CENTRAL ISLAND LIFE AT ITS FINEST
THE INFLUENCERS Central Islandâ€™s business superheroes
Tips for a digital det0x
LIGHT. ACTION. SEABREEZE Unique features in an award-winning home
FRESH & GREEN
Recipes for renewal
VAN C O U V E R IS L A ND
Keeping it Simple®
DREAM ON Laketown Ranch was Greg Adams’ dream of world class bands performing in the natural amphitheatre of the hills of Lake Cowichan. It was a big dream, and Island Savings was proud to work with Greg to not only bring Laketown Ranch to life, but we also see the vision of what it can become. With our $6/month BizSimple™ Business Account we can help you grow by directing your revenue into big dreams – not big fees.
See the full story at islandsavings.ca/LTR
Bank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.
Photo by Lia Crowe Stephanie Brown, photographed at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, is one of the many Central Island business people featured in this issue’s special section. THE INFLUENCERS
LIGHT. ACTION. SEABREEZE.
On the Cover
An award-winning home filled with unique features
By Darcy Nybo
Explore love, passion, music and retro denim fashion.
By Katherine Suna
Flavours of the West Coast
By Susan Lundy
By Katherine Suna
By Jane Zatylny
WELL AND GOOD
Health before hustle
FRESH AND GREEN
By Kaisha Scofield
Recipes for renewal
By Heidi Fink
Tips for a digital detox
BEHIND THE STORY
Get on board
By Lia Crowe
By Sandra Jones
By Suzanne Morphet
Passion and intuition: Sheila Warren
By Laura Langston
HEADLINERS What’s on this spring By Lauren Kramer
SECRETS AND LIVES
At home: Dan Sartori
By Angela Cowan
That day I was a life model
By Jade Cameron
By Susan Lundy
THE INFLUENCERS By Lia Crowe Don Denton Sean McIntyre
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contributors “There’s something about the simplicity of charcuterie that perfectly suits the relaxed way we entertain today. More than just a
SANDRA JONES WRITER,
Get On Board
pretty platter, I discovered that taking your ‘board game’ to the next level requires an understanding of complementary textures, flavours and colours. But what surprised me the most was the sheer variety and quality of locally sourced and cured charcuterie options at the featured shop in Cowichan Bay — yet another gem on an island where artisan food has become a signature stock-in-trade.” Sandra Jones is a writer, a marketing consultant and a recent prairie transplant to Nanoose Bay.”
is one of the cleanest, safest and most progressive countries anywhere. It was one of the first to ban plastic bags, for instance, and it has the highest percentage of female parliamentarians in the world. I thought seeing gorillas would be the highlight of my trip but it was the unexpected pleasures, like cruising the shoreline of a lake at sunrise and looking for wildlife from a boat, that made the biggest impression.”
“I have had the pleasure to photograph many Made to Last Custom Homes and they are all nothing short of exquisite. However,
KARA TIBBEL PHOTOGRAPHER,
Light. Action. Seabreeze.
GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto
BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627
EDITOR Susan Lundy ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan
DESIGN Lorianne Koch Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman
“I thought twice about visiting Rwanda last September because the Ebola virus was still raging next door in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But Rwanda
C E N T R A L I S L A N D L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T
Seabreeze is definitely a favourite! So much time went into each and every detail, resulting in a cosy and quaint, yet classy, feel in every room. Photographing the living room was the highlight of this shoot. The combination of the bright white walls and shiplap with the contrasting stark natural-wood elements complement the breathtaking ocean view.” To see more of Kara’s award-winning commercial photography and graphic design visit karaphotographyanddesign.com.
Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark Andrea Rosato-Taylor Pat Brindle
CONTRIBUTING Jade Cameron WRITERS Lia Crowe
Angela Cowan Heidi Fink Sandra Jones Lauren Kramer Laura Langston Sean McIntyre Suzanne Morphet Darcy Nybo Kaisha Scofield Katherine Suna Jane Zatylny CONTRIBUTING Luc Cardinal PHOTOGRAPHERS Lia Crowe Don Denton Izabel Kazenbroot-Guppy Kara Tibbel ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy
CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411
Victoria Boulevard® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519.
Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 firstname.lastname@example.org boulevardmagazines.com
PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
“Introverted? Here’s how to be more social,” reads the title of an Oprah Magazine article on social media. “Just once,” says the response, “I’d like to see an article called: ‘Extroverted? Here are some tips on how to be quiet and reflective.’” For our special section The Influencers, we asked Central Island entrepreneurs, “What is your superpower?” So I’ve been thinking about superpowers and wondering how powerful I’d feel as an extrovert. Imagine walking into a roomful of people and crushing it — ping-ponging from person to person, giving each the perfect dose of chit-chat (albeit, often shallow) peppered with anecdotes (albeit, often incorrectly recalled) and salted with firm handshakes and the perfect conversational exit. My husband is an extrovert and I watch him with awe as, first, he’s always excited to go to a party; second, he’s not ready to leave after half an hour; and, third, he happily mingles amid the throng, seemingly eager to talk to everyone there. My introvert-spawned party goals are to arrive late, leave early and know exactly where the escape areas lie — back porch, bathroom and edges of the party where fellow introverts huddle. I’ve learned to seek out other introverts and embark on deeper — if not slightly awkward — one-on-one conversations. (The longer the conversation the better — and it usually is long because introverts don’t know how to gracefully move on). But is being an extrovert really a superpower? Years ago, when Bruce and I lived in Calgary, we attended numerous political functions. Since I was new to the city and he’d been there for years, I knew no one and stuck to his side as he went about his mingle-and-jive moves. But soon something emerged. After the event, I’d ask him if he’d heard a certain comment, noted a new pairing, caught a bit of body language. Usually it was no, no, no. Also, it turned out that as he was chatting away to a group of people, I’d often fall into a side conversation with someone else in the group (usually another introvert), ultimately discovering all sorts of things unknown to my extroverted husband. Finally, I learned that being an introvert helps me listen. Extroverts, many of whom like to talk a lot, often chatter away to introverts (who are just thankful to appear engaged in a conversation). And as a good interviewer knows, if you want to find out something, say very little and chances are the speaker will fill the space with words. This brings to mind a certain interview I conducted about 11 years ago with a charming extrovert based in Calgary. To say the least, I left the interview extremely pleased with all the information I’d pulled from this man, who turned out to be my future husband. So bring on the introvert superheroes! Perhaps we can teach you extroverts how to be quiet and reflective. Find more superpowers and superheroes in The Influencers (page 44). I hope you enjoy your journey through this issue of Boulevard, with its fresh fashion, a gorgeous home, intriguing people, food and a sassy narrative about being a life model. And speaking of our new Narrative feature, writers — don’t forget to submit your stories.
Susan Lundy Editor 8
FRESH CLASSIC CASUAL MENSWEAR
VANCOUVER ISLANDâ€™S MENSWEAR DESTINATION 206 Commercial St. | Downtown Nanaimo | 250.716.3331 2017 Vancouver Island Retail Business of the Year 2018 Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year
life.style.etc. TARA ELSTON, OWNER OF FOXY BOX NANAIMO
“Our society is inundated with what everyone thinks their life should look like. I want them to think beyond what you see on social media.” WORDS KATHERINE SUNA
PHOTOGRAPHY IZABEL KAZENBROOT-GUPPY
A true entrepreneur, Tara Elston, owner of Foxy Box Nanaimo, has been in business since the age of 28. She quickly learned the basics of business at a young age from her parents. “My dad was a commercial salmon troller and my mom was an independent business owner. I think the greatest quality I inherited from them is being a visionary,” says Tara. After finishing her university education, Tara became a primary teacher on Vancouver Island. She did that for eight years until she had the urge to experience something more. “I then met my husband and we started our first business together,” she says. Tara and her husband have worked alongside each other for the past 20 years. “He balances out my vision with his systemization and ability to create and learn anything necessary to get us where we need to be.” Tara beams when describing her love of coming to work every day. “It’s a beautiful place, so organized and stylistic. I think this house has a feminine energy in it. There’s something still here. When I walked in, I had to buy it.” When it comes to fashion, Tara likes to keep it simple, and enjoys shopping in downtown Nanaimo. “I love wearing black. It makes it an easy dress code for work. I enjoy accessorizing my neutral outfits too,” says Tara. Since opening the Foxy Box Wax Bar business, Tara hopes to empower other women and give them confidence. “I hope to bring women into this place of understanding and acceptance, and join them together. Everyone deserves to feel good. Energy is everything, humour is critical and you have to be able to laugh at yourself. We are stronger together. It’s a sisterhood,” says Tara. Being a visionary and thinking about the future, Tara chats about what she hopes to pass on to her son and daughter. “I tell them to always think outside of the box. Our society is inundated with what everyone thinks their life should look like. I want them to think beyond what you see on social media. Don’t follow the herd, and certainly do something that allows you the freedom and flexibility to travel, be in nature and spend time with family and friends,” she explains. Outside of work you will find Tara recharging at home with a great book, spending time with her family, going for walks with her dog and brainstorming her next big idea! 10
STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style Icon: Jackie Kennedy. Favourite artist: Sarah Hill David in Qualicum. Piece of art: “Looking Up Through a Pumpkin Patch,” a painting by Sarah Hill David. Favourite fashion designer: Jamie Bryant, the costume designer for Mad Men. Favourite musician: Sheryl Crow. Era of time that inspires your style: Mad Men, late ’50s and early ’60s. Favourite local restaurant or cafe: Chef Fausto at Cuckoo in Coombs. Favourite cocktail/wine: Villa Teresa Organic Frizzante (pink). Album on current rotation: Maroon 5 and Billie Eilish. Favourite flower/plant: Garlic! I love to grow it in my garden. Favourite city to visit: Parksville. Favourite hotel: The Beach Club Resort in Parksville. Favourite app: Receipt Bank. Favourite place in the whole world: Vietnam. Favourite thing to do on your free time or day off: Hike above Westwood Lake Park with my dog. Dream vacation: Backpacking with my kids and husband in a new country. Favourite thing to do on a self care day: Facial. A unique quirk that makes you YOU: Crooked smile. Do you have a pet, if so what kind? Rusty. He’s a Wheaten Terrier x Poodle (a “Whoodle”). Favourite local farm: Willow Row Farm in Parksville. Favourite travel memory: In 2017 we spent 10 months backpacking around the world to 32 countries with kids. Most recent travel: Last year we flew to French Polynesia to the Marquesas Islands to meet my husband who sailed from the Galapagos. It was a thrilling trip and amazing to sail the islands on my cousin’s catamaran.
READING MATERIAL What do you read online for inspiration: Heatherwhite.ca Coffee table book: Lonely Planet: A Journey Through Every Country in the World. Last great read: We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere by Gillian Anderson. Book currently reading: Hitting Rock Middle by Sallie Holder. Favourite book of all time: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
FASHION & BEAUTY Go-to outfit: Black jeans and soft T-shirt. Favourite place to shop: All the shops in Old City Quarter, Nanaimo. All-time favourite piece: Black pencil skirt. Currently coveting: “Sofia” leather ankle boots. Favourite pair of shoes: Red peep-toe heels by Guess. Favourite jewellery piece or designer: Glee Jewelry in Victoria. Fashion obsession: Black scoop-neck tops. Accessory you spend the most money on: Lingerie. Necessary indulgence: Medispa Naturals Collagen Spray. Lipstick: MAC matte lipstick. Make-up product: EyEnvy Eyelash Conditioner. Moisturizer: Medispa Naturals Sensitive Cream. Scent: Perry Ellis Reserve For Women, Natural Spray. Must-have hair product: Bumble and Bumble: BB Straight Blow Dry. Beauty secret: Keep it simple! Hair Salon: Victoria at House of Kiyo in Parksville. Top 3 products you travel with daily: Cocokind organic lip balm, sunscreen and essential oil.
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weekender View from the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet.
PHOTO BY BARBARA SHCRAMM
flavours of the West Coast Pluviophiles in Ucluelet WORDS SUSAN LUNDY
Pluvio restaurant is a must-do experience for dining in Ucluelet. There is nothing else like it. Another excellent spot to dine is located right next door: Heartwood Kitchen features West Coast flavours served up from an expansive, vegetarian-friendly menu with lots of gluten-free options. For breakfast, try The Blue Room across the street; for waterfront happy hour, drive out to Float Lounge at Black Rock Resort. Be sure to drop by Zoe’s Bakery; it’s another local hot spot.
The Ucluelet Aquarium is a great place to experience local sea life showcased in exhibits designed to inspire respect for ocean habitats. Some of the displays are interactive and the entire experience is both educational and entertaining. The aquarium has a unique catchand-release program, releasing most of the exhibited sea life each year. Another must-see is the Amphitrite Lighthouse — the only active lighthouse in the area that’s accessible by car. It can be reached via the Lighthouse Loop section of the Wild Pacific Trail or via a short walk from the end of Coast Guard Road.
Walk the Wild Pacific Trail — there are lots of trail options and the sights are truly spectacular. Rent e-bikes and take a tour with Mario Chartrand at Pacific Rim Eco Tours (ukeetours.com); Mario is super knowledgeable and e-bikes are the best! Visit the brand new Ucluelet Brewing Company, located in a beautiful former church building right downtown. In the fall, visit the Thornton Creek Hatchery. If you’re lucky, you’ll get an upclose look at foraging bears.
Pluvio’s brand new rooms are located right downtown behind the restaurant and beside a kitchen garden. The four king rooms are sleek and spacious (at 400 square feet) and super comfortable. A lot of thought has gone into details small and large, making these rooms topnotch. Breakfast is delivered early each morning, left outside the door in a chilled cooler. It can be enjoyed inside the room in one of two cosy armchairs, or out on the deck beside the garden. Reserve ahead of time and ask for the pet-friendly room if you’re travelling with a pooch.
e’re in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island’s west coast settling into seats at Pluvio restaurant + rooms’ chef ’s table. In front of us, Chef Warren Barr and his sous chefs seem immersed in a choreography as they spin and dance around the kitchen, creating cuisine that has our mouths watering. Suddenly, I spot something out of the corner of my eye. “Excuse me,” I say, pulling aside Lily Verney-Downey, who owns Pluvio along with chef-partner Warren, but who is also hands-on in the dining room. “Did I just see food plated on a bed of sticks and stones?” She nods and smiles. This is my first inkling that the dinner at Pluvio—named fourth best new restaurant in Canada just six months after opening in the spring of 2019—will be unique.
It’s riveting sitting at the chef ’s table watching the transformation of ingredients from raw food to edible art. The plating is so unique but so obvious. Why wouldn’t you serve smoked spruce-flavoured candied salmon on plate of sticks and stones? It tastes like a campfire at the water’s edge, why shouldn’t it look like one? Still trying to decide my own meal, I watch Warren plate a ring of succulent-looking butter-soaked scallops, my absolute favourite food. “Would it be possible to make that for me without butter?” I ask (regretting my dairy allergy). Warren hesitates and then shakes his head. “No,” he says. “But I can add some scallops to your plate.” At first, I’m taken aback because most restaurants meet this request. But suddenly I am thrilled. Here is a chef so proud of his creations, he’s not willing to compromise. boulevardmagazines.com |
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PHOTO BY DANIKA MCDOWELL
Artfully plated food at Pluvio restaurant + rooms.
This is the second time today I’ve met a sky-high personal standard and it says something about Ucluelet. Once considered the slightly dowdy cousin of hip Tofino down the highway, Ucluelet (or Ukee as it’s known locally) now bursts with its own flavour, personality and emerging food scene. It stands alone as a must-do destination. A few hours before our dinner at Pluvio, we stop by Pacific Rim Distillery, where Luke Erridge creates uniquely flavoured gin and vodka, using four generations worth of his family’s whisky-making techniques. Spirits don’t get more hand-crafted than this. Everything is fermented using Luke’s own wild yeast culture, propagated in nearby Barkley Sound. He hand-forages all nine botanicals used in his Lighthouse Gin, and everything is made on-site at a distillery hand-built by Luke and his grandfather. The spirits are made in small batches — each is unique — and when we visited in October, Luke had little stock left. Just three select restaurants carry the spirits (Pluvio is one), and Luke has no intention of ramping up production. In fact, he seems a bit reluctant to sell one of the last bottles of his hand-crafted vodka to any old bloke. “If you say you’re going to mix it with Coca-Cola, I probably won’t sell it to you,” he laughs. And for sure, his gin and vodka are meant for sipping straight up. The flavours are that unique. “I want Ukee to be known as having the best … a small humble town that people take pride in,” he says. To this end, topnotch handcrafters are sprouting up everywhere around town, including the brand new Ucluelet Brewing Company and Foggy Bean Coffee Co. located in a beautifully repurposed church building. Ukee may not have the Pacific Rim’s signature long sandy beaches, but a hike on the Wild Pacific Trail offers breathtaking wild-sea vistas and relaxing immersion in a lush rainforest. There’s lots to see and do in this booming town
that’s filled with young, creative people. Back at Pluvio, the theme that “local is best” continues to emerge as Chef Warren presents us with several courses of inspired Canadian cuisine, rich in seasonal and wild ingredients — many foraged from nearby forests and coastlines or grown in Pluvio’s own garden. Previously the chef at Tofino’s famed Wickaninnish Inn, Warren seems to relish his new role as a leader of the burgeoning food scene in Ucluelet. Pluvio’s 30-seat dining room has a winerack wall, open kitchen, high-top tables, separate bar and a regular cast of diners. The result is casual but intimate; accessible but out-of-this-world. The wine and cocktail lists are similarly inspired, with the wines carefully selected, frequently from lesser-known, small-batch wineries. Finally, even the name celebrates the site: “Pluvio” means rain in Latin, while a pluviophile is “a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.” Our meal is peppered with surprises, both in taste and presentation. In fact, this was the most inspiring and unique food adventure that I’ve experienced. We left completely satiated with the flavours of Ukee. Chef Warren Barr and Lily Verney-Downey of Pluvio restaurant + rooms.
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well and good
Health Before Hustle The body needs time to recharge and rebuild WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD
We are a culture that celebrates the hustle, measuring our days by the number of items we can check off our to-do list. We strive to work harder, faster and smarter and will often power through mental fatigue and physical injuries or illness, looking to the next stimulant, painkiller or digestive aid to pull us through each day. We ignore our own wellness needs. The idea of slowing down or recharging can seem like a nuisance, but what happens if we defer self-care for too long? The body needs to recharge and rebuild. Rest is crucial for cellular regeneration, digestion, mental clarity and emotional stability. Pushing through an injury, working despite illness or ignoring mental fatigue can actually lead to more serious issues and negatively impact system performance. There are three main body systems that can be compromised when we defer wellness: mental, structural and functional. Despite operating individually, each of these systems is profoundly connected and interdependent. When one is pushed too far — for example, by increasing caffeine intake in place of getting a decent sleep — this can affect how the whole body functions. And a malfunction in one system can advance over time to affect other areas. Mental Have you ever seen co-workers slump over their desk at around three o’clock, or witnessed the entire office head out for coffee between lunch and quitting time? Mid-afternoon is fatigue o’clock because it is when our daily cortisol levels are lowest. Cortisol is our stress hormone, and it is released by the body whenever it perceives urgency, whether you’re being chased by a tiger or speeding down the highway to catch the last ferry. In today’s high-pressure world, cortisol is in high demand despite a limited supply. Low cortisol leads to mental fatigue and can be exacerbated from overwork, lack of sleep, consistent stress or simply ignoring the importance of taking time to process challenges or emotions. We ignore the warning signs and rarely recognize that these stresses and challenges compound, taxing the endocrine system and leading to hormone imbalances. Structural We are all familiar with the phrase “no pain, no gain,” and while there’s no doubt that crushing a workout feels great, overdoing it — especially if the body is being undernourished — can have negative consequences. Pushing through an injury or failing to give the body enough recovery time can lead to inflammation in the affected area and the surrounding tissue. As Curtis Tait, a physiotherapist at Tall Tree Integrated Health in Victoria says, “Our systematic level of inflammation can have a compounding effect on local inflammation, which can affect our symptom sensitivity threshold ... local inflammation is a natural and good part of healing tissue damage, but it is the high levels of systemic inflammation that usually are a notable contributor to prolonged symptoms or poor recovery.” Functional The food we eat fuels our body. Our digestion can be quickly overwhelmed when we are careless about this fuel. The digestive system can be stressed when we make drastic dietary changes too suddenly, reduce caloric intake too severely, eat too quickly or consume a poor-quality diet. Continued disruptions to the digestive system can cause long-term, sometimes complicated, digestive issues.
The idea of slowing down or recharging can seem like a nuisance, but what happens if we defer selfcare for too long? Our microbiome, the flora living in the gut, are dependent on the fuel our diet provides, and microbiome and gut health has been linked to mental health and cognitive function. As a consequence, digestive issues can not only influence our digestion but impact our mental state as well. Along with our microbiome, our emotional relationship to food is important to our mental health. In the case of dieting or caloric restriction, changes that are made too quickly and enforced too rigidly can lead to digestive and mental stress. Because we are constantly considering and weighing our food options, the actual process of digestion can be compromised. We are unable to digest our food properly if we are in a parasympathetic state, meaning if we are anxious about our meal before we even start to eat, chances are it won’t be digested properly. In some cases, the emotional stress of a restrictive diet can be as harmful as the digestive stress of a poor diet. Compounding issues in any of these areas of structural, mental or functional wellness can lead to prolonged illness. The body will eventually recognize persistent ailments as chronic and as a result will start shifting resources away from healthy systems to deal with imbalanced ones. Slowing down can be hard. Most people know self-care is important, but don’t actually make wellness a priority. Activities like bubble baths, massages, reading a book or taking a nap may seem self-indulgent or luxurious, but what if the idea of caring for ourselves was less about damage control and more about prevention? What if instead of measuring our hustle, we celebrated our wellness? “Self-care” is more than just a buzz word. Conscious practice of self-care is gaining in popularity for good reason. The art of unwinding and the activity of inactivity are being reintroduced to our busy society. Self-care focuses on recharging, repairing and regenerating, learning to check in and respect the body’s needs. To unwind we must try to be realistic about our abilities and acknowledge where we may have pushed ourselves too far. Yes, it is important to strive for our goals but also to recognize that in order to wind up the hustle we must first learn the importance of winding down to recharge. By paying attention to physical and mental well-being and resisting the urge to push through fatigue, illness and injury, we give ourselves the ability to recover fully. boulevardmagazines.com |
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Brad Boisvert at Cure Artisan Meat and Cheese.
Get On Board Creating the perfect charcuterie WORDS SANDRA JONES
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
“Charcuterie is about combining different textures, flavours and colours to deliver a balance that is ultimately appealing. Yes, people eat with their eyes first, which is partially what makes charcuterie so enticing, but it also has to taste great.”
n 15th-century France, charcutiers produced a range of cooked or salted and dried meats. With no side-by-side fridge/freezer combos, these ancient preservation methods were used to ensure that meats would have longer shelf lives for the peasant class. A few centuries later, the role of charcuterie is not nearly so cut and dried. Today it’s a sought-after and celebrated luxury menu item found everywhere from the toniest of restaurants to the humblest of eateries. Judging by the vast array of social media images paying homage to these boards of plenty, home cooks have embraced the trend, making it mainstream fare for casual nights at home or entertaining on a grand scale. Brad Boisvert, chef and owner of Cure Artisan Meat and Cheese in Cowichan Bay, has been paying close attention to the evolution of charcuterie and has built his business catering to those who are on board with this popular food phenomenon. “People are dining more casually and charcuterie suits that relaxed approach perfectly,” says Brad. “Many people think of it as an appetizer, but we’re creating boards that serve as dinner entrées and even as a ‘dessert’ course.” Most boards move beyond a meat-centric tradition to incorporate a variety of cheeses, patés and other accompaniments. But there’s more to this style of eating than merely putting food on a board. Part science and part artistry, the key to creating sensational charcuterie, according to Brad, is in the mix. “Charcuterie is about combining different textures, flavours and colours to deliver a balance that is ultimately appealing. Yes, people eat with their eyes first, which is partially what makes charcuterie so enticing, but it also has to taste great, which is where the quality and the combinations come in.” Whether you are creating your own board or relying on the pros, here is what you’ll need to know to put your best board forward, according to Brad: Amp up the texture “We often start with a couple of dry cure items like salami, which is a sausage, and then add in prosciutto and perhaps a
coppa shoulder of pork, which has a bit more marbling. Each of these meats has a different texture as well as different seasonings and spices that make for a more interesting flavour experience.” Use the same approach when selecting your cheeses. “We may choose a Triple Crème Brie from France, which is always a crowd pleaser, and then we’ll add in a few harder cheeses like Manchego, a sheep’s milk cheese from Spain, or a semi-firm like an 18-month aged Gouda with its deep orange colour from Holland. If you like blue cheese, it’s a fantastic and unique flavour addition, or try a tangy goat cheese to round out the cheese component.” Spread the love The spreadable world of patés, terrines and rillettes elevates your board with savoury goodness. Made from chicken, duck, rabbit, pork or even a vegan version made with lentils, their richness pairs beautifully with chewy baguette and the vinegary crunch of cornichons. These items look delicious served in small mason jars or crocks set between the meats and cheeses. Condiments for compliments Simple touches take charcuterie to the next level. Think flavoured mustards and tart jams or a drizzle of fruity olive oil or aged balsamic vinegar to create that perfect bite. “We make a beer mustard from local beer as well as a red onion jam and a quince paste. Quince is a cross between an apple and a pear and when you pair the quince jam with a salty cheese like Manchego, your taste buds will just come alive. It’s about balancing the flavours.” Neutralize the breads While meats, cheeses and condiments are the flavour stars of the show, breads and crackers take on more of a supporting role. “We like fresh-from-the-bakery baguette, a simple thin cracker, olive oil breadsticks, or even our homemade crostini to serve as the backdrop. Keep the flavour neutral so the other flavours don’t compete.” boulevardmagazines.com |
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“People are dining more casually and charcuterie suits that relaxed approach perfectly.”
Pick a peck of pickles “Rather than raw veggies, we use a variety of pickled elements, such as pickled mushrooms, smoked olives, roasted red peppers or wild onions or zucchini in olive oil. It’s colourful and if you have some fatty cheeses or meats then the acidity really helps to cut through that.” Assemble like a pro “We put out the crocks of patés and jars of condiments on the board first because they’re bulky. Then we place the cheeses and weave the meats around them going for more of an organic shape. Some of the meat, like prosciutto, we drape in mounds, while others such as salami we can roll and stack. Layer in the bread and crackers and consider adding height to the board by standing up the breadsticks in a jar or even a glass. We finish by filling in the gaps with nuts, dried apricots, cranberries or fresh fruit.” Ready. Set. Serve. Boards are a great make-ahead item and easily kept in the fridge. “For the best flavour, cheeses should be served at room temperature, so pull out the board 15 to 30 minutes in advance. Meats should be served cold so you may want to add those in at the last minute or incorporate the meats onto a second board and keep it in the fridge until guests arrive.”
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in studio … WITH SHEILA WARREN
Passion and Intuition WORDS LAURA LANGSTON
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
When she first started to paint, Sheila Warren received an important piece of advice. “Pick something you really care about because if you don’t love your subject, it will show.” The Nanoose Bay artist took the suggestion to heart, letting passion be her guide and embracing what she calls an empathetic relationship with her art. “I try to pull out the soul and energy of what I see,” she adds. “That’s the reason I do art; I need to have that emotional connection.” Sheila’s oil paintings feature bold, deeply saturated colours and a strong sense of light and movement. Nature is her muse and the deep affinity she feels for the natural world is apparent in everything she paints, especially trees. “It physically hurts when I see trees cut,” she says. boulevardmagazines.com |
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“I wanted to give something back; leave something of me after I was gone. And with the global energy feeling so dark and out of whack, I wanted to add a little beauty to the ugly world too.”
“They are often my inspiration.” Nature greets you when you step into Sheila’s Nanoose Bay home. The hilltop house, where she has lived since 2012, offers sweeping views of gardens, trees and the natural world from almost every room. Sheila says the light-filled space gives her the solitude she craves to pursue her art, while the nearby hiking trails and kayaking options provide her with endless changing scenery. Nanoose is a far cry from the Montreal area where Sheila was born and raised. While her family wasn’t artistic, her father always encouraged her artistic pursuits. Sheila’s first hero was Monet, though she didn’t realize who he was when she insisted on hanging a Monet poster in her room. “I loved his interpretation of the natural world, his colour choices and compositions, but I certainly had no language to explain that when I insisted my parents buy the poster,” she says. “And while I knew I wanted to do something artistic with my life, I never thought I’d be a painter like that one day.” Instead, while still in elementary school, Sheila spent so many hours drawing and designing clothes she was sure a career in fashion design was in the future. However, pragmatism intervened. “I wasn’t brave enough to just paint,” she admits. “I needed and wanted security.” So, Sheila embraced commercial art as a way to marry the creative with the practical. She attended Dawson College in Montreal for two years, majoring in commercial art, before moving with her family to Alberta where she finished a degree in visual communications from the Alberta College of Art and Design (now called the Alberta University of the Arts). For decades, Sheila excelled as a graphic designer and illustrator, working as in-house talent for large organizations and design firms, as well as taking on freelance work. She found pockets of time for personal art but the day job demanded most of her focus. However, as the graphic design field evolved and became less hands-on and more digital, Sheila’s desire for a more personal artistic outlet began to grow. And then 9/11 happened. It was the catalyst that would change her life. “I realized things could end in an instant, that nothing is guaranteed, and that I couldn’t waste any more time,” Sheila says. “I wanted to give something back; leave something of me after I was gone. And with the global energy feeling so dark and out of whack, I wanted to add a little beauty to the ugly world too.” So in 2001, Sheila began to paint in earnest. “I started off in a more realistic vein, but as I progressed, I naturally became more impressionistic,” she says. “I want my art to be more evocative and leave room for people to interpret it for themselves.” Along with an impressionistic feel, her art also evokes a Group of Seven influence, which is fitting since Sheila has been deeply inspired by Tom Thomson. Sheila’s studio is tucked in beside her living room and she’s there just about every night after finishing her day job in the strategic marketing department at Vancouver Island University. “Painting is my reward at the end of the day,” she says. Sheila begins each image by underpainting or mapping it out with acrylics. She overlays with oils, sometimes allowing the colour underneath to poke through. She loves depth, saying, “It breathes life into the work,” so layering has become a large part of her process too. She knows the rules well enough to understand how and when to break them. She always mixes paints because she finds the colours in the tube “too raw,” adding that she likes “to contaminate but at the same time refine.” And she uses brushes typically for acrylics to paint with oils because she likes the effect they give. Listening to her instincts is a large part of her process. “Art is my safe place to do what I want and I am always guided by my intuition.”
Some paintings come together easily, but Sheila labours with others for a long time. Once she thinks a piece is done, she’ll take it off the easel, and put it in a different area of the house to see how the light affects it. Sometimes, even as long as six months later, she’ll see it needs tweaking and she’ll take it back to the studio for a little adjusting. That’s all part of her process, she says. As for the future, Sheila doesn’t like to plan too far down the road, preferring to go with the flow. Her goal is to keep growing, interpreting, sharing and exploring art. Her biggest wish is that her art helps people look at things a little differently, “because sometimes you need to look at the world through a different lens to appreciate its value.” Sheila says that unfortunately some of the galleries where she has previously displayed her paintings have closed, but her work is still periodically available at the Village Gallery in Sidney or through her website at sheilawarren.com.
Designing Kitchens for your Lifestyle
164 West Island Hwy, Parksville, BC
250.951.0509 classickitchensbc.com boulevardmagazines.com |
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light. action. 24
WORDS DARCY NYBO
PHOTO BY KARA TIBBEL
# bedrooms: 3 # bathrooms: 2 full, 1 powder Square feet.: 2,278 Time to build: 7 months Amenities: Loft area upstairs, propane fireplace, hidden pantry off kitchen
PHOTOGRAPHY KARA TIBBEL AND LUC CARDINAL
An award-winning home filled with unique features boulevardmagazines.comâ€‚ |
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“The kitchen is deceiving. To the right of the stove is what appears to be a cabinet. The cabinet door opens into a generously sized butler’s pantry complete with a microwave, a coffee station and a mini fridge and freezer.”
PHOTO BY KARA TIBBEL
hen Steven Fitzpatrick, owner of Made to Last Custom Homes, met the homeowners at their newly purchased lot, he knew the project would be a challenge. “While the lot is rather large, it’s also long and narrow with steep drop-offs. This topography meant there was limited space to build on,” he said. “The first thing we had to do was work with a geotech firm to locate stable ground. There is a bank behind the house and one below. We could only fit so much house in there, and we needed to make every inch count.”
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Kick back and relax.
The home, known as Seabreeze, has a gorgeous view of the ocean from its Maple Bay location just outside of Duncan. “Once we knew where we could build the home, we had to figure out how to include the square footage the owner wanted, with the limited building space. In the end, due to size restrictions, we opted for quality over quantity. We built a home with all their must-haves and all the quality products they wanted, in a smaller footprint.” The resulting home garnered five silver CARE
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InHome DESIGN SERVICES
Victoria 3501 Saanich Road · Nanaimo 3200 North Island Hwy · Courtenay 2937 Kilpatrick Ave · la-z-boyvi.com
Victoria 3501 Saanich Road · Nanaimo 3200 North Island Hwy · Courtenay 2937 Kilpatrick Ave · la-z-boyvi.com
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awards for Made to Last Custom Homes. Once you visit Seabreeze, it’s easy to see why. From the beautiful colour scheme to the added features, this home delivers on so many levels. There is ample parking at the front of the house with a handlaid rock pathway leading up to the home, and another that goes to the ocean side of the home. Along the side path is a door to access the 5,000-square-foot crawl space. The approach to the home is welcoming and showcases the quality of the design and build process. The charcoal-gray metal standing seam roof contrasts nicely with the Hardie board and batten on the exterior of the home. Copper rain chains add to its rustic appeal. From the front entrance, the house opens up to ocean views with plenty of natural light. To the right of the front door is another entrance, which leads to a functional and appealing
PHOTO BY LUC CARDINAL
Finish with style.
mudroom. There’s a corner hutch and ample space for hanging coats, backpacks, sporting equipment, etc., as well as two walls of under-bench storage. To the left of the foyer, a doorway enters a hallway with large built-in wardrobes for an alternative to a walk-in closet. From there the master suite awaits. Natural light flows into the space from windows, a sliding glass door and multiple skylights. The sleeping area leads into the en suite through a pair of glass barn doors, where basket-weave marble floor tile lends to the character of the home. The en suite is spacious and looks even larger thanks to the curbless shower with a freestanding glass panel. Built-in shelving leaves the space uncluttered and welcoming. There are several interesting features in the en suite. First, there are two wall-hung sinks with chrome legs and exposed chrome
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FLOORING MOULDING STAIRCASES DOORS MANTLES CLOSETS CUSTOM MILLWORK INSTALLATION RESTORATION LOCALLY OWNED
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PHOTO BY KARA TIBBEL
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plumbing. There’s also a combination bidet and toilet. And just in case you need more light, there’s a custom-framed skylight that opens up to eight feet at the bottom to allow for plenty of light. The soaker tub is a seafoam gray, which complements the colouring on the walls and in the tiles. “The subway tiling on the bathroom walls runs from floor to ceiling and into the shower area,” Steven explained. “We used this tile throughout the home in the kitchen and the upstairs bathroom.” Back at the front entrance, it’s a few steps past the shiplap-clad staircase into the great room. The main wall of the living area is composed of four upper windows and a four-panel glass and wood accordion door. Three of the four panels slide into each other, while the fourth is a hinged man door. When opened, there’s a 12-foot walk-through for easy access to the decks and the ocean. The wood accents in this home give a rustic beach feel. “The mantle on the fireplace, the butcher block countertop, the wrap-around hood range and the shelving to the left of the hood range are all maple,” Steven said. “These, combined with the engineered maple hardwood floors, create a warmth in the rooms.” The fireplace itself is a work of art. “The facing around the fireplace is a stone tile that complements the rustic flooring and the maple mantle, all of which are surrounded by shiplap,” Steven explained. “There’s a set of rustic bi-fold doors above the fireplace, which open to reveal a big screen TV.” The kitchen, to the right of the living space, is an entertainer’s dream, with several hidden features. The island has a maple top with a one-foot overhang for seating. It has a built-in bookshelf and an eight-burner propane Wolf range with two ovens and a pot filler. The dishwasher and oversize fridge and freezer are all
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PHOTO BY KARA TIBBEL
hidden behind cabinet doors. “The kitchen is deceiving,” Steven said. “To the right of the stove is what appears to be a cabinet. The cabinet door opens into a generously sized butler’s pantry complete with a microwave, a coffee station and a mini fridge and freezer. The shelving in the pantry matches the island top and other shelving in the kitchen area.” The dining area, on the other side of the island, has a built-in bench window seat, a sliding glass door that leads out to the main deck and several more windows. They offer great views from wherever you are in the kitchen/dining space. The upper floor of this home is as charming as the rest of the house. Climb the stairs and you enter into the family room, which has an open concept and looks down on the living space below. It houses an extremely large antique wardrobe and also has its own deck. Barn doors lead into the two smaller bedrooms with a Jack and Jill bathroom in between. “When we were building the home, we brought in the antique wardrobe during the framing stage as we couldn’t have brought it in afterwards,” Steven said. “We built the upper floor around it.”
VANCOUVER ISLAND’S LARGEST SELECTION AND INVENTORY OF MARBLE, GRANITE & QUARTZITES
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UNIQUE BY NATURE 32
Come and visit our showroom and speak to one of our stone experts
Fabricating quality stone kitchens and bathrooms since 1980.
601 BOLESKINE ROAD TEL: 250.384.9359
4300 WELLINGTON ROAD TEL: 250.756.3614
PHOTO BY LUC CARDINAL
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The sink and vanity in the upper bathroom are an interesting combination of new and old. “The distressed vanity was made from a 100-year-old bookshelf from Belgium,” Steven said. “We added old-style hot and cold taps coming out of the walls and paired them with modern, rectangle porcelain vessel sinks with quartz countertops.” There are several other unique features in this home, including three round windows: one in the master suite, one in the family room and one in the living area. Even the outdoor space was taken into consideration when maximizing views for this home. “The staircase leading down to the second deck has cable railings and is 16 feet wide so as not to distract from the view,” Steven said. “If you continue past the deck there is a set of stairs to another landing that leads to a switchback trail down to the ocean.” To see more of this lovely home and hear an interview with the client, visit madetolast.ca.
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Builder: Made to Last Custom Homes Interior Design: Andrea Burrell Design Granny’s Gas & Woodstoves FLOFORM Bell’s Custom Flooring & Tile Thermoproof B.C. Door Coast Roofing Ltd. Mclaren Lighting Kurtis Electric
NEW SPRING ARRIVALS Introducing the new hand-knotted Cracked Up Area Rug Collection now available at Jordans Flooring. As Vancouver Island’s area rug experts for over 90 years, you’ll designers all around the world. View all 3 designs in the collection in-store today.
NANAIMO | 4890 RUTHERFORD ROAD | (250) 758-0181 | JORDANSFLOORING.CA
at home Homebuilder Dan Sartori finds place, promise and his true calling
WORDS SUSAN LUNDY
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
Hello, Dan. Youâ€™re well-known on Central Vancouver Island as the man behind the award-winning Sartori Custom Homes. How did you get into the custom homebuilding business? My father is an Italian immigrant and founded a masonry and homebuilding company the year I was born. Throughout my childhood I was immersed in construction, working weekends and summers as early as 11 years old. My career started out with sweeping floors and cleaning up sites, and even then I enjoyed the dynamic atmosphere of construction sites and always knew I would be involved somehow. What important lessons did you learn about the business from your father? The list is long, but the most important thing I learned from my father is the value of hard work. He led by example in showing me how to be efficient and driven. I understand what this is all about, since
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“My career started out with sweeping f loors and cleaning up sites, and even then I enjoyed the dynamic atmosphere of construction sites and always knew I would be involved somehow.” early on in my career I worked as a stonemason’s labourer. I was solely responsible for erecting scaffold, supplying the masons with (heavy) materials, mixing mortar, site cleanup — the list goes on. As we worked in a very traditional fashion, I was even responsible for making sure the crew had a comfortable place to eat lunch together on site, not to mention hot coffee. On the coldest of days I would even warm up their vehicles for them. It was difficult but I have fond memories of it. How did you get to Nanoose Bay? As we looked to expand Sartori Custom Homes from Calgary in 2016, we always had our sights set on Vancouver Island as an area of potential growth. Just as important for us was this amazing opportunity for our young family. My wife Amy grew up in the Comox Valley and spent a lot of time in the Nanoose Bay area. We always envisioned that sort of outdoors-oriented upbringing for our two young boys — being enriched by everything that nature has to offer as well as being so close to family and friends.
PRESENTING THE POINT HOUSE & T H E B AY H O U S E AT 3 5 8 1 & 3 5 8 9 J U R I E T R O A D YELLOWPOINT, BC
Imagine owning TWO gorgeous homes on 6.9 acres with 825+ ft. of low-bank, swimmable, ocean front, with private bay! Spectacular 180 degree ocean views of the Gulf Islands and the mainland mountains. With timber frame/hybrid construction and vaulted ceilings, wide-plank hardwood floors, a gas-start wood-burning fireplace and high-end appliances this stunning property is one-of-a-kind.
What do you love most about living here? I am continuously impressed by the business community and the outpouring of support that we have received in a relatively short time, allowing us to become an established and permanent fixture in this community. boulevardmagazines.com |
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Beyond that, the appreciation of beauty around every corner, stepping out each morning to this beautiful island air, mountain biking on world-class trails from our doorstep, watching our sons add to their fort in our forested backyard each day — these are some of the things we love most about living here. What do you love most about the work? I thrive on the creativity of it all — seeing a family’s dream home begin on paper, then applying a team of brilliant minds to engineer, design, build, customize and fine-tune a project, right down to the tiniest detail, and all coming together to make that drawing on paper become a reality. I also enjoy the relationships that I form with my clients during the process of custom homebuilding. This is an experience for which people work hard for much of their lives and I appreciate their trust in me to make their dream home a reality. I aspire to provide and am successful in providing a positive experience in which the clients enjoy the process from start to finish. What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced? Perhaps not a challenge, but the decision to move our family to Nanoose Bay was a bold one for us that we embraced in the spirit of adventure. Determining that business would succeed was one thing, but as a family we also shook up our comfortable “Calgary life” to create a new home, make new friends and begin a “Vancouver Island life” for ourselves. We haven’t looked back and continue to move forward excitedly to see what the future holds.
Your homes have won a number of awards — are there one or two in particular of which you are most proud? We are particularly proud of winning the 2019 VIBE (Vancouver Island Building Excellence) Awards for Best Single Family Home, 3,000 – 4,500 square feet, as well as Best Room, New or Renovation. At the time we were the new kids on the block, and both of these were won with the first project we ever entered in the VIBE Awards, so it was a great honour. We were elated that we were recognized for our individuality as well as our efforts to have this home blend in to its surroundings and the natural topography. You’re also very involved in the community. Can you tell us a bit about that? I am a proud member of the board of directors for the Vancouver Island Symphony. I feel that as a fully professional orchestra, it is an immensely important cultural influence in our area. I am in awe each time I attend a concert, and I can see others in the audience who feel the same way. The members of the team at VIS work very hard to bring us these inspiring performances each season, and I will continue to support them every way I can. What does the future hold for both you and your family? The future holds more adventures for my family and me one way or another. My home team never lets me down on that! The future of the business looks very bright, with many opportunities for growth lying ahead.
FREE In-store Design Consultation
City Tile Your One Stop Tile Showroom Family owned and locally operated 4337 Boban Drive, Nanaimo I 250.729.9766 citytile.ca
On Izabel: Striped top ($54) and yellow corduroy jacket ($129), both by ESPRIT, and wide-leg cropped denim pant ($95) by JAG, all from Damsels Fashion Collections; snake-print hoop earrings ($24) by Etereo and white, sleek suede “Denise” dress bootie ($129) by En Thread, all from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre.
Explore love, passion and music — and the point at which they all intersect — in retro denim looks. Boulevard travels on a dreamer’s journey into this season’s casual-chic approach to ’70s-style fashion. Channel your inner Debbie Harry, John Lennon, or Sonny & Cher with embroidered jackets, layers of denim-ondenim, wrap skirts, delicate lace, striped knits, kneehigh boots, and vintage, high-rise jeans.
On Adrian: Diamond cable knit turtleneck ($108) by Guess from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre; galactic blue performance slim-fit denim pants ($159) by DU/ER from NYLA Fresh Thread; and vintage leather jacket from model’s own private collection.
STYLING BY KATHERINE SUNA
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
On Izabel: Striped “Rebecca” sweater with button sleeve details ($79) by GUESS, midlength denim shorts ($60) by LEVI’S, and snake-print hoop earrings ($24) by Etereo, all from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre. On Adrian: Button-up “Resurrection” denim top ($100) by Superdry, and grey performance slim-fit denim pants ($159) by DU/ER, both from NYLA Fresh Thread.
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On Izabel: “Bleona” blue Tencel shirt dress ($179) by Part Two and 501 skinny high-rise “Filiforme” jeans ($118) by LEVI’S, both from Sartorial Boutique; long gold necklace ($24) and gold choker necklace ($30), both by Etereo from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre. On Adrian: Bright floral vines button-up “John Lennon” dress shirt ($145) by English Laundry and grey performance slim-fit denim pants ($159) by DU/ER, both from NYLA Fresh Thread.
On Izabel: Button-up lace “Tara” top with bell sleeve detail ($139) and denim “Blerina” wrap skirt ($149), both by Part Two from Sartorial Boutique; block heel high-leg boot in brown croc print leather ($240) by ALDO, and snake-print hoop earrings ($24) by Etereo, both from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre. On Adrian: Black knit turtleneck ($35), and dark wash stretch skinny jeans ($55) , both by TOPMAN from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre.
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On Izabel: Afina abstract-print longsleeve shirt ($48) by Vero Moda, cropped denim jacket ($50) by Core Life, both from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre; black wedgie highrise “Wild Bunch” jean ($118) by LEVI’S from Sartorial Boutique. On Adrian: Blueprinted button-up shirt ($95) by Superdry, “Panther” trucker denim jacket ($120) by LEVI’S, and galactic blue performance slim fit denim pants ($159) by DU/ER, all from NYLA Fresh Thread.
On Adrian: “Spectrum” graphic T-shirt ($55) by Superdry, vintage trucker denim jacket ($168) by LEVI’S, button-up “Resurrection” denim top ($100) by Superdry; and galactic blue performance slim fit denim pants ($159) by DU/ER, all from NYLA Fresh Thread.
On Izabel: Salmon-pink mesh top ($45) by Dex, embroidered denim jacket ($138) by Cream and push-up “Christina” jean with embroidered leg hem ($115) by French Dressing Jean “FDJ,” all from Damsels Fashion Collections; white sleek suede “Denise” dress bootie ($129) by En Thread, brown “Legelith” mini crossbody bag ($55) by ALDO, and snake-print hoop earrings ($24) by Etereo, all from Hudson’s Bay, Woodgrove Centre. Models: Izabel Kazenbroot-Guppy and Adrian Hunjet. Makeup: Katie Parenteau Photographed on location in Nanaimo at the private recording studio of Adrian Hunjet and with his 1978 VW Van.
Meet some of Central Vancouver Island’s top entrepreneurs as they discuss their success, vision and … superpowers. Bam! Boulevard presents: The Influencers
Situated in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit is a playground for people who love to drive — and drive fast! With 19 corners and elevation changes of 11.5 per cent, this circuit promises an adrenalinelaced taste of life on the track. But more than a motorsport playground, this is a place where driving enthusiasts, friends and businesses can come together, socialize, meet and dine with like-minded aficionados. As Canada’s only year-round motorsport facility, the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit offers a series of circuit packages, various driving tours throughout the year, facility rental opportunities and pro coaching. Professional training, side-track support and education on defensive driving assure personal safety and confidence. Located at: 4063 Cowichan Valley Hwy | More info: islandmotorsportcircuit.com
photos by Lia Crowe & Don Denton words by Sean McIntyre production assistant Vellar Chou A special thank you to Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit for hosting the Boulevard team.
Owner/Chef Ma Maison
CONFIDENCE is my superpower. I work well under pressure, having learned a lot from my years of working in very tough kitchens. Iâ€™m grateful for that experience because it taught me how to take the heat of a kitchen. laurencartmel.com
Owner/Operator Outlooks Menswear Duncan Ltd
My superpower is the ENERGY and profound pleasure I take in making sure every customer who visits Outlooks Duncan leaves the store with his purchases looking and feeling like a new man. This means providing the absolute best level of customer service to build a customer base that will keep clients engaged and continuing to shop at Outlooks whenever they need wardrobe additions or other enhancements for formal or business-casual situations. outlooksformen.com
ROBERT DECKER, MD
Renu Laser & Skin Care Centre
Working in an aesthetic industry means meeting and interacting with so many different personalities. It’s my job to listen to the wants of each client and bring their VISION TO REALITY. I offer my calm demeanour to help them feel comfortable with the process. — Robert Decker
With a collection of superpower-like technology in our hands, we can SLOW DOWN THE AGING PROCESS and, in some cases, even reverse it. Our goal is to make clients feel more confident about themselves and look the age they feel. — Kyla Decker renulaserandskin.com
Real Estate Advisor
Real Estate Advisor
Surtees Real Estate Group & eXp Realty
One of my superpowers is HEARING PEOPLE — and that’s not because I wear a hearing aid in one ear. During a conversation, I’m not only listening to someone’s words, but I’m listening to understand. This type of hearing enables me to have authentic connections with others. — John Surtees johnsurtees.exprealty.com
My superpower is having an innate sense of our
CLIENTS’ TRUE NEEDS when we are discussing properties.
I love to work with clients to guide them competently through the selling or buying process. — Sue Roe movingproperties.ca
Owner Wear It’s At Boutique Inc.
What fuels my joy is HELPING CLIENTS find their fashion statement. Fit, feel and aesthetic quality are important to me. We offer clothes with attitude. Feeling sassy or serious? Complete your look with the perfect accessory: footwear, jewellery, handbags or scarves. For a quick refresh or whole new look, let us help you put it all together. Personal wardrobing available. Wear It’s At Boutique Inc.
Owner/Operator, Berry Music Company Ltd. Operations Manager/Marketing Executive, Osborne Bay Pub
My superpower is TRANSFORMATION and growth. I have a natural aptitude to see possibilities where others see difficulties. By embracing challenges in life, I can turn any situation into a positive. This invaluable tool has led me to flourish personally and professionally while assisting others to do the same. osbornebaypub.com
Partner Lise Brown Cosmetics
My superpower is found in MY CREATIVITY. To be an artist is also to be a technician. The artist alone has the ability to create a desired aesthetic, but it is with the deeper understanding of structure that it leaves a lasting impression. lisebrowncosmetics.com
Marketing Director Unsworth Vineyards
Not doing anything normally and speaking poorly about myself is somewhat unseemly, considering I’m in marketing for my family’s winery. When it comes to wine and the BS often associated with its production, I’m reminded of the Ace Ventura quote: “FICTION CAN BE FUN, but I find the reference section much more enlightening.” Bottoms up. unsworthvineyards.com
Manager, Sales and Community Relations, Nanaimo-Mid-Island
Lead Agent, Client Relations, Nanaimo Helijet International Inc.
POSITIVITY is my
superpower. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Starting off with a positive perspective on the day, the task, the effort and everything ahead gives me that extra superpower that enables the ability to see the possibilities and opportunities that lead to success. — Scott Speakman
My superpower is an
ABILITY TO STAY CALM in
stressful situations. I push myself to stay positive, communicate with others and choose the best resolution. — Annie Hayward
helijet.com 1-800-665-4354 Scott Speakman 250-616-1505
Owner Patryka Designs
When I think of superpowers, the word MODESTY comes to mind. When you work in the ever-changing world of fashion, it’s important to stay teachable and humble, no matter how many years you’ve been in business. It’s more about being a student than a master. patrykadesigns.com
Owner NYLA Fresh Thread
Having an optimistic, POSITIVE MINDSET is my superpower. I believe less is more. Optimism is a lifestyle choice that cultivates gratitude, simplicity and balance in business and everyday life. nylafreshthread.com
My superpower is the ABILITY TO CONNECT with clients and help them feel
My superpower is the ABILITY TO TEACH women and men how to dress for their body type. As our bodies change, it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Showing clients simple dressing techniques that they can take with them after their session is the main goal. I help clients with basic knowledge on fit, fabric and overall style, in hopes they can go out and shop with confidence on their own. — Melody Rhind
confident during their style session. Shopping for clothes can be intimidating, so I like to focus on having fun, and slowly peeling away those layers we all have when learning about what personal style means. I want clients to leave their session beaming with confidence and excited to play with fashion again. — Katherine Suna
Tips for a digital detox WORDS JANE ZATYLNY
The term “detox” once meant abstaining from alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Today it also applies to sugar, fat, carbs and those other delightfully addictive things: our smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets and social media sites. There are many reasons why you might want to give up or reduce the time you spend on your devices. Maybe you’d like to focus on social interactions with friends and family without the distraction of incoming texts or other messages. Maybe the 24-hour news cycle is causing stress in your life, or the struggle to keep up with the Joneses on Instagram is taking its toll.
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Whether you choose a digital fast, a one-day digital sabbatical or a digital diet, as I did, the process can initially be a bit uncomfortable. Hang in there.
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I had a different reason to reduce my screen time. I needed to start sleeping again. In her book, The Sleep Revolution, Huffington Post founder and sleep advocate Ariana Huffington writes, “Our houses, our bedrooms — even our beds — are littered with beeping, vibrating, flashing screens. It’s the never-ending possibility of connecting — with friends, with strangers, with the entire world, with every TV show or movie ever made — with just the press of a button that is, not surprisingly, addictive.” I’d fallen into the habit of using my phone as an alarm clock, waking to the cheery sound of chirping birds or the poetic lyrics of the late Leonard Cohen. Problem is, when I woke up in the middle of the night and checked the time on my iPhone, notifications from friends in other time zones glowed enticingly. Before I knew it, I was fully engaged with texts, emails and then, predictably, world news. Even with the rose-coloured “night shift” option toggled on, it was very hard to return to sleep. Like you, I also use my phone to take and share pictures, listen to music, record interviews, check my flight status and make appointments. Turns out, there’s very little a phone can’t do, which of course is why we’re so addicted to these devices. In 2018, Google researchers authored a paper about the tech “attention crisis” that surrounds us. Consider the couple on their cell phones at the next table, eating dinner together while tapping messages to other people on their phones …the throngs of people in airports, walking face down, staring into their handheld personal computers … or the half-listening friend, who scrolls through her social
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Rediscover reading a paper book and spending time where you can’t use your phone.
media feed while you’re shopping together. The researchers suggest that we are sucked into the vortex by the “fear of missing out.” But what if FOMO itself is causing us to miss out on life?
THE DIGITAL DIET PLAN
There are many ways to do a digital detox, from “digital sabbaticals,” once-weekly recesses from device use, to apps — like Flipd, Cleverest, AppDetox and OFFTIME — that claim to improve digital self-control. There’s also the cold turkey method, where you put down the phone entirely for a defined number of days. For me, complete abstinence is neither practical nor desirable. But it had become clear that some sort of reduction in the time I spend on my devices was in order. It was time for a digital diet.
FACING THE MUSIC
I began by turning on a setting on my phone that calculates screen time: the digital equivalent of stepping on the scales. I had a feeling it would be high, and it was: nearly four hours of screen time per day on my personal devices. I felt better when I read that the average US adult spends around 11 hours each day listening to, watching, reading or interacting with media.
SETTING A GOAL
I rely on my devices to read the news. I thoroughly enjoy posting and viewing photography. I love connecting with friends at home and around the world. It’s the mindless scrolling, particularly in the middle of the night, that I need to eliminate. So I set a realistic goal: no more than 1.5 hours per day of screen time.
This next step was like removing all the goodies from the kitchen cupboards. Huffington recommends “gently escorting” all digital devices out of the bedroom, and stopping use of electronic devices 30 minutes before bed. I re-installed my clock radio next to my bed and purchased a Swatch analog watch (so far, so fun!). Then I moved my charger to the kitchen and left my iPhone there every night. Finally, I turned push notifications off on my social media and email apps.
A few days into my digital diet, I realized that it was pretty easy to set boundaries for my device use. For instance, I stopped looking at my phone during meals, when I’m spending time with friends, or when I’m hiking, shopping or just walking down the street. I catch up on news and social media posts at set times throughout the day now and I have a 45-minute limit on social media posts. I pick up the phone to call or text friends more often.
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ONE WEEK LATER
With my phone spending nights in the kitchen, my quality of sleep has improved enormously, and my screen time has decreased to my goal of 1.5 hours per day. My real-time social interactions have increased and, best of all, the “fear of missing out” has completely dissipated.
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A FINAL WORD
Whether you choose a digital fast, a one-day digital sabbatical or a digital diet, as I did, the process can initially be a bit uncomfortable. Hang in there. The rewards of choosing life uninterrupted are well worth the effort.
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food and feast
Winter salad with apples, pomegranate and celery.
fresh green and
Recipes for renewal
WORDS HEIDI FINK
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
am starting to get tired of winter fare. My appetite for rich stews and rib-sticking carbs has turned to a craving for fresh, green, crunchy, bitter and sour — flavours that remind me of spring and renewal. We might still be in the throes of winter, but my palate is reminding me that West Coast spring is just around the corner. The notion of seasonal produce at this dreary time of year has always been fascinating to me. What is still considered “in season” in these hushed and cold months at the beginnings of spring? Many winter-storage vegetables and fruits are getting past their prime (although still delicious); many spring greens have yet to emerge or are in their earliest stages. How can I concoct something that satisfies my need for freshness without departing too much from the rhythms of our local growing season? We can honour this time of year with a combination of local foods, greenhouse fare and a few imported seasonal items. For the last, citrus has always been my February goto. The markets are overflowing with beautiful grapefruits, sweet limes, tangelos, Meyer lemons, blood oranges. Their sour, sweet or bitter juices taste of freshness and renewal, and perfectly complement winter vegetables than run to peppery, bitter or sharply green. For the rest, I rely on a combination of greenhouse herbs, in-season greens (kale, arugula, chicory and the like), along with crunchy winter-storage vegetables and fruits (green apples, cauliflower, fennel, celery and pomegranate, to name a few). Foods like this ignite a sluggish digestion, liven up a bored palate and possibly help to shed some winter pounds. More than that, they taste absolutely delicious. They satisfy my need for fresh and green. The flavour hit of fresh herbs, peppery greens, crunchy vegetables and sour citrus in late winter gives me the same feeling as when I emerge from a slow hibernation into the weak sunlight, to feel the fresh air and taste it. I like to create simple dishes from these basic ingredients. Salads, soups, side dishes, plates of raw veggies or perhaps a smoothie. The recipes I’m sharing here are among my favourites in terms of flavour, texture and visual appeal. From a tart yet creamy green smoothie to the sweet crunch and bitter juice of a shaved fennel and grapefruit salad to the garlicky herbaceous hit of a re-imagined Green Goddess dressing, these “Recipes for Renewal” have got you covered. Spring, we are ready for you!
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GREEN GODDESS DIP OR DRESSING MAKES 1 ½ CUPS (375 ML)
An updated spin on the classic herb and mayo salad dressing, this one pumps up the ratio of herbs and uses avocado for creaminess. Tangy, green and flavourful — you will love this. It can be used either as a salad dressing or as a dip for crudités. 1 cup (250 ml) packed flat leaf parsley ¼ cup (60 ml) sliced chives 1 ½ Tbsp. (22 ml) white miso (e.g. Hikari brand) ½ avocado, chopped ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) chopped cilantro 1 small clove garlic, peeled ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil 3 to 4 Tbsp. (45 to 60 ml) lemon juice
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Place all ingredients in a blender and purée. Taste to adjust seasonings. Transfer to a bowl for serving, or a glass jar for storing in the fridge. This dressing keeps in the refrigerator for up to four days.
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This extra-crunchy, complex and refreshing take on a classic veg-and-dip platter is just what the doctor ordered at this time of year. Allow the underdog vegetables to shine here. Pay spe-
Winter Crudite and Green Goddess Dip.
cial attention to how the vegetables are prepared and arranged. The platter will wow your guests. Choose three to four of the following vegetable options: 6 small carrots Hearts of 2 bunches celery (“hearts” means the small, yellowish centre stems) 1 bunch red radishes OR ½ large daikon radish 1 bulb fennel 1 whole endive 1 bunch broccolini or sprouting broccoli ½ head cauliflower, separated into florets ½ purple cabbage Green Goddess Dip (recipe above) CARROTS: peel and cut into very long thin sticks. RED RADISHES: stem, rinse and serve whole or cut in half, depending on size.
Daikon Radish: peel and cut into either rounds or long sticks. FENNEL: slice into the thinnest wedges you can. ENDIVE: slice off bottom end and separate the leaves; cut
large leaves in half lengthwise if desired. BROCCOLINI: cut the bottom 2 cm of stem off; blanch broccolini for 30 seconds in boiling water and cool before adding to the platter. CAULIFLOWER: separate into florets; cut some florets in half. Blanch like the broccolini, if desired. PURPLE CABBAGE: cut into thin wedges.
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Choose your vegetables based on flavour, shape and colour. You can pick a mono-chromatic colour palette (e.g. pale yellow-white with daikon, endive, cauliflower and celery hearts) or go for vibrancy with purple cabbage, broccolini, carrot and red radishes. Or focus on the shape: all long thin crudités; or contrasting shapes for a different visual appeal. The choice is completely yours. Arrange your selection of vegetables on a beautiful platter and place a bowl of the Green Goddess Dip in the centre or on the side. Another option is to arrange the vegetables in different sizes of Mason jars around the dip.
GREEN SMOOTHIE SERVES 2
Refreshing, slightly creamy and not too sweet, this smoothie is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. The unsweetened oat milk provides a lovely mouthfeel and light sweetness; feel free to substitute another milk of your choice. 1 medium ripe banana, peeled ¼ ripe avocado, peeled and chopped 2 cups (500 ml) packed spinach leaves 1 small or ¾ large green apple, peeled, cored and chopped 1 to 1½ cup (240 to 370 ml) unsweetened oat milk Optional - ½ scoop unflavoured protein powder Place all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.
CELERY, GREEN APPLE AND POMEGRANATE SALAD SERVES 4 AS A SIDE
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One of my favourite winter salads, this comes together easily with its simple honey-mustard vinaigrette. Make sure to slice the cucumber and apple as thinly as possible. Use a mandoline for the celery if you have one. DRESSING ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) honey ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) Dijon mustard ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt ¼ tsp. (1 ml) ground black pepper 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) minced chives SALAD 4 to 5 large stalks celery, sliced very thin 1 large green apple, quartered and sliced very thin Seeds from ½ pomegranate Several handfuls of arugula leaves ¼ head radicchio, sliced DRESSING: whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until well mixed. Transfer to a small Mason jar or glass dressing cruet. Dressing can be saved in the refrigerator up to one week. Shake or mix well before using. SALAD: place arugula and radicchio on a large platter, evenly mixed. Arrange celery and apple over the greens. Scatter pomegranate seeds over the top. Drizzle with dressing. Serve.
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FENNEL & GRAPEFRUIT SALAD SERVES 4 AS A SIDE
Slightly sweet, slightly bitter, super refreshing, this is a sophisticated salad, wonderful for use as a starter or palate cleanser for a meal of rich roasted meats. Make sure to slice the fennel very thin; use a mandoline if you have one. SALAD: 1 large fennel bulb, quartered, cored and shaved thin on a mandoline 3 large ruby grapefruit, peel sliced off and sections cut from the membranes DRESSING: 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) grapefruit juice 2 tsp. (10 ml) honey ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground black pepper ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) Dijon mustard ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil DRESSING: whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until well mixed. Transfer to a small Mason jar or glass dressing cruet. Dressing can be saved in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake or mix well before using. SALAD: place shaved fennel and sectioned grapefruit in a large salad bowl. Add about ¾ cup (180 ml) of the dressing. Toss well to mix. Taste to see if it needs more dressing. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.
Winter salad with grapefruit and fennel.
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CHOCOLATE PEARL No visit to Downtown Duncan is complete without a visit to “Chocolate Pearl” - home to the city’s most exquisite, handmade, artisanal chocolates using local ingredients. Also available is espresso coffee, plus a wide selection of delicious gelato. 133 Craig Street. www.chocolatepearl.ca
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THE RED BALLOON TOYSHOP Did you know that The Red Balloon Toyshop carries the largest selection of puzzles in the Cowichan Valley? Well, we’ve just added a new brand to our collection: Eurographics Puzzles. They specialize in Art puzzles and even have a variety of local images including Butchart Gardens. www.theredballoon.ca
BELONGINGS There is something very charming about a lazy stroll through the shops of downtown Duncan. On your way through Lois Lane, a stop at Belongings is an absolute must. The owner, Jeanette, carefully selects and displays one of a kind vintage pieces and quality used furnishings throughout the shop’s two floors. You never know what you might find. If you’re searching for a statement piece for your home, you’ll likely find it here. And with some luck she may even be able to share its history with you.
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The Olive Station is Duncan’s premier gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting room. We offer over 50 flavours of oils and vinegars that are fantastic on their own, or paired to create flavourful combinations. Our products are easy to use no matter your ability in the kitchen! Take your dressings, soups and even pizza to a whole new level.
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EXCELLENT FRAMEWORKS Home of the EJ Hughes Gallery Come visit our NEW location at 115 Kenneth Street. Over 20 Canadian artists featured in Duncan’s premiere art gallery. We offer excellent custom framing services, plus visit our revamped EJ Hughes Gallery, offering high quality reproductions of Canada’s iconic artist. www.excellentframeworks.ca www.ejhughes.ca
CYCLE THERAPY Blue skies and warmer days are on the horizon and we couldn’t be more excited. Visit our shop in Duncan to test ride the latest models while our expert mechanics give your own bike a spring tune-up. See you on the road. 360 Duncan Street next to the Duncan Garage Café. www.cycletherapy.ca
Remarkable Rwanda Conservation push sees parks and tourism grow WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET
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e’re getting closer,” says my guide, holding up a radio antenna in one hand and a receiver in the other. “It’s quite strong.” We’re looking and listening for M-7, a collared male lion who’s out there somewhere in the fading BOOK NOW light of a September afternoon in one of the oldest national parks in Africa. A few minutes later, Hein steers our 4X4 off the dusty red ribbon of a road and we lurch over rough ground and around small shrubs. Just over the crest of a hill we spot him. He’s lying in long grass near a warthog burrow. His tan and tautly muscled body blends in with the grass and a radio collar is barely visible under his thick mane. He’s with his brother and they barely look up as we come to a stop a few metres away. “They might wait for this warthog to come back,” says Hein. “They love warthog.” The lions of Akagera National Park are just one of Rwanda’s conservation success stories in a country where “remarkable” seems to be more than just a tourism marketing slogan. Created in 1934, the government abandoned Akagera during the genocide in 1994. When that nightmare ended, people who had fled came here in search of a new home, bringing 40,000 head of cattle with them. Wildlife stood no chance against farmers and poachers and in 1997 the government downsized the park by two-thirds. What remains is still some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa with high ridges, deep valleys, lakes and plains. Lions were reintroduced in 2015 and black rhinos two years later, meaning Akagera is once again a “Big Five” park. Sizable herds of buffalo, zebra, impala and topi graze the plains, while hippos and crocodiles rule the shallow lakes and papyrus swamps, which form the largest protected wetland in central Africa.
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Rwanda is densely populated. It’s smaller than Vancouver Island but home to 12 million people, making its conservation achievements all the more impressive. The government’s strong commitment to conservation has led Botswana-based Wilderness Safaris to open a new camp here, its second in Rwanda, with exclusive rights to the diverse northern corner of the park. “Don’t be scared,” says Anita, the manager at Magashi camp, as she shows me to my tent on a raised platform overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga. “You’re going to hear hippos all night.” And not just hippos, but nightjars — one of Akagera’s 500 species of birds —and bubbling kassina, a type of frog. That night I fall asleep to a strange symphony of churring and whooping, but most of all to the loudest grunts and oinks I’ve ever heard. Good night, hippos!
Rwanda is densely populated. It’s smaller than Vancouver Island but home to 12 million people, making its conservation achievements all the more impressive. In the opposite corner of the country, Nyungwe Forest National Park teems with life: birds, butterflies and 13 species of primates, including chimps. The park also contains a spring that’s thought to be the remotest source of the Nile River. When we arrive late one afternoon, mist is rising from the valley floor far below. The air feels wonderfully moist and cool on bare skin. A trail leads deep into the forest where we can hear the rat-atat-tat of a great blue turaco, a bird traditionally hunted for its meat and feathers. Eventually we come to what looks like a single strand of a giant cobweb strung across the sky. It’s actually a walkway designed to give visitors a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding jungle and it was built by Vancouver-based NGO Greenheart. We linger, suspended in mid-air for many minutes, reluctant to leave this romantic landscape. But another park is calling. Gishwati Mukura National Park near Lake Kivu will officially open as the country’s fourth sometime this year. Sitting on the high divide between the Congo and the Nile river basins, its two montane forests total just 34 square kilometres, a tiny fraction of Nyungwe, but it will also provide important protection for wildlife, in this case golden monkeys, chimpanzees and rare birds. Wilderness Safaris is opening a camp here too. The details are still under wraps, but the conservation-minded company negotiated
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a 25-year concession agreement with the Rwanda Development Board to create an exclusive chimpanzee and primate trekking experience. Speaking of primate trekking, you can’t come to Rwanda without visiting the gorillas of Volcanoes National Park. Well, you could, of course, but why would you? This is where Dian Fossey brought to the world’s attention the desperate plight of the species that shares 98 per cent of our genetic code. Before we visit the park, we’re curious to see what the country has achieved with its admittedly pricey gorilla viewing permits. Individual permits cost $1,500 US and of that, 10 per cent goes to local improvement projects. In 2018, that totalled almost $2 million US. In one village we tour a new hospital. At another we’re introduced to Preciosa Nyiramikam and meet her cow, bought with tourism money. Preciosa tells us she no longer worries about feeding her family. And at the Gorilla Guardians Centre in Musanze we meet reformed poachers who now get paid to be wildlife protectors. Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga massif, a chain of eight volcanoes that spans Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of these, Mount Karisimbi is the highest, at 4,507 metres, and this is where my group heads. Unlike most wildlife experiences in Africa, where you pay and take your chances, seeing gorillas here is pretty much guaranteed. Armed trackers go into the park early every morning to find each family of gorillas, then report their location to guides. It’s a way of protecting the gorillas as well as monitoring their health. 76
But knowing we’re definitely going to meet our closest animal cousins doesn’t diminish our excitement. If anything, it increases it. How many will we see? How close will we get? For the first hour we hike through a radiant bamboo forest. Then the path gets steep and muddy. Bamboo gives way to large African redwood with a dense understory. Finally, we leave the trail and hike through waist-high stinging nettles that live up to their name. When we meet the armed trackers for the Susa family of gorillas we know we’ve arrived. We’re led into a large clearing where Kurira, Susa’s dominant silverback, sits alone on the forest floor, arms wrapped around his manly chest like he’s giving himself a hug. Then other gorillas come into view through the greenery. More silverbacks, mothers with youngsters and one with a baby. They look content, even bored, examining their fingernails or chewing a branch. They come so close that sometimes we have to move quickly to get out of their way. When another family of gorillas suddenly shows up, near pandemonium breaks out. The Susa family — all 26 of them — gather together as if to confer, then turn and leave in single file. As they disappear into the forest it’s like watching a river of gorillas flow by. Yes, gorillas will likely always be Rwanda’s pride and joy, and for good reason. But it’s heartening to know this tiny country is restoring and protecting its other wildlife too. What it’s already accomplished truly is remarkable.
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headliners WORDS LAUREN KRAMER
A collection of all things arty, fun and spectacular happening this spring on Central Vancouver Island. Find murder and romance in Chemainus, revel in storytelling, take a studio tour, treat your ears to a symphonic rhapsody, enjoy theatrical comedy and visit an art show.
The 39 Steps at Chemainus Theatre.
MURDER + ROMANCE April 9 to May 3 Chemainus Theatre
Take a Hitchcock masterpiece, mix it with an intriguing dash of spy novel and a sprinkle of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit playing at the Chemainus Theatre this spring. In this play, which is a two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award winner, a man meets a mysterious, thick-accented woman who claims to be a spy. He takes her home and then discovers she has been murdered. A nationwide manhunt
ensues, in which the cast’s four actors create some 150 characters. The play includes an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, romance and non-stop laughs. “The way the piece is written allows each actor a comedic tour de force as the fast-paced show spins in all kinds of crazy directions,” says artistic director Mark DuMez. “The 39 Steps is a concoction of so many things that make for good humour: strong physical characters in impossible circumstances navigating through a gauntlet of acting challenges. The show celebrates resilience in the face of all kinds of adversity and does it with comic aplomb that has broad appeal to a wide range of audiences.” boulevardmagazines.com |
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Chirine El Ansary.
The 39 Steps features Kate Dion-Richard, Mallory James, Robert Clarke, and Brett Harris as Hannay. Based on a classic movie, it’s become a classic comedy in its own right, says DuMez, “and it really lifts the audience up in the telling. With its verbal and physical comedy, stylized scenes that harken back to film noir, and its fast pace, it feels right at home being performed at the Chemainus Theatre today.” Info: chemainustheatrefestival.ca
STORIES APLENTY! May 29-31 McMillan Arts Centre
If you love stories be sure to diarize the Storytellers of Canada Conference, which will be held at the McMillan Arts Centre May 29-31. Some of the best storytellers in Canada will converge on Parksville for three days of workshops and fabulous storytelling at this annual conference. This year’s theme is Rivers of Voices, Ocean of Stories: Coming Together, and Jennifer Bate, executive director at McMillan, says there’s lots to look forward to. “Chirine El Ansary is one of our storytellers of note, an acclaimed Egyptian storyteller who will be telling her favourite stories from the 1001 Arabian Nights on May 31,” Bate says. El Ansary has dazzled audiences with performances of her own writing and the stories of others in cities all over the world. All storytelling concerts and workshops are open to the public, and a free Introduction to Storytelling workshop will be open to the community on Sunday, May 24. For tickets and registration visit tinyurl.com/parksville2020.
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COWICHAN ARTISANS SPRING STUDIO TOUR
April 23-25 Cowichan Valley • • • • • • •
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321 Wesley Street
The Cowichan artisans are a talented group of professionals whose crafts range from fine furniture and pottery to paintings, metal sculptures, intricate stone mosaics and smooth wooden bowls and boxes. In their annual spring open house, 12 members of the artisans’ guild will open their home studios to the public for a weekend of arts conversation, touring, art appreciation and shopping for original art.
THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES
FEB 14 - MAR 28
THE 39 STEPS PHOTO BY EMILY COOPER
APR 9 - MAY 3
DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST MAY 29 - AUG 29
Kim’s Convenience: Maki Yi and James Yi.
“Many members of the public are fascinated with how we, as artisans, do our art and run our lives,” notes Karen Trickett, a member of the guild who specializes in making cabinetry. In its 11th year, the guild’s artists all work full-time at their art from home studios located from Mill Bay to Ladysmith. Those studios are open to the public for self-guided touring 10 am to 5 pm from Friday, April 23 through Sunday, April 25. Look out for brochures with maps and information at tourist information offices, or visit cowichanartisans.com to download an online brochure.
KIM’S CONVENIENCE March 28 Cowichan Performing Arts Centre
SEP 11 - OCT 3
JOYFUL NOISE OCT 16 - NOV 7
Canada is a country composed of immigrant families, but not all ethnicities get equal access to the limelight. In his play Kim’s Convenience, Toronto-based Korean-Canadian playwright Ins Choi focuses on a Korean shopkeeper grappling with a changing neighbourhood and the chasm between himself and his second-generation offspring. “Audiences will be familiar with the characters from the television show,” said Kaitlin Williams, director at the Arts Club Theatre. “This play has broad appeal because it’s funny, filled with emotion and has a very strong heart. It’s the journey of a fractured but loving family forgiving the past and confronting the future.” Choi was inspired to write the play after observing that he never saw himself in Canadian stories, where Korean characters were always marginalized. “His goal was to zoom in to the margin and make a story about that corner store guy, the shopkeeper, and I think Kim’s Convenience will speak to Canadians across the country,” Williams said. Info: cowichanpac.ca
ELF: THE MUSICAL
FEB 14 - MAR 28
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Come and experience the Creativity
April 25 Nanaimo Port Theatre
Joel and William Good Supernatural Eagle Bringing the Sun Back to the World
EXHIBITIONS ART LAB PROGRAMS THE GALLERY STORE Tuesday to Saturday 10am–5pm Sunday 12–5pm 150 Commercial St Nanaimo, British Columbia
At this season-ending concert of timeless favourites, island audiences will be treated to the sounds of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9. “Rhapsody in Blue is special to me because it was the piece I played when I auditioned for the Vancouver Island Symphony,” says Pierre Simard, artistic director and conductor of the VIS. “It established American composer George Gershwin as a serious composer and it has since become one of the most popular American concert works.” It’s paired with Dvorak’s New World Symphony, a piece that astronaut Neil Armstrong took along with him during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, the first moon landing. Also being performed in this show is Marcel Bergmann’s Concerto for Two Pianos, played by acclaimed piano duo Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann. The Bergmanns, who live and work in the Lower Mainland, have made recordings for CBC and NPR, among others, and have inspired international audiences with their extensive repertoire, which ranges from baroque to contemporary and includes numerous of their own arrangements and compositions. Info: porttheatre.com
An Acoustic Evening with
Natalie MacMaster Thursday Mar. 12, 2020 7:30pm Tickets $49.50
Cowichan Performing Arts Centre presents
A corner store comedy
Pierre Simard, artistic director and conductor of VIS.
BOARDERS UNITED April 24 to June 14 Nanaimo Art Gallery
Fans of snowboarding, skateboarding or surfing will want to check out this springtime exhibition at the Nanaimo Art Gallery. Boarder X features the interdisciplinary contemporary art of 11 artists from Indigenous backgrounds who each interrogate motion from different perspectives. Their pursuits of surfing, skating and snowboarding are vehicles to challenge conformity and status quo as well as to demonstrate knowledge and performed relationships with the land. “We selected this exhibit because we want to broaden our audiences to new demographics,” says curator Jesse Birch. “This exhibit is the first show in our new inquiry, What Moves, and we’ve heard from other galleries where Boarder X has been exhibited that wherever it goes, it attracts new gallery-goers.” Boarder X discusses the intersection of culture, art and boarding, and the art represented includes painting, mixed media, carving, weaving, photography, performance and video. Each piece affirms and transmits cultural resilience and acknowledges respect and reverence for the land. The exhibit includes an opening celebration street party on May 2, with skateboarding ramps in front of the Nanaimo Art Gallery. Info: nanaimogallery.ca
Saturday Mar. 28, 2020 7:30pm
Tickets $38 Student $30 eyeGO $5
AFRIQUE EN CIRQUE Sunday Apr. 26, 2020 7pm Tickets $36 Child (under 12) $16 Family $89 (2 Adults, 2 Children)
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secrets and lives —
AND THE 7 SINS
with JEAN CARDNO
wenty years ago, serendipity laid its hand onto Jean Cardno’s life when it presented an opportunity to open a shoe store in Duncan. And Cardino’s Shoes was born.
WORDS ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
Jean has dedicated the last two decades to making the business a success, and it’s clear her hard work paid off. Cardino’s Shoes is a coveted destination for both fashionable and high-quality footwear, with customers travelling from all over Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and farther afield to browse the selection. “I understood the need for the right footwear,” says Jean, a former nurse. “I’ve never done high fashion for the sake of high fashion. I’ll do high fashion and really well-made products. Some of the best shoes are made by small artisans in studios in Spain or Italy.” Driven by textures and colours, Jean loves to “look for the beautiful in things,” which she freely admits can vary widely depending on the subject matter. “I love colour intensities. I love roaming through places like Chintz and Company, and other places that still sell bolts of fabric.” A New Zealander by birth, she arrived 39 years ago to settle on Vancouver Island. But she still loves to travel. With one son locally, another in Australia and her daughter — the talented ethical clothing designer Eliza Faulkner — in Montreal, Jean loves to explore the neighbourhoods where her children live and work, and see the spaces through their eyes, always seeking the sublime.
“I understood the need for the right footwear. I’ve never done high fashion for the sake of high fashion. I’ll do high fashion and really well-made products. Some of the best shoes are made by small artisans in studios in Spain or Italy.”
The 7 Sins envy:
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Diane Von Fürstenburg, an iconic fashion designer in the ’70s who embraced feminism wearing a dress. And, who is still in business today.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
Avocado on toast with a good flat white (coffee).
On a beach, reading.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
Well, I could never spend that much on myself, so I would share it.
Pet peeves? Laziness.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
What makes your heart beat faster?
Any shop or gallery full of colour, textures and designs that is well curated. It lifts the soul.
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WORDS JADE CAMERON
ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY
THAT DAY I WAS A LIFE MODEL 86
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hould I shave? I flip this question over in my mind a dozen times. I know Zoe does, and he’s seen her before. Then again, she says he’s in his 70s, and a natural bush was a given back when he would have been around women my age. Also, a bit of hair might provide just the slightest means of protection, even if it’s only an illusion. I throw the razor in my bag just in case. I’m heading to meet my stepsister, who is taking me to my first ever life-modelling gig. There, I will pose nude for the sake of art. Drawing me will be a single client, Charles, and Zoe, who I’ve insisted come along. She’s modelled for him before, and has arranged this session at my inclination of interest. Nudity is a strangely loaded concept. The various attitudes and implications related to exposing one’s body are beyond contradictory, and the lines between empowerment, exploitation and exhibitionism are muddy at best. But nudity is universal! Everybody has a body and why shouldn’t we feel casual about seeing them and having them seen by others? Women’s figures are beautiful and deserve to occupy more than just sexual spaces. I tell myself I feel okay about others seeing my naked body, but I know that I am lying to some degree. This is where Charles comes in. Charles participates in a weekly life-drawing class, where a group of people gather around a nude model and draw for two hours. I’m hoping that his interest in the human figure in a desexualized context, and my participation in this exchange, will be a way to confront my own internalized taboos and insecurities. I want to be confident in nakedness, I want to feel good about my body in a platonic “here I am, no big deal” kind of way. So I set out, flipping between anxiety and confidence, excitement and dread. I meet up with Zoe and we debrief.
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I want to be confident in nakedness, I want to feel good about my body in a platonic “here I am, no big deal” kind of way.
She reassures me. She tells me that the hardest part is coming up with and holding new poses. I suddenly realize I haven’t considered the logistics of this. Shoot. I don’t know a single pose. But Zoe says it’ll be fine, that they just come naturally and there are no wrong positions. She says to twist; twists are interesting. I mull over her advice as we hop into the car. In the back is a pile of clothes that she tells me to look over. I pull out a super-soft sweater — high quality and in black. It’s like it was made for me. “Have it!” she says. I stuff it in my bag, and am distracted from our destination just long enough to feel minor relief. Eventually, we park at the base of Charles’s driveway and the moment of “is it too late to turn around?” hits. It is. The dread takes over and fills my feet as we trudge up the driveway. Charles’s door is bright red. I am pulsing with anxiety as Zoe knocks on it. Charles opens the door. He is a small man with gray hair and a black beard. We head up to the kitchen and his wife, Sally, jumps right into the conversation. She offers us Girl Guide cookies. I can’t believe what we’re here for. I can’t believe I’m doing this. The studio is impressive. There are work tables easels, shelves of materials, drawers of different paper sheets, toolboxes of charcoals, and jars of sketching pencils. A grey paper backdrop hangs from a roller on one wall and onto the floor, making a stage. It is illuminated by a menacing spotlight. I am thankful for the professionalism it portends. Also intimidated. Charles says there’s a robe for me to wear in the bathroom whenever I decide to get ready. I follow his direction and head to “change.” This doesn’t seem like the right word when there’s nothing to change into — but “strip” is worse. I begin undressing. My body and I are on relatively amicable terms. I don’t fall too far outside of the desirable norm. But puberty brought large, heavy, wideset breasts to my otherwise petite frame. This is supposedly a good thing, according to almost everyone I complain to. To me, it has always been a source of deep insecurity.
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Jeans have never felt so comforting. I struggle to get the cuffs of my jeans over my ankles and realWhen I emerge, Charles and Zoe are comparing drawings as ize I’ve left my socks on last. How unsexy. Is that a good thing? I Sally gushes over them. They all applaud me as well, and I don’t avoid looking down at myself as I slip into the robe. It is silk. As I know how to take the compliments. We say our goodbyes and I step back into the room, they are still setting up their things and I run down the driveway. stand waiting, unsure of when to take the robe off. I’m anxious to “So, how did that feel?” Zoe asks excitedly. get it over with. “I don’t know. Fine, I think.” It’s the truth. I’m not quite sure Charles explains that we will start with a few one-minute how I feel. I’m glad I went through with it and I’m glad it’s done poses, then move onto two minutes, then a couple of fives, and with. I still feel nothing as we part ways. But later, as I travel back finish with one or two long holds. “Whenever you’re ready,” he home, I am suddenly struck with shame. I can’t quite place its prompts. source but I find myself pushing the memory of the day out of I slip the silk off and drop it in a pile to the side. Zoe is smiling my mind, avoiding reflection, not ready to process it. at me. I feel surprisingly relaxed now that I’m actually just naked. Was I expecting something bigger? I don’t feel empowered. I Yet I am certainly aware of the shallowness of my breathing. I move into the spotlight and decide to start facing backwards. I don’t feel exposed. I don’t feel a new confidence in my body. I just feel weird about requesting an arrangement to stand naked in a raise one arm over my head and twist my torso. They both restranger’s basement. mark that this is a great position. I carry Zoe’s sketches, rolled up with two elastic bands, under So it begins. One minute seems longer than it usually does. my arm as I wait to transfer busses. It’s late. It’s cold now, and I Then it’s done and I twist a different way. remember the sweater Zoe has given me. I put it on under my “You’re a natural!” Charles says. He is engaged in polite conbomber jacket and I’m instantly warm. I think of our relationship versation with Zoe. and how great it is to have a sister who knows me, who sees me, I listen to the scritch-scratch of their pencils. I examine who reminds me I exist beyond skin. Our closeness has nothing to Charles’s studio meticulously. It’s almost boring. Now the five do with our physical bodies. minutes. Time ticks away ever so slowly. I realize that I am so When I get home I unroll the three pages and show my girlfocused on staying still that the whole naked thing isn’t really a friend the drawings. thing. Finally Charles calls time and tells me I can take a break “Whoa. She got your tits perfectly,” she says. and stretch. I again become acutely aware of my nakedness and pull my arms across my chest. I feel my body’s awkward posture outside of a deliberate position. The break is the longest part yet. Do you have a good story to tell — and the ability to write it? Boulevard I am relieved when we start again. readers are invited to submit stories for consideration and publication in the We do a long pose and I read every single title on Charles’s Narrative section. Stories should be 800 to 1,200 words long and sent to bookshelf. They are organized by subject. Suddenly the session is managing editor Susan Lundy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please place the word over; I slip back into the robe and briskly head for the bathroom. “Narrative” in the subject line.
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behind the story
There’s a good reason the models from our folk-revival, vintage-denim fashion shoot look like musicians straight out of the ‘70s. Male model Adrian Hunjet is a well-known Nanaimo musician, who plays guitar and organ, and sings vocals for the band Zilch alongside fellow musicians Ethan Olynyk on drums and Lawson Wallace on bass and guitar. The band plays a lively blend of rock and jazz, emphasizing improv, and are most often compared to Jimi Hendrix or the Doors. The location for our photo shoot was Adrian’s private recording studio; some of the clothing he wore came from his own vintage collection and, yes, the VW van is his main ride. The team at Boulevard loves celebrating local artists and this story presented an opportunity to add authenticity to our shoot, while highlighting homegrown talent. The Zilch debut single, “Walkin’ Through the Night” is set for release this spring. Find them at zilchband.com.
PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
The Power Of Sanctuary
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