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Connector ONBOARD MAGAZINE FOR THE WILSON’S GROUP

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

The Fun Is In Getting There!

3 ways to Love Vancouver

in the WINTER

DAY-TRIPS

FOR FUN AND WONDER

RIDE THE SKI BUS! IT’S SNOW TIME AT MOUNT WASHINGTON

FIVE AFTER THE DRIVE MUST-DO EVENTS IN VICTORIA AND VANCOUVER


BC Resident Rate Special

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CALL 250-381-3456 OR 1-800-663-7557 TO RESERVE THE STAY AWHILE PACKAGE HUNTINGDONMANOR.COM Valid from December 1, 2017 to January 2, 2018. Package is based on double occupancy. Subject to availability. Taxes, alcoholic beverages and gratuities not included. Pendray Inn & Tea House 309 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018   2


Contents

JAN/FEB 2018 5 President’s Message 6 Ride the Ski Bus! 8 Meet the Crew 9 Vancouver in the Winter 12 Sports Hall of Fame 14 Five After the Drive 18 Five for Foodies 20 Hit the Road 22 Ask the Concierge

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12

20

14

ON OUR COVER

Dancers of Damelahamid — Flicker (see page 14). Photo by Derek Dix

PHOTO BY CHRIS RANDLE

PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke 250.480.3204 250.891.5627 mario.gedicke@blackpress.ca

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan

EDITOR Susan Lundy lundys@shaw.ca

PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Sierra Lundy

PRODUCTION Janice Marshall

WRITERS Sierra Lundy, Sean McIntyre, Lauren Kramer, Darcy Nybo ADVERTISING Ruby Della Siega 250.480.3222 Patty Doering 250.480.3242 Nick Warrington 250.480.3399

A seniors residence in downtown Victoria which has an atmosphere simply like

home.

Rose Manor Seniors Residence O A K B AY K I WA N I S

CONNECTOR magazine is published six times a year by Black Press and is distributed by The Wilson’s Group. The points of view or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or The Wilson’s Group. The contents of Connector magazine are protected by copyright, including the designed advertising. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent of the publisher.

818 Broughton Street Victoria, BC Canada V8W 1E4 www.blackpress.ca

www.gowilsonsgroup.com

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Happy New Year/ Gung Hay Fat Choy s we say good bye to 2017 and look forward to 2018, I want to take a moment to thank our staff and customers for their support this past year. Victoria and Vancouver both saw tremendous growth in visitors, and we expect that will continue in 2018. We are grateful to all of those visitors and locals who used our services to get between Vancouver and Victoria with the BC Ferries Connector, or to travel between Victoria International Airport and downtown aboard the YYJ Airport Shuttle. And, of course, thanks to all the tour groups, conferences, sports teams, choirs, seniors, school groups and all of the others who trusted their travel with our charter bus division, Wilson’s Transportation Ltd. We know how important it is to have service from a transportation company that is reliable, safe and trustworthy, and it is our continued goal for 2018 be your preferred choice of bus travel. There are exciting things happening in our Sightseeing Victoria division for 2018. As the growth of international visitors’ continues, we will be offering our Hop On Hop Off Reasons To Go tour guide in four additional languages, including French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. This will allow more of our guests to create their own tours at each of our 14 stops along the route, based on their own interests — whether it be culture, food, nature or shopping. Also, if you’re a local, check out the Hop On Hop Off tour during Be A Tourist in Your Hometown on February 23-25 or March 2-4. All tours are FREE with your Be

A

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A Tourist VIP Card during those weekends. We hope you’ll check it out, and we’re pretty certain you’ll learn something new on this fun and informative tour of your hometown, Victoria. As for January, we know it can bring terrible winter weather and driving conditions that are not easy to navigate for those of us on the West Coast, so remember that we’re here for you with experienced drivers and reliable equipment to get you wherever you are going safely. We look forward to serving you in 2018 and we wish you and your family a healthy and prosperous new year! John Wilson President

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018   5


VICTORIA BY DARCY NYBO

DAY-TRIPPING:

RIDE THE SKI BUS!

“Top of the world” at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

It's snow time at Mt. Washington kip the drive and enjoy a bus ride up to Mount Washington this snow season. Sit back, savour the scenery and let Smith Transportation pick you up and drop you off at the ski hill. “Whether you need a lift, are travelling with a large group or simply don’t want to drive, our ski bus service can pick you up or drop you off at any of our locations on southern Vancouver Island,” said Rick Salewski, Smith Transportation’s operations manager. This city-to-ski-hill service is easy to book online, or you can purchase tickets in person at the Capital City Station (721 Douglas) in Victoria. Those who aren’t returning the same day purchase two, oneway tickets to ensure a seat is available there and back. “During the ski season, we run a daily

S

6  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

service between Victoria and Mount Washington with over 10 boarding locations in between, including stops in Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo. We recommend people get dropped off at their bus stop, as there is no parking at our pickup areas,” said Salewski. This comfortable, 47-passenger highway coach has an onboard washroom and plenty of room for snow garments, skis and snowboards. A breakfast stop takes place at a McDonalds in Nanaimo, where riders can stretch their legs and grab a coffee. Another great reason for taking the bus is safety. “All of our buses are equipped for driving on mountain roads,” said Salewski. “They all have advanced braking systems and our drivers are used to driving in mountain conditions.”

“Bus service starts at 5 am, and runs seven days a week, usually from early December to early April, except December 25,” said Salewski. “You’ll arrive at Mount Washington in time to start skiing at 9 am when the slopes open.” Once the bus arrives, there’s plenty of time to get gear on, grab another cup of coffee and maybe a snack of fresh baked goods before hitting the hill. “January is an amazing snow season [here],” said Sheila Rivers at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. “There’s always a great base and the entire mountain is open for skiing.” And there’s lots more than downhill skiing at Mount Washington, she added. “We have an amazing Nordic area for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Most of our trails loop around into CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP


Snowboarders all set to ride the bus to Mount Washington.

Strathcona Park. There are alpine to ocean views as you snowshoe through old growth forests accompanied by Whiskey Jacks.” She added: “There’s a fantastic tube with four lanes, and you ride back up on a covered magic carpet. There are also two terrain parks at Mt. Washington, one for beginners and one for advanced riders. And there are plenty of rails, boxes and booters for those who like to catch some air.” Mount Washington has some great events planned this snow season. The Snowshoe and Fondue Tour fun starts in January and runs every Friday and Saturday until March. “People gather here at dusk and do a snowshoe tour and then return to the Raven Lodge for a delicious, three-course cheese fondue with fellow snowshoers,” said Rivers. “There’s Boomer’s Week from February 5 to 9. Everyone over 50 gets a package with lessons, all-day lift tickets, lunch and après ski.” Also in February, The resort is running Olympic-style events leading up to and during the Olympics. There will be fun, family oriented events for all ages and abilities. When it’s time to head back, riders simply catch the Mt. Washington ski bus at 3:50 pm. Comfortable seats makes for an easy ride — or nap — until the bus arrives back in Victoria at 7 pm. For bus tickets, drop-off locations and times, go online to mtwskibus.com or call the toll-free reservation line at 1-877-7562544. Booking in advance is recommended. For information on what’s happening on Mount Washington Alpine Resort visit mountwashington.ca. CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018   7


MEET THE WILSON’S GROUP TEAM Where were you born? where did you grow up?

I was born in a town on Cape Breton Island called North Sydney. When I was five, I moved with my mother to Halifax, where I spent the next 20 years growing up.

Who is your family?

DON DENTON PHOTO

Although I grew up as mostly an only child, I now have four step-siblings: Nickeda (23), Alivia (10) and twins, Brooke and Blake (8). Having such a large age gap between my siblings and I has been fun as I was actively involved in raising my three youngest stepsiblings until I moved here in April 2016. When my little sister Alivia and my mother came to Victoria in May, I took them on the Grayline Hop-on Hop-off tour and they LOVED it! I also have a retired show dog named Janie and a cat who is 16.

What path did you take to get to this job?

I went to Saint Mary’s University and graduated in 2013 with my B.A. Honours in Psychology. I have a history of interesting careers in both the research and administrative fields. My boyfriend (a naval officer) and I were posted to Victoria in December of 2016,

Your Lakeside Resort in the City!

ALISHA HISCOTT

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Aside from the wonderful people I get to work with, I love that no day is the same. I’m always learning new things about the city, transportation and accounting. This is definitely a company that supports internal growth and learning for its employees.

What are your hobbies outside of the job?

I love to go hiking with Janie; we make it a goal to explore one new place on Vancouver Island per week.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Victoria?

I love to go to go sightseeing! There is so much to do and so many beautiful things to see.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am proud to be an East Coaster!.

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VANCOUVER BY LAUREN KRAMER

DAY-TRIPPING:

FUN IN VANCOUVER

Ways to love VANCOUVER

TOURISM VANCOUVER/ CLAYTON PERRYO

r e t n i W in

Granville Island skyline at dusk.

V

ancouver is an easy city to enjoy in the summer, when the views are stupendously beautiful and the outdoors beckons with the possibility of great walks, bike rides along the Sea Wall, beach time and hikes. In the winter, though, you have to know where to go to find those indoor gems that will enrich, inspire and add fun to the dark weekends. Here are our three top picks for warm, dry, indoor destinations. Granville Island is Vancouver’s hub of artistic creativity and a place where locals and tourists gather to listen to buskers’ music, eat lunch in the glassed-in food court overlooking False Creek and shop for unique objets d’art made on-island. Offering a mixture of industrial hub, CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP

creative mecca and tourist magnet, the island’s administrators have a requirement for all artists: the products they sell must be made on-island. Consequently, the island’s studios, workshops and galleries are filled with artists and artisans plying a broad array of unique crafts. Grab an umbrella and explore the island’s narrow alleyways. Chances are you’ll see boat builders adding final touches to gleaming vessels, professional ceramicists bent over their pottery wheels, jewellery designers forging wedding and engagement rings with Canadian diamonds and glass blowers twisting and turning their red-hot creations. If you’re there after-hours, the island is no less exciting. Comedians compete for

laughs at the Vancouver TheatreSports Improv Centre, which offers popular, family-friendly entertainment. Steps away, the island’s Waterfront Theatre hosts many of the city’s top theatre producers. Both performance venues are great options for evening entertainment after a dinner at Bridges or Sandbar, two of the island’s top-rated restaurant venues. Info: granvilleisland.com If your kids are complaining that museums are boring, rest assured, they won’t complain about this one. The Richmond Olympic Experience, a $10 million museum at the Richmond Olympic Oval, is all about hands-on activities and is filled with cool interactive exhibits and engaging activities. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018   9


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Five sport simulators give families the opportunity to simulate the thrill of ski jumping on one of Whistler’s world-class runs or to feel the rush of a bobsleigh speeding on an Olympic trail. In other interactive exhibits, visitors can see how high and how far they can jump, measure

Stories so big they have to be sung

Opera Season

La Bohème

PUCCINI

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Rinaldo

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APRIL 19, 21, 27, 29 / 2018 In Italian with English surtitles

All performances at the Royal Theatre 805 Broughton St., Victoria, BC

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10  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

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THE

PHOTO BY GRANT HARDER/TOURISM RICHMOND

TOURISM VANCOUVER/ CLAYTON PERRY

their hand-eye and foot-eye reaction times, and score goals in soccer and hockey, comparing their results to those of Olympic athletes. The museum is chock full of interesting artifacts. There ’s a display of Olympic torches dating back to 1936, and an exhibit on the evolution of tennis rackets. Don’t miss the powerful photograph of Olympian athletes in black bikinis and speedos — an image that depicts the many different body types in this global event and the extent to which physiques have been shaped by their specific sport. The Richmond Olympic Experience is open Thursday through Sunday 10 am to 5 pm, and 10 am to 8 pm on Wednesdays. Admission is $19.50 for adults with discounts for young adults, seniors, youth and children. Info: therox.ca or call (778) 296-1400. This one’s for grown-ups, particularly those who appreciate art and anthropology. Located at the University of British Columbia, the Museum of Anthropology is home to a whopping 535,000 archaeological objects. Designed by Arthur Erickson, the building overlooks the mountains and ocean and was inspired by the cedar post-and-beam construction typical of Northwest Coast aboriginal villages.

It displays world arts and cultures with a special emphasis on the First Nations and other cultural communities of British Columbia. A public teaching and research museum, MOA opened a new gallery in June 2017, featuring over 200 pieces of Northwest coast indigenous art. Admission is $18 for adults with discounts for students, seniors and

RENAISSANCE

“The Art of Living Well”

families. Come on a Thursday 5 to 9 pm, though, and you can get in for $10. Don’t leave without walking through the spectacular UBC campus, and be sure to stroll through the Nitobe Memorial Garden, considered one of the most authentic Japanese gardens on the continent. It’s an inspiring place to collect your thoughts all year round. Info: moa.bc.ca

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Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame celebrates city's champions

BY SEAN MCINTYRE

anging along the promenade near Gate 3 of Victoria's Save-OnFoods Memorial Centre is an ode to the city's stellar sporting legacy. It spans Royal Navy regattas, a Stanley Cup-winning hockey team, Olympic champions, and world-class sports celebrations such as the 1994 Commonwealth Games and 2005 Men's World Curling Championships. This is the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame, where visitors can take in highlights of the city's sporting history during major events at the Memorial Centre or, free of charge, on weekdays during business hours. “We're quite proud of it,” says Bob Hope, president of the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame. “We're always looking for ways to improve, and it always keeps growing.” Hope became involved in the non-profit association following a career devoted to promoting sports in Victoria. He's been a keen proponent of soccer programs and was instrumental in the construction of

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12  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

the Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich. During a recent tour through the hall of fame, Hope points out many of the more than 200 legends immortalized on the arena's walls. Colourful panels trace the achievements of Victoria's most notable athletes, coaches, community builders and sports journalists dating back nearly 175 years. Sporting life in the city's early days was limited to fly fishing and “deer stalking,” according to one of the illustrated boards. Cricket was the first team sport officially played in Victoria, but baseball and rugby had caught on by the 1870s. Lawn tennis, golf and lacrosse were all well established by the cusp of the 20th century and the city witnessed its first basketball match in 1897, only five years after the game was invented. The new century also saw the dawn of women's team sports with the advent of a female field hockey group in 1901. Canada's first artificial ice rink was built in the city in 1911 and, by 1925, players with

the Victoria Cougars hockey team had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup after defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in a best of five series. The Cougars, who played in the Western Canada Hockey League, are the last non-NHL team to hoist the most coveted prize in hockey. The Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame also keeps an extensive collection of sports artifacts that aren’t displayed at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre, but can occasionally be spotted as satellite displays at sporting events throughout the year. The eclectic collection includes oldschool skates and running cleats, centuryold trophies, a poster for the 1981 Memorial Cup, a Victoria Shamrocks jersey circa 1978 and an original match program from the 1955 Mann Cup lacrosse finals between the Shamrocks and the Peterborough Trailermen. “We liked our display and decided to just keep going,” Hope says, adding that he and fellow volunteers are always keen to discover CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP


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new sports memorabilia. “We aren't a museum, but we like to know about these things.” A mural dedicated to the city's impressive contingent of Olympians dating back to 1908 shows how the city's sons and daughters have risen to prominence on the world stage during the past century. The ascent began with William “Torchy” Peden, the fiery-haired local who competed in three cycling events at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. Recent decades have seen the city consistently fight above its weight class when it comes to Olympic hopefuls. Victoria's powerful dynasty of rowers, mountain biker Alison Sydor, swimmers Ryan Cochrane and Stephanie Dixon, triathlete Simon Whitfield, as well as sailors Stacie Louttit and John McRoberts are all honoured in the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame. Inductees must meet an extensive list of criteria that takes into account residency, accomplishments and contributions to the city's sporting culture. The stiff prerequisites haven't, however, made the nomination committee's task any easier as there are hundreds of nominees whose names are awaiting review. Hope says he isn't surprised by the city's stellar lineup of past and present contenders. In addition to a mild climate that facilitates yearround training, he says, the city's reputation and sporting legacy has always been based on something much more important: the contribution by people with a drive to excel and create an arena for young athletes to reach their dreams. “Part of the reason we're so successful is that the volunteer spirit is so great.” he says. “We've got so much support, and so may people are instrumental in hosting events and training.” For more information about the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame visit the association online at gvshof.ca.

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Smart, contemporary theatre made in Victoria.

www.belfry.bc.ca JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018   13


FIVE DRIVE AFTER THE

VICTORIA>VANCOUVER>

VICTORIA oneTree2017

Where: The Robert Bateman Centre When: Until January 31

Over 60 pieces of art carved from a single salvaged tree are on display at The Robert Bateman Centre, which has partnered with Live Edge Design to share the story of one walnut tree. The tree has been transformed by 53 artists, offering a visual experience of three-dimensional art inspired by the natural world. These Canadian artists have created diverse pieces ranging from nine musical instruments, 23 pieces of furniture, two doors, 11 sculptures, six bowls, five lights and even one gnome home. The celebration of the oneTree and its history will inspire people to explore the importance of appreciating, protecting and maximizing the use of local trees.

peoples’ traditional songs and dances. Now the company is under the artistic direction of their daughter, Margret Grenier whose works redefine and characterize traditional practices so that the dances continue to be tangible and accessible for new generations. Flicker is a visually enthralling multimedia experience that uses projected images and a versatile scrim to portray a young man as he undertakes an epic journey through forests, underwater and even into the spirit world on a quest to discover his potential. For tickets, call 250-386-6121. dancevictoria.com

JACK DYKINGA, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Must-see and must-do events in January and February

batemancentre.org

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

PHOTO BY DEREK DIX

Where: Royal BC Museum When: Until April 2

Dancers of Damelahamid - Flicker Where: McPherson Playhouse When: January 19

Shortly after the potlatch ban was lifted in 1951, Ken and Margaret Harris founded Dancers of Damelahamid to preserve the Gitxsan 14  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

Launched in 1965 and initially attracting 361 entries, Wildlife Photographer of the Year now garners nearly 50,000 submissions and is considered the “Oscars” of nature photography. Developed by London’s Natural History Museum, the exhibit is once again being shown at the Royal BC Museum. Comprising 100 photographs in 16 categories, the one-metre-square images are superbly presented as backlit transparencies. The subjects range from an Arctic fox trotting through the snow with an egg in its mouth to exotic tropical fish and a pair of seals performing aquabatics. The need for conservation is again expressed by this year’s grand prizewinner, Brent Stirton, and his portrait of a black rhino shot by poachers. royalbcmuseum.bc.ca

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V


Singer-songwriter Vince Vaccaro Where: Capital Ballroom When: January 20

Local boy Vince Vaccaro comes home to Victoria to play a show this January at Capital Ballroom. A singer-songwriter, guitarist and record producer, Vaccaro has played shows in Canada, Australia and the US, sharing stages with bands such as Mumford & Sons, Temper Trap, Awol Nation, Matt Mays, Jay Malinowski & the Deadcoast and Sam Roberts. Born in Montreal, he grew up in Victoria. He’s released eight studio albums, four EPs and several singles. The January 20 show will be opened by popular local folk duo Ocie Elliott.

sugarnightclub.ca and vincevaccaro.com

Issamba

Where: Mary Winspear Centre When: February 1

Issamba is an exquisite interactive musical spectacle, showcasing African roots and traditions. Prepare to be captivated from very the first sound in this unforgettable evening. Immerse yourself in the culture through African instruments, traditional rhythms and a fine fusion of dancing styles. Performers include acclaimed balafon master Mamadou Diabaté and African contemporary dancer Merlin Nyakam the Enchanter, among many other talented artisans. Let the rhythm move you and don’t repress the urge to participate! Guests are encouraged to bring their drums and music skills to share in the joy (some drums may be provided as well). eventbrite.ca

VANCOUVER PuSh Festival

Where: Various venues When: January 16 to February 4

As one of Vancouver’s signature events, The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is a feeding ground for creativity, showcasing mind-blowing performances that are visionary, genre-bending, introspective, unprecedented and truly cutting-edge. The festival includes a genius blend of acclaimed international, Canadian and local artists, linking Vancouver artists and audiences to a groundbreaking network of performing art. Occurring over three weeks in mid January, this festival is a broker of global partnerships and collaborations. Come get rejuvenated and see what these phenomenal artists have to say. pushfestival.ca CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP

Vancouver International Boat Show Where: BC Place Stadium and the Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina When: January 17-21

Calling all boat-lovers down to the largest showcase of the recreational boating industry in British Columbia. The Vancouver International Boat Show is an annual event that has been put on for over 50 years and is the premier boating event in Western Canada. It takes place in two locations: Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina, and indoors at BC Place Stadium. Free shuttle buses and water ferries pass back and forth continuously for the duration of the five-day show. If viewing vessels, motors and equipment doesn’t “float your boat,” there are many more activities in which to indulge, including do-it-yourself seminars, sport fishing seminars, a Kids’ Zone and even cooking demonstrations.

vancouverboatshow.ca

Chinese New Year Parade Where: West Pender Street When: February 16

Experience the cultural joys of China without travelling abroad with this year’s Chinese New Year Parade, marching straight through Vancouver’s Chinatown on February 16. What better way to start out the Year of the Dog than with colourful dragons, masks, lanterns, costumes, numerous bands and a dancing trail of pure fun? Weaving down West Pender under the Chinatown Millennium gate, up Gore Street and back up along Keefer, this is a celebration that should not be missed.

cbavancouver.ca

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 15


FIVE AFTER THE DRIVE

BC Home and Garden Show Where: BC Place Stadium When: February 21 to February 25

Feeling the urge to vamp up your home and garden this year? Get a fresh start at the BC Home and Garden Show, with over 400 exhibitors of interior and exterior household products and services. Occurring at BC Place Stadium in February, this trade show features all sorts of gadgets and displays, including Jacuzzis, bed mattresses, furniture, fireplaces, kitchen tools, massage chairs, patio treasures, home decor, lawn care supplies, window displays — you name it. Additionally, there will be experts to discuss topics such as gutter repair, lighting, roofing, financial services, etc., plus cleaning product demonstrations and home entertainment systems available to admire and test out. bchomeandgardenshow.com

16  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

Vancouver International Wine Festival Where: Vancouver Convention Centre and various venues When: February 24 to March 4

Whine no more, the wine world is coming to Vancouver for one of the biggest and oldest wine events in the world. The Vancouver International Wine Festival is Canada’s premier wine show, featuring more than 160 wineries from over a dozen countries. Travelling from all around the world, winemakers, proprietors and senior executives will assemble in Vancouver to showcase their wines. This year, Spain and Portugal wines will be the main attraction, with a special tasting room sectioned off for sampling these treasures. The heart of the festival is the International Festival Tastings at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where 750 wines are available for sampling, with an additional 170 wines available at trade tastings. vanwinefest.ca

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VICTORIA + VANCOUVER BY DARCY NYBO

FIVE FOR

FOODIES

COMFORT ZONE

GREAT FOOD THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

Mini Lamingtons at Moose’s Down Under.

Comfort food goes way beyond grilled cheese and tomato soup. From sweet to savoury, breakfast to dinner, we found some delicious comfort foods. Try one or try them all.

John's Place

723 Pandora Ave. Victoria

Benny at Floyd’s Diner.

Floyd's Diner

721 Station Ave. and 866 Yates St., Victoria

Floyd’s has two locations in Greater Victoria, one downtown and one in the West Shore. Both are open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and late lunch. It’s home to the famous Mahoney, a surprise meal whipped up by the chef, for which you can flip a coin for to pay double or nothing! This funky diner is fun, friendly and family oriented. The menu is pure diner fare served up with a smile, while music from the ‘50s to ‘80s plays in the background. Soup lovers rejoice — the soup of the day is served with a Bob Dylan biscuit and comes with a “bottomless” option. Poutine, burgers, dips, chili and clubs also grace the menus. The breakfast/brunch menu has everything from Huevos Incredibalos to the Nelly Frittata. MUST TRY: The Eggs Benedict here has one of the tangiest, creamiest hollandaise sauces I’ve ever tasted. Try the traditional Benny or one made with avocado, brie, chicken or lox and arugula. They have gluten-free options, and a designated, gluten-free fryer so you can happily eat the Floyd potatoes. floydsdiner.ca

18  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

When I asked around about comfort food, John’s Place was named several times. This diner has been around for over 30 years, serving generations of loyal customers with its quirkily named menu items. Its dish Cloudy with a Chance of Meatloaf was featured on the Food Network. Comfort food at John’s Place includes Bangers and Mash, Perogies ‘n’ Ukrainian Sausage, as well as meat pies, fish and chips and a variety of appies from calamari to fried dill pickles. The roast pork is delicious, with the vegetables stealing the show. Yam, zucchini and carrots with gentle winter spices, plus a big kale chip, made this one of our favourites. MUST TRY: The Thai Cashew Chicken exceeds expectations. John served up this delicious dish inside a slice of pineapple. The coconut peanut sauce was bursting with flavour. Fresh Thai basil, butter-sautéed peas with a side of rice rounded out the meal. But leave some room for dessert as the lemon merengue pie bursts like sunshine in your mouth. johnsplace.ca

JEthro's Fine Grub

3420 Dunbar and 3455 Fraser, Vancouver

These cosy restaurants are perfect for rainy day eats. There’s sweet to savoury and everything in between. You’ll find some exotic items like frog legs and gator tacos, as well as comforting dishes like the Louisiana-style Gumbo — a delicious combo of house-smoked pulled chicken and prawns served with grilled corn cakes. The Jethro’s French toast is the perfect answer to your sweet tooth. It’s battered with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and griddled up nice and crisp with warm caramelized cinnamon apples and whipped butter on top. MUST TRY: I triple dare you to try and finish an order of Jethro’s Gold Rush Pancakes on your own. I’ve been told entire families come in and just order this one dish for breakfast. One bite of this pancake stuffed with bananas, pecans, caramel and streusel and you’ll be hooked. These monsters (yes there are two) are easily 12 inches in diameter and hang over the sides of the plate. They’re topped with more caramel, pecans and streusel and a generous amount of whipped butter. Come hungry for this one! jethrosfinegrub.com

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Pagliacci's

The Sofia at Pagliacci’s

1101 Broad Street, Victoria

Pagliacci’s is a local favourite at the best of times, well known for its desserts and live music. When it comes to comfort food, it has that one nailed down too. The menu is as much fun to read as the food is to eat. With items like Men Who Stare at Goat Cheese, A Fish Called Wanda, and Sid Caesar, you’re sure to find something comforting on the menu. Meat, seafood, pasta, salads, gluten free and vegetarian are all right here. For starters, try the Edgar Allen Poe’s Crab Cakes, deep fried to crispy perfection and served with a mild seafood sauce and a spinach leaves. MUST TRY: The Sofia is a creamy seafood creation that pairs well with rainy or snowy nights. This mixture of Dungeness crab, rock crab, shrimp and pine nuts in a white wine cream sauce is comfort on a plate. In addition, the dish is topped with a generous portion of smoked salmon. For those who love pasta, but can’t tolerate gluten, not to worry, it can be prepared with gluten-free noodles as well. pagliaccis.ca

Premium Suites Available Call Jim at 250-812-1656 for more info

Visit our homes at www.novapacific.ca Rental Inquiries: @ each Residence

Some say, “This is the world’s best hummingbird feeder.” HIGH PERCH™

hummingbird

FEEDER

Moose's Down Under

Basement, 830 West Pender St., Vancouver

It’s best to park a few blocks away so you have the chance to walk off some of the delicious Aussie comfort food found at Moose Down Under. Try some Roo on a Stick or a Vegemite and Cheese Sanger (sandwich). We choose something slightly less daring but wonderfully delicious — the Crispy Spud Rolls are mashed potatoes in a spring roll wrap, deep fried and topped with cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream. So yummy! Then there is the Aussie meat pie, a true Down Under comfort food. Bring out the tomato sauce to add to this pie! There’s also gravy on the side, just in case. MUST TRY: The Oz Fries are perfectly deep fried, crispy potato wedges. Pick one up, dip it into the healthy portion of sour cream. Then dip again into the sweet chili sauce. It’s a new taste sensation. If you still have room, try the Mini Lamingtons. These bite-sized sponge cake cubes are coated with coconut and chocolate icing and served up with whipped cream. moosesdownunder.com CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP

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HIT THE KIM JAY PHOTO

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY SIERRA LUNDY

ROAD

FASHION-SAVVY TRAVELLERS MORGAN BROOKER

CLAIM TO FAME: Music venue owner, concert promoter and band manager

Where are you from and how did you get to Victoria? I grew up in Toronto. In

Grade 12, I came out West to look at universities with my dad and one of my best friends. As soon as I saw UVic I knew it was the university for me. During school I used to go home to Toronto for the summers, but once I graduated I decided to stay in Victoria and began working in the music industry.   How did you get into the local music scene? In my last year of school I took some amazing courses, including “History of the Beatles” and “History of Rock and Roll” and had a fantastic professor, Colleen Eccleston, who got me started. She introduced to my first boss, and a six month internship led to a full time position. From there, I started working with local musicians including Jon and Roy and Current Swell when they were first starting out. I even got to make some amazing “merch,” including limited edition Jon and Roy lunch boxes! My career grew with the bands and I introduced them to Stephen Franke of Blue Heron Music, who started managing them. After a quick Vancouver hiatus, I returned to Victoria and joined the team. Alongside managing these great artista, also including Jesse Roper, Band of Rascals and Carmanah, I program music down at the Breakwater Bistro and during the summer, the Breakwater Barge. Last year I had the opportunity to join a group of local music industry veterans to take ownership of the Capital Ballroom with the goal to turn it into Vancouver Island’s premier music venue. Above: Flamingo umbrella from Fan Tan Alley’s The Umbrellatorium & Canery; suit, OPPOSUITS (opposuits.ca). Opposite page: shoes, Blundstones ($220), from The Cobbler; OPPOSUITS (opposuits.ca); ADANAC sunglasses (adanacunion.com). Photographed at The Kraken by The Breakwater (above) and, at right, Ogden Point Breakwater. 20  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

How does your work influence your personal style? My signature style has always

been a blazer, usually paired with a band shirt. Working in the music industry means I get to meet a lot of new people from all over the world and it’s always good to CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP


“I’VE GOT A BIG PERSONALITY SO I NEEDED SOME SUITS TO MATCH.” make an impression. I’ve got a big personality so I needed some suits to match. A couple years ago I discovered a company called OPPOSUITS and since purchasing my first one, a bright blue number with red tulips, my collection is now six deep. Now, I get called out if I’m not wearing one! What makes you happy? Friends, frosty brews, live music, Letterkenny and seeing concerts at music venues around the world. What do you like to do on a rainy day off? Hunker down and watch a movie or some crappy TV. How about a sunny day off? Sunny patio pints with friends, or go and see some live music. During the summertime in Victoria there seems to be music all over the city. What do like to do while you’re riding the bus? I enjoy listening to music and getting caught up on emails. No worries about texting and driving on a bus! Anything else we should know? Support local music!

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IN ADDITION TO REGULAR HOURS, WE OFFER EXTENDED HOURS TO MEET YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018   21


ASK THE CONCIERGE PHOTO BY DON DENTON

MURRAY MCMULLEN

with HOTEL GRAND PACIFIC

eet Murray McMullen, Chef Concierge and member of Les Clefs d’Or Canada, who has lived in Victoria since 1991 and worked at the Hotel Grand Pacific since 2013. Let’s ask him about Victoria.

M

Where’s your favourite breakfast spot?

Shine Café, with locations downtown and the Stadacona Centre at 1548 Fort St.

Where would you schedule a business meeting?

The Hotel Grand Pacific, of course. We offer multiple meeting spaces to suit most groups.

What restaurant (s) really shows off Victoria?

Victoria restaurants have such topnotch culinary teams, and with so many to choose from, this is a hard one for me to pinpoint. Some of the many options that come to mind are: Il Terrazzo, OLO, Part and Parcel (bit of a walk or drive from downtown), Agrius and the Heron Rock Bistro.

Where’s a great place to take children?

The Royal BC Museum — children always enjoy the interactive adventures there.

What’s a unique-to-Victoria activity?

Watching the tens of thousands of people who take to Victoria’s Inner Harbour for the annual Symphony Splash on the holiday weekend each August. 2018 marks the 29th year the Victoria Symphony orchestra performs from a floating stage in the Inner Harbour. There are special guest performances, ending with a grand finale performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture to fireworks!

Where would find a unique shopping experience?

Lower Johnson Street and along Oak Bay Avenue.

Where do you take friends for a drink?

Heron Rock Bistro located in James Bay; it 22  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 

Murray McMullen, Chef Concierge at Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria.

has a variety to suit every taste. Steamship Grill & Bar, with its wonderful heated, covered patio that overlooks the Victoria Inner Harbour. Caledonian Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery, a 20-minute drive from the hotel and well worth the visit.

What’s your favourite local wine?

The 2010, 2011 or 2013 Merlot (if you can source a bottle or two) from Kettle Valley Winery in the Okanagan; 2015 Salish Sea White from Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards on Pender Island.

Any suggestions for a romantic day-trip?

Take a 40-minute drive north to the Villa Eyrie Resort. Enjoy a couple ’s message and lunch overlooking the coastal mountains and the Saanich Inlet. On the drive back, stop and take a walk through the forest to see Niagara Falls and the old trestle in Goldstream Provincial Park. Once back at the Hotel Grand Pacific, enjoy a scenic carriage ride along the

Inner Harbour to Little Jumbo for some pre-dinner bites etc... As for dinner, you’re in the driver’s seat now, as the night is young.

What’s a great winter activity in Victoria?

Here are a couple to choose from. Enjoy the lights, ice-skating and a wonderful dinner at the Butchart Gardens. Take a day trip to Mount Washington Resort. Located in the Comox Valley, a 2.5-hour drive north, where you’re able to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Should you wish to try snowshoeing; you can rent equipment at the Raven Lodge. From there, enjoy the trails in Strathcona Provincial Park with family and friends.

What’s the craziest question you’ve ever been asked as concierge? In my mind there are no crazy questions; however, this particular one stands out vividly: “Where can I get the seeds for those totem poles?”

CONNECTOR l THE WILSON’S GROUP


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Special Features - Connector Magazine Jan Feb 2018  

i2018020715565133.pdf

Special Features - Connector Magazine Jan Feb 2018  

i2018020715565133.pdf