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SPRING 2017

CENTR AL ISL AND LIFE AT ITS FINEST

SPRING TO LIFE CALL OF THE WILD

A refresh for interiors with trendy brass and bold colours

A SLICE OF THE SUN Sunny citrus serves up tangy flavours and bright hues

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FEATURES

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

28 LET THERE BE LIGHT

64 A SLICE OF THE SUN

Simple elegance in

The tangy, sweet and

Qualicum Beach home

sunny flavours of citrus

By Darcy Nybo

By Chef Heidi Fink

44 CALL OF THE WILD

Trendy ways to “refresh”

80 ASCENT TO PEAK FITNESS

interiors for spring

A workout that’s good for

By Chelsea Forman

body, mind and soul

By Pamela Durkin

52 WILD FLOWERS

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Sister dreams of soft florals,

lace and free-flowing fashion

for crisp spring days.

By Katherine Suna


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CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 10 OUR 20 INSPIRED DESIGN CONTRIBUTORS Hit the Wall

86 FRONT ROW

What’s on this month

14 EDITOR’S LETTER 22 Moments that matter 16 INSPIRED STYLE

By Lia Crowe

By Sherry Conly

INSPIRED PEOPLE

94 SECRETS AND LIVES

Leon Drzewiecki

By Lia Crowe

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INSPIRED CHEFS

Eric Edwards,

Tigh-Na-Mara

By Susan Lundy

Michael Tickner By Angela Cowan

Ann Marie Clark

By Angela Cowan

38 TALKING WITH TESS

98 OUTTAKE

Michael Hartmann

By Tess van Straaten

By Lia Crowe

72 TRAVEL FAR

In the Jungle

By Hans Tammemagi

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OUR CONTRIBUTORS

ANGELA COWAN

JEN CLARK

SHERRY CONLY

MAKEUP ARTIST: WILD FLOWERS

WRITER: FRONT ROW

WRITER: INSPIRED PEOPLE

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“Remnants of snow on the ground at Millstone Winery didn’t stop our talented team from creating a feeling of spring. When doing makeup on models Sierra and Evanne, it’s easy to not want to put a stitch of makeup on them, as these two lovely ladies exude beauty from every pore.” Jen is a freelance makeup artist, who has been working with Boulevard for several years. Her work has encompassed many fields including commercial, TV, music, theatre, and special events.

“The vibrant mid-island arts and culture scene is blooming. This spring, see gorgeous wildlife carvings, tour the Cowichan Valley Artisans’ studios, see Ingrid Jensen and her famous trumpet play with tomorrow’s jazz stars, celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with a lively concert, or take in a contemporary ballet.” Born and raised in Nanaimo, Sherry graduated from Vancouver Island University with a degree in writing and a focus on journalism.

“Although I’ve written profiles on many artists, chatting with Michael Tickner about his techniques gave me a new appreciation of how paintings are structured— how the artist uses form and colour to keep your eye moving, but also to keep you in the frame and engaged with the image. It was most interesting!” 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.

LIA CROWE

DON DENTON

PAMELA DURKIN

PHOTO STYLIST: INSPIRED CHEF

BOULEVARD PHOTOGRAPHER: INSPIRED PEOPLE

WRITER: ASCENT TO PEAK FITNESS

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“The best part about shooting for Boulevard is experiencing the beauty of the island and the lovely people we meet along the way. Walking along the huge expanse of beach at Tigh-NaMara with Chef Eric Edwards at sunset, followed by the mouthwatering smells of his delicious creations was part of an evening to remember.” Lia Crowe is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer.

“I walked in to Michael Tickner’s studio and flashed back to Vancouver’s Stanley Park 30 years ago where my wife and I saw an exhibition of Michael’s brightly coloured paintings and longed to buy one. Too late now for an original painting, but I did walk away from his studio with a print of one of his new Nanaimo scenes.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics.

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 Pamela Durkin, Heidi Fink,

“Until a friend recommended it as a way to shake up my rather tedious fitness regimen I had never entertained trying indoor climbing. Now, I’d encourage anyone to try the sport — it truly provides the ultimate mind/body workout.” Pamela is a freelance health writer and nutritional consultant whose work has appeared in Boulevard, Eat, Reader’s Digest, Alive, Spa Business and more.

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

Chelsea Forman, Darcy Nybo, Hans Tammemagi, 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 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 Andrea Rosato-Taylor

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan

Pat Brindle

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responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519.


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OUR CONTRIBUTORS

HEIDI FINK

CHELSEA FORMAN

DARCY NYBO

WRITER: A SLICE OF THE SUN

WRITER: CALL OF THE WILD

WRITER: LET THERE BE LIGHT

PAGE 64

PAGE 44

PAGE 28

“It was a challenge finding special citrus like kumquats and blood orange ahead of their season, but we needed them for the recipe testing and photo shoot. We managed it, and had so much fun with the colours and flavours of all the beautiful fruit.” Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.

“With the close of winter, we begin to transform our homes in the annual spring refresh. This season’s trends are defined by the beauty of diverse culture collaboration, nature and bold shapes. Whether you delve into a home renovation, or stick to décor updates, 2017 is all about openness and unison.” Chelsea is a writer of all topics lifestyle.

“Holly and Wayne Bowles created a home that suits all their needs, is energy efficient and combines practicality with unique features. This beautiful Qualicum home is perfect for living life well.” Darcy Nybo is a freelance writer, writing instructor and author. She loves meeting and chatting with the people who have created their dream homes and telling their stories.

KATHERINE SUNA

HANS TAMMEMAGI

TESS VAN STRAATEN

STYLIST: WILD FLOWERS

WRITER: IN THE JUNGLE

PAGE 52

PAGE 72

WRITER: EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN PAGE 38

“The chickens, wood stove fire, and lingering scent of wine really set the mood for this shoot. Models Sierra and Evanne embodied a true sisterhood-like bond, while daydreaming of adventures beyond the family farm. The structured linen, cosy knits and soft florals delivered this wonderful, organic feel to the fashion story.” Katherine is a Nanaimo stylist, blogger and devoted dreamer.

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“Visiting the depths of the Amazon jungle, and surviving, was an extraordinary experience. I loved it!” Hans lives on Pender Island and writes articles and books about travel, environment, First Nations and odd, quirky things. He has penned 10 books (one national bestseller) and writes for numerous newspapers and magazines in Canada and internationally.

“It was fascinating to learn the history behind Hartmann’s & Company and how Michael’s parents came to this country in search of a better life. They took a big risk starting their own businesses and then, when business was booming, the family took another huge risk packing up and moving to the Island only to have the recession hit. It just shows you what hard work — and a never-give-up attitude — can do.” 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

Finding moments that matter BY SUSAN LUNDY

PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

O

N SEPTEMBER 14, my husband stepped out of his truck at the entranceway to Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring, collapsed, and went into full cardiac arrest. A nurse, who happened to be leaving at the end of her shift, dropped to her knees to perform CPR. Paddles on a nearby crash cart were rushed into action. Bruce was stabilized and helicoptered to the Cardiac Care Unit at the Royal Jubilee, where within a couple hours, he had two stents inserted into his heart. Three days later, he went home — one of only seven per cent to survive this particular type of heart attack, also known as “the widow maker.” That’s the bones of the story. There’s a lot of flesh to it as well. Bruce’s family has no history of heart disease. He’s an average-weight, nonsmoking 56-year-old who, despite a fondness for beer and burgers, ate well and exercised a couple times a week — the heart attack hit on the blind side. Now several months later, lifestyle changes are in place. We’re eating even better, drinking less and exercising more regularly. (No longer able to consider french fries a food group — my heart is a little broken as well.) And we are beyond grateful at the miracle that is our medical system and all the amazing people who make it work. But the real “flesh” of the story is what an incident like this does to the way you view the world. Clichés abound — “seize the day,” “stop and smell the roses,” “enjoy life to the fullest.” But they are just words until you are forced to look directly into the eye of your own mortality. A lot of fear follows an event like this. For me, there were haunting images of what might have been — “What if it had occurred at home while I watched helplessly?” — and separation angst: “Will he have another heart attack while I’m gone?” Eventually time passes, diagnostic tests show excellent results, the cardiologist says the prognosis is good, and the acute anxiety fades. But you realize you’ve “dodged a bullet” (back to the clichés) and you try to make sense of it all. How do you “live each moment like there is no tomorrow” — now that you really understand there may not be a tomorrow? And this is the real meat of the story — the question that everyone needs to consider. What are the good, true, honest and

joyful things in your life that make you want to get up in the morning? What drags you down? How can you bring passion, light and love into your days, and weed out dissonance? This issue of Boulevard does not attempt to answer such existential ponderings. But it does offer a few ideas to lighten the grey of winter and add pleasure — both simple and sublime — to your day. To help brighten these oft rainy spring months, consider our feature stories Call of the Wild — how to refresh, restage or re-model interior living spaces — and A Slice of the Sun, highlighting the sweet, tangy flavours of citrus. Our travel story takes a luxury cruise deep into the Amazon, while our health feature presents a different kind of journey — the ascent to peak fitness — a fun, social and mindful way to get a full

body workout. There’s vibrantly coloured floral fashion, shot at the beautiful Millstone Winery, plus an exploration of myriad artsy events coming up this spring throughout the mid-Island, from Parksville to the Cowichan Valley. This issue of Boulevard also introduces lots fascinating people, including artist Michael Tickner; Michael Hartmann at Hartmann & Company; Cedars Restaurant and Lounge executive chef Eric Edwards; the exuberant Ann Marie Clark; and the stylish Leon Drzewiecki Many speak to their passions, their values and the things that make them get up in the morning — bringing us back to the importance of finding those moments that breathe joy into our lives. There are no guides as to what should or should not make you feel good — it could be an explosion of colour, a thought-provoking painting or a slice of sweet and tangy citrus. But it’s these moments that we need to treasure — and treasure like there is no tomorrow.

WHAT ARE THE GOOD, TRUE, HONEST AND JOYFUL THINGS IN YOUR LIFE THAT MAKE YOU WANT TO GET UP IN THE MORNING?

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Boulevard editor Susan Lundy is a former journalist and twotime recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award. Her award-winning 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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LIFE

FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT:

Gabriel’s Gourmet Café, Baby Salsa Mexican.

ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIECE: Vancouver brand,

FAVOURITE COCKTAIL/WINE:

Fidelity Denim. “I live in these jeans.”

Vodka Cran or Borgo Molino Vigne & Vini Cabernet Sauvignon.

FAVOURITE PAIR OF SHOES: Casual: ECCO

Jack Modern Tie. Dress: Stacy Adams cognac dress shoe.

ALBUM ON CURRENT ROTATION: James

FAVOURITE ACCESSORY:

Secrid Leather wallet, made in Holland.

Arthur, Calvin Harris, Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Led Zeppelin. FAVOURITE CITY TO VISIT: North

Vancouver and Victoria. FAVOURITE HOTEL: Ink

Amsterdam. FAVOURITE APP:

Fancy. FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD:

Vancouver Island.

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FASHION OBSESSION:

“Watches, classic and never goes out of style. There’s a watch for every occasion.”

“I DON’T SEE MY BUSINESS AS WORK, I’M BUILDING A LIFESTYLE FOR MY FAMILY AND MYSELF. MY PASSION LIVES IN MY BUSINESS, DRIVING AND MY FAMILY.”

ACCESSORY YOU SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON:

Watches and shoes.


o m ai own an nt N dow

A

COMBINATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL spirit and personal need for good clothes inspired Leon, now 36, to launch a menswear store in 2014. “There are very few options for men’s retail and I felt that I could fill this need in our local market.” Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Leon used his carpentry background to create a masculine feel to the store, using reclaimed wood and other materials from around the island. “Experiencing the feeling of our store is our number one objective. I constructed the space to be very warm and inviting.” When it comes to good style for Leon, it’s all about fit. “With the right fit, your style brings your confidence to the surface. To me it doesn’t matter what the label is, as long as the fit is right and it gives you the feeling that it was tailor-made for you.”

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inspiredCHEFS

ERIC EDWARDS, EXECUTIVE CHEF CEDARS RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE, TIGH-NA-MARA SEASIDE RESORT & SPA TEXT BY SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOS BY DON DENTON


QUICK FACTS:

• Age: 53 • Born in North Vancouver; grew up in the Comox Valley • Trained at Camosun College in Victoria • At Cedars for 25 years — from sous chef to executive chef — developing his culinary craft and learning different skills at each level. “No day is ever the same with different menus, features, banquets, conferences, weddings, special events. It’s always a new day and I embrace each day with passion for all things culinary.” • Previously worked at the Victoria Golf Club

WHAT ARE YOU BEST KNOWN FOR AS A CHEF?

“Passion on a plate.” I’m passionate about giving guests the ultimate experience.

WHAT ARE THE 10 OR SO MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS IN YOUR PANTRY? Coconut milk, ginger, maple syrup, olive oil, parmesan, quinoa, peanut butter, grainy mustards, steel-cut oats and chocolate.

FAVOURITE DISH TO COOK AND EAT ON A WET, WINTERY DAY? Braised winter vegetables with curry and basmati rice.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO ITEM WHEN SAMPLING OTHER CHEFS’ FARE? Seafood, especially cedar-planked salmon.

HOBBIES? I truly love cooking both at home and at work. Other interests are around fitness. I’ve been biking to and from work for many years. I also enjoy getting my hands dirty in the garden. Oh, and of course, I enjoy checking out other restaurants to see what they are creating. CAN YOU SHARE AN EASY, SEASONAL RECIPE FOR A QUICK BITE THIS WINTER? Bison Meatloaf & Caramelized Onion with Honey BBQ Sauce Serves 8 2 eggs (slightly beaten) 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (finely chopped) 2 Tbsp grainy mustard 3 Tbsp crushed garlic 1 cup diced and sautéed onion 1 cup diced sautéed wild mushrooms

Chef Eric Edwards prepares a bison meatloaf wrapped in bacon in his kitchen at Tigh-Na-Mara resort in Parksville.

1 cup bread crumbs ½ cup diced bacon 1 Tbsp sea salt Mix all above ingredients together and stir into two pounds of ground bison. Place in a loaf pan and bake approximately 70 minutes at 325F. Caramelized Onion & Honey BBQ Sauce 4 Tbsp butter 1 medium sliced onion 2 16 oz cans of tomato purée 4 Tbsp brown sugar 5 Tbsp honey 2 Tbsp molasses 2 tsp Worcestershire 4 tsp crushed garlic 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper ½ tsp cumin Place sliced onions in saucepan, add butter and cook evenly until light brown. Add all other ingredients, reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens. Slice meatloaf evenly into eight portions and top with caramelized onions. Serve with your favourite mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

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Escape to the Comox Valley Spring Spa Special! Get a complimentary enhancement with any 60 min Facial or Body Treatment.

Wallpaper is back! From traditional to contemporary, graphic to colour-rich, wallpaper has returned as the new way to accent island homes with a hit of colour and a touch of glamour.

PHOTO BY DON DENTON OF A VICTORIA HOME BY GRIFFIN RESTORATION SERVICES

Mention Boulevard Spring offer, valid M -Th, through April 27, 2017.

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inspiredPEOPLE

THE BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL WORK OF

MICHAEL TICKNER BY ANGELA COWAN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

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New Spring Fashion

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Michael Tickner in his Nanaimo studio.

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2017-02-03 4:45 PM


S

NUGGLED UP TO THE BASE OF SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN in the heart of

Nanaimo’s “Sherwood Forest,” Michael Tickner’s new studio is surrounded by many of the same elements so often found in his paintings: craggy-topped mountains, a view of a blue-grey sea, swathes of green in the evergreens and shrubs. The London, England-born Tickner and his wife made the move to the Island three years ago after spending nearly three decades in Lions Bay on the mainland; he moved into his new artistic digs at the beginning of this year. “We knew we loved it here,” he says. “Many Augusts, we used to tour the Island. Being over here, it’s like living in Vancouver in the ‘70s.” The move came as Tickner was nearing the 45th year in his artistic career, and it’s a career that has been enormously successful. Tickner, 70, became a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, of the Fine Arts Trade Guild of England, and has had his art commissioned for a number of public spaces, including SkyTrain pillars, a 30-foot mural at Richmond General Hospital, an eight-foot salmon at the Richmond Public Library for the Save Our Salmon Foundation and an eight-foot orca, located at the waterfront park at Port McNeil, for the BC Chapter of the Lions Organization. His charity work has been long and varied, with contributions and art donations made to the Ronald McDonald House, Vancouver Children’s Hospital, Children’s Help Phone and many more. And he’s also been kept steadily busy with private commissions and his own inspirations through the years. But there was a time when art was the last thing on his mind.

Tickner was accepted into the prestigious London School of Art when he was just 16 years old, but because he was too young, he was forced to defer his enrolment for one year. It was a year he spent recovering from jaundice, and at the end of it, “the last thing I wanted to do was go back to school, any school,” he says. Instead, he ended up working in business for a number of years (“logistics, materials handling”), where he met his wife, and through her was introduced to Vancouver Island. “She was born in Port Alberni and grew up in Sechelt,” says Tickner. After doodling a gnarled tree on a scrap piece of paper for her one afternoon, he quietly rediscovered his love for art, and with the support of his new wife, dedicated his future to his art career. “That sparked something. We ran away to the south coast of England, to Brighton, and I sold paintings on the seafront,” he says with a smile. It’s one of the romantic stories of his life, and one he loves to tell. His passion for paint rekindled, he began working in earnest, and continued when they moved to Canada. He experimented with a palette knife and ink washes in the 1970s, and in the mid-‘80s produced a series of detailed pen and ink drawings of British Columbia scenes. Then in 1987, he developed his current style, what some have called a mix of primitive and contemporary techniques, with the help of his then eight-year-old son. “I created with his help because he handed me the paints,” he says with a laugh. The first piece was of a teddy bear flying a kite, and his repertoire expanded hugely from there.

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dimensional blocks of colour surrounded by lines — and added depth and perspective, making it unique in its own right. “There may be aspects of other people’s [styles],” says Tickner of his work. “But you’re always evolving.” He approaches his pieces as though they’re “an agreement between the viewer and the artist. You have to keep people looking at the picture. The longer they look, the more likely that they’ll see something to connect with.” Look carefully at any one of his paintings, and you’ll find your eye drawn to a single focus, as is often the case in art. And from that focal point, your eye will travel up a path, or over a cresting wave, and then perhaps meet a tree reaching for the sky or a unique cloud, but there’s always something that keeps you in the frame. Many of his pieces are inspired by landscapes in Whistler, Howe Sound and through Vancouver. Gazing at one of Tickner’s pieces feels like going for a stroll, and the more you look, the more the ground feels familiar. “You buy a painting because it agrees with something you already have in your head,” he says. That may be a memory, a feeling or an image, and Tickner is adept at forging that connection. With originals for sale at Vancouver’s Pousette Gallery, 22 images in print in a variety of mediums and a steady stream of commissions, Tickner has no plans for slowing down his illustrious art career. And if the clutter and chaos of setting up his new studio become overwhelming, he can always step outside to breathe in the ocean view, and relax in the little pocket of serenity he’s claimed for his own. And perhaps the Island vistas will inspire a new series of paintings.

GAZING AT ONE OF TICKNER’S PIECES FEELS LIKE GOING FOR A STROLL, AND THE MORE YOU LOOK, THE MORE THE GROUND FEELS FAMILIAR. Focusing largely on landscapes, Tickner began catching the bus into Stanley Park nearly every day with his paints and easel under his arm to work en plein air, “testing out the new stuff” and selling his 5”x7” originals for $35 each. Tickner was in Stanley Park for one summer when the Horizon’s West Gallery invited him into their space and had a sell-out show for him the following January. Fast-forward to now, his smallest originals sell for $995, and he has collectors who come from around the world to select their next pieces of his art. With his work’s bold colours and black outlines, Tickner is often asked if he was influenced by the late Ted Harrison, but it’s actually English artist Colin Ruffell to whom Tickner likens parts of his work. Ruffell’s work is “off the beaten track a bit,” says Tickner. And while Ruffell uses an ink wash to “antique” his work, the two artists both use black outlining with similar effect. In regards to Harrison’s work, Tickner took the primitive style — two-

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LET THERE BE LIGHT SIMPLE ELEGANCE IN QUALICUM BEACH HOME BY DARCY NYBO PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

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HOT PROPERTIES

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W

HEN HOLLY AND WAYNE BOWLES DECIDED TO MOVE out of their timber frame

home they knew their new build had to be unique and suit both their needs. “This new home is made of metal, rock and concrete with some cedar siding,” said Wayne. “It’s quite different from our timber frame home. We wanted something warm, clean, bright, open and airy.” They took their design to Ryan Hoyt Designs in Victoria and Wayne took on the role of general contractor. The abundance of light is the first thing you notice upon stepping into this home. The front foyer has an Innotech door with full glass on either side, plus transom. The floorto-ceiling glass on the opposite wall and dozens of Vinyltek windows also set the area awash in light. Wayne, who owns Complete Windows with his son, Eric, is an expert on letting light in while keeping heat and cold out. At night, 144 LED pot lights brighten both the interior and exterior of the home. Wayne’s favourite part of the house is the 20-foot-wide and

10-foot-high Marvin Wall, a glass multi-slide door that stacks into other glass panels and then slides into the wall. “I love the Marvin Wall. It gives us a 20-foot-wide opening to the back deck. We’ll be putting a fireplace out there, and it gives us instant access to our yard and garden.” Wayne described the building process as “pretty quick.” “It took a month to tear down the previous home and prepare the lot. From there it took six months for the entire build.” Among the interesting features in this home are the kitchen cabinets. “We went to see Kay at Classic Kitchens in Parksville because I wanted something different and I knew Kay would be able to help me achieve my goal,” explained Holly. “They are Merit cupboards with stainless steel trim and handles. I like them because they match our stainless steel appliances, backsplash, the bar area and the hood range.” The kitchen is outfitted with a Wolfe, six-burner gas range and a Samsung fridge with an extra drawer for easily storing food platters. There’s also a Dacor double oven and a Miele dishwasher. The sink is heavy stainless steel by Luxart. Holly truly loves her kitchen. “I wanted a big island in the middle of the kitchen,” she said.

“WE HAD THE SAME FIREPLACE IN OUR OTHER HOUSE, AND I LOVED IT. A FRIEND HAD ONE IN HER SHOP AND WHEN SHE DIDN’T NEED IT ANYMORE, WE BOUGHT IT.”

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“This one … can seat 10 people comfortably. When we have friends over, everyone gathers in the kitchen area so the island is great for entertaining.” Under the large island are several storage areas. “We keep our office under the island,” Wayne said, opening it to show the pullout with a printer perched on it. “We keep our printer and our files down here for when I work from home.” Holly’s other must-haves were a butler’s pantry and a separate laundry room. “I love the pantry because it makes it easy to keep the mess out of the kitchen when we are entertaining. There’s an upright freezer in there and it’s a great space to do prep work. We had a motion sensor/tap faucet installed for ease of use. The laundry room is just past the pantry which makes it easy to get to, but out of the main living area.” A stand-out feature in the dining room is the light fixture. “You have to put it together yourself, in whatever order or placement you like, with as many or as few crystals as you want,” said Holly. “That way there are no two alike.” All the blinds in the house are motorized and on a timer.

“We had The Window Dresser come in to do all our window coverings,” said Wayne. “I like that we can operate them from anywhere in the world from our iPhone.” The precast concrete fireplace in the great room has an interesting story behind it, Holly explained: “We had the same fireplace in our other house, and I loved it. A friend had one in her shop and when she didn’t need it anymore, we bought it.” “We stored that fireplace for six years,” added Wayne. “It was worth it. It looks great in this house.” The Bowles thought it might be tricky bringing their antique and wood furniture from the timber home into the new house. With polished concrete floors and a great room ceiling that slopes from 18 to 15 feet, the décor had to be just right. That was easily solved when they installed the fir doors and trim. The warmth of the fir blends perfectly with the furnishings and gives the entire home a warm feeling. “I like that the floors are polished concrete,” said Holly. “It’s so easy to keep, you don’t have to take your shoes off, and it’s great for the grandkids.”

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“We put a shower outside by the back door for the kids too,” added Wayne. “After playing outside, they can shower before they come into the house. It’s also great for hosing off your boots before you come in.” The master bedroom in this home is simple — just the way they wanted it. There is no bathtub in the en suite; instead, it features a four-by-six-foot shower with a substantial skylight above it. 34

“Neither of us are bath people, so we put in a large shower with two shower heads (because we don’t like the same type),” said Holly. Behind the shower sits the master closet. “The walk-in closet was specifically designed so you didn’t have to walk through it to get to the bathroom,” explained Holly. “We put it right behind the shower so you can get to it from either side of the bathroom.”


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“WE WANTED SOMETHING WARM, CLEAN, BRIGHT, OPEN AND AIRY.” The guest room is located at the front of the house and has a “cheater” en suite with a barn door dividing the bedroom from the bathroom area. “We installed under-cabinet motion sensor lights here and in the other full bathrooms,” said Wayne. The home also has a two-car garage and large workshop. The frosted glass in the garage doors gives the house a nice glow in the evening and lets in natural light during the day. Access to the 35


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workshop is through the garage, via a front, roll-up door or the back door. It’s a craftsman’s dream with plenty of room to hold lots of projects. Above the garage sits a 800-square-foot, one-bedroom suite. “It has a private entrance, so we can rent it out in the winter by the month, or by the day or week in the summer,” said Holly. “It’s also extra space for visitors when they come to visit. It has a small balcony out front, where guests can enjoy the sunrise with their morning coffee.” The two moved into their new home in November and were pleasantly surprised by their Hydro bill. “It was only $50 for the month,” said Wayne. “When we insulated, we used spray foam and brought the house up to R30 in the ceilings. The walls are R22 and the crawlspace is R22. The heat pump costs us about $1.50 a day.” When Wayne learned it was going to cost them up to $50,000 to spray insulate their home, he decided to buy his own equipment. “Instead of spending 50K, we opted to spend two or three times that much and bought all the equipment.” He added with a laugh, “We started a new division of our company; now we have Complete Spray Foam.” After only three months in their new home, the Bowles are getting inquiries from would-be purchasers. “The house doesn’t look like anything else on the street or in


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this area,” explained Wayne. “We’ve had people come to the front door and ask if the house was for sale!” “It isn’t,” added Holly. “Not yet anyway.” She smiled at her husband. “Despite the tall ceilings and concrete floors, this is the most comfortable house we’ve ever lived in.”

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I

T’S ONLY FITTING THAT NANAIMO’S HARTMANN & COMPANY, which is celebrating

half a century in business this year, is housed in a historic downtown heritage-designated building. “We’re a 50-year-old company in a 100-year-old building and we’ve been in it for about a quarter century,” explains coowner Michael Hartmann of the family business, which — like the converted feed mill they’ve renovated several times — has gone through several reincarnations over the decades. “We remain relevant for our clients by re-conceiving our space and re-conceiving their needs,” the 57-year-old says. Hartmann runs the successful furniture, interior design, restoration, refinishing and antique business with his wife, Jewels, and sister, Lillie. But the family affair started back in 1967 when his parents, Terry and Lina Hartmann, quit their jobs and took a leap of faith. “My dad went to Europe and bought antiques with his last $3,000 and it was very much a of leap of faith,” explains Hartmann. “They came to Canada because it really was truly seen as the land of promise.” When the Hartmanns moved to Canada from Holland as newlyweds in 1957, they only had $100 to their name. But they

were hard-working and determined to live the Canadian dream. They ended up settling in the town of Okotoks, just south of Calgary, where the first incarnation of Hartmann & Company was started. “My dad bought the old general store and turned it into an antique centre and we became one of Canada’s biggest antique importers,” Hartmann says. “We imported a 40-foot, jumbo seagoing container every 21 days during the peak.” That was in the late 1970s and business was booming. But the Hartmanns decided to take another big leap and move to Vancouver Island in 1981. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best business move but the Island reminded his parents of the Dutch coast. “When we came to Nanaimo, it was a one-employer town all about logging and not a very sophisticated marketplace. And we were trying to sell antiques,” explains Hartmann. “We had almost no business and then the recession hit and everything crashed — literally the month we got here the bottom fell out of everything.” But the family persevered and despite the challenges, Hartmann says sales went up every month. “We’re Dutch and we never give up!” jokes Hartmann. “We had struggles and it was humbling, but it made us stronger and more determined. We’ve obviously done something right to stay relevant all these years.”

“WE HAD STRUGGLES AND IT WAS HUMBLING, BUT IT MADE US STRONGER AND MORE DETERMINED.”

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Foreseeing the end of the antique rush in the late 1990s, the company transitioned into new furniture and became a home décor destination well before it was trendy. “We were doing it before Winners, Home Sense and Home Outfitters, but then everyone started doing home décor, even Home Depot, so we started to back away because we were no longer unique and providing a specialty service,” explains Hartmann. The company went back to its furniture roots and focused on selling good lines, building original products and doing restorations and upholstery in addition to repair work for moving companies and disaster restoration. “We’ve really re-invented ourselves in the last few years and added affordable locally made furniture as well,” says Hartmann. “We can now appeal to the university crowd right up to seniors and professionals in between.” The company’s had many clients for decades and one area that’s seeing a lot of growth is the custom refinishing and upholstery division. Few businesses offer the service, but Hartmann says more people are looking to breathe new life into quality pieces that stand the test of time. “I think the throw-away society will be looked back on in history as a very short-lived era,” says Hartmann. “It’s already starting to peter out as people look for longevity and quality

instead of cheap pieces that rarely lasted longer than the time it took to pay them off.” As for the business standing the test of time, Hartmann says that has a lot to do with family. All three Hartmann siblings and four grandchildren have worked in the family business over the years. Hartmann himslef has been with the company for 45 years and his passion for it can be traced back to going on buying trips to Europe with his dad. “Starting when we were about 12, my dad would take one of us three kids each time and we’d go to all these antique dealers and museums and castles, and then visit family in Holland,” Hartmann reminisces. “It was a great education and those are really cherished times.” It’s a tradition Hartmann carried on with this own son, Nikolas. The 29-year-old is now taking on an active role in the third-generation family business. “He’s been helping out since his teen years and he’s a wonderful cornerstone of the business now,” says Hartmann. “We go on buying trips together, just like I did with my dad, and we solve the problems of the world.” As for the future, Hartmann says, everything old is new again so expect this half-century business to keep reinventing itself. “Reinvention is inevitable,” he says. “A company not reinventing is going backwards so we’re constantly looking for new services and products to remain relevant.”

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S

PRING — A TIME OF RENEWAL and … spring

cleaning? Yes, spring is often the occasion people look to freshen up their living spaces, creating brand new looks that can be as big as a complete home renovation, or as small as adding a trendy jungle-patterned cushion to a neutral-hued couch. For me, thoughts of spring conjure images of leisurely bike rides, flowers pushing vibrant heads through sodden soil and sweet spotted fawns on wobbly legs. It’s all very poetic in my world and I’ve never had any difficulty understanding why spring is a word so intimately entwined with that of renewal. But I’ve never understood why such a splendorous season is also perpetually linked to time-honoured tasks of domestic blitz. It’s almost an inherent human quality — the need to purge and clean our spaces come springtime. After a bit of research, I discovered that spring cleaning is a deeply rooted tradition, spanning numerous cultures globally. In the past, homes were tightly sealed up to keep heat in during winter, resulting in a thick accumulation of soot and stale air. Come spring, windows were flung open, homes thoroughly cleaned and the remnants of

winter swept away. Technology has done us a lot of favours in how we heat our homes during winter, so while the tradition of spring cleaning isn’t essential now, we continue to spend the preceding winter months hibernating indoors. During this time snuggled up in front of Netflix, we grow tired of our surroundings and crave a change of scenery, which is how spring cleaning has evolved into an utterly fun refresh of our living spaces. A home refresh undoubtedly means something different to everyone, and that’s great because no matter the scale, there is something for everyone — whether that be a simple restage or a total home overhaul. Steve Strenja, partner and construction manager at B. Gallant Homes Ltd., explains that a spring refresh can include a complete home redesign. A popular change this year is transforming the floor plan into a bright and spacious, open-concept space by removing some interior walls. He adds that home renovations are tightly linked to a person’s lifestyle: “We reconfigure living space to reflect new lifestyle.” An open-concept space is fantastic for young families,

DURING THIS TIME SNUGGLED UP IN FRONT OF NETFLIX, WE GROW TIRED OF OUR SURROUNDINGS AND CRAVE A CHANGE OF SCENERY, WHICH IS HOW SPRING CLEANING HAS EVOLVED INTO AN UTTERLY FUN REFRESH OF OUR LIVING SPACES.

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Interior designer Lana McIver discusses spring décor at a Parksville home.

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allowing parents to keep an eye on active little ones. It’s also great for those who entertain often. Retirees, Steve says, aren’t moving or downsizing, but instead, are recalibrating their homes to function as primarily main-floor living spaces, and expanding master bedrooms. Whether you choose to renovate or not, interior design is critical for making a space uniquely yours. With the advent of spring, Lana McIver, president and director of interior design at the Interior Design Group, begins looking for design trends. She specifically watches what’s happening in fashion —many fads seen in the industry will walk right off the runway into our homes. 48


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Lana explains, “We look at the runway and print advertising in terms of fashion and the fashion industry. It’s important to take that into account because people start being introduced to fabric, textures, colours and the mixing of colours through those avenues.” As with updating our wardrobes every season, being cutting edge trendy on the home front can be pricey, and this is why Lana stresses how the little things can carry a big impact. “By updating small things like throws and cushions, you can get a fresh look,” she says. The trick is to invest in good quality staple pieces of furniture in neutral shades. Then, as trends change, it’s easier to keep up.

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Updating small things like cushions and throws can have a big impact. 50


Lana also touches on the significant role social media plays in interior design. “Social media has a significant impact on what the consumer is looking at. Everything across the world is so global that preferences change faster than they ever did before.” This includes the mash of cultural influence social media lends to home décor. “Neutrals — including white, beige, camel, pale greys and soft blush pink — will stay prominent in design,” Lana advises. However, she adds, this year, that palette will act only as a canvas to significantly bolder colours and accents. This season she expects to see a varied abundance of fabric textures, including woven jacquards and woven chenille, in jungle foliage prints. She predicts warm gold colours offset by rich and wild jungle hues of greens, grey blue and cobalt blue will adorn many rooms, while modern, non-traditional, geometric shapes in wallpaper and lighting will provide unexpected accents. Another major trend Lana forecasts for this spring is the introduction of burnished brass into our living spaces. “People started wearing different colours of gold in fashion and it’s now sliding into interior home design. Brass is proving to

be very strong in 2017, primarily in kitchens and bathrooms.” Introducing brass can be as simple as swapping out lamps or light fixtures. “For a more minimal update I would look at the light fixtures in the kitchen or dining room. If there was a hanging pendant, I would introduce something in burnished brass that would also be quirky, artsy — something geometrical and unusual,” Lana explains. She provides a quick mental image of how this season’s trends can be incorporated into the kitchen, describing an open-concept space with white cabinets, marble counters, burnished brass pendants and a splash of blush pink throughout. Add a feature wall with some funky wallpaper infused with geometric shapes and a few cobalt blue accents — and voilà, you have just entered my dream kitchen. Spring 2017 marks a shift in home design. Whether you transform your space to open-concept living through renovation, or refresh through décor, this season’s trends are about unison. Through our homes we can get back to our natural roots of defining beauty as the instinctual intermingling of culture, nature and overall diversity. It’s a season that, as Lana so aptly puts, is “a call of the wild.”

A POPULAR CHANGE THIS YEAR IS TRANSFORMING THE FLOOR PLAN INTO A BRIGHT AND SPACIOUS OPEN-CONCEPT SPACE BY REMOVING SOME INTERIOR WALLS.

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WILD FLOWERS BY KATHERINE SUNA

PHOTOS BY LIA CROWE

Spring has blossomed on the family vineyard, inspiring sister daydreams of life beyond. Structured linen, soft florals, lace and free-flowing silhouettes pair beautifully with cosy knits for crisp spring days. Boulevard gets down to island roots and visits Nanaimo’s Millstone Estate Winery, a family-run vineyard nestled beside the Millstone River. The property’s organic ambiance and old-world character provide the perfect backdrop for the soft florals and textures that are bursting into fashion this spring. 52


FASHION

BLUE BELLES On Evanne: Fringed hem “Geela” jeans ($159) by Part Two, navy floral top ($139) by Velvet, and navy knit sweater ($179) by Part Two, all from Sartorial Boutique; Ervin sling-back, suede booties ($175) by Sam Edelman from Hudson’s Bay On Sierra: Loose-cut linen top ($76), linen gauchos ($137), all by Cut Loose, and sleeveless sweater vest ($241) by Bryn Walker, from Close to You .

53


INDIGO GIRLS On Evanne: 
“Geraldine” navy lace blouse ($92) by BB Dakota from MOD Apparel; Dark jewelled studs ($15) by Garbo from Close to You On Sierra: “Halden” off-the-shoulder lace dress ($108) by BB Dakota from MOD Apparel; square gemstone earrings ($30) by Canvas from Sartorial Boutique

54


MAY FLOWER Silk floral dress ($398) by Leisure at www.leisure-thebrand.com; squared gemstone earrings ($30) by Canvas, and long stone necklace ($34) by JQ Vancouver, all from Sartorial Boutique; Ervin slingback suede booties ($175) by Sam Edelman from Hudson’s Bay


SWEET PETAL DREAMS Blue floral dress ($108) by Design Lab from Hudson’s Bay; grey knit sweater ($156) by Minimum from MOD Apparel; square gemstone earrings ($30) by Canvas, and Kira gold stack rings ($10 each) all from Sartorial Boutique


PETAL POWER

• Makeup and hair: Jen Clark • Models: Evanne Bednarski and Sierra Lundy • Photographed on location at Millstone Estate Winery in Nanaimo

On Evanne: Black, floral, long-sleeved dress ($118) by GUESS, and Ervin sling-back suede booties ($175) by Sam Edelman all from Hudson’s Bay; dark jewelled studs ($15) by Garbo from Close to You 


On Sierra: Rose print dress ($96) by Angeleye from MOD Apparel; squared gemstone earrings ($30) by Canvas from Sartorial Boutique 57


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302-9115 Lochside Drive $1,595,000 | MLS 373831

Amazing oceanfront family home designed by Zebra Designs. This impressive 3 bedroom, elevator equipped home located in a private View Royal neighbourhood features hardwood flooring, granite counters, security system, custom cabinetry and so much more. Enjoy impressive views over the Esquimalt Harbour from all levels of this 3,900 square foot home.

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.

Spectacular oceanfront penthouse with panoramic mountain & ocean views. The open floor plan combined with the amazing views and outdoor space is perfect for entertaining or relaxing. This spacious 2000+ sqft home includes a deluxe kitchen with custom cabinetry, granite counters & s/s appliances. A master suite with luxurious ensuite, 2 spare bdrms and a 2nd full bath ensure plenty of space for family or visitors.

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A SLICE OF THE SUN CITRUS BRINGS COLOUR AND ZEST TO GREY WINTER DAYS BY HEIDI FINK

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HE BRIGHTEST SPOT IN THE WINTER KITCHEN is a bowl of colourful citrus fruits — a taste of sunshine promised inside their brightly coloured skins. With its juicy tart, sweet and bitter flavours, citrus offers a perfect contrast to the otherwise boring winter produce rotation of root vegetables and cold storage apples. Citrus season is at its peak in the winter months; you’ll find the best quality and biggest variety from December to the beginning of March. That’s also when we can find some unusual or exotic types of citrus: satsumas, Meyer lemons, tangerines, kumquats, blood oranges and finger limes, to name just a few. Although most of these deliciously tart and fragrant fruits are perfect for out-of-hand eating, they are easily put to work in the kitchen as well. Citrus can be used in a dizzying variety of recipes, spanning the menu from dessert, to side, to sauce, to entrée. The following menu touches on citrus fruits’ flexibility and versatility in the kitchen: aromatic kumquats in a sweet-andspicy chutney, jewel-like blood oranges in a salad, tart limes to infuse a juicy pork roast and Meyer lemons to add an intoxicating perfume to a light-as-a-feather dessert. Enjoy! And, remember, the sun is on its way back to us. Kumquat Chutney

Makes about 500 ml Kumquats have a sweet and fragrant skin and a very tart interior, making them a perfect fruit to use in a complex and delicious chutney. Kumquats vary from quite dry inside to juicy, so adjust the amount of water accordingly. Serve this chutney as a fruity accompaniment to grilled or roasted meats and poultry, or with vegetarian curries of any kind. 2 cups fresh kumquats (about 225 g) ¾ cup sugar ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or lemon juice ¼ cup fresh orange juice ½ cup water, adjust as necessary Pinch salt 1 cinnamon stick 2 whole cloves 8 pods green cardamom ½ tsp whole coriander seed ¼ tsp to ½ tsp chili flakes Cheesecloth 2 slices of ginger (optional) Wash the kumquats and cut them into quarters, removing any large seeds as you go. Place the prepared kumquats in a mediumsized saucepan. Add the sugar, vinegar, orange juice, water and salt. Place the spices (including the ginger, if using) in a square of triple-thickness of cheesecloth; fold over the cheesecloth and tie it into a little packet. Place this spice packet in with the kumquats. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kumquats are tender (their pith will start to appear translucent) and the juices are syrupy. Add more water, if necessary, to prevent the mixture from getting too thick and sticky. Or, if the kumquats are very juicy and the mixture is too runny, continue to cook for a few minutes longer to thicken. Remove from heat. Remove the spice packet with tongs or a fork, pressing the packet against the side of the pot to get all


Reverse Seared Pork Loin Roast with Lime Crust

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the juices out. Let the kumquat chutney cool completely before using. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

additional lime zest over the roast for an extra boost of lime flavour.

Reverse Seared Pork Loin Roast with Lime Crust

Golden Basmati Rice Pilaf with Preserved Lemon

Serves 4 large portions or 8 modest ones Reverse searing is one of my favourite ways to prepare a roast, ensuring meat that is evenly cooked and very juicy throughout, and with a crackling, flavourful crust.

Makes 4-plus cups of pilaf, to serve 6 to 8 people. This is one of my all-time favourite pilaf recipes as the flavour of the caramelized onion plays against the sweetness of the cranberries and the tart complexity of the preserved lemon for an addictive flavour combination.

One 4-bone pork loin roast, chine bone removed (about 4 lbs) 1½ tsp fine sea salt 2 tsp light brown sugar 1 tsp freshly ground pepper Finely grated zest of 1 lime (about 2 tsp) Additional lime zest, plus juice, for finishing the roast

Preheat oven to 250°F and adjust oven rack to centre position. Score the fat cap of the pork roast in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. In a small bowl, mix together salt, sugar, pepper and lime zest. Rub this mixture liberally all over the pork, pressing into the meat. Place pork roast, fat side up, in the roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast until an instant-reading thermometer registers 135°F to 138°F, about 2 hours. Remove pork from the oven and tent with foil for about 10 minutes. Increase oven heat to 500°F. Remove foil from pork roast and return to the oven. Cook until the exterior is browned and crisp, and the internal temperature is 145°F to 148°F, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Internal temperature will continue to rise, finishing just above 150°F. Before carving, sprinkle fresh lime juice and

1 yellow onion, quartered and sliced thin ¼ cup ghee or butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 1½ cup basmati rice (Tilda is one of my favourite brands) ½ tsp turmeric ¼ tsp cayenne ½ tsp salt 2¼ cups broth (vegetable or chicken) 2/3 cup dried cranberries 1 small or ½ large preserved lemon 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley or dill

In a medium pot with a tight-fitting lid, sauté the sliced onion in the ghee or butter over medium-low heat until the onion is dark golden brown, at least 20 minutes. Remove onion with slotted spoon to a plate. Set aside. There should be at least a tablespoon of butter left in the pot. If not, add some more to make up the difference. Return the pot to the stove at a medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté briefly, until fragrant. Add the basmati rice, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté

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1 small Belgian endive, leaves separated and sliced lengthwise ¼ small radicchio, sliced thinly Optional — ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds OR pumpkin seeds

Citrus Dressing 1 Tbsp very finely minced shallot ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp honey or sugar Finely grated zest of 1 lime (about 2 tsp) Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp) Finely grated zest of 1 orange or blood orange (about 1 Tbsp) 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed juice of orange or blood orange ½ tsp salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup light oil (e.g. grapeseed, sunflower)

Lemon Feather Cake with Meyer Lemon Cream (GF)

for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly until spices and rice smell toasty. Add the broth and the salt. Bring to a boil, stir to mix everything well, reduce heat to lowest setting and cover. Cook rice covered and undisturbed for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off. Remove lid, scatter cranberries over the top, replace lid and let pilaf sit for 10 more minutes. Meanwhile prepare the preserved lemon by cutting into quarters. Rinse and remove the insides, leaving only the peel. Cut the peel into very small cubes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid from the pilaf. Add the reserved onions (you may have to reheat them briefly in the microwave if the butter has hardened) and the prepared preserved lemon. Gently stir these into the pilaf along with the cranberries. Serve the pilaf topped with yogurt and chopped parsley or dill for garnish. Salad of Winter Greens, Beets and Pomegranate with Citrus Vinaigrette

Serves 8 Nothing says citrus season more than a bright salad full of bitter greens and sweet-tart citrus. My favourite to use here is blood orange, but navel orange works well, too. Salad 3 blood oranges OR 2 navel oranges 1/2 pomegranate, seeds removed 4 small or 3 medium beets, boiled whole, then peeled and sliced ¾ lb of mixed greens (micro greens, arugula, baby kale, radish sprouts) 70

Salad To cut the oranges into segments start by cutting of both ends of the fruit. Place one (now flat) end on a cutting board. Use a small paring knife to cut off the skin and white pith from top to bottom, following the natural curve of the orange, and not cutting too much into the flesh. Once the skin has been cut off, pick it up in your hand and cut the orange segments out, slicing between the segment membranes with the paring knife. You should end up with a pile of orange segments that have no skin or pith on them. Squeeze the “core” you have left in your hand over a bowl. Use this juice later in the dressing. Repeat with remaining orange(s). On a large platter, arrange the salad greens, the prepared endive and the prepared radicchio in a pleasing arrangement. Scatter the prepared orange segments, the pomegranate seeds, and the optional toasted seeds over the greens. Drizzle with half of the Citrus Dressing and serve immediately, passing more dressing at the table. Dressing In a small mason jar, combine the shallot, Dijon, honey or sugar, all the citrus zest, all the citrus juices, salt and pepper. Screw the lid on tightly and shake well to combine, until the sugar and salt dissolves. Add both oils and shake again until well mixed. Alternatively, make this a small bowl, whisking well to combine. Dressing will last for two weeks in the refrigerator. Lemon Feather Cake with Meyer Lemon Cream (GF)

Makes one 10-inch cake, serving 12 people. This recipe is adapted from one I found years ago in the pages of the Canadian Living 20th Anniversary Cookbook. Gluten free, light, luscious, lemony — a keeper for sure. NOTE: for a dairy-free version, use the Earth Balance shortening and coconut milk to substitute for the butter and whipping cream, as directed in the recipe. Cake 6 eggs, separated 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest 1¼ cup berry sugar or superfine sugar ¾ cup potato flour (potato starch), sifted ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice Icing sugar, for decorating the cake


Lemon cream filling 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or Earth Balance Buttery shortening) Pinch salt 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tsp finely grated zest of Meyer lemon 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed juice of Meyer lemon 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed juice of regular lemon 2 egg yolks 2/3 cup whipping cream (or solid coconut milk) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 10-inch springform cake pan with parchment paper. Cake: In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with the lemon zest and half of the sugar for at least five minutes, or until pale and thickened. Set aside. In a separate bowl using clean beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. NOTE: It is very important that the egg whites are not beaten too stiffly. If egg whites are over-beaten, they will lose their ability to hold air when folded into a batter. Sift one third of the flour over yolk mixture and gently mix it in. Fold in half the egg whites. Repeat steps once. Sift over and fold in remaining flour. Transfer one quarter cup of batter to a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Fold this back into the remaining batter. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on rack. Filling: Fill a medium pot about one third of the way with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer and place a medium bowl directly over the pot. This is a makeshift double boiler. Put the butter (or Earth Balance) in this bowl and melt. Add the sugar, Meyer lemon zest and both types of lemon juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until frothy. Slowly pour in about Âź cup of the lemon mixture, whisking all the while. This helps temper the yolks and keeps them from curdling when they are added to the whole mixture. Slowly pour egg yolk mixture into the bowl with the remaining lemon mixture, whisking the whole time. (The bowl should still be over the hot water.) Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 8 minutes, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the bowl from heat and let the mixture cool completely. Refrigerate until cold. In a separate bowl, whip cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd that is in a bowl. (If using coconut milk, use only the solid stuff at the top of the can.) Refrigerate filling until cold and thickened. It should be as cold and thick as possible when serving the cake. To assemble cake: Slice cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Place bottom layer on a cake platter. The edges of the cake platter should be lined with 4 strips of parchment paper. Spread filling over the cake layer. Cover with top layer of cake. Sift icing sugar over the top and decorate with berries, if desired. Remove the strips of parchment paper from the edges of the cake platter. The filling is not very stiff, so when serving the cake, make sure to use a very sharp, thin knife (serrated would work) to make the cuts, and cut with a very gentle downward pressure (more like sawing). The filling will still ooze out a bit, but not too much. 71


TRAVEL FAR

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Deluxe master suite on the Delfin II.

"S

SHHH,” SAYS ERICSON, OUR GUIDE, pointing to two eyes peering from a pool. “It’s a green anaconda.” My heart almost stops as he reaches into the water and wrestles out a writhing, seven-foot-long, very agitated snake. Keeping a goodly distance, I timidly snap photos. Our group of eight continues along a muddy trail through a dense maze of vines, multi-shaped leaves and towering trees in the humid, sweltering Amazon jungle. Ericson brings over a tarantula, huge and hairy, displayed on a plate-sized leaf. Then he shows us a small red frog, warning, “Don’t touch; its sweat is used to make poison darts.” Ericson finds two more big snakes — boa constrictors this time. Sweat drips down the back of my shirt, but my senses are all a tingle with this primordial experience. A sloth watches 74

placidly from high up. The hike ends and we board a skiff and motor back to the mother ship, the splendid — and safe! — Delfin II. We’re cruising on the headwaters of the Amazon River in the isolated Pacaya Samiria National Reserve of Peru. In contrast to the daily outings, our time aboard the Delfin II is luxurious and, well, even hedonistic. The boat is new (2009) and shines in lovely local wood — capirona for floors and marupa for walls. Her 14 staterooms could be mistaken for stylish, upscale hotel rooms. Each day my queen-size bed is decorated with an elegant swan folded from a towel. The room includes air-conditioning, flush toilet, hot shower and, best of all, an enormous window offering grand views onto the more-than-a-kilometre-wide river. A massage at the spa, an exercise space, and yoga are


available, and I enjoy sipping a cerveza or pisco sour while reading and gazing at the view. But my favourite is visiting the bridge. The captain, who speaks little English, shows me maps and GPS positions on a screen and loudly tries to explain where we are. In spite of his best efforts, I still feel disoriented deep in this jungle, far from my accustomed urban life. Mealtimes are especially anticipated, for Peruvian cuisine is amongst the world’s finest and the Delfin’s executive chef is superb. Today I join three well-travelled Australian businessmen. One says with an Aussie twang, “I never imagined such good tucker in the middle of a jungle.” He’s right; we’re on a culinary adventure. Other passengers (there are 24) include a honeymooning couple from Lima, a German couple, two British gentlemen and three couples from the United States. The conversation is witty and intelligent, helped, no doubt, by the generous flow of wine. On board we are in a cosy cocoon, wanting for nothing. Outside, however, we are in a totally different realm, one that is lush, humid and teeming with life from small insects to multi-coloured birds to reptiles to mammals. There is definitely an edge, a frisson of danger, but most of all, an overwhelming feeling of awe, as though we’re immersed in the very crucible of life and evolution.

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In the morning we divide into three groups, clamber aboard skiffs and head upriver. We turn into a small meandering tributary, one of dozens in this enormous rabbit warren of water. We’re enclosed by greenery: strangler figs, kapoks, palms, vines and more. Cawing, chirping and squawking surround us; more than 1,500 bird species are found here. Our binoculars and cameras capture red-bellied macaws, a flock of egrets, a tree full of storks, several hawks, an oriole blackbird and a blue-headed parrot. And for a few moments

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a shower of nutshells cascades down like rain from a troop of monkeys feeding high overhead. Rounding a bend we come upon a village where children rush down to meet our skiff. Six ramshackle houses with thatched roofs stand on stilts; none have window coverings to prevent mosquitos. It’s a sad sight and I wonder what the future holds for these people. Our guide passes out pens and pencils to the smiling, excited children. That evening we learn about indigenous cuisine. The chef


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explains with the rolling Rs of Spanish, “The jungle provides a wonderland of culinary material.” He stresses the importance of fresh fish, nuts and fruit, which he sources from the local indigenous people. In other presentations we learn the Amazon River is immense, discharging more water into the ocean than the next seven largest rivers combined. And the jungle basin it drains is enormous, encompassing an area the size of the United States. We learn how the water level changes dramatically during the year, about a fish that jumps out of the water to lay its eggs on dry bushes, about jaguars and tapirs, and macaws that eat clay. The largest collection of plant and animal species in the world live here. I’m overwhelmed. Another day we skiff through a winding tributary. Ericson points to a tree trunk with six bats curled up inside a cavity. A hawk perches nearby, watching us. We travel in silence, each of us absorbed in the beauty and mystery of this place. That afternoon we jump off the skiff in the middle of the wide river and swim. Surprise! The backs of pink dolphins are cresting above the water nearby. Ericson explains these freshwater dolphins are intelligent, friendly and curious. I’m thrilled when two briefly come so close I can see their long snouts and almost touch them. Late in the afternoon we motor slowly down a small twisting tributary. We stop in a marshy area to fish for piranha and pull in several. The 10-inch-long fish look innocuous, except for their sharp serrated teeth. I decide I don’t want to fall overboard here. With dusk settling, swarms of mosquitos emerge, oblivious to my lather of DEET. As the moon plays hide and seek among

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clouds, the stillness is shattered by the blood-curdling screech of a howler monkey. Ericson scans a spotlight along the shore and soon illuminates two bright dots: a pair of eyes. Slowly the skiff approaches. Ericson leans over the bow and, with a happy shout, he pulls up a three-foot long caiman by its tail. Holding its snout tightly, he lets us touch the reptile before releasing it. I renew my pledge to not fall overboard. Back on the Delfin II, I join the honeymooning couple and a pleasant American duo for the final dinner. It’s hard to believe this amazing trip will soon be over. A traditional Peruvian dish is laid before us. “This is the best trip we’ve ever taken,” says the American lady enthusiastically. My mouth full, I can only nod enthusiastically in agreement.

IF YOU GO, YOU NEED TO KNOW

General Peru information: visitperu.com Delfin Cruises: delfinamazoncruises.com. Dr. Jean-Jacques Decoster, a renowned ethnohistorian, will deliver lectures about the Amazon basin on some Delfin II sailings. Flights: Many airlines go from Vancouver to Lima. Then fly to Iquitos to meet Delfin staff. Currency: 1 Sol = $0.39 Canadian Electricity: Peru uses 220 V electricity. Their plugs use two rounded (not flat) prongs. Language: Little English is spoken, so bring a Spanish phrasebook. Visa: Canadians only need a valid passport.


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HEALTH FEATURE

ASCENT TO PEAK FITNESS INDOOR CLIMBING BENEFITS BODY, MIND AND SOUL BY PAMELA DURKIN PHOTOS BY CATHIE FERGUSON

Climbing at Victoria's BoulderHouse. 80


“THE MOMENT YOUR BODY IS ON THE WALL, ALL THE NOISE OF LIFE DISAPPEARS AND THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS MOVEMENT TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.”

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NE OF THE RESOLUTIONS I MADE at the beginning of the year was to overhaul my rather ho-hum fitness regimen. I’d grown weary of monotonous sessions on the elliptical machine — I wanted a new challenge, one that would engage my body AND mind. When a friend suggested, rather enthusiastically, that I try indoor climbing, my curiosity was piqued; it was a sport I knew little about and had never considered it as a “real” workout. But after doing a little research, I changed my mind and became seriously intrigued. Indoor climbing is one of the fastest growing sports in North America and it’s garnering attention and praise from fitness and medical experts alike — for good reason. Evidence suggests the sport challenges every muscle group in the body, in addition to being a superb stress buster and overall brain booster that can help improve cognitive function and serve as a valuable adjunct in the treatment of conditions like autism and depression.

“PEAK” FITNESS

Impressed, but not persuaded that indoor climbing can give you the same “cardio-oomph” your morning jog does? Consider this—studies indicate ascending a rock wall can get your ticker pumping as effectively as climbing stairs or jogging. In fact, a one-hour climbing session can burn well over 700 calories—much more than the 560 calories you’d burn spending the same amount of time running at a six-mile-perhour pace. What’s more, climbing utilizes almost every muscle group in the body, not just your arms. “It’s a full-body workout,” says Jonathan Hamilton, owner of Nanaimo’s Romper Room Indoor Climbing Centre. “And one that particularly builds core strength, which is essential for overall health and fitness.” “You’re like a monkey when you’re climbing,” echoes Max Considine, program co-ordinator at Victoria’s Boulders Climbing Gym. “You use your whole body, legs and core to propel yourself up the wall — climbing improves the strength, endurance, speed and flexibility in most major muscle groups and not many sports do that.” That full-body workout translates into a pretty attractive aesthetic. Proponents of the sport claim regular climbing can leave you with strong, toned shoulders, lean thighs, strengthened arms, back and neck and a rock solid “core.” In addition, the long reaches and intricate footwork needed to scale a wall can develop flexibility and balance and leave you as limber as, yes, a monkey.

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MENTAL BENEFITS

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In addition to helping you achieve peak fitness, climbing can enhance your mental health. According to research from Indiana University, climbers who totally lose themselves in the flow of the sport enter a mindset that can create euphoria and even block physical pain. Rob Somogyi, co-owner of BoulderHouse, Victoria’s newest indoor climbing venue, confirms this finding without hesitation. “The moment your body is on the wall, all the noise of life disappears and the only thing that matters is movement to solve the problem.” (Routes are referred to as “problems” in the sport.) There’s even more good news for your noggin—some small studies have shown that indoor climbing can have positive effects on anxiety, depression and ADHD. Not surprisingly, some hospitals in Germany already use rock climbing as a therapeutic approach to treat depression. In Austria, where the sport is heralded as an activity that promotes mindfulness, self-awareness, self-efficacy and trust, there is even an Institute for Therapeutic Rock Climbing. Considine isn’t surprised, saying, “Climbing in general requires a high degree of concentration, focus and perseverance—it really builds confidence, puts you in a Zen sort of state and improves overall cognitive function.” He adds, “I’ve seen painfully shy children lacking in selfesteem, blossom into self-confident, outgoing kids within a month of taking up indoor climbing — it’s wonderful to see that kind of development.”

“I'VE SEEN PAINFULLY SHY CHILDREN LACKING IN SELF-ESTEEM, BLOSSOM INTO SELF-CONFIDENT, OUTGOING KIDS WITHIN A MONTH OF TAKING UP INDOOR CLIMBING.”

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Another salient element in indoor climbing’s trifecta of health perks is its inherent social aspect. Climbers are a supportive bunch. Spend time at any climbing facility and you’ll see people swapping tricks and tips with individuals they’ve never met before, or several people climbing on a section of wall working out the route together. You’ll also likely see folks who’ve completed a route gathered on the ground cheering on others, who are still propelling up the wall. “It’s truly a super fun, social activity,” says Romper Room’s Hamilton. “Whenever I walk into the centre, I see people of all ages, from every walk of life, laughing, cheering each other on, developing team work — it’s such an inclusive sport.” Why is all this important? A plethora of studies confirm


I

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that socializing is good for us, and heals us through the same basic physical mechanisms as diet and exercise. People with good social connections have stress hormone blood profiles that are significantly healthier than folks who are isolated. They also have more circulating immune cells and lower cardiac inflammatory protein. If garnering some insight into the benefits of indoor climbing has piqued your interest about the sport, you don’t have to look far to find a superb facility. Nanaimo is home to a first-class climbing gym and Victoria also boasts fine climbing venues. Whether you try traditional indoor climbing — which involves scaling higher walls utilizing a harness and ropes — or bouldering, a branch of the sport where people climb without ropes over safety mats at heights of up to four or five metres — is a matter of personal preference. Most good gyms offer both options and also rent, at a nominal fee, any equipment you may require. All you need to do is show up and begin your own ascent towards peak physical and mental health. NANAIMO CLIMBING VENUE Romper Room Indoor Climbing Centre (250-751-ROCK) 4385-B Boban Dr., Nanaimo.

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FRONT ROW BY SHERRY CONLY

A ROUNDUP OF THINGS ARTSY, MUSICAL AND FUN HAPPENING IN CENTRAL VANCOUVER ISLAND THIS SPRING SEASON. ENJOY BEAUTIFUL ART, GLORIOUS MUSIC AND DIVINE DANCE FROM COWICHAN TO PARKSVILLE.

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CARVERS AND CREATORS

PACIFIC BRANT CARVING AND ART SHOW MARCH 8-9, COMMUNITY CENTRE IN PARKSVILLE

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AT HOME WITH ARTISANS COWICHAN VALLEY ARTISANS TOUR APRIL 21-23

As part of a twice-yearly studio tour each spring and fall, the Cowichan Valley Artisans present a weekend-long tour of homes and studios, featuring quality art, including en plein air watercolour paintings, live edge woodwork design, handcrafted silver and copper jewelry, salt-fired pottery, stone art installations, glass work and more. Participants experience art in action, seeing firsthand what inspires artisans, learning their techniques and exploring the valley. “Learning about the process helps show how much work is involved in creating these pieces. People are generally interested to see your studio and gallery... It’s our story,” says group organizer Cathi Jefferson, who specializes in salt-fired pottery, a process that eliminates the need for glazing and provides a different patina and finish than that of traditional pottery. Another member, Morgan Saddington, designs and handforges silver jewelry. “I strive to have my jewelry as seamless as possible, and to have a high level of quality,” says Saddington. “Typically, it takes several hours just to cut out the tiny little rings that form each piece, but I try not to think about how long it truly takes.” New members Andreas Kunert and Naomi Zettl (Ancient Art of Stone) design functional art like fireplaces and outdoor kitchens, using locally and globally sourced stone. Working in collaboration with John Lore (Live Edge Design), the end result is one of a kind pieces focusing on West Coast design.

2016-2017 SEASON

Photo: John Hall

HE PACIFIC BRANT CARVING AND ART SHOW is a feature event of Parksville’s Pacific Brant Festival. Hosted by the Vancouver Island Woodcarvers Club, the show features stunning pieces by carvers, turners, painters, jewellers and sculptors from all over North America. The show has its roots in the Parksville/Qualicum area, but had a five-year run in Victoria, before moving back to Parksville in 2016 — most of its core volunteers reside in the mid-Island area. The move has breathed new life into the show. “Having been away for a while, it made the show fresh again and had great success last year with an upswing in the number of carvers. Overall, there were 300 carvings and 116 carvers,” says show chair Bill Beese, a carver for 27 years. This year promises to be just as vibrant. One of Canada’s best known wildlife woodcarving competitions, there are five different skill levels for participants, and almost 50 different categories. “In addition to the competition where people can see the different carvings … about a dozen of the top wildlife artists in BC come to the show, such as Sue Coleman, Judy Maxwell and Alan Cornwall.” Proceeds from purchases, auction items, raffles and ticket sales will benefit the Nature Trust of British Columbia. See thebrant.ca

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Painting by Laurel Hibbert — part of the Cowichan Valley Artisans Tour.

“The group is incredibly diverse,” says Jefferson. The artisans are all dedicated to their craft full-time and focus only on highend creations. See cowichanartisans.com

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Acclaimed trumpeter Ingrid Jensen will play alongside Nanaimo’s jazz students in JazzFest 2017, presented by the Harbour City Jazz Society. Raised in Nanaimo, Jensen now resides in New York City and has carved out her own space in the music world. Not forgetting her roots, Jensen has spent plenty of time collaborating with Nanaimo’s Wellington Jazz Academy instructor Carmella Luvisotto. “Bringing in artists such as Ingrid gives students something to look up to — it gives them a hands-on involvement with a ‘real’ working musician. And she’s someone who went through music programs just like the students working with her at the festival,” says Luvisotto, who has been teaching music since 1996, and was the 2004 recipient of the prestigious Keith Mann Most Outstanding Music Educator in Canada award. JazzFest will feature students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community and Wellington Secondary School. The event provides students an opportunity to perform and showcase their talents for the community, and ticket sales benefit school music programs. “Music is crucial in society. It’s one of the greatest tools that we have to get lost in the sound and energy around us. It’s the last bastion of organic creativity,” says Jensen, adding,


“Music grows like a being — it’s like raising a good kid — the more people around, the better.” “A female role model in the jazz world is also important, so female high school music students can see that they too can be a successful musician,” says Luvisotto. As a young musician, Jensen was mentored by Diana Krall, and influenced by musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald. Having grown up in a musical household, Jensen still plays with her sister, Christine, today. Christine Jensen is a jazz saxophonist, and in collaboration with guitarist Ben Monder, they released a new album, Infinitude, in late 2016. A graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and a Juno award nominee, Jensen leads her own quintet, quartet and organ trio. She teaches extensively and also mentors Nanaimo students, which she particularly enjoys. After performing for over 20 years, she no longer gets nervous, but knows that playing for the first time in a large venue can be daunting for young musicians. “Don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun. If you’re having a good time on the stage and listening to everyone around you, you can let go and feel the music,” says Jensen. “Unless your instrument falls apart in your hands, you’re going to be fine!” Audience members can ensure support goes directly to their school of choice by applying a code for buying online or calling the Ticket Centre. See porttheatre.com

CELTIC ROOTS

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contemporary, while honouring the music and culture of the seven Celtic nations. Performing across Canada since 2008, Rant Maggie Rant pairs Celtic sound with an unexpected fusion of Latin, Mediterranean, African and blues/rock rhythms. Each member of the band has his/her own particular strength and influence, like lead vocalist Glen Dias, who hails from Duncan, BC. “We’re rule breakers that honour tradition,” says Dias. With expertise on a variety of instruments, the group, consisting of Lindsay Schindler (fiddle and vocals), Dias (vocals, recorder and percussion) and Barry James Payne (acoustic guitar, bouzouki, harmonica and vocals), is a good example of different backgrounds coming together in a way that works perfectly. “We give ourselves a lot of latitude when it comes to traditional music,” says Dias— so much that their newest album released in November 2016, is named Latitude. Aside from the three core members, Rant Maggie Rant always performs live as a six-piece band, and the current lineup is co-founder Rob Larose (drums and percussion), Steve Clarke (electric and upright bass) and Daev Clysdale (Irish Flute, whistles and accordion). The band has performed with wellknown artists such as Ashley MacIsaac, Loreena McKennitt and Trent Severn and The Bills, as well as several orchestras to date. “Playing with the symphony is a different animal,” says Dias. “It’s inspiring because you have something underneath you, supporting you. The vocals shift when singing with an orchestra, the instruments take on a different sound.” See porttheatre.com

LES GRANDS BALLETS DE MONTREAL: MINUS ONE APRIL 5 PORT THEATRE

Created by choreographer Ohad Naharin, Minus One is a complex display of a series of interlocked stories performed by the 27-member Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal troupe. The performance is composed of pieces that contract and expand, contradict and complement. “Some are more like meditation — like the fluidity of warm milk — and others are more intense, more obvious,” says artistic director Gradimir Pankov. The music is a blend of traditional, baroque, world rhythms, classics and original compositions, and the performance is designed to keep audiences entranced. “It moves differently and you have surprises because the whole work is about expecting the unexpected. It’s a kind of patchwork put together, but comes together naturally and surprisingly well,” says Pankov. Les Grands Ballets was founded by Ludmilla Chiriaeff in 1957 and focuses on marrying traditional ballet with the unexpected.

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retired, Mills has been playing professionally since 1971, when he started out as the player for The Bells, a group that saw success with their single Stay a While. Mills found solo success with Love Me Love Me Love, his first and only composition that included vocals. Mills never felt comfortable as a singer, and instead turned his focus to songwriting and composing. Mills’ biggest hit was Music Box Dancer, an iconic tune that catapulted his career and allowed him to build on that success with many more compositions, piano instruction books, a book titled Adventures with Morley and no less than 28 albums. Most recently, Mills was honoured and thrilled to receive an Honorary Licentiate Diploma from the Conservatory of Canada in London, ON. “This is the conservatory’s most advanced diploma, and some pretty important people went there before me so I was quite flattered and quite surprised,” says Mills. “I met a lot of the kids there, and really enjoyed meeting them and hearing their songs, which were some of the best I’ve ever seen and heard.” “There was a time when I did three tours a year, Canada, Japan, the States and all over Europe, but that slowed down as my recording years slowed down. We’re down to one tour a year now, anywhere from three weeks to a month. I think by keeping my hand in the music business in a semi-active way, it keeps my mind sharp and keeps my playing tuned up.” See porttheatre.com Frank Mills — Mr. Music Box Dancer. OUVER G VANC 91 SERVINND SINCE 19 ISLA

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ANN MARIE CLARK EXCELS IN NON-TRADITIONAL SETTING BY ANGELA COWAN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

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W

HEN I WALK INTO NANAIMO’S Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln dealership set to interview Ann Marie Clark — the only woman in Ford to own two dealerships on Vancouver Island — I admit I’m expecting someone who fits the “businesswoman” stereotype. The automotive industry still has a reputation for being a boys’ club, and for a woman to have made such a success in it, she’s got to play hardball, right? But rather than having the sharp edges and pointed heels I subconsciously imagined, Clark greets me with an effervescent “Hi!” and a beautiful beaming smile. She’s bubbly, cheerful and in the few seconds it takes to walk from the front desk to her office, she tosses out “hellos” and “how are yous” to all the folks on the floor. She offers me tea as we sit, and her easy and genuine manner makes me feel like we’ve been friends for years. We get talking babies and motherhood, before I have to laugh and get us back on track. Clark is clearly comfortable here, and there’s good reason. The daughter of Steve Marshall — who’s owned Steve Marshall Ford in Campbell River since 1966 — Clark has been around the auto industry for as long as she can remember. “Everything I know is the car business,” she says. As a kid, she spent nearly every Saturday morning filing in the offices, and as a teenager, worked at the dealership through the summers, often sitting at the burn barrel — “in the days before shredders,” she laughs. After high school, though, Clark had a different career path in mind. She sat her dad down for one of the hardest conversations she’s ever had with him. Although an only child, she told her father, she didn’t want to follow his footsteps into the family business. Disappointed, but trying to be supportive, he asked Clark what she did want to do. “I loved the sciences,” she remembers, “and so I told him I wanted to be a doctor.” With her proud parents’ blessing, Clark enrolled at the University of Victoria. Never one to go easy on herself, she took a full slate of science courses, including labs, and burned out after three years. She came back to the dealership for the summer, undertaking holiday relief work for others, and had a moment of clarity that would shape the next several decades of her life. “It was like coming home,” she says. “I told my dad this is where I wanted to be. This is all about people, and I love people.” Steve was thrilled, she recalls, laughing as she remembers the

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next part of the conversation. “I told him, ‘great, so I don’t need to go back to school then.’” Clark shakes her head with a wide smile. “I can still hear his laugh in my head.” A year later, with a degree in biology, she went to work at the dealership, filling in a variety of positions until she finally tried selling on the floor, which proved challenging in its own way. Known as the owner’s daughter from toddlerhood, she was at a disadvantage. “I said to Steve at the time, ‘I need to move away if I’m going to find anyone to take me seriously.’” And in 1996, she got her chance when he bought the Nanaimo dealership, and asked Clark to oversee its setup. Clark, who had a different last name than her dad, finally had the opportunity to shine — on her own and not as the boss’ daughter. “It was all-encompassing. It was a pivotal moment for me,” she says, getting a bit teary. “It was like, I get to be me for the first time.” She remembers getting to the dealership by 4:30 am and not leaving until 9 or 10 pm each night. “We took the dealership and turned it on its head, and shook everything out,” she says. Computer systems, filing, right down to the basic organization — everything was rebuilt from the ground up, with Clark there every day at the forefront. By 1997, her hard work and dedication bought her another

opportunity when she was promoted to general manager of the Nanaimo location at just 26 years old. “Around six or eight years ago, I bought the dealership from Steve,” she adds. “And in 2012, Joe [Cunningham of Parksville] finally agreed to sell to me.” Now the proud owner of two dealerships, she has a team of well over 100 employees, and has continued to run the business with an enormous amount of heart, and the high integrity and work ethic she learned from her father. “I learned my charity from him,” she adds. As a force for philanthropy in the community, she’s been involved in running large campaigns for Loaves and Fishes and the Salvation Army, and in raising $30,000 for the SPCA. As we’ve been going through her history — with no shortage of jokes and anecdotes thrown in — I’ve been admiring how she’s engineered her surroundings for success. Her office is a vision board dedicated to her philosophies and treasures: pictures of her kids at various ages (my favourite is a vertical strip of jumping shots of her son and daughter), a note of love and appreciation from her managerial team, and the cadet’s code and the cadet’s prayer in prominent view.

NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF TWO DEALERSHIPS, SHE HAS A TEAM OF WELL OVER 100 EMPLOYEES, AND HAS CONTINUED TO RUN THE BUSINESS WITH AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF HEART.

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“I’m a big believer in doing the right thing whether or not someone’s looking,” she says. The bookshelf in front of her desk is stacked with motivational titles for business, relationships, personal growth. The Alchemist, The Secret and The Last Lecture catch my eye, as well as their repeat copies on the bottom shelf. I ask her about the extras, and learn that when she finds a title that she particularly loves, she buys multiples so she can give them away. She’s more willow tree than sturdy oak, flexible enough to meet any situation that arises and thinking outside the box for solutions. “I firmly believe I have to be consistently learning. And not just about the auto industry, about humans” she says, and she holds that true for her team as well. Every one of her leaders has been to The Pursuit of Excellence — a high energy personal and professional development seminar with international acclaim — and the team also has a book club. “I had the entire team read The Five Love Languages, and now we all speak the same languages.” Open communication is a must for Clark and her team, not only to ensure a successful business, but to create people who are happy and satisfied in their work. “It’s not a business, it’s a family,” says Clark. “And the most important thing to me…everything is family.” As I make my last notes and get ready to leave, she offers me a tight hug and we get chatting again. Clark is part mother, part wife, part sister and yes, part businesswoman. And with her Nanaimo dealership celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, it’s clear she’s proven herself to be quite the businesswoman indeed. Client: HELIJET / Size: 3.5” x 4.75” / CMYK / BLVD Magazine

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OUTTAKE

Boulevard Central Island stylist Katherine Suna was one of the heroes of this edition’s fashion shoot, which was cancelled twice — once at the very last minute — due to bouts of heavy snowfall that turned island roads into slippery ice rinks. Katherine had to return all the clothes and accessories to their myriad island retailers, only to pick them all up again one week later. Katherine did it all with grace and good humour. We love what she brings to our team.

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Katherine Suna at Boulevard's fashion shoot. Photo by Lia Crowe


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Boulevard Magazine, Central Island Edition, Spring 2017 Issue  

Boulevard Magazine is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Vancouver Island by focusing on the Arts, People, Tr...