. “It’s all joyful!” Lia exclaims when asked to describe the best part of her business. “I love working with flavours, making up all the different blends, cooking with them and experimenting.” The Beaufort Ca Beautage wine salt is a popular choice. The local wine is blended with raw sea salt to create a colourful, flavourful infusion.

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record SU MME R 2014 | T RIO MAGA Z IN E



Postcards Home



ith 222 Canadian athletes preparing to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics last February, Wendy Sears was busy coordinating logistics and managing accommodation for NBC in Sochi, Russia. This was her first visit to Russia, but not her first Olympic event. When Whistler hosted the games in 2010, Sears jumped on board. She spent a month on location and caught Olympic fever, travelling next to London for the summer games in 2012. When the opportunity arose to travel to Sochi, a resort community in the Krasnodar region of Russia she jumped at the chance for a third Olympic experience. She felt a strong sense of Canadian pride throughout the games. Canadian athletes

brought home 25 medals, including 10 Gold, 10 Silver and 5 Bronze.

As Sears arrived in Sochi, she was struck by the barren landscape.

“This is my third games and the first opportunity I had to attend opening ceremonies,” she said. “I was extremely proud of Canada!”

“The Olympic park was quite futuristic,” she says. “When I first got there, the landscaping wasn’t done. There was nothing there.”

Sears is a Vancouver Island marketing and event planning professional best known in the Comox Valley for her role coordinating the annual Filberg Festival alongside business partner, Susan Lewis. While Sears travelled to Russia, Lewis stayed behind to begin planning Filberg. When asked about the balancing act, coordinating local and international events simultaneously Sears replied that whether she is working on a major sporting event or a community festival the time commitment and work ethic is the same.

The transformation took place literally overnight. “One day we were coming back from the park and we saw the bustle of builders, the next day there was a fully operational restaurant in place.” Sochi is known as the pearl of the Black Sea, a resort community popular with Russians for its subtropical terrain. According to Frommer’s, it is the northernmost subtropical climate in the world. Despite Russia’s reputation for cold climate, the coastal



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community of Sochi is quite warm.

to learn some Russian.

Over the months that Sears spent in Sochi she developed a strong appreciation for the beautiful spirit of the Russian people.

“We tried to learn a word a day,” she remembers. “We’d practice with the locals and they’d laugh at us.”

“They are pretty reserved people but once they got to know you they totally opened up,” she says. “Lovely, lovely people!”

As Sears conversed with merchants she told an elderly baboushka she was Canadian. The women’s immediate response was a happy cry, “Oh, hockey!”

The most authentic Russian experience for Sears came visiting the market where handcrafted matryoshka dolls were on display alongside spices, candied fruit, fish, nuts and delicacies such as churchkhela (a jellied fruit snack filled with nuts). For the most part, Sears was able to communicate in English but she did attempt

“Here is this unassuming Russian woman that sells flowers at a market and she was watching Canadian hockey!” Sears says. Seeing diverse cultures come together to forge a sense of community while celebrating the world’s best athletes was an unforgettable experience.

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record |

handcrafted Guitar eXhibits deeP Gratitude for vancouver island musicfest


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a Gift of music


celebration of family, friends, memories, and of coursegreat music, has kept Trevor Kronbauer, a guitar maker from Armstrong, B.C., coming to Vancouver Island MusicFest for close to two decades.

Kronbauer has been bringing his children, Sage and Jude Kronbauer, to the festival since they were young enough to be rocked in his arms while he grooved to one of his favourite bands. “The music is always fantastic,” Kronbauer says. “The whole atmosphere is awesome.” Sage and Jude are now teenagers with an eclectic musical taste. Their lives have undergone many changes but the festival has been a constant in their lives, creating a soundtrack that echoes the memories of many summers. For Kronbauer this strong sense of community motivated him to design and build a handcrafted guitar, which he has donated to organizers to be raffled at the 2014 festival, which took place July 11-13. “After all these years I felt like I needed to say thank you and just saying it wasn’t enough for me,” Kronbauer says. “This is what I do. I build guitars. This is tangible way for me to reflect my appreciation for all the love and hard work that everyone puts into this festival.” According to festival director Doug Cox, who had a chance to play the instrument when it was donated, this custom designed Kronbauer guitar is a work of art. It is made with Indian rosewood, Sitka spruce, flamed Koa and Honduran mahogany to create a rich sound that resonates across the room. “It is exciting for me to see the guitar go out in the world to create music,” Kronbauer says, thrilled for his guitar to be raffled at the festival. Though he spent over sixty hours handcrafting it, he does not hesitate to let it go. “This guitar was made specifically to be raffled,” Kronbauer says explaining that it will have a rich sound whether it ends up in the hands of a finger picker or a strummer. “For this guitar the design, the wood, everything, is made so it would work for a variety of players, not just one style.”

In the early years, the Kronbauer family enjoyed full days at the festival before heading back into town to stay with family friends, George and Frances Yates. Frances Yates is a MusicFest director, passionate about the collaboration of arts and culture in the community. The festival is a highlight of her summer and she always has a ready supply of snacks and treats to make everyone feel welcome.

He camps with the Yates and Donaldson families. The friends say that the most difficult part of their weekend is deciding which shows they cannot miss. Sometimes they part ways for the afternoon. While one gets caught up in a dynamic song circle or jam session at the Grierson stage, the other heads to the Grassy Knoll to hear a favourite band.

As the children grew older they became reluctant to leave the grounds, not wanting to miss any performances. The transition to camping was a natural choice. Being able to spend the entire weekend on site gave them a sense of being immersed in a magical collaboration of music and community.

Over the years, Kronbauer has seen many of his favourite performers on these stages and he has even had the chance to meet a few in person. Kronbauer is eager to share his passion for music with his family so the day he and his son Jude had the chance to meet Taj Mahal, to shake his hand and tell him in person how much they were moved by his music, was a highlight.

“We all feel like a huge family,” says Kronbauer. “It’s not just a festival. It has become a tradition for us, a great meeting place to connect with friends and family.”

From festival attendees to volunteers, there are approximately 10,000 people taking part in the festival each day. Cox attributes this success to the faithfulness of volunteers who

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continue to come back year after year and he is thrilled that the festival has grown into such a dynamic community event. “There is a large crew who take two to three weeks off work every year to come and build the festival,” Cox says. “There are also numerous small business people, like Trevor, who generously give to the Festival each year in order to make sure it remains sustainable. The most important thing with any festival is the community aspect of it," Cox says. “It becomes a grand reunion.” by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor Comox Valley Record

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solitary crab wanders beneath the dock, sidestepping a large purple starfish as a dragon boat slips sleekly away from the marina. It is a sunny midSaturday morning. A team of recreational dragon boaters move in unison across the bay. Prevailing Wins Team Captain Leon Van Noorden emphasizes that anyone can join the recreational team, made up of men, women and youth of all ages and abilities. “Having the youth team is really neat because they are our future dragon boaters,” he says, explaining that creating a welcoming atmosphere is key to the group’s success. “If someone comes alone and no one reaches out to him then he doesn’t want to continue.” The same commitment to coming alongside new paddlers with offers of friendship and encouragement prevails in the recreational paddle session.

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“If people are eager to paddle, that to me is the most important thing,” says Van Noorden. “It’s not an exclusive kind of a thing where people who are not good enough or competitive enough get pushed out. It’s for everyone” The boat is steered into the harbour by Norm Flower, an experienced tiller able to

phoTographY bY paul Weed

guide the boat through sun and rain. The only thing that stops him is the wind. As tiller he stands watch at the back of the boat and with the highest risk of falling in he has the final say whether the boat leaves the marina. The same rule applies on the water. The tiller is in command and when he calls out an order everyone, even the coach, must heed his instruction. As Flower steers the narrow boat into deeper water, paddlers lean forward in unison, pushing their paddles into the sea in a firm rhythmic motion. “Let’s try a race start,” Coach Bill Jay says, reminding everyone to reach as far forward as they can, readying their paddles in the water in preparation for an imaginary starting gun. His jovial manner sets newcomers at ease as he provides instruction on the various commands and strategies. Jay reminds the group to keep their hips pressed firmly against the side of the boat and legs braced in front of them in order to maximize the strength of each stroke. “Good work!” he says after counting down a series of strokes. “Now let it run.” This command means its time to stop paddling and relax. As Jay guides the group through some welcome stretches, a blue heron spreads its wings overhead and the

tiller, norm floWer Guides the PrevailinG Wins draGon boatinG team throuGh recreational fun and comPetition.

phoTographY bY ?

sun sparkles on the surface of the ocean. A seal bobs his head to the surface to see what’s going on. Some paddlers have come for the first time after seeing an ad in the paper inviting them to try the sport. It’s a deal too good to refuse:

Paddles and lifejackets are provided and the first 4 sessions are free. After that it’s a minimal $5/paddle. The recreational paddle is separate from the competitive team and is meant to provide a fun introduction to the sport without the pressure of competition.

As the season opens, Prevailing Wins group members host a recreational paddle, that leaves the marina Wednesday evenings at 5 p.m. Newcomers are always welcome. For more information interested individuals should call Leon Van Noorden at 250-339-5772.

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record |

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Liam Richardson and Anne Wilde are good friends despite a seven-decade age difference. The rapport they formed through the Grandbuddy program is a testament to the importance of intergenerational connection.

Friendship spans generations photo by Karen McKinnon


riendship comes in all shapes and sizes. For 91-year old Anne Wilde and 19-year old Liam Richardson, a special bond developed a decade ago when his grade five class collaborated with The Views at St. Joseph’s Hospital to participate in the grandbuddy program.

“They all say they’ll see you again but you know- kids are kids,” says Wilde. “But Liam’s been special from the start. He said he’d come visit and he did. I really love that boy!” “We have always gotten along really well,” says Richardson explaining that he

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considers the 91-year old to be a good friend. “If you talk to Anne for any length of time you’ll hear fantastic stories. She gives you a great perspective on things!” Now that Richardson is nineteen, Wilde is excited to take him to the Black Fin for lunch and a drink the next time he comes home on a break from university. “She has a bit of mischief in her,” Richardson says with a smile, remembering how she always had a bag of candy waiting for him when he came to visit. “She still gives me a bag of candy every time I visit her,” he laughs. Wilde moved to The Views after having a stroke. She has trouble with her vision and requires a wheelchair to get around but this doesn’t stop her from enjoying the energetic and inquisitive nature of the children. “The kids sometimes ask questions about my wheelchair. Are you okay? Are the brakes on or off? They’ll stand in line to push me. I think it’s fantastic,” says Wilde. “It’s good for the kids, and it’s good for us too. It makes you feel younger because they’re full of vim and vigor and that’s good for us!” The children entertain residents with their energy and enthusiasm. Interactive games and activities such as butter making, bingo, songs and storytelling help develop a strong sense of connection. Ria Volkes and Ann Lewis are teachers at Aspen Park Elementary school. They bring their students to The Views each month and have seen firsthand the difference that the program makes in the lives of their students. Some students that participate in the grandbuddy program go on to volunteer in the hospital.

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“It's so good for the young kids to be exposed to the elderly, because as we know some of the things that come with aging can be scary to kids at first,” says Lewis noting that her students really look forward to connecting with their grandbuddy each month. “The bonds that many of them make are amazing.” According to program director Brenda Phillips, the purpose of the grandbuddy program is to nurture self-esteem in both students and seniors while fostering friendship and understanding across generations. Since creating the program over a decade ago, she has seen first hand that friendship truly has no age limit. For more info she can be reached at Brenda. or 250-339-1426 by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record

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etting the table with freshly pressed linens, a fine china tea set and a sweet and savoury selection of treats reminds Val Graham of childhood visits to her grandmother’s home on Butcher’s road. “My grandmother always set the tea table when she had people in,” she remembers. “It was always lovely.” Graham loves vintage collections and has a special fondness for delicate fine bone china, reminiscent of past generations. After attending an afternoon tea at the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in April 2008, Graham was inspired to volunteer. She was instrumental in establishing the current gift shop, which opened in 2011 and relies on community donations for it’s eclectic display of merchandise. As seniors downsize, and children inherit a household of memories, many people donate in hopes that someone will love it as much as they did in the past. Graham sees a trend in young brides who come to the gift shop

to buy mismatched plates and tablecloths, setting the scene for a vintage glam, shabby chic wedding party. She recalls a gentleman deliberating over a regal firedog (a horizontal iron bar that holds logs in an open fireplace). He wanted to repurpose it to decorate the gate in his garden. Knowing that every cent goes back to the preservation and maintenance of the lodge and park thrills Graham. She is very proud of the collaborative effort that makes the gift shop so successful. Maintaining the nine-acre waterfront property and 4,000 square foot lodge while preserving its heritage status is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. “Last year we did a new roof with heritage shingles and rebuilt the gable into the dining room,” Graham says. “There is another gable that needs to be rebuilt. Rockwork needs to be replaced. Railings need to be installed on the stairs…” The list goes on. The gift shop provides a

means to contribute towards these important repairs. Most gifts come from the local community but generosity is not exclusive to the Comox Valley. “There was a lady in the shop at last summer’s Filberg festival. She mentioned she had a collection of her mother’s belongings that would fit perfectly here,” Graham says, never expecting that someone would really take the time to ship a donation across the country. She was surprised and thrilled when boxes arrived via FedEx a month later, filled with an amazing collection. “It was a beautiful donation,” she says. “It boggles the mind when people take the trouble to do these things!” The Filberg Gift Shop is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, extending to four days a week, Thursday to Sunday, in July and August. If you are interested in making a donation to the gift shop, please contact Val Graham at 250-339-2715 or

by Jennifer Cox | Features Editor | Comox Valley Record | 36

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A locally owned pharmacy located in the Target store, with a pharmacy team dedicated to service first. See our ad on page 9.

Educating the Whole Child. Integrating arts, music, and academics to create a passion for learning using the Waldorf Curriculum taught by Waldorf Certified teachers. Register now for Fall 2014. See our ad on page 33. Family owned independent jewellery & giftware store serving the Comox Valley by the Big Clock since 1970. Offering a broad range of products and services including jewellery and watch repairs & custom orders. See our ad on page 9.

Celebrating its 140th year of agriculture, we invite everyone to come enjoy the community spirit & healthy country living. Three days of fun ‘Pioneer Days & Modern Ways’ August 22, 23 & 24, 2014. See our ad on page 33. SUMME R 2014 | T RIO MAG A Z IN E


Meet OUR ADVERTISERS Island Dentures

Kevin Reid Coast Realty Group (Comox Valley)

RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty

offers a full complement of denture services. Our professionals provide you with precision dentures, and we guarantee our work. See our ad on page 25.

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 9 .

is Comox Valley’s #1 Full Service Real Estate Brokerage. See our ad on page 21.

Core Systems

Pilon Tool Rentals

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 & DYI! See our ad on page 7.

Casa Loma & Comox Valley Seniors Village

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

Locally owned and operated for over 40 years serving the Comox Valley with fine rental and outdoor power equipment. See our ad on page 7.

Pre Loved Fashions

Axis Heating & Cooling


Couverdon is the real estate business of TimberWest Forest Corporation, the largest private landowner on Vancouver Island. See our ad on page 6.

A wide selection of women’s clothing and accessories. We are located at 307-D 14th Street Courtenay B.C. Visit us at or call us at 250-871-0373 See our ad on page 7.

Canadian Tire

Beijing House Restaurant

Dynamic Spine, Sport & Wellness

The Mex Liquor Store

Acheson Whitley Sweeney Foley Holekamp

Trail Bicycles

Pearl Ellis

A volunteer run non–profit society showcasing local artists all year long. See our ad on page 16.

We represent people injured in motor vehicle accidents, slip & falls, or by defective products. We represent the injured person, never the insurance company. See our ad on page 13.

A full service bicycle shop in the Valley for 9 yrs. We offer sales, service, accessories & parts. We stock Trek, Norco, Pivot & Yetti bikes for your road & trail needs. Huge demo fleet – come & demo a bike today! See our ad on page 17.


The Westerly Hotel

Signature Oil & Vinegar

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 23.

Blinds & Bubbles Boutique

Canadian Tire gives you the best of both worlds; box store pricing, but most importantly, the home town feel and service that can only be achieved by a locally owned and operated business. See our ad on page 11.

The North Island’s only Hunter Douglas Showroom. Call us or stop in to set up a complimentary in-home appointment. See our ad on page 14.

Affordable Sewing & Vacuum Centre

is an authentic Northern Chinese restaurant. Eric Zhao & Cherry Che have opertated the restaurant since 2008. Famous for Peking Duck (Beijing Roast Duck) and live crab and lobster. See our ad on page 22.

By combining Chiropractic, Active Release Technique@ (ART®), Graston Technique®, Registered Massage Therapy and various rehabilitation techniques, patients receive the highest standard of care. See our ad on page 12.

North Vancouver Island’s largest sewing machine outlet, “after the sale, it’s the service that counts” See our ad on page 15.

Celebrating 7 years at Courtenay Crossing, Sublime has always strived for an “inspirational, shopping experience”. Dierdre, Leah & Rina are dedicated to helping women enjoy style & beauty thru unique fashions! See our ad on page 32.

We take the time to know you. Located next to Super Store at 1003 Ryan Road. We have a wide selection of beer, wine & spirits for you to choose from. Let us make you part of our family. See our ad on page 22 .

It all happens at The Westerly – literally! Whether it’s Sushi or Tapas, Karaoke or Sports; Tiki Bar or Family Restaurant; Conference facilities or a dip in the pool. We have it covered. See our ad on page 14. HO ME















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We specialize in fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oils and Italian balsamic vinegars. Located at Signature Wines, 2060 Guthrie Rd. in Comox. All 37 amazing products are available for tasting before purchase. See our ad on page 27.




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TRIO MAGAZINE welcomes your Comox Valley suggestions for upcoming editions. Email publisher Zena Williams


T r io m ag a zine | S um m er 2 014












Vancouver Island MusicFest at the Comox Valley Fairgrounds

Jim Hegan




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iving in Squamish BC which is recognized as the "Outdoor Recreation Capitol of Canada" has provided me with incredible daily opportunity to photograph extreme outdoor and cutting edge action sports and athletes ranging from kite boarding, biathlon, ski jumping, luge, skeleton and bobsleigh, as well as rock climbing, sailing and mountain biking.

Along with action sports, my lifelong passion for music and music festivals rounds out my primary focus around subject matter. I equally enjoy both the local opportunities as well as the assignments that take me further afield. But perhaps the greatest reward is the opportunity to communicate something unique through photography, which is powerful enough to spark feedback and friendships from all walks of life. su mme r 2014 | T rio maga z in e



Evening Paddle at Comox Marina


Night Market at Comox Ave.

summer months from 4-7pm

Profile for Black Press Media Group

July 08, 2014  

Section Z of the July 08, 2014 edition of the Comox Valley Record

July 08, 2014  

Section Z of the July 08, 2014 edition of the Comox Valley Record