Magazines - Pearl Magazine, August/September

Page 1

GOLD

WINNER

2019

BEST SPECIAL PUBLICATION IN B.C.

PEARL THE GEM OF THE SALISH SEA

AUG/SEPT 2019

INSIDE › › › ›

PEOPLE HOMES LIFESTYLES T R AV E L


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AUG/SEPT 2019 PEARL

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GOLD

WINNE

R

2019

BEST SPECIAL PUBLICA TION IN B.C.

PEARL THE G EM OF THE S ALIS

H SEA

AUG/

SEPT

2019

GOLD

WINNER INSID

2019

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› PEO PLE › HOM ES › LIFE STYL ES › T R AV EL

BEST SPECIAL PUBLICATION IN B.C.

CONTENTS

AUG/SEPT

8 Editor’s Letter 10 Hot on the Flavour Trail 14 Walk With Laurie Wilson 16 Silver Lining 18 Sanctuary in Common 24 Bella 28 A Walk on the Sea Side 32 History: Heart & Soul 34 Varanasi 37 Paws on the Peninsula 38 Meet our Advertisers

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on our cover Model Sara Ponchet, a third-generation Saanich farmer, shot on location at Le Coteau Farm and Dan’s Farm.

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Styling by Shai Thompson Photo by Lia Crowe

GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto 250.480.3204

PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Lia Crowe

PUBLISHER + ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Dale Naftel publisher@ peninsulanewsreview.com 250.656.1151 ext.6

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan

EDITOR Susan Lundy lundys@shaw.ca ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe

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PEARL CREATIVE & DESIGN Lorianne Koch CREATIVE SERVICES Michelle Gjerde Cara Robbins Tammy Robinson DISTRIBUTION Wendy Denison wdenison@blackpress.ca 250-727-2460

PEARL AUG/SEPT 2019

ADVERTISING Dale Naftel publisher@ peninsulanewsreview.com 250.656.1151 ext.6 Wendy Coleman wendy.coleman@ peninsulanewsreview.com 250.656.1151 ext.4

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PEARL magazine is published six times a year by Black Press. The points of view or opinions expressed herein are those

Vicki Clark vicki.clark@blackpress.ca 250.588.2424

of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of Pearl. The contents of Pearl magazine are protected by copyright,

prohibited without written

103-9830 Second Street, Sidney, British Columbia PH 250.656.1151

consent of the publisher.

www.peninsulanewsreview.com

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PEARL

CONTRIBUTORS o c d o R ery Draperies and Upholst

LIA CROWE Born and raised in Victoria, Lia spent the first decade of her career working in the international fashion industry and now has more than 10 years’ experience working on the editorial side of lifestyle magazines.

DON DENTON Don is the Photo Supervisor for Black Press, Greater Victoria. He contributes photographs to magazines such as Boulevard, Tweed, Monday and Pearl.

JANICE JEFFERSON

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

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KATE SPENCER

Kate enjoys writing reflective​narratives​​based on true stories. Some of her inspiration comes from the Peninsula, Sidney in particular, as that is where she can be seen quite regularly strolling and shopping​​along Beacon Avenue.

HANS TAMMEMAGI

Hans’ writing includes travel, environment and Indigenous culture. He has penned 10 books and writes for numerous newspapers and magazines in Canada and internationally.

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PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

EDITOR’S LETTER SUSAN LUNDY

Here’s to mid-life weddings

A

friend put words to my thoughts as I approached the bridal shop: “They’ll assume you’re buying a mother of the bride dress,” she chortled. I was 49 and — five years ago this summer — about to tie the knot. Again. Once in the bridal shop, I planned to look around and get a feel for prices and styles. I wasn’t certain I wanted to purchase an actual wedding dress for “round two,” and I said to the saleswoman: “I’m not planning to buy a dress today” and “one thing I know for sure is that I don’t want a strapless dress.” Although I can hardly manage to choose pair of socks on a shopping trip, I somehow ended up buying a wedding dress that very day — in less than 90 minutes. And it was strapless. This summer, as we plan our fifth wedding anniversary celebrations, I remember how prior to my wedding in 2014, I expressed some embarrassment around second weddings. After all, hadn’t we both pledged eternal love until “death do us part” once before? But there are many joys associated with mid-life weddings. And one of these is sharing it with your adult children. My daughters and stepdaughter-to-be were all in their early 20s, and they were exuberant about wedding details and plans.

During my visit to the bridal shop, I used FaceTime to consult with my daughters, one living in California and the other at school in New Brunswick, as “we” tried on wedding dresses. They also organized my stagette, a concept that — prior to the event — I found somewhat terrifying. After all, my age-50ish friends and I had moved well beyond the 20-somethings’ penchant for shooters, and we definitely lacked their party stamina.

A TIARA WAS ATTACHED TO MY HEAD AND A BRIGHT RED EXTENSION CLIPPED TO MY HAIR. I CARRIED A BELL THAT READ, “KISS ME.

The stagette started on a sandy beach near our home. To get there, I was blindfolded, placed in a car and then into a boat. A tiara was attached to my head and a bright red extension clipped to my hair. I carried a bell that read, “Kiss Me.” Once in the boat, I tentatively tasted my very first Jell-O shooter. (“Don’t worry, mom, they’re not very strong.”)

But over the next eight hours, 10 women — five young, five “old” — laughed, ate, played games, drank (but not excessively — big thanks from the old gals) … and ultimately defied any boundaries of age. The absolute best part was blending my friends, my daughters and the other young women into one big night of seamless interaction and fun. And finally, here’s what else is cool about mid-life marriages. For the first time at this age, you actually start to view “the rest of your life.” When you’re younger, it’s there, but it’s more of an abstract concept. As I envisioned the next four decades, I could see us — plumper, greyer, a few more aches and pains — still enjoying travels near and far, picnics and Prosecco at the beach and evenings on the couch with Hockey Night in Canada. I could see us dealing as partners with hardships that come and go. At my second wedding, my best friend became my companion for the rest of my life. As always, you’ll find lots to savour in this edition of Pearl. Set out on a flavour trail, explore an eco-friendly home, travel to the ancient city of Varanasi, feast on local fashion and take a stroll on the Sidney waterfront. And if you’re enjoying a wedding or a wedding anniversary this summer, raise a glass to love and companionship — no matter what your stage of life. P

Susan Lundy has been writing stories since she was six years old. She has a degree in creative writing from the University of Victoria, and after working for many years as an award-winning journalist, is now a magazine editor, author and freelance writer.

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PEARL AUG/SEPT 2019


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PEARL INSIDER [ food + drink]

Hot on the Flavour Trail Revelling in the bounty of the Peninsula

WO R D S : A N G E L A C OWA N PHOTOS: DON DENTON

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PEARL AUG/SEPT 2019


W

ith its fertile fields, year-round farming and passionate growers and makers, North Saanich is a veritable bread basket of agricultural abundance, and I had the incomparable treat to explore the region and put my taste buds to work at this year’s North Saanich Flavour Trails Festival. Set up as a self-guided tour, the 2018 festival showcased 21 venues with food, drink, sweets, plants and more. On a Sunday morning that had a slight chill in the air, my dad and I set out for our first stop of the day: Snowdon House, tucked down a long driveway off Mills Road. We were a few minutes early, which gave me a chance to chat to owner Laura Waters while we waited for the Douglas fir waffles to finish cooking. Wait, Douglas fir waffles? “That’s the sustainable, renewable crop for this farm,” says Waters, gesturing to the some-2,500 Douglas firs at the back of the property that were originally meant to be Christmas trees. Plans changed, and the trees now supply their young green tips for batter mixes, vinegars, cocktail shrubs and more. “Once you get people to try it, they’re intrigued.” The waffles arrive and are a delight: thick, rich batter with a tang of fir spice, topped with cream cheese, goat cheese and the Fir and Fire brie topper. We leave with the taste of fir on our tongues as we hurry to our next stop for a sheep shearing demonstration. At Pasture Perfect Lamb and Country Wools, owner Lorea Tomsin catches a six-month-old ewe by the hind leg with the kind of dexterity and competence that makes it look effortless, although I know very well the skill involved. She angles the sheep’s head back against her leg and readies the sheers. “I always call this women’s work, because everything is women’s work,” she says with a chuckle. The shears start whirring; long strips of wool fall away from the sheep’s belly. “Shearing is like a martial art. It’s all about the position,” she says, turning the sheep steadily over as the rest of the fleece comes off in one large piece. A few seconds later, a rather nude sheep leaps to her feet and bleats before jogging off to rejoin her flock. While Tomsin continues chatting to the crowd about breeds and flock maintenance and sharing shearing stories worthy of James Herriot, I take a peek at the goodies on the nearby table. Socks, roving, spun wool, stuffed pillows all beckon and spark a growing excitement for autumn. And though I’m tempted by the cooler full of lamb sausages, and feeling watched by several pairs of black eyes through the fence, I leave the meat this time.

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Over at Millstone Farm and Organics, I spy the laundry soap and wool balls that have been a fixture at the Sidney night market in past years. I already, in fact, have a set of wool dryer balls at home, but it’s their newest venture that interests me the most. Just inside their newly opened shop, a glassed-in room holds a larger-than-life wooden grain mill — a work of art in its own right. Made by an award-winning family company in Austria, it’s constructed of Austrian pine, stainless steel and natural stones from the same region. Co-owner and miller Laurie Kelly researched mills for about five years before settling at last on the Osttiroler, widely regarded as the very best in the world. Committed to an organic, gluten-free product, Millstone grinds flours from sorghum, millet, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and more. We stay for a demonstration, watching as finely milled flour trickles slowly through a triple-sifting chamber, but we’re quickly drawn outside by the smell of buckwheat waffles. Our next stop is Russell’s Nursery. I pause beneath a towering willow and breathe in the scents of the earth, of leaves, of the surrounding conifers. I swear heaven is a herb garden, and I’ve just found the next closest thing. With people becoming more aware of where and how their food is grown, interest in gardening has also had an upswing in recent years, says co-owner Sue Tice, who has been participating in the Flavour Trails Festival almost since its beginning. “It gives us a chance for new people to find us, and it supports the community,” she says, leading me to this year’s display, which celebrates the vast amount of food that can be grown on a small plot of land. “And not only that, it can be beautiful,” she adds. Container carrots and green bean trellises interlaced with flowering vines offer a gorgeous blend of greens and colours, and it’s to no one’s surprise that I end up carting home several potted herbs and a rather large dwarf Russian sage. All this rural rambling has sparked both our appetites, so my dad and I cap off our tour at an old favourite: The Roost.


The bakery boasts the same favourites as always, but it’s a hearty meal we’re after, so dad and I wait to be seated in the dining side. The beef on the menu catches both of our eyes. It’s short rib stroganoff for him, and a short rib beef dip with au jus for me. As usual, as soon as the food arrives, our conversation takes a long pause. The beef is meltingly tender, paired with red peppers, grilled onions and a chipotle aioli that adds just enough spice to bite. The au jus runs down my fingers and drips onto my plate as the huge sandwich steadily disappears. I glance at my dad; he’s leaning back with a hand on his belly, enormously satisfied with the stroganoff. I’m feeling so incredibly food satisfied right now, I could easily go home and fall into my couch for an afternoon nap. But instead, I think I’ll root around in my garden and find a spot to plant my new Russian sage. This year’s North Saanich Flavour Trails run August 16 to 18. Check out the website at flavourtrails.com for more details, a schedule and a map of participating locations. P

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WALK with …

LAURIE WILSON CLAIM TO FAME ON THE PENINSULA:

Grandmothers For Africa PHOTOGRAPHY: LIA CROWE

N

ice to meet you, Laurie. Where were you born, where did you grow up?

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived there until the age of 18. I went to university in Toronto and ended up working most of my adult life in the Upper Ottawa Valley.

How did you get to the Peninsula and what do you love most about living here? My mother moved to Brentwood Bay 27 years ago, and then to Sidney seven years ago. When I retired, I decided to move here to be closer to her after a lifetime of living far away. What I love about living on the Saanich Peninsula is related to what I loved about being retired; it seems like the perfect place for me. I love the natural beauty, the proximity to the ocean and to incredible mountain vistas, and the wealth of fabulous hiking and cycling.

You’re known for your involvement in Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, but what has been your career path? I was a secondary school math and computer science teacher, and then administrator, for a total of 36 years. My path to leadership included time as a department head, a vice principal in two different schools, five years as a curriculum coordinator/consultant with a small school board, and a total of 11 years as a principal in four different schools. I also worked at an international school in Venezuela for four years in the middle of my career, and at a private college in Malaysia at the end of my career, after my first retirement. I loved my work, focusing near the end of my career on environmental issues, anti-bullying initiatives, career counselling and teacher empowerment.

How and why did you get involved with the Grandmothers for Africa group? When I first retired and moved to Saanich, I intended to take some time to figure out in what area and for whom I could volunteer to continue to make a contribution to the world. I joined a couple of hiking clubs immediately 14

PEARL AUG/SEPT 2019

Pearl editor Susan Lundy with Laurie Wilson on the Sidney waterfront.


and was looking for a cycling club when somebody told me about the Grandmothers for Africa cycling group. I bought a hybrid bicycle, and started cycling with them before I’d even been here a month, and the group has become the perfect outlet for my desire to contribute. I am currently the chair of the Education Working Group; we do presentations in schools around the area. I would like to go to Africa some day as part of an NGO to work with teachers and schools there.

Tell us a bit about the group here on the Peninsula. There is a group of about 35 women in Sidney. The St. Andrew’s Grandmothers Helping African Grandmothers includes St. Andrew’s parishioners as well as members of the larger community. There are 110 members in the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa group, with the two groups keeping in close contact with one another. There are seven or eight other grandmother groups on Vancouver Island. All of us are part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, started in 2006 as a response to the situation observed by Stephen Lewis when he was the UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa. There are 15 million children orphaned as a result of AIDS in Africa, and their grandmothers are absolutely critical to their survival, their healthy futures, and the strength and health of their communities. These grandmothers are feisty, strong, compassionate and hardworking, but resource-poor. That’s where the Canadian half of the partnership comes in. Canadian grandmothers have raised over $33 million since 2006, with the Victoria and Sidney groups contributing $1.2 million of that. All of this money goes to community-based organizations in Africa with very little of it being spent on administrative costs.

You have a big fund-raising event coming up in September — the Cycle Tour from Campbell River to Victoria. What can you tell us about it? The Campbell River to Victoria cycle tour has been the largest fundraiser for the group since 2007. The ride takes place the second weekend of September and involves about 30 riders. Five years ago, we added the opportunity for women to ride 50 kilometres on the third day of the tour and join us in downtown Victoria for the “welcome home.” The ride has evolved over the years to include a very effective organizing committee and weekly training rides that help build both fitness and community. It feels very appropriate to work hard at something physical and challenging and difference-making, and allows us to feel solidarity with the African grandmothers who work so hard in the face of tremendous challenges.

FINE CLOTHIERS SINCE 1862

Who is your hero/who do you admire? I think my parents are my real heroes. They were very different from one another and I have always appreciated the contrasting parts of my nature and nurture that came from each of them. My mother has a huge social conscience, preached the Golden Rule and has always been generous to a fault; my father was kind, considerate and sometimes a bit of a pushover, but much loved by others. My mother does everything quickly and still fits an amazing number of things into every day at the age of 92; my father, who died six years ago, was slow and methodical with a calmness that flowed throughout his life and his presence. Both were inherently curious and committed readers and lifelong learners.

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What brings you joy? Being outdoors gives me joy. I love hiking, cycling, gardening, camping and sailing — almost anything that allows me to be breathing in fresh air and looking at natural beauty. The Saanich Peninsula is the PERFECT place for me to be! P

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IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT THE HOME BE A SANCTUARY: A PLACE WHERE RELAXATION, HEALING AND RE-ENERGIZING CAN OCCUR.

T

he Burgoyne Valley on Salt Spring Island is iconic for those who live on the island or visit it. For people arriving from Swartz Bay via ferry at funky Fulford Harbour, driving the main road past the valley’s big red community hall, rustic farm stands, heritage churches and acres of farmland — not to mention the requisite flock of sheep or two — the valley is the gateway to Salt Spring. Leanne Drumheller has called the Burgoyne Valley home for nearly two years. Her home, which was featured in Salt Spring’s bi-annual EcoHome Tour in July, is accessed by crossing a salmon-bearing stream, passing an organic farm and winding up a narrow gravel road through stands of towering Douglas fir. The otherworldly approach is inspiring enough, but it almost pales in

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PEARL AUG/SEPT 2019

comparison to what awaits as you walk through Leanne’s front gate. Colourful perennials and fruit trees surround a swimming pond that’s lined with locally quarried stone. The pond is a great place to cool down as the hot summer sun shines on the south-facing property, but it also attracts birds and beneficial insects that complement Leanne’s passion for gardening. Leanne says building the pond was a kind of consolation prize for not having an ocean view or waterfront access. However, finding a property closer to the shoreline, she explains, would have meant making even bigger concessions when it came to building her home. It would have also meant missing out on becoming part of a new community on Salt Spring. Leanne’s property is one of six private strata lots that form the Fulford Creek Commons. Inspired in part by the


eco-village and co-housing movement, the Commons is a 33-acre strata built on principles of sustainability and shared knowledge. According to the project’s website, it is the kind of place where “small-scale organic agriculture, ecoforestry and low-impact home businesses are encouraged, and where neighbours share ideas and work cooperatively to support these objectives and solve problems as they arise.” As well as including six private, three-acre lots, the property comprises 14 acres of common land with ponds, trails and protected ecological areas, and an adjoining working organic farm with six acres of shared farm land. “Each of us has a vote, and the community is really interested in working together to make the project work and live up to the founding principles,” Leanne says. Prior to living on Salt Spring, Leanne had long been a promoter of food security and organic farming. At her first home in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood, she recalls uprooting the front yard to plant a food garden. Perhaps more commonplace these days, ditching the lawn was considered revolutionary in the late 1990s. Decades later, Fulford Creek Commons affords Leanne an opportunity to stay true to her ideals of community and sustainability without sacrificing her love of design and landscaping.

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Leanne says building the pond was a kind of consolation prize for not having an ocean view or waterfront access.

“I love the community spirit and the opportunity to walk the talk and do so in a way that recognizes that we live in a capitalist society, where people have investments that they want to protect,” she says. “This is the perfect opportunity to blend that private aspect with the collective spirit.” Requirements for living in the Commons include building a house that is as sustainable as possible. For Leanne, this meant placing her 2,000-square-foot, one-and-a-half storey home in a position that maximizes sun exposure to enable the use of 20 solar panels. Being tied into the energy grid means Leanne doesn’t have to bother with the intricacies and technicalities of a battery system. An insulated concrete foundation with a heat pump generates hot water floor heat, triple-paned windows keep things cool in summer but warm in winter, and walls incorporate R20 insulation plus a layer of R10 rigid foam underneath the home’s attractive wooden shakes, which have been sealed with a long-lasting, non-toxic stain. A valuable piece of advice Leanne likes to share with anyone considering an energyefficient home is that prospective homeowners should conduct energy modelling prior to the build. Whereas most people conduct energy assessments once their house is complete, she says, modelling ahead of time allows homeowners to anticipate the best systems for energy conservation. Leanne’s work as a social worker specializing in palliative care means she regularly comes face-to-face with grief and loss. It was important that her home be a sanctuary, she says: a place where relaxation, healing and reenergizing can occur. The main living space features a stone and arbutus fireplace inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, wooden flooring 22

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throughout and a calming, white pine tongue-and-groove ceiling. The decor combines comfortable furniture along with inspiring artwork and accessories. However, it’s only after sitting in the living room for about 20 minutes that I notice what’s really tying all these elegant features together and creating a sense of calm and peace. A wave-like curve in the ceiling runs through the kitchen, dining room and main living area. Leanne concedes that the idea occurred as an afterthought. “I kept an open concept but, to keep costs down and keep things environmentally friendly, I hadn’t designed anything fun. I tend to gravitate towards circles and curves so I thought we could maybe arc the entryway. When the project foreman suggested we arc the whole room, I honestly had to make sure he wasn’t joking around with me.” “I was so thrilled with the results,” she adds. “I love this house and can’t imagine leaving it.” P

Summer gardens are all about colour and we specialize in colour that lasts. Hydrangeas, perennials and ornamental grasses are at their peak and will give years of pleasure! The nursery is at its best in the summer. Come see for yourself, and be inspired.

RPM

MASONRY

RENOVATIONS | FIREPLACES LANDSCAPES | RETAINING WALLS RETOMARTI @ GMAIL.COM 250-882-8147 | WWW.RPMMASONRY.COM

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1370 Wain Road, N. Saanich, BC 250-656-0384

W W W. R u S S e l l N u R S e R y. C o m AUG/SEPT 2019 PEARL

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PEARL INSIDER [ fashion] fashion]

BELLA “

Beauty is always in bloom when believed.” WORDS + STYLING: SHAI THOMPSON PHOTOS: LIA CROWE

Black floral wrap dress ($121) by Salt Water Luxe from Moden; gold hoop earrings ($13) from House of Lily Koi.


Seamless black slip ($95) by Firma Energy Wear, sterling earrings ($58), black lace scarf ($48), sterling cuff ($128), all from House of Lily Koi.

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Black peasant top ($89) by Dunes and black hat ($75) by Echo from Barbara’s Boutique; black lace choker ($13), sterling earring ($38) and red and black linen scarf ($18), all from House of Lily Koi.

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Navy blue ruffle wrap dress ($139) by Soaked from Moden; gold hoop earrings ($13) House of Lily Koi.

Model: Sara Ponchet, thirdgeneration Saanich farmer. Makeup and hair: Jen Clark, in-house makeup artist for COSMEDICA, using glo.MINERALS makeup. Photographed on location at Sara’s grandparents’ farm, Le Coteau Farm, as well as her parents’ farm, Dan’s Farm, where she works, both in Saanichton. A huge thank you to Sara and both farms for hosting our team for the day and for all the delicious berries! AUG/SEPT 2019 PEARL

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PEARL INSIDER [ lifestyles]

A Walk on the Sea Side Strolling Sidney’s waterfront

W O R D S : H A N S T A M M E M A G I    P H O T O S : D O N D E N T O N

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S

itting on a bench in Sidney’s Tulista Park, I’m dazzled by the beauty around me. The Gulf Islands dot the horizon, presided over by the majestic, snow-capped Mount Baker in the distance. The sun is shining and the waves are sparkling. Here and there, glistening white sails scud along the water like silvery ghosts. My plan is to spend this glorious summer day on foot, strolling northward along the waterfront of Sidney. I’m excited to explore Sidney-by-the Sea, as it is known, and the magical place where land meets the ocean. A quick survey of Tulista Park leads me to Artsea Gallery with its array of paintings by local artists. My heart jumps as, nearby, youngsters on skateboards perform seemingly death-defying stunts on the rolling concrete of Sidney Skate Park.

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“This shoreline walk is the prettiest part of Sidney. I love how meticulously the path and adjacent gardens are maintained.” I calm my nerves by continuing my walk and gazing at the beautiful, tranquil Salish Sea. Beside the dock that services ferries to the US San Juan Islands, the first of many art sculptures arises before me. “The Keeper,” a massive piece of sandstone by artist Ron Crawford, represents strength as it leans into the wind that whips the shoreline during winter storms. This is the first of many works of art that grace the shoreline path of the Sidney Seaside Sculpture Walk. My leg muscles begin to loosen as I enjoy the f lat easy stroll north. I descend a short staircase from the walking path to the shoreline and wiggle my toes in the water, admiring the numerous driftwood logs that are as beautiful as the sculptures above. As I hunt for sea glass, shells and odd pieces of driftwood, I keep a sharp eye out for sea life. For a few moments, the baleful round eyes of a seal stare at me, and then it slips quietly under the water without a ripple. Back on the path, I pass several other strollers. The locals unfailingly exchange pleasantries, and all of their dogs are similarly friendly, their tails wagging furiously as I pet them. Fresh flowers have been placed in the hands of a fisherman sculpture, which marks the beginning of the fishing pier, a wooden structure that extends 30

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far into the water. Chatting with Rand, a retired local, I discover crabbing and fishing aren’t just reserved for deepsea fisherfolk. He explains that catching rock crab is easy, particularly if you start early in the morning. Pointing to a rope on the railing that marks a trap he has immersed below the waves, he says, “I always catch my limit of four a day, and they taste great, especially when soaked in butter.” I drool at the thought of it. The path curves around Glass Beach, a tiny cove lined with logs. Lawns grace the landward side of the path and the sculptures become more frequent. I stop to chat with Tony, another stroller, who says, “This shoreline walk is the prettiest part of Sidney. I love how meticulously the path and gardens are maintained.” The Beacon Wharf, an extension of Sidney’s main street, is next on my journey. The funky Pier Bistro at the end tempts me, as a friend has raved about the restaurant’s eggs Benedict served atop fresh crab cakes. The Fish Market also catches my attention — a blue building sitting on dark wooden pilings covered in molluscs. Fresh fish is delivered to the market daily, often direct from fishing boats. Inside, a man with a gaff is tossing lingcod from a large bin into smaller iced containers.

FOR A FEW MOMENTS, THE BALEFUL ROUND EYES OF A SEAL STARE AT ME, BEFORE IT QUIETLY SLIPS UNDER THE WATER WITHOUT A RIPPLE.

Beside the wharf sits Beacon Park with its small, covered stage and several more sculptures, including one of Jake James, a notorious pirate with a peg leg, a patch over one eye and a long telescope pointing out to sea. The statue makes me think of the prohibition era, when smugglers snuck alcohol across the nearby US border. Many locals, I learn, commemorate the town’s rum-running past at the Rumrunner Pub. At Sidney’s award-winning aquarium, the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, I get up close and personal with wolf eels, jellyfish, rockfish, a giant Pacific octopus and hundreds of other creatures. It’s fun watching schoolchildren peer into microscopes and tickle sea urchins in the touch pool. Afterwards, I enter Victoria Distillers, Canada’s only oceanfront distillery since, after all, sun-downer time is approaching. Touring the distillery, I discover it produces many quality spirits, including my favourite, Empress 1908 Gin. At the Port Sidney Marina, an immense flotilla of gleaming yachts and sailboats bob in the water, their reflections shimmering in the clear, mirror-like sea. A small group of kayakers paddles past. Near the northern end of the walk, a plaque describes how sail transformed to steam on the seven seas. This is one of a series of signs that constitute a self-guided historical walking tour, marking significant past events in the development of Sidney. (Map available from the Sidney Visitor Centre.) Watching the graceful boats in the marina, their forest of masts swaying gently in the breeze, and reflecting on the sights I’ve seen, I appreciate that Sidney has one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the world. P

NICHOLAS FAIRBANK Artistic Director

A Community Chamber Choir on the Saanich Peninsula

Sing with us!

Are you looking for a choir to join? • challenge yourself musically • meet new friends • perform a wide range of classical choral music For more information or to arrange an audition contact us at viachoralis@shaw.ca 250 • 656 • 2224

www.viachoralis.ca

F I N L AY S O N B O N E T. C A I N F O @ F I N L AY S O N B O N E T. C A

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PEARL INSIDER [ history]

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IT IS THE SCOTTS’ GENEROSITY TO THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH THEY LIVED THAT PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER THE MOST.

HEART & SOUL The Oldfield Orchard and Bakery Story WO R D S : K AT E S P E N C E R

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PORTRAIT: DON DENTON

hen Debbie Scott’s husband asked her if she wanted to buy Oldfield Orchard from his parents, her answer was a vehement, “No way!” She’d grown up on a dairy farm and her grandparents operated a berry farm on the neighbouring street. She’d wanted a different life and to make her point, she avoided visiting her in-laws for the longest time. Yet somehow, she knew her husband Derek would talk her into it — and he did. In 1986, the Scotts moved to the Saanich Peninsula farm with their three young sons. I still remember the warm August afternoon a couple of years ago when I sat in Oldfield Orchard’s outdoor patio bistro, listening to Debbie’s nostalgic stories about her life on the farm. “The beginning was a real struggle,” she recalled. The orchard was infected with anthracnose canker; the trees were all dying. With the expertise of a professional argologist and the local farming community, they undertook the arduous task of protecting the health of their trees as long as they could while diversifying their product line. Derek kept his regular job for the first five years to help make ends meet and spent all of his off hours working on the farm. Gradually the rolling landscape transformed from an orchard into a vibrant, food-safe berry farm. Just as the farm evolved, so did Debbie’s roadside market. She moved from selling apples in their garage to selling a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables from June to October in a standalone building along Oldfield Road. She personally trained her staff on how to sort all the daily produce brought in from the fields, one berry at a time. Her motto was simple: “If it isn’t A+, don’t put it out.” Eventually, she expanded her product line to baked goods using recipes handed down to her by her mother,


grandmother and great-grandmother. Fruit pies were baked twice a day and always sold out by sunset. Ultimately, however, I believe it is the Scotts’ generosity to the community in which they lived that people will remember the most. It began the summer after they bought the place. Debbie and Derek hosted an event called Taste of the Islands, where farmers from all over Southern Vancouver Island and adjoining islands came to Oldfield Orchard to set up booths among the apple trees, hand out samples and sell their goods. The Scotts provided the amenities and a concession stand. They hosted this event for three years, but found it taxing to organize, particularly as summers were also their busiest season. So in October of 1990 they simply opened up access to their fields and allowed people to come and pick their own pumpkins. This was long before “u-pick” became popular. They set up a little stand where they sold hot and cold hard-pressed apple juice. “So many people came out for it and so next year we expanded it,” Debbie recalled. That was the start of the annual Oldfield Orchard Octoberfest, which continued to run for over 20 years. The Boy Scouts cut the corn maze and manned it. 4H clubs took over their barn with animals and various displays. Sea Cadets set up and operated the haunted house, while Saanich Historical Artifacts brought old vehicles and equipment to showcase around the place. They had hay rides and games for the kids and, of course, plenty of pumpkins for the picking and loads of fresh fruits and vegetables alongside homemade pies and jams for sale. According to Debbie, it was a community effort to put this event together and make it a success. And a large portion of the proceeds were donated to local charitable organizations. One of Debbie’s favourite times was the year they started their “Streets to Field” program. It’s something she and Derek did from their hearts, and it’s a story Debbie loves to tell. “Derek was driving into Victoria one afternoon, delivering some wholesale goods somewhere and there was this young man standing on the side of the road with a sign stating that he needed money for food. So Derek pulled over in front of a honking bus, and told the kid to get in. ‘Where am I going?’ He asked. And Derek told him, ‘You’re coming to my farm, you’re going to work, I’m going to pay you and you’re gonna buy your own damn food.’ The kid got into the truck and, once he was at the farm, asked if his friend could come. Word got out and we ended up with 10 homeless youths in total the first year.”

These kids were all up at dawn seven days a week and after a full day of working outdoors, they crashed early, exhausted. On Sundays, the girls left the fields so they could help Debbie prepare a “family” dinner while the boys did all the cleanup. Every payday the whole group would go out to dinner somewhere. “It was, I think, the funnest year we ever had,” smiled Debbie. One of the boys stayed to work on the farm for four years. Three of the kids ended up off the streets permanently. Others were off for long periods of time, with some even returning to their homes for a spell. Regardless of the outcome, Debbie and Derek made a difference in the lives of each and every one of those kids. After thirty-one years of farming, the Scotts sold the farm and Debbie closed her road-side market. Today they are settled comfortably in Sidney. They still love taking golf holidays and when I recently asked Debbie what they are up to now, she said, “We’re busy enjoying life.” The current owners of Oldfield Orchard are Saanich Peninsula farmers, who have 10 years of organic farming experience and are dedicated to land stewardship. The property continues to be farmed free of pesticides and herbicides and its current list of active crops include Russian garlic, blueberries and gourds. Vina Moldoveanu, one of the owners, says that some of their future plans entail becoming more active in the community and promoting agritourism. P

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FOOTLOOSE

TRAVEL LOG

VARANASI: Sacred. Ancient. Exotic.

WO R D S + P H O T O S : H A N S TA M M E M AG I

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cruise vacations & SO MUCH MORE...

“S

omething shocking is coming around the corner,” warned my guide. His caution, however, couldn’t prepare me for the sight. Through the darkening light and drifting smoke, I could see more than a dozen blazing funeral pyres, each surrounded by a group of people. The scene on the ghat steps beside the broad Ganges River was chaotic with huge piles of wood, roaring flames, throngs of people, cows, dogs and even a goat. Gondola-style boats and lit candles floated in the river’s tepid current. Cremation smoke enveloped me. It was a bizarre and mystical scene in the magical dusk light. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of exploring vast, history-soaked India, I had started my travels in Delhi a few days earlier, and what a shock! Twenty million people in one mega-city, all living in the world’s worst smog. I saw people of every stripe and religion crammed together in the city, where the traffic blared and roared incessantly. Yet, there was a wonderful feeling of heritage, spirituality, culture and history. Hindus, Mughals, Persians, Greeks and the British have battled for this land, and in the process built amazing palaces, forts and monuments that are wonderfully preserved. After indulging in two days of the sensory overload that is Delhi, I travelled east to Varanasi. A guide led me into the city where we were immediately immersed in enormous, jostling crowds. Streets with crumbling sidewalks, or no sidewalks at all, were lined with stores and stalls. Cows wandered nonchalantly among the mayhem. We followed a narrow laneway that was like a maze, lined by small, raised stalls where vendors sat crosslegged sipping chai tea from small cups. Everything imaginable was for sale, from incense sticks and embroidered cloth to silver and gold jewellery. Monkeys watched from above. People hunched over fires lit in cans. Smoke pervaded the air. Lights flickered in the gloomy corners. And, of course, there was always the crush of people.

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A Pet Care Centre

with the best spa in town

Comfortable, clean & healthy fresh air environment Quality, nutritious foods • Exercise yards up to one quarter acre Feline “Cuddle Time” • K-9 Playschool course Recommended by Veterinarians • Full grooming services

A Full Service Pet Care Facility 250.652.2301 • puppylove.ca • e: info@puppylove.ca 2918 Lamont Road, Saanichton Just minutes from Victoria Airport and BC Ferries Terminal

Knowledge is power.

Continuing

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As we approached the Ganges River, which dominates Varanasi, the area became an archaeologist’s delight. Centuries ago, Varanasi was wealthy and the rich built grand mansions and temples. Now it is run down and ill-maintained, but soaked in history. Jostling through the throng, my guide explained that Varanasi — pinned between two rivers — is the most densely populated city in India. It is also the holiest city in the country, visited by multitudes of pilgrims. Hindus strive to visit the city at least once in their lifetimes. And Varanasi attracts death. The elderly and sick arrive in droves so they can die here, be cremated and have their ashes spread in the Ganges. Several times, we saw a body enshrouded in gold-trimmed cloth being carried by four men through the chaotic traffic, heading for one of the cremation sites along the Ganges. Suddenly, as we toured the area, we witnessed the ongoing conflict between Pakistan and India. We passed a squad of soldiers, wearing camouflage gear and guarding a controversial area that had both a mosque and a Hindu temple in it — and the site of a recent terrorist bombing. “Put your camera away,” whispered the guide. Then we came upon the ghat with the funeral pyres. Eventually, after taking in this magical sight, we moved on. The crowds thickened and we passed gurus, sadhus, ascetics and other holy men who have renounced the worldly life. Immersed in every kind of humanity, we watched the nightly Ganga Aarti, an important Hindu ceremony, which is primarily attended by pilgrims. Seven priests in yellow robes clapped, sang, rang bells and blew conch horns amid billowing clouds of incense. A striking contrast to the Christian ceremonies I’ve seen! The next morning we set out on a sunrise cruise on the Ganges. The western shore of the river, lined with ghats, temples and great houses, was bathed in a golden light. Everything spoke of a glorious past. And in fact, Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. More than a century ago, Mark Twain referred to the city as “older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” The golden sun slowly rose, its reflection fiery in the still water, silhouetting boats like a fairy tale. Everything looked majestic in the pinkish glow. Later, I sat on the steps of a ghat, eating a flaky, spicy samosa, gazing at old palatial houses and watching people bathing in the waters below. What an exciting country! It felt like I had fallen down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole. P

E D U C AT I O N FA L L 2 0 1 9

Continuing Education & Contract Training

camosun.ca/ce

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250-657-2000 | elizabethmaymp.ca 9711 4th St., Sidney BC V8L 2Y8


PAWS ON

THE PENINSULA

PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON

Seen here, clockwise from top left, are: Mabel, a 6-year-old Border Collie; Hazel, a 3-year-old mixed Chihuahua/ Yorkshire Terrier; George, a 15-year-old Cairns Terrier; Zia, an 8-year-old Sheltie; Scout, a 2-year-old Blue Heeler rescue dog; and Chili, a 1-year-old Irish Terrier.

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PEARL

SAANICH PENINSULA HOSPITAL & HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION

MEET OUR ADVERTISERS

BRENTWOOD BAY PHARMASAVE

Serving the community of Brentwood Bay for more than 25 years, Joe & Colin are proud to be your neighbourhood pharmacist. Joe enjoys sailing around the islands, Colin enjoys cheering for his beloved Canucks. See ad on page 3.

DEEP COVE MARKET

Rosemary Scott, owner of the Deep Cove Market brings her passion for food and shopping to a unique little destination in the country. See ad on page 13.

It’s our hospital. And thanks to our donors, we have been raising funds to keep our hospital modern and efficient for over 30 years. See ad on page 7.

LILABERRY HOME DÉCOR AND FASHION

Owner, Chris Stephen invites you into her welcoming and fragrant boutique. A pretty plethora of unique finds that are a pleasure to give and to receive. Come and indulge all your senses! See ad on page 9.

PUPPY LOVE PET CARE

SAANICH PENINSULA LIONS FOOD BANK

The Sidney Lions Food Bank is an emergency food service and we are here to help you and your family in a time of need. See ad on page 12. From: karla@readmedia.ca Date: October 13, 2011 12:42:03 PM PDT To: "Sagers" <store@sagers.ca> Subject: H&L Winter 2011 ad proof for approval Please see attached proof as discussed with Bob. Thanks! :) Karla

SAGER’S HOME LIVING

Luxury is easy to find when you know where to look, established in 1956, with twelve unique showrooms. Traditional, transitional, and modern furniture styles, with eclectic accents. See ad on page 5.

Puppy Love Pet Care Centre and The Cat’s Meow is a full service animal care facility designed and managed out of a genuine love of animals. Call 250-652-2301 or go to www.puppylove.ca to learn more about our boarding & grooming services. See ad on page 36.

Luxury is easy to find when you know where to look

ELIZABETH MAY

Elizabeth May is the Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands. She was first elected in 2011, and re-elected in 2015. She is also an environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer, and leader of the Green Party of Canada. See ad on page 36.

RODCO Interiors has been serving Victoria BC for over 25 years. A family business owned & operated by Roger and his son Fielding Comartin. Residential, Commercial, Hospitality and Commercial, we do it all! See ad on page 6.

EXPEDIA CRUISESHIPCENTERS

ROYAL OAK BURIAL PARK

Elaine Kirwin and her team at Expedia CruiseShipCenters Sidney, have been selling dream vacations to the residents of the Peninsula since 1997. See ad on page 35.

is the only not-for-profit, community-owned burial park and cremation memorial facility in the Victoria, BC region. This is a unique point of difference for families and individuals planning for the future or coping with the recent loss of a loved one. See ad on page 3.

FINLAYSON BONET

RPM MASONRY

Finlayson Bonet Architecture is a firm with a longstanding reputation of providing quality comprehensive architectural services in the greater Victoria area and across Canada for over 30 years. See ad on page 31.

FISH ON FIFTH

RPM Masonry was founded in 1988 by Reto Marti. Restoration of stonework, construction of new masonry projects, creation of outdoor living spaces, or building of Rumford fireplaces. We are available to discuss your projects and offer help and advice in all aspects of the use of natural stone. See ad on page 23.

RUSSELL NURSERY

Casual and friendly as every good fish ‘n chip shop should be! Great staff serving excellent fish for 20 years. Readers Choice Award for Favourite Seafood. See ad on page 21.

Russell Nursery has been providing great plants and good advice to local gardeners for almost 25 years. We love plants and it shows!

GREENHAWK EQUESTRIAN SPORT

SALVADOR DAVIS

5000 square feet filled with horse equipment, pet supplies, fabulous apparel and footwear. Beautiful new pet-grooming salon to take care of all your four-legged family members! See ad on page 12.

Salvador Davis & Co. has helped clients with real estate conveyancing and estate planning. The office has continued to grow, however, what has remained constant is the desire to help our clients. At Salvador Davis & Co., we protect our clients’ interests as if they were our own. See ad on page 11.

LANDMARK DENTAL

SAANICH FAIR

Dr. Donald Neal has been practicing in Sidney for over 25 years and together with his son, Dr. Trevor Neal, they provide personalized dental care at the Landmark Dental Centre. See ad on page 19.

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RODCO DRAPERIES & INTERIORS

PEARL AUG/SEPT 2019

See ad on page 23.

Throughout the year the Saanich Fairgrounds is host to many public events such as; farmers markets, dog shows, heavy and light horse shows, craft fairs and of course the Annual Saanich Fair! See ad on page 2.

For the way you live

1802 Government 250-386-3841 1802 GovernmentStreet Street 250-386-3841 Monday-Saturday SundayNOON NOON Monday-Saturday9:30-5:30 9:30-5:30 Sunday to 5to 5

sagers.ca www.sagers.ca

SIMPLY CREMATIONS

Family owned and operated in Sidney since 2008. Licensed funeral director Leslie Duncan keeps it simple in your time of need. See ad on page 6.

SKYVIEW INDUSTRIES

Proudly serving Greater Victoria and the Gulf Islands for over 30 years. Spa sales, supplies & full service. Buy Canadian, and get the best, for less! See ad on page 17.

VIOLA VANDERUYT

For over 30 years we have been helping women achieve peace of mind about their financial future. If you are looking for a second opinion, or have questions, call us for coffee and a chat. See ad on page 11.

VIA CHORALIS

Is a mixed-voice community chamber choir with a passion for singing, located on the Saanich Peninsula. From September to April each year we rehearse and perform a broad repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary, including major works with orchestra. See ad on page 31.

VICTORIA SADDLERY LTD. Established in 2002, Victoria Saddlery is an independently owned English tack shop serving the Victoria and the Vancouver Island area with top quality products for horse and rider. See ad on page 40.

W&J WILSON W&J Wilson the oldest family owned clothing store in Canada est. 1862! Now run by the sixth generation Scott Thompson. See ad on page 15.



Elevate Your Ride

VANCOUVER ISLAND’S PREMIER TACK SHOP 2200 Keating Cross Road Saanichton | 250-544-4942