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Creating “cocoon-able” spaces for winter


Active living in a gorgeous Lower Mission home

REVVED UP FOR RAMEN Secrets of making the best ramen




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24 FEATURES On the Cover Photo by Darren Hull Photographed at Home Block Restaurant at CedarCreek Estate Winery.





Active living in a gorgeous Lower Mission home

Creating a “cocoon-able” space for winter

By Valaura Jones

By Lia Crowe



A fantastical tale where good and evil and light and dark collide in romantic, fairytale fashion

Secrets to making divine ramen at home

By Chef Heidi Fink

By Jenny McKinney



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Paul Cluff changes direction

By Toby Tannas

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Music with a message: Kelly Derrickson

What’s on this winter

Dreaming of a “green” Christmas

By Kathy Michaels

By David Wylie

By Susan Lundy

26 inspiredHEALTH



Lonni van Diest




With movement on the brain

The gift of giving: Katia Brosseau

By Kaisha Scofield

By Kathy Michaels

By Lia Crowe






At home for the holidays

Embracing the elements at Home Block

By Trisha Isabey

By David Wylie

By Darren Hull


High in New York

By Susan Lundy

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“I have the highest regard for our fashion team of photographer Darren Hull and makeup artist and stylist Jenny McKinney, and enjoy working behind the scenes with them. But it was an absolute honour to get to play the ‘evil sorcerous’ in this issue’s fashion feature and have their incredible talent bestowed upon me.” Lia is a stylist, creative director, photographer and writer with a long history of working in the fashion industry.

“Photographing food in liquids can be surprisingly tricky, since soups and stews, for example, can hide the ingredients under the broth. Luckily with ramen, there is such a variety of additions to the broth that the reader can clearly see most of the delicious ingredients in the various dishes.” Don has photographed numerous high-profile events, including the Olympics, the World Hockey Championships and a royal wedding.

“Finding excellent fresh ramen noodles in an Asian market was a dream come true for this chef and ramen lover. The fresh noodles took the recipe-testing to the next level. I enjoyed every bite.” Heidi is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.








“The unique and eclectic God’s Mountain Estate was the perfect location for this issue’s fashion story. It was a true pleasure to shoot up there with this team.” Darren is an editorial and commercial photographer, who has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s top image makers, with work informed by a strong sense of storyline.

“As an interior designer, my focus is on the ‘intention of design’ — giving our spaces purpose such as connection, productivity, rest or wellness. The pieces I have chosen to highlight are meant to bring out a sense of pleasure to the home in the form of visual luxury.” Trisha Isabey owns Isabey Interiors, an award-winning interior design company in Kelowna.

O K A N A G A N L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627





DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark Lisa Vassiliadis

CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe WRITERS Heidi Fink Trisha Isabey Valaura Jones Kathy Michaels Kaisha Scofield Toby Tannas Lorin Turner David Wylie CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Steve Dunsmoor Darren Hull Suzanne Le Stage Photography CIRCULATION & Kate Sarac DISTRIBUTION 250.763.7575


View Boulevard’s Fashion Friday

www.vicnews.com/life Any device. Any time.

“Jenn and Chris’ home isn’t precious. It’s designed for a very active family and for entertaining family and friends. In this way, the home is about the people that live within its walls, not what is hung on them.” Valaura is a writer, marketer and community enthusiast with a passion for great design and unusual spaces.

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 info@blvdmag.ca boulevardmagazines.com


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“The mystical and magical location that is God’s Mountain was the perfect setting. Moody and ambient, it helped showcase our loose storyline of Snow White characters. Local boutiques had the most amazing fashion to complement our creative vision. It was an artist’s dream to style, and do makeup and hair on these two models. I always wonder how we will top the last shoot and the answer is that with a stellar creative team, all things are possible!” Jenny has been voted best makeup artist in Kelowna by the community for four consecutive years, and she’s been in the beauty industry for over two decades.

“I loved hearing about Katia Brosseau’s passion for giving. Philanthropy clearly gives her great joy and it’s inspiring to see.” Montreal-born and a longtime Kelownian, Kathy Michaels is an award-winning writer and who loves exploring the community she lives in.






“Writing about the profound affect that dance can have on brain health was especially interesting because I spent much of my childhood in a dance studio, and credit dance training for my own agility and love of movement.” Kaisha is a nutritional therapist and the owner of Well and Strong Health. Her motto is “Move your muscles, fuel your brain and love your guts.”


“It was pure desire that drew Paul Cluff into the world of real estate. A desire so strong that he was willing to walk away from a family legacy. Find out why the man who was being groomed to run the Jordans Furniture dynasty (alongside his cousins) walked away to chart his own course.” A broadcast veteran, Toby co-hosts Beach Mornings with Ara & Toby on Kelowna’s New 103.1 Beach Radio. She’s a mother to two teenage girls and two four-legged kids.






“It was pleasantly surprising to discover how many doctrines of hygge my husband and I naturally follow in our daily lives. In our current times, providing clients with a personalized sanctuary to recharge is as important as designing a high-functioning kitchen.” Lorin Turner is the Principal Interior Designer for Zebra Group.



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PAGE 14 “Experiencing the way Home Block restaurant at CedarCreek Estate Winery harnesses the elements in its food and atmosphere had me considering some of the elements of a great story, including character, creativity and cohesiveness.” Okanagan-based freelance writer David Wylie has done just about every job there is to do in a newsroom. He’s perhaps best known for telling groan-inducing puns and awful dad jokes.

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Dreaming of a “green” Christmas? BY SUSAN LUNDY



FTER 30 years of Christmas party,” wrote one newspaper. Christmas column “You’ve got the food, you’ve got the writing — often for booze. Should you also buy a few joints multiple publications or edibles now that marijuana is legal in — I realized last Canada?” year that the well of Here are some other headlines I Christmas creativity found: “What I Learned From My was running dry. Christmas Edibles Nightmare;” “21 I’ve pulled anecdotes from every holiday Compelling Reasons Why You Should season I can remember. I’ve gone Smoke Weed On Christmas” (most are serious; I’ve gone humorous. To gift or not compelling at all); “15 Ways Weed not to gift? Christmas with a holiday Can Make Christmas Better” (pretty sure humbug husband; Christmas with a the writer was high on this one); and the festive fanatic husband. I’ve written intriguing “Which Is Cheaper: Walmart’s about the true meaning of the season ‘Weed Christmas Tree’ or Actual Weed?” (I’ve found several) and I’ve attended I also found “green” gifts — like the myriad holiday events, all seeking fodder “Let’s get baked” T-shirt — and some for the Christmas column. very exciting YouTube videos with titles So last year, as I struggled to find a such as: “Girl gets boyfriend pound of unique holiday theme, my mind settled weed for Christmas.” on a recent media trip to Jamaica, So I crafted it all into a column, which had occurred just weeks after the chortling as I wrote it, and thrilled I had legalization of marijuana in Canada. a new holiday angle. Ready to submit, I On the trip, the two of us Canadians were regarded with a new started thinking about the publication’s demographic, which, I aura of respect, tinged with envy at our country’s progressive realized, was heavy on seniors. No matter, I thought, I’d run it attitude. And how ironic, everyone noted, to be sitting in the past a couple of church-going women in their 70s. “ganja” capital of the world, where So what do you think? Funny, right? recreational pot use is still illegal. It didn’t help that in my rough draft, Sad? Confusing? So much Early one morning in Jamaica, I’d there was a typo on the word ganja for my sense of humour. stumbled bleary-eyed out of my room in the first reference. The woman (pre-coffee, so you can picture that), wrote back, saying, “At first I couldn’t I sighed, filed the column and saw a fellow beckoning to me figure out what you were talking about and cobbled together from the beach. Without my glasses because I didn’t know that ganja was (or coffee!), I mistakenly recognized a term for marijuana. I looked up ‘the a string of memories him as one of the group, and trotted ganga capital of the world’ only to around gift-giving. towards him. discover that it is the river Ganges, “Wanna buy some ganja?” he hence my confusion.” asked. Two weeks earlier, I would have gulped and said, “No, Oh dear. thanks” and scuttled away. Now, however, I could toss my head Neither woman took offence at the column, but the second and give a little laugh. “Dude, I’m from Canada. I don’t need to one added, “I think it’s a bit sad that it’s such a big deal.” buy ganja on the beaches of Jamaica.” Sad? Confusing? So much for my sense of humour. I sighed, What does this have to do with Christmas, you ask? Well, last filed the column and cobbled together a string of memories year, in an effort to find a unique column theme, I wondered if I could around gift-giving. (However, all is not lost, because one year write something humorous about how the legalization of pot might later, it turns out I have a subject for Okanagan readers!) change up the season for some. So I did a little internet research. I hope you enjoy this edition of Boulevard. And from everyone First, I found seasonal edibles. “Dreaming of a Green here, we wish you the very best of the season, whether you’re Christmas?” one pot website asked. “Here are 11 cannabis hoping for a white Christmas, a green Christmas — or both! recipes for the holidays.” Recipes followed for holiday essentials Susan Lundy has been writing stories since she was six years such as Smashed & Roasted Red Potatoes with Herbs & old. She has a degree in creative writing from the University of Cannabis; Cream of Cannabis Soup; Ganja-Glazed Nuts; Victoria, and after working for many years as an award-winning Cannabis Gravy; and Ganjabread House. journalist, is now a magazine editor, author and freelance writer. I also found the expected hand-wringing and angst: “It’s December 2018 and you’re responsible for organizing your office


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Until March 31, 2020, receive a $500 mail-in rebate when you purchase a Blomberg refrigerator, range, and dishwasher set. *Some conditions apply. Any discount offered is off MSRP, and not our regular price which could be less. Ask for more details.

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MEET Lonni at Third Space Coffee, where 100 per cent of profits go directly into Third Space Life Charity, providing free counselling and specialized community programs to locals in need, regardless of financial barriers. As a consultant and operations manager, Lonni is part of a group of like-minded professionals creating a space for people to connect and find community, with an emphasis on mental health matters. Asked what he loves most about his work, he answers, “That all our profits go to our charity, Community Care Program, providing mental health services for people who cannot afford them. The best life lesson I’ve learned working here is that asking for help isn’t weak, it is the complete opposite.” Outside of work, Lonni is passionate about his son, Ian, and his health. And when it comes to good style for Lonni, it’s all about simple, sharp and masculine.


Steel Watch by Armani. BEST NEW PURCHASE: V-neck by Robert Barakett. CURRENTLY COVETING: Dwayne Johnson’s Iron Paradise Gym. FAVOURITE DAYBAG: Leather bag by Aunts and Uncles. ACCESSORY YOU SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON: Shoes. SUNGLASSES: Carrera Grand Prix 2. SCENT: “Le Male” by Jean Paul Gautier. NECESSARY INDULGENCE: Bright


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inspired EATS

Embracing the elements Home Block fuses atmosphere and food



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INING at CedarCreek Winery’s Home Block is an elemental experience. There’s a clear connection between the atmosphere and the food, which is cooked on a wood-fired grill, and its bold, rustic flavours pair with intuitive, detail-oriented service. The bright and airy restaurant — recently nominated to Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2019 list — is located in Kelowna’s Lower Mission area, and surrounded by beautiful vineyards and Okanagan Lake views. Custom decor adds thoughtful and unique details. The building itself is crafted from fieldstone and 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood. The restaurant can seat 120 when the patio is open. Natural cooking methods are front and centre, with Home Block’s wood-fired grill in the open kitchen. Restaurant general manager Michael Ziff knows his way around the food industry. He’s worked in high-end restaurants in New York City, Toronto and Vancouver. “I think it’s really important that a room speaks to the service and the service speaks to the room,” he said. A vineyard is a perfect setting for a restaurant. “The depth of story is fantastic,” said Michael. “I’m surrounded by 50 acres of vine. I get to serve wine literally made 100 metres away to the guests.” Servers choose their own work clothes, guided by a palette: dark blue pants, matching the lake; sky-blue shirts; and tan shoes and tan belts, reminiscent of ponderosa pines. “To me, the elements of being human are being hospitable, welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable...those are the elements to me that speak to the room.” Michael aims to tell a story through the service, with everything from the table settings to server dialogue contributing to a subtle narrative. Meanwhile in the kitchen, Home Block’s executive chef, Neil Taylor, is a little less subtle with his big flavours. “I like food to be punchy and in your face to a point,” he said. Kitchen staff prepare a variety of foods on their Argentine-inspired wood-fired grill. “Even when you pull up to CedarCreek you can smell the wood in the air,” he said. “Cooking over fire and wood is about as elemental as you can get. We’ve used orchard wood and vine clippings, old barrels . . . they all have their own nuances and flavours. When we burn the barrels, you really get that flavour of red wine and you can really smell that toasted wood,” he said. Originally from England, Neil’s career has taken him through top restaurants in London, Sydney and Vancouver. He also owns his own restaurant in Vancouver, a Spanish tapas and wine bar called España. Neil said he buys fresh ingredients and treats them simply, making the most of his great relationships with local farms and changing the menu according to what’s in season.

“Cooking over fire and wood is about as elemental as you can get. We’ve used orchard wood and vine clippings, old barrels…they all have their own nuances and flavours.”

Wood grilled fish and greens.

With contemporary farmhouse architecture, Home Block and other CedarCreek buildings are designed by Arcanum Architecture in San Francisco. Much of the decor is custom, including cement bill holders and coolers commissioned by Michael. Tables, banquettes and handmade leather sling chairs are locally crafted by John Rousseau Design in Summerland. Bowls and platters are handcrafted by local potter Shelley Bauer of Blue Apple Studio in Kelowna. boulevardmagazines.com  |

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movement on the


Dance and other activities help build neural pathways



AVE you ever tried texting while walking? Did you end up tripping over a dog or walking into an unsuspecting sign post? Your brain is great at preventing you from walking into things, but it can be easily overwhelmed when asked to do more than one task at a time. Tasks like walking (motor function) and reading (information input) simultaneously require what’s called cross-lateral brain activity and they can tax an untrained brain’s ability to keep up.   We build these physical and neurological connections as children but they can become weakened with age. A healthy interaction between the mental and physical body leads to a more completely balanced self and there are activities that challenge the brain to process multiple inputs to build better connections. These activities often combine movement, memory and process, while triggering important cross-lateral brain activity.   One of the most prominent examples of this is dance. Dancers must learn to process multiple inputs, while also expressing physical movement. Simply being in a dance class exposes the brain to a variety of processes, such as identifying the beat of the music, receiving instructions from the teacher


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and repeating memorized steps, all while engaging muscles and the cardiovascular system, and making sure you don’t step on anyone’s toes. Dancing is as much a mental workout as a physical one. Building these neural pathways through cross-lateral stimulation is how coordination is developed.   Dancing, from flamenco to ballet styles, is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. In Victoria, BC, this is due in part to Raino Dance, a studio that has been training dancers for more than 30 years. Founded in 1982 by modern dance icon Lynda Raino, it is now run by her former student and protégé Monique Salez. Raino Dance delivers six different genres of dance to over 250 dancers with the students ranging in age from 18 to 80. Most enter the studio with little to no dance experience at all.   Listening to Monique talk about her 20 years as a dancer and teacher, it is clear that she has a deep knowledge and passion for movement. She has witnessed students experience physical growth through building muscle and flexibility, and points out that dance gives the brain and body a vessel to expand beyond the confines of daily routine and structure. Asked if she believes dance can improve brain function and create neural pathways, she states: “Absolutely! It absolutely

creates pathways. People who commit to the training are getting the positive effect of creating those pathways. And it expresses differently in everyone’s bodies, but they are absolutely experiencing increased agility, increased strength, increased flexibility of body and mind. They experience an openness and the ability to respond. The ability to be in a situation and respond effectively. The ability to be in a community, to have their energy bounce off other people. There is no doubt. There is nothing else that is more beneficial than dance; it is just an amazing tool.”   Clearly, dancing can help us improve our physical and brain health, but if you aren’t quite ready to throw on your legwarmers and bust a move, other activities provide these benefits. Marital arts, spin class, various forms of yoga, gymnastics, boxing and even walking while listening to a podcast, can get those crosslateral brain waves working.  

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Saturday November 30th, 1-4 p.m. For our annual show and sale “Christmas Delights” Many local artists will be in attendance

Essential Nutrients for the Brain Enhancing your brain health doesn’t have to end in the studio or gym. You can support your brain every day through the foods that you eat, and a great place to start is a diet full of nutrientdense foods, free from excess preservatives and sugar. Even keeping yourself hydrated can make a big difference to brain function. You can, however, go even further with targetted nutritional supplementation.   Healthy fats and essential fatty acids (or EFAs) are crucial for the development and maintenance of our cells and delivery of nutrients throughout the body, especially the brain. EFAs are found primarily in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and, to a lesser degree, legumes, seeds and nuts. As well, it is important to include other fats, for example those sourced from coconut, avocado and clean meat and animal products. The human brain is made up of nearly 60 per cent fat. The fat molecules needed to support brain function are not synthesized in the body and must be obtained by external sources, i.e., from your diet.   A great way to get healthy fats into your diet — that also happens to be great pre- or post- workout — is the fat bomb. Fat bombs have a coconut base and can be combined in a variety of delicious flavours and fun shapes.  

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RECIPE FAT BOMBS (Makes 30) 1 can coconut milk 3 ⁄4 cup coconut oil 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 20 drops liquid stevia   Put everything into a bowl and mix well. Pour mixture into fat bomb molds (or you can use silicone ice cube trays, but quantity and size may vary). Put molds into the freezer for one hour. Enjoy! These fat bombs are best kept in the freezer.   Try experimenting with flavours by adding extras like nuts, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla or mint extract, lemon or lime zest, coffee, tea or spices. Get creative! boulevardmagazines.com  |

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At Home for the Holidays BY TRISHA ISABEY


’VE loved the holiday season since I was a little girl, when I’d wake up Christmas morning in anticipation of a stocking filled with treasures. My approach at the holiday season is less is more. Obviously I love to decorate — or I am clearly in the wrong profession — however, I don’t necessarily want to “redecorate” everything for one month. The items I’m sharing in this edition of Boulevard should be good for all year, with the exception of a few. Think cosy and textural. You can add a poinsettia and a tree and you will be good to go. Most items here are available at Isabey Interiors.

Cheyenne rug by Surya. No one wants to step onto a cold floor in the wintertime. Warm up your space with a chic rug like this one. $1,680

Le Present Lux Moderna Planters. I use planters to fill difficult spaces like corners and long hallways. You can change the plants seasonally — maybe try poinsettias over the holidays and orchids the rest of the year. They come in many colours, but who can resist red during the holidays? Small, $327.50 / medium, $367.50 / large, $787.50

Moe’s Home Bronya Pouf. I like this piece as a footstool or comfy seat by the fireplace. The braided texture and the two tones are perfect for the cooler months. $575


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Accent Décor Eric and Eloise Wall Mounts. These pieces are inspired by the book Eric and Eloise by Jessica Joy Hiemstra. They make a whimsical addition to holiday décor. This might need to be seasonal unless your home really suits this look — but what a great statement! Eloise, $127 / Eric, $222

Regina Andrews Chrysanthemum Table Lamp. The white-on-white colour is complemented by the textured glass art of the base. Reminiscent of a flower, but maybe also a snowflake. $557

Gold Patina Velvet Pillow from Pine Cone Hill (available in gray, cranberry, juniper, rose and cocoa). Velvet has such a luxury feel, it’s perfect for this time of year: glam plus comfort. $240

Moe’s Home Collection Messina Leather Arm Chair. I would be remiss if I didn’t include a great chair for the fabulous throw. The warmth of the cognac colour is a must for this season. $2,399

Brilliance I by Leftbank Art. This piece feels majestic and calming. It works with a holiday look due to the snowy colour of the horse; however, it could easily stay in a room year-round. Sizing: 40 x 40 inches. $540

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Music with a message



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ELLY Derrickson received her first acoustic guitar from her grandfather. When her Okanagan house was destroyed in an arson fire about 10 years ago, the guitar was one of the only things that remained unscathed. It became a symbol of inspiration after Kelly plucked it from the ashes. “It was a sign for me,” said Kelly, who’s from Westbank First Nation. From the age of four, her heart was filled with music. Educated at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Kelly studied opera along with other styles of music during her childhood. She gravitated toward musical theatre. And during her teens, she even snuck out to play music. “I was in so many bands that I shouldn’t have been in, playing with older guys in clubs with my uniform in my backpack, sneaking out of windows. That’s all I ever wanted,” she said. In another life, Kelly could have been a lawyer, which had been her father’s dream. A force unto himself, Kelly’s dad is Grand Chief Ron Derrickson, a self-educated entrepreneur who led the Westbank First Nation for years. Kelly felt the responsibility to fulfill her family’s vision of her future. She had a fellowship to the University of B.C. and even completed an internship in a law office. Yet, music pulled at her heartstrings. She applied to the prestigious Berklee College of Music for Music Business and Performing Arts, and was accepted and granted a scholarship. Her family was not initially supportive of that direction. She invited her dad to her first performance at Berklee and made him a deal: if he didn’t like her performance, she would go to law school. But if he liked it, he would give her his blessing to stay in music school. The performance was a hit. Since then she’s released two full albums and three singles, and has started the writing phase for her third album. Kelly’s music has been played on more than 1,200 radio stations in North America. She’s been recognized consistently at the Native American Music Awards across various categories, winning best female artist for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018). She won the 2015 Coachella Valley Music Award for best country artist, and her single “40,000 Ft. Over You” is considered the Best of 2016 in North America on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown. She was recently nominated for two 2019 Native American Music Awards: for best indie single and best music video narrative for her latest song release, “We Are Love.” Her style has been uniquely described as “country tribal rock.” “A lot of my music has a message,” said Kelly. “The lyrics may be self-explanatory to me or to the next person, whereas the lyrics might feel like something different to you or to somebody else.” Her songs are often an honest perspective on the challenges facing Indigenous communities. “Suicide Song” — from her second album, I Am — is a look at the crisis facing First Nations young people and was co-written with her dad. “My dad was in residential schools and he was the one who really wanted me to write this song,” she said. It was the last song she was set to record for her album I Am.

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But Kelly said she was exhausted and wanted to wait until her next album to record it. However, her dad encouraged her to dig deep and find the energy, explaining that as a kid he’d had thoughts of suicide. “My dad being one of the strongest personalities that I know, I couldn’t believe that. It completely broke me and gave me the energy and the power to write the song the way it should be,” she said. “Look at how many kids there are out there — and it’s not just our native population — there is so much bullying and stuff going on in schools. I think that every little kid needs a chance. I really wanted to create hope. If I save one life then I’m doing what I set out to do,” she said. Kelly said Indigenous people face constant criticism because of the colour of their skin. “You’re told you’re not good enough and you never will be. What the hell is the point then? Why live?” she said, adding “Suicide Song” communicates that everyone has a unique purpose and gift. The video for “Suicide Song” has been re-released as a cross between a music video and a mini-doc. It’s one of seven videos she’s releasing. Kelly wants to accomplish through music what her father has achieved through leadership and politics.

Her song “Idle No More” is a social commentary about the First Nations’ rights movement that caught the world’s eye in 2012. Kelly’s latest single, “We Are Love,” is a rock anthem celebrating the feminine and honouring White Buffalo Calf, a female First Nations deity responsible for teachings such as the Medicine Wheel, Four Colours and smudging. “I really suffer for the human condition and I have eternal heartbreak,” said Kelly. “My heart breaks for animals and how we are interacting with and raping the Earth. It really affects me deeply. I’m trying to balance that with my everyday life and throw that all into my music in one thing but have a great message to give everyone where we can figure out how to deal with that in a positive fashion and through love. I think love is the answer to do all that.” Kelly now travels between her home in Palm Desert, Calif. and her home in the Okanagan. “I’ve lived out of a suitcase my whole life. This is the first time I’ve wanted to stay in one place,” she said about Palm Desert. “Kelowna’s my roots. I always come back there and I’ve always kept a home there.” She’ll be performing at the Native American Music Awards in November. For more information and to listen to her music, visit kellyderrickson.com.

“A lot of my music has a message. The lyrics may be self-explanatory to me or to the next person, whereas the lyrics might feel like something different to you or to somebody else.”


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The Benchmark for Excellence We are excited to announce Jane Hoffman Group is now Coldwell Banker Jane Hoffman Realty - a full service real estate brokerage.

With over 35 years in the Okanagan real estate market and a long-standing


reputation as #1 Team in Canada for Coldwell Banker, Jane Hoffman and


the real estate professionals at her brokerage are committed to be the


benchmark for excellence in real estate services.

jane@janehoffman.com janehoffman.com

In response to changes in the real estate industry we worked with our affiliate Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty and found a solution to work with the same franchise, same brand and create more accessible real estate services. We are dedicated to adapting our approach and services to best meet our clients’ needs. Our Brokerage is now positioned to meet client’s needs today, tomorrow and into the future.


A place to play Active living in a gorgeous Lower Mission home BY VALAURA JONES P H OTO S BY DARREN HULL + STEVE DUNSMOOR

“We have three young kids, and we really wanted to build a house that’s fun, as well as a space we could enjoy and use. We use every room in the house, every day.”

Quick Facts: Design time: 2 years Build time: 7 months Square feet: 4,700 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3.5 Notable features: Fibreglass pool, pool house with guest suite, heated ski closet, Parallam beam staircase, double washer and dryer combos, heated concrete floors.


OMMERCIAL design has come lightyears from the days of beige cubicles and tech businesses around the world are leading the way in creating spaces that are both fun and functional, with foosball tables and bean bag chairs aplenty. Yet most homeowners shy away from bringing that same sense of adventure into their homes, relegating hobbies, games and fun activities to specific rooms in the house. But in Kelowna’s Lower Mission, a modest home on Hobson Crescent keeps youthful exuberance in mind. Chris and Jenn Little own Little Building Solutions, a design-build firm with extensive experience in commercial construction. Chris has worked on some of the most storied tech offices in Kelowna, including the former offices of Club Penguin. It’s this understanding of functional space that the couple brought to their own home, a minimalist fusion of Chris’ Australian upbringing with Jenn’s Canadian roots. The family has lived in the neighbourhood for more than a decade. The streets in and around Sarsons and Hobson Road have become the backdrop to their lives with days spent at the beach and evenings spent playing table tennis in the dining room. When the couple received an unexpected offer for their home, they decided to relocate to their rental property just one street over. Here they have built a house that’s uniquely suited to their active lives. boulevardmagazines.com  |

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“We have three young kids, and we really wanted to build a house that’s fun, as well as a space we could enjoy and use. We use every room in the house, every day,” says Chris Little. “Fun” is a relative term, to be sure, but in the case of the Little house, activities include skateboarding, foosball, bicycles and soccer. Yes, all of those activities frequently happen inside the home. The exterior of the house has been designed with a mixed-use aesthetic. The lower level features commercial aluminum windows and white stucco siding, and the windows to the generous and bright entry drop down to the floor, not unlike a retail storefront. Meanwhile, the upper level offers more traditional board and batten siding. The setbacks were also carefully designed to enhance the streetscape experience with a single storey along the pedestrian walking path. The result is a home that feels like the link in a regenerating neighbourhood where modest 1960s bi-levels are just steps away from the most expensive homes in the BC Interior. The entry opens into an airy, double-height space with a modern staircase made of Parallam beams, typically found inside the walls of a home. The open floor plan offers an abundance of doors that open onto the patio and pool. In the summer, guests walk straight through the front door and into the backyard, where they will find their hosts hanging out by the pool. The home is so comfortable and fun that a friend recently visited for an afternoon and decided to stay for three days. Fortunately, a charming pool house offers a beautifully appointed guest suite with a full bath for just such an occasion. Throughout the year, the Littles alternate the ping-pong table with their dining table, moving each inside or outside as weather permits. Today, the dining room features a table that Chris constructed with reclaimed floor joists from a renovation in Naramata. A gleaming white kitchen features a spacious island with enough seating for six and a hard-wearing glass backsplash. High-end Electrolux appliances round out the space and offer everything needed for entertaining family, friends and neighbours.

A gleaming white kitchen features a spacious island with enough seating for six.


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Visit Our Kelowna Store 1912 Spall Road

COQUITLAM 1400 United Blvd 604.524.3443

LANGLEY 20429 Langley By-Pass 604.530.9458 MUSEANDMERCHANT.COM

KELOWNA 1912 Spall Rd 250.860.3635

NANAIMO 1711 Bowen Rd 250.753.8900

| FOLLOW US @museandmerchant

VICTORIA 661 McCallum Rd 250.474.3433

In the living room, windows frame a gas fireplace, and the oversized sectional sofa invites you to sink in, or jump in, and get cosy for family movie night. Reclaimed wood tables offer touches of warmth and personality throughout the space, as do the surfboards that act as functional artwork for the carefree family. From the heated concrete floors through to the light fixtures, every surface in the home has been carefully selected for Chris and Jenn’s kids, aged nine, 10 and 11. “Let’s build spaces that work. Let’s build spaces that we actually use,” says Chris of his design philosophy. “If you don’t want your kids to be on a screen, don’t build a theatre room — build a room that they can be active in.” Which leads us to the basement. Australians don’t typically have basements, but Jenn was happy to share her childhood memories of hanging out below ground level. Jenn and her friends told Chris about spending time in the unfinished basements of the ‘80s and ‘90s, where there was very little to break, and kids were free to jump and run around. So they built an “unfinished” basement. Two windows are set into the concrete walls. Simple lights span the ceiling, reflecting off of the polished concrete floors. It’s stark and barren — and perfect. With a soccer net at one end, a skateboard against the wall, and balls strewn across the floor, it’s easy to see why all of the kids want to be here after school. Perhaps one day, this space will be drywalled and become a theatre room or house a pool table, but for now, it is the domain of the children.


INTERIOR DESIGN Residential | Commercial | Development | DIRTT

202 - 3935 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC 28

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A HIGHER STANDARD IN HOME DESIGN + CONSTRUCTION apchin.com boulevardmagazines.com  |

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“Fun” is a relative term, to be sure, but in the case of the Little house, activities include skateboarding, foosball, bicycles and soccer. Yes, all of those activities frequently happen inside the home.

The upper floor is also the domain of the smaller Littles, with a large family room that overlooks the entrance and dining room below. The area is spacious and bright, surrounded by windows that offer views of mountaintops in the distance. Down the hall, are three bedrooms for the kids. The bathroom is cleverly designed with doors that offer privacy for both the toilet and the bathtub to allow all three children to get ready at the same time with minimal interference. On the main floor, the master suite is opposite the children’s bedrooms in the other wing of the house. The spacious room features patio doors that open onto the pool and vinyl plank flooring that carries into the en suite and walk-in closet. Large mirrors reflect the light in the master bathroom and a deep soaker tub offers the perfect respite after a day of skiing. Musing on what makes this house special, Jenn explains, “We wanted our house to be inviting and subtle, but still have parts of who we are. People quickly feel comfortable here. That’s what we love about this house.” What makes this house wonderful isn’t the light fixtures or tile. This home is a reflection of the family’s values: humble, simple and inviting. The feature of this home is the life within it. Jenn and Chris will invite the public into their home on Saturday, November 16, as part of Homes for the Holidays, a self-guided tour of private homes decorated for the Christmas season. Their home will be decorated by their friend and well-known interior designer, Courtney Ungaro, who is sure to inspire and delight with her festive decor. This annual holiday tradition is a fundraiser for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association and the team at Boulevard Okanagan are proud to be a Christmas Tree Sponsor for this fabulous event and worthy cause. Limited tickets are available. For more information, visit: homesfortheholidaysylw.com

Supplier list: Flooring: Express Floors Drywall: Littco Staircase/Joinery/Finishing: Little Building Solutions Inc. 30

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We’re Inspiring Radiance Inside and Out


250-542-2721 101-3401 33rd St. Vernon www.nosl.ca



Navy floral romper by BB Dakota ($120) from Bia Boro Boutique; vintage silk scarf by Ferragamo ($75) from Georgie Girl Vintage.

fai rytale mountain A fantastical tale is spun at God’s Mountain Estate, where good and evil and light and dark collide in romantic, fairytale fashion. Rich browns, deep Bordeaux and faux fur create a luxurious palette to paint from this season. Whether channelling your inner Snow White or inner Maleficent, look to bring a little drama to the season. S T Y L I N G BY JENNY MCKINNEY | P H OTO S BY DARREN HULL

Black jumpsuit with chiffon sleeve by RD ($285), faux-fur vest by BB Dakota ($152) from Bia Boro Boutique; earrings ($13) and necklace ($40) from Winners.

Sweater by Free People ($159), faux-fur vest by BB Dakota ($152), velvet floral maxi-gown by Luxe Life ($129), fourinch floppy hat by Too Too ($59), all from Bia Boro Boutique; brown short boots by Aldo ($59) from Georgie Girl Vintage; brown leather gloves from Marshall’s ($30).

On Lia: Fur bolero jacket by BeBe ($89) from Georgie Girl Vintage; “high-low” lace dress by Luxxel ($119) from Bia Boro Boutique. On Aislinn: Lace top by Do Be L’s ($118) and wide-leg pant by Free People ($158) from Bia Boro Boutique.

Jewel tiger dress by Soaked in Luxury ($119) and gold chain by Carolily ($155) from Mogane; black wide belt by Brave Leather ($160) from Georgie Girl Vintage.

On Aislinn: Pecan brown jacket by Soaked in Luxury ($279), blouse by Justoneanswer ($125), black wide-leg trousers by Angel Eye ($130) from Morgane; crystal earrings from Winners ($13). On Lia: Brown top by ICHI ($55) and brown leather shorts by J.O.A. ($30) from Morgane; wine glasses from Home Sense ($6.99ea)

Makeup and hair: Jenny McKinney Styling assistant: Alana Denham Models: Aislinn McDivitt, represented by Deja Vu Model Management, and Lia Crowe. Photographed on location at God’s Mountain Estate. A huge thank you to Sarah Allen for hosting our team.


True Calling Paul Cluff changes direction BY TOBY TANNAS | P H OTO S BY DARREN HULL

“It was a lot to do with my freedom, my own path, my inspiration. I was getting apathetic… As far as I know we have one life and I didn’t want my life to be lived in that place.”


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HAT if one day you woke up to the realization that your life needed to change? The passion for the career and family business you served for so many years was gone and had been replaced by an uncomfortable apathy. Would you have the courage to step out of the family fold and forge a legacy of your own? Paul Cluff did. The Kelowna realtor left the Jordans Furniture empire after 20 years of growing with his great-grandfather’s company. He dutifully

put in his time and worked from the bottom up. Then, something else kicked in: a deep-seated desire to create something of his own, something outside of what was expected. In short order, Cluff informed his family, left Vancouver and moved to Kelowna with his wife and young son. That is how he found the courage to step into what he calls his true destiny. Today, he is a realtor with RE/MAX Kelowna. I recently sat down with Paul and asked about his life’s journey.

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Toby: Jordans Furniture has been run by your family since 1929. Your great-grandfather, grandfather, your mother and uncles, and then you and your cousins...When did you first think about walking away? Paul: I would at times naturally wonder what I would be doing if Jordans didn’t exist, but pretty quickly after my son was born I started thinking more seriously about it. It was a lot to do with my freedom, my own path, my inspiration. I was getting apathetic. My biggest fear was 40

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living in a place of apathy until the end. As far as I know we have one life and I didn’t want my life to be lived in that place. Toby: How did your family take the news? Paul: It was a big decision, a difficult one. It was almost like a divorce — definitely some grief in there — but they understood. Toby: So, you, your wife and young son left Vancouver. Why did you choose Kelowna?

Paul: My wife and I actually met here years ago. She’s from Germany and was going to university in Kelowna. I was helping run the Jordans store here. She loves Kelowna and was very happy to move back. Personally, I loved living in Kelowna and witnessing the amazing quality of life. I think it’s the ideal place to raise a family. Toby: What lead you to a career in real estate? Paul: I’ve always had a passion for real estate. It’s an absolute challenge. You’re pushing boundaries. In real estate sales you really have to master yourself because you’re not protected in any kind of system. You have to go out there and make the system. Toby: You worked in a very established system at Jordans. Is your new career more or less comfortable for you? Paul: It’s definitely less comfortable, but comfort can be a terrible thing sometimes. This is starting from the very bottom, so you have to be humble in terms of the approach. It’s like being a kid again, learning how to do this and that. It’s exciting. Toby: How have your years in sales at Jordans helped you in real estate? Paul: Jordans is fundamentally about delivering the best service possible. It’s been ingrained in me from the earliest days when I was delivering furniture as a teenager. You deliver more than what’s promised, respect the client — that’s the life and ethos I’ve lived now for so long. Toby: Have you found a niche in real estate, something you want to specialize in? Paul: My instinct would be to do the luxury market because coming from Jordans, a luxury brand, I’m very comfortable in that place, but I appreciate all levels of real estate. I really love the emotion and connection with the client that comes with real estate. When you combine a lot of money with a major life decision things get pretty intense. It’s exciting and I like being a part of that. Toby: What are you working on now? Paul: A lot of my energy is focused on the Lakestone development in Lake Country with my amazing team, The Property Source Group. Big things are happening in Lake Country these days. Lakestone is a hidden gem, many people don’t know it’s there, but when they find it I hear a lot of “wows.” Toby: How do you like doing business in the Central Okanagan? Paul: I meet amazing people here who have come from all over the world and I meet them regularly. There are quality people here. My wife and I also believe strongly in giving back what we can. In a bigger city you get swallowed up. Here I feel we can really make a difference. Toby: What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing what you did: leaving behind a comfortable, secure career for something new and unexpected? Paul: If you have the option, follow your passion. For me, I always really admired my grandfather and what he represented. He had this style and this way about him that I wanted to capture. I loved the idea of working in his company and being part of its history, but then the cold hard practical side hit me ...this is what I’m doing every day. Life is a constant journey to find out who you are. You can’t close yourself off to it because of a decision you may have made as a teenager. I say to anyone, find what gets that fire going in you, that spark, and then make things happen.

Stop spending money on wines you don’t like. Download the free TasteAdvisor app and discover your personal flavour profile. Take our Taste Test and be matched with BC wines, wineries, and experiences you’re going to love.


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612 Thorneloe Road, Kelowna BC Newly renovated mid century modern masterpiece on quiet cul-dec-sac. This family friendly backyard is a secluded oasis. The pool sized lot is set beneath a canopy of mature trees & has the sounds of a running creek nearby.



401 - 1289 Ellis Street, Kelowna BC Never Before Available! The Ultimate In Kelowna Loft Living. Two storey corner unit with $2,000,000 renovation. Just one block off the beach! 18 ft. ceilings, floor to ceiling glass, private rooftop patio, hot tub.

$839,000 gst applicable

2377 George Court, West Kelowna BC A well maintained seasonal cottage provides a quaint retreat while you build your dream home. Nestled amongst estate homes, this .35 acre flat lot offers 84.5 ft of lakeshore with exceptional views of Lake Okanagan.


103 Echo Ridge Drive, Kelowna BC New Home – Situated in a private setting with a backyard abutting a natural green space, this new 3 bedroom rancher with a grade level entry, appeals to modern living.

$998,000 gst applicable

Upper Mission, Kelowna BC Never before available to the market in the most prime location Kelowna has to offer, welcome to this prominent trophy property nestled on just over 15 irrigated acres. Walkout rancher floorplan with 5,451 sq. ft. of plus additional 1,971 sq. ft. partially developed in-law suite.

$3,298,000 1557 Reservoir Road, Penticton BC 3.1 acres of rolling landscape with stunning 180 degree mountain and Okanagan lake views and is located within 5 min. of central Penticton. Solid concrete construction with guest house and perfect for cidery, craft brewery or winery.



$1,295,000 gst applicable

$845,000 gst applicable

$799,900 gst applicable 213 Summer Wood Drive, Kelowna BC Nestled in the established neighbourhood of Wilden, Echo Ridge delivers a family oriented lifestyle amongst nature and close proximity to airport, downtown and schools. 1,902 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths and a den in the lower level.

3481 Shayler Rd, Kelowna BC Located in McKinley Beach, this new showhome offers sweeping panoramic Okanagan Lake views. Unyielding quality and custom designed 2060 sq ft walk-up Rancher with 3 car garage, 3 bedrooms and 3 bath with in-law suite potential.


243 Grange Drive, Vernon BC New 4 bedroom 3 bath home in the new Commonage neighbourhood at Predator Ridge. Oversized windows and high end laminate floors are featured throughout the main areas in this vaulted great room plan.

4610 Crawford Court, Kelowna BC Executive walkout rancher with accessible floor plan having 2 private -law living suites. Thoughtfully landscaped and fenced yard is spacious enough for a pool. The two double driveways easily accommodate parking an RV or boat.

253 Ashcroft Court, Vernon BC The Arroyo features 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms over two expansive levels. Open, vaulted plan with hardwood throughout the great room and foyer. Kitchen with stainless steel appliances, including dual fuel gas range.

$819,000 gst applicable 239 Grange Drive, Vernon BC New 3 bedroom plus den, 2.5 bath home in the new Commonage neighbourhood at Predator Ridge. Huge transom windows & high end laminate flooring are featured throughout the main areas in this vaulted great room plan.

*First 3 sales include furnishings. Contact us for more details.

JUSTIN O’CONNOR GROUP d. 250.826.9961 tf. 1.877.530.3933

joconnor@sothebysrealty.ca justinoconnor.com


$1,625,000 gst applicable



1802-1151 Sunset Drive, Kelowna BC Welcome to coveted “1151 Sunset Drive” in the heart of the Kelowna’s vibrant downtown. This 2,157 sq.ft. sub-penthouse is nothing short of spectacular. 2 beds, 2.5 baths. Floor-toceiling and wall-to-wall windows, captivating 360 views.

4941 Buckhaven Court, Kelowna BC Modern 5 Bed, 7 Bath residence designed for family living. Huge Cul-De-Sac Lot, Gorgeous Lake/Sunset Views, Huge Island Kitchen, Butler’s Pantry, In-Ground Pool, Heated Triple Garage, Backs onto Hiking, Biking, Walking Trails.


1486 Rocky Point Drive, Kelowna BC Elegant 4 bed, 5 bath home. 4,254 sq. ft. of luxurious living and enviable Okanagan Lake views. Extensive use of hardwood, tile and quartz in this soaring, great room plan. 9 ft. center island, 5 piece master ensuite and oversized triple garage.




$2,688,000 714 Rockcliffe Place, Kelowna BC Modern masterpiece in the prestigious gated community of Highpointe. Perched high upon the hillside, breathtaking valley, city & lake views. Gourmet Island Kitchen. Media Room. Wine Cellar. Salt water pool. Outdoor Kitchen. 2 Garages.


867 Mount Royal Drive, Kelowna BC Classy, 3 bed/3 bath/ 2 dens Nesbitt designed home. Unobstructed Lake/City Views. Gorgeous Park-like Yard With In-ground Pool. Gazebo Covered Terrace. Prestigious Neighborhood Only Minutes To Downtown.

104 - 1188 Houghton, Kelowna BC LIVE assured, knowing that your home is secure in a gated community and that your lawn care and snow removal will be cared for. 1,275 sq. ft. rancher home with 2 bedrooms,den, 2 full bath with a finished double attached garage and yard.





850 Horizon Court, West Kelowna BC Sweeping views and privacy abound, in this sprawling West Kelowna estate. Nestled amongst mature fruit trees you will appreciate the views of each floor of this sprawling walkout rancher. Traditional and spacious.


6 - 3103 Thacker Drive, West Kelowna BC LIVE refined, the lock and go lifestyle with a gated strata community. Modern meets contemporary, with the stylish redesigned exterior and interior boasting over 3,500 sq. ft., entertainer’s kitchen and more.


771 Highway 97, S Peachland BC Lakefront Okanagan living is embodied in the privacy and tranquility picturesque Okanagan views. Rare opportunity to secure 1,820 ft. of accessible pristine shoreline. Nearly 20 acres,10,000 sq. ft. estate home on the waters edge showcases lake views from every room.

840 Curtis Road, Kelowna BC Premier Equestrian Estate, 18.48 Acres, Majestic 8,100 sq. ft. 7 bed 7 bath residence, 26 stall horse barn, heated indoor arena, heated in-ground pool, pool house, secondary living quarters, paddocks, shelters, Private yet minutes to Kelowna.


1179 Westside Road S. West Kelowna BC Coveted piece of Kelowna’s waterfront. Just over 57 acres, sweeping 180 degree views over the lake and downtown Kelowna, 525 feet of lakefront, private bay. 1305 Westside Road also available for $7,200,000.

2888 Seclusion Bay Road, West Kelowna BC Drastic Price Drop. Reduced by $1M. Private, Lakefront Retreat, 18.5 acre lakefront estate. 1,354 ft. gravel beach on Okanagan Lake. Panoramic views! Extensive dock, 3 boat lifts. original 2,600 sq.ft. home, ½ acre, level building site.





Senior Vice President, Sales

Real Estate Associate

Real Estate Associate

Unlicensed Assistant


Creating a “cocoon-able” space BY LORIN TURNER P H OTO S BY LIA CROWE


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Experience International


At its core, hygge is about giving yourself permission to slow down, live in the moment and celebrate the cosy comfort within your home and with your loved ones.

Handcrafted on Vancouver Island CASK ORDERS available with



UTUMN is a uniquely beautiful time of year. Warm pockets of sunshine left over from the summer are accentuated with the riot of changing colours, blending into cold autumn nights. But as the golden days fade into the dark of winter, the anticipation of long, cold months is not the easiest on our mental well-being. And even with the approaching holiday season, this sudden change of atmosphere can affect our energy and dampen spirits. We retreat into our homes, instinctively yearning for hibernation. Instead of fighting against

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this need, we should prepare our spaces to maximize our enjoyment of this season. Enter “hygge.” You may have heard of it. Over the past couple of years, this Danish lifestyle has gained international attention. Pronounced “hoo-ga” or “hue-gah,” hygge is more about embodying a sensibility of comfort than the creation of a defined design trend. It is the practice of mindfulness brought to life within our homes. At its core, hygge is about giving yourself permission to slow down, live in the moment and celebrate the cozy comfort within your home and with your loved ones. Even with the long months of bracing Scandinavian winters, the Danish are consistently ranked as the happiest people in the world. They’ve leaned into the idea of wellness and it has become a core element of their daily lives, regardless of the season. It seems so contrary to today’s thinking, but one of the main tenets of hygge is slowing down, doing less. Focusing on the deliberateness of simplicity, it’s about enjoying the process of brewing tea or slow cooking a stew and giving yourself permission to just curl up and read a book. How can you not love a lifestyle movement that encourages you to swaddle up in knits or hunker down in your favourite pair of old sweats? 46

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Decorating for hygge When it comes to decorating our homes, hygge relies on the “less is more” approach. For furnishings, think modern Scandinavian pieces, streamlined shapes with open legs. Upholstered furniture pieces should be comfortable, not rigid. This is a time to sink down and relax. Dining chairs need to be cushy enough for extended social gatherings. There is a nod to minimalism with hygge: never crowding your space with more than you need. Don’t assume you need to replace everything to embody the hygge mandate. Cherishing the past and highlighting your family’s heritage is as important as the new. Be open to paring down. A little de-cluttering can better honour the mementos that hold deep meaning for you and your family. Cultivate your inner Maria Kondo (many of her practices align with the hygge mentality). Consider the items and pieces that spark joy and warm the cockles of your heart. Another objective of hygge is to quiet the busy mind. Soften your home with whites, creams and naturally derived neutrals to amplify peace in the overall visual effect. The intent is to create a space of comfortable ease for you, your

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family and your guests. Reduce the use of bright colours, sharp geometrics and polished objects; embrace the calming effects of wintry whites. Look for matte textures such as concrete or clay when choosing dishware, table lamps and accent pieces. Layered textures are key to creating a “cocoon-able” space. Chunky knits, nubby fabrics and sinkable furnishings add natural calmness. Warm and cozy throw cushions, blankets and plush area rugs are great additions to your current space. Look for natural materials in wools, cottons, linens. Textiles should be soft to the touch. Natural wood elements are a perfect way to add warmth to your space, whether it be a teak end table, a walnut candleholder or a handcrafted acacia bowl. The gnarled and knotty textures of wood are a perfect companion to the snowy whites. Increase the calming power of nature by adding plants and greenery. Stick with hardy varieties that thrive in dry environments with minimal sunlight like succulents, aloe, and jade.

Showhome Open Daily 12 - 4, Closed Mondays 9686 Benchland Drive – Lake Country Lakestone Preferred Builder | www.homesbydestination.com 48

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And for the simplest step of all, dim the lights. Candles and their gentle glow embody the cocooning mentality. Light a fire and set the ambiance to low. Accent lights and fixtures can be warm as well as energy efficient. Look for LED bulbs with a warm white temperature of 3000k or higher. Hygge embodies the joy to be found in the quieter moments of our hectic lives. Too often we focus on efficiency and the ability to multitask as key aspects to a successful life. But understanding and supporting our very human need to retreat can be just as beneficial. Give yourself a cozy sanctuary where you can recharge and rejoice in the wintry days ahead.

Homebuilder: Goodison Construction Home designer: Bruce Wilkin Inc. Interior design: Mari Kushino Design Styling by: Lorin Turner, Zebra Group Accent table, area rug, table lamps, decorative accents: Bespoke Design

3937 Lakeshore Rd. Kelowna lexiandlake.com 778-477-4787

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Secrets to making divine ramen at home BY HEIDI FINK P H OTO S BY DON DENTON


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EOPLE who cook ramen at home usually fall into two camps. Camp one uses instant soup via dried noodles and a flavour packet, possibly gussied up with some vegetables. Camp two undertakes an uber-authentic three-day process involving long-simmered pork bones and multiple trips to an Asian market. But what if I told you there was a great middle ground, where rich homemade ramen broth was possible in about one hour? A big bowl of ramen (real ramen, not instant) is one of the most delicious and satisfying foods to eat. The rich and flavourful broth, the bouncy noodles, the restrained toppings, and the tasty bits and sprinkles combine to give us solid comfort mixed with street-food excitement. I’ve been playing around with quicker, more accessible methods to make delicious ramen at home and I’m here to share my tips. While we may never be equal to a ramen master, we can all learn to make an excellent bowl of soup. First, noodles. You can find fresh, dried and instant ramen noodles in Asian markets and in the Asian section of most supermarkets. They are all acceptable choices, so long as they are cooked at the last minute, and just barely cooked at that. The bouncy texture of just-cooked noodles is part of the charm of authentic ramen. But, if you have access to a shop that makes and sells its own fresh noodles, buy them! Next, the flavour base, known in Japanese as tare (pronounced TAH-rey). While every ramen shop’s tare is a trade secret, it usually falls into one of three categories: salt, soy sauce or miso paste, mixed into a base of dashi (see recipe). Traditionally, tare is added to the bowl before the broth and noodles, but I have added it to the broth itself to streamline the process and to give us ramen newbies more control over the final flavour (because how much tare are you supposed to add to each bowl anyway?) Now, the broth! The big secret is to start with chicken broth (either good-quality store-bought or homemade) and add lots of flavour and great mouthfeel with aromatic vegetables, ground meat, unflavoured gelatin and Japanese seasonings. A 40-minute simmer is all you need to extract tons of flavour from the meat and vegetables; the dissolved gelatin adds the mouthfeel you get from long-simmered bones; and the dashi/tare mixture brings an authentic ramen taste. You can make the broth a day or two in advance, or make a huge batch and freeze it for a couple of months. And yes, I have included a vegetarian option in the recipes below. Finally, toppings. The options are really quite endless. This is one of the ways to get creative with your soup, and personalize it to your tastes. Use any vegetable, either cooked or raw, and any stewed, grilled or roasted meat. Crispy tofu, soft-boiled eggs, sliced green onion, chili oil, garlic oil or marinated mushrooms. Explore your supermarket or Asian market and buy foods that strike your fancy. Thinly slice the toppings in advance. When you sit down to enjoy your delicious, custom bowl of homemade ramen, do not forget the most important step: slurp your noodles loudly and with satisfaction. boulevardmagazines.com  |

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Clockwise from left: pork, chicken and vegetable ramen.

DASHI — JAPANESE FLAVOUR BASE Makes approx. 3 cups

refrigerate for later use. Lasts 2 or 3 days in the fridge, or up to 1 month in the freezer.

One of the essentials of authentic Japanese cuisine, dashi is a light soup stock made with ingredients high in umami, that flavour compound that makes everything taste extra savoury and delicious. These ingredients are sold in Japanese and Chinese markets. Dashi is used to flavour soups and sauces of all kinds, and is an essential part of good ramen broth.

This is a very basic clear broth, with lots of flavour and good mouthfeel. And it’s much quicker to make than traditional pork ramen broth.

4 cups water Two 4-inch-long pieces of konbu (dried kelp) 1 cup dried bonito flakes (smoked-dried fish, a.k.a. Katsuobushi) Use scissors to snip each piece of konbu in several places. Place water and konbu in a 2-quart pot. Let soak for 30 to 60 minutes, until konbu has softened and expanded. Place pot on a burner and turn the heat to medium. Heat until the water comes to a boil, removing the konbu with tongs just before the water boils. It will take quite a while for the water to come to a boil because it is being heated over medium heat rather than high heat. The lower heat allows the flavour of the konbu to better infuse the water. Once the water has come to a boil and you have removed the konbu, add the bonito flakes. Return to a boil and then immediately turn off the heat. Skim off any scum. Add a pinch of salt to the water and let the stock sit for about 2 minutes, until all the bonito flakes sink to the bottom. Immediately strain dashi through a triple-thickness of cheesecloth and discard the solids. Use the dashi immediately or

1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil 1 medium onion, chopped medium 1 medium leek, sliced and washed 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins 1 pound (454 g) ground pork 1 litre (4 cups) chicken broth (e.g. Pacific) 500 ml (2 cups) water 2 to 3 tsp (10 to 15 ml) salt, to taste 1 pouch unflavoured gelatin, soaked in ½ cup cold water up to 1 cup (250 ml) dashi, or to taste (see recipe above) Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in the onion, leek, garlic and ginger and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ground pork and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, water and salt, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered at a simmer (not a boil) until the broth is flavourful, about 30 or 40 minutes. In the last minute


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of cooking, add the gelatin and all its soaking water, stirring to dissolve. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and discard solids. Stir dashi into the broth, starting with one-half a cup and increasing as desired. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more salt and/or dashi until desired flavour is achieved. The broth should be a bit on the salty side so that it still has tons of flavour when eaten with noodles and toppings. The broth can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days, and frozen for up to 2 months.

QUICK RAMEN CHICKEN BROTH WITH SHOYU (SOY SAUCE) A clear broth with a nice chicken flavour and a strong tangy hit of soy sauce. 1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil 1 medium onion, chopped medium 1 medium leek, sliced and washed 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins 1 pound (454 g) ground chicken 1 litre (4 cups) chicken broth (e.g. Pacific) 750 ml (3 cups) water ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt, or more, to taste 2 to 3 Tbsp (30 to 45 ml) Japanese soy sauce (e.g. Kikkoman), or more, to taste 1 pouch unflavoured gelatin, soaked in ½ cup cold water up to 1 cup (250 ml) dashi, or to taste (see recipe above) Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in the onion, leek, garlic and ginger and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ground chicken and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, water and salt, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered at a simmer (not a boil) until the broth is flavourful, about 30 or 40 minutes. In the last minute of cooking, add the gelatin and all its soaking water, stirring to dissolve. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and discard solids. Add the soy sauce to the broth. Stir dashi into the broth, starting with one-half a cup and increasing as desired. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more salt and/or soy sauce and/or dashi until desired flavour is achieved. The broth should be a bit on the salty side, so that it still has tons of flavour when eaten with noodles and toppings. The broth can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days, and frozen for up to 2 months.

QUICK RAMEN VEGETARIAN BROTH WITH MISO (FERMENTED SOY) The addition of the dried mushrooms and miso paste provides extraordinary depth of flavour to this vegetarian broth. 1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil 1 medium onion, chopped medium 1 medium leek, sliced and washed 8 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 pieces fresh ginger (1-inch), peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins 4 to 6 dried shiitake mushrooms 2 four-inch pieces dried konbu seaweed 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable broth 1 litre (4 cups) water 1 tsp (5 ml) salt, or more, to taste 4 to 6 Tbsp (60 to 90 ml) white miso paste, to taste a few drops toasted sesame oil 1 Tbsp (15 ml) dry sherry – optional 1 Tbsp (15 ml) brown sugar – optional Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in the onion, leek, garlic and ginger and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, water, shiitake mushrooms, konbu seaweed, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the broth is flavourful, about 30 or 40 minutes, removing the konbu with tongs after about 10 minutes of cooking. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Remove the shiitake mushrooms to a plate to cool – these will be used later. Discard the rest of the solids. Place 4 Tbsp of miso paste in a small mixing bowl. Add one-half a cup of the broth and whisk until the miso and broth are smooth. Stir this mixture back into the pot of broth and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more salt and/or miso until desired flavour is achieved. The broth should be a bit on the salty side so that it still has tons of flavour when eaten with noodles and toppings. Stir in a few drops of toasted sesame oil. If you like, add the sherry and/or brown sugar. The broth can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days, and frozen for up to 2 months. For the reserved shiitake mushrooms: Remove the stems and discard. Slice the mushroom caps into thin strips and place in a small bowl. Toss these strips with approximately 1 tsp of soy sauce, stirring well to coat evenly. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to serve the ramen.

CHAR SIU PORK Ramen traditionally uses chashu pork belly as a topping, but I prefer the intensity of flavour and ease of preparation of Chinese char siu (which is, incidentally, the inspiration for Japanese chashu). 2.25 pounds (1 kg) pork tenderloin or boneless pork shoulder roasts Marinade: ½ cup (125 ml) soy sauce ½ cup (125 ml) white sugar ⅓ cup (83 ml) hoisin sauce ¼ cup (60 ml) dry sherry ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) Chinese Five Spices 8 cloves garlic, minced equal amount ginger, minced 1 ½ tsp (7 ml) toasted sesame oil For glaze: Reserved marinade ¼ cup (60 ml) brown sugar 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (40 ml) ketchup boulevardmagazines.com  |

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Use the tenderloin as is, but the shoulder roasts should be cut down into pieces about the same thickness as the tenderloins. Cover roasts with marinade and marinate at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours, turning roasts from time to time. Remove pork roasts from marinade and roast in a 325°F convection oven (or 350° regular oven setting), basting with reduced glaze (see below) at least twice, until pork registers 140° F. To reduce glaze, strain garlic and ginger out of marinade. Bring glaze to a boil, cook until reduced by one third, stir in brown sugar and ketchup. Boil for a few minutes. Use this to glaze the pork roasts as they are cooking. When the roasts are completely cool, thinly slice against the grain to serve in ramen. Precooked char siu can be kept in the fridge up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 2 months.

SOFT BOILED EGGS Eggs with a soft-cooked centre are a hallmark of most bowls of ramen. I prefer not to marinate the eggs because I find the egg whites get rubbery very quickly, but they are flavourful and traditional. 4 eggs Marinade: 2 Tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce 2 Tbsp (30 ml) mirin – mixed in a Ziploc bag Method one: Have a bowl of ice water ready. Place the 4 eggs in a pot and cover with cold water so the eggs are completely submerged. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately remove the eggs and place in the bowl of ice water. Let cool and then peel. Place eggs in the marinade, if desired, and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Method two: Have a bowl of ice water ready. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Immediately add the eggs and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, depending on how soft you like your yolks. Immediately remove from water and place in the bowl of ice water. Let cool and then peel. Place eggs in the marinade, if desired, and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

GINGER-GARLIC-CHILI OIL This flavourful oil tastes delicious drizzled on practically anything. ¼ cup to ⅓ cup (60 to 85 ml) canola oil 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced equal quantity of minced fresh ginger ½ tsp (2.5 ml) dried chili flakes 1 tsp (5 ml) toasted sesame oil Heat the oil, garlic and ginger in a sauté pan over mediumlow heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is sticky and just starting to turn light gold. Add the chili flakes and keep cooking for another 20 seconds or so. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and scrape the contents into a bowl. Allow to cool and then add the toasted sesame oil.

RAMEN TOPPINGS Ramen toppings can be anything you want: marinated meats, vegetables of any kind (either raw or precooked), tofu, mushrooms, green onions, fried onions, toasted sesame seeds, soft-boiled eggs, crispy roasted tofu, chili oil, hoisin sauce and 54

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more. Choose anywhere from three to eight toppings and be sure all toppings are sliced thinly so that they heat up quickly in the broth.

TO BUILD A BOWL OF RAMEN Up to 1 ½ cups (375 ml) broth of your choice 50 to 100 g of fresh ramen noodles Water for cooking the noodles 3 to 8 toppings, prepared Large ceramic bowl, preheated Preheat your bowls. The easiest way is to keep them warm is in a low oven. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Meanwhile, heat the ramen broth in a small pot. Have all the toppings prepared, sliced, precooked, as necessary. As soon as the water boils, add the ramen noodles and stir to make sure they don’t stick. Boil the noodles for about two minutes, making sure to pull them from the water while they are still quite firm and bouncy. Strain the noodles well. Place the noodles in the preheated bowls, quickly arrange the protein and vegetables of your choice all over the top of the noodles, and then pour in heated broth until it just covers the noodles and toppings. Drizzle or sprinkle on the “flavour toppings” (chili oil, sesame seeds and the like) and serve immediately. Special thanks to ramen model Kai Schaddelee.






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The rooftop bar at Pier 17 in the Seaport District of Manhattan. 56

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NEW YORK Rooftop barhopping, swanky hotels and elevated experiences make for an epic stay BY SUSAN LUNDY

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Rooftop plunge pool and view from Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.


F the view from our room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is “breathtaking”— and it is — the panorama from the hotel’s rooftop bar is heart-stopping. Perched on the waterfront in Brooklyn, the “nature-inspired” hotel sits cushioned between views of the Brooklyn Bridge — close enough to see a stream of headlights traversing the massive concrete and steel-wire structure — and the face of Lower Manhattan. From the rooftop you can see it all: the iconic rise of the cityscape, the line of bridges on the East River and even the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island in the distance. Sipping cocktails and soaking in the panorama, we had a great idea: why not augment our week-long New York City stay finding ways to “get high” in this spectacular city, where, no matter how many times you visit, there is always more to do. 58

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ROCKEFELLER AND EMPIRE STATE BUILDINGS: Iconic views that every visitor to Manhattan has to see at least once. We each picked up a CityPASS, which at $184 CAD provides entrance to six of nine possible NYC attractions, ranging from Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. You can order it online direct to your phone; it gives expedited entry at several of the attractions; and it’s valid for nine days after the first day of use. We did the Top of the Rock Observation Deck by day and the Empire State Building by night. This may be the highest you’ll get in Manhattan, but it is by no means the only way to get high!

SUMMIT ROCK Every trip to Manhattan needs a visit to Central Park with its tranquil pathways that meander under a canopy of trees, alongside gardens, around ponds and over stone bridges. It’s a soothing contrast to the horn-honking hubbub outside the park. But could we get high in Central Park? As it turns out, Summit Rock — at a height of 141.8 feet — is the highest natural elevation in the park. Located at Central Park West and 83rd Street, Summit Rock was the site of Seneca Village in the 19th century. Apparently “visitors often climb to the top of Summit Rock, where they can view the city below and even catch a glimpse of New Jersey.” It took a bit of navigating to find the rock and the view was slightly underwhelming on that day, but the few hours we spent in the park definitely elevated our experience.

THE VESSEL Rising like a giant beehive in NYC’s newest district, Hudson Yards, this interactive, glass and steel sculpture is a whole lot of fun to do — especially if you’re into working off all those New York pretzels. The Vessel consists of 154 flights of stairs and 80 landings that visitors can climb (or bypass via elevator) to the top. At each landing, there’s the option of turning left or right, but if you choose the same direction each time, you’ll circle the entire 150-foottall structure, and get a 360-degree view as you ascend. Entrance is free via timed-entry tickets.

View from atop of The Vessel in Hudson Yards.


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HIGH LINE Another must-do in New York, the High Line is a public park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. There are several access points to the High Line; we entered right beside The Vessel and walked to the Chelsea Market. The walkway winds through gardens, public seating areas, performance spaces and the back sides of residential and commercial buildings. There are numerous places to stop and eat along the way, and we sipped and savoured at Hearth on the High Line, an open-air wine bar and cafe with impressive views of the Hudson River and skyline.

PIER 17 Pier 17 is located in NYC’s founding neighbourhood, the recently revitalized Seaport District, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, but now rises in all its glory on the East River in Lower Manhattan. The historic cobblestones of the Seaport have been transformed into 450,000 square feet of culinary, fashion, entertainment and cultural experiences, including the recently re-launched Pier 17. Home to the Seaport Museum and the city’s largest concentration of restored maritime buildings, Pier 17 is being hailed as NYC’s new cultural hub. But can you get high? Yes! The Rooftop at Pier 17, located waterside with panoramic views, is a 1.5-acre space atop the pier. It offers a Summer Concert Series that features performances by A-list artists and likely appears from space as a massive throng of humanity

gyrating amid bursts of colour. We didn’t get to an event but walked around the area and confirmed the rooftop would certainly elevate the heart rate.

HIGH TEA Enter Baccarat Hotel New York directly across from the Museum of Modern Art, take an elevator up to the Grand Salon and prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor. Baccarat Hotel, part of the famous crystal brand in France, features some 15,000 iridescent crystal pieces throughout the 50-storey structure, which includes guests rooms and residences, and a total of 17 Baccarat crystal chandeliers throughout the first and second floors, which can be accessed by the public. Crystals gleamed and glimmered around us in the Grand Salon as we partook in a “unique immersion in the fine art of afternoon tea.” Living high in New York? High Tea at the Baccarat is not to be missed. Our experience included a chat with tea sommelier Gabrielle Jammal, whose astounding knowledge was both enlightening and confounding — how do we choose from the vast selection of tea offerings? Ultimately, we ordered a la Tombee du Jour (from Quebec) and Rose Scented Evergreen (Taiwan) as well as a glass each of Ruinart Rosé. We sipped, enjoyed the view over the street below and basked in the sumptuousness of the room. And then the food arrived on tiered platters: three layers each of canapés and petit fours presented as bite-size works of art. “There’s no way I can eat all this,” I said of my gluten-free, dairyfree bounty. And then I did.

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THE HOTELS We stayed in three different neighbourhoods and, as part of our effort to “live high” in NYC, toured several rooftop bars (such an onerous task!), some of which are recommended below.

1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE If you want to treat yourself to an extraordinary hotel experience in NYC, this is the place to do it. I’ve gasped at the splendour of a hotel room before, but nothing prepared me for this king suite with its stunning proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge as viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows. The room featured top-of-theline technology all controlled from an iPad, living green elements and numerous eco-friendly details. The “nature-inspired” and green theme runs through the entire 10-storey, 195-room hotel, topped by a soaring living wall in the lobby-lounge area and guest access to a Tesla premium electric vehicle. One of two 1 Hotels in NYC, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge was built from the ground up according to LEED standards and designed using 54 per cent regional and reclaimed materials, including original heart-pine beams

View of Brooklyn Bridge from a room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

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With eight different home plans to choose from ranging is size from our modest 1,300 sf meadow homes to the exclusive 3,000 sf Meritage plan, there really is the perfect home for you. We have several unique homes under construction and all homes can be customized to suit your needs. Please contact our sales team at 1.855.742.5555 or visit our website for a full tour.

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While the area was completely devastated by Hurricane Sandy, it has re-risen alongside the neighbouring Seaport District

Exterior of Andaz Wall Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

from Brooklyn’s old Domino Sugar Factory, walnut from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and pine flooring from the Old Crow Distillery in Kentucky. Every detail has a story, including an art piece that uses shingles reclaimed from Hurricane Sandy. The hotel is leading the charge of gentrification in the area, which has beautiful cobblestone streets and repurposed brick buildings, waterfront parks and easy connections to both Manhattan and Brooklyn. The hotel also has a spa, restaurant and numerous other amenities. GET HIGH: You don’t even need to leave the building to access the best rooftop bar in the neighbourhood (and possibly all of NYC). Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge has indoor and outdoor spaces, a plunge pool and those stunning, unobstructed views.

ANDAZ WALL STREET We took a quick ferry ride across the river from the dock just below 1 Hotel Brooklyn and, once on the other side, walked a couple of blocks to Andaz Wall Street. There is a lot to love about the Andaz — especially if you want to spread out in your room or invite a few people back for a nightcap — but you simply can’t beat the location. While the area was completely devastated by Hurricane Sandy, it has re-risen alongside the neighbouring Seaport District and is within walking distance of numerous NYC attractions, as well as subway stops that will get you anywhere in Manhattan. The hotel lobby — once entirely submerged in water — is now spacious and welcoming, featuring a 24-hour coffee and snacks bar and a daily complimentary wine hour. At 450 square feet, our sun-filled king deluxe room had an oversized work station, large soaking tub next to a walk-in rain shower, 12-foot ceilings, hardwood floors and massive windows. The smallest rooms at the hotel are 345 square feet, while the Buttonwood Suite is a full 1,465 square feet! The hotel is also pet friendly, and has a restaurant, fitness centre and licensed outdoor patio. GET HIGH: We love to walk in New York, so our rooftop bar-hopping occurred all over Lower Manhattan. But Jimmy at the James in SoHo stole the show with its 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline.


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POD HOTEL BROOKLYN For an entirely different experience, the Pod Hotel Brooklyn offers 249 rooms that are chic, simple, spacious, cosy and functional. We’ve stayed here twice, partially due to the proximity of our two kids who live nearby, the relative low-cost (rooms range from $200 to $300 US a night) and the superb location in Williamsburg right next to the bridge, and cool restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The hotel’s largest rooms are Pod Suites at 300 square feet, but our 110-square-foot Queen Pod met our needs with a super comfy bed, glass-enclosed bathroom and even a work desk, chair and flat-screen TV. Based on the concept that many hotels offer unnecessary amenities, the Pod Hotels (there are four in New York) offer “stripped down” sleeping rooms alongside funky and spacious public areas, such as work stations, courtyards and a restaurant. GET HIGH: While the Pod Hotel Brooklyn has its own, foliage-framed rooftop patio and bar, we decided to line up for a spot at Westlight at the William Vale Hotel, where a dedicated elevator rises 22 floors to the top of the area’s tallest skyscraper. The glass-encased bar and wrap-around terrace overlooks Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

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Award-winning Canadian artist Johnny Reid will stop in Penticton on December 13 as part of his My Kind of Christmas tour. Reid, a blue-collared soul singer who has become increasingly popular over the last 10 years, has sold over one million songs. He’s won countless awards and sold out multiple national arena tours.  “From a young age, I listened to all kinds of music,” Reid said. “My mother was a big fan of Stax and Detroit soul. My father was a big fan of all music as long as it told a story. I have taken the instrumentation, performance and energy of soul and annexed that with storytelling of things that really matter in this world: family, love and friendship.”  Tickets for the tour are available at livenation.com and at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office. Charge by phone at 1-877-SOEC-TIX or online at ValleyFirstTix.com.   


CREEKSIDE THEATRE, LAKE COUNTRY DECEMBER 14   A little theatre never hurt anyone and if there’s any performance that should be taken in over the holidays it’s A Christmas Carol.   In case you’ve missed the last 100-plus years, the story is

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about penny-pinching miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is wellknown across Victorian London for being far more interested in making money than friends.   He takes umbrage with a number of things, but absolutely detests Christmas and its spirit of giving. At least that’s the case until several spirits give Ebenezer the surprise of his life, as they whisk him off on a journey through past, present and future, to show him the true meaning of the season.    The play is a Creekside Theatre Production.  kelownatickets.com/events/event/XmasCarol19    


It just doesn’t feel like the season for giving without immersing oneself in a proper holiday market, which is part of what makes Craft Culture at Prospera Place the must-do event of the season. On December 7 and 8, shoppers will be given the opportunity to find that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for a friend or loved one from one of the 175 carefully selected artisans and crafters from BC and beyond. Everything from unique housewares to children’s toys is on offer.   People are invited to meet the makers, hear their stories and then support small businesses.  This year the event’s hours have been extended on Saturday night, allowing crowd-averse shoppers to have a bit more space.   The market is a fundraiser for Kelowna charity Mamas for

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Johnny Reid: My Kind of Christmas Tour.

The Blueprint For Doing More With Less.


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Mamas and part of the $5 entry is donated to that group. To date, Craft Culture has raised over $16,000 for local charities.   The event takes place December 7 from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 8 from 10 am to 5 pm.   


With the popularity of recent biopic movies about Freddie Mercury and Elton John, it’s become apparent that a certain brand of rock ’n’ roll will never die.   But imagine that music infused with the stylings of some of the best classically trained musicians around and you’ll better understand one of the upcoming events from the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.   The orchestra will perform with The Gary Cable Project to bring the greatest timeless rock hits of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s to Okanagan stages.  The Gary Cable Project is an eight-piece pop/rock band with a full horn section, comprised of live and session musicians who have performed and recorded with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Joe Cocker, Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé, The Pointer Sisters and many more.   You can catch this special collaboration in Kelowna on Friday, January 17 at 7:30 pm; in Penticton on Saturday, January 18 at 7:30 pm; and in Vernon on Sunday, January 19 at 7 pm.  Tickets are available at okanagansymphony.com/find-tickets. 


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The South Okanagan Concert Society knows how to bring a packed house to its feet and has a few occasions planned to do just that.   The Bergmann Piano Duo performs on November 15, offering audiences a repertoire encompassing everything from baroque to contemporary music. The society’s Marion Boyd said the duo has inspired audiences throughout the world for more than two decades.  On January 31, songwriter Lizzy Hoyt will let audiences hear why she is now known as one of Canada’s most popular Celtic-folk artists. She plays fiddle, guitar, harp and mandolin, and tours with her trio throughout the year. Boyd said she is known for the way she brings history to life with music.  The series finale is on March 20 with the Montreal Guitar Trio, which is returning by popular demand.  “You can hear them in prestigious venues across the world or you can hear them in Oliver. You choose,” said Boyd.  Tickets for the series are available now online at venablestheatre.ca or at the Venables Theatre box office Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm.   “Bring kids and grandkids and introduce them to topquality live music,” said Boyd. “Talk to friends and join together to get tickets and make the winter months a time for extraordinary musical experiences. It is the best way to rise above valley cloud.” 


PROSPERA PLACE, KELOWNA NOVEMBER 10  Dallas Green is a Canadian musician and singersongwriter who records under the alias City and Colour.  He is also undeniably one of the biggest groundswell stories to emerge from Canadian music. Over the course of five studio albums, Green has compiled songs born of adoration and devotion, amassing a legion of fans worldwide.  He’s picked up three Junos, including two songwriter of the year awards, plus three double platinum, one platinum and one gold certification at home in Canada.    City and Colour’s last studio album, If I Should Go Before You, debuted at No. 1, his third consecutive chart-topper in Canada. The LP also made serious waves internationally by debuting at No. 16 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart and No. 5 in Australia, where Green’s LP Little Hell was certified gold.  He’s performed on The Ellen Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In addition to widespread commercial success, If I Should Go Before You received critical acclaim from notable international media.  All this and he will be performing in Kelowna on November 10. 

City and Colour.

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The gift of giving Katia Brosseau is passionate about philanthropy BY KATHY MICHAELS | P H OTO S BY DARREN HULL


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ATIA Brosseau knows the joy that comes from giving will last longer than the satisfaction of helping build a successful business. When the director of marketing and client services for Innov8 Digital Solutions sat down to talk, while smack dab in the middle of a busy work day, she radiated happiness by just discussing the concept of giving back. “It just makes you feel good and so proud,” Katia said, as the conversation about work took a turn toward the topic she’s most passionate about. She explained that the returns on giving first became apparent while she was living in Alberta. While there, she regularly participated in the annual Festival of Trees event, which is a holiday celebration, defined by community spirit and philanthropic passion. It’s considered the city’s signature kick-off to the holiday season, raising funds and building community around the hospital foundation. “Decorated trees are donated by businesses and they get auctioned off,” Katia said. “They have Santa’s workshops, a daddy/daughter dance and so many other things — it’s just an amazing event.” It gave her an opportunity to step out of her own busy schedule and into something of greater significance to the community. She was able to do it with her young children and husband Andre by her side. They still look back on it fondly and have even continued to take part in a similar event held in Victoria, year after year. “There really is no greater gift than volunteering and giving back,” she said. When her family picked up from Alberta and moved to Kelowna, she decided to take the lessons she learned about community to her new home. In the time since she’s arrived, she and her husband have not only built a thriving business but are also leaders in community spirit. “Small businesses are the backbone of communities. With philanthropy they help provide the support that’s needed when the government can’t,” she said, pointing to the creation of Kelowna’s youth mental health service, the Foundry, as just one example of how citizens working together were able to fill gaps and make the community service stronger. “You can really see a difference when people come together.” It’s what prompted her to ramp up philanthropic efforts this summer as she launched herself headlong into what ended up being a major fundraising campaign. Katia had been at a charity event with her husband and at the end of the night there was a live auction for a private



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“There really is no greater gift than volunteering and giving back.”


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concert with country sensation Aaron Pritchett. “Get Andre at an auction and it’s a dangerous thing; I don’t even want to go into all the stories. Of course we knew it was for a good cause and we could not help ourselves… Whenever we bid on anything, I think, ‘How can I make it benefit people more than just once?’” she said. Katia immediately thought she could turn the backyard Pritchett performance into a fundraiser for mental health supports, an issue that is near and dear to her heart. “Our daughter had gone through a hard time a few years ago, and at that time we didn’t have the Foundry,” she said. “The wait time to see a specialist was over a year. We were fortunate enough to have coverage to be able to access private care, but if we couldn’t . . . how would you deal with that?” She asked Pritchett if she could sell tickets to the intimate backyard concert he was going to provide and donate funds raised to the Canadian Mental Health Association and Foundry Kelowna, to help them further knock down the barriers facing young people in need of mental health support. “We named it Let’s Build Longer Tables, Not Taller Fences,” she said. “When someone has a mental illness, the stigma is still there, but it should be treated like any other illness.” She linked together enough tables for 130 guests to take in an intimate concert and together they had a great night of music and camaraderie that generated $45,000 for the two mental health organizations. It was so much more than the $15,000 she had hoped for. “I can’t recall all the details but Andre started working the crowd and made a deal with one very generous anonymous donor. If we could raise $20,000, another $10,000 would be donated.” Andre grabbed the mike and the crowd was challenged to raise $20,000. Many hands went up but they were short just a thousand dollars, and then Jillian Harris texted Katia to say she’d chip in another $1,000. Amazingly, in the spirt of giving, another anonymous donation of $5,000 was received right after that. It was a gargantuan effort that paid off. “They are all awesome people,” she said, adding that Aaron Pritchett put on an amazing show, as did Scotty Berg, a 12-year-old Kelowna singer. While so many in the community are inspired by her efforts, Katia hopes it’s the ones who inspire her that will take away the most from it. “I’m proud my children recognize the value of giving back. If we can find more kindness and be less judgmental, we’ll all be in a better place.”

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HE Boulevard fashion team had the pleasure of photographing its fashion feature at a truly unique Okanagan gem: God’s Mountain Estate. Graciously received by host and estate owner Sarah Allen, the team was immediately transported deep into a fairytale story by both the exterior of the resort and the interior rooms, which combine for an eclectic and artistic creation straight out of a storybook. The entire experience left a huge impression on the team; it was an unforgettable day. On the God’s Mountain Estate website, Sarah shares her story of how the estate came to be in her life: “On June 23, 2003, I accidentally discovered God’s Mountain. This Mediterranean-style villa, built by an eccentric pioneer couple and their family, captured my heart. In the spring of 2005, my family and I left our island home of 30 years to become the new owners of this unique, 115-acre oasis. I am captivated by the spectacular views of the lake and vineyards, the serenity and grandeur of the mountain and the eclectic ambiance of our home. This romantic estate inspires creativity, relaxation and an abounding appreciation of nature.”


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Photo by Darren Hull

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Profile for Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Okanagan, November/December, 2019  

Boulevard Okanagan, November/December, 2019  


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