CENTR AL ISL AND LIFE AT ITS FINEST
With an eye to
LANGUAGE OF SCENT
Ancient alchemy for a deeper connection to place
Cosy knits, luscious suede and velvet for a new season
SPIRITS OF THE WEST Farm to flask at Shelter Point Distillery
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On the Cover Photo by Lia Crowe Model Allison Grey photographed on location at the Wildwood Ecoforest, located north of Ladysmith. Styling by Katherine Suna
28 MILL BAY MAGNIFICENCE
It’s all about the details in this owner-planned home
Gather your cosy knits, luscious suede and velvet, and embrace the cooler season
By Darcy Nybo
By Katherine Suna
40 AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Eric McLean finds the winning ingredients for his specialty foods store
By Tess van Straaten
44 THE LANGUAGE OF SCENT
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Botanical alchemists use ancient methods for a deeper connection to place
By Lia Crowe
56 SMALL PLATES THAT INSPIRE Shop and serve for easy entertaining
By Chef Heidi Fink
DEPARTMENTS 8 OUR CONTRIBUTORS 12 EDITOR’S LETTER
Celebration of the Senses
By Susan Lundy
Joan Classen and Katie Cooke
By Katherine Suna
Maartyn Hoogeveen, Unsworth
By Susan Lundy
78 FRONT ROW
Magic Touch: Reiki
What’s on this fall
By Pamela Durkin
By Sherry Conly
86 SECRETS AND LIVES
Ivo and Loretta Zanatta
By Sean McIntyre
A Path of Perseverance: Dr. Ana Teresa Enriquez
By Erin McPhee
68 TRAVEL NEAR
Spirits of the West: Shelter Point Disillery
By Susan Lundy
90 BEHIND THE STORY
By Lia Crowe
72 TRAVEL FAR
And the Rest is History: Tallinn, Estonia
By Lucas Aykroyd
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LUCAS AYKROYD WRITER: AND THE REST IS HISTORY
“I first visited Tallinn when Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising and the Scorpions’ “Wind of Change” were hot properties, and to tour the Estonian capital again was both nostalgic and eyeopening.” A recipient of the University of Victoria’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Lucas covers travel and sports for the New York Times, National Geographic and The Globe and Mail.
C E N T R A L I S L A N D L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T FALL 2019
GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto
PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke
250.891.5627 email@example.com “Resolve to experience something a bit different this fall. Whether it’s an edgy ballet set to classic rock, a Western Canadian comedy tour dedicated to supporting small charities, a full day of yoga in the park to raise awareness and funds for youth in need, or a play highlighting what happens when four women meet and take back control of their lives in the most hilarious ways, there’s no shortage of entertainment on Central Vancouver Island!” Sherry works as a copy and content writer. Find her on Facebook- @westcoastcopywriting.
SHERRY CONLY WRITER: FRONT ROW
LIA CROWE PHOTOGRAPHER/ WRITER: LANGUAGE OF SCENT
DON DENTON PHOTOGRAPHER: SMALL PLATES THAT INSPIRE
HEIDI FINK WRITER: SMALL PLATES THAT INSPIRE
“My strongest sense has always been scent; I move through the world nose first. So it was an exceptional pleasure delving into the world of botanical essence and spending time with some inspiring people resurrecting ancient plant crafts.” Lia is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer with a long history of working in the fashion industry.
“Every issue of Boulevard gives me the opportunity to photograph (and sample) a new series of food and/or food dishes during our food shoot with Chef Heidi Fink and Boulevard’s associate editor Lia Crowe. I’m a big fan of small-plate dining, both for the taste and ease of preparation, so this issue’s focus on tapas was a great chance to pick up some tips for entertaining at home.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and a Royal wedding.
“ALL THE CHEESE! I was like a kid in a candy shop, sourcing Spanish cheese for the photo shoot. At least one other person at the shoot felt the same way. She said: ‘Look at all this cheese; it’s like Christmas morning!’ It was definitely cheese heaven for a day.” Heidi is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.
EDITOR Susan Lundy ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan
DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson
Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark Andrea Rosato-Taylor Pat Brindle Lisa Vassiliadis
CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe
Lucas Aykroyd Sherry Conley Pamela Durkin Heidi Fink Sean McIntyre Darcy Nybo Katherine Suna Tess van Straaten
CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Izabel Kazenbroot-Guppy
CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411
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 firstname.lastname@example.org boulevardmagazines.com
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IZABEL KAZENBROOT -GUPPY
ERIN MCPHEE WRITER: PATH OF PERSEVERANCE
PHOTOGRAPHER: INSPIRED STYLE
PAGE 14 “I met Joan and Katie in their boutique and we chatted and took pictures all the way from there to the beach. As I was photographing the mother-daughter duo, I got to hear the family sense of humour and laughed along with their banter.” Izabel is a photographer and graphic designer from Vancouver Island.
WRITER: LA DOLCE VITA
WRITER: MILL BAY MAGNIFICENCE
“This Mill Bay couple really knew how to being the outdoors in by harvesting the timber on their land and using it in their home. It created a win-win by exposing great ocean views and adding a rustic/cabin/beach feel to the interior.” When Darcy's not playing with words, she’s usually out in her garden or exploring the Island with her dogs.
TESS VAN STRAATEN
PHOTOGRAPHER: MILL BAY MAGNIFICENCE
WRITER: AHEAD OF THE CURVE
“Hailing from a small farm town in Ontario, I find there is something so serene and magical about photographing homes along the ocean. Floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views and the mix of rustic farmhouse with modern cabinetry — this home was truly spectacular!” Kara Tibbel is an award-winning commercial photographer and designer now residing in Shawnigan Lake and proud owner of karaphotographyanddesign.com
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“The homestead at the Wildwood Ecoforest was the perfect location for our prairiefeel fashion story. We explored the 77-acre ecoforest that’s filled with fascinating wildlife, gigantic coastal trees and fresh plums you can pick right off the tree and eat.” Katherine is a fashion stylist and writer located in Nanaimo.
“Siblings Ivo and Loretta Zanatta have transformed their parents’ vision into businesses that embody the family’s Italian heritage and set the standard for the Cowichan Valleys new economy. Their combined efforts have helped put Cowichan on the map and inspired countless other creative and courageous entrepreneurs.” Contributor Sean McIntyre is a freelance writer based on Salt Spring Island who is thrilled to know that a taste of Italy is only a short ferry ride away.
“It was a pleasure meeting Dr. Ana Teresa Armas Enriquez and hearing about her commitment to empowering women and improving and advocating for their health. I was also inspired by her love for her family and the pride she takes in her home country of Cuba, including its culture, music and incomparable beaches, which I hope to one day experience firsthand!” New Brunswickborn and a longtime Vancouverite, Erin McPhee is a professional communicator and award-winning writer.
“It’s hard to believe some popular foods that are now household staples were once hard to find on Vancouver Island. Eric McLean opened his specialty food store in Nanaimo almost three decades ago to fill that void and continues to introduce tasty products to the market, including one of Vancouver Island’s largest selections of cheese. Yum!” Tess is an awardwinning journalist and television personality who has had the privilege of interviewing people for more than two decades.
Celebration of the Senses BY SUSAN LUNDY
PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
N the past few weeks, I’ve said play music while I work. (And I’m things like, “His name is Clint frequently asked — “Who needs drugs, or Clive; it’s yellow, for sure.” when you have synesthesia?”) And “Sorry, but can you turn Other less common forms of off the music? Too many synesthesia are Lexical-gustatory shapes while I’m editing.” (certain tastes are experienced when I have synesthesia, a “perceptual hearing words) and one that is odorphenomenon in which stimulation of colour-related where scents evoke one sensory or cognitive pathway leads colour. to automatic, involuntary experiences in Synesthesia is often hereditary, and a second sensory or cognitive pathway.” one of my two daughters has it. Have I lost you yet? Danica’s words are multi-coloured: she Until I was in my late teens, I thought sees the colour of each letter. Helpful everyone saw words in colours. I in proofreading because she is perhaps wondered why I got blank stares with slightly above average at telling if a a comment like: “No, I can’t remember word is misspelled — because the the name of the hotel. But I think it’s colours are out of order. But she also blue.” sees colours as fighting with each other Two to four per cent of the and it’s “painful” for them to be sidepopulation has synesthesia, where the by-side on a canvas. So, less helpful experience of one sense or mental image since she’s a visual artist. In fact, many is simultaneously perceived by another sense. artists have synesthesia. I draw on it a lot when I write poetry, So for me, I “see” all words and letters in colour. Each especially the Chromesthesia because it gives me such visually mental image of a word is the colour of the word’s first letter. rich imagery. However, the shade of the hue depends on the collection of I also have “spatial sequence synesthesia,” where I see colours of the individual letters, most months and days of the week in colour dominantly if it contains a white letter but also in a 3-D sequence — almost like “O.” It’s complicated, but here’s an like a map. It took me a long time to Until I was in my late example. Take my name, Susan. It’s red understand why others couldn’t seem because S is red. But it’s a light shade teens, I thought everyone to keep up with me as I spewed travel of red because U is white. My colour plans and/or various appointment saw words in colours. palette is enduring and consistent over dates, easily navigating my internal 3-D time, but different from others with map. Having a 3-D calendar in your synesthesia. brain is very, very handy! Colour-word associations might be handy in recalling names, I believe synesthesia enriches my life. Last summer, when I but they can also be disconcerting. For example, when I found tumbled headfirst down a flight of stairs into a concrete wall, out “Robert” is my husband Bruce’s actual first name, his it wasn’t my shattered elbow that concerned me as I sat in moniker went from being a lovely blue to a rusty brown. And the emergency. Would the concussion somehow re-route my colour of Robert is less “comfortable” with the yellow of his last brain back to “normal?” I shut my eyes and envisioned words. name, Cameron, than with the blue of Bruce. Hurray! The colours were still there. As I’ve become more aware of synesthesia in the past decade, This issue of Boulevard is a celebration of the senses, I’ve discovered there are numerous types. Word-colour offering features on food, wine, spirits, the healing power of relationships — called Grapheme-color synesthesia — is the most touch and the language of scent. And with its gorgeous visuals, common. it’s also a feast for the eyes. Another form, Chromesthesia, involves the association of I hope you enjoy this issue of Boulevard Central Island. And sounds with colours. I have a variation on this where sounds if I meet you in the street and can’t quite remember your name, evoke shapes or images in my mind. For example, when I hear an at least you can rest assured I have your colour covered. eagle, I “see” an image that looks like a waterfall of diamonds. Lovely! But I also “see” shapes of other sounds, such as burps, which are much less attractive than cascading diamonds. When Susan Lundy has been writing stories since she was six years it comes to listening to music, it can be difficult for me to juggle old. She has a degree in creative writing from the University of hearing the sounds, seeing the multitude of shapes and focusing Victoria, and after working for many years as an award-winning on anything beyond the drama occurring in my brain. So I don’t journalist, is now a magazine editor, author and freelance writer.
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NOW S EL LING · 3 9 MAR INA S IDE S U IT E S · M OV E IN S P RIN G 2 0 2 0
U N C O M P RO M I S I N G O C E A N F RO N T L I V I N G
I N T H E H E A RT O F T H E FA I RW I N D S C O M M U N I T Y
The Westerly is beautifully situated overlooking the Strait of Georgia, nestled within Vancouver Island’s natural landscape of forested hills and rocky terrain yet only 20 minutes north of Nanaimo and easily accessible from both Victoria and Vancouver. Designed and built to exacting standards, residences at the Westerly offer an active lifestyle just steps away from the water, marina and Fairwinds Landing, the community’s new oceanfront residential/retail/dining hub.
WESTERLY LIFESTYLE CENTRE · 3455 FAIRWINDS DRIVE, NANOOSE BAY, BC · OPEN DAILY
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JOAN CLASSEN & KATIE COOKE CO-OWNERS OF REFRESH CLOTHING
BY KATHARINE SUNA | P H OTO BY IZABEL KAZENBROOT-GUPPY
OPHISTICATED yet fun is the vibe at Katie Cooke and Joan Classen’s store, Refresh Clothing, in Parksville. Greeting me with beaming smiles, Joan wears a classy shirt dress, beautifully accessorized with jewellery, and Katie keeps it casual in her favourite distressed Silver jeans, black tee and heels. This mother-daughter duo quickly learned the ins-and outs of owning a retail business, and combined their strengths and knowledge to give their customers a memorable experience.
FASHION & BEAUTY
GO-TO OUTFIT: A dress and denim jacket. ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIECE: “A Joseph Ribkoff dress
that had a print of what looked like Audrey Hepburn on the front.” CURRENTLY COVETING: Distressed denim. FAVOURITE PAIR OF SHOES: A metallic-coloured Michael Kors sandal. FAVOURITE DAY BAG: Michael Kors. FAVOURITE JEWELLERY PIECE OR DESIGNER: Hillberg & Berk. FASHION OBSESSION: Bracelets. “I love to layer them.” ACCESSORY YOU SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON: Sunglasses. TOP 3 ITEMS ALWAYS FOUND IN YOUR PURSE: Lipstick, sunglasses and sunscreen. NECESSARY INDULGENCE: Pedicures. MOISTURIZER: Beautycounter Rejuvenating Day Cream. SCENT: Miracle by Lancome. MUST-HAVE HAIR PRODUCT: L’ANZA Hair Oil. BEAUTY SECRET: A good eye cream. FAVOURITE LIP PRODUCT: M.A.C. Lipglass. HAIR SALON: Sherry Leifer Hair Design. FAVOURITE MAKEUPBRAND: M.A.C.
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FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT OR CAFE: The Final Approach. FAVOURITE COCKTAIL/WINE: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. ALBUM ON CURRENT ROTATION: “I love anything by Passenger.” FAVOURITE FLOWER: Lily. FAVOURITE CITY TO VISIT: Vancouver. FAVOURITE HOTEL: Sheraton Wall. FAVOURITE APP: Instagram. FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD: The beach. FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON YOUR FREE TIME OR DAY OFF: Read a book. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM VACATION: Italy. FAVOURITE WORKOUT ROUTINE: Swimming. FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON A SELF-CARE DAY: A facial. COFFEE TABLE BOOK: Bob Dylan The Drawn Blank Series. BOOK CURRENTLY READING: The Burial Hour by Jeffery Deaver. FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME: The
Last Stand by Stephen King.
“We want them to feel good in their clothes when getting dressed in the morning, regardless of which trends come and go,” explains Joan. The two agree that their styles are very different, and this can be seen in the brands they carry in their store. They take pride in knowing that Refresh Clothing is a three-generations-style store, meaning all ages can shop there and find something among the 25-plus brands. “Clients always want what mom’s wearing that day. She’s always offering to take her outfits off
for clients to try on,” laughs & BEAUTY Katie. “I’m definitely more GO-TO OUTFIT: Distressed jeans, a casual, so our customers will tucked in tee and a high heels. ALLalways be able to gravitate TIME FAVOURITE PIECE: A Lisette blazer that and relate to someone can be dressed up or dressed down. CURRENTLY working in the store.” COVETING: Mavi Boyfriend denim jacket. FAVOURITE Both Katie and Joan love PAIR OF SHOES: A nude-coloured Bueno shoe that family time when they’re not goes with almost any outfit. FAVOURITE DAYBAG: Vince at work. Katie can typically Camuto. FASHION OBSESSION: Scarves. “They add be found outdoors with her depth to any outfit.” ACCESSORY YOU SPEND THE husband and two little boys. MOST MONEY ON: Shoes. TOP 3 ITEMS ALWAYS “We love going to FOUND IN YOUR PURSE: Lipstick, sunglasses, snacks Parksville Beach, and my son, NECESSARY INDULGENCE: Quality skin for the kids. Eli, loves visiting the marble care. MOISTURIZER: Beautycounter Countermatch Lotion. statues in Coombs, so we go SCENT: NEST Indigo. MUST-HAVE HAIR PRODUCT: L’ANZA there a lot,” explains Katie. Beach Spray. BEAUTY SECRET: Vitamin Joan loves to stay active with yoga, swimming and hosting C Face Oil. FAVOURITE LIP family dinners. PRODUCT: M.A.C. lipstick. HAIR “I swim and do yoga every SALON: Sherry Leifer Hair Design. morning, and I’ve started reading FAVOURITE MAKEUP books again after an eight-year BRAND: Tarte. break. My favourites are mystery books. I also love swimming and live near a community pool, so I go there a lot too,” says Joan. LIFE My visit ends while FAVOURITE LOCAL perusing their classic RESTAURANT OR CAFE: Brazen staples like Lisette Poppy Bakery. FAVOURITE COCKTAIL/ blazers, and laughing WINE: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. about how most ALBUM ON CURRENT ROTATION: Ed Sheeran experiences in life can No. 6 Collaborations. FAVOURITE FLOWER: Blue be referenced by a TV roses. FAVOURITE CITY TO VISIT: Vancouver. episode of Friends. FAVOURITE HOTEL: Sheraton Wall. FAVOURITE Without a doubt, APP: Instagram. FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE Joan and Katie love WHOLE WORLD: Englishman River Falls. to have fun, and love FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON YOUR FREE TIME sharing their passion OR DAY OFF: "Go to the beach with my kids." for style with their FAVOURITE WORKOUT ROUTINE: Early morning customers. Kickboxing at Cascadia Martial Arts. FAVOURITE THING TO DO ON A SELF CARE DAY: "A slow
morning with an extra cup of coffee." WHAT DO YOU READ ONLINE FOR STYLE: Instagram.
KATIE boulevardmagazines.com |
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INSPIREDEATS inspired CHEF
Maartyn Hoogeveen Chef at Unsworth Restaurant BY SUSAN LUNDY | P H OTO S BY LIA CROWE
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Quick Facts • Born and raised on a dairy farm in the Waikato, New Zealand • Third year at Unsworth • Previously: executive chef at Lochmara Lodge, New Zealand; sous chef at Emerald Lake Lodge, Field, BC; sous chef at Restaurang 28+, Gothenburg, Sweden (1 Michelin Star); sous chef at Craggy Range Terroir Restaurant, New Zealand (top winery in NZ).
HY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A CHEF? After graduating with an advanced diploma in hotel management, I decided that my favourite aspect of the course was the kitchen side. I grew up cooking with fresh produce from my parent’s orchard and garden, and using the farm-reared animals. WHAT’S THE ONE INGREDIENT YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT? Butter. They say the three secrets to French cuisine is butter, butter and more butter, and I couldn’t agree more. This may also have something to do with my upbringing on a dairy farm. WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL WHEN YOU’RE LOW ON TIME? Risotto of any description: it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and can be made with anything you have lying around. The key to impress is finishing with the right amount of butter and Parmesan. WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST MEAL BE? Whole-fried fish. One of my favourite meals was from this little shack in Lagunas de Chacahua, Mexico, where I had whole-fried red snapper, and the fish was caught just one hour before I ate it. The best restaurant I’ve ever eaten at is Tjöruhúsið in Isafjorður, Iceland. It’s a little shed on the wharf with a long communal table and self service, using only fish that has arrived from the boats that afternoon, cooked in a variety of ways and served in sizzling-hot skillets. WHAT IS THE BEST RECENT FOOD TREND? The trend of using fresh, local ingredients. This is the main philosophy of what we do here at Unsworth. Being fresh, the flavours of the ingredients speak for themselves. It’s very important to be able to connect directly with local farmers and producers who spend a lot of time, care and hard work to grow and make their products. WHAT IS THE MOST OVERRATED RECENT FOOD TREND? Making vegetarian products that look and taste like meat products. I do agree that we have to move away from a
Humboldt Squid, Prawn and Smoked Ling Cod Raviolo.
meat-heavy diet and that we should be eating a lot more plant-based food, but I don’t see the point in making something look and taste like meat when it’s not. WHAT IS A GOOD SIMPLE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR PAIRING WINE AND FOOD? Pick what will be either be your wine or the main component of you dish and do some research. I always try to stick with classic pairings. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CUISINE TO COOK? Mediterranean (French, Spanish and Italian, in particular). They always use fresh, local ingredients with techniques that have been perfected over centuries. WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST AT WORK? After a smooth, really busy service when we get to sit down as a team and have a beverage. WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST OUTSIDE OF WORK? When I’m traveling, playing golf or on the cricket field. boulevardmagazines.com |
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inspired CHEF CAN YOU SHARE AN EASY, SEASONAL RECIPE FOR A QUICK BITE THIS FALL?
RECIPE ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, SAGE & PEARL BARLEY RISOTTO 2 cups butternut squash (diced 1 ½ cm cubes) 4 Tbsp olive oil ¾ cup pearl barley 1 onion (finely diced) ¼ cup Unsworth Allegro wine 3 cup vegetable stock 3 Tbsp butter (diced) ¾ Cup Parmesan (finely grated) 2 Tbsp sage (finely chopped ) 4 Tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds salt and pepper Preheat oven to 280 degrees. Combine butternut squash, 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper on a roasting tray and bake for 15 minutes or until just cooked and lightly caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside. In a pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer. In a separate pot over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and the onions, and
sweat until translucent. Add the pearl barley and cook for 1 minute, making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute or until it has reduced down to nothing. Add vegetable stock so it just covers the barley and cook down over medium–low heat until the barley absorbs the stock. Repeat until all the vegetable stock is used (should be 6 to 8 times). Once all the stock is gone, taste the consistency of the barley — it should still have a slight crunch to it but if it is not cooked, add some water and reduce down until the right texture is achieved. Add the butter and mix in quickly with a spatula, and then turn off the heat and add the Parmesan. Stir quickly until it melts and turns into a nice creamy sauce. Add three-quarters of the roasted butternut squash and the sage, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately in bowls, putting the final one-quarter of roasted butternut squash on top as well as the toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy with a glass of Unsworth Allegro.
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Magic Touch Reiki uses “universal life energy” to support the body's natural ability to heal itself BY PAMELA DURKIN
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OUCH is the most fundamental of
all the senses and the first one to develop in the human body. Without it, we cannot thrive. It nourishes, entices, soothes — and more importantly — it heals. Victoria naturopath Dr. Jocelyn Taitt concurs. “Touch is critical for our well-being at every stage of life,” she says. “It has a profound effect on both our physical and mental health.” The healing power of touch is certainly not a new discovery. Its therapeutic power is described in both the Judeo-Christian Old and New Testaments. Unfortunately, in the “scientific” age, touch therapies were often decried as “nonsense” and viewed with widespread skepticism by the medical community. However, with the current renaissance of holistic medicine we are once again recognizing the amazing healing potential of touch. One system of touch therapy that is gaining recognition and acceptance in the medical field is Reiki, an ancient tradition that uses “universal life energy” to support the body’s natural ability to heal itself. After decades of skepticism and dismissal, the effectiveness of Reiki is finally being proven via peer-reviewed double-blind studies and top medical facilities around the globe are utilizing it as a valuable adjunct in the treatment of pain, depression, anxiety and more. While only a handful of Canadian hospitals, such as Toronto’s Princess Margaret, currently employ Reiki as a supportive treatment tool, there are now more than 60 US hospitals, including renowned places like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins, that offer Reiki as part of their patient services. And worldwide, Reiki is now widely used in cancer support centres, drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics and in palliative care facilities.
250-586-1111 | refreshclothing.ca 5-220 Island Hwy W, Parksville boulevardmagazines.com |
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“Reiki supports the release of emotions and energy blockages, re-establishing equilibrium in both body and mind.” Reiki 101 Reiki is a Japanese word derived from rei, meaning “universal,” and ki, meaning “vital life force.” It is a relaxing form of healing therapy that is applied through gentle, non-invasive, nonmanipulative touch. In its basic form, it involves the Reiki practitioner laying his or her hands just above — or on — the clothed body of a client, slowly working over the front and back in a concentrated progression of hand movements. Although various accounts relate slightly different versions of its history, it is thought that Reiki began in Tibet several thousand years ago. Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese scholar, is acknowledged for rediscovering the lost art of Reiki in the 19th century. He passed on his knowledge to others who have since spread the practice of Reiki worldwide.
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Proponents of the therapy believe that the power of physical touch, by way of the palms of the hand and tips of the fingers, can be used to channel the body’s natural energy in a way that promotes general healing and overall good health.
The Science Scientists are not completely certain how Reiki wields its magic, but several biological indicators suggest it activates our parasympathetic nervous system (aka our “rest and digest” system) and halts the body’s “fight and flight” stress response. How does this translate into a positive biological response in humans? Clinicians at both New York Presbyterian and Columbia hospitals found that Reiki treatments can lower heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. Given this, it’s not surprising that a recent meta analysis published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice concluded that Reiki is an effective approach to relieving pain and reducing levels of anxiety and depression. Several studies also suggest the gentle therapy can improve certain behaviour and memory problems in patients with mild cognitive impairments or Alzheimer’s. What’s more, as reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, it can calm dementia patients. Finally, ongoing research points to its effectiveness at treating insomnia, increasing mobility in those with arthritis and Type-2 diabetes, accelerating recovery from sports injuries and surgery, and alleviating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
The Treatment With my curiosity piqued, I decided it was time to experience Reiki firsthand. The decision led me back to Dr. Taitt, who, in addition to being a naturopath, is also a seasoned Reiki master. We began the session by discussing my past and current health concerns and honed in on areas I wanted to focus on during this first treatment. Proceeding to the massage table I grew ever more curious. What would Reiki “feel” like and how would my body react? As Dr. Taitt placed her hands on different sites along my body, I became aware of intense heat emanating from the areas she was working on, in addition to some “tingling.” What surprised me most, though, was the rather profound emotional response I experienced while she was working on the crown area of my head. I felt overcome by a sadness I was at a loss to explain. When we discussed this at the end of my treatment, Dr. Taitt explained that we often carry emotions in our bodies like memories, and they can become trapped and block the flow of “vital energy,” causing both physical and emotional discomfort. “Reiki supports the release of emotions and energy blockages, re-establishing equilibrium in both body and mind,” she notes. By the end of my treatment I felt blissfully relaxed, and this state of calm wasn’t just ephemeral, either. It lasted for several days. So what’s my conclusion? While Reiki is clearly not a cure-all, it certainly is a valid and valuable treatment that should be considered as a health-enhancing support for a variety of modern-day ills.
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Zanatta siblings carry on the work and vision of their Italian parents BY SEAN MCINTYRE | P H OTO S BY DON DENTON
HOUGH Dionisio and Claudia Zanatta would find things a tad different these days, it’s easy to imagine smiles crossing their faces if they could see what’s become of their once-humble Glenora farmhouse and their children’s efforts to bring a little piece of the old country to the
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Cowichan Valley. “This is where it all began,” says Ivo Zanatta, during a lunch of homemade tagliatelle pasta topped with a cream sauce and summer chanterelles at the winery, now run by his sister Loretta, that still bears the family’s name. Back when Dionisio planted their first rows of grape vines in
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Brother and sister Ivo and Loretta Zanatta hold glasses of Allegria Rose Brut as they stand on the porch of Vinoteca Restaurant, which was originally the farmhouse on the Vigneti Zanatta winery grounds and the house that the two siblings grew up in.
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Custom made the 1960s, the Vigneti Zanatta acreage was still a working dairy farm, though it’s easy to imagine the family convening for meals outside overlooking this scenic corner of the Cowichan Valley on warm summer afternoons. Dionisio’s early efforts began as a hobby. When he noticed striking similarities between the climates of the Cowichan and his homeland, his penchant for winemaking transformed into a full-blown passion. The property would go on to become an integral setting for the testing of many European grape varietals, with much of the research conducted by Loretta while she studied agriculture at UBC. In the early 1990s, the vineyard became the region’s first official government-designated winery, making the Zanattas Vancouver Island’s “first family of wine.” What their parents may find equally hard to fathom if they caught a glimpse of the farm these days is how the boutique winery attracts visitors from around the world, boasts a restaurant that rivals the best of Italian home cooking and is the source of Damasco, the best-selling white wine in the Cowichan Valley. “I find that people who are touring the Cowichan are pretty adventurous,” says Loretta Zanatta, whose passion for agriculture, experimentation and lesser-known grape varietals
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Ivo and Loretta on the roof of the Vinoteca Restaurant, the original farmhouse on the Vigneti Zanatta winery grounds and the house that
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come alive when she begins to talk of Siegerrebe and Zweigelt. “They are just open for new experiences. We get a lot of very athletic people, both palate-wise and otherwise.” Dionisio and Claudia found this corner of the Cowichan Valley in the 1950s. As the story goes, Dionisio’s company was downsizing and management asked him to relocate to San Fransisco. Having travelled independently from north-eastern Italy to settle in Vancouver, Dionisio and Claudia had only just recently met and started a family. With an infant in tow and another on the way, Claudia vetoed any move to the United States. The family cast their hopes for the future to Vancouver Island, settling on a 120-acre farm tucked away in a corner of the Cowichan Valley. Other than the Glenora General Store and gas pump across the road, it was only the young Zanatta family surrounded by a few modest farms carved out of the towering forest. The patio at Zanatta overlooks a section of vineyard that Dionisio dubbed “the library.” It’s a living record of nearly all grape varietals planted on the property since the family’s arrival. Surrounding the library of vines are rows of gorgeously gnarled fruit trees. Once the last of the tagliatelle is devoured, Ivo discreetly leaves the table. Minutes later he returns, hands filled with soft, juicy figs harvested from a tree planted by his father. “Dessert is served,” he says while handing out the freshly picked fruits. There’s little that’s more quintessentially Italian than lunch al fresco overlooking a vineyard from a lush patio garden. But wait, there’s more. The winery’s walkways, tiles and tabletops are crafted from fine marble quarried from sources near Lake Cowichan and Tahsis. Even the stones that line the garden’s bright and aromatic lavender beds are leftover marble chips. “It’s the only marbled quarried west of Ontario,” Ivo says. While Loretta and her husband, Jim Moody, have been
the two grew up in. When they were children, they would sneak out of their bedroom windows, sit on the roof and enjoy the view.
fulfilling Dionisio’s passion for grapes, Ivo has been following up with his father’s vision for stone. From its beginnings in 1980 as a small family business geared to supplying Vancouver Island residents with marble and granite dimensional stone, Matrix Marble has been thrust onto the global stage. On a tour of the company’s showroom and worksite along Highway 1 before lunch at the winery, Ivo reveals great monoliths and ornate carvings destined for the newly redesigned Canadian Senate building in Ottawa, modernist countertops built for Canada Goose retail locations in cities around the world and massive slabs of rock headed to corporate office towers in Vancouver and Calgary. “We’ve seen just a massive growth in the demand for local product because more people have an interest in Canadian materials,” he says. “Before, it was always Italian, Chinese or Indian, but now there’s more and more interest in these local products. The 100-mile diet applies just as well to stone and building materials as it does to food and drinks.” Ivo acquired the knowledge and knowhow of stonework while watching his father execute his day job. Today, Matrix Marble employs 24 full-time workers, and Ivo oversees the entire production process from quarrying to countertop. Much like his sister has done at Vigneti Zanatta, Ivo has taken a great idea and run with it. Refusing to remain still, the siblings have each developed ways to continually evolve and refine the products they offer. Whether it be the local Black Carmanah Marble or Zanatta’s refreshing Champagne-style wines, the siblings have carried over the hopes and dreams of a first-generation Italian immigrant couple and helped redefine a landscape that’s deeply rooted in Vancouver Island. “We’ve survived,” says Ivo. “We may not be the biggest, but we’ve both survived.” Survived and thrived. Mom and dad would definitely raise a glass to that — cin cin!
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Quick Facts: Time to build: 10 months #bedrooms: two up and two down (one is flex) #bathrooms: two and a half up and two down Square feet: 3,952: 1,976 up, 1,976 down Garage: oversize two-car mostly used for fishing gear, kayaks and bikes Gas fireplace Upper and lower decks with ocean views Ocean access Amenities: one-bedroom self-contained suite and a flex room with kitchenette for guests on the lower floor.
Mill Bay Magnificence It’s all about the details in this beautiful owner-planned home BY DARCY NYBO | P H OTO S BY KARA TIBBEL + DON DENTON
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“You couldn’t see the ocean from this spot before. Careful logging meant the entire property now has a breathtaking view of Mill Bay to Mount Baker, and the posts, beams, soffits, barge, fascia and fences were all milled from the timber.”
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ORDON Smith, of Cowichan Woodwork Ltd., was out for a walk in Mill Bay back in 2015 when he saw a for-sale sign buried in the trees. After much research, he bought the property and eventually subdivided it into waterfront and water-view lots. Initially, the property was fully treed. “You couldn’t see the ocean from this spot before,” Gordon says. “Careful logging meant the entire property now has a breathtaking view of Mill Bay to Mount Baker, and the posts, beams, soffits, barge, fascia and fences were all milled from the timber.” Unique features are apparent from the moment visitors arrive. The home’s exterior has copper-coloured metal roofing and gutters, and the matching downspouts are square instead of round. “For the roof detail, we wanted something that was interesting but didn’t look too heavy, so we created an inset on the overhang, which gives a lighter look and complements the roofline,” explains Gordon. “Everyone comments on the roof colour and detailing.” The exterior finish is a distinct, extra-wide Hardie plank and cedar. The entrance canopy to the house was created with cross laminated timber (CLT) from Kinsol Timber Systems. “We use the CLT so that the large cantilevered projection
didn’t need any other support,” Gordon says. “We built the entrance this way because I wanted to create a welcoming space and add architectural interest.” Observant visitors will see this trapezoid form repeated throughout the home. Gordon and his wife, Leslie, planned every aspect of the house together. As fans of architect and author Sarah Susanka, the Smiths prescribe to her theory to “build better not bigger,” so they designed a welcoming house with spaces that are used every day. “I drew up many full plans and this design fit Leslie’s ideals,” Gordon says. Another Susanka practice: the height gradually increases from the cosy entry alcove at 10 feet to over 14 feet at the windows, drawing people towards the outstanding ocean view. The windows were obtained from SB Windows & Doors Ltd. in Duncan. Another feature in the living area is the large, stone-faced fireplace with stone from K2 Stone in Victoria. “The fireplace was really important to us. We wanted it to appear strong and natural, but we needed to be careful about the weight,” Leslie says. “It’s a robust stone veneer with heavy corners, which gives the sense of full-sized cut rock yet without the weight that would otherwise need to be supported. Our mason did a wonderful job.”
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Gordon and Leslie love the house’s raw, exposed wood. Several years ago, Gordon visited a fellow who milled his own timber in the ‘50s and it sat in his shop for decades. When Gordon saw it, he fell in love with it. “It was a beautiful dark, tight-grained local Shawnigan Lake fir, so I bought it all. It has found its way into a number of Cowichan Woodwork projects over the years. One of those pieces is now the mantle for our fireplace. There’s no finish on it; it’s raw and in keeping with the look of the beach and rock.” Beside the fireplace is the TV, hidden inside a shelving area and raised
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up via remote control. When not in use, it disappears into the shelving, which again is made with the same wood as the mantle. “Everyone who sees this system wants one,” Gordon says. The entire great room is warm and inviting, in part because of the white oak floors. “They have plenty of knots,” he says. “We were unsure of the look at first, but Island Floors called it ‘Jericho Beach’ and the colours with the knots looked like a pile of logs on the beach. It fit perfectly with our design theme and family lifestyle.” Next to the living area sit the open-concept dining space and kitchen, where another great feature is revealed: a full 15-foot-wide and eight-foot-high slider with three transoms positioned above. The large slider inspires indoor-outdoor living with access to an expansive deck. The kitchen cabinet faces are created from matte white acrylic. “I love them because they look clean and crisp,” Leslie says. The glass-fronted cabinets have a wood interior and there’s a matching lightly stained fir perimeter on the island, which brings more warmth into the area. “The kitchen island is a unique shape,” Leslie continues, “with a partial waterfall edge. It’s the same trapezoid proportion as the roof area over the front entrance. We used Cambria Britannica on the island and in the master bath a gray Cambria Carrick to provide colour and work space contrast on the perimeter. The island easily seats five, which is great when company is over.”
Just off the kitchen area sits a cosy coffee nook, but the dining area is where one of Gordon’s favourite pieces resides. “The WW (wine and whiskey) bar is one of my favourite pieces in here. The white drawers and white wood and glass cupboard doors, and wood interior that matches the island, provide a modern take on a classic look. There’s room for 15 wine bottles in the centre and several whiskey bottles in one cabinet with glasses in the opposite side. The top is Cambria quartz as well.” This home is unique in so many ways that it takes time to take in all the details. Aside from timber harvested from the land, there’s the lighting in the great room. “All the pot lights are LED, but we changed the wavelength throughout the house,” Gordon explains. “The kitchen has more workplace lighting at about 5000 K, so it’s nice and bright task lighting, close to daylight wavelengths. As you move into the dining area and then living area you move from 5000 K to 3500 K to a warmer 2700 K. There are also three 2700-K LED pendant lights above the island.” Art walls are flooded at 3500 K. The master suite has sweeping views of Mill Bay, both from the sleeping area and the bathroom. A simple divider wall separates the bathroom and walk-in closet from the bedroom. This is where you’ll find another unique feature. “The cottage we lived in while the build was progressing had a Japanese ofuro soaking tub,” Leslie says. “We didn’t think we’d like it at first, but we fell in love with it. There’s nothing quite like sinking up to the neck in warm water while enjoying the view of the bay.”
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“We got this tub from Acritec,” Gordon says. “We used Cambria Britannica for the surround and the stairs leading up to the tub as well as for the walk-in shower.” The house has no inside access to the lower floor from the upper floor. You must go outside and down the stairs at either end to enter into the guest suite or multi-use area. “It’s completely private down there,” Leslie says. “The fully self-contained, one-bedroom suite is great for guests, and we have another separateentry flex room that can be used for visiting family or as an entertainment or exercise room.” Gordon adds, “We insulated between the floors and did a double layer of drywall on the ceiling, as well as the concrete
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Ahead of the curve
Business savvy Eric McLean finds the winning ingredients for his specialty foods store BY TESS VAN STRAATEN | PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
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OT many people can say they’re the big cheese. But Nanaimo’s Eric McLean sure can and he has the T-shirt to prove it. “People get a good chuckle out of it and it helps me stand out,” laughs Eric, who started McLean’s Specialty Foods 27 years ago. The Glasgow native was even inducted into the Guilde des Fromagers, or “cheese hall of fame,” five years ago. And his passion for good food is contagious. “It’s like one of my customers said the other day — life’s too short to eat bad cheese,” Eric says. The idea for the specialty foods store, located in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter, was actually the result of Eric and his wife, Sandy, being unable to find ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, prosciutto and good cheese when they moved to the Harbour City almost three decades ago. “When we moved here from Vancouver 28 years ago there was nothing,” explains Eric. “We just realized there was a big hole in the market. It’s hard to believe, but before I opened the store in 1992 you couldn’t even buy balsamic vinegar and nobody knew what San Pellegrino was.” For Eric, who’d worked in the food industry since immigrating to Canada in 1980, opening the store “had to be done” and he says many of his first customers had also recently moved to Nanaimo from larger cities like Vancouver and Toronto. “Like us, they’d moved here and couldn’t find what they were used to buying,” he says. “I promoted the store at first as a place to get hard-to-find ingredients.” With around 150 different kinds of cheese — one of the largest selections on Vancouver Island — as well as gourmet oils, vinegars, truffles, pâtés, a delicatessen and wide assortment of Danish, British, European and South African specialty items, McLean’s has attracted a loyal following over the years and a surprising number of new customers. “Every single day for the past 20-plus years, we’ve had at least one person, and usually several, say: ‘Oh this is great, we’ve never been here before’ or ‘Friends told us about this place, we just moved here,’” Eric says. “Every single day, without a lie, so can you imagine what that does for our confidence. We’re doing something right and the positive reinforcement has been phenomenal.” But running a small business isn’t easy. In the beginning, sourcing the products was the biggest challenge. However, now the challenge is competing with grocery and big box stores that have big buying power and are now carrying more specialty items. “In the last three-to-five years, supermarkets have suddenly discovered things like balsamic vinegar and prosciutto,’ explains Eric. “The biggest challenge is supermarkets have realized specialty foods are part of a growing market. But their main motivation is price and they can’t tell you what to do with the product.” While Eric says he usually can’t compete on price, he can offer something chain stores can’t — specialized service and extensive product knowledge.
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“We can spend time with the customer and tell them what to do with the product, share recipes and share our experiences using it. And that has given us the edge,” Eric says. “I teach my staff to get to know our customers and to treat them like they’re important, because they are. I may sign their paycheque but I don’t pay them. I tell staff to always remember the customer pays them.” Eric says the most important lesson he’s learned in running the business has been to trust his instincts. But the best advice came decades ago, when he was still in Scotland and training in sales, from a man who would become his mentor. “His name was George Burrows and he told me never, ever bullshit the customer because it will come back to haunt you,” Eric says. “We were in a shop one time calling on a good customer he’d had for a good number of years, and the owner was going to order this and that [from us] and George told him not to order it because it wasn’t a good fit for the store. I asked George what the heck he was doing because I thought we needed every sale we could get, and he told me that if he goes back next month and it’s still sitting there on the shelf, the customer isn’t going to be happy. ‘He’s going to be really pissed off if I sold him something for the sake of selling something.’” The conversation has definitely stuck with Eric, whose other passion is music. He’s been playing guitar since he was 13 years old, including a stint professionally, and is one of the co-founders of the Nanaimo Blues Festival. His other claim to fame is launching Mott’s Clamato on Vancouver Island when he worked for Cadbury-Schweppes years ago.
“We can spend time with the customer and tell them what to do with the product, share recipes and share our experiences using it. And that has given us the edge.” “I learned an awful lot about product margins, how to merchandise product and how you can increase sales by moving product and repositioning it — because the location of the product is really key,” he says. “I like to get a product that looks nice because basically it’s fighting for its life to get someone to pick it up. So the better or more interesting it looks, the better chance it has of finding a home.” After almost three decades in business, it’s clear Eric has found his home. But the grandfather of three isn’t planning to retire anytime soon. “People ask me if I have an exit strategy and I say, ‘how do you spell that? We’re going to keep on doing what we’re doing and trying to stay ahead of the curve.’”
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The Language of
Botanical alchemists use ancient methods for a deeper connection to place STORY AND PHOTOS BY LIA CROWE
Oak moss, calendula and helichrysum at Wild Coast Perfumery in Cowichan Bay. 44
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CENT is connected — through the oldest and most primal part of our brain — to memory, pleasure and desire. The smell of damp earth, dry leaves underfoot, fresh conifer needles or lavender blooms crushed between fingers can transport and calm your mind, and connect you to nature. Local companies are harvesting and wildcrafting botanicals to create natural scents and skin care products, and bringing back self-care rituals that are infused with ancient and traditional knowledge. Walking into the Wild Coast Perfumery in Cowichan Bay, I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. The back area of the perfumery is like an alchemist’s workshop; there is a copper alembic still in the window, and jars of dried flowers and plants, tinctures, resins and waxes line the shelves, begging to be opened and experienced. The front of the shop is lined with bottles of scents with names like Tofino, Carmanah, Salt Spring and Whistler. I meet natural perfumer Laurie Arbuthnot and embark on a scent journey inspired by and connected to special places in BC. “When I sit down to make a perfume, it’s like sitting down to write a story or paint a picture — I need a direction. So I use scent inspiration from locations to build the perfumes. Oak moss reminds me of being a kid at the end of summer going through the woods when everything is crunchy. The perfume called Tofino is inspired by the scent of moss, damp earth and a path leading to the beach lined with cedars and wild roses. Salt Spring is inspired by a coastal cottage garden.” Laurie tells me she uses at least one local ingredient in each of her perfumes. Some include wild oak moss, lichen harvested off Garry oak trees, cedar bows and even bracket fungus, a local shelf mushroom. “I was hiking with my son one day and I saw a fallen log with this beautiful piece of bracket fungus. It came off easily so I smelled it — because I smell everything — and it was fruity and gorgeous. I brought it home and started playing around with it. Its scent is very earthy so I used it in my perfume Carmanah. I also use lavender a lot — when it comes to scent, lavender is like mustard to a sandwich.” As my journey into the discovery of scents continues, I visit natural perfumers Karen Van Dyke (of K Van Dyke Parfum) and Stacey Moore (of Flore Botanical Alchemy) at The Still Room in Victoria where they create and sell their scents and skincare products, and make custom, individualized scents.
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Botanical Essence MADE LOCAL
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SAY CHEESE, Please… “It’s about reconnecting to nature,” Karen says. “In this synthetic world we are floating on top of life; we’ve lost our connection with the earth.” “Because of technology, many people are feeling disconnected, suffering from depression and anxiety,” Stacey adds. “Scent is a way back to our intuitive selves, to feeling connected to our place.” Stacey does her own steam distillation and both perfumers incorporate sustainable and locally wildcrafted botanicals in their scents. They say this is important because the quality of the materials, who’s harvesting them, how they are harvesting them, and where they come from all matters. Some of their favourite locally wildcrafted botanicals are wild rose and cottonwood. “Rose is the heart medicine,” Stacey says. “It wraps silk ribbons around your heart and just makes you feel good.” “Rose scent is the highest vibration of any flower,” Karen adds. “When I first smelled cottonwood buds, the world opened up to me. It was like being attracted to a lover and I was inspired to get that scent into a bottle.” Leigh Joseph/Styawat, from the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations, is an ethnobotanist and the owner of Skwálwen Botanicals. Pronounced squallwin, it’s a Squamish word that roughly means “spiritual heart” or “essence of being.” Leigh chose this name to represent the cultural connection to plants and Indigenous knowledge, as well as what working with plants brings to her life. “It’s about relationship to the land,” Leigh explains. “I think there is a desire to have those tangible smells to ground you to place.” She harvests wild plants in a sustainable and respectful way, and each product has a Skwxwú7mesh name to honour the place from which this knowledge comes. “I want to infuse this creative outlet [making self care products] with respectful cultural grounding. While you’re harvesting something, it’s important how you feel in your heart and your mind. Part of the cultural relationship is how you harvest, for example. When harvesting wild rose you take only three of the five petals so that pollinators can still land, and the flower can still turn into a rose hip. Birds and animals rely on rose hips for food and I’m mindful to spread out the harvest.” One of her favourite botanicals is conifer resin or pitch, which is crystallized tree sap. “It smells very green and earthy. Sap is the antibacterial system of the trees so it has the same ability for us in fighting infection. Tree scents are very grounding and they connect me to the land.” Like artists, approaches to creating scent vary. Back at The Still Room, Stacey takes a storytelling approach. “I think about where I’m going. I may picture the sea and the sunset. So I imagine myself in that moment and
A Food Lover’s Paradise • • • •
Exotic Cheese and Chutneys Truffles, Olives and Pates Gourmet Oils and Vinegars British, European and South African Imported Foods
Over 100 Cheeses to choose from. One For every palate!
Celebrating 27 years in business in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter. 250-754-0100 426 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo the email@example.com www.mcleansfoods.com
Dis c ov er Downt own Ladysmith THIS WINTER COME FOR THE SHOPPING STAY FOR THE EVENTS
• Festival of Lights Parade, November 28th, 2019 On First Avenue Ladysmith. Come early and Join Us for an amazing night! • Old Time Christmas - Dec 6th 5-8pm Family fun and shopping on First Avenue with an Old Fashion Flair • Grand Xmas Nov 14 to Dec 5, Enter to win a Shopping Spree every time you shop. • Late night shop Dec 13 & 20
www.ladysmithdowntown.com boulevardmagazines.com |
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then find smells that take me to that place. Then when you smell it, you can almost feel that sun on your skin.” Karen says, “My scents are more abstract. Everything has a vibration, colour, sound, and scent.” She shows me a beautiful colour chart full of swirling colour combinations that she created as a tool to discover what scents a person might be attracted to. “Perfumes are structured like a pieces of music: top notes, heart notes, base notes and accessories. Like a chord in music each has a different vibrations. Our job is to make sure the movement through scent is smooth and you don’t lose the theme.” “Art can change people quicker than language. Scent is an art form — you’re painting with scent, making music with scent, opening ideas and thoughts with scent, unlocking parts of the mind with scent and going back to your primal self. It can be very profound and connect us to why are we here, who we are.” Laurie of Wild Coast Perfumery adds: ”Scents should make you feel good, feel happy or feel sexy, remind you of everything that’s good about life. Fragrance has been a part of our life for centuries. It’s part of our culture and history. It’s a personal statement. It’s a way to centre us, if you’re feeling stressed it can anchor us and remind us that things aren’t so bad.”
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Striped “Nessa” button-up top ($169) by Velvet by Graham & Spencer, and wedgie straight cut denim ($108) by Levi’s, both from Sartorial Boutique; chunky knit cardigan sweater ($119) by Amuse Society and gold statement ring ($28) from Quintessential; white marbled drop earrings ($19), from Damsels Fashion Collections.
On page 6: Orange and black knit sweater ($104) by EsQualo, and faux leather jeans ($122) by Lisette both from Damsels Fashion Collections. 50
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WILDWOOD BY KATHERINE SUNA | P H OTO S BY LIA CROWE
Among the protected flora and fauna, Boulevard explores the tranquil meadows and serene lake views of Wildwood Ecoforest, which is nestled along Quennell Lake, just north of Ladysmith. Tone-on-tone colours of dusty rose, rustic oranges, burgundy, and warm brandy are the colours of fall fashion. Gather your cosy knits and luscious suede and velvet, and embrace the cooler season while enjoying the simplicity of nature’s sweet offerings.
Orange knit “Febe” sweater ($99) by InWear from Sartorial Boutique; knit “Rosso” pullover sweater ($75) and buttondetailed skirt ($95), both by Garcia; statement rings ($15$25) all from Quintessential; jewelled earrings ($22) by Krysiapromo from Damsels Fashion Collections.
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Gray sweater jacket ($145) by YEAST, and burgundy longsleeved velvet dress ($145) by Carre Noir, both from Damsels Fashion Collections; chunky knit cardigan sweater ($119) by Amuse Society, and suede booties ($160) by Blondo, both from Quintessential.
Two-toned printed wrap dress ($75) by FLORA, blush pink scarf ($49) by Soyaconcept, and â€œInfinitâ€? burgundy bootie ($160) by Blondo, all from Quintessential; pink knit pullover sweater ($115) by Parkhurst, and hand-crafted earrings ($30) by Zsiska, both from Damsels Fashion Collections.
Black knit sweater with embellished collar ($104), brandy knit blazer sweater ($104), and multi-print skirt ($90), all by EsQualo from Damsels Fashion Collections.
: Makeup and hair: Lea Christine Smith Model: Allison Grey Photographed on location at the Wildwood Ecoforest, located north of Ladysmith. A huge thank you for your hospitality.
Small plates that
Shop and serve â€” beautifully
BY CHEF HEIDI FINK P H OTO S BY DON DENTON
InHome DESIGN SERVICES
APAS: the traditional, Spanish style Victoria 3501 Saanich Road · Nanaimo 3200 North Island Hwy · Courtenay 2937 Kilpatrick Ave · la-z-boyvi.com of eating small bites of flavourful food while sipping on adult beverages. It’s a genius idea, and oneVictoria 3501 Saanich Road · Nanaimo 3200 North Island Hwy · Courtenay 2937 Kilpatrick Ave · la-z-boyvi.com that adapts well to home entertaining. VISIT OUR NEW LOCATION Small plates, casual service, and 4950 Uplands Drive, Nanaimo | 250-756-4114 delicious variety is the heart of tapas and the soul of summer entertaining. Victoria 3501 Saanich Road - Courtenay 2937 Kilpatrick Avenue Authentic tapas can run the gamut of simple cold Locally Owned - la-z-boyvi.com dishes of olives and sliced cheese to more elaborate pre-cooked concoctions of tortilla (potato frittata), albondigas (amazing meatballs) and piquillo bacalao (roasted peppers stuffed with whipped salt cod). Although the cooked tapas are wonderful, the simple ones can still wow a houseful of guests. My simple tapas entertaining idea comes from a The crowd favourite in my Spanish cooking class: something I call “Shop & Serve Tapas.” It’s a collection in the of high-quality Spanish cheeses, meats, deli items, breads and nuts, arranged beautifully on platters and served as pre-class, or pre-meal, nibbles. of As a method of entertaining, “shop and serve” done right is easy on the host, stunning for the guests and delicious and filling. The trick is to source the right ingredients, plate them beautifully and throw in a few JEANS | SHIRTS | SOCKS twists of your own. PANTS | TIES | BELTS I always start with a collection perfectly ripe cheeses SUITS | SWEATERS that range from creamy and sweet to blue-veined. (If JACKETS | SHOES you are unsure of how to build a good cheese platter, see my tips below and enlist the help of knowledgeable DUNCAN cheese sellers at any of the delis in town.) I then add 53 Station St. shaved Jamón ibérico or Jamón serrano (dry-cured 250.597.2848 Spanish ham), thinly sliced spicy chorizo and dry-cured VICTORIA wine chorizo. 534 Yates St. 250.384.2848 Round out the selection with delicious tidbits: marinated olives, warm spiced nuts, membrillo (aromatic quince paste), artichoke hearts, and piquillo peppers. These, combined with sliced breads, crackers, a full-bodied red wine or crisp white wine and a lovely table, make for a perfect storm of entertaining magic. outlooksformen.com Simple and fun for the hosts, inviting for the guests.
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Manchego cheese (aged three months, sheep milk, Spain)
Queso de Romero (sheep milk, Spain) Quince paste
Valdeon blue cheese (cow and sheep milk, Spain)
Manchego cheese (aged 12 months, sheep milk, Spain) Mahรณn cheese (cow milk, Menorca Islands, Spain)
Idiazabal (sheep milk, Spain)
Robiola cheese (cow and goat milk, Italy)
Platters, bowls, cheese knives, wooden scoop and shopping bag from Pigeonhole Home Store.
Must-haves for Shop & Serve Tapas: • Two types of olives (usually spicy Spanish from Charelli’s or home-marinated Mantequilla olives plus a black olive) • Quince paste: known as membrillo, this sweet-sour and flavourful paste pairs beautifully with cheese and blue cheese in particular • Spanish salted almonds (see recipe) • Three to six varieties of Spanish cheese (see cheese platter list below) • Charcuterie platter with Jamón serrano and sliced dry cured chorizo • Marinated piquillo peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, or other marinated vegetables of your choice (see recipes) • Sliced baguette, crackers, rice crackers and other objects for holding cheese • Anything else that strikes your fancy, including cooked tapas Tortilla Espanola (see recipe)
HOW TO BUILD A CHEESE BOARD Most important rule: Have fun and enjoy the different flavours, textures and aromas of the cheeses you have chosen. The information below has been provided as a guideline only — there is no true right or wrong way to enjoy cheeses.
How to choose cheese for a platter If you are unsure of where to start, enlist the help of the knowledgeable cheese sellers at any of the delis in town. Select at least three cheeses that vary in shape, size and colour for a visually interesting platter. Choose cheeses of different textures: one soft, one firm, one crumbly, for example. Choosing different textures will also take care of the next rule: choose cheese of different flavour profiles. Have a variety of flavours, from mild and sweet, to strong, sharp, creamy. Aim to have at least two different milk-types represented. The most commonly available milk types are goat, sheep and cow. Most of all, choose cheeses that you LOVE. Ask the cheese seller for samples and recommendations. For more fun, choose a theme; for instance, select cheeses from the same region or by the same cheesemaker. In this article, I built the platter almost exclusively from Spanish cheeses, most of which are firm, sheep-milk cheeses, that still provide an interesting contrast in flavours.
Display Make sure you have a large enough surface to fit cheeses comfortably with enough space between them so your guests can cut them easily. It’s trendy right now to cram platters and boards full, with every available surface covered with garnishes, figs, charcuterie, pickles. While this looks stunning at first, it interferes with your guests’ ability to serve themselves, and it disturbs the natural beauty of the cheeses themselves. Feel free to add small bowls of olives, fig jam, chutney, quince paste and anything else that would enhance the guests’ experience with the cheese — but don’t go crazy. boulevardmagazines.com |
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Spanish spiced almonds
MARINATED ROASTED PEPPERS
Marinated roasted peppers
This recipe can easily be made with home-roasted peppers, if desired. But the small, sweet and flavourful Spanish piquillo peppers are available roasted in jars at a couple of delis around town and make an excellent addition to the tapas table.
1 jar roasted piquillo peppers, drained, sliced 45 ml (3 Tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt, or more, to taste 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) sweet paprika, or more, to taste 15 to 30 ml (1 to 2 Tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste In a medium bowl, mix together sliced peppers, olive oil, salt, paprika and lemon juice, stirring to mix well. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes before adjusting the seasonings (it may need more salt and/ or lemon juice). This can be made up to two days in advance or served immediately.
QUICK-MARINATED ARTICHOKE HEARTS Pickled peppers
1 can artichoke hearts (not marinated), drained, sliced thin 45 ml (3 Tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil 1.5 ml (Âź tsp) salt or more, to taste, 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced very fine, or pressed through a garlic press 60 ml (4 Tbsp) finely minced parsley 30 ml (2 Tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Quick-marinated artichoke hearts
I prefer to buy plain canned artichoke hearts and add my own lemony, herb-y marinade. Bright and fresh tasting, this is one of my favourite quick recipes.
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In a medium bowl, mix together sliced artichoke hearts, olive oil, salt, garlic and lemon juice, stirring to mix well. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes before adjusting the seasonings. This is best made at least one hour before serving, and up to two days in advance. Just before serving, stir in the minced fresh parsley. The parsley will lose its colour if it is added too far in advance.
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MARINATED OLIVES 500 ml (2 cups) Mantequilla olives, or other highquality olive 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed zest of 1 lemon, thinly sliced or grated 10 ml (2 tsp) fennel seeds, lightly crushed 2.5 ml (½ tsp) red chili flakes
Castellano Chorizo (Oyama, Vancouver)
Ibérico Bellota Chorizo (Spain)
Gently heat the olive oil with the garlic, lemon zest, fennel seeds and red chili flakes. Be sure not to cook it, just heat it up a bit to help release the flavours. Pour everything over the olives and let marinate for at least 1 day, and up to 5 days, before serving.
SPANISH SPICED ALMONDS This is the best kind of a recipe: one that is very simple, but tastes VERY more-ish. Fried almonds (almendras fritas) are an authentic tapa in Spain — the almonds are traditionally deep fried and then salted (always) and spiced (frequently) and served either warm or at room temperature. I have adapted the recipe to be pan-toasted in olive oil; it’s just as tasty and not so intimidating. I prefer the almonds while they are still warm – for a more interesting eating experience – but they are still delicious at room temperature. Feel free to play around with the spicing:
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Jamón Serrano (Spain)
add hot pepper, ground cumin or lemon pepper. I prefer them the way I have written it — enough salt to make them snacky and a hint of smoked paprika for an exotic touch. Wine Chorizo (Spain)
250 ml (1 cup) raw natural almonds 10 ml (2 tsp) extra virgin olive oil 1.5 ml (¼ tsp) fine sea salt 1.5 ml (¼ tsp) smoked sweet paprika a few grinds of black pepper Heat a large skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the two teaspoons of olive oil. Add the almonds and stir to coat with oil. Toast the almonds, stirring almost constantly, until lightly toasted, about 6 minutes (the nuts will start to give off a slightly toasted aroma, but shouldn’t have any dark or black spots on them). While the nuts are toasting, keep an eye on the heat. Every stove is different. If the oil is smoking or the pan seems otherwise too hot, turn down the heat. If the nuts don’t appear to be toasting, turn the heat up a bit. Once you are confident that the nuts are lightly toasted, add the salt, paprika and pepper. Stir vigorously to coat the nuts evenly with the spices, and continue to stir constantly for another 30 to 45 seconds, until the spices are fragrant and the nuts are completely toasted. Immediately remove to a bowl and serve.
TORTILLA ESPANIOLA I couldn’t resist throwing in one actual cooking recipe. This delectable potato “omelet” is pretty easy to make and is absolutely one of the most famous and delicious of the Spanish tapas. Russet potatoes taste best for tortillas that will be served immediately. For a tortilla made in advance, use Yukon Golds. 125 ml (8 Tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil 568 gm (1¼ lb) russet or Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and sliced into 3 mm (1/8-inch) rounds 1 small to medium onion, halved and sliced 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick 5 ml (1 tsp) salt 8 large eggs Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (i.e. cast-iron) over medium heat. Add 30 ml (2 Tbsp) of the oil and the onion and sauté until onion is limp and translucent. Remove onions from pan and place in a bowl. Add 75 ml (5 Tbsp) of the oil to the pan and add the potatoes with ¼ tsp of salt and stir to coat thoroughly with the oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, with the pan covered at least half the time, until the potatoes are mostly cooked through, about 10
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minutes. Remove potatoes from the pan to the bowl with the onion, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Turn off the heat. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs with the remaining salt until eggs are evenly yellow and no streaks of unbeaten white remain. Turn the heat back on to medium. Add the potatoes and onions to the bowl with the egg. Stir well to mix evenly. Add half of the remaining olive oil to the pan (15 ml, 1 Tbsp). Add the egg-potato-onion mixture and immediately reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and let cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until set and mostly cooked through. At this point you can finish cooking the tortilla under the broiler, or do it the traditional way: use a thin metal spatula to loosen around the edges of the tortilla, place a plate over the top of the pan and, using oven mitts, invert the pan so the tortilla comes out upside down on to the plate. Pour the last tablespoon of oil in the pan and heat over medium-low heat. Add the upside down tortilla and cook on the second side for 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the pan and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
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“Field to flask” at Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery BY SUSAN LUNDY | P H OTO S BY LIA CROWE
PHOTO COURTESY SHELTER POINT DISTILLERY
TANDING in a converted cattle barn with 2,000 barrels of aging whisky lining the walls as far as the eye can see, I’m enjoying the thick, heady scent as I undertake some mental math. Despite the effects of the delicious fumes known to whisky lovers as the “angel’s share,” I calculate we’re surrounded by the makings of more than half a million bottles of Shelter Point Distillery spirits. We are mid-point in a tour of this fast-growing Vancouver Island distillery, which barrelled its first whisky in 2011 and now produces more than 125,000 litres of spirits — whisky, gin, vodka and liqueur — per year. To get to the barrel room, our small group — including me, my husband, another couple and our guide, Shelter Point general manager Jacob Wiebe — climbed into a quad and bounced around the distillery’s beautiful 380 acres of oceanfront land. Located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island just south of Campbell River, the property is crisscrossed by streams, the Oyster River, wetlands and, of course, the golden fields of barley and wheat that rippled gently in the wind as we motored by. Jacob is informative and funny. Being married to one of Shelter Point owner Patrick Evan’s four daughters gives him license to gently poke fun at his father-in-law. The camaraderie among staff at this tight-knit, family-based business is obvious. “You’ll be successful if you work half a day every day,” Jacob says, quoting Patrick’s father, who also once worked this land. “Doesn’t matter if it’s the first 12 hours or the second 12 hours.” Jacob laughs and adds, “That’s Patrick’s motto, too.” Shelter Point’s five full-time staffers have all learned to multi-task. This includes the two distillers, who now drive tractors and bang nails in addition to crafting fine spirits. Today, they’re awaiting the delivery of 288 Kentucky bourbon barrels. When the shipment arrives, everyone will drop everything to help in the strength-taxing process of moving barrels from truck to storage. Patrick was raised a dairy farmer. But with the industry in
decline — and, besides, his daughters weren’t fond of it — he looked to establish value-added agriculture on his land. Creating Shelter Point Distillery was more about capitalizing on an opportunity than being a whisky aficionado. “I am a beer drinker,“ Patrick laughs, patting his stomach as we chat with him prior to our tour. “I asked myself, ‘How do you value agriculture to the highest degree?’ Well, one acre of land produces 800 litres of alcohol, or 2,700 bottles of whisky.” What must have been seen as a leap of faith in 2011 — after all, it took five years to produce the first bottle of whisky — is paying off today. Shelter Point Distillery is one of the largest producers of single malt whisky in Canada, and the accolades are rolling in, with two gold medal wins recently announced at the 2019 World Whisky Masters. Plans are afoot to get even bigger by adding another still and eventually developing a true “field-to-flask” operation with on-site malting. Currently, Shelter Point out-sources malting to a plant in Armstrong. But within the next year or two, Patrick hopes to be malting here, meaning every aspect of production — from seed to spirit — will occur on this land. And with the malting process in place, the business can add smoked whisky to its repertoire, incorporating true west coast flavours like maple or kelp. “There are different perspectives on what defines the flavour of the whisky,” Patrick says. For him, as a farmer, it’s all about the soil. But there are many other factors, including the distilling process, the type of barrel used and — like grapes in wine — the variety and quality of the grain. “When [the alcohol] goes into the barrels, it’s all exactly the same,” Patrick points out. “But it comes out different from each barrel. Even the barrel's wood and the history of the tree will affect the taste.” Back in the barrel room, where the fumes are definitely making us all a little giddy, I suddenly understand the importance of water in the world of whisky. Once the barrelled whisky has aged, water is added to cut back the percentage of alcohol (unless the whisky is being bottled boulevardmagazines.com |
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Distiller James Marinus. PHOTO COURTESY SHELTER POINT DISTILLERY
at cask-strength). Water at Shelter Point bubbles up from a mountain-fed aquifer, so it’s hard to imagine a more pure-tasting addition to the spirits. At this thought, I’m ready to hit the tasting room, but the men are deep in conversation about Shelter Point cask purchases. At around $6,000 each, plus taxes and bottling costs, and a two- to three-year wait, the potential might not be immediately clear. However — despite the headiness of the angel’s share — I’m able to calculate that the ultimate yield of more than 250 bottles per barrel puts the price point way below retail value. My husband plans to present the concept to his whisky club. Next, our group heads to the place where it all happens. Stepping into the distillery with its soaring, timber-trussed roof, gleaming, six-metre-high copper stills and futuristic-looking columns is like walking into a piece of art or a sci-fi movie set. The entire Shelter Point building is gorgeous — from the flowered entranceway to the cushiony, aged-leather armchairs in the lounge — but this room is truly spectacular. It’s here we meet distiller Leon Webb who, with his gentle Scottish brogue, leads us through the distilling process. Dissatisfied with his previous occupation as an investment banker, and realizing that his prized Scotch collection brought him immense joy, he studied to become a master distiller. My husband is over the moon to learn that Leon created Victoria’s famously purple Empress 1908 gin. “He’s like a rock star,” Bruce enthuses, asking me to photograph the two of them together. The distilling process is fascinating, and we wander among the stills, poking our heads into them and inhaling the wonderful scents. Public tours of this part of the operation are free for the 70
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taking and I definitely encourage it. But for us — finally! — it’s time to taste the fruits of all this labour (or more accurately, the “spirits of all this distilling.”) Whisky and I have a bit of a troubled past. It was once a favourite of mine; I even organized whisky evenings for our friends. But after a night of overindulging on cask-strength brew, it’s been tricky to get our relationship back on track. However, after tasting samples from two bottles of Shelter Point whisky, I’m ready for a reconciliation. This whisky is among the best I’ve sampled. And since it’s a true west coast single malt, I’ll describe it as “smooth as the silky trunk of an Arbutus tree or the feather of an eagle.” We quickly pick up two bottles for purchase. Then comes the vodka and gin. Light and clean with a hint of caramel, this vodka is too good to mix with tonic. It’s made for sipping. The gin is another surprise (although it was developed by a gin rock star). Rich with juniper, citrus and floral flavours, it rivals and surpasses any of the gins I’ve sampled in the past — and that’s quite a few. Bottles of vodka and gin are added to our bag. Finally, we savour the Barrel of Sunshine Liqueur, which comes with a story. “My daughter didn’t like the taste of the whisky,” says Patrick, “so we told her to go and create something she did like.” The resulting liqueur has been the distillery’s bestseller (although this summer sales were surpassed by the gin). Basking in its heavenly blend of sweet, citrus, honey warmth, we understand why. We purchase a bottle of Sunshine as well. As we hit the Old Island Highway for the scenic drive back down island, I’m thrilled to have had the experience, collected the bag-full of bottles happily clinking in the backseat, and enjoyed a little of the angel’s share.
“Since it’s a true west coast single malt, I’ll describe it as “smooth as the silky trunk of an Arbutus tree or the feather of an eagle.”
THE ABCs OF
SHELTER POINT SPIRITS
Alcohol by volume is the percentage of alcohol in a bottle, sometimes referred to as proof. The ABV of most Shelter Point spirits is 40 per cent, but it ranges from 30 per cent for the Barrel of Sunshine Liqueur to 50 per cent or higher for some lots of whisky.
To qualify as a whisky, a spirit must age at least five years in a cask, three of which must occur in charred oak casks. Shelter Point uses a variety of different barrels or casks, including Kentucky bourbon barrels and various types of wine casks, many from Quails' Gate winery in Kelowna.
CASK STRENGTH: In many cases, distillers
decide if a whisky from a certain cask can be consumed as is, or if water should be added to reduce the ABV. If a whisky is “cask strength,” it has been bottled exactly as it was in the cask, ranging from 46 to 60 per cent alcohol.
COPPER POT STILLS:
For any type of distilling, a pot or still is used to extract the spirit from the grain mash. Shelter Point uses two beautiful hand-crafted stills ordered specially from one of the oldest still manufacturers in the world: Forsyth of Scotland. Why copper? Because it is an excellent conductor, spreading the heat evenly in the distilling process.
E OR NO E?: Whisky is sometimes spelled
whiskey. There is no definitive answer to the question “e or no e?” but for the most part, Irish and American whiskey is spelled with an “e,” while whisky made in Canada, India and Japan conforms to the Scottish tradition of having no “e.”
PURCHASING A CASK:
Shelter Point Distillery warehouseman David Marshall in the barrel room.
The price of acquiring a cask at Shelter Point may seem daunting — averaging $6,000 plus taxes and bottling — but there are actually many benefits to such an investment. While the cask ages (for an additional two to three years), those who have invested in it can organize tastings of the spirit directly from their own barrel in Shelter Point’s barrel room. Customized bottling is another unique opportunity. But best of all is the end price per bottle (minimum of 250 bottles per cask), which is significantly below retail pricing. So like all good investments, the reward is worth the wait.
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And the Rest is History
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AZING up at the Hotel Viru as the sun sets and the moon rises, I feel a strange wave of nostalgia hitting me here in Tallinn. BOOK NOW | 250-743-7546 | renulaserandskin.com NOW | 250-743-7546 | renulaserandskin.com I first visited the capital of EstoniaBOOK with NOW BOOK | 250-743-7546 | renulaserandskin.com my family at age 15 in 1990. It was the twilight of the era of communism and the Cold War. Estonia was still a Soviet republic, and while we didn’t stay at the Hotel Viru — which, at 23 storeys, is Tallinn’s tallest building — we always saw it looming over the city. I’m half-Finnish, and the hotel was built by Finns in 1972. But back in the day, visitors didn’t know about its sinister inner workings. Nearly 30 years later, I’m back in this city of 437,000 on a customized tour with JayWay Travel, enjoying a taste of Soviet flavour minus the Soviet hassles. Specializing in Central and Eastern Europe, the New York-based boutique travel company offers independent travel with accommodations, transportation, transfers and a local guide arranged for you. Getting to Tallinn hasn’t changed much. It’s a smooth, twohour Eckerö Line ferry ride from Helsinki over the glittering Baltic Sea with saxophone-heavy Muzak and passengers drinking beer at 9 am. However, getting picked up at the terminal and driven to the St. Petersbourg Hotel is a novel, cushy experience. En route, I spot such non-Soviet innovations as Chanel ads and a Bon Jovi concert billboard. The curving, cobblestone streets of Tallinn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre dating back to the 13th century, remind me of Prague and Quebec City. At the five-star St. Petersbourg Hotel, a king-sized bed, coffee machine and big-screen TV grace my Russian Imperialstyle suite. Such luxury is a far cry from my 1990 hotel, where East German and Mongolian currency rates were displayed South of Duncan on the in the lobby, and lunch each day was cabbage soup, gray Trans Canada Hwy. 250.746.8734 sausages, and bread on every table – occupied or not – in the oldfarmgarden.ca cavernous dining room.
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To delve back into the darkness of Soviet hegemony, I meet Jonas in the lobby for a walking tour. Educated in Reykjavik, this Icelandic historian met an Estonian woman and moved to Tallinn, doing double duty as an archaeologist. Moonika, my official JayWay guide, also joins us. As we stroll through the walled Old Town in the sunshine, Jonas describes how the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany gave the Soviet Union control of the Baltic states. The deal remained unknown to Estonians until 1987 under USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost (“openness”). After describing mass deportations during World War II and the 1944 Soviet bombing of Tallinn, Jonas points out the boxy Pegasus Restaurant, which formerly housed the Estonian Artists Union. “This was a popular place for artists to discuss how to advance culture and get special imported food — like bananas,” he says. Jonas leads me past other landmarks, like the 1950s-built Soprus propaganda cinema, the old KGB headquarters and
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I join a tour group on the hotel’s 23rd floor and learn what the KGB didn’t tell the Finnish architects: 60 hotel rooms were bugged. Lamps, phones and ashtrays contained listening devices. the Church of St. Olaf, which once had a KGB watchtower and radio tower. Less ominous is the Lenin Palace of Culture and Sports. The concrete seaside compound hosted sailing events during the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. When we chat about the Olympic mascots, it stokes my appetite for Soviet kitsch. Before going down that rabbit hole, Moonika takes me for lunch at nearby, trendy Umami, where I enjoy crispy chicken from the fusion menu. We wander past the Suur Toll icebreaker in the harbour, and check out spectacular modern apartments springing up in the Noblessner maritime industrial district. I get my kitsch fix at an old indoor bazaar packed with stuffed Olympic mascot toys: Misha the bear and Vigri the seal.
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Incongruously, Bon Jovi’s “Wanted: Dead or Alive” blares as I browse through vintage anti-alcohol posters and Stalin busts. Moonika guides me back into the 21st century. In the Telliskivi Creative City district, I beeline for the independent Puänt bookstore, which stocks collections of Estonian fairytales alongside books by Umberto Eco and Haruki Murakami. We stop for a pre-dinner drink at Pudel Bar. It has 13 craft beers on tap, including my Kolk Nakk, a refreshing passion fruit witbier. This is different from Gorby’s heyday, when kvass — a low-alcohol Russian beer made with fermented rye bread — was the go-to beverage. Dinner is at Farm, serving modern Estonian fare in the Old Town. The upscale room has a cheery, surreal farmhouse vibe, including a diorama with a stuffed wolf and boar dining together. I feast on juicy duck filet with baked parsnip and cherry red wine sauce. I’m well-fortified for my next plunge into Estonian history the following day. A quick cab ride brings Moonika and me to the Bronze Soldier statue in the Tallinn Military Cemetery. Commemorating combatants who fell in World War II, it oddly resembles a mid-1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger. We cut through the nearby Kadriorg Park, home to Catherine the Great’s summer palace, and then walk 20 minutes to the Statue Park, with granite carvings of Lenin and assorted local communists. The collection is eerie and stoic. Located behind Maarjamäe Palace, the Statue Park lies
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in eyeshot of some cool museums. At the History Museum, I gape at the 1987-created “Friendship of Nations” mural portraying everything from the Baikal-Amur Railway to legendary Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Moonika and I also play a vintage Soviet pinball game. And I learn about the late 1980s Singing Revolution, where thousands of Estonians belted out patriotic songs on the road to 1991 post-Soviet independence. The Estonian Film Museum amusingly depicts different dilemmas for directors, from complaints about foreign bourgeois ideology in 1980 to attempts to incorporate a condom endorsement artistically in 2000. Moonika tells me about The Last Relic, a 1969 historical movie that became a hit: “It’s a bit silly, as they used Latvian and Lithuanian actors with dubbed Estonian dialogue.” For me, the highlight of an Estonian pop music exhibition is spotting posters and memorabilia of Ultima Thule, whose 1988 self-titled debut LP I bought on my first Tallinn visit. On that note, it’s time to take a major Soviet plunge. Back downtown, Moonika drops me off for my Hotel Viru tour. I join a tour group on the hotel’s 23rd floor and learn what the KGB didn’t tell the Finnish architects: 60 hotel rooms were bugged. Lamps, phones and ashtrays contained listening devices. We enter a stale, ominous KGB radio transmission centre that monitored ships bringing foreign visitors. An adjacent office displays such oddities as Estonian newspapers that ran identical obituaries when Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov died in 1982 and 1984 – just to make sure they didn’t say anything ideologically incorrect. This lack of freedom took its toll, as our middle-aged tour guide Margit notes: “The Soviet Union, officially the best country in the world, knew its people wanted out.” Paradoxically, today’s Westerners find the idea of KGB surveillance shocking, but happily hand out their private details via Facebook and Twitter. I just shake my head as I leave the hotel to wander through Old Town again. A long-haired busker in a leather jacket riffs his way through Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” — very un-Soviet. It’s time to engage in capitalist commerce. I enter the nearby Rimi supermarket and buy organic peppermint tea from Pohjala Taimetee and black currant chocolate from the Roosiku Chocolate Factory. Yum! Yes, life has gotten a lot more comfortable in Tallinn since my teenage years.
MORE LUXURY LODGINGS Tallinn’s Hotel Telegraaf, which opened in 2007, tastefully celebrates its roots as a 19th-century post office. At the fivestar property, blown-up images of vintage Eesti Post stamps decorate superior rooms, which also feature working rotary telephones and French balconies. Executive chef Vladislav Djatsuk serves beautiful Russian and French cuisine at Restaurant Tchaikovsky.
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Scott Porteous in the Human Condition Comedy Tour.
THE HUMAN CONDITION COMEDY TOUR SEPTEMBER 18-20 PORT ALBERNI, NANAIMO, LADYSMITH
Raising money for several different charities, the Human Condition Comedy Tour is hitting venues in cities across Western Canada, including Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Ladysmith. Designed to “lift spirits and raise money,” the tour features comedians Shawn Gramiak, Scott Porteous and Frank Russo, a trio of great friends and accomplished performers. The tour is something that Porteous has been wanting to do for a long time, and the three men started planning last October. “I contacted an abundance of local, smaller charities that don’t get as much funding as the larger ones, and we got a lot of people who are excited and will also be helping out,” says Porteous. boulevardmagazines.com |
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COMMUNITY SUPPORTED RESTAURANT
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In Nanaimo, the tour will benefit Nanaimo Youth Services Association (NYSA), which has provided employment skills training and residential services to youth for the past 50 years. In Port Alberni, funds will go to the Bread for Life Centre, which, over the past 30 years, has prepared and served over 34,000 meals annually for those in need. The Bread for Life Centre also provides medical and mental health assistance, a safe place to gather and gain skills, and more. In Ladysmith, the tour will benefit the Cowichan Cat Rescue, which is dedicated to improving life for feral cats in the Cowichan Valley via low income spay and neuter programs, adoption and fostering.
“What we’ve been telling all different charities is that it’s us being selfish in the most selfless way, because we have the opportunity to tour, share our craft and help provide support to various organizations at the same time,” says Porteous.
For show times and venues, visit @thecomedytour on Facebook
A SCANDALOUS CLASSIC
MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION
OCTOBER 24 COWICHAN PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, DUNCAN Ballet Victoria is breaking the classical ballet stereotype with Ballet Rocks, a performance that pushes the boundary between modern and classical music/dance. “I wanted to explore a different style of movement and emotional interpretation of a few iconic songs by Queen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, as well as Jimmy Hendrix
SEP 13 - OCT 5 A LOG SPLITTING MUSICAL COMEDY
LUMBERJACKS IN LOVE
OCT 18 - NOV 2 A CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
NOV 15 - DEC 29
chemainustheatre.ca | 1.800.565.7738 boulevardmagazines.com |
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who said it best: ‘Let’s just say I was testing the bounds of reality,’” says director Paul Destrooper. Three generations of artists from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet have worked together to choreograph this performance, each with a different inspiration for their work. “With Ballet Rocks I’m hoping to showcase the diversity of abilities and depth of talent of the Ballet Victoria dancers and how they excel at the choreographic challenges I throw their way each season, says Destrooper. “Each choreographer presents the artists with their own language and each dancer must become fluent in that particular style of expression,” he adds. Now in its 17th season, Ballet Victoria is an internationally recognized ballet company that produces four performances each year with innovative and magical performances.
SEPTEMBER 28 MAFFEO SUTTON PARK, NANAIMO The fourth annual Nanaimo Yogathon will be held to raise money for Yoga For Youth, which brings yoga programs into 82
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schools and provides funding for families to access yoga in their communities. Enjoy 11 hours of consecutive yoga classes for a suggested donation of $20 per participant. “I like to say that ‘we hold our issues in our tissues,’ so giving kids an outlet to work through their physical and mental stress will benefit our community now and for years to come,” says co-founder Devon Bennett. “This program helps youths find a safe, accepting space to be themselves as well as build their strength, balance, flexibility and mental clarity,” Bennett adds. Proceeds from past yogathons have allowed the purchase of yoga equipment for schools and provided support for accessible yoga programs and a scholarship for teacher training. Featuring all the different disciplines of yoga, the all-day event gathers a group of yogis for a common vision of greater community support. It’s an opportunity to experience everything from Acro and Hatha to Flow and beyond, as senior teachers from a variety of studios and centres donate their time and expertise, and participants get to sample the variety of great yoga available in this beautiful city.
To register, visit eventbrite.com/e/nanaimo-yogathontickets-63457345629
Experience the pleasure. Savour the sights and sounds of Cowichan’s Live Music Destination. Delicious dining day and night. The perfect getaway for a litle rest, relaxation, and fun!
Oceanside patio by the Salt Spring Ferry Terminal
Family Friendly 250-324-2245
THE SAVANNAH SIPPING SOCIETY NOVEMBER 29 TO DECEMBER 15 LADYSMITH LITTLE THEATRE
In this delightful, boisterous comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, four unique Southern women are drawn together by fate — and an impromptu happy hour. Needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, they decide it’s time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the loss of spouses, career derailments, infidelity and all manner of upsets. Presented by the Ladysmith Little Theatre Society, Randa (Maureen Cusack), Dot (Patricia Zogar), Marlafaye (Lynnia Clark) and Jinx (Ann McInulty-Gogo) form tight bonds over drinks and hilarious misadventures as they find the confidence to start over and rediscover joy and a zest for life. Directed by Torry Clark and part of the 2019/2020 season at the Ladysmith Little Theatre, this is a comedy sure to please. Since 2004, the Ladysmith Little Theatre has been run by members and volunteers, inspiring and entertaining audiences. New members are always welcome and encouraged. Members receive advance notice of upcoming productions, discounts and the opportunity to participate at general meetings and provide input into the future direction of the theatre.
For tickets and more information about membership, visit ladysmiththeatre.com
Join us as we celebrate 25 years of fantastic symphonic music, all season long! Tickets: Port Theatre Ticket Centre 250.754.8550
vancouverislandsymphony.com 2019-20 SEASON SPONSOR
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Cedar Yellow Point Artisan’s Association Presents
Country Christmas 31tst Annual
Free Self Guided Tour
in beautiful Cedar and Yellow Point just south of Nanaimo Four exceptional days showcasing local artisans’ in their Studios
NOVEMBER 21, 22, 23, 23, 2019
You are invited to visit our studios, shops, galleries and farms for inspired creative Christmas giving! Pick up a free brochure with map at all Mid and South Island visitor Info Centres, Libraries and businesses or website:
THE LEGENDARY DOWNCHILD BLUES BAND OCTOBER 19 SID WILLIAMS THEATRE, COURTENAY
Joel and William Good Supernatural Eagle Bringing the Sun Back to the World
EXHIBITIONS ART LAB PROGRAMS THE GALLERY STORE Tuesday to Saturday 10am–5pm Sunday 12–5pm 150 Commercial St Nanaimo, British Columbia
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Celebrating its 50th year, The Legendary Downchild Blues Band brings a brand new show to stages across Canada. Including hits like “Flip, Flop, and Fry” as well as many fan favourites, the Juno award-winners are set to entertain and delight audiences of all ages. The inspiration for the cult classic film the Blues Brothers by the late, great John Belushi, Downchild is made up of Donnie “ Mr. Downchild” Walsh on guitar and harmonica, singer Chuck Jackson, also on harmonica, Pat Carey on tenor sax, Michael Fonfara on keyboard, Gary Kendall on bass and Mike Fitzpatrick on drums. Inspired by musicians like Muddy Waters, BB King and Junior Wells, the band has been producing albums and touring since 1969, and each member brings at least 20 years of professional experience to the group. Their most recent album, Something I’ve Done, dropped in 2017 has been well received by critics and loyal fans, with Downchild’s sound as true to its roots as it’s ever been. Don’t miss your chance to see these Canadian legends put on a high-octane performance of their signature jump blues sound at venues in Campbell River, Nanaimo and Courtenay.
For tour dates and tickets, visit downchild.com/tour.php
The Legendary Downchild Blues Band.
The Arthur Vickers gallery a destination to be discovered. Featuring the Artistâ€™s Collection of works & a few select treasures from local artisans. Fabulous jewellery of fine gem stones beautiful, playful and elegant. Turned wooden bowls stunning and magnificent the epitome of functional beauty. Culinary presentation boards artisanal, unique and truly one of a kind. 250-748-7650 1719 Cowichan Bay Road www.arthurvickers.com
Located in the Seaside Village of Cowichan Bay the gallery is a curated collection of the exceptional and the exquisite. boulevardmagazines.comâ€‚ |
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“I decided this is my opportunity to take everything that I learned in medical school and medical practices in Cuba and Canada, make my own blend and make my true identity shine.” 86
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PATH of Perseverance a
Dr. Ana Teresa Armas Enriquez forges a journey into women’s health BY ERIN MCPHEE | P H OTO S BY DON DENTON
CONVERSATION with her youngest daughter set Dr. Ana Teresa Armas Enriquez’s life in an entirely new, exciting direction. Back in 2016, the Cuba native had just moved to Nanaimo with her husband and two girls after spending 12 years in Morden, Manitoba, practising rural medicine. She was becoming increasingly frustrated at the challenge of securing a permanent position at an existing medical practice in her new Vancouver Island home. “I actually found it almost as hard to settle in the practice of medicine on the island as I encountered in getting my credentials recognized in Canada,” she says. Ana Teresa’s daughter, Camille, six years old at the time, patiently listened to her mother express her desire to hear back about a job, before asking her a series of eye-opening questions. “‘Do they know how to do something you don’t? Do they know how to run a business in a way that you don’t? Then why is it that you don’t just do it yourself?’” Ana Teresa recalls her wise-beyond-her-years youngest inquiring. “I looked at her and I said, ‘You’re right, I should probably do this alone.’ So I went and did it,” she says. Ana Teresa, 42, graduated from medical school in Havana before immigrating to Toronto in 2002. After arriving in Canada, she worked hard to become licensed to practice here, and spent a number of years working and learning all she could in what she considers her “home clinic” in Morden. Reflecting on her experiences,
she decided it was time to launch a solo practice, Women’s Vita Medical Clinic, and to do it her way. “I decided this is my opportunity to take everything that I learned in medical school and medical practices in Cuba and Canada, make my own blend and make my true identity shine,” she says. “There are things from both places that I absolutely respect, and there are things from the two places that I absolutely think that they could do better.” A three women partnership — herself, a full-time nurse, Kassidy Delcaro, and receptionist Ani Rodriguez — Women’s Vita offers family medicine with a strong focus on women’s health. Ana Teresa treats women at every age and stage of their lives, often seeing them during challenging periods. She aims to offer a safe, supportive and accessible option for women. She also works in the hospital, treating patients in the emergency room, labour and delivery, and during longer stays. “I love what I do for a living. I’m very, very blessed that I have a job that I absolutely love,” she says. Ana Teresa continues to advocate for more studies focused on women to better serve them as a whole, and works to integrate new technology into her practice. She also seeks to empower and educate her patients about their bodies, their specific health risks and how to take good care of themselves. Growing up west of Havana as an only child — the daughter of an engineer and an accountant — Ana Teresa’s family thought she was destined to become a lawyer. “I’m the shortest of the entire family and I was one of the shortest of my entire school … but for sure I was the
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loudest,” she says. “I made my points.” Measuring five feet tall, she credits her strong-mindedness to her father’s side of the family and her perseverance to her mother, the combination of which helped her defy the odds and move to Canada. “I feel like I had to be triple strong,” she says. “First, because no matter which country you go to, women are still the greatest minority. Take that on top of being a foreign physician, and I had to prove myself many times. I want to be an example for my two daughters, showing that it’s not going to come easy, but getting there is your journey. If you persevere and put all your might and passion into it, and work really hard, you get to it, and then you become another example for the greater good.” Ana Teresa’s life during and after graduating medical school in Havana was challenging. “I studied hungry with nothing to eat, with no light,” she says. “You do all of this, and then you get out of there, you’re a doctor, you know your job, yet you don’t have food on your plate that was provided by your own work.” According to Ana Teresa, in Cuba, doctors are among the poorest professionals, and it is not unusual for tourists to find that their taxi driver or bed and breakfast host is also a surgeon or doctor. “I didn’t want to do that; I wanted to be a doctor not having three jobs on the side. That’s not how I envisioned my life,” she says. “I love the culture I come from, and I love my family. I love the beaches — there’s no beauty in the Pacific Ocean that quite competes with the beauty of the Caribbean. But I had no hope.
I graduated and I had to be fed by my parents and my parentsin-law. I had to be dressed by my grandmother. Those were the reasons to leave and never look back.” Wanting to provide a better life for herself and her future children led her to convince her husband, Joel Victores, an IT engineer, to join her in immigrating to Canada. The couple met when Ana Teresa was 15 and they got married five years later. “I don’t know if I can fathom my life without him,” she says. When she’s not practising medicine, Ana Teresa enjoys time with her family. Weekends are spent ferrying their girls, Cosette, 13 and Camille, nine, to different lessons and activities, and with her parents and brother-in-law, who have followed in their footsteps, similarly moving from Cuba and settling in Nanaimo. During quieter times, she can be found immersed in a good book and or experimenting with a new recipe — Mediterranean cuisine is a family favourite. “We live near Brannen Lake in Nanaimo, which is a blessing. My neighbourhood feels like I live in a resort all year round,” she says. “Part of the beauty of living on the island is that you can go anywhere. I enjoy the drive to Port Alberni and looking at the lakes and mountains. We go to Coombs often. We go and look for shells on the beach. I grew up doing that in Cuba…And then we go and do some art with those shells or the treasures we find on the shores. It’s beautiful; you don’t need to invest in anything, all you need is to look around and your spirts are uplifted with the beauty of the nature around us.”
SALES! Follow @helijet on twitter and look online at helijet.com at 5PM to book big bargains on next day flights.
helijet.com | 88
helijet | 1.800.665.4354
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NEW RANGE ROVER EVOQUE NEW RANGE ROVER EVOQUE
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OR THIS edition’s fashion story, the Boulevard team explored the beautiful Wildwood Ecoforest, a 77-acre parcel of land hugging the shores of Quennell Lake, just north of Ladysmith. It lies within the traditional territories of the Stz’uminus and Snuneymuxw Coast Salish First Nations, who have cared for these lands and waters for many generations. Monthly public tours of Wildwood are held on the third Sunday of each month, from 1 to 3 pm, by donation ($20/person suggested). More information can be found on the website: ecoforestry.ca.
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Model Allison Grey. Photo by Lia Crowe.
WE INVITE YOU TO DISCOVER EVERYTHING LINCOLN HAS TO OFFER THROUGH A UNIQUE AND PERSONALIZED TEST DRIVE EXPERIENCE. Call Rob Willoughby, our Lincoln Concierge, at 250-824-0816 to find out how.
2019 LINCOLN NAUTILUS
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With the key fob nearby simply kick your foot under the rear bumper to open or close the Hands-Free Power Liftgate.
We offer Lincoln owners Pickup & Delivery service because there’s no greater luxury than your time.
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GIVEN ENOUGH SLEEP I COULD RULE THE WORLD
I WISH I WERE A LITTLE KID, SO I COULD TAKE A LONG NAP AND EVERYONE WOULD JUST BE PROUD OF ME
resthouse.ca • 1-844-855-REST (7378) 126 STATION STREET, DUNCAN We Know How to Help You Sleep Better • Eco Fabulous Bedding for the Whole Family