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TURN UP THE HEAT! Hot trends for cool months


Cosy, warm and classy: knitwear for winter


Lane Merrifield harnesses creativity, skill and vision


A selection of building excellence in the Okanagan




Wonderfully evocative, forward thinking lighting styles inspired by nature and designed using organic materials, shapes and textures. See them for yourself... 410 Banks Road, Kelowna, BC (250) 860-9626



FEATURES On the Cover


Photo by Darren Hull Club Misfit: the creativity, passion and vision of Kelowna’s Lane Merrifield. SECRETS & LIVES

Breathtaking home captures the essence of Okanagan living

By Justin O’Connor

Cowboy at heart, Andre Brosseau excels in the business world

By Toby Tannas


Luscious knitwear in a modern mix of greys, creams and black.

By Kim Appelt





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Shou Sugi Ban flourishes amid new colour-play trend

By Chelsea Forman


Versatile, twice-baked cookie is a classy, easy-to-make treat

By Chef Heidi Fink


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20 inspiredPEOPLE


Arrested by art: Shannon Cross

Club Misfit Lane Merrifield

By David Wylie

By Darcy Nybo



Beating the winter blues

By Susan Lundy




Harbour Island, Bahamas

Emirhan Kolburan The Curious Artistry & Alchemy

By Susan Lundy

16 inspiredHEALTH

Not your mother’s carob

By Pamela Durkin


By Darren Hull



What’s on this month

By Brenda Giesbrecht


By Darcy Nybo, Lia Crowe and Anna Zeitner  |

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PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke



“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for a talk beside the fire — it is the time for home. This shoot at Predator Ridge embodied all that winter is. What a perfect setting for our January fashion story. Cosy knits and white snow blanketing the hills.” Kim is a fashion stylist and respected style expert. Her work has been in many publications, seen on the red carpet at The Junos and The Daytime Emmys.

“My favourite part of creating the magazine in the Okanagan is meeting all of the interesting people who make it tick, delving into their stories and getting a glimpse into their lives. Our photo shoot at the Innovation Centre in Kelowna with Lane Merrifield was no exception — a truly inspiring experience.” Lia Crowe is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer.


DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Andrew Scott

ASSOCIATE GROUP Oliver Sommer PUBLISHER CONTRIBUTING Pamela Durkin, WRITERS Chelsea Forman, Heidi Fink, Brenda Giesbrecht, Darcy Nybo, Justin O’Connor, Bruce Sach, Toby Tannas, David Wylie CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe, Don Denton PHOTOGRAPHERS Darren Hull, Anna Zeitner CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411






“In 2018, broad use of black in interior design promises to be a bold trend. In this issue, Boulevard uncovers the diversity of this sophisticated shade in design and its harmonious pairing with the ancient Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban, which has made an epic return to the design scene.” Born and raised in BC, Chelsea has had the opportunity to build her career writing about the people and places that make this diverse province so special.

“Photographing a blackened object may not sound like a photographer’s dream, but add some orange flames and smoke and it changes everything. Photographing the wood burning for the Shou Sugi Ban feature was a lot of fun.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and a Royal wedding.




turn up the heat! Hot trends for cool months

Sweater weather

Cosy, warm and classy: knitwear for winter






Lane Merrifield harnesses creativity, skill and vision

toMMIe awardS

A selection of building excellence in the Okanagan

ADVERTISE Boulevard Magazine is British Columbia’s leading lifestyle magazine, celebrating 26 years of publishing. To advertise or to learn more about advertising opportunities please send us an email at Mailing Address:



818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1E4 Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624

“I really enjoyed an afternoon spent making various biscotti for the photo shoot. Although we did the shoot on a warm day, I felt like it was a cosy winter afternoon and I was getting into the spirit of winter.” Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.

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“One of the gifts of writing pieces for Front Row is spending time with creative people. Art, music and dance are so essential to our well-being. I find they calm my spirit, feed my soul and lift me up above the pettiness that threatens to invade everyday life. And sometimes it’s possible to have all this and provide benefit to others as well. “ Brenda has been writing for many years, in addition to doing graphic design, book production and fibre arts.

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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.


EST. 1988

Commited to Excellence Since 1988

2016 Grand Tommie Home Of The Year | 250.878.0662










“Andre Brosseau is a business leader with a knack for growing companies and the people within them. I enjoyed getting to know the man behind the success story ... he’s a riot!” Toby is a former TV News anchor. She now focusses on running her small fashion business, freelance media work and raising her beautiful daughters.

“I loved working at Predator Ridge for the fashion story this issue. It was a perfect location and super accommodating to us. Dekker, you’re the best! I really think the entire team did a wicked job with this one.” Darren is an editorial and commercial photographer, who has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s top image makers with work informed by a strong sense of storyline.






“Galileo said, ‘Passion is the genesis of genius.’ Lane Merrifield is the quintessential example of passion becoming genius. Lane combines his love of the arts and technology and amalgamates them into a laser-focussed passion. His ability to create virtual safe spaces and to find solutions to complex situations has helped hundreds of thousands of children, teachers and parents.” Darcy Nybo is a freelance writer, writing instructor, writing coach, author, self-professed word nerd and a foodie who loves to discover new things.


“Perched high above the city of Kelowna, in one of Black Mountain’s newest developments, I found a modern masterpiece two years in the making. This inspired interiors feature showcases one man’s dream to build his castle overlooking the old stomping grounds where he used to play as a young boy.” Justin is the Senior Vice President, Sales in Kelowna for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and President of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association, Central Okanagan.







“Getting to Harbour Island was part of the fun, flying elbow to elbow with my fellow passengers on a 21-seater Beechcraft 1900C. Even the wings — at least in the video I took — appeared pink-coloured, foreshadowing the fab sand and Loyalist houses I’d see upon arrival.” Born and raised not too far from the hockey-famous Mark Messier’s home in Edmonton, Bruce never thought he’d end up meeting members of their clan in, of all places, the Bahamas.


“Mix some expansive, snowy, rolling fields with a kiss of robin-egg-blue sky patches, on-point winter fashion, a stunning model, elite creative direction, world-class photography and you get a taste of our beautiful winter spread. Awesome teamwork on this beautiful shoot, and a fantastic way to invite in 2018. Here’s to a spectacular year.” Jenny is a Kelowna-based makeup artist.  |

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“The arts have a way of smoothing out rough edges. After years of police work, Shannon Cross immersed herself in art and found renewed compassion and empathy. As a former crime reporter myself, art and music have oftentimes soothed my soul.” David has done just about every job there is to do in a newsroom. He works in the Okanagan as a writer and media strategist.

OWN AT PREDATOR RIDGE STARTING FROM $649,000 The Commonage is Predator Ridge’s newest neighbourhood, adding over 27 acres of dedicated park space to a community already richer in amenities than any other in the Okanagan Valley. Modern ranch style architecture blends in beautifully with the landscape, offering homeowners exceptional golf course & valley views. Active amenities include a lavender meadow, tennis & pickle ball courts, outdoor yoga platform, dog park and more.

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Beating the winter blues BY SUSAN LUNDY

And his baseball hats. I knew we were in trouble as we packed up his house in Calgary and I sorted through a kitchen drawer, discovering five different bottle openers. I held them out, saying, “I don’t think we need five. Which ones can we eliminate?” He paused for a very long time before pointing to one. “I guess I could let that go.”) Also countering all this purging — but in a very good way — is the in-flow of artwork to our lives, often occurring in the winter at Christmas or in January for my birthday. Three of our four adult children create visual art and the flow to our home adds an explosion of vibrant, welcoming, anti-winter-blues colour. Whether you’re purging your house or adding colour to it, travelling or merely cosying up inside, you’ll find this issue of Boulevard has ideas to help remedy the winter blues. Starting with colour, check out the vibrant artwork of Shannon Cross, who definitely took the “road less travelled” to creativity. Speaking of colour, it turns out black can beat the blues and heat up winter if you choose to add fiery and trendy Shou Sugi Ban features to your home. If feeding your sweet tooth beats the blues, we have a bevy of biscotti recipes from Chef Heidi Fink. Or check out the gluten-free salmon cakes from Chef Emirhan Kolburan. Travel to the winter-defying Harbour Island in the Bahamas; tour an absolute stunner of a house; and give thanks that you’re indoors reading and not outside modelling, as you check out cosy knitwear set against a snowy backdrop in our fashion story. Meeting Lane Merrifield and the folks at Innov8 is certain to warm your heart; and what better way to defy the season than by enjoying live music and theatre, such as those events found in our Front Row section. And if all this doesn’t help you beat the blues … you can always turn to Google and type in: “best sun vacations” or merely “get me outta here.” PHOTO BY LIA CROWE


’m not sure how to define “winter blues,” but I’m certain they occur in February when everyone you know is in the Caribbean or Turks and Caicos, and you’re staring out the window at snow or mud or both. Recently I was trying to book myself a February flight to Calgary for some work, but ended up searching WestJet vacations instead. Also, I found myself procrastinating more than usual on tasks that put me outdoors — like dashing from store to car — or activities that required heels instead of winter boots. I think these are winter blues. A couple of Februarys ago we did escape. A last minute deal landed in my inbox touting a Huatulco vacation on the exact days I could squeeze out some holiday time. Before I knew it, I’d clicked all the boxes, pulled out the credit card and ... we were going to Mexico. I sat back and looked at the screen, stunned and yet thrilled by my uncharacteristic lack of planning and prudence. But let me say, taking six days out of an exhausting work schedule in February to lie in the sand, bounce around in warmwater waves, drink piña coladas at 11 am and read copious amounts of fiction is the absolute antidote to the winter blues. (Just writing this, I’m fighting the urge to Google sun vacations.) Closer to home, it’s nice to plan overnight winter escapes or staycations — think “spa” or “hot springs.” This means switching off the iPhone, dressing in winter gear for snowy forest walks and cosying up by a fireplace amid sips of Prosecco. Here in the Okanagan, it helps to embrace the season, getting out on the ski hill, for example. But still the blues … linger. I have another winter ritual that weirdly seems to help. I like to get a jump on traditional spring cleaning by purging the house. For years, every January, I’ve eliminated dozens of items, from excess clothing to collecting-dust-on-the-shelf books and tiresome decorations. (The irony of all this annual winter purging occurred when my new husband and I combined two homes into one and I suddenly had two or three of everything — from couch to can opener. Not to mention my new husband’s T-shirt collection.

I sat back and looked at the screen, stunned and yet thrilled by my uncharacteristic lack of planning and prudence.

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Susan Lundy heads up the editorial team for the Boulevard Magazine Group. She is a former journalist, two-time recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award, and the author of Heritage Apples: A New Sensation (Touchwood Editions, 2013).

Quality homes for a quality life. SENDEROCA N YON.CA

This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering can only be made by way of disclosure statement. E.&O.E. Any specifications in this depiction may change at the developer’s sole discretion without notice.

inspired CHEFS

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Emirhan Kolburan Chef: The Curious Artistry & Alchemy BY SUSAN LUNDY P H OTO S BY L I A C R OW E

QUICK FACTS: • Born and raised in Izmir, Turkey. • Has a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts & Management from Izmir University of Economics. “Also, I attended the Pastry Arts program at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, PEI.” • Has worked at The Curious Artistry & Alchemy for two years and before that at L’Escargot Restaurant and Rooms Hotel Cesme, which is owned by his family.

What are the 10 or so most important ingredients in your pantry?  Star anise, cumin, salt, smoked paprika, chocolate, dehydrated fall mushrooms, curing salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, black pepper corns, sun-dried apricots and figs (strictly from Turkey). What’s your favourite dish to cook and eat on a cool winter day?  Braised beef or lamb, rice and crunchy-acidic salad. Hobbies?  Windsurfing, trying different food on my days off, playing PlayStation 4, hiking with my wife and puppy. Anything else we should know?  I was a professional windsurfer between 2006 and 2011. Windsurfing and living by the ocean still has a big place in my heart. But I feel really lucky to be here in Canada (in the Okanagan) surrounded by peaceful, hardworking and very welcoming people.

Can you share an easy, seasonal recipe for a quick bite this winter?

Gluten-free Salmon Cakes 24 ounces canned wild salmon, preferably without bones, drained 2 large eggs, beaten 2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 small or 1 large shallot, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced zest of 1 lemon 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp sea salt freshly ground black pepper to taste unrefined coconut oil or olive oil for sautéing Combine all ingredients, form into 3-oz patties, freeze for 30 minutes, and pan fry until golden on both sides. Or keep frozen, uncooked in the freezer for up to five days.  |

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inspired HEALTH

Not your mother’s carob Tasty and health-enhancing, today’s carob is much more than an alternative to chocolate BY PAMELA DURKIN

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is undeniably delicious and often touted as a superfood, not everyone can indulge in its intoxicating flavour. Many people must eschew cocoa due to its caffeine content and proclivity to trigger migraines and acid reflux. But if you’re among the “chocolate-sensitive,” don’t despair. Ever benevolent Mother Nature created a treat reminiscent of chocolate in the form of delectable, nutritious carob. What exactly is carob? Carob “flour” (aka powder) comes from the pod of the Mediterranean carob tree. The pod contains seeds, which are dried, roasted and ground to make a fine powder teeming with both flavour and disease-fighting nutrients. It first became popular back in the ’70s, when it was a commonplace health-food-storestaple beloved by the granola-eating crowd. However, the carob of old was often under roasted and blended with palm oils and other bad fats. Today, manufacturers in the US and Australia are churning out high-quality carob products, such as pure, premium-roasted powders or carob “chips” and other confections, which are made with healthenhancing oils like virgin coconut oil. There’s even a carob syrup that is being utilized to make sublime desserts and inspired cocktails. The pod, it seems, is experiencing a comeback. Popular cooking sites like The Kitchen and Spa Bettie are gushing about it, and trendy restaurants are incorporating the malty powder in everything from baked goods to stews and dry rubs.

There’s good reason for the enthusiasm. Carob is not only a “safe” chocolate-like alternative for migraine sufferers and the caffeine-sensitive: research indicates it’s also a health-enhancing food that should be appreciated on its own merit.

Health benefits Unlike chocolate, carob has negligible amounts of fat, and contains no caffeine or tyramine, the natural occurring substance responsible for inducing headaches. It also boasts significant amounts of B vitamins, potassium, folate, iron, calcium and fibre. In addition, scientists have recently discovered the malty powder plays host to a bevy of phenolic compounds, including the renowned cancerfighters myricetin and quercetin. Not surprisingly, several studies have confirmed carob’s ability to prevent and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in both the colon and cervix. The good news doesn’t end there. Carob has also been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and has even been touted by Italian researchers as a natural alternative to tranquilizers due to its anti-anxiety properties.

The pod it seems, is experiencing a comeback. Popular cooking sites are gushing about it, and trendy restaurants are incorporating the malty powder in everything from baked goods to stews and dry rubs.

In the kitchen Clearly, carob’s inclusion in the diet offers some amazing health benefits. But what about its taste? “While carob is often recommended as a ‘replacement’ for chocolate, its flavour is only somewhat reminiscent of chocolate,” says Heather Cunliffe, chef  |

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• Add a teaspoon of carob powder to your decaf for a nojitters hot mocha bevvie. • Pair carob chips with dried fruits, seeds and nuts for a trail mix your kids will love. • Add rich flavour to breads by substituting two to three tablespoons of carob for every cup of flour used. • Put ice, a banana and carob flour in a blender to create a refreshing nutritious drink.

Carob know-how Before you begin including carob in your culinary repertoire, you’ll need to keep the following tips in mind. • In most recipes you can replace cocoa powder with carob one for one. • Carob is naturally sweeter and lower in fat than cocoa. When substituting carob for cocoa powder, reduce the amount of sweetener in the recipe by two to three tablespoons for each one-half cup of carob used, and increase the fat content (ie. butter) by the same amount. • Carob burns easily so it requires a lower baking temperature than chocolate. A good rule of thumb is to set your oven 25 F lower when baking with carob. • Carob has a somewhat dry texture, so it pairs best in baked goods with moist fruits like dates, bananas and pears, and vegetables like squash and zucchini. • Carob chips often contain palm oil, which acts as a preservative. Be sure to buy brands that contain nonhydrogenated palm oil. • Carob powder should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dry place.

Pear Salad with Carob Dressing

and co-owner of Be Love restaurant. “In truth, carob has its own distinct, malty, caramel-like sweetness that can add new depths to both sweet and savoury dishes.” Available in powder form or chips, it can be used in myriad ways and is so much more than just a second-class substitute for cocoa. If you are not convinced, try these palate-pleasing ways to incorporate carob into your diet.

Suggested uses • Mix carob flour with nut butters, dried fruits, honey and spices to make delicious energy bars. • Sprinkle a tablespoon of carob flour over your morning flakes and milk for a choco luscious start to your day. • Be like a trendy Australian chef and mix the powder with tahini and spread the resulting creaminess over charred flatbread. • Add carob chips to your quick bread, cookie, or muffin recipes or melt them into almond milk to create a delicious, caffeine-free hot beverage. 18  |

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Serves 4 A colourful refreshing side that makes the perfect Valentine’s Day salad. 4 cups mixed organic salad greens ⅓ cup dried cranberries 1 large organic ripe pear, chopped ¼ cup grated Emmental cheese ¼ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup organic sugar 2 Tbsp orange juice 1 ounce unsweetened carob chips Divide the organic greens evenly between four salad plates. Place equal amounts of pear slices and dried cranberries on each plate. Top each plate with a little grated cheese. To make the dressing, place the vinegar, sugar and orange juice in a small pan. Simmer the mixture until the sugar is well dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the carob chips. Stir just until the carob begins to melt and then set aside for a minute or two. Stir again and drizzle the dressing evenly over each salad plate. For more carob inspired recipes visit recipes.php


There’s a first time for everything. – First Time Home Lovers This is not an offering for sale. E.&.O.E.

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inspired PEOPLE

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Arrested by art Shannon Cross’ path to creativity BY DAVID WYLIE | P H OTO S BY DA R R E N H U L L


HANNON CROSS definitely did not take the traditional artist’s path. In fact, she didn’t even consider herself artsy until it became a formative influence on her life. “My life was all about sports and fitness at that age. Art was not even a flicker, not even a thought,” she said. Originally from Penticton, Cross moved to Calgary for college. While working at a restaurant as a student, she met two police officers on bikes and knew that’s what she wanted to do. She was accepted into the Edmonton Police Service. Cross worked general duty for the first few years, then moved into undercover work on drugs and vice cases. “There’s a real dark side to humanity,” she said. “I was drawn to it. It fascinated me how people existed, living in a world day-to-day like that.” She spent 10 years with the police, finishing as a recruit training officer. In Edmonton, she met her husband — National Hockey League defenceman Cory Cross. He was traded to Pittsburg, and she left the police force to travel with him and start a family. When he retired from the league, they moved to Europe.

Language was a barrier in Hamburg and, isolated, she spent time exploring galleries. Art began to colour Cross’ life — and soften the rough edges from years of policing. “It maybe was a time of some kind of reflection,” she said. “Once I resigned from the police, I was really able to look at my life for the last 10 years and see how much policing had changed me and hardened me in my outlook to humanity. I loved my job with the EPS; don’t get me wrong. I just evolved.” The combination of having a new baby and living in another country opened her up to new possibilities. “I was really able to sit and think. I had a lot of time alone. I was able to go to galleries and stop and think about it and appreciate it,” she said. “It turned me completely flip side of what I was in the police. It turned me more sympathetic and empathetic. I can’t believe I did what I did, I saw what I saw, and I thought what I thought.” When she and her family moved to Calgary, she decided to begin her own artwork. “I only wanted to do a large canvas. I plunked this giant canvas on the kitchen table — I bought this really crappy Ikea table so I could get paint all over it. My husband was like, ‘Well,

“You bring a story to someone. It’s got about nine layers on it and that’s why it’s so heavy. I started out with this black canvas and it became white.”  |

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Artist Shannon Cross at her home in West Kelowna.

we’re confined to eating at the island forever because the kitchen table is in use,’” she laughed. She’s since completed more than 100 paintings. “I tried and I failed, and failed, and failed and failed. I’m still failing,” she said. “With art, you learn from mistakes. “ Cross is inspired by abstract artists such as Bobbie Burgers, who lives part time in Penticton. She admires the way Burgers captures depth, balance and contrast, and is especially fond of the artist’s abstract florals. “In my art, balance and contrast are the two biggest things. As well as depth and dimension,” she said. She said sometimes it takes layers of paint over many more layers for her to feel a piece has captured her intention. “You bring a story to someone. It’s got about nine layers on it and that’s why it’s so heavy. I started out with this black canvas and it became white,” she said. One of her favourite completed works so far is called Soul of the Enchanted, a whimsical, playful piece with splashes of colour. A recent work, called Hapuna, is partly inspired her new series.  The painting is done over an image transfer of her son surfing; although her son is not readily visible, it forms the spirit of the piece. Cross said she sometimes struggles to create, taking months at a time to find her inspiration. “I have a real fear of creating. Every time I begin, I’ll just sit there in silence for the longest time. I don’t know where to start,” she said. “I take three colours and I force myself to use them.”

Cross has since moved her easel out of the kitchen. When she and her husband built a home in West Kelowna, they incorporated a studio filled with natural light and located right beside the master bedroom. She’s now working on a series where water and action are intertwined. “There’s going to be a real sense of serenity and peacefulness laced with undertones of water sports and abstract motion. It’s going to be very modern and contemporary,” she said. “I just love the movement of water, the spray… there’s going to be a lot of creams and whites and blues, an airy feeling.” Her studio overlooks Okanagan Lake, making for endless inspiration. “You can see the wake surfers and the boarders and everyone is using the water in the summer,” she said. “On the one hand, it’s great to just sit there and watch them and lose yourself in it, but on the other hand, I just sit there and watch them and I’m not getting any art done,” she said. “We built (the studio) small. I wanted it intimate. Now I’ve got more canvases piled up in there and the walls are getting narrower.” Cross encourages others to use their failures to improve and as inspiration for future projects. Her work can be found on Instagram (@shannoncrossart) and also on her website at Her work is on display in wineries and other Okanagan businesses, such as Spinco and at August Luxury Motorcars.

Art began to colour Cross’ life — and soften the rough edges from years of policing.

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Steps from the beach on Kelowna’s west shore, West Harbour is

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private sandy beach, the Harbour Club (coming soon), marina and an outdoor pool. People love living at West Harbour. And no wonder. It’s like being on vacation while still at home. Join this relaxed, friendly community of people who love waking up and going for a paddle. Discover what you’ll love most about living here.


Sales Centre OPEN DAILY, 12 PM - 4 PM Take Hwy 97 to Westside Rd., turn onto Old Ferry Wharf Rd.

inspired INTERIORS


Breathtaking Black Mountain home captures the best of Okanagan living 24  |

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HOOSING a home to feature in Boulevard is usually a simple task, given the many awardwinning builders who showcase their well-honed skills here in the Okanagan. But not this time. Having just come from the Canadian Home Builder’s Association Silver Awards night — where the finalists are announced for January’s prestigious Gold Tommie Awards — my task was made much more difficult by the talent of this year’s nominations. But after much consideration, and I’m sure you will agree, the home I have chosen truly captures the essence of Okanagan living. Perched high on a cul-de-sac lot, overlooking the vast valley views of the Okanagan, sits one man’s version of his castle. It took six months with an architect and almost two years with a builder to create this magnificent showpiece. And now it rises majestically at the edge of Black Mountain. “I grew up just five minutes from here and used to dirt bike this mountain before any of this development even existed,” says the proud owner as he guides us on a tour through over 6,000 square feet of spendour.   Black Mountain offers stunning, panoramic views and more than 25 acres of protected green space. Surrounded by local orchards, award-winning wineries and plenty of recreational trails, it’s only 15 minutes from downtown Kelowna and just 20 minutes from some of the Okanagan’s best powder at Big White Ski Resort.  Inside the house, crisp, clean lines and plenty of glass bring in unobstructed, exterior views, blending natural elements with modern sophistication. Concrete and glass are softened by minimalist whites and warm, wood accents, while textured, tiled walls bring weight to the space. A floor-to-ceiling fireplace soars 28 feet and is faced with solid walnut slabs. Massive windows frame captivating views at every turn. The winter scenery can be just as beautiful as the summer landscape, and both are easily accessed by the expansive, movable glass walls that open to reveal the elevated pool patio and outdoor kitchen space. The infinity pool was engineered to be as close to the bluffs as possible, spilling over the edge to become one with the skyline. There’s plenty of deck space for sunbathing and even a 16-person infinity hot tub for cooler nights. “I wanted to capture the essence of Okanagan living and be able to share it with friends and family,” says the owner. When the sun goes down, the entertainment moves indoors to a spectacular bar, games area and impressive theatre room, where over $200,000 has created an extraordinary cinematic experience. “One of the top theatre rooms in the country,” says the owner. (I’m not sure about the entire country, but I’ve seen plenty of theatre rooms here in the Okanagan and I can honestly say I’ve never seen one quite like this.) 

The Natural Choice - Since 1995


QUARTZ 1540 Byland Rd. West Kelowna

250.769.2198  |

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Among the homeowner’s favourite features is the customizable LED backlighting in the bar, games area, theatre room, kitchen and bathrooms. And every aspect of this house is fully automated and can be controlled from anywhere in the world.   While there are so many things to love about this house, I particularly like that the outside living space is exactly what the homeowner intended it to be — the essence of Okanagan living at its finest!

BUILDER: Gibson Contracting INTERIOR DESIGNER: Sherry Gibson STYLE OF DESIGN: Modern with natural elements HOMEOWNER’S INTENT: With a unique lot that sits atop a bluff overlooking Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley, and with unobstructed views in almost every direction, the owner wanted to be able to sit in any room of the house and see the city lights. DESIGNER’S STAND-OUT FEATURES:  〉 20-foot, multi-sliding door, opening to the elevated pool patio with a double-sided infinity pool and four-sided infinity edge hot tub.    〉 Fully automated smart home by Crestron Systems: light control, pool control, audio, fireplace, automatic blinds, etc. 〉 4K home theatre with multi-coloured sound panels. 〉 Full-wall glass entry.

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〉 Home gym and steam room, and suspended slab garage. 〉 City and lake views from every room. 〉 The use of natural materials (concrete sinks, wood feature walls, oak stairs and railings, walnut cabinetry). 〉 Full outdoor kitchen on the pool patio — it was really about maximizing the Okanagan lifestyle by creating the outdoors as an extension of the living space.  〉 Elevated shower and en suite freestanding tub and fireplace overlooking the city.  〉 One-of-a-kind, thick, solid wood and glass pivot entry door.

BUILDER’S STAND-OUT FEATURES: 〉 White oak, open-tread, floating staircase with tile feature wall. 〉 Multi-coloured, changing LED light wall panels in the theatre room. 〉 Elevated floating platform with shower and freestanding tub in the en suite, with LED light below the platform to give it a floating look. 〉 Having a flow of concrete and wood throughout the house, which helped give it a modern, minimalist look, but with the added warmth of walnut and beach woods. 〉 Clay plaster fireplace with LED accent lights  |

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Head Honcho Cowboy at heart, Andre Brosseau excels in business BY TOBY TANNAS | P H OTO S BY DA R R E N H U L L


E CALLS himself the “Hi Tech Red

Neck.” Andre Brosseau is perhaps more comfortable in a cowboy hat than business suit, but don’t let his country persona fool you. As president of Innov8 Digital Solutions Inc., Andre is a top dog in the world of digital office equipment. He’s a golden boy, with a knack for growing small companies into big players without sacrificing his commitment to customers and staff. “I’m not a boss, I’m a leader,” Andre explains. “A leader does things by example and setting examples for internal staff is absolutely key.” Andre has built his reputation on that principle. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a commerce degree. With no real career plan in place, he started selling office machines for a local dealer. Within a few years, at the age of 25, he was managing the company’s Red Deer operation with much success. However, Andre wasn’t content with being a manager. “Big corporate wasn’t for me because I knew I could do it so much better as an independent business,” he says. Andre bought into tiny firm called Digitex. It was the start of a technology shift in the industry and a big wake-up call for the young businessman.

“Everyone said we were going to fail,” recalls Andre. “Even our suppliers at the time.” Determined to prove them wrong, Andre and his partners hit the pavement selling as if life depended on it. Even when the company did start making money, Andre didn’t abandon that work ethic; in fact, he took on farm jobs at night to make ends meet. “I was baling hay for $8 an hour and digging in the couch for quarters to buy milk, but all my suppliers were getting paid, all my employees were getting paid. I was the last one in line.” After several years of hard work, and landing some key deals, Digitex was flourishing as one of the largest office equipment businesses in the country. Andre, ready to focus more time on his young family, looked to exit the company and head west to BC. In 2013, he acquired a small office systems company in Kelowna. With 10 employees and 500 customers, Andre considered himself semi retired…for about six weeks. “I sort of thought it would be fun to keep it small, but it gets boring,” he chuckles. “I had so much to offer; I wasn’t done. I was only 44 years old.” Andre wanted to grow something again, to consolidate the small players and become a large regional dealer. Innov8 Digital Solutions was born and through numerous acquisitions between 2015 and 2017, now operates in Kelowna, Kamloops, Victoria, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Campbell River and Port Hardy. The business has grown more than 1,000 per cent in four years.

“I realize we have to make money in business but it’s not the only thing. I want to be known as an excellent employer; I want to create a positive environment that people want to come to.”  |

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Andre and Katia Brosseau of Innov8 Digital Solutions.

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“If I’m going to do something I’m going to do it well or I’m not doing it at all.” Through it all, Andre has remained committed to the people who work for him. “The big thing is I respect people and their capability. That’s a key reason why Innov8 is successful — I make a point to learn who everybody is,” says Andre. “I realize we have to make money in business but it’s not the only thing. I want to be known as an excellent employer; I want to create a positive environment that people want to come to.” Andre and his wife, Katia, are also committed to making their community a better place. Numerous Okanagan charities benefit from the Brosseaus’ generosity each year. As Innov8’s marketing manager, Katia is in charge of delegating funds among a growing number of requests. “If we can help other people … if we can make something possible, then you can always count on Andre and me,” says Katia. Outside of the office, the two enjoy skiing and boating with their teenage children. For Andre, the real escape from the pressures of work can be found in extreme sports. “When I’m riding my bike down a real narrow path — one I could really get hurt on — all I can do is think about the moment. That’s escapism; my problems are gone.” Andre’s success in business has earned him numerous accolades from suppliers and colleagues. “They believe in him,” says a proud Katia. “Sharp, Canon everyone is extremely supportive of Andre.” But it’s a compliment from his father that makes Andre emotional as he shares the conversation. “My dad is smart; he’s a good business man. I had dragged him along to my accountant’s office because he loves business. As we walked out he said, ‘Andre, I’m so proud of you. You have done all the things in your life that I was too scared to do.’” Andre maintains he’s far from fearless; rather, more of a calculated risk taker. “If I’m going to do something I’m going to do it well or I’m not doing it at all.” In the short term, that means focussing on growth in current markets. With a growing sales force Andre doesn’t get to knock on too many doors these days but admits he still loves the feeling of winning a new client. “I love going out and explaining to people what value Innov8 can bring to their organization.” When asked what his actual retirement might look like someday, Andre once again reveals that prairie spirit. “I always said I was going to drive a cattle truck when I retire. There’s a calling at the auction marts for guys when they buy cows to have someone deliver them. What a great gig. I can have my big one ton, my big aluminum trailer and I can just load up cows and deliver them. I like doing that stuff.”


Gasthaus on the Lake pub and restaurant

Home of the famous

Medieval Dinners 250-767-6625  |

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BLACK IS SO HOT Shou Sugi Ban flourishes amid new colour-play trend BY CHELSEA FORMAN | P H OTO S BY D O N D E N TO N

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While broad use of black offers spaces a unique and revolutionary depth, the current design-era is rooted in texture and natural elements, which is why Shou Sugi Ban has made an epic return to the scene.


lack is a complex colour. It’s mysterious, seductive, elegant and powerful, but it can also allude to fear, grief, death and aggression — it’s a moody colour in the scheme of home design and it needs to handled with care. Black is also a member of the neutral colour palette, alongside its less polarized siblings: white, gray and taupe — a selection of colours which have been so prevalent in interior design for the last decade, it’s almost not surprising to see black arriving fashionably late to the party. Black has been used in interior design for centuries, but what makes its reemergence interesting is the extent of its use in design. Black colour-play has gotten much bolder in the home, and nothing illustrates this better than the emergence of Shou Sugi Ban, the ancient Japanese technique of charring wood black. A look at history helps understand the emergence of black in design. In the mid 1600s the renowned Dutch artist Rembrandt was experiencing a wave of commercial success, largely based in portrait work for display in private homes. Rembrandt was an expert in using dark backgrounds in order to contrast and accentuate the main subject of his work. The use of dark backgrounds successfully harmonized with light colours, creating a truly striking union. Today, we are seeing that same outstanding union on a much larger scale. Black walls, ceilings, floors and home exteriors are becoming prevalent and showcasing the colour’s better attributes as a sophisticated shade that we don’t need to fear. While broad use of black offers spaces a unique and revolutionary depth, the current design-era is rooted in texture and natural elements, which is why Shou Sugi Ban has made an epic return to the scene. “I think houses should be designed to give prospect and refuge,” says D’Arcy Jones, the owner of D’Arcy Jones

Architecture, who has worked on a number of Shou Sugi Ban projects in the Okanagan. “Airiness and cosiness inside a building can be created with contrasting colours, like black and white.” Today, we are seeing that contrasting union on a much larger scale. Black walls, ceilings, floors and home exteriors are becoming prevalent, showcasing the colours’ more sophisticated attributes. While broad use of black offers spaces a unique and revolutionary depth, we are entrenched in a design-era rooted in texture and natural elements, which is why Shou Sugi Ban has made an epic return to the scene. Shou Sugi Ban uses fire to char wood black. Centuries ago, Japanese carpenters scoured the coastline for driftwood to use in design, liking its distinctive finish and durability. (Driftwood undergoes an aggressive weathering process as it is thrashed about in the erratic oceanic elements.) Desire for driftwood flourished, ultimately depleting its availability in ancient-day Japan. So the Japanese experimented with the second most powerful natural weathering process: fire. The charring method acted as an effective preservative while enhancing the aesthetic character of the wood. “It preserves the wood without using chemicals — it’s an ecological alternative,” home-owner Karen Smith explains. Karen and her husband David experimented with Shou Sugi Ban in two focal points in their home: a beam at the front entrance and a floating bar. “We wanted to try a hand at that technique to see what sort of finish and colouration we got on the wood. It feels more organic and alive then stained and sealed wood.” The practice of Shou Sugi Ban gained popularity in Japan throughout the 1700s and remained common practice until 50 years ago, when it gave way to modern building materials. However, as is the somewhat predictable evolutionary process of fashion and interior design, everything that was  |

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These People Make The Cottages a Community

Visit our website to see video testimonials from these homeowners and hear why they choose to live at The Cottages. Then come visit us and learn how you can become part of this great community. 2450 Radio Tower Road, Oliver, BC See website for open hours.


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Shou Sugi Ban features (above and opposite page) on a D’Arcy Jones Architecture home in Coldstream.

once old becomes new again in the great circle of design life. The Japanese reintroduced Shou Sugi Ban and in our connected, global world, the technique gained momentum and spread like fire throughout Europe and North America. “I think black is not a trendy colour, it just comes in and out of fashion in some circles,” notes D’Arcy, who first experimented with Shou Sugi Ban in a custom home built in Coldstream, BC. In early 2005, renowned furniture designer Kirk Van Ludwig was on an architectural tour in Big Sur where he was first introduced to Shou Sugi Ban. Kirk is owner of Autonomous Furniture — now one of the province’s most notable retailers of one-ofa-kind Shou Sugi Ban pieces. “We started torching our furniture from day one; it’s always been a staple for us. In 2016, there was a big shift towards black in all elements of the home, and the torched look has very much followed,” Kirk explains. “The approach in our furniture has always been to make the wood appear very natural — how you would find it in the forest. Forests light on fire and what’s left is torched wood. We don’t incorporate stains, everything is natural,” says Kirk. Self-taught in the art of designing and creating masterful furniture, Kirk is also self-taught in the art of Shou Sugi Ban. “I made my mistakes and now we have our proprietary


design. manage. build.

method,” Kirk smiles, relinquishing neither his great methodology nor the tales of things gone terribly wrong. He does divulge that the wood is torched and washed repeatedly until it reaches the depth of black desired, and then natural oil is applied. Kelowna’s Nido Design Inc. will be debuting Shou Sugi Ban elements in its designs, beginning in 2018. It’s known for designing and building exquisite custom homes in the Okanagan, and the company anticipates Shou Sugi Ban will bring an exciting new and rustic element to homes throughout the region. Shou Sugi Ban has returned. It is arguably the design element that will trail-blaze a path for black on its way to becoming this era’s monarch of interior design.


Specializing in High Performance Homes


e create a home. Compelling backdrops for every aspect of peoples’ lives inspires us for a creative project from start to finish. We create your personal architecture… a home that reflects how you live. The name ‘All Elements’ is exactly that. The four elements that surround us in our environment on a daily basis; earth, air, fire and water. A home site will always be affected by these elements. We love to take something that people look at in a common way and make it unique; we want to present it to you in a different light. As we are designing and building a dream home for our clients, we want it to reflect you, your needs and your desires to make it stand out. We understand clients that desire to build private, luxury residences and the need to ensure a unique product, while handling affairs with the utmost discretion.

WWW.ALLELEMENTS.CA Gold Tommie Winner of Home of the Year 2 time Provincial Georgie Award Winner HOME OF THETommie YEAR 12 time Silver Award Winner

3 time Provincial Georgie Award Winner Build Magazine Home Builder Awards Best HOME OF THE YEAR Design/Build Firm BC  |

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Gulf of Spezia by Henry Newman used with permission





#306 1350 Ridgeway Drive, Kelowna BC

35 - 1450 Union Road, Kelowna BC

6226 Sanderson Avenue, Peachland BC

Modern, 4 bedroom 3 bath Walk-out rancher. Private, Corner Unit Overlooking unobstructed lake Views, Bright, Open Floorplan, Gourmet island Kitchen, Upscale appliances, Geothermal Heating, 2 Car Garage

Beautiful 2 Bedroom 2 Bath tuscan-style ecoHome, 2350 sq. Ft., elegant Open Concept, Huge island Kitchen, radiant in-Floor Heat, Wood Plank Flooring, salt-Water Pool, roof-top Patio, sauna, Xeriscape landscaping, Detached Garage/shop

Pristine One Bedroom One Bath 3rd Floor Condo. Granite Counters, stainless steel appliances, secure entry & Underground Parking, On Quiet side of Complex in sought-after, Central location. City lights & sunset Views!




550 Brome Crescent, Kelowna BC

362 Trumpeter Court, Kelowna BC

2098 Bennett Road, Kelowna, BC

Walk-out rancher With Unobstructed lake & City Views in Coveted Upper Mission Cul-De-sac, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2 Dens, Granite, travertine, Home theater, two Bedroom inlaw suite, Wrap-around Deck & Putting Green

Magnificent McKinley Landing! .70 acre property offers 3,100 sq.ft. 4 bedroom 3 bathroom family home, breathtaking lake views, Private drive, rV parking, Only 15 mins to Kelowna.

lovely 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Custom Family Home nestled on a Quiet, lower Mission Cul-De-sac. Many Quality Upgrades, Hardwood, tile, Custom island Kitchen, Private, Pool size Yard, rV Parking, Great schools, 3 Blocks to Beach


$1,200,000 GST Applicable


8245 Merritt Princeton Hwy, Aspen Grove BC

151 Forest Edge Place, Kelowna BC

234 Lost Creek Lane, Kelowna BC

semi-lakefront, French-Country Chateau Overlooking Kid lake, 20 Minutes south of Merritt BC, 7.86 acres, Custom Built 2,800 sq. Ft Home, 4 Bedrooms 4 Baths, island Kitchen, Wood-Burning Fireplace, Outbuildings include 1600 sQ. Ft Heated shop

new 3,600 sF Walkout rancher, 4 Bedrooms 3.5 Baths, legal 1 Bedroom suite, Bright Great room Plan, Gourmet island Kitchen, large Butler Pantry, Oversized 2 Car, Quiet Cul-de-sac lot, Backing Onto Greenbelt

Meticulously Crafted 3,970 sq. Ft. 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath executive Home in Wilden. Upscale Finishing and superior Craftsmanship throughout. Beautifully situated On a lakeview lot On a Private, single-load lane.

Justin O’Connor P e r s O n a l r e a l e s tat e C O r P O r at i O n

108-1289 ellis street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9X6 Follow me Direct: 250.826.9961 toll Free: 877.530.3933

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.



$1,795,000 Gst applicable

19433 95th Avenue, Osoyoos BC

1094 Glenview, Kelowna BC new, executive Home on Private, .32acre Cul-De-sac lot. this 4,575 sF showpiece sets the bar for entertaining and Outdoor living space offering 18x36 Heated i/G Pool, 648 sF Pool House, 1,000 sF Wrap around Covered Decks, extensive Outdoor Kitchen, Cedar Pergola and Custom Water Features. inside showcases 5 Bdrms, 6 Baths, Huge Custom Kitchen, Butler’s Pantry, Wine Cellar, Full security, smart Home Control. With triple Garage, Gated rV Parking, Designer landscaping…. upgrades are considerable and won’t disappoint!

Designed with Distinction. 3,800 sq.ft. of lakefront luxury in one of Canada’s most desirable summer destinations. award-winning architecture. 4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms, Private dock. sandy beach.


$2,640,00 0


2755 Longhill Road, Kelowna BC

9900 Matner Lane, Coldstream BC

Custom 2 storey On 6.5 Park-like acres. 3,895 sq. Ft. Built By award-winning Fawdry Homes. 4 Bedroom 5 Bath, in-law suite, Garage Parking for 4 Cars, loaded With Upscale Features.

tommy award-Winning Custom-Built Home on 8 acre equestrian estate, Heated -in-ground Pool, large 2 stall Barn, Outdoor riding ring with GGt Footing, 2 Bay Farm shop, Hay storage, shelters, Pipe Fencing, revenue.

#14 3745 West Bay Road Paradise estates: an exclusive, luxury gated community with 21 masterfully planned residences designed for entertaining. Offering cutting-edge construction, high-end finishing, sandy beachfront and private boat slip.




3527 Benvoulin Road, Kelowna BC

2888 Seclusion Bay Road, West Kelowna BC

771 Highway 97 South , Peachland BC

Private, lakefront retreat, 18.5 acre lakefront estate. 1,354 ft. gravel beach on Okanagan lake. Panoramic views! extensive dock, 3 boat lifts. original 2,600 sq.ft. home, ½ acre, level building site.

First time Offered. 19.97 acre lakefront estate just a few minutes south of Peachland. sweeping lake views, 10,000 sq. ft. home, 1,820 ft. accessible Waterfront.

rare 23 acre equestrian estate, Great revenue Property, 3,200 sq.ft. executive Home, Oversized triple Garage, Detached Garage/ shop, 8,000 sq.ft. Barn, 24 Box stalls, Custom 80ft x 200ft indoor riding arena, 30 Paddocks, 4 Bay Farm shop

the team Justin O’Connor

Fred Brown

susan Propp

Jeannine Dionne

Senior Vice President, Sales

Licensed Associate

Executive Administrator

Marketing Coordinator



Two-tone cream joggers by Free People ($104) from Hudson’s Bay; socks by Hunter ($55) from Green and Bear It Gardeners’ Gifts and Gear; dark grey wool scarf ($89) from Aritzia; grey pinstripe blazer ($236) from Hudson’s Bay; pom-pom toque ($20) from Garage. 40  |

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Set against the beautifully minimal colour palette of Predator Ridge Resort in the winter, Boulevard presents the new knitwear in a modern mix of grays, creams and black. Layer up this winter and keep out the cold in oversized shapes of luxurious knits.

Grey knit sweater by Design Lab ($58) from Hudson’s Bay; cream cable-knit sweater ($89) from Influence; two-tone cream joggers by Free People ($104) from Hudson’s Bay; socks by Hunter ($55) from Green and Bear It Gardeners’ Gifts and Gear; dark grey wool scarf ($89) from Aritzia; boots by Sorel ($180) from Hudson’s Bay.  |

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Black open poncho ($84) from Influence; black pleather leggings ($69) from Influence; dark grey poncho with fringe ($69) from Influence; “The Dreamer” black wool hat by LLR Vintage ($99) from Influence.

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Checkered black and white sweater ($69) from Influence; black pom-pom toque ($20) from Garage. 44  |

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A-line turtle neck sweater dress in black ($119) from Influence; black leggings ($59) from Influence; dark grey wool scarf ($89) from Aritzia; boots by Sorel ($180) from Hudson’s Bay.

Makeup and hair: Jenny McKinney / Styling assistant: Anna Zeitner / Model: Kristina Finamore represented by Deja Vu Model Management / Photographed on location at Predator Ridge Resort. A huge thank you to all involved for hosting our photo shoot.  |

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Traditional biscotti

BISCOTTI MADE EASY This versatile, twice-baked cookie is a delicious, sophisticated treat BY CHEF HEIDI FINK | P H OTO S BY D O N D E N TO N

Hazelnut biscotti with milk chocolate

Biscotti with pistachio, dark chocolate, and red chili  | 46

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ISCOTTI ARE a baker’s best-kept secret. With their unusual shape, long shelf life and variety of flavours, they seem very fancy, but are actually really easy to make. An average baker can turn out several dozen, in different flavours, in the course of an afternoon. Even better than being easy to bake, they are designed specifically for dunking in both coffee and wine. What could be better than a sophisticated, long-keeping, dunkable biscotti in a variety of flavours. The only thing biscotti needs is time. Biscotti means “twice-baked” and the second baking is low and slow, made to gently dry out the biscotti without burning them. Other than the time involved in their second baking, biscotti are very straightforward and unfussy — a quickly mixed dough, no fancy cutting or fiddling around. Additionally, they can be varied to make any number of delicious flavours. I love that biscotti can be made well in advance and stored in airtight containers, with no loss in quality. In fact, their flavour often improves with time. I really love the fact that I can tailor biscotti flavours for my intended recipients: spicy gingerbread for the hot chocolate freak, chili-chocolate for the spice lover,

anise-almond for the wine drinker, and milk chocolate chip for the kids in my life Over the years, I have tried dozens of different flavour combinations; they almost always work out and are always a hit. Feel free to experiment with your own combinations of spices, nuts chocolate and dried fruit. I have included four different recipes to get you started.

HAZELNUT BISCOTTI WITH MILK CHOCOLATE Makes about 2½ dozen biscotti 1¼ cups hazelnuts 2½ cups flour ½ tsp salt 1¼ tsp baking powder 1 cup chopped milk chocolate (about 4 ounces) 5 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled 2 eggs 1 egg white ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup light brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1 Tbsp Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), OR 1 additional tsp vanilla  |

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Place hazelnuts on a rimmed cookie sheet, put in the oven and toast until skins have darkened and nuts are fragrant — about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour nuts into a mesh sieve. Use a clean dish towel to press the hazelnuts against the mesh and rub the skins off. Don’t worry if not all the skins come off. Just do the most you can. Remove hazelnuts from sieve, leaving skins behind. Roughly chop hazelnuts and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate, large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugars, vanilla, Frangelico and butter. Whisk well to combine. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour mixture, the chopped hazelnuts and chopped chocolate. Stir until thoroughly blended. The dough will be sticky. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and place them about four inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. With wellfloured hands, shape each dough piece into a smooth, flat-topped log — about three and a half inches wide and 16 inches long. Place sheet in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes, until they feel firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes, or longer. Turn down the oven to 275 F. Place cooled logs on a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into one-half-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices upright on two baking sheets, leaving room for air circulation, and bake them again for 20-30 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through

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baking. This second baking dries out the biscotti to give them their nice crunch and excellent keeping qualities. Let the biscotti cool on wire racks. They will last about a month if nobody eats them first!

BISCOTTI WITH PISTACHIO, DARK CHOCOLATE, AND RED CHILI Makes about 3 dozen biscotti. These biscotti with raw pistachio, chopped bittersweet chocolate, and freshly ground red chili are bursting with flavour, heat and complexity right from the first bite. They’re perfect for dipping in a steaming mug of hot cocoa, tea or coffee. 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp ground chili (I use a milder chili, like Cascabel or New Mexico; if using a spicier chili, like cayenne, use half the amount) ¼ cup butter, melted 2 eggs 2 egg whites

1 cup white sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1¼ cup raw, shelled pistachios 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (semisweet or bittersweet) Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a large sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour with the baking powder, soda, salt and ground chili. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar and beat until thick and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract, melted butter, pistachio, and dark chocolate. On low speed, stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing well to combine. Divide the dough in two and place them about four inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape each into a smooth, flat-topped log about three and a half inches wide and about 15 inches long. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they feel firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes, or longer. Turn down the oven to 275 F. Place logs on a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into half-inch slices. Arrange the slices upright on the baking sheets, leaving a bit of room around each for air circulation, and bake them again for 20-30 minutes. Let the biscotti cool on wire racks. Store in air-tight containers. Their flavour will improve in a few days and they will store for about a month.

TRADITIONAL BISCOTTI                                 Makes about 2½ dozen biscotti. The combination of lemon, almond and anise is one of the most traditional biscotti recipes. The flavour of these sophisticated biscotti will improve with storage. ¼ cup butter, melted 2¾ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt 1 Tbsp lightly crushed anise seeds 2 eggs 2 egg whites Zest of 2 lemons 1 cup white sugar ¼ tsp almond extract 1 cup chopped almonds Preheat oven to 325 F. Sift together the flour with the baking powder, soda and salt. Beat the eggs and egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar and beat until thick and creamy. Beat in the anise seeds, lemon zest, almond extract, melted butter and almonds. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the wet  |

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Even better than being easy to bake, they are designed specifically for dunking in both coffee and wine

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ingredients, mixing well. Divide the dough in two and place them about four inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape each half into a smooth, flat-topped log about three and a half inches in diameter and about 16 inches long. Place sheet in oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the biscotti logs feel firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes, or longer. Turn down the oven to 275 F. Place logs on a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into half-inch slices. Arrange the slices on two baking sheets, leaving room for air circulation, and bake them again for 20-30 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through baking. Let the biscotti cool on wire racks. Their flavour will improve in a few days and they’ll last about a month.

We Build


dream home

GINGERBREAD BISCOTTI Makes about 2 dozen biscotti. These taste particularly delicious dipped in a mug of rich hot chocolate. 2½ cup all-purpose flour 2 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp allspice ¼ tsp cloves ½ tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp baking soda 1⅓ cups packed dark brown sugar 3 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly 2 whole eggs 1 egg white

“ At Link Custom Homes our innovative design ideas, unsurpassed quality and meticulous attention to detail will provide a lifetime of pride and pleasure in your new home”

250.575.0830 |

Optional additions: 1 cup diced Australian crystallized ginger, 2 Tbsp orange zest Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, ground spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda until evenly mixed. In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs until the yolks and whites are combined. Add brown sugar and butter, whisking until well blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture into the egg mixture until mixed. The mixture will be sticky. Divide the dough into four equal pieces and place on a wellfloured surface. Shape each into a smooth, flat-topped log about three and a half inches wide and about eight inches long. Place logs three inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, until they feel firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven to 300 F. Place cooled logs on a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into half-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices upright on two baking sheets, leaving room for air circulation, and bake them again for 20-30 minutes, rotating the trays half way through baking. Let the biscotti cool on wire racks.  Their flavour will improve in a few days and they will last up to a month.  |

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Boulevard Magazine Presents a selection of

TOMMIE AWARDS FINALISTS The Tommie Awards has been recognized as the symbol of excellence in the Okanagan Valley, celebrating the achievements of our building industry’s finest. Winners will be announced at the 2018 Tommie Awards Gold Gala, January 27



ROV CONSULTING INC. Excellence in Outdoor Living Space — New or Renovation // Excellence in Single Family Detached Home $1,500,000 - $2,000,000 Mahdi Yazdinezhad, P.Eng. Structural Engineer Dr. Bahareh Reza, P.Eng., PhD, Structural & Building Energy Engineer Darcy Gibson Builder, Gibson Contracting >> ROV Consulting extensively engineered this home on a bluff atop of the City of Kelowna. Expansive windows and sliding glass doors capture the north, south and west views from each room. The great room and main floor bedrooms have multi-sliding doors to the double-sided infinity pool and four-sided, zero edge, infinity hot tub. The structurally engineered, suspended, triple-car garage has an additional triple-car garage space below with a 20-foot sliding glass door. You can control the audio, climate zones, fireplaces, pool temperature, pool covers, blinds, theatre room, lighting, garage doors and more right from your smart phone. Richard O. Visscher, Founder Dr. Bahareh Reza, P.Eng., PhD, Structural & Building Energy Engineer, Partner Mahdi Yazdinezhad, P.Eng., M.A.Sc.,Structural Engineer, Managing Partner

Mountain Magic


Modern Perspective

BELLAMY HOMES INC Excellence in Creating an Interior Feature/Innovation in a Home – Retracting TV // Excellence in Single Family Detached Home >> This home has exceptional views, clean and contemporary exterior lines, and warm, wood accents. The exterior theme is literally pulled into the interior spaces with a 55-foot wood beam that extends through the home. The open plan offers amazing sight lines both inside and out. A big-screen TV, located in front of the Neolith-faced, linear fireplace, retracts when not in use, essentially disappearing. The home’s design separates everyday activities from quiet relaxation. A service corridor allows for easy flow, and the guest suite includes a casita lounge with courtyard access.

Les Bellamy, Owner

Project Partners: Norelco Cabinets, Colonial Countertops, Coast Wholesale Appliances, Building Books Solutions

Les Bellamy is seen here in his current show home. This gorgeous home was designed and built to follow the angular lot, capturing the view from every vantage point. It garnered three Silver finalist awards including Show home, Kitchen and Single-family Home.

Excellence in Kitchen Design (New Home) // Excellence in Outdoor Living Space // Excellence in Creating an Interior Feature/Innovation in a Home – Curved Stairway // Excellence in Master Suite Design // Excellence in Single Family Detached Home >> This home maximizes breathtaking lake views. The two-storey great room manages to capture a cosy feeling. The natural stone fireplace facing combines with classic white columns and built-ins. The dropped ceiling height in the kitchen and dining room, makes these spaces more intimate. The sophisticated, functional kitchen is perfect for multiple cooks doing multiple tasks. Upstairs, the master bedroom is a personal oasis with a luxurious en suite, a large, walkin closet and a glass bi-fold door that opens onto a private deck for spectacular views.

Lakeside Retreat


Ken Nichols, CEO Gasland Group

Excellence in Kitchen Design — new home, $65,000 to $150,000 // Excellence in Master Suite Design Excellence in Marketing // Excellence in Show Home $500,000 and over Ken Nichols, CEO Gasland Group Sarah De Angelis, Interior Design >> Paradise Estates reflects the Okanagan culture and lifestyle, with beach access and a boat slip for all 21 homes. The enchanting central courtyard makes you feel like you’re on vacation year-round. Inside, you’ll find a kitchen made for entertaining with beautiful custom, walnut cabinetry and a live edge bar top. The master suite is where you can retreat from the outside world. Relax in this full amenity space with a TV, fireplace, wet bar, fridge and coffee area. Enjoy your patio with lake view or indulge in the spa-like ensuite.


Innovative Architecture


Inspired Support

COAST APPLIANCES Project Partner for Various Builders >> “We are honoured to have been nominated alongside several builders this year. We love to support our clients, whether it’s constructing a high-end lakeside retreat or an urban condo. Customers love our beautiful, live show room, where they can experience the latest in appliances. Our seasoned team of sales associates works from the ground up to assist in choosing the right appliances and finishes for new homes, renovations or replacements. Come visit us at 2600 Acland Road here in beautiful Kelowna.”

Rob Siddon, General Manager


CANDEL CUSTOM HOMES LTD. Excellence in Single Family Detached Home $750,000 - $1,000,000 >> This is a true Okanagan home complete with xeriscaping. A signature Candel Custom Homes cedar-wrapped barrel ceiling welcomes guests inside. Open spaces, classic architectural details, trendy fixtures and bold tiling mix traditional and modern aesthetics. Each bedroom has an en suite with extensive tile work. The master bedroom features a tongue and groove ceiling, unique pendant chandeliers, andwalk-in closet hidden behind a custom-made, steel slab barn door. The outdoor covered deck has a fire table and the pool is flanked with whimsical Bellagio-style water jets.

Randy Therrien, President

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Show Home

WILDEN CONSTRUCTION CORP. in cooperation with Blenk Development Corp. Excellence in Show Home — $500K and Over // Excellence in Kitchen Design (New Home) $65K - $150K // Excellence in Creating a Feature/ Innovation in a Home // Excellence in Master Suite Design // Excellence in Outdoor Living Space — New or Renovation The Wilden Development and Sales Team, Planning Jeremy Newell, Design Don McLeod, Interior Design >> Wilden Homes are the synthesis of natural craftsmen features and contemporary influences. The Wilden Presentation Centre and show home is a true flagship of the Okanagan Modern design that was created in Wilden. Low roof-lines, wide overhangs and a warm colour spectrum blend with the soft, flowing beauty of the land in which Wilden is embedded. The innovative interior layout combined with calm and pure design language, celebrate Okanagan living at its finest. Bright, open spaces allow a seamless flow of indoor and outdoor living.

Brent Couves, Vice President of Sales Russ Foster, CEO of Blenk Development and

Project Manager of Wilden

Karin Eger-Blenk, Director

of Blenk Development Corp. and Wilden Marketing Manager  |

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Serenity Now

Beauty and peace the old-fashioned way on Harbour Island in the Bahamas BY BRUCE SACH  |

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T’S NOT HARD to pin down what makes the Bahama’s Harbour Island such a desirable destination. For those in the know, this tiny sliver of an island, which runs north to south just off the tip of Eleuthera, is truly one of the most beautiful Bahamian islands. Hockey great Mark Messier, who first came here on a fishing trip while playing for the New York Rangers, says that for one thing,“People like Harbour Island because of the effort it takes to get there.” Indeed, despite being so close to the coast of Florida (and officially part of North America, not the Caribbean), you can only fly as close as Eleuthera Island. Then you take a $5 cab ride and a $5 ferry ride to make your way to Dunmore Town, the only village on Harbour Island. Mark Messier flies down in his own plane. But many visitors arrive at Dunmore Town via their boats, essentially recreating the arrival of the original settlers — the famous Eleutheran Adventurers — colonists from Bermuda bent on seeking religious freedom. After they were shipwrecked nearby, they eventually made Dunmore Town Bahamas’ first capital. During the day, the beach action is on the eastern, Atlantic side of the island, where folks stroll for hours, almost alone along Pink Sand Beach – perennially voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The pink hue of the sand is as striking as it is subtle, but the texture is unforgettable: like baby power or thinly sifted flour. This fabulous sand gets its unique texture from bits of coral, broken shells and the microscopic remains of tiny marine invertebrates called Foraminifera, which live on the underside 64  |

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of the abundant reefs here. All the resorts in Harbour Island have access to the public beach where visitors and Bahamians alike enjoy the beauty of this most perfect place. Soft, easterly winds blow in with the waves and the beach is never far away. The odd jogger and person on horseback constituted the only action we saw from our accommodation at Runaway Hill Resort. Our host Jennifer Messier (Mark’s sister) is one of the most friendly and knowledgeable people I’ve met. At the same time visitors are shedding their Rolexes, Jennifer is accessing her incredible internal Rolodex that keeps tabs on everyone and everything on the island. (To boot, she is a fellow Canadian.) She and her family have owned and managed the Runaway Hill Resort for over 14 years and she speaks about her adopted home of Harbour Island (or Birland, as locals refer to it) with the genuine enthusiasm of a first-timer. Back in the 1990s, Mark Messier entered a fishing competition, blew a motor, and ended up spending six weeks on Harbour Island, where he fell in love with the beach and the friendliness of the people. “My brother, Mark, got hooked on fishing and the resort became a family affair,” explains Jennifer. All 11 rooms are named after family members and the resort closes occasionally allowing the entire family to reunite. This welcoming, familial feel is present at all times. You might meet Mark here (the hockey legend is winner of six Stanley Cups and was recently named officer of the Order of Canada), but Jennifer is the real star. Celebrities in the business world run amok on Harbour Island (to which the prices in restaurants seem to attest). But the

common denominator is the electric golf cars, which everyone, even locals, use. So, you may have the Midas touch elsewhere, but you’re likely to putt around the streets of Dunmore Town at 20 kilometres an hour, driving on the left side like everyone else. I did not see one fancy car during my stay. Dunmore Town really started to develop under Governor Dunmore in the late 1700s and retains much of its colonial, Loyalist character. Many pastel-coloured clapboard houses from the era remain on Bay Street, often set behind white picket fences, festooned with morning glories and bougainvillea. These are flanked by narrow streets with names like Pitt, King and Princess. Churches from the 1800s are common. There are no theme parks on Harbour Island. In fact, a local stated it best, noting, “The area is not known for gambling, shopping or amusement parks. It’s known for its natural beauty and serenity.” In fact, one of the major attractions here is a lone tree. This tree, stuck in the sand off Bay Street, is a local landmark, placed there decades ago by fluke. It has become the focal point for hundreds of top fashion shots — think Victoria Secret, Sports Illustrated, etc. The charm of Harbour Island is in its tininess — you can stroll through the town in about 20 minutes. The beach is by far the biggest attraction, and at three miles long and 50 to 100 feet wide, it’s almost as big as the town on the other side. The beach is constantly splendid, though the nature of its beauty shifts hour to hour. Some say it can turn a salmon colour at sunset. Many repeat visitors come for the incredible relaxation, but sport fishermen and water enthusiasts love this place, too. Back at Runaway Hill Resort, Jennifer shows photos of guests with their big catches, yet, in her opinion, “Any day on the water is a perfect day, whether you make a big catch or not.” After enjoying a spectacularly calming afternoon on Harbour Island’s eastern side, which faces the daylong sun, we hopped into our golf cart and drove eight minutes to the appropriately named Sunset Café on the west coast. Here we enjoyed the end of the day overlooking boats at the Ramora Marina, while downing a few frozen Goombay Smash cocktails. From here, the view is one of yachts of differing sizes, whose owners may be well-off (think franchise kings, football team and restaurant empire owners from the United States and Canada), but are basically seeking the same thing as everyone else — peace and quiet in the old-fashioned way. One lucky fellow snags a bone fish right off the dock in front of us. Later, as I sit on the restaurant veranda at the Runaway Hill Resort, watching the full moon reflecting above the sea, I think about the Eleutheran Adventurers who were fleeing religious intolerance when they landed on Harbour Island area. This is why, when they got here, they chose their name from the Greek word Eleuthera, meaning freedom. I can only think: How utterly appropriate! For more information: The closest airport, the North Eleuthera Airport, can be reached directly from Atlanta, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Nassau. We flew on a local Southern Air from Nassau to North Eleuthera – definitely a memorable, albeit cramped, flight!

Apex Resort’s newest Tapas & Wine Bar Okanagan Wine Spirits & Craft Beer paired with the best wine country tapas

A Vintage Hospitality Property Beaconsfield Lodge, Strayhorse Road

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Get the job done right the first time. Use a CHBA member for your next project.

Pars Custom Homes | 250.861.3988  |

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2017 Home of the Year by Turner Custom Homes.



OR THE past 26 years, the Tommie Awards have been the symbol of excellence for the building industry in the Okanagan. They recognize achievements in all aspects of the industry from design and construction to renovations, marketing, environmental initiatives, affordable housing and more. The annual Gold Gala showcases the best of the best from the past year. Starting with a champagne reception and live entertainment, followed by a fabulous sit-down dinner and ending with dancing, it will be a night to remember. The highlight of the evening is, of course, the awards show, presenting the nominees and announcing the Gold award winners. One former award winner has described it as being “like the Oscars of home building.” The Tommie Awards are the

highest accolades that can be given to members of this industry throughout the Okanagan. “The success of Tommie Awards could not be achieved without a strong and vibrant industry to support it,” says Kevin Santos, chair of the 2018 event. “Its success is a testament to the hard work and efforts of the Canadian Home Builders Association, which works tirelessly to promote and showcase world class projects and communities. These have made the Tommie Awards what they are today.”


When the weather is still cold and spring feels a long way off, it’s time to brighten your life with some beautiful music. Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents Viennese Delights — Masterworks III in January, showcasing works by Strauss, Lehar and Offenbach. The symphony will be joined on stage by the UBC Opera Ensemble and performers from City Dance Studio.  |

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Karolina Kuras in Ballet Jörgen’s Anastasia.

In February, Viva L’Italia — Masterworks IV explores Italy’s contributions to music, ranging from a delicate baroque concerto to a passionate, romantic opera overture. Renowned trumpet player Jens Lindermann will join the OSO for two of the pieces, while the Youth Symphony will also be on stage to bring Respighi’s Pines of Rome to life on a very grand scale. Prodigy! — Masterworks V in March showcases the talent of 12-year-old pianist and composer Kevin Chen of Calgary. He and the OSO will be performing pieces by Mozart and Stravinsky, as well as one of Chen’s own orchestral works. Maestra Rosemary Thomson hosts a free, pre-concert chat before nearly every show; it takes place about an hour before the curtain rises. These 20 to 25-minute talks are designed to enlighten audience members on the music they will experience during the performance.

Grand Duchess Anastasia to Vernon this year, honouring the 100th anniversary of the story. Anastasia is the tragic story of an innocent girl as well as the subject of modern mythology, as there is great speculation about what actually happened to the daughter of the fallen Russian tsar that fateful summer of 1918. This ballet explores the emotions, aspirations and affections of this lovable-yet-controversial character as the world transforms around her. Follow 17-year-old Anastasia’s journey from the ballrooms of St. Petersburg into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, her captivity and the mystery beyond. Created by acclaimed choreographer and artistic director Bengt Jörgen, and set to an original full orchestra score by Russian/Canadian composer Ivan Barbotin, this is a classical ballet presentation that you will not want to miss.



A Russian Grand Duchess, born to privilege, is cast out into a post-revolutionary world. What will become of her? Canada’s Ballet Jörgen brings the magical tale of the Russian

“Quality food, quality art and quality wine,” is how event coorganizer Garry Molitwenik describes the 10th annual NOCLS Art & Wine Gala.


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It is, in fact, a culinary and artistic feast in support of North Okanagan Community Living Society. Held at the Eclectic Med Restaurant in Vernon, the gala features a six-course gourmet dinner paired with Okanagan wines. It’s followed by a live auction of exquisite art and wine packages conducted by a professional auctioneer. On offer at auction will be some 14 pieces of art. This will include paintings and likely sculpture, ceramics and glasswork produced by exceptionally talented regional artists. The 30-plus baskets include a compilation of fine wines, spirits or beer — all regional products — along with wonderful treats and experiences. Guests will be serenaded by live music as they mingle and view the pieces on offer. And to make sure the whole event ends well, transportation will be available to get guests home safely. NOCLS’ goal is to assist mentally and physically challenged individuals to achieve their highest potential, and participate in the community in every capacity. The Art & Wine Gala provides major funding for its work. Tickets are available through NOCLS or Eclectic Med.

Dancers Valentin Chou and Desiree Bortolussi in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Ballet Kelowna is celebrating 15 years of excellence this season, bringing two breathtaking productions to the stage — Elles: Extraordinary Dance Created by Women and its first fulllength ballet A Streetcar Named Desire. Elles is a mixed program of dance at the Kelowna Community Theatre on February 2. It includes four pieces created by four talented female choreographers. There will be world premieres by Alysa Pires and Gioconda Barbuto, along with works by Heather Myers and Gabrielle Lamb. “This program promises to deliver the very best of contemporary ballet from the perspective of women,” states promotional material. Looking ahead to the spring, A Streetcar Named Desire runs May 1-2 in Kelowna and May 4 in Vernon. Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning play written by Tennessee Williams, this ballet has been choreographed by Canadian John Alleyne and features an original jazz score by BCbased composer Tobin Stokes. Follow the story of southern belle Blanche Dubois through her tragic life of deceit, romance and betrayal. With an expanded ensemble that includes emerging artists from the Victoria Academy of Ballet, superb acting and lavish costumes, it promises to be a night of passion and intrigue.


Kelowna Actors Studio invites us to “Sing Hallelujah for this ridiculously fun, feel-good musical that will have you jumping to your feet!” Based on the 1992 film, Sister Act brings disco music together with a group of nuns, some bad guys, a lounge singer and a whole lot of humour. What’s not to love? Deloris Van Cartier’s life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and is hidden away in a place no one would think to look — a convent. Adapting to her new life has its moments, but Deloris finds her place in the convent’s world when she takes over the choir and teaches the sisters how to sing. Mother Superior is very suspicious and considers Deloris a challenge sent to her by God. When trouble catches up to Deloris, and there is a dangerous confrontation ... well, you’ll just have to go to the show and see what happens! If you haven’t been to live theatre in a while — or ever — make this the year to discover the Kelowna Actors Studio. As always, you have a choice of purchasing tickets for just the performance, or to make it a date night with dinner and a show.  |

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Club Misfit

Lane Merrifield harnesses creativity, skill and vision to find his niche BY DARCY NYBO | P H OTO S BY DA R R E N H U L L

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“Stop chasing the external definition of success. Ask yourself — are you having fun? Are you loving it?”


SELF-LABELLED misfit, Lane Merrifield is a visionary techie who helped create a virtual world where children can play safely together in Club Penguin, and another world called FreshGrade, where teachers, students and parents can connect on a whole new level. Lane is the youngest of four children. His three older siblings, Karine, Renee and Lance all had 4.0+ GPAs and were amazing students. Lane knew he wasn’t like them. “I would go into class and they’d have taught one or all of my siblings,” Lane recalled. “I could always tell in the school year when they realized I was not like my siblings. By week four they figured out I was less focussed and not engaged. My brother was great in sports and school, and he received two scholarships. Then I came along. I was into music and theatre and art. The joke was I was that I was really good at the electives.”

The tech industry was in its infancy as Lane was growing up. “I brought myself into the tech world because I was fascinated with computers. When I was in high school, I got lower marks because of bad handwriting and believe me, I needed every point I could get,” he said. “One day my parents brought home a Commodore 64 computer. I thought if I could type out my work instead of hand-writing it, I might get better marks. It worked and — I got extra credit for it. Even at that young age I saw the advantage to being native to that world. The more you get into it, the more you discover and the more you get to see the progression as it is happening.” Lane had a knack for getting around problems with inventive solutions. He was also an entrepreneur (like the rest of his family) from an early age. “I learned how to figure things out on my own. I had a lawn cutting business, but it took forever to haul everything around.  |

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So, as a young teenager, I had a neighbour help me convert my go-cart so it could tow a trailer. I put my lawn equipment in it and towed it around. I could do twice as many yards in a day.” Fast forward several years to Kelowna, where Lane was using his tech and art skills at New Horizon Productions. He and co-worker, Lance Priebe, were playing around with some mini games and characters. They started talking about creating Club Penguin — a multiplayer online game. “Dave Krysko was running New Horizon at the time. I took a big pay cut to work for him, but he was my Yoda — he has wisdom oozing out of everything he does. Lance and I were brainstorming after work and Dave was away on a work trip. When he came back, we were so fired up about it that we sat 72  |

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him down and told him about Club Penguin. He listened to us for an hour and a half and said, ‘I have no idea what you are talking about, but I’ve never seen you this passionate, so let’s make it work here.’ I worked for New Horizon during the day, and after work, we worked on Club Penguin,” he said. Club Penguin was created for the misfits and the kids that weren’t cool. It was a place where anyone could fit in. “At first, we kept it a secret that it was a Kelowna-based business,” Lane said. “Our target audience were eight- and nineyear-olds — they didn’t care where we were from. We enjoyed our anonymity. We wanted to be able to take our kids to school without being noticed.” Once Disney acquired Club Penguin, Lane stayed on for five

This unique window into the classroom is now in over 90 per cent of the districts in BC. It has spread across Canada and is growing in the US. “FreshGrade works on a classroom level the same way social media gives us a window into friends lives. I used to joke that I knew more about what my aunt did on her vacation than what my child had learned in school that day.” Through FreshGrade, that has changed. Today, Merrifield spends much of his time giving back to his community. He’s known for his part in creating the Innovation Centre and Wheelhouse to support other entrepreneurs. “We brought a bunch of leaders together and created a place where the whole start-up tech ecosystem could live under one roof. All three levels of government partnered in this project. We have six floors in total, filled with businesses. There’s even a rooftop restaurant and bar where we can have events and concerts,” he said. “When your friends come to town, you can show off the mountains, wineries or the lake. To show off the tech scene, you can bring them to the Innovation Centre.” When Lane Merrifield was a young boy, the school system told him he would be a failure. He barely got into university. The family joked about which one of his siblings would need to look after him. Today, thanks to his misfit ways, he’s a huge success. He’s shared this success a hundred times over with his community. “When it comes to success, the reality is, I had nothing to lose. I took three cuts in pay before we started Club Penguin. I did it because I loved what I was doing and I believed in the projects. When I hear people talking about things they want to pursue for the sole opportunity to make money, I know the likelihood for success is lower. For me, we had to start Club Penguin because we were obsessed with it … I couldn’t have done anything else. Maybe I was naïve, maybe I was crazy. But it worked.” He added, “My grandpa used to ask me, ‘When are you going to quit playing with your computers and get a real job?’ I would just smile and tell him I didn’t think I was built to have a proper job. That’s part of why I was able to take the risks I did, and make decisions that I did.” All his success hasn’t changed Lane, who still wears the same brand of jeans and Converse shoes. “The money is great, but it’s not all there is to life. I tell my kids, now 11 and 15, that I will cheer them on, no matter what they decide to pursue. At the end of the day, it comes down to them actively finding and following their bliss.” As for business advice, he said, “Stop chasing the external definition of success. Ask yourself — are you having fun? Are you loving it? There are shitty times in every job, but at a macro level, if you don’t love what you are doing then you have to change something. You don’t want to wake up 20 or 30 years later and realize you spent your life doing something you hated.”

“The money is great, but it’s not all there is to life. I tell my kids that I will cheer them on, no matter what they decide to pursue. At the end of the day, it comes down to them actively finding and following their bliss.”

more years to help take it to the next level. Then came the FreshGrade project. Steve Wandler was a local entrepreneur struggling with the same things Lane faced: they didn’t really know what their children were doing in school. “When I was at Disney, I had a wealth of data on kids from 3 pm to bedtime. I knew more about my own kids from an entertainment perspective than an educational perspective. That seemed counter intuitive,” he explained. “FreshGrade gives parents a view into the classroom so they can be more helpful and more engaged with their children. It gives teachers assessment tools and kids a place to showcase their work. Parents can get notifications on what their child is learning while they are at work.”  |

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Follow Boulevard on social media to see magazine-making in the moment. Check out behind-the-scenes photos, sneak peaks at upcoming stories and beautiful images of life at its finest in the Okanagan, Victoria and on Central Vancouver Island.

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Boulevard’s Lia Crowe photographs model Kristina Finamore during this edition’s fashion shoot at Predator Ridge. Photo by Darren Hull




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Boulevard Magazine, Okanagan Home - Jan/Feb 2018  
Boulevard Magazine, Okanagan Home - Jan/Feb 2018