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WINTER 2016/2017

ISL AND LIFE AT ITS FINEST

top of the world

Spectacular views and flawless interiors in hilltop home

decadent desserts Pie in the sky and out of this world

la dolce vita

Beautiful fashion perfect for the sweet life


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661 McCallum Road, Millstream Village 250.475.2233

1711 Bowen Road 250.753.6361


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FEATURES

On the cover Interior of Hot Properties feature home. Photo by Don Denton

28 TOP OF THE WORLD

62 DECADENT DESSERTS

Spectacular views and a

flawless interior in hilltop

this world

home

By Chef Heidi Fink

By Chelsea Forman

42 LITTLE LUXURIES

Boulevard’s holiday gift guide

By Lia Crowe

and Susan Lundy

48 LA DOLCE VITA

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Pie in the sky and out of

Romantic fashion perfect

for the sweet life

By Lia Crowe

76 FOR GOOD HEALTH

Local experts refect on

wellness in 2017

By Pamela Durkin


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CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 8 OUR CONTRIBUTORS

20 INSPIRED DESIGN

82 TRAVEL NEAR

Elements of style

14 EDITOR’S LETTER

By Lia Crowe

Vernon

Seasonal musings

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INSPIRED STYLE

Deanne Orrell

By Lia Crowe

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INSPIRED CHEFS

Dean Andrichuk

Firehouse Grill

By Susan Lundy

22 INSPIRED PEOPLE

Sparkling Wellness By Susan Lundy

Robert Held

88 FRONT ROW

By Angela Cowan

What’s on this month

By Sherry Conly

36 TALKING WITH TESS

Business sense:

Richard DeLuca

By Tess van Straaten

68 TRAVEL FAR

Queen of the castle

in Germany

By Danica Lundy

94 SECRETS AND LIVES

Russell Tibbles

By Tess van Straaten

98 OUTTAKE

By Adam Nagasaki

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OUR CONTRIBUTORS

SHERRY CONLY

ANGELA COWAN

LIA CROWE

WRITER: FRONT ROW

WRITER: INSPIRED PEOPLE

PHOTO STYLIST: FOR GOOD HEALTH

PAGE 88

PAGE 22 PAGE 76

“Christmas always invokes a sense of nostalgia, and this winter’s event lineup captures that perfectly. From Ken Lavigne’s Christmas Road Show and Cari Burdett’s multicultural Winter Solstice concert, to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Nutcracker (with a special twist), there’s merriment and a little bit of holiday magic in every corner.” Born and raised in Nanaimo, Sherry graduated from Vancouver Island University with a degree in writing and a focus on journalism.

“It was fascinating to peek behind the curtain and see how Bob Held crafts his exquisite glass art. From the vibrant California poppy pieces to the new Giverny designs, every piece is the product of decades of experience, and they’re all just gorgeous.” Angela is an award-winning journalist, published poet, freelance writer and editor who grew up in Nanaimo and honed her writing skills in Vancouver Island University’s notable creative writing program.

DON DENTON

“’It’s safe, really! It’s hard to tip a canoe,’ I shouted to my partner in crime, photographer Don Denton, over the sound of waves crashing on the beach. His reply was a skeptical look and he made no move towards where I was preparing to launch said canoe off Gonzales Beach. Eventually he stepped into the canoe because sometimes, for the right photo (Simon Whitfield, In Good Health), it’s worth a little danger.” Lia is a stylist, photographer and writer.

ALBERTO AND MIA DOMINGUEZ

BOULEVARD STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: INSPIRED CHEFS

PHOTOGRAPHERS: TOP OF THE WORLD PAGE 28

PAGE 18 “Top chefs are, for the most part, a fairly conservative crew. Chef Dean Andrichuk may be a top chef but he’s a character and certainly not conservative. From his big sideburns and red chef jacket to his flaming dishes in the kitchen Andrichuk knows how to make a photoshoot an event.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and a Royal wedding.

“The joy to photograph a beautiful home in ideal lighting conditions, is the most rewarding feeling in the world. The inspiration flows as the home starts revealing its own story through the lens. Our photo shoot at the hilltop residence was simply delightful!” Alberto and Mia Dominguez are the founders of Artez Photography Corporation. Their work appears regularly in high end publications locally and internationally.

GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto ASSOCIATE GROUP Oliver Sommer PUBLISHER ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Mario Gedicke

250.891.5627 EDITOR Susan Lundy

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe

CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411 CONTRIBUTING Sherry Conly, Angela Cowan, WRITERS Lia Crowe, Pamela Durkin,

ADVERTISE Boulevard Magazine is Vancouver Island’s leading lifestyle magazine, celebrating 26 years of publishing on the Island. To advertise or to learn more about advertising opportunities please send us an email at info@blvdmag.ca Mailing Address: 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1E4 Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 info@blvdmag.ca blvdmag.ca

Heidi Fink, Chelsea Forman, Danica Lundy, DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Tess van Straaten Claudia Gross Victoria Boulevard ® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe, Don Denton, of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions PHOTOGRAPHERS Alberto and Mia Dominquez expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any Cathie Ferguson Andrea Rosato-Taylor responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519. Pat Brindle

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan

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OUR CONTRIBUTORS

PAMELA DURKIN

CATHIE FERGUSON

WRITER: FOR GOOD HEALTH

PHOTOGRAPHER: DECADENT DESSERTS

PAGE 76

PAGE 62

“Creating and tweaking a new blueprint for enhanced wellness can be a daunting task. It was refreshing and insightful to hear the unique paths my interview subjects plan to follow to make 2017 their healthiest, most balanced year yet.” Pamela is a freelance health writer and nutritional consultant whose work has appeared in Boulevard, Eat, Reader’s Digest, Alive, Spa Business and more.

WRITER: DECADENT DESSERTS PAGE 62

“Pies are the dessert closest to my heart. They remind me both of cooking with my mother and of forging my own path as a cook and a chef. Writing these recipes, with their combination of basic pastry steps and glamorous ingredients, managed to fill me with nostalgia and excitement at the same time.” Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer, and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.

CHELSEA FORMAN

DANICA LUNDY

TESS VAN STRAATEN

WRITER: TOP OF THE WORLD

WRITER: QUEEN OF THE CASTLE

WRITER: BUSINESS SENSE

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“Touring this edition’s Hot Property, I was struck by the home’s flawless interior design, which pairs impeccably with oversized windows showcasing a dazzling view spanning from Sechelt to Vancouver. With a strategically designed walkout, the house is uniquely positioned on the property with the front of the home facing the back of the lot.“ Chelsea is a writer of all topics lifestyle.

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“You might assume that the best part of shooting food is the part when we devour it afterwards... and that’s a correct assumption! Heidi’s such an amazing chef and I think her chocolate pecan pie is one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever tasted!” Cathie is a Victoria based commercial and lifestyle photographer.

HEIDI FINK

“Last summer I had the opportunity to witness Germany from several vantage points; first as an artist in residence at a repurposed cotton mill in Leipzig, and then from the highest window of a luxurious castle. It was a perfect juxtaposition for an avid observer of life.” A former island resident, Danica now lives in New York as she works on her Masters of Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art.

“When I first spoke to Richard DeLuca about doing an interview, he joked that he wasn’t sure he’d have anything interesting to say. But I told him everyone has a story. And boy did Richard have a story! As an 18-year-old junior hockey player, he took college courses and studied on the long bus rides and he hasn’t looked back — never stopping following his dreams.” Tess is an award-winning journalist and television personality who has had the privilege of interviewing people for close to two decades.


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EDITOR’S LETTER

Shopping, dropping and other seasonal musings BY SUSAN LUNDY

to start. Check out Chef Heidi Fink’s decadent delights, complete with pastrymaking instructions certain to soothe the angst of pastry-phobes everywhere. And while we’re on the subject of food, Chef Dean Andrichuk of Firehouse Grill has a spirited idea for some seasonal sipping. Looking for something to wear? Stylist Lia Crowe and photographer Cathie Ferguson take readers to the beautiful Villa Eyrie Resort, where they captured rich holiday fashion amid a lavish backdrop. Inspired table settings offer fodder for the holiday “buy” list; Front Row has some ideas for cultural escape, and speaking of escapism — our Travel Far section takes readers to an ultra luxurious castle in Germany. Closer to home, Sparkling Hill near Vernon offers wellness packages that might just be the perfect spot to recover from — or avoid — holiday indulgence. Also on the journey to better health, writer Pamela Durkin interviews some of the mid-island’s healthiest citizens to see what their plans are for a robust 2017. Deanne Orrell reveals the secrets behind her inspired style; the Comox Valley’s Russell Tibbles shares his hockey past with Tess van Straaten, who also chats with entrepreneur Richard DeLuca; and glass artist Robert Held offers a glimpse into his stunningly beautiful art medium. And topping it all off, writer Chelsea Forman takes readers on a tour of the stunning hilltop home of Brian and Lisa Birnie. We wish our readers all the joy of the season and a wondrous journey into the next year. Our hope is that you find peace and love and health. And don’t worry about me. I’ll just be wandering around town, package-less, from store to store, trying to shop while squinting at all the merchandise because I’m too embarrassed to wear my old glasses. PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

H

ERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF ME SHOPPING: It’s time for new eyewear and I’d like something that expresses my personality. Something wild and crazy and “out there.” (Ha, this is so NOT my personality). Maybe some red frames. At the very minimum, I want large frames that mark a defiant departure from my current mousey, wear-only-in-the-dark glasses. So I wander into a store and start perching frames upon my nose. In the back of my mind, I’m envisioning all those beautiful, laughing bespectacled models I see in commercials. They look so good in glasses. And so happy! (Then — yikes! — I realize I’m picturing the sashay with which my husband’s ex-wife donned big, loud glasses. Really?) But I carry on with my mission. Hmmm. Bold frames don’t actually suit me. I move towards the wire frame section and then, better, the frameless glasses. Eventually, I realize I’m not beaming like those models; I don’t like wearing glasses. I even consider that perhaps the ex-wife is an ex BECAUSE of her annoyingly loud eyewear. I exit the store without buying anything, deciding to stick with contact lenses. I’m not a shopper. Inevitably, once I decide what I want to buy, find my way into a store and even identify something I like — I immediately fret that I’ll find something better, less expensive, more appropriate somewhere else. I get purchasing paralysis. On the other hand, my husband is a shopping machine. Once, when we first started dating, I accompanied him into a shoe store, made myself comfortable on a chair and, with a silent sigh, hunkered down for the wait. He marched over to a shelf, picked up a pair of shoes, tried on his size and, before I could say, “but what about …,” he was at the counter and sauntering out the door, shiny bag in hand. It was dazzling to behold (even without my glasses). As Christmas approaches, so does the shopping season and with it, the frightening action “shop-til-you-drop.” Luckily for Boulevard readers, we make holiday shopping a little easier, working with online fashion guru Elise Purdon (who loves shopping) to offer up some suggestions in our gift guide, but also via the tempting wares displayed by our advertisers. For those of you shopping machines out there — perhaps you’ve already shopped-til-you-dropped. And to get you off the floor, we have other holiday ideas in play. Desserts might be an excellent place

AS CHRISTMAS APPROACHES, SO DOES THE SHOPPING SEASON AND WITH IT, THE FRIGHTENING ACTION “SHOP-TIL-YOU-DROP.”

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Boulevard editor Susan Lundy is a former journalist and twotime recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award. Her awardwinning stories have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and she is also the author of Heritage Apples: A New Sensation (Touchwood Editions, 2013).


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inspiredSTYLE BY LIA CROWE WITH DEANNE ORRELL HAIRSTYLIST, OWNER OF SALON D, YOGA TEACHER, PASSIONATE TRAIL RUNNER AND DYNAMITE REDHEAD

“GOOD STYLE IS NOT ABOUT BRANDS BUT ABOUT HOW SOMEONE WEARS IT.”

FASHION UNIFORM: Varies

from yoga clothes to skinny pants and flowy top. Lots of black and grey. ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIECE:

Morrison trousers from Australia. CURRENTLY COVETING: I’m not

one to covet. I’m not concerned about brands — more how to wear things.

LIFE

FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT: La Stella Trattoria. FAVOURITE COCKTAIL/WINE: Okanagan reds, La Frenz Cabernet Sauvignon. FLOWER: Orchids. FAVOURITE CITY TO VISIT: Perth, Australia. It’s where I’m from. FAVOURITE HOTEL: Oswego Hotel in Victoria. FAVOURITE APP: Instagram. I have three accounts! One personal, one for Salon D and my cat has one too! FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD: Cinque Terre, Italy.

FAVOURITE PAIR OF SHOES: I need good

quality shoes to wear to work. European made are the best. FAVOURITE JEWELRY PIECE OR DESIGNER: My

husband is a goldsmith and he makes amazing stuff. His company is Alchemy Adornment. FASHION OBSESSION: Shoes

and handbags, I’m all about accessories!

STYLE INSPIRATIONS

STYLE ICON: Real life icon is my coworker Jennifer. Celebrity icon would probably by Emma Stone — I love redheads! FAVOURITE ARTIST: I love to support local artists; I have so much excellent local art in my house. FAVOURITE MUSICIAN: Every morning is a dance party to some sort of electronic music. ERA OF TIME THAT INSPIRES YOUR STYLE: I like the ‘20s and ‘30s, so much style! I love the hair, finger waves, flapper bobs and cute hair accessories.

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A

T THE AGE OF 39 — and 10 years into owning Salon D — Deanne (more commonly known as De) is facing the big 4-0 with the satisfaction of being right where she wants to be. “I’m now working less behind the chair and doing other things I love, like teaching and doing yoga, trail running with my husband and travelling when we can.” Originally from Perth, Australia, De has been in Nanaimo for 16 years. “Nanaimo is a pretty good place to live; there is a good sense of community here and the people are very loyal. The salon has a fun environment to work in, and our clients are really nice. We are pretty into fashion; we like to follow trends but, at the same time, my style is practical for this area because I also love climbing up a mountain and getting muddy.”

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inspiredCHEFS

DEAN ROMAN ANDRICHUK

CHEF, FIREHOUSE GRILL, NANAIMO TEXT BY SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOS BY DON DENTON


QUICK FACTS:

• Age: 43 • Born and raised in Calgary; moved to Nanaimo August 14, 2007 • Worked as prep cook/line cook at Hurleys in Calgary, where, since he had all of his apprenticeship hours, he was encouraged to take his Red Seal training. After only six months at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Dean received his red seal in 1997. • The Firehouse Grill was created and opened in 2007. Dean is a founding member and created the original menu. • Also worked at: Bookers BBQ Grill and Crab Shack. Dean was hired at Bookers as the executive chef, responsible for designing the kitchen and menu. This restaurant opened in 1998. Dean worked there until August 13, 2007.

Firehouse Grill’s Dean Andrichuk and his sushi creation that features salmon, roe and tamago tempura.

WHAT ARE YOU BEST KNOWN FOR AS A CHEF?

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO ITEM WHEN SAMPLING OTHER CHEFS’ FARE?

Thinking on the fly — fusion cooking. Fusion is huge ... I take Japanese, French, Ukrainian, you name it, throw it in a blender ... and what is that called? “Fusion Blender.” I enjoy making special menus for people and surprising them. Trying things that shouldn’t work, and making it work … fusion blender.

Anything beer inspired; braised short ribs for sure; tuna tataki!

WHAT ARE THE 10 OR SO MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS IN YOUR PANTRY? Garlic, garlic… garlic, salt and pepper, fresh fish, fresh veggies, butter, beer, red wine.

FAVOURITE DISH TO COOK AND EAT ON A WET, WINTERY DAY? Perogies, kielbasa and borscht … Shepherd’s pie and yes, I am Ukrainian.

HOBBIES? Teaching Ukrainian dancing, art projects with my children (Sophie and Ava). Giving noogies to friends’ children — it’s something I am good at and enjoy.

CAN YOU SHARE AN EASY, SEASONAL RECIPE FOR A QUICK BITE THIS WINTER? Grand Royale! Two ice cubes, three fingers of Crown Royal and two fingers of Grand Marnier — enjoy!

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inspiredDESIGN

“Carson Lantern� candle holder $84.97 // Muse & Merchant

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OF STYLE

Using stone, metals and crystals, celebrate this season with a modern table setting that highlights the unique beauty of raw elements. Hammered steel cutlery set $29 // Urban Barn

Omnia table with the ceramic top in the white marble by Calligaris $6,095 // Studio Y Design

Sophie Conran dinnerware $212.50 12pc set // Flying Fish

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o m ai own an nt N dow

Stone and brass candle holders by Tom Dixon $175 — $938 // Gabriel Ross

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...the joy of cooking, the art of living & the spirit of giving

Handcrafted, artisan napkin rings made in Leon Mexico. Wide selection of amethyst, rose quartz, pyrite or rock crystal 2 for $40 or $24 each // Thorn & Thistle Flowers

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inspiredPEOPLE

ROBERT HELD THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS BY ANGELA COWAN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

S

URROUNDED BY THE SWEET CHAR

of fruitwood and the shimmer of shelves teeming with intricate works of glass, one’s first few steps into Robert Held’s glass blowing studio reveal a marvel. Flower-strewn vases, delicate perfume bottles, encapsulated jellyfish — radiant colours swirl in glass sculptures so vibrant, you half expect their smooth surfaces to be warm. Pass through the wrought iron gate into the workshop itself, and a heavy wall of heat reaches out from a furnace housing 300 pounds of molten glass.

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Bowled shaping tools and thick, elbow-length mitts sit waiting for the next slate of orders. Held, who started his artistic career in painting and then ceramics, fell in love with glass more than 40 years ago when he attended a short glass blowing course in North Carolina. “I thought, this is so exciting, so physical; it’s so dangerous,” he says. “By the second or third day I knew this was something I could do. I knew I’d never go back to ceramics.” At the time, he was working as the youngest department head at the Sheridan College School of


Glassblower Robert Held in his mid-island studio.

Design — he was 24 — and inspired, he worked tirelessly to bring the first college-level hot glass program into Canada, succeeding in 1969. Held eventually left teaching and went on to open personal studios in Calgary, and later in Vancouver, where he ran one of the three biggest glass blowing studios in North America. His work has since been showcased across Europe, Japan and North America, both in exhibitions and private collections. One particularly spectacular piece, a glass bowl encasing 23-karat gold maple leaves and dichroic glass, currently sits in Her Majesty’s Royal Collection. 23


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But amid his success, hardships still cropped up. In 2008, he found himself in the middle of personal and professional upheaval, with a divorce and the economic crash to contend with. “The divorce was finalized in June, and by September the phones stopped ringing,” he remembers. With the dramatic drop in orders and a continuing annual rent increase from the city, Held managed to hang on for several more years, but eventually made the decision to close his doors. Fate wasn’t finished with his talents, however, and he was brought to the Island by love. He had met a woman who lived in Parksville (“A blond,” he laughs) and while on his weekend trips over to visit, he would always pass by the Quonset Hut on the main highway. “I would keep driving by this building, and I saw it was empty,” he says. “This building just kept calling to me, and I thought it would make a great studio.” “I didn’t want to just walk on the beach,” he adds. “I wanted to retire to something, not from something.”

And so, with a mere month of idle retirement behind him, Held set up shop again, indulging his passion on a smaller scale this time. A far cry from the 30 employees and six days a week he kept up in Vancouver, Held’s Parksville studio is yet a place of immense beauty and impressive productivity. His three full time glass blowers churn out a steady line of vases, lighting fixtures, sculptures and more. Held still designs everything, but his “semi-retirement” has allowed him to slow down his pace a little. Inspiration comes from architecture, sweeping natural vistas, the cherryred poppies of his native California, abstract expressionist art. One of the newest directions, the Giverny collection, pays homage to Monet’s gardens with lagoon blues and rotund lily pads — inspired by Held’s visit to Monet’s property in France. With decades of experience behind him, Held is certainly relaxed in the busy shop. “I’m happy,” he says. “For many years I was out on the floor

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every day. I’m still hands-on, but I don’t come in at 7 am and get home at 6 pm anymore. I can have an extra cup of coffee in the morning.” And after many years of being so supported by the arts community, he recently decided it was time to give back in a local way, and quickly found a way to do it. A fortuitous stop in Lincoln, Oregon while on holiday introduced him to that city’s annual Finders Keepers event, which sees thousands of glass floats hidden on local beaches in the winter months to encourage tourism in the off-season. “I thought, why not do something like that here?” he says. Held contacted all the glass blowers on Vancouver Island, and when that wasn’t enough, got the glass fusers and casters involved too. Tidal Treasures launched October 15, with dozens of “float fairies” surreptitiously taking handmade glass art pieces and hiding them above the high tide line on Parksville beach. And

another beach will be added every month. “The idea is to get people out in the wintertime and look at the beach. And if you find a piece of art, you get to keep it,” says Held. Each piece is dated and signed, “so if you don’t find it this year, you might find it next year.” And if the float you find has a red star on it, he adds, there’s a bonus. Take the piece to the Visitor’s Centre, and that red star nets you an extra prize. “Dinner at Lefty’s, or a night at Tigh-Na-Mara, that kind of thing,” says Held. “It’s a treasure hunt.” Back in the studio, one of Held’s glass blowers is putting the final touches on a lighting fixture before placing it carefully in an annealer — a sort of cooling oven — to settle overnight. Held watches with the air of a man satisfied with his life’s work. “It’ll be ready tomorrow morning,” he says of the fixture. “That’s the thing with glass. It’s like Christmas every morning.”

INSPIRATION COMES FROM ARCHITECTURE, SWEEPING NATURAL VISTAS, THE CHERRY-RED POPPIES OF HIS NATIVE CALIFORNIA, ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST ART.

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HOT PROPERTIES

Top of the

World

SPECTACULAR VIEWS COMPLEMENT FLAWLESS INTERIOR OF HILLTOP HOME BY CHELSEA FORMAN PHOTOS BY ARTEZ PHOTOGRAPHY

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I

WIND UP A TWISTING ROAD to the top of a hill overlooking the Strait of Georgia, arriving at the stunning home of Lisa and Brian Birnie. The waters of the Salish Sea sit calmly below, but the sea air is sharp and invigorating. Rounding the long driveway, I see that a beautiful natural-rock wall, topped with old trees and the lush greenery of untouchable Crown forest reserve, engulfs the front of the house. As Brian and Lisa greet me at the front door, I glimpse an impressive great room with sailing, 16-foot ceilings off the entranceway — its large windows showcasing the spectacular view from the back of the house. Jazz murmurs away in the background and the air smells like Dior perfume. In my first conversation with Lisa, she said the house had been painted with 11 shades of grey — and, amused, I think the lovely aesthetic here is such that could indeed have its own saucy interior design book (called 11 Shades of Grey, of course). To the left of the main entrance emerges a creatively boxedout dining room. The dark wood floors seen throughout the rest of the open-concept main floor transition into a slate-inspired tile in this space. The dining room offers a view of the rock at the front of the home and through to the ocean out the back. “It’s a struggle at times as to whether the ocean view is nicer

than the rock view,” Brian says, smiling. Brian and Lisa recently moved to Nanaimo from Calgary. Their 3,770-square-foot house, custom built by Alair Homes, was designed as a retirement home for the couple, featuring predominantly main floor living. That being said, the two haven’t quite retired yet and therefore had a luxurious, shared office designed into the plan. The home bursts with an abundance of structural details, art and furniture, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Everything ties together flawlessly. Builder Stu Hopewell was quick to give Lisa praise, noting, “Lisa did all of the interior decorating. The pieces of art, the colours — it all pulls the house together amazingly. Her taste and skill made the house look like it does.” As we wander through the house, Lisa tells me a bit about the interior design process. “I can’t take all of the credit,” she says. “Once the floorplans were complete, I spent months researching décor and design options for preferences and trends. As we were in Calgary for much of the build, we hired a local designer, Kylie Mawdsley, who assisted with things like material selections and placements. My sister provided many great ideas and spent numerous hours shopping online.”

“THE STRUGGLE WHEN BUILDING A CUSTOM HOME IS PULLING OUT THE VISION IN THE CLIENT’S HEAD AND PUTTING IT ON PAPER.”

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We make our way into the master bedroom and as we look out the window, Brian says, “The view is always changing. It’s a wonderful continuous movie of things going on.” The master bedroom has the same dark wood floors pulled through from the main living area. “The grey was such a nice palette and the dark floors warm it up at the same time,” Lisa says. I notice something sparkling above my head and Brian confirms what I suspect: the base of the ceiling fan is adorned with crystals. “Our new home is quite different than our last one; more contemporary and a bit larger, with high ceilings and beautiful views, [so] we purchased some new furnishings to better complement the home. But I also wanted to incorporate some of our old, well-built wood furnishings, which have now been re-purposed and blend in beautifully in their new surroundings,” Lisa explains, pointing out the bedside tables. Originally a dark cherrywood colour, they now gleam a magnificent shade of silver. The spa-like master bathroom has a gorgeous soaker tub, complete with chandelier and large window framing the view like a painting. Equally alluring is the walk-through shower with rain head. The walk-in closet is tucked modestly behind a white barn door and is complete with the laundry room at the back of it. It has the same marbled, white, heated porcelain tile floor as

the luxurious master bathroom. Back out in the great room, I take a minute to admire the fireplace, which has enormous oversized square tiles, and climbs all 16 feet to the ceiling. “It’s my Vegas fireplace. It reminds me of all the opulence there,” Brian explains. The fireplace itself is long and sleek, with small crystals that ignite into embers when Brian turns it on from the house’s Control 4 full home automation system. Attached to the great room is the chef’s kitchen. “The island is 10 feet long. We’ll pour a bottle of wine and watch Brian cook,” Lisa says. The kitchen boasts ample, clean white cabinetry that is juxtaposed by dark marble counters, black hanging lights and Lisa and Brian’s re-purposed dark kitchen table with black chairs. Leaving the kitchen, I catch sight of indigo-coloured light coming from the hallway that leads to the butler pantry. It’s glowing from under the sink in the main floor powder room, and Lisa stops to show me the room, which also has spectacular bronze and silver wallpaper. “That bathroom has a real club lounge effect,” Brian laughs. As we descend to the lower floor, Lisa begins talking about one of the home’s most distinct features. “We had this space under the stairs, which was originally going to be a storage room. We opened the staircase with glass,

“WE ENGULFED OURSELVES IN THE PROCESS, WHICH IS A BIG PART OF WHY THE HOME IS WHAT IT IS TO US TODAY.”

32


PHOTO BY DON DENTON

“THE VIEW IS ALWAYS CHANGING. IT’S A WONDERFUL CONTINUOUS MOVIE OF THINGS GOING ON.”

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keeping it exposed, and it’s turned into a really nice use of the space.” The area has been transformed into a charming wine room, illuminated with pot lights and a tiny chandelier. Lisa and Brian designed the downstairs for guest stays. There are two guestrooms, each with en suite bathrooms, plus a gym, movie room and bar. Off the movie room sits a patio with beautiful, low maintenance landscaping, and plenty of seating for sipping wine and basking in the glory of the view. Back upstairs we go onto the balcony that spans the length of the house. The way the home is positioned on the lot is unique and, as Brian explains, this was done for a greater purpose then utilizing the view. “This lot really needed to have a modern and contemporary walkout home on it,” Brian says. “The home needed to be turned around so that the front was the back and the back was the front. We needed to use the slope of the land.” From the moment Brian and Lisa saw the lot, they had a specific vision for the house. “The struggle when building a custom home is pulling out the vision in the clients’ heads and putting it on paper. We worked hard with them finalizing the drawings. The design is unique for the lot. We adjusted the footprint of the home around the natural rock,” builder Stu Hopewell explains. Brian and Lisa were deeply involved in the build, making frequent trips out from Calgary during the two-year-plus period. “We engulfed ourselves in the process, which is a big part of why the home is what it is to us today,” Brian says.

Gazing out at the view, Brian points out downtown Vancouver. I can see the city line with my bare eye, but he hands me a pair of binoculars and the buildings are given life. “At dusk the city lights start to pop up. On a clear evening we get a beautiful line of all the communities from Sechelt to Vancouver lighting up,” Brian says. With a new community and a new home, the Birnies appear to be “doing” the West Coast life well, taking in every moment of its splendour just by waking up and looking out the window. “Coming from the Prairies, this is pretty special,” Lisa says with a smile, looking over the balcony. I was born and raised on Vancouver Island, and yet standing in that spot, I think special is just about the perfect word for it.

SUPPLIERS LIST:

Painting: Van Berg Interiors Painting Ltd. Builder: Main Frame Construction Inc. Cabinetry: Mid Isle Cabinets Flooring: Finishing Store (material), Wiltsey Contracting (install) Flooring: City Tile Tile installation: Versa Tile Installations Plumbing Fixtures: Ensuite Lighting: Illuminations lighting Fireplace: Pioneer Fireplace Glass: Crystal Pacific Bevelling Ltd.

2 Locations to Serve You 104 · 191 Jensen Avenue East in Parksville 2 · 4180 Island Highway North in Nanaimo 3392 Norwell Drive, Nanaimo 250 585 1648 34


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BUSINESS SENSE HOW HOCKEY AND A PASSION FOR BUSINESS HELPED LAUNCH A CAREER BY TESS VAN STRAATEN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

36


Richard DeLuca at his Comox offices, part of which are under construction.

37


Richard DeLuca at his Comox offices.

DEFINING SOCIAL

Maple Bay by EJ Hughes

SOCIALHOUSE /sōSHəl/ /hous/

E nglish noun

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C

OMOX ENTREPRENEUR RICHARD DELUCA ALWAYS KNEW he wanted to have his own business. “I majored in entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria in the business program and I wanted to create my own business but I didn’t know what that would be,” says DeLuca, a founding partner at DeLuca Veale Investment Counsel. “I just knew I wanted to run companies.” But it didn’t take long for DeLuca, who was in the second graduating class of UVic’s prestigious business program, to find his passion. “You have to be smart with your money to grow your wealth and I wanted to personally understand how savings and investing worked to make the most of my money,” DeLuca explains. “As I took more courses in finance, it became more and more fascinating and more and more interesting, so I turned it into a career because I enjoyed it so much.” For several years, the second-generation Comox resident worked for US investment giant Edward Jones. But in addition to hard work, his junior hockey career had taught him an important lesson. “It taught me I can pretty much handle anything,” says the

father of three, who was just 18 years old when he started playing left wing for the Juan de Fuca Whalers. Most players would have just enjoyed the ride, but DeLuca knew he wanted a degree so he took courses from North Island College at the same time. “I wasn’t the kind of guy to play poker on the bus during a 10-hour bus ride so I studied and kept my mind busy,” the 47-year-old says. “My teammates probably thought I was sleeping while I was slouched down reading a book, but I just knew I wanted to do more with my time — I didn’t want to waste it.” DeLuca even agreed to go to Fort St. John for part of the season and brave minus-40 degree weather to get more playing time. After the Whalers were moved to the Cowichan Valley, he was traded to Chilliwack before a shoulder injury ended his hockey career for good. “I was coached by Wayne Gretzky’s coach there — that’s as close as my career got to Gretzky’s,” DeLuca jokes. Despite those early challenges, DeLuca learned early on that without risk there’s no reward. So in 2005, he decided to leave a cushy job and start his own investment company with partner Jonathan Veale.

“WE’VE HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS, BUT WE’VE HAD TO RECOGNIZE THAT WHAT GOT US TO HERE — WHICH IS DOING EVERYTHING OURSELVES — WILL NOT GET US FORWARD.”

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“We both left very comfortable positions in big organizations, and with young families, to take a big risk,” DeLuca explains. “But we both had a very entrepreneurial dream.” With their dream a reality and business booming, DeLuca and Veale took another big risk three years ago and launched RealStream — an innovative real estate investment option for clients — with new business partner Jim Stewart, a fellow UVic grad and longtime Victoria resident who now lives in Comox. “Jonathan and I both lived through the tech crisis, the 2001 technology bubble, and then the real estate correction in 2008/09 that affected all markets, and we realized the value of investing in local properties,” DeLuca says. “We really wanted to add further diversification for our clients.” The first property RealStream acquired was a shopping centre in Campbell River in 2014. Since then, commercial properties in the Comox Valley and Nanaimo have been added and the portfolio has grown to $26 million. “We really saw a void in the market because most of the real estate portfolios you see are traded on the stock market, so when the market falls off, the portfolio goes down,” DeLuca explains. “Our portfolio is based on appraisals and over time, we’ll add in multi-family properties. And we’re about to buy industrial properties, so it will be a really diversified investment.” To help meet the growing demand, DeLuca Veale is

expanding with construction currently underway on their Comox office. But as the company grows, the biggest challenge for DeLuca has been letting go. “We’ve had a lot of success, but we’ve had to recognize that what got us to here — which is doing everything ourselves — will not get us forward,” he says. DeLuca admits his biggest mistake was not letting go sooner. “Having built everything personally, you become very protective of it,” DeLuca says. “When your name’s on the door and the buck stops with you, it becomes very difficult to hand it over to someone else, but I wish I’d done it two years sooner.” For DeLuca, who married his high school sweetheart and has made his entrepreneurial dream come true in his hometown, the biggest lesson has been to believe in yourself. “You have to have faith in yourself and believe that you’ll be successful,” says DeLuca. “You can’t rely on other people to solve your problems and you have to realize you’re capable of more than you think.” As for his other love, hockey, DeLuca still laces up his skates and hits the ice — but it’s purely for fun. “I still feel like I have unfinished business in the sport of hockey, so in addition to duffer hockey, I play in a commercial league with 18-year-olds straight out of junior hockey,” he says. “They’re fast as heck but I love it.”

AS FOR HIS OTHER LOVE, HOCKEY, DELUCA STILL LACES UP HIS SKATES AND HITS THE ICE — BUT IT’S PURELY FOR FUN.

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TEXT BY SUSAN LUNDY / LIA CROWE PHOTO BY LIA CROWE 42


BOULEVARD’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

A

PASSION FOR SILK PLUS a penchant for pushing

fashion traditions inspired Island fashion guru Elise Purdon to create a line of beautiful loungewear. “I’ve always loved silk,” says Elise, well-known for her A Piece of Elise online presence that includes a beloved fashion blog (apieceofelise.com), an Instagram platform (@ apoelise) with close to 42,000 followers and, of course, her silk loungewear collection at wearelise.com. “My mom was really into fabrics, so I grew up with ‘textiles over style.’ There isn’t a more beautiful fabric than silk.” She also notes: “I’m into wearing things inappropriately … if it’s dressy, I’ll go casual. If it’s casual, I’ll go over the top.” How do pajamas fit into this scenario? “If they’re really tailored, I’ll wear them as a suit.” Elise likes the androgynous aspect to silk pajama sets — they

were originally created for men — as well as the fact they are traditional and luxurious. She spent seven months marrying the best silk and perfect cuts to create PJs that hang beautifully, draping the body in the best possible way. “People fall in love as soon as they see them.” The collection is available in Victoria at Bernstein & Gold or online via wearelise.com. We at Boulevard think the ELISE collection of silk loungewear is the perfect place to start our holiday gift guide. We also believe that Elise — with her Island fashion cred — is the perfect person to guide our guide. Finding the perfect gift for the different people in our lives can be a challenge, so with Elise’s help, we’ve pulled together a selection of suggestions. We think you’ll find there’s a little something for everyone here.

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BOULEVARD’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

FOR HER

Two-piece silk pajamas by É L I S E $235 // Bernstein & Gold

Wallet by Hobo Bags Oyster Perpetual LADY DATEJUST 28, Rolex Watch

$128 // Cardino’s Shoes

Bronze casting pendant with sterling silver detail and crystals, written words of “strength, courage, love’.

$10,450 // Lugaro Jewellers

$175 // Fabrications

FOR HIM HS Socks $13.98 | NYLA Fresh Thread

Oyster Perpetual DATEJUST 41, Rolex Watch $14,550 | Lugaro Jewellers

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ON THE HOME FRONT

100% cashmere woven throw blanket

$895 // Black Goat Cashmere

Escape to the Comox Valley — Relaxation Spa Packages Gift Certificates!

Curated gift boxes by Victoria florist Tara McHugh Flora

Artisanal, local treasures all handmade in Canada and delivered in a keepsake wooden box, shipped across Canada. $119.95 and $128.95 // taramchughflora.com

Enjoy our outdoor heated pool and hot tub with every service Exclusive treatments featuring Éminence Organic Skin Care & Jane Iredale Make-up Gourmet Cuisine by Locals Restaurant

Set of 3 Christmas reusable gift bags $35 // Nikki Design

Reservations (250) 703-4770 Spa menu available at ohspa.ca Ohspa at the OLD HOUSE HOTEL 1730 Riverside Lane, Courtenay 45


MAKING MEMORIES Vancouver Island Symphony, Pick Your Own Series of 5 Concerts package $245 // Vancouver Island Symphony

Custom, all-natural bedding made on Vancouver Island. The ultimate gift of luxury and comfort.

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$4,379 // Tigh-Na-Mara

IN GOOD TASTE

Glass Blown Art

Seven-day juice cleanse, delivered fresh to your door across Vancouver Island $399 // Good Life Juice

Ceramic Tagine cookware by Emile Henry

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$179.98 // Flying Fish Kitchen & Gift


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Blue lace dress ($189) by InWear at Fabrications; suede pumps ($199) by Ivanka Trump at Cardino’s Shoes; ring ($30) at KC’s Boutique. 48


FASHION

Black velvet leggings ($159) by Part Two, cardigan ($249) by Ted Baker, both at Fabrications; plum clutch ($138) by Hobo Bags, black and gold flats ($190) by Ted Baker, both at Cardino’s Shoes; cross earrings ($23) by Canvas at Sartorial Boutique.

LA DOLCE VITA BYLIA LIACROWE CROWE PHOTOS PHOTOSBY BYCATHIE CATHIEFERGUSON FERGUSON BY

FASHION THIS WINTER HAS BEEN SWEPT AWAY BY AN ITALIAN ROMANCE. LUXURIOUS VELVET AND LACE, DELICATE RUFFLES AND HIGH COLLARS, RICH JEWELLED AND BEADED DETAILING. BOULEVARD SETS THE HOLIDAYS OFF WITH A VISIT TO THE GORGEOUS VILLA CIELO AT THE VILLA EYRIE RESORT PERCHED HIGH ON THE TOP OF THE MALAHAT FOR A TASTE OF THE SWEET LIFE. CELEBRATE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON IN BEAUTIFUL FASHION THAT PUTS YOU IN THE MOOD FOR ROMANCE. 49


“Carla” top ($129) by InWear; necklace ($50) and earrings ($23) by Canvas; and striped clutch ($20) by Indaba, all at Sartorial Boutique.

50


Lace top ($95) by Charlie B and leggings ($110) by Lisette, both at KC’s Boutique; grey handbag ($365) by Rudsak, burgundy ankle boots ($300) by Ted Baker, both at Cardino’s Shoes. 51


Dress ($245) by Joseph Ribkoff and wrap bracelet ($30), both at KC’s Boutique • MODEL Lauren Takach represented by Coultish Management • MAKEUP AND HAIR Jen Clark, in-house makeup artist for COSMEDICA using glo•MINERALS makeup • STYLING AND PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Katherine Suna Photographed on location at the Villa Eyrie Resort in the Villa Cielo.

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P H Crafting beautiful, energy-efficient and sustainable homes that are affordable to operate and comfortable to live in is our passion. We bring exceptional quality and service to each building and renovation project. With our custom design service and talented team of craftsmen, we can guide you through the complexities of building or renovating your home.

VIBE WINNER

2016 Single Family Builder of the Year & 2015 Renovator of the Year (VIBE Awards)

M E M B E R

Pheasant Hill Homes

9-2480 Kenworth Rd., Nanaimo, BC

Ltd.

250-618-6880 buildbetterhomes.ca


CENTRAL ISLAND’S FINEST REAL ESTATE

L U X U R Y AT YO U R D O O R S T E P


VICTORIA

Private Oceanfront

Unobstructed Ocean Views

Family Dream Home

2455 Tryon Rd, North Saanich, BC $4,950,000 | MLS 371714

2540 Esplanade, Victoria, BC $2,988,000 | MLS 371658

6480 Torin Rd, Brentwood Bay, BC $2,400,000 | MLS 371307

5.14 private oceanfront acres on stunning Curteis Point. Main home offers 4,000+ sq ft, ample space to develop; or renovate into your Oceanside dream. A fully renovated, selfcontained 2 bedroom, 1,300 sq ft Guest House. The private beach is easily accessible to enjoy a multitude of water activities year-round. Endless possibilities.

Unobstructed ocean vistas are presented from this home with a bright exposure year-round. Chef’s kitchen features stainless steel appliances. Warm Oak flooring extends throughout. The Master suite offers an ensuite and secluded balcony. Outside, abundant patio space and mature landscaped grounds. Clear panoramic views of the Olympics, Chatham & Discovery Islands; Oak Bay Marina & Cattle Point.

An impressive 4 bedroom family home; beautifully landscaped offering privacy, sport court, putting green and ample patio space. The decadent kitchen is topped with granite offering a large wrapping island, Viking gas range, and custom rich-cream cabinetry. The notable master impresses with dual walk-in closets, vanity, 6 piece ensuite, gas fireplace and walk-out balcony.

Exceptional Development Opportunity! 4276 Gordon Head Rd, Victoria, BC $889,000 | MLS 371246 Exceptional development opportunity!! Value is in the land, this bright 3 bedrooms 2 bathroom has long term rental potential with great cash flow. With features such as coved ceilings, exposed brick and beams, this home presents the opportunity for personal design touches to transform it to a magazine worthy residence. Situated minutes from beaches, UVic and easy access to Victoria’s amenities.

Luxury Duplex

Modern Luxury Home

306 Dallas Rd, Victoria, BC $1,295,000 | MLS 370346

1104 Timber View, Victoria, BC $1,400,000 | MLS 370479

Exceptional revenue opportunity to own this luxury duplex, already established as a vacation rental. Paramount location across from the waterway on Dallas Rd. Three bedrooms, three baths with Granite countertops, hardwood floors and 2 gas fireplaces. The Master suite which encompasses the upper floor offers a secluded balcony overloooking the stunning vistas.

Artistically commissioned 4,000+ sqft home w/ clean lines & a bright backdrop, accentuated by the park-like setting and ocean views. Gourmet kitchen features premium appliances. Above the triple garage find a separate 1 bed suite for guests. Outside, resort like setting with water features, expansive patio, manicure grounds, and unrivaled vistas.

©2016 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated.

735 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 1B1

The local real estate agent with the international network: vi.evcanada.com James LeBlanc, Private Office Advisor

Scott Piercy, Private Office Advisor

Personal Real Estate Corporation

Personal Real Estate Corporation

250-812-7212 james.leblanc@evcanada.com www.luxurybchomes.com vi.evcanada.com

250-686-7789 scott.piercy@evcanada.com www.luxurybchomes.com vi.evcanada.com


MID-ISLAND

DANYLIW & ASSOCIATES Brian Danyliw Senior VP Sales-Advisor

Ann Buttner-Danyliw Operations Manager

Our Portfolio of Fine Homes L O S

S

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Unlicensed ann.danyliw@evcanada.com

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Personal Real Estate Corporation brian.danyliw@evcanada.com

4530 Koksilah Road Duncan - $1,998,000

Nestled at the base of renowned Mt. Washington ski resort is a beautiful 182 acre estate. Actively farming blueberries, corn & hay. 50 acres fully trellised & in berry production. 600 volt power, 7 acre man-made lake. Original 3200 sq ft home has been lovingly maintained & recently renovated on the lower floor to make two separate living areas.

Gorgeous South Cowichan Riverfront Estate! Elegant 6059 sq. ft. 5-bedroom residence overlooks property’s open pasture & 2 small lakes. Property extends beyond pasture area to significantly sized forested portion of the 46.16 acre parcel including sizable riverfront on both sides of the Koksilah River; enjoy your private swimming hole!

With 6 bedrooms & 3 baths, this 1904 character country home set on just over 17 acres in the historic Cowichan Station area is a lovely place to call home! The home has been updated & features a spacious master bedroom with ensuite on the main, fabulous kitchen, formal dining room & more! This home is ready to for your family & guests!

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P NE R W IC E

4088 Hillbank Road Cobble Hill - $2,250,000

P NE R W IC E

2225 Kelland Road Courtenay - $3,400,000

7180 Tom Windsor Road Duncan - $1,780,000

2750 Shady Mile Way Nanaimo - $1,295,000

Ultimate in luxury living in Vancouver Island's gateway to adventure. This home features the nicest shop around with its own bar and pool table. The main house is top notch in contemporary design! Bonus...this is one of few properties with its own sandy beach and boat house with ramp…you can launch and store your boat at your own home.

Certified Organic 13 acre herb farm in North Cowichan. 2185 west coast contemporary home, 6135 sq.ft. warehouse with offices and 1300 sq.ft. suite above. $500k in plantings and inventory. Agri-tourism ready with gift shop, tasting room, commercial kitchen, drying rooms & equipment. Muni water, pond and well. Ready for business!

6196 sq. ft. home set on 4.99 acres in south Nanaimo. Custom built in 2006, this home has been finished with exquisite details at a very high standard. This property is completely fenced and set up for horses. Stable complete with power and water, four stalls, feed room, tack room and hay loft, as well as a riding ring. Move in & horse ready!

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4315 Discovery Drive Campbell River - $1,749,900

6367 Woodland Drive Duncan - $1,250,000

2228 The Jib Nanoose Bay- $998,000

3675 Dolphin Drive Nanoose Bay - $965,000

Circular driveway leads to the protection of the portè cohere where 3 steps take you up to this fabulous 3200 sq. ft. rancher. Inspired by famous architect Charles Dickey; famous for developing distinctive Hawaiian architecture. Warm fir floors, posts & beams, & the wood siding were all hewn from trees harvested from the property. Geothermal heating, heated garage floors in 3 car garage, custom kitchen & much more… A must see for discerning buyers!

Located on almost one half acre lot in popular Nanoose Bay at the end of a very quiet, private cul-de-sac this unique oceanfront home has it all. Beautiful sunrises to greet your day, walk-on pebble beach for your pleasure, mountain views and awesome evening sunsets from 3 decks. Beachcomber Marina less than 5 minutes away!

Magnificent views of the ocean and mountains from this custom 3 bedroom 3 bathroom home with walk- on ocean frontage in Nanoose Bay! Excellent floorplan, the main level features 2475 sq ft of finished living space with another 2030 sq. ft. down. The views across to the main land are absolutely stunning!

Recognized Worldwide Vancouver Island’s True Luxury Real Estate Brand 97 Commercial Street, Nanaimo BC, Canada V9R5G3 250-591-0388 ● www.luxuryhomesinbc.com ● nanaimo.evcanada.com ITALY FRANCE LONDON GERMANY HONG KONG FLORIDA MONTREAL VANCOUVER ©Engel & Volkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated.

+ MORE


Alair Homes has a NEW location

96 Wallace Street, Nanaimo

Congratulations FROM

HAMMOND BULLOCK

REAL ESTATE GROUP

We are pleased to have helped you buy your new office.

Dave Hammond Personal Real Estate Corporation

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FOOD & DRINK

DESSERTS PIE IN THE SKY … AND OUT OF THIS WORLD TEXT BY CHEF HEIDI FINK PHOTOS BY CATHIE FERGUSON

P

IE IS MY FAVOURITE DESSERT, and I find a way to make it any time of the year.

I happily throw together rustic fruit galettes in the summer and homey pumpkin pies in the fall, but the holiday season requires gorgeous, decadent desserts. Rather than complicate an already busy time of year by tackling a difficult recipe, I use some simple twists on my basic pie methods to make a celebration-worthy dessert. It’s easiest first to focus on presentation. Something as simple as a beautiful garnish or complementary sauce can transform a basic pie into something special. My recipe for Crystallized Ginger Whipped Cream is a standout, but others such as vanilla- or citrus-scented crème fraîche, chocolate curls and candied citrus peel are easy to make and keep in the fridge, and can instantly make a pie or tart into a thing of beauty.

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FOOD & DRINK

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Chocolate pecan pie

Any pie recipe can be cut in half and baked in a tart pan with fluted sides, turning a basic dessert into something that looks like it was made in a professional bakery. Finally, never forget the ingredients. The holiday season is a time for indulgence. Instead of fresh fruit, think rich chocolate, toasted nuts, fragrant citrus, custard and caramel. With all this, it’s very important to make decent pastry, which is not nearly as difficult as most people think. The following recipe, with its detailed instructions, will be very helpful. For those who want an even simpler crust, my press-in shortbread crust for tarts always gets raves, and requires no pastry know-how (see Cranberry Meyer Lemon Custard Tart). BASIC PIE PASTRY Makes enough dough for one double-crust pie, or two singlecrust pies. 2½ cups all-purpose flour, measured by the dip and sweep method 1 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes ½ cup cold lard or shortening, cut into small cubes 7 to 9 Tbsp very cold water Food processor method: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Process for a few seconds to combine evenly. Remove the lid, scatter the butter pieces over the flour, replace the lid and process again, using 4 to 6 one-second pulses. Add the lard and pulse a few more times, until the fat is cut into the flour properly. The fat pieces should range in size between small peas and cornmeal, with fewer large pieces and greater smaller pieces. But make sure to leave some large pieces and some dry flour, because these two things help with the flakiness. Transfer the flour mixture to a bowl. Toss with fingers 64

to ensure an even balance of fat to dry flour. Hand method: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the cold butter pieces and use your finger or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour. Rub the butter pieces gently between your fingers, coating them in flour, until they are half the size. Add the lard pieces and continue cutting in, until the fat is the right size, ranging in size from small peas to cornmeal. There should be a greater number of smaller pieces than big ones. To finish either method: Slowly sprinkle in the water, one tablespoon at a time, using a fork or rubber spatula to mix the dough. Stop after 7 tablespoons of water, no matter what the dough looks like. Turn the dough onto a counter. It will be very dry and crumbly at this point. Use your hands to gently gather the dough into a ball, using gentle pressure to make it hold together. If the dough is still too dry, sprinkle on a tablespoon more water and mix the dough with your hands again, until you can form it into a ball. In some cases, you will need to use the final tablespoon of water. Divide the dough in two and form each into a disk. This dough can be used immediately, or wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated or frozen for later use. BEST APPLE PIE In this recipe, the true sweet-tart apple flavour really shines through. Note the subdued amount of spicing used. Feel free to use more, if you like, but I find that cinnamon and other traditional apple pie spices completely overwhelm the delicate apple flavour. 1 recipe Basic Pie Pastry 3 to 4 sweet apples (3 large or 4 medium) 3 to 4 sour apples (3 large or 4 medium) 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


1 cup to 1½ cups sugar (this depends on the tartness of the apples and on your preference) 1/8 tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp nutmeg 1/16 tsp allspice 1 egg white 1 Tbsp sugar for topping Roll out the pastry, one disk at a time, using gentle even pressure from the centre to the outside edges. The dough should be about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/4-inch thick. Gently fold one dough circle into quarters and place in a pie pan, with the point in the middle of the pan. Gently unfold the dough and settle the dough into the pan. Place the other dough circle on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate both rolled out dough circles while preparing the filling. Peel the apples, quarter them through the stem (pole-to-pole) and remove the stems and cores. Turn apple pieces flat sideways and slice thinly crosswise. The slices should be about 1/8- to ¼-inch thick. Place apples in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and spices until thoroughly combined. Pour over the apples and toss to coat the apples evenly with sugar mixture. Preheat oven to 425 F. Remove pie plate (with pastry) from the fridge. Fill shell with apple filling, tapping the plate gently to settle the apples in brick-like layers. Use all the apples. Apple slices should mound slightly in the centre of the pie. Use a paring knife to trim bottom crust flush with the edge of the pie plate rim. Remove rolled out top crust from the fridge. Use a small star-

shaped cookie cutter to cut shapes out of top crust for vents. Place dough over apple filling; make sure to leave a lot of slack and not to pull the dough too tightly. You want it to settle over the filling as it cooks, rather than stay in a stiff dome shape. Place cut out stars over the top dough in a decorative arrangement. Cut the edges of top pastry to ½ inch past the edge of the pie plate. Fold the dough under the bottom pastry edge, tucking the pastry inside the edge of the pie plate as you go. Use your thumb and forefinger to crimp edges of the pastry. Brush the top crust and edges lightly with egg white and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar. Place pie in bottom third of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until top begins to get golden. Reduce heat to 375 F, rotate pie and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more, until crust is a deep golden brown and the apples are bubbling and juicy. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool for at least 2 hours (preferably 4 hours) before eating. CRANBERRY MEYER LEMON CUSTARD TART The combination of fragrant Meyer lemon with sweet custard and tart cranberries is to-die-for delicious! The presentation in a fluted tart pan makes this seem like a very fancy dessert, even though the use of a simple press-in crust and ultra-simple custard means this tart takes minutes to throw together. The recipe can also be made in an 8x8 inch square pan, or a 10-inch pie pan. Plan to eat this tart up within two days. Shortbread Crust: ⅔ cup all-purpose flour 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour (for a delicious nutty flavor in the crust) 6 Tbsp cool butter

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Cranberry Meyer lemon custard tart

¼ cup sugar 1/8 tsp salt Finely grated zest of one Meyer lemon Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom (or a 9- or 10-inch pie pan, or 8x8-inch square pan). In a large bowl combine all ingredients with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Butter should be completely incorporated. You can use a food processor for this step, if you like. Place tart pan on a cookie sheet. Press crumbs (not too firmly, but firm enough) into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Make sure to press into the edges where the sides and bottom meet so that the crust is not too thick in that area. Place pan on lower-centre rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 350 F. Topping: ¾ cup sugar 1 egg 1 egg yolk 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1 tsp vanilla 1/8 tsp salt ½ cup light cream Finely grated zest of two Meyer lemons 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries While the crust is baking, mix the sugar, egg, egg yolk, flour, vanilla, salt, cream and Meyer lemon zest, whisking well to eliminate lumps. Stir in the whole cranberries (thaw the frozen 66

ones first). Once the crust comes out of the oven, pour the topping over it (the crust should still be warm). Return to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating pan once back to front, until custard no longer jiggles and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and cut into wedges to serve. CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE Makes one 9-inch pie or two 9-inch tarts Just sweet enough, with a crisp golden crust and the rich flavour of toasted nuts and Dutch cocoa powder, this chocolate pecan pie is decadent in the extreme. Crust ½ recipe Basic Pie Pastry Filling 1½ cups pecan halves ½ to 1 cup dark chocolate chips 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1 cup packed light brown sugar (yellow sugar) ¼ tsp salt 3 whole eggs 1 egg yolk ½ cup golden syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract ¼ cup Dutch cocoa powder Prepare the pecans first: Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 5 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the nuts from the oven and


let cool. Once the pecans are cool, chop them into small pieces. Instructions for crust: Follow instructions for pastry in the Basic Pie Pastry recipe. Turn oven up to 400 F. Roll out the pastry using gentle even pressure. The dough should be about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/4-inch thick. Gently fold the dough circle into quarters and place in a pie pan, with the point in the middle of the pan. Gently unfold the dough and settle the dough into the pan. Trim edge to 1/2-inch beyond pie plate edge, fold edges under and flute the edge with your thumbs and forefinger. Using two long sheets of foil, line the pastry shell all the way up and over the edges. Fill the foiled-lined shell completely with ceramic pie weights or pennies (in a pinch, use dried beans). Place the weight-filled pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the dough looks dry. Remove pie from oven and reduce heat to 375 F. Carefully fold foil together and remove the pie weights by lifting the foil package up and out of the shell. Place the shell back in the oven and bake for 5 to 8 minutes more, until the shell is cooked but not golden. You should be making the rest of the pie filling while the shell is baking, so that the filling is ready to go as soon as the shell is finished baking. If you want to use a pre-made crust, make sure to put it in the oven for several minutes before you add the filling. Instructions for filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, the light brown sugar and the salt. Whisk in the whole eggs and the egg yolk, the golden syrup and vanilla. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Whisk until well blended. Just before the pie shell is ready to come out of the oven for the second time, stir the toasted chopped pecans and chocolate chips into the filling

mixture. As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, reduce the heat to 300 F and pour the filling directly into the HOT crust (if you have used a pre-made crust, heat it in the oven for several minutes first). Return the pie immediately to the oven and cook for 60 minutes until the pie is just set. It will jiggle like Jell-O in the middle, but will be firm and slice beautifully after it cools. Transfer pie to cooling rack. Let pie cool for 4 hours before serving (or it won’t slice.) GINGER WHIPPED CREAM This is my go-to dessert topping, especially during the holiday season. It’s versatile enough to serve with desserts as simple as seasonal fruit, as homey as pumpkin pie, and as fancy as chocolate torte; and still delicious enough to eat on its own! ½ cup Australian crystallized ginger, chopped 1½ to 2 cups whipping cream Place the chopped crystallized ginger and about ½ cup cream in the work bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is as smooth as possible, adding a bit more whipping cream, if necessary, to make the cream and ginger blend more easily. Set aside. In another bowl, whip remaining cream until soft peaks form. Scrape ginger-cream mixture from the food processor directly into the bowl with the plain whipped cream. Gently fold together until evenly mixed. If necessary, whip the flavoured cream a little more, to get the consistency you like.

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HOUGH MANY A TRAVELLER HAS CLAIMED “it’s all about the journey,” in the case of my adventure to Burg Schlitz — a grand castle perched atop a hill in north-eastern Germany — it was decidedly all about the destination. Ultimately, the few glitches that occurred in my journey there became inconsequential as I basked in the castle’s overwhelming charm and unbelievable luxury. After many months on a breakneck, New York City pace while completing my first year of graduate studies, and then a two-month painting residency in a former cotton mill in Leipzig, Germany, I was more than prepared to settle into a little luxury. So, offered a trip to this legendary castle, I took it eagerly, and prepared to be pampered. However, the projected four-hour train ride (tram to train station, switch trains twice, taxi to castle, become a queen for the night — easy as schnitzel, right?) turned into a 12-hour test of travel survival between a breakdown on the rails, and a long wait in a deserted station. Several buses and wrong turns later, I found myself seemingly closer to the border of Denmark than to the castle. But when at last I collapsed in a taxi in the town of Teterow (a few kilometres from the castle), I was finally able to settle in and watch the countryside go by in the misty dusk. The road to Burg Schlitz, which is a member of the Relais & Chateaux collection of the world’s finest hotels, is lined with tall, elegant trees — planted there many years ago to provide shade for travellers in the days of horse and carriage. The trees stand like guards on the pastoral landscape. We rode up and down


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the gentle hills until the castle emerged, a white giant alit and welcoming in its grandeur. I was greeted by a kind concierge who led me through heavy wooden doors, past divine scents wafting from a dining room, down tall corridors with impressive archways and pillars, along ancient hardwood floors. I realized, for the second time that day, how impossibly lost I was. This time, however, it was in a castle — a fact that was somewhat surreal, yet comforting. I was shown to my room, handed a heavy, old-fashioned key, and left to the light scent of lavender that emanated from inside. As I opened the door, my senses came alive: a soft symphony played through the air; the room gave way to ornate furniture arranged in easy elegance and embalmed in soothing light; wine awaited in a decanter beside a letter sealed in wax — a warm and personalized welcome. Everything glittered gently. Though famished by this point, I couldn’t help but eye the enormous tub

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and plan a post-dinner soak with that enticing wine. It took me several different corridors and orchid-lined staircases, but I followed my nose and eventually found “Louise” — not a heavily scented woman as you might expect — but the dining room I’d passed earlier, “Café-Brasserie Louise,” likely named for the wife of Hans Graf von Schlitz (the man of noble descent for whom the castle was built in 1806). The meal was another lavish, all-sensory experience. Louise, which offers divine French cuisine, sat tucked beneath a lowslung ceiling with curved windows revealing the expansive grounds. It twinkled with light and cascades of laughter. The silverware gleamed. My first course arrived: a delicate, delicious gift from the chef called Himmel und Erde (“heaven and earth”— a locally sourced delicacy) accompanied by a tangy Sauvignon Blanc. My mouth sang along with the tastes — a chorus of potato lime soup with strawberry-confit followed — and by the time my last course arrived (a dainty salad featuring asparagus cooked to perfection alongside a free-range poached egg), I was stuffed and immeasurably content. I made my way back to my room and settled into the bath, stemming my wine. Relaxing into the room’s calm ambiance, I read about Burg Schlitz’s amenities by candlelight. The castle offers many relaxing experiences including a luxurious day spa, equipped with sauna, pool, Hammam and sundeck. There is a cigar lounge, among other comfortable and exquisite sitting rooms throughout the castle. If a sporty mood strikes, activities such as hunting, horseback riding, golf, Client:waterskiing HELIJET / Size: 3.5”sailing x 4.75” / — CMYK BLVD Magazine canoeing — even and are/ offered on and

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nearby the hotel’s extensive acerage. In addition to the Café-Brasserie, the castle boasts the “Gourmetrestaurant im Wappen-Saal,” a gourmet culinary experience in a grand hall, fit for royalty (in fact, a Royal family did stay here this past summer). There are 14 rooms and six suites with views of the acreage and lush countryside, and all the most exquisite touches afforded to the royal treatment. In my massive suite, I found the most exotic minibar selection I’ve ever seen: it even had a hand-labelled jar of gourmet gummy bears. As a queen for the night, I slept deeper than I ever have.

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In the morning, after selecting from a delectable and varied smorgasbord of fruit, pastries, shrimp, lox and teas, I wandered the grounds and the many halls of the manor. At the entrance, I discovered a stone statue of two dancing bears, for which I felt an immediate affinity. Upon inquiry, I learned it had been a gift from the owner of the castle to his wife, who missed her home in Berlin so much that they had the statue taken from the city as a way to establish familiarity in a foreign place. I also found out that after its bankruptcy in 1931, the mansion was repossessed and became a refugee camp and school before it was turned into a retirement home in 1955. It wasn’t until 1994 that Burg Schlitz was renovated and converted into a hotel. My sources of castle comparison are memories of Craigdarroch Castle, whose impeccable grounds I often visited in Victoria, and three castles in Dresden I had toured the week before in preparation for my temporary stay as queen (of the room) at Burg Schlitz. The latter castles I explored with a friend familiar with the area, and whose tour included some inventive bush whacking, fence jumping and questionable entry to the grounds. It was a treat to be invited instead — a pampered guest on the inside looking out. Having spent the summer in eastern Germany, I found myself falling in love with the sensible way of life, the old graffitiridden buildings and especially the people who, initially seeming slightly gruff, proved to be some of the kindest, most articulate, educated and genuine I’ve ever encountered. My stay at the castle was the icing on the Black Forest cake, and I left ready to start afresh on a new journey after reaching the ultimate destination of gentle luxury.


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HEALTH FEATURE

FOR GOOD HEALTH REFLECTING ON WELLNESS FOR 2017 BY PAMELA DURKIN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

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Olympic athlete Simon Whitfield on his paddleboard.


P

OISED ON THE CUSP OF 2017, I’ve begun pondering how I want the year to unfold. Although I exercise and eat a “clean” diet, I know there are some tweaks I need to make to enhance my overall well-being. To help pinpoint just what needs “shaking up,” I sat down with some Island residents, who are well-known for their healthy lifestyles — and for helping others adopt the same — to see how they planned to enrich their own lives in the New Year. I hope their words will inspire you to map out your own unique blueprint for a salubrious 2017.

Michelle Stilwell MLA for Parksville/Qualicum, Minister for Social Development and Social Innovation, 2x Gold Medal Paralympic Champion

focus on in 2017 — health care and affordable housing. Both of these issues are critical for everyone’s wellness and for the future of BC. Due to my jam-packed schedule I must admit I sometimes struggle to maintain a healthy diet, so this year I plan to ensure I’m taking the time for healthy meals. I’ll continue with my fitness regimen too — it’s critical for me — as it helps me maintain my independence and helps me start my day with focus and energy. I also want to spend more time in my community and with my family, just being a good wife and mother — these things bring me joy, as does living in this beautiful province.

“ALONG WITH ALL THAT, I AM GOING TO CONTINUE CUTTING DOWN MY ONLINE TIME — I DON’T WANT TO BE ‘CURATING’ EVERY MOMENT — I WANT TO BE LIVING IT.”

I don’t really set goals by the year — I am constantly evaluating my life to see how I can best effect positive outcomes. In 2017, I’ll be running for re-election, so I anticipate a busy year. A demanding schedule comes with holding office, but I don’t mind it because I truly love what I do — I love my constituency and I am passionate about being their voice, their champion. If I’m lucky enough to be re-elected there are some key areas I want to

Simon Whitfield 4 x Olympian (Gold — Triathlon, Sydney), paddle-board/adventureguide. www.timelapseexplorers.com

Going deeper into my yoga practice is going to be a focal point for me in the New Year — and that’s going to include taking an intensive teacher-training course. I’ve gotten heavily into yoga in the past two years and find it so powerful. It helps me feel physically and mentally better — it gives me a sense of peace and strength I haven’t found in any other sport. This may surprise people, but I hardly run or swim much anymore and my biking is now done strictly as a commuter.

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Dr. Stacey Neilson at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. 78


Any need I have for competition now, which isn’t much, is met by a once-weekly soccer game. Paddle-boarding is also a salient part of my life; I need that alone time out on the water — it’s invigorating but at the same time it gives me a sense of tranquility and being in harmony with nature. Along with all that, I am going to continue cutting down my online time — I don’t want to be “curating” every moment — I want to be living it.

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“WE’RE SO FORTUNATE TO BE SURROUNDED BY NATURAL BEAUTY ON THE WEST COAST THAT WE OFTEN TAKE FOR GRANTED. WE SHOULD ALL GET OUT AND ENJOY IT MORE; IT’S A TERRIFIC ANTIDOTE FOR STRESS.”

I’m going to be striking something off my “bucket list” in 2017 that I have wanted to do for a long time — I’m running the Boston Marathon. My goal is to do well, finish the race and just really enjoy the whole experience: the magnitude of the event itself. Balancing the rest of my life with all the training that will be necessary is going to be a challenge, but it’s one I’m up for. My children are my first priority, but I think it’s important as a mother to have things you do for your own personal fulfillment. I think in the end it makes you a better mother. Not letting my yoga practice slide is also something I will strive to do in the New Year. While I love running, yoga helps me slow down, breathe and feel balanced — it centres me. I also plan to spend more time outdoors with my family, hiking, biking and, this year, gardening! We just bought a new house and finally have space for the vegetable garden we’ve always wanted.

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Rob Reid Businessman (in the Nanaimo area, co-owner New Balance) In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday and Terry Fox’s great legacy, I’m planning to run for 143 consecutive days starting in January. Actually, I may do this twice and run for 286 days, running between 40-75 minutes daily — whatever these old legs can manage! I’ve been involved with the Fox family for years, so this is a heartfelt project for me. That goes for my role as the chair of the Terry Fox Centre too — it comes from the heart. This year we’ll be finalizing a location in Vancouver — a home for the over 1,000 artifacts that depict Terry’s iconic run. The centre will

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also provide education and information on cancer research. Locally, we’ll be hosting an exhibit at the Royal BC Museum in April, showcasing a lot of the artifacts — things the public hasn’t seen before. Again, this is all heartfelt stuff for me and that’s critical to my sense of well-being. I want to be less goaloriented in the sense of “performance” and just do things I truly enjoy, and which speak to me. Even with running now I find I just enjoy the movement — I don’t worry about performance. Running is my therapy — my “medication.” But I also want to spend more time paddleboarding this year. We’re so fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty on the West Coast that we often take for granted. We should all get out and enjoy it more; it’s a terrific antidote for stress.

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I plan to continue with some of the things that have proven to be successful for me — things that bring fulfillment to every area of my life. I have a “recipe” that works for me. Every morning I start my day by practising qi-gong at the beach; it sets the tone for health, balance and connection to nature. I also bike or walk to most of my commitments — it provides ample movement so I don’t have to schedule time for more “formal” exercise. I’m also passionate about consuming quality, locally grown food. My husband and I grow veggies in our backyard and also shop at local farmers’ markets and organic food stores — we find it connects us to the seasons and to this beautiful island on which we live. Another important wellness factor I plan to incorporate in 2017 is limiting the amount of time I spend online. I think it’s paramount to spend leisure time doing things that bring one joy — for me that means singing, dancing, spending time in nature and enjoying quality, playful time with my husband.


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Hot pool and view from the pool area.

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M WALKING CLOCKWISE in a tiny, foggy chamber and moving to the sound of Bob Marley singing, “Don’t worry about a thing / ‘cause every little thing … gonna be alright.” I’m trying to take Bob’s advice, but this is a cryotherapy cold sauna and the temperature is minus 110 degree Celsius. A mask covers my mouth and nose; I’m wearing shoes, socks, bulky mitts, a headband, board shorts and loose T-Shirt. The temperature stuns me, but Bob and I are in this together for a full three minutes, so I try not to worry. About a thing. One and a half minutes into it and my skin — which will ultimately drop to 5 degrees Celsius — is aching. The portion of my body covered by clothes is actually colder. I’ve been encouraged to remove my mitts and expose my hands, which suffer from arthritis, to the healing cold for the last 30 seconds, but I simply can’t do it. Five, four, three, two, one … a disembodied voice counts down and I stumble out, cold to the core, but also — a little proud of myself. Cryotherapy is the signature treatment — unique in North America — at KurSpa, the 40,000-square-foot health and wellness centre at Sparkling Hill, located just south of Vernon. The health benefits are overwhelming and people with chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, athletes with sports injuries and others merely seeking an immune-system boost, flock to this cold sauna. For me, cryotherapy is just one of close to a dozen different treatments I’m experiencing during a custom-built, weeklong “Stay Young and Healthy” wellness package at Sparkling Hill.

At this point, a few days into it, I’ve been kneaded, oiled, baked, steamed — and frozen, of course. I’m relaxed, invigorated and on the path to whole body wellness. Perhaps, more importantly, I’ve grasped the concept of “mindfulness.” The backdrop to all this is Sparkling Hill itself, the crystalinfused resort developed by Gernot Langes-Swarovski, patriarch of the Swarovski crystal family, who selected this spot overlooking Lake Okanagan as the place to bring European-style wellness to the rest of the world. Opened in 2010, the $125-million resort and spa is truly a wonder of comfort and exclusivity, indulging every whim, pampering every contour of the body and ultimately offering a haven of relaxation. Nature is visible from every room, framed by huge windows like stunning pieces of art. The sweeping vistas capture the curve of the valley, the peaceful blue of the lake, tree-lined hills and the occasional roll of fog. And then there are the Swarovski crystals — $10 million worth. They’re everywhere, starting outside with crystaldecorated panels on the driveway and a massive crystal-shaped window above the lobby. Inside, crystal chandeliers spill like gleaming waterfalls over public spaces. They line the stairwells, sparkle like stars above the pool and sit encased in glass — glimmering in a gentle fiery red — in the rooms. Even the spa reception computer glints with a crystal screensaver. Each room features a two-person, crystal-shaped tub that overlooks either the lake or the valley, a walk-through, glass shower

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KurSpa sprawls across the main level of the resort; it’s a bright and spacious area filled with the scent of rich essential oils. It offers 100 treatments that range from acupuncture and reflexology, to mud wraps and hot stone massage, custom facials and pedicures. There’s a small gym; a movement room (think yoga); a silent, “serenity” room; and a tearoom, where the view is enhanced by a stunning sculpture that changes colour as you move around it. A year-round, outdoor infinity pool perches at the edge of a cliff above the lake, and from my room I can see people gently paddling about as early as 7 am, before light even dawns in the sky.

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The silky saltwater of the indoor pool, lit from underneath by lights, glimmers like red and blue phosphorescence as you move through it. Crystal lights twinkle on the ceiling and music plays beneath the water’s surface. There’s also a large hot pool and a healing Kneipp Waterway walk. But if KurSpa is the heart of Sparkling Hill, the steam and sauna area is the heart of KurSpa. Here you can find exquisitely rendered themed steam rooms — rose, salt, crystal — and dry saunas (herbal, panorama, Finnish), Igloo and aqua therapy showers. The scents, the heat, the humidity. This is a little piece of heaven. My weeklong Stay Young and Healthy package starts with psychiatrist Dr. Pieter Strauss, who — after chatting with me and studying my health form — determines a dazzling, me-specific array of 10 treatments plus the cold sauna. These are broken down into “body health,” including treatments like the detoxifying Fango mud wrap; “beauty,” which involves a turn-my-toenails-purple pedicure and customfor-my-skin facial; and “massage,” such as my personal favourite — the crystal cranium neck, shoulders and scalp rub. In between the two-a-day treatments, I hit the exercise room, float in the pools, luxuriate in the saunas and sip African tea in the tearoom. I hike a trail — admittedly much faster after seeing a “bear spotted in the area” sign — and savour local wine in the Barrique & Java café. Dinners in the exclusive PeakFine restaurant and a daily buffet breakfast are part of the package. So, on top of

everything else, I feast on divine flavours served up by executive chef Romaine Newell. In the same way as it starts, the weeklong experience ends with Dr. Strauss, who guides participants in an hour-long group session, tying everything together under the banner of whole body wellness and sending people home with techniques for maintaining health. Strauss says there are four common issues among people participating in the Stay Young and Healthy group, which is geared to the over-55 set. These include: caregiver burnout, physical illness (heart disease, chronic pain) and subsequent stress around lifestyle changes; relationship angst; and various forms of loss — even that associated with retirement. In the group session, Strauss presents several tips for ongoing wellness, but focuses on mindfulness, or the art of living in the moment, as a way to diminish negative aspects of life such as worry or chronic pain. “In mindfulness, you accept the pain, but as part of everything else. So you focus on other senses as well — the beauty of the visual, the smells and tastes. As you open up to everything else, the pain becomes smaller.” Learning the lesson of mindfulness is made easy at Sparkling Hill as every sense is satiated, from the murmurs of music to the heavenly scents and flavours of fine dining. It’s a place to just relax and “be.” And as I leave, Bob’s words strum in my head, and this time, they make sense. I’m not worrying … about a thing.

THE SCENTS, THE HEAT, THE HUMIDITY. THIS IS A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN.

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Singer Ken Lavigne: all set for his annual Christmas Road Show.

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FRONT ROW

Les 7 Doigts - Cuisine & Confessions Photos Alexandre Galliez

BY SHERRY CONLY

CHRISTMAS WITH KEN

T

HIS DECEMBER, FAMED CHEMAINUS-BASED singer Ken Lavigne presents his annual Christmas Road Show, featuring classic and modern holiday hits from Bing to Bocelli. “The Christmas show has expanded tremendously, it’s now its own juggernaut,” Lavigne says with a chuckle. The show stemmed from a Christmas album release a few years ago, when Lavigne presented an elaborate performance with the Victoria symphony. “Working with symphonies is amazing — you really have the best seat in the house. It is a truly wonderful feeling to have those strings swelling beneath you and all the colours of an orchestra,” he says. “But, a band is a different vibe. When you have a smaller band, you feel so much more nimble, like you can really stop on a dime. There’s a sense of control. Instead of a Rolls Royce, it’s sort of a Porsche. I decided I’d like to do an old time radio show with variety, a smaller band — less of a huge undertaking than a concert with a full symphony.” This year’s show will feature two musical theatre actors from Toronto for a true triple threat — singing, dancing and acting. Lavigne wants to emphasize good old-fashioned Christmas joy. “We have this moment where we have audience participation and we essentially create an indoor snowball fight with woollen snowballs. We tried it out for the first time last year and I remember distinctly seeing a woman, about 75, belting a snowball at the person across the aisle and just giggling like crazy. Seeing these adults suddenly become seven years old again and rediscovering the joy of a snowball fight is a wonderful thing,” says Lavigne. On top of preparing for the Road Show, Lavigne released a new album, Closer than Ever, in mid November. A collective of the covers Lavigne has been performing for the past year and a half, there are a few original songs blended in as well. “This last recording, I finally got to the point where I feel completely confident, like I’ve come into my own,” says Lavigne. “I’m sensing that my audience wants a bit more, so branching out and doing new things is so important to keep inspiration coming. This time around in the studio, I’m really finding myself as a performer, with melodies and lyrics bubbling to the surface.” Lavigne performs December 16 in Parksville, the 17th and 18th in Chemainus,and December 20 in Nanaimo as part of his tour across BC and Alberta. He will be joined by Ken’s Band and special guests Alison MacDonald and Daniel James White. Keep an eye out for his two young daughters who may be performing a duet or two with Lavigne.

SIZZLING GUITARS

2016-2017 SEASON Sunday, January 22 – 7:30pm

International Guitar Night Pre-Show Chat 6:45pm in Harmac Room

Four renowned guitarists share one stage in this ““ery acoustic extravaganza.”

Tuesday & Wednesday, Jan 31 & Feb 1 – 7:30pm

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Eye-popping acrobatics, avant-garde dance, spoken word, theatre, comedy and cooking show... it’s a treat for the entire family!

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Join Gypsy Jazz legend Lulo Reinhardt, grand-nephew of musical legacy Django Reinhardt, along with three incredibly ground-breaking musicians: Italy’s contemporary guitar phenom Luca Stricagnoli, Brazilian composer and performer Chrystian 89


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Dozza and Indian guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. International Guitar Night promises to be a multicultural collective of masterful talent and a show that you will not want to miss. Reinhardt will be standing in as guest host for guitarist and International Guitar Night founder Brian Gore. Reinhardt is a third-generation master musician from Germany who was first taught by his father at the age of five. At 12, he played in the Mike Reinhardt Sextett and later co-founded the group Django Reinhardt and the Heartbreakers. In 1991, he founded I Gitanos with his father Bawo and cousin Dege, touring throughout Europe and first establishing his national reputation. Luca Stricagnoli, has been called “one of the most exciting new players on the acoustic guitar scene. He bypasses the normal limits of the acoustic guitar and adapts it to any musical genre: from pop to rock, from soundtracks to original pieces.” (Candyrat Records) Chrystian Dozza has won multiple awards, including best instrumentalist of the XIV Prêmio BDMG Instrumental, one of the most important awards within the Brazilian instrumental music community. Debashish Bhattacharya is hailed as perhaps the greatest slide guitarist in India. Said to have incredible musical range, physical dexterity and emotional depth, Bhattacharya was awarded the President of India award at the age of 21.

For tickets visit porttheatre.com

A GALLANT FUNDRAISER

Every weekend from November 26 until December 18, visit

the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and cast your vote for the best gingerbread house. As a fundraiser hosted by Gallant Homes, local businesses will compete to help support Nanaimo’s Salvation Army programs. Byron Gallant and Steve Strenja of Gallant Homes “wanted to start a community project that would bring other industry professionals together. “ “This was an opportunity to get colleagues together to do something positive,” says Lea Silver, event coordinator. There will also be kids activities — like cookie and gingerbread house decorating, colouring and a giant gingerbread friend to meet. Kids can also visit Santa’s Workshop, hosted by the Downtown Nanaimo Business Association. Young Professionals of Nanaimo, Array Web & Creative and United Rentals are just a few of the participating businesses, and the event has several sponsors, including the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, and Port Place Thrifty Foods, which are supplying the kids’ gingerbread houses. VIU’s baking and carpentry students are also participating, supplying the gingerbread and the display platforms for the houses. “I’ve been really impressed and warmed by how the Nanaimo community has gotten behind it. It’s grown this year beyond what we had planned,“ says Silver. There will also be a gingerbread house decorating contest open to the public at the Kris Kringle Craft Market at Beban Park on November 19 and 20.

For more information, visit bgallanthomes.com/ b-gingerbread-homes

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PARKSVILLE UNCORKED AND UNTAPPED

This February, the Beach Club Resort and Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort will host Parksville Uncorked. Now in its ninth year, the weekend-long festival showcases gourmet, regional cuisine paired with the best products from BC wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. Born of the desire to create an exciting shoulder season getaway, the collaboration between the two resorts has become a “premier culinary event presenting the best that the region has to offer,” says Ian Lane, food and beverage director for the Beach Club Resort. “It’s such a proud moment for all of us because it has grown so much. We’re proud of the craft that our distilleries and wineries are producing,” says Luba Plotnikoff, marketing and media relations manager for Tigh-Na-Mara Resort. The weekend begins at Tigh-Na-Mara on Thursday, February 23 with Untapped — a celebration of over 25 BC breweries, cideries and distilleries. On Friday, February 24, the Beach Club Resort will host Swirl, featuring over 35 regional wineries and more than 100 wines. On Saturday, February 25, each resort will host its own winemakers’ dinners. A social event that combines a wine tasting with the opportunity to meet and mingle with winemakers, this year’s winemakers’ dinners will feature four Okanagan wineries, and the wines will be complemented by carefully considered pairings to create a great palate and a delicious experience. On Sunday February 26, each resort will host a small brunch to cap off a weekend of good taste. Reservations are recommended. Tickets may be purchased individually, or combined with accommodations and spa services for the ultimate winter getaway.

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Proceeds benefit the Variety Children’s Charity and the Parksville Rotary Club.

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NUT-CRACKING CLASSIC

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet will present the beloved Christmas classic The Nutcracker this December. The ballet, set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, has been performed worldwide for over 100 years, and now the Royal Winnipeg Ballet has updated the classic tale of Clara and her Nutcracker with a Canadian edge. “We felt that a Canadian theme was the right way to go. I had seen many versions set in the country where the work is being performed and adding Canadian themes was perfect for us. It really connects it with our audiences,” says Andre Lewis, artistic director. Featuring Mounties, a snowy hockey game and even a battle on Parliament Hill, this rendition of The Nutcracker is sure to delight audiences of all ages. The Nutcracker is a ballet known for its role in introducing young talents to the stage in a larger way, and close to 50 Vancouver Island children between ages seven and 14 will be performing alongside the professional dancers. “They love being in the performance. It’s a whole learning process, from learning to work with the kids from other areas, auditioning for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet representative and learning their roles as understudies. The whole process is very exciting for them,” says Jennifer Quibell, coordinator and rehearsal mistress. Founded in 1939 by Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Farrally, the


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Cowichan-based singer Cari Burdett.

Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premiere ballet company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America.

Touring across Canada, there will be two shows held in Nanaimo — on December 5 and 6 at the Port Theatre.

WELCOMING THE WINTER

Multilingual and experienced in opera, theatre and dance, Cowichan-based singer Cari Burdett has travelled around the world as a performer. She released her first album, Magnolia, in autumn 2015 and was awarded Vocalist of the Year at the 2016 Vancouver Island Music Awards. Burdett is also a music producer, teacher and owner/founder of the Lila Music Centre, and presents an annual Winter Solstice show which has become a favourite holiday tradition for many. The show was created six years ago, and this beautiful Cowichan Valley tradition weaves together music, movement and song, providing warmth and peace in the cold winter season when days are short and nights are long. This year’s Winter Solstice concert will be stopping in Mill Bay and Victoria, the latter show landing on the actual evening of Winter Solstice. “One of my favourite things to do as a performer is collaborate, so this is a wonderful time of year to bring together a diverse and eclectic group of friends and musicians,” says Burdett. “Expect to hear some gorgeous folk songs performed a cappella with close knit, mesmerizing harmonies.”

Visit cariburdett.com/solstice/ for more information.

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Comox’s Russell Tibbles, president of Royal Bay Community LP, at the Royal Bay development. 95


C

OMMUTING BETWEEN HIS HOME IN THE COMOX VALLEY and the massive residential development project he’s in charge of in Greater Victoria, Russell Tibbles spends a lot of time in his car. “It’s an exciting project and it’s definitely worth the drive,” says Tibbles, currently president of the Royal Bay Community Limited Partnership, and formerly vice president of development at Fairwinds in Nanoose Bay. Where there was once a huge gravel pit and quarry in a prime oceanfront location, a new 419-acre waterfront development called Royal Bay is taking shape. The brand new, master-planned community, just a 25-minute drive from downtown Victoria, promises to be the new heart of Colwood. “It’s been a big landmark on the West Shore — it’s been a gravel pit for 100 years — and it’s not very often that the opportunity comes up to build a master-planned community right on the oceanfront,” explains Tibbles, whose background is in resort and residential development. “This is unlike any other site on Vancouver Island and I can’t think of anything else in Canada that’s comparable. To be able to develop 400-plus acres on the waterfront in a

growing metropolitan area like Victoria and establish a whole new community, that’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity.” The development has been years in the planning, and people are now starting to move into the first Royal Bay homes. By the time the ambitious project is finished, there will be 2,300 houses and up to 80,000 square feet of commercial space. It will be home for more than 7,000 people. “It’s a big job with lots of moving parts but that’s what makes it fun,” says Tibbles, who grew up in Nova Scotia and has lived in Comox for the past 12 years with his wife and two children. “But with this fantastic opportunity also comes a responsibility to do it right and that’s where my passion lies — transforming this vision on paper into a reality on the ground.” Far from a typical subdivision, Royal Bay’s mandate is to be a progressive and sustainable 21st-century community with bike lanes, trails and an extensive park system that includes a linear park running through the site providing habitat and storm water functions. Even more impressive, Tibbles says a fundamental mission of the planning team is to make sure every home is within a five-minute walk of a park. “In the past, suburban developments tended to have large

ACCESS TO THE OUTDOORS IS ONE OF THE REASONS TIBBLES AND HIS FAMILY LOVE THE COMOX VALLEY SO MUCH.

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areas of residential segregated from large areas of commercial and you’d have to get in your car,” the 51-yearold explains. “We’re seeking to have a vibrant community with shops, schools and recreation so you don’t necessarily have to get in your car if you want to do something.” A quarter of the site, more than 100 acres, has been set aside as green space. That includes the development’s 1.3 kilometres of beachfront, which is slated to be a public park for everyone to enjoy. “In BC, we’ve become really good at essentially privatizing waterfront and we didn’t want to do that,” Tibbles says. Tibbles’ favourite feature is The Commons — which will be Royal Bay’s commercial core — along with the ocean views and the “big sky” first noted by renowned painter Emily Carr as “a place of high skies, blue and deep.” “In 1936, Emily Carr actually spent a summer camped out here and she painted,” Tibbles explains. “So often on the coast we’re up against the trees and it can be dark but here it’s bright and it’s our job to take those natural attributes, like the water and big sky, and to frame them.” It’s not an easy undertaking but Tibbles says he learned an important lesson in his last job at Fairwinds in Nanoose Bay: when it comes to development, slow is fast. “At first the process to build consensus seemed exceedingly slow but I came to realize that it’s the only way to go,” he says. “A slow, deliberate approach actually gets to the finish line faster.” Yet, as hard as he works putting in 50 to 60 hour weeks, Tibbles also plays hard, too.

“If you’re pushing yourself, whether it’s skiing or sailing or biking, you’re focused on that and you don’t think about anything else,” he says. “It tends to crowd everything else out and while it might be physically exhausting, it’s exhilarating and recharges me mentally.” Access to the outdoors is one of the reasons Tibbles and his family love the Comox Valley so much, and they take advantage of all it has to offer from the ski hills of Mount Washington to the bike trails of Cumberland and everything in between. “It’s really a fantastic place — a fun and vibrant place — and it has so many things we like,” says Tibbles. “My son is involved with freestyle skiing and skiing is a big part of our family life. I also really enjoy sailing, so being close to Desolation Sound is a big thing, and I like mountain biking so it’s great to have good trails close by in Cumberland.” Those bike trails have led to some wild stories — literally. And Tibbles learned that contrary to development rules, “slow isn’t fast” when a bear is chasing you. “I had a friend I used to ride with and every single time we went out, we were chased by a bear,” Tibbles explains. “He used to call me bear bait and when you throw in the aspect of something that could eat you chasing you, it makes you go faster!” As for Royal Bay, Tibbles knows the final verdict on all his hard work will be years in the making, but he wouldn’t have it any other way — hence the value of a long commute. “The key is that it not only has to be master planned, it also has to be master implemented and I’m passionate about making sure we do it right.”

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PHOTO BY ADAM NAGASAKI

OUTTAKE

Boulevard photographers Don Denton and Lia Crowe know no bounds when it comes to doing what it takes to get “the shot.” Here they’re seen venturing out in a canoe to capture the outdoor vibe of Olympic athlete Simon Whitfield, who chats about his plans for a healthy 2017 in this edition of Boulevard.

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CALM, COOL AND DECIDEDLY CONTINENTAL INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW LINCOLN CONTINENTAL

2017 CONTINENTAL ALL VEHICLES INCLUDE COMPLIMENTARY LINCOLN MAINTENANCE PROTECTION PLAN ™ ‡‡ 2 years/40,000 km. Receive oil and filter changes plus coverage for 6 wear items. Required scheduled maintenance included with any new Lincoln model, as per the vehicle's Owner's Guide.

3851 Shenton Road, Nanaimo I 250-758-7311 I www.NanaimoLincoln.com HOURS OF OPERATION: MON-THURS: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM FRI-SAT: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM DEALER # 10401 ‡‡Receive a Lincoln Maintenance Protection Plan (“LMPP”) with the purchase or lease of a new Lincoln model at participating Lincoln dealerships. LMPP covers all required scheduled maintenance (as per each vehicle’s Owner’s Guide) for 2 years or 40,000 km from Warranty Start Date/zero (0) km, whichever occurs first (the “Term”); plus coverage for 6 wear items (Brake pads and linings (maximum of 1 set every 60,000km), Brake rotors (maximum of 1 set every 60,000km), Engine belts, hoses and hose clamps, Shock absorbers, Spark plugs, Wiper blades (maximum of 2 sets per year)) for the same Term, due to normal wear or defect. Limit five (5) required scheduled maintenance service visits over the Term, based on a 6-month/8,000 km interval. LMPP offer balance is transferable (transfer fee may apply) if the vehicle is sold (Canadian plans cannot be transferred to US customers).


versatility, reinvented.

2017 CADILLAC XT5 CROSSOVER

LAIRD WHEATON 2590 BOWEN ROAD • NANAIMO www.lairdwheaton.com • 1-800-810-7009

DL# 30960

Profile for Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Magazine, Central Island Edition, Winter 2016/17  

Boulevard Magazine, Central Island Edition, Winter 2016/17  

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