JUNE | JULY 2017
VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST
SPLASH VICTORIAâ€™S NEW FACE OF MUSIC
SALTY, SOUR, SWEET & SPICY A toolbox of Thai flavours adds zing to market vegetables
EXCITE THE SENSES
12 hidden gems certain to awaken summer sensations
Sidney, BC 250.656.1138 vanislemarina.com
RIVIERA 445 SUV
92 36 FEATURES 26 FARMHOUSE CHIC
On the Cover Christian Kluxen on the fire escape outside of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra office. Photo by Lia Crowe
A mix of modern elegance and
A toolbox of Thai flavours
to add vegetable zing
By Angela Cowan
By Chef Heidi Fink
42 FLEUR ABUNDANCE
Fashion melds with the
rich colours of a flower-filled
By Lia Crowe
48 BEST OF THE SUMMER
76 SALTY, SOUR, SWEET & SPICY
12 hidden gems certain to
awaken the senses
By Jane Zatylny
92 TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
Lettuce is good for
By Pamela Durkin
CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 6 OUR CONTRIBUTORS
20 INSPIRED PEOPLE 96 TRAVEL NEAR
10 EDITOR’S LETTER
By Angela Cowan
Fairmont Empress wellness retreat
A rendezvous with reading
36 TALKING WITH TESS
By Sara Wilson
A Fine Finish:
Derrick Paas and
100 FRONT ROW
What’s on this month
By Tess van Straaten
By Robert Moyes
By Lia Crowe
86 TRAVEL FAR
Peter Zambri, Zambri’s
By Susan Lundy
St. Barts: Land of the Rich and Famous
By Bruce Sach
108 SECRETS & LIVES Christian Kluxen By Sean McIntyre
Photo by Don Denton
WRITER: HONEST. GENUINE.
MAKEUP ARTIST: FLEUR ABUNDANCE
BOULEVARD PHOTO STYLIST BEST OF THE SUMMER
“What struck me immediately as I stood before Nicole Sleeth’s larger-than-life portraits was her incredible talent in capturing her models’ hands. Textured, weathered, and so very human, they looked as though I could reach out and touch flesh.” Angela Cowan is a writer, editor and acupuncturist who contributes regularly to Boulevard.
“The biggest theme for me creating this issue of Boulevard was most certainly, waiting for the sun. After several rescheduled shoots for our story, Best of the Summer, the weather finally smiled on us and we got a beautiful, perfect evening that could have been deep summer. There wasn’t a breath of wind, the bugs were buzzing and the convertible Porsche hummed back and forth.” Lia is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer.
BOULEVARD PHOTOGRAPHER INSPIRED CHEF
WRITER: TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
PHOTOGRAPHER: FLEUR ABUNDANCE
“It really was a party with Peter Zambri and guests. The talented chef is, no surprise, an excellent host, making sure that everyone in attendance was well fed, had a drink of choice in hand and had a great experience. One more thing — he makes a damn good pizza in that backyard oven.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and a Royal wedding.
GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke 250.891.5627 EDITOR Susan Lundy CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Claudia Gross ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Pat Brindle ASSOCIATE GROUP Oliver Sommer PUBLISHER
“Transforming my friend and beautiful model Myki was sheer delight. Adding petals strategically to eyelashes, cheekbones and hair, the lines blurred between flowers and makeup. Spending the day on Ninebark Farm was an amazing gift. Our host Lorna, welcomed us with open arms and allowed me to experience my favourite shoot so far this year.” Jen is a Victoria-based makeup artist.
“I’ve always adored fresh salads but had gotten into a bit of a ‘leaf-rut’ — tending to rely on familiar favourites. After doing this piece on super-food lettuces for Boulevard, I’ve introduced some new lettuces to my salad bowl!” Pamela is a freelance health writer and nutritional consultant whose work has appeared in Boulevard, Eat, Reader's Digest, Alive, Spa Business and more.
CIRCULATION & DISTRIBUTION Sarah Dodd 250.480.3208 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angela Cowan, Lia Crowe, Pamela Durkin, Heidi Fink, Janice Jefferson, Sean McIntyre Robert Moyes, Bruce Sach, Tess van Straaten, Sara Wilson, Jane Zatylny CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lia Crowe, Don Denton, Cathie Ferguson, Lance Sullivan
“’We’ve failed our children!’ Lia Crowe and I joked (sort of) as we surveyed Ninebark Farm from the little cottage that sits above the property. Baby lambs, chickens, endless gardens, a pasture and a forest! All the things our kids have been begging for since forever!” Cathie is a freelance lifestyle and commercial photographer based in Victoria.
ADVERTISE Boulevard Magazine is Victoria’s leading lifestyle magazine, celebrating 26 years of publishing in Greater Victoria. To advertise or to learn more about advertising opportunities please send us an email at email@example.com Mailing Address: 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1E4 Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 firstname.lastname@example.org blvdmag.ca
Victoria Boulevard ® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519.
OUR CONTRIBUTORS HEIDI FINK
WRITER: SALTY, SOUR, SWEET & SPICY PAGE 76
WRITER: INSPIRED DESIGN
WRITER: FACE OF THE MUSIC
“Thai aromatics are among my absolute favourite ingredients to work with. It was a joy to play around with recipes using them to enhance my other favourite ingredients: local produce.” Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer, and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines."
“The designs I chose for the June/July issue of Boulevard are reminiscent of my youth, a little bit ‘80s New Wave and a little bit summer in Grandma’s art deco rec room.” Janice is an interior designer who creates well-functioning spaces with an eye-catching mix of playfulness and refinement.
WRITER: FRONT ROW
WRITER: LAND OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS
PAGE 86 “Front Row focuses on a wide variety of festivals and conventions as aboriginal culture, comic books, and buskers all take centre stage at the start of summer. And the spirit of Donald Trump hovers over Blue Bridge Theatre. Enjoy!” A born and bred Victoria native, Robert Moyes is a longtime freelancer and editor whose main focus these days is arts journalism.
LANCE SULLIVAN PHOTOGRAPHER: FARMHOUSE CHIC
PAGE 26 “Walking into this home felt like coming home. Surrounded by beauty and tons of natural light, it had warmth and invitation when I opened the door. For over 18 years I have been lucky to capture life’s amazing moments and homes all across Canada. Our greatest gift is to do something we love everyday.”
TESS VAN STRAATEN
WRITER: A FINE FINISH
WRITER: THE GOOD LIFE
WRITER: BEST OF THE SUMMER
PAGE 36 “Even with the office doors closed at Thomas Philips Woodworking, the steady whir of a saw and other power tools could be heard throughout our interview. With more than three decades of trades experience between them, Derrick and Eric are used to working with their hands and said they missed working on the shop floor — joking that their hands were getting soft.” Tess is an award-winning journalist and television personality.
“’Never coming to a department store near you.’ So read the slogan on a T-shirt I noticed on a young entrepreneur’s back in St. Barts. Later I tried on a pair of swimming trucks that had no price tag but merely a serial number. Both indicated to me the exclusive nature of the haven.” Born and raised on the parklands of Alberta, Bruce is only now getting acquainted, one by one, with the islands of the Caribbean.
“Christian Kluxen embodies a bold yearning for knowledge and personal growth that can’t help but inspire those fortunate enough to meet him. His energy and passion bode well for the VSO and the city’s classical music community. We are fortunate to welcome him.” Sean McIntyre is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about West Coast places and personalities.
PAGE 96 “I had the most fun getting to know and learn from a dozen like-minded and driven women guided by Catherine Roscoe Barr, wellness guru at Vancouver’s The Life Delicious at the Fairmont Empress. Surrounded by such beauty, history and culinary marvels makes me want to go back again and again. Sara is an award-winning journalist and editor of Monday Magazine and Where Magazine.”
PAGE 48 “In putting together Best of the Summer, we wanted to offer readers a list of activities that call not only the incredible sights of Vancouver Island into play but also the feelings, smells, sounds and tastes. After researching this list, I’m going to challenge myself to do something really different this summer, like race a few thrilling laps around a motorsport course” Jane is a magazine writer, editor, communications specialist and regular contributor to Boulevard.
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A rendezvous with reading BY SUSAN LUNDY
PHOTO BY ARNOLD LIM
In the four and a half months following Christmas, I purchased 30 books and read 22 of them. I’ve memorized my credit card number from eagerly typing it in so often. I read in bed, in the car, on the ferry, on the couch and in the tub (my e-reader is waterproof!). I’m seasons behind in my favourite Netflix series. I’m even watching less hockey. Books are back and bountiful in my life, and I’m looking forward to adding the beach, the park and poolside to my list of reading locales this summer. But for those who haven’t bought 30 books in the past few months, Boulevard has compiled an entire collection of things to do this season. Our feature story Best of the Summer serves up 12 “hidden gems” — locations we think will awaken the senses for summer. And speaking of senses, taste leans to the fresh and light, and scent to the aromatic, in Boulevard’s food story, which highlights Thai flavours mixed with crisp vegetables. Chef Peter Zambri of Zambri’s dishes up an Italian lemon sorbetto cocktail, perfect for summer sipping, and health writer Pamela Durkin’s story about healthy lettuce should have readers polishing up their salad bowls. A feast for the eyes unfolds at our “Hot Property” — a charming Victoria farmhouse — and readers will also want to savour the stunning local apparel and succulent setting of our fashion story. One travel piece takes readers to a place of good dreams — the ultra exclusive St. Bart’s — and the other, to a place of good health: a “staycation” retreat at the Fairmont Empress. And, as always, Boulevard introduces readers to host of fascinating people, including Derrick Paas and Eric Gummer of Thomas Philips Woodworking; the VSO’s new conductor, Christian Kluxen; figurative artist Nicole Sleeth; and style subject Donna Anderson of Hughes Clothing. And finally, Front Row presents six artsy, not-to-miss events coming this summer to Victoria. So much to do, so much to see, taste and enjoy this summer. Hope I can find time amid the passion of my new tryst. PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
S THE LONG LAZY DAYS OF summer approach, I have a new lover with whom to share my days and nights. My dalliance with books is a passion that emerged early, languished lately, but has recently been rekindled. Enamored with books as a young child, I decided to make my own, carefully handprinting words, stick-figure-drawing illustrations and stapling together little booklets that I tried to sell like lemonade for 25 cents at roadside stands. (It wasn’t lucrative.) I inhaled books — often reading entire novels in one sitting, hunkered down in my dad’s leather recliner for hours on end. I went through phases … Nancy Drew, Judy Blume, historical fiction. I loved one novel about the French Revolution so much, I read it over and over again, locking myself away each time to sniffle through its deliciously sad ending. There was the spy novel phase. The Russian literature phase. The Canadian literature phase. During exam time at university, I’d periodically put text books aside to devour a trashy novel — candy for my brain. There was also the unfortunate, true-life serial killer phase (not recommended when you’re a young parent), the Grisham, Ludlum and Follett, the Shreve, Shields and Kingsolver. The list goes on and on. My first real job was in a bookstore; I loved the smell and feel of new books. My entire life I’ve had to practise stern self-discipline each time I pass a bookstore — I know entry means a surefire emptying of my wallet. But times change. The Internet is a thing. Netflix is a thing. And most unfortunately for me, arthritis in my wrists and fingers is also a thing, making it difficult to hold a book for any length of time. It’s much easier to clutch my iPhone, scroll through the news and other posts, or binge-watch a British TV series. But times change again. For Christmas, my husband bought me an e-reader, something I’ve vehemently opposed — it’s not book! — but which has actually brought the world of reading right back into my lap. Of course, all those years I practised bookstore self-control are now moot. Almost everyday, the bookstore lands in my inbox with subject lines like: “Feed your need to read!” / “Recommended reads just for you!’ / “April showers? Read for hours!” (As if I need encouragement.)
I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO ADDING THE BEACH, THE PARK AND POOLSIDE TO MY LIST OF READING LOCALES THIS SUMMER.
Susan Lundy is a former journalist and her award-winning stories have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. She is also the author of Heritage Apples: A New Sensation (Touchwood, 2013.)
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inspiredSTYLE BY LIA CROWE WITH DONNA ANDERSON, OWNER, HUGHES CLOTHING
LOCAL RESTAURANT: North 48 and Little Jumbo. FAVE FLOWER: Sunflower. CITY TO VISIT: New York. HOTEL: L’Hotel Paris. FAVE PLACE: “Anywhere with good friends, family.”
UNIFORM: Layers; Eileen Fisher or Sarah Pacini and generally black. FAVOURITE PIECE: Lida Baday opera coat. FAVE SHOES: Suede pumps with crystals by Prada. FAVE DAY BAG: Black Gucci, satchel. JEWEL DESIGNER: Ian MacDonald, Victoria. FASHION OBSESSION: Shoes. ACCESSORY YOU SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON: Jewelry.
BEAUTY SCENT: Dark Amber and Ginger Lily by Jo Malone. FAVOURITE HAIR PRODUCT: “My hairdresser, Janna.” BEAUTY SECRET: Laughter. FAVOURITE FOUNDATION: Make Up Forever Water Blend. FAVOURITE LIPSTICK: “Marilyn” by Charlotte Tilbury.
PRINT MAGAZINE: Vanity Fair. COFFEE TABLE: The Journey Of A Woman: 20 Years Of Donna Karan by Ingrid Sischy. FAVOURITE BOOK: The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
“I’m inspired by my clients as much as I am by the clothes.”
F SOMEONE ASKED ME TO NAME a Victoria fashion maven ... Donna would be my answer. She’s the queen of elegant, understated cool — the go-to for those in the know, and the little piece of 7th Aveune, NYC on Yates Street. At her equally stylish and artful home in Oak Bay, Donna shared a little about her life and her style with me. “The heartbeat of the whole thing is the clients. The clothes are just beautiful items hanging there until you put them on a person, and then they come alive. That’s the rewarding part.” Going on for 36 years of Hughes Clothing in the high-ceilinged, brick building, Donna reflects on the juice that has fuelled her over the years. “It’s the relationships you develop, like Mel Bolen — I was just thinking of her — she was a great friend and client. P.K. Page, who also passed away, she was a patron of mine, of Hughes. It was the style of these women that drives me as a buyer.” Originally from Victoria, Donna has been in fashion since her 20s, opening a boutique in Trounce Alley and then working at the prestigious boutique, Browns, in London, England, before coming back and opening Hughes. She describes her personal style as understated and simple: “I may love a lot of fashion but for myself, its monochromatic.” However, she did wear a cobalt blue wedding dress for her recent marriage to a man who, in typical Victoriastyle, she went to high school with. Asked where her passion lies outside of work she answered: “My relationships with my family and my friends and especially my little grandchildren. It’s that viewpoint that only children can see from, I feel blessed to be able to see it with them.”
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1. “Elliot” bag by Stowe $415, at Bernstein & Gold 2. Slow Chair by Vitra $4,963, at Gabriel Ross 3. Brass Mirror by Tinekhome $68, at Pigeonhole Home Store 4. Melt Copper Table Lamp by Tom Dixon $1,087, at Gabriel Ross 5. Pink Carafe with Cups by Rogue Ceramics $80, at Picot Collective 6. “Chrissy” Mule in red by Raye $240, at Footloose Shoes 7. The “Snobby” by Thierry Lasry, $540, at Maycock Eyecare 8. Cloud Toile wallpaper $330 per roll, at walnutwallpaper.com 9.“U Sofa” by Bensen $3715, at Chester Fields
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PETER ZAMBRI, CHEF AT ZAMBRIâ€™S TEXT BY SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
• Born and grew up in Toronto. “That said, I believe growing up is a process that we embark on when we are born AND throughout our whole lives. Considering this, I have to say that I am still growing up and every day I am learning new things about what’s around me and about myself that make me a more complete, educated person.” • Undertook a “formal” apprenticeship in Toronto at The Windsor Arms. “It was a fantastic experience that formed a huge foundation for the way I have gone about managing my career.” Also trained with Gordon Cowan in Vancouver in the early ‘90s, in Whistler with Bernard Cassavant and Rodney Butters, and at the Sooke Harbour House with Sinclair and Frederique Philips. “I moved to Italy after that and trained with some amazing people that really impressed upon me the value of taste and class. We always need to be classy!” • Owner of Zambri’s, which opened as a small sandwich shop in 1999, for 18 years. “Obviously we were overqualified for just sandwiches, yet we didn’t think at that time we would grow into what we are now.”
WHERE DID YOU WORK BEFORE ZAMBRI’S? “Right before we opened, I was a gardener at the Sooke Harbour House. I came back from four years in Italy knowing we were to open a restaurant, but it took some time to find the right location. I joke about it now, but at that time, Money Mart was my bank!”
Pizza from a backyardoven at the home of Chef Peter Zambri.
FAVOURITE DISH TO COOK AND EAT ON A WARM, SUMMER DAY? “Tough question. I would have to go with a cucumber and tomato salad, with some kind of sharpish cheese, mint, onions, olive oil, champagne vinegar and maybe some avocado if it’s hanging around. This is always delightful for me to eat.”
WHAT ARE YOU BEST KNOWN FOR AS A CHEF?
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO ITEM WHEN SAMPLING OTHER CHEFS’ FARE?
“Being fair but sly, and stern but fun. Being able to handle the dayto-day with grace and poise; the ability to freak out on a situation without offending anyone; being helpful and courteous … and being one of the sexiest chefs in Victoria (not counting Garret, Brad and Patrick).”
“I let the menu do the talking. It’s hard to judge on one dish alone. I am pretty easy to please as long as the food I order is seasoned properly and balanced. If I enjoy my experience, I will go back and try other things. On the other hand if I do not enjoy my food or experience, I tend to not over exaggerate about how bad it is and look on the bright side.”
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS IN YOUR PANTRY? “In my home pantry, I have: many different mustards; fish sauce; soya sauce (Japanese variety); Mexican chili sauce; vanilla beans; coffee; many varieties of tea and pasta; my own tomato sauce; hemp seeds; lentils; basmati rice; rice paper; soba noodles; local chilies; six or seven different types of salt; mirin; rice vinegar; cooking wine; MSG.”
HOBBIES? “I love travelling around the island. I enjoy motorsports and any physical activity. I have recently reacquainted myself with the snow by skiing and snowshoeing. I love to work with my hands, building and fixing things. Cooking for friends is always a pleasure and I enjoy hosting. I have a pizza oven in my backyard 17
and that gives me much pleasure. Making music is always a relaxing time. I love to party and watch the sun come up. Bird watching is something I am good at because nothing escapes my peripheral vision and they are just wonderful. I love to cycle and I am an avid fan of the pugilist sports. Being in the bush and camping are paramount.”
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW? “I am a pretty intense dude but at the same time I am easygoing. I try to focus on the good things and chip away at the negative aspects of life. I don’t like generic shopping for food even though I know it is necessary. I am so fortunate to be where I am and at times I need to acknowledge this more to the people around me — I fail to do that enough. I have high standards for myself and for those around me. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, until lunch rolls around, then dinner, of course. I drink too much coffee and far too much wine but I think it keeps my blood thin, so I’m not stopping. I love hanging around with inspired people and value my friendships to a great degree. I am competitive but not to the extreme that it makes me uncomfortable if I don’t do well. I strive to make myself better and those around me better as well. I’m so glad I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore, but loved it while I did. I am always looking to do something interesting and exciting and I have the ability to sweep things under the carpet and never look back. I don’t like the word “no.” I like drinking Lucky Beer on a hot day. Brown or white liquor? BOTH. I don’t mind the rain except when I am camping. I stay up late and get up early. I occasionally take the bus. I was once able to do pushups with only my thumbs. I can take a good punch to the face. I make a killer pizza. I wash my hands like 40 times a day. 18
Wool socks are not my best friends. I almost always wear a hat. I have the blood pressure of a 20-year-old. I have way too many shoes and far too many second hand leather jackets.”
CAN YOU SHARE AN EASY, SEASONAL RECIPE FOR A QUICK BITE THIS JUNE/JULY? Sgroppino An Italian lemon sorbetto cocktail for summer Italians have a knack for making a great cocktail. Take, for example, the Campari Spritz, the Bellini, the Americano and, of course, the Negroni. This cocktail is no different — delicious and refreshing as either an aperativo or digestivo! A cocktail that originated in Venice, it is a cold and frothy libation that has a place at any time of the day. Makes four large drinks 1 ½ cups lemon sorbetto 12 oz Prosecco 4 oz vodka In a bowl, whisk the lemon sorbetto, the vodka and about half the Prosecco together until incorporated and with a slushy texture. While gently whisking, add the rest of the Prosecco. Pour into either coupe glasses or four flutes. For an extra little zing, rim the glasses with lemon juice and sugar beforehand. Garnish with a mint leaf for added effect. Buon Appetito!
HONEST. GENUINE. NICOLE SLEETH NUDES CHALLENGE THE VIEWER BY ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
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“AS A SOCIETY, AT LEAST IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD, I THINK WE ARE TOO COMFORTABLE WITH VOICING OUR APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF WOMEN, PARTICULARLY THEIR APPEARANCE.”
AFTER CLIMBING SEVERAL SETS of narrow stairs and finding myself at the industrial-style door to painter Nicole Sleeth’s Fisgard Street studio — marked only by a small business card — I’m not sure what to expect. Having been in a few artist studio spaces in Chinatown, I’ve found that they all have their own personalities and quirks. Nicole opens the door and ushers me in with a warm hello and an easy smile, her dog Poppy running to greet me as well. I decide the space fits her. It’s bright and open, inspiring yet uncluttered, with a dozen or so stunning canvases displayed along one long wall. The painted grey wooden floors and pale walls provide no distraction from her art.
618 Broughton St. I 778 406 1600 I bagheeravictoria.ca
“I LOVE THE WAY PEOPLE LOOK. I THINK IT’S FASCINATING, AND I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE CURIOSITY ABOUT IT. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH VARIATION.”
“I love my space,” she says, mentioning she’s only been here since last September. “I feel so fortunate to have found it. The size is incredible. I’ve never had this much space before.” The larger than life works that line the studio are from her current and ongoing series Gaze, and the women portrayed, who stare out at the world through their painted eyes wearing just their skin, demand a focus unto themselves. It’s hard to shift my attention back, but Nicole offers me a seat and we start getting to know each other. Born in Kingston, Ontario, she started painting as a hobby in 1998, and studied in a traditional art atelier fashion with Ottawa artist Bob Grant for eight years before continuing on her own. It wasn’t until 2011, when she was living in Vancouver, that she began painting and teaching full time, after an unexpected but ultimately fortuitous turn in her career. “I got laid off from my job,” she laughs. She’d been working at an art gallery, and with her newfound freedom, decided to start teaching to help make ends meet while she explored her own art. Within just a few short months of teaching at community centres, word spread and her classes grew large enough that she could move into her own studio.
“It took the pressure off of having to sell my art,” she adds. Three years later she made the move to Victoria and began offering classes here as well, with great success. Her weekly instruction welcomes everyone, regardless of experience (or lack thereof), and focuses on drawing and painting with a classical approach. It was also in 2014 that she began her Gaze series after her first workshop at the New York Academy of Art. “I did a particularly impactful workshop with Alyssa Monks, who is one of my most favourite artists,” says Nicole. Inspired, she started creating “large scale depictions of nude women who engage and actively challenge the viewer.” Each canvas stands independently, the women therein relaxing in poses of their own choosing. Their feet are firmly planted beneath them and their gazes turned unflinchingly on the viewer. Some seem to have a hint of defiance, others a calmness. All are grounded and clearly comfortable in their own skin. “I’m trying to keep it honest and genuine,” she says. “It’s not for the viewer’s benefit.” The series grew from both her passion for realism and a frustration at how women and their bodies are nearly always
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treated in media and art. Always a certain body type, a certain age and a certain demographic. Often with faces turned away or with only select body parts highlighted, it all speaks to a focus on giving the viewer the chance to look, and look as long as they want. “There’s no accountability,” says Nicole. “I just get tired of that, of certain body parts being more valuable than others. As a society, at least in this part of the world, I think we are too comfortable with voicing our approval or disapproval of women, particularly their appearance.” Nicole’s works step away from that, existing in their own right as honest portrayals of women. Her work captures the spark of life in her models’ eyes, the textures of their skin, the humanity in their hands. But step closer, and you also become viscerally aware that they have been intentionally created. Their edges soften into swirls and brushstrokes until it all deconstructs into light and shadow and pigment. That relationship between paint as an inert substance and something that can bring life to a canvas is something that fascinates Nicole. Though she works in realism,
“I’M TRYING TO KEEP IT HONEST AND GENUINE. IT’S NOT FOR THE VIEWER’S BENEFIT.”
she strives to marry that with an awareness that each piece is still something that’s been created. “Not photographic. Not strictly duplicating reality, but enhancing it,” she says. Her style and technique have been evolving over the last three years within the Gaze series. “I am more careful with my first pass, more thoughtful,” she says. “I try to allow some movement too, to allow some edges to soften or disappear, and others to stand out. A huge thing I’ve found is having their feet planted makes the models feel and appear more grounded.” And while she’s been involved in dozens of shows in the past, and says she’d eventually like to have a show with Gaze, there are no immediate plans for anything formal. Without the pressure of trying to make all the pieces fit together, “I can have each painting be the best painting it can be,” she says. In a way, her relationship with the art itself mirrors what she’s depicting in her portraits: no demands, just fluidity and an honest acceptance for what is. She has given agency not only to her models, but to the work itself, and her passion comes shining through again and again right to the end of our conversation. “I like painting skin, I like painting women’s bodies,” she says, her hands moving as she talks. “I love the way people look. I think it’s fascinating, and I would love to see more curiosity about it. There’s just so much variation.” “There’s no judgment. This is just a body,” she says. “This is a person.”
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FARMHOU A MIX OF MODERN ELEGANCE AND CASUAL CHARM BY ANGELA COWAN 26
PHOTOS BY DON DENTON AND LANCE SULLIVAN
USE CHIC Floral design by Thorn & Thistle Flowers & Verbena Floral Design 27
S I DRIVE UP A LONG, CURVING gravel and dirt road, I see my destination waiting on a rise in the land, surrounded by sloping fields. A farmhouse, with strong lines, wide grounds and an inviting patio, sits solidly against a backdrop of trees and striated clouds. I park and notice a beautiful Bernese Mountain dog lying in the garden just off the patio. I’m an absolute dog lover, but greeting a pup nearly as big as me on its own turf can be tricky. After a cautious hand-sniffing, Penny, her tag says, starts thumping her tail and leans her significant bulk against my legs before going off to find her favourite toy. Already I like this family. She follows me up to the front door — a grand, oversized wooden affair — and sits with me as I knock. A tiny wooden sword leans up against the house at my feet. As striking as this farmhouse is, it is also distinctly homey. When home- (and dog) owner Jordan Mann brings me inside, the interior has the same feel — gorgeous but relaxed. Jordan, who has three kids, says he and his wife, Cherie, “wanted a house we could actually live in. We wanted our kids to be able to run around and play, and we wanted to be able to entertain.” The entire main floor definitely has the space for both. An open concept design from the front door all the way through to
the kitchen — it’s spacious but not cavernous. A wood-burning fireplace brings a deep sense of cosiness to the sitting area in the great room, its stone surround rising up to the vaulted ceiling. The thick wooden mantel is from a too-long structural beam, and lends a sturdy grounded feel. And inside, the fireplace hides a convenient trick: it’s gas-assisted. No more messing around with kindling. “It makes it ten times easier to have a fire,” says Jordan with a laugh. The sitting area flows into a dining spot, with a beautiful dark wood and slightly distressed table and chairs that are elegant without being fussy, and from there, the eye travels to the bright and efficiently designed kitchen. Wide, quartz countertops, abundant cupboard space and a walk-in pantry mean there’s never a shortage of storage. The space also boasts dual wall ovens, a gas range with griddle and a side-by-side fridge and freezer. And just past the kitchen, nestled in the far corner of the main floor and surrounded by windows, sits a cosy breakfast nook, perfect for enjoying a morning cup of tea with the sunrise. The entire open design is framed by a bank of windows that runs nearly the whole length of the house, taking full advantage of the southern exposure and the sun’s warming rays. There are two heat pumps — one at either end of the house
“WE WANTED IT TO BE MODERN, BUT NOT TOO MUCH. WE WANTED IT TO HAVE MORE OF A MOUNTAIN FEEL.”
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— but they haven’t been needed with the amount of heat the house pulls in from the sun, says Jordan. Designed by Keith Baker of KB Design, the house is a mix of modern and “farm chic” says Jordan. “We wanted it to be modern, but not too much. We wanted it to have more of a mountain feel.” Real wood and stone were used throughout, creating an alpine resort atmosphere, and the high quality no doubt contributed to the home winning Best Interior at the 2016 CARE Awards, and coming in as runner-up in several more categories. “It was a fun house to build,” says Graeme Mann, owner of GT Mann Contracting, and Jordan’s cousin. Jordan briefly shows me the basement — a guest suite and extra room for the kids to play — and then we head up an open staircase with floating treads (they’re actually steel wrapped in wood, notes Graeme) to emerge onto a long, glassed-in walkway. “We decided to sort of split the house in two, so we were on one side and the kids were on the other,” says Jordan. The view over the main floor of the house from up here is spectacular, and it feels like we’ve ascended into a loft. We step into the master suite, toes sinking into deliciously plush carpet. An angled ceiling, striped with exposed dark wooden beams set against clean white walls, further adds to the mountainous vibe. A few steps over, the master bath is roomy, with heated tiles and double sinks. An impossibly deep soaker tub sits beneath a huge window overlooking the property. Forget candles, this is the perfect spot for a starlit bubble bath. I try to set aside the acute case of bathroom envy as we traverse the walkway to the kids’ side.
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All three children have their own bedroom, with vaulted sloping ceilings and window seats, offering a comfy spot to curl up with a book or a favourite stuffed animal. Also tucked away up here is the laundry room where it’s easily accessible for the kids, and it “keeps it all contained,” says Jordan. Back downstairs, he points out the gas fireplace on the patio. Between the outdoor space and the open design, there’s “a huge area for people to come in and congregate,” he says. Even without company, with three kids, a dog, and family on several of the adjoining lots, the space is welcome and often needed. As we step outside, Jordan chats a little about their 30 head of cattle, the chicken coop, the several hundred blueberry bushes. It’s not a large-scale agricultural setup, but it’s enough to keep him busy, and keep him feeling connected to the land. He waves me off with a big smile as I get back in my car. The farmhouse, golden in the waning afternoon light, is an impressive sight in my rearview mirror, but it’s the sight of Penny’s bushy, wagging tail following me down the drive that keeps me smiling as I depart.
QUICK FACTS: 4,800 square feet 6 bedrooms 4.5 bathrooms 2 heat pumps 2 fireplaces (indoor and outdoor)
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SUPPLIERS LIST: Designer/Builder: GT Mann Contracting Ltd. Kitchen/Vanities: Harbour City Kitchens Custom Doors & Millwork: Slegg doors and Karmanah Custom Joinery Flooring: Hourigan’s Walls: Jim Boone Painting Plumbing Fixtures: Specialized Plumbing and Gas Fireplaces: South Island Fireplace & Spas Mantels: GT Mann Contracting Ltd. Home Automation: Langley Audio Video Unlimited Masonry: Heritage Masonry Landscaper/Driveway: Listco Landscape & Irrigation
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TALKING WITH TESS
A FINE FINISH WOODWORKING DUO BUILDS “TOP DRAWER” BUSINESS
BY TESS VAN STRAATEN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
Eric Gummer and Derrick Paas, owners of Thomas Philips Woodworking Ltd.
“THEY ARE BOTH SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR WORK AND THEY BEND OVER BACKWARDS TO HELP THEIR CLIENTS.”
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ERRICK PAAS AND ERIC GUMMER are the first to admit that they’re unlikely entrepreneurs. “We weren’t business guys,” says Gummer, co-owner of Saanichton-based Thomas Philips Woodworking. “We didn’t go to school for that so it was definitely the biggest learning curve.” And yet, the skilled tradesmen have managed to build a successful custom cabinetry and millwork company that’s grown from just the two of them to 11 people in five years, and won several CARE Awards for craftsmanship along the way. “Let’s launch a business in a recession,” jokes 43-year-old Paas. “It sounds crazy but we both had lots of contacts in the industry so I think it was an easy transition for us.” But it wasn’t without its challenges. Both men were unemployed when they decided to start the business back in the spring of 2012 and they worked out of their garages to keep costs down. “We started with really small jobs and we used Eric’s garage for cutting all the pieces apart. Then we assembled them in my garage and rented another space to spray them,” Paas explains. “It was quite the ordeal and not at all practical,” adds 31-yearold Gummer, laughing at the memory. “But it got us started and
we started to get busier, so it gave us the confidence to take the plunge.” Without any major contracts lined up, the pair signed a threeyear lease. It was a big risk but Paas and Gummer are passionate about their craft and they knew they could make it work. “Our first three months of rent were free so we had those months to find work and that gave us a cushion,” explains Gummer. “I was living in a $600 basement suite and didn’t have a mortgage and kids like Derrick does, so the risk and stress for him was probably a lot higher than it was for me.” But the gamble paid off and they landed their first big job as Thomas Philips Woodworking, which is derived from their middle names, in about three weeks. That first job even won them their first CARE Award — a foreshadowing of the success to come — and they haven’t looked back. “I’m still a little shocked at how successful we’ve been,” says Gummer. “But we’re not complacent — every time we get a job we want to do the best we can.” They also attribute a lot of their success to Gummer’s dad, Gordon. The retired Victoria Police officer helps with the books and has been an integral part of the business behind the scenes, especially when it comes to office management and leadership advice. “Gordon has been so great and he keeps us organized and in line so we can do the work and get the clients,” says Paas. “We
THAT FIRST JOB EVEN WON THEM THEIR FIRST CARE AWARD — A FORESHADOWING OF THE SUCCESS TO COME — AND THEY HAVEN’T LOOKED BACK.
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tried to double his wage, but double of nothing is still zero so we finally got him to take a trip to Hawaii.” But the “volunteer dad” says he’s just happy to help. He credits the passion and hard work of his son and Paas, who still put in long days and work through weekends, with the business’s success.
“I think they have done remarkably well and they’ve succeeded because they have such a good reputation within the Greater Victoria community,” Gordon Gummer says. “They are both so passionate about their work and they bend over backwards to help their clients.” As the company’s grown, the duo has also put a lot of time and resources into employees — something that’s especially important in an industry plagued by a shortage of skilled labour. “Getting good, skilled staff that fit within our company is definitely the biggest challenge,” says Paas. “We’ve put a lot of effort and money into our employees, including a full benefits package, and we picked the top (tier) because that’s what they wanted. We have such good employees and that makes all the difference.” It’s one of the reasons Paas and Gummer take such pride in their employees’ success. For them, one of the most rewarding things about being business owners is watching their staff succeed. “A few years ago our apprentice, who was just out of high school, won a CARE Award and I think we were more proud of that than the projects we won for,” says Gummer. “And one of our guys just got into the housing market, so it’s nice to know he could afford to buy a house.” And even though business is booming, they don’t plan to let the company get too big, as doing so would mean giving up some of the customer care and quality control. “I think what’s made us successful so far is our customer service and attention to detail,” Gummer says. “We don’t want to lose that. Word of mouth is massively important in Victoria.”
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[above] Terracotta belted pants ($235) and matching sleeveless top ($135), both by Cinque and from Bagheera Boutique; Kilim Pillow cases ($58) from Picot Collective; “Velvet Hide” bag ($298) by Hobo from Cardino Shoes; fair-trade opal ring ($135) by Kala Collection from Fabrications; “Stevie” Pom-Pom disc earrings ($145) by Elizabeth and James, paper graphic straw hat $(56) by Echo, and raffia tassel sandals ($248) by Inuikii, all from Bernstein & Gold. [right] Cranberry cashmere tank ($285), skirt ($485) and matching shawl-collar cardigan ($625), all by Black Goat Cashmere at Black Goat; earrings by Dea Dia Jewelry from Picot Collective.
ABUNDANCE BY LIA CROWE
PHOTOS BY CATHIE FERGUSON
At Ninebark Farm in Metchosin, fashion and flowers intersect, meld and complement. Fashion flows from a palette of warm, saturated flowers: poppy, peony, dahlia and chrysanthemum. The best of the seasonâ€™s looks meet the warm weather with rich tones, the bright skies with bold colours and exquisite nature with artful silhouettes.
One-of-a-kind fresh flower bra, crafted by Verbena Flora Design and Thorn and Thistle; black blouse ($350) and pleated black and hot pink skirt ($430) by Liviana Conti, beaded drop earrings ($80) and cross bracelet ($160) by Nino Designs, all at Hughes Clothing; â€œHarrietâ€? ankle strap sandal ($198) by Kenneth Cole New York at Cardino Shoes.
Multi-coloured beaded dress ($189.95) by Desigual, beaded dangle earrings ($125) and matching jewel and bead necklace ($262) by Ayala Bar, fair-trade ornate triple-jewelled ring ($125), opal ring ($135), chiseled green opal ring ($148), all by Kala Collection and from Fabrications; pink straw oval handbag ($220) by Intropia from Bernstein & Gold.
“Lelani” sleeveless gown in ocean coral ($1,095) by Diane Von Furstenberg and poppy fringe earrings ($238) by Lizzie Fortunato, both from Bernstein & Gold; sunglasses ($564) by Mykita from Maycock Eyecare; orange and pink tassel Keds ($90) by Kate Spade from Cardino Shoes
Makeup and hair: Jen Clark, in-house makeup artist for COSMEDICA using glo•MINERALS makeup Model: Myki Engelland-Swift Styling and production assistant: Sierra Lundy Floral design by Verbena Floral Design and Thorn &Thistle Flowers. Photographed on location at Ninebark Farm in Mechosin. A huge thank you to farm owner Lorna Jackson for providing such a beautiful backdrop and for her gracious hospitality to our Boulevard crew.
Best of the
HIDDEN GEMS TO STIMULATE THE SENSES
Model Jessica Allerton with Joel Friesen, business manager at Silver Arrow Cars, in a 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder, courtesy of Silver Arrow Cars . Florals by Brownâ€™s The Florist. 48
BY JANE ZATYLNY PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
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HETHER YOU’RE A LOCAL OR A VISITOR to Vancouver Island, summer
is the perfect time to try out some new adventures. These 12 experiences will fill your senses with the sights, as well as the feelings, sounds, tastes and scents of the season.
Make memories at an open-air musical feast. New York City-based
pianist, composer and producer Misha Piatigorsky will join two legendary Vancouver Island chefs — Bill Jones and Peter Zambri — for this special culinary/music night at Blue Grouse Winery, near Duncan. Family-style platters of local meats — think spitroasted local lamb seasoned with grand fir needles and cooked over vine cuttings — seafood and produce will be served at communal long tables in the vineyard. Piatigorsky will lead a music program that will feature The Emily Carr String Quartet, saxophonist Phil Dwyer, vocalist Emily Braden and The Misha Piatigorsky Trio. Organizers will also showcase award-winning bottles of Blue Grouse wines at the event. The Musical Feast will be held on Sunday, July 16, from 4 to 9 pm. Tickets are $250 per person, excluding gratuity and taxes. Info: bluegrouse.ca (250-743-3834).
Beat the Sunday-night-back-to-work blues with a pizza and music night.
Drop by the back deck at Merridale Cider, near Cobble Hill, on summer Sundays for a slice, a cider and some great live tunes. Or better yet, take Monday off and stay overnight in one of their luxurious yurts with hardwood floors and claw-foot bathtubs. Sunday Pizza Nights begin at 5:30 pm, with new menus weekly. Reservations recommended. Info: merridale.ca (250-743-4293/800-998-9908).
Visit a flower farm on Salt Spring Island.
After the Saturday Market, before the ferry ride home, check out what’s growing in the fields and greenhouses at Earth Candy Farm. Every Saturday, depending on the season, you’ll find flowers in every colour of the rainbow: bunches of dahlias, exotic tulips, sweet peas, poppies, peonies, anemones, ranunculus, delphiniums, sunflowers and more. Claire Jutras and her partner Ellis Hroch own and operate the farm, and also supply wholesale flowers off-island to florists in Victoria and Vancouver. They sell their flowers and produce on Saturdays only, from 9 am to 5 pm, in their 1,000-square-foot cob house farm stand. Bunches of flowers are $5; bouquets are $15-$20. Flowers are available from March through October; the farm stand is open yearround. Info: facebook.com/earthcandyfarms.
Take a culinary tour of Victoria’s Fort Street. The Knife and Fort Culinary
Tour traverses an evolving culinary ‘hood that’s also known as the city’s Antique Row. The two-hour walking tour includes more than 10 samples of food from five stops: a tea tasting at Terroir Tea Salon, charcuterie nibbling at Choux Choux Charcuterie, traditional Mexican tacos at La Taquisa, Middle Eastern street food from Yalla and dessert from Crust Bakery. Offered from Thursday through Saturday, from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm; $49.99 per person (plus tax and booking fee). Info: offthebeatentracktours.ca (800-418-1906).
Ramble around Canada’s only commercial tea farm. Victor Vesely
and Margit Nellemann, owners of Westholme Tea Farm near Duncan, lead tea enthusiasts through their garden terraces, sharing stories of tea traditions and farming. Each 30 to 45-minute tour begins with the tea of the day; guests can also reserve a seat in the tearoom for an after-tour sweet and beverage. Tickets are $10/person and tours (offered on Thursdays at 2 pm and Sundays at 1 pm, from May through October) are by reservation only. Info: teafarm.ca (250-748-3811).
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Paddleboard a pristine island lake.
Sproat Lake, near Port Alberni, provides great, flat water for beginners. Take in Instragram-worthy views of mountain peaks and thick evergreen forests from your paddleboard. Bring your own or rent from Three Dog Paddle Company. Info: www.facebook.com/threedogsbc
Go behind the scenes in Chemainus.
The seaside community known for its more than 45 outdoor murals is also home to Chemainus Theatre Festival. Since 1993 the non-profit society has offered a seasonal repertoire of professional productions. Stay in your seat after the curtain drops on any Wednesday evening performance for a lively discussion with actors from the show. Info: chemainusmusicalfestival.ca (250-246-9820; 800-565-7738).
Channel your inner Andretti.
Like Uber for race enthusiasts, this experience at Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit offers five laps around the track as a passenger in a high-performance “taxi.” You’ll also receive oneon-one time with a trained instructor, access to the Clubhouse, Paddock Lounge and Restaurant, change rooms, observation deck, pit lane and pit garages. Best of all, you’ll go home with bragging rights — a USB filled with videos and photos of your circuit experience. Packages range from $159 to $299; other packages are also available, including a full-day experience that puts you in the driver’s seat. Info: islandmotorsportcircuit.com (1-844-856-0122).
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Beachcomb on an island isthmus.
One of Nanaimo’s prettiest regional parks, eighthectare Pipers Lagoon Park, offers twisty, scenic trails with lovely ocean viewpoints, Garry Oak meadows and sinuous Arbutus trees. The isthmus extends to a rocky headland, where you also can take in views of historic Shack Island. The colourful shacks are maintained and used as rustic cottages by descendants of the fishermen who built them nearly 100 years ago. Info: Nanaimo.ca/PRC/locations/parks/129-Pipers-lagoon-park
Hop on a Harbour Ferry for a floating pub crawl.
Venice has vaporettos; Vancouver has Aquabuses; and Victoria has sweet “pickle boats.” Named for their cuke-like colour and shape, these itsy-bitsy ferries flit around Victoria’s Inner Harbour like toy boats in a bathtub, delivering passengers to various stops or taking them on scheduled tours. Victoria Harbour Ferry’s Pickle Pub Crawl tour includes stops at four of Victoria’s finest pubs. Allow for about 90 minutes per stop, and then check out the other pubs on the crawl on foot. Wristbands are $25 per passenger; travel with three friends and receive a free appetizer with your pints of local suds. Advance purchase recommended. Offered from April 15 to September 11, 2017. Info: victoriaharbourferry.com (250-7080201).
Tune in to Music By the Sea.
Far-flung, remote, wild … the natural setting for the Music by the Sea Festival provides an evocative backdrop to Bamfield’s signature summer event. The festival offers an eclectic mix of jazz, popular and classical pieces, performed by musicians from around the world. Getting to the festival venue with the distinctive scallop-shell shaped roof is half the fun: you can drive, following a gravel logging road past Port Alberni; fly in by floatplane; or ferry over on the passenger-only MV Lady Rose, also from Port Alberni. The 2017 season runs from July 22-30; tickets range in price from $40-$210. Plan your trip well in advance. Info: musicbythesea.ca (250-728-3887; boxoffice@ musicbythesea.ca)
Celebrate family in Victoria.
Visit “Family Bonds & Belonging,” Royal BC Museum’s provocative feature exhibition for Canada’s 150th anniversary, running from June 2 to October 31, 2017. Through First Nations and immigrant families’ experiences, this interactive exhibition explores and celebrates the power of the Canadian family, however it is created. Info: royalbcmuseum.bc.ca (250-3567226; 888-447-7977).
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An opportunity to purchase a home in this charming, rare to market McClure style complex. This large 2100 square foot home is spread over 3 levels. This home with private patio is located just a short stroll to Gonzales beach, shopping and parks. Do not miss this beautiful, spacious and sunny townhome.
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Meticulously maintained gardens, stunning ocean views, a private beach, and an assortment of wildlife can be enjoyed at this breathtaking Turgoose Point property in Central Saanich. Enjoy three floors of living space with breathtaking views from every level, including the bright eat-in kitchen and spacious master suite.
Oceanfront Architectural Marvel
Spacious Family Home
3051 McAnally Road, Victoria, BC $6,900,000 | MLS 367837
1294 Eston Place, Victoria, BC $1,595,000 | MLS 374629
6601 Razor Point Road $9,850,000 | MLS 360255
Architectural marvel situated on 1,350 feet of waterfront. A seamless merging of glass, modern luxuries and natural building materials constitute this magazine worthy abode. Encompassed by ocean and unwavering natural beauty, this unique residence is purely for the discerned buyers. 1.59 acres off the coveted 10 Mile Point Ecological Reserve.
This exquisite custom built home by aware winning builder, Terry Johal offers breath-taking views of Mount Finlayson and surrounding areas. This 4 bed, 3 bath home features hardwood flooring, vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace spacious living areas and plenty of outdoor space for spending time with family or entertaining friends. Over 4800 sqft of room to breath or grow.
60 stunning acres with incomparable privacy & almost a mile of ocean frontage. Commute using BC Ferries, Seaplane or Yacht to your private dock or helicopter to a landing area at the tip of the point. Foreshore development includes an aluminum ramp & catwalk that leads to a 10 x 40 foot concrete float. Behold nature’s wonderland on beautiful Pender Island.
LD O S
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735 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 1B1
The local real estate agent with the international network: vi.evcanada.com James LeBlanc, Private Office Advisor Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-812-7212 firstname.lastname@example.org www.luxurybchomes.com victoria.evcanada.com
binab group Coming soon 48 Maquinna St. Oak Bay 377140 $2,150,000
1856 Crescent Rd Fairfield 377901 $1,600,000
52 Maquinna St. Oak Bay 377139 $2,000,000
332 Irving Rd 375710
863 Richmond Ave Fairfield 376647 $1,850,000
2937 Seaview Rd. 373238
Ten Mile Pt $2,750,000
stUnning goRdon Head Home witH views 4409 Moonlight Lane
C adBoRo Bay Home witH oCean views 3749 Waring Place
3020 uplands Rd uplands 375672 $2,500,000
414-10 Paul Kane Pl Vic West 377478 $1,050,000
418/417 29 Songhees Rd Vic West 373521 $1,850,000
1012 Carolwood Dr Broadmead 376183 $1,300,000
4818 Major Rd 377142
1468 Finlayson Pl 375823
Cordova Bay $850,000
stUnning Upl ands Home
Renovated Uplands Home
2950 Lansdowne Road
3250 Exeter Road
BRand new QUeenswood estate
BRand new Home in ten mile pt.
2987 Baynes Road
2631 Queenswood Drive 375099
binabgroup.com #1 Team North America & #2 Global Agent* Based on Engel & Vรถlkers 2016 statistics from VREB MLS
VA N C O u V E R
Oceanfront Sophistication $8,500,000
2530 Queenswood Drive, Victoria: World class custom home built to exquisite standards with walls of glass to take in unobstructed ocean views. A 1.74 acre sanctuary with approx. 300 feet of ocean frontage. The 6,103 sq ft home, with ceilings soaring to 25’, offers superior accommodation and is perfect for the art connoisseur.
Personal Real Estate Corporation
250.661.7232 email@example.com glynismacleod.com
I believe every home is a mansion, regardless of size, location or price.
Please call me if you are considering selling your home. SOLD OVER LIST PRICE
Iconic Oak Bay $1,615,000
479 Monterey Avenue, Oak Bay: Savour ocean views & sounds of the sea from the sunroom, deck & master bedroom. Gleaming with light from recent main floor renos this 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home offers a family many options. Huge .24 acre yard enjoyed by children or gardeners alike. Located a few doors from McNeill Bay.
LOCAL EXPERTISE, GLOBAL CONNECTIONS
Family Fairfield $975,000
1632 Richardson Street, Victoria: Wonderful 3 bedroom family home with excellent suite or carriage house potential. Huge 11,000 sq. ft. backyard all the family can enjoy. Built in 1957 with coved ceilings of the era and much TLC over the years, this 2,101 sq. ft. home is ideally located in this friendly neighbourhood.
Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement
WLISA WILLIAMS South oak Bay
498 Newport AveNue $4,288,000
This exceptional near new bespoke home offers over 6100sqft of luxurious, well-designed and appointed space: the ultimate in executive family living! Located in the exclusive South Oak Bay enclave of Newport Avenue and Beach Drive, the property is just steps from the ocean, Victoria Golf Club, Anderson Hill Park, and minutes from Royal Victoria Yacht Club and excellent schools. Elegant & expansive indoor spaces seamlessly transition out to sun-drenched & private terraces, with indoor/ outdoor fireplace, lounging, dining and BBQ areas, and a magical viewing patio next to the park that showcases incredible, panoramic, ocean, mountain & golf course views!
425 LA FortuNe roAd $3,480,000 Spectacular 2.3 acre Gated Waterfront Estate! This outstanding custom home boasts over 7300sqft, with exceptional quality and finishing throughout! Enjoy world-class, panoramic views, massive outdoor decks and entertaining areas, beautifully landscaped grounds, garage parking for 6+ vehicles, tennis/sports court, and private access to a gorgeous beach that is perfect for boating, kayaking & fishing! This is a truly private oceanfront oasis, offering a luxurious yet relaxing lifestyle so rare to find today… Located just minutes from shops, amenities, top-ranked schools, and just 40 minutes from downtown Victoria!
DELIVERING THE HIGHEST CALIBRE OF PROFESSIONALISM & DEDICATED CLIENT SERVICE . . . IF YOU HAVE CONSIDERED SELLING YOUR HOME CALL LISA TODAY! c: 250•514•1966 L I K E N O OT H E R sothebysrealty.ca
Lisa@LisaWilliams.ca Independently Owned and Operated
P ro u d ly P r e s e n t i n g l u X u ry
2050 TROON COURT Custom light filled estate sized home with astounding views of the golf course and Mt. Finlayson. Located in the prestigious golf resort of Bear Mountain, this property offers privacy, yet close to many local amenities and features a fabulous gourmet kitchen, large great room, family room with 18ft vaulted beamed ceilings, separate dining room, luxurious main floor master suite with five star hotel sized spa ensuite, and spacious upper bedrooms. This elegant home boasts 3 sets of large french doors leading to expansive patios and outdoor entertainment spaces which delight in afternoon west facing sun all backing on to the golf course. $1,550,000 | 2050TroonCourt.com
27-3650 CITADEL PLACE Immaculate open concept end unit townhome with breathtaking views of the refreshing Latoria Park. Located in the prestigious development of Royal Bay, this property offers comfort and ease of living with a well - managed strata, and only minutes to all local amenities, beaches and hiking trails, and features a lovely gourmet kitchen with granite counters and cooking island, spacious dining and family room combo, cozy main floor master suite with soaker tub ensuite, and spacious upper bedrooms. This divine townhome features a lovely double fireplace, custom sheer blinds and phantom screens on patio doors to private sitting areas. $850,000 | 3650CitadelPlace.com
CHeryl Barnes 250 413 7943 The Westshoreâ€™s Top Producing Agent Since 2008* Top 100 Remax Western Canada 2016* www.cherylbarnes.ca | firstname.lastname@example.org | Remax Camosun 4440 Chatterton Way, Victoria, BC V8X 5J2 *Vreb Stats, Remax Stats 2016
Dallas Sells Victoria/Oak Bay
AB OV SO E A LD SK IN G!
AB OV SO E A LD SK IN G!
Personal real estate CorPoration
PORTAGE INLET - SAANICH WEST
This fabulous waterfront rancher, built in 2000, offers 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a new kitchen, hardwood floors, over 125 ft. of waterfront and a fire pit and new deck to enjoy those summer nights! $849,900
“My goal is to find your dream home and ensure that the decision you make stands as a wise investment over the long term.”
YOUR HOME HERE FAIRFIELD
Immaculate, spacious 2 BD, 2BA, suite with remodelled kitchen, large master ensuite with walk-in closet, laundry in suite. Walk to downtown, Beacon Hill Park. Close to Cook St. Village & Dallas Road waterfront. $389,900
With the market being extremely active, it’s the perfect time to sell your home!
LISTINGS WANTED! For a FREE Market Evaluation call me at
Dallas Chapple RE/MAX Camosun • Tel: 250.744.3301 • Toll Free: 1.877.652.4880 www.dallaschapple.com • Email: email@example.com 66
Tie up your BoAT, SeAplAne or lAnd your HeliCopTer yeAr round. Waterfront! Welcome to this west coast modern lakefront house in a state of the art subdivision. Kate Creates is a vision many years in the making and now proudly presenting the first luxury residence. living only 45 minutes away from Victoria this is now your time to own a legacy home, walking distance to world famous Shawnigan lake private school. This home is built by Kate Creates designs where attention to detail, design, beauty, water views, practicality, quality and comfort are carved carefully in this one and only truly private lakefront subdivision. 2627 Katy's Crescent, Shawnigan lake BC $1,698,000 net GST
770 B Hillside Ave Victoria, BC V8T 1Z6
office: (250) 386-8875 cell: (250) 588-6011
hello @ laynebritton.com www.laynebrittonrealestate.com
REAL ESTATE EXPERT Helping you make the right decision.
10467-A Allbay Road, Sidney
South facing low-bank WATERFRONT home situated on one of the most desirable streets in Sidney! This special home is nestled on Robert’s Bay and features stunning panoramic views of Mt. Baker and the active waterfront of Haro Strait. Highlights include 2796 sq ft of living space + unfinished basement, beautiful kitchen with wood cabinetry & Bosch appliances, media room, and large laundry room. The master bedroom offers a large ensuite with double vanity & soaker tub, walk-in closet, and private deck with hot tub. Outside you will find an expansive patio with incredible southern exposure that’s perfect for entertaining and enjoying the warm evening sun. This is a prime waterfront location in an area where houses rarely come available.
1211 Lucille Drive, Brentwood Bay
Chace Whitson personal real estate corporation
· 250 818 9338 tel · 250 388 5882 cel
307 – 10160 Third Street, Sidney
Extraordinary Properties! Unrivaled Experience and Expertise LUXURIOUS ROCKLAND TOWNHOME Situated in the heart of Rockland, be among the first to view this absolutely rare opportunity; which offers the ultimate in lifestyle plus the optimum in space & design. One of the highlights of the home, (2800 sf. with 3 beds, 4 baths) is the beautiful Jason Good kitchen with white oak flooring, &Caesar stone/ Granite counters. The kitchen was designed for artful efficiency with top of the line stainless appliances including Wolf, Sub-Zero & Bosch. Recent enhancements include skylights, new windows, extended outdoor patio with built in barbeque & outdoor lighting. Move-in Perfection in a brilliant location! Offered at $1,749,000 MLS#377994
SAANICH INLET â€“ SOUTH FACING OCEANFRONT ACREAGE! Situated in a premiere position on the Saanich Inlet, this south facing 2.85 acre irreplaceable oceanfront is the perfect palate for the over 6000 st.ft. gracious residence: offering 6 bedrooms and four baths. Included is a separate coach house, ideal for office or guests, plus and in-law suite on the lower level. This idyllic retreat is private, sunny and enjoys access to the water. Act quickly! Offered at 2,625,000. MLS#375946
PICTURESQUE TEN MILE POINT This idyllic ocean view brick Tudor residence is situated on .79 acre natural garden across from Knonukson Park. Recently cosmetically enhanced with new Oak & Travertine flooring, updated kitchen with quartz counter tops & stainless appliances, plus 3 refurbished bathrooms. The location is superb, only 5 minutes to the beach, Cadboro Bay and 10 minutes to UVIC. The setting is enchanting and completely private! Offered at $1,629,000 MLS# 377529
MACDONALD REALTY LTD. 755 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC | T 250.388.5882 | TF 1.877.388.5882 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.lesleefarrell.com
Call Leslee Farrell at 250.388.5882 for assistance with your local and global real estate needs.
1144 Fort Street, Victoria, BC
Personal Real Estate Corporation
The Value of Experience
568 Senanus Drive | $7,500,000
3240 Uplands Place | $5,250,000
6 Acres Peninsula Waterfront
Custom Home in The Uplands
572 Beach Drive | $2,900,000
2910 Phyllis Road | $1,179,995
Spectacular Ocean Views in South Oak Bay
View Lot in Ten Mile Point
606-770 Fisgard Street - $1,025,000 Penthouse in The Hudson
935 Foul Bay Road | $3,600,000 “Tor Lodge” Maclure Mansion
Sylvia@SylviaTherrien.ca • LuxuryWaterfront.ca • SylviaTherrien.ca 250.385.2033 • Cell: 250.888.6621 • Toll-free: 1.888.886.1286
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Custom Home 3160 Weald Road MLS 375896 $5,600,000
Uplands Estate 3320 Ripon Road MLS 376854 $3,738,000
Character Triplex 3439 Cook Street MLS 376471 $1,148,000
4 Luxury Custom Built Acreage 3444 Yorkshire Place MLS 377737 $1,125,000
Oceanfront Condo 65 Songhees Road MLS 377883 $1,025,000
* #1 Realtor in Sales Pemberton Holmes 2014, 2015 & 2016 * Multiple MLS Gold Award Winner
R e a l e s tat e f R o m a t o Z
214-456 Pandora Avenue
4855 Story Lane
2 bed 2 bath This is a rare and unique find in Waterfront “Janion” facing South west makes it a perfect investment.
4 bed 4 bath 12,820 sqft. lot Family West Coast home at the end of a private road surrounded by privacy and nature.
7002 East Sooke Road
202-1159 Beach Drive
6 bed 5 bath Spectacular beachfront property offers 1.4 acres of low-bank waterfront and extreme privacy.
2 bed 3 bath Extraordinary oceanfront and ocean views from every room.
Axel Ziba, PREC 250-885-8908 email@example.com www.AxelRealtor.ca
Sold in 5 days A very rare offering in the heart of Oak Bay
2171 sqft condo
3Bed + 3Bath | 2 Floors
“ When you are at “home” some of the best living & most valuable living happen’s ” - Enjoy
Susanna Crofton Newport Realty 250.385.2033 BCSelectHomes.ca
SHAREN WARDE & LARRY SIMS
250-592-4422 1280 Newport Ave 402 MLS 374745
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150-805 Cloverdale Ave 250-384-8124
Helping you make all the right moves.
Bringing knowledge, integrity & tenacity to the table. Together we achieve your real estate goals!
Terrace • MLS 376315 • $2,200,000 Teaming up to serve you better. ALISON WEDEKIND & TRACY MENZIES
hether you are new to town, thinking about downsizing or considering an investment, they will guide you through the process to ensure you make the right moves in the current market. With over 30 years combined experience they bring the detailed knowledge and expertise needed to get you the best results when buying or selling.
Corie Meyer | 250.818.3216 firstname.lastname@example.org www.coriemeyer.com Shelley Saldat | 250.589.4014 email@example.com www.shelleysaldat.ca
Alison Wedekind 250-888-4969 Tracy Menzies 250-419-2075
250.384.8124 | www.pembertonholmes.com
141 Barkley Terrace • MLS 376315 • $2,200,000
me over Gonzales Bay and beyond are simply amazing and lmost every room. Large decks invite you to sit on a sunny and yachts sail by. The large lot is a gardener’s delight with crops and hidden spaces. There is room to grow veggies k pools and simply enjoy. A spacious and open home with a and study; there are many updates and features. The master The views from this home over Gonzales Bay and beyond are simply nd floor is huge and takes advantage of the panoramic amazing and can be seen fromfull almost every room. Large decks invite you to on a be sunny day and watchtothe ships yachts sail renovations by. The large lot e as it sit is there would wonderful live inand and with is a gardeners delight with large trees, rocky out crops and hidden spaces. be quite stunning. There is room to grow veggies and flowers build rock pools and just enjoy. home is spacious reallyThe appreciate it.and open with a separate living room and study and
Navigating today’s real estate market is a challenge.
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there are many updates and features. The master bedroom on the second floor is huge and takes full advantage of the panoramic views.
Ray Ray Murray Murray
ES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) 250.686.3789 • SheppardMurray.com .686.3789 • SheppardMurray.com Aussie Enthusiasm, Local Expertise
NICOLE BURGESS WALT BURGESS 250-384-8124
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FOOD & DRINK
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A TOOLBOX OF THAI FLAVOURS THAT ADD ZING TO MARKET VEGETABLES
SALTY, SOUR, SWEET & SPICY Fresh
BY CHEF HEIDI FINK
PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
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T O B A C C O N I S T
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UMMER: THE SEASON OF FARM markets,
roadside stands, and an abundance of fresh produce. When we buy local vegetables, we often don’t think of putting any kind of spin on them. They are so delicious on their own, they often need no enhancement. But if you’re like me, and you buy way too much produce at the farm market every week, you want to do something more with your vegetables than simply steam or grill them. Enter Thai aromatics. They are a dream match for summer meals: spicy, bright, citrusy, fragrant, and refreshing in a way that perfectly enhances sunny days and warm summer evenings. At a time when we are craving lightness and freshness in our food, Thai ingredients help us to achieve that with a minimum of effort. The light, lemony flavour of lemongrass, the heat of Thai chilies, the pine-like aroma of galangal, the freshness of lime and cilantro — these are a few of the ingredients that can be used in summer-fresh, Thai-inspired recipes. The hurdle for most of us is in learning how to properly use them. Thai aromatics are widely available but can be intimidating to use for the average cook. What follows is a quick overview of how to use some basic Thai ingredients, as well as a collection of delicious and relatively simple recipes to try, with a focus on using locally grown vegetables. Let the heat and flavour of Thailand inspire your cooking this summer.
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Makes about 2 cups This simple syrup can be used to make a variety of delicious drinks. Mix with 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon and/or lime juice for a lemongrass lemonade, or use as a fabulous drinks mixer. 2 cups water 1 cup sugar 4 stalks lemongrass To get the most from lemongrass, use only the fat two or three inches at the bottom of the stem. Use the rest for your bath or compost. Cut the prepared lemongrass into several chunks, and bruise them with a heavy pot. Combine the sugar, water and prepared lemongrass in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until very fragrant. Pour syrup through a strainer suspended over a bowl, catching all of the syrup and discarding the lemongrass. Allow to cool and then transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. THAI HOT AND SOUR PICKLED VEGETABLES
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Makes about 5 cups This spicy, citrusy, mouth-tingling pickle is both beautiful and delicious. Add these quick-pickled vegetables to any summer meal to add visual appeal, flavour and crunch. Avoid green vegetables — they will turn an unappetizing shade of olive drab after a few minutes. 79
AT A TIME WHEN WE ARE CRAVING LIGHTNESS AND FRESHNESS IN OUR FOOD, THAI INGREDIENTS HELP US TO ACHIEVE THAT WITH MINIMUM EFFORT.
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NOTE: Lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, and Thai chilies can all be frozen for up to 6 months, and keep their flavour and aroma beautifully. • Lemongrass: To get the most from this fragrant, lemony grass, use only the “belly” — the fat two inches at the bottom of the stem (measured after you have cut off the tough root). Bruise the lemongrass belly with a heavy can or pot before using it in a recipe. • Galangal: A rhizome not to be confused with ginger, galangal has a wonderful, aromatic, pine-like fragrance, for which there is no substitute. No need to peel before slicing or chopping. • Makrut (kefir) lime leaf: Very aromatic, with an irreplaceable flowery taste and smell, makrut lime leaves are roughly sliced and used to flavour soups, sauces and coconut curries. Remove like a bay leaf afterwards. • Thai chilies: Very spicy! Careful when handling them, use latex gloves as necessary. • Shallot: The main cooking onion in South East Asia: accept no substitutes. • Coconut: Coconut milk gives Thai curries their sweet creaminess, and is also used in marinades, soups and desserts. The richest and best coconut milk is solid at room temperature and won’t move around when you shake the can. • Fish sauce: An amber-coloured liquid that smells horrible but tastes divine, fish sauce is the main source of salt in Thai food. Don’t skimp on this; it often makes the dish! • Palm sugar: This unrefined sugar has a mild pineapple fragrance and delicate sweetness. Smash with a mallet or hammer to crumble before using in recipes. • Tamarind: Fruity, sour and slightly sweet (think sour cherry), this is used as a souring agent in Masuman Curry and Pad Thai. This must be soaked in boiling water and pushed through a strainer before using. • Thai basil: Prized for its strong anise aroma and slightly peppery finish, Thai basil is stirred into soups and curries near the end of cooking. • Fresh lime: Used to add a refreshing sourness to many Thai dishes. • Chili paste: Several varieties are widely available to choose from. Choose the one you like best and put in only as much as you like. • Cilantro: It’s either love it or hate it with this powerfully aromatic and refreshing herb. Use liberally in salads, soups, noodles dishes, and vegetable bowls.
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Bruce cafferkY, B.coMM., fMa I love to serve these with grilled satay and steamed rice for a light, refreshing summer meal. ¾ cup unseasoned rice vinegar 4.5 Tbsp sugar 1 carrot, peeled and cut into fine julienne (matchsticks) 1 shallot, peeled, quartered and sliced thinly crosswise Half of a Long English cucumber cut in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced thinly crosswise 6 red or purple radishes, thinly sliced Sliced fennel, quartered lengthwise, cored and sliced thinly 2 red Thai chilies, seeded and sliced thinly crosswise 4 Tbsp minced cilantro Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
Vice-President, Investment Advisor and Financial Planner www.brucecafferky.com 250-746-2412 | 1-888-668-1622
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In a small pot, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar and prepared carrot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour on the vinegar mixture. Let sit about 30 minutes before serving. Serve as an accompaniment to any Thai-inspired meal. SPICY THAI-STYLE NOODLES WITH MINT & LIME
Serves 2 as a meal, up to 8 as an appetizer Recipe doubles easily. These flavour-packed noodles can be made with ingredients found only in the supermarket, yet they maintain an authentic Thai taste. Make sure to measure and chop all the ingredients before you start to cook. This recipe comes together very quickly once the cooking time starts. 4 oz dried rice stick noodles, size medium (about ¼ of a noodle package) 3 Tbsp fish sauce 1 Tbsp water 2 tsp Thai roasted red chili paste (naam prik pao) OR hoisin sauce 4 Tbsp palm sugar, or light brown sugar 1 Tbsp sambal oelek Finely grated zest of 1 lime 2 Tbsp vegetable oil ½ lb peeled prawns (try local spot prawns!) 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 scallions (green onions), sliced thinly on the diagonal
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1 small-medium carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly on the diagonal ½ red bell pepper, seeded, halved and sliced thin ¾ cup snow peas, each pod sliced in half lengthwise 2 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained well ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro ½ cup chopped fresh mint 4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice Soak the rice noodles in hot tap water for 20 to 30 minutes until pliable but not mushy. It is better to under-soak, rather than over-soak the noodles. Drain and set aside. In a small pot, combine the fish sauce, water, roasted red chili paste and palm sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the palm sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the sambal oelek and lime zest, and set aside. Make sure that you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ Tbsp of oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add the prawns and sauté briefly until they just start to turn colour, but are not fully cooked. Transfer prawns to a plate, add the remaining oil to the pan and heat again. Add the garlic, stir once, and immediately add the scallions, carrots, red pepper and snow peas. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until vegetables are softened a bit and garlic is fragrant. Add the sauce ingredients, bring to a boil and then stir in the noodles. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring and tossing constantly with tongs or two wooden spoons, until noodles are tender.
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If pan gets too dry, add up to one quarter cup of water and continue cooking until noodles are tender and silky. Add the prawns and 1.5 cups of the bean sprouts and cook a minute and a half more, until sprouts are starting to get limp and prawns are cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the peanuts and herbs. Drizzle on the 4 tablespoons for fresh lime juice, trying to cover the noodles evenly. Garnish with the remaining half cup of bean sprouts and serve immediately. The noodles can also be refrigerated and eaten the next day as a cool salad. COCONUT LEMONGRASS BOWL WITH MARKET VEGETABLES
Serves 6 to 8 The infusion of lemongrass and other aromatics into this coconut sauce makes for an extra delicious vegetarian bowl. 1 can coconut milk 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, cut into ½-inch slices and bruised 4 slices galangal or ginger, bruised 2 Tbsp red or yellow curry paste (try Maesri brand from Chinatown) 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine ½ cup mild vegetable or chicken broth 5 to 6 cups fresh sliced market vegetables (bok choi, kale, baby carrots, snow peas, bell peppers, eggplant, kohlrabi, zucchini, green beans, okra, etc.) 3 Tbsp fish sauce 4 lime leaves, ripped
1 Tbsp palm sugar or light brown sugar ¼ to ⅓ cup chopped fresh Thai basil Optional: a squeeze of fresh lime juice Garnishes: Cilantro leaves, Thai basil leaves, fried shallots, fresh bean sprouts, roasted peanuts, and/or sliced fresh Thai chilies Open the can of coconut milk. It should have separated into a thick spoon-able coconut “cream” at the top of the can and a thinner, coconut water underneath. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the thick cream into a small bowl and set aside. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the prepared lemongrass and galangal. Sauté, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant, then add the curry paste and prepared garlic, and sauté 30 seconds more. Now add the 2 tablespoons of thick coconut cream. Cook, stirring, until the oil separates from the coconut milk and most of the liquid has evaporated, for 30 to 60 seconds. The curry paste should smell fragrant, but not burnt. Add the broth and the remaining coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant. Strain the coconut milk mixture through a fine sieve suspended over a bowl. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the saucepan. Stir in vegetables, fish sauce and sliced lime leaves. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, until vegetables are crisptender. Stir in sugar, basil and optional lime juice and remove from heat. Stir well to combine everything. Serve immediately, on top of steamed jasmine rice or cooked rice vermicelli noodles, with any or all of the garnishes.
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SWEET COCONUT STICKY RICE WITH SEASONAL FRUIT
Serves 6 to 8 A favourite dessert — light, delicious and unusual. The warm coconut rice plays deliciously against the sweet-tart fresh fruit. 1½ cups Thai Sweet Rice 1 400 mL can good quality coconut milk (not “light”) 1¼ disks palm sugar, or ½ cup white or light brown sugar ½ tsp salt 4 cups of sliced seasonal fruit: try mangoes, strawberries, golden kiwi, nectarines, peaches, blueberries, grapes. Place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Swish with your hands to rinse the extra starch off the rice. Drain well. Place the rinsed rice back in the bowl and cover with fresh cold water. Soak for at least 4 hours at room temperature or, refrigerated, overnight. If you are in a hurry, you can soak it in warm tap water for 2 hours. Drain rice. Line the bottom of a bamboo steamer or collapsible metal steamer with several layers of cheesecloth. Place the rice in the steamer, spreading it out to an even thickness. Place the steamer in a wok or flat saucepan that has 2 inches of water in the bottom. The water should not be high enough to touch the rice. Place the pan on a burner and turn to high. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium or medium-high to maintain a steady flow of steam. Steam the rice 35 to 45 minutes, adding water to the pan as needed to prevent it from drying out. The rice is cooked when it swells, turns clear and shiny, and is sticky enough to
be squeezed into clumps. While the rice is steaming, open the can of coconut milk. Empty contents into a small saucepan. Add the salt and the palm sugar. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside. Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the steamer and dump it into a large bowl, peeling off the cheesecloth as you do so. Pour the coconut mixture over it and stir to combine. Cover the rice and set aside until liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Spread the warm, sweetened rice on a serving platter and smooth the top. Let cool to room temperature. Cover the entire surface of the rice with prepared fruit. Serve immediately, making sure every person gets an equal portion of fruit and sweet rice.
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ST. BARTS: AN EXCLUSIVE PIECE OF HEAVEN BY BRUCE SACH
SINCE BEYONCÃ‰, DUSTIN HOFFMAN, IVAN REITMAN AND TOM HANKS (TO NAME BUT A FEW) HAVE SECOND HOMES HERE, YOU FIND YOURSELF RUBBER NECKING ON A REGULAR BASIS.
O ONE IN ST. BARTS COULD ADEQUATELY explain to me why Christopher Columbus named this island Saint Barthélemy after his brother Bartholomew, who, as far as I know, was never any kind of saint. After spending a few days on this tiny island in the French West Indies near St. Martin, I began to realize that there are numerous misconceptions about the place. Sure, it’s a hideaway for the rich and famous, but it’s a pretty neat little island on its own terms. And, in an informal poll conducted with strangers and friends back home, I discovered few people know much about St. Barts at all. One of the many discrete (or indiscreet, depending on your point of view) charms of St. Barts is that you cannot fly there directly from any distant, foreign airport on a large airplane. Access is via air or water from nearby St. Martin, and small planes, many private, are continually making their way to this true island paradise.
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No one knows who’s in those planes, but you can bet your bottom dollar the passengers are exclusive. And the mega-yachts anchored at Gustavia, the main port, speak volumes of their owners’ deep pockets. A 10-minute car drive from the airport (the hotel manager picked us up) brought us to the village of St. Jean and Le Village St. Barts Hotel, a well-established resort made up of villas of differing sizes that’s been here since 1969. By St. Barts standards, this hotel speaks of another era, although rooms have been completely redone, the work supervised by Bertrand Charneau, son of the founder. The hotel was one of the first built here, when the Rockefellers were the only semi-permanent vacationers in these parts, and when only a few thousand locals lived on St. Barts. About this time, the likes of Greta Garbo, the Vanderbilts and Howard Hughes began arriving. It was Greta Garbo who suggested replacing the wooden window slats at the hotel with glass ones — “should one wish to see something outside of the air-conditioned rooms.” How Le Village St. Barts Hotel’s founder André Charneau saw promise in this fresh-water-deprived island is a mystery, but his gamble paid off big time. So, did he snap up the best oceanfront properties at St-Jean or Nikki Beach, whose value today must be staggering?
No, according to daughter Catherine: “He deliberately chose the high land overlooking the Baie de St-Jean, therefore taking advantage of the gloriously cool trade winds that blow in.” Today, as you sit on the high, huge veranda of a villa at Le Village, the main reminders of modern day “civilization” are the small propeller planes that take off and land at the nearby, but undetectable main airport. These tiny, distant planes provide a romantic distraction as they slide, almost in an old-fashioned, slow motion waltz, back and over Baie de St-Jean. Rather than being bothersome, they somehow reinforce the exclusive nature of the island — big, noisy jets just aren’t part of the scene at St. Barts. One of the most outstanding villas here, the “Catherine” resembles a pop art museum. Every year, brother and sister owners Catherine and Bertrand invite a different contemporary artist to visit for a week in order to create and add a new piece of contemporary art. St. Jean is not exactly the peaceful village it was a few years ago. Wild parties involving the rich and famous can erupt at Nikki Beach during New Year’s Eve and the like here. I’m talking people taking champagne showers along with all the excess your imagination can muster. You can walk down and be part of the action, or remain in splendid isolation at Le Village.
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Eden Rock’s Sandbar Restaurant, next to Nikki Beach in St. Jean was my kind of place for lunch or a drink. Chefs JeanGeorge Vongerichten and Eric Desbordes’ lunch suggestions included grilled filet mignon and wood-oven roasted St. Barts lobster. I went for the Fontina cheese and black truffle pizza on the terrace facing the Baie de St. Jean. The divine taste remains etched into my memory, as does the surprise serving of digestible chic pearls, confectioned with a delicious jelly that followed dessert. At the Kiki-é Mo Café, you can go for an exceedingly healthy light lunch (with a green smoothie) at a spot inspired by former New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne. (His daughter runs the place). Nearby, the Esprit Café knocked us over with its sophisticated supper menu and discreet service in an outdoor setting near Saline Beach. St. Barts is so compact that you are inevitably going to run into celebrities, if that’s your fancy. After a few days, we figured out where Steve Martin goes to body surf unnoticed, saw where Russian oligarchs anchor their mega yachts and had a very good idea of where Kevin O’Leary hangs his hat. Since Beyoncé, Dustin Hoffman, Ivan Reitman and Tom Hanks (to name but a few) have second homes here, you find yourself rubber necking on a regular basis. Despite the number of foreign visitors, St. Barts has kept a great deal of its original charm. Locals have a nodding acquaintance with most other islanders. Crime is almost unheard of and many women mentioned that they felt entirely safe anywhere on the island,
any time of day. There is a delicate balance between the insular, traditional, laid-back vibe and the modern jet set lifestyle factor. Truth be told, if you strip away the glitz, there is a very real, grounded feel to the place. In the port city of Gustavia, fabulously expensive designer stores follow one after the other, extending along the uninspiringly named Rue du Bord de Mer to Samuel Fahlerg Street. I’m talking Christian Liaigre, Laurent Effel, Patek Philippe, Hermès, Vilebrequin and Edmiston (should you wish to consider a super yacht). But walk into the area on the other side of the harbour and you’ll see decrepit buildings and real charm. We climbed up the steps to what’s left of Fort Carl, one of the old Swedish forts here. Along with the fabulous views of St. Kitts and Nevis and the tiny Dutch islands of Saba and St. Eustatius to the west, we had a stunning view of Shell Beach. It is a quiet perch, where tropical shrubs and huge volcanic boulders far outnumber the number of daily visitors. St. Barts was known as a safe port even in colonial days. There reigns a quiet chic, with Mini Coopers, the rental car of choice, clogging up traffic. Locals will confirm that it’s cheaper to rent a car than pay for a taxi! And no, although free-range chicken might be on your menu, there are no free-running, crowing roosters — the kind you might expect in the Caribbean. “It used to be an island with 5,000 donkeys and one car, and that was owned by the Roman Catholic priest,” deadpanned David Matthews, the British owner of Eden Rock. “Now it’s an island of 5,000 cars and one donkey.” Christopher Columbus’ brother may not have been a saint, but his namesake island is certainly a little piece of heaven.
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TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF LETTUCE IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH BY PAMELA DURKIN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
“BITTER GREENS EATEN AT THE START OF A MEAL HELP STIMULATE THE GASTRIC JUICES OUR STOMACH NEEDS TO BREAK DOWN FOODS — THEY ARE AN ABSOLUTE BOON TO DIGESTION.”
FTER A LONG WINTER REPLETE WITH HEAVY COMFORT FOOD, our palates yearn
for salads during the summer months. Lettuce, once synonymous with salad, seems to have lost its status as “king of the salad bowl” to the more trendy kale, due to widespread belief that kale is nutritionally superior. That belief is misguided. The truth is, several varieties of lettuce deliver an even greater nutritional wallop than kale. So why not turn over a new leaf and try one of the following bonafide superfood lettuces — your body and taste buds will thank you.
Well-known as the key ingredient of a Caesar salad, this variety of lettuce is distinguished by an elongated head and long, green leaves that boast a crisp texture and refreshing taste. It also delivers an impressive 62.5 mg of bone and heart friendly Vitamin K per cup. In addition, romaine plays host to healthy doses of vitamins A and C, folate, manganese, chromium, potassium and fibre. Interestingly, romaine is one of the plant world’s richest sources of folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that is critical for preventing birth defects, infertility, depression and more. If that doesn’t impress you, consider this: when researchers at William Patterson University in New Jersey analyzed 47 types of produce for 17 vital nutrients, and then ranked them based on their “nutrition density scores,” romaine bested the much ballyhooed kale by several points. That doesn’t surprise Cordelia McFadyen, a holistic nutritionist with Synergy Health Centre. “I am a big fan of romaine,” she enthuses, “It is teeming with Vitamin K, a vitamin so many people don’t get enough of, and unlike kale, it is easily digestible and has almost universal appeal — it’s just so palatable!” Strong in texture and flavour, romaine pairs beautifully with bold ingredients such as anchovies, blue cheese, garlic and lemon.
RED OR GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
Green and red leaf lettuces have large, wavy leaves with scalloped edges that give them an undeniable aesthetic appeal. But these relatively common greens have a lot more going for them than good looks — they contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than any other variety of “true” lettuce. These mild-flavoured lettuces ranked even higher than romaine on WPU’s list of nutrient-dense greens. While both colours of leaf lettuce contain the cancer fighting carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein, red leaf lettuce also plays host to anthocyanin, a group of plant flavonoids that are veritable superheroes when it comes to promoting health. Current research suggests anthocyanin can help fight heart disease and cancer, protect vision and ward off Alzheimer’s disease. And, just like romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce houses significant amounts of Vitamins A, C and K, folate, and manganese. In fact, leaf lettuce’s bone friendly Vitamin K content is so impressive, a report from the Nurse’s Health Study suggests that women who eat a serving of leaf lettuce every day could cut the risk of hip fracture by 30 per cent, compared to those eating the green only once per week. It seems the lettuce ranks high with the general public too.
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THE SWEET, MILD FLAVOUR OF THESE PRETTY GREENS IS ENHANCED WHEN THEY ARE TOSSED WITH GRILLED VEGETABLES, NUTS AND SEEDS, ROBUST CHEESES, FRESH TOMATOES AND CREAMY DRESSINGS.
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“Leaf lettuce is our best seller,” says grower Brian Hughes, “especially the baby red leaf lettuce we grow. People are attracted by its gorgeous colour — it’s so vivid and looks as lovely as it tastes.” The sweet, mild flavour of these pretty greens is enhanced when they are tossed with grilled vegetables, nuts and seeds, robust cheeses, fresh tomatoes and creamy dressings.
LAMB’S LETTUCE (AKA MÂCHE LETTUCE)
This plant’s quaint moniker stems from its deep green leaves, which resemble the size and shape of a lamb’s tongue. The slender leaves are clustered in loose heads and have a distinctive velvety feel. Relished for years by French cooks, the gourmet green has slowly been gaining popularity on these shores, thanks to its nutty, juicy flavour and its nutritional might. Unfortunately, it is not yet widely available on a commercial level. “We grow it occasionally,” says Hughes. “But curiously it’s a hard plant to grow on a commercial level — it’s very delicate and grows close to the ground. But it is a breeze to grow in a kitchen garden — it can be grown any time of year and self sows. It truly is remarkably tasty.” It is also remarkably health enhancing. The delicate lettuce contains more iron than spinach, hefty doses of Vitamins A and C, folate, niacin, beta-carotene and essential fatty acids. Due to its perishable nature, and limited commercial availability, it tends to be somewhat pricey when it does land in the produce aisle. However, if you don’t mind the added expense, lamb’s lettuce can turn an ordinary salad into something special. Marry it with
roasted vegetables, bold cheeses and candied nuts and you’ll impress any salad aficionado.
FRISEE (AKA CURLY ENDIVE)
Don’t let frisee’s pretty pastel colour and slender curly leaves fool you — this fern-like green is no “lightweight” when it comes to providing nutritional value. Like its leafy brethren, frisee is chock-full of Vitamins A and K. Additionally, it’s an excellent source of folate, B-complex vitamins, fibre and inulin. What’s inulin you may wonder? Inulin is a type of “prebiotic” that helps feed the good gut bacteria (probiotics) our bodies need to keep our immune and digestive systems working well. Recent medical research suggests frisee’s high fibre and inulin content can help reduce blood glucose levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol, in Diabetes patients and the obese. Here’s more good news regarding frisee. Though the salad green is slightly bitter, it is far less so than other varieties of endive; in fact, it imparts a pronounced nutty flavour that is prized by gourmands around the globe. And that slight bitterness comes with some real health benefits. Nutritional analysis reveals that bitter greens contain a wealth of antioxidant-rich polyphenols and frisee is no exception. A single cup of the salad green provides 235mg of these beneficial plant compounds. According to Cordelia McFadyen, that slight bitterness has an additional bonus. “Bitter greens eaten at the start of a meal help stimulate the gastric juices our stomach needs to break down foods — they are an absolute boon to digestion,” she says.
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WELLNESS GURU HOSTS LUXURY RETREAT AT VICTORIAâ€™S FAIRMONT EMPRESS BY SARA WILSON
Yoga instructor Katie Thacker
PHOTO BY DON DENTON
T’S EASY TO FEEL INTIMIDATED when you meet Catherine Roscoe Barr, wellness guru at Vancouver’s The Life Delicious. She has a BSc in neuroscience, is probably the only person left who refuses to own a microwave, crafts her own organic and local homemade menus, is an ambassador for SPUD.ca and commands any room with confidence. But spend three days on one of her luxury retreats and you’ll see she is anything but intimidating — the Instagram star is approachable, passionate and honest. From famed personal trainer to rock bottom at 30, Barr has built a brand off her strengths and put her weaknesses straight into the spotlight. Barr’s recent retreat in Victoria featured two nights at the Fairmont Empress, six meals, three exercise classes and six lectures with free time to meditate and explore the perfectly manicured grounds of the newly renovated hotel. Barr’s is one of a series of luxury retreats the Fairmont Empress is planning for the year. “We are passionate about fresh and local food, great sleep and the importance of finding your energy,” said Kerry Duff, director of public relations with the Fairmont Empress. “We created the Luxury Wellness Weekend with Catherine Roscoe Barr to share our love for wellness in one of the world’s most spectacular destinations.” Let’s face it, if you are going to make health and wellness a priority, it’s much easier to start when you have Victoria’s picturesque inner harbour as your backdrop. Folded into Barr’s lesson plans throughout the retreat — her 10th so far — were personal stories of “dark times,” martial lessons learned with her husband of 20 years and monologues of how she’s wrestled with self-identity and eventually found a calm within. These stories were engaging enough that on a Friday night — surrounded by hundreds of books containing pages of assorted pasts, wisdom and knowledge — she got 12 strangers to open up. Some cried, others were skeptical, but all talked about what they were here to work on, what they hold sacred and where they struggle. And that’s just what Barr capitalizes on, a brothers-inarms theme, except for this retreat, it was sisters around the table. No competition, no prejudice, just support. “The most valuable part of all this, is being with all of you,” Barr said, as she welcomed everyone. Our first day, we were met with beautifully light and delicious, handmade canapés. Barr described these as a “healthy indulgence” — something she stresses is vital to a happy soul. Her guests introduced themselves, and at first some were overwhelmed by the spotlight and attention. Sharing was encouraged but not mandatory, so some shared, others listened. But by the end of the night, everyone knew a little bit about the person sitting beside her. As we packed up and headed to our rooms, there was a quiet buzz of excitement for what was to come tomorrow. For those who thought the retreat was going to be all champagne and relaxing, it wasn’t. At 8 am Saturday morning, we gathered in the library on the main floor of the Empress for the strength-training portion of the day. I’ll admit, I was skeptical about the 30 minutes, full (ish) body work out performed on yoga mats. After seven minutes (a rotating series of seven exercises performed for one minute each), I was re-evaluating my cardiovascular abilities. Designed specifically for those who don’t have time to go to the gym, or prefer to stay at home, Barr’s exercises were approachable for
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all fitness levels, but challenging enough to want to include in my daily routine. Apparently, I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. After two sets and 30 minutes, breakfast was brought in. The menu, created with Barr’s commitment to showcasing local ingredients, highlighted the talents of the Empress’ executive chef, and was served at 8:45 am sharp. The meal included a buffet of beautifully baked, farm fresh eggs, topped with sweet potatoes and almonds and served with fresh fruit and homemade yogurt, plus sides of chia seeds and hemp hearts. The afternoon was a series of lectures, focusing on topics varying from techniques to achieve a better night’s sleep, and how to create a positive mindset by sidestepping negative emotions. Barr referenced her own experiences and her favourite TED Talks (of which there are many). We took a three-hour break from the classroom and lectures on Saturday before returning for dinner, and more importantly, wine, later that evening. This evening was about getting to know each other. Drinks and good food flowed and kept the conversations interesting. Bright and early Sunday morning, Barr led a run/walk outside to help burn off some of the well-worth-it calories collected from the previous night’s A.J.’s Etemis chocolate creations and Mission Hill Winery vintages.
Sunday’s lunch was another work of art, including Mason Street Greens — arugula, baby gem, iceberg wedges, frisee, pea shoots and alfalfa sprouts served with Empress honey, balsamic or Creamy Green Goddess dressing. Cedar Smoked Salmon, Smoked Paprika and Lime Grilled Flank Steak and Hot Chick Peas were also on the menu. Sunday afternoon’s 30-minute yoga session was led by Victoria yogi Katie Thacker, a Vinyasa and Acro Yin yoga instructor. Thacker “strives to provide a balance of breath, fluid movement and alignment” and that’s just what she did. The routine focused on deep breathing and fluid motions — perfect after a couple of hours of sitting. The retreat closed with an introspective look at what we’d learned and what we could take away from the weekend. Many were excited and energized by the revelations, and immediately planned to make life-long changes to help them cope with stress in their lives as best as they can. Barr has created a retreat designed to challenge and broaden both body and mind, but in your own way and at your own pace, because that’s the whole point of the retreat — finding a way to make yourself a priority in your own life.
AND THAT’S JUST WHAT BARR CAPITALIZES ON, A BROTHERS-INARMS THEME, EXCEPT FOR THIS RETREAT, IT WAS SISTERS AROUND THE TABLE. NO COMPETITION, NO PREJUDICE, JUST SUPPORT.
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FRONT ROW BY ROBERT MOYES
A COLLECTION OF ALL THINGS ARTSY HAPPENING IN VICTORIA THIS SUMMER. ENJOY SCINTILLATING THEATRE, ABORIGINAL CULTURE, COMIC BOOKS AND A BOUNTY OF BUSKERS.
SKAM ARTISTS SKAMPEDE SMORGASBORD OF SHORTER THEATRE PIECES Formerly known as Bike Ride, Theatre SKAM’S annual festival of “small-batch entertainment” has been rebranded as SKAMpede, and the original emphasis on travelling from mini-show to mini-show by bicycle is now expanded to include pedestrians and people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters. “Last year I spotted one group consisting of nine bicyclists, two people on mobility scooters, and a guy on a skateboard,” chuckles Theatre SKAM artistic director Matthew Payne. “It was a classic SKAMpede moment.” This is the ninth year for the event, which offers a dozen 10-minute pieces of indie theatre, presented in linear fashion along four kilometres of the Galloping Goose. Aside from local faves like Monkey C Interactive and Hip Hop Puppetry, the increasingly high-profile — and possibly unique — festival is attracting serious talent from as far away as Montreal and Toronto. Payne is particularly proud to be showing cutting edge First Nations artists such as Article 11 and Iqaluit’s Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. “This is very exciting work,” he says. Attendees collect at The Hub, a.k.a. the parking lot for Farmer Construction at 360 Harbour Road. While people wait to get sent off in groups of 12 to see the shows, they can amuse themselves with “happenings” such as stilt walkers and visual
installations, as well as a delectable selection of hip street food and Phillips brews and sodas. “The diversity this year is great, including different genres such as dance, spoken word, and visual arts,” adds Payne. “We’ve really stepped it up.” Running July 14-16 along the Galloping Goose. For information, see Theatre SKAM.
TRUMP THIS! BORN YESTERDAY BLUE BRIDGE LIVE THEATRE Dating from 1946, Born Yesterday was a hugely popular Broadway play that later earned five Oscar nominations for the 1950 movie adaptation. The story features a shady, boorish and immensely wealthy bully of a junk dealer named Harry Brock who travels to Washington, DC to further enrich himself by buying the services of a corrupt congressman. At the centre of the story is his mistress, Billie Dawn, an uncouth ex-showgirl whom Harry Brock wants “polished up” so that she won’t be a social liability. The play is set entirely in a luxury hotel, and the setup just screams Donald Trump. Pure coincidence, says director Janet Munsil, who explains that the Blue Bridge play was selected via “people’s choice” many months before Trump took office in the White House. Part comedy and part drama, Born Yesterday chronicles the interesting journey of a supposed dumb blonde who
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evolves from uncaring mistress to politically aware activist — one determined to derail the grubby machinations of her blowhard boyfriend. Billie is surprisingly feminist for the time, and is, according to Munsil, playwright Garson Kanin’s most interesting character. “She takes responsibility when she realizes she’s being used,” says Munsil. “And unlike with Pygmalion, she’s not being transformed into something for men to approve of … she remains brassy but is more able to express herself.” Munsil is impressed with how a chestnut from the theatre canon has such relevance 70 years later. “It’s still set in the ‘40s, so there’s a present-day recognition that human behaviour remains the same,” adds Munsil. Running until June 11 at Blue Bridge Theatre. Tickets available online.
CELEBRATING ABORIGINAL CULTURE ABORIGINAL CULTURAL FESTIVAL 2017 SHOWCASE OF LOCAL ABORIGINAL CULTURE Over 40,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Aboriginal Cultural Festival —notable growth for an event whose debut four years ago attracted 12,000. “It’s pretty impressive,” agrees event manager Paula Amos. “Not only are there many more attendees, but it represents how our peoples are getting more involved with tourism. It’s a win-win.”
The free, three-day event is a showcase of all things aboriginal, ranging from a selection of dance troupes to an Artisan Village, where arts and crafts such as jewelry, clothing, beadwork, carvings and traditional medicines will be for sale. Mainstage shows include 40 performances from 15 different provincial dance groups, performing traditional works as well as feast-friendly “celebration” dances. Of particular interest is three-time world champion hoop dancer Alex Wells, a member of Lillooet’s Lil’wat Nation. “Alex is amazing,” notes Amos. “He’s such a great ambassador for aboriginal tourism.” New this year is the chance to participate in a smudging ceremony, with cedar replacing sweet grass as is done on the West Coast. And as with all festivals, don’t miss the food! Look for clam chowder, fry-bread, BBQ sockeye salmon and other traditional and modern fare via the recently inaugurated Songhees Seafood & Steam food truck (developed in collaboration with the head chef of the Marriott Hotel). This event is all about cultural sharing, and as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, it is particularly fitting to acknowledge the peoples who have lived here for thousands of years. “I really like the diversity represented by the event, and its educational aspects,” adds Amos. “We’re building bridges to the bigger community.” Running from June 16-18 on the outdoor mezzanine in front of the Royal BC Museum. For information, see Aboriginal Cultural Festival 2017.
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COMIC BOOKS TAKE CENTRE STAGE VANCOUVER ISLAND COMIC CON COMIC BOOK CONVENTION When Josh Kully ponders the “n” word, it’s in reference, of course, to nerd. Kully is the coordinator of the inaugural Vancouver Island Comic Con, a family-friendly convention that celebrates everything from vintage comic books to computer gaming and Hollywood animation. “The term ‘nerd’ has evolved a lot,” explains the very non-nerdy Kully, a freelance illustrator, comic book creator and graphic novelist. “That geeky stereotype still exists, but conventions are just so mainstream now because of the incredible popularity of superhero movies.” Alongside contests for the many super-fans who spend endless hours designing elaborate costumes to impersonate the likes of Wolverine and Wonder Woman, there will be several panels where professionals explain what it takes to write and draw comics. “We’re having Q&A sessions because we expect there’ll be a lot of people interested in pursuing careers in the field,” Kully notes. Comic book collectors can chat with the many dealers manning booths, and there will be original artwork and contemporary indie comics for sale. A replica of the timetravelling phone booth from Dr. Who will provide great photo ops, and the “chill lounge” offers free movies and Super Nintendo gaming.
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The centrepiece is a presentation by Disney animator/ director Chris Williams, most famous for his Oscar-winning Big Hero 6. “His mom lives in Sidney, so he was happy to come,” explains Kully, who recommends that people take in the superhero exhibit at the Sidney Museum on Friday night, prior to watching a free outdoor screening of Hero. “We want the convention to be enjoyable for everyone, to be welcoming and fun,” he says. Running June 11 at the Winspear Centre in Sidney. For information, see Van Isle Comic Con.
BUSKERS BUST OUT! DOWNTOWN VICTORIA BUSKERS FESTIVAL BUSKERS A-GO-GO Entering its seventh season, albeit under new management, the Downtown Victoria Buskers Festival is the quintessential family-friendly event that gets many tens of thousands of people happily thronging Old Town and the Inner Harbour. “We’ll be stripping the event back to its roots this year,” says executive director Kerri Milton. “We’re downplaying the big stages and emphasizing street-level performances … and many of the acts have never been here before.” There will be 75 performers during six days, an impressive
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array of jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, clowns, circus performers, fire dancers and human statues. Some of the international acts won’t be here for the whole stretch so it’s advisable to get the DVBA’s phone app to best plan your schedule. Although big draws like Australia’s internationally celebrated breakdancing crew Beat the Streets and Cirque du Soleil guest stars Les Vitaminés are mustsees, part of the pleasure of this festival is grazing at the 10 “Pitch Stop” pop-up locations sprinkled throughout downtown (offering a mix of local and headliner performances). A lot of the action will still be at the Ship Point mainstage, including a cavalcade of tasty food trucks. And a cabaret-themed evening event at Market Square should get the adults dancing — especially with Driftwood Brewery brought in as a sponsor. “I like the vibrancy this festival brings to downtown,” adds Milton. “The streets really come alive.” Running from July 11-16 at various locations. For information, see Downtown Victoria Buskers Festival.
OLD TECHNIQUES, FRESH ART ECLECTIC ART GALLERY TWO SIMILAR ARTISTS, AVIS RASMUSSEN & ALANNA SPARANESE Two artists who have mastered technically demanding
but also sensuously satisfying art processes are the subjects of an engaging two-for-one exhibition. Avis Rasmussen, who turns 80 this year, has been a painter and printmaker for over three decades, and is particularly known for her linocut prints of female jazz artists (whom she sketches live at clubs like Hermann’s, then carves in reverse onto blocks of linoleum, which are then printed onto rag paper). The mostly self-taught Alanna Sparanese works in the encaustic medium — also known as hot wax painting — which uses heated beeswax that is coloured with pigments and then applied to a surface, often wood. Encaustic painting has been around for two millennia, but is seen less today. “Both of these artists are heavily involved in process,” says John Taylor of Oak Bay’s Eclectic Gallery, who admires the artists for their commitment to such a demanding muse. But the art itself is engaging, whether it’s the refreshing simplicity of Rasmussen’s quotidian images that subtly evoke emotions and feelings under the surface, or the luminously mysterious dreamscapes of Sparanese. “Alanna not only has an excellent colour palette but has taken an artistic medium from antiquity and updated it in intriguing ways that include mixed media, collage and photo realism,” explains Taylor. “Both artists have formidable levels of skill, but their art consists of snippets rather than grand gestures.” Running at 2170 Oak Bay Avenue until June 30. For information, see Eclectic Gallery.
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SECRETS & LIVES
Face of the music VSOâ€™S NEW DIRECTOR IS READY TO ENCHANT AND INSPIRE
BY SEAN MCINTYRE
PHOTOS BY LIA CROWE
Photographed on location at Bodega Tapas & Wine Bar 108
“CULTURE IS NOT SOMETHING WE MAKE, IT’S WHAT WE ARE. IT LIES WITHIN ALL OF US ALREADY, IT JUST HAS TO BE FOUND AND OPENED UP.”
OT SO LONG AGO, WHEN CHRISTIAN KLUXEN was growing up in Denmark, there was a common expression about people with a good sense of culture and an interest in the arts. Such folks were said to have surely come from a home with a piano. Kluxen says the phrase is used less frequently these days as younger people draw inspiration from other sources in an entertainment universe that offers unprecedented scope at the expense of less and less time to meditate on what it all means. It’s a disturbing trend, which the 36-year-old says has been especially noticeable in the world of classical music. “We are the first generation where most of us didn’t sit down with our parents and listen to classical music,” he says. “I am convinced that ours is the lost generation of classical music.” But Kluxen wouldn’t have competed with hundreds of applicants in a multi-year process to become the Victoria Symphony Orchestra’s new music director if he wasn’t hopeful that change is possible. After all, we live in a world where classical music consistently evokes powerful emotions in popular films and primetime advertisements. All we need to do, Kluxen says, is make great music accessible. Providing the opportunity to experience Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 performed by some of the most accomplished musicians in the world, for example, is bound to generate enthusiasm and expand people’s musical understanding. “Culture is not something we make, it’s what we are. It lies within all of us already, it just has to be found and opened up,” he says. “Many people of my age are searching for something with depth. If we can just get them in the concert hall once, or maybe twice, they will come back.” VSO audiences will often see Kluxen in his role as conductor, though much of his work as musical director occurs off stage as he guides the organization’s artistic direction. Among other tasks, he’ll help create a repertoire based on the orchestra’s strengths, recommend guest conductors and soloists, and be engaged in the process of hiring new musicians.
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“There are many people in the institution who set a way for the organization, but I’m here to say which way the organization should be going artistically,” Kluxen said in an interview at the VSO’s View Street headquarters in late March, only a few hours before the public launch of the organization’s 2017/18 season. Small Danish flags on the office’s main reception desk welcomed Kluxen to the city and the building was charged with an atmosphere of eager anticipation and excitement over what’s ahead. Kluxen is one of those fabulously energetic people who can spark inspiration in those who surround him. A busy string of concerts and opera performances across Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Finland saw Kluxen spend fewer than 10 nights in his own bed during the first three months of 2017. Despite the gruelling schedule, Kluxen landed in Victoria with the same confidence, energy and enthusiasm that enabled him to complete a three-year assistant conductorship at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2013, and undertake a Dudamel Fellowship at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2014/15 season. He’s conducted orchestras around the world. After his brief stay in Victoria and a well-deserved two-week reprieve, he was
“ALL WE NEED TO DO IS MAKE GREAT MUSIC ACCESSIBLE.”
off to Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Romania before returning to the West Coast in early summer. Accompanying this impressive resumé, however, is a comforting genuineness. Within 48 hours of his arrival in Victoria, Kluxen had already gotten to know the young owners of a new cafe across from the VSO’s downtown headquarters, received an impromptu city tour from his hotel’s concierge and got a sense of the city’s folk scene from some local musicians. Kluxen likes to consider himself a normal guy with an extraordinary job. His interests are pretty commonplace: cooking, drawing, drinking and making crazy plans for the future with his girlfriend. Musically, his interests are understandably diverse, ranging from Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine to Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. “I don’t go around hearing music inside my head all the time,” he says. “People often think that conductors and musicians are a mirror of what they saw in a movie like Amadeus, but I think you’ll find that most of them are really normal people. If they hear music all the time, everywhere they go, this would probably require some hours with a psychologist instead.” Kluxen is funny, opinionated and refreshingly unafraid to speak his mind. Qualities likes these bode well for a conductor eager to inspire a broader, new generation of classical music lovers and for one who’s been given the keys to chart the VSO’s artistic direction. Sporting jeans, a black T-shirt and a simple blazer, Kluxen was dressed in the casually stylish uniform of the up-andcoming generation of millennials who refuse to curb their hopes and dreams to facilitate business as usual. He says he’s got
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nothing to gain from putting on airs to sound older, wiser or more sophisticated. His life is an ever-evolving journey, and Kluxen doesn’t shy away from confidently speaking from the heart. “I’m just myself and I will always speak my thoughts,” he says. Kluxen’s candour is infectious. It’s not long before he feels like an old friend who is able to laugh, confide and commiserate. He switches seamlessly from talking about the emotional weight of a great piece of music, the tragic consequences of funding
cuts to local arts and culture and the power of music to address society’s ills. “I conduct in many places and, basically, I have to say it makes me very optimistic to always see that people are just people and that, actually, we all do the same things in slightly different ways,” he says. “I do this job because I like it, but I also believe that it has the power to change something for some people.” Thankfully, it may not be long until the family piano gets placed back in its rightful place after all.
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“It takes a village”... “there’s no “i” in team”… “many hand make light work.” All clichés aside, when it comes to fashion shoots, a well-oiled machine of creative pros can yield some gorgeous results. The most significant addition to our team this issue — aside from the incredibly talented Vanessa Watters and her floral creations — was the location, Ninebark Farm and owner Lorna Jackson. Its English country atmosphere with young lambs, green meadows and gardens in bloom provided no end of inspiration and delight.
From left: Cathie Ferguson, Jen Clark, Myki Engelland-Swift, Sierra Lundy, Vanessa Watters and Lia Crowe.
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