Boulevard Magazine, Victoria, Feb/Mar 2018

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LUXURY BOUND Fashion for travelling in royal style


Beautiful home combines traditional charm with modern convenience


Up close and personal with some of the inspiring people who drive this city

From new vines to great wines

When Unsworth Vineyards owner Tim Turyk rode his bike past his future vineyard, he had a vision for something truly special. As Unsworth Vineyards grew into an award-winning wine producer - adding a restaurant and tasting room in the process - Island Savings was right alongside to provide support. With products such as the $30 monthly Unlimited Chequing for Business®† account, numerous commercial lending options and cash management solutions, find out how we can help your business succeed. See the full story on video at UnsworthVineyards

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On the Cover Photo by Cathie Ferguson LUXURY BOUND Pack your bags with elegant fashion and globe-trot in royal style. Our fashion story takes place at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel. Story by Lia Crowe FASHION


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Combining the charm of traditional design with modern conveniences

Re-inventing a 1980s rancher with style

By Lauren Kramer

By Angela Cowan 76 GO GREEN


Fabulous Chinese vegetables

Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick

By Chef Heidi Fink


By Tess van Straaten


Elegant shapes and rich fabrics that are perfect for packing

By Lia Crowe

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Cowboy at heart, Andre Brosseau excels in the business world

By Toby Tannas

90 SPECIAL FEATURE The Influencers

By Lia Crowe, Don Denton

& Darcy Nybo









Top Dogs



Carey Salvador

By Lia Crowe



Muddy Modern

By Janice Jefferson



Not your Mother’s Carob

By Pamela Durkin

24 inspiredPEOPLE


At Home with Art Lauren Mycroft

What’s on this month

By Robert Moyes

By Angela Cowan



Grand & Glorious Loire Valley

By Suzanne Morphet


Right as Rain in “Renny”

Port Renfrew

By Susan Lundy

Rupert Walker

By Chelsea Forman


By Don Denton  |

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“As a new mom myself, it was inspiring to see how artist Lauren Mycroft makes time to work and be in her studio in the midst of busy motherhood, even if it’s just for an hour each day.” Angela Cowan is a writer, editor and mother based in Victoria, BC. Find her on Twitter at @angela_m_cowan.

“Glo-skin beauty is where it’s at, when it comes to a healthy choice for your daily makeup routine! For all our fashion stories, I build on the model’s look, with use of this wonderful mineral makeup line available at Cosmedica laser centre. In this issue our model, Jasmine, emanates a quiet confidence where her makeup becomes a unique accessory of style.” Jen is a Victoria based makeup artist.

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PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke 250.891.5627

EDITOR Susan Lundy



DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Claudia Gross ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Pat Brindle Vicki Clark ASSOCIATE GROUP Oliver Sommer PUBLISHER







“Having grown up in Victoria and also having raised my own children here, the Royal BC Museum has been a constant fixture in my life. However, it wasn’t until this issue of Boulevard, photographing The Influencers, that I really considered the exterior of the museum: the design era, the lines, the carved wooden doors, the artwork — it all adds up to a photographer’s dream location.” Lia Crowe is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer with a long history of working in the fashion industry.

“Photographing the Chinese greens story was an education in expanding eating horizons. Vegetables seem like such a simple subject, but the variations in types and sizes was a revelation. It was also a reminder of why places like Chinatown, with its unique food offerings, are so important to our culture and our foodbuying choices.” Don has photographed numerous highprofile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and a royal wedding.

CONTRIBUTING Chelsea Forman,Angela Cowan, WRITERS Lia Crowe, Pamela Durkin, Heidi Fink, Chelsea Forman, Janice Jefferson, Suzanne Morphet, Darcy Nybo, Robert Moyes, Tess van Straaten CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe, Don Denton, PHOTOGRAPHERS Cathie Ferguson, Geoff Hobson Joshua Lawrence



Inspire ideAs thAt spArk stories thAt enrich people who impress

luxury bound Fashion for travelling in royal style

A perfect fit

Beautiful home combines traditional charm with modern convenience

the influencers






Up close and personal with some of the inspiring people who drive this city

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

“This issue’s fashion story was shot at the newly renovated and pretty spectacular Fairmont Empress Hotel. It was a little tough to decide where to shoot because everywhere I looked offered a gorgeous backdrop. Meandering through the hotel, I felt transported to somewhere exotic and far from home —yet comforted by familiarity at the same time.” Cathie is a freelance, lifestyle and commercial photographer in Victoria.

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“I always love an excuse to tour a Chinese food market. I still get excited when I see new and interesting ingredients. I especially love how many beautiful vegetables are for sale in all months of the year.” Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.

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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.













PAGE 148 “Talking to renowned action sports documentary filmmaker, Rupert Walker, was an unfolding sequence of surprises. The film maker fuses creativity and technology to produce documentaries that showcase the true art and beauty of sport.” Born and raised in British Columbia, Chelsea has had the opportunity to build her career writing about the people and places that make this diverse province so special.

“This project involved an amazing West Coast traditional home, beautifully situated on an oceanfront bluff. Stunning architectural features throughout the house made for some great image layouts.” Born and raised in Victoria, Geoff has developed his passion for architectural and outdoor photography over the last two decades.”








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“I found myself really inspired by the beautiful transformation of the Zetler family home at Ten Mile Point.” An awardwinning Richmond-based feature writer and columnist, Lauren, is a proud mother of four, who writes about food, travel, interior design and family life.

“To be able to visit so many remarkable gardens in such relative proximity, each with its own personality, is something I’ve not experienced before and may simply not exist elsewhere.” Suzanne is a former CBC Radio News reporter who now focusses on having fun while writing and photographing destinations that deserve to be known and shared.

PAGE 138

“Front Row features some interesting theatre this issue. Shakespeare vacations in New Orleans via a new version of Comedy of Errors, while Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility gets a revved up adaptation. And the ever-jaunty Victoria Django Festival returns!” A born and bred Victoria native, Robert Moyes is a longtime freelancer and editor whose main focus these days is arts journalism.










“The many talented and successful influencers who I connected with were true leaders in their fields. Many of us have heard similar words before, but the ones who make it in business, listen closely.” Darcy is a freelance writer, writing instructor, writing coach, author, self-professed word nerd and a foodie who loves to discover new things.


“With the skyline rising in Victoria, adding a taste of an uptown NYC apartment seems apropos, so I wanted to show how Victorians can delve into instant opulence.“ Janice is an interior designer who creates well-functioning spaces with an eyecatching mix of playfulness and refinement.  |

“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 focuses on running her small fashion business, freelance media work & her beautiful daughters.

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“Interviewing Nanon de Gaspé BeaubienMattrick was like talking to a wise old friend. So much great advice but what really stuck with, as we all juggle so many balls, is the fact some balls are rubber and will bounce if you drop them and other balls, like your family, are crystal and will shatter.” Tess is an awardwinning journalist and television personality who has had the privilege of interviewing people for close to two decades.


This season let the shine through








Occasionally something occurred that indicated Rollie was assessing himself next to Austen. He stopped wanting to burrow into our bed at night, choosing instead to sleep on a “big dog” pad. And now that he’s an only dog, he’s taken to riding in the backseat of the car rather than on a lap in the passenger seat. And Rollie — who is in no way selective when it comes to food — has always eaten banana. Austen, not so much. Once when Bruce handed each a piece of banana, Austen immediately spat his out. Rollie paused for a minute, eyed Austen and then spat out his piece as well. But ultimately differences in the dogs prevailed and, as is the norm, the little dog outlived the big one. It was a sad, sad day when we had Austen put down. But at least the memories prevail. There are no dogs, bananas or escape doors in this edition of Boulevard; however, Austen would have happily joined us on our winter getaway to the pet friendly Wild Renfrew — this edition’s Travel Near piece — and he most certainly would have loved to dig a hole or two had he travelled with writer Suzanne Morphet to the glorious gardens in the Loire Valley (Travel Far). It’s unlikely he would have appreciated Chef Heidi Fink’s mouthwatering Chinese greens, but he certainly would have tucked into Pamela Durkin’s carob. What this edition of Boulevard does serve up is a delectable mix of fashion, interior design, art and — most predominantly — a host of people who make this city tick. Enjoy reading feature stories on Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick, whose support and mentorship has helped numerous women; artist Lauren Mycroft, sports filmmaker Rupert Walker and entrepreneurs Carey Salvador and Andre Brosseau. And in our annual, special section “The Influencers,” feast your eyes upon some of the men and women driving this city. Tour a beautiful house, get the goods on a sleek renovation project, enjoy “Muddy Modern” interior design ideas, check out our über luxurious fashion story and discover what’s up and coming in Victoria’s entertainment scene. Back at our house, Rollie remains slightly lost without his brawny cohort, and our plans to scatter Austen’s ashes have petered out, none of us quite yet able to bear the final goodbye. PHOTO BY LIA CROWE


Y BOY Austen was an “only dog” until the final four of his 15 years, which — heartbreakingly — ended late last October. But in 2013, when Bruce and I packed up the part-time house in Calgary and settled permanently on the coast, Austen suddenly had a full-time doggy sibling: Rollie the Dachshund. The dogs actually shared a birthday, born within a few hours of each other back in 2002. But the similarity ended there. Austen, a wired-haired pointer, boxer, shepherd mix, who looked like a Wolfhound, had soaring legs that rose to meet a burly-chested, shaggy frame. Smooth-haired, chestnut-coloured Rollie boasts legs the height of Austen’s paws, and his entire body could probably have fit in Austen’s stomach. Austen loved to chase the ball, swim, dig holes the size of small ponds and go on long walks — at running speed — while Rollie favours food, sleep and as little movement as possible. Austen tipped the scales at 100 pounds; Rollie weighs in at 16. But the moment Rollie took possession of his new West Coast home, he ruled the roost. Soon after we arrived, we went on a forest walk with friends and their two German Shepherds. The four dogs bounded happily along the path until another dog approached. It was Rollie — not the big dogs — who burst like a bullet from the pack, snarling and barking and demonstrating a dominance that defied his size. Austen had a deep, threatening bark, but he was a gentle giant. If we didn’t keep an eye out while the boys ate their dinners, Rollie would gobble his up and then spring onto to Austen’s plate. Once in awhile, Austen retaliated with a low growl, but mostly he backed off, seemingly saying, “Oh well, I guess the little guy’s hungry.” Same with Austen’s big sleeping pad. The moment Austen stepped off, Rollie would saunter over, flop onto it and fall straight to sleep. Austen would walk back into the room, stare at Rollie for a few minutes, hovering above him, and then plunk onto the floor beside the mat. Of the two dogs, Austen had the brawn and (I think) the beauty, but there was no doubt Rollie had the brains. Austen lived in this house since he was puppy — over a decade before Rollie arrived. But Rollie marched into the house and within days had discovered he could poke open an exterior wood door. It was too high on the outside for Rollie to risk jumping out, but Austen couldn’t believe his luck — an escape route he’d never knew existed.

What this edition of Boulevard does serve up is a delectable mix of fashion, interior design, art and — most predominantly — a host of people who make this city tick.

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Susan Lundy is a former journalist and two-time recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award. Her stories have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. She is also the author of Heritage Apples: A New Sensation (Touchwood, 2013).

Arriving Spring 2018 RIVIERA 43 OpEn FlyBRIdgE

Sidney, BC 250.656.1138

inspired STYLE


CAREY SALVADOR Owner of Pigeonhole Home Store BY LIA CROWE


UNIFORM: Denim and mid- to high-rise trousers. ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIECE: Floral dress by GANNI (“thank you Still Life xoxo”) and a pair of fabulous trousers I bought at Anthropologie.” CURRENTLY COVETING: Leather bag by Kara Rosenlund. FAVOURITE PAIR OF SHOES: Oxfords. “I have an obsession.” FAVOURITE DAY BAG: Tanner Goods. FAVOURITE JEWELLERY PIECE OR DESIGNER: I was obsessed with this (large) opal ring ... of course ... surrounded by diamonds. I don’t know how many years I made my family stand at the window and gaze at it with me, but I finally bought it for myself. I still love it to this day.” FASHION OBSESSION: “Currently... cashmere turtle neck (“where can I find one?”) with high-waisted trousers. That would be my ultimate winter uniform.” ACCESSORY YOU SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON: Watches. New and vintage. “I love men’s vintage Omega watches. So sexy.”

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N THE corner of Stanley Avenue and Begbie Street near the Fernwood/Oak Bay border you may have noticed an inviting design shop, painted an elegant matte black, beckoning you in. Owner Carey Salvador took a chance on a rundown space three and a half years ago, fulfilling a long standing dream of opening a home design store and bringing to life what now is Pigeonhole. “My husband saw that this space was for rent, so we went to look at it and it was just in shambles. I walked in and said ‘no.’” Luckily Carey, with encouragement from friends, had second thoughts and so, with what I assume must have been a lot of hard work, “just made it happen.” Originally from a small farming town in Alberta, Carey left at 19, came to Victoria and went to school for interior design. With varying jobs, travel and life experience, she has come full-circle back to Victoria from where she was living in Vancouver with her family, and to interior design, bringing a beautiful curation of old and new items alike to a now gorgeous space that has been given a new lease on life. “I don’t know if I can label it,” Carey says when I ask how she would describe LIFE the aesthetic of the store. “It’s constantly evolving from the day we opened to FAVOURITE today. Maybe it could be described as country modern rustic. However, I think the LOCAL RESTAURANT: “It’s next evolution will be cleaner lines, more simplicity. Where you can incorporate safe to say I am a regular at Zambris. antiques but still look minimal.” (The best.)” FAVOURITE COCKTAIL/ As we sit chatting in the shop — which is filled with ceramics in a minimal WINE: Devil’s Lair from the Margaret River colour palette, lush sheepskins, gorgeous scents and a feast for the eyes of region. ALBUM ON CURRENT ROTATION: beautiful things — Carey greets the people who wander in and out. Banks. FAVOURITE FLOWER: “I could never just love one: ‘I must have flowers, always, and “I just love creating a nice space for people.” always.’ Claude Monet.” FAVOURITE CITY TO Outside of work, Carey has a love for horseback riding, photography and VISIT: Montreal and Singapore. FAVOURITE family, but says, ”Even outside of work I’m passionate about design. I’m HOTEL: Pali House Society (Santa Monica constantly looking; it’s impossible for me to stop looking. To keep the shop specifically). FAVOURITE fresh and new it takes a lot of time.” PLACE IN THE WHOLE Proving that when you do what you love it isn’t just work, she adds, WORLD: “Home. Or “When I open that door in the morning it just makes me happy.” wherever my family is. Honestly, there’s nothing better.”


STYLE ICON: “Jamie Beck ... I can’t even handle her!” FAVOURITE ARTIST: Henri Cartier, Bresson and Annie Leibovitz. “I have always loved photography, and have a passion for it. It’s my favourite interest outside of design.” PIECE OF ART: “I LOVE antique oil portraits and my favourite piece is Kara Rosenlund’s Wild Horses photograph. FAVOURITE FASHION DESIGNER: “I don’t know if I have a favourite, but Ralph Lauren is the epitome of classic fashion and interior design.” FAVOURITE MUSICIAN: “Joni Mitchell and my 7-year-old daughter, Lucia.” ERA OF TIME THAT INSPIRES YOUR STYLE: “ Think Jackie Onassis Kennedy — late ‘60s, ‘70s. She was often clad in trousers, an elegant blouse and large sunnies.”



NECESSARY INDULGENCE: Massage (Atlas Health Therapy) and pedicures. MOISTURIZER: Eminence Organic Skincare. MUST HAVE HAIR PRODUCT: Big Sexy Spray Volumizer. BEAUTY SECRET: “ I definitely don’t hold any secrets, but finding time for me, being quiet, hot baths and working out.”

WHAT DO YOU READ ONLINE FOR STYLE: “I’m almost always online reading up on design. You could say I get... focussed. I can spend hours and hours and …..” FAVE PRINT MAGAZINE: Country Living Modern Rustic (AU) and Elle Decor EU. FAVE STYLE BLOG: “Kelly Framel is not limited. She is strong, bold and damn amazing!” COFFEE TABLE BOOK: Anything by Sibella Court. LAST GREAT READ: A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Lee Dugard. BOOK CURRENTLY READING: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME: The Guests of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea.  |

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inspired DESIGN


Muddy Modern

Sharp lines, watercolour texture and printed blooms add instant opulence and create the flavour of a high rise NYC apartment.







Love is all ‘round.



10. 1. Suede Mule by Sol Sana ($210) Footloose Shoes 2. FLORE Botanical Alchemy, visit 3. “Pavo” Side Table ($495) Anthropologie 4. Shabby Faded and degraded sectional by Timothy Oulten ($12,835) Luxe Home Interiors 5. Pablo Cielo 7 Pendant Chandelier ($2,364) Gabriel Ross 6. Floral painting ($400) by artist Sharon Montgomery 7. Still Life grass cloth wallpaper by Nicolette Mayerper ($1,300/ 8-yard roll) 8. Abstract Painting ($1,400) by artist Andrea Soos 9. Antiqued mirrored wall tile ($39/sf) Decora Tile 10. Girl in Dior ( $35) Bolens Books 11. Glass Rod Console by Timothy Oulten, $3825, Luxe Home Interiors

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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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HOUGH CHOCOLATE 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-store-staple 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 health-enhancing 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.


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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. 20  |

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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 cancer-fighters 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.

Create Create a a space space that that uniquely yours Create a space that uniquely yours || established established in in 1980 1980 ||| | established in 1980 uniquely yours

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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 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. • 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.

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inspired HEALTH

Carob know-how

Pear Salad with Carob Dressing

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.

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

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inspired PEOPLE


FIRST MEET abstract artist Lauren Mycroft when she opens the door to her home with her eight-month-old son on her hip. He stares wide-eyed at me as she welcomes me in. “He just woke up,” she says with a smile, smoothing down his bedhead. Babe is soon bundled into a backpack and sent out into the yard with dad to take care of the ever-growing piles of leaves carpeting the grass, and Lauren leads me into her studio. It’s a new space for her, she tells me; they just bought the 130-yearold farmhouse this past summer. The farmhouse may still have a hint of that justmoved-in vibe, but Lauren fits well in her high-ceilinged studio, and it in turn is infused with her. A stack of finished and in-progress canvases leans against the back wall; the floor is a glorious spatter of paint in myriad hues. Glass jars full of well-loved brushes line the fireplace mantel like bouquets of wildflowers. As someone looking in, it’s easy to assume she’s always been at home as a painter. But for much of her early life, she knew she had a creative streak, but was never quite sure where it fit. Lauren attended art school — studying both at Vancouver Island University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design — but it wasn’t until well after she’d graduated that she found her niche. Much of her time in school was spent just learning to paint, she says, with plenty of figurative and landscape pieces, and her last year was particularly difficult as she tried to find her place. With a close family member’s illness and other struggles in her personal life, Lauren had a hard time with the sometimes harsh, daily critiques and highenergy demands of school. She took a break from painting for a few years after graduating, and it wasn’t until she did an abstract collage class that everything fell back into place. “It just clicked,” she says. “I felt like, this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” Then a close friend who was an interior designer commissioned her to do two pieces, and “that’s where it all started.” She balanced her day job — as a career advisor in the mental health field — with her art, but soon found herself inundated with commissions. Looking at her body of work, it’s not hard to imagine why her pieces were in demand. There’s a fluidity to them that’s incredibly appealing, as is the way she harmonizes colours. Her website describes her painting as “abstract works [that] reference organic shapes using complex layers and 24  |

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At home with art Lauren Mycroft’s mesmerizing abstracts



“If you’re a creative person, you probably have an unkind voice in your head. It’s hard when someone doesn’t like a painting, but it’s harder when I don’t.”

Lauren Mycroft in her studio. 26  |

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staining,” using a “contemporary palette and methodical layering technique.” Each piece develops almost as a dialogue between Lauren and the paints and dyes, with each mark influencing the one that comes after, until a complex and textured whole emerges. “It’s very process driven” she says. “It’s very reactionary. It really forces you to let go.” A trio of linen-based works leaning against the studio’s far wall catch my eye. Striking combinations of magenta, a rich peacock green-blue and splashes of sepia stand out. Linen offers its own challenges compared to canvas, says Lauren. The palette has to complement the darker background (as opposed to working on white), the linen finish has a different relationship with the paints and dyes and it’s riskier. If the process doesn’t yield an end result Lauren’s happy with, there’s no painting over and starting from scratch. These particular pieces are also much smaller than Lauren’s usual, which is why she’s been working on them. “I never paint small, so I’ve been trying to do as many small pieces as I can,” she says. Her determination to keep her skills fresh and stretch outside her comfort zone is evident. Becoming a mom has kept her on her toes artistically as well, in that she’s had to redefine how she approaches her studio schedule. “I really find I’m a lot more efficient with my time since I had him,” says Lauren, who makes time in the evenings to work, and has someone come once a week for child minding. “I love my time with him, and I love being in my studio.” Finding her way back to art through abstract painting helped

lead Lauren to where she is now, a new mom, in a new home, with a renewed commitment to full-time art, and she’s found a balance point between it all. “I think if someone had asked me 10 years ago what I wanted my life to be, I’d have said I want to live in a really old house, with someone I love, [with] my child, my two dogs and with a great studio space,” she says. Her art has also helped her transform her inner critic into something constructive. “If you’re a creative person, you probably have an unkind voice in your head,” she says with a laugh. “It’s hard when someone doesn’t like a painting, but it’s harder when I don’t. I just remind myself it’s a process. It’s being ok with the piece when it takes a different direction.” “I’ve learned a lot about myself through painting abstractly,” she adds: about her ability to let go of the end result, about the need to control the critic that’s within all of us, of wanting things to look a particular way. “Although it’s my passion, painting has not always been an easy path for me; there’s nothing that gives me as much anxiety and pure joy at the same time.”

“It just clicked. I felt like, this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

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F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8




Cordova Bay home combines the charm of traditional design with modern conveniences ANGELA COWAN | P H OTO S BY G EO F F H O B S O N

Quick Facts: Square Feet: 6,319 including garage and suite Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4.5 Fireplaces: 2 indoor, 1 outdoor Heated floors throughout Extensive wainscoting and wall panelling Hickory floors with three varying widths of planks


ET BETWEEN the Cordova Bay golf course and the rambling ocean shoreline sits a stately, semi-traditional style home with peaked rooflines, a stone driveway and warm lanterns lining the exterior. The design feels like a nod to old-world Victoria, and even more so once Dave and Lisa Stephens — homeowners and builders — welcome me into their home. Their company, LIDA Homes, has now been in the business of custom homes and renovations for 20 years, but this house was a project just for them.

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It is truly a dream kitchen. Everything has been designed and built with convenience and style in mind.

Foral design by Botany Fern & Floral.

The Stephens moved in in May 2017, after a planning and building process that took several years to complete. From there, they worked on the gradual task of updating their furniture and art to complement the home. The house’s visual tenor reveals itself naturally as we begin the tour, a testament to the time and care the Stephens took to finalize the design. Each architectural aspect slowly unfolds as we move through the house. First, we step through the oversized front door into a cathedral entranceway. A catwalk connects the two sides of the second floor overhead, and directly before me is a gently illuminated staircase surrounded by gorgeous traditional wall panelling in a soft cream finish. It immediately puts me in mind of some of the old Maclure homes I’ve toured in Victoria, and that impression is strengthened by dark hickory floors, wainscoting that flows from one room to the next and coffered ceilings in the living and dining areas. This is contemporary, yes, but there’s a refreshing balance of traditional design throughout. Though the entire back of the house looks over a spectacular ocean vista, they didn’t want to overshadow the beauty of the house, and so created subtle visual and physical boundaries to break up the open concept.

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“We tried to segment a little bit,” says Dave. “Each part of the house was created to be its own live portion.” He stops in the entranceway and gestures to the panelling. “This was really to create that ‘wow’ factor.” He takes a few steps further. “And then you get to the kitchen, and you think ‘wow.’ And then into the living room, and you see the view, and you think, ‘wow.’” I do a lap through the kitchen (always one of my favourite parts) and am definitely thinking “wow.” An immense island dominates the space, with storage, drawers and two veggie crispers along the inner side, and a handful of chairs tucked in along the outer side. “When we were building it, I thought it was too big,” laughs Lisa. “But it’s awesome.” It is truly a dream kitchen. Everything has been designed and built with convenience and style in mind. A butler’s pantry just around the corner acts as a beverage station and a place to tuck away clutter. A six-burner gas range sits against a baroque limestone tile backsplash that adds a beautiful touch of curves and texture to the overall clean aesthetic. Two full-size wall ovens await roast dinners and baked treats. There’s a luxuriously deep, white porcelain sink, a two-drawer dishwasher system, a built-in coffee maker, an

automated drawer-style microwave and a refrigerator designed to prevent unsavoury surprises. “I love my Thermador fridge,” says Lisa, running a hand along the surface. She opens it to show me how shallow the tall shelves within are. “You never lose anything.” There’s a balanced push and pull between boundaries and continuity through the home that gives each room its own personality, but still creates a seamless feel to the design as a whole. Coffered ceilings grace both the dining and living rooms, but are different in the details: the living room’s ceiling is divided into three long stretches, the dining room is a more traditional square pattern. The adjacent outdoor kitchen and living space echoes the design with six square skylights in its ceiling. The outdoor fireplace is also built of the same stone as the indoor fireplace, which in turn provides a distinct barrier between the living and dining rooms. The hickory floor carries throughout the main area and kitchen, and over into offices where the LIDA business runs daily, and in-floor heating creates a snug feeling. Upstairs, the catwalk provides an elegant separation from

This is contemporary, yes, but there’s a refreshing balance of traditional design throughout.

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RBC Dominion Securities Inc.* and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. *Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund. RBC Dominion Securities Inc. RBC Dominion Securities Inc.*Wealth and Royal Bank of Canada are separate entities which are affiliated. *Member-Canadian Fund. RBC licence. Dominion Securities Inc. is a member company of RBC Management, a business segmentcorporate of Royal Bank of Canada. ®Registered trademarks of RoyalInvestor Bank ofProtection Canada. Used under © RBC Dominion isSecurities a member company RBC Wealth Management, a business segment of Royal Bank of Canada. ®Registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © RBC Dominion Inc. 2016. Allofrights reserved. 16_90851_V8R_003 Securities Inc. 2016. All rights reserved. 16_90851_V8R_003

    

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1221 Government St. 250.383.7177 Mon-Sat 10-5:30 Sun 11-4 1210 Newport Ave. 250.592.2821 Mon-Sat 10-5 Mon-Sat 10-5:30 2449 Beacon Ave. 778.426.4446  |

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8


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the master suite and the Jack and Jill guest bedrooms and bath, and the hickory floor continues to flow through the space, connecting it all. Dave takes a moment to again point out the panelling that extends across the upstairs walls. Standing in the middle of the catwalk taking it all in — the crown moulding, wainscoting and rich tones of the hickory handrails — that sense of traditional, classic design is even stronger. “It was our guys who did all this high-end finishing,” says Dave with a smile. “I’m pretty proud of that.” Convenience is at a premium upstairs as well, with a laundry room just steps from the master suite, and a pull-down drying rack, storage and a secondary hose for the built-in vacuum (no lugging that thing up and down the stairs). Downstairs, a rec area with pool table, dart board and surround-sound television room offers comfy entertainment for Dave and Lisa, and their three grown boys when they come home. And as the entire house — heating, lighting, surround sound, blinds, you name it — is controlled via remote or iPhone, customizing the environment is just a button away. At the end of the day, Dave and Lisa have used their two decades of experience to create a house both richly designed and eminently comfortable. It effortlessly brings together the charm of traditional design and modern conveniences, and that truly feels like home sweet home.

Let your family focus on what mattered most. You. Pre-Plan your final arrangements as a parting gift to those who love you most. NOT-FOR-PROFIT






250-658-5621  |



F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8


Suppliers List: Architect/Design: Zebra Interior Design: Zebra (Lorin), LIDA Homes Construction & Interior Finishing: LIDA Homes Interior Drywall: Gordon & Gordon Interiors Painting: Intex Painting Cabinetry and Millwork: Hobson Woodwork Coffered Ceilings: LIDA Homes Hardwood: United Floors Tiling: Lifetime Tiles & Stone Doors: BC Doors and Slegg Lumber Windows: Custom Pro Windows Lighting: Mcleod Electrical, McLaren Plumbing Fixtures: Bartle and Gibson Countertops: Colonial Countertops Fireplace Hearth/Stonework: Old Country Masonry, Carson Mechanicals Appliances: Coast Wholesale Appliances Landscaping: Landstory Exterior Siding: LIDA Homes Home Automation: Wired Up One


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some light

on your creativity


601 Boleskine Rd. 250-384-9359


201-4300 Wellington Rd. 250-756-3614

The Brighter Side of Lighting



Nanon de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick BY TESS VAN STRAATEN | P H OTO S BY D O N D E N TO N

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“All I ask is that they pay it forward to someone else and I think if we all do that, the world will be a better place.”



we are here  |





we are here




F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8

FINLAYSON | 250.475.2033







OR NANON de Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick, going into business was never a question. “I grew up in a family business so when I was very young, business was what we talked about all the time,” explains Nanon, who was named one of the most influential women in BC business two years ago. “I find it so interesting and for me, business has always been something I knew I was going to end up doing.” The Victoria transplant is now trying to change the way we do business by advocating against gender bias, and she’s putting her money where her mouth is — investing in female entrepreneurs with her angel fund, Beehive Holdings, which has a special focus on women. “Beehive is something I very much hold to heart because it’s a lot harder for women to raise money and to find mentors and sponsors, ” Nanon says. “The majority of venture capitalists are mostly men, they invest in what they’re comfortable with, and most of the companies are run by men so it’s a self-propagating, vicious cycle.” After a decade in the family business as senior vice president of Telemedia Corporation and a successful stint in the maledominated environment of Silicon Valley — where she says subtle gender biases impacted many decisions — Nanon started Beehive in 2012. It was a chance for the Harvard Business School MBA to not only invest in women, but also to mentor a new generation of leaders. “It’s really important the women I invest in feel supported, feel they could be successful and feel their idea is validated,” Nanon explains. “Women have what we call the imposter syndrome — ‘How did I get here? Oh my gosh, I made a mistake’ — and for me it was really important to say ‘no, you got this funding and you’re super bright and you’re solving a problem. You’re capable of doing this and I’m going to help you along the way.’” It’s all about paying it forward for Nanon, who believes in mentoring and sponsoring women outside of the companies in which she invests. “A lot of women say, ‘Why are you helping me?’ But I’ve been very lucky and I’ve had wonderful men and women that have


“It’s really important the women I invest in feel supported, feel they could be successful and feel their idea is validated.”

Nanon de Gaspé BeaubienMattrick (centre) with business partner Melanie Smith (right) and staffer Dallis Leslie. In back is painting by BC artist Bobbie Burger.

supported and encouraged me and I need to pay it forward and give someone else that chance,” she says. “All I ask is that they pay it forward to someone else and I think if we all do that, the world will be a better place.” Working towards gender balance also makes good business sense. Research shows that companies do better financially when men and women are both sitting at the table and even better 40  |

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when there is cultural and ethnic diversity. “Diversity is a good thing,” Nanon says. “We think differently so we challenge each other. Research has also found that venture capital firms that have a senior partner that’s female do better when they invest in women start-ups than ones that don’t.” The need for gender balance is something Nanon says she first experienced when she worked in the undergarment division of


LAST PHASE NOW SELLING! Welcome home to Travino Gardens, in the heart of Royal Oak. This collection of 80 luxury condominiums is surrounded by gardens, walking trails and water features and has spectacular views of the mountains and surrounding Saanich farmland.

Welcome home to Travino Gardens, in the heart of Royal Oak. This collection of 80 luxury condominiums is surrounded by gardens, walking trails and water features and has spectacular views of the mountains and surrounding Saanich farmland.

James Liu | Scott Munro | Alli Munro | 250-477-5353

Playtex after graduating from Harvard as an undergrad. “I found it very interesting we would have mostly men designing and working in the bra and girdle area,” she says. “They’d never worn a girdle or a bra and didn’t know what their customer experienced, but some of the men were open to listening to my ideas. We would joke about it, but it was challenging at times.” The mother of two, who has been married to tech mogul Don Mattrick for 25 years, says one of the biggest challenges she’s faced as a woman in business is balancing work and family. “I’m juggling the work ball, the family ball, the husband ball, the children ball, the aging parents ball but I had an incredible role model in my mom,” Nanon says. “She always worked and early on she told me to remember there are some balls that are rubber and bounce if you drop them, but there are others that are crystal, which will break, and those balls you always have to keep in the air. Children, husband — those are the crystal balls. The others can sometimes bounce and you can pick them back up. That has always been a very powerful image for me, and I share it with a lot of my female CEOs.” After successful careers in Vancouver and the Silicon Valley, the Mattrick family moved to Victoria two and a half years ago, at Don’s urging. “My husband loves Victoria, and Vancouver was getting very busy,” explains Nanon. “We’d just come back from the Silicon Valley and he said if he could live anywhere in the world, he

would want to live in Victoria.” At first, Nanon admits she wasn’t sure about the move — she’d heard the joke about the BC Capital being the home of the “newlywed and nearly dead.” “I thought, what am I going to do in Victoria? I’m a person that needs to find purpose. If you have purpose and meaning in your life, you jump out of bed in the morning and you make a difference.” But the business dynamo soon found a new venture, launching Maison Homes, a boutique building and development company, with business partner Melanie Smith. “Living in Oak Bay, I found a lot of older people wanted to sell their homes; they’re often all alone or just a couple living in these big homes, but there was nowhere for them to go,” she explains. “They wanted to downsize and have something easy to take care of but there’s nothing new (for them to buy) and I thought, wow, there’s a market here — typical entrepreneur — so let’s design homes that are different and cater more to their needs ” The Maison team has built six single family homes so far and for Nanon, all the success she’s had throughout her life comes down to taking risks and pushing through fear. “We all get stuck but you can’t let fear overwhelm you,” she advises. “Someone I really admire is Eleanor Roosevelt and she said, ‘Everyday do something you fear’ and I think that’s it — don’t let fear stop you or something overwhelm you because you’re scared. You won’t know unless you try.”

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Pink, floral print blouse ($559), fuchsia-patterned trousers($395) and pink windbreaker jacket ($985) all by Luisa Cerano; pastel pink cashmere scarf ($595) by Suzi Roher, all from Bagheera; dusty rose velvet heels ($215) by Sol Sana from Footloose Shoes.

LUXURY BOUND Elegant shapes and rich fabrics that are perfect for packing will transport you around the globe in royal style. BY LIA CROWE | P H OTO S BY C AT H I E F E R G U S O N

White, neck-scarf blouse ($545), navy, patterned trousers ($485) and gold metal detailed coat ($1,095) all by Laurèl, tan gloves ($99) by InWear and handbag ($785) by Liviana Conti, all from Hughes Clothing; “Eventually” gold frame sunglasses ($660) by Thierry Lasry and from Maycock Eyecare; black Italian leather duffle bag ($499) by I MEDICI and black leather luggage bag ($525) by Barbour International, both from W&J Wilson; dusty-rose velvet heels ($215) by Sol Sana from Footloose.

Hazel seamless top ($245), beige “pied de poule” skirt ($525) and coral printed “carre” scarf ($365) by Black Goat Cashmere; navy “Portofino” mid-size watch ($12,700) by IWC from Lugaro; dusty-rose velvet pearl slides($225) by Sol Sana from Footloose Shoes.

Black kaftan dress ($585) by Dennis Merotto, bone ring ($270) by Dandi Maestre and coral statement necklace, all from Hughes Clothing; rust slipon heels ($269) by Intentionally Blank from Footloose.

Makeup: Jen Clark, in-house makeup artist for COSMEDICA using glo.MINERALS makeup Model: Jasmine Arora Styling and production assistant: Vellar Chou Photographed on location at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. A huge thank you to everyone involved for hosting our team, and particularly those pictured in the story: Dino, the concierge; Ray, the bartender in the Q bar; and Yosef, the tea server in the Lobby Lounge.

Khaki silk trousers ($349) by LaSelle Amsterdam, charcoal wool blend turtleneck ($330) by Marc Cain Collections; gold pendants longline necklace ($60) by WS all from WJ&Wilson; gold chains bracelet ($195) by Dean Davidson from Hughes; “Viola� tobacco round tip heels ($290) by Miista from Footloose Shoes.

Out with the old Sleek renovation project adds modern look to 1980s rancher BY LAUREN KRAMER | P H OTO S BY D O N D E N TO N

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Come & admire the stylish & new creations from Denmark

B a r B a r a ’S B o u t i q u e The renovation was inspired by a photograph of a double-sided fireplace.


Now available at: Baden-Baden Boutique!

Baden-Baden Boutique

2485 Beacon Avenue, 250 655 7118

Barbara’s Boutique

2392 Beacon Avenue, 250 655 0372 ues

Baden-Baden Sidney, BC  |

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8


Over a period of 12 weeks, the 1982 rancher underwent a complete face-lift, morphing into a modern, open-plan abode filled with natural light, clean lines and meticulously designed bathrooms.


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HEN Paulette Zetler first saw her future home, a rancher at Ten Mile Point in 2014, it wasn’t quite love at first sight. The 1982 construction had a newly renovated kitchen but the rest of its 2,500 square feet was mostly original. Paulette knew the spotless, cream-coloured carpets wouldn’t last long in a family with two teens and an excitable dog, and the house didn’t have the open-plan feel she loved. The rooms were boxed-in by walls and separated by two large, 1980s-style brick fireplaces that weren’t the least her taste. Her husband Leon convinced her to sign the purchasing papers, which she did on the promise that a renovation would be in the cards. “I’d gone to see the house three times and the first two times I thought to myself ‘no, this house isn’t for me,’” she recalled. “But Leon could see the potential of what this home could be and really liked the fact that it was located on a 16,000-squarefoot lot. We both liked the rural feel of the property — the fact you feel like you’re out in the country but you’re just two minutes from a little village.” A year after the family moved in, a dramatic renovation began, one that would transform the four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home. Over a period of 12 weeks, the 1982 rancher underwent a complete face-lift, morphing into a modern, open-plan abode filled with natural light, clean lines, meticulously designed bathrooms with lots of well-hidden storage space and a userfriendly layout that far better suited this busy family of four. The idea for the renovation was inspired by one photo: an image of a fireplace Paulette stumbled across on the Internet. Rather than being set into a wall that extends to the ceiling, the black gas fireplace is double-sided. It separates two areas of the house without closing in either, and is visible from both sides. The precise fireplace that would make this design work was difficult to find as most fireplaces have to be enclosed in a wall that extends to the ceiling. Paulette found her solution at Capital Iron. “The friendly team at Stone Age Marble & Granite helped us through the design process and we used a product known as ‘neolith’ to encase the fireplace,” she said. “The fireplace was the most expensive part of the project, took the most time and created the most anxiety for the builder and the designer. But I was adamant I wanted it to look like the photo!” The renovation included removing the entrance hall cupboard, eliminating the walls and fireplaces separating the entrance hall, family room, living and dining rooms, replacing all doors, trim, hardware and flooring in the house, adding a lot of additional lighting, doing a thorough refresh in the en suite and children’s bathrooms and installing shelving and storage in the bedrooms, closets, laundry and bathrooms.


“I’d gone to see the house three times and the first two times I thought to myself ‘no, this house isn’t for me.’”

805 Fairfield Rd Victoria, BC V8V 0A7 T 250.595.3888 W  |

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8



Complete Your Vision blinds I motorization roller shades I custom draperies VIsIt our showroom

or call for a Complimentary Consultation

250.475.2600 3381 tennyson Ave. Victoria, BC

54  |

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8

To carry out her vision, Paulette hired Ines Hanl, owner of The Sky is the Limit Design. “We knew her work because she’d helped design my business, Serenity Esthetics in Oak Bay, my husband’s business, Aubergine Foods in Fernwood, and the kitchen in our previous home,” she said. The renovation was performed by Brian Balogh of Brian Balogh Interiors. Renovations are seldom smooth sailing, and this one wasn’t without its challenges, she admitted. “Often in renovations you don’t have as good a relationship with your contractor at the end of your project as you did in the beginning, but he did an amazing job and went above and beyond,” she said. “Our fireplace drove him insane, but he figured it out. Added to that, we had a complicated bathroom, but he figured out how to do that too. I have nothing but praise for him.” Pre-renovation, the master bathroom featured a bidet and a step-up shower that required users to bend down before entering. Inside the shower there was a cut-out to the drain and Paulette would find her foot slipping into it when she took a shower. “That bathroom was a slipping hazard and a disaster,” she reflected. Initially she wanted a jetted tub, but when she learned it would mean sacrificing space in her bedroom or closet she opted for a large, walk-in shower instead. The steps were removed and a sheet of glass from ceiling to floor meant that a shower door would not be required. A fan of clear, uncluttered countertops, she chose hidden shelving space behind the large mirrors above the vanity in both bathrooms. The children’s bathroom, a windowless space, was

3375 Tennyson Avenue, Victoria BC

illuminated with pot lights and lights above the mirror, as well as a wall of bright tile and a gleaming, white countertop. This bathroom featured a bathtub with a shower inside it. Paulette was determined not to have a sliding glass door in that shower. “It gets dirty so easily, and I have a son who is over six feet tall, which would’ve made it difficult for him to get in and out,” she explained. Instead, she chose a swivelling, single-pane glass enclosure for showering, accomplishing two tasks: when someone is bathing, the glass is pushed out to the side to prevent a feeling of confinement in the space, and for anyone showering, it prevents water from spraying beyond the tub. Storage, previously a big complaint in the rancher, was reimagined by Incredible Closets. The company put smart storage and shelving solutions in all four bedrooms and the laundry, adding a space for laundry baskets and an area for hanging clothes to dry. In the entrance hall, Splinters Millworks created a custom, white closet for coats and jackets, and more discreet storage on its opposite side, facing the family room. The home at Ten Mile Point now feels decidedly contemporary from top to toe. The living room, dining room, family room and entrance hall are open plan and the gas fireplace accentuates this and brings light into the space. “We love to entertain, and have a large extended family, so this new, open plan really suits our needs,” Paulette said. “The favourite part of our renovation is hands down the fireplace!” The project is ongoing and next on her list is a renovation of the kitchen and outdoor patio. “I’m confident that the team we used for this current project will be with us for the next and final stage,” she said.

Our new showroom is your new resource.  |

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8


Exceptional Custom Homes, Built for Luxury Living.

2017 Gold CARE Award winner





w g Ne tiN S Li

Custom West Coast Contemporary 1686 Lands End Road, North Saanich BC $2,695,000 + GST | MLS 386883 Situated on a ½ acre lot to capture spectacular ocean, island & mountain views. The lavishly appointed main level features an open concept with floor to ceiling windows. A chefs kitchen features a large quartzite waterfall island, spacious pantry and high-end appliances. Take the elevator or solid maple floating staircase up to the master with walk in closet, sitting area, private deck with views and a spa like ensuite with heated floors, soaker tub & walk in glass shower. Downstairs find additional living space including a legal 1 bdrm suite.

Embodiment of Modern Luxury 556 Delora Drive, Victoria, BC $1,248,000 | MLS 386702

©2017 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated.

Enter this custom built home to discover an artful array of textures & colours. Walls of glass provide a scenic backdrop in all principle rooms. The upper level is accented with a dramatic kitchen featuring striking cranberry coloured Italian faced cabinets, high-end SS appliances, a wine fridge, granite island & unique SS counters. A spacious living rm,enhanced with 15 ft ceilings & warmed by a gas fireplace. Lavish master retreat with a 5pc ensuite and extended his/hers walk-in. The location affords the convenience of nearby amenities, trails & parks, fine dining & the airport & BC Ferries an easy commute.

735 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 1B1

The local real estate agent with the international network: Scott Piercy, Private Office Advisor Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-686-7789

North Saanich Ocean Front

Updates with Ocean Views

Ocean, Mountain & City Views

10643 Blue Heron Road, North Saanich BC $2,099,000 | MLS 385609

10113 West Saanich Rd, North Saanich BC $1,099,000 | MLS 384171

3347 Hatley Drive, Victoria, BC $1,995,000 | MLS 375063

Warm & inviting waterfront home. Abundant natural light provided by large picture windows, which artfully frame the stunning ocean vistas. Hardwood flooring extends throughout the main. Outside, an extensive parcel with mature trees, manicured gardens, beach access & a private boat house for storing your kayaks etc. Set in North Saanich, a vibrant community with progressive amenities and close to the airport and BC Ferries.

This beautiful home looks west over Patricia Bay with glorious sunset ocean views. This 4 bed 3 bath home has been totally updated with attention to detail and many features throughout.Relax or entertain in the beautiful mature landscaped yard with water fall and lily pond. In the winter enjoy a rare sight of the Trumpeter Swans at your front door.

Savor spectacular views from this executive home located just steps from the Esquimalt Lagoon. This beautifully designed home has been constructed with the highest quality construction and eco-friendly materials. This 4,300 square foot home has 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms including a 1 bedroom suite with private entrance. Do not miss this Oceanview oasis with views from every room.

Willis Point Oceanfront Estate

Luxury with Unobstructed Views

Beachfront Luxury Living

7548 Mark Lane, Central Saanich, BC $2,995,000 | MLS 385430

201-5316 Sayward Hill Crescent $1,399,000 | MLS 386306

9165 Lochside Drive, North Saanich, BC $2,750,000 | MLS 385583

Exquisite estate on nearly 2 acres, with 150ft of ocean frontage. Natural aesthetic emphasized with slate, hardwood, & Pella Architect windows throughout. All principle rooms enjoy an unobstructed ocean view. Foreshore lease includes: boat-ramp, boathouse & potential for deep water dock. Nearby amenities are truly world class, with attractions such as Butchart Gardens and the 5 start Brentwood Bay Hotel and Spa within minutes.

Enjoy breathtaking, unobstructed ocean, mountain and golf course views from this 2,110 square feet, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo. The unobstructed vistas are viewed from the entry, kitchen, living areas, both bedroom and remarkably, the ensuites. Grocery shopping, restaurant dining and recreation activities are all within an easy walk.

Captivating beachfront home is a harmonious marriage of Westcoast beauty & state-of-theart luxuries. Completely redesigned and rebuilt in 2012. Clean modern interior allows dynamic 180 ocean views to be the focal point of all principal rooms. Celebrated feature: direct beach access through the private fenced yard. 180 feet of pristine low bank beach front invite you to spend countless hours casually strolling the sandy banks. Desirable location, minutes from Sidney the BC ferries & Airport.

Š2017 Engel & VÜlkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated.

2249 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria BC, Canada V8R 1G4

The local real estate agent with the international network: James LeBlanc, Private Office Advisor Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-812-7212


binab group uplandS Home awaiting your renovation ideaS 2450 Lansdowne Road

completely renovated oak bay Home 2350 Nottingham Road





ocean viewS from every room 629 Beach Drive

rare upl andS building lot 3165 Midland Road





Stunning c a d b o r o b ay Home witH ocean viewS 3749 Waring Place

brand new Home witH a Suite 1513 Bank Street





tHe SHafer on SoutHgate Only 4 Remaining

2 bed, 2 batH condo in tHe maddiSon 305-1765 Oak Bay Avenue




Starting at $699,000

executive J a m e S b ay town HouSe 16-675 Superior Street

i m m a c u l at e J a m e S b ay condo 2-277 Michigan Street











gorgeouS ardmore oceanfront Home

Stunning new QueenSwood eState

9700 Glenelg Avenue

2631 Queenswood Drive





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3220 Eagles Lake Road




$1,600,000 #1 Team North America & #2 Global Agent* Based on Engel & Vรถlkers 2016 statistics from VREB MLS





VA N C O u V E R


SOONon Point G N I COM e of Gord

d Gran

URBAN MASTERPIECE 1851 Crescent Road, Victoria: In the heart of Gonzales Bay this 4,810 sq. ft. exquisite contemporary custom home rises from the sandy shore to offer the discerning buyer 3 levels of astounding steel & concrete commercial construction. Every level offers magnificent views & private patios. Outdoor living space par excellence with infinity swimming pool & gas fireplace. Elevator for accessibility.

GLYNIS MACLEOD Personal Real Estate Corporation




Every home is a mansion, regardless of size, location or price. Please call if you are considering selling your home. 250.661.7232



529 Swanwick Road, Metchosin: Just 30 minutes from Victoria on a stunning 67-acre oceanfront parcel, this award-winning home is sited close to its 1,400 linear ft. of shoreline. The 10,700 sq. ft. home is cantilevered either side of an outdoor man-made “Canyon River”. Features include an automated boat house & ramp, covered swimming pool, tennis court, garage with hydraulic lift & caretaker’s cottage.


MILLION DOLLAR TRANSFORMATION $2,188,000 851 Sayward Road, Victoria: No expense has been spared in this newly renovated sunny 2,547 sq. ft. home with a young family’s paradise, almost 1.7 acres. Quality finishes throughout offer the modern family every convenience. Exceptional location with Lochside Trail, Cordova Bay Golf Course & Mattick’s Farm just steps from your door. Entertainer’s dream.


Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement



i n t rus t e d r e a l e s tat e t r a ns ac t ions.

yoUr neGotIatInG adVantaGe

2034 Chaucer Street, Oak Bay $1,950,000 +GST

I am proud to represent Maison Homes — a boutique building and development company offering unique homes in Victoria’s best neighborhoods. Congratulations to the Maison team on the completion of this exquisite new residence.

Sotheby’S InternatIonal realty Canada | dIreCt (250) 514-1966




Katherine is known for her innovative and creative approach to real estate, but more importantly, she is known for her genuineness and unmatched professionalism with her clients. She is a great listener, communicator, and is highly detail-oriented by nature, making her a top agent in Victoria. 250 516 4563 | H O M E S W E E T G R AY.C O M

Melissa Kurtz is a successful and sought after real estate agent in Greater Victoria. Melissa’s clientele consists mostly of referrals and returning clients. Melissa is known for offering her clients exclusive VIP treatment and continuing patience with looking for their perfect home. CURRENT LISTING 3220 EXETER ROAD $3,888,000


250 508 5325 | W E L C O M E H O M E V I C T O R I A .C O M

Sothebys 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.

We put our clients first!

if you’re planning to sell your home in the Greater Victoria area, i am prepared to help you move forward on your dreams of home ownership.

Who you Work With matters top 100 WeStern canaDa #1 remaX camoSun 2017 *multiple VreB mlS GolD aWarD Winner remaX 100% cluB remaX platinum cluB remaX cHairman’S cluB remaX Hall oF Fame

Book your complimentary marketing & Staging consult today! Call Cheryl directly at 250-413-7943 *1st quarter remax Stats

4440 chatterton Way, Victoria, Bc V8X 5J2

Let me heLp yOu every Step Of the way…


I want to make a reverse complaint, or ensure that my comments are treated with the same seriousness.



I am commending the above Realtor for being a star in her profession. Her clarity, negotiating ability, expertise and closing skills were professional, concise and over the top effective in my file. She communicates at a superior level and is mindful of her professional duties to her profession and to her client. I have never made a commendation of a Realtor before. I have bought and sold dozens of commercial and private properties in over 45 years. I am also a lawyer who deals with Realtors often. So I know them pretty well. I do not know the above Realtor socially or professionally and actually reside outside the province so my view is not solicited. But there are times when Realtors shine and rise to the top of their profession. I believe they should be acknowledged in the same manner you treat a criticism/complaint. She is a credit to your profession as she fulfills her ethical duty to her profession with grace and loyalty. Thank you for your attention to this matter. I give consent to share this email with members of your profession and the above named Realtor Regards, Christine M

4184 Palamos Street

Submitted to the Victoria Real Estate Board


8095 West Coast Road

1070 Tulip Avenue

Krista Voitchovsky • RE/MAX Camosun • 4440 Chatterton Way • Victoria, BC V8X5J2 Tel: 250-744-3301 • Cell 250-888-3256 •

Expect Excellence




Luxurious Waterfront Townhome


stroll along the waterfront walkway to this private,luxurious and spacious executive townhome on Victoria’s beautiful inner harbour! this 2,560 sq. ft. home on 3 levels boasts a stunning, upgraded gourmet kitchen by griffin Design Kitchens, exotic wooden floors, 4 bedrooms and 9-foot ceilings. in prestigious Mariners Landing close to all amenities!!!!

New ListiNg

Are you looking to sell? i have clients looking for properties in most areas of Victoria, and when they find them, expect to see five new executive listings come to market. we’re looking for: - Condo in Bayview One - Up to 1.25 M - waterfront or water View townhouse Cordova Bay - end Unit Condo in sayward Hill with large patio

Luxurious Condo


spectacular ocean and Mount Baker views from this elegant executive penthouse in sayward Hill. this beautiful home has Brushed Oak wood floors throughout, bright, open floorplan, with soaring 12 foot ceilings. gourmet kitchen with granite counters, two bedrooms plus family room and so much more. well-managed property and quality built by Jawl Construction.

(Not Currently Listed)

- Rancher in Matticks wood under 1.2 - townhouse in wedgewood estates with Master on the Main

CAMoSUn Phone 250.744.3301 · e: · W: 4440 Chatterton Way, Victoria, BC V8X 5J2




9310 Ardmore Drive, North Saanich



# 384039

2457 Tryon Road, North Saanich


A - 11178 Chalet Rd, North Saanich







# 386414








# 386969


# 386532



9625 Seventh Street, Sidney

personal real estate corporation

# 384186


10426 Eden Place, Sidney


Chace Whitson











# 386531

· 250 818 9338 tel · 778 426 2262 cel

2351 Amherst Drive, Sidney CHACEWHITSON.COM

Extraordinary Properties! Unrivalled Experience and Expertise Luxury Waterfront Specialist

EXECUTIVE UPLANDS ONE LEVEL LIVING This quintessential one level rancher emulates luxury and ease of lifestyle. Offering over 3400 sq. ft. of elegance, redesigned from top to bottom in sumptuous dĂŠcor; the discerning buyer shall not be disappointed! The floor plan is ideal for entertaining as well as private retreats. With three bedrooms and a den it offers the magical formula that everyone is looking for, plus cozy fireplaces in living room, great room and den. The kitchen and family room merge to create the most magnificent great room, with massive granite island and counters plus state of the art appliances. It sits as a jewel on a beautifully landscaped .45-acre level garden. The garden and patio are easily accessed through French doors from the great room and master bedroom. The master bedroom and luxury spa ensuite must be seen to be appreciated. Every detail, from the delicacy of the tile work, to the spacious spa shower, plus the massive walk-in closet, exceeds the highest of expectations. The circular drive leads to a double car garage. This is a most gracious home, a rare and highly sought-after commodity. Offered at $3,695,000 MLS 386906

SAXE POINT WATERFRONT Bring your imagination and creativity to this incredible oceanfront palate, currently two lots with beautiful south and west exposure. Currently the delightful 1279 sq. ft. cottage sits on one lot, making an ideal holding rental while redesigning the purpose of the property. The amazing views include not only the Olympics and tremendous marine activity but whale sighting as well. A rare find with easy beach access, ideal for kayaking and windsurfing‌ or tossing a hook into the sea. Offered at $1,950,000 as per current B.C. Assessment. MLS 386738

MACDONALD REALTY LTD. 755 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC | T 250.388.5882 | TF 1.877.388.5882 |

Call Leslee Farrell at 250.388.5882 for assistance with your local and global real estate needs.

456/458 Niagara Street

NOT TO BE OVERLOOKED This fantastic, solid, James Bay Investment property. Legal Duplex with 3rd, separately metered ground level suite (3 meters & units all with their own hotwater tank). Opportunity knocks.

Thinking of Buying or Selling? i can help.

South Oak Bay

COMING SOON! A Newly Built Family Home • 6,528 sq ft lot • Detached Garage • 4 Bed/4 Bath • Estimated Completion Early 2018

“outstanding professional” “superb communicator” “sensitive to the needs of our family” from some of Beth’s clients


Beth Krupa

Real eState PRofeSSional

250.885.1252 755 Humboldt Street

C 250.882.0562 | 755 Humboldt Street |

MACDONALD REALTY LTD. 250.388.5882 Victoria | Sidney | Salt Spring Island | Parksville

THe Vogue

Downtown living at its best Built Into One Of Victoria’s Original Heritage Structures, The 1892 Victoria Hotel. Restored in 2006, it has been said, The Vogue is “a perfect blend of modern building technology with the romance and magic of old-world design.” Live the downtown lifestyle with everything Victoria has to offer. Whether going to work, picking up groceries, shopping or meeting a friend for dinner; everything you need is only a short walk away. desirable as a rental property. Now is your chance to own a property within this landmark building within Victoria’s heritage district.

Visit The Vogue and see the many ways Victoria’s lifestyle fits you. Come see it for yourself!

Multiple Listings Available


250 .891.5987

755 Humboldt Street

Sylvia Therrien

1144 Fort Street, Victoria, BC

Personal Real Estate Corporation

The Value of Experience

568 Senanus Drive | $6,250,000

7178 Mark Lane | $2,995,000

3240 Uplands Place | $4,950,000

112 Prince Edward Drive | $1,999,000

6 Acres Peninsula Waterfront

Waterfront home located at the tip of Willis Point

935 Foul Bay Road | $3,185,000 Meticulously Restored Maclure Home






Sa L


South Oak Bay Home with Stunning Views


Custom Home in The Uplands

500-770 Fisgard Street | $1,295,000 Penthouse at The Historic Hudson • • 250.385.2033 • Cell: 250.888.6621 • Toll-free: 1.888.886.1286

MLS 386400

STUNNING CUSTOM BUILT CORDOVA BAY HOME — $1,059,900 — Nestled on a quiet cul-de sac in one of Cordova Bay’s finest locations. 3 bedroom home plus den and 4 bathrooms. High quality finishes include solid oak flooring, gas fireplaces in living and family rooms. Deluxe ensuite with jacuzzi tub and walk-in shower. Level entrance with large elevator to 2nd and 3rd floors and wheel chair accessible. Large level observation deck in backyard with fabulous ocean glimpses and mountain views. This is a must see. GURCHARAN CHAUHAN Direct: 250-744-4613 Office: 250-384-8124 1-800-665-5303 27 Years Experience in Residental & Commercial Real Estate in Greater Victoria

We’ll make it easy for you to achieve your goals!

Spectacular Ocean Views from most Rooms!


2020 Pauls Terrace, Gordon Head | $1,999,000 MLS 386300 s you come in the front door of this beautiful family home,

you will be impressed with the updated kitchen with granite counters and the great room with its extensive views and 16 ft. ceiling. Old growth fir reclaimed from Strawberry Vale School and wood floors lead to the multi-tiered decks with views across the straight to San Juan Island. The beautiful master bedroom on the main floor features a wood burning fireplace. There is a second wood burning fireplace in the rec. room and gas fireplace in the main living area along with a heat pump insuring this home stays cozy all year around. There are views from almost every room including the office as well as the lower level living area’s or guest suite. ROB DaVIES Ray MuRRay 778.350.5525 250.686.3789


2000 Oak Bay Ave. 2505908124

Serving you first and foremost since 1887. Duncan 250.746.8123

Salt Spring 250.537.5553

Sooke 250.642.3240

Victoria 250.384.8124

West Shore 250.478.9141

+1 250.896.3859

Personal Real Estate Corporation 1


r de ct Un ntra Co



w w NNeerriiccee PP

ldld SSoo



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Uplands 2014 Custom Home 6 Ensuite Bedrooms - 7173 Finished sq/ft 3160 Weald Road - $5,888,000


Luxury Fairfield Conversion 5 Beds/5 Baths - 3657 Finished sq/ft 15 Marlborough Street - $1,948,000


Luxurious Custom Home 4 Beds/4 Baths - 3637 Finished sq/ft 2701 Goldstone Heights - $1,980,000 Exquisite Uplands Estate 6 Beds/5 Baths - 36,150 sq/ft Lot 3320 Ripon Road - $3,299,000


ExceptionalCordova CordovaBay BayHome Home Exceptional Beds/3Baths Baths- -3204 3204Finished Finishedsq/ft sq/ft 44 Beds/3 803 Sea Sea Ridge RidgePlace Place- -$1,325,000 $1,299,000 803


Bear Bear Mountain Mountain Luxury Luxury Residence Residence 55 Beds/4 Beds/4Baths Baths- -3940 3940Finished Finishedsq/ft sq/ft 2144 Champions Way 2144 Champions Way--$1,488,000 $1,488,000


Mermaid Wharf CondoHome Exceptional Estevan 05 Beds/1 Finished sq/ftsq/ft Beds/2Bath Baths- 464 - 2990 Finished #423-409 Swift Street 2658 Musgrave Street--$354,000 $1,249,000

* #1 Realtor in Sales Pemberton Holmes 2014, 2015 & 2016 * Multiple MLS Gold Award Winner

new Custom CLassiC

Luxurious Custom Contemporary

Queenswood - $2,275,000

ten mile point - $2,750,000

Located on a private cul de sac in a secluded woodland setting this new built 5 bed, 5 bath home provides over 4900 sqft. on 2 levels with a versatile floorplan for family and guests. Custom finishing and millwork throughout blends character with modern conveniences. Low maintenance ½ ac. property. Convenient to Cadboro Bay Village and UVic. Tremendous value - call to view.

250-385-2033 250-888-0676

With clean lines and many quality design features this new contemporary home boasts functional one level living ideal for family and entertaining. Floor to ceiling windows surround the interior courtyard bringing the outside in. 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms including a lower media room. 4300 sqft finished set high on a ½ ac. landscaped property. Walk to Gyro Park. An absolute must see home. Call to arrange an appointment to view.

1144 Fort Street, Victoria

re FOaL S


2820 Beach Drive, Uplands $3,199,000 29,000 SF Lot | 6,000 SF Home




1776 Beach Dr, Oak Bay $1,900,000



250-385-2033 250-888-1570



3585 Beach Drive, Uplands $4,400,000



2504 Central Ave, Oak Bay $1,730,000


3350 Uplands Road, Uplands $3,200,000


3225 Ripon Rd, Uplands $3,400,000

Coming Soon:

.50 Acre Shawnigan Lake Waterfront

Callaghan O’COnnOr

3375 Upper Terr, Uplands $3,600,000

250-888-4579 • 74  |

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8





2428 Dalhousie St 4 Bed | 2 Bath MLS 386618 $1,100,000 NEW LISTING



2553 Vista Bay Rd 4 Bed | 2 Bath MLS 382007 SOLD

1017 Gosper Cres 3 Bed | 1 Bath MLS 385487 SOLD

134 Thetis Vale Cres 3 Bed | 3 Bath MLS 386180 SOLD

Contact our award winning team of dedicated real estate professionals Tasha Medve* and Saira Waters* *Personal Real Estate Corporation Modern Real Estate Team Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty Coast Capital Realty


208-2187 Oak Bay Ave Victoria BC, V8R 1G1

Is Tax a Problem for You? Basic Returns starting at


(5 Slips Maximum)

Personal & Corporate Income Tax

“ When you are at “home” some of the best living & most valuable living happen’s ” - Enjoy

Bookkeeping/Payroll/Bill Paying Financial Statements Consulting & New Business Advisory Consultation Specialists

No Appointment Necessary.

no appointment necessary

personal tax preparation

Call us: 250.652.7845

Basic 102-7851 EastReturns Saanich Rd. | 95 starting at (5 Slips Maximum)



250-592-4422  |

Peggy Yelland & Associates Inc. is a local

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8


GO GREEN Chinese vegetables for good taste and good health BY CHEF HEIDI FINK | P H OTO S BY D O N D E N TO N

76  |

F E B R U A R Y/ M A R C H 2 0 1 8


Create a space that is uniquely yours | established in 1980 |

T’S THAT time of year when I crave green vegetables like nothing else. Maybe I’m lusting for spring just around the corner; maybe I need a break from heavy winter foods. All I know is that dark leafy greens bring a hit of colour and vitamins to my table when I need them most. Whether it’s for their bright flavours, their dense nutrients, or for their “lightness” at a dark and heavy time of year, leafy greens are a perfect food for the late winter months. We all know leafy green vegetables are good for us, but we might not know how many different vegetables fall into that category! I particularly love the variety and versatility of Chinese greens. A quick trip to Chinatown provides an abundance of options, from delicate leafy greens to hearty and robust cabbage varieties. Their flavours are wonderful as well, ranging from the fresh, sweet mineral taste of yin choy, to the nuttiness of sui choy, to the sharp mustard hint in gai lan or yu choy sum. Best yet, Chinese greens can be used in both Asian-inspired recipes or as a substitute for kale, broccoli and chard. The Chinese Lunar New Year starts this year on Friday, February 16; green vegetables (symbols of longevity and vitality) will feature in the Chinese New Year’s Eve feast. This means that in the coldest months of the year, Chinese markets will have the greatest selection of these amazing vegetables. As a quick introduction, I will go over some basic, commonly available Chinese green vegetables, and provide three of my favourite recipes (two Asian, one Western) to use them in. Hopefully this will encourage us all to “eat our greens.”

Bok choy With a mild cabbage flavour and robust crunchy texture, this is one of the most popular and easily available of the Chinese green vegetables. It comes in three handy sizes: regular, baby and ultra-tiny choy mue (which are so small they can be cooked whole, uncut). Bok choy is best in stir-fries and Thai curries, but if sliced thinly enough, can be steamed or cooked in broth. I prefer to cook the stems and leaves separately, unless using the tiny bok choy mue.

Shanghai bok choy A pale green and more delicate version of its sister, bok choy, this comes in baby and choy mue sizes. Use the same way you would use regular bok choy.

mac renovations “A Contractor you can trust” 250.412.8012

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Sui choy

Gai choi

Yu choy


Shanghai bok choy  |

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Three sizes of bok choy

Yu choy with ginger

Yu choy, yu choy sum, choy sum This is one of the most popular greens in Chinese markets. Its leaves and stems are thinner and more delicate than bok choy, but it has a sharper and more intense flavour. Yu choy is versatile in the kitchen, a superstar in stir-fries, soups and platters of steamed greens. It’s a definite favourite of mine, especially the yu choy sum variation, in which the flowers are starting to emerge, making the flavour of these greens even stronger and more mustard-like.

Gai choy Sometimes referred to as Chinese mustard cabbage, this pale green, crinkly-leafed vegetable tastes very much like a cross between cabbage and mustard greens. It comes in both baby and regular sizes. Baby gai choy has a mild, sweet flavour and more delicate texture and is excellent for use in soups and steamed vegetables. Bigger, older gai choy has a delicious sharp and rich flavour and tastes wonderful in stir-fries and braises. It pairs well with pork dishes.

Sui choy Very similar to Napa cabbage, this sweet and nutty cabbage variety can be served raw or cooked. Thinly shredded, sui choy makes a delicious coleslaw (although be sure to serve it right away because this choy gives off a lot of juice once it has been dressed). Sui choy tastes wonderful in a stir-fry and in a soup. One of my favourites, and it’s widely available to boot.

Gai lan Also known as Chinese broccoli, this absolutely delicious, leafy green has a small broccoli floret at the top of every stalk, with an abundance of dark green leaves. Gai lan tastes remarkably like broccoli — if broccoli had a suave upscale cousin. Everything is edible on this plant: stalk, florets and leaves. Gai lan is as versatile as yu choy sum, and can be used in any preparation you can think of. It is normally “regular sized” but at this time of year, you can find baby gai lan at Chinese markets.

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Ong choy Also known as Chinese water spinach, ong choy is the first green vegetable on this list that is not in the brassica family of vegetables. With hollow stems, a crunchy texture and a very mild flavour, this is a great vegetable to stir-fry with strong flavours: garlic, chilis or fermented soy paste.

Yin choy Available seasonally, yin choy is known as amaranth greens in English. These “greens” often grow with a bright, fuschia heart in the centre of their leaves, giving them a stunning look next to all the other greens in the market stall. Yin choy has a bright mineral flavour — mildly sweet — and a soft texture. Its fuchsia markings disappear when cooked, leaving the eater with a pile of delicious pure greens to eat.

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greens are tender and infused with garlic. If necessary, add a bit of water to the pan while the greens are cooking to prevent burning. Remove the lid in the last minute of cooking to evaporate some of the liquid. Serve the greens immediately or allow to cool to room temperature to be served as a kind of salad.

CHINESE GREENS IN SAVOURY BROTH Serves 4. A warming, savoury recipe to add to your repertoire, this simple bowl of noodles and greens is my go-to in the late winter. It’s reminiscent of popular ramen-style bowls.

Chinese greens in savoury broth.

STIR-FRIED GREENS WITH GARLIC Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish An excellent way to get your family members to eat (and enjoy) their greens! Try this with any Chinese green vegetables you like, or with a mixture of greens. 1 to 1½ lbs Asian greens (try bok choy, gai lan, shanghai bok choy, ong choy or any other robust Asian green) ½ tsp soy sauce 1 to 1½ Tbsp salted soy beans, with liquid, crushed with the back of a spoon 1 Tbsp water 2 Tbsp vegetable, grapeseed or peanut oil 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced ½ tsp dried chili flakes, or 2 red Thai chilis, minced Prepare the greens. Wash well, then use a knife to separate the soft leaves from the stems. Slice the stems into ½-inch pieces, and cut the leaves into larger slices. Keep the stems and the leaves in separate bowls. In a small bowl, mash the salted soy beans as best you can. Add the soy sauce and water. Heat a large skillet over medium or medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and chilis and stir-fry vigorously for 30 to 40 seconds, until garlic is sticky and golden. Now add the prepared stems to the pan to the pan and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add a little water to the pan if things seem to be burning. Now add the leaves or soft florets and stir several times. Add the salted soybean mixture, stir well, cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until

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1 lb tender Chinese greens (sui choy, yin choy, baby gai choy, yu choy, spinach, baby bok choy, etc.) 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 4 green onions, sliced thinly (use both white and light green parts) 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 3 cm chunk of ginger, peeled and chopped finely 2 - 3 dried chilis, broken in half (optional) 4 cups chicken broth, homemade or store bought

1 Tbsp soy sauce ¾ lb noodles of your choice (thin Chinese egg noodles, soba, somen, udon, spaghettini, rice noodles, etc.)

Optional: sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar Garnish: sliced green onion, cilantro, crushed chilis or chili oil Prepare the greens by washing, shaking dry and removing any leaves with brown or yellow spots. Cut the greens into small pieces, using both stems and leaves. Set aside. Heat a large saucepan over medium or medium-high heat. Add oil, then the green onions, garlic, ginger and chilis. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant, then add the chicken broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer very gently for 8 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine sieve suspended over a large bowl. Pour the broth back into the saucepan and heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 tsp of salt to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the noodles of your choice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until done to your liking, anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the type of noodle. While the noodles are cooking, add the greens to the pot of simmering broth. Time this so that greens are bright green and just barely cooked when the noodles are done. It’s best to do this when the noodles are very close to being done. When the noodles are done to your liking, drain them well and immediately drizzle them with a bit of toasted sesame oil. Divide the noodles into four soup bowls, ladle the brothy greens over the noodles, and garnish each bowl with sliced green onion, cilantro, crushed chilis or whatever you desire.

GREENS, GARLIC AND FETA WITH PASTA SHAPES Serves 4 A quick and simple recipe that turns an abundance of greens into a lip-smacking meal. This is a wonderful Western twist on Chinese gai lan. ½ pound dry pasta shapes, such as penne, fusilli, serpentini or orecchiette 1 large bunch gai lan 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided 6 cloves garlic, minced 2-5 anchovy fillets, minced (about 2 tsp) ¼ tsp crushed red chilis (optional) ½ tsp dried oregano ½ cup water ¼ tsp salt, or more, to taste 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped ¼ cup minced fresh parsley 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (preferably sheep feta)

Gai lan in oyster sauce.


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Stir-fried greens with garlic.

Prepare the gai lan by rinsing well in water. Then strip the leaves from the stems and chop the leaves into pieces or shreds no bigger than 1.5-inch squares. Cut the stems into small slices. Set your prepared greens aside. Bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 1 tsp of salt and the pasta. Stir frequently in the first few minutes to keep pasta pieces separate. Cook 8 to10 minutes, until done to your liking. Meanwhile, combine 2 Tbsp of the oil, anchovies, garlic, crushed chilis and oregano in a saucepan. Now turn the heat on to medium and heat gently, stirring almost constantly, until the anchovy has dissolved and the garlic is fragrant. Add half a cup of water, salt and the greens. Increase the heat to high, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Uncover, stir, reduce heat to low and re-cover pan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until vegetables are bright green. Uncover and simmer 3 more minutes. Add tomatoes with a sprinkle more salt and continue to simmer until the pasta is done. When the pasta is finished, drain, reserving about a cup of the cooking water. Add pasta to the pan with the sauce, along with the parsley, the remaining Tbsp of olive oil and a bit of pasta water. Stir to combine, then simmer together to meld flavours, about 1 minute. Add more pasta water if the dish seems too dry. Stir in the cheese and serve. JAGUAR ALL WHEEL DRIVE JAGUAR ALL WHEEL DRIVE



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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

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“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.”


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.

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Andre and Katia Brosseau of Innov8 Digital Solutions.

“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. 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 86  |

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known as an excellent employer; I want to create a positive environment that people want to come to.” Andre and wife Katia are also committed to making the communities in which they operate a better place. Innov8 acquired its Vancouver Island operations in late 2016 but already a number of charities are benefitting from generous donations. As Innov8’s Marketing Manager, Katia is in charge of delegating funds among a growing number of requests. She is looking forward to forming relationships with new charities in Victoria area. “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.”

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THE INFLUENCERS Meet Victoria’s finest — some of the business people who drive this city — as they discuss success, vision and personal satisfaction. Boulevard presents: The Influencers, photos by lia crowe and DoN DeNToN words by Darcy Nybo Makeup by JeN clark production assistant Vellar cHou

The Royal BC Museum The stunning setting for Boulevard’s special feature, The Influencers, is Victoria’s Royal BC Museum, a world-class destination and anchor of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. But it hasn’t always sat on the corner of Belleville and Government streets. Founded in 1886, it moved from a single room in the old “birdcages” to the former Supreme Court building, and then in 1898, to the East Wing of the newly constructed Legislative Buildings. The museum made the move to a new building on its present site in 1968, as a Canadian centennial project. The architect was J. A. Cochrane and construction was led by Farmer Construction. The museum’s architecture is a clear reflection of the era in which it was built, and showcased beautiful natural materials from around the province and the world. The gray granite seen throughout came from the same quarries on Nelson Island that produced stone for the BC Legislative Assembly’s lower walls. White and gray-green marble was imported from Carrara, Italy, but cut and polished locally. An important element of the new museum site was the commission of a number of works of contemporary art: they can be seen in the reflecting pool by the BC Archives; behind the exhibition building and in the open space nearest the Legislative Assembly. One of the most iconic is “Man and Science,” a 10-foot-tall granite sculpture by Gerhard Class, which greets visitors as they walk towards the museum’s glass lobby.

Amrit LALLi Financial Planner, investors Group “Gratitude for what you have is an important ingredient in success. Each day I am grateful for my health, my family and the clients who allow me to be a meaningful part of their lives.” 250-727-9191 en/amrit_lalli

Dr. Kim mcQueen naturopathic Doctor/co-Founder rumble Supershake “I work with people to get them to their optimal state of well-being; whether they are an Olympic athlete, new mom or anyone looking to feel their best. I’m often described as tenacious, which has served me well in business. I’m determined and not afraid to double down when there is hard work to be done.” 778-433-4935 |

Lori muñoz mALcoLm community Strategist, Founder, HeartPress Pr “Through new and innovative ways, we are constantly striving to make a bigger impact as a connector between the business and non-profit sectors. Every day at HeartPress PR, we take great joy in finding solutions to make it easier to be philanthropic. Our motto is: Helping Businesses Do Good.” 250-216-5480

ANDREW WADE Mortgage Broker, DLC Modern Mortgage Group “I treat my clients like they are family. It’s important to get to know who they are, pinpoint their needs and help them prepare for the unexpected! I believe there is a solution to every problem. I strive to create a customer-first focussed experience where they get the best mortgage product for their needs and not just the best rate.” 250-886-1959 FINDMEAMORTGAGE.CA

EMILY ROYER Director of Sales, Marketing and Operations, Pacific Landing “We are community builders. In today’s world, we have a responsibility to be about more than just making a profit. Beyond money, we strive to be a positive contributor to our social environment, our ecological surroundings, and the personal growth and wellbeing of our customers. These are the values we live by at Pacific Landing and the fuel that pushes us forward.”

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micHAeL wALSH Sober coaching | interventions “I know what it’s like to want to change your relationship to alcohol or drugs. Some people connect out of desperation; others appear to be successful in life, but are really struggling to maintain sobriety. Working with individuals and/or families, I utilize evidence-based tools and strategies to develop customized change plans for each client. Discretion is assured…always. I tell my clients, ‘Quitting is easy. The hard part is recreating your life and making the change process worthwhile, meaningful and purposeful.’ That’s where I come in. I can help because I’ve been there.” 250-896-8494

LinDA rAjotte jewellery Artist, Silver ocean Designs “Success is making a difference by treating people with kindness and respect. When I was a mathematics teacher, I encouraged students to love and appreciate the art of mathematics. Now, as an artist who creates wearable art, I strive to make people feel valued. If you love what you are doing, you feel fulfilled. You can bring joy, energy and passion to others through your work.� 250-727-1232

Dr. DArren BeHn eye Surgeon, Victoria eye “You can plan for success, but ultimately you need the courage to move forward. Find the confidence to manage unforeseen challenges, and the vision to view obstacles as opportunities.” 250-598-5665

Dr. oLiViA DAm eye Surgeon, Victoria eye “I live by the words, ‘Change the world by changing ourselves.’ For true success, we need to understand we have the capacity to influence the world. It all starts from within. When we sincerely recognize the good and bad within ourselves, learn from it and transform ourselves, we become true influencers who can impact all that surrounds us. 250-598-5665 |

GeoFFrey BeAttie owner, Barclay’s Fine jewellers “Warren Buffett said, ‘If you don’t know jewellery, then know your jeweller.” I love that I help people capture, preserve and commemorate their special moments through jewellery. Being successful in today’s world requires courage, action and caution. Have some fun and seek out information. Connect with other successful people. I believe successful people enjoy seeing success in others.” 250-592-1100

DiAne reGAn Founder, triangle Healing Products “Triangle Healing Products is a family business and a fixture in our community. We constantly learn about the latest health products and treatments available. We love to share our research and answer questions with real-life experience examples. Many of our clients and their families have been with us for decades. We work with companies that stand behind everything they market to us — and we service what we sell.” 250-370-1818

DeeDrie BALLArD realtor and Philanthropist re/mAX camosun “The charities I support have raised over $10 million for people in need. My work as a realtor and a philanthropist has opened doors in ways I could not have imagined. Steve Jobs once said, ‘The people who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who often do.’ Sometimes, being just a little crazy does help. I also think you need to be an influencer. To do that, you require kindness, passion and determination. You also need to be open to opportunities that are often right in front of you, but sometimes difficult to see. Most important of all, it’s being aware of the great responsibility in the choices you make.” 250-888-5538

miKe eDwArDSon General Manager “Quality, Hard Work, Transparency and Integrity. This is the foundation of our team and the reason why our reputation will stand the test of time.”

SjoerD meyer operations manager “There is a lot of intention here to continuously better ourselves. At every turn, we say ‘that was good, how can we do it better?’ This goes for every person at Villamar and every aspect of the work.”

ViLLAmAr conStruction 778-351-4088 |

crAiG younG cFo “Our passion is to lead the market in delivering exceptional homes and technology. Our goal is to hear our clients and partners talking about it.”

DAn ScHuetze ceo

DuAne enSinG Principal Designer

“Jim Rohn’s quote says it best: ‘The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.’”

“Leadership and innovation is not a formula at Villamar. We look forward to spending time serving, empowering, caring and mentoring our team in humility.”

KeitH BAKer Principal, Keith Baker Designs inc. “I think it’s important to frame things in the ‘possible’ and maintain a true openness to the potentials that exist. Also, remain curious enough to explore the unusual, and have a willingness to persevere through the unknown. My success is shared with, and made possible by my exceptionally talented team. By remaining confident and trusting in my instincts and experience, we achieve creative solutions.” 250-384-1550

cHArLotte rAy mortgage Specialist “I take every opportunity to listen to my clients, co-workers, family, friends, people of all ages and walks of life. They all have something to teach us; compassion, inspiration, advice. I’ve dealt with people from many countries and nations throughout the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. Listening, combined with gratitude, has allowed me to learn, grow and excel as a successful business person.”” 250-589-9912

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real estate Advisor, engel & Völkers

real estate Advisor, engel & Völkers

“Success starts long before you start working. Honesty and integrity are not formed overnight; it takes years. In my opinion, without those traits you can’t be truly successful. Having a good reputation and being a decent person are the foundations for success. Your standing in the community, especially in a small city like Victoria, follows you around. To be successful in real estate, you must have a good reputation and keep that honesty and integrity — while keeping your client’s best interests at heart.”

“To be a top-producing realtor, it takes 100 per cent dedication to your clients and putting their needs in front of your own. My brother and I have a work ethic and a desire to succeed that was instilled in us from our father. He is an amazing people person and we all learned from him the importance of people skills and to work smart not just hard. We both embraced that, which is essential in real estate. Balance and prioritizing is extremely important.”

enGeL & VöLKerS 778-265-5552 |

KAte weLLS Director of operations, Drivewise Bc “Great people are at the heart of success. Put the right team in place, trust them and create a culture of learning. That’s how big ideas emerge and take shape. Being open to change means you see more opportunities, especially when you’re staring down a major challenge. On those days, and frankly, every day, I smile a lot and enjoy running my business to the fullest.” 1-888-540-9473

royAL oAK BuriAL PArK 250-658-5621 |

cryStABeLLe B. FoBLer cim - executive Director “To succeed in life, you need to have faith, love what you do and put in some good old-fashioned hard work. Be enthusiastic! Don’t be afraid to care for or about people and seek consensus whenever possible. We do this by continuing a legacy of care and compassion and delivering on our commitment to the people in our community.”

LorrAine FrAcy manager of client Services “I believe compassion is the art of caring and listening with arms and heart wide open. We know how hard it is to have the talk, and let those we love, have our wishes known. I am honoured to help with those talks. I know the difference it makes.”

iLAn HiGHton manager of Grounds operations “Success is knowing you’ve professionally served the needs of members of your own community in what are emotionally complex circumstances. It means having empathy and a heart for people, and being supportive and sensitive to their unique needs.”

enGeL & VöLKerS teAm Victoria, Bc

“We share a common vision: excellence. We share a common business ideal: passion, competence and integrity. We have taken what we have in common and created the uncommon.”

jAnice LonG Principal Designer, calla Design “The ability to interact with clients is key, along with enthusiasm for the projects that we do. Personality and vision are paramount. Calla is a boutique retail space that offers full interior design services. We are unique in that we offer an eclectic mix of new furniture, vintage, original local art, home accessories, giftware and jewellery. Some of our lines are exclusive to us.” 778-265-8002

DAVe AnD joAnnA cHALmerS co-owners, woodcraft Furniture “Be passionate about life. Success for us is defined by our passion for what we do and the relationships we forge with our customers. We choose to sell products that endure the test of time, build and support our local community, and leave the world a better place for our children.” 250-598-1113

DeL eLGerSmA, B.A., j.D. Beacon Law centre “We keep at the top of our game by constantly innovating to add value for our clients. We are 100 per cent present for the client sitting before us, and we are not afraid to do things a little differently. We apply the practical wisdom gained from 25-plus years of experience.” 250-656-3280 |

LiAnne mAcDonALD, LL.B Beacon Law centre “We strive to make the law assessable and understandable — complexity to clarity — and to provide exceptional care and trusted advice through significant milestones, such as the start of a family, purchase of a home, start of a business or the passing of a loved one.” 250-656-3280 |

cALLAGHAn o’connor *Prec, real estate Advisor, engel & Völkers Vancouver island “As my good pal JW always says: ‘Chop wood, carry water. And once you finally achieve enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.’ Do your work, do it well and when you find success, do it again.” 250-888-4579 callaghan

SHAren wArDe royal LePage coast capital “I am blessed with 30 years of forming relationships with buyer, sellers and their families. Homes are usually a safe place where you create memories. Unfortunately, not everyone has that in their lives. I’m an active member of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. We proudly raise funds for our four Women and Children’s Shelters in Victoria and help rebuild lives. Helping you is what we do.” 877-812-6110 |

PAuL LAmoureuX executive coach, the next Level – coaching for excellence “Success starts with a positive mindset. Create a powerful start to your day by acknowledging how much you have to be grateful for as soon as you wake up. A positive attitude helps you see that each challenge is a learning opportunity. Every day I teach our kids that life is short, so live full out with a positive mind set.” 250-920-8736

SeABrooK DeVeLoPmentS 778-747-3373

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Lavish chateaux and lush gardens grace the Loire Valley


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Château de Chenonceaux. At left, Chateau de Villandry.



ATHERINE DE Medici would have walked right here,” says Nicolas, our guide, as he leads us to the manicured edge of one of the first Renaissance gardens in France. Eight triangular lawns spread out before us, delineated by wide footpaths and flower beds that burst with spring blossoms. At the centre is the original fountain, now restored, as to when Catherine’s love rival, Diane De Poitiers, created this garden in the 16th century. I’m in the Loire Valley, where gorgeous gardens — and often titillating stories — are as plentiful as the chateaux they adorn. Behind us is the Chateau of Chenonceau, perhaps the most elegant of all the valley’s castles as it gracefully straddles the River Cher. What better place to be inspired to garden — and be captivated by the history and romance of the Renaissance — than in the valley that’s known both as The Garden of France and the Valley of Kings? Over several centuries, French royalty, nobility and the ordinary wealthy built hundreds of chateaux in this verdant valley. Their historic gardens were  |

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a key reason for UNESCO recognizing a 280-km stretch of the Loire as a World Heritage Site in 2010. I’m spending a week visiting a variety of gardens, learning their stories and savouring their unique charms. Here at Chenonceau, for instance, we learn that it’s known for its bouquets of cut flowers, and that the head florist holds the title of “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (Best Artisan in France). We also learn about the intriguing love triangle that played out here. King Henry II had given Chenonceau to Diane, his mistress. When Henry was killed in a jousting match, his wife became Queen. “She [Catherine] loved this castle,” explains Nicholas, “and was upset that the mistress had it.” So Catherine kicked out Diane and gave her another castle down the road. Perhaps most interesting of all, Catherine did not destroy Diane’s garden in a fit of revenge. She simply created her own nearby, similar in style and size, but with a pond instead of a fountain. After a sumptuous lunch in Chenonceau’s glassed L’Orangerie, where tender citrus trees where once overwintered, we head to the chateau itself and wander from room to room admiring masterpiece paintings, floor-to-ceiling tapestries and ornately furnished rooms. Throughout, we’re dazzled by fresh floral arrangements, including towering urns of pink peonies and rustic baskets filled

with mosses, tiny trees and — since it’s spring — bird eggs. Chenonceau is the most visited, privately owned castle in France, but if you’re looking for grandeur on the largest of scales, then city-sized Chambord is a must. Picture, if you can, all 20 arrondissements of Paris. That’s the size of Chambord, originally a weekend hunting retreat for Francois I, now a national historic monument. Surrounded by a game-filled forest, the castle is fascinating, especially its entwined double-spiral staircase, thought to have been inspired by Leonardo da Vinci (one of the artists Francis brought back from Italy after his battles there). However, I’m most interested in climbing to the top of one of Chambord’s turreted towers for the best view of the newly recreated formal French garden. After years of historical research — and the largesse of an American philanthropist to the tune of 3.5 million Euros — the garden opened last spring, based on the original 18th century design. Stepping outside into the sunshine from the cold, dark interior (you’d never know this castle has more than 300 fireplaces!), we gaze out upon ... I guess it’s a garden, but it’s so breathtaking in scope and so far from what I imagined, that it takes some time to digest. “The Renaissance garden has flowers. The French garden has no flowers,” our guide tells us, as if reading our minds. However

Gardens may be our focus, but we can’t ignore the fact that the Loire Valley is also a major wineproducing region.

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there are trees, more than 600, along with hundreds of shrubs and rosebushes, and four enormous fleurs-de-lis cut from the expansive lawns. The garden’s crushed gravel paths are wide enough to drive on, in tune with the enormity of the castle itself. After Chambord, we need a reality check, or at least a garden on a bit more of a human scale. We find it at Chateau Villandry, the last major chateau to be built in the valley. As with Chambord, its gardens are substantially changed from the

FabricationS original. At the start of the 20th century, a new owner decided to meticulously recreate the Renaissance gardens. Today, his great grandson, Henri Carvallo, watches over the realm. When we arrive early one morning, we have the place almost to ourselves; three levels of living art that include a renowned kitchen garden (imagine perfect rows of purple basil, blue leeks and green lettuce); an ornamental garden with themes of love and music (heart-shaped boxwood beds filled with red tulips, for example); a water garden that reflects the clouds and trees; and a contemporary garden where lilacs scent the air. Henri tells us his staff of 50 grow 110,000 annual vegetables and plants each year, all without pesticides or herbicides, adding, “It comes with effort.” Gardens may be our focus, but we can’t ignore the fact that the Loire Valley is also a major wine-producing region. The limestone that lends itself so well to castle construction is critical to growing grapes here. “It’s like a sponge,” winemaker Denis Retiveau tells us through an interpreter as we enjoy a wine-tasting cruise on a traditional riverboat near the village of Montsoreau.

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Château de Chenonceaux.

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As we motor up the Vienne — a large tributary of the Loire — we try a variety of Retiveau’s white, red and rose wines while learning that grape roots will reach down 30 metres to find precious water stored in the limestone. At the nearby Fontevraud Abbey, one of the largest surviving monasteries from the Middle Ages, and where we’ll spend a night, nuns and monks once grew 1,000 hectares of grapes for wine. In the Middle Ages, “there were too many diseases to drink the water,” explains our guide. Interestingly, the monks of the abbey were allotted only a quarter litre per day while the women got half a litre — no doubt one of the benefits of having a woman run the place! At the end of our week we return to our garden theme with a stroll through the Oriental Park of Maulévrier, the largest Japanese garden in Europe, then head next door to Chateau Colbert, a 17th century gem. Perhaps it’s the golden light of late afternoon, or the sadness I always feel when something good is coming to an end, but it’s here, in the small potager of Chateau Colbert that I experience an unmistakable je ne sais quoi. The head gardener, who came here from the potager du Roi at Versailles, snips chives, digs up tiny red, white and pink radishes, and cuts open cloves of pungent garlic. In the greenhouse, we inhale the sweet scent of basil and chew on the leaves of mertensia maritima, a plant that tastes unmistakably like raw oysters. That night we eat in the chateau’s gilded dining room and sleep under its lofty ceilings, surrounded by paintings that celebrate the pleasures of a lucky few in bygone centuries. Fortunately, their gardens live on for all of us to enjoy. For more information about the region, see: Loire Valley tourist board – Pays de la Loire tourism – Atout France –  |

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Right as rain in ‘Renny’ A wonderful winter escape to Port Renfrew BY SUSAN LUNDY | P H OTO S BY J O S H UA L AW R E N C E S T U D I O S I N C

“We arrived as the incoming tide crashed over the rocks below our deck, welcomed by the sight of a sea otter, lying on its back, happily riding the swells.” 130  |

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T WASN’T difficult to pack for our winter getaway to Port Renfrew. The weather forecast predicted 100 per cent chance of rain for both days we planned to be there. No matter. I’m a true-blue West Coast baby and my closet contains a good pair of waterproof pants, a thick, warm raincoat and woolly socks. Good to go. Throw in a cooler containing a bottle of red, another of bubbly and a few snacks, plus a bag with a good book or two and … really good to go. I’d been counting down the days to this winter escape, planned for early January. The holiday season was a swirl of visiting adult children, dish-washing and cooking, not to mention work and ... oh ... throw in the fact I organized a New Years Eve event for 200 people. My husband, Bruce, was at my side the entire holiday season but it was all such a blur that by the time we headed to Port Renfrew, I hardly recalled his name. It was definitely time for a getaway.

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Wharf-side accommodations at Wild Renfrew. At right, outdoor fire pit.

Enter Wild Renfrew, a resort with cottages that hug the dock at Snuggery Cove, right next to the Renfrew Pub (handy). Here you can choose from wharf-side accommodations for one to two people in cabins that open right onto the pier or — our choice — two-bedroom beachfront cottages with decks overlooking a private beach, access to our own personal outdoor fire pit and a mesmerizing view of the Port of San Juan. As well, there’s a private, luxury penthouse option that sits higher up in the trees. (Wild Renfrew also owns Wild Coast Cottages, many of which are currently on the market. They were visible across a small bay, cliffside and adjacent to the newly constructed Pacific Gateway Marina.) We arrived as the incoming tide crashed over the rocks below our deck, welcomed by the sight of a sea otter, lying on its back, happily riding the swells. I confess that the concept of relaxing causes me a bit of stress. So many leisure opportunities … how to fit them all in? A cribbage board on the table beckoned, but so did the delightfullooking tub. There was also iPhone Scrabble … and we both brought notebooks to write in, books to read, the iPad for movies. On top of that — Port Renfrew boasts a bevy of nature to be explored, a town to discover … and then there’s the pub, just steps away. So, no time to waste when there’s leisure on the line! We buttoned and zipped into rain gear and strolled in the

heavy mist up and along the main road as dusk gently turned to dark. Back at our cosy abode, we opened a bottle of Blue Grouse bubbly and set up a crib game. Tempted by the cottage’s large screen TV, we turned on the hockey game. However, watching the Canucks is too stressful to be considered leisure, so we kept the sound off. I “crushed” Bruce at cribbage (by two points), the Capitals crushed the Canucks (by 100 goals) and then we turned to Scrabble, where my three-point advantage again put me in the winner’s circle. (I felt really bad about that. Ha.) A delicious dinner at the pub finished up the day and we retired to the super comfy king bed, lulled to sleep by the sound of the wind and wake outside. The next day dawned with a downpour, but by 11 am, the heavenly taps turned off and we didn’t even need our rain gear as we made our way through twisting, curving trees to the beautiful Botanical Beach, where the breakers crashed on the shore and intriguing rock formations and tide pools sat underfoot. We watched a pair of bald eagles mess with a golden eagle as a seagull flapped quickly away, screeching “I’m outta here!” Later, we travelled back to “Renny” — as the locals apparently call it — where we stocked up on groceries with plans to cook our own feast in the cottage’s full kitchen. (Note: winter getaway lovers heading to Port Renfrew in early January might want to shop ahead of time. The Renfrew Pub was available for

I could hardly speak, looking at these magnificent, giant trees.

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meals, but the town’s two restaurants were closed and while the general store does well in stocking a variety of items, gourmet cooks may be left wanting.) With a population of less than 200 residents, Port Renfrew is a small, friendly community built on fishing and logging industries. Recreational opportunities abound and while the summer here is exquisite — think fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and lazing in the sun on myriad beaches — the winter months are just as fab. The trip to Port Renfrew from Victoria via the West Coast Road (Highway 14) is visually spectacular with high, ocean-view vistas and glistening rainforests. There are lots of opportunities to explore the pounding surf at French, China, Mystic and Sombrio beaches. Don’t miss stopping at Shirley Delicious Cafe (just past Sooke) and, if it’s open, nearby Sheringham Distillery (try the lavender gin). And the tiny surfing Mecca of Jordan River is always fun to drive through. You can also get to Port Renfrew from Duncan via the Pacific Marine Circle Route, which winds through pristine forests and by gleaming lakes on a now-fully-paved road. Our second night, we were determined to light the outdoor fire pit and enjoy a glass of  |

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wine, flames crackling as we sat right on the water’s edge. Unfortunately the strike of the match somehow set off the rain and we retreated to a table and chairs on our covered deck. Here, with all the lights turned off, our senses revved up as we listened to the sound of the ocean and soft patter of rain, and breathed in the sweet and salty fresh air. We packed up the next morning, happy we’d met our leisure quota, but with the day’s exploration just beginning. First stop was Avatar Grove, a 15-minute drive from Wild Renfrew (along some serious potholes). This grove of old-growth red cedars and Douglas-firs with lichen-draped branches, ferns and mossy outcrops absolutely took my breath away. I could hardly speak, looking at these magnificent, giant trees. We hiked the upper grove to “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree” — an enormous red cedar with a threemetre-wide burl — and then the lower grove as well. Bridges, wooden walkways and steps make these hikes fairly easy. The sun burst from the clouds and water droplets on the lichen glistened. Magic. While we’ve explored many of the beaches along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail — which traces the shoreline below Highway 14 between Jordan River and Port Renfrew — Sandcut Beach wasn’t among them, and so it demanded a stop as we drove back to Victoria. After an easy, 10-minute hike down to the beach (the 92 stairs are much more noticeable on the way up), Sandcut emerged in typical West Coast style with pounding waves, big round rocks and yet more interplay between golden and bald eagles. But its unique feature — a stunning waterfall right onto the beach — makes it a must-see spot, especially in the fall, winter and spring months. We arrived home satiated with experiences and the glow of discovery. Rain or shine — winter in Renny is a good place to be. “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree at Avatar Grove.

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Far Northern Topography, oil on canvas, by Nicholas Bott.




ONG CONSIDERED one of the masters of Canadian landscape art, Vancouver-based Nicholas Bott is having his sixth solo show at Madrona Gallery. “Nicholas has been with us since we opened our doors in 2010,” says gallery owner Michael Warren. “I love his angles, the way that he creates form in his work. Plus his colour palette is strong and his images have punch … he’s one of my favourite artists.” Currently in his mid-70s and with a declining output, Bott is now represented by only three galleries, including Madrona. Despite his exclusive focus on West Coast imagery, the Bott brand has gone global: art lovers from Germany to Singapore avidly buy his canvases, which fetch up to $15,000. He’s so collectible that most of his paintings will sell on the first day of the exhibition. “People on our ‘request list’ get sent a preview email of the works for sale and on opening day the phone just

starts ringing,” explains Warren. “We’ll have about 20 paintings and I expect that 80 percent of them will go immediately.” Originally from the Netherlands, Bott moved to British Columbia in the late 1950s and studied art at UBC and Chicago School of Art. Eventually, his artistic interpretation of Canada’s rugged landscapes became an updated Post Impressionism that was combined with influences ranging from Van Gogh to the Group of Seven. “He’s got a very recognizable style … one that people really respond to,” adds Warren. “Nicholas has become an icon of Canadian art.” Running from March 14-28 at 606 View Street. For information, see Madrona Gallery.


Welcome to the seventh annual Victoria Django Festival, a celebration of the jaunty and joyous music of Belgian-born Django Reinhardt, the legendary “gypsy jazz” guitarist whose  |

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ebullient spirit lives on six decades after his death. “We’ve expanded from one to four events over the years and expect to have more than 1,000 people attending this year … including about 10 per cent from out of town,” says founder Oliver Swain. “Django seems to be unstoppable.” Boasting a full cultural experience and not just concerts, the VDF offers both traditional and contemporary versions of gypsy jazz, as well as dance performances by the 12-person Seaside Swingers, a dance competition, savoury “street food” and even a burlesque element courtesy of Victoria’s own Rosie Bitts. Most of the action happens on Friday and Saturday at the White Eagle Hall in James Bay, with an elegant cabaret setting upstairs and a more louche speakeasy scene below. “We’re going for a bit of a steamy Prohibition vibe,” chuckles Swain. Patrons are encouraged to sip period cocktails and slip between the two venues. Featured performers include Britain’s famed accordionist Dai Price and The Ramblers, well-known Victoria fiddler Daniel Lapp and the renowned Marc Atkinson Trio, BC’s ranking Django-ologists. And Swain, one of the city’s top-tier acoustic musicians, will be performing with his new allstar quintet, Club Voltaire. Events earlier in the week include jam and open mic sessions at the Victoria Event Centre, the Cornerstone Café and the Moka House. “These jams are some of the best aspects of the festival,” says Swain. “A lot of people get very passionate about this music.” Running from March 22-25 at various venues. For information, see Victoria Django Fest.


THE COMEDY OF ERRORS MODERN ADAPTATION OF THE CLASSIC SHAKESPEARE COMEDY MARCH 15-24 “Shakespeare was a very spiritual humanist,” says Jeffrey Renn, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in UVic’s Theatre Department. “He also invented the modern mind, in the sense that his characters display self-examination leading to change.” These ideas will be percolating when Renn directs his own adaptation of the Bard’s farcical Comedy of Errors at UVic as one of his degree requirements. But don’t think of this as the work of a student. Currently in his 50s, Renn originally studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts before returning to Canada and performing everywhere from Bard on the Beach to Shaw and Stratford. He’s appeared in over 50 professional productions of Shakespeare, studied with the likes of Stratford’s legendary Robin Phillips, and taught as a sessional at various universities. But despite his notable credentials and impressive career, Renn can only achieve his current dream of a faculty position if he has a degree. Which means we get to see a student production directed with a master’s touch. The storyline involves two pairs of twins who get caught up in riotous mishaps of mistaken identity, false accusations, and a bit of demonic possession. “The centre of the play is about identity and reclaiming what was lost,” explains Renn.

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“Shakespeare is making fun of the external way we seek an identity.” This adaptation is set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, taking advantage of boisterous debauchery to explore Comedy’s dark side. “Putting the play into a contemporary world makes it easier for the students to understand,” adds Renn. “It’s all about making the work accessible.” Running from March 15-24 at UVic’s Phoenix Theatre. For tickets, call 250-721-8000.



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quaffing is nowhere more apparent than with the modestly named Victoria Beer Week, which is actually spread over nine days and consists of 13 separate events. “This is our fifth annual Beer Week and it was successful right from the start,” says Joe Wiebe, the event’s co-founder and producer. “We’ve got about 50 breweries participating, as well as over 10 food vendors … and a lot of the events are sure to sell out.” VBW launches at the Victoria Public Market with Lift Off!, which offers several hundred sippers access to a dozen brand new brews that reflect the originality, variety and creativity of the province’s best beer-makers. The Homebrewers Workshop takes place at Category 12 Brewing, while Swans Brewpub sponsors the always-popular Beer School. “It’s a hands-on, behind-the-scenes experience of brewing,” explains Wiebe. There are several food-focussed events, including Beer, Pizza and Gelato at Prima Strada; equally tasty noshing at the Public Market includes Fishing for Beer, the cholesterol-rich Beer, Cheese, More Beer, as well as Taco Tuesday. According to Wiebe, Victoria was the cradle of the revolution for the first 10 to 15 years of beer production in BC. “It’s a great legacy, plus some of the province’s most iconic breweries are here, such as Phillips and Driftwood,” he adds. “This is a great town for beer lovers.” Running from March 2-10 at various venues. For information, see Victoria Beer Week.

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SOUPER BOWLS OF HOPE APRIL 5 Twenty years ago, city councillor Helen Hughes decided that Victoria’s at-risk street youth needed some special programming to improve their circumstances. So she founded Souper Bowls of Hope, a delicious fundraiser where Victoria’s top chefs offer bottomless bowls of gourmet soup in an animated lunchtime setting. The event has grown impressively — last year it raised $100,000 and subsidized everything from emergency housing to street outreach, family counselling and mental health services. “Souper Bowls is a lively, fun and very cheery scene,” says Michele Davis, a long-time board member who is serving her second year as event chair. “And it attracts a great mix of participants, from downtown business people to senior citizens with big hearts.” Four gifted chefs — from the Fairmont Empress, the Union Club, Cheryl’s Gourmet Pantry and 10 Acres Bistro — each bring a savoury soup, while Portofino Bakery provides a range of artisanal breads. Celebrity servers like Jack Knox and Carole James dish up the soup, and the acclaimed Vic High R&B Band performs sweetly ebullient soul music.

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“The band debuted at the event last year and even got some people dancing,” grins Davis. “It’s so great to see teenagers helping other teenagers.” And attendees also get to select a handmade pottery bowl made by the South Island Potters Guild as a special thank you. According to Davis, this fundraiser has had incredible impact on many lives, from a homeless schizophrenic who was empowered to start a landscaping business to a young woman who stepped away from street prostitution to eventually graduate with a degree in nursing. Happening April 5 at the Conference Centre, 720 Douglas Street. For information and tickets, see


When Bedlam Theatre’s zestily theatrical adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility earned critical raves from the New York press in 2014 — including one reviewer who called it “Downton Abbey on roller skates” — it was inevitable that Langham Court Theatre’s resident risk takers, Keith Digby and Cynthia Pronick, would select it as their newest project.

“It’s very, very lively and half way through reading the script we were going, ‘Yes, this is it,’” recalls Digby. But despite the high-octane pace, the original sentiment remains intact and the presentation is entirely in keeping with the stately Regency period associated with Austen’s elegantly written novels. Sense features the romantic and financial travails of the two Dashwood sisters, who are reduced to near-penury when their mother is suddenly widowed. According to Digby this is a very physical play, and the challenge is to keep things moving on a small stage while telling the story clearly. “Aside from the one formal dance scene we’re also getting choreographer Sylvia Hosie to choreograph the movement of the actors so that they flow about the stage with grace and style,” adds Pronick. One of Austen’s main themes is the challenge of following your heart at a time when reputation is everything and gossip is ever-present; the play dramatizes this with numerous Gossips, who aren’t actual characters so much as a Greek chorus commenting maliciously on what’s happening. “The presentation is minimalist, and so creativity becomes the main thing,” Pronick says. “You need actors who can think fast on their feet.” Appearing February 28 to March 17 at Langham Court. For tickets, call 250-384-2142.

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UPERT WALKER is unintentionally cool. The 30-year-old action sports documentary maker speaks quickly, answering my questions with a depth of detail and fever that reveals his passion for his work. I scribble notes furiously trying to capture his words. He catches me off guard when he describes the lack of deliberateness that found him turning a high school hobby into a wildly successful career. But then again, Rupert Walker is full of surprises. Rupert was born in Vancouver. His dad’s career moved the family to various regions of the province and it was when the Walkers settled down in Kimberley on a ski hill that Rupert began honing his skills as an action sports documentary maker. “A lot of my friends were pursuing careers as professional athletes. I would film us skiing and snowboarding. We just wanted to see the tricks we were doing; it wasn’t anything to do with trying to get a job in film or trying to pursue a career in that. It was purely just because we were excited to see what we were

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doing,” Rupert says, recalling his first introduction to filming. Upon graduating high school, Rupert went to business school and his filming hobby went on a hiatus. Rupert credits business school as being a strong foundation and he has no regrets about choosing the educational avenue over film school. “I didn’t need a professor to tell me how to be creative, or how to use a camera. Being creative is so subjective; using a camera is so subjective. There’s no one right answer. I know how to use a camera and be creative, and I know how to make the art and the content I want — but at the time I didn’t know how to run a business. I didn’t know the language of accounting and project management, and being a business owner. It was a good way for me to be exposed to the language of business,” says Rupert. After attending business school Rupert — who spent much of his youth mountain biking in the Kootenay Mountains — moved to Victoria and met a new group of friends who were semi-professional mountain bikers. “I started filming again, the same as before, only this time I was older. We’d be riding and jumping and I’d be filming totally for fun, because again, we wanted to look at what we were doing to try and figure out how we could become better athletes,” Rupert explains. He soon found himself entrenched in his old hobby. He began to spend time on editing, which he describes as a nostalgic process that helped him rediscover his love for creating films. He would contact his friends’ sponsors and trade videos of them for a bike part, or a small amount of cash. But Rupert never expected his hobby could transform into a notable career. “From there, I got really passionate about it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my

“I know how to use a camera and be creative, and I know how to make the art and the content I want — but at the time I didn’t know how to run a business.”

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“We’d be riding and jumping and I’d be filming totally for fun, because again, we wanted to look at what we were doing to try and figure out how we could become better athletes.”

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life and at that point, I didn’t think filming action sports could turn into any kind of a career,” notes Rupert. But he began creating video content every week, using social media and websites including Pinkbike (a major action sports video website) to share his work. He quickly developed a large online audience and was picked up by an action sports media company in Los Angeles, where he worked for a year. Struggling with the lack of creative freedom he had at a desk job, Rupert returned to Victoria and launched his own company, Revel Co., with his good friend and professional mountain biker, Brandon Semenuk. “We decided to start our own business making the best mountain bike content that we possibly could. We started Revel Co. because we were tired of making content for other people without being able to be totally creative with and in complete control with what we were creating.” Rupert and Brandon’s intention with Revel Co. was to focus on making the best, most creative videos, with a style of shooting and creativity influenced by no one but themselves, “No one gets a say in what we create except us — even if it’s a client job. That’s our rule, and that’s how they turn out best,” Rupert says. After building Revel Co. over a year and a half ago, Brandon and Rupert now have an impressive clientele including Subaru Canada and Red Bull. Rupert films internationally, but is always happy to return home to Victoria to his girlfriend Berkley and their two Persian cats Digit and Sumo. “A lot of time when you hear action sports you don’t think ‘this could be a really beautiful cinematic video.’ It’s a unique way to approach it — creating something that looks amazing and isn’t ‘out there,’” says Rupert. Rupert doesn’t know exactly what’s in store for him next but he’s looking forward to continuing to grow his business. I get the feeling that so long as he keeps creating for himself, success will be inevitable. For a man whose life has been defined by the unexpected, watching Rupert make his next move may be just as exhilarating as watching the documentaries he makes.

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Victoria abstract painter Lauren Mycroft demonstrates the creative process behind her art for Boulevard’s Don Denton and Lia Crowe. Although Lauren has an easel set up in her home studio, she does all her painting on the floor. In fact, the studio’s fir wood floor has become a work of art in itself — reflective of her ongoing process using layers of paint!

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Lauren Mycroft in her home studio. Photo by Don Denton

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