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West Shore


M O D E R N L I V I N G : C O LW O O D







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Our Contributors Publisher’s Note Life + Style: Linda Ferguson Lay Low Good Vibes Berry Delicious

/ SPRING 2018

18 22 25 42 45 46

Homes that Passion Built Spring Fling in the Garden Women of the West Shore Cat on the Prowl For the Love of Dogs Meet the Advertisers


GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto 250.480.3204 PUBLISHER + ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Michelle Cabana michelle.cabana@ 250.478.9552 x222 EDITOR Susan Lundy


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Tarah Ferguson wearing original clothing designed by Linda Ferguson. Photo by Lia Crowe

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ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe WS Life + Style magazine is published four times a year by Black Press. The

contents of WS Life + Style magazine are protected by copyright, including

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Susan is a freelance writer, author and editor of several Victoria-based magazines.

Lia spent years in the fashion industry, and now works on the editorial side of lifestyle magazines.



Chelsea is a lifestyle writer, who has had the opportunity to write stories about people and places around the world.

Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.



Don is the Photo Supervisor for Black Press, Greater Victoria.

Janice is an interior designer who creates well-functioning spaces with a mix of playfulness and refinement.



Darcy is a freelance writer, author, book editor and publisher, and a writing instructor.

Sean McIntyre is a freelance writer who enjoys life with his wife, Natsuko, and their dog, Goma.

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HE LAUNCH OF WEST SHORE LIFE + STYLE on January 31 marked an all-time high for Goldstream News Gazette and Black Press Media. We did not expect so many comments and great reviews from our readers. With over 15,000 copies delivered to households in the West Shore, we are the largest, distributed lifestyle magazine on the West Shore. Our second issue will prove to be just as successful, celebrating lifestyles, local people, Women of the West Shore and more. Through these pages, get the lowdown on loungers, head out to the yard armed with “spruce-up tips,” tour a beautiful home, meet the style-savvy Linda Ferguson and Cougar car lover Jody Dick, feel the fitness vibe and savour some berry delicious recipes. As this year moves into spring/summer it reminds me how time flies. The various aspects of life take us to many places, and I have to remember to take a breather sometimes and enjoy what the world brings. Sitting down with the latest edition of WS Life + Style is a great way to take some time out, relax and enjoy. From all of us here at WS Life + Style, we’d like to wish you and your family a very happy spring/summer season. We’ll see you again in July! WS

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WS INSIDER [the life + style of …]



/ SPRING 2018


we chat about life, style and her lifelong commitment to fashion

design. “It’s always been what I’ve done; there wasn’t ever anything else,” she says. Originally from Ottawa, Linda graduated from fashion design school in Toronto and from there worked in the garment factories at King and Spadina. “The factories of hell!” she says. “The conditions were horrific and I knew I couldn’t be a part of that. I had to do my own thing because ethically it didn’t align with my values.” Always working within a small-scale design and manufacturing concept, Linda had a knitwear line in the ‘80s (stirrup pants and all), a line of coats and jackets, a capsule collection of bamboo fabric clothing and now offers custom-designed and handcrafted pieces. “I do all my own sewing now, one client at a time. I explain to clients that it’s not a fast process. It takes months; it’s an investment. We talk about what they’re looking for and then I do some sketching. From there we get a design, I do a muslin mock-up and then we select fabric. Many women don’t know their body type and typically wear things that are way too big, so part of it is about teaching them little things they can do to take their look to the next level.” Linda is also an image and wardrobe consultant which goes hand-in-hand with creating custom pieces. “When I do wardrobe consultations, I usually eliminate a lot of black because women tend to wear too much black. All black is a uniform, it doesn’t say anything about you. You have to show your own personality ... that is what clothing does; it says, ‘this is who I am’ without saying a word — and people will assess you in 30 seconds. That’s just how the world is wired.” She adds: “For me I like things that are whimsical, not traditional. I’m drawn to

fun and bright patterns. When I travel I get ideas. I love tapestry, art history, and Italian and French interior design. It all plays into my fashion. ” Asked what she considers “good style, Linda says, “I think good style is someone who takes time to put themselves together. I don’t think there is just one great look. Clothing should be fun and can change the way you feel. If you feel blue then put on something bright.” If she had to pick an all-time favourite piece of clothing, Linda tells me, it would be coats. “A great coat is such a basic thing. When you’re running around, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing

underneath. You can still wear your yoga pants, but if you have a good coat and a tube of lipstick, you’re good to go.” Asked what quality has led to success, she says, “I love what I do. I’ve always had a studio and I will always have a studio. It’s how I manage; for me, it’s like breathing.” And what quality does she hope she’s passed on to her two adult children? “That they do what they love. It’s a long life, and otherwise you’ll be miserable. Find a way to make it work and always stay connected to it.” WS Follow Linda on her YouTube channel to watch her video series Frump to Fabulous makeOVER.

Linda’s daughter, Tarah Ferguson, wearing original pieces by Linda.

/ SPRING 2018


WS INSIDER [design]


Lay Low

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/ SPRING 2018

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WS INSIDER [ health+ fitness]

goodvibes Working out with vibration therapy by CHELSEA FORMAN photos LIA CROWE

Vibes Fitness instructor Laurie Pearson with writer Chelsea Forman.


/ SPRING 2018


long day, it can be really hard to muster the energy to get in the gym for an hourlong workout. When I first heard about Vibes Fitness, I was thrilled to start my exploration of this revolutionary form of exercise, which is performed in 15-20 minute sessions. Vibes’ sessions are equivalent to a 50-minute workout without whole body vibration. Admittedly, being a bit of a skeptic about anything that sounds too good to be true, I was excited to get into the studio for a session and to find out about the science behind Vibes Fitness. Walking through the door of Vibes Fitness in Langford, I’m greeted by instructor Laurie Pearson. The studio is a small, clean space with three vibration machines and a variety of hand weights and exercise balls — used to supplement vibration workouts. With three machines available, clients get a personalized experience with their instructor, who either guides them through the “workout of the day’” or customizes a workout dependent on goals, injuries or personal limitations. “The technology was built for the cosmonauts [Russian astronauts]. Scientists wanted to find a way for them to build their bone density and muscle mass when they returned to earth,” Laurie explains. Laurie is extremely knowledgeable about the exercise and is thorough in her explanation of the technology. Vibration exercise stimulates tiny muscle contractions and relaxation periods, depending on vibration frequency. Vibration rates vary from 20 times per second to 50 times per second, moving vertically with an amplitude of low-intensity to high-intensity displacement. The position of your body on the machine focuses the vibrations into a muscle group or stretch — meaning that the region of the body you are exercising absorbs the vibration while the rest of your body gets to relax. The number of positions and stretches that can be performed on a machine are limitless. As I stand on a vibration machine, Laurie sets the frequency to medium. The vibrations run deep into every fibre of my body. Laurie instructs me to lower into a squat position and hold it. The vibration completely stops

With all of the subconscious muscle contractions activated by the vibrations, I feel as though I have completed a 10-set, three repetition series at the gym when I come out of it. everywhere in my body except the muscles used to squat. “The larger muscle groups are being activated, but the vibrations cause all of the other smaller muscles in your legs to fire as well,” says Laurie. Exercises are generally held for 30 to 60 second periods. I stay in the squat for 45 seconds. With all of the subconscious muscle contractions activated by the vibrations, I feel as though I have completed a 10-set, three repetition series at the gym when I come out of it. “Vibes Fitness is great for rehabilitation integrated into a training program after recovering from an injury because it’s low impact,” Laurie notes. Vibration workouts are further credited for helping with strength and cardiovascular performance, and useful for people with osteoporosis and osteopenia, fibromyalgia, arthritis and diabetes, as well as those needing fall and balance protection, and physiotherapy. “We recommend four days a week if you aren’t supplementing with other exercise. Two or three times a week is great if you are incorporating it into a greater workout regime,” says Laurie. I complete the workout of the day, which includes a set of high knees, mountain climbers, plank jacks, burpees and a rigorous series of abdominal workouts in under 20 minutes. Discovering Vibes Fitness ensures I can keep an active lifestyle even on the busiest of days. My whole body has that elated post-workout burn and l leave the studio sending good vibes into the world.WS

/ SPRING 2018


Nectarines and Berries in Prosecco. 14

/ SPRING 2018

BERRY DELICIOUS Versatile berries add pizzazz to every course




flavour spectrum from fruity and sweet to tart and complex with hints of dark wine or light citrus that complement a variety of menu items. I’ve been incorporating berries into recipes both sweet and savoury for many years. Paired with roasted meats, grilled fish, cheeses or cocktails, berries will surprise and entice with their versatility. I love to use them in chutneys and spicy salsas, in quick pan sauces and, naturally, in a variety of desserts. Recipes of almost every kind can benefit from re-vamping with a berry twist. A quick way to incorporate berries into a savoury dish is through a pan sauce. Pan sauces are made quickly with berries, wine and other aromatics in the gorgeous brown juices left from sautéed or roasted meats. Pork, poultry and game are particularly well matched with the zing and fruit-forwardness of berries; a favourite of mine is seared duck breast with blueberry-red wine sauce. Below, I have constructed a berry-rich summer menu meant to be enjoyed al fresco. Each course includes a berry component: fruity Prosecco cocktails, duck with blueberry pan sauce, and the final flourish of a light and dreamy berry cheesecake. The summer doesn’t start any better than this.


Serves 8 Feel free to substitute other berries or stone fruit in this recipe. ½ lb. nectarines or peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices 1 pint (½ litre) strawberries, hulled and cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices (small strawberries can be halved or quartered)

1 pint (½ litre) fresh raspberries ½ cup sugar, or more as needed 4 tsp orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau Finely grated zest from 1 lemon or lime 1 bottle Prosecco, chilled Place the nectarines, berries, sugar, orange liqueur and lemon or lime zest in a mixing bowl. Toss well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and no longer than 4 hours. Just before serving, divide the fruit mixture evenly between champagne flutes or martini glasses. Pour the chilled wine over the fruit. Serve immediately.


Serves 4 The long, slow cooking, skin-side down, allows the duck breast to render out all of its fat without over-cooking the meat. Berries are an excellent pairing with duck and game. Serve with buttered new potatoes and roasted green beans or asparagus. 4 boneless duck breast halves Salt and ground black pepper 2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/3 cup) Zest from one orange, thinly sliced or minced 2-3 tsp light brown sugar ½ cup dry red wine ¾ cup fresh blueberries, divided ¾ cup chicken broth 1 Tbsp orange juice (optional) 1 tsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter Pat the duck breasts dry with paper towels. Score the skin on the diagonal, cutting through most of the fat, but being sure not to cut down to the meat. Season generously with salt and pepper. / SPRING 2018


Dreamy Fresh Berry Cheesecake.

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Heat a 12-inch heavy cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the duck breasts, skin side down, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the fat begins to render, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook until most of the fat has rendered and the skin is deep golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Flip the duck breasts over and continue to cook until the centre of the breasts are medium-rare and measure 125 to 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 2-5 minutes. Transfer the duck to a carving board, tent loosely with foil and let rest while making the sauce (the duck temperature will rise to 130135 degrees before serving). Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat left in the skillet. Add the shallots and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine, orange zest, sugar and half a cup of the blueberries, and cook until blueberries have given off their juice and the liquid is getting syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer another 5 minutes. Whisk butter into the sauce, then remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice, the remaining quarter cup of blueberries and optional orange juice. Taste and adjust for salt. Slice the duck breasts thin into crosswise strips and arrange on a platter or individual plates. Pour the sauce over the duck and serve.

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/ SPRING 2018


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DREAMY FRESH BERRY CHEESECAKE Serves 8 to 10 This berry pie is more akin to a light mousse than to a traditional heavy cheesecake, and it’s perfect as a light finish to a summery outdoor meal.


½ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup fresh whole wheat flour ½ cup butter 1 ⁄3 cup sugar 1 ⁄8 tsp salt

Cheese filling

10 oz block-style cream cheese ½ cup berry sugar (superfine sugar) 1½ tsp vanilla extract ¾ cup whipping cream

Fruit topping

3 cups fresh or frozen berries (raspberries are the top choice for this recipe, with other brambleberries such as blackberries and tayberries next on my list) ¾ cup sugar, or more, to taste 1-2 Tbsp mild local honey 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional, but a good idea for sweet berries, such as strawberries) Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients. Mix with your fingers or with a food processor until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gently press into the bottom and part

way up the sides of a 10-inch pie pan, or use 10 small 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack. Cheese filling: Cream together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture, keeping it as light and airy as possible. Pour into cooled crust, spreading evenly. Do not bake. Place in the fridge to set while you make the topping. Fruit topping: Wash and prepare the fruit. All berries stay whole, except for strawberries — cut these in half or quarters. Set aside about one and a half cups of the fruit, making sure you chose the nicest and most beautiful berries for this. Put the remaining fruit in a medium pot and add a little bit of water (start with ¼ cup, and add more later on if you think you need it). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a few minutes, until fruit starts to breaks down and give off its juice. Use a fork or potato masher to lightly mash the fruit, and simmer for a few minutes more. Add the sugar and honey and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring and mashing the fruit until the mixture looks darker and glossy, with the consistency of runny jam, about 10 minutes. Stir in optional lemon juice, if using. Pour into a bowl and let cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now mix the remaining fruit into the cooked fruit and pour over the cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve. The fruit sauce will never completely gel, so another option, for prettier presentation, is to serve the cake plain, with a scoop of the sauce on top or underneath each piece of cake as you serve it. WS

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WS INSIDER [ smart spaces]

The homes that passion built


12,833-square-foot lot 3,120-square-foot home 3 bedrooms and den 3.5 baths (plus bathroom in the suite) Peek-a-boo ocean view Large laundry room 300 square feet of storage space in the main home 1 bedroom suite with built-in washer/dryer and 250 square feet of storage Large, lower-level family room with wet bar, sink and fridge Built-in vac 18

/ SPRING 2018



All the while, the expansive great room calls to you with its gorgeous views and Frenchstyle patio doors, flanked by more windows.


“My passion is building homes, especially familyfriendly homes that have room [for families] to grow,” he said. He may not be moving into it, but he wants to make sure whoever does will find it cosy and functional. I was impressed by the home he had built for a friend of mine and, given opportunity to view another of his creations in Langford’s Olympic View, I couldn’t say no. Homes here share similarities, but each has a completely different layout with one commonality…a lowerlevel, self-contained, legal suite. We’ll get to that later. This new neighbourhood has turned into a great community. There’s a brand new school, it’s minutes from Royal Roads University, and there’s even a small shopping area with a pharmacy, grocery store and an organic bakery that bakes everything using solar power. Approaching the house, I was surprised by the sheer amount of parking available. The house has parking in the garage for two cars, plus a side pull-in and room for another two or three cars on the paver driveway, as well as street parking. As the area suggests, there are views of the Olympic Mountains, plus ocean corridor views. As you walk into the spacious foyer of this particular Olympic View home, there’s a den to the left with a large window. It’s perfect for a home office or kids’ playroom. One or two more steps and there’s a hallway that leads to the mudroom and double car garage. All the while, the expansive great room calls to you with its gorgeous views and French-style patio doors, flanked by more windows. The large upper deck is great for entertaining and has a hook-up for a gas barbecue. The open-concept kitchen, living room and dining area is light and bright. “I like to build every home with lots of light exposure,” said Sharples as he looked around the great room. “It gets a bit dark here in the cooler months so I put in the maximum number of windows one can put in a home. It maximizes the light and the livability. You can be in here comfortably, even without the lights on.” The 12-foot ceilings in the living/dining area add to a feeling of openness, while the kitchen work area has a lower, 10-foot ceiling. The ceiling has also been dropped to 10 feet in a three-foot area out from the deck doors, helping to define the different spaces of this open plan. The use of white oak gives the house a welcoming atmosphere. The only carpet here is used on the staircase treads. The staircase is extra wide (four feet) with white oak railings and metal uprights. Throughout the main living area there’s engineered white oak Euro flooring with porcelain tiles in the bathroom. One of the more inviting features of this living area is the gas fireplace and the oak fireplace mantel, handmade by the builder and stained to match the floor. The kitchen has a warm and friendly atmosphere with an eight-foot/ SPRING 2018


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Soaring ceilings, numerous windows and lots of storage space are among the characteristics of this Olympic View home, which has all the amenities needed for “living the life” in Langford.

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long, 42-inch-wide island, topped with Cambria quartz, and seating for three to four people. I particularly loved the honeycomb porcelain tiles used as a backsplash behind the sink and oven areas. The house is equipped with hot water on demand and a gas stove. There’s an under-mount prep sink in the island and a double sink directly under the kitchen windows. Just off the kitchen is a large, / SPRING 2018

easy-access pantry and there’s also plenty of storage in the island. “I put a lot of storage areas in my homes,” said Sharples. “You always need a little extra space for things.” One of those extra spaces is a large alcove under the staircase where one could easily put a wine cellar. Down the hall you’ll find more windows,

more storage and more views and great living spaces. The master bedroom is spacious and has its own French doors that lead to a deck. There’s more than enough room in the walk-in closet for clothing and whatever else you want to store. This master has a comfortably sized en suite with a double vanity and side-by-side, one-piece shower/tub combo. This unique combo is divided by a glass door. And of course, there are lots of windows and great natural light. Also on this floor are two other good-sized bedrooms and a full bathroom. Head back toward the kitchen, turn right and head downstairs to one of my favourite rooms in this house. The family room is large enough to hold whatever games you want, including a pool table. It has a nice wet bar set up, complete with a sink and mini fridge. There’s another full bathroom down here, as well as ample space to stretch out, watch a movie or entertain your guests. There’s a smaller, ground-level patio just off the family room, perfect for soaking up summertime sun. On those days when opening windows and enjoying outdoor spaces isn’t an option, occupants will still be extremely comfortable inside. The main house is equipped with a heat pump and has surround-sound throughout the interior and on the deck. On the other side of the family room is the legal one-bedroom suite. It comes complete with its own hydro meter and electric heat. The floors in here are white oak laminate, which goes well with the open kitchen/dining/living room area. There’s even a peek-a-boo view of the ocean from both the living room and the bedroom. Whoever stays here will also have a built-in laundry just outside the bedroom and one of the largest storage rooms I’ve ever seen. Both the suite and the family room on the lover level lead out onto a nicely landscaped, fenced and small but usable backyard. With northwest views, this area is always sunny and a great place for pets, dogs, kids and adults to enjoy. And it all comes with a great view of the Olympic Mountains. WS SUPPLIERS: Milgard Windows & Doors Pine Lighting Slegg Lumber Fuzzy Wuzzy Carpets The Finishing Store & Millworks ICL Concrete

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WS INSIDER [ yard + garden]


/ SPRING 2018

A SPRING FLING IN THE GARDEN Easy steps to spruce up the yard by DARCY NYBO photos DON DENTON


Jayson surveyed my yard in View Royal and ultimately, I chose to go with a rock garden. And the result is stunning! But here are all the ideas Jayson and I discussed:

Create a Rock Garden

Yards with lots of shade and coniferous trees are not a good option for any lawn. “You need to accept what you have and work with nature,” said Jayson. “A rock garden works with the soil and the shade. We remove the old lawn, level it as much as possible, then place the weed barrier. River rock is forgiving for imperfections, but you still need a flat surface for the geotextile liner. Placing larger rocks around the edges and in strategic places creates a more natural effect.”

Consider Containers

Container gardening is great for rock gardens, on a deck or in small spaces where a full garden won’t work. The beauty is, if you don’t like what you’ve grown, it’s easy to get rid of it. “One thing you must be aware of is that if your containers sit in direct or even partial sunlight, they are susceptible to high moisture loss and need to be watered frequently,” Jayson said. “Check the moisture daily or put in a drip system to ensure proper watering.”

Spring and early summer are the best times to get outside and spruce up the yard.

Refresh Your Lawn

A healthy lawn is more drought resistant and less likely to have active weed growth or to develop turf-borne diseases. “Core aeration is important in the spring,” he said. “It’s also important to dethatch by pulling dead moss out of the lawn. There will probably be a heavy moss build-up this spring after our particularly wet season.” Another way to keep your lawn healthy is to apply limestone to bring up the soil pH. If you aren’t sure what your lawn needs, you can always get a turf analysis.

“We look at the site and determine if there are any nutrient deficiencies and implement a plan to correct them,” said Jayson. “We can even go so far as to send it off to a lab to have it analyzed.” He also pointed out that you can’t just toss some sod or seed over top of the bald patches in your lawn. “You need to remove the existing lawn,” he explained, “as very little of the seed will actually germinate. Then, amend the soil / SPRING 2018


with nutrients, set the grade and install the new lawn. We often see that if you put in a lawn quickly without proper grass soil compaction, you can get sinkholes or uneven areas in the lawn over time.”

Upgrade or Install an Irrigation System

Cost savings can be quite substantial when you upgrade to or install an energy-efficient irrigation system. “A complete upgrade can be paid for in two years’ time with money saved on water bills,” Jayson explained. “If you don’t have electricity available, there are also battery operated systems. With today’s low flow heads and control timers, you can customize how much water your lawn and garden get, when they need it. For example, if you have a rain sensor or a system connected to Wi-Fi, and it rains, your system will turn off automatically or adjust the water according to how much it rains. If you are away, you can turn the system on and off from your smart phone or tablet from anywhere in the world.”

Add a Retaining Wall

We live on one big rock and sometimes it’s hard to create a nice grassy area for relaxation and enjoyment. One way around that is to add a retaining wall. “Lots of new areas, and many of the older communities on the West Shore, have had rocks blasted out in order to build. To get a decent sized yard, you can construct a rock wall that is three or four feet high, then fill it in with top soil.” While your future may not involve a large retaining wall, smaller walls can be built to create a terraced, more usable yard, perfect for plants and flowers.

Mulching 101

Using mulch to upgrade the look of your yard can be a small job or a huge project. Make sure you know what you want, and measure out what you believe you’ll need for mulch. It’s a great way to retain water, keep weeds down and add a nice touch to your yard. “In shadier areas, mulch can really brighten up your yard and revitalize your garden beds,” said Jayson. “Proper mulch is good for the plants. It provides nutrients as it decomposes, feeding the plants and shrubs below.” Shredded newspaper can be used as a mulch/weed block but Jayson cautions to be careful about what type of mulch you choose. “We typically use fir or alder mulch. The mulch is available in different grades, fine to medium/coarse and it’s available in different colours too. Be careful about using cedar mulch, it is great for keeping weeds down, but it is too acidic for alkaline tolerant plants.” Asked about dyed mulch and coloured rocks, Jayson said, “In my opinion, dyed mulch doesn’t look natural and can get very expensive if you buy it by the bag. It’s the same with cultured rock and coloured stone. You buy it by the bag, get started, and then realize you need more than you thought.” And it’s not simply a matter of putting mulch into your garden. There are specific places and ways to place it. “When putting mulch into a garden, especially around new plantings, it should be dished around the plant, about four inches around, never touching the plant. You can suffocate the plant by putting too much on it. When you leave space, it lets the plants breath and lets water in. Don’t put mulch right up against your home as it can rot wood siding and cause expensive damage.” WS

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2050 Sooke Road 250-478-1754

/ SPRING 2018

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Women of the West Shore

Let’s celebrate West Shore women Welcome to the fifth edition of Women of the West Shore, we hope you enjoy reading this section as much as you have in the past. We enjoy this time of year as the weather improves and there is new energy in the air. Knowing that the West Shore continues to grow and will not lose momentum for some time,

if at all, is gratifying to someone who lives and works in this significant part of Greater Victoria. There are so many great profiles in the next pages of strong ambitious women, who either own their own business, represent a thriving business, or represent the West Shore. I think we have brought something different for

you to read and hopefully highlight some of the great people in our area. None of this would be possible without the hard work of all the members of the Gazette office, which continues to grow in this ever changing landscape.

Langford Barber shop a cut above O’Sullivan’s Barber Shop is all about maintaining a family tradition for friendly, superior service that dates back to the 1950s. “Keeping my uncle’s reputation and memory alive is what’s most important to me,” said owner Rachel Olsen, who inherited O’Sullivan’s Barber Shop from her uncle, Dan O’Sullivan. “He owned the shop for 20 years, and we take a lot of pride in serving different generations from the community the way he would have wanted.” O’Sullivan’s, which has five diverse barbers and stylists with numerous years of experience, offers a full range of services to its clients, including straight razor shaves with hot towels.

Rachel Olsen

O’Sullivan’s Barbershop

756 Goldstream Ave. 250-478-9424

The staff are happy to make appointments or serve dropin clients, and O’Sullivan’s offers first responder discounts. Call 250-478-9424 or drop by 756 Goldstream Ave. for a cut or style that will have your friends asking where you went. / SPRING 2018


No extra charge for hugs at the Cloth Castle and volunteers with the food, and people coming out to entertain.” Rartcliffe has always been an active supporter of Rotary, the Shoebox Ministry, youth soccer and Cubs, Brownies and Guides. She volunteered at the hospital while her husband was undergoing treatment and continued that after he passed away. “It’s rewarding to try and be a positive influence. It’s strange how life puts people in your path and brings out the need to help them and love them. I really see that in my kids as well and it’s very gratifying.”

Sylvia Ratcliffe - Owner of the Cloth Castle

Despite the demands of keeping a successful business afloat, Sylvia Ratcliffe has never lost sight of her primary mission.

others, shaped in part by the personal tragedies she has endured.

Her daughter, Margaret, the youngest of four, was killed by a drunk driver on her “I learned a long time ago that you honeymoon when she was 22. Although can’t take money with you,” explained Ratcliffe had already spent many years Ratcliffe during an interview at the Cloth working with the Salvation Army in the service of others, the loss of her daughter took “It’s rewarding to try and be a positive her efforts in a different influence. It’s strange how life puts direction. “I’ve done a lot people in your path and brings out the of work through the ministry helping people deal need to help them and love them.” with the loss of a child,” -Sylvia Ratcliffe, Owner of the Cloth Castle she said. “I lost another daughter, Michelle, to Castle, a family enterprise that’s been a cancer when she was 42, so I help out Goldstream Avenue landmark for almost at the hospice. You try to help where 50 years. “It’s what you do for people you can. You can accomplish a lot for while you’re alive that matters most.” people dealing with issues like that by Ratcliffe credits the time she spent grow- simply having a coffee and sharing some comforting words. I’m never too busy at ing up on a farm for instilling a work the store to make time for someone who ethic that has served her well. “You put needs a hug or wants to pray together.” in long hours on a farm,” explained the 82-year-old with the energy of someone much younger. “It prepared for me for putting up stock and getting everything in the store ready to serve customers until 1 a.m.,” she said, recalling the days when she and her husband, Joseph, a pastor who founded the Forge Baptist Church, lived in the cramped quarters above the store. Throughout it all, Ratcliffe has put a premium on assisting 26

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Ratcliffe cited the support she received when she launched the annual Christmas supper at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Langford in the late 1980s as an example of what makes the West Shore such a special collection of communities. “There weren’t a lot of churches back then and every one pitched in to help out,” she noted proudly. “We’ve always had great support from local businesses

Sherman, Ratcliffe’s musician boyfriend for the past 10 years, is a kindred spirit in that regard. “He does a lot of work with street people in Victoria and Vancouver who are dealing with drug addiction and other problems,” she said. “He always tells me that I inspired him to do that kind of work. I think that’s why we get along so well.” When asked what the key to the Cloth Castle’s success has been, Ratcliffe is quick to reply “service, service, service!” She also credited her staff for being so faithful to her and the business. “I have such great people. Three of them have been here for 20 years. One of my staff just donated materials for a charity in Afghanistan. That says so much about the staff we have here. Helping schools is another priority for all of us. My family has been involved since they were very young as well.” The Cloth Castle is much more than the reams of material that fill the walls with colour. “We sell everything involved with sewing and quilting and have a huge selection of fabrics,” she noted. “We sell sewing machines, do some home decor, teach classes for beginners learning to quilt, and hold fabric arts classes three times a week.” Ratcliffe has some simple but sage advice to explain how she maintains such a hectic lifestyle. “If you exercise every day, try to eat healthy and keep a positive attitude, you will live a happier life. For me, faith in God is a big part of it as well.”

An easy path to further education WestShore Centre for Learning & Training, connected to Sooke School District (SD62), takes an innovative approach to making education accessible for students and parents alike. “The majority of the courses we teach to high school age students are online,” said Heather Lait, principal of WestShore Centre for Learning & Training. “We have students enrolled in high school that are taking a couple of online courses through the centre. We offer lots of flexibility that enables our students to take up to a year to finish a course.” WestShore Centre for Learning & Training has a store front location on Goldstream Avenue that’s open from Monday through Thursday until 7 p.m. from September to June, in addition to Friday mornings, to provide drop-in support and accommodate students who have work or family commitments, Lait noted. The centre also offers adults the opportunity to complete high school or upgrade courses, with funding provided through the Ministry of Education. “That’s ideal for people who require as many courses as they need to get into post secondary education or pursue an opportunity in trades,” Lait explained. “I can’t emphasize enough how the new funding opens so many doors in so many directions. We have parents who never graduated taking advantage of this. There are academic advisors available to sit down and help people identify their specific needs. The feedback has been very positive. Another innovative option we offer is Continuing Education and ed2go.” Courses for ed2go, which are available online 24/7, begin each month and last six weeks, with two lessons released each week. The courses include discussion boards, quizzes and a final exam, with a certificate of completion granted to those achieving a final grade of at least 75 per cent. “There are multiple courses available under the ed2go headings,” Lait added. “They are geared to career preparation, personal interest and professional development.” WestShore Centre for Learning & Training and SD62 includes an educational assistant training program as well that runs from June to December. People interested in registering for that program should call 250-391-9002 or email For more information on all of the courses available at WestShore Centre for Learning & Training, visit

Heather Lait

WestShore Centre for Learning & Training “We offer lots of flexibility that enables our students ... to finish a course.”

101 - 814 Goldstream Ave 250-391-9002

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/ SPRING 2018

Amber Fischer

Andrew Sheret • Splashes “Be confident in yourself and feel that you’re worth it - you’re there for a reason.” ‘Signature’ Showroom 101-895 Langford Parkway

Challenges met with confidence With 10 years of experience under her belt, Amber Fischer’s advice for women trying to excel in sales – even in a male-dominated industry such as plumbing – is to, first and foremost, be confident. “People gravitate towards confident people – they trust them,” Fischer explained. “Even if you don’t know all the answers, you figure out where to find them. Be confident in yourself and feel that you’re worth it – you’re there for a reason.” Her soft-spoken demeanour will make you immediately feel at ease while she’ll proudly give you a tour of the newly-renovated Splashes Bath & Kitchen showroom on Langford Parkway, a modern, open-concept space which she helped choose the display products for. Fischer is the supervisor at the family-owned, home retail showroom that simplifies the renovation or rebuild process, whether you are looking for faucets, sinks, vanities, mirrors, bathtubs or toilets to create stunning and functional spaces in your home.

Part of her success has been embracing the challenge of learning new things in such a dynamic industry with new product innovations and continually evolving customer needs – in fact, her favourite part is working with people. “I’m happy when people are happy. At first, customers get overwhelmed when they see all the choices in the showroom. But we get emails and thank you cards – there’s a few customers I’ve even seen downtown and they always go out of their way to say hello because they are so appreciative.” “It’s a challenge, but it’s really nice when you have these contractors and plumbers that trust you know what you’re doing,” Fischer said. Looking back on her career journey, Fischer could have never imagined the success she’s had. It has been challenging at times but, more than anything, it has been a great learning experience. “It goes back to being confident and believing in myself,” she said.

She was promoted back in 2008 to lead the showroom team after working her way up in the company from her initial role at reception. / SPRING 2018


Claire Flewelling-Wyatt Pemberton Holmes

“...our property managers have the time they need to do the best job possible.” (250) 478-9141

An innovative approach to property management Empowering property managers to concentrate on what’s crucial to their clients is a key element to Pemberton Holmes’ success.

“Our infrastructure is different than most traditional property management companies,” said Claire Flewelling-Wyatt, managing broker for residential and commercial property management services at Pemberton Holmes. “We’ve taken the role of the property manager, identified areas of concern and delegated staff to fulfill specific roles. That enables our property managers to deal with the most important aspects of service and ensures they have the time they need to do the best job possible.” In most property management companies, property managers show the properties, process the applications, complete inspections and deal with maintenance issues, in addition to liaising with the client, Flewelling-Wyatt explained. “We’ve delegated those roles to other staff so property managers aren’t bogged down with administrative tasks.” Another advantage to dealing with Pemberton Holmes is that the company has more than 40 employees and more than 250 real estate agents working out of offices that serve the area from Sooke to Nanaimo, and there are plans to add an office on Salt Spring Island this summer. “A diversity of


/ SPRING 2018

locations covering a large part of Vancouver Island enables us to have experienced people in place who are familiar with the specifics of that geographical area,” Flewelling-Wyatt noted. The company also handles commercial property management, residential and commercial sales, strata management and real estate. “That experience and background is especially important in today’s market,” she added. “There’s a lot of legislation changing with regards to the Residential Tenancy Act, and it’s fair to say there’s more on the way. That’s going to pose problems for even experienced landlords because the playing field is changing as we speak. That’s why it’s more important than ever to deal with a professional property manager. We have the expertise required to steer you through all of the hurdles.” The fact that Pemberton Holmes is a family-owned business with more than a century of experience is another benefit to dealing with the company. “We take an innovative approach to problem solving that’s not the norm in most traditional property management companies,” said Flewelling-Wyatt, who has been with Pemberton Holmes for the past 14 years. “We don’t have the corporate constraints that are typical in most of the industry. You are encouraged to examine things in a different way, which

often leads to superior results. Your personal opinion and those of everyone on the team matters, and everyone’s input is encouraged. That’s often not the case with a lot of larger companies. The family has established a reputation throughout the south Island for a level of experience and expertise that covers a variety of bases, which explains why we have so many clients that have been dealing with us for years and years.” Flewelling-Wyatt said she can’t stress enough the importance of dealing with an experienced company like Pemberton Holmes, especially in light of all the tax and legislative changes. “People should consider it an investment that can save you significant time and money, because even one bad tenant can cripple you financially.” For more information on Pemberton Holmes, visit

Dale Collins

Prosperity Planning “I educate my clients on different options available when it comes to planning their legacy..” 250-818-2616 #122 – 2871 Jacklin Rd.

Prosperity - planning finances for the future Prosperity Planning, owned by Dale Collins, has been operating on the West Shore since 2005. Collins has lived and worked in the community for more than 20 years, and she takes pride in offering holistic financial planning advice. Collin’s role as a Certified Financial Planner is to “help my clients figure out where they are going, and how to get there. My greatest satisfaction comes from seeing my clients reach their goals. This could mean buying their first home, retiring comfortably, or creating an estate plan that ensures assets will be transferred seamlessly to their loved ones. Having a solid financial plan in place, and updating it as life changes, is essential.” Collins has a keen interest in estate

planning. With a plan in place she is able to take away some of the stress for her clients’ families. “One area in an overall financial plan that is often overlooked or delayed is estate planning. I educate my clients on different options available when it comes to planning their legacy. I help them to construct an estate plan that provides maximum benefit and minimizes complications for their family members.”

desire.” Why choose Prosperity Planning? “At Prosperity Planning, we believe in going above and beyond to make you feel secure and taken care of, so you can focus on the things that really matter to you.”

Always active in the community, Collins is invested in her clients’ wellbeing. “I enjoy getting to know my clients on a personal and professional level; I show them how having a Certified Financial Planner in their lives means less stress as they experience more guidance in creating the life they / SPRING 2018


Angela Soukoreff Curvalicious Boutique “Women are spreading the word both as shoppers and consigners.”

Providing carefully curated items for curvaceous women Angela Soukoreff is addressing the misconceptions about consignment couture one happy customer at a time. “A lot of women haven’t considered repeat clothing because of the stigma attached,” said Soukoreff, owner of Curvalicious Boutique on Goldstream Avenue in Langford. “I’m dedicated to changing that mindset.” That’s underlined by the fact that Soukoreff has more than doubled the number of consignors she sells in less that a year at her boutique, which carries new fashions and accessories as well as repeat items. “Women are spreading the word both as shoppers and consigners. It’s gratifying to get that feedback.” In the 15 months since she took over the business, Soukoreff has already established a reputation for finding specific items for her customers, whether it’s something for the mother of the bride or that special request from someone searching for that perfect outfit. “I love clothes of all styles and I love working with women, so coming to work everyday is a real joy,” she explained with a smile. Although Soukoreff had a successful career in strategic planning, marketing and communications, she yearned for a different direction. “It’s been on my life list forever. I always wanted to run a women’s clothing store. I know the challenges women face finding quality, affordable, beautiful clothing that’s the perfect fit.” A recent statement by a plus size clothing designer caught her attention: 67 per cent of women in North America are a size 14 or larger. “I’ve been a curvy woman all of my life,” Soukoreff noted. “I now have the opportunity to carefully curate for curvaceous women.” Her vision for her business is based on the belief that anyone can come into her store and find clean, affordable, quality fashion that will enhance their wardrobe. She also carries a collection of new items highlighting the work of Canadian designers that are produced domestically. Another focus of Curvalicious Boutique is giving women the opportunity to convert clothes they can no longer wear wear into cash. “A lot of women tell me they’re stressed because of weight gained from medications they have to take. They have beautiful pieces in their wardrobe they’re no longer able to wear, so Curvalicious Boutique provides the opportunity to share those items with other women. It makes my heart happy when a woman leaves the store with an outfit she’s fallen in love with at a price she can afford.”

109-751 Goldstream Ave. 250-590-2799


/ SPRING 2018

The boutique also carries a great selection of purses, jewellery and fashion accessories. Curvalicious Boutique has partnered with Wear to Start, helping women re-enter the work force. Consignors can donate their unsold items and be assured they are being shared with women in need.

Dr. Fei Yang

Traditional Chinese Medicine “My goals are to support and find the balance in the body...”

Dr. Fei Yang 2050 Winnipeg Rd. 250.888.6633

A natural approach to improved health Release. Improve. Enhance. Empower. Those elements form the cornerstone of Dr. Fei Yang’s approach to improved health through Traditional Chinese Medicine. “The benefits of a natural approach to healing are that the philosophy is based the natural law of the world we live in,” said Yang from her office overlooking the Sooke shoreline. “I combine acupuncture with natural herbal formulas that have been in use for thousands of years.” Yang has earned a reputation for her ability to deal with a myriad of conditions, including chronic fatigue, slow metabolism, circulation issues, behavioral problems, hormonal imbalance, digestive and gynecological issues, cancer prevention and treatment, and treatment of chronic pain. “Diet is an essential part of my approach to prevention and healing,” noted Yang who earned her degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1985. She has also taught at the International College of TCM, the Canadian College of Oriental Medicine and the Osho College of TCM and Acupuncture.

breaking down old patterns of behaviour and employ a step-by-step approach to bringing awareness and courage required to face and release symptoms,” Yang explained. Initial visits include building communication and forging a connection with each patient, a review of family and personal medical histories, lifestyle and stress level assessment, TCM in-depth diagnosis and explanation of conditions and discussion surrounding different choices of treatment programs. “The Spring Cleanse Program, which is available until June 21, is an excellent starting point,” she noted. Yang also offers acupuncture, a beginner herbal program, full treatment and maintenance herbal programs, a dietary support program and several others that combine the use of herbal medicine and acupuncture.

“My goals are to support and find the balance in the body, employ preventative medicine, educate and share understanding of the importance of food choices and water intake, support and assist / SPRING 2018


Sharing memories that last a lifetime Magical moments at an outdoor tournament shaped under a Montana sky forge memories that keep the managers of a West Shore hockey team inspired.

work so well together because I do the paperwork and emails and she handles the phone work and planning. I think we really complement each other.”

“The tournament in Montana was an incredible experience for the players and the parents,” said Kathy Turcotte, co-manager of the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies female midget hockey team. “You create memories with your kids they’ll never forget.”

Fundraising is another area that requires a lot of effort, Turcotte noted. The trip to Montana for 35 players and parents, one of four tournaments this year, cost about $17,000 – money raised through bottle drives and Krispy Kreme donut sales. “I think fundraising is where the connections “The kids on the team build friendships that will last between the parents a lifetime, get a true sense of what teamwork means, and the players really begins,” Turcotte said. and develop confidence and a sense of belonging.” “Over the years you de-Joanne MacLaren, Co-Manager and Team Safety velop relationships with local businesses that are key. We couldn’t do it without their support. Co-manager Joanne Maclaren, director It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade the of education and practice strategy for the opportunity to be involved in something Nursing Policy Secretariat, was quick to so positive. Being involved with our kids is agree. “Players and parents develop a bond awesome.” and become an extended family. You don’t see that kind of bond in too many other situations. Joanne and I have become best friends, and it’s a great way to stay connected to your kids.”

Turcotte, a teaching assistant with the Sooke School District, said she was motivated by the volunteer work her parents did when she was growing up. “My dad coached and refereed and my mom worked at the concession stand,” recalled Turcotte, a manager and coach with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey Association for the past 16 years. “They motivated me to get involved as a volunteer. I’ll never forget that feeling of having my parents at all of our games, it really stands out to me.”

Maclaren said the fact that other teams have approached her about the dynamics of planning the trip to Montana is gratifying. “It was a huge endeavour,” she noted. “That really tells us we’re doing something right.”

Kathy Turcotte (Co-Manager) and Joanne Maclaren (CoManager and Team Safety)

She cited the difference she sees in the kids on the team as a prime example of what keeps her motivated. “The changes you see are quite dramatic,” she explained. “My daughter was involved in dance, but wanted to experience something that had a team element. The kids on the team build friendships that will last a lifetime, get a true sense of what teamwork means, and develop confidence and a sense of belonging.”

Maclaren began volunteering 20 years ago when her son first got involved in hockey. “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” she said with a laugh. “No one wanted to be the team manager so I stepped up. It’s in my nature to help out and it’s a great way to give back.” Both Langford residents admitted there is a lot of work involved, but the key for them is the opportunity to spend time they may not get otherwise with their kids. “There’s a lot of planning, searching out tournament opportunities, travel arrangements, hotel bookings, permissions from a host of hockey organizations to go to tournaments,” Maclaren explained. “There’s emails going out every day. Kathy and I 34

/ SPRING 2018

Team Photo – JDF Midget Female Grizzlies Team

The WestShore Team Expedia CruiseShipCenter “We have your back!”


Top 10 reasons to book with a travel agent 1. Buying travel is a unique purchase, because you are buying both a product and a service. Expedia · CruiseShipCenters · Vacation Consultants knows how to sell both parts - the airline and resort and cruise line that best match your needs, and the service that will guarantee your vacation is seamless and stress-free. 2. We are trained to take a critical look at each piece in your trip’s puzzle. We will make sure each piece meets your specific needs, so you’re happy with every penny you spend. 3. We can make sense of the multitude of offers from cruise lines, airlines and hotels. With more options that ever before on land, in the air and on the seas. A travel professional can decipher the subtle differences and choose the one that matches your requirements for this unique trip. 4. Get the latest information. Airline rules, fees and regulations are constantly shifting and hotels undergo construction now and again. Your Vacation Consultant has access to the latest Information and can provide you with all the details before you book. 5. We are your advocate. Whether you need a ticket out of harm’s way after a natural disaster, be rebooked on a cruise or flight due to a cancellation or you need to get home for a family emergency, your Vacation Consultant is there for you before, during and after your vacation. 6. We are the experts. Like a doctor or an accountant, a travel agent will ask the right questions, listen to your answers and offer expert advice to

guide you in making one of your most Important decisions - how to spend your invaluable time off. 7. Knowledge is power. From the visa and passport requirements to the name of the maitre‘d at the best restaurant in town, a good travel agent has the inside information that makes your trip perfect 8. We have your back. When things go wrong, a travel professional knows who to call to get it fixed on the spot. If your flight is cancelled, just have a seat and pick up the phone while the rest of the passengers are lined up trying to rebook. Didn’t get the room category you booked? No need to argue with the front desk. One call will get it corrected. 9. We are your personal shopper. Over time your Vacation Consultant gets to know you and your family, your likes and dislikes. We are in the relationship business at Expedia CruiseShipCenters providing you a face in the community, with options for phone or email communication. We are in your neighbourhood. 10. We can offer customized experiences that no one else can. After 20 or 30 years in the business, your Vacation Consultant has the connections to arrange for the side trips, the special passes, the upgrades and little touches that are not available to the general public. Because in this amazing and wonderful world, you just don’t know what you don’t know. So, ask someone who does - your local travel agent.

/ SPRING 2018


Dana Adams and Micky Fleming Cherish at Central Park “It is a dream come true.”

917 Avrill Rd (250) 478-4431

Cherish Senior Living helps local seniors Sisters Dana Adams, CPA, CGA and Micky Fleming, CPA, CGA, have lived on the West Shore for most of their lives, attending John Stubbs, Dunsmuir and Belmont schools. They have been active in our community for almost 30 years volunteering with Rotary, the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, the Langford Economic Committee and many more local groups.

Central Park. Cherish at Central Park, opened its doors in November 2017 and is a community living residence designed for people who have lived good lives and wish to continue to do so - well into their golden years. The residence has sold the 39 “optional services” condominiums and is actively renting the 130 one and two bedroom all-inclusive independent living suites offered.

In addition to running a busy accounting practice, Fleming & Company, CPA – established in Langford in 1989, they look after a number of other special purpose buildings in our community. The most recent addition to their business portfolio is their new residence, Cherish at

The residence offers “farm to table” meals and family style carefree living, with a host of social and recreational opportunities, full hospitality services and many amenities. The building has an art studio to stimulate creativity, billiard room for socializing, guest suite, Thermae Baths, Jazz Bistro,


/ SPRING 2018

Courtyard Lounge, large outdoor courtyard, multi-media theatre, fully equipped exercise room, Salon Cherie, Belvedere Dining Room and work shop for woodworking, stained glass and silversmithing. There is something for everyone at Cherish. The Cherish philosophy about senior living was developed by listening the needs and wishes of their customers, something that has garnered them testimonials such as “the future of senior living,” “blue ocean company” and being “highly innovative.” “We invite you to come by for a tour to see this wonderful new residence,” Fleming said. “It is a dream come true.”

Alpine employees proud to be a part of the community Alpine Group would like to thank each and everyone of our dedicated group of women who put their efforts into maintaining the Alpine Group’s sterling reputation on the West Shore.

Th e A l p i n e

f o n e m o W e We s t sh o r

Heather Baumann, Human Resource Manager of Alpine Group stated, “Everyone takes exceptional pride in their work and each member takes ownership of their positions.” Alpine Group is family owned and operated and has been a member of the community for more than 35 years. A company that is proud to be a part of the West Shore, we have women filling numerous positions throughout all of the Alpine Group including, but not limited to, truck driving positions, dispatch, bottle depot, cashiers, accounting, customer service, scale masters, sales, labourers, safety, both marine and heavy duty service writing, and administration. Each member of the Alpine Group is proud to be an employee of the West Shore. Many volunteer in the community and not only work local, but shop and live on the West Shore. They are your neighbours. Although most of you know us for our services in commercial and residential waste and recycling, we are so much more. We also have marine sales and service, limousine rentals, restaurant liquidation, bottle depots, our disposal transfer station on Dunford Ave., heavy duty truck and equipment repair, welding, fabrication, paint shop, radiator repair, slinger soil service, roll-off bins, commercial transport, the Sidney Spit ferry, construction fencing and portable toilets, restaurants, car sales and more. We also have operations in Nanaimo, Trail, Rossland, Grand Forks, Castlegar, and Creston, British Columbia. Alpine is proud to sponsor multiple youth and sports teams, fundraisers and school groups.


1045 Dunford Ave Victoria 250-474-5145

Alpine Group – We are proud members of your community. / SPRING 2018


Award winning florals and great service Amanda Vallis is celebrating her 10th “Browns-a-iversary” in 2018. Vallis started as the manager of Brown’s the Florist’s downtown location before she accepted the challenge of opening their newest shop, Brown’s Westshore on Jacklin Road, which is now celebrating it’s fifth year in business. Under Vallis’ strong leadership, the shop has gained a loyal customer base and a following on social media. Her incredible passion for the floral industry and commitment to quality both of product and design has made her well-known in our community. Her team has won a number of awards, mostly for their outstanding wedding work. Anything floral related - she’s an expert on the West Shore.

Amanda Vallis Brown’s The Florist

102 – 2972 Jacklin Rd.

A unique environment Doing laundry as a teenager seemed like such a chore, who knew one day, Stephanie MacLean would own her own laundry service. Avalon Cleaners provides a unique environment unlike anywhere else, and is not your stereotypical coin-operated laundromat. With large capacity washers and driers that are both easy and quick to use, a friendly and knowledgeable staff and tailored cleaning services they have the tools to get the job done right the first time. Their facility is also a large Commercial Laundry Service with the ability to custom design your laundry needs. No contracts, free delivery anywhere in Victoria and open seven days a week. With wedding season approaching they are also known for their professional wedding gown preservation techniques – every bride deserves to save the memories of her special day. They also provide high quality dry-cleaning, hand washing and drop off services.

Stephanie MacLean Avalon Cleaners

1497 Admirals Rd. 38

/ SPRING 2018

MacLean is thrilled to announce that they are now able to accept all leather goods to be properly and quickly processed. “As the owner and operator, I am proud to say once you come to our facility you may change your mind about the laundry industry,” she added.

Your Trusted Source for Real Estate

With Professionalism, Integrity and Experience we will get you Results! When you choose to use us with your next real estate transaction, whether buying or selling, our goal is always the same. To offer you and your family the absolute best service we can. With over 20 years combined experience in Real Estate and being born and raised in Victoria we are the right choice for helping you with all your real estate needs!

Shanna: 250.727.1766 | Alex: 250.508.1489 |

Your WestShore News Trusted • True • Convenient / SPRING 2018


Mimi Kates

Realtor & Mortgage Advisor 250-889-5553


When it’s time to buy or sell your home, Mimi Kates offers additional levels of expertise. She is dual licensed as a Realtor with Fair Realty as well as a Mortgage Advisor with Select Mortgage. She is constantly upgrading her education and tries to stay on top of all trends and new laws and regulations that are continually being introduced and changed. Mimi specializes in the West Shore area of Victoria and is based in Langford. She has a wealth of knowledge to assist her clients. With more than 25 years in the industry, Mimi has a vast amount of experience with large and small real estate transactions, major development projects, extensive home renovations and has fine tuned her negotiation skills with years of training and experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Marketing from Bond University in Australia which is an added benefit when working with Mimi that provides her clients with the best in proven advertising and marketing skills. Mimi’s ultimate goal is to assist her clients to produce a successful sale and/ or purchase of their home with a systematic, painless approach that makes the process more of an enjoyable experience. Her energetic spirit, dedication and loyalty to her clients provides a level of comfort that has earned Mimi a winning reputation throughout the local industry and beyond. “My business revolves around making the customers goals my goals and make the transaction as seamless as possible. I find it’s paramount that my clients are educated throughout the transaction and as informed as possible to make the best decisions for them and their families,” Mimi explained. “I will bring welcomed energy, trust and integrity to your next real estate adventure and make buying or selling your home an incredible, memorable experience.

Connecting and inspiring business women When an entrepreneur sees a gap in the market, she creates a product to fill the need. That’s exactly what Deb Alcadinho did when she started Westshore Women’s Business Network in 2010. “I believe business women need a platform, specific to women, to network, connect and grow personally and professionally,” she explained. What started as an idea for a small group, grew overnight to be a huge success. No surprise to those who know Alcadinho.

Deb Alcadinho CEO and Founder



/ SPRING 2018

A seasoned entrepreneur of seven businesses, she gets things done. Alcadinho is passionate about helping women grow their business, so she brings in speakers to inspire and educate. Join like-minded business women at the next lunch event and get connected.

Soroptimists improve the lives of women and girls Westshore Soroptimists support women of all ages in the community and around the world to inspire, empower and change lives. “We are proud of our award-winning projects and programs,” said Joan Jackson, president. Here’s a snapshot of a few: At Anney’s Closet more than 100 women each year shop freely for household items to set up their new home with items donated by the community. Young women aged 15 to 24 attend the Imagining Possibilities Conference to get fired up about their future. Roughly 150 leave

with career inspirations from direct connections they make, along with tools, empowerment and inspiration from workshops. More than $10,600 has been awarded in educational grants for women to pursue education or upgrade skills. Seniors can attend an evening of entertainment and a catered meal, meet new friends and reduce isolation at the twice yearly Stella’s Suppers. – And they’re just getting started... Support women. Give back. Create impact. Volunteer, donate or become a member at

Making life more affordable The spring session of the Legislature continues, and I am proud to represent the people who reside in Esquimalt-Metchosin. We’re working hard to make life more affordable, and we’ve introduced a range of measures to improve the services people count on and build a strong, sustainable economy.

Quality, accessible, and affordable child care

Budget 2018 makes the largest investment in child care in B.C. history to lower costs for parents, increase the number of child care spaces, and ensure those spaces meet quality care standards. Parents with children in licensed care are now eligible for fee reductions if their child care provider opts in to the program. A new affordable child care benefit will be available to families earning up to $111,000 starting in September.

Help for renters

To help renters, the province is expanding eligibility and increasing rental subsidies under the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) programs. More than 35,000 households will benefit from the enhancements, including 3,200 newly eligible seniors and families. To see if you are eligible for RAP or SAFER, use this online calculator: For more details on measures contained in Budget 2018, I encourage you to visit

Mitzi Dean

MLA, Esquimalt-Metchosin

250-952-5885 104-1497 Admirals Rd.

/ SPRING 2018


WS INSIDER [ history ]

Cat prowl ON THE

Jody Dick’s groovy Cougar turns heads by SEAN MCINTYRE photos DON DENTON



Metchosin’s Jody Dick had only just began his gig as a keyboard player in a popular Victoria band called Tight Hair when things started getting groovy. The band quickly began lighting up dance floors across the Victoria area. They had the sound, they had the look and they had the moves, but it felt like a little something special was still missing. It was the band’s guitarist, a 30-something Englishman by the name of Christopher Lloyd, who nailed the missing ingredient.” The band needed a “pimpin’ ride.” “He’s an old soul who digs retro things,” says Jody. “He’s the one who pitched this crazy idea.” Nearly two years after the bandmates were tossing around ideas for Tight Hair’s wheeled mascot, “Monica” is nearly ready to hit the streets and, quite possibly, make an appearance at a disco night near you. 42

/ SPRING 2018

Jody Dick, keyboardist for Tight Hair, stands with “Monica,” the 1976 Mercury Cougar XR-7, which he restored.

“She’s a lot of fun to drive,” Jody says. “It just literally glides likes it’s on air. She screams mid-70s with this long hood, the way the windshield tapers back and these really cool lines.” You might miss Monica’s distinctive look, but you’re highly unlikely to miss her colour. Pagan Candy Apple Gold is every bit as bright as it sounds. The colour seems to illuminate the surroundings, halo-like, on a wet and dreary West Coast spring afternoon at Jody’s home in the forested hills of rural Metchosin. “It looks pretty intense,” he says. “In the sun, you literally cannot look at it without sunglasses.” Monica is a rare breed, a 1976 Mercury Cougar XR-7, which Dick found stowed away by the grandson of the car’s original owner. Jody was flabbergasted to discover that, as a teenager, he’d worked as a part-time detailer at the very same dealership where the car was purchased more than 40 years ago. “There’s a chance I could have touched her then,” he says. Jody has come a long way since he cleaned cars as a highschooler. These days he’s the general manager at Victoria Hyundai. Whether in the shop or in the showroom, he’s covered a lot of ground in the automotive sector. The experience and relationships he built up along the way served him well when it came to rebuilding his new ride. Dick saw promise in those iconic lines and near-mint details, like the rear seat “opera windows” that are stencilled with the silhouette of a fierce mountain cat on the prowl. As is the case with any creative project, the artist must begin with raw materials from which to carve out his or her vision. From the moment he saw it, Jody was confident the Cougar hit all the right notes. “I play a lot of music, I’m fairly creative and I come from an artistic family, so I just looked at it and said ‘okay,’” he says. The car had a pair of minor door dings and a few bubbles of rust. The low mileage was a positive, but years of sitting idle

silenced the car’s original purr. Dick says the car’s longexpired gasoline had turned chartreuse green and wreaked havoc on the carburetor. The entire tank had to come out, and the original 351M engine underwent a near complete overhaul. The gray body colour was peeling badly and needed to be completely stripped and repainted if the old Cougar had any chance of lighting up the dance floor. The Pagan Candy Apple Gold called for three coats of base, six coats of tint and three coats of clear to really make it shine. It’s set to receive a coat of gloss before the job is complete. Jody went to see an old friend, Doug Thompson, at an upholstery shop downtown to source some chocolate embossed paisley material for the car’s roof. He also found some dark-gold velour for the bucket seats and accents. As if that weren’t enough eye candy, the front headlights now feature multi-colour LEDs designed to flash in synch with the beats of funk and disco tunes playing on the car’s stereo. Despite the high-tech upgrade, however, Monica remains true to her ‘70s

David Moisik

Your Classic Victoria Homes Specialist

David Moisik 250.516.4853 dmoisik@ Office: 250.474.4800 132B-2945 Jacklin Road

n Classi CVi Ctori aHo me s . c o m / SPRING 2018


roots with no air conditioning, hand-cranked windows and an AM radio. “She started as a low-budget custom and morphed into notso-low if you know what I mean,” Jody says. “I don’t want to gaudy it up or anything, but I think we’re at that line.” With the sunny driving season and a full schedule of gigs right around the corner, Jody is nearly ready to call the project done. The car’s inaugural test spin through the winding streets of Metchosin has already got people talking. Jody says a nearby motorist actually rolled down her window to scream, “Oh my god!” while stopped at a traffic light. With some wide, white-wall tires, a little clean up and a stretch of sunny weather, this cat will be ready to prowl. “She’s turned a lot of heads already and believe it or not, has a following of sorts,” he says. “This isn’t a Camaro or Chevelle or Mustang. There’s a ton of those cars out there, but nobody is crazy enough to customize a 1976 Cougar. “Except me, of course.” WS


/ SPRING 2018

I play a lot of music, I’m fairly creative and I come from an artistic family, so I just looked at it and said ‘okay.’

WS INSIDER [ for the love of dogs]

photos DON DENTON Canine friends spotted recently in the West Shore are: (top row, left to right) Marley, an 11-month-old mixed Lab and Coonhound cross; Kodi, an 11-month-old Siberian Husky; Moe, a 2-year-old mixed Dachshund/Husky/Shepherd rescue dog; (centre row, left to right) Roxy, a 5-month-old French Bulldog; Jackson Fabio Canine, a 12-yearold Maltese cross, and Maggie May Muffintop, an 11-year-old Poodle cross; (bottom row, left to right) Sterling, a 7-month-old mixed Border Collie and Duck Toller; Adora, a 7-year-old mixed Lab and Border Collie rescue dog; and Rudy, a 3-year-old mixed Bernese Mountain Dog and St. Bernard. / SPRING 2018



COaSt COllECtiVE aRtS CENtRE We are a dynamic, inspiring centre, promoting art and culture, connecting community members of all ages through creative expression and explorations. Gallery exhibits bring the works of talented emerging and established Canadian artists and artisans. See ad on page 16


PaCifiC RiM iNtERiORS Our mission is to offer a true alternative to the big box stores and custom kitchen cabinet shops. We offer complimentary design and consultation for all our products, either at our showroom or in your home. We will prepare measured drawings to help you envision your dream kitchen. See ad on page 2

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David’s 30 years of experience as a professional architect and real estate investor, a combination not offered by many realtors, has exceptional building and real estate knowledge providing maximum benefit for his clients. See ad on page 43

We provide a range of services to handle time-consuming small business accounting and bookkeeping issues so our clients can become more focussed on running their businesses. See ad on page 16

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Gerald O’Toole, General Manager, invites you to visit them at 6854 Island Hwy in Duncan. Working on the Island with RV enthusiasts, he knows it’s not just about making sales, it’s about creating relationships and taking pride in doing the best they can for their clients. See ad on page 6


SCaNDESiGNS has been furnishing homes with modern contemporary furniture since 1976. We provide a unique experience while offering stylish furniture at great prices from a family owned and operated business. As a one-stop furniture store, we pride ourselves on having all the pieces you would need to complete any room. See ad on page 47

SElECt MORtGaGE WESt ShORE We save you money by sourcing the best products at the best rates — not only on your first mortgage but through every subsequent renewal. So whether you are buying a home, renewing your existing mortgage or refinancing, we are the mortgage experts for you. See ad on page 17


Our Business Is About Two Things – You And Your Financial Well-Being. You are at the heart of your financial plan, so that’s where we put our focus. It’s your investments we’re striving to protect and your goals we’re building toward. It only makes sense, and is only right, that you be at the centre of each recommendation we make. See ad on page 21

Serving Greater Victoria for over 50 years, SG Power is family owned & operated. Whether you are into boating, biking, or trail riding on an ATV SG power has what your looking for. See ad on page 6



Proudly serving the Victoria area since 1932, Hatley Memorial Gardens will help you customize your arrangements, while respecting your faith, taste and budget. You can feel confident putting your trust in our compassionate professionals. See ad on page 24

Personal, Honest and Professional. When you choose to use us for your next real estate transaction, whether buying or selling, our goal is always the same: to offer you and your family the absolute best service we can. Up-front, honest and professional advice. See ad on page 5

At Vibes Fitness Studios we use Whole Body Vibration (WBV) technology to offer a new, effective and efficient workout experience for people of all abilities. Even if you are a total beginner, you can start gently and build intensity as your balance, strength and fitness improve. See ad on page 11



Fred Jenner and the staff at Jenner Chevrolet, located on Island Hwy in Colwood, believe the success of their Victoria GM dealership is directly related to how they care for their customers. Whether you’re shopping for a new GM vehicle or just dropping by for an oil change, you’ll be treated with the same friendly service. See ad on page 48

More homeowners are looking for a simple, clean and less expensive way to revive and restore their existing cabinets, countertops and tiles rather than replacing them. At Revived Interiors, we believe upcycling makes a positive impact on the environment. See ad on page 20




Let us bring the showroom to you! With many styles, fabrics and colors to choose from, you will enjoy working with an interior decorator to find the best choice for your space.  Schedule your in-home consultation today for blinds in Victoria. See ad on page 20

Rock The Shores presents three days of music festival fun with Brian Wilson, Social Distortion, X Ambassadors, Juliette & The Licks, Bahamas, and more. Tickets on sale now! See ad on page 44

At Lakepoint, you simply get more. Standing at 17 stories tall, the Lakepoint Two condominium will be the tallest and most coveted concrete and steel building on the West Shore. See ad on page 3

WiNDSOR PlyWOOD WESt ShORE Locally owned and operated, Windsor Plywood West Shore, and Michael Hansen and family are proud to be celebrating 30 years in the West Shore. See ad on page 7

Stressless - Perfecting the Art of Comfort Prices Starting at


Chair and Footstool Swing Table Extra



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2018 GMC Terrain SLT

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2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 1730 ISLAND HIGHWAY 1730 Island HIgHway 1-866-281-4450 Mon.–Thurs. PMsFri.–Sat. PMs3UNDAYn#LOSEDFOR"Rowsing 250-474-1211

Victoria’s Truck & SUV Center. We are driving to be #1

Special Features - West Shore Life + Style April 25, 2018  


Special Features - West Shore Life + Style April 25, 2018