Boulevard Magazine, Victoria, April/May 2019

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DESIGN FOR THE AGES A celebration of generations


The juicy colours of spring are bright, bold, playful

DULCE OR SECO? This is not your grandmother’s sherry


The miracle of coconut milk


AJ Williamson Design Drafter

Duane Ensing Principle Designer

Alina Melnykova Design Drafter

Be part Megan McKeage Designer

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The Brighter Side of Lighting



On the Cover Photo by Tamara Poppitt Design for the ages This beautiful home may be grand and luxurious, but it was built with all members of the family in mind. It even incorporates an outdoor soccer pitch! Story by Angela Cowan HOT PROPERTIES


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Grand and glorious home is built around family

Nuanced, flavourful and diverse, this is not your grandmother’s sherry

By Angela Cowan

By Jane Zatylny



Blaise McDonald’s path to MAC Renovation

The miracle of coconut milk

By Tess van Straaten

By Chef Heidi Fink


Vivid colours are the new trend, but vibrancy in both physical wellness and spirit is always in style.

By Jen Clark

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24 inspiredPEOPLE


Going With the Grain: Stephanie Farrow

What’s on This Spring



By Sean McIntyre

By Robert Moyes

Get Away on Mother’s Day




Jessica O’Brien Cameron

By Lia Crowe


High Road to the Arctic: Dempster Highway

By Darren Hull

My Happy Place


By Janice Jefferson

Whales and other Wonders: Glamping in the Broughton Archepelago

By Suzanne Morphet

Taking Stalk: the Surprising Health Benefits of Rhubarb

By Pamela Durkin

Crazy Little Things: JM Ledet

By Erin McPhee


20 inspiredDESIGN

22 inspiredHEALTH

By Lia Crowe  |

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“I had a few preconceived ideas for this fashion shoot: glowing skin, intriguing juicy drinks, vibrant, playful lip colours. However, when these ladies came together, they brought it to the next level. Admiring more than their beauty, I discovered their creative force and wisdom is legendary! Thank you Linda, Susanne and Malta.” Jen is a Victoria-based makeup artist.

V I C T O R I A L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9

PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke 250.891.5627





“One thing I loved about this issue’s feature home was that the in-ground pool and accessory garage were built by the previous owner, for whose family the street was named. I loved that Carol and her family kept them in the midst of major construction and preserved that little bit of Victoria history.” Angela Cowan is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who contributes regularly to Boulevard magazine. Find her on Twitter @angela_m_cowan.

“It was such a gift photographing these three women for the fashion story; one I have know since I was a child, one for over a decade and one has recently come into my life. But I admire and am inspired by their grace, their quiet confidence and their style.” Lia is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer with a long history of working in the fashion industry.


EDITOR Susan Lundy



DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Cara Robbins Tammy Robinson ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Pat Brindle Vicki Clark CONTRIBUTING Angela Cowan, Lia Crowe, WRITERS Pamela Durkin, Heidi Fink, Darren Hull, Janice Jefferson, Sean McIntyre, Erin McPhee, Suzanne Morphet, Robert Moyes, Tess van Straaten, Jane Zatylny CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe, Don Denton, PHOTOGRAPHERS Darren Hull, Tamara Poppitt CIRCULATION & Wendy Denison DISTRIBUTION 250.727.2460 TRENDING ONLINE:

View Boulevard’s Fashion Friday



“I love coconut so in this issue’s food assignment with Chef Heidi Fink, it was particularly challenging to keep my focus on the photography rather than the sampling of ingredients and dishes. Luckily, there was time to taste test all the dishes at the end. A personal eyeopener was the simple addition — with a heavenly result — of coconut to rice pudding.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and a Royal wedding.

“The chance to show off coconut milk’s wonderful culinary capacities has me really excited. It was fun to share the recipes with the photographer, director and the host of this month’s photo shoot. Even more fun is sharing my favourite coconut milk ’hacks’ in this issue’s article.” Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.


PAGE 76 Any device. Any time. APRIL I MAY 2019


DESIGN FOR THE AGES A celebration of generations


The juicy colours of spring are bright, bold, playful

DULCE OR SECO? This is not your grandmother’s sherry


The miracle of coconut milk

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


“The Dempster Highway was one of the hardest road trips I have ever done, and I am already planning my return trip back this September. The North is a place I need to understand further.” Darren is an editorial and commercial photographer, who has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s top image makers, with work informed by a strong sense of storyline.

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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.








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“This month I have gathered pieces that combined, create a put-together room of items with overlapping connections to one another.” Janice is an interior designer who creates well-functioning spaces with an eye-catching mix of playfulness and refinement.

“I loved hearing about JM Ledet’s secret sanctuary — a mysterious local greenhouse he leases filled with over 1,000 palm trees, offering him a taste of the tropics without the requirement of international travel.” New Brunswick-born and a longtime Vancouverite, Erin McPhee is a professional communicator and award-winning writer currently getting to know Victoria.

“When I heard that Spirit of the West Adventures was operating a safari-like camping and whale watching experience in the Broughton Archipelago, I couldn’t wait to go. While I like to think I’m still up to roughing it in the wild, the appeal of sleeping on a real bed and being spoiled with healthy meals made with fresh ingredients can’t be denied. And the whales! This is the place to go.” Suzanne is a freelance writer based in Victoria.’







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“I’m always on the lookout for creative artisans on Vancouver Island. At Live Edge, designer Stephanie Farrow and her colleagues represent a new and exciting direction.” Sean is a freelance writer based on Salt Spring Island, where he now keeps a keen eye out for the hidden gems and treasures in the natural world that surrounds him.




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“A collection of all things artsy, fun and spectacular happening in Victoria this April and May. Enjoy a retrospective of master portrait painter Myfanwy Pavelic, the legacy of Louis Armstrong as celebrated by trumpeter Patrick Boyle and an engaging comedy-drama at the Belfry Theatre.” A born and bred Victoria native, Robert is a longtime freelancer and editor whose main focus these days is arts journalism.

“Working in TV news, I’ve seen how tragedy or a freak accident can completely alter someone’s life. In Blaise McDonald’s case, a serious wakeboarding accident changed his career trajectory and led him back to the family business. But it just shows that sometimes something that seems bad can turn into something so much better.” Tess is an award-winning journalist and television personality who has had the privilege of interviewing people for more than two decades.

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“Walking into the feature home for the first time, it was truly heart-warming to see all the care, detail and attention taken to incorporate the entire family’s likes and interests, including the beautiful kitchen, where Carol bakes special treats for her family, and the incredible regulation soccer field right out front for their son. “ A professional photographer for over the past decade, Tamara currently owns and operates Hudson Wren Portraits with studios in Victoria and Vancouver.

“Many people, myself included, have the wrong idea about sherry. While researching this story, I learned WRITER: DULCE OR SECO? that these fortified wines are decadently delicious, from first sip PAGE 54 to last drop.” Jane is a longtime writer, editor and communications professional.








Get Away on Mother’s Day BY SUSAN LUNDY



soon-to-be-revealed destination: Tigh-NaY ADULT Mara Resort & Spa. daughters and I I chose Tigh-Na-Mara for several have embarked on a reasons: first, the Grotto Spa mineral pool tradition of stealing provided the requisite soothing water in away on one-night, which to float about and share too much surprise getaways information; second, the lounge at Cedars once or twice a year when we are all in Restaurant offered up the important the same city. I carefully guard the secret glasses of Prosecco (more information); destination while they attempt to trip me and third, the gorgeous, sea-view room up on providing details, and then I whisk gave us a perfect spot to gather at a them away to places unknown. kitchen counter and enjoy dinner in a The excursions usually involve relaxed atmosphere, plus space for all lounging in a hot tub or warm-water of us to sleep. (I got the Murphy bed, pool; consuming a bottle of Prosecco; and which was super comfortable.) But most sharing lots of information (often “too important, Tigh-Na-Mara sits at the edge much information.” Does a mother really of Rathtrevor Beach. And on a sandy need to know all this?) walk the next morning, we watched the With Mother’s Day in mind recently, I tide and dined on memories of this beach, created a journey with a bit of a spin, which was such a huge part of all of our aiming to evoke some cherished childhoods. memories, while creating new ones. I After an early lunch at Unsworth Vineyard in Mill Bay (another dropped random hints, to which they somehow concluded we bottle in the backseat), we motored back over the Malahat, met up were renting electric bikes and brought along their helmets. (If with “mom/grandma” in Victoria and embarked on an afternoon this were a text, I’d insert the shrugging emoji here.) of three-generational mother-daughter pampering at the Oak Bay Our trip began at Victoria’s vegan, buffet-style Green Cuisine Beach Hotel. Here there was more floating about in mineral pools, restaurant, which is paramount to our family mythology. My ex followed by pedicures for two and manicures for two. My elder and I were regulars in the early ‘90s when it first opened. My daughters subsequently embraced it and over the years, meals here daughter and I felt slightly smug as we chose the pedicures and got to lounge in huge, comfy, reclining seats with ocean views for our became a “test” for all prospective suitors — both the girls’ and pampering. But then the manicure twosome got to flash their nails mine, after my divorce. If a boy liked Green Cuisine, he passed. If about while ours disappeared into socks, not … well… he could expect a “Dear so it all evened out in the end. John” email. (Later, other boy-tests With Mother’s Day in mind Getaways feature big in this issue of emerged. For example, texts that recently, I created a journey with Boulevard, especially in our Travel confused there/their/they’re or your/ you’re usually rendered the texter as a bit of a spin, aiming to evoke Far feature, where we’ve allotted extra space to enjoy the full benefit of “nixed.”) And as an aside, my current some cherished memories, while photographer Darren Hull’s “bucket husband, who was an Alberta meatlist” trip to the Arctic Ocean. Not to lover when we met, barely passed the creating some new ones. be outdone, writer Suzanne Morphet restaurant test; however, now a West describes a glamping trip to Blackfish Sound, where amid days Coaster, he happily obliges our green cuisine. of paddling she explored the beauty and bounty of the Broughton For our second stop, I wanted to introduce my daughters to Archipelago. Writer Jane Zatylny takes a “journey” of her own, artist and master-storyteller Arthur Vickers, who — among the visiting Bodega restaurant to uncover the mysteries of sherry. hundreds of people I’ve interviewed over the years — remains one Also in these pages, discover the surprising health benefits of of my very favourites. At his gallery in Cowichan Bay, Arthur often rhubarb; visit interior designer Janice Jefferson’s “happy place;” waits to see if one of his pieces resonates with a viewer. If it does, tour a magnificent home that rises amid a rural Royal Oak oasis; he tells the story behind it. We were blessed with three stories, explore cooking with coconut milk; and indulge in vibrant fashion including one that brought tears to three sets of eyes. The best for the ages. Meet Blaise McDonald, JM Ledet and Jessica O’Brien stories are the ones that move you. Cameron. Check out what’s happening in Victoria these next two From soul-touching to body-warming, we stopped at Averill months. And don’t forget to pamper your mom this Mother’s Day. Creek Vineyard for a wine tasting. Enjoying the beautiful views Perhaps I’ll organize an electric bike trip for our celebration. of the Cowichan Valley from the patio, we discovered a new favourite: Averill Creek’s Charme de L’Ile, a bottle of which landed Susan Lundy has been writing stories since she was six years in the backseat of the car to be savoured at a later date. old. She has a degree in creative writing from the University of Then it was straight to Parksville, where we hit another Victoria and, after working for many years as an award-winning favourite restaurant — Realm Food Co. (fantastic food; awesome journalist, is now a magazine editor, author and freelance writer. live music nights) — packed up a feast-to-go and headed to our 16  |

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inspired STYLE





WHAT DO YOU READ ONLINE FOR STYLE: “My sister’s Instagram gives me so much joy. Her feed is so beautiful and inspiring @house_of_douglas.” FAVE PRINT MAGAZINE: “Boulevard…obviously!” FAVE STYLE BLOG: “Cella Jane Blog. I love her muted, classic style. Comfort with class!” BOOK CURRENTLY READING: “I am always reading professionally but when I find the time, I love crime novels. Currently reading The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I know I am behind the times…” FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME: “The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason. It was the first novel I read. (My father used bribery, of course.) I learned some great financial lessons early on.”


Middleton. I love the Royals’ fashion.” FAVOURITE ARTIST: Rembrandt. FAVOURITE MUSICIAN: Frank Sinatra. ERA OF TIME THAT INSPIRES YOUR STYLE: “I truly can’t pinpoint a time. History definitely inspires my style.” FILM OR TV SHOW THAT INSPIRES YOUR STYLE OR THAT YOU JUST LOVE THE STYLE OF: “Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men… the list goes on!” FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT: The Farmer’s Daughter in Sidney. FAVOURITE COCKTAIL/WINE: “I love a good Cab Sav.” ALBUM ON CURRENT ROTATION: “Moana soundtrack … my kids have taken

control! But I love Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison, the Tragically Hip & U2. Music is a big part of my childhood memories.” FAVOURITE FLOWER: Light pink ranunculus. FAVOURITE CITY TO VISIT: London or Paris. FAVOURITE HOTEL: “I love anything with some history. Our local Empress is pretty incredible.” FAVOURITE APP: “My podcast app. I listen to a lot of audio books in the car: history and true crime podcasts!”

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ESSICA invited me into her beautiful, bright and airy Saanich Peninsula home to chat about her unique style and how it plays into her life as a woman balancing career and a young family. Jessica says fashion and style have always provided her with a creative outlet — from putting together outfits as a young girl to having a style blog as a young woman. Now Jessica is thankful to have a career where she can dress up. “I’m lucky that I work somewhere where I get to dress nicely — so it is still kind of my creative outlet.” I ask Jessica, now 34, what is the best life lesson she has learned since age 30. “It would be the art of listening — and that will always be a work in progress. I really like the people part of my job, hearing people’s stories, sitting down with clients, getting to know them and hearing what their goals are. Listening and patience are a huge part of my success in business and in all my relationships.” As she is the mother of two young children, I wonder how her style has changed in this phase of her life. “I’m now definitely an accessories person; maybe I’ve graduated to that by having small children. I think that when you don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the morning, if you put on a cool pair of glasses, a nice coat and a good pair of shoes, you will look put together.”


UNIFORM: “For weekdays it’s black dress pants, a white blouse and a classic blazer. On weekends it’s jeans and a sweater.” JEANS I LOVE: 10” High Rise Button Front Jeans by Madewell. ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIECE: Wool coat by Mackage. CURRENTLY COVETING: Cream sculpted “Crombie” coat by Amanda Wakeley. FAVOURITE PAIR OF SHOES: “It’s a classic nude block heel pump, the “Yaro” ankle strap sandal by Sam Edelman.” FAVOURITE DAY-BAG: “Fawn Design Pink Diaper bag, ‘the original.’ I especially like it because it’s great for travel.” FAVOURITE WORK TOOL: “My men’s Metropolitan Slim Brief. I use it every day!” FAVOURITE JEWELRY PIECE OR DESIGNER: “Literally ANYTHING Sarah O. Jewelry.” FASHION OBSESSION: “Glasses. I have finally embraced the fact that I need glasses.” MOISTURIZER: “Glow Jar. She is local with all-natural products.” SCENT: “Vanilla anything.” MUST HAVE HAIR PRODUCT: “Living Proof Dry shampoo! I don’t know how I lived before dry shampoo came into my life.” BEAUTY SECRET: “IT cosmetics CC cream! But now it’s no longer a secret…it better not sell out at Sephora!”

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inspired DESIGN




11. 10.


If these items made up a room as they do on this page — wow — I would love to hang out there! The relationship between items is subtle, haphazard and yet cohesive. The delicate craft of furniture caning against the hard edges of brutalism-style candleholders. For myself, interior design is about breaking conventional rules and watching the beauty emerge.








11. 1. Atrium Dining Table CB2, $2,099 2. “looks like rain”, 16x20 $350 3. Blu Dot Racer Dining Chair in tomato, Chester Fields $471 4. Erin Templeton Tote in Forest, $350 5. Enclave Rug, West Elm 9x12 $1,959 6. Sarafina Chandelier, Coleen and Company $3,675 USD 7. Star Pillar candleholders CB2, $37 and $68 8. Palm Wallpaper in light mauve, $298/roll, Anthropologie 9. Studio tile in white, Decora Tile, 8x8 $19.98/sq. ft. 10. Sergio Buffet, Monarch Furniture $2,999 11. Industriell Vase, Ikea $20  |

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inspired HEALTH

Taking Stalk

The surprising health benefits of rhubarb BY PAMELA DURKIN

Modern research has validated its medicinal use by uncovering several compounds in rhubarb that can fight cancer, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and protect eye and brain health.


VERYONE has a personal harbinger of spring — an annual reassurance that whispers the season has finally arrived and that summer, with all its hot, hedonistic glory, is just around the corner. For some folks, it’s spotting magnolia blossoms in full bloom, for others, it’s their first taste of fresh, local asparagus. For me, it’s my first serving of ruby-red fresh rhubarb. Indeed, the humble “pie plant,” as it often gets called, delights both my palate and my spirit, reminding me that winter and all its inherent dreariness is in the past. If, like many Canadians, you think of rhubarb merely as the “pie plant” or a natural remedy for constipation, you’re underestimating this versatile, health-enhancing member of the buckwheat family. Although often mistaken as a fruit due to its common appearance in desserts, rhubarb is actually a vegetable, and it has a long history of both medicinal and culinary uses.

HISTORY Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum), which favours cooler climates, originated in Asia over 5,000 years ago, where it was initially cultivated for its medicinal qualities. Folklore maintains that Ben Franklin, US Founding Father, was responsible for bringing the tart vegetable to American shores in the late 1700s. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that rhubarb was grown for culinary purposes in Britain and North America.

MEDICINAL USES Rhubarb has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine and remains one of the most widely used plants in this modality. The dried root and rhizomes of the plant are used to treat a variety of ailments, including constipation, liver


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and gall bladder complaints, poor blood circulation and senility. “It truly is a beneficial tool for treating and managing a number of conditions and it’s particularly effective at reducing fevers and cleansing the body,” says acupuncturist Mary Jane O’Byrne of Health-Matters Consulting.” Modern research has validated its medicinal use by uncovering several compounds in rhubarb that can fight cancer, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and protect eye and brain health. Among rhubarb’s many health-enhancing compounds are anthraquinone, plant compounds that scientists have found to

be particularly potent anti-cancer agents. Emodin, the most abundant anthraquinone in rhubarb, has been shown to fight cancer in three ways: it inhibits cellular proliferation, induces apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells and prevents metastasis. In addition, rhubarb houses the powerful antioxidants resveratrol, lutein and zeaxanthin, and delivers good amounts of B-complex vitamins, vitamins K and C, calcium, potassium and manganese. The jewel-coloured stalk also contains large amounts of dietary fibre — more than 2 grams in a half-cup serving. And fibre does more than help keep you regular. “Fibre-rich foods like rhubarb can soak up cholesterol before it gets a chance to stick to your arteries and contribute to heart disease in the body,” explains registered dietitian Jennifer Letham Sobkin. A study done at the University of Alberta, backs up rhurbarb’s heart-health benefits, finding that rhubarb fibre can indeed help reduce cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides, which are potentially dangerous fats in the bloodstream. Although we tend to limit this über-healthy vegetable to the pie-dish in North America, it actually has many culinary uses. Savvy chefs and innovative bloggers know that the stalk shines in much more than sweets, and they are offering delightful recipes that utilize rhubarb in some surprising ways. From muffins to chutneys, salads to stir-fries, rhubarb can impart intriguing flavour and add health benefits to almost any dish. As Grant Gard, chef and co-owner of Part and Parcel restaurant points out, “Rhubarb is actually very versatile and behaves like a vegetable or fruit, depending on how it’s seasoned

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and served. At the restaurant, we like to cure it with salt and sugar and use it in salads with greens and various cheeses. And we also want to try fermenting it this year, much like cabbage.” Why not invest in some “stalk” yourself and try incorporating the vegetable into your springtime culinary regime in some new ways? To get you started I’ve included one of my favourite ways to employ rhubarb — in a light and refreshing salad. Bon appetite!

Rhubarb and Beet Salad 4 medium organic beets, washed 1 ½ cups rhubarb cut into 1 ½ inch diagonal slices ¼ cup honey 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar Dash each of salt and pepper 4 cups organic salad greens ½ cup walnuts 3 ½ oz soft goat cheese Preheat oven to 400 F. Place whole beets in oven and bake until knife pierces the skin easily. Set aside to cool, then chop. Toss rhubarb with honey. Spread out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes. The rhubarb should be tender, but not mushy. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl whisk together oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add mixed greens,

beets and walnuts and toss well. Divide evenly on 4 salad plates and top with rhubarb and crumbled goat cheese. Serves 4.

Rhubarb 101 Don’t eat the leaves! Rhubarb leaves are toxic —they contain high levels of oxalic acid and may contain poisonous glycosides. The redder the stalk, the sweeter the rhubarb. Avoid stalks that have brown spots or appear too green. Clean rhubarb by wiping it with a damp cloth. Do not rinse it in water as this will split and wilt the stalks. Washed and dried rhubarb will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days. Peeling rhubarb is unnecessary: simply remove stringy pieces by pulling them from the stalk. Researchers have identified over 40 polyphenol compounds in rhubarb, including anthocyanins, the disease-fighting pigments that make blueberries so nutritious. Cooking rhubarb actually increases its polyphenol content and overall antioxidant capacity. When cooking rhubarb, there’s no need to over-sweeten it with mountains of sugar. You can “tame” the tart veggie’s tang by cooking it with orange or pineapple juice and by adding sweet spices to the mix, such as cinnamon, ginger or orange zest.

Photo: Ashlene Nairn

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inspired PEOPLE

Going with the grain

Live Edge’s Stephanie Farrow designs wooden works of art BY SEAN MCINTYRE | P H OTO S BY D O N D E N TO N

“No tree is firewood in our eyes, no two pieces are the same, and I love working with the challenges of each piece.”


LABS of immaculately hewn maple, walnut and arbutus await delivery in the loading bay at Duncan’s Live Edge Design. Nearby, contemporary, resininfused countertops are contrasted with the clean simplicity of a rustic dinning room table. All are works of art that infuse an otherwise nondescript industrial park with a sense of magic that lures visitors to ponder the inspiration and skilled craftsmanship at the heart of each piece. “No tree is firewood in our eyes,” says designer Stephanie Farrow. “No two pieces are the same, and I love working with the challenges of each piece.” Stephanie says it isn’t uncommon for projects like these to start as a vague idea concealed in someone’s mind or as a rudimentary napkin sketch. The exciting part of her work, Stephanie says, is helping clients transform their visions into the finished products that will occupy honoured places in homes and workplaces. Part of her job at Live Edge involves touring visitors and potential clients through the company’s site. Each tour starts outside near the mill. Participants stand surrounded by 12-foot long slabs of maple, solid cubes of wood milled from massive roots and gnarly wooden hulks whose origins stir the imagination. Along a wall are uniformly cut lengths of alder, a common species found across Vancouver Island, are laid out to dry along a low shelf. They’re destined to fuel a surging demand for woodsy bed frames, chairs and coffee tables. There’s no missing the remnants of a 200-year-old maple tree, though one could be forgiven for questioning if the truck-sized mass could possibly have come from a single tree. The tree’s massive bulk was hauled out of a peat bog in a farmer’s field near Chemainus last year. “The biggest crane they could find on the island wasn’t big enough,” Stephanie says.

618 Broughton St. I 778 406 1600 I  |

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“You have to allow the wood to do more of the designing because you can’t force it to do something it’s not going to do.” The farmer, who’d grown attached to his tree over the decades, visited Live Edge Design to determine what could be done with the big old maple now that it had become a hazard and required removal. That’s when the farmer learned about oneTree, a bi-annual exhibit conceived in part by Live Edge president John Lore and the Bateman Foundation. Every two years, craftspeople submit concepts utilizing material from a single tree. The resulting exhibit is intended to highlight a variety of works that share a common origin. “These works are from the same tree so you can see the grain running through all of the pieces. It will become a really great memorial for this special tree,” Stephanie says of the

We see it through.

upcoming oneTree show set for November 2019. An impressive portion of the wood held in the Live Edge yard originates from a single client who Farrow has worked with since she joined the company in early 2018. When the Cowichan Valley family realized they had to remove two large maple trees on their property for safety reasons, they visited Live Edge to get some ideas about ways to use the wood to complement their family home. The pair of towering trees produced 30 slabs, six cookies and a unique stump, offering Farrow plenty of material with which to exercise her creative might. “To date we have used the majority of that but still have approximately 10 pieces left that we refer to as Round 2,” she says. “The design process was very involved. We had the spaces measured, and we tried to design the pieces that reflected the beautiful landscape around the space.” A piece dubbed the “Horizon Headboards,” for example, reflects a view of the lake and mountains from the homeowners’ bedroom. In the games room, furnishings including the coffee table and end table are built from the same portion of the same tree, giving all the pieces in that space a similar grain, tone and pattern. “You can actually see the flow in these pieces,” Stephanie says. While the milled lumber dries in the yard and kiln for up to eight months, Stephanie is hard at work indoors bringing ideas

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“Wood has a grounding effect; it keeps spaces natural. Materials like stone and wood have a natural element that balance out the synthetic elements.” to life. Images of the raw materials are uploaded to Photoshop, where different permutations are laid out for clients to consider. The work may be undertaken with a mouse and keyboard, but the wood’s inherent character is what drives the creative process. “You have to allow the wood to do more of the designing because you can’t force it to do something it’s not going to do,” she says. “Sometimes you’ll be working with something and discover it’s just not possible.” Whereas ill-fated projects would have once been tossed to the scrap heap, the Photoshop age gives designers such as Stephanie an unprecedented degree of creative freedom and

room to experiment. Being able to show a client how an idea will look and work has the added effect of bringing some of the more outlandish ideas closer to reality. “With wood going in all sorts of different directions and the use of metals and glass, sometimes we need to test the physics of an idea beforehand,” she says. “We often have to send a video to show that it just isn’t possible.” The end result, however, is always a work of art that stands as a source of pride for the client, designer and each of the craftspeople who contributed to the project. The essence of each project is ingrained in their collective memories long after a piece heads out the door for delivery. Stephanie says she always feels a strong sense of pride when she comes across a Live Edge piece in situ months or years after it was built. “Wood has a grounding effect; it keeps spaces natural. Materials like stone and wood have a natural element that balance out the synthetic elements,” she says. “I fall in love with everything that comes out of here, and want to make sure they’re amazing for years to come if they have our name on it.” Tours of the Live Edge facility are available year round Mondays through Saturdays at the company’s production and design facility south of Duncan at 5195 Mearns Road. For more details visit The oneTree runs from mid-November to mid-February at the Robert Bateman Gallery in Victoria.


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Though it’s easily one of the biggest houses Boulevard has profiled — and undoubtedly grand in spots — what surprises me is the overpowering impression that it is first and foremost a family home. 32  |

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RAVEL along a few winding roads and hills into Royal Oak, and you’ll come upon a surprisingly rural nook where farmland sits side-by-side with developing lots and new homes. And it’s here, settled next to a smoothly flowing creek and behind an impressive iron gate, that I see the gorgeous house I’m about to tour. Elegant in greys and whites, the transitional style fivebedroom home sits effortlessly on the sloping lot, flanked by a soccer pitch out front and a vista of green behind it. Carol Yousief and her husband moved their family in at the end of last August after living in Cordova Bay for almost 15 years, and the new design and location fit them perfectly. “We didn’t know this existed, this whole area. We fell in love with it right away,” she says. “We wanted a big family home that was different and comfortable. It’s the last build we’re going to

built for life,

Built for beauty established in 1980

build, and we wanted it to be timeless.” They brought in Mike Dunsmuir of Step One Design to bring their dream into reality and trusted construction to Rov Dosanjh of Rayn Properties and designer Susan Coleman, and the result is a seamless, spacious, traditional design with the utmost attention to detail. The front entrance is dominated by one of the most beautiful doors I’ve seen — an oversized double door crafted from black walnut — while above hangs a circular iron chandelier with vintage-style, exposed filament light bulbs. The whole effect lends a distinctly classy vibe. Inside, I’m just as impressed. The grand entrance is spacious and high-ceilinged with a curving staircase leading to the catwalk upstairs. Carol leads me underneath and past a set of French doors leading into a formal dining room to emerge into the main open living area. The to-die-for kitchen is laden with expansive granite countertops, a walk-in pantry, huge farmer’s sink and a wall of windows to let in the sun. (The view out the pantry window is to the fully equipped outdoor kitchen, complete with heat lamps and nearby in-ground pool.) A breakfast nook extends out into a bay window and offers a visual break from the living room with its cathedral ceiling. The light fixtures catch my eye immediately, particularly the four low-hanging chandeliers in the corners of the living room. “They give you human scale,” says Susan, who was instrumental in many of the design and structural decisions. With such high ceilings, pot lights would be lost, she says, and the four chandeliers give a sense of balance as well as a subtle boundary for the room. Tucked past the front staircase on the other side of the main

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floor is Carol’s husband’s home office, furnished with sleek built-in cabinetry and a cosy linear fireplace. Beyond that is a guest bedroom, laundry room and a spectacular theatre room with 15 fully automated and usb-capable leather seats, and a perforated IMAXstyle screen to let the sound come through the picture. Just around the corner is a second staircase where a spectacular crystal chandelier hangs. “We bought that before we built the house,” laughs Carol, and adds that they weren’t sure if they’d even be able to use it. Taller than most people, it’s hung with what must be thousands of crystals, sending tiny refracted beams of light through the small space. Upstairs are three bedrooms for the homeowners’ children, each with wired-in flat screen televisions, individual bathrooms and custom features. And then — oh, and then — we get to the master suite. This bedroom has its own foyer with a chaise, a barn door leading into a decadent walk-in closet complete with a wall of windows and a built-in island of bejewelled drawers, a private deck with an outdoor fireplace and opposite the bed, a built-in flat screen television and another linear fireplace. But (as always) it’s the en suite where I swoon. The door opens underneath a barrelled archway, and a strip of intricate marble tiling leads past double sinks, a vanity and an enormous steam shower to a soaker tub. It’s one of the most spa-like bathrooms I’ve ever been in, and when Carol tells me how the steam shower fills

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up with the touch of a button, I can’t imagine ever wanting to leave if I lived here. Though it’s easily one of the biggest houses Boulevard has profiled — and undoubtedly grand in spots — what surprises me is the overpowering impression that it is first and foremost a family home. A plate of freshly baked pastries rests on the island countertop in the kitchen; the family dog and (so adorable!) munchkin cat follow us as we tour from room to room. A long wall down the hallway to the guest bedroom boasts dozens of closely hung family pictures. And from a design perspective, each room of the house feels imbued with the homeowners’ personalities. Each area has its own individual feel, and while there are elements that carry a smooth feeling of continuity throughout — oak floors, neutral colour schemes, elegant moldings — there are also plenty of unique features to each room. The vast selection of tiling is what catches my eye the most, from the subtle white subway tiles on the kitchen backsplashes, to the terra cotta-style tiles in the snug wine room, to the hexagonal marble tiles in the powder room (and many more). Each decision was made carefully and with much deliberation, and interestingly, many of the choices came well after the build had begun. The plans went through a number of alterations before paper became reality: a double staircase flanking the front entrance became one curved floating staircase; the island in the kitchen underwent several iterations before emerging into its current U-shape (a 2 am inspiration from Susan); the wine room next to the living area was originally destined for the basement; and the catwalk connecting the upstairs suites was

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widened 18 inches. Each on-site change brought a new level of balance and life to the house that would have been missing in the original schema. The single, curved staircase creates a pleasant asymmetry on entering and invites guests naturally into the kitchen, where the U-shape island offers three separate, plentiful working spaces for a family that eats and cooks a lot. The wine room, with its custom black walnut shelving and terra cotta-style tiling interrupts the smooth whites and greys with rich and lush colour, and injects a little feeling of Italy into the centre of the living space. Even widening the catwalk that foot and a half balanced out the proportions and gave it a needed weight in the midst of a grand and spacious entranceway. From design to completion, the process was adaptable and grew with the house. And it all came down to the huge level of emotional and professional investment from across the board. “We all had passion,” says Rov. “Susan and I, even though we don’t live here, we wanted to see it done right.” Doing it right sometimes meant disagreements between the homeowners and trades, or Rov and Susan, but ultimately everyone came to the project wanting the best for the home and its design, and the combined effort of expertise has paid off in dividends. The house is unquestionably exquisite, and most importantly, it fits Carol and her family. “We wanted something special to us,” she says. “It feels comfortable. It feels like it’s a family home. I really appreciate the passion that Rov and Susan and the trades put in. We were blessed and grateful with all the trades we worked with.” Rov leans his head back, taking in the finished house with a smile.

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“They put a lot of trust in us. There’s quite a bit of head scratching going on with a design like this,” he says. “Good designs don’t come easy.”

Suppliers List:

Architect/Design: Step One Design, Mike Dunsmuir Interior Design: Susan Coleman Construction: Rayn Properties Framing: Rudi Stein Interior Finishing: Ground Up Finishing Interior Drywall: Adrian Lise Drywall Painting: West Island Painting, Orion Cabinetry and Millwork: Thomas Philips Woodworking Flooring: The Finishing Store Tiling: Creative Tile Doors: Karmanah Woodworks Windows: Westeck Windows Lighting: McLaren Lighting Plumbing Fixtures: The Ensuite Countertops: Eurocraft Marble Fireplaces: Enviro Sherwood Industries Fireplace Hearth/Stonework: K2 Stone Appliances: Lansdowne Plumbing, Island Infloor Radiant Electrical, Urban Electrical Landscaping: Listco Landscaping Exterior Siding: TBone Construction Home Automation: One Touch House





Changing course Blaise McDonald’s path to MAC Renovations BY TESS VAN STRAATEN | PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

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He said, ‘Renee, God is so big, He is not afraid of your questions, but also don’t be afraid when He asks you to change the world.’”

Mavyan is back…


LAISE McDonald grew up with MAC Renovations. He started helping his dad out on job sites around Victoria when he was just 12 years old, but never thought he’d actually go into the family business. “As a teenager, almost all my friends had dug a ditch for MAC Renovations,” says Blaise, who is now co-owner and operations manager. “But when I graduated high school, I wanted to do a business degree.” Blaise soon found that wasn’t his calling, either, and he went to work for his uncle who runs an electrical company. He did an apprenticeship and was then hired at the Dockyard, working as an electrician on industrial marine and navy ships. “I ended up working on the submarine project for five years, and I worked on a super yacht build in Hong Kong,” the 38-year-old says. It was work he loved, but a serious wakeboarding accident on Shawnigan Lake a decade ago brought it to a crushing end — literally. “I snapped my leg and was off work about six months because I couldn’t climb down into the engine room,” Blaise explains. “I dislocated my knee, tore all ligaments and was on crutches.” His dad, MAC Reno founder Ed McDonald — better known as “Big Mac” to friends — asked Blaise to come into the office and watch the phones for a week. And it was a game-changer. “I realized it was an interesting business,” says Blaise. “I’d only ever worked on the tool end of it so I learned a lot.” After returning to the Dockyard, but to an office this time since he still couldn’t climb into the ships, Blaise soon realized he needed to do something else. He tried sales and then decided to do a Bachelor degree in construction management at the B.C. Institute of Technology. “I fast-tracked the program, right through summer and on breaks, and I’d come to the (MAC) office and work on stuff,” Blaise recalls. “Then in 2011, I came back on as operations manager.”

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Blaise hasn’t looked back, helping to drive the company to new levels of success. The size of the business has tripled in just the last eight years, which is no easy feat. “It was a ‘BHAG’— a big, hairy, audacious goal,” laughs Blaise. “It seems so lofty but when you sit down every three months and look at it, re-focus and ask yourself what you need to get there, you can do it.” He admits it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but by regularly re-focussing and re-evaluating, they were able to achieve their goal about two years ahead of schedule. Blaise says a big part of that was being in the right place at the right time with the right tools. “We had two places, a warehouse and an office, and it was really hard to manage both,” he explains. “In our office, we had almost 40 people working and being dispatched out of 1,000 square feet. It was crowded and people got grumpy. It was terrible” But finding the right space in Greater Victoria, with parking, and




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close to major roads to easily reach all 13 municipalities, was no easy task. In the end, it took about three years to find the right location and it involved a major renovation. “There were a few more problems with the building when we opened it up and we had to take it right to the ground,” says Blaise. “Once you get into it, you just don’t know. It’s hard to see what someone’s done in the ground.” It’s a renovation lesson Blaise knows all too well. You always have to have a contingency and, he says, the biggest mistake people make is not taking the adequate time to plan. “You need to take the time at the front to go through the design and know what the specifications are,” Blaise advises. “A lot of reno problems come from not planning properly and it also affects pricing. People always say ‘get three prices,’ but unless you have very detailed specifications, someone is just giving you a best guess and you’re not comparing apples to apples. A better approach is to interview three companies, do your research, and work with who you are most comfortable with.” Blaise says the most rewarding part of his work is the people. He gets a lot of personal satisfaction from the impact they make on their clients’ homes and lives. But he says the most challenging part of the job is also the people. “Our business isn’t a factory in a field — it’s customer service,” explains Blaise. “You go from building things to managing things to building people and it took a long time to figure that out.” That also includes building the right team and recruiting and retaining the right people. In such a tight labour market, Blaise says the biggest challenge facing the industry is manpower. “A few years ago, I’d post an ad on Craigslist for a carpenter and I’d get 70 applications,” he says. “Now we’ll run ads on several different platforms and maybe get a couple of responses a month.” Over the years, Blaise says he’s learned a lot — and he admits he’s made a lot of mistakes. But he says the biggest lesson has been communication, and the need for face-to-face conversations to avoid misunderstandings. “With email, when there’s emotion in it, it may not be what the person is trying to say and you might be reading into something that isn’t there,” Blaise explains. “If I’m having difficulty writing it, that’s usually a sign. There are some things that should just be discussed, not even over the phone, but face-to-face.” Blaise says the best advice he’s received is to treat every interaction like you can learn something — from conversations with employees to calls from customers who might not be the right fit. “If you’re not approaching every situation with an open mind, you’re selling yourself short,” Blaise says. “You’re not giving yourself the chance to learn something or gather information.” As MAC Renovations gets ready to celebrate 40 years in business next year, Blaise says they’re focussed on oiling the machine and finding efficiencies. And if it hadn’t have been for that wakeboarding accident? “Life deals you a hand and it changes the course,” he says. “Sometimes what feels like a bad thing can actually turn into something better — it just comes down to how you approach it. It opened a door I didn’t even consider.”

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Bright, bold and playful, the juicy colours of spring celebrate the return of life and — with no apologies — proclaim, “Look at me!” Vivid colours are the new trend, but vibrancy in both physical wellness and spirit is always in style!

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Opposite page: On Mellta: Orange satin dress ($575) by By Malene Birger, gemstone earrings ($305) by River Song, both from Bernstein & Gold. On Suzanne: Blue satin dress ($575) by By Malene Birger from Bernstein & Gold. On Linda: Red clay shift dress with back detail ($495) by By Malene Birger and gemstone earrings ($305) by River Song, both from Bernstein & Gold.

Satin “Jayde� jumpsuit ($450) by Xirena, grey diamond cluster pendant ($1,918) by Ruth Tomlinson from Bernstein & Gold; tan Olympic knot slide platforms ($329) by Homers from Footloose Shoes.

Dandelion midi tea dress ($695) by Smythe, grey diamond cluster pendant ($1,918) by Ruth Tomlinson and gemstone earrings ($305) by River Song, all from Bernstein & Gold; white slingback flats ($258) by Frye from Footloose Shoes.

On Mellta: Printed linen tunic ($199) by Bryn Waler, charcoal crinkled trousers ($249) by Grizas, both from Auréa; yellow suede slides ($249) by Homers from Footloose Shoes. On Suzanne: Embroidered rose beige tunic ($149), silver linen trousers ($229) by Grizas, and chunky metal necklaces (between $39 and $49), all from Auréa; tan Olympic knot slide platforms ($329) by Homers from Footloose Shoes. On Linda: Floral printed linen tunic dress ($259) by Bryn Waler and linen scarf ($89) by Yuvita, both from Auréa; coral red slides ($180) by Shoe The Bear and gemstone earrings ($305) by River Song, both from Bernstein & Gold.

Lavender blazer ($795) by Smythe, gemstone earrings ($305) by River Song, both from Bernstein & Gold.

Makeup and hair: Jen Clark, in-house makeup artist for COSMEDICA, using glo.MINERALS makeup. Models: Linda Giles, Mellta Swift and Suzanne Whyte. Assistant: Vellar Chou Photographed on location at Upside Studio in Fan Tan Alley: a huge thank you for hosting our team.



The nuanced, flavourful and diverse drink is experiencing a Renaissance Chili Berisoff, bartender at Bodega Tapas and Wine Bar.


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

“The destiny of a thousand generations is concentrated in each drop. If the cares of the world overwhelm you, only taste it, pilgrim, and you will swear that heaven is on earth.”


NTIL recently, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about sherry. I knew my mother occasionally poured herself a small glass to help her sleep. I knew it added richness and depth to my French onion soup recipe. But most of all, I knew I could never enjoy drinking it because it just was too sweet. I was wrong. “Most people tell me that same story,” says Emily Henderson, partner and general manager of Victoria’s Bodega Tapas and Wine Bar. As she sets out several small glasses of sherry and little dishes of almonds, olives, blue cheese and sliced ham, she explains why this fortified wine is so misunderstood: “People just don’t really give sherry a chance. Typically, their only experience with it is their granny’s sherry, which may have been super sweet, or maybe they tried a sherry that had gone bad.”


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Emily didn’t know much about sherry herself when Bodega first opened in 2014. “It was having a bit of a renaissance, so we thought it would be fun to highlight it on our menu,” she says. Now a serious enthusiast, Emily sees sherry as a remarkable, regionally specific drink. “It’s had a bad rap for a long time, but it’s so nuanced and it’s just meticulously made,” she says. Emily has also converted members of her staff, like bartender Chili Berisoff. “I didn’t know anything about sherry until I met Emily,” says Chili. “Sherry has unlocked a whole new world for me. It’s trained my palate and made food so much more pleasurable.” Sherry has been produced in southern Spain’s “Sherry Triangle” since about 700 AD. The main production towns of Jerez, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María offer chalky soil and a unique microclimate that is ideal for aging, storing and blending the fortified wine. Naturally occurring yeasts, known as flor, are an essential component of the sherry-making process and impart sherry with its trademark nutty flavour. There are six different types of sherry — fino, manzanilla, amontillado, oloroso, cream and Pedro Ximénez. Most of the paler, drier varieties are made from Palomino grapes, while the sweeter, richer sherries are made from Pedro Ximénez and Muscat grapes. To separate the wheat from the chaff, Emily provides pairing guidelines to her staff to help patrons choose a sherry. “We tell them, ‘If it grows, pair with a fino. If it swims, pair with a manzanilla. If it flies, chose an amontillado. If it runs, try an oloroso or a palo cortado. And if it’s blue cheese or dessert, try a Pedro Ximénez.’” But there aren’t really any hard and fast rules for pairings, she says.


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“A lot of it is individual taste. A fino can be equally great with seafood or a salad.” I’m intrigued as I slowly lift a pale-coloured sherry called Hidalgo Fino Clasica to my lips. I savour its dry, tart-apple notes then pop a plump Cerignola olive into my mouth. The pairing is incredible: the briny, refreshing sherry perfectly complements the buttery flavour of the mild, meaty olive. I know one thing for certain: This isn’t your grandmother’s sherry. Nor are the dozen or so other sherries Bodega offers by the glass on its drinks menu. “It’s amazing how much they vary from one another,” Emily says. “Some are salty and very dry, while others are so sweet you can pour them over ice cream.” Bodega serves sherry flights of three one-ounce pours so beginners and connoisseurs can compare a range of sherry styles. “The more you learn about sherry, the more you appreciate it,” Emily says. Both fino and manzanilla sherries are biologically aged in barrels covered by a layer of the flor yeast. Manzanilla sherry, a fino that’s sent to age on the coast, has a distinctive briny note.

614 Johnson St. Victoria | 250.381.6260


“If it grows, pair with a fino. If it swims, pair with a manzanilla. If it flies, chose an amontillado. If it runs, try an oloroso or a palo cortado. And if it’s blue cheese or dessert, try a Pedro Ximénez.”


“If skinny dipping had a flavour, this would be it,” says Emily. Amontillado is aged under the flor, then exposed to the air, giving it a darker quality and a more complex flavour. Oloroso, palo cortado and Pedro Ximénez sherries are called oxidative sherries, meaning that they are all exposed to oxygen. Oloroso sherries are exposed for a longer period of time than other sherries, giving them their dark, rich flavour and higher alcohol content. Palo cortado is a rare sherry that’s blended in a similar way to amontillado and oloroso sherries, while dark mahogany or black sweet sherries are made by fermenting either Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez grapes. Next up for me though is Lustau Los Arcos, a dry amontillado. This type of sherry is aged entirely under its yeast flor; all of its nutty, yeasty flavour comes from this biological aging process. Smooth, light, soft in tone, Los Arcos’s aftertaste imparts a faint hazelnut flavour that seems to go on for days. It is perfection paired with a single slice of the house Schinkenspeck ham. 58  |

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Then it’s onto Nutty Solera, a medium sherry that tastes a bit like burnt sugar and offers a smooth finish. “We playfully call this one the ‘gateway’ sherry, because it tastes like maple syrup on pancakes,” says Emily. “It’s great paired with our confit almonds, and also with chorizo.” My next sample is the Hildago Triana PX. Pedro Ximénez (or “PX”) grapes are sun-dried before fermentation, which gives these sherries their sweetness. PX wines are also blended with other sherries to create medium and cream sherries. I try this elixir with a few crumbs of blue cheese for a delicious riot of salty, sour and sweet flavours. Then Chili appears and offers me a single stewed fig. Its signature sweetness pairs beautifully with the palo cortado’s toffee, prune, raisin, black tea and pistachio flavour notes. The last taste of the day is the crema de la crema, a 30-year-old palo cortado called Apostoles. Like all sherries, Apostoles is produced in a cascading “solera” system of maturation barrels that blend young wine with old. The young wine feeds the flor, and in this case, each wine that is added to the barrels is at least 30 years old. “This sherry is like an exclamation point after a meal,” says Emily. “It can also be enjoyed all by itself.” And this is how I experience this precious final glass of sherry. Dry, but smooth as silk, Apostoles offers complex notes of almond, maple, apricot and citrus. Despite its renaissance in recent years, this distinguished, historic wine remains an enigma, something Emily and her staff are working hard to change. My experience at Bodega has certainly altered my perception of sherry, so much so that I now find myself dreaming about exploring sherry in its birthplace. As 19thcentury Spanish novelist Pedro Antonio de Alarcón y Ariza once said: “The destiny of a thousand generations is concentrated in each drop. If the cares of the world overwhelm you, only taste it, pilgrim, and you will swear that heaven is on earth.”


Bodega Tapas and Wine Bar 1210 Broad Street, Victoria (778) 406-1210 Happy hour

Vessel Liquor Store 1609 Fort Street, Victoria (778) 265-8375 Carries a wide selection of port styles at all price ranges.

The Big Book of Sherry Wines. Edited by César Saldaña (2006; Consejo Regulador and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture). This comprehensive reference book can be downloaded in PDF format at Click the download link in the description of the book.

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5185 Agate Lane Cordova Bay $3,795,000 Gated oceanfront manor set on a quiet lane with sweeping ocean views. The grand formal entry welcomes residents and guests and offers a glimpse of the beauty found within. The masterful open plan encourages entertaining, seamlessly flowing from room to room, with dynamic seascapes framed by walls of glass in all principle rooms. The tranquil backdrop creates a calming atmosphere that perfectly accentuates the modern design aesthetic.

2529 Goddard Rd Sidney $1,950,000 Custom built masterpiece that takes full advantage of the pristine seaside location. Steps from the ocean, the serene setting is captured within by floor to ceiling windows, which also contributes abundant natural light. The interior is modern and sophisticated and superior craftsmanship is evident throughout.

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

6322 Marie Meadows Rd

10643 Blue Heron Rd

479 Monterey Ave

Central Saanich $979,000

Sidney $1,699,000

Oak Bay $1,799,000

Set in prestigious Tanner Ridge Estates, this sophisticated residence boasts modern updates throughout, with a fresh design aesthetic that is elegant and engaging. The home is bright and inviting, with warm hardwood flooring welcoming guest and residents and extending through principle rooms and contributing warmth and a touch of the natural environment.

This beautiful waterfront home is warm and inviting. Enjoy low bank waterfront, take evening beach walks or launch kayaks from your back yard. Abundant natural light is provided by large picture windows, which artfully frame the stunning ocean vistas which captivate upon entry. Warm hardwood flooring extends throughout the main level, enhancing the comfortable atmosphere.

Charming ocean view Oak Bay manor completely renovated, with hints of old world charm throughout. Bright main with timeless design aesthetic. Sweeping ocean views from principle rooms. Contemporary kitchen with top of the line appliances with adjacent eating area and sunroom flooded with natural light. Sophisticated dining room opens to family room with shared fireplace - ideal for entertaining.

3704 Arbutus Ridge

1004/1005 - 100 Saghalie Rd

10163 Fifth St

Ten Mile Point $2,598,000

Victoria $3,750,000

Sidney $799,000

Don’t delay seeing this executive residence on a rare .50 acre south-facing oasis, just a stone’s throw from parks and the beach. Perfect for a large family with 5 beds and 5 baths, including 3 Ensuites & 3 Walk-in Closets. Please contact Marilyn Ball at 250-818-6489

This executive Penthouse suite has been custom designed, harmoniously blending two premium suites into one luxurious oasis. Soaring 11 foot ceilings exaggerate the space and create and open and inviting atmosphere. The entry formally welcomes residents and guests and allows glimpses to the lavish living space within.

Sophisticated residence positioned just minutes from the ocean. The modern interior is bright and inviting, with an open concept that encourages entertaining. Functional layout maximizes space and is enhanced with vaulted ceilings and a skylight the floods the home with natural light.

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

exclusive luxury listings

987 BEACH DRIVE | OAK BAY 3 BEDS | 4 BATHS | 404806 | $3,000,000

3110 EXETER ROAD | UPLANDS 5 BEDS | 3 BATHS | 405056 | $2,650,000

96 6 M O N T E R E Y AV E NUE | O A K B AY 4 BE D S | 4 B AT H S | 4 0 5 2 7 7 | $ 2 ,15 0 , 0 0 0

2 0 41 GR A NI T E S T R E E T | O A K B AY 4 BE D S | 3 B AT H S | 4 0 5 8 5 8 | $1, 69 5 ,0 0 0

2 5 8 5 CR A NM OR E R O A D | O A K B AY 5 BE D S | 5 B AT H S | 4 0 6 5 41 | $ 2 ,0 3 0 , 0 0 0

218 8 B A R T L E T T AV E NUE | O A K B AY 5 BE D S | 4 B AT H S | 4 0 6 414 | $1, 8 2 5 , 0 0 0

5 5 0 H A R BINGE R AV E NUE | FA IR F IE L D 8 BE D S | 4 B AT H S | 4 0 59 5 0 | $1,7 0 0 ,0 0 0

4 0 2 9 R A INB O W HIL L L A NE | S A A NICH E A S T 4 BE D S | 3 B AT H S | 4 0 6 2 3 0 | $1, 6 49, 8 8 8

15 8 0 L A ND S E ND R O A D | NOR T H S A A NICH 3 BE D S | 4 B AT H S | 4 0 4 6 0 5 | $ 5 ,7 9 0 , 0 0 0

2 4 81 R H A P S O DY P L A CE | L A NGF OR D 3 BE D S | 4 B AT H S | 4 0 6 4 3 2 | $1, 2 0 0 ,0 0 0

5 4 4 R ID GE P O IN T E P L A CE | C OLW O O D 4 BE D S | 4 B AT H S | 4 0 4 5 21 | $9 5 0 ,0 0 0





2803 ARBUTUS ROAD | SAANICH EAST | $3,000,000

2802 ARBUTUS ROAD | SAANICH EAST | $3,000,000

5 B EDS | 5 BAT HS | 5,411 SQ. F T. | 405952

3 B EDS | 6 BAT HS | 4,899 SQ. F T. | 401149

2951 PHYLLIS STREET | SAANICH EAST | $3,000,000 5 B EDS | 5 BAT HS | 4,085 SQ. F T. | 405547

An international associate of Savills

2713 SEA VIEW ROAD | SAANICH EAST | $4,500,000 5 B EDS | 5 BAT HS | 5,164 SQ. F T. | 399940


An independently owned and operated licensee of UMRO Realty Corp.


OCEANFRONT PLAYGROUND 5179 East Sooke Road, Victoria, BC


Unique 10 acre sheltered oceanfront headland with 1,620 ft. of shoreline & 2015 custom 5,672 sq. ft. home. Stunning private dock, a launchpad to some of the most coveted sports fishing grounds on the West Coast. Oceans, mountains & islands!

LUXURY PENTHOUSE 402 - 3230 Selleck Way, Victoria



$915,000 506 - 9818 Third Street, Sidney

Expansive ocean & mountain views from this quality built 2009, 3-bed, 3-bath, 2,008 sq ft. condo in the Two Waters development.


Luxury 1 bedroom penthouse with south east ocean views & 11 ft. ceilings in a boutique, 2016 building with superb finishes. Pets welcome!

403 - 75 Songhees Road, Victoria


Enjoy active Harbour Views from this 1,073 sq. ft. 2-bed, 2-bath condo on the Songhees Walkway in Mariner’s Landing.

“We believe every home is a mansion regardless of size, location or price”


Kirsten MacLeod



Personal Real Estate Corporation

Sales Associate M AC L EO D -G ROU P.COM


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.

00 0 , 9 ,39 6 $

00 0 , 8 ,19 2 $

0 ,00 0 ,48 $2

2640 Queenswood Drive

Exclusive Waterfront Acreage -Private Beach

0 ,00 0 98 $1,

4631 Ocean Park Place

19 King George Terrace

Spacious & Luxurious Oceanfront

5-6 bedrms, steps to Gonzales Beach

0 ,00 5 ,12 $2

4957 Cordova Bay Road

Chic & fully reno’d beachfront cottage w/sep suite!

636 Linkleas Ave

Amazing location & privacy – huge S. Oak Bay property

1857 Bowker Place

Steps from sandy Willows Beach. Just like new with huge sunny lot






Representing Buyers & Sellers in Price i n t rusALL t e dMarkets r e a l eand s tat e t rRanges. a ns ac t ions. Lisa Williams is Your Negotiating Advantage

Buying Buying or or Selling: Selling: Lisa Lisa Williams* Williams* is is Your Your Negotiating Negotiating Advantage Advantage ( 2 5 0 ) 51 4 -1 9 6 6 ( 2 5 0 ) 51 4 -1 9 6 6


* Personal Real Estate Corporation * Personal Real Estate Corporation

1144 Fort Street, Victoria, BC

The Value of Experience

Sylvia Therrien

Personal Real Estate Corporation

93 King George Terrace | $2,200,000

762 Victoria | $2,649,000

1107-707 Courtney | $1,525,000

572 Beach | $2,350,000

1215 Waters Edge | $1,885,000

304-888 Government | $998,850

Panoramic Ocean and Mountain Views

Spectacular Suite at The Falls

Gorgeous Modern Home in Cordova Bay

Stunning Family Home South Oak Bay

Stunning Water Views

1 Bed/2 Bath + Den at Customs House • • 250.385.2033 • Cell: 250.888.6621 • Toll-free: 1.888.886.1286









3220 EXETER ROAD $3,200,000

301 - 1035 MCCLURE STREET $379,000 MLS#401635

Extraordinary Properties! Unrivalled Experience and Expertise Luxury Waterfront Specialist

OLD TOWN – THE ORIENTAL This exciting corner premiere studio penthouse situated in the Oriental, a Heritage Conversion done in 2010, is designed to impress! The building enjoys the best of the features of Architect John Teague in the Victorian Italianate style of the mid to late 1880’s. Unique features include 12’ 8” ceilings with tall upper story bay windows and distinct ground-storey arches, offering the best and the largest of the studio floor plans at 522 sq.ft. The suite enjoys south west light on two sides with cantilevered dining area. Abundant wall space is an art collectors dream. Amenities include bicycle storage, storage locker, plus common roof deck for barbeque. Situated in the heart of the Yates Street commercial corridor; the location cannot be beat. Restaurants and boutiques at your feet. The Transient Zoning, allows short term rental; plus, pets are welcome! Offered at $449,000 MLS#405896

SOUTH FACING SUB PENTHOUSE A rare Commodity indeed, a sub penthouse situated above the Victoria International Marina with incomparable south facing Ocean and Mountain Views, offering almost 2,000 sq.ft. of living space. The home awaits your personal touch to fully compliment its’ size and location. The 29’ living room has a feature fireplace and Juliet balcony to overlook the Yachts below. The lifestyle offered in this location is difficult to beat; just a short stroll into downtown Victoria. The well managed building has the California style open hall ways leading you home in natural light. Secure underground parking. Offered at $849,000 MLS# 399958

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.






110-10 Paul Kane Pl 3 Bed | 2 Bath $1,270,000 MLS 405428

305 Viaduct Ave W 3 Bed | 2 Bath $907,000 MLS 401980

2420 Bowker Ave 3 Bed | 1 Bath $1,019,000 MLS 406567

203 - 1625 Belmont Ave 2 Bed | 2 Bath $499,900 MLS 406618

Contact our award winning team of dedicated real estate professionals *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

Saira Waters*

Tasha Medve*

Lindsay Block-Glass

WHAT’S MY HOME WORTH? Come in or call to receive a FREE MARKET EVALUATION for your home


Providing Over 130 Years of Experience For Your Piece of Mind


Krista V is proud to announce that she has teamed up with her youngest son Mark. Mark comes from a diverse educational background that has shaped him into the personable and detail oriented person he is today. Coupled with Krista’s expertise, warm hearted and outstanding customer service, Krista and Mark are the team that you want representing you in the sale or purchase of your home!

Let us help you every step of the way….

504-21 Dallas Road

301-1721 Quadra Street

Shoal Point, Victoria James Bay | $1,099,000

Victoria Central Park | $515,000

Enjoy amazing inner harbour views and activity from your 413 sq. foot verandah at the prestigious Shoal Point. This immaculate 2 bed 2 bath condo is waiting for you. Amenities include a 25m lap pool, hot tub, gym, sauna, guest suites and concierge. Enjoy Fisherman’s wharf, downtown & strolling on Dallas Road, all at your doorstep!

Bright, modern, unique two level condo steps from downtown! This spacious, steel-concrete condo has a town house feel, elevator access to both levels and has its own private heated garage (a rarity for a downtown condo)! Pets allowed and unrestricted rentals.

2745 Avebury Avenue

120-208 Russell Street Victoria West | $1,170,000

Unique, spectacular waterfront location! This immaculate 3 bed 3 bath end unit town home is located along the West Song Walkway and is walking distance to downtown. A large beautiful heated solarium and over 600 sq.ft. of wrap around deck that faces South & East with amazing views of the Inner Harbour and the Olympic Mountains.

Victoria Oaklands | $839,000 This bright & sunny home is perched high on the street with wonderful mountain views from the kitchen, sunroom, living room & deck! 3 bed, 2 bath with a studio suite, the main floor is completely updated. Great location, close to Oaklands School, and bus stop to UVic or Downtown.

2249 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC V8R 1G4 • Office +1 778-433-8885

The local real estate agent with the international network: Krista Voitchovsky, Real Estate Advisor 250-888-3256 |

Mark Gutknecht, Real Estate Advisor 250-880-1000 |

Sarah West and Bill Ethier Personal Real Estate Corporation

The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life | 250.920.7000 |




474 Smelt Bay Road 3 beds 3 baths MLS 402167 $749,900

245-1999 Country Club Way 1 bed 1 bath MLS 398046 $184,900

4204-3221 Heatherbell Road 2 beds 2 baths MLS 399758 $599,900

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

Volunteer Connect Fundraise

Join us for our fundraiser SUNDAY, MAY 26 · 2-5 PM

at the Union Club · 805 Gordon Street A partnership between the Gallery Associates and the Union Club in support of AGGV’s Exhibitions and Educational Programs for Children and Families · One-of-a-kind, hand dyed Canadian fashions · Silent art auction with unique work by a variety of recognized artists · Art by local professional artists, available for purchase · · Door prizes · A farewell gift bag full of useful surprises



per person


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Tickets on sale at the Gallery and online at

The Associates of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria volunteer, promote and support the Gallery through fundraising events and programs.


& ASSOCIATES Rebecca, Nancy & Sophia Together this dynamic team offers their clients in-depth knowledge of Victoria’s real estate market and the characteristics of the array of neighbourhoods under consideration.













Personal Real Estate Corporation STRATTONANDBRIGGS.COM Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement.


The miracle of coconut milk BY HEIDI FINK | P H OTO S BY D O N D E N TO N

Thank you to Nelson Collins and Melanie Wagner-Collins for hosting our photo shoot in your beautiful kitchen. Pitcher, linens and white plates from Salt Pure Goods

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OCONUT milk is a wonder in the kitchen. It is a dairy-free miracle of creamy liquid that enriches every recipes it touches. Coconut milk is not only a wonderful substitute for dairy products, but a delicious ingredient in its own right. We most often encounter coconut milk in Thai food, cooked into rich curries and flavourful soups, but it can be used anywhere you might use cream in recipes. Think homemade ice cream, puddings and cakes; whipped toppings and custards; soups, dipping sauces and marinades; and, of course, cocktails and smoothies. Its high fat content often scares people off, but coconut milk has a ton of health benefits. It is high in magnesium, potassium and selenium; its fat comes in the form of a medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid, one of the healthiest and most digestible forms of fat for human consumption. So enjoy that creamy coconut whip to your heart’s content! Good coconut milk has a mild sweet flavour and rich mouthfeel, which works well with all kinds of foods. I love it equally in seafood curry and sweetened on fresh berries. It can also be used to revive dried coconut into a great approximation of fresh coconut. (Those of you who have tried making authentic South East Asian or Caribbean food know the pain of trying to find, open, peel and grate a fresh coconut.) I’ve included instructions below for this great “fresh” coconut hack! Most importantly, good coconut milk should not be “milky” at all. It should be thick and creamy, solid enough to spoon out of the can; not runny like milk. See the sidebar below for tips on how to find the best and thickest milk in the can. Once opened, coconut milk will last four or five days in the fridge, and several months in the freezer. It does separate a bit after freezing, but can still be used in almost any recipe (except coconut whip) with good results. There are so many ways to use coconut milk in the kitchen; I have barely scratched the surface with the recipes here. Use these as inspiration for your next can of coconut milk, and then try branching out into coconut cake, creamy soup or satay sauce. Or you can do what I do: find excuses to make coconut whip every week.

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Catering, take-out & gourmet cuisine

Full gourmet selection of take out including gluten-free and dairy-free Fabulous sit down lunches at the eatery Catering: breakfast and lunch for business functions, cocktail and dinner parties, and weddings

250.595.3212 2007 Cadboro Bay Road  |

A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9


HOW TO CHOOSE A CAN OF COCONUT MILK This might be the top favourite tip that I give in my cooking classes. The best way to choose a can of coconut milk is to shake the can. You should hear no noise, no liquid sloshing at all. Good quality coconut milk is solid at room temperature; it separates into a really thick rich cream and a thinner watery milk underneath. You should be spooning the milk out of the can, not pouring it. A good quality can of coconut milk should be at least half solid cream, plugging the can effectively, so that even the thinner milk at the bottom can’t slosh around when you shake it. Do not make a purchase decision based on price, on brand, on labels that say “coconut cream,” or even based on brands you had success with in the past. Every can of coconut milk will be different, even within the same brand. Just keep shaking cans until you find one that makes no noise.

“FRESH” COCONUT HACK One of my favourite coconut hacks is to create an excellent substitute for fresh coconut using dried unsweetened coconut soaked in rich coconut milk. Fresh coconut has a rich sweetness that can be hard to replicate in recipes if you only have access to dried coconut; this hack does the job beautifully. 1½ cups dried unsweetened coconut 1 can coconut milk Place the dried coconut in a bowl. Bring the coconut milk to a rolling boil. Immediately pour the boiling coconut milk over the dried coconut in the bowl. Stir well to combine. Set aside 78  |

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Unique Pots, Plants and Garden Accessories.

Red Thai Curry.

for about 30 minutes, until the dried coconut has absorbed most or all of the coconut milk. Use in any recipe that calls for grated fresh coconut (eg. Coconut, Chili and Cilantro Chutney below).

QUICK WEEKNIGHT RED THAI CURRY Serves 4 to 6 with rice. A cornerstone of my Basic Thai cooking class, this is a recipe that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. The addition of fresh aromatics combined with the proper cooking technique are what makes this recipe stand apart from one you may have tried before. Almost all of these ingredients can be purchased at most supermarkets in town. If there is anything you can’t find, feel free to omit it. 1½ Tbsp vegetable oil 1 can Maesri red curry paste, OR 2 to 3 Tbsp Thai Kitchen red curry paste 1½ Tbsp minced lemongrass (1 stalk lemongrass) 1 Tbsp minced fresh or frozen galangal, OR 1 tsp fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1 400 mL can good quality coconut milk 3 Tbsp fish sauce 1 to 1½ lbs fresh prawns, peeled 1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded and sliced into pointy wedges 2 baby bok choi, sliced OR other green vegetable of your choice 1 Tbsp palm sugar, or yellow sugar

South of Duncan on the Trans Canada Hwy. 250.746.8734

A perfect sleep is closer than you think 126 STATION ST. DUNCAN 1-844-855-REST (7378)  |

A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9


Extend your family time

Extend your social time

Extend your quiet time

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice 4 makrut lime leaves, sliced ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Thai basil Using a mortar and pestle, roughly mash the minced lemongrass, the minced galangal or ginger, and the sliced garlic with a pinch of salt. Alternatively, mince everything together as finely as possible on your cutting board. Open the can of coconut milk. It should have separated into a thick, spoonable coconut “cream” at the top of the can and a thinner coconut water underneath. Scoop out all of the thick cream into a liquid measuring cup, leaving the thinner water behind in the can. You should have 1 cup of thick coconut cream. If not, open a second can of coconut milk and scoop the thick milk off it until you have enough thick coconut milk to proceed. Reserve the thin watery coconut milk. Scoop about 2 Tbsp of the thick cream into a small bowl and set aside. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the curry paste and the mashed or minced lemongrass mixture. Sauté, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds, and then add 2 tablespoons only of thick coconut cream. Cook, stirring, until the oil separates from the coconut milk and most of the liquid has evaporated. The curry paste should smell fragrant, but not burnt. This cooking technique is the most important part of this recipe. Now add the rest of the thick coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the vegetables, fish sauce and sugar. If the mixture seems too thick, add a bit of the reserved thin watery coconut milk. Simmer 5 minutes, until vegetables are just getting tender. Stir in the prawns and lime leaves. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the prawns are just cooked through. Add the lime juice and basil and remove from heat. Stir well to combine everything. Taste to adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately on top of steamed jasmine rice.

COCONUT, CHILI AND CILANTRO CHUTNEY Makes 1.5 cups This absolutely delicious, nutty, spicy and slightly sweet chutney is always included with breakfast in Southern India. It pairs perfectly with roasted potatoes and other root vegetables as a side dish or appetizer; it’s also excellent with crispy pappadum, chewy naan or mild lentils. It is usually made with fresh coconut, but I have used the Fresh Coconut Hack (above) in this variation.



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1 cup dried unsweetened medium coconut + 1 cup canned coconut milk (OR 1¼ cup grated fresh coconut) 4 green onions OR 1 large shallot, peeled 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger 1 to 3 jalapeños, with seeds, if desired (*see note below) 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and soft stems ¼ tsp salt (or to taste) 1 tsp light brown sugar 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (optional) 2 tsp vegetable oil 1 tsp whole black mustard seeds

*For a medium-spice level, use 1 to 2 jalapeños with no seeds or membranes. To increase the spiciness, include the seeds and/or increase the numbers of jalapeños. In Southern India and Sri Lanka, this chutney (also known as Coconut Sambar) is scorchingly spicy, packed with fresh green chilies. If using dried coconut, place it in a small bowl. Bring the coconut milk to a boil in a small pot and pour it over the dried coconut. Let sit for 1 hour. Place the green onions (or shallots), ginger, jalapeños, cilantro, salt and brown sugar in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again, this time until the ingredients are very finely chopped, but not puréed. Scrape this mixture into the bowl with the soaked dried coconut and mix well. (If using fresh coconut, omit the step involving the coconut milk — you will not be using the coconut milk at all. Place the green onions, ginger, jalapeños, cilantro, salt and brown sugar in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until ingredients are chopped small. Add the fresh coconut and process until everything is ground up small, but not puréed. Stop to scrape down the sides as necessary. Remove to a bowl.)

Coconut, chili and cilantro chutney.




108-950 Whirlaway Cres.


Victoria | 250.920.2003

Lake Cowichan | 250.932.2004  |

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3.01 ct.

We most often encounter coconut milk in Thai food, cooked into rich curries and flavourful soups, but it can be used anywhere you might use cream in recipes.

3.01 ct.

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Natural fancy light yellow diamonds


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106 - 2187 Oak Bay Ave. 250-592-1100


One of the Cowichan Valley’s many Treasures

For Brunching Lunching, Cocktailing & Fine dining

On First 82  |

250-597-0666 163 First St. Duncan

A P R I L / M AY 2 0 1 9

Sweet Black Rice and Coconut Pudding.

To finish either chutney: Heat the oil and the mustard seeds in a small skillet over medium heat. As soon as the seeds begin to turn gray and pop, immediately pour them while still hot into your bowl of chutney. They will make a loud, hot-oil sound as you pour, but that is normal. Mix well with a spoon. Taste. You may decide that you want to use the optional lime juice (I usually only use it when I have fresh coconut) and you may want more salt. This chutney should be served at room temperature.

SWEET BLACK RICE AND COCONUT PUDDING Serves 8 I have “westernized” this traditional Thai dessert to a North American-style creamy soft rice pudding texture, with excellent results. Black rice is chewy and flavourful and cooks to a purple hue — wonderful in this dessert. Dairy free, gluten free and todie-for delicious! 1½ cups of Thai black rice (also known as black sweet rice and black glutinous rice) 4½ cups of water 2 cans (400 mL each) of coconut milk 1 ⁄3 cup light brown sugar 2 large disks of palm sugar (or 2⁄3 cup more light brown sugar) ¾ tsp salt Sliced mango, peach, strawberry, golden kiwi or banana

Rinse rice well in several changes of cold water. Drain well. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine water and rice. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, and reduce heat to the lowest possible setting. Let cook for 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, open one of the cans of coconut milk. It will have separated into a thicker coconut “cream” at the top of the can, and a thinner coconut “water” at the bottom. Scoop off as much of the cream as possible and place in a bowl. Mix ¼ tsp of the salt and the 1⁄3 cup light brown sugar into the bowl with the cream. Place the bowl in the fridge. This will be used later on for a delicious creamy topping. Once the rice has cooked and absorbed most of the water, stir in the coconut “water” left over from the first can as well as the entire contents of the second can of coconut milk. Also add the remaining ½ tsp salt and the disks of palm sugar (or 2⁄3 cup light brown sugar, if using). Continue to cook the rice, covered, over low heat for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the whole thing looks creamy and pudding-y. Pour into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir it every once in a while to prevent the top from drying out. Once cool, dish the pudding out into individual dessert bowls. Top each one with a dollop of reserved sweetened coconut cream and slices of fresh seasonal fruit.


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Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill thoroughly. Before whipping, chill a large mixing bowl and whip attachment in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge. Open the can and scoop out the solid coconut cream, leaving the liquid behind. Reserve the liquid for another use (e.g. smoothies). Place the thick cream in your chilled mixing bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla, if using, and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth with soft peaks — about 1 minute. Be careful not to over-beat! Coconut cream can get grainy and loose if it’s over-beaten. Use immediately or refrigerate — coconut whip loses its shape as it approaches room temperature. But it will keep in the fridge for four to five days.

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High road to the

ARCTIC Traversing the Dempster Highway STORY AND PHOTOS BY DARREN HULL

Photographer and filmmaker Darren Hull — whose work is featured regularly in Boulevard Okanagan — travelled solo to Canada’s North to explore and photograph the Dempster Highway and document the only open road to the Arctic Ocean. The Dempster Highway has been around since 1979, but the Inuvik–Tuktoyaktuk Highway officially opened November 2017 and is the first all-weather road to Canada’s Arctic coast. It is an engineering marvel, making it an enticing “bucket list” item, explains Darren. A 740-kilometre roadway from Dawson City, Yukon to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, the trip offers incredible scenery, wide-open spaces and remote beauty with the option to carry on north to Tuktoyaktuk and the Arctic Ocean.

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Y JOURNEY started in Kelowna, where I boarded a plane and flew to Whitehorse with the friendly folks at AirNorth. I was treated to a lovely in-flight meal of local cheeses, bison and crackers, followed by the best warm chocolate chip cookie of my life. It was an easy flight, just over two hours (a little more than three hours from Victoria). After I landed in Whitehorse, the folks at DrivingForce provided me with a fully loaded SUV rental; it had enough room for myself and all my gear to be self-contained throughout my journey. I was tempted to explore all that Whitehorse offered, but I had to keep my focus on the Dempster, and my journey ahead. After catching some shut-eye, I rose early and supplied-up with the items I couldn’t fly with: fuel for my camp stove, water and food for the entire duration. I knew that Whitehorse was the biggest city stop for this trip and had the most

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amenities, so I took the opportunity to stock up and avoid purchasing groceries and supplies that would get increasingly expensive, the further north I travelled. Fully stocked and ready to go, I drove the six hours from Whitehorse to Dawson and spent the night. I’d always wanted to explore Dawson and it was a great place to start my Dempster Adventure, with the highway just one hour away. The highway cuts through two mountain ranges, the Ogilvie and Richardson Mountains, through miles of forests and arctic tundra, before dropping to the Mackenzie River and its flats. The highway sits on top of a gravel berm to insulate the permafrost in the soil underneath. The thickness of the gravel pad ranges from 1.2 metres up to 2.4 metres in some places (four feet to eight feet). Without the pad, the permafrost would melt and the road would sink into the ground. The Dempster Highway has long been a quiet magnet for adventurous travellers. It seems to be even more of a draw

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Fabulous too!! now that drivers can continue on from Inuvik to the Arctic coastal community of Tuktoyaktuk. Services are limited and the journey on the Dempster can be hard. The first stretch runs 370 kilometres without a gas station. Gas, diesel fuel and repairs are available at Eagle Plains, Fort McPherson and at Inuvik. Appropriate preparation is essential. Road conditions can also vary drastically. Inuvik is the official end of the Dempster Highway, but you can’t just stop there with the Arctic Ocean only 140 kilomtres away on the Inuvik–Tuktoyaktuk Highway. It took two and a half hours to reach Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk), where there was a small collection of campers parked around a spanking new Arctic Ocean sign. I was on the road for eight days in total, and with a day each before and after, my adventure took a total of 10 days. There are no hotels in Tuk yet, only a few small bed and breakfasts. I drove to Tuk and back in a single day and


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Tsiigehtchic is a Gwich’in community located at the confluence of the Mackenzie and Arctic Red rivers, in the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories.

used Inuvik as my base for the Northern Arctic adventure. For those willing to dry camp, people are welcome to park near the beach in Tuk for free. My regret was not spending more time there; I will plan for more days on my next adventure there. This was a trip that I will never forget. The scenery was comparable to none, but it was also long, dirty and lonely at times. It seemed to be a

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place you could disappear and never be seen again. The road was not only physically rough, but it was rough on the vehicle and my body and mind. The change in the road conditions — from hard compact gravel to mud bogs — kept me on alert. There were hours that would go by without seeing another vehicle on the road. Aside from the road itself, it was the most untouched landscape I’d ever seen.

The week was filled with every imaginable weather condition. The colours in early September were spectacular and the lack of bugs around that time was an added bonus. I had heard some reports of heavy insects during other times of the year, so I was happy I travelled in September. It’s a trip I know I will need to take again, and the planning is already underway.

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Whales and other wonders

Glamping in the Broughton Archipelago BY SUZANNE MORPHET



AD, come quick,” shouts 21-year-old Jake Bailey as he looks out at the choppy water of Blackfish Sound. “Orca — he’s chasing a salmon!” Seconds later the salmon leaps from the water, followed in hot pursuit by the breaching whale. “That was very cool,” grins Jake’s father, David, after emerging from a forested campsite just in time to witness what appears to be the grand finale — with the whale winning the chase. It’s our second day on Swanson Island in the Broughton Archipelago and seeing whales in their natural environment is a big part of why we’re here. The four members of the Bailey family have come all the way from the UK. There’s also a middle-aged couple from Ontario, a newly engaged pair from San Francisco and myself and another BC woman travelling on our own. Blackfish Sound — named for the distinctive black and white colouration of killer whales — is renowned for its population of northern resident orcas, currently numbering about 300. Squeezed between the mountains of the mainland and northern Vancouver Island, the sound’s deep, cold water is rich in nutrients stirred up by strong tides. Scientists have been researching whale acoustics for almost 50 years at OrcaLab on Hanson Island, just across the water from our camp. And at the southern end of the sound, Robson Bight Ecological Reserve is the only place in the world where killer whales are known to rub their bellies on the gravel bottom. If you want to see orcas in BC, this is the place to come. Humpbacks are also staging a comeback after being hunted almost to extinction, and on our first morning we spot two puffs of whale breath hanging in the air offshore, a big one and a little one beside it. “There’s something called site fidelity,” explains Ashley Hamilton, our lead guide, meaning humpbacks return with their calves to the same area each year. While seeing numerous orcas and a few humpbacks will be the highlight of our stay, there’s no denying our other attraction to this particular piece of pristine wilderness: the chance to camp in comfort. The south-facing tip of Swanson Island is where Spirit of the West Adventures has set up a base camp with nine spacious canvas tents boasting real beds with crisp linens and warm duvets (hot water bottles are also provided), a hot shower with ocean view, a covered lounge overlooking Freshwater Bay, and a large kitchen and dining area. A wood-fired hot tub is the pièce de résistance, ready on our return from each day’s kayaking adventure. “You’ll hear lots of sounds at night, but don’t worry,” says Ashley before we retire the first evening. “If you hear what sounds like dinosaurs fighting, it’s herons. The sound of a ‘gunshot’ is a whale breaching. And when the whole ground seems to vibrate? That’s a cruise ship going by.”  |

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“If you hear what sounds like dinosaurs fighting, it’s herons. The sound of a ‘gunshot’ is a whale breaching. And when the whole ground seems to vibrate? That’s a cruise ship going by.”

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The next morning, we quickly get into the groove of our fourday stay with a paddle after breakfast. Guide Mitch Raynard helps me into my kayak and I push off into the bay where yellow blades of bull kelp float on the surface like Rapunzel’s hair. Once everyone’s afloat we group up and paddle along the rocky shoreline, keeping one eye out for black bears that might be foraging for shellfish at low tide and another eye on the horizon for tell-tale whale blows. The numerous small islands in this area and the narrow channels between them provide protected kayaking routes, even in windy weather, Ashley explains when we break for lunch on a beach strewn with bleached and broken shells. The Broughton Archipelago is known for its ancient clam gardens cultivated by indigenous people over the millennia. The terraces of some are still visible today, along with shell middens. After a picnic lunch we explore one small island on foot, stopping to examine culturally modified trees and learn more about the importance of Western Red Cedar to coastal First Nations. It was the “tree of life,” used to make everything from clothing to canoes and from baby baskets to burial boxes. Paddling back to camp the tide has changed and now we’re going with the current. Before we know it, home base is just around the corner. “Let’s aim for the hot tub,” says Ashley as Swanson Island comes into sight. While we’ve been off having fun, camp chef Gaspard Laniece has been hard at work, and awaiting us in the lounge is a beautiful spread of hors d’oeuvres; cheese and crackers, cold cuts and smoked salmon, olives and bread.

Early the next morning I’m up with the sun after an unusually deep sleep. Following a well-worn trail through the undergrowth of ferns, salal and huckleberry, I find Gaspard in the kitchen dipping slices of bread into a bowl of broken eggs for French toast. “It’s the calm before the storm,” he says, nodding at the flat water beyond. The forecast today is for 25- to 30-knot winds, along with rain. But the guides aren’t worried, so why should we be? We’re warm, dry and well fed. In fact, Gaspard has ensured we’re very well fed. That afternoon, a local, indigenous man takes us in his covered motorboat for an afternoon of exploring further afield in Blackfish Sound. Heading into open water, the wind picks up and the water turns choppy. We pass two rocky islands that squirm with dozens of plump and playful sea lions. Further off we see black blades slicing the water. A National Geographic cruise ship has paused its motors and our guide turns his off too. Standing on the back of the boat we drift in silent expectation. The grey sky spits rain. Soon, orcas are everywhere, popping up like black and white submarines before descending again in graceful arcs. The Brits become hugely excited. “Look, look, look,” yells Jake when he spots a large orca steaming directly toward us. “He’s coming under,” cries David, and we all watch, mesmerized, as the orca dives, then surfaces on the other side. “Oh my God, that was fantastic. You can’t trump that.” Or maybe you can. Early on our last morning I’m in the hot tub enjoying a muted sunrise through the mist while some of the others go for one last  |

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paddle. As he feeds the hot tub with wood, a worker tells me there’s a humpback out there somewhere. “We haven’t see him yet, but we heard him. He’s trumpeting like an elephant.” Moments later we hear it again, and it’s like something out of Africa, strangely exotic and evocative. When the paddlers return, we know they’ve seen something good. “He breached right in front of our kayak,” says David’s wife, Suzanne, with tears filling her eyes. That upwelling of gratitude is contagious. Leaving this

special place, we all feel lighter, happier and more in tune with a natural world that never ceases to amaze.

If you go: The four-day Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour is offered by Spirit of the West Adventures from mid-June through mid-September. Prices from $1,695 per person. kayakingtours. com. Tours begin and end on Quadra Island. The Heriot Bay Inn is a delightful place to stay on the waterfront before and after your tour.

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ENTION the Maya and most people think of their iconic calendars, those massive stone discs covered with beautiful, enigmatic symbols. What’s less well known is that over a thousand years ago the Maya — sometimes referred to as the Greeks of the New World — reached astonishing heights of sophistication in the fields of mathematics, astronomy and other sciences. Their rich culture and profound accomplishments are explored in Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises, a blockbuster exhibition that is getting its world debut at the Royal BC Museum.

Jade masks were precious grave goods for kings and high nobles. Large masks were placed on the heads of deceased individuals, while small masks such as this one adorned belts and headdresses. Jade, shell and obsidian. Classic period (250 to 900 CE).

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Inspired by a recent Maya-themed exhibition in Spain, albeit one featuring artifacts drawn from the collections of European museums, the RBCM negotiated directly with Guatemalan authorities to produce its own, expanded portrait of classical and contemporary Mayan culture. From exquisite jade jewelry and ceramic figurines to massive stone stelae, literally weighing tons, the exhibition will be a showcase for exotic, mostly unknown treasures. “This will be the first time that many of these objects will have been seen outside of Guatemala,” explains Janet MacDonald, the RBCM’s Head of Learning. “These are masterpieces, from miniatures to the monumental.” Aside from presenting more than 300 artifacts, Maya will be stimulating in other ways, from the wafts of traditional copal incense that will greet visitors to hands-on replicas, multi-media presentations and even a “birthday machine” that allows users to key in their birth date and generate a translation into Mayan hieroglyphs that they can email to themselves. “From floor to ceiling this will be an incredible visual experience,” promises MacDonald. Running from May 17 to December 31. For tickets and information see


It was 2004 and two-time Tony-winning director Des McAnuff (The Who’s Tommy, Big River) was putting the final touches on his latest musical, due to open the next day. “I had a feeling and I went to the box office to warn them to hire lots more phone staff because ‘You’re about to get flattened,’” recalls McAnuff. As it turned out, that predicted flood turned into a tsunami: Jersey Boys, the epic account of doo-wopping gangsters The Four Seasons, ran for 13 years on Broadway and latterly conquered the globe. One of the first of many “jukebox musicals,” Jersey still rates as one of the very best. “When the songs are well known but the performers’ history isn’t, that’s a great combination,” McAnuff explains. Back in the early ‘60s, as chart-topping hits like Sherry and Walk Like a Man sold millions of copies on the updraft of Frankie Valli’s piercing falsetto, nobody knew that these guys who sang like angels were anything but.  |

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Patrick Boyle — celebrating the music of Louis Armstrong.

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“Two of them had already done substantial time in jail,” notes McAnuff, who credits a fascination with organized crime for part of the musical’s attraction. “And because the actual members of the group aren’t really known, 20 minutes into the show those performers have become the Four Seasons,” explains McAnuff. “The audience gets taken on a real voyage of discovery.” Although touring shows spun off from Broadway can sometimes be a disappointment, the Jersey brand is known for its quality control. “This show is very, very faithful to the original,” states McAnuff, who has remained hands-on with all the details, from production values to casting. A Renaissance man who has directed at NYC’s Metropolitan Opera House, directed two movies and been artistic director for six years at Canada’s Stratford Festival (he’s a dual citizen), McAnuff refuses to choose between the shiny realm of musicals and the darker theatre of Shakespeare and Shaw. “I’ve had a very… confused career,” he laughs. “Directing is a dilettante’s dream; you get to creatively explore a new world with every project.” Running from May 28 to June 2 at the Royal Theatre. For tickets, call 250-386-6121.



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For several months there’s been an interesting and eclectic series of musical concerts at The Oaks Restaurant in Oak Bay. These “Blues For Eric” fundraisers are in honour of amazing CFUV radio host Eric Leblanc, a world-calibre blues/R&B/jazz scholar who passed away in 2015. Monies raised go towards scholarships for UVic jazz students, so it’s fitting that the next concert is headed up by trumpet maestro Patrick Boyle, de facto head of jazz studies at the UVic School of Music. “My concert celebrates the music of Louis Armstrong, focussing on his Hot Five and Hot Seven bands from the mid-‘20s,” says Boyle, himself an impressive performer and composer. “Armstrong was the most significant musician of the 20th century…and an amazing improviser. His music is joyous, full of energy and positivity. Even the sad songs have redemptive power.” Boyle’s quartet includes clarinet virtuoso Tom Ackerman, who had a storied career in Los Angeles and Honolulu before moving here. And drummer Matt Pease and tuba player Don Cox are core members of the Capital City Syncopators, a cultishly popular Prohibition-era swing band. “We communicate well on stage,” explains Boyle. “But there’s always a low-level panic at first because we don’t know where the music is going to go!” And word is out among music lovers that The Oaks is a fantastic room — classy but informal. “The food is great and the mood is social, but it’s also an invitation for serious listening,” notes Boyle. Performing April 13 at The Oaks. Tickets should be purchased in advance and in person at 2250 Oak Bay Avenue (250-590-3155).  |

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4000 MILES

PLAY AT THE BELFRY THEATRE APRIL 9 TO MAY 5 Amy Herzog is an acclaimed American playwright whose off-Broadway play 4000 Miles was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. A companion piece to her earlier After the Revolution, this acutely observed comedy-drama once again features the peppery Vera, a 91-year-old grandmother who is an outspoken member of the Communist Party. Vera is awakened in the middle of the night by her grandson Leo, who is in crisis after a tragedy befell him in the midst of a cross-country bicycling trip with his best friend. The deeply troubled Leo has cut himself off from his parents and girlfriend, and the 21-year-old proceeds to spend the next month in a Greenwich Village apartment with an old woman he barely knows…or understands. It is a classic “odd couple” setup as this amusingly mismatched pair struggles to connect — emotionally and philosophically. “Herzog has written an incredibly detailed and lovingly crafted relationship, in a story that beautifully balances humour

4000 Miles director Anita Rochon.


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and poignance,” says Vancouver-based Anita Rochon, an awardwinning director who has worked extensively with the Belfry Theatre. “The script depicts two extremely different characters who are both living in the shadow of death, but at very different times in their lives.” According to Rochon, Vera and Leo’s struggle to find a deeper connection allows the play to explore the benefits of the willingness to change and to shift ideals. “The ideas in Miles are very brave and my job is to uphold that boldness,” Rochon adds. Running from April 9 to May 5 at the Belfry Theatre. For tickets, call 250-385-6815.


QUARTET A COMEDY-DRAMA PRESENTED BY LANGHAM COURT APRIL 17 TO MAY 4 Upon his death, opera composer Giuseppe Verdi bequeathed his mansion as a retirement haven where impoverished singers and musicians could finish their lives in dignity. This became the inspiration for British playwright Ronald Harwood’s charming and droll Quartet, a bittersweet account of four elderly opera singers lodged in a similar refuge and coming to terms with the challenges of aging and mortality. “Harwood’s done a very good job of balancing the humour and the pathos,” says Jon Scheer, a theatre veteran undertaking his directorial debut for Langham Court. “You have to make the audience like these people,” he adds, laughing, “and some are harder to like than others. Luckily, I am absolutely thrilled with the cast.”

Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred are old friends, amusingly mismatched and mostly amiable, and they find their daily routine thrown into an uproar with the arrival of the imperious Jean, a true diva and frenemy, who is more than capable of stirring up old rivalries and resentments. But even as some long-buried secrets leak out, the four singers forge ahead with plans for the home’s annual musical performance. “The second half is a bit like that ‘Let’s put on a show!’ trope associated with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland,” says Scheer. Ah, but will these frail, faltering singers — who achieved their greatest fame years before when performing the cherished quartet from Rigoletto — be able to revive any of the glory of those rosy earlier days? “It becomes the final story of who these people really are,” Scheer adds. Playing April 17 to May 4 at Langham Court. For tickets, call 250-384-2142.


Victoria has very few claims to homegrown painting royalty, so it is gratifying to see that a tribute to renowned portrait painter Myfanwy Pavelic is being presented by the University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries (both downtown and at UVic). Born in Victoria in 1916 to one of BC’s wealthiest families,  |

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Myfanwy Pavelic’s Hand on Chin, 1991. Graphite on paper. Collection of University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries; Gift of the Estate of Michael C. Williams.

Pavelic was mostly self-taught as an artist (although she did get some instruction and encouragement from Emily Carr). Her main area of interest was portraits, including selfportraits, and some of her most notable commissions were for Pierre Trudeau, Yehudi Menuhin and Katharine Hepburn. “She is one of the major portrait artists in Canada,” asserts Pat Bovey, guest curator of Myfanwy Pavelic: Mirrored Selves Within and Without. Bovey, who did a 20-year stint as director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, was appointed to the Canadian

Senate in 2016 — and despite her considerable workload she couldn’t resist undertaking this major appraisal of Pavelic’s legacy. “I admire her ability to see within,” Bovey says. “Her paintings depict both the external physical reality and the psychological ‘inscape’…she is a very, very perceptive artist.” Pavelic’s great technical skill and penetrating insight were widely acclaimed. Her many honours included the Order of Canada. The British National Portrait Gallery hung her portrait of Menuhin in its permanent collection — making her the first Canadian-born artist to be thus acknowledged. Myfanwy Pavelic will comprise up to 50 works, with the portraits being shown at the downtown gallery, as well as a biographical video by fellow artist Karl Spreitz. “One wall will resemble the way she used to hang her paintings at her beautiful studio in the Saanich Peninsula,” adds Bovey. “It was huge — the most amazing studio I’ve ever been in.” According to Bovey, who knew Pavelic well both professionally and personally, this deeply observant artist felt like an outsider and was often lonely. “She could be exceptionally hospitable but was socially private,” Bovey says. “She didn’t fill her time with people; she wanted to fill her time with painting.” Running from May 18 to September 21 at 630 Yates Street and also at UVic in Legacy Maltwood in the McPherson Library. For information, see Legacy Art Gallery.

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CRAZY LITTLE THINGS Palm trees, classic Citroëns and auto sales are among the varied passions of JM Ledet BY ERIN MCPHEE | PHOTOS BY LIA CROWE


Ledet has found his happy place. It’s a place where the air is warm and moisture-laden due to the richness of lush, tropical greenery. It’s a place where hummingbirds hum and flit from place to place, and green frogs are both seen and heard. It’s his personal sanctuary and it is truly worlds away from his everyday: a fast-paced, business-oriented lifestyle as the new sales manager at Victoria’s Jim Pattison Volvo. During a recent conversation with the 48-year-old Oak Bay resident, I’m shocked to discover that the magical destination he’s describing is not, in fact, accessible via lengthy plane ride, rather it’s located just a short jaunt up the Patricia Bay Highway. “I have a nursery with over 1,000 palm trees,” says JM (short for Jean-Michel) with a twinkle in his eye. Pressed for more details as to the greenhouse’s whereabouts, he keeps mum. He does, however, offer up a sense of its sheer magnitude, comparing it to the highceilinged dealership showroom, gesturing outside the office we’re meeting in. “It’s just a mysterious place in Brentwood Bay where nobody can see it; nobody has access,” he says. “But there is a phenomenal facility out there.”



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He adds, “For me, really good moments are to be in that very, very large greenhouse when it’s pouring out rain and I’m surrounded by tropical plants. Everybody’s out there running around with their umbrellas and I’m in shorts and a T-shirt in a heated greenhouse. The sound on the roof, the smell of the palm trees…It’s great.” JM’s love affair with palm trees all started a couple of years ago when he went to a farm in Metchosin to buy a single palm for his yard. Through that interaction, he learned that his palm tree’s previous owner had recently passed away and his company was up for grabs. JM decided to buy the contents of the greenhouse, which contained two species — waggies and fortunei — and continues to lease a facility to house them. At last count, the greenhouse was home to 1,743 palm trees, as well as some other New Zealand exotic plants. For the most part, JM says, the palm trees are for personal use; for example, he and his partner recently went to great lengths to transport a large number to their new waterfront

property on the west side of Bamfield, accessible only by boat. However, due to an increasing number of people contacting him, interested in taking some off his hands, he’s beginning to consider the inherent business opportunities. JM says his “crazy little hobby” offers a nice break from the automotive industry, for which he also maintains a strong passion — both professionally and personally. He’s spent his entire career working in automotive dealership management and ownership, and in his non-work hours, has devoted countless hours to the restoration of classic vehicles. JM’s interest in cars was forged in his early teens. While his two older brothers and friends were picking up sports and travel magazines, he would instead pore over the pages of Auto Trader, interested in determining the best deal — an early honed skill that continues to serve him well in his daily life. JM has recently gathered a small collection of French Citroën DS 21s, dating back to the 1960s and ‘70s. He currently has five

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that are all in various stages of the restoration process that he, for the most part, undertakes himself. “The French car community is a small, tight, hilarious group of people,” he says. “They all have a little bit of a French background or obviously an appreciation for French vehicles, but through that online community and person-toperson interaction here in Victoria, I’ve generated some phenomenal friends.” Driving around in his Citroëns, two of which are currently roadready, JM tends to attract a lot of attention — especially when he stops for gas. “The French [cars] are known for suspensions…” he says. “As you turn the vehicle off, it sits down on the ground so it’s easy access in and out. You have levers where you can crank the height of the vehicle up to be able to go over rough terrain. The objective back in France in the day was to build the vehicle to carry eggs from the farm to the market through the field without losing an egg. That was their advertising campaign. It’s hilarious.”

Apart from cars, JM has a strong passion for friends and family, and is grateful to have his parents and siblings similarly based in the Victoria area. “Nothing is better than sitting down on a Sunday night for supper with friends and family,” he says. JM credits his values with his upbringing on a hobby farm outside of Edmonton. His family was deeply embedded in its close-knit FrenchCanadian community there, which centred around the small, French Catholic school he attended. “Not only did I know the kids, but we all knew the families. The families were intertwined,” he says, adding, “Still to this day, that is my preference: small, tight communities.” JM’s family moved to Victoria when he was 19, and after trying out life in Vancouver and Vernon, he’s happy to have recently returned to what he has determined will be his forever home. “I’ve worked very hard to come back to the island,” he says. “I don’t plan on leaving.”

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ELOWNA-based photographer Darren Hull is a driving force behind the visuals at our sister edition Boulevard Okanagan. Even with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, he brings fresh enthusiasm to every assignment. For a bit of a twist, this edition of Boulevard Victoria presents Darren’s “bucket list” trip along the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean. His piece in our Travel Far section is beautifully portrayed through his trademark stunning visuals and a fascinating accompanying story.

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Photo by Lia Crowe

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