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TAKE ME TO THE LAKE Sprawling Shuswap estate is a place to escape and converge

BACKYARD TUSCANY Secrets to throwing a themed farm-to-table dinner party

RACING RIVALS Fashion that pops with a nod to the '80s.


styles inspire stylesthat that inspire Our studios deliver a premium in-store experience and showcase a wide selection of quality fixtures and brands, with the knowledge and support of expert consultants.

110-2120 Leckie 2288 Hunter RoadPlace Kelowna,BC, B.C.V1X V1Y 7W7 Kelowna, 7H5 250-860-4366 250-860-4366 Mon ––Fri: Fri:8:00am 8:00amtoto4:30pm 4:30pm Mon Sat ––Sun: Sun:Closed Closed Sat Kitchen & Bath Classics, is a homeownerfriendly wholesale showroom designed and operated by Wolseley Canada.




On the Cover Photo by Darren Hull Models Amberlee Erdmann and Mykaela Coty-Scholl, photographed on location at Area 27 Luxury Motorsports Club near Oliver, BC.



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Sprawling Shuswap estate offers a private escape for Canadian sports couple

Secrets to throwing a themed farm-to-table dinner party

By Valaura Jones

By Trisha Isabey


Get ahead of the pack in fashion that nods to the 1980s with pops of neon, Daisy Duke-esque shorts and denim jackets

By Jenny McKinney

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A pleasure to make and a pleasure to eat

By Chef Heidi Fink






The Perfect Travelling Companion

By Susan Lundy





The “P” Nuts

By Pamela Durkin

For the Love of Women: Dr. Nicholas Half

By Toby Tannas


Elegance with an Edge


By Sam Shakura

Magnus Scheibel

By Lia Crowe

26 inspiredPEOPLE



There’s a Wine for That! Alyssa Farr

Chef Chris Shaften, Orchard Room

By David Wylie

By Lauren Kramer

What’s on this summer

By Kathy Michaels


Personal Development: Craig Mohr

By Kathy Michaels


By Darren Hull  |

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“It was such a pleasure to capture Isabey Interiors using their talents to transform such a simple space into a dinner as intimate and elegant as the farm-to-table experience.” Having relocated from Ohio, Melissa is a photographer astounded by the beauty and serenity she sees throughout the Okanagan.


O K A N A G A N L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 1 9


PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke


"It was a pleasure to photograph Chef Chris Shaften and get a sneak peek at the beautiful new Orchard Room restaurant in Kelowna. As a life-long vegetarian, I was thrilled to discover that their culinary concept was vegetableforward cuisine, and I can’t wait to eat there." Lia is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer.



“Summer is upon us and so is strawberry season. Photographing this feature was a visual exercise in red; and sampling the recipes was a reminder of succulent summer pleasures.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and a Royal wedding.



“Writing this ahead of strawberry season, we had to use imported strawberries in the recipe testing and photos, but still… everything was so good. I got more excited than ever for strawberry season.” Heidi is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local and ethnic cuisines.






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“I had an absolute blast at Area27 for this issue’s fashion story. It’s been amazing to see each issue of Boulevard evolve and get better. I thought I would shoot one issue with Boulevard, but it’s been over two years now and too many issues to count. Super proud of the work I am able to do with the team.” 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.

“As an interior designer, one of my greatest pleasures is creating beautiful dinner parties for the opportunity to connect with friends and family. So imagining a farm-to-table dinner party with a Tuscan flare gave vision to a bounty of florals, harvest vegetables and terrific Chianti!” Trisha Isabey owns Isabey Interiors — an award-winning interior design company in Kelowna.

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DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Cara Robbins Tammy Robinson ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark



Angela Cowan Pamela Durkin Heidi Fink Trisha Isabey Valaura Jones Lauren Kramer Kathy Michaels Sam Shakura Toby Tannas David Wylie CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Darren Hull Melissa Carl Shawn Talbot Photography CIRCULATION & Kate Sarac DISTRIBUTION 250.763.7575


View Boulevard’s Fashion Friday Any device. Any time.

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.

Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624


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“Who knew that the summer palace of Canadian sporting royalty is actually a summer camp? Denis really understood the Lowes’ lifestyle and has designed and built a home that is both practical and visually stunning.” Valaura is a writer, marketer and community enthusiast with a passion for great design and unusual spaces.






"This was one of my favourite shoots as there were so many elements that made the day feel successful and fun. It feels like magic creating with this team. Our models perfectly embodied our '80s vibe — my inner '80s woman had so much fun styling the fashion, creating the hair and makeup, and providing all of the footwear from my closet. Luckily, we all wear the same size!" Jenny has been voted best makeup artist in Kelowna by the community for three consecutive years, and she’s been in the beauty industry for over two decades.


"Interviewing one of the area's top luxury homebuilders offered some great insight about how the taste makers in the Okanagan get their inspiration and approach their jobs.” Kelowna-based writer and editor Kathy Michaels writes about wine, food, and all the news that she can get her hands on for a number of BC publications.”







“It was a pleasure to share an insider’s peek into this glamorous lakefront home and tell the story of my client’s special space. Nothing makes me happier than clients who absolutely love their homes at the end of our design process.” Kelowna-based interior designer and “soul space creator,” Sam owns and operates Rock House Style, in addition to riding her motorcycle, loving lake life and working on her non-profit Rebel with a Cause to provide art as a form of healing to the Okanagan community.

“I began shooting for Denis Apchin 12 years ago. I shoot for a lot of luxury home designers, but when it came time to design my own home, Denis was who I contacted. He has a unique style and no detail is ever overlooked. An Apchin-designed home is unmistakable and I am always excited to see what he has crafted next.” Shawn is a commercial photographer based in Kelowna. He and his team regularly photograph some of the most spectacular luxury homes, hotels and resorts in the world.






“I love opportunities to sit down with people who are making lives better for others. Dr. Nicholas Half is a Vernon obstetrician/gynaecologist who has recently invested in a new approach to sexual health for his postmenopausal patients.” A broadcast veteran, Toby co-hosts Beach Mornings with Ara & Toby on Kelowna’s New 103.1 Beach Radio. She’s a mother to two teenage girls and two four-legged kids.


“As a writer, I love interviewing talented Canadian chefs and learning first-hand about their passion for culinary innovation and local, fresh ingredients.” South African-born writer Lauren composes features on food, wine, travel and the fascinating personalities behind these industries from her desk in Richmond, BC.  |

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“Sometimes our feelings affect our taste, so why not pair wine with our mood? Entrepreneur Alyssa Farr has created an app that offers wine suggestions, similar to the way in which Spotify suggests music.” David has done just about every job there is to do in a newsroom. He’s a freelance writer and publisher of a well-read blog about the Canadian cannabis industry.

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The perfect travel companion BY SUSAN LUNDY



“Meh, we’ll just save funds on UMMER is a time of accommodation and spend the last night travel, and although at the airport prior to our 6 am flight I’ve had many travel out.” We’d each travelled a lot in our 20s companions over the and had frequently slept in airports. years, one remains Happily, we both came to our senses constant. and instead of sleeping on an airport My beloved pillow bench, we booked a fourth night at our has trekked the world with me, touching Airbnb. Unhappily, we both felt most down in places as diverse as New York comfortable getting to the airport early, City and Jamaica. It provides an oasis and since we didn’t know how long it for my head while the rest of my body would take to get there, we booked a sits straight-jacketed in economy airline 3 am taxi. We arrived at precisely 3:11 seats. It rides shotgun with me on VW am — and the airport didn’t even open van camping trips. It pushes aside lesser until 4 am. (Ahem, good thing we hadn’t pillows found in everything from 4-star arrived at midnight, planning to sleep hotels to Airbnbs. there.) I love my pillow. The trip home felt like an episode out Finding a good travelling companion of the Amazing Race. (In fact, we agreed, can be a tricky business. Love does not we’d make great contestants — who always equate with compatible when it wouldn’t cheer for a team of ex and comes to sharing expeditions. Luckily for current wives?). Our plane sat on the me, my husband Bruce and I have always tarmac for three hours in Milan, waiting for snow removal at travelled well together; we both like to make spontaneous plans Gatwick, our connecting city. Our late arrival there sent us and our tastes in activities mesh. dashing through the terminal to catch our next flight — this Bruce and my pillow aside, I’ve discovered another excellent, one to Calgary. The flight from Gatwick was ultimately delayed perhaps more surprising travel partner. Last March, I travelled to as well, prompting an even faster, Milan (yes, with my pillow) for the adrenaline-laced run through the opening of my daughter’s first big The trip home felt like an Calgary terminal, this time adding solo art exhibit. It was a nutty trip: episode out of the Amazing customs, security and a long, 22 hours to get there, three and a half nights there and 26 hours to get Race. (In fact, we agreed, we’d winding route to the departure gate. But the point is — we took it all back. Bruce couldn’t get away and my make great contestants — who in stride, had lots of laughs and ex, Derrick, suffers anxiety around wouldn’t cheer for a team of ex throughout the entire trip always flying…so they both bowed out. seemed to be on the same page. I ended up travelling with and current wives?). Speaking of pages, let’s get into Derrick’s partner, my daughters’ this edition of Boulevard. Our stepmom, Sandra. Some may raise summer issue serves up an array of great reads and spectacular their eyebrows at this — but it was perfect. Sandra and I always visuals. Meet the style-savvy Magnus Scheibel, top chef Chris seemed to reach the same decisions on what to do, where to go, what to eat, when to sleep. We also revealed similarly high coffee Shaften, wine app creator Alyssa Farr, gynecologist Nicholas Half addictions and mutually low alcohol tolerance, so we synced well and builder Craig Mohr. Feast on dreamy strawberry desserts, nibble on healthy “P” nuts and get the insider scoop on creating a both morning and night.And we’re of the same mind when it Tuscan-themed dinner party. Tour a fantastic Denis Apchin home comes to packing. Bruce scoffs at me for being such an eager packer. I make a list, and check out some edgy, racetrack-driven fashion. We hope you enjoy this edition of Boulevard Okanagan. And pack early, change the list, unpack, repack. It was thrilling to if your summer involves some travel, may I suggest the perfect discover that for this trip Sandra also packed two weeks ahead of time and (like me) had to re-pack entirely the night prior to leaving companion — it’s quiet, flexible, fluffy … as the forecast temperatures plummeted. It was freakishly cold in Susan Lundy has been writing stories since she was six years Milan; it even snowed. Despite all that careful packing, we both old. She has a degree in creative writing from the University of had clothes in our bags that never got worn because each day we Victoria, and after working for many years as an award-winning wound up bundled into the same arrangement of layers. journalist, is now a magazine editor, author and freelance writer. Early on in our planning, Sandra and I collectively decided,

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inspired STYLE





HEN I meet Magnus at Craft Beer Market in Kelowna for a chat about life, work and style, he introduces me to the most refreshing thing — a Radler — which is beer and Sprite mixed together. He says it’s a typical German drink. Originally from Füssen, Germany — a mountain town he jokingly describes as “just a bunch of goats and cows” — Magnus came to Canada, and landed in Whistler as a professional snowboarder. He fell in love with the Canadian lifestyle and has lived here ever since. “When I first came to Canada, I saw what you have here, all the opportunity, and I wanted it. I thought to myself, ‘This place is awesome and I’m staying.’ I set goals for myself and I went after them. I think generally in life you should keep your eyes open for opportunity and go for it. It’s not always going to be perfect. I can’t handle whiners. If you’re not happy with something then change it yourself. You’re the only person who can do that.” Magnus’ company, Castello Custom, undertakes all types of millwork: commercial, residential, furniture, etc. “If it’s made of wood then we do it.” Asked what he loves most about his work, Magnus says it’s all about customer satisfaction. “It’s important that I connect with clients to really feel what they want. I meet every client and bring them to the shop because I need to see their reactions when they see certain things and when they touch certain finishes in order to realize their vision.”


UNIFORM: Lederhosen. FAVOURITE DENIM, BRAND AND CUT: Replay. CURRENT GO-TO CLOTHING ITEM: Baseball hat. BEST NEW PURCHASE: Volcom surf shorts. ACCESSORY YOU SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON: Sunglasses. FAVOURITE WORK TOOL: CNC (“Computer Numerical Control — it’s a way of controlling how machine tools operate using a computer.) SUNGLASSES: Vonzipper.

Outside of work, Magnus loves dirt bikes. “I love the sound of an engine! I ride the track twice a week to decompress, and my phone stays in truck. When you’re on the track, you have to be totally in the moment. If you mess up you will hurt yourself so you have to concentrate.” He also says his personal style its pretty important to him, describing it as “European, old-school-snowboard style and a little bit of rock ’n roll in there. Every person has their own style and it’s cool when people embrace that. If you feel that this is what you want to look like, I won’t judge you. I think if you judge other people’s style then you obviously don’t have your own style.” Now aged 39 with two young sons, Magnus says he has a lot to love about living in Kelowna. “People here are happy, especially as soon as the sun shines. I think the most important thing for me is happiness. I want to see other people happy and that is what makes me happy and motivated. It’s a cool lifestyle here. It’s a good work and fun mix. Everybody works really hard and everybody plays really hard.”



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inspired EATS

Chris Shaften Orchard Room


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HEF CHRIS Shaften, has always been passionate about quality local ingredients and the power of food to connect those consuming it. In mid-June, Chris debuted his second eatery in Kelowna, Orchard Room, two doors down from Krafty Kitchen, his first restaurant. “This one is a vegetable-forward restaurant with a large bar featuring cocktails and a craft cider beverage program,” he explained. While the primary elements of the menu are vegetarian, not all dishes at the Orchard Room are meatless. The 30seat eatery is open 3 pm to midnight and serves brunch on weekends. In his early career, Chris travelled around Canada, working in kitchens from Victoria to Toronto and running the restaurants FARM and The Ranch in his native city of Calgary. Then came a reality show that changed everything. In 2013, Shaften appeared on season three of the popular eight-episode TV series Top Chef Canada, which catapulted him to celebrity status. “Top Chef got my name out there, enabling me to start preparing food for more exclusive clientele,” he reflected. It also helped in pitching the idea for his first restaurant, Krafty Kitchen + Bar, to investors. As a result of his instant name recognition and the reputation he achieved during Top Chef, investors were keen to put their money behind his talent. “I don’t know that I would’ve ever been able to gather investments and open Krafty Kitchen without Top Chef,” he said. “Because of that show, the fundraising process went easily and quickly, and I was able to realize my dream.” Krafty Kitchen + Bar, a contemporary Canadian bistro, opened in August 2014 and the 90-seat restaurant has been successful ever since. In the menu, Chris focuses on Canada’s cultural mosaic for flavour inspirations. Brunch is served daily and on weekends the meal is “hip hop” themed, with 90s music playing in the background.

CHRIS SHAFTEN’S ELEVATED EGGPLANT SALAD Vinaigrette 55 grams Dijon mustard 2 grams chili flakes 10 grams good olive oil 100 grams avocado oil 20 grams lemon juice Salt to taste

Morel mushroom bruschetta with cured egg yolk and Truck 59 cider at Orchard Room.

Method: Add all ingredients except oil to bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking vigorously to form an emulsion. Salt to taste and set aside. For eggplant: Roughly peel four to five large eggplants, and cut into 1.5inch cubes. Toss in oil and salt. Roast at 350 F for 30-45 minutes, until fully tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Dress with vinaigrette — use only enough to lightly coat the eggplant. Add fresh oregano and minced parsley to taste. Allow to marinate one hour at room temperature. Garnish with favourite feta cheese and serve.  |

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inspired HEALTH

The other “P” Nuts

Try pecans and pistachios for good health BY PAMELA DURKIN

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Try them in grain pilafs, tossed into salads, crushed for use as crusts for chicken or fish filets, added to yogurt or baked goods, or made into “mylks.”


EANUTS are undoubtedly the most popular nuts in Canada. According to statistics, more than half of all Canadian households have peanuts in their pantry; they are second only to potato chips as our “go-to” snack food. It seems, however, we may be cracking the wrong nuts. The latest research suggests there are two other “p” nuts — pecans and pistachios — which may be the healthiest players in the “shell game.” Nutritional science has revealed both of these nuts have some amazing health properties, and health experts around the globe are gushing in response, as are trendy bloggers like foodbabe and cookieandkate.

PECANS Renowned for their rich, buttery taste, pecans are regarded by most people as a sinful indulgence rather than a healthenhancing superfood. But think again. Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, several B-Vitamins, copper and zinc. And their nutritional potency doesn’t end there. Pecans are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut and among the top 15 foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants act as bodyguards for your cells. They neutralize the cell-damaging free radicals that can cause disease and accelerate aging. Not surprisingly, a recent study showed that eating pecans increases blood levels of disease-fighting antioxidants.

Heart Healthy If you’ve been shunning pecans because of their high fat content, consider this: the majority of fat in pecans is the hearthealthy monunsaturated variety. This fat helps protect good HDL cholesterol while wiping out the bad LDL cholesterol that blocks arteries. Additionally, as registered dietitian Jennifer Letham-Sobkin points out, “Pecans are a particularly good source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to help improve immune function, reduce inflammation and potentially lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.” Pecans also contain plant sterols and fibre, two compounds that have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. A recent study showed that regularly eating pecans can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 33 per cent. In addition, pecans are one of the best known sources of Vitamin E, a nutrient that is associated with a reduced risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions like Type 2 Diabetes.

Neurological Support Here’s another compelling reason to make pecans a part of your diet. A study published in Current Topics in Neutraceutical Research showed that eating a handful of pecans daily may help stave off age-related motor neuron degeneration. The study, which involved feeding neurologically impaired mice varying amounts of pecans — or no pecans at all — clearly demonstrated the nut’s ability to protect the neurological system. All of the mice that ate pecans had less decline in motor neuron function compared to those who received no pecans, with the mice that ate the most pecans showing the best results of all.

PISTACHIOS Legend has it the Queen of Sheba valued pistachios so highly that she decreed them a “royal” food. As nutty as this might seem today, mounting evidence suggests pistachios might be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Pistachios are an excellent source of potassium, thiamine, Vitamin B6, copper manganese, phosphorous, Vitamin E and fibre. They also contain ample amounts of magnesium, folate, iron and zinc. But what makes pistachios unique among nuts is the fact they are also loaded with antioxidants normally found in vegetables — the carotenoids beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin help protect your vision, and studies show they may aid in reducing the risk for macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in the elderly. What’s more, their carotenoid “colleague” beta carotene, has been shown to have anticancer properties. A new study done at the University of Texas showed that eating two ounces of pistachios daily may help lower the risk for lung cancer. 19

Heart Friendly

Eat Up!

Another intriguing study found that munching on pistachios can also help lower blood pressure during times of stress. That’s significant because lower blood pressure has been linked to a reduced risk for heart disease and stroke. Other studies have revealed that the little nut can also reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improve beneficial HDL levels.

Besides eating them out of hand as a healthy snack, there are many tasty ways to include both pecans and pistachios in your meals. Try them in grain pilafs, tossed into salads, crushed for use as crusts for chicken or fish filets, added to yogurt or baked goods, or made into “mylks.” The recipe below is but one example of how they can enhance any dish.

Pistachio Sweet Potato Salad

Weight Watchers Researchers have also discovered that eating pistachios increases levels of the satiety hormone ghrelin. Translation: eating pistachios helps keep hunger at bay and stops you from reaching for that pre-dinner snack. And ghrelin isn’t the only compound in pistachios that can prevent a “hangry” attack — their fill-you-up fibre content packs an appetite-controlling punch too. “Pistachios’ fibre content is indeed impressive,” LethamSobkin confirms. “A single serving (1 oz.) provides more fibre than half a cup of broccoli.” In addition, a new Canadian study showed that when pistachios are eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, they actually help slow the absorption rate of carbohydrates into the body, keeping blood sugar levels on an even keel. Not surprisingly, a recent study found that obese participants lost more weight and had healthier triglyceride levels when pistachios were added to their portion-controlled diets.

Serves 4-6 4 cups sweet potatoes, cooked, cooled and cubed 1 tart apple, diced 2 Tbsp green onions, chopped ½ cup raisins ¼ cup toasted, chopped pistachios 3 Tbsp mayonnaise ¾ cup plain yogurt ¼ cup apple juice ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 1 heaping Tbsp curry powder In small bowl, combine sweet potatoes, apple, onion, raisins and pistachios. In a measuring cup, mix together mayonnaise, yogurt, juice and spices. Add to sweet potato mixture and stir until well combined. Serve over lettuce leaves.

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inspired INTERIORS

Elegance withanEdge Interior shines with personality and balance BY SAM SHAKURA | P H OTO S BY DA R R E N H U L L

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The home’s interior is structured with both traditional techniques of style and a sense of wild wonder and whimsy.


O often homes these days follow a predictable template of neutral finishes, organic elements and pops of interesting artwork. But this West Kelowna lakefront home pushes the boundaries of convention, simultaneously peering back into the past of classic architectural elegance, while looking forward to a modern way of living — one of entertaining, soulful details, chic personalized art and glamorous livability. The home’s interior is structured in both traditional techniques of style and a sense of wild wonder and whimsy. The design concept by Rock House Style was simple — classical elegance with an edge. The homeowner’s main goal was to create a sanctuary that mirrored her personality and nurtured her day-to-day life, surrounding her with textures, materials and items that she truly loved, while celebrating the stunning lakefront views of Okanagan waters, mountains and moonlight. Her personal style is a juxtaposition between visionary, professional, high-heeled glamour and whimsical, laid-back,  |

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Designer lights act as the diamond jewellery to this home’s immaculate black-tie outfit.

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barefoot, cookie-baking goddess. Her home shines in this duality and perfectly balances both energies. From all angles, something interesting emerges: a curve you hadn’t noticed before, a moment revealed though an antiqued-mirrored backsplash that you wouldn’t have seen looking straight on, a texture that changes only as the sunlight hits it, or a view seen better from above or below. Against a monochromatic black-and-white palette, the home is decorated with a plethora of living plants and flowers, feminine fabrics like hand-dyed silks, crushed velvets and lived-in linens, and eclectic organics such as crystals, ocean-embedded rough stone planters and mirrors made of shells. Seductive peek-a-boo teases of design — a pink “Wild at Heart” neon sign in the living room and wallpaper of foreign language love letters sealed with kisses in the powder room, for example— make this interior extra special. In order to improve feng shui and foyer flow, Rock House Style transformed the original front door into a fixed piece of incredible stained glass art, sourcing unique hand-faceted, semi-opalescent, honeycomb and textured reclaimed glass from around the world to create a one-of-

a-kind feature. The home’s entrance now leads through a pair of glass French doors into the library. Black-and-white marble in a heritage harlequin pattern and hand-bleached hickory hardwood are an unexpected, yet perfectly harmonious, flooring choice. Black leather risers on the grand staircase offer a surprising detail and the Venetian-plaster finish on the two-storey gas fireplace infuses the home with a luxurious subtle sheen. French Barqoue-inspired wall millwork and moldings adorn the white walls, and a collection of high-end specialty wallcoverings amp up the wow factor. A six-foot custom quartz crystal art installation cleanses you in positive vibes on the second level, near the amazing family photo wall of fame that celebrates the home owner’s loved ones. Capiz shells are tiled into the master shower and a gorgeous, solid moon marble bathtub stands free in the en suite, creating the ultimate spa experience. Designer lights act as the diamond jewellery to this home’s immaculate black-tie outfit. Murano glass chandeliers, authentic gilded branch lights dripping in quartz crystal, and an aged iron Moravian star light, to name a few, are all statement fixtures that dazzle each room in light and shadow. Complete home renovation, design and decor by Rock House Style (  |

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inspired PEOPLE

“You’ll be able to search through the database and look for genres and categories — like best for a wedding, best for a date night, best organic, for my dog and me — so you can try wines that really suit your profile.”

THERE’S A WINE FOR THAT! New Okanagan-developed app suggests the perfect wines to pair with tastes and moods BY DAVID WYLIE | P H OTO S BY DA R R E N H U L L


N the mood for a wine that pairs perfectly with a date night? How about a summer party? A bath? Networking event? Relaxing with your dog? TasteAdvisor has a few suggestions just for you. The wine app, which is set for release this summer, helps people discover new wines by making recommendations based on personal preferences. It suggests wines, wineries, tasting routes, events and relevant deals — all based on your taste. It’s comparable to Spotify, a popular service that learns the kind of music people like and recommends songs that fit the mood. “I’m glad I’ve had Spotify to help me find songs, but I needed something to help me find wine,” says the Alyssa Farr, who is the Okanagan-based founder of the app. The app takes into account price-point, style, flavour, and sweetness levels, among other factors. A diverse set of characteristics define the wines that individuals like. Alyssa says she and her team have been working for over a year to find out what makes people decide what they look for in a wine. “We learn as you go along about what you start to like,” says Alyssa. “You’ll be able to search through the

database and look for genres and categories — like best for a wedding, best for a date night, best organic, for my dog and me — so you can try wines that really suit your profile.” Those who adopt the app are referred to as “tasters” rather than “users.” There’s a “recommended for you” section, with wines that meet each taster’s unique criteria, and tasters can rate wines, take notes, make curated lists (like “Best Reds of the Okanagan”) and then share their lists with friends. TasteAdvisor will have info on wine prices and availability, like whether a bottle is sold only at the winery, if it’s for wine club members only, or if the item is a quick seller. “Those are pretty important if you are a lover of local wines,” says Alyssa. The app helps eliminate the 50/50 chance people take when they pick up a bottle, especially when there are no tasting notes on the label. It also taps into the feedback of its tasters. Alyssa, who herself prefers full-bodied wines, says the team is working on a system to weigh wine ratings more heavily for people who prefer the style of wine they are reviewing. TasteAdvisor has been in development for three years. During the first half of the process, Alyssa undertook  |

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exploration and research to make something that solved industry pain points while simultaneously being fun for its tasters. The second half was spent building the team, setting up the infrastructure and making countless revisions. There’s a core Okanagan-based team of four behind the app, including Alyssa, whose prior ventures include a construction company and a manufacturing business. The team also includes wine researcher Darcen Esau, branding and marketing expert Linsey Reimer, and marketing, culture and events pro Cheryl Molenaar. The app development team is based in Ontario. “I’ve never done something like this,” says Alyssa. “My construction background really was helpful because I’m working with the digital builders of this world instead of the physical builders. It’s the same thing, in that you really need to know what your designs are, have a good drawing and make sure you communicate — or you might not end up with the house you wanted.” Originally from Belleville, Ontario, Alyssa moved to the Okanagan 13 years ago. She initially wanted to be a teacher, but decided instead to learn the skills that would allow her to build businesses. Taking to heart a suggestion that she look at something in the wine sector, Alyssa was determined to create something scalable and rooted in tech. She dedicated over a year to trying to understand the key problems of the industry. Most wineries are small, often with too little production for retail and not nearly enough to be sold out of province. Building a winery is capital intensive and takes a long time to get a return. It’s highly legislated, with regulations around

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both food production and alcohol sales. There are also retail and hospitality elements. “I wanted to do something that would support them being more sustainable by helping these small businesses — who are running four different types of businesses in one — so that the rest of us can just wander down the road and find things that we love,” says Alyssa. “I really want to support the entrepreneurial spirit.” While the app helps tasters find the right wine for their unique palates, it also helps local wineries connect with customers. Alyssa says that’s a win-win and notes that there is nothing else like this on the market. Currently, Vivino is the most popular wine app available. “It focuses more on the 100-point system, which is based on the palate of a handful of people,” she says. “Our tagline is ‘Taste What You Like’ because we think wine is what you like it to be. It’s not about snobbery and it’s not about one person’s perspective.” On the verge of the app’s official launch, Alyssa has been doing walk-throughs of it to get feedback. Prior to its official release, 2,000 people are already interested in downloading it. The industry launch has given wineries, tour companies and retailers a chance to submit their profiles, tour routes and other info for inclusion on the web and mobile platform. “Our goal is to support wine-growing regions across Canada and eventually in other countries,” Alyssa says. “I’m hoping that people will use the app regularly when they go tasting; they’ll use it when they’re at a dinner party — they can tap it, rate it and say, ‘I love this, I really want to get it again,’ and put it in their cellar. More information is at


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Take Me to the


Sprawling Shuswap estate offers a private escape for Canadian sports couple, family and guests BY VALAURA JONES | P H OTO S BY SHAWN TALBOT

“They wanted a cabin feel, but we also wanted to make it modern. It has clean, modern lines, but natural, organic materials."

Quick Facts: Design time: 9 months Build time: 15 months Square feet: 5,600 Bedrooms: 5 plus additional sleeping quarters in the onsite cabins Bathrooms: 4 full, 1 half Notable features: Sunken outdoor kitchen, 10-foot outdoor water wall, sauna, outdoor shower, firepit, builtin banquette, home gym, home theatre, terraced patios

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N the minds of many a Canadian, summer camp conjures up fond memories of warm, sunny days spent on the lake and close bonds forged around the fire. For two members of Canadian sports royalty and their family, several acres of land on the banks of Shuswap Lake have become a private escape and the place where summer camp dreams are made with family and friends. In 1990, Kevin Lowe was an NHL all-star with the Edmonton Oilers and the recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. Karen Percy was the newlyretired darling of the ski world, having won two bronze medals at the 1988 Winter Olympics and receiving the Order of Canada before hanging up her competitive skis. The sporty duo wed and one year later, in 1992, found the property that their family would come to cherish and love above all others. With two homes on the property and four rental cabins, the Lowes had plenty of room to stretch out and host dozens of guests throughout the summer. But as time went by and the family grew, the restrictions of the existing houses began to show and in 2016 they called their old friend, Denis Apchin of Apchin Design Corp., to go over ideas for a much-needed renovation. Denis had designed one of the original houses on the property and was honoured with a silver Georgie Award for his efforts. “They wanted a cabin feel, but we also wanted to make it modern. It has clean, modern lines, but natural, organic materials,” says Denis, the designer and builder of the reimagined lakeside home.

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Sit back, relax.

Experience Muse & Merchant

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One of the houses was stripped back to the studs and refashioned into the “bunkhouse,” complete with five bedrooms spread over two storeys, a laundry room, theatre and gym. The second house was torn down to make way for a re-oriented “clubhouse” wing, consisting of an outstanding great room that opens onto a covered patio overlooking Shuswap Lake. A fan of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Denis set out to ensure that natural materials were woven into the design throughout the house. In the foyer, the exterior stone continues straight into the building, delineating the two wings of the home and creating a spacious place to greet loved ones arriving for a holiday. On one wall, a coat closet is hidden behind a mirror. On the other, six of Karen’s championship plaques are hung with pride of place. Upstairs, the master suite is spacious, airy and anything but ordinary. Variations in heights, depths, lighting and material create copious amounts of visual interest in what might otherwise be a simple room. Denis designed each wall, lighting feature and even the ceiling with exacting detail. The walls feature hidden valances and are set at different depths with backlighting to add visual interest. Likewise, the ceiling is clad in warm fir with a white dropped ceiling above the bed. The sitting area has been furnished with a casual double chaise lounge, the perfect place to snuggle up and watch a movie. Standing on one of the two balconies feels like being in a luxury tree house surrounded by mature trees and overlooking the lake and a firepit below. Back downstairs, Denis and I join Karen in the Clubhouse, where the smell of a freshly baked pie greets us. Cooking is a big part of life on the lake, so the kitchen is equipped with two

of nearly everything, including convection ovens, speed ovens, warming drawers and refrigerators. A five-foot-long sink is set into the gleaming black island and boasts two articulating faucets with carbon fibre detail from Kohler. The matte black cabinets are manufactured with nanotechnology that reduces fingerprints and are fitted with automatic opening mechanisms that lift the doors with just a light touch. The kitchen space extends down the entire length of the room, incorporating a bar and butler’s pantry. The area is lovingly dubbed Kevin’s Kitchen. The kitchen island and bar peninsula are cut at an angle to offer greater counter space where it’s needed most. A bulkhead placed above perfectly mirrors the countertop below. Regarding the fir wood ceiling accents throughout the house, Denis explains that “it’s our own profile and has a bit of a rough look. We made our own wire brush machine so that we could feed the wood through and the soft grain is brushed out, giving it a really nice texture.” Transom windows on both sides of the great room allow natural light to cascade into the space, despite the large four-foot overhang. While the home maintains its privacy, the connection to nature is always there, with those transom windows offering glimpses of the sky and trees that envelop the property. Of course, a sporty family that loves to entertain requires a few other extras to enhance the experience. Two large televisions offer vantage points for the big game and today we are cheering on the Toronto Raptors. The room is also wired for sound, and as Karen displays the home automation system, it’s easy to see how fun this place is in the height of the summer.

Only 19 Luxury Hillside Lakeview Homes Remain Act now for best selection on the remaining homes The word is out that The Cottages on Osoyoos Lake is the best new home community in the Okanagan Valley. The Cottages includes a community centre with a gym, two pools and hot tubs as well as our private sandy beach and boat slips, there’s something for everyone. With over 220 homes sold, the remaining opportunities won’t last long.

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When I tell Karen that, upon looking at the floor plan days before, I dubbed this great room “The Clubhouse,” she emphatically agrees. “Yeah, well it is! My mom had her 75th birthday last year, and we danced in here and had a band set up. About 75 people were here for the party.” The family spends so much time living outside that they opted not to put a dining room table indoors. Instead, a long table welcomes family and friends to dine al fresco under the covered patio, and the banquette inside offers all the seating needed on cooler nights. “I think Denis knew that with our old house, we basically cooked dinner and then ate outside every night. We wanted to be able to do that,” says Karen. The patio is also home to a well-equipped outdoor kitchen, complete with an ice maker, refrigerator, a large barbecue and wood-fired pizza oven. Kevin has everything he needs to entertain in style. The best part? Denis cleverly sunk the kitchen a few feet down, so that the lake view from the living room isn’t impeded. Two seating areas flank either end of the patio, and a large water-feature wall is designed to offer privacy when guests are at the cabins. Down the terraced patio, we find a hot tub, the firepit area, and a private sauna and outdoor shower nestled into the former basement of the home. A walk along the sandy beach and back up a set of stairs brings us to the professional tennis court, with a basketball hoop for good measure. It really is like being at the most luxurious summer camp. “The reason we did this is for our kids — so they’ll come and see us!” Karen laughs. “If we didn’t have this place, we probably

wouldn’t see our kids as much.” The property was dubbed Devyn’s Cove, after Kevin and Karen’s first-born daughter. For 28 years, the family and children have grown up on the shores of Shuswap Lake, waterskiing, fishing, kayaking, roasting marshmallows and making lifelong memories. With the new renovation now complete, the home is ready for its next phase of laughter and life as it welcomes 125 guests for a Lowe family wedding. “The kids love it. They can’t wait to get out here,” smiles Karen. “Obviously, if our son wants to get married here, this place must be pretty special.” The new house was designed for this tight-knit family, and as they grow and welcome new members and faces to the fold, it’s clear to see that this is the place that feels like home. “I would call this our lifetime home. This property is something we will never sell.”

Supplier list: Design/build: Apchin Design Corp. Framing, finishing, site supervision: Walter Construction Building supplies: Home Hardware Windows: Starline Windows Millwork: Sawmill Grove Light fixtures: Robinson Lighting Audio/visual/control: Wave Installations Mechanical: Geotility

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Canadi Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or d.an250.826.9961 witf. thdrawal1.877.530.3933 . PREC is Personal Real Estate Corporation. 108-1289 Ellis Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9X6 Canadian 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. PREC is Personal Real Estate Corporation.


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Senior Vice President, Sales

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RIVALS Fierce Competitors face off at Area 27 Luxury Motorsports Club in fashion with an edge. Whether you're team Porsche or team Camaro get ahead of the pack in fashion that nods to the 1980s with pops of neon, Daisy Duke-esque shorts and denim jackets. Start your engines!

On Amberlee: “After Dark” halter top by For Love and Lemons ($169) and black “Alden Short” by Parker NYC ($$269) from LBV Lifestyle. On Mykaela: White, spaghetti strap body suit ($39.95), jewelled mesh sleeveless vest ($49.94) and highwaisted jeans ($69.95), all from Grace in Orchard Park.

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For the Love Women

Sexual health is a core component of Dr. Nicholas Half’s practice BY TOBY TANNAS | P H OTO S BY L I A C R OW E

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SEASIDE GIN refreshing as a seaside stroll


HERE isn’t much down time when you’re a busy obstetrician/ gynecologist in a small but growing community. When Dr. Nicholas Half does have a moment to glance out his corner office window at the picturesque view of Vernon, he can’t help but be grateful. Over the past decade, Nicholas has built a beautiful life and practice in the North Okanagan city, but as a young med student this was not the vision he had for his career. “Not a lot of men have the life dream of being a gynecologist,” he chuckles. “Cardiothoracic surgery was my number one choice; orthopaedic surgery was my second choice, and at the top of the list of things I said I wouldn’t consider was obstetrics/gynecology.” In his third year of medical school, when students started seeing patients on rotation in the hospital, Nicholas quickly ruled out his top two choices for various reasons and kept coming back to obstetrics/ gynecology. “It was just one of those things. It’s got the medicine component, it’s got patient care, it’s a lot of conversation, not all surgery.” Ultimately though, it was the patients who cemented his medical future. “I love what I do. Women are very communicative. They show gratitude and thankfulness. There’s not a lot of specialties in medicine anymore where you hear ‘thank you.’ I hear those words every day.” Nicholas’ love for the work and his commitment to his patients has recently taken him into a new realm of service: a user-pay procedure that’s rarely offered in a gynecology clinic. “It’s called the MonaLisa Touch. It’s a nonsurgical laser treatment for vaginal dryness, discomfort and irritation.”

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After seeing many women suffer through sexual issues post menopause or after battling diseases like cancer, Nicholas decided to make a significant investment in an option that could improve their quality of life. “You see cancer patients — they can’t even touch estrogen and they suffer. These are women in their 30s and 40s and their sex life is gone. This is who this machine is for.” Regardless of why a patient is referred to his gynecology clinic, sexual health often comes up in conversation. Nicholas believes that when you can do something to improve or make sex more comfortable for a woman, her life and her relationship improve. “Sex makes up about five per cent of the relationship when it’s good,” he explains. “But when it’s not, or it’s absent, it makes up 95 per cent of the relationship.” As a male in a field that’s shifting to predominantly female care providers, Nicholas takes pride in the rapport he’s developed with his patients. “I think as a doctor you want to be someone a patient can talk to comfortably about whatever they want to talk about, and that feel they’re being respected and listened to.” Nicholas is well practiced in communicating with women as he’s married with three young daughters. “We have twins. They’re five years old and we have a three year old. So basically, we have triplets. It’s busy,” he laughs. With more than 100 hours dedicated to work in an average week, Nicholas doesn’t get to spend as much time with his kids as other dads with 9-to-5 jobs. “My work life and home life balance could always be better; we all struggle with that as physicians. I just try to give them quality time. They just want to be with you, it doesn’t matter if we’re playing a game or building a gate.” Nicholas’ wife, Dr. Aisha Manji, is also a physician. It means she understands first-hand the demands of the job. Nicholas says, “I think that’s probably the best thing, that understanding. I think even in a small community where you’re hoping to have a better lifestyle than the big city, there are still a lot of demands in terms of what you can’t miss, what you have to go to battle for, for your patients.” The couple will be getting some extra time together over the coming months, though. They’ve committed to dancing in support of the North Okanagan Hospice Society. “My wife has a tie to the palliative community, end of life care. It’s always been one of her passions.” Dancing with the Vernon Stars takes place this September. Between now and then, dance practices will become date nights. “For us to spend that extra time together, dancing together will be nice,” he says with a smile. The dancing commitment is another weekly appointment in an already very full calendar. But as I sit across from Dr. Half, I get the distinct sense he’s the kind of man who can juggle it all and do it well. Family man, physician, and for the next few months, fundraiser and dancer in support of a cause and a community very close to his heart. “I love Vernon. My quality of life is great, I’ve got great people around me. That’s what it’s all about.”


location, location

Backyard Secrets to throwing a themed farm-to-table dinner party BY TRISHA ISABEY | P H OTO S BY M E L I S S A C A R L

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the menu


REMEMBER seeing the movie Under the Tuscan Sun and imagining how amazing it would be to live in Italy’s Tuscany, enjoying its thriving lifestyle and beautiful landscape. But to be honest, the beauty of British Columbia isn’t too bad either! And with wine country regions like the Okanagan, where I am fortunate to live, maybe we can bring some Tuscan flare here. The Tuscan colour theme is well known — those great warm oranges, reds, olive greens and golden yellows. These pull from the palette of harvest vegetables, hand-thrown dishes and platters and boldcoloured tablecloths. It’s all very lovely and romantic. So even though we don’t live there, I’d like to show you how to experience a Tuscan farm-to-table dinner party.

Location, location First off, you need a great location. The backdrop should inspire you — choose a really beautiful backyard or patio deck landscaped with hints of lavender. We chose a beautiful lakeshore home owned by a couple who have a European flare. Hanging grape

vines on the trellis above the outdoor dining table made for a great beginning. Then, factor in the view of the lake and all you need is a good Chianti and some artisan cheese to be practically there.

Setting the stage: table and decor This is where your imagination can kick in — think flowers, candles, dishware and linens. Remember to keep the Tuscan palette in mind — those warm harvest tones are what really brings this home. Dress the table with either a tablecloth, place mats or tea towels underneath the table settings. If you have a beautiful wood table, opt for the last two. If not — find a great tablecloth. If you go neutral on the tablecloth, you can really play up the dishware and other accessories. For dishware, look for colourful, hand-thrown pieces. Since Tuscany is all about simplicity, think simple for glassware and cutlery. Be creative with place cards. You can tuck a sprig of lavender into a napkin held together with burlap, or use a ripe red apple with simple name tags attached by string. Make it interesting and fun. For lighting, we hung an amazing chandelier from the vine-covered trellis. Flowers were interlaced  |

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flower medley

The Tuscan colour theme is well known — those great warm oranges, reds, olive greens and golden yellows. These pull from the palette of harvest vegetables, hand-thrown dishes and platters and bold-coloured tablecloths. It’s all very lovely and romantic.

throughout the hanging light to create a floral rhapsody. Baskets of rustic breads, lanterns and chunky candleholders filled the space. For added colour, we used bright napkins, pillows and throws. Nothing too complicated.

Flower medley There are very few things that make a place feel more special than flowers. Being early fall, we chose to do a bit of an unexpected medley, mixing our florals with harvest vegetables. Kale, zucchini and garlic bulbs take on a very different look when combined artistically with beautiful flowers and greenery. This also drives home the farm-totable theme. We worked with a local supplier, Don-O-Ray Farms, to source our beautiful bright produce. For the flowers, we used our favourite floral artist, Cindy Switzer of Wild Valentine Designs.

Farm to table to taste bud: the menu When I think of Tuscany, I think of simplicity and quality. Bean dishes flourish. Butter is replaced with olive oils. Tuscan food is based on the concept cucina povera or “poor cooking.” Historically, many people in the region needed to stretch meals to feed their families, and menus have stayed largely the same — now by choice rather than financial necessity. We approached my favourite Italian market, Valoroso Foods, to put our Tuscan menu together. The concept was colourful and flavourful and all things amazing. It included a charcuterie board — with Italian and Spanish meats and cheese — and a Tuscan pasta and bean dish with homemade sausage, served with bread imported from Altamura, Italy. 54  |

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Vino Here is where we departed from the Tuscan style and added our own Okanagan twist. There is a deep history of winemaking in the Okanagan, and over 75 varieties of wine grapes flourish here. Pinot Gris and Merlot are the most popular, but you’ll find fantastic Chardonnays and Viogniers, as well as red varietals from further south towards Osoyoos. We approached a local favourite, Quail’s Gate Winery, and paired the wonderful flavours of Tuscan fare with a selection of wines from the winemaker. This is an essential step for your dinner, and good wine shops welcome the chance to consult. Take your menu — they’ll know which wines will bring out the flavours of the food you’re serving. Above all, invite your favourite people to participate in the magic you’ve created. Maybe the sequel could be Under the Okanagan Sun.

setting the stage

Supplier List Valoroso Foods Quail’s Gate Winery Wild Valentine Designs Don-o-Ray Farms




250-300-6520  |

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Summer berry desserts are always a hit — a pleasure to make and a pleasure to eat


T'S STRAWBERRY season! No imported berry can compare to the sweetness, fragrance and flavour of our homegrown BC strawberries. At first pick in early June, I am content to eat my fill of strawberries, handful by delicious handful, no embellishment necessary. But as our long and lovely strawberry season carries on through the summer, I start to get creative. Yes, I make jam, and yes, I freeze berries, but mainly I love to concoct dreamy strawberry desserts. Super fruity or rich and creamy, crumbly or soft, warm or frozen: if you can imagine a dessert, I have likely tried it with strawberries.

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Delicious cooked or fresh, with a complex sweet-tart flavour and a beautiful colour, strawberries live up to the notion of the “ideal berry.” Summer berry desserts are always a hit: a pleasure to make and a pleasure to eat. I’ve collected a few of my favourite recipes here: a creamy cheesecake parfait with crispy almond crumbles and honeyed berries; a perfect Pavlova with Meyer lemon cream and fresh strawberries; and a favourite retro cake. Enjoy strawberry season and may you be blessed with an overload of strawberries, warm from the sunny field.

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“I love to concoct dreamy strawberry desserts. Super fruity or rich and creamy, crumbly or soft, warm or frozen: if you can imagine a dessert, I have likely tried it with strawberries.”

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE PARFAIT WITH ALMOND SHORTBREAD CRUMBLE Serves 8 to 12. One of my favourite desserts, this can be subject to endless variations. Change up the strawberries for a different fruit, use different nuts in the shortbread crumble and change the flavouring in the filling. All components (cheese, fruit, crumble) can be made ahead of time and kept separate until ready to assemble the parfaits. Almond shortbread crumble 105 g (¾ cup) all purpose flour 35 g (¼ cup) whole wheat flour 76 g (1/3 cup) butter 76 g (1/3 cup) sugar 1 g (1/8 tsp) salt 110 g (1 cup) slivered almonds Cheese filling 454 g (2 blocks) block-style cream cheese 200 g (1 cup) sugar 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla 300 ml (1-1/4 cup) whipping cream Fruit topping 4 cups fresh strawberries 150 g (¾ cup) sugar 15 to 30 ml (1 to 2 Tbsp) mild local honey Crumble: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients. Mix with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs, with bigger pieces of almond. Gently press the mixture onto the baking sheet into a very large, roughly shaped cookie, about ½ cm thick. Don’t try to make it perfectly shaped or hold together — it will be broken up into bits after it is cooked. The main thing it to get the thickness more or less even. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown and fragrant. Cool on a rack. Once the “cookie” is cool, break it into pieces and buzz it through a food processor until it resembles coarse crumbs (alternatively, put the pieces in a large zipper lock bag and roll with a rolling pin). Cheese filling: Cream together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream until peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture, keeping it as light and airy as possible. Place in the fridge to set while you make the topping.

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait with Almond Shortbread Crumble.

Fruit topping: Wash and prepare the berries. Set aside 2 cups of the strawberries for later. Slice the remaining 2 cups of strawberries and place in a medium pot. Add about ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes, until berries start to break down and give off their juice. Use a fork or potato masher to lightly mash the berries, and simmer for a few minutes more. Add the sugar and honey and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring and

mashing the fruit until the mixture looks darker and glossy, with the consistency of runny jam, about 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, slice the reserved fresh strawberries. Mix these into the cooked and cooled strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to assemble. Assembly: In small glass jars, layer the components like so: one spoonful of crumble in the bottom of the jar, followed by a dollop of the cream cheese mixture, a spoonful of the strawberry mixture (along with some of its juice). Follow this with more cream cheese and then more strawberries. Top with a large spoonful of crumble and serve. (I put the crumble on the very bottom and very top only — not the middle — so that it doesn’t get soggy. Change this if you desire).

STRAWBERRY POKE CAKE Poke cake is a retro back-of-the-box recipe, with an ingenious twist — after the cake has cooled, holes are poked in it and filled with fruit jello. I love the perfect texture and super fruity flavour of this cake, but I much prefer my own homemade strawberry gelatin to the packaged stuff. This cake can easily be doubled and cooked in a 9x13-inch pan. Cake 158 g (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp) flour 8 g (2 tsp) baking powder 3 g (½ tsp) salt 85 g (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter



200 g (1 cup) sugar 125 ml (½ cup) milk 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract 3 egg whites (no yolks) Strawberry poke syrup 1 straw (paper, plastic or metal) OR wooden skewer 2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries (or fresh berries) 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar 60 ml (¼ cup) strawberry jam 60 ml (¼ cup) water 6 g (2 tsp) unflavoured gelatin 15 ml (1 Tbsp) cold water Topping 1 cup whipping cream, cold from the fridge Fresh strawberries For the cake: Generously grease the insides of an 8-inch round cake pan or an 8X8-inch square pan. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, mix the egg whites, milk and vanilla. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter until it is fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add half of the flour mixture and mix well. Add half of the egg mixture and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat well. Add the remaining egg mixture and mix well, until batter is smooth.


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Strawberry Poke Cake.

STRAWBERRY PAVLOVA WITH MEYER LEMON CREAM Serves 8 A perfect early summer dessert: airy meringue, lemony cream and sweet local strawberries. The lemon cream can be made with regular lemons if no Meyer lemons are to be found. If you are using regular lemons, reduce the lemon juice to 1/3 of the total as regular lemons are three times as tart as Meyer lemons. Other fruit can be substituted for the strawberries: nectarine, peach, golden kiwi, raspberry, blueberry… An additional advantage to pavlova is that it is gluten free! Meringue 4 egg whites* 2 g (1/2 tsp) cream of tartar 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract Meyer Lemon Cream 227 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter pinch salt 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar 15 ml (1 Tbsp) finely grated zest of Meyer lemon 60 ml (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed juice of Meyer lemon 60 ml (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed juice of lemon 4 egg yolks + 1 whole egg 167 ml (2/3 cup) whipping cream or solid coconut milk Berries 1 pint fresh local strawberries

Use a spatula to scrape this mixture into the prepared cake pan. Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (with no crumbs attached). Place cake pan on wire rack to let cool. For the syrup: Place the berries, sugar, jam and the one-quarter cup water water in a pot. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, and let cook gently for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the gelatin powder with the 1 tablespoon of cold water. Pour the warm strawberry mixture through a strainer into a bowl to catch the juices and strain out the chunks of berries. You should have about 1 cup of strawberry juice. Discard the berries in the strainer, but keep the juice. Use a whisk to stir in the water-soaked gelatin powder. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Let cool for about 30 minutes. While you are waiting for the strawberry mixture to cool, use a straw or wooden skewer to poke holes in the cake. It’s very important to only poke about half way through the cake; otherwise the berry syrup will make the bottom of the cake soggy. Evenly drizzle the strawberry liquid all over the cake. It will fall through the holes and make stripes through your cake. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours. To make whipped cream topping: With an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream evenly over the cake and slice fresh strawberries over the top. 60  |

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*Egg whites must be absolutely free of any trace of yolk or grease of any kind. If they are not completely fat-free, they will not hold enough volume while being whipped. Make sure your yolks don’t break while you are separating your eggs, and make sure that your bowl and beaters are scrupulously clean. Meringue: Preheat oven to 250 F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle the parchment paper with a light dusting of cornstarch or tapioca starch (this is to help the meringues come off the paper after they are cooked). Place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whip attachment (alternatively, whip eggs with a hand-held electric beater or a large balloon whisk). Add cream of tartar and whip on low or medium low until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until very soft peaks form (this happens quickly— keep an eye out!). Now, while machine is running, slowly pour in the sugar along the side of the bowl, beating all the while. Keep beating until egg whites have increased at least 5 times in volume, are smooth and glossy, and hold very stiff peaks, about 3 minutes. (Dip beater in the whites and turn upside down — the peak should hold itself upright like a witch’s hat). It’s very important to not over-beat it. In these days of electric mixers, it’s more common for cooks to over-beat their egg whites, rather than under-beat them. Over-beaten eggs will not hold their volume. They will create, at best, a low-profile meringue or cake, and at worst, collapse and separate. Over-






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Strawberry Pavlova with Meyer Lemon Cream

beaten egg whites lose their gloss and start to appear grainy, lose their structure and elasticity. If you are at all unsure, it is much better to slightly under-beat your meringue, rather than slightly-over-beat it. Place 8 large spoonfuls of meringue on the prepared baking sheet and use the back of a large spoon to gently form them (without deflating the whites) into small nest shapes. The hollow in the middle of the nests will ultimately hold the cream and berries. Keep in mind as you are forming the meringues that they will not alter shape while they are cooking. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in in the oven without opening it for at least two more hours (to fully dry out). I often make the meringues at night, and leave them to cool in the oven overnight.

Slowly pour in the egg yolk mixture into the bowl with the remaining lemon mixture, whisking the whole time. (The bowl should still be over the hot water). Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 8 minutes, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the bowl from heat and let the mixture cool completely. Refrigerate until cold. When you are ready to finish the filling, scoop half of this lemon mixture (Meyer lemon curd) into a bowl. Refrigerate the remaining half for another use. In a separate bowl, whip cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the bowl containing half of the lemon curd. (If using coconut milk, use only the solid milk at the top of the can.) Refrigerate filling until cold and thickened. It should be as cold and thick as possible when serving the pavlova.

Lemon Cream: Fill a medium pot about one-third of the way with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer and place a medium bowl directly over the pot. This is a make-shift double boiler. Put the butter in this bowl and melt. Add the sugar, lemon zest and both types of lemon juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs yolks and whole egg until frothy. Slowly pour in about one-quarter cup of the lemon mixture, whisking all the while. This helps temper the eggs and keep them from curdling when they are added to the whole mixture.

Berries: Gently rinse the strawberries in cold water and pat them dry. Remove stems and hulls. Cut berries in halves or quarters, depending on size. Set aside until ready to assemble.

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Pavlova Assembly: Place a meringue on a plate, fill the hollow in the centre with some lemon cream (several tablespoons), top with some strawberries. This is not an exact science: use as much filling and berries as you can get away with before they start to spill over the edge of the meringue. Repeat with remaining meringues. Garnish with powdered sugar, if desired.


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Opera in the Vines.



HE outdoor amphitheatre at Mission Hill Winery is one of Canada’s premiere concert settings, offering sublime acoustics and spectacular views in an intimate setting. It’s perfectly suited to showcase larger-than-life acts and, in years past, has offered audiences unforgettable shows with the likes of Tony Bennett and Melissa Ethridge taking the stage. This year’s Live at Mission Hill Concert Series lineup is similarly impressive. In July, Doobie Brothers alum Michael McDonald will perform, as will one of Canada’s most successful music makers, David Foster. While the venue has made a name for itself by showcasing some of the brightest stars in music under a glimmering Okanagan night sky, there’s always room to grow. In August, the winery will work in concert with Opera Kelowna to offer Opera in the Vines. Visitors will be invited to bask in the captivating performances of world-class vocalists accompanied by a 17-piece orchestra led by esteemed music director Bernard McDonald.

This exquisite evening will include arias from La Bohème, Madam Butterfly, Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, La Traviata and more. “Mission Hill’s outdoor amphitheatre offers a concert experience unlike any other in the Okanagan,” said Darryl Brooker, president of Mission Hill Family Estate. “Its intimate hilltop location, backdropped with sweeping vineyard views, offers an unparalleled experience — especially when paired with world-class cuisine and Mission Hill’s award-winning wines.”


There are a lot of “what ifs” in the Caravan Theatre’s summer production, The Coyotes. What if the world was running out of water? What if there was only one working well left in existence and it was located on the run-down farm of a widow and her two daughters? Who would want this well? What would they do to get it? And what if the “most fabulous coyote of them all” fell in love with the mad daughter of the widow who owns the farm with the only water left in the world? While such “what ifs” abound in the play that artistic director Estelle Shook describes as a “perfect blend of mystery, magic and flat out comedy,” there is no doubt the audience will enjoy  |

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Blues/roots/country artist Crystal Shawanda.

watching the comedy and pathos unfurl under the stars on a warm Okanagan night. Caravan Farm Theatre, which is celebrating 40 years of live, outdoor performances on a farm in Armstrong, has a unique appeal that keeps visitors coming back season after season. Actors, writers, musicians and other artists from around the globe stay on the farm to collaborate and create productions. Shook, herself, fell in love with the theatre company at the age of six, when she visited the farm with her family to watch a performance. Years later, after a successful career around North America, she gravitated back to where her love of theatre began. “There’s no other company like it in the country,” she said. “It’s a professional theatre company on an 80-acre farm in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. You have world-class artists, an incredible natural environment and original plays that are so smart, for all ages.” And the fact that it’s outside with an audience that is relaxed, able to get a craft beer and a bag of popcorn and enjoy the majesty of the outdoors makes it all the more special. 66  |

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KELOWNA ART GALLERY SEPTEMBER 13 TO JANUARY 2 One of Canada’s most well-known Indigenous painters and printmakers will be celebrated on her 100th birthday, most fittingly in the city she called home. Daphne Odjig 100 is a capsule retrospective of the late artist Daphne Odjig that opens the week of what would have been her 100th birthday. Odjig has often been referred to as “the grandmother of Canadian indigenous art” and, although she was born in Manitoulin Island, Ontario, she settled in Kelowna in her later years. The story of her long and successful artistic career is told through early works from the era of her first solo exhibitions in 1967, right up to the unfinished works she left behind when she passed away in 2016. Odjig’s artworks have been celebrated for their


interconnected and fluid forms, where colour, vibrancy and motion express powerful human emotions and cosmic forces. The show, which takes place at the Kelowna Art Gallery, is open to the public.

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What used to be one of the Okanagan’s best kept secrets has quickly evolved into one of its most loved events. The summer concert series held Friday evenings in West Kelowna is heading into its seventh year, and shows no signs of stopping. Offering both mountain and lake views, Memorial Park provides the perfect setting to enjoy music with friends and family — young and old — by artists hailing from across North America and closer to home. All this, and it’s free of charge. “When I started, it was a hidden gem, and it’s not quite so hidden anymore. It’s become a place where the community gathers regularly,” said Karma Lacoff, of Creative Okanagan, which has been producing this concert series for the City of West Kelowna since 2012. “There are lots of people who come every week, no matter who is playing.” Part of the appeal is the increasing quality of the artists being booked. The other part is simply the community vibe. “Once people discover the event, the location and how relaxed it is, they continue to come back,” said Lacoff. This year’s lineup features Juno nominees, Nashville stars and a full array of local talent. There will be soul, blues, bluegrass, country and rock acts throughout the summer series. Some of the more recognizable  |

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names on the roster are Nuela Charles, an alternative soul singer. and Crystal Shawanda, a blues/roots/country artist. Performances begin at 6:40 pm. The general format starts with an emerging artist, followed by a 45 minute set by a local band at 7 pm and a 60-minute set by the headlining artist at 8 pm. Food vendors are on site from 6 to 9 pm. To see the full roster go to

Songwriters will perform their hits acoustically and entertain with stories of how the songs came to be. “This event is truly a one-of-kind experience. It’s a unique, fresh idea and unlike anything else you’ll find in the Okanagan Valley,” said David Prystay, general manager for the Penticton Lakeside Resort, the venue for the event. Tickets are on sale at



A new songwriters’ festival is luring some of country music’s most talented artists to the Okanagan to both perform and speak about their craft. The inaugural 97 South Song Sessions will be hosted in Penticton by former CMT host Paul McGuire and include performances by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Tim Nichols and Bob DiPiero, CMA Song of the Year winner Jimmy Yeary and 2017 CCMA Roots Artist of the Year nominee Jessica Mitchell. “After years of enjoying songwriter festivals throughout North America, I’m thrilled to be part of the 97 South team as we bring some of the world’s best song-writing talent to the Okanagan Valley’s highly-acclaimed wine region,” said Robin Ott, president of 97 South Holdings Inc. “The audience will experience a powerful performance in the style of a traditional acoustic guitar pull. It’s an experience that will be shared in conversation again and again.”

The Okanagan’s largest arts festival is focusing on “Art in Fashion” for its 26th year. ArtWalk, which attracts more than 7,000 men, women and children to the quaint centre of Lake Country, offers displays of visual and performing arts from 200-plus Okanagan artists. There are hands-on children’s activities, live artist demonstrations, workshops and a live art auction. The event turns the community into a veritable hub of creativity, and families return each year to add a bit of local colour to their personal art collections. Anne Wise, an organizer on the ArtWalk committee, said the event has gone a long way to establishing Lake Country as an art-focused community, appealing to visitors from as far away as Switzerland in years past. More information on the full ArtWalk experience will be available at



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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Developer Craig Mohr experiences business and human growth BY KATHY MICHAELS P H OTO S BY DA R R E N H U L L


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“There’s not a day that goes by where there’s not more to learn,” he said. “You make mistakes and learn from them and keep pushing forward— it’s been really great to be able to do that.”


RAIG Mohr looks at the three old houses he bought on Groves Avenue and sees more than the remnants of Kelowna’s small-town history. He sees 450 Parc, a six-storey condo building — tucked between behemoth development SOPA square and a quaint, treed-in playground — that would be just as well-suited to Manhattan as it is to what’s become one of Kelowna’s most coveted neighbourhoods. “There’s going to be a mixture of steel accents, brick and limestone,” said Craig, the owner of Vineyard Developments, one day in late spring as he gestured to phantom features of the soon-to-be-built development just off Pandosy Street. “A lot of what you see in old town Manhattan, when you have both old and new co-existing, that will be here.” The project is going to offer its residents high-end condo living without the shackles of dealing with a large strata.

On each of the six levels, there will be four 1,450-to1,700-square-foot units. Each will have front to back views. And each will be of penthouse quality. It’s unique for the city, but Craig has seen the demand for this kind of high-end housing among his dad’s friends, and thinks he found just the right place to make his vision come to life. The development is also the culmination of nearly two decades of work and with its completion, Craig sees a personal turning point. He’s a fifth generation builder, but he didn’t fall into the family business. Where his predecessors saw deadlines, budgets and other practical matters, he saw shapes and colour, beauty and balance. “When I was around 19 years old, my dad asked me if I wanted to take over the family business and I was like, ‘why would I ever want to do that?’” At the time, he was working in retail in Edmonton and he liked it — the money was decent, he felt fulfilled and was having fun. His parents had their concerns, however, and they pushed him to enroll in the Northern  |

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7th Annual Butterfly Effect th 7 Annual For those who have experienced the loss of someone close, please join us to release hundreds of butterflies to acknowledge the loss of a loved one and to honour those in our lives.

Butterfly Effect

Date the loss of For those who have experienced Sunday, 21,release 2019 someone close, please join July us to hundreds of butterflies to acknowledge the loss of a loved one and to honour those Time in our lives. 10:00am – 1:00pm

(butterfly release at approximately 11:30am) | Weather permitting

Sunday, July Location 21 Falcon Ridge Farms, Rifle Rd, Kelowna, B.C. 10:00 am - 1:00579 pm Butterfly release at approximately 11:30am

Butterflies are $35 each or 3 for $90 and may be ordered (Weather permitting) online or by contacting the COHA office at:

Falcon Ridge Farms, 579 Rifle Rd., Kelowna 250.763.5511

Butterflies are $35 each, or 3 for $90. Order online or contact COHA office. | 250.763.5511 A unique opportunity to honour the memory opportunity to honour the memory of a loved ofA aunique loved one in a spectacular butterfly release. one in a spectacular butterfly release.

How does CHBA benefit you? The CHBA has over 270 industry leaders locally in the Central Okanagan, over 2,500 members provincially, and more than 8,000 industry leaders nationally. As an association, we have a collective strength and visibility to help serve our industry, all while offering our members a number of direct benefits.



To become a member visit Or call us at 250.861.3988 72  |

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Alberta Institute of Technology’s business program, so he acquiesced. “It actually went pretty well,” he said. He completed some business and marketing programs and came out knowing one thing for sure — he didn’t want the type of job that would entail getting dirty. “I wanted to wear a suit and tie to work,” he said, laughing. “I got a job at Western Star (in Kelowna) and worked there for five years.” It was at the peak of the company’s success, which meant Craig was just a footnote in a huge employee roster. “I realized then I wasn’t going to do well in a large corporate environment,” he said. Still young, and with adventure calling his name, he left Kelowna and went to Vancouver for a couple of years and then, when his bills started to outpace his income, he travelled north to work on oil rigs. Two years into that very dirty work, which was 17 years ago, he had an epiphany — the past offered the clearest path to a successful future. “It was pretty cold and around Christmas and I called my dad. We were having a nice conversation and I said I was thinking of starting a construction company in Kelowna and ‘would you consider helping me?’” he recalled. “There was dead silence on the other side of the phone and I could tell he was thinking. Then he said, ‘well how serious are you?’ I was dirty, cold and tired and I said, ‘I’m pretty serious.’” And that was it. He stopped floating and found purpose. Craig’s dad was helping First Lutheran find a location for its new school and church, and that offered an opportunity for him to start his first multifamily development. A parcel of land, near the Capital News Centre was designated for townhouses and Craig and his dad took it on as a project. “I was responsible for most of the work, working with the architect. I priced the development, selected interior design finishes, managed the construction, sold all the units, managed the clients and did the preceding service work,” he said. “I personally sat in the sales centre and sold the units on the weekend and did construction during the week.” For several years it was “sink or swim.” The project did well and there were more for Craig. In the years that followed, he worked on high-end custom homes. He’s created signature homes in the Upper Mission and multifamily dwellings in Penticton and Kelowna. He’s weathered a real estate crash and made it out a success. “All of it has been a huge learning experience,” he said. That’s not to say he’s done. Now, having learned the ropes and honed his craft, Craig sees himself developing as a communicator and as a person. “There’s not a day that goes by where there’s not more to learn,” he said. “You make mistakes and learn from it and keep pushing forward— it’s been really great to be able to do that.” He’s done it without compromising who he is. He’s still someone who sees shapes and colours, beauty and balance. And with his work popping up around the Okanagan, so too can the people who live in the valley.

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EMBERS of the Boulevard fashion team were like kids in candy store when it came to photographing this edition’s fashion story at Area 27 Luxury Motorsport Club — the incredible landscape, the cars and the unique track all provided an endless number of inspiring backdrops. Described as a "circuit unlike any other,” the Jacques-Villeneuve-designed Area 27 is located on a gorgeous piece of land near Oliver. According to the website (, it was “designed and built with intention, taking advantage of natural elevation changes, and featuring a variety of corners to tempt, test and challenge…Area 27 is a driving enthusiast’s dream.” Both models in the story work at Area 27. Mykaela is the Corporate Events Manager and Amberlee is the Academy 27 Coordinator and Administrative Executive, so their connection to the site and experience on the track enriched our story. A huge thank you to Area 27 for hosting our team for the day!

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Photo by Darren Hull



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Profile for Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Okanagan, July/August, 2019  

Okanagan Life at its Finest

Boulevard Okanagan, July/August, 2019  

Okanagan Life at its Finest


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