VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST
RELAX, SIT BACK &
SAVOUR SUMMER CULINARY ADVENTURES AND BEACH FEASTS CLASSY FASHION AND UPSCALE DESIGN
JULIE ANGUS’ OLIVE ADVENTURE // ADAM KREEK: LESSONS IN FAILURE
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Issue 08, Volume XXIlI
20 COCKTAILS AND CROQUET By Arnold Lim
34 HAWTHORN Closing doors By Tom Hawthorn
28 JULIE ANGUS’ ADVENTURE By Susan Lundy
38 WILD SIDE FORAGERS By Susan Lundy 42 ADAM KREEK ON FAILURE By Jordan Kovacs 55 GARDEN ART By Wendy Picken
47 FOOD & DRINK It’s salmon time! By Cinda Chavich
ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Oliver Sommer ADVERTISING MANAGER Janet Gairdner EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Kevin Laird
EDITOR’S LETTER Culinary adventures
50 TRAVEL NEAR Nootka Trail By Ross Crockford
FASHION FAVES Gregory Damant Peter Johannnknecht By Lia Crowe
60 TRAVEL FAR Tahiti house exchange By Michelle Floyd
HOT PROPERTIES Detailing the home By Carolyn Heiman
TALKING WITH TESS Gayle Robinson By Tess van Straaten
CIRCULATION Bruce Hogarth DIRECTOR
EDITOR Susan Lundy
ADVERTISING Pat Brindle Janet Gairdner
69 FRONT ROW Raven Baroque, Shakespeare, Salish art and more. By Robert Moyes
36 DESIGN MATTERS Chair envy By Sarah Reid
GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto
CREATIVE Lily Chan Pip Knott
SECRETS & LIVES Tania Miller, music director, Victoria Symphony By Susan Lundy
Summer fashion modelled by Alexis Petrunia (see fashion shoot, page 20). Photo by Arnold Lim.
ADVERTISE Boulevard Magazine is Victoria’s leading lifestyle magazine, celebrating 24 years of publishing in Greater Victoria. To advertise or to learn more about advertising opportunities please send
CONTRIBUTING Cinda Chavich, Ross WRITERS Crockford, Lia Crowe, Michelle Floyd, Tom Hawthorn, Carolyn Heiman, Jordan Kovacs, Robert Moyes, Wendy Picken, Sarah Reid, Tess van Straaten CONTRIBUTING Don Denton, Ross PHOTOGRAPHERS Crockford, Michelle Floyd, Vince Klassen, Arnold Lim
us an email at email@example.com Mailing Address: 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1E4 Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 firstname.lastname@example.org blvdmag.ca
Victoria Boulevard ® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519.
CULINARY ADVENTURES BY SUSAN LUNDY
PHOTO BY ARNOLD LIM
WHAT BETTER WAY TO “SAVOUR SUMMER” than with some taste bud tricks offered up by my friend Steve Glavicich? Steve, a former Chopped Canada contestant and the owner/operator of a “chef-driven” food truck, says things like: try pepper on strawberries; lime juice on corncobs; salt on watermelon. From his truck, he’s dished up such oddities as bacon and peanut butter muffins and lamb with corn, rosemary and vanilla sauce. His favourite weird snack is peanut butter on toast with sriracha and green onions. He says, “It all comes down to personal taste and experimentation. The only limits are imagination and how brave a culinary adventurer you want to be.” Fabulous food is a theme of this edition of Boulevard and culinary adventurers abound. Victoria’s Julie Angus travelled the Mediterranean to uncover the secrets of the olive (Olive Adventure, page 29); and I joined foragers on a beach in Qualicum, raking, shovelling, shucking and slurping raw oysters right there in the fresh, sea air (On the Wild Side, page 38). And food columnist Cinda Chavich offers savoury suggestions on serving and preserving freshcaught salmon (Happy Returns, page 47). As a society, we’ve come along way from the white bread and processed cheese days of our past. We’ve travelled full circle, today seeking out the pure, local, 8
unmanipulated foods of our ancestors, discovering the surprisingly rich and diverse tastes of heritage tomatoes or apples, for example, and finding ways to grow our own food, even in urban areas. Food has simmered back into my life over the last few years. My new husband loves to cook; he gets all happy and enthusiastic as he throws Grand Marnier and orange segments into a salmon glaze reduction, or chops up thick veggies for a ratatouille. (He’s also compelled to use every pot, pan, serving platter and bowl in the kitchen, but I forgive him because cooking isn’t really my thing.) It’s interesting how the culture of food has evolved. Today, food is hailed as both the enemy and the antidote to all that ails us. Amid the mountain of information (some scientific, some anecdotal, much fictional) available today, it’s surprising we all survived our Cheese Whiz, Wonder Bread and Prem childhoods. I recall my apron-clad grandmother serving lavish spreads of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, boiled-to-mush vegetables and thick rivers of gravy. The belt-busting dinner was followed by strawberry shortcake, ice cream with chocolate sauce and platters heaped with Peek Frean cookies. There’s not much on that menu served in my house today. Shocker documentaries like Super Size Me and, later, Food Inc. were pivotal in changing the food culture, along with books written by food activists (also new) such as Michael Pollan, and burgeoning debates around food ethics. Food and the production of food became the enemy. Personally, I haven’t eaten red meat since I was a teenager, I’ve been lactose intolerant for 15 years, and riding that much-vilified trend, I don’t eat wheat. (I guess I could reconsider booze, chocolate and coffee too, but how much can one person give up?) While some foods remain in enemy territory, others have moved to the health front — honey, cucumber, turmeric, coconut oil, for example. It’s dizzying trying to keep up with it all. I think this is why there exists such pure joy in seeking out our own food. What a relief to eat fresh, local and organic. Several years ago, I was asked to write a book about heritage apples — those varieties of apples that are, in some cases, centuries old. In researching the book, I was dazzled to discover hundreds of varieties of apples, each, surprisingly, with a unique flavour. Same with olive
oil, says Julie Angus, who claims there are about 400 different-tasting olive oils. She recommends sampling a host of them at Olive the Senses in Victoria, and learning how to distinguish the good from the bad. So this August, take the challenge. Explore food; forage, bake, baste and barbecue. Have yourself a culinary adventure. And if that’s not enough, this edition of Boulevard offers ways to savour summer beyond the tickling of taste buds. Read about the adventures of Ross Crockford on the Nootka Trail (Travel Near, page 50) and the “lessons in failure” by ex-Olympian Adam Kreek (page 42). There’s a gaggle of Sidney artists who have taken their creativity to the garden (page 55); and speaking of gardens, check out the chic whites and accessories of the models featured in our monthly fashion spread — shot this month at the colour-bursting Abkhazi Garden. And in its continuing evolution, Boulevard goes “back to the future” with this edition, offering readers a thicker, glossier, perfect-bound format. We hope you like it. If all else fails, and you’re still looking for excitement … try sriracha and green onions on your peanut butter toast. Boulevard Buzz: Here are some other things to do this August in Victoria: For music lovers: The 25th annual Victoria Symphony Splash takes place from 1-4 pm on the Fairmont Empress grounds, August 3. For boat and car lovers: The Oak Bay Collector Car Festival rolls onto Oak Bay Avenue, August 10, while the Classic Boat Festival motors into Victoria’s inner harbour, August 29-31. For sports lovers: Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) celebrates the 20th anniversary of Victoria’s XV Commonwealth Games. Taking place August 23 at PISE, it will feature activities like physical literacy stations and adaptive sports, action from Victoria Highlanders FC and Rugby Canada, memorabilia, and information on the legacy projects that emerged from the games. For those on the fringe: The Victoria Fringe Festival runs August 21-31 at various city venues. For food lovers: Rockn’ Rolls Modern Sushi opened July 1 at Fisherman’s Wharf. Find fresh fish and seafood — unloaded at the Huron Street Pier — sliced, diced and rolled right onto your plate.
WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU We welcome your letters: email@example.com or visit us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and links to featured stories and local events.
GREGORY DAMANT PETER JOHANNKNECHT
PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
LIFE & STYLE
Two architects each recognized a sympathetic personality and design approach in the other; together, they formed Cascadia Architects, a firm that is larger than the sum of its two partners.
BY LIA CROWE ON A HOT JULY EVENING, I waited anxiously outside of the new 1019 Blanshard Street building, home to restaurants Be Love and La Taquisa, and designed by the two men whom I anticipated meeting. They arrived as I expected, impeccably dressed in charcoal, black and midnight blue. They were polite, thoughtful, cautious, and deep, silent, smack-you-in-the-face intelligent. With decades of combined 10
experience and numerous high profile projects (Dockside Green, The Atrium) decorating their CVs, the two men took their mutual specialty in sustainable design and decided to go out on their own. Said Peter: “I was working on projects outside of Victoria and it wasn’t my cup of tea. We’re both interested in working where we live. Mainly, it’s being involved in our community and having that sense of improving our city with sensitive design, sustainable design.” Said Greg: “If you’re going to pour your life energy into a creative profession, you want to feel the impact of your work.” In practice together now for close
to two years, they are more than just partners in business: “every project is jointly created.” Peter: “It’s a delicate process; you can’t take things personally, it’s about the work. You put your ideas to the test and talk it through until you have something, because often there’s a third way. It’s more fun and the end result is always better.” Soon you will be able to find them in their new Cascadia Architects office in John Di Castri’s Mosaic building. Until then, you may see these fine looking gentlemen in Chorizo Spanish Deli — their unofficial office — sketching, sharing and challenging each other’s ideas, while envisioning Victoria’s next, yet-uncreated space.
Design Book: Hand to Earth by Andy Goldsworthy. Last great read: Happy Cities by Charles Montgomery. On bedside table: Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich.
Uniform Suit: Strellson, we have to be careful not to show up wearing the same thing. Shirt: Banana Republic. Best new purchase: Denham jacket. Denim: Baldwin Jeans. Watch: Gucci watch I’ve had for 25 years. Sneakers: White Pumas. Boots: Black, 8 hole Dr. Martens. Sunglasses: Maui Jim’s with gold frames. Grooming Who cuts your hair: Me. Products: OM Aftershave balm by local barber Uomo.
Life Local restaurant: Chorizo & Co. Spanish Delicatessen. Cocktail: Anything with ginger beer, like a Dark and Stormy. City: Berlin, it’s a complete city layered in history. Architecture that inspires you: Holocaust Memorial by Peter Eisenman. Fave App: I’ve started paddle boarding, so my new favourite app is Tides Near Me. Favourite place in the whole world: Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.
PETER Reading Material Print
magazine: Competition, German architecture magazine, competitionline.com. Last great read: Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson.
Uniform Suit: Strellson. Shirt: Hugo Boss. Favourite new purchase: Kelly green socks. Watch: Omega Seamaster. Accessory you spend the most money on: Technology. Grooming Who cuts your hair: Victory Barber. Scent: Issey Miyake for men.
Life Local restaurant: Zambri’s or Pizzeria Prima Strada. Drink: Isle of Jura Whiskey. Music: Bach is probably my favourite. City: I would love to visit Barcelona. Fave App: Sun Seeker. Film: Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders. Architecture that inspires you: In North America, the de Young museum by Herzog & de Meuron in San Francisco. Favourite place in the whole world: Tofino (or anywhere my kids are).
Eyebrow windows and other curved adornments serve to create a sense of symmetry without repetitiveness.
DETAILING THE HOME RENOVATION SPLASH AT A NORTH SAANICH WATERFRONT CLASSIC TEXT BY CAROLYN HEIMAN PHOTOS BY VINCE KLASSEN
T’S EASY TO BE AWESTRUCK by any home gracing our region’s stunning waterfront. Man-made structures might be considered weak competitors against the wonders of Mother Nature, especially when she lays bare the expansive views of straits and inlets. But inside a home that snuggles the water’s edge — no matter how elegant or even minimal the design — the jury always comes back with a favourable review... given the influence nature has on the perspective. It’s surprising then that the stunning views of the Saanich Inlet
were only marginally distracting as I toured a recently renovated rancher on the North Saanich shoreline. For sure, the sun dancing off gentle waves and the occasional paddle boarder and boater fleetingly caught my eye. But my attention was always brought back to the perfect marriage of craftsmanship and design in this 4,300-square-foot home.
STATEMENTS SMALL AND LARGE Uncomfortable boasting about his home, the owner requested his name not be used in this article. Instead, he
To capitalize on the sweeping views, steel frame construction was employed in reconstruction of the main floor. That in turn allowed for wide spans of window and glass doors on the portion of the home that fronts the ocean. It also makes the house extremely earthquake-proof.
deferred to his long-time friend and home designer, James Grieve, to talk about the new features in the renovated home. These include a storey added over part of the main floor to create a sumptuous master bedroom and ensuite, and a stunning 17-foot vaulted ceiling over the living and den area on the main floor. While this rather simplistically describes the alternations to house, originally built in 1980, it doesn’t acknowledge the attention to detail that makes this home remarkable. Notably, the quality and design of the
millwork stand out, with exclamations of olive and walnut burled inlay in the kitchen cabinetry, stair railings, library shelving and elsewhere. Entering the home, one passes through an outdoor gate and into a small courtyard. This creates the notion of an outdoor foyer, guiding visitor to the main event. Ahead sits a magnificent, arched, fir door with clerestory windows and sidelights that continue the arched theme. “You only get one chance to make a good first impression,” says Grieve, referring to the attention he gives entranceway designs. In this instance, the entranceway
A stately custom arched door features a bank of clerestory windows above, and side lights that flood the area with natural light.
Finely executed inlays of alabaster, ebony and spruce make each stair cap a work of art.
The owner worked on the concept for the staircase design over a number of years before coming up with a twosided design that is functional yet unpredictable. 15
Entering the home, one steps into a small courtyard that creates the idea of an outdoor foyer, guiding visitors to the main event.
Unparalleled Quality • Integrity • Attention to Detail
signals to visitors that they will be simultaneously comfortable and impressed. Inside, impressions are made both on a grand and small scale. Overall, the design gives a nod to modernism with its openness: the kitchen opens to the dining room and the living/den area is within sight. But traditional sensibilities reign beyond that. Grieve notes that 90 per cent of his clients still want a traditional style, which they feel will carry them through the decades. Nowhere is “tradition” felt more than in the den off the main foyer. It is compact, yet its style — dark curving bookcases and conservatory-style patio doors — harkens back to grand English country houses. Instantly appealing, it’s easy to visualize spending a rainy day here, curled up with a good book, or in better weather, taking advantage of chairs that swivel to face the lush patio area, or turn to confront the panoramic ocean views.
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A warm, open kitchen invites the chef to share in the cooking, and guests to gather around as the creativity beings. A circular eating bar is poised on a pedestal that highlights the walnut and olive burl inlay theme. Flanking the induction stovetop, two burled walnut pillars frame the cooking area beautifully, but are also functional. They gently slide open to access a world of spices within an arm’s reach of the cooktop. At the other end of the scale, details as small those contained in the stair posts signal the “wow” factor. Finely
Lined in onyx, travertine, and basket-weave tiles, the master bath is decidedly European. Wide-planked oak flooring with pickled white finish puts a country – traditional stamp on the house.
Fine Craftsmanship Precise Budgeting Streamlined Scheduling Winner of 7 2013 CARE Awards
falconheights.ca executed inlays of alabaster, ebony and spruce make each post cap a work of art, equal to the craftsmanship of a custom-built guitar. It’s not surprising to discover their creator is a luthier as well. How much manpower went into each one? No one will answer that. What’s certain is they will stand as a legacy feature in this home — regardless of how it evolves over the decades to come. Grieve becomes poetic as he talks about house design. “When designing homes, there is a language you establish — but you want little surprises that go off like bright lights. The bright lights in the case of this home are the gentle archways, beefy circular windows and a dramatic entryway with an over-wide, custom fir door that makes a statement. They all combine to create a sense of easy symmetry in the home, which soothes the eye and creates that feeling of comfort always sought but often missed.”
IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE! PROVIDING FINE CRAFTSMANSHIP IN VICTORIA FOR 25 YEARS.
RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL • WALLPAPER INSTALLATION
DESIGN DIALOGUE There is no tried-and-true way of coming up with a home design for every client, says Grieve. The process begins by asking a client what he or she likes in a home, “but I pay as much attention about what they don’t like.” For couples, he also asks each partner to list what he/she thinks the other wants, and it’s not unusual to discover something that is personal and unspoken, but critical to the final design. For example, once a client needed an area designed for an azalea that was a gift from a family member.
New features in the renovated home include a storey added over part of the main floor to create a sumptuous master bedroom and ensuite.
There is no one-fits all design that is likely to suit most people. “A home is like a piece of clothing. You won’t buy a pair of pants or shoes that don’t fit ... If you look to design a home for the average person, it won’t work. Carolyn Heiman explores beautiful island homes each month for Boulevard. If you know of a gorgeous home you’d like to see profiled, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPLY LIST Contractor/Builder: Mike Griffin of Griffin Properties Ltd. Exterior/Interior Painting: Haynes Painting Cabinetry: Sidney Architectural Cabinets & Millwork Co. Counters: Stone Age Marble & Granite Flooring: Visle Industries Inc. Appliances: Trail Appliances Plumbing fixtures: The Ensuite Bath & Kitchen Windows: Westeck Windows & Doors Lighting: Mclaren Lighting Landscaping: Terra Pacifica Landscape Services Tile work: Decora Tile Home designers and interior design: James Grieve Design Ltd. 19
ON JULIAN: Cotton blazer ($620) and brogues ($315), both by Tiger of Sweden; white cotton shirt by Matinique Denmark ($119), all available at Hughes Clothing. ON ALEXIS: White FRASCARA suit by Beker Fashions of Toronto ($825) at Baden-Baden Boutique; Oxford shoes by Naot Kedma ($205) at Waterlily Shoes. PROPS: Candelabras by Abbott (sm $125, lg $200); pink peony bunches by Allstate Floral ($12.98), both available at Chintz & Company.
COCKTAILS & CROQUET
GETTING IT RIGHT IN WHITE AT ABKHAZI GARDEN TEXT BY SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOS BY ARNOLD LIM STYLING BY JANET GAIRDNER
HOSTING A CROQUET PARTY is a sure way to chichi up your summer: “It’s a chance for everyone to dress in white, sip iced tea, and have a ‘mahvelous’ time,’’ enthuses one sociallysavvy online writer. However, he warns, “There are few other instances in sports where the dressing room rivals the playing field. In croquet, observers and other players pay as much attention to your hemlines as they do to your game technique.” Boulevard set out to solve the mysteries of croquet party attire, and chose the beautiful Abkhazi Garden as the backdrop. With a Great Gatsby feel and a theme of Cocktails and Croquet En Blanc, our models got to work, showing off fabulous fashions and accessories, all made available by Victoria suppliers. The stunning garden setting augmented the visuals, and the result is a stylish feast for the eyes that uncovers the mysteries of fashion and croquet — and offers up suggestions for chic summer wear. Our location: Now owned by The Land Conservancy, and located at 1964 Fairfield Road, the one-acre Abkhazi Garden was first created by Georgian Prince Nicolas Abkhazi and his Shanghai-born bride, Princess Peggy Abkhazi, in 1946. They called it the “garden that love built.” The colourful garden flows around rocky slopes and twisting Garry Oak trees; carpets of naturalized bulbs, choice alpines and woodland companions bloom throughout the year. Overall, it’s a splendid place to roam, breathe in the beauty, and visit the teahouse, which offers a seasonal array of menu items using locally grown produce.
ON RAYYANN: Sheer silk tunic/dress, this piece is made of 100% silk chiffon and is hand cut, embroidered, beaded and pleated ($395) at Tatum & Olivia; espadrilles in â€œiceâ€? by Vidoretta ($139) at Waterlily Shoes. ON RAHIM: Jacket ($385); T-shirt ($95) by Denham; chinos by Baldwin ($185); Chuck Taylor shoes by Converse ($55), all available at Citizen. PROPS: Boulevard loveseat/bench, all wood frame ($995) at Max Furniture; lanterns by Abbott (tall & round $120/ea. ) at Chintz & Company; croquet set available at Canadian Tire.
WARM UP YOUR WARDROBE, FALL IS ON THE WAY. SEE YOU AT THE FARM! ANIMALE • BLÆST • BANANA BLUE • RONEN CHEN • SANDWICH • SYMPLI • YEST
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ON PATRICIA: White dress by Chiara Boni ($715) at Hughes Clothing; Jalita wedge sandal by Michael Kors in black leather ($159) at Waterlily Shoes. ON ROBERT: Pure linen shirt by Tommy Bahama ($98) and trousers in Loro Piana fabric by Coppley ($250) all available at W&J Wilson.
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ON ALEXIS: Portrait necklace by Sharon Jayatunge Victoria ($150) at Hughes Clothing.
Our models: Julian Guderley, Robert Turner, Patricia Bergeron and Alexis Petrunia from Coultish Management, and Rahim Khudabux of Max Furniture and his fiancée, Rayyann Maherali. Our suppliers: • Table decorations, including flowers, candelabras, dishes and linens provided by Chintz & Company. • Max Furniture supplied (the appropriately named) “Boulevard Loveseat.” • Lauren Villines, Heather Brewer, Rose Lange, Grace Walling and Tricia Kraushar from Aveda Institute Victoria did hair and make up. • Croquet set from Canadian Tire. • Women’s clothing from Baden-Baden, Tatum & Olivia and Hughes. • Men’s attire from Hughes, Citizen and W&J Wilson. • Women’s shoes from Waterlily. • Champagne glasses from Nicholas Randall on Oak Bay Avenue. • Prosecco courtesy of Metro Liquor, Tuscany Village. • Production support from Donna Mills.
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JULIE ANGUS: ON THE TRAIL OF THE MYSTERIOUS FRUIT BY SUSAN LUNDY
An ancient olive tree. PHOTOS BY JULIE & COLIN ANGUS
ICTORIA’S JULIE ANGUS HAS a dizzying list of credits to her name: National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, molecular biologist, bestselling author and motivational speaker. She was the first woman to row 10,000 kilometres across the Atlantic (mainland to mainland), surviving — with her husband, Colin Angus — the worst hurricane season in history, rowing through four cyclones, encountering great white sharks, and fishing for survival. She circumnavigated two-thirds of the world by human power; cycled more than a dozen countries, and rowed and biked from Scotland to Syria. Most passionately, she is the mother of three-year-old Leif and six-week-old Oliver. And now she can add a new credit to her name: olive expert.
AN OLIVE ADVENTURE As Julie sat feasting with her family in Syria, she was struck by the divine taste and cultural significance of olives. “My relatives had been growing olive trees for hundreds of years, and the fruit’s rhythms and cycles
guided their lives — what they ate, whom they married and how much money they made. The olive tree was at the core of who we were,” she writes in her new book Olive Odyssey: Searching for the Secrets of the Fruit that Seduced the World.
I have a scientific mind and an adventurous spirit, but my profession is writing. Further research produced a compelling mystery: how did the olive spread from the Middle East — where it was first domesticated — to the rest of the Mediterranean? “I knew from my background in molecular biology that genetics could help us solve that mystery,” she recalls, and the idea for her and Colin’s next adventure took root. Aiming to prove a theory that Phoenicians spread the olive tree via ancient maritime trading routes, the couple devised a plan to travel 3,500 kilometres, from Spain to Israel, stopping at ports that were under Phoenicians control thousands of years ago, visiting inland olive growing regions and archaeological sites, and collecting
PHOTO BY JULIE & COLIN ANGUS
A worker examines washed olives as they move along a conveyor belt en route to being crushed and pressed into olive oil.
samples from ancient trees for DNA analysis. “Colin shared my amazement at the taste of the olives and their place in history. And he loves adventure. He was all in,” Julie says. The four-month-long trip, ultimately taken with their 10-month-old baby, is documented in the dramatic, informative and beautifully written Olive Odyssey, published this spring by Greystone Books. The voyage, in which they sailed from Spain to Italy and then continued overland to Israel, involved the requisite adventures of “fierce winds, relentless waves and inhospitable coastlines.” They found what may be the oldest living olive tree in the world on Crete; are now able to theorize on the spread of the fruit, and, above all, discovered the olive in its many glorious forms.
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When I meet Angus at the Cook Street Moka House in early June, the adventure, the book and most of her press tours are complete. In fact, she’s just weeks away from the birth of her second child, and any plans for new adventures are unfolding closer to home. “We like to go to Clover Point to fly kites, or Beacon Hill Park. We cycle the Galloping Goose, walk the inner harbour. I love running, boating, rowing; my husband rows out to the islands,” she says. Born in Toronto, Julie first moved to Victoria in 1997 for graduate studies at UVic, completing a Masters degree
: IN tio ST pa re JU w itu ne furn
in molecular biology. Later, she worked at the university in technology transfer, eventually moving to Vancouver for work, and then Comox. She and Colin came back to Victoria last September, settling in the Cook Street area where Julie says her “street is like a scene from the 60s with kids playing hockey and skateboarding.” “Do you consider yourself an adventurer, a writer or a scientist?” I wonder. “In a way I’m all and none,” she says. “I have a scientific mind and an adventurous spirit, but my profession is writing.” Her book, Rowboat in a Hurricane, is a national bestseller, and she also co-wrote From Scotland to Syria by Oar with Colin, who is a best-selling author as well, having written several books about his many “hair-raising” adventures. “Being a mom is the greatest adventure of all,” Julie says, noting that the births of her children mark the best days of her life. But she acknowledges that “life as a parent is different, and although we continue to travel and take on adventurous challenges, it’s now as a family.” Having taken so many trips together, Colin and Julie know how the other will respond in any given situation: “We have similar goals in travel, and we’re pragmatic in our approach to dealing with adversity and change.” Adding a child to the olive adventure forced several new approaches, such as finding a boat that was easy to handle for those times when solo sailing became necessary. “Leif was colicky,” Julie recalls. “He cried a lot and had difficulty sleeping. It made sailing a challenge, as well as doing interviews and research. But his presence also opened doors for us because the Mediterranean people are so warm and family-oriented, they welcomed and accommodated us.” And over time, Leif’s temperament improved, possibly aided by the motion of the waves, and the young family delved further and deeper into the mysteries of the olive.
IN THE OLIVE GROOVE Most surprising to Julie was discovering how influential the olive has been throughout history, especially its role in early civilizations when wars were fought over olive oil and people were killed for chopping down olive trees. “The other thing that I find remarkable is the level of scientific research that has gone into examining the health benefits of olive oil,” she says. “There are thousands of clinical trials and scientific studies showing it helps with every thing from cardiovascular disease to cancer to dementia. I don’t think people are fully aware of what a profound role olive oil can play in improving and maintaining your health.”
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Julie, Colin and Leif Angus on their olive adventure.
The Angus family now uses olive oil in abundance — frying and baking with it; using it in dressings, sweet dishes, and as a condiment for meat and vegetables. Julie smooths it into her hair and rubs it on her skin. She says the average Canadian consumes one litre of olive oil a year; in Greece it’s 26 litres a year. Her family likely surpasses Greek levels, she says. And while the role of olives in the Angus family might not match the cultural significance of Julie’s ancestors, she is certain it will aid their health and wellbeing.
JULIE ANGUS’ OLIVE OIL TIPS: • Look for the date of harvest, rather than an expiry date, and use within a year or two. • Since it’s sensitive to light and heat, store olive oil in a dark bottle in the cupboard. • Buy extra virgin olive oil, produced without chemical refinement. • Discover the different tastes of various olive oils — there are about 400 of them — and develop a palate that helps distinguish between the good and the bad (Olive the Senses in Victoria is a good place to do this), keeping in mind there is a lot of corruption in the olive oil industry. PHOTOS BY JULIE & COLIN ANGUS
The Angus’ sailboat anchored in Girolata Corsica, while they searched for wild olive trees in nearby hills.
Boulevard magazine supports Southern Vancouver Island's top Realtors representing the region's finest real estate. We hope you will find your next home, whether it is in the listings of the Great Homes/Great Realtors or here in the Boulevard Luxury Real Estate listings.
$6,899,000 Lisa Williams 250-514-1966 lisawilliams.ca
THIS EXCEPTIONAL waterfront property is located on a private cul-de-sac in Victoria’s most exclusive neighbourhood! The 6,000 sq.ft. home has been beautifully renovated & upgraded over the years with 4-5 bdrms, 6 bths, expansive living, dining, family & sitting rooms all on the main level, expansive kitchen, recreation/media room, office, crafts rm & more. Plus seaside cabana, gated & manicured property & incredible low bank frontage with amazing views & sun all day!
ELEGANT ROCKLAND Avenue home with views towards the ocean and Olympic Mountains. This Tuscan-inspired home in the exclusive Rockland area boasts a stunning renovation which includes a master suite with 14x10’ walk-thru dressing room to a gorgeous ensuite bathroom and a 25’x14’ vaulted and skylit great room $1,219,000 with double french doors opening upon a very private Susanna Crofton courtyard! A perfect home for Cell: 250-888-6648 those who enjoy entertaining Office: 250-370-7788 on a grand scale. Steps to historic Government House or downtown Victoria.
TUCKED AWAY on a winding lane in Ten Mile Point you will find this rancher style cottage. Enjoy the lovely garden scape from the glassed-in sun room which is located off the kitchen. The kitchen offers an eating and family area with wood stove. The master bedroom has a walk in closet & 4 piece ensuite and will accommodate your larger furniture. The 32,000 sq. ft. $850,000 sunny lot is lovely and backs onto the park with fruit trees, Sharen Warde & Larry Sims perennials, vegetable garden 250-592-4422 and a great lawn area for that wardesims.com afternoon croquet party. This home has a beautiful setting.
$6,480,000 Lisa Williams 250-514-1966 lisawilliams.ca
$1,200,000 Dallas Chapple PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION
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PRIVATE WATERFRONT ESTATE on 5.8 pristine acres, with private deep water dock! The gracious & elegant residence was completely renovated to the highest standards w/ every modern luxury: expansive living & dining rms, oversized bdrms all w/ deluxe new ensuite baths, office/library, sunroom, games & entertainment rms, wine cellar, & elevator. Private guest quarters, 6-car garage parking, gorgeous landscaping, small stable w/pasture, & 50’ dock!
THIS JEWEL OF A HOME is tucked away on one of the most sought after streets in Oak Bay. A family room addition was done in 2002. Since then the house has been re-designed and renovated including a new kitchen, a new guest bathroom & bedroom, new plumbing, wiring, paint & lighting. A $25,000 2 tiered deck was added in 2006 leading to your private back garden oasis. 2 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms with the master on the main. Perfect for an executive couple.
A SPARKLING SHORELINE, kayaks, ferry boats & seaplanes are just a sample of what you will be watching from this corner waterfront condo home in “The Royal Quay”. This spacious 1,900 sq. ft. suite features 2 bedrooms and a family room/den. The living room is ideally suited for furniture arrangements and the dining room will accommodate a $619,900 large gathering. Ideal location to amenities – walk into town, Sharen Warde & Larry Sims the Westside Village for your 250-592-4422 groceries or catch the Harbour wardesims.com Ferry taxi. Secure underground parking and extra storage. Small pet welcome.
PHOTO BY VINCE KLASSEN
BY TOM HAWTHORN
Farewell to City Hall News
MOM-AND-POP SHOPS OPEN ON A DREAM
NOON ON A SUNNY WORKDAY. Downtown workers on their lunch break rush to grab a bite. Across six lanes of traffic from the brown-baggers in Centennial Square, a few passersby enter a storefront at 1607 Douglas Street. A handwritten note on the front door alerts them to some bad news — City Hall News is closing its doors. Inside, the rumpled proprietor wishes his customers a fine day and banters with a nosy reporter, all the while engaging a twitchy customer — shirt unbuttoned and hair unkempt — who seeks more information about prospecting for gold along the streams of southern Vancouver Island. Even after a half-century at the store, Bob Streeter, 73, retains a boyish enthusiasm for the everyday chore of coaxing nickels and dimes — these days, toonies and bank cards — from the pockets and purses of paying customers. He uses a handheld magnifying glass to read the price on the cover of a magazine and seems especially delighted when the total on the card reader matches the price on the cash register. In mid-July, the stock of gum and candy bars is beginning to thin, though the racks are still full of colourful magazines. It looks like a lot of work remains to be done before the shop can close its doors for good by the end of the month. “I’ve not done this before,” he says, his favourite blue work shirt soiled from his labours. “This is the first time
I’ve shut something down.” Behind the front counter is a proud but faded display declaring City Hall News to be the city’s No. 1 newsstand for some 11 consecutive years. It was the Wayne Gretzky of Victoria newsstands until the category was dropped, yet another victim of the digital revolution. The closing of a mom-and-pop shop makes our city just a little less interesting, a little less neighbourly. City Hall News was the kind of place where Bob, the owner, and Dianne Sumner, the sales clerk, knew customers by publication or tobacco choice, or by chocolate-bar preference. I’ve seen them reach for the preferred product even before greeting the customer. This is old-fashioned, personalized service — the kind you don’t see much of anymore. “People are sad we’re closing,” says Sumner, who completes 21 years at the store at the end of July. “A lot have been coming here since they were kids.” Those customers went from Archie comic books to Tiger Beat and on to Cosmopolitan. The shuttering of City Hall News ends a century of newsstands on this stretch of Douglas Street. Streeter moved into the current location nine and one-half years ago. The shop was formerly at 1509 Douglas, where, in 1915, during the first full year of what was known then as the Great War, S.A. Bentley operated a tobacco shop. His neighbours were the BC Electric Interurban Railway and the Olympia Cafe and Oyster House, where patrons
enjoyed “oysters in season by the quart, pint or gallon.” From the humble newsstand to the clothing store (with a second-mortgage’s worth of stock on hangers), every little shop owned by a local resident carries with it a dream. You can be your own boss. You can serve the public. You can contribute to the mosaic that makes Victoria vibrant, whether downtown, on one of the village High Streets, or in an up-and-coming semi-industrial ’hood. Sometimes, budding entrepreneurs make up for what they might lack in capital with boundless energy and a “I’ve not done willingness to try new things. this before … We’re even getting combination This is the first cafés and garages (Wheelies in Rock Bay) and combination cafés time I’ve shut and family dens (Interactivity something Board Game Cafe on Yates down.” Street). The young’uns have some pretty good ideas. Still, I’m sorry to see City Hall News go. I write for a living. Newsstands have been the final link between me and editors and printers and distributors and readers. I hope Bob and Dianne find time in their retirement to catch up on their reading. Meanwhile, I plan to drink to their health at The Churchill, the new sister bar to the Garrick’s Head Pub. A pint from one of the local brewers ought to do the trick.
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Sarah Reid is a designer, creative director and maker living in Victoria, BC.
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FORAGING A FEAST FROM THE BEACH TEXT BY SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOS BY VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY
Sea asparagus is among the edible delights found at the beach’s edge.
ASKING IN THE SALTY SEA AIR, gumboots firmly planted on a sandy beach, I can’t think of a better place to slurp back a briny-tasting raw oyster. Even better, we’ve just plucked these oysters from the beach, and Brian Kingzett, manager of Vancouver Island University Deep Bay Marine Field Station, has shown us how to insert shucking knife into shell, slide blade to sever muscle, and twist to pry open. He’s also provided lemon wedges and hot sauce to augment our dining adventure. From here, the 20 people participating in this beach foraging excursion dig and sift through the sand, learn the difference between several species of clams, watch a massive moon snail recoil into its shell, peek at a young geoduck and sample various ocean delights, direct from their shells on the university’s shellfish research farm, just north of Qualicum. “The gathering of wild foods from the sea is another of life’s simple yet great pleasures, bringing you closer to nature’s bounty and beauty,” says Kingzett. “Wild foods are natural edibles that are grown without pesticides or human manipulation.” Catching the wave of a revived interest in foraging and eating wild food (think shellfish, seaweed, dandelion, nettles, berries, nuts), the Deep Bay Marine Field Station has presented two sold-out beach
foraging excursions this year, and will be holding more. After spending several hours on the beach — learning everything from First Nations history to clam biology — foragers retire to the field station for a cooking demonstration and shellfish-themed meal prepared by resident chefs. Kingzett, who also introduces us to wild sea asparagus growing on the beach’s edge, believes foraging strengthens our connection to the environment and cultivates an appreciation for nature. “It’s fun, social, good for families, healthy (when following the rules for openings) and inexpensive,” he says. Overharvesting is not an issue, he adds, as long as foragers obtain recreational harvesting licenses and follow the conservative limits established by the Department of Fisheries (DFO). However, pollution has become a problem, and there are few beach foraging opportunities in and around Victoria. There are some shellfish openings towards Port Renfrew and some in the southern gulf islands. But all potential foragers should check the DFO website for harvesting closures before heading out with buckets and rakes. “I think that when we ‘abandon’ the marine environment to become polluted over time, we lose and possibly forget [our] connection to the marine
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DEEP BAY MARINE FIELD STATION’S PICKLED SEA ASPARAGUS 3 pounds fresh sea asparagus 1 tablespoon pickling spice 3 ½ cups apple cider vinegar or white vinegar 3 ½ cups water 1 cup sugar 3–5 cloves garlic 3 red chilies
Deep Bay Marine Field Station’s seafood chowder.
environment,” Kingzett says. Unfortunately, once a beach is closed due to contamination in Canada, it usually remains closed; cleanup plans aren’t put in place and further testing is most often not undertaken — unlike nearby Washington State, which has a policy of working towards re-opening oyster beds. Kingzett believes that once people become reconnected with marine food sources, they will be more invested in protecting it. He’d like to see recreational harvesting beaches in communities throughout Vancouver Island, and proposes interested foragers and community groups work to clean up marine pollution and encourage monitoring so that areas are open to harvest. Back at the marine field station, we dine on a bounty of freshly shucked, raw oysters served with a classic mignonette; mussels marinated in a sundried tomato mixture and pickled sea asparagus. (The asparagus can also be snipped fresh in salads or steamed, but it’s very salty unless blanched first.) The cooking demonstration results in a feast of breaded oysters, clam chowder, saffron risotto and salad. We sample several BC white wines — dry to sparkling —and learn that it’s important to pair oysters with milder flavours: dry crisp chardonnay is in, fruity, sweet wine is out. Also, darker beer, even stout, pairs well with fresh seafood. Later, we fill our coolers with the bounty gleaned from the morning hunt, and the next day, we set about shucking, steaming and baking, preparing our own feast, and planning our next trip to the beach. For more information: viu.ca/deepbay/ and visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com
Place spices and peeled cloves of garlic in sterilized jars. Clean and soak sea asparagus for one hour in cold water (to leach away the salt). Drain, chop into 2– to 3–inch lengths and pack fairly tightly into the jars. Bring vinegar, water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour hot solution over sea asparagus, leaving ½ inch headroom. Seal jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Makes about 10 pints. NOTE: The asparagus is pickled after a few days, but gets better the longer it keeps.
DEEP BAY MARINE FIELD STATION’S PONZU Here’s a versatile and refreshing Japanese sauce to have on hand for seafood, salads or for dipping sashimi or gyoza. Yuzu juice is found in Asian markets or gourmet food stores, and gives an authentic and special flavour. If it’s not available, a mix of lemon, lime and orange juice makes a good substitute. 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/3 cup water 1 tablespoon bonito flakes 1 piece of kombu kelp sliced ginger ¼ cup yuzu juice 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar Bring all but the yuzu or citrus juice to a boil. Let sit for a few minutes and strain. Add citrus juice and chill. NOTE: This keeps well in the fridge for a week or longer. 41
Adam Kreek’s LESSONS in FAILURE TRANSATLANTIC ROW CHANGES COURSE OF GOLD MEDALIST’S LIFE BY JORDAN KOVACS
HE SUN RISES OVER a swelling Atlantic Ocean and in the pink light, a rowboat crawls through the shifting sea near Puerto Rico. Two men strain their backs into the oars, their red and salt-scabbed skin lean and leathery from days of exertion. The water is choppy, but not unexpectedly. It’s April, 2013. Without warning the boat is rocked by a boxy wave that floods the deck of the 29-foot vessel. Dark water gushes into the open cabin door, and the boat rolls. Suddenly, the four men onboard are upside down, stranded in the Atlantic Ocean. After the gold medal victory of Canadian men’s eights rowing team at the Beijing Olympics, rower and Victoria resident, Adam Kreek sought a new challenge. He and three others devised a plan to row unassisted across the Atlantic Ocean — powering through more than 6,700 kilometres of ocean from Senegal in West Africa to Miami. But after 73 gruelling days, rowing 12 hours per day, waves capsized their boat. Kreek and the crew of the James Robert Hanssen all survived the 13 hours in the water, but the attempt to cross 42
the Atlantic failed. However, for Kreek, the journey proved far from fruitless. The excursion, the hardships and, ultimately, even the failure provided him with invaluable insights, and gave him the impetus to develop a career in motivational speaking and workshop facilitation.
BIRTH OF AN OLYMPIAN People notice Adam Kreek in a crowd — blonde and six foot four with a barrel chest and toothy grin — he looks the part of a champion. In the bustling downtown streets of hometown Victoria, his jovial voice booms through the ambient noise, an essential skill for a professional orator. Kreek grew up in London, Ontario. After high school, he worked for a year on the oil rigs in Alberta and then with money in his pocket, moved to Victoria in 2000 to study geotechnical engineering and hydrology at UVic, as well as to pursue rowing. Kreek’s UVic coach, Howie Campbell, says Kreek was “always a leader in terms of trying to up his performance.”
Adam Kreek, at home in Victoria. The victory of an Olympic gold medal plus the failure of a transatlantic row have provided material for his current role as motivational speaker and workshop facilitator.
PHOTO BY NICHOLE TAYLOR
OVERCOMING FAILURE In recalling the transatlantic row, Kreek says, “You fight like hell to make something a success, [but] eventually it becomes apparent the desired outcome will not be reached. You have to ask — will I keep fighting? Or will I accept the result and make the most of everything I built in pursuit of this goal? That’s the Zen moment, when you relinquish identity and volition in relationship to the attainment of your goal.”
But overcoming failure is difficult, he says. “It’s important that we give ourselves permission to go through a mourning process. Sadness, guilt and shame … are only productive if we’re using those emotions to motivate our growth. You learn from your mistakes and ask ‘what do I need to change?’ [Then] you can let go of the baggage that’s associated with the failure.” Eventually, he adds, “The failure becomes something that you own …
[something you’re] proud of, because you turn that failure into a growth experience.” The Atlantic adventure tested Kreek both mentally and physically. Exhaustion, heat and fierce storms drove down morale. “You become very in tune with the natural rhythm of things,” says Kreek, “and part of that is just letting go, realizing ‘I’m not going to enjoy this all the time, but I do this because I know I will have transcendental 43
A NEW DIRECTION This Zen-like approach to failure has propelled Kreek forward. Last November, for example, he spoke on “embracing the power of nonattainment” at TEDxVictoria, a locally organized TED Talks program. In his current role as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, he says, “I deliver new and invigorating perspectives on success, achievement, health and fulfillment. The right words, offered in constructive settings, act as powerful catalysts of change.” Developing this career path has enabled Kreek to “take advantage of [his] experience as an athlete and build on [his] skills in life after sports.” “He’s a powerhouse,” says Jordan Hanssen, who accompanied Kreek on the transatlantic voyage: “physically, as well as in terms of being an advocate for sponsorship.” Securing a sponsor was a big priority to fund the half-a-milliondollar trip, and Adam’s passion for the environment became key to financing. Ultimately, the Canadian Wildlife Federation financed the majority of the voyage in return for sleep pattern, human performance and oceanographic data. (Ninety per cent of the data collected was recovered from the flipped boat and is now being analyzed at the University of Victoria.)
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE His work to benefit a healthier, more environmentally sound future continues today. In addition to undertaking speaking engagements, Kreek has invested in a local, sustainable business called Greasecycle Inc., which is part of the Vancouver Island Biodiesel Coop that collects waste grease from local restaurants and refines it into environmentally friendly biofuels. 44
The red double decker busses carting tourists around downtown Victoria are now running on biodiesel, thanks in part to the efforts of Greasecycle. Kreek is also on the board of Edge Food Energy, an organic portable nutrition bar company out of Qualicum Bay. Edge Food Energy also helped sponsor Kreek’s transatlantic voyage, and amid the repetition of eating freezedried meals and oats, the bars soon became a favourite.
I’m going to push through the pain because there will be joy and elation. “I fell in love with those bars so much that after I came back I decided to try and help their company grow and sell more bars,” he laughs.
And what’s in the future for Adam Kreek? “In the short term, my challenges are more focused closer to home; how I am going to provide for my family. Goals change with parenthood … I want to ensure [my kids] have the same or better opportunities.” He also intends to expand his public speaking ventures over the border, and he’ll have a book out next year. To any would-be adventurers wishing to follow Kreek’s path to growth through challenges, no matter what the discipline, he offers some advice: “Big things don’t happen overnight. It takes a long time, a lot of work, and you have to make sure you’re having fun on the path.” And while this may not have been immediately apparent amid the Atlantic Ocean in a capsized boat, Kreek, it seems, has learned a lot from failure.
During a speech in Fort McMurray, AB, Kreek passed around his coveted Olympic gold medal. He won it as part of the Canadian men’s eights rowing team at the Beijing Olympics. PHOTO BY ROBERT MURRAY/FORT MCMURRAY TODAY
experiences when I’m out here … I’m going to push through pain because there’ll be joy and elation that makes it worthwhile.’”
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FOOD & DRINK
PHOTO BY CINDA CHAVICH
many happy returns …
IT’S SALMON SEASON! BY CINDA CHAVICH
HERE MAY BE NOTHING as exciting — and poignant — as the annual runs of wild Pacific salmon, returning to their natal rivers to reproduce and, ultimately, to die. It’s the circle of life, unfolding in spectacular living colour up and down the west coast. And this year the experts are expecting the largest returns in memory — the number of sockeye running up the Fraser River is expected to reach 72 million. That means it’s going to be a good time to catch, buy and eat salmon, and a prime time for salmon feasts. This natural bonanza also means it’s a great time to put some salmon aside for leaner times. And whether you smoke, freeze or even can your own salmon, there are ways to get the best from this delicious, indigenous fish.
GRILL ‘ER UP Grilling is arguably the simplest way to cook a side of salmon, and if you have a slab of cedar, even better. Simply soak your untreated cedar plank in water (a split cedar shake works too) for a few hours, then fire up your gas barbecue to high heat, put on the plank (it’s ready in about five minutes, when it starts to crackle and smoke) and lay the fish directly on the wood, skin side down. Lower the lid, reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the fish just
flakes, about 15-20 minutes for a two–to three–pound fillet. Remember, undercooking is always better than overcooking when it comes to salmon. Check before you think it’s done and pull it off the grill (or out of the pan) when it’s still a little red in the centre. A slather of sauce doesn’t hurt either — I like to whisk up a bit of soy sauce with honey or maple syrup and chili sauce for a spicy glaze to brush over the fleshy side of the fillet before it goes on the grill. Served with new potatoes and fresh dill, or lemon and garlicky aioli, a fresh salmon fillet makes an easy elegant meal.
The number of sockeye … is expected to reach 72 million. Smaller fillets can be enjoyed with mayo and avocado on a crusty bun, or serve cold with potatoes, olives and green beans in a composed salad. Salmon can also be cured then served raw, or hot smoked on your charcoal grill or home smoker (it freezes well) — a great way to preserve at least a portion of your catch. Add a little green alder to your smoker for a real coastal First Nations’ flavour. Healthy runs of wild salmon are a boon to the entire ecosystem, from bears to bugs and the rivers that support them. Enjoy the salmon season but fish sustainably, so all can share this natural gift for years to come. 47
SALMON PASTRAMI PREP 15 mins CURE TIME 2-3 days Curing is a great way to preserve salmon. Salted and cured, it will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Serve it thinly sliced for an elegant appetizer on potato pancakes or rye bread with sour cream and capers. Or you can grill or hot smoke for longer storage. The classic cure for Scandinavian-style gravlax is salt, sugar and fresh dill — this unusual cure takes its cues from beef pastrami. 1 whole side of salmon, 2.5 lb, skin on, scaled and bones removed (freeze salmon before curing to kill any parasites) 3 tablespoons peppercorns 3 tablespoons coriander seed 2 teaspoons mustard seed 4 allspice berries 2 teaspoons hot paprika (or crushed chilies) 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/3 cup kosher coarse salt 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 bunch fresh cilantro ¼ cup maple syrup
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Run your fingers across the length of the fillet – if you detect any pin bones, use tweezers or small pliers to pull them out. Set the fillet on a long piece of plastic wrap, skin side down. In a spice grinder (or with mortar and pestle), crush the peppercorns, coriander seed, mustard seed and allspice berries. Add the paprika and garlic powder and mix well. In a bowl, combine the salt and sugar. Add half of the spice mixture (set aside the rest for later). Spoon this curing mixture over the salmon, covering all of the exposed flesh in an even layer. Lay sprigs of fresh cilantro over top. Pull up the edges of the plastic wrap to tightly enclose the fish and seasonings inside. Use an extra piece of wrap if necessary. Place the fish into a ceramic or glass dish, just large enough to hold it, and refrigerate.
Keep the salmon in the fridge for at least two days; three is even better. Turn the package occasionally during the curing process. Remove the fish from the refrigerator, remove and discard plastic wrap and cilantro. Brush off remaining salt and spices. Rinse the fish quickly with water and pat dry. Brush the flesh with maple syrup and sprinkle with remaining spice mixture. Wrap in plastic again and refrigerate overnight. To serve, unwrap and, using a sharp knife, slice the fish into thin slices at an angle, releasing each slice from the skin as you carve. Serve the salmon on potato pancakes, rye bread or crackers with a dollop of sour cream and a few capers or chopped dills. TIP: For a well-seasoned fish for the grill, partially cure your sides of salmon with salt, sugar and spices overnight (or just for six to eight hours), then brush with maple syrup and grill, skin side down, until just cooked, about five or six minutes. Or cure your fish overnight, rinse, pat dry, brush with olive oil and hot smoke on the top rack of a home smoker (or charcoal grill) for four to 60 minutes over low heat.
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NOOTKA TRAIL STUMBLING ACROSS THE ROCKS WHERE BC WAS BORN TEXT & PHOTOS BY ROSS CROCKFORD
T WAS ON THE EIGHTH rope that things really started going wrong. I’d already acquired a sunburn and loonie-sized blisters. I’d slipped on logs and soaked my boots. But the last third of the Nootka Trail requires greater tests of patience. The legendary 35-kilometre hike along the ragged coast of Nootka Island (a 30-minute floatplane ride west of Gold River) traverses more than a dozen headlands, requiring hikers to scale and rappel cliffs on fixed ropes. 50
Descending on the eighth, my feet slipped out from under me. I rolled down the rock face, a cursing tumble of Gore-Tex and exposed flesh, and hit the stony beach. My knees were skinned. My knuckles bled. I cried like a frightened child. BC was born on Nootka Island. Now I feared this British Columbian was going to die upon it. Every summer, my pals and I tackle one of Vancouver Island’s big hikes: Cape Scott, Forbidden Plateau, The
Third Beach is a tranquil place to rest for the struggles ahead. Pristine tidal pools abound.
Golden Hinde. But we’d never attempted the Nootka, which carries a formidable reputation for its technical difficulty, and its history. Captain Cook landed on Nootka Island in 1778, becoming the first European to set foot in the Pacific Northwest. Cook traded with the Mowachaht natives for sea otter pelts; when the pelts fetched huge prices in China, dozens of ships descended on Nootka to gain control of the fur trade, and Spain and England nearly went to war over it in 1789. Fed up with the disputes, in 1803 the Mowachaht slaughtered the crew of an American ship and kept its blacksmith, John Jewitt, as their slave for two years. Jewitt’s memoir terrified sailors throughout the
19th century, and remains a classic of “captivity literature.” I was already uneasy when we flew out of Gold River. A few weeks earlier, a plane full of hikers had crashed nearby, killing everyone on board. At the mouth of Nootka Sound we saw two humpback whales, and one repeatedly slapped its tail on the water — a distress signal. But my concern evaporated like fog as we skimmed onto Louie Lagoon at the northwestern tip of the island, unloaded our packs, and walked out to Third Beach. It was paradise for a first camp: soft sand, framed by rocky islets and lush tidal pools. In the morning, wolf tracks covered the shoreline. As we started hiking, we saw the wolves further up the beach, and then they vanished into the woods. 51
A modern totem welcomes weary hikers to Yuquot.
For thousands of years, Mowachaht women carried their laundry to Calvin Falls. Knowing that didn’t make the 11-kilometre walk any easier. Beach gravel kept sneaking into my boots, and in some places we had to cross fields of storm-tossed seaweed, like wading through a vast Japanese salad. We got to the falls much later than expected, and found room in a shelter adorned with fishing floats. We met a well-prepared young couple from Seattle: a landscape architect and a biologist. Our diet consisted mainly of rye and tobacco; they’d brought vinaigrette for the edible seaweed, and harvested chanterelles from the trail. They’d also acquired an orphaned Yorkshire terrier that followed them along the beach. We nicknamed her Noot — or Newt (the girl in Aliens who survived after the crew was eaten by monsters). The next day, a storm hit and the rain fell horizontally. We trudged the next 11 km along a series of granite shelves, hypnotized by the pools of intertidal life. We were so wet and moved so slowly that we felt like we were underwater, too. By the time we got to Beano Creek, the rains had swelled it into a torrent, and the tide came up so high that a seal poked its head out of the water where we were supposed to cross. We set up camp in the forest. Fortunately, one of our party had worked as a stagehand at The Belfry, and he rigged tarps so we and the Seattlites could cook dinner protected from the deluge. The rains passed. The next morning, a young guy called 52
out to us: “Hey, you found my dog!” The creek had receded, and he waded over. The Yorkie’s name was Olive, he said. A few days earlier he was winding up a surf camp nearby, when Olive chased a bear into the forest. He’d ferried the surfers to town, and spent the last two days running back along the trail, looking for her. Our good karma didn’t last. Soon we were into the headlands, and the ropes. The 13 km between Beano Creek and the village of Yuquot, at the southeastern end of the island, was agonizingly slow going. We passed intriguing sea caves, but we couldn’t stop — the boat from Yuquot only sails twice a week, and ours left the next day. As the sun set, we were nervously picking our way through a fire swamp. We descended the last series of ropes in darkness illuminated only by our headlamps, and collapsed on a beach just outside the village, bloodied and exhausted. Captain Cook landed in the harbour of Yuquot, the ancestral home of the Mowachaht. Today, it’s mainly a stop for day-trippers on the Uchuck III, a former minesweeper that serves Nootka Sound. But the rugged spirit of the place survives. Like dazed refugees, we shuffled into Yuquot’s church, and gawked at its stained glass and fantastic bug-eyed Mowachaht house poles. Standing there, we knew that despite 200-plus years of colonization, Nootka Island remained a wild and dangerous place. And like John Jewitt, or little Olive, sometimes you have to be grateful for just getting out of it alive.
IF YOU GO Air Nootka flies from Gold River to the start of the trail for $150-$250 per person. The Uchuck III from Yuquot to Gold River costs about $40 one-way; reserve at getwest.ca. Hikers can pay the $45 trail fee to the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation at the dock in Gold River, or the church in Yuquot.
GET OUT AND ENJOY!
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well-rooted IN SIDNEY
Purple flowers hanging in artist Wendy Pierson Diamond’s garden in Sidney, alongside her hand-made glass beads.
ARTISTS TAKE THEIR PASSION FOR ART INTO THE GARDEN TEXT BY WENDY PICKEN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
HEN ARTISTS TURN attention to gardens, their individual styles shine through. Here are five glimpses of gardens created by artists living in Sidney.
BETTY ROLLINS At 91, Betty Rollins paints everyday. Her studio features an array of easels holding various oil paintings, created in both realistic and abstract styles. Her blue eyes light up as she
playfully claims to fall in love with all of her subjects. This love affair with line, colour and attention to detail started as a child. “All my drawing of adults had big knees with tiny heads: it was my view of the world,” she laughs. Her garden, framed by an expansive stretch of nearby ocean and sky on Lochside Drive, is truly a painter’s garden. Sloping perennial borders burst in a splash of peony pinks and the brilliant oranges 55
Artist Ruby Simrose holds one of h the porcelain flowers she creates.
and reds of Oriental and California poppies. Feathered into this vibrant mixture of colour are flowering blue centaurea. As Rollins bends to unwind wild vetch pea strands that have twisted and tumbled their way in from the beach, her hands offer the same keen attention that she gives all subjects in her pencil drawings and paintings. “I just love the wild flowers that find their way into the garden.”
WENDY PIERSON DIAMOND As one of Sidney’s Pleasant Street artists, Wendy Pierson Diamond employs the ancient technique of lamp-working. Using a bench torch, she creates beads from rods of beautiful Italian glass, which are then used in her original designer jewellery. Outside, her garden is strung together like one of her necklaces. For Pierson Diamond it’s all about placement, colour and the joy she experiences when things feel right. It doesn’t matter if it’s a garden or a pair of earrings. This morning, her garden dances 56
with colour as sunlight moves from flower to flower. A bold blend of roses, grasses, irises and rhododendrons surround a gazebo threaded with the iridescent purple fringes of ivory clematis. “Creating a garden is similar to jewellery-making; it’s so satisfying. Start small, a few pots or beads here and there and before you know it, you have something special.”
gardener should plant with caution, and I’ve got five of these thriving here.”(They are: St. John’s wort, periwinkle, wolfsbane, sweet woodruff and lanium.)
Originally a dress designer, she transformed her artistry into painting fabric dye on silk and watercolours on board. As one of the early members of Sidney’s community arts council, Jan is still active on its board. It is there that she “gardens” with ease, supporting and tending to the needs of other artists in her community.
Nearby, on Resthaven Drive, Jan McGhee’s garden is tucked away in the remainder of what once was a five-acre forest. The grove of mature Douglas fir is fenced by bamboo and shrouded by airy weeping birch. Sitting on the al fresco patio, she tells stories about her various sailing trips through Greece and Spain. Her tiny, stuccoed cottage is reminiscent of those Mediterranean adventures undertaken before she came to Sidney. Even her garden moves as if tethered in full sail: hues of blue shadow billow in a sea of green, catching the warm afternoon breeze. She says, “There are six plants a
Start small ... before you know it, you have something special.
RUBY SIMROSE Ruby Simrose grew up in a forest just outside Nakusp in the West Kootenays. As a child, she loved making mud pies decorated with flowers. As an adult, she took this passion for mud and flowers and combined them in
her porcelain flower creations Her Orchard Street garden feeds her creativity as she takes leaves and presses them into clay to capture and create lines. To create the flowers, she fashions the clay by hand into the exacting detail of each individual petal. It’s not easy work, but it’s easy to enjoy the willow trees that line her driveway and the roses that scent the back porch, as columbine and violets, petunia and poppies gently spill over the walkways. She laughs and says she moved to Sidney because of the cosmos flowers that were growing in the community library gardens. It’s easy to see why flowers brought her to Sidney.
GORD LANGSTON, HEATHER GUNNING Gord Langston and Heather Gunning are an inseparable team who are also part of the Pleasant Street artists group. Both have no limit to their imaginations. Langston transforms found metal objects into fanciful metal creatures that live happily amid a city of birdhouses. Colourful scrap metal shovel birds long to dip in the birdbaths and fountains, which are set among banana trees and ginko, eucalyptus and smoke bushes. Gunning is similarly creative, recycling older costume jewellery into her own eclectic designer pieces. She also possesses a golden touch when it comes to growing plants — her tomatoes, for example, have bodybuilder sized vines. She jokes, “There’s no magic, just llama poo.” But Jack and his bean stalk would be green with envy if he ever stopped by this creative, colourful patch, or any other of the Sidney artists’ creative gardens.
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Artist Betty Rollins at her waterfront home in Sidney.
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Sidney offers the perfect get-away, for a day, a week or longer. Enjoy wonderful local food, family-friendly recreation, and terrific shopping. Sidney enjoys a thriving arts and culture community that celebrates local artists and local crafts. From the seaside sculpture walk, to the beautiful totems that welcome visitors at the Mary Winspear Centre, to the art in our galleries, community art centre and local cafés, there is truly something for everyone. Whether you enjoy kayaking, whale watching, bike riding, fishing, crabbing, boating or simply walking at the water’s edge, Sidney has it all. With our mild and generally dry weather, Sidney is an ideal destination throughout the year. During the summer, Sidney also has a terrific water park for kids, right alongside basketball and tennis courts. Sidney offers other adventures too. The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, a state of the art aquarium, offers year round opportunities to enjoy the wonders of the Salish Sea. The centre offers plenty of up-close-and personal ways to view and interact with sea critters. Similarly, the Sidney Museum brings local history to life with interactive displays and a close-up look at Sidney’s unique past, including a display that depicts the trains that once served the Peninsula. Star Cinema is big attraction in Sidney. Offering comfortable seats and first-run movies, you can enjoy matinee or evening performances. Sidney’s unique five-pin bowling alley also offers plenty of fun for young and old. Every Sunday during the summer, in the bandstand at
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water’s edge, Sidney offers free outdoor concerts. Jazz, blues, pop, country and rock: every week the town celebrates the magic of its Summer Sounds series. What could be better than enjoying great music under clear blue skies, with a view of Mount Baker and the San Juan Islands in the background, ice cream in hand! Let’s not forget about shopping! Sidney excellent shops offer quality goods from the latest in fashions and books to delightful baked goods and flowers; from gift shops to pet shops to super markets, liquor stores and all that’s in between! Sidney brings new meaning to “shop local.” Every effort is made to highlight local and Canadianmade goods with just enough from around the world to add a bit of extra sparkle. Italian shoes, British clothes, Turkish jewelry, and tea from around the world are just a few of the very special products you’ll enjoy in Sidney. The strong sense of community pulls people back to Sidney year after year and it’s the pride and love for the Town that keeps people here. Come see for yourself. Island life doesn’t get any better than this! We are the perfect place to find the unique and thoughtful gift you’re looking for! PANDORA • BRIGHTON PYRRHA • SID DICKENS PERSONAL INDULGENCES UNIQUE DÉCOR
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my PLACE for YOURS PAD FOR PAD HOUSE EXCHANGE IN TAHITI TEXT BY MICHELLE FLOYD
’M SWIMMING THROUGH THE shimmering lagoon, when I see an opening in the reef and dive down to explore it. Inside the passage, a large cloud of turquoise fish spins away in surprise. They catch the sunlight from a different angle, magically becoming the colour of pale peaches. It’s mid-morning in Papara, a sleepy town on the south coast of Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia. My husband, two daughters and I arrived last night at a beachfront bungalow with a breathtaking view of the ocean. The family that usually lives here has travelled in the opposite direction, and will soon arrive at our house in Victoria. We have traded our homes and cars for the next three weeks. When you exchange houses, you need to “go local” right away. How does the stove work? Where is the key for the kayak shed? Does the enormous tattooed man in the produce section weigh my fruit or can I do that? How do I ask that in French? If solving these sorts of questions sounds fun — house swapping might be for you. The process allows you to take a holiday with full-sized accommodation, laundry, yard and a car — all for the modest cost of signing up with an online service. You pay for your flights, meals out, activities and gas.
“GOING LOCAL” FAR AWAY We stay close to home the first few days, exploring the lagoon and the garden of hibiscus, frangipani, banana, breadfruit and coconut. My daughters begin a ritual of feeding an 60
adolescent chicken they have nicknamed Plume. In the afternoons, a wiry gentleman in a straw hat tiptoes across the top of the old reef to spear fish. At night, thunderous waves mask the sounds of the roosters free-ranging from yard to yard. Even so, I sleep well after days of swimming, long walks and lots of sun. Day trips take us to dazzling white beaches, and a black sand beach with curling waves that attract young surfers. We body surf until we are exhausted and our swimsuits are heavy with sand. Away from the beaches, we scramble through verdant green jungles and drive straight up to the sky to visit highlands with stunning views of old volcanoes and the sea far below. The ocean, sometimes a sleepy blue, other times stormy and grey, reminds me how things are always changing, always in flux. We have planned this trip to slow things down. Our daughters are growing up quickly, and we want to spend some time with them before more changes come. We drive to Tahiti Iti, a little island connected to Tahiti by a narrow isthmus. Here, we explore Teahupo’o, where the best surfers in the world converge to ride giant waves during the Billabong pro competition. It’s quiet today, and because cars are not allowed in Teahupo’o, we leave ours in a parking lot and take a footbridge to the town. My youngest daughter spies a huge eel in the river and we all stop to watch the quiet monster. As we continue along the shaded footpaths of the village, we see kids dancing to
PHOTOS BY MICHELLE FLOYD
PHOTO BY DON DENTON
Clockwise from left; another beautiful sunset on the beach in Papara; the writer, and the house she exchanged; view from the top of the highlands on Tahiti Iti; clouds rolling in over the hills.
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Wherever we go, Tahitians are kind and patient with us, from boys with wide smiles after we applaud their bike tricks, to a grandmother offering us a ride home from the post office. Many locals find it difficult to afford luxuries here, but they also tell us how much they value their time for relaxation and family. “Haere maru” means take it easy, and people here try their best to do just that. Shops close on Sundays, offices often close for lunch, and everyone seems to leave work early on Fridays. This isn’t just time taken to lie on a beach. We see Tahitians paddling outriggers, fishing, surfing and jogging up the steep mountain trails. We visit old Marae, sacred Tahitian sites, as well as the small, but culturally interesting Musée de Tahiti et des Îles. In the nearby capital city of Pape’ete, the central market is a great place to pick up traditional food, sarongs and Monoï de Tahiti (a rich, traditional body oil scented with indigenous tairé flowers). Souvenirs like coconut jam and Tahitian vanilla can also be bought at local supermarkets. If you are fortunate enough to visit in July, you should partake in Heiva, a month long festival of Tahitian sports and culture. On the final night of the festival, the very best dance troupes use electrifying rhythm and movement to convey Tahitian stories. We watch transfixed as drums pound and a giant, outdoor stage full of dancers blurs into a frenzy. They dance late into the evening, and I pull my sleepy daughter closer to protect us from the chill of the cool night air. Thousands of miles from the glaring lights of continental cities, rural Tahiti is wondrously dark at night. One evening, as my husband and I lie side-by-side on the grass looking up, the universe opens above. We’re rewarded with an extraordinary view of the Milky Way and its millions of glittering stars. On our last day here, I push the kayak out into the lagoon. As I slip the paddle through translucent water, I study the now familiar mauve brain coral, colourful schools of fish and a sleeping stingray. A neighbour has told that me a turtle lives near the barrier reef, but I can’t find it, and the current is a little strong. I decide to turn around and press back towards shore, towards home, and our other home in Victoria.
HOW WE DID IT: We used Home Link Canada (homelink.org/canada) to arrange our exchange ($150 for a 14-month membership). There are many home exchange sites to choose from, including some that specialize in mature travellers, or luxury homes.
PHOTO BY DON DENTON
TALKING WITH TESS featuring
GAYLE ROBINSON BY TESS VAN STRAATEN
GAYLE ROBINSON LOVES THE outdoors, but she never thought she’d go into the family business. Now, after almost a decade at the helm of Robinson’s Outdoor Store, this avid adventurer couldn’t be happier to be the third generation in her family to help grow the business. What started as a bicycle shop back in 1929 is now celebrating 85 years as Victoria’s premier outdoor store. This is no small feat, considering less than five per cent of family businesses make it to the third generation. So why is Robinson’s such a success story, surviving the Great Depression, a world war, and numerous economic downturns? Tess van Straaten talks to this energetic and inspiring retail dynamo to see how she does it. You didn’t plan on going into the family business — how did that happen? It was never a plan, not in
my wildest dreams! My dad was thinking of selling the business to his manager but things fell apart and I was asked to step in. We’d been going for 75 years and I thought, when do you get to be the third generation of anything? But it was a big challenge. The store needed a massive renovation, the manager was opening a store next door and we knew Mountain Equipment Co-op was coming. We were renting out space to a shop that went out of business and I had to ask myself, do I have the courage to expand with major competition coming? It was a risk, but out of challenge grows opportunity. Why do you think Robinson’s has been around for 85 years when so many other stores fail? It’s not necessarily the smartest or strongest that survive, it’s the ones most adaptable to change. We started as a bicycle shop, we added hunting and fishing, then got out of hunting and went to the outdoors. So we’ve evolved. You can’t be 65
everything to everyone, so decide what you’re going to do and do it really, really well.
uilt On Service BFOR OVER 35 YEARS
You sailed from here to the Caribbean. What did sailing teach you about business? Perseverance — to never give up and to rise to the challenge. When you’re in a boat in the middle of the ocean, you focus on what’s important. It also teaches you the importance of a team. Anything can happen. What you know for sure is that you have each other, and it’s more exciting to do something when you share it with others. At Robinson’s, the staff are the most important part of the store. It’s just a building with stuff in it until the staff walk in and bring it alive.
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What’s the best advice you’ve been given? I’ve had so much good advice but the best was starting a team bonus for staff. You can give someone a raise and the pop from that raise is gone in three months. But the rush from a bonus is fresh every month and once they get it, they won’t want to miss it. The best marketing advice I got was that you need repetition to be successful. Instead of two radio ads over seven days, we did seven ads a day over two days because if you spread it out, it’s lost. And if you have competition, increase your advertising because if you shrink your voice, you will grow smaller.
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What’s been your most important money lesson? My father taught me how to respect money, how to pay it back, and how to save. He was selling bicycles when I was a kid and I thought if he loved me, he would bring me home a bike. But I had to save for it and he matched every dollar I saved. It took me six months but I valued that bike far than if he’d just given it to me. What did your grandfather teach you about business? My grandfather was a pretty creative entrepreneur. He said, “If you like our policy and our way of doing business tell others. If you don’t like it, tell us.” He was really ahead of his time. He was a visionary and he had the courage to take risks. He started the business three days after the Black Tuesday stock market crash. Whenever I get nervous or scared, I think about how he got through a world war and the Great Depression, [and realize] I can take on big box stores!
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Any parting advice? You get what you give. Pick one charity to give to and you will make a big difference to them and they will talk about you. I picked a charity that needs outdoor gear and I can give them far more than if it was just money. If we don’t get our youth out there experiencing nature, then they’re not going to want to take care of it. Tess van Straaten is an award-winning journalist, television personality and fourth–generation Victoria native.
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE FAMILY OF HITOMI HARAMA
BY ROBERT MOYES
Kimono: Japanese Culture in its Art Form at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Among the ongoing exhibits at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is Kimono: Japanese Culture in its Art Form. This exhibit introduces the essence of traditional Japanese Kimono culture. It showcases the codes and the culture behind Kimono, its artistic form and complexity, along with the etiquette of Kimono attire for different seasons and occasions. Kimono is not simply an article of clothing: it embodies centuries of cultural development and the history of Japan. Guest curated by Hitomi Harama, it runs until October 19 in Founders Gallery.
BEYOND THE FRINGE
After many years under the savvy stewardship of Janet Munsil, the Fringe Festival has a “guest producer” this summer — Rose Jang, who recently founded and directed Winnipeg’s Spoken Word Festival. “That event was created
from scratch, but here I’ll be slipping into well-worn shoes,” says Jang. “Mostly, I’ll just be a fresh pair of eyes and maybe make some changes behind the scenes.” So worry not, Fringe stalwarts, this will be a benign and informed takeover. The Victoria-raised Jang has worked three local Fringes in years past, as well as Montreal’s Just For Laughs, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. “I love my festivals, and the Fringe is my favourite one of all,” declares Jang, who’s attended and/or worked at seven different ones. “Everybody adores the Victoria Fringe,” she adds. “It’s partially the festival and partially the city itself, but it’s seen as being very welcoming.” Veteran performers such as poet-ranter Jem Rolls, master monologist TJ Dawe, and the deliciously weird WONDERHEADS are making a welcome return. According to Jang, some of the new acts to watch include Britain’s circus-like Voice Box Theatre; Moon Dinosaur Theatre, a one-woman show with projections and puppets; and local lads 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac, a “psychedelic talk opera.” And there will be no fewer than three magicians trying to 69
out-shazaam each other. “I don’t create art myself … I create a space for art,” notes Jang. Running from August 21-31 at numerous venues. For information, see victoriafringe. com (or, better, grab a program).
SEEING SALISH ART
They have a sea named after them, and territory stretching from Northwestern Oregon to Central BC, but the various tribes comprising the Coast Salish are lesser-known artists compared to other Northwest Coast nations. Hoping to change that is Duncan-born artist lessLIE (a.k.a. Leslie Robert Sam). A longtime painter and graphic artist, lessLIE also writes and Adrienne Smook and Alexa MacDougall in Henry V. lectures extensively on Coast Salish art, and has recently begun curating. His newest show focuses on a half-dozen noted Coast Salish artists Victoria’s first Shakespeare festival started in a tent at the and features everything from serigraph prints to bentwood Inner Harbour in 1991, and its current al fresco version has boxes and painted drums. The 30 pieces are drawn from been fretting and strutting on the lawn at Lansdowne’s the exceptional private collection of George and Christiane Camosun College for over a decade. “It’s a great evening, Smyth, who vigorously promote Coast Salish art rather experiencing Shakespeare out of doors in a beautiful than just acquire it for personal pleasure. “I view them as setting,” says artistic director Karen Lee Pickett. “Sometimes my ‘art parents’ … they sometimes push me to work harder,” deer — and even the occasional lost tourist — wander says lessLIE with a shy chuckle. The handsome, often through the show.” According to Pickett, this year the festival geometric style of Coast Salish art is built on a vocabulary is adopting a “company” approach to its two plays by having of design elements such as circles, ovals, and trigons, and one cast of 14 performing in both plays. “It’s an exciting is often associated with Susan Point, who has long been opportunity for the actors to participate deeply in the pivotal in advancing Coast Salish art (she’s well known for theatrical process,” she says. They are presenting Henry V her monumental installations at the Vancouver Airport). and Taming of the Shrew in repertory, with both directed by Other featured artists include gifted Chemainus carver theatre veteran Clayton Jevne. “Both plays lend themselves John Marston and lessLIE himself, whose work can have a to a very theatrical style,” says Pickett, who promises they witty modernism. “It’s will use that inherent artificiality to memorable effect. Aside a big responsibility from gaining the services of Kat Jeffery, a brilliant costume presenting this culture designer who is heading off to NYU Theatre School this to the public,” says fall, two “mentor actors” will anchor lead roles as well as lessLIE. “Aboriginal work with the troupe’s student and community actors. The art is often seen as mentors are Adrienne Smook, a teacher at the Canadian a commodity sold College of Performing Arts, and Julian Cervello, most in galleries and I’ve famous for his vivid, one-man performances of Chaucer at always thought there the Fringe Festival. “Some people bring their own gear but needed to be a more we do provide blankets and chairs...and we have a wellcritical and thoughtful stocked concession,” says Pickett. “We’ll take great care view of it.” of you!” Running from Running until August 16 at Camosun College. For August 14 to January information, see vicshakespeare.com. 9 at 630 Yates Street. For information, see legacy.uvic.ca. After performing everywhere from Butchart Gardens and Christ Church Cathedral to annual concerts atop Mt. Tolmie Ancestral Portrait, by John Marston. in honour of Canada Day and BC Day, Raven Baroque is one
SHAKESPEARE ON A SUMMER’S EVE
BAROQUE TAKES FLIGHT
of the most visible classical music ensembles in Victoria. Add those period wigs and costumes they famously wear, and their crowd-pleasing outdoor performances of popular tunes by Bach, Albinoni, Boccherini and Vivaldi, and they become an instant summer highlight. “We started out as a quartet in 2003 but became a larger group and named ourselves Raven Baroque in 2008,” explains founding member Don Kissinger. “We have a lovely city to live in, and events like ours add to the pleasure of the place.” Active only in the summer, the 12-person ensemble — whose members play in other orchestras and range from recent UVic grads to veterans like cellist Larry Skaggs — puts on a dozen mostly-free performances in July and August. Kissinger appreciates the freedom that playing baroque music allows, especially how it is open to various styles of interpretation and the way in which the music permits the improvisation of trills and ornaments. He takes equal pleasure in being the group’s seamstress, buying old curtains and Halloween wigs at Value Village and creating the group’s signature look. “If you’re going to play music from that era you may as well dress the part,” he laughs. According to Kissinger, their two most important shows this month are in the orchard at St Ann’s on August 10, and at St. Mary’s Church in Oak Bay on August 16. For more information, see ravenbaroque.org.
PETS ON PARADE
Several years ago, two of Lonnie Powell’s Great Danes were deliberately poisoned and it was only through nontraditional veterinary treatments that they were saved. Being part of the shift in how people treat their pets — including thinking of them as full-on family members — inspired Powell and his partner, Jordan Illingworth, to start the Just Love Animals society. Their highest-profile event is Pet-A-Palooza, the West Coast’s largest pet festival, which makes its third annual appearance at Ogden Point this year. “This is basically a massive party for pets,” says Powell, who expects more than 15,000 people to show up. The free event is funded by the many sponsorship booths on site, everything from pet photographers and homeopathic vets to exhibitors selling leashes, beds, and tasty pet treats. Powell promises two days of fun for pet lovers, offering signature activities such as the “running of the bulls” (races with English and French bulldogs) and the wildly popular Dock Dogs, where competing canines leap into a giant pool in pursuit of their favourite toy. Pets in attendance include pigs, ferrets, snakes, goats, and other exotica. “If it breathes, our doors are open,” laughs Powell. The event encourages adoption of rescue animals, and promotes spay and neuter options. “This is a fun family event, but ultimately it’s about animal welfare,” Powell adds. Running August 9-10 at Ogden Point, 199 Dallas Road. For information, see petapaloozawest.com.
KITCHENS VANITIES CUSTOM MILLWORK
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WHILE YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU might discover at The Old Attic in Central Saanich, you know that when you find it, it will be fabulous. In a welcoming setting filled with a unique mix of old and new, shoppers delight in exploring the antiques, collectibles, vintage, retro and modern furniture, plus beautiful pieces handmade from reclaimed wood. Long-time Peninsula residents Lynne Parker and Vic Clive were excited to bring their eclectic mix of furniture and accessories to the community, while also offering a consignment service for those downsizing or holding estate sales. “We both enjoy unique items and wanted to have a shop where people could find good-quality, previously loved pieces alongside fanstastic brand new items,” says Lynne. Opening their dog-friendly store a year ago — complete with two friendly greeters, a Great Dane-Bouvier and a Shih Tzu-Pug — offered the perfect opportunity to reach out to Boulevard readers. “We really enjoy what we do and love to pass on the stories that accompany all these treasures people bring to our shop. Victoria is filled with interesting, well-travelled people with wonderful collections, so Vic Clive & Lynne there’s something exciting coming in almost daily!” Parker of The
The Old Attic | 778 426 1660 | theoldattic.ca
BEFORE HOMEBUYERS CAN CLOSE the deal on that oh-so-perfect new home, most will first need to secure the best mortgage rates and terms they can find. And that’s exactly where the expertise of mortgage consultant Jodie Kristian, with Prime Mortgage Works, is essential. “Mortgage brokers are unique in that clients don’t pay us for our services (the banks pay us on most transactions), yet we generally save people a lot of money by securing lower rates. We also explain the many financing options available.” Originally from Vernon, Jodie launched her career soon after settling in Victoria in 1994. “I wanted to work in real estate and specifically, mortgage financing. I have a passion for assisting people with what can seem like an overwhelming process — buying a home. I also love figuring out which mortgage product best suits my clients’ individual needs.” A Boulevard advertiser for more than a decade, Jodie enjoys working with the city’s many real estate-related professionals and helping her clients buy the homes of their dreams. “I’m excited to tell my clients they are approved for Jodie Kristian of the lowest mortgage rate, the best terms and conditions, and that they are Prime Mortgage the proud owner of a new home!” Works
Prime Mortgage Works | 250 708 2063 | primemortgageworks.com
DESIGNERS AND HOMEOWNERS alike have come to know Design Source Warehouse as one of the region’s best places to discover unique, affordable, quality products for their home and garden. The one-of-a-kind treasure trove, conveniently located on Hillside Avenue in Victoria’s Rock Bay neighbourhood, has been inspiring Boulevard readers for a decade. Since 2009, owner Bruce Alexander has been expanding that reach and reputation, selling sought-after home furnishings, garden items, decorative ironwork and a variety of accessories for both inside and out, all at factorydirect pricing. Born and raised in Victoria, and appreciating the opportunity to own his own business and work for himself, Bruce understands the local market, and the many unique properties homeowners are looking to decorate. “I enjoy working with customers and establishing good, long-term relationships,” Bruce says. Come visit Design Source Warehouse today and find the perfect piece to complement your home or garden. Bruce Alexander
of Design Source Warehouse
Design Source Warehouse 250 721 5530 | designsourcewarehouse.ca
spotlight on ADVERTISERS BELIEVING IN A COMPREHENSIVE approach to healthy, beautiful skin, Dr. Heather Cairns has been providing physician-directed care from South Island Medical Aesthetics since 2008. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, Dr. Cairns began practicing in Victoria in the early 1980s. “We are so fortunate to live in Victoria; our wonderful climate allows us to enjoy the outside all year round,” Dr. Cairns reflects. Seeing a need for a conservative approach to aesthetic medicine, and a more scientific approach to skin care, Dr. Cairns founded South Island Medical Aesthetics. “We are proud to offer an excellent selection of skin care products and services which have strong and proven science behind them.” Boulevard magazine was the first advertising relationship South Island Medical Aesthetics forged: “Boulevard is a wonderful, high-quality publication and we are thrilled to work with them,” Dr. Cairns notes. Dr. Heather Cairns Conveniently located near Hillside Shopping Centre, South Island Medical of South Island Aesthetics offers can’t-be-beat Botox prices and through August, a summer Medical special on its Juvederm fillers. Aesthetics South Island Medical Aesthetics | 250 896 9099 | southislandmedical.com CELEBRATING 34 YEARS of creating beautiful spaces in Greater Victoria, MAC Renovations has earned a reputation as one of the city’s finest contractors — a reputation built on workmanship, integrity and service. Founder Ed McDonald launched MAC Renovations in 1980, building a full-service design, construction management and consulting company, specializing in the renovation, repair and general contracting of singleand multi-family dwellings. Ed emphasizes that customer service and accountability provide homeowners with invaluable peace of mind. “This business is all about relationships,” Ed says. “People are looking for a company they can trust and rely on. Subcontractors enjoy working with a company that will stand by them and partner with them.” After nearly a decade as an industrial electrician, Ed’s son Blaise joined the MAC team, first in sales and project management, and then, since 2012, as operations manager and successor. A natural leader, Blaise loves meeting and helping people. He’s watched the business grow into one of Victoria’s most respected names in home renovations — one that has earned a remarkable 11 CARE Award nominations this year alone. Quite simply, “our goal is to become your contractor for life,” Ed says.
Ed & Blaise McDonald of MAC
MAC Renovations | 250 412 8012 | macreno.ca COMBINING 24 YEARS of real estate experience with the intimate local knowledge of a third-generation Victorian, Lisa Williams can’t imagine living or working anywhere else. An experienced real estate professional with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Lisa represents buyers and sellers of many different types of homes and properties. “It’s an amazing career. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and builders/developers and started in the business selling new residential developments,” she explains. “My specialty is in representing waterfront, unique and luxury properties, and in matching buyers with their ultimate dream home!” Lisa’s 24 years of real estate experience and a lifetime in beautiful Victoria allows her to help clients find their perfect properties. “I love what I do – I’m a creative perfectionist and I simply don’t give up!” A long-time Boulevard supporter, Lisa has enjoyed seeing the magazine evolve, and her clients love to see their homes advertised in such a well-read publication, she notes. “The market is getting stronger and there’s definitely a more positive vibe! It’s always Lisa Williams of exciting to work with people who have decided to make Victoria their new home, whether Sotheby’s Realty they’re coming from a different province or from around the world!” Lisa Williams | 250 514 1966 | lisawilliams.ca
BY SUSAN LUNDY
TANIA MILLER, 44 MUSIC DIRECTOR, VICTORIA SYMPHONY Nice to meet you, Tania Miller. Where are you from and who is your family? I’m from Foam Lake Saskatchewan — a small town of about 1,000 people. My husband, Tom, is an orthodontist in Vancouver. I have two boys: Matthew, who turns nine close to Symphony Splash time, and Ben, who is six.
What initially drew you to Victoria Symphony? I saw that the Victoria Symphony had enormous potential — an orchestra filled with passionate musicians and good people, and a community that supported the arts.
You’ve been music director for just over a decade. What is your “stamp” on the symphony? When I first started in Victoria, I was only 33, and not a “traditional” conductor. I wanted the community to get excited about a new horizon for the orchestra, one that drew people from all kinds of ages, backgrounds and interests. I wanted people to say, “if that young woman loves classical music, I want to check it out.” Mostly, I wanted the orchestra to play at an extraordinary artistic level, which it does, and to be diverse, vibrant and forward-thinking. I wanted the orchestra to surprise people with its programming and to dispel any pre-conceived notions that orchestra music is stuffy or formal.
You have travelled throughout North America and Europe as a guest conductor. Any favourite spots? Some of my favourites have been Portland and Seattle on the west coast, Ottawa and Montreal in Canada, 74
What do you love most about your work? I love being on the podium, working with the musicians to rehearse and elevate the music that we create, and most especially those soaring moments that happen spontaneously in performance that can never be recreated.
What do you love most about living in Victoria? It is peaceful in Victoria, and close to nature and the water. I hear the seagulls wherever I go, and feel that we live in the most beautiful city in the world.
What do you like to do with your family? On sunny days we are biking,
What has life taught you? We choose how we look at life. If we want to find the best in it and see that, we have that choice. We have the choice to look for the bad too. I want life to be filled with happiness as much as I can control, and music is a big part of my happiness. Life has also taught me to work hard, to prepare, and to be ready to take risks. I was the most unlikely candidate ever to become an orchestra conductor. I grew up in a small farming community miles away from sophisticated musical organizations. I was a woman and I didn’t have a lot of opportunities when I was young due to financial constraints. But I was always determined, and followed my instincts, passions and what I loved. It brought me to where I am now. This interview has been condensed and edited.
skiing, swimming and travelling whenever we can. On rainy days, we read, play games, and enjoy things like cooking. I love to cook, actually.
Where do you turn for advice? Having mentors, and people we can trust is so incredibly important. I have several conductors who I talk for advice on conducting a certain work, or about the business. Some are older than me and can advise from experience, and I have a great network of conductors in my own generation as well. I also rely on people in Victoria who know the people and the traditions, and have backgrounds to advise me on the best directions. We have an amazing board, for instance.
PHOTO BY DON DENTON
SECRETS & LIVES
and the unique desert ecosystem of Tucson. Bern, Switzerland is a real favourite. I was in Carmel, California for several seasons with the Bach Festival, and that was a beautiful place to be in the summer.
2014 RANGE ROVER EVOQUE
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If you are thinking of Selling your H ME, here are a few reasons to hire Jason Binab* of Binab Property Group:
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