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FEBRUARY I MARCH 2021 DECEMBER 2020 / JANUARY

VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST

The

Influencers Victoria’s business superstars

BOUNTY OF THE SEA Seafood shines in this Italian il pasto

ROAD THERAPY

Taking the high road to good health

ARTIST & MUSE The bold nature of neutrals


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CONTENTS 72

44 FEATURES

On the Cover Photo by Lia Crowe. Rebecca Burrows, owner of Hughes Clothing.

THE INFLUENCERS

72

36 ART HOUSE

50

ROAD THERAPY

McNeil Bay home rises like a sculpture

Taking the high road to mental health

By Angela Cowan

By Susan Lundy

44 ARTIST & MUSE

The bold nature of neutrals layered in multiple textures

By Jen Evans & Lia Crowe

SPECIAL FEATURE

72 THE

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INFLUENCERS

By Lia Crowe and Sean McIntyre

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BOUNTY OF THE SEA Seafood shines in three-course Italian il pasto

By Julia McInnis


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116

16

DEPARTMENTS

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CONTRIBUTORS

20 WEEKENDER

110 TRAVEL

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EDITOR’S LETTER

A golden reward: larch madness in Golden BC

Adventures in Vietnam

Road trip down memory lane

By Suzanne Morphet

By Lauren Kramer

By Susan Lundy

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WELL & GOOD

Every body beautiful

By Kaisha Scofield

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DESIGN NOTES

Turn up the heat

By Janice Jefferson

116 SECRETS AND LIVES

28 IN STUDIO

14 LIFE.STYLE.ETC.

Singing his story: Isaiah Bell

Melissa Dean

By Sean McIntyre

By Lia Crowe

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GOOD TASTE

Fresh, seasonal, local: Chef Ken Nakano

By Susan Lundy

Mike Murphy

By Angela Cowan

118

NARRATIVE

Epidemic

By Norma Hinds

122 BEHIND THE STORY

28 BUSINESS CLASS

By Bruce Cameron

Family matters: Berwick

By Tess van Straaten

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contributors V I C T O R I A L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T

“As an architectural and interiors photographer, I’ve had the opportunity to

JODY BECK

PHOTOGRAPHER ART HOUSE

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collaborate with many talented builders, designers and architects on Vancouver Island. Photographing this project for Billy Thistle of Point Break Developments and Chris Foyd of Bo|form was definitely a highlight. The home was technical to shoot, which is why we ended up spending two full days in the space. From the open-concept main living area, complete with sunken floors and custom concrete work, to the car elevator that brings you into the glassed-in poker room, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring features. The architecture itself is subtle yet powerful and built to suit this young family. Being a fan of modern design, I am hopeful we will see more collaborations like this, which will help to elevate the standards for modern homebuilding in Victoria.”

F E B RU ARY | MARC H 2 0 21

BLACK PRESS Penny Sakamoto GROUP PUBLISHER

BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627 info@blvdmag.ca

MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan

DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman

“Food has always been a central part

JULIA MCINNIS WRITER BOUNTY OF THE SEA

PAGE 100

of connecting with family and friends for me. Sharing recipes and food memories has been an important tool to stay connected through these isolating times. Reflecting on the meals that I have made for those in my bubble to keep us simply and deliciously nourished has been a pleasure. I try to focus on recipes with quick preparation and easy cleanup, to maximize time spent together enjoying food.” Julia began cooking professionally in Montreal, working in boutique hotels and staging at a few wellknown establishments. She has been working at Zambri’s in Victoria since returning to the island almost 10 years ago.

ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark CONTRIBUTING Angela Cowan WRITERS Lia Crowe

Don Denton Jen Evans Norma Hinds Janice Jefferson Lauren Kramer Julia McInnis Sean McIntyre Suzanne Morphet Kaisha Scofield Tess van Straaten ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CONTRIBUTING Jody Beck PHOTOGRAPHERS Lia Crowe Don Denton

“Isaiah Bell’s yearning to constantly create, even through the most dismal of

SEAN MCINTYRE WRITER SINGING HIS STORY

years, reveals his thriving passion for the arts and a versatility that has helped him adapt seamlessly to his circumstances. His story offers a refreshing dose of candid self-reflection that can remind us about optimism’s power to triumph over adversity so that the show, in one form or another, may always go on.” Sean McIntyre is a freelance writer based on Salt Spring Island. He enjoys writing about the people, places, sounds and flavours of British Columbia for Boulevard magazine.

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Victoria Boulevard® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519. Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 info@blvdmag.ca boulevardmagazines.com

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road trip down memory lane

Last fall, my husband and I took a five-day road trip around the West Kootenays. It was a dazzling escape: the weather was perfect, the scenery stunning, and the time away an excellent antidote to the craziness of 2020. You can read about it in this issue of Boulevard. Usually on our road excursions we take our decade-old Toyota FJ Cruiser—a solid, safe-feeling ride that nevertheless lacks creature comforts. On this trip, we test-drove a fully loaded Volvo XC90 T8, enjoying all the gadgets, options and pass-anyone-anytime power. I owned a Volvo wagon back in the late ‘80s, and this recent trip reminded me that, for years, that Volvo was my favourite of a long line of vehicles in my possession. So it was with great interest—just after our road trip—that I stumbled upon a newspaper column I’d written in 1989 about purchasing my Volvo wagon. Apparently, at the time, I was less impressed by it than my companion, who was then my fiancé, and is now my ex-husband. For one thing, I had my eye on a red 1969 MG that seemed more suited to my teen-hood namesake of “Little Hell on Wheels.” I pictured myself racing around corners in it, sliding over hills and dips in the countryside and tearing down the highway with the tunes blaring and muffler blasting. And my big dog? Well, I guess, he’d stay at home. And the inevitable arrival of offspring? Their friends? The groceries? Reluctantly, I let the dream dissipate. At the next dealership, my ex spied the Volvo wagon. “This car sells itself,” said the salesman (which was probably true since my ex was a big Volvo fan). He popped the hood: “You could eat breakfast off this engine.” My ex was so excited, I suddenly wondered if men actually dreamed of staring at a fuel injection system while they forked down bacon and eggs. Interesting. A test-drive was next. And this I’d forgotten: I couldn’t even testdrive the wagon because at that point, I hadn’t yet had the extremely delightful experience of being taught by my ex to drive a standard vehicle—lessons that soon afterwards occurred on a one-ton pick-up with a four-on-the-floor stick shift. (You can picture how much fun that was!) After the test-drive, during which I pushed a few buttons on the dash and made sure the radio worked, my ex’s face was awash in enthusiasm. “So!?” “Nice colour,” I admitted. “Leather seats, air-conditioning, rear windshield wiper.” (Big deals back then.) I realized, with the wisdom of my mid-20s self, that a capital-F Family car was probably the inevitable choice. (And think of the breakfasts!) So I bought it and once I discovered that driving a stick shift turns any vehicle into a sports car, I fell madly in love with it. I loved the leather interior; I loved its spaciousness. But there was one issue. We always named our cars. That one-ton truck was called The Silver Bullet; our Land Rover was named The Heap, and my current husband and I call our FJ The Beast. But back in the day, my ex gave the Volvo a joke name and it stuck. We tried and tried to call it something else, but that car became: The Vulva. Thankfully on our Kootenays road trip, we found a better name for our shiny blue Volvo: we called it Blue Georgia in honour of the newly-turned-Democratic state in the US election, the results of which were playing out on SiriusXM as we drove the Kootenays. There is much more than road travel in this issue of Boulevard, and we invite you to take a spin through the following pages. Enjoy!

Susan Lundy Editor Susan Lundy is a former journalist who now works as a magazine editor, author and freelance writer. Watch for her new book, Home on the Strange, out April 13, 2021 via Heritage House Publishing.

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design notes

TURN UP THE HEAT Hot yellow, warm tan and smoldering black create a cosy combination to bring brightness and warmth to the changing of the season. Yellow is confident and sunny: small hits make large impact…if you dare! BY JANICE JEFFERSON

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2. Luella Shopper Bag Footloose Shoes, $46 3. Ray-Ban Aviator in matte black with yellow lens Merchant Quarters General Store, $232 4. Novesta Chelsea Boot in yellow Still Life for Her, $155 5. Bougainvillea Wallpaper by Cole & Son Bespoke Design, $278 / roll 6. Field Cast Iron Dutch Oven Cook Culture, $399 7. 30-inch Pro Range in premium beige Big Chill / bigchill.com, $3,995 8. Coronado Rug by EQ3 StudioYdesign, $800 (6 by 9 feet) 9. Saints Pendant Monarch Furniture, $399 10. Bingo Stool by EQ3 StudioYdesign, $200 11. Franco Chair in yellow MOE'S Home Collection, $859 12. Castor Sauna Box Gabriel Ross, $45,100

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life.style.etc. MELISSA DEAN, OWNER, MEL LINGERIE WO RDS + PH OTO G RAPHY LIA CROWE

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elf-care and empowerment sit at the heart of Mel’s story. With a longtime interest in fashion and a background in fashion merchandising, Mel explains why she opened a lingerie store: “I wound up losing myself for a few years after some major traumas, family illnesses, and breaking up with my fiancé weeks before our wedding, among other very difficult life lessons. After a period of feeling lost, I took some time off to rebuild myself and listen to what my dreams were, and think about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. During this period, I took the time to listen to myself. I started to get to know myself again and remember what I am good at, and what my strengths and passions are. All the setbacks I had along the way made me stronger and helped me realize what I am capable of. I finally put care into my life and myself again, remembering to hold my head up high and keep going. “I feel lingerie helped me do that. Wearing lingerie is empowering, like having a little secret with yourself, reminding you to be confident, that you are beautiful and that you are worthy. I am a born-and-raised Victorian, so I knew Victoria was in need of a classy lingerie store with quality designers in the downtown core. But it wasn’t until a dear friend of mine said it out loud that I put it all together, and did it myself ! I am excited to empower others with lingerie the way it has empowered me.”

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FASHION & BEAUTY Uniform: Neutral colours, leather leggings, heeled boots and comfortable top. All-time favourite piece: Either my faux leather leggings from Commando or my body-shaping bamboo dress. I never get multiple colours of an item, but I have multiple colours in these. They’re good for all occasions and can dress up or be casual. Comfortable to wear and look great! Both are durable as well—something I need for my lifestyle. Favourite day-bag: My simple black Coach bag. Not too flashy, it can fit everything I need; it goes with anything and you can take it anywhere. Favourite jewellery piece or designer: My grandmother’s necklace. I am always wearing it. Simple, gold, goes with everything and any occasion. A timeless piece that has been through generations. Fashion obsession: Scarves. I have such a weakness for scarves. You can wear the same outfit but wear a different scarf with it and it makes it a whole new outfit. Accessory you spend the most money on: Scarves. Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: Makeup and face creams. Scent: Gabrielle Chanel Essence perfume. Beauty secret: Hold yourself with confidence and act like you matter to the world and it won’t matter what you wear. As my mother would say: “Always present yourself as a gift because you are one” and “treat yourself how you want to be treated.”

STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Piece of art: My Sid Dickens tiles. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Coco Chanel and Giorgio Armani because of their journeys in life. Era of time that inspires your style: 1930s to 1940s. Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Self Made is my favourite series; it’s an inspiration to me, and I love the fashion in it. Favourite cocktail or wine: Red wine. Favourite flower: Roses and lavender. Favourite city to visit: Florence, Munich and Edinburgh. Favourite place in the whole world: A secret little beach in Cordova Bay near where I grew up, sitting and listening to the waves. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: My animals and my friends.

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good taste

Fresh, seasonal, local A Q&A with Executive Chef Ken Nakano, Inn at Laurel Point WORDS SUSAN LUNDY

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PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


B

oulevard: Where were you born and where did you grow up? Ken Nakano: My parents emigrated from Japan and settled in the Point Grey area of Vancouver. I grew up in a traditional-style Japanese household in a very European multicultural area. Most of my friends were first-generation Canadians too, so we had a lot in common in that regard. B: How long have you been at Inn at Laurel Point and where were you before that? KN: I have been here now for four months—the past five years were spent as the executive chef at the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver. B: Why did you decide to become a chef ? KN: My parents instilled in me a passion for food and I’ve always had a keen interest in experiencing various cuisines.

So it was quite natural to enter this industry. The strong role models and mentorship I received in many different properties inspired me to become a chef and leader for a team of my own. B: What is the philosophy behind your food? KN: I believe in using fresh, seasonal, sustainable, locally sourced products to produce sophisticated flavours that reflect our terroir. B: What inspires you when you’re creating dishes? KN: My team, for sure, and quite often it is childhood memories—the nostalgia is a dream but it guides me to flavour and garnish the products that our local producers are particularly proud of. These are my strongest memories that inspire and fuel my passion. B: Where do your ingredients come from? KN: I partner with local growers and suppliers whenever possible. My emphasis is on supporting our food-producing community.

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B: How do you develop your menu? KN: I start with what is available locally and build from there. The restaurant, in-room dining and catering events are all created in one kitchen, so we have the opportunity to showcase our local producers on a variety of menus. B: What is your favourite cuisine to cook? KN: I enjoy the technical aspects of Japanese and French cuisine to offer our guests seasonal flavours driven by our local ingredients. B: What is your favourite cuisine to eat? KN: All types of Japanese food, from my mother’s home cooking to many of the great local sushi bars and kaiseki dinners. I am fascinated by the sophistication yet simplicity of Japanese cuisine at all levels of dining. B: What’s the one ingredient you can’t live without? KN: Shoyu–Japanese soy sauce. B: What is your go-to meal when you’re low on time? KN: Raw egg mixed into hot rice with soy sauce and shaved bonito. I always have these items on hand at home so when I’m in a rush, this is as quick and easy as it gets. B: What is a good simple piece of advice for pairing

wine and food?

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KN: Try to balance the wine and food to be of equal richness and weight, neither should overpower the other—this is a good starting point.

B: When are you happiest at work? KN:In the restaurant, during a busy service, when all menu items are selling evenly, the teams and systems are flowing predictably, and the guests are delighted. B: When are you happiest outside of work? KN: Cooking Sunday dinner for my family and riding my motorcycles.


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A golden reward

Larch madness in Golden, BC WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET

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“I feel like Alice in Wonderland,” laughs Laura as we come to a golden meadow where we’re surrounded by them.

A

pproaching Golden, BC on the Trans-Canada Highway, we’re straining our necks to scan the surrounding mountainsides through the car windows. It’s late September and the start of the short season known as “larch madness.” That’s when people in the know partake in the western equivalent of leaf peeping. While eastern Canadians admire sugar maples with their stunning orange and red leaves, those of us in the mountainous parts of the west can savour larch trees that turn golden yellow. In Banff National Park, larches create so much excitement every autumn that traffic backs up on highways, parking lots overflow and people ditch their cars wherever they can. To cope with the onslaught of visitors, Parks Canada provides buses to shuttle people from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake, the most popular spot for viewing the trees in their golden glory. “Almost every day we’re moving about 1,200 to 1,300 people,” lamented a Parks Canada manager to CBC Radio one year recently. I dearly wanted to see larches, but not in a line like ants on a trail. After a bit of research, I decided to base myself in the BC town of Golden, where surrounding mountains have lots of larches, but there’s none of the “madness” of Lake Louise. Golden is still a blue-collar town, with Canadian Pacific Railway and lumber companies the biggest employers, but adventure tourism has deep roots here too. This is where mountaineering began in Canada when CPR brought guides from Switzerland in the late 19th century. Their collection

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of chalets, called Edelweiss, still stands and descendants of those early guides still live here. Having spent a few days in Golden one summer, I liked its authentic feel, its impressive range of good dining options and, of course, its easy access to wilderness. No fewer than six national parks are within a two-hour drive. The window for larch viewing begins as early as the third week of September and can run into the second week of October. Arrive too early and the larches will look like any other evergreen. Arrive too late, warns my colleague Andy, who’s lived in Golden for 12 years, and they’ll look like dead trees. The window for larch perfection is even smaller. “If you can get the light dusting of snow on the larches, that’s like the unicorn jumping over the rainbow,” jokes Andy over dinner our first night. But it seems my friend, Lise, and I might have arrived altogether too early when Andy tells us the larches haven’t yet turned in nearby Yoho National Park, where we planned to hike. Then he whips out his phone. “What about this instead?” We see an image of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of what look like pine trees gilded in gold leaf covering a mountain slope under a cloudless blue sky. “Stunning,” says Lise as we nod our heads “yes” in unison. Early the next morning we pile into Andy’s Toyota 4Runner along with local hiking guide Laura Crombeen and head south on Highway 95 towards Radium Hot Springs. Mist rises from the Columbia River wetlands, the largest intact wetlands in North America, but there’s no time to stop. We have a six-hour hike ahead of us. At the Diana Lake trailhead we begin climbing. After an hour we emerge from an evergreen forest into the subalpine level. Far 22

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above, we see gold dots sprinkled among patches of solid green. Finally, we come to our first larch tree. Its needles are unexpectedly soft, almost silky. I caress them in my hand and wonder how these trees survive the tough winters on the very edge of the tree line. Larches are a biological oddity. “If I asked you if a larch is a conifer or a deciduous tree, you would be correct to say it’s both,” Laura tells us, explaining that larches shed their needles. Hiking on, larches soon outnumber other trees. “I feel like Alice in Wonderland,” laughs Laura as we come to a golden meadow where we’re surrounded by them. Reaching Diana Lake, we celebrate more good luck. Even though it’s warm and sunny, there’s not another person here; we have this gorgeous alpine lake all to ourselves. Eating a picnic lunch on the shoreline, we admire the golden reflection of larches on the turquoise water. Later, I scoop up handfuls of golden needles that have already fallen and recall the legend of Gold Mountain, a mythical mountain of gold that encouraged Chinese people to immigrate to North America during the Gold Rush era. While theirs was just that—a myth—it feels like we’ve truly found a mountain of gold, as fleeting as it is beautiful. If you go: tourismgolden.com CedarHouseChalets.com Selfpropelledadventures.ca whitetoothbistro.com eleven22restaurant.com bluebirdcafegolden.com


SEE SPAWNING SALMON.

see. Coinciding with the turning of the larches is the migration of spawning Kokanee. More than one-quarter million landlocked salmon swim up the Columbia River every autumn and into tributary rivers to spawn. The best place to see them around Golden is on the Blaeberry River, where several spots offer great viewing. Also of note, when the Kokanee are spawning, the big bull trout follow them for an easy meal and anglers routinely catch (and release) trout weighing over eight kilograms.

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After hiking amid the larches of Diana Lake, try another trail with a different focus. In Yoho Valley of Yoho National Park, for instance, you’ll discover numerous spectacular waterfalls. The biggest, Takakkaw, is just a five-minute walk from the parking lot. Our day-long hike there also included Laughing Falls and the magnificent Twin Falls. The historic tea house at Twin Falls is being restored and will re-open this year.

Locals love Eleven22 with its focus on modern comfort food. I wouldn’t typically order seafood in a small town in the interior, but the Dragon Boat seafood platter was beautifully presented and tasty. For a more casual dining experience, slide onto a banquette at Whitetooth Mountain Bistro, where the wide-ranging menu includes braised boar belly and seared tuna burgers. For breakfast, Bluebird Café offers specialty coffee and fresh baking. While you’re there, pick up a bagged lunch to go.

Cedar House Chalets are just seven minutes from the town of Golden but are immersed in nature. Each chalet has a private deck with hot tub and barbecue, a fully equipped kitchen and luxury amenities, including terrycloth robes and linen duvets. We chose the Green Chalet, which also has a wood-burning stove and second-storey master bedroom with striking mountain views. Cedar House Restaurant offers farm-to-table cuisine.

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well and good

every body beautiful

Body positivity, body neutrality and self-acceptance WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD

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here is no one, anywhere, who has the same body as you. Out of the seven billion bodies on earth, every single one is perfectly unique. All bodies vary in size, colour and shape, yet many of us spend an enormous amount of energy and time hating our bodies for not looking more like someone else’s. To be fair, however, we are only doing what we’re told. As a society, we are presented with impossible standards of beauty. Women, in particular, are expected to be tall, but not too tall, and slim, but not skinny. We’re expected to have muscle definition, but definitely not actual muscles. We must have an hourglass figure with an impossibly tiny waist and curved hips, but a flat stomach and a round booty. Hair must be shiny and long but not too long and definitely never unkempt. The skin must be dewy and glowing at all times, eyelashes must be long and lips must be plumped. If it sounds like I’m describing a Barbie doll, I am. If that sounds ridiculous, I encourage you to look closely at popular media and tell me I’m wrong. We are saturated with images of unrealistic perfection from an early age. The importance of being pretty is recognized by children as young as age three, and between the ages of seven and nine many girls have started their first diet. Heading down this path can quickly lead to more restrictive eating patterns, disordered eating, obsessive exercise regimens, constricting shape wear, and even invasive surgeries. This constant striving for perfection often creates a cycle of disappointment and a resentment toward the body for not conforming to an unattainable standard. It is easy to understand, then, why the idea of simply loving your unique and incredible body feels like an act of rebellion. And yet, there is a growing movement that is encouraging you to do just that. The body positivity movement brings together diverse groups of people who are fighting against society’s obsession with body uniformity. They are rejecting impossible beauty standards and holding the beauty and fashion industries accountable for promoting unrealistic standards. Body positivity is a movement that was born out of the desire to recognize the diversity in body types, shapes, sizes, colours and abilities. To be body positive is to recognize that all bodies exist and are beautiful in their own way. This is practiced by engaging in acts of self-appreciation with an emphasis on gratitude toward your body. Fitness and health are intentionally removed from the conversation with the understanding that self-love can and should be practiced at any stage of health, age or fitness. Further, the body-positive movement looks at how, in society, we exist in a power and desirability hierarchy, ranked by our physical appearance and capabilities. In response to this, it challenges impossible beauty standards, recognizing that they are constructs of society that don’t have to determine your self-confidence. Instead, the focus is placed on building a positive body image in order to improve self-confidence. While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction and clearly a movement based on inclusivity, for many, body positivity feels out of reach. Body neutrality is an approachable alternative, based on the recognition that your body isn’t a definition of who

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To be body positive is to recognize that all bodies exist and are beautiful in their own way. This is practiced by engaging in acts of selfappreciation with an emphasis on gratitude toward your body.

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you are. Rather, it is the idea that it is possible to exist within your body, without obsessing about how it looks. There is no pressure to either love or hate your body, but simply acknowledge that your body is there to serve a purpose outside of its appearance. Body neutrality can help to limit external societal expectations and provide room to develop outside of these expectations. Many find this movement freeing in that it removes the energy necessary to constantly monitor others’ expectations. For those who have suffered with body dysmorphia and poor self-esteem, body neutrality can provide the space to practice self-acceptance. Making peace with your body may feel out of reach, but there are steps you can take to move yourself toward acceptance: • Try to limit your exposure to impossible standards. Remove media that promotes unhealthy body standards. This should include unfollowing anyone who uses before and after photos, as these tend to promote unhealthy stigmatization. • Follow social media accounts that promote realistic body image standards, for example Canada’s @thebirdspapaya. • Take some time to acknowledge what you like about your body. Go one step further and thank your body for what it does for you every day. • Pick a part of your body that you feel uncomfortable with and try to find positive things to say about it. This may feel difficult at first but over time, it may sink in. • Alternatively, simply acknowledge that your body is there to house you and that is enough. Most importantly look at your own biases, lifestyle choices and aspirations. Exercise because it makes you feel good, not because you have to work off that extra bowl of ice cream. Nourish your body with food that is nutrient-dense and beautiful—not because it promises to flatten your stomach but because it makes you feel great. Finally, practice celebrating your own special and perfectly unique body more for what it does and not how it looks.


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in studio … WITH ISAIAH BELL

Singing his story

Local tenor reflects on the most operatic of years WORDS SEAN McINTYRE

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


NOAM CARVER

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ictoria’s Isaiah Bell is hard pressed to pick a single opera that can summarize the tumult of 2020. The year certainly featured plenty of tragedy with many unexpected twists and even a smattering of farce tossed into the mix. Instead of being epitomized by a single work, the year has been one of unprecedented operatic proportions, he says, noting that 2020 was genre-defining and no other form, be it ballet, theatre, even spoken word, could summarize the year in quite the way as opera. “All opera is a dumpster fire, and that’s why we love it,” Isaiah says in an interview from his home. With news of prolonged restrictions to rein in the spread of COVID-19 swirling among headlines about a rollout of vaccination campaigns, Isaiah’s day-to-day life in the performing arts was still far from being devoid of drama. The dumpster fire is still out of control, and 2021 began with the unfortunate-yet-necessary news about the cancellation of Isaiah’s January performances of his solo show—The Book of My Shames—with Opera Kelowna and directed by Sean Guist. Following a sold-out premiere with Tapestry Opera as part of Toronto Pride 2019, Isaiah’s one-man, semi-autobiographical show returned home to British Columbia in 2020. Isaiah describes the show as a fusion of music and monologues that delve into the universal inner human tension between our individual struggles and our roles in a broader society—the battle between who we are and who we are supposed to be. It’s a story about going through the world while apologizing for one’s existence. It may sound dark, but the story is one of catharsis and healing, with a good supply of humour along the way. Like him, Isaiah says, the performance is a living document that changes ever so slightly with each performance. “The concept is that issues can dissipate if you are open about lovingly confronting them,” he says. “The show is about people thinking about their own experiences.” The postponement of Isaiah’s trip to the province’s interior is unfortunate for more than just the fact that the Okanagan audiences will miss the opportunity to catch one of the shining beacons of Canada’s opera scene. The performance was to mark a reunion of sorts with the person who conducted Isaiah’s very first solo performance in an opera. Isaiah, who was participating in a summer opera program for aspiring performers, says he’d always expected to remain among the chorus, until interim Kelowna Opera music director Rosemary Thomson, called him up for a solo in a Czech opera. A bundle of nerves with no idea what to do, Isaiah still vividly recalls the role of a carnival barker that left him chewing on a stream of hard Eastern European consonants.

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Regardless of his nerves and not knowing what to do, Isaiah didn’t flee the scene. He performed, and the experience has followed him on a career that has seen him grow from the member of a small-town choir in Fort St. John to star in operatic performances around the world, including Vancouver, Toronto, New York and Edinburgh. The roles are equally impressive. Isaiah has taken on Marlow in Heart of Darkness, sung Schubert’s Winterreise (twice), performed in Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony, and played the role of Almaviva in The Barber of Seville. A recent highlight was starring in the 2018 world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s production of Hadrian for the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. Reviews from the New York Times summarized Isaiah’s performance as “sweet-voiced” and “daring.” He’s also channeled his creative spark into writing no fewer than four of his own operas. All this and he’s still in his mid-30s. Restrictions on gathering places such as theatres have seen Isaiah shift from major operatic productions and the physical stage to solo shows and social media platforms.  “I’ve been one of the lucky ones,” he says. “I’m busier than I’ve ever been.” 30

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Isaiah describes the show as a fusion of music and monologues that delve into the universal inner human tension between our individual struggles and our roles in a broader society—the battle between who we are and who we are supposed to be.

Isaiah’s creative spirit is epitomized by the sheer volume of ideas he’s able to generate along with the broad range of interests that he doesn’t recoil from taking on. During the interview, for example, Isaiah noted that he had just uploaded his 206th consecutive Instagram post for a project he’d begun at the start of the lockdown. In the project, Isaiah creates a short video or song inspired by a different haiku each day, posting it for his followers to see. Perhaps it all began by playing the Czech carnival hustler or finding his way as a young gay man growing up in rural BC. Maybe it was a combination of successive challenges, each intermingling with one another in the performance of life. Whatever it might have been, it has ensured Isaiah is not afraid to approach his roles with a gravitas that defies his youth. Yet it isn’t the international accolades and track record of major performances that stand out for Isaiah, who recently took up a teaching position at the University of Victoria and remains actively committed to helping new and aspiring performers meet their personal shames face first. The former are certainly worthy of pride and are a great measure of success, but it is his work with community groups as an advocate for queer youth and the performing arts in the smaller towns and cities that he visits along the way which stand out the most. “I always thought it was the most prestigious gigs, but it’s really about the people you meet along the way,” he says.

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business class

Family matters

Father-and-son team create Berwick resort-style retirement residences WORDS TESS VAN STRAATEN

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PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


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t the age of 93, successful Victoria entrepreneur and philanthropist Gordon Denford is showing no signs of slowing down. Asked how long he plans to keep working, the founder of Berwick Retirement Communities laughs and says, “What else is there to do?” He adds: “I guess if you enjoy what you do, why would you stop?” Gordon’s been building apartments for almost 60 years, developing Victoria’s first condominium, Cedar Village, in the late ‘60s. He opened the first Berwick residence, Berwick House, in Gordon Head, 31 years ago. Since then, Berwick Retirement Communities, which he runs with his son, Chris Denford, has grown to include resort-style residences where people can enjoy retirement in Nanaimo, Comox, Campbell River, Kamloops and Qualicum Beach. Construction is currently underway on the latest property in Parksville, which will have pickleball courts, lawn bowling, bocce and even a Zen meditation garden. “[Parksville] is largely based on our Berwick Royal Oak Residence in Victoria, which has a large production theatre for residents as well as for people from the community. And the fitness centre we’re designing is even further expanded, so the outside community can come in and enjoy the facilities,” 56-year-old Chris explains. “It’s all designed to not only provide the residents with an amazing, awesome experience, but also to give the people in the general community a chance to come in and interact with our residents.” Building connection and community is at the centre of what the Denfords do—from the unique design of each building, which is created to reflect the distinct community it’s in, to a strong focus on amenities and a “we’re a big family” management style, which includes regularly having meals with residents (outside of the COVID-19 pandemic). “The problem with early seniors’ places that were built up to the 1980s is they didn’t take into consideration interaction between residents, and the idea of providing recreation and activities was unheard of,” says Gordon, who saw first-hand the design failings when his mother was moved into a publicly-funded facility. “People were sitting in wheelchairs in the reception area, including my mother, and that was their idea of getting them out of their rooms,” he says. “I had her moved out of there 24 hours later.” It’s also the reason Gordon decided to build the Berwick residences on a completely private basis, without any government funding. He wanted to have control over the design and operations and be able to quickly adapt when problems arose—something that has served the company well during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were able to make decisions swiftly and enact things right away, and that’s what allowed us to continue operating with some sense of normalcy,” explains Lesley Sikorski, Berwick’s di-

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rector of sales, marketing and community engagement. “Throughout this pandemic, it’s become even more evident how important community and companionship are for older adults. Isolation and loneliness are horrible for older adults.” “We’ve had a lot of residents comment to us that they’re really relieved they moved into Berwick before this pandemic because not only do they feel safe, they have that human interaction with their friends and peers at a safe distance,” adds Chris. The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, but it’s not the first time the Denfords have had to deal with adversity. “We opened Berwick Royal Oak in 2008, when the sky was falling, and we had a decision to make: Do we proceed with phase two— which was the second half of the building and had our residential care and more suites—or do we shelve it and wait?” Chris explains. “Dad really analyzed the situation and with a lot of courage said, ‘No, we’re moving on and we’re going to complete it.’ He’s really a master of analyzing things and mitigating risk.” It’s a lesson Gordon learned the hard way after not paying attention to market conditions earlier in his career. “One of the biggest mistakes I made was starting a major condominium project in the early 1980s and not anticipating rising interest rates, which ran as high as 22 per cent,” he says. “It wasn’t a pleasant thing to be caught with a major building under construction at that time. The banks were panicking and shutting down funding, and I was no exception.” With construction stalled, Gordon and some partners decided to form their own bank, Western & Pacific Bank (now Canadian Western Bank), and salvage the project. He says it was one of the biggest moves he made to ensure he could keep building in a stable way. A trail-blazing entrepreneur (Gordon also brought electrical heating to Victoria), he’s a big believer in having total control over a project, which is one of the reasons Berwick is so successful. “One of our biggest assets is that we’ve always controlled the loca-

tions and the building and we have our own construction facilities,” Gordon explains. “We’re one of the few companies in Canada that actually does it all.” It’s a long way from Gordon’s humble roots in England. He was born to a working-class family in Bristol. But winning a scholarship to a prestigious school at the age of 11 changed the trajectory of his life. “I realized that education was the only way in which I could get ahead,” Gordon explains. Gordon was 13 when he was evacuated to Canada during the Second World War. He lived with foster families in Winnipeg before graduating high school when he was just 15 years old, and moved into residence at United College. When Gordon refused to return to England in 1945 because he was going into his third year of university, he lost financial support from the British government and was on his own. The transformative power of education, which Gordon learned at an early age, is the reason the Denfords are so involved in philanthropy, offering numerous bursaries and having a long involvement with several schools, including Pearson College, the University of Winnipeg and Glenlyon Norfolk School, where they’re currently helping to build new facilities. “We believe in giving back. Our success gives us the ability to give back and we’ve always believed that as a company, and also personally,” says Chris. “We’re heavily invested in education and we believe education is such a vital part of our community’s future, that’s why we support it.” For Gordon, who’s been making big decisions since he was 17 years old, relying on his wits and logic, the secret to his success is simple. “It’s all about taking risks and managing those risks. Some things are pretty daunting when you look at them, so you just have to figure out a way to do it.”

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art house

With an interplay of materials, finishes and structure, this homes rises like a sculpture WORDS ANGELA COWAN X PHOTOGRAPHY JODY BECK


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et back from the steep shores of McNeil Bay, an imposing house built of sharp angles and blunt contrasts sits above the rough brush and scrub, catching the melancholic tones of the sky and sea. “The house is a play on the stark contrast of the black, the white and the greys. It’s almost like a New York penthouse that’s been dropped down on a West Coast beach,” says Chris Foyd, of Bo|form Design. Foyd, a Canadian-educated, Danish-registered architect, worked with the homeowners to design a house that pulled deeply on Scandinavian modernism, but also drew in the wintery shades of the West Coast and the varied textures of living so close to the beach.

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“This isn’t what the Danes would call hyggeligt,” says Foyd, “and yet, it does achieve that.” There certainly aren’t the warm tones and influx of architectural wood one might expect from something “cosy,” but Foyd is right; the home engenders a distinct feeling of calm and serenity that are just as soothing as a crackling fire in a log cabin, if in an entirely different manner. On the main floor, a veritable wall of glass looks out over the ocean, while inside there’s only a single supporting column to interrupt the open-concept main living area and kitchen. Natural light streams in, even on grey and cloudy days, and without the distraction of colour, what stands out immediately is the subtle combination of textures throughout the design.


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Polished concrete floors create a muted, solid foundation that carries from one area to the next. There’s a soothing continuity between the ebonized ash used in both the kitchen cabinetry and in the living room, and an intricately veined marble kitchen countertop lends a little more complexity to the whole. There’s also a “furniture-grade” concrete bench, set low along the perimeter of the living room and front entrance that prevents the interior from feeling too boxy. What exactly is “furniture-grade” concrete? “Traditionally, concrete holds the building up and gets covered,” explains Billy Thistle, who built the home with Point Break Developments. “It can be a pretty rough material to work with, and with things like that, we did it with the intention of it looking more elegant.”

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“When you polish the concrete, it picks up the colour tones of the water and the sky,” adds Foyd. “It still has an industrial look, but in an art-gallery-like setting.” Adding to that gallery feel is the Venetian plaster wall above the low fireplace in the living room. Made from fired limestone mixed with water, Venetian plaster is applied as a putty in thin layers, building up to create a finish that’s iridescent and changeable. It’s a fascinating building material, and is actually the same material that was developed by the Romans and called “marmorino.” Given its centuries of history, it lends a weight and an earthiness to the designs into which it’s incorporated. “It’s basically a burnished plaster. It has a mottled reflective surface,” says Foyd, explaining that you almost have to look at it from an angle to get the full effect. And when it picks up the sunlight refracting off the waves, it is spectacular. Set against the black ebonized ash and polished concrete, the plaster feature seems to particularly stand out. The home showcases several instances of the juxtaposition of luxury materials next to more industrial materials. “It was one of Scarpa’s tricks,” says Foyd, referencing famed and brilliant Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. “He’d play with these simple, banal materials, like concrete, and then elevate them by inlaying a strip of bronze or marble.” Out front is perhaps the most arresting example of that trick, where strips of Vancouver Island marble—from Matrix Marble & Stone— break up the driveway’s expanse of smooth concrete, and a huge panel of marble hangs over the front entrance. It’s striking, particularly against the black-stained cedar of the exterior siding. Inside, marble continues to elevate the more industrial materials throughout the entire house—from upstairs in the master bath, where marble climbs the walls and creates a visual break from the otherwise

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clean and stark lines, to the kitchen island’s countertop with its waterfall edge, to downstairs, where the veining forms an imposing V on the carefully placed backsplash on the wet bar in the entertainment room. Turning from that V yields another spectacular view: behind a wall of glass sits the poker room, with its wine wall and its vague air of a Bond villain lair, and behind that is the lower half of the stacking car elevator. “It was my first one in Canada,” says Foyd, who regularly works with car elevators on projects in Europe. This design was a little different from a traditional “stacker” in that the car is actually dropping down into the basement, and the garage floor is a suspended slab of concrete, which took some creative engineering. “Just to build that floor system to meet the demands of the car lift, there was a lot of messing around with concrete and steel,” says Thistle of the actual construction. A driving motivation behind the design was to showcase the owners’ collections of cars and art, but between the subtle interplay between building materials, the elegant finishes, and the actual structure as a whole, the entire house feels like a sculpture itself. “My favourite view of the house is actually down from the water looking up. There’s a series of basic cubes that are extruding and recessed... It is a very sculptural assemblage,” says Foyd, after a moment. And like a sculpture, the more you look at it, from different angles, the more smaller details begin to stand out—like the unique vinegar-washed siding at the back of the carport, the white oak floors that soften the living room, and the open single-stringer stairs that lighten the surrounding black posts. All those details come together into a cohesive design greater than the sum of its parts that is stark and bold, yet still calming and minimalist modern in the most elegant of interpretations.

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supplier list Architect/Design: Chris Foyd, currently of Bo | form Interior Design: Collaboration between Foyd and the homeowner Construction & Interior Finishing: Point Break Developments Ltd. Interior Drywall: Adrian Lise Painting: Black Dog Painting Cabinetry and Millwork: Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers Inc. Flooring: CD Specialty Cleaning; Island Flooring Tiling/Stonework: Matrix Marble & Stone Interior Doors: Calibre Doors & Millwork Ltd. Windows & Exterior Doors: Reynaers by Atlas Meridian Glassworks Lighting: Pardell Electric by Gabriel Ross Plumbing Fixtures: Munro Plumbing & Heating by Victoria Speciality Hardware Countertops: Matrix Marble & Stone Fireplace Hearth/Stonework: Heat Savers; Point Break Developments Ltd. Appliances: Coast Appliances Landscaping: Demitasse Exterior Siding: Peerless Forest Products; Parker Johnston Industries Home Automation: OneTouch House Car Elevator: American Custom Lifts

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fashion

Strapless dress by Club Monaco, $60, from Turnabout Luxury Resale.

A RT I ST & M US E PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE + STYLING BY JEN EVANS

This fashion year starts with a sigh of softness showing the bold nature of neutrals. Clay tones of pink, cream and grey are layered in multiple textures of wool, woven and silk fabric. Sculptor David Hunwick invites Boulevard into his studio to inspire and to be inspired. As in the relationship of the artist and the muse, the creative energy flows two ways as beauty and strength spark new ideas, angles and a fresh perspective.


Reclining Nude of Estoi Necklace, $285, and Love Lock Chain Necklace, $195, both by Pamela Card, Ligne Stud Earrings by Uni, $285, all from Bernstein & Gold.

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Jessamine Dress by Malene Birger, $625, from Bernstein & Gold.

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Long-sleeved turtleneck by Baserange, $110, knit collar by Monica Cordera, $290, plant-dyed silk skirt by Tannin and Toil, $400, basket bag by WORN, $110, all from Open House Shop; scarf, $110, and crystal necklace (on bag), $69.95, both from Migration Boutique.


Bodysuit by Baserange, $96, dress by Boheme, $400, plant-dyed silk scrunchie by Tannin & Toil, $45, all from Open House Shop; raven skull necklace from Migration Boutique, $40; large necklace by Krysia, $50, from W&J Wilson.


Reclining Nude of Estoi Necklace by Pamela Card $285, Love Lock Chain Necklace by Pamela Card $195, Ligne Stud Earrings by Uni $285 all from Bernstein and Gold; Morocco Pants $190 by Eve Gravel from Migration Boutique

Makeup and hair: Jen Clark Model: Tessa Hamelin Photo assistant: Blair Hansen Photographed on location at David Hunwick’s sculpture studio and at Cinderbloc Studio. A huge thank you to all for hosting our team.

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Road

THERAPY Taking the high road to mental health BY SUSAN LUNDY


W

e’re driving along the Crowsnest Highway on the southern edge of BC, a little east of Osoyoos and west of the quaint town of Greenwood. Over the last few hours, the landscape on the other side of the windshield has played out like a fast-changing kaleidoscope: at one point a snowy wonderland at the peak of Manning Park; then a lush forest splashed with red-orange-yellow fall trees, and now an expanse of rolling hills coloured in burnt yellow and topped by a vivid blue sky. As the visuals change and the landscape opens up, so too do our minds. Conversation has stopped for now as the hum of the car lulls our thoughts into a meditative place. At times, we’ve had the tunes blasting, singing along to our standard road fare: Elton John, Cat Stevens, Steve Earle….We’ve also had time to dissect a lingering issue from back home—but problems seem far away and we’re happy to let it sit at the back of our minds for a while. There’s no medical-school definition of “road therapy,” but this is what it’s all about. It’s hitting the road and just driving. Releasing yourself from the cares of home, letting your mind wander into a daydream or even nothingness. Feeling the bliss of being in motion. Letting your subconscious chew away at a problem, while you—in the present—relax. Road trips help you live in the moment and be spontaneous. They give your brain a workout as you navigate space and process new information. They provide time to think and daydream. Singing releases endorphins, the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals, and exploring the outdoors provides fresh air and doses of Vitamin D. Road therapy looks different at different times. As a teenager and young adult, I often found sanctuary on the road in my old Datsun B210 with the Simon & Garfunkel tunes cranked. On the road, singing along, I could quell the emotion of a break-up or forget the angst of an exam. A few years later, now a writer at my first newspaper job in Salmon Arm, I’d take to the highway at night, driving to Kamloops and back, daydreaming and writing stories in my head. Concerns over environmental footprint and the price of gas over the last decade have limited some of the advantages of road trips, but with recent advances in hybrid and electric-vehicle technology, we can once again hit the high road.

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On our early November road trip, we decided to explore the less-travelled highways and roadways of the West Kootenays— relishing the area’s perfect combination of wide-open spaces, mountain views, lake views, snowy passes and vividly coloured fall scenery that would be equally beautiful any time of year. We travelled 1,700 kilometres and included four overnight stays on our journey, but road therapy can work as a day trip, too; it’s a good way to get out and still adhere to most pandemic health protocols. (But be sure to check with different regions’ pandemic regulations before setting out this winter and spring.) Here are a few ideas to create your own road therapy expedition:

MAKE A PLAN… SORT OF

Part of the point of road therapy is being spontaneous, driving to places unknown. Our five-day trip loosely followed a route that started in the Lower Mainland, taking Highway 1 to Hope and then the Crowsnest to Castlegar; driving various highways through Nelson, Kaslo, New Denver and Nakusp, riding a ferry across Upper Arrow Lake, and travelling on to Revelstoke, Vernon and Kelowna, down the Coquihalla and back to the coast. But we left lots of time to aimlessly drive from point A to B, X or Y. For example, one day, we set off on a driving jaunt out of Nelson, loosely heading for the small town of Salmo. It turned out that the destination itself was less interesting than the journey, as we spontaneously turned off the road here and there, discovering some beautiful scenery in addition to the tiny town of Ymir, once a thriving mining hub and now just a small cluster of cool historic buildings.


It’s about hitting the road and just driving. Releasing yourself from the cares of home, letting your mind wander into a daydream. Feeling the bliss of being in motion. Letting your subconscious chew away at a problem while you—in the present—relax.

Your Quartz and Granite Countertop Specialists

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PICK A RIDE

Thanks to the generosity of Volvo Canada, our road trip involved test-driving a fully loaded, plug-in hybrid Volvo XC90 T8. Since the point of road therapy is to hit the pavement and free the mind, the ride doesn’t really matter. But travelling in complete luxury and comfort with a gas-efficient vehicle doesn’t hurt! Some of this seven-seater’s perks included a 19-speaker surround-sound system—perfect for the multi-stationed SiriusXM system—and heated leather seats with a massage component. Travelling in this car, with its huge front window, elegant interior and so many comforts, put me in mind of a first-class train ride. And the ability to talk to it—“Hello beautiful car, please turn on the heated steering wheel”—was a lot of fun. Road trip safety is another consideration and we experienced the Volvo’s steer assist twice—once when we skidded on a snowy pass and the car quickly recovered—and another time, just at dusk, as we swerved to avoid a herd of elk that had suddenly appeared on the road right beside us. The car had three drive mode settings for steering feel and response, and Bruce was particularly fond of the power mode, which immediately turned it into a supercharged, corner-hugging sports car. Whatever the mode, the highways in the Kootenays are a great place to test-drive a vehicle. Lone Falls, near Nakusp.

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STOP, BREATHE, ENJOY THE OUTDOORS

Our route gave us plenty of opportunities to stop, hike, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the bountiful benefits of nature. The West Kootenays have myriad waterfalls, many within easy access of the highway. The Fletcher Falls turnoff is located about 10 minutes north of Ainsworth and accessed via a short walk. Lone Falls, near Nakusp, is a popular picnic spot located just a few metres from the parking area, while Sutherland Falls—one of the most visually stunning waterfalls in the Revelstoke area—is found near Blanket Creek Provincial Park. A visit to Begbie Falls, also near Revelstoke, includes a glorious trail walk. We also hiked the beautiful Kaslo River Trail with its unique Hide & Seek art installation, and the Nakusp Waterfront Walkway, where we revelled in gorgeous views of Arrow Lake and the surrounding mountains. Ahhhh.

RELAX

In keeping with the Volvo-Swedish theme, we were introduced to the concept of “fika,” which is an important part of Swedish culture. Defined as “a state of mind, an attitude and a ritual,” it’s said to refresh the brain and strengthen relationships. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a snack. To this end, coffee experts Jay Lijewski and Joshua Boyt—or, The Coffee Car Guys—have created a mobile coffee bar for the back of their Volvo XC90; the kit includes coffee beans, grinder and French press/mug. If it involves coffee, I’m all in. So the concept of fika—es-

pecially if it occurs on the road in the middle of nature—is a wonderful idea. We stopped early one morning at Fletcher Falls, sipped coffee at a vantage point and enjoyed the natural setting of woods and water (think forest bathing with coffee). The Kootenays offer another way to relax: the area is spotted with naturally occurring hot springs. We stayed overnight at Ainsworth Hot Springs, enjoying a mesmerizing float around the steaming main pool and then taking a few trips through the hotter pools in the natural caves, which are a unique feature at Ainsworth. You’ll also find hot springs at Halcyon and Nakusp on this route.

OVERNIGHT IN STYLE

In addition to staying at Ainsworth Hot Springs, we overnighted at the historic Hume Hotel & Spa in Nelson and the upscale Explorer Society Hotel in Revelstoke. Both offered unique experiences. The Hume is centrally located, steeped in history and extremely comfortable with super friendly staff. The Explorers Society is a nine-room boutique hotel with beautiful exposed-brick rooms, a rooftop lounge and hot tub. It also features the Quartermaster Eatery, which combines a fire-and-smoke-themed menu and a thoughtfully curated collection of unique wines and spirits.

THE LAST STOP

Finally, return home refreshed, invigorated and ready to face the challenges of the day, knowing that a bit of road therapy has opened your mind to possibilities of a new world.

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(250) 383 - 2821

101 - 838 Broughton Victoria

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At Muse & Merchant, each year we explore the four corners of the world to bring you the best in quality furniture and home decor accessories that are truly unique and beautiful. We believe a home is to be loved and lived in so it should reflect your individual style while being comfortable, welcoming and designed for function and style.

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VICTORIA’S FINEST REAL ESTATE

L U X U R Y AT YO U R D O O R S T E P


909-910 100 Saghalie Victoria, BC $4,300,000 A stunning, one of a kind property in Bayview One. Elevated high above Victoria’s Inner Harbour, this exceptional home is created from 2 penthouses, with over 4000 sq ft of open living space. Windows throughout the unit are floor to ceiling, corner to corner, providing an astounding 270 degree view. Outstanding amenities and top of the line finishes complete this magnificent property.

2002 - 83 Saghalie Road Victoria, BC $3,995,000 Sprawling luxury sub-Penthouse perched high above Victoria’s inner harbour. In a striking concrete, steel and glass building, with over 3000+ square feet of living space. A showpiece kitchen, perfect for entertaining, opens into the spacious dining and living rooms. Luxurious master suite, with 3 additional bedrooms for family and guests. Outside, private balconies completely surround this exquisite property.

735 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 1B1

The local real estate agent with the international network: vi.evcanada.com Scott Piercy, Private Office Advisor Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-686-7789 scott.piercy@evcanada.com www.luxurybchomes.com victoria.evcanada.com


1050 Roxview Court

Lot 2-233 King George Terrace

1103 - 1010 View Street

Sooke, BC $2,675,000

Victoria, BC $3,200,000

Victoria, BC $969,000

Exquisite oceanfront property in scenic East Sooke, with over 5,000 square feet living space on a half acre. Uncompromising views provide the backdrop to this lavishly appointed residence. Upon entry, the dramatic 14 ft coffered ceilings emphasize the grandeur of this elegant residence and the open concept design encourages entertaining. Exceptional outdoor living space on each level, with both covered and uncovered areas.

Privileged opportunity to own the last of 3 oceanfront south facing properties in beautiful Oak Bay. Set on picturesque King George Terrace, this lot is one of a kind. 270 degree panoramic views set on a point with amazing sunny exposure all day. Build your dream home. This lot will not last long!

Extra large Penthouse in downtown! This rare listing has over 1840 sq ft of bright, light filled, open living space. With recent updates including new kitchen appliances, new paint, new flooring, new lighting, and new counters. Unit also has over 370 sq ft of deck space. Building amenities include gym, spa and extra storage.

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403 - 2526 Bevan Avenue

11332 Chalet Road

Victoria, BC $1,099,000

Sidney, BC $1,329,000

North Saanich, BC $1,850,000

Stunning Oak Bay Penthouse by award winning Abstract Developments. Desirable open plan is flooded with natural light from large picture windows & skylights. 10 ft high ceilings, a showpiece kitchen, and a large covered balcony are welcome additions to this beautiful 2 bed 2 bath condo. Prime location with exceptional walkability!

This two story penthouse suite in The Bevan offers a stunning open floor plan and a wealth of luxury finishes. The Master is perched above the rest of the unit in a large loft along with a large 5pc ensuite. The living space on the main makes the most of the ocean views and all day sunshine. A must see!

Breathtaking half acre, low bank, oceanfront lot! Situated in prestigious Deep Cove, one of the most scenic communities on Vancouver Island. This expansive parcel is ready for the commission of your custom built dream estate. Services are in place for construction to begin.

2249 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria BC, Canada V8R 1G4

The local real estate agent with the international network: vi.evcanada.com James LeBlanc, Private Office Advisor Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-812-7212 james.leblanc@evcanada.com www.luxurybchomes.com victoria.evcanada.com


4200 BL ENKINSOP ROA D SE BL ENKINSOP | $ 3,850,000

127 BA RK L E Y T ERR ACE OB GONZ A L ES | $ 3,600,000

6 BEDS | 7 B AT HS | 6,993 S Q . F T. | 3.52 ACRE L O T

4 BEDS | 3 B AT HS | 2,620 S Q . F T. | 7,0 45 S Q . F T. L O T

3290 BE ACH DRIV E OB UPL A NDS | $ 3,580,000

3605 CA DB ORO BAY ROA D OB UPL A NDS | $ 3,500,000

5 BEDS | 4 B AT HS | 4 ,829 S Q . F T. | 20,088 S Q . F T. L O T

5 BEDS | 7 B AT HS | 6,827 S Q . F T. | 18,182 S Q . F T. L O T

3250 E XE T ER ROA D OB UPL A NDS | $ 3, 450,000

45 4 4 DUA R T ROA D SE GORDON HE A D | $ 3,000,000

4 BEDS | 6 B AT HS | 3,74 8 S Q . F T. | 17,356 S Q . F T. L O T

4 BEDS | 3 B AT HS | 3,160 S Q . F T. | 18,525 S Q . F T. L O T

323 WINDERMERE PL VI FAIRFIEL D W E S T | $ 2,800,000

2357 GUL L H AV EN ROA D NS S WA R T Z BAY | $ 2,500,000

4 BEDS | 4 B AT HS | 3,387 S Q . F T. | 5,078 S Q . F T. L O T

4 BEDS | 4 B AT HS | 3,090 S Q . F T. | 20, 473 S Q . F T. L O T

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2538 NOT TINGH A M ROA D OB UPL A NDS | $ 2, 400,000

3777 WA RING PL ACE SE CA DB ORO BAY

5 BEDS | 2 B AT HS | 2,85 4 S Q . F T. | 28,050 S Q , F T. L O T

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| $ 6,600,000

52 M AQUINN A S T REE T OB GONZ A L E S | $ 2,000,000

5156 SA N TA CL A R A AV E SE C ORDOVA BAY | $1,789,000

3 BEDS | 3 B AT HS | 2,187 S Q . F T. | 6,747 S Q . F T. L O T

4 BEDS | 3 B AT HS | 3,152 S Q . F T. | 2.56 ACRE L O T

T HE AGENCY C ONGR AT UL AT E S

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Proudly Presenting – 3155 Beach Drive This Magnificent Waterfront Estate is ideally situated on a prized 1.67 acre level beachfront property along Victoria’s most coveted stretch of oceanfront in the heart of ‘The Uplands’. Completed in 2016, the 11,900 sqft custom residence boasts a timeless and elegant design with beautiful hand-crafted finishing and carefully selected appointments throughout. Generous in scale and intimate in comfort, this is an estate designed foremost as a home: inviting, warm, private and spectacularly beautiful.

250-514-1966 DIRECT

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Ultimate Equestrian Estate 879 Dooley Road, Saanich

$5,995,000

This idyllic 26+ acre parcel in the Cordova Bay neighbourhood of Victoria showcases picturesque main barns built in 2017 with 40 deluxe stalls and 44 separate turnouts. There are additional barns, an indoor riding ring with viewing lounge & 2 outdoor rings for jumping and dressage. All facilities are new or have been updated to a high standard. The 4,000 sq. ft. farmhouse was completed in 2019 and has a massive wrap-around deck and enticing pastoral views westerly towards Lochside Trail.

Cowichan Getaway 7695 Cowichan Lake Road

Gracious Inspiration $1,349,000

A private oasis on 10.43 acres of fresh air & tranquility beside the famed Trans Canada hiking trail. Nestled in a pristine forested landscape, the handsome 2018 home offers 4,332 sq. ft in a versatile floor plan with a light-filled great room, vaulted ceiling & gorgeous adjoining kitchen. Detached 1,216 sq. ft garage/shop + deluxe chicken coop! The perfect escape for outdoor enthusiasts.

375 Quayle Road, Victoria

$3,298,000

Hamptons inspired 6,500 sq ft. retreat perfectly sited on 2 sun-drenched private acres in a resort-like setting just minutes from Victoria & nearby Broadmead. An incredible family home with the primary bedroom opening onto the vast patio. There are three additional ensuite bedrooms & space for family fun; a recreation room, media room, lower level gym and much more. An enticing country estate.

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

MACLEOD GROUP Glynis MacLeod

Kirsten MacLeod

250.661.7232

250.686.3385

Personal Real Estate Corporation

Sales Associate

macleodgroup@sothebysrealty.ca M AC L EO D - G ROU P.COM

SOTHEBYSRE ALT Y.CA

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement.


F

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$2,175,000

$4,500,000 556 Meldram Drive, North Saanich

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$1,059,000 10993 Chalet Road, North Saanich

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$1,650,000 1680 Greenpark Drive, North Saanich

1524 Montgomery Avenue, Victoria

10965 Madrona Drive, North Saanich

$995,000 mls®

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2450 Ocean Avenue, Sidney


Krista Voitchovsky, Real Estate Advisor 250-888-3256 | krista@kristav.ca

g LDskin SOr A e Ov

Mark Gutknecht, Real Estate Advisor 250-880-1000 | mark.gutknecht@engelvoelkers.com www.kristavmarkg.ca

W G NE TIN S LI

211-2747 Quadra Street | $299,000

624-21 Dallas, James Bay | $1,075,000

Tastefully updated 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo steps from Quadra Village! This semi open condo has fresh paint and brand new, quality vinyl plank flooring in the kitchen, living/dining room, and into the large bedroom. Modern light fixtures throughout the home give a bright daylight feel. Kitchen has brand new stainless steel Samsung appliances, new cabinet hardware, and a subway tile backsplash. The spacious bathroom has a brand new butcher block countertop, sink, faucet, and new cabinet hardware. This pet friendly building is perfect for a single person, or a couple looking for a home close to main bus routes, and an great walk score to many amenities .

Enjoy views of the inner harbour and Fisherman’s Wharf from your deck and the floor to ceiling windows of this lovely Shoal Point home. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath, plus den, unit has a bright open floor plan. Kitchen, w/ gas cook top, adjoins dining/living room with gas fireplace. Spacious primary bedroom features a walkthrough closet that leads to an ensuite with double sinks, walk-in shower, and soaker tub. Amenities include a 25m lap pool, fully equipped gym, 2 guest suites, putting green, car wash, concierge, bike and kayak storage, underground secured parking & storage. Downtown, shopping, library, restaurants and ocean walk are steps away.

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317-21 Dallas Road James Bay $1,299,000

4381 Wildflower Lane Broadmead $1,499,000

4-2530 Windsor Road Oak Bay $359,000

606-21 Dallas Road James Bay $999,000

Large, bright kitchen complete with an island, granite counter tops and lots of cupboard and pantry space. The living/dining features a gas fireplace. A large master bedroom offers room for a king bed, has a 5 piece ensuite, walk -in closet, a cozy gas fireplace, and sunny deck.

This bright, spacious home has 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, triple garage with a level II EV charger and is located on a quiet cul-desac. The main level has vaulted ceilings in the dining & living rooms, and a kitchen w/ eating area open to the large family room. The master bedroom has a 5 pce ensuite & deck.

Location, charm & affordable! This 2 bedroom, 1 bath top floor Co-op condo is located in the St. Denis, a 3 story, 45+ walk up. Located across from Windsor Park, 1 block to the ocean & 3 blocks to Oak Bay Marina. With a coffee shop next door and walkability to Oak Bay Village, it doesn’t get any better! This one won’t last!

Bright & sunny ocean view with Southern exposure, this condo is a delight! This 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom has a lovely open concept layout and good separation between the bedrooms. Some highlights are new light Maple flooring throughout , gas fireplace, A/C, ocean view den, extra space for a piano or seating and a semi private deck.

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


1482 Dallas Road, James Bay, 4 bd & 4 bath | custom duplex | $1,899,000

591 Island Road, South Oak Bay 4 bd & 3 bath | 16,900 sf lot | $3,850,000

627 Island Road, South Oak Bay, 3 bd & 3 bath | 13,800 sf lot | $2,499,000

3762 Cadboro Bay Road, Saanich East 4 bd & 4 bath | 19,935 sf lot | $2,350,000

2249 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC

CALLAGHAN O’CONNOR P E R S O N A L R E A L E S TAT E C O R P O R AT I O N

callaghan.oconnor@evcanada.com 250.888.4579 / callaghanoconnor.com

713 Newport Avenue, South Oak Bay 4 bd & 3 bath | 7,729 sf lot | $2,750,000


exclusive luxury listings LD SO

1856 L AVAL AVENUE | SA ANICH 11 BEDS/3 BATHS | $1,100,000 | MLS 858185 FANTASTIC FAMILY HOME OR REVENUE PROPERTY

414 - 1400 LYNBURNE STREET | BEAR MOUNTAIN 2 BEDS/2 BATHS | $588,800 | MLS 864032 GREAT LAYOUT IN FINLAYSON REACH CONDO

109 - 2049 COUNTRY CLUB WAY | BEAR MOUNTAIN 1 BED + DEN/1 BATH | $609,000 | MLS 860734 CHIC AND MODERN BOUTIQUE CONDO

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52 MAQUINNA STREET | GONZALES, OAK BAY 3 BEDS/3 BATHS | $2,000,000 | MLS 862865 MODERN HOME IN GREAT LOCATION

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2980 BEACH DRIVE | UPL ANDS, OAK BAY 5 BEDS/3 BATHS | $2,950,000 | MLS 863369 MID CENTURY HOME BACKING ONTO UPLANDS PARK

| SARAH.BINAB@THEAGENCYRE.COM | 250-58 8-7775

THEAGENCYRE.COM/BC

Ready To Build Your Dream Home?

1609 Earle Street | $829,900 MLS 861534

RARE Vacant SERVICED Lot in sought after Fairfield location! At over 5200 Square feet, this flat lot is located in an established area of homes, on a quiet tree-lined family oriented street, and backs on to Hollywood Park. Walking distance to Parks, Bus routes, all levels of Schools and shopping and a 5 minute walk to the Ocean! House plans approved with legal suite. Information package available.

LINDA BROWN

Licensed Realtor & Certified Home Stager

Better Marketing. Better Service. Better Results.

cell 250-213-7194 | 250-744-3301 | lindabrown.ca | 4440 Chatterton Way | RE/MAX Camosun 68

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


when others see a

HOUSE WOR K we see a

of

ART

Discover your masterpiece. Christie’s International Real Estate and Newport Realty’s curated network of property specialists are trusted advisors in the art of connecting buyers and sellers of fine homes.

Sylvia Therrien

COMING SOON 93 King George Terrace Custom Home by Novus Properties

Personal Real Estate Corporation

Sylvia@SylviaTherrien.ca | 250 385 2033 SylviaTherrien.ca

Art. Beauty. Provenance.


Sarah West, Personal Real Estate Corporation, and Bill Ethier

The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life info@propertiesinvictoria.com | 250.920.7000 | propertiesinvictoria.com

LUXURY AND LOCATION

QUALITY NEW BUILD

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TH4-100 Saghalie Road 2 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms $949,000

3139 Bowkett Place 3 Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms $1,295,000 + GST

204 Hart Road Vacant Land, 0.56 acre $699,000

Your home is more important than ever…

Oceanfront Acreage featuring Modern Scandinavian Loghome and Guest Apartment. Port McNeill, North Island | 6030 MINE Rd., $2,156,000

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4 Beds | 4 Baths | 4547 Sq. Ft. | Built 2009 This spectacular 2.5 acre oceanfront home offers a breathtaking view of the awe-inspiring coastline in luxurious comfort from your modern Scandinavian inspired log home. A multitude of recent updates/expansions have modernized the interior, exterior & landscaping which exemplify world class design and impeccable craftsmanship. Updates include ext. stonework, sleep cocoon, dream ensuite, radiant heat marble floors, sunroom, in-floor lighting, live edge wood, granite chef’s kitchen w/Bosh appliances, decks w/hot tub. List of recent upgrades available upon request.

your home!

NICOLE BURGESS 250-384-8124

962 Shoppers Row Campbell River BC V9W 2C5

nicole@nicoleburgess.com

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Megan Centrone 250 213 5380

megan.centrone@parallel50realty .ca www.megancentrone.com


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The Influencers Meet some of Victoria’s top entrepreneurs as they look to a new and better year. Boulevard presents: The Influencers


T

he crash of the waves, the scent of salt, the glimmer of sun on a swelling

surf. The ocean calls to us like a living presence. Our vast and varied coastline is the place where lapping sea meets rugged landscapes: rock, pebble and sand. It’s where the wind whispers and the gulls cry. A place for meditation and reflection, it rises as the perfect spot to engage Victoria’s business influencers as they consider lessons learned from the past year and embark on the path of 2021.

portrait photos by Lia Crowe opening photo by Don Denton words by Sean McIntyre makeup by Jen Clark


Abstract Developments 250-883-5579 abstractdevelopments.com

The health and well-being of those you love is the most important aspect of life. The pandemic puts everything we do on a day-to-day basis into perspective. It’s been a time to reflect on my definition of success and be thoughtful about what is important in both business and life.

Mike Miller President & CEO

This year more than ever has helped me to be grateful for what I have and to recognize how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful place we call home. I am thankful for my family and I’m happy to be able to share with those less fortunate than ourselves.

Rebecca Miller   Director of Sales


From this year I have learned how to be adaptive in business and use creativity to work within a constantly changing landscape. The pandemic has strengthened my resolve to keep my family safe and happy.

Kyle Ryan Chief Operating Officer  

Having a new addition to your family during a pandemic helps to keep things in perspective. I have a deeper appreciation for our frontline healthcare workers and have found new ways to find balance in my life.

Tavish Rai Chief Asset Officer


Bayside Diesel and Marine Ltd. 778-351-1123 baysidedieselandmarine.ca

The past year has taught me to have gratitude for everything and everyone in life.

Nathan Evans Owner, Mechanic

Being an entrepreneur and owning a family business during a pandemic has had many challenges and has taken every ounce of my ability to tap into my strength and resilience. The past year has shown me the real responsibility that lies in owning a business in a community, and how we can anchor positivity in times of change while continuing to grow. If you want to be happy and successful, you can do it no matter what. 

Samantha Evans Owner, Sales and Marketing


BC HOME GROUP eXp realty 778-678-5626 bchomegroup.ca

The purpose of life is not just to be happy. It is to be compassionate, to have empathy, to make a difference, and to know that you have lived well and helped others.

Shirin Purewal Realtor


Silver Arrow Cars Ltd. 250-598-0090 silverarrowcars.com

A lesson learned about myself and business is that resilience and an ability to pivot quickly are mandatory. Just because something was a certain way at one time doesn’t mean that it will stay that way forever; don’t count on it. 2020 taught us all to slow down and realize how good we have it. Be kind – it’s free and simple.

Tim Quocksister President & Founder


LUV Hair Salon / LUV brand 250-213-3313 luvhairsalon.ca

My greatest lesson of 2020 was discovering that you can overcome anything if you turn inwards to find the strength to lead you in the right direction. This was a year of growth, reflection, and really just having faith that everything will work out as it should. I learned to slow down and enjoy life by cultivating calmness and realizing the importance of family and friends. The continued “LUV” and support from the community, clients and friends to keep my business going strong has kept me strong.

Candice Gray Owner


The Agency   Patrick Hossack 778-535-7972 Katherine Gray 250-516-4563 hossackgrayrealestate.com 

This past year was full of uncertainty in the real estate market, but our team delivered for our clients and grew our business. Our family business grew in 2020, as did our family at home. My engagement to my beautiful fiancé is a shining moment that I will always remember from 2020. Going into the new year, we are excited and feel more prepared than ever to support our clients through whatever the market brings.

Patrick Hossack Realtor  

I brought a baby girl into this world while watching my one-year-old grow at home. My business is stronger than ever, and I’ve learned to juggle being a mom and a real estate agent from home. Home, especially this year, is a place for families to feel safe with their loved ones. This year, I teamed up with my brother, which has underscored my appreciation of family. There is something special about building a business with someone you trust and know so well.

Katherine Gray Realtor


Koncept Bath & Lighting Ltd. 778-265-6122

The pandemic and 2020 taught us all many things, but it mostly taught us to be resilient. I learned, once again, that life is short, and I’m reminded not to waste time waiting for opportunities. Take the leap and create your destiny. Make your mark in life and business. Success isn’t always about working hard but rather about working smart.

Jeevan Sohi Owner

Odlum Brown Ltd. 250-952-7771 / 1-888-293-0744 odlumbrown.com

Lead with humility and grace. Last year we learned how little control we have and how quickly things can change. I believe how we acquit ourselves in these pivotal moments is truly indicative of our character. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s my 2021 mantra.

Heather Love

Associate Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor


250-652-7845 peggyyelland.com

I’ve been delaying thoughts of retirement but, realizing that life is too short, have chosen to sell my firm to Paul Van Koll and Kris Wirk, partners at Dusanj and Wirk. They are the best fit for my clients, staff and myself. They have 30 years of public practice experience, and I will be here to help them and my clients during the two-year transition. My passion going forward will be EscapeSolutions.com (Private Condos for Perfect Holidays).

Peggy Yelland CPA, CGA


The Agency 778-265-5552 TheAgencyRE.com/bc

What 2020 has shown me is gratitude, to never take anything for granted, and that human nature has a different side to what we previously believed as priorities shifted for most people. In a world where social media has been the dominant form of communication, I now believe 2020 has revealed true human connection is more important than ever.

Jason Binab Managing Partner


Patriot Homes 250-217-3080 patriothomes.ca

RE/MAX Camosun 250-213-7194 lindabrown.ca

The most important lesson I will take away from the challenges of 2020 is the importance of home and family. Life can get so busy that we forget to stop and remember the things that matter most.  This year has given us a special appreciation for the comfort we take in our home. Our worlds became much smaller this year, allowing us to focus on what makes us happy, healthy and comfortable. 

Linda Brown

Realtor, Certified Master Negotiation Expert, Certified Home Stager

The world can change in an instant so enjoy time with your family and friends, and surround yourself with positivity to make those everlasting memories.

Aman Gill President


Horne Coupar LLP Lawyers + Notaries 250-388-6631 hornecoupar.com

2020 revealed the precarious balance of a modern world largely driven by consumerism. It reminds us that we can be more self-sufficient than we imagined (baking, cooking, gardening); that it’s a luxury to spend time with family and friends and in nature; and that we must do better at protecting our vulnerable.

Fiona Hunter BA, LLB, LLM, TEP Partner

Both the reaction to the pandemic and the unsettling political unrest in the United States have, it would seem, obscured the distinction between knowledge and belief on which civil society has founded its democratic institutions. We must all take extra care to protect those institutions, once taken for granted and whose fragility is now all too apparent.

Mark Horne, QC Partner


RE/MAX Camosun 250-415-3355 mcmullenhomes.com

This past year has taught me to be more compassionate about my clients’ changing needs. During this time of shifting priorities, peoples’ needs and wants vary dramatically. I have learned to listen deeply to the “why” behind my clients’ asks so that I can help them reach their goals. When emotions run high, it’s always important for me to maintain a calm demeanour to help my clients through the process of buying or selling their home.

Tammy Marcoux Realtor Associate

There is so much beauty in simplicity. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. As much as I appreciate conveniences of modern life, I discovered how to appreciate my time. Keeping it simple, enjoying the quiet, finding sanctuary in relationships and my home. I hope to share this with my clients, family and friends in the new year.

Michael McMullen Team Leader Realtor


A lesson I’m taking from 2020 into 2021 is to always follow your instincts, take care of yourself, think for yourself and be strong.

Mel Lingerie 778-406-0055 mellingerie.ca

Melissa Dean Owner

Sterling Financial Accounting Services 250-857-1857 sterlingfinancial.ca

I’ve realized that I haven’t had the right life balance or a clear enough vision of where I want to be. In 2021, I’m committed to taking a closer look and sending out the invitation to begin my new reality.

Tanya Sterling Principal


Willow Wealth Management of Raymond James Ltd. 250-940-7156 willowwealth.ca

Anything can happen. Never take anything for granted especially when it comes to health, family, community and the beauty that surrounds us. We are all far more resilient and adaptable than we may have thought. The lockdown has shown that we can still be effective and present for people in whatever capacity that may be. It revealed how staying connected with family and friends is so important for our general wellbeing and how essential it is that we look after our health, which is the foundation of enjoying life, and an ability to give back to those who are less fortunate.

Kirsty Thomson Owner, Financial Advisor

Jill Cramp

Senior Investment Representative


Incredible Home 250-381-6511 incrediblehome.ca

Ted Hancock Owner

2020 has reminded me just how resilient and adaptable humans actually are and how much we really do need each other. As we move into 2021 my focus will be to work with my incredible team to improve understanding of the importance of our individual roles while building the confidence needed to support and rely on one another.

Shawn Richardson Manager


Tetley MD Medical Aesthetics 250-589-3444 tetleymd.com

2020 taught me the importance of perspective. Things beyond our control happen to us every day, and we’re fortunate to have a choice in how we respond to them. In 2021 and onward, I’ll acknowledge the bad things when necessary, but choose to focus only on the good.

Dr. Chris Tetley

Aesthetic Physician and Medical Director


Hughes Clothing, CFO of Peters Holdings Ltd. 250-381-4405 hughesclothing.com

Your greatness is not what you have but what you give. What you give to the world will come back to you tenfold. Monetarily or emotionally, I gave as much as I could in 2020 to help anyone who needed it. Moving forward, I will keep trying to help, keep trying to remain humble and be grateful for love. Above all else, it is human kindness and love that see us through each day.

Rebecca Burrows Owner


Van Isle Windows Ltd. 250-383-7128 vanislewindows.com

Should 2021 be anything like 2020, I’m reassured that Van Isle Windows can weather any storm. We faced the uncertainty of how a global pandemic would affect us and our communities, and yet, with a very committed VIW team, we worked together and dealt with what I hope will prove to be the most difficult challenge of my lifetime. Today, we are all stronger because of it.

Linda Gourlay General Manager


Pinnacle Luxury Homes Group eXp Realty Victoria 250-588-0336 pinnacleluxuryhomes.com Thomas Kala 250-588-8076 Courtney Patton 250-588-0336 Deana Fawcett 250-893-8932 deanafawcett.com

Be grateful for what you have and always remember that you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, persistence and tenacity. I strongly believe that through dedication and perseverance, you can overcome adversity to achieve success.

Thomas Kala

Owner/Personal Real Estate Corporation

Greatness is your potential. Action is your opportunity. When opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Courtney Patton Owner/Real Estate Agent

My greatest lessons from 2020 would be to live in the present moment, and choose love over fear.

Deana Fawcett Realtor


Jack Insurance & Financial Services Ltd. 250-383-9866 jackinsurance.ca

The biggest lesson we will take from 2020 is that the more difficult the external business environment become, the move valuable the advice and support we provide our clients becomes. Our core values of exceptional service, pro-active communication and putting the client first are always important, but 2020 highlighted the significance of these core values unlike any other year. We are very proud of the service and advice we provided to our clients through 2020 and look forward to doing even better in 2021.

Ryan Davies

B. Comm, CFP, CLU, GBA President

Sheila Airey Advisor

Rob Jack B.A., FLMI, GBA Advisor


Capital Park Dental 250-590-8566 capitalparkdental.com

The year 2020 forced us to quickly adapt to constantly changing information and protocols. When faced with these extraordinary challenges, families, businesses and the community at large pulled together to support one another. This lesson in strength and resilience is one we can carry into 2021and beyond.

Dr. Katja McBee, Co-Owner

2020 has made me realize the power of social interaction. A hug, a handshake or simply a smile can turn the darkest day into something special. It’s the everyday privileges that can be so easily taken for granted.

Dr. Stephane Picard, Co-Owner

DMD

DMD


CIBC Wood Gundy 250-361-2272 obrieninvestmentgroup.com

Decora Tile 250-475-2033 decoratile.com

In situations that are beyond one’s control, I have learned to take time to breathe before responding. At Decora, we’ve come together in such an unsettling time to create a strong family bond, which I think extends onwards to our customers. Moving forward, it’s working hard, laughing a lot and having customers who support our local business that will make us strong for 2021.

Tara Wallden

General Manager, Design Consultant

I cannot help but appreciate how determined and strong we can be in the face of uncertainty. Despite the challenges faced in 2020, I experienced many positive milestones: I became a portfolio manager, I was appointed to the BC Cancer Foundation’s board of directors, and my son started kindergarten. Businesses persevered, charities persevered and our teachers, schools and community persevered. I am ready to bring 2020’s lesson of perseverance with me into 2021.

Jessica O’Brien Cameron Portfolio Manager, Associate Investment Advisor


I think one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the last year is to never assume to know or understand what someone else is feeling or going through. The pandemic has affected everyone differently so it’s best to be a good listener and smile with your eyes. Kindness will always be your best solution.

Denise Webster Mortgage Advisor

Helping clients during a pandemic has been truly challenging yet truly rewarding. More than ever, I now realize that being of service to others is the most rewarding aspect of my job. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The purpose of life is not to be happy, it is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Jodie Kristian Mortgage Specialist

Dominion Lending Centres Modern Mortgage Group Denise 250-889-4743 denisewebster.ca Jodie 250-885-5738 jodiesmortgages.ca


Moden Boutique & Moden Essentials 250-655-0774 modenboutique.com

I’ve learned that, despite my best laid plans, I’m at my best when I focus on the future and I’m flexible in the present. For me, that involved using these past months to grow my business online, connect more deeply with my local customers and community, and plan an expansion into lingerie and loungewear for early 2021.

Devon Bird Owner


The year 2020 has taught me the value of following my heart and doing what I love. I’m blessed to be living my passion and to be immersed in a community that I love—a community that has come together with kindness, patience and understanding over the past year.

Curtis Vertefeuille Franchise Licensee

Moe’s Home Victoria 250-590-6637 moeshome.com


food and feast

BOUNTY of the sea

Seafood shines in three-course Italian il pasto WORDS CHEF JULIA MCINNIS, ZAMBRI’S

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X PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


L

ike many of you, I have spent the majority of my life living on the West Coast. For me, much of the appeal of life here is proximity to the Pacific Ocean. For the scenery, yes. But even more so, for the way the air smells: briny, savoury and delicious. One of the aspects of cooking Italian cuisine that speaks to me is taking quality seasonal ingredients and presenting them simply to let the ingredients shine. This time of year (when it feels like it always has been and always will be raining) it’s the ocean’s time to shine. The colder temperatures are ideal for freshness of product and firmness of flesh.

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Chef Julia McInnis.

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First, some notes on choosing quality products and keeping them as fresh as possible. General advice when handling seafood is: less is more. Try to buy the fish as soon as possible before you intend to eat it, ideally the day of. When storing clams in the fridge, keep them in the mesh or plastic bag in which you bought them. This keeps them closed and less likely to open up and breathe in too much air. Wash your clams by placing them in a bowl and covering them with cold water, then agitating the clams around in the water, rubbing them against each other to release any sand caught in the crevices. Pro tip: Lift the clams out of the water, don’t pour the water back out over them or you risk getting that sand caught right back in their shells. Repeat this at least three times or until the water is no longer cloudy when you agitate the clams. When choosing white fish, pick a piece that looks slightly translucent and is uniform in colour throughout, free of dark spots on the flesh. To store in the fridge, remove the fish from the packaging and place it on a clean plastic, porcelain or glass container and wrap it well with saran wrap. Avoid metal as it may react with the fish and impart a tinny flavour. Handle the fish as little as possible to keep the heat and oils of your hands from disrupting the natural pH balance of the fish. Below is a three-course meal built from my personal favourite winter comfort foods, and highlighting the best of the ocean’s bounty: warm and fragrant broth from the liquor of clams, white wine and butter, served with crunchy bread spread with parsley pesto; sweet buttery white fish cooked with savoury olives, salty caper bombs and tomato; anchovy breadcrumbs with white beans and bitter greens, which bring a nice richness of flavour in contrast to the salt and acidity of the fish dish; and for dessert, a citrus-rich olive oil cake to cleanse the palate.


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White Fish Baked with Tomato, Olive and Caper Serves 4

1 tbsp vegetable oil ½ small onion, chopped fine 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin ½ lemon, zested 1 tbsp capers 3 ⁄4 cup olives, Sicilian hot mix or Picholine 1 pinch chili flakes 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved ½ cup white wine 2 cups (500 ml) Zambri’s tomato sauce 1½ lbs white fish, rockfish or sole ideally 1 tbsp chopped parsley olive oil Preheat oven to 375 F. Place garlic, chopped onion and vegetable oil in a medium-sized sauce pan. Turn heat to medium. Cook garlic and onion until soft and beginning to colour. Add a small amount of water halfway through to speed along the process. Add capers and olives and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and continue to cook until cherry tomatoes are soft and beginning to burst. Add white wine and Zambri’s tomato sauce. Simmer 5 minutes to let the flavours get to know each other. Prepare fish by giving a gentle rinse and patting dry on paper towels. Cut fish into 4 pieces of approximately the same size. 104

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White Fish Baked with Tomato, Olive and Caper.

Place fish in a shallow oven-safe casserole dish. Season fish with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over fish and place in oven. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout and just beginning to flake. Serve immediately and garnish with chopped parsley and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Clams and White Wine with GarlicRubbed Crostino and Parsley Pesto Serves 4

½ bunch parsley ½ tsp capers 1 tbsp grated hard-rind cheese ½ lemon, zested 2 tbsp olive oil ½ loaf crusty, day-old bread (like a baguette) 3 lbs clams 4 garlic cloves 1 cup white wine (anything cheap and cheerful) 1 tbsp butter 1 pinch chili flakes Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Cut bread in slices no bigger than oneinch thick. Place on parchment-lined baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Bake at 350 F for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted and dried most of the way through. Rub with one garlic clove on both sides of each crostino to “butter” the bread with the raw garlic. boulevardmagazines.com  |

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Clams and White Wine with GarlicRubbed Crostino and Parsley Pesto.

Stem parsley and chop fine. Squeeze capers and chop fine. Combine chopped parsley, capers, cheese, lemon zest and olive oil in a bowl. Adjust seasoning as needed. Smear pesto on each crostino. Wash clams as described above. Slice 3 cloves of garlic lengthwise as thin as possible. Place 1 tbsp of the olive oil, half of the butter and all of the sliced garlic in a cold, shallow sauce pot. Turn heat to medium low and heat the oil, butter and garlic until the butter just begins to foam. Add clams and stir around until the clams start to sizzle and begin opening. Add white wine and cover pan to trap in all the liquor from the clams. After 2 minutes, remove the lid and move the clams around with a spoon. The clams will not all open if they are stacked on each other, so moving them around gives them the space to open up and fully cook. Clams are ready when they are all fully open. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning as you see fit. Serve immediately in warm bowls with crostino.

Everything is Better with Chocolate

250-360-2390 | cakesetc.ca 2821 Quesnel Street, Victoria 106

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White Beans and Bitter Greens with Anchovy Breadcrumbs Serves 4

1 tbsp butter 1 tsp anchovies, chopped 3 leaves sage, chopped ½ cup breadcrumbs 1 tbsp olive oil 1 ⁄4 cup water 1 bunch bitter greens (such as dandelion greens,   rapini or black kale) 1 can white beans, drained Place butter and anchovies in a small, straight-edged sauté pan, ideally cast iron if available. Press the anchovies with a fork to break them up into smaller pieces. Cook together until anchovies have mostly dissolved and the butter begins to brown. Add sage and breadcrumbs. Cook together, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until breadcrumbs have absorbed all the butter and are light brown in colour. Remove from heat and place on a plate to cool. Set aside. Prepare greens by washing if needed and gently patting dry. Cut into pieces approximately 1 inch in length. Place a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat, and add greens, olive oil and water. Cover pan and let greens steam down until soft and water is mostly evaporated. If using rapini or kale, you should be able to squish the stems with your fingers. Add white beans and cook together until beans have softened slightly. Use a fork to mash the beans lightly until they are creamy in texture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in a shallow bowl and top with anchovy breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve hot.

White Beans and Bitter Greens with Anchovy Breadcrumbs.

523 Fisgard Street 250-590-6637 @moeshomevic www.moeshome.ca

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Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Now oPEN

by appointment only

2250 Oak Bay Ave, Suite 210, Victoria | 250 384 1791 | justyouboutique.com (Corner of Oak Bay & Monterey, behind Oaks Restaurant) Amoena is a registered trademark of Amoena Medizin-Orthopädie-Technik GmbH.

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Citrus Olive Oil Cake 3 eggs 3 ⁄4 cup white sugar 1 ⁄3 cup olive oil ½ cup milk 2 tbsp orange juice 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ lemon, zested ½ orange, zested 1 tsp vanilla extract 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp kosher salt Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Using either a stand mixer or a handheld electric beater, beat eggs and sugar together until eggs are light and fluffy—approximately 1 to 1.5 minutes. While mixing, add oil slowly in a steady stream until fully combined with milk, citrus zest, juice and vanilla extract. Sift or mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour, baking powder and salt mixture to wet mixture, beating softly until fully combined. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if needed. Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Let sit in pan at least 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.


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travel

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Beauty. Culture. Cuisine. Adventures in Vietnam WORDS LAUREN KRAMER

s the darkness of the pandemic months starts to lift, travel—or, the thought of travel—is opening up again and offering opportunities to rejuvenate, refresh our minds and bodies, and escape the monotony of routines stuck in a seemingly endless logjam since March 2020. If you’re keen to treat yourself to a trip off the beaten path, look no further than Vietnam. This is a country with many faces: the major cities are a noisy symphony of gridlocked traffic, while sandwiched between them, the rolling waves of the South China Sea lap up to pearly white stretches of beach and quiet fishing villages, where locals ply the water in round basket boats. There are night markets redolent with exotic scents and foods unique to Vietnam, and myriad fascinating, strange encounters that define a country where past and present merge to create a spellbinding rhythm to daily life. Domestic flights are frequent and ridiculously inexpensive, making it easy to traverse the country north to south.

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This is a country with many faces: the major cities are a noisy symphony of gridlocked traffic, while sandwiched between them, the rolling waves of the South China Sea lap up to pearly white stretches of beach and quiet fishing villages.

TO THE NORTH

In Hanoi, book a scooter tour of the city. Scooters are king of the road in Vietnam and they zip around in a crazy chorus of honking horns, transporting everything from entire families to caged chickens and ducks. My guide, a young woman in her early 20s, calmly navigated the chaos, weaving expertly between the cars in the warren-like alleyways of the Old Quarter, whose streets are named for the merchandise on sale. There’s kitchen street, silk street, eastern medicine street and silver street, all packed with narrow stores that elbow against each other, vying for attention. At the Temple of Literature, an ancient, 1,000-yearold structure, we learn how Vietnamese monarchs once tested the knowledge of students who, in years past, traveled on foot for up to six months for their exams. We cross the Red River on the Bridge of Love and Friendship, designed by famous Frenchman Gustave Eiffel, and we stand sombrely before the dank cells of the Hỏa Lò prison. Now a museum, it was previously a place of desperate suffering and deprivation, serving as a chilling reminder of the brutalities inflicted here just 50 years ago.

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PHOTO COURTESY GRASSHOPPER ADVENTURES


CENTRAL VIETNAM

Hội An: By day, escape the tourists by venturing on a guided bicycle tour into the nearby villages with Grasshopper Adventures. We biked over bridges and alongside farms and rice paddy fields still plowed by oxen. Our guide, Lyna Tran, led us through the boat-building yard of Kim Bồng village, a small town of 4,000 whose history of carpentry goes back to the 15th century. Invited into one home, we witnessed the family rice paper business in motion, even helping to crank the old hand-turned mill that transforms rice into rice paper, a staple of the Vietnamese diet. At night, Hội An becomes a magical fairyland, with colourful silk lanterns adorning the bars and restaurants of the Ancient Quarter and paper versions floating gently down the Thu Bồn River. Locals and visitors throng to this area after sunset, browsing food stands selling barbecued frogs, roasted birds, pork wraps and dried squid. The night market stalls fill the enclave with Gucci knockoffs and interesting knickknacks, and a vibrant energy fills the warm night air. We stopped for a game of bai choi, a traditional, musical outdoor game in street theatre format, then took a sidewalk seat at an outdoor bar, ordered a 30-cent beer and watched the crowds go by. Beachside Bliss: When city life begins to feel overwhelming, you know it’s time for the beach in Central Vietnam. We headed two hours north of Hội An to Angsana Lang Co, an upscale resort sandwiched between a quiet, private three kilometres of pristine coastline and a swath of thickly forested tropical mountains. The exquisite property features bedrooms with private dipping pools and sunbathing patios. Rooms are steps from the beach where an assortment of water toys await, from surfboards to kayaks and jet skis. At sunrise, I take long walks on the soft sand, feeling the waves lap gently at my feet. Later, I bike to the local fishing villages of Cảnh Dương and Binh An, exploring market stalls selling chicken, glassy-eyed fish not long out of the water and the freshest, largest mangoes I’ve ever seen. I watch school children walk home for their lunch break hand-in-hand, before biking back to the beach, past fishing boats baking in the hot sun. Far from city traffic, smog and noise you feel lost in time here, the days passing in a blissful rhythm of sun, surf and starry-skied nights.

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HIGH COUNTRY Head to the hills in BC fashion

Inspiring readers with stunning visuals and enticing stories.

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DOWN SOUTH

Saigon is the city where past and present converge with momentum. Home to nine million, it’s a place of contrasts. Cyclo drivers pedal passengers on three-wheeled bikes through the streets alongside motorbike taxis and luxury cars. Modest apartment buildings, home to local families, are just a quick walk from the skyscraper five-star hotel chains that dot the banks of the Saigon River. We visited the War Remnant Museum for a better understanding of the American War on Vietnam, shocked by the graphic images of violence and destruction. The museum offers a glimpse at the horrific effects of the war, and how its after-effects continue to ricochet through the country to this day. Yet the new, modern Vietnam is rising, with signs of construction everywhere. After dark we headed up the Bitexco Financial Tower, a lotus-shaped, 63-storey structure that’s one of the city’s tallest buildings. Towering over the city, it’s a proud symbol of contemporary Vietnam and the extent to which the country is rebuilding in the half century since it fought a bitter, ravaging war.

ISLAND LIFE

Our final stop in Vietnam is Phú Quốc, an island located an hour away from Saigon, where the Marriott Phú Quốc Emerald Bay, named the best hotel in Southeast Asia by Travel + Leisure, sits on the shores of Khem Beach. Straight out of a fairytale, the four-year-old property was constructed around the fictional campus of “Lamarck University,” with each building themed to represent a different department. Staff wear old-fashioned, college-like blazers and pinafores, the general manager is addressed as “dean” and references to learning, like the massive floor-to-ceiling bookcases packed with old books, are everywhere.

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4705A Trans Canada Highway Duncan, BC V9L 6E1

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PHOTO COURTESY ANGSANA LANG CO RESORT

Far from tacky, the theme of higher education is so perfectly executed that it feels novel, authentic and the furthest thing from a staid, traditional hotel environment. Not far from the property, other beachside land is being transformed from jungle to elegant hotels as more and more of the island yields to tourism. Quietly and shyly, Vietnam is just now beginning to welcome travellers and to share its beauty, culture and cuisine with the rest of the world.

PHOTO COURTESY GRASSHOPPER ADVENTURES

If You Go: For reservations at Angsana Lang Co visit Angsana.com or call (800) 591-0439 Grasshopper Adventures offers a variety of soft adventure biking tours throughout Southeast Asia, combining exercise with local guides and insider tours. Info: grasshopperadventures.com or call (844) 874-3720

photo: Jody Beck

778-433-1434 info@steponedesign.ca steponedesign.ca

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secrets and lives —

WORDS ANGELA COWAN PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

AND THE 7 SINS with MIKE MURPHY


F

ive minutes into our conversation and it’s hard to imagine someone who loves food more than Mike Murphy, the deep-voiced, friendly and straight-shooting owner of 10 Acres Farm and its three associated restaurants. A fixture in the restaurant business since he was 15, Mike’s had a hand in growing more than a few hot spots in Victoria. Most recently, he opened up 10 Acres at the Pier, as well as the cafe and market, after taking over the spot from Haro’s last year and undertaking extensive renovations. “Logistically, it made sense. We can share a lot of the food prep between restaurants,” he says, referencing The Kitchens and The Commons, his two other eateries on opposite sides of the same block in downtown Victoria. “Living out here already, and being familiar with the area, it made sense to have a restaurant less than four kilometres from the farm.” The “farm” is 10 Acres Farm, which is—unsurprisingly—10 acres in the heart of the Saanich Peninsula and a veritable bread basket for the South Island. As well as growing many of the vegetables and herbs for all three restaurants, the farm also raises swine, ducks and chickens. It has up to 1,100 fruit-bearing trees and vines, says Mike, including a recent addition of 300 Devon cider apple trees, for a near-future cider expansion. Other future plans include putting in a full-scale bakery, increasing meat processing capabilities, making on-site ice cream and much more. It’s a way to ensure the highest level of quality possible. When everything is made by hand, with the best possible ingredients, the product is naturally top tier, whether that end result is freshly baked bread, locally raised and fed pork, expertly pressed cider or abundant and healthy fresh fruit and veg. Listening to Mike, it’s clear that sustainability and quality are top of the priority list for every level of his business, from composting every scrap that comes back from the restaurants, to stewing up their own feed for the Ossabaw swine raised on the farm, and even encouraging government to revisit regulations that would allow for local meat processing to cut down on both the environmental footprint and the cost of meat, as well as improving the welfare of the animals. But whether he’s planning out the next steps for the farm, or brainstorming how to grow agri-tourism on the peninsula, or expanding the selection of take-home meals available at the market, Mike’s looking forward to the future. “You can’t plan for a year like 2020,” he says, reflecting on opening 10 Acres at the Pier last summer. “We’re quite looking forward to this year, with things getting back to normal. Every single thing that comes up next year is going to have to be celebrated, and I think we’re all looking forward to it.”

The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in? Anthony Bourdain. He embodied the humanity and empathy of the industry, and both he and Parts Unknown will be missed. Such a tragic end... I was heartbroken.

GLUTTONY: What is the food you could eat over and over again? Pasta, with simple, quality ingredients that allow the noodles to shine. A pappardelle with mushrooms or a spaghetti with Manila clams are two favourites, but most cultures embrace some rendition of a noodle or dumpling in their cooking.

GREED:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? I would probably set out to purchase some of the outstanding classics I owned when I was younger, starting with an Austin-Healy 100-4 that I bought from Rudi Koniczek’s Autohaus on Newport Avenue when I was in high school.

WRATH:

Pet peeves? Littering. Since when has that become fashionable again? The government might not have thought it through when they took away ashtrays; the result is people who still smoke have nowhere to put their butts, and often leave them on the street, from where they often end up in the ocean.

SLOTH: Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? I love to be in cities and hang out in cafes and coffee shops. I can spend hours at a time in them, and two favourites are New York City and Montreal. But the West Coast has fabulous cafe culture too. It’s where you really get the fabric of the people.

PRIDE:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? Finishing the New York Times crossword, sudoku and Spelling Bee on a weekend day before I finish my second cup of coffee.

LUST: What makes your heart beat faster? A warm, sunny day, driving my car with the top down and the right music playing on the stereo, next to my girl, and on a road trip adventure to somewhere we’ve never been.

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narrative

WORDS NORMA HINDS

i

X ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY

EPIDEMIC

n the spring of 1953, the polio epidemic hit our Manitoban town and our family. Later, I learned this epidemic was the most severe ever recorded in Canada at the time, with more than 2,300 cases in Manitoba alone—or 300 per 100,000. My mother, Bessie, unable to breathe, was taken to the local hospital. That night, as Audrey, my older sister, and I watched the rain beating on our bedroom window, she whispered to me that she was not feeling well. Then she too was gone. My Dad was left in a desperate situation. My brother, Marvin, was only a year old; Irene was five and I was six and a half. Who was going to look after us? The town folk either had family members stricken with polio, or were afraid to get too close for fear of contracting the disease. People were told to avoid exposure by avoiding crowds, beaches, swimming pools and “strange” children. This disease was mostly confined to the young and most common in summer. Dad’s sister, who lived in Winnipeg, agreed to take Marvin as she had two older sons and she was not working at the time. That left Irene and me… The next morning, Irene and I were sent to my paternal grandparents’ house in Beausejour, Manitoba. Even though we lived in the same town, we had rarely seen them. Dad dropped us off on his way to visit Mom in the hospital. He was back within the hour, this time driving his ambulance, which was part of his funeral business. He was angry. “Those doctors know bugger all. Bessie almost died last night. She couldn’t breathe. I’m taking her into the city for proper treatment. That’s why I brought the ambulance.” Grandpa questioned him, “Where are you going to get the money to pay for that?” Dad responded, “I don’t know. We just applied for Blue Cross insurance, but I don’t think it takes effect yet. Don’t worry, though, I’ll see that you get paid for feeding the kids.” And with that, he and the ambulance were gone.

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The polio virus had affected Mom’s throat and bronchial tubes. She spent months in the King George Hospital in an iron lung, our presentday ventilator. Twelve children grew up in the grandparents’ two-bedroom bungalow, built in the early 1900s. The bed engulfed our small bedroom. Luckily, it had a screened window as the summer was hot and humid. Also, the heavy down comforter made the room stifling at night. Irene loved to curl up and sink into it. Grandma and Grandpa’s bedroom was off the kitchen, a forbidden area. To the back of the house, beyond the kitchen, was the porch, where, in a gigantic barrel, the slop pail oozed strong nauseous smells. The porch was ominous with its dark and windowless state. Excitement for that summer was a trip to Princess (Queen) Elizabeth Hospital in Winnipeg to get our polio vaccine shot. This “shot” was apparently in great demand and only available to children. When we got to the hospital, I learned the shot was a needle—and in the bum. Did it ever hurt!


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However, Irene and I then got to visit Audrey. She sat in a high, white-blanketed hospital bed. Audrey proudly showed us where she hid the food that she didn’t like to eat. And yes, the hiding spot was under her bed. Audrey gave us some cut-out dolls. I thought she was lucky that she had so many cut-outs that she could afford to give some away. After our visit with Audrey, we waited outside for Dad as he was visiting Mom in King George Hospital nearby. The polio virus had affected Mom’s throat and bronchial tubes. She spent months in the King George Hospital in an iron lung, our present-day ventilator.

AFTERMATH

With the end of summer came the end of our banishment. It also heralded Mom’s homecoming. The last time we saw her, Mom was an attractive, strong woman but…now? We were shocked and repelled by her appearance. She was very thin and fragile with white hair, a lopsided mouth and crooked face. She was only 40 years old. Because of the paralysis of her throat muscles, Mom had difficulty chewing and swallowing. Even eating baby food was a difficult and slow process as she used her hands to manipulate her jaw. I can still hear the gagging and choking noises she made. Audrey’s arrival home, weeks later, was less traumatic. Polio had caused paralysis in Audrey’s legs, and left her with one leg shorter than the other. She walked with a limp but, to Irene and me, she seemed normal. However, polio exacerbated Audrey’s scoliosis. She eventually had back surgery which meant more hospitals, a body cast, back brace and more pain. I have little remembrance of Marvin’s homecoming. He could walk by this time and someone said, “He was so happy to be

home, he kissed the floor.” I suspect this was wishful thinking. Although it was a difficult time for our family, we were blessed to have Mrs. Friesen, a pleasant and capable Mennonite woman, who provide much-needed care and support. Mrs. Friesen was with us for many years. There was also a financial cost to the polio epidemic. Dad had applied for Blue Cross coverage but because Audrey and Mom were hospitalized prior to the plan’s waiting period, they were not eligible for coverage. From the municipal hospitals (the Queen Elizabeth and King George) there was an outstanding debt of $413.45. The town of Beausejour was owed $413. In addition, the Department of National Revenue assessed $914.81 plus interest for unpaid taxes. I found these bills in 2019 when I was cleaning out documents from my brother Marvin’s estate. He had kept much of my Dad’s business information. According to my parents, Dad had been mayor of Beausejour at the time of the epidemic. Because he could not pay the town property taxes, he was not allowed to run for a second term. He was very bitter about this. However, years later he again served as a councillor on the town council.

FINAL THOUGHT

Years later, when Mom was talking to a friend, the friend said, “I’ve never heard of anyone having polio in the throat.” Mom’s answer was, “Because few survived.” It is now May 23, 2020. I am writing this during the COVID19 pandemic and have had two months of social distancing and isolation. We survived the polio epidemic and we will survive this pandemic.

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behind the story

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oulevard editor Susan Lundy and her husband, Bruce Cameron, hit the road a few months ago, test-driving a hybrid Volvo XC90 T8 in BC’s West Kootenays region for this edition’s feature story, called Road Therapy. “Road trips have been a huge part of my life, pretty much from the moment I got behind the wheel of my first car,” says Susan. “When my daughters were young, we spent dozens of glorious weekends travelling to swim meets around the province. Later, my husband and I memorized all the twists and turns of Highway 1 as we drove countless times between our homes in Calgary and Salt Spring Island. Since then, we’ve driven across Canada, all around BC and through the western states. Each time we get in the car and head out, it’s like an immediate exhale. Then we feel a surge of excitement at all the possibilities—all the things to discover, all the potential for adventure. And these days, when pandemic-forced isolation has transformed our relationship with private spaces, our cars are more than just a means of transportation; they’re a safe space to escape into. Road therapy might not be a medical term, but it has offered an antidote to the pandemic—as well as a whole lot of adventure and fun.”

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PHOTO BY BRUCE CAMERON


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