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• CHRISTMAS PANTOMIMES • GIFT IDEAS • WINTER GETAWAYS • MAKING A DIFFERENCE •
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INDULGE â€¢ Winter 2017 3
contents VOLUME 11 • ISSUE 2 • WINTER 2017
6 The pantomime is a historic British
tradition – and it’s alive and well on local stages this Christmas.
COVER STORY: Langley’s Glow is picking up where Vancouver’s Enchant Christmas left off, bringing light and spirit to revellers leading up to the big day. (Cover photo: Agency Media)
12 There are myriad reasons why people
give of their time and money, but one thing is certain – it always comes from the heart.
22 A White Rock woman is crafting new
designs on the season – and on every season – and many are finding their way onto sweet treats.
26 Looking for a quick weekend getaway? Check out the unspoiled beauty of Vancouver Island’s west coast.
From the managing editor Lance Peverley
s we prepared this special holidayseason edition of Indulge magazine, I had to wonder whether those who are outspoken about Christmas naysayers will rise again. You know the folks I’m talking about. The ones who claim that many people are afraid to say “merry Christmas” out of some sort of political correctness, or that their coffeecup designs purchased from an international barista chain don’t adequately commemorate their spiritual holiday traditions. I have to admit, in my decades living in the South Surrey/White Rock area, I’ve never noticed this slight. Surely I’ve heard “happy holidays” and “seasons greetings” – probably more so than I’ve heard any other greetings steeped in any other faith-based holiday – but I’ve never borne witness to somebody knowingly removing the sense of Christmas for those who celebrate it, whether as a religious or secular tradition. In this issue of Indulge, community celebration is at the forefront for those who wish to partake – starting with a decades-old Christmas tradition that I remember from my youth growing up in Crescent Beach. The White Rock Players’ Club annual Christmas pantomime and other local pantomime favourites – courtesy the Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society and Ellie King’s Royal Canadian Theatre Company – bring to the stage not only this year’s offerings, but a history of time-honoured tradition in the 44 Winter Winter 2017 2017 •• INDULGE INDULGE
spirit of British shows of yore. Of course, this issue of Indulge continues our own far more recent tradition of offering gift ideas for a number of price points, from the more modest to the indulgent; and each year, with only slight apprehension, I look forward to learning what our writers/elves come up with for this latter category. And for those lucky ones for whom Christmas is all about giving – but less about material gifts – writer Tracy Holmes shares one woman’s story that should lessen any sense of grinchiness that might fester in two-sizes-toosmall hearts. We also offer articles on Christmas crafts, off-season travel options, and a colourful way to bring in the holidays with a festive visit to nearby Langley’s Glow, which tries to pick up where Vancouver’s one-season-only Enchant Christmas left off last year. None of this, however, is to replace what Christmas might mean to you, whether to honour the birth of Christ, to celebrate the community or to make it all about family. And for those who are hesitant to embrace the Christmas spirit – whether because of a different faith, a lack of conviction, or being disenchanted with crass commercial Christmases past – or some other reason – I can only suggest that you try it this year, even just a little bit. ’Cuz when it comes to Christmas, there’s something for everyone. Happy Christmas to all.
Publisher Dwayne Weidendorf email@example.com Sales Manager Steve Scott firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Lance Peverley email@example.com
Contributors Alex Browne • Vicki Brydon • Nick Greenizan • Aaron Hinks • Tracy Holmes • Monique Tamminga
Indulge is published twice annually by Black Press Suite 200 - 2411 160 St. Surrey, BC V3Z 0C8 Tel: 604-542-7429 Fax: 604-531-7977 www.indulgemagazine.ca Distributed free to select households in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Paid subscriptions available. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs.
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Pantomimes have no fewer than three local twists on the Christmas-season favourite 6 Winter 2017 â€˘ INDULGE
by Alex Browne
h, no, he isn’t! Oh, yes, he is!” That telltale harbinger of seasonal festivities – also known as the Christmas pantomime – is lurking just around the corner, with a trunkful of traditional schtick, songs and dances, groaner puns and lurid costumes ready to beguile audiences both young and old. No less than three versions of the British tradition are scheduled for the White Rock and Surrey area this winter. FVGSS, A Musical Theatre Company (formerly the Fraser Valley Gilbert and
Sullivan Society) will present its 2017 family pantomime, The Little Mermaid, Nov. 23 to Dec. 3 at Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave. White Rock Players Club’s entry for this year, The Hunchback of Notre Panto, runs Dec. 1-30 at Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd., White Rock. And The Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s latest panto Ellie King’s Sinbad, The Pirates and The Dinosaur comes to Surrey Arts Centre (Dec. 14-26). For those who have never been exposed to the idiom, it’s a colourful, family-
White Rock Players’ Alice in Wonderland in 2016 friendly musical – including song, dance and deliberately groan-worthy jokes – usually wrapped around a well-known story (childhood fairy tales Aladdin and Cinderella are time-honoured favourites, while Mother Goose, Dick Whittington, Robinson Crusoe and Babes In The Woods have been increasingly supplanted by Peter Pan, Snow White and other stories popular with children through Disney movie adaptations). An outgrowth of old European folk-theatre traditions dating back at least as far as the
INDULGE • Winter 2017 7
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Classic cast of panto characters in the 1920s
‘Loud cheers, boos and participation in singalongs are all enthusiastically encouraged’ Middle Ages and the Renaissance– including the ‘mummers’ plays’ often presented by travelling troupes during the Christmas season and the knockabout comedy of the 16th century Harlequinade – the pantomime began to take on the shape and form we recognize today in Britain in the early to mid-19th century. While the traditional Harlequin characters (who used to have a show-within-a-show interlude of their own) had been dropped by the early 20th century, other traditions dating back to the ancient theatre of Greece and Rome – including a satirical, tongue-in-cheek approach to the source material, alternative lyrics to well-known popular songs, and ‘travesty,’ the practice of men playing female roles and women playing male roles – have persisted. So has audience interaction – loud cheers, boos and hisses to over-the-top villains, warnings to lead characters (“he’s behind you!”) and participation in singalongs are all enthusiastically encouraged. Still virtually sacrosanct is the tradition of the Dame – a middle-aged woman of dubious charms, played by the show’s leading male comedian, a character inspired by the women who ran private country schools as far back as Shakespeare’s time. And another lingering holdover is the pantomime animal – usually a horse or a cow – played by two cast members in an elaborately built, but usually very silly, 8 Winter 2017 • INDULGE
in countries wherever influences from past British rule have lingered, including Canada, Bermuda, Australia, Jamaica, South Africa, Zimbabwe and India.
The Hunchback of Notre Panto
costume. In spite of many changes over the years – and a tendency in panto’s native Britain to bolster the shows’ popularity with appearances by soap opera, pop and reality-show ‘stars’ – the nostalgic tradition continues today
Title of longest-established panto producer in the Lower Mainland goes to White Rock Players Club, which began presenting the Christmas show in 1954, thanks to the entrepreneurial enterprise of legendary local director/impresario Franklin Johnson, who borrowed liberally from British traditions – and frequently played the dame character himself. Scripts, by Johnson’s wife Charlotte, quickly set a uniquely Canadian – and particularly local – tone with frequent references to Lower Mainland place names Franklin Johnson and personalities, and the pantos became so popular that, by the early 1960s they were invited to Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Playhouse as a highlight of its Christmas season, along with the regular run in White Rock. The club continues to take its singular approach to the Christmas fantasies this
‘Still sacrosanct is the Dame – a woman of dubious charms, played by the leading male’ season (the club’s 73rd), taking a huge leap into uncharted territory with The Hunchback of Notre Panto. An original by veteran panto player Dave Baron (with not too many apologies to Victor Hugo) – directed by Alex Lowe – it’s a modern take on the story of Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer of Notre Dame cathedral. The show’s age-old question – what makes us human and what makes us monstrous? – takes on poignant relevance in today’s political and social landscape. But, being a panto, it’s not all gloom and doom – Baron, author of several notable pantomimes in recent seasons including a winning version of Pinocchio in 2012, has made sure to include all the traditional elements including the usual over-the-top Dame, White Rock’s own trademark version of the panto animal (Shenaningans, the giraffe) and a generally fun, irreverent tone, including jabs at local politicians and a roundup of the year’s events in another perennial club tradition, the dame-comedian duet, The Wonderful Year We Fell In Love. Shows are at 8 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Boxing Day (Dec. 26). For tickets, information call 604-536-7535, or visit whiterockplayers.ca
Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s production of Cinderella in 2013
The Little Mermaid FVGSS – which has been producing pantomimes for some 30 years – has not been shy about pushing the envelope of panto traditions, with leading characters that have included everything from Frankenstein’s
monster to Santa Claus and the Phantom of the Opera. This year’s show, The Little Mermaid, derives obvious inspiration from the Disney animated classic, but includes plenty of more traditional features.
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‘Tradition continues in countries wherever influences from past British rule linger’ Written by Michael Balser and Barbie Warwick (from an original script by Peter Zednik), and directed by Balser, with musical direction by Timothy Tucker and choreography by Tamara Jaune and Elisabeth Lay, it’s the story of young Calypso – a mermaid “obsessed with the world above the waves.” As if this doesn’t get her in enough trouble with Ursula, the evil ruler of the undersea world, she’s also fallen in love with a human – Prince Airwick-the-Solid – whom she rescued from a shipwreck during a terrible storm. She’s determined to be with her prince even if it means making a deal with Ursula and leaving the sea behind. But her troubles don’t end there – Airwick has to deal with his overbearing mother, and two ministers scheming to rob the royal treasury. All, the producers promise, comes out right in the end, thanks to Calypso’s friends Shellie the Crab and Katy Periwinkle and her menacing, but helpful, ‘Codfather,’ Don CodLeone – not to mention the support of Crab Calloway and his Band through the show’s 20 singing and dancing numbers.. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. and matinees (Nov. 25, 26 and Dec 2, 3) are at 2:30 p.m.
Above and left, FVGSS’s Frog Princess in 2013 For more information and tickets, call 604501-5566, or visit fvgss.org
Sinbad, The Pirates and The Dinosaur In contrast to the distinctly Canadian style of White Rock and FVGSS pantos, The Royal
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Canadian Theatre Company, headed by founder and artistic director Ellie King, hews much more closely to traditional British panto concepts, and its 2017 offering, Sinbad, The Pirates and The Dinosaur is no exception. An original by the ever-imaginative King that seems a mash-up of elements from some of her most successful past pantos (including Sinbad and Dick Whittington) the show follows the famed sailor and his wacky crew on a voyage on the high seas – replete with all the toe-tapping music, slapstick and corny old jokes that are a mainstay of the British tradition. Typical King touches include a deliberately annoying Princess and the singular comedy style of favourite panto Dame Alan Cedargreen, making one final farewell foray onto the stage before hanging up his wooden spoon (a time-honoured panto prop) for good. Evening shows are at 7:30 p.m. with matinees at 3:30 p.m. In addition to its Surrey run the show will tour to The Act Arts Centre, Maple Ridge (Dec. 29-31) and the Massey Theatre, New Westminster (Jan. 5-6). For tickets and more information, visit rctheatreco.com
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SHARING Even the smallest donation – whether it’s of time or money – can make a big difference by Tracy Holmes
12 Winter 2017 • INDULGE
he Christmas season is often described as the season of giving; a time when spirits swell with a desire to share good fortune or make what can be a trying financial time just a little bit easier. Those who give are a varied lot – from the very young to the very old; from busy professionals to even busier retirees. Not surprisingly, how donors choose to give, to whom and why is just as varied. Some put all their support behind one organization; others spread their kindness far and wide. Some give simply because they can; others, because there was a time in their lives when they couldn’t, and relied on the kindness of the others. “Most of what I hear from donors is either they grew up ‘without’ and know what it feels like,” says Jaye Murray, manager of Sources’ White Rock/South Surrey, “or they feel extremely lucky or fortunate in their life and want to give back. “Sort of payment for the comfortable life they have.” For Marlene Moore, it’s a combination of both. The White Rock resident said she has been donating to the food bank and her church since she moved to the Peninsula seven years ago. Whatever season it happens to be does not weigh into the decision – she gives year-round, every time she gets paid. But while her regular visits to the food bank to drop off cash are well-known to those who work or volunteer there, Moore said her reasons for giving are decidedly less so. In short, her choice to support the food bank wasn’t a random decision. “This kind of a place was not available to me when I was little, so we kind of struggled a little bit,” she said. “I have a heart for knowing how it feels to not have enough.” Moore grew up in Ontario, the second youngest of four girls. Her parents split up when the girls were young – she remembers being around nine years old. After her mom ended up in hospital, times became particularly tough. Sometimes, between foster-home stays, the siblings would have to fend for themselves for days at a time, Moore said. “We used to walk along the street and if we found a pop bottle, we ate that day,” she said. “I used to pray to God, help me get through
Ziyana Moledina, 9, raises money every year to benefit Child Aid International, through selling homemade hot chocolate. Sources’ White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank manager Jaye Murray (facing page) said donors tell her they give because they either once needed help themselves, or want to share their good fortune. (Tracy Holmes photo) one more day. And he did.” The mother of two said through it all, she remembers she would always share, or even give all of what she had to another, if she saw the need. And as a Christian, she has faith that “God wants us to share what he gives us, and not to forget.” She noted that once she began a practice of tithing – giving away 10 per cent of her earnings – her own finances became less of a struggle. Somehow, she says, 90 per cent goes further than 100 per cent. “It’s a really nice way to live,” Moore said. “There’s value in sharing, with a good heart.” Murray said there are many who choose to donate to the food bank, both in time and money. “We even have volunteers who are regular
donors giving not only their time but monetary donations as well.” There is no age limit on having a heart for giving, regardless of the charity, or time of year. Stories abound year-round of youngsters who turn their desire to make a difference for others into reality. And they often make it happen through the simplest of gestures. Nine-year-old Ziyana Moledina – who, three years ago, started a fall tradition of raising money to assist orphans by selling hot chocolate on Oct. 31 – summed up her reason to get involved in a few simple words: “For me, it feels good to help people, even in my school,” the Southridge School student said. “The littlest things can make a big difference.”
We used to walk along the street and if we found a pop bottle, we ate that day. I used to pray to God, help me get through one more day. And he did. INDULGE INDULGE •• Winter Winter 2017 2017 13 13
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Santa’s little helper... From online to in-store, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your Christmas list There are many things to celebrate during the holiday season, but for some of us, shopping isn’t one of them. With that in mind, here’s a helpful list of gift ideas – from the budget-conscious to the extravagant. Take a look through the next few pages, and let the Indulge Gift Guide take some of the stress out of holiday gift-giving.
Less than $50
Whether the woman on your list is a barfly or a bookworm – or, like many of our great literary icons, perhaps both – she’ll love Tequila Mockingbird, which combines drink recipes like A Rum of One’s Own and Love in the Time of Kahlua with witty commentary on beloved novels. Available at bookstores and various online booksellers.
Less than $100 What better gift to pair with the above book than this fun, pineapple-shaped cocktail shaker, sold online by W&P Design (wandpdesign.com). Similar versions – of varying shapes and colours – are sold elsewhere online, and are sure to liven up any party.
Less than $500 A wonderful idea for the frequent, techsavvy traveller, this Incase NoviConnected Travel Roller ($300, InCase.com) is a sleek, carry-on-sized case that features a TSAapproved battery and USB ports for charging laptops, phones and other devices. A smartphone app also allows users to keep tabs on the bag’s location, should you lose it, as well as the bag’s battery status.
Indulgent This Tiffany Victoria Mixed Cluster Necklace ($100,000, www.tiffany.com) is made up of diamonds of a variety of shapes and cuts, and according to Tiffany & Co. is “inspired by the fire and radiance” of the diamonds, which, when combined, total nearly 16 carats. And, sure, it means dealing with a six-figure credit-card bill in the New Year, but at least shipping is free! INDULGE •• Winter Winter 2017 2017 15 15 INDULGE
Less than $50
This desktop golf game is the perfect gift for the sports-lover on your list who may be stuck at his desk a little more often than he’d like. This fun game ($35, www. uncommongoods.com) will provide a well-deserved break from office work – or perhaps help him strategize for the next time he’s on the course.
Less than $100
It’s not always fun to find clothes under the Christmas tree, but nobody will be complaining about a stylish long-sleeved flannel shirt this holiday season. A great way to stay warm and look good as the temperature drops outside.
Less than $500
Indulgent Do you have a golf fan on your shopping list, as well as a spare quarter-of-a-million dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Well Neiman Marcus – famous for their annual over-the-top Christmas gift options – has the perfect gift: a VIP week for four at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. The package ($250,000, www.neimanmarcus.com/christmasbook) includes first-class airfare, deluxe accommodations, premium tickets, plus a private visit with PGA Tour pro Jim Furyk.
16 Winter 2017 • INDULGE
The Apple-product loving guy on your list will love the latest version of Apple Watch. The waterproof timepiece has optional cellular connectivity – to seamlessly sync with your iPhone – and also includes a heart-rate sensor, GPS and all the other features you’ve come to expect.
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INDULGE • Winter 2017 17
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Less than $50
Available at a variety of online retailers as well as some book stores and other sellers, a scratch-off world map is perfect for the teen with big travel plans. The colourful maps allow you to scratch off – as you would a scratch-and-win lottery ticket – the countries you’ve travelled to, giving your worldly travel enthusiast an easy way to keep track, as well as plan future trips.
Less than $100
Less than $500
The weather may be a little dark and gloomy now, but sunnier days are just around the corner – and chic, Warby Parker tortoiseshell sunglasses (www.warbyparker. com) are perfect for the fashionista on your list.
A perfect gift for the teen on the move, the GoPro Hero5 camera (which ranges from $399 to just over $500) shoots stunning 4K video and features easy-to-use one-touch functionality. A number of accessories are also available.
Indulgent Does your son or daughter need – or want – a little quiet time to decompress from the stresses of teenage life? Well, what better place to do it than in the Tranquility Pod ($30,000, www.hammacher.com), which uses pleasant sounds, soothing lights and more to create a state of relaxation. However, with a memory-foam, suede-topped waterbed, it might be tough to drag them back into the real world.
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Sometimes it’s best to stick with the classics – like this time-tested two-pack from Tonka. This dump-truck-and-loader combo ($48) is made of sturdy steel, and has many moving parts to keep your youngster entertained for hours. Available at toy stores or online.
Less than $100 Hatchimals Surprise – the newest incarnation of last year’s popular toys – includes Hatchimal twins inside each magical speckled egg. Once they hatch, the critters share a bond, telling each other jokes, playing games, dancing and more.
Less than $500 The Luvabella Baby Doll – which some are already calling the hottest, hardest-to-find toy of 2017 – is an interactive doll that laughs, learns words, eats, drinks, sleeps and more. Available online or in toy stores – but get ‘em while they last.
Indulgent Forget building a fort out of couch cushions and old blankets – this is a real playhouse. Complete with two floors, stairs and 16 windows, this Smart Playhouse ($9,750, www. petittresor.com) is the perfect addition to any backyard.
20 Winter 2017 • INDULGE
While checking off all the family and friends on your Christmas list is important, it’s equally vital – and rewarding – to give back to the community around you. This time of year, there are numerous ways to give back – from donating to Sources White Rock/ South Surrey food bank or co-ordinating with a local service organization to sponsor a family in need over the holidays. There are myriad smaller gestures you can make, too, from throwing your spare change into a Salvation Army kettle, to simply volunteering to shovel a neighbour’s driveway.
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INDULGE • Winter 2017 21
Tracy Holmes photo
Designs for all
abe Mundstock is in the business of being creative. And after 24 years of sharing her creativity through her work as a graphic designer for Black Press, the White Rock woman has launched an endeavour of her own, designing stencils for the culinary- and craft-minded. Westcoast Stencils (online at westcoaststencils. ca or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org), operated – for the time being, at least – out of Mundstock’s almost-waterfront abode, grew from noticing a distinct shortage in Canadian suppliers of the tools. 22 Winter 2017 • INDULGE
Gabe Mundstock has channelled her passion for decorating cookies into a growing busines
by Tracy Holmes “At the time I decided to make stencils, I didn’t know anybody making stencils in Canada,” Mundstock said, as she prepped a holiday-themed design for precision cutting. While she’s since discovered a competitor in Quebec, it hasn’t fazed her enthusiasm. “I thought it was a good idea, money-wise,” she said. In the world of cookie enthusiasts, she noted, stencils “are huge.” For Mundstock, cookies is where it all began. First, the baking – perfecting a standard combination of ingredients to make the sweet, sugary treats her own.
Then, the decorating – topping them with whatever shapes, colours, words or patterns that fit the occasion, whether the cookies were for Christmas, a birthday, an office party or sundry other event. That’s what really ignited her passion. She found it both creative and relaxing. “I’ve always loved pictures of them,” Mundstock said. “Once I started decorating, I just fell in love with it.” Initially, Mundstock would give the carefully crafted, looks-too-good-to-eat edibles as gifts. Then, she began selling her cookies as a side business, and Cookies by Gabe was
Best Sugar Cookie Recipe
2-3 tsp extract or emulsion, such as vanilla 2/3 cups warm water
www.inkatrinaskitchen.com (Yields three dozen cookies) 1 cup unsalted butter 1 cup granulated white sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ tsp almond extract 1 egg 2 tsp baking powder 3 cups all purpose flour Preheat oven to 350°F. In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least three minutes. Beat in extracts and egg. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer, turn out the dough onto a countertop. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand. Divide dough into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8). Bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack. (GABE’S TIPS: You can omit the almond extract, if desired. Use salted butter instead of unsalted, and also omit the baking
powder, if you choose, so the cookies don’t rise or spread too much. I chill my dough before I roll it out. This way I can pick up the cookie and place it on the cookie sheet without the cookie losing shape. I roll out my cookies on parchment paper that is on top of a silicone mat. This way the parchment doesn’t slide all over the place while you are rolling. Bake for six minutes to test. If you bake the cookies from the freezer, try 12 minutes to test. They should be just turning golden on the bottom. Leave them on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to cool completely.)
Royal Icing www.sweetsugarbelle.com 2 pounds confectioner’s sugar 5 tbsp meringue powder
born. Her first professional order, Mundstock remembers, came from her newspaper publisher at the time, who requested “some outrageous amount” of both large and small versions of the delectables. “I was quite panicked about it,” she laughed. But she clearly did something right – word of mouth (pun intended) was always enough to keep her busy. Since turning her focus to making stencils, Mundstock is filling far fewer orders for cookies – though she does still take them – and none involving requests for ‘character’ cookies, as the time involved makes them simply too costly. The potential for copyright infringement was also a concern. She’s currently investing about 30 hours a week in her new business, adding to her ever-growing cache of custom-designed stencils and filling orders for more. One of her latest requests was for 10 packages of 200 mini red maple leafs. Not surprisingly, she saw an increase in demand for Christmas stencils after Oct. 31. “Halloween ended, and it’s, like – bam!” she said. Her holiday offerings include cursive messages of Christmas joy and a plethora of HoHoHo’s, to playful ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ designs and a
Begin by stirring the flavouring into half the water. Using a paddle attachment, gently mix the sugar and meringue powder. It’s not necessary to sift the sugar beforehand, but you can if you like. With the mixer on its lowest setting, slowly add the water/flavouring mix to the dry ingredients. As the water is added, the icing will become thick and lumpy. Continue to add water (this may or may not be the entire amount remaining) until the mixture reaches a thick, honey-like consistency. At this point, turn the mixer to medium and whip two to four minutes until icing is thick and fluffy. Mixing time can vary, so stop mixing when the icing forms a soft peak. You can thin your icing by adding a bit of water. Start with 1 tbsp and keep adding until you get the thickness you want. You don’t want the icing so thin that it flows off the edges of the cookie. If you do make it too thin, just add some icing sugar to thicken it again. Store in a covered bowl or airtight container until ready to use. The icing can be left at room temperature or stored in the refrigerator.
North Pole postage-stamp. Outside of this particular season, she’s crafted everything from Canadathemed stencils to pineapple backgrounds to a pink-and-green flamingo pool set. Her favourite so far is a stencil of international postage stamps, designed as part of a custom travel-set order. “Really, the possibilities are endless,” she said. “I want to build (the number of original designs) to hundreds and maybe thousands.” Mundstock acknowledged that without an unplanned change in work circumstances last year, she may not have the same freedom to focus on her new business. But forging out on her own has always been her dream. “I’ve always wanted to work for myself, I just didn’t know what that would look like,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed it right from the get-go,” she added, of her designing prowess. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve actually said I’m really good at something.” The kudos from clients – the majority of whom currently hail from the States – is an added bonus. “When you get the feedback from people and reviews… it’s pretty rewarding when they tell you how great your stencils are.” INDULGE • Winter 2017 23
Under the lights
E Agency Media photos
24 Winter 2017 • INDULGE
by Monique Tamminga
nchant Christmas, the world’s largest light display, drew sellout crowds in Vancouver last holiday season. With the light show not returning this year, a Langley greenhouse is promising a magical and dazzling alternative. Milner Village Garden Centre is bringing a 500,000-light show called Glow. The show will feature four different themed light gardens, including a musical light tunnel, inside their greenhouses. Milner Village Garden Centre has annually hosted a popular Christmas market and other events but hasn’t previously taken on a project of this size. “A lot of us from the greenhouse attended Enchant last year and really enjoyed ourselves. We saw a need and had the opportunity to satisfy it. Our winters are long, wet and dark, and we are offering a way to make those nights magical, bright and warm,” said Dallas Hildebrand, the co-creator of Glow and finance and business developer at Darvonda Nurseries. Inside its Darvonda Nurseries – a major supplier of annuals and vegetables – will be a Christmas light display that promises to delight both young and old, said Hildebrand. Dozens of staff are currently hanging lights, creating lit polar bears, reindeer and penguins, along with giant presents to set the greenhouses aglow for the show which includes a Christmas market, a licensed bar and food trucks. “We can regulate the temperature to keep all our plants alive while offering our guests a comfortable space to see the sights, do their Christmas shopping in the market, grab a festive drink and enjoy the live performers,” he said. The 103,000 square feet of Christmas light gardens, Santa, food trucks and holiday market begins with a special evening Nov. 22. Dozens of local vendors, including artisans and crafters, will be on site. The Glow website says kids can help Santa locate his lost presents, which are scattered throughout the lighted gardens, while parents amble through the Christmas market. Glow’s grand opening will be held Friday,
Nov. 24 from 4-10 p.m. The show will run until Dec. 30. When the organizers of Enchant brought their massive Christmas light maze to Vancouver last year, there were so many people wanting to go that tickets sold out early, despite the constant rain and muddy conditions. Organizers tried to find a different space for the light show – one that would provide better drainage and more parking – but couldn’t come up with one and instead moved the show to Texas. Organizers of Glow are also encouraging people to get their tickets early. And they are adding a fundraising component to their show. When purchasing a ticket online, use promotion code “LangleyHospice” and 20 per cent ($4 per ticket) of your purchase will go to support the Langley Hospice Society. Or use code “LMHF” and $4 will be donated to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. Also, early-bird ticket purchasers for November dates will receive a $10 food/beverage voucher for use at the event. The Glow show will be held indoors, note Glow organizers, so weather won’t be a factor in the enjoyment. “The response from our neighbours here in Langley and the Fraser Valley has truly been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging; whether it’s Township staff, the Langley Fire Department, our charitable partners at Canuck Place, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation and Langley Hospice Society, or everyday people we bump into,” Hildebrand said. “We can’t wait to offer a Christmas event unlike anything you’ve experienced.” Glow is located at 6690 216 St. To buy tickets, visit www.glowchristmas.ca
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INDULGE • Winter 2017 25
Idyllic Vancouver Island getaway is the perfect spot to chase away the winter blues Story and photos by Vicki Brydon
26 Winter 2017 â€¢ INDULGE
iving in British Columbia, we are spoiled with inspiring vistas, an embarrassment of vineyards, tranquil beaches and lush forests. With so many options available for quick getaways, adventurous treks or scenic sojourns, it’s easy to miss the more remote destinations that take a little extra effort to reach. Tofino and Ucluelet are two such places that should be on your bucket list. Perched on the western edge of Vancouver Island, Tofino and Ucluelet were once tiny surf towns that attracted the counter culture of hippies and spiritual seekers of the 1970s. Surrounded by rainforest and hugging the white sand beaches of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve that stretches the nearly 40 kilometres between the two villages, its reputation as a secluded utopia was well deserved. Today, that definition still stands. There may be more commercialization and people, but the charisma remains and I dare you to spend a few days here and not be fully enamoured with this little slice of paradise just a ferry ride (and a few hours of driving!) away. There is just one road – Highway 4 – that leads to this idyllic spot and you’ll pass through the quaint town of Port Alberni en route from Nanaimo. Between Port Alberni and the main intersection that takes you either into Tofino (right) or Ucluelet (left), are lots of hairpin turns, waterfalls and mountain ranges. The scenery is stunning but the road can be tricky, so watch your speed and stay alert. Once you land in Tofino, the drive will seem like a distant memory. Between the whitecapped waves crashing on the shore and the endless shades of green you didn’t think existed in nature, stress doesn’t stand a chance. Along with the area’s increasing popularity came fantastic amenities, and your options for accommodation, restaurants and activities are exceptional. The off-season – referred to as stormwatching season – is my favourite time to visit, as most of the tourists have left and the town reverts to its chilled out roots. Resorts, cottages and hotels dot the beach and you’ll find some great deals from November through March or April. In Tofino, I can recommend both Long Beach Lodge Resort and Crystal Cove Beach Resort for their ideal location and ambience. Long Beach Lodge is a beautiful hotel right on Cox Bay that offers a variety of rooms, an excellent restaurant and a communal hot tub. Adjacent to the restaurant is their “Great Room” with a wall of glass that faces the ocean, cozy couches and chairs and a few tables. It’s the perfect setting for a glass of wine and a game of cards while you watch the waves crash on shore just outside, or if you’re
Top to bottom: Cabin 8 at the Terrace Beach Resort; the sun sets at MacKenzie Beach in Tofino; waves crash to the shore, as seen from the Wild Pacific Trail.
lucky, a dazzling sunset. Crystal Cove features an assortment of cabins clustered around MacKenzie Beach, each with their own fully equipped kitchens and fireplaces. Some have private hot tubs, so if that’s your thing (and it should be – trust me!)
make sure to secure one of those. Restaurants in Tofino are plentiful and run the gamut from divine fish tacos at Tacofino’s (tacofino.com) original famous food truck to SoBo (sobo.ca), an award-winning eatery that specializes in innovative seafood. Shelter (shelterrestaurant.com) is my choice for a casual lunch and the trendy Wolf in the Fog (wolfinthefog.com) is usually booked solid so plan ahead if you can. For delicious coffee, breakfast sandwiches and decadent cinnamon buns, check out Common Loaf Bake Shop just off Tofino’s main drag. There is usually a lineup but it’s worth the wait, and they do have seating. When it comes to things to do, the beauty (literally!) of this area is the myriad options for exploring the outdoors, from rambling hikes and surf lessons to kayaking and fishing. Or you can do absolutely nothing but relax, take in the captivating scenery and plan your next meal. Both are equally satisfying depending on your mood. At the southern end of Pacific Rim Highway sits Ucluelet, the smaller and more laid back of the two villages. Ukee, as it’s affectionately called, has a slightly different vibe than Tofino with more locals, less tourists and just a smattering of resorts and restaurants. Terrace Beach Resort (terracebeachresort. ca) is my favourite place to stay for a relaxing getaway in the midst of a rainforest. Owned by Canadian actor Jason Priestley and his family, the resort features a variety of accommodation options from bachelor, one- and two-bedroom hotel room-type suites to lofts and a collection of rustic and cozy cottages elevated on stilts connected by meandering boardwalks. The cottages are the way to go, and each offers a well-equipped kitchen, barbecue and deck for watching the sunset or storms rolling in off the Pacific below. (My favourite is #8 Surf Grass for its sleeping loft and private hot tub, though you can’t go wrong with any of them – just check for the features you’re looking for.) Wildlife is everywhere and a curious (and persistent!) raccoon even scaled a tree to check out what was grilling on the BBQ during my last stay. A gentle nudging with a broom sent him on his way and the experience only added to the charm of the place. Adjacent to the resort is the entrance to the Wild Pacific Trail, a great little walk that borders the ocean as the well-marked trail winds around Amphitrite Point and its renowned lighthouse. Rain or shine, this is a
continued on page 29 INDULGE • Winter 2017 27
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must-do and takes about an hour. The best fish and chips I’ve eaten to date are from a food truck in Ucluelet. Jiggers Fish & Chips is permanently stationed at 1385 Peninsula Rd. and offers lightly battered halibut and cod, fries and poutine. The fish is caught daily and features a fresh herb in the batter that is sublime. They won’t tell me what it is (rosemary? cilantro?) but this enhancement takes it over the top. There’s also a grocery and liquor store in the centre of town, so it’s easy to stock up and make a few meals in the cottage. Everything you need in the kitchen is provided and no driving means you can open that second bottle of wine while the storm rages outside – win, win! Norwoods Restaurant (norwoods.ca) is also a top choice but you will definitely need a reservation; it’s the most popular eatery in Ucluelet and their farm-to-table menu and expertly crafted wine list are off the charts. Whatever your inspiration for visiting Tofino and Ucluelet, you will not be disappointed. Whether it’s a romantic weekend for two, a solo escape to unplug, a family getaway or an adventurous few days with a group of friends, one trip and you’ll be hooked. Trust me when I say you’ll be wondering how soon you can return to this paradise on the Pacific Rim.
A peek through the trees at Terrace Beach Resort reveals a marvelous view.
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A very Aaron Christmas A photo Aaron Hinks took in Northern Alberta in 2011. He framed it and gifted it to his mother in 2015. Now, it hangs above the fireplace - prime real estate.
A secret that’s likely to cause some grief
Story and photo by Aaron Hinks
It takes me 10 minutes. I browse my favourite s tradition with this Christmassy online shopping website and order a $10 publication, we provide a giftpicture frame. I dig through my collection of guide crafted by one of our utmost photographs then have one printed. It’s great, talented in-house shoppers. the shopping takes me 10 minutes and I can do Truthfully, he’s not much of a it without pants. shopper, but that’s because he’s cheap – not The hardest part is wrapping the gift and because he doesn’t have a sense of what people mailing it across the country to my would enjoy to find gift-wrapped unsuspecting family in Ontario. under their Christmas tree. They, following suit with my This year’s guide, on pages 15-20, ingenuity, think the photograph is a provides a few examples of items personalized touch by me. They spend you could buy for your family or that the year sending the odd text message special someone when the idea bank about how they love the photo is empty. – usually hanging in a predominate They’re ‘safe gifts.’ location – and how it reminds them of Sure, some are luxurious, some are me. Trust me, this method is fantastic cheap, but they’re unlikely to offend or Aaron Hinks for grandparents and aunts. upset. But what makes a great gift? Microsoft founder Bill Gates once Was it because of the accompanying said that he would “hire a lazy person to do a price tag? Or the functionality of the product? difficult job… because a lazy person will find an Likely, the best gift you’ve ever received, easy way to do it.” especially if it was from a significant other, was Words to live by, Bill. one that was delivered from the heart. A gift that The lesson of my story is that personalized took time, thought, creativity and preparation to gifts work wonders. But, they can also backfire. give. Something that made you feel loved. Before writing this column, I sent a mass Sure, diamonds or electronics work, but email to some 30 of my contacts. People that where’s the creativity? I’ve met through work-related purposes, most of Myself, I have crafted the greatest scheme for which I haven’t met in person. Christmas shopping. I asked my acquaintances, what’s the “worst, A master at being both cheap and lazy, I use or funniest Christmas present you’ve ever my talent of photography to my advantage. I received.” don’t take many ‘artsy’ photographs now – due I got two responses. One South Surrey resident to being lazy – but I have a treasure trove of said the worst gift she ever received was an stellar images just waiting to be gifted. 30 Winter 2017 • INDULGE
electric toothbrush from secret Santa. I understand how that gift could be received as a jab. My mother strikes me with that same cheap-shot every Christmas. But the other response made me snicker, and it happens to fall within the realm of a ‘personalized gift.’ This one came from one of our reader’s named Nicole. She asked that I withhold her last name – you may understand why. “My ‘Wasband’ used to ask me every year what I wanted for Christmas,” she wrote. “This use to annoy me because we had known each other for about ten years so I figured he should know me and what I like. “Jokingly, I said I would like a fur coat and a Jaguar car knowing we could not afford it. “Well, he used his imagination and got me a ticket to win a Jaguar car (which I didn’t) and a Fur G-String.” Yikes, but there appears to be more. “What was funnier is the look on my face when I opened a Big Box on Christmas day and inside was a Blue Fox Fur… Quelle surprise.” I don’t know if “Quelle surprise” is a good thing – maybe not, judging by the outcome of that particular marriage. But I do need to give this man recognition for creativity – however, I’d venture to say that he over-thought the process. Next time, just stick with diamonds. Author’s note: Nobody is to share this column with anyone who has the last name Hinks, or anyone who lives in Southwestern Ontario.
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November 08, 2017 edition of the Indulge Magazine