MARCH / APRIL 2021
OKANAGAN LIFE AT ITS FINEST
BOUNTY OF THE SEA Seafood shines in three-course Italian il pasto
A FRESH LOOK & A FRESH START ReStore at Okanagan’s Habitat for Humanity
THE SUN RETURNS Wools, knits and colours made for life on the beach
styles that inspire Our Our studios studios deliver deliver a a premium premium in-store in-store experience experience and and showcase showcase a a wide wide selection selection of of quality quality fixtures fixtures and and brands, brands, with with the the knowledge knowledge and and support support of of expert expert consultants. consultants. kitchenandbathclassics.com kitchenandbathclassics.com
2288 Hunter Road 2288 Hunter RoadPlace 110-2120 Leckie Kelowna, BC, 7H5 Kelowna, V1X 7H5 Kelowna,BC, B.C.V1X V1Y 7W7 250-860-4366 250-860-4366 250-860-4366
Mon – to Mon – Fri: Fri:– 8:00am 8:00am to 4:30pm 4:30pm Mon-Fri 7:30-4:00 pm Sat – Sun: Closed Sat – Sun:– Closed Sat-Sun Closed Kitchen Kitchen & & Bath Bath Classics, Classics, is is a a homeownerhomeownerfriendly wholesale showroom friendly wholesale showroom designed designed and and operated by Wolseley Canada. operated by Wolseley Canada.
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On the Cover Photo by Jaime Hubert, Simple Photography / Styled by Mika Rempel
A traditional and timeless West Kelowna home, built by Heirloom Custom Homes.
26 ABOUT TIME ...
This stunning, traditional West Kelowna home is the embodiment of “timeless”
By Valaura Jones
By Susan Lundy
LIFE. STYLE. ETC.
By Lia Crowe
By Cayley Belair
32 THE SUN RETURNS
Wools, knits and colours made for life on the beach
By Jen Evans & Lia Crowe
52 WHERE A FRESH LOOK
MEANS A FRESH START
ReStore at Habitat for Humanity
By Valaura Jones
A time for new beginnings
14 WELL & GOOD
38 BUSINESS CLASS
70 SECRETS AND LIVES
Every body beautiful
By Kaisha Scofield
Charting the course: Michel Tremblay
By Angela Cowan
By Toby Tannas
A passion for pinot
56 FOOD & FEAST
By Jennifer Schell
Bounty of the sea
By Julia McInnis
A golden reward
By Suzanne Morphet
Adventures in Vietnam
By Lauren Kramer
72 NARRATIVE Epidemic
By Norma Hinds
BEHIND THE STORY
By Darren Hull
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
contributors “Food has always been a central part of connecting with family and friends for me. Sharing recipes and
JULIA MCINNIS WRITER BOUNTY OF THE SEA
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 well-known establishments. She has been working at Zambri’s in Victoria since returning to the island almost 10 years ago.
OKANAGAN LIFE AT ITS FINEST MARC H / AP RI L 2 02 1
BLACK PRESS MEDIA Penny Sakamoto GROUP PUBLISHER
BOULEVARD Mario Gedicke GROUP PUBLISHER 250.891.5627
MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe
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“There is something magical about capturing the spirit of a home.
MIKA REMPEL STYLIST ABOUT TIME ...
Anyone who has snapped a photo with their phone knows it doesn’t communicate the beauty of what you see and feel in person. That is why my photographer and I work closely to relate the unique personality of each project. The beautiful architecture is the setting, and the goal is to make each space feel truly special. The photo shoot featured in this issue is a traditional summer house, filled with bright light and textured wood. Fresh greenery, gorgeous decor items from local shops, and a sunny day were all that was needed to style this charming home.” Mika Rempel, a boutique interior designer based in Kelowna, is known for collaborating with clients to create spaces that are highly customized and individual.
“I am in love with love stories.
JENNIFER SCHELL WRITER A PASSION FOR PINOT
Whether the love story is about two people, a pet, a tree, a zucchini plant, a chicken casserole or a glass of wine, I am in. I share stories of passion that remind us of our individuality and celebrate the world’s unbelievably diverse and exciting community of creative humans. I also love to eat and drink and decorate and travel to other places to do all of those things with the one that I love. Every day is a new story.” Jennifer is the author of four cookbooks that celebrate BC’s food, drink and farm community. The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook is her newest creation. She says her heart is with the ocean and her soul on an orchard in the Okanagan.
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CONTRIBUTING Cayley Belair WRITERS Angela Cowan Lia Crowe Jen Evans Norma Hinds Valaura Jones Lauren Kramer Julia McInnis Suzanne Morphet Mika Rempel Jennifer Schell Kaisha Scofield Toby Tannas CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe, Darren Hull, PHOTOGRAPHERS Jaime Hubert ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CIRCULATION & Brian Gold DISTRIBUTION 250.763.7575
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It was a dark and stormy night. Pen poised, I searched the crevices of my mind to develop a storyline about "escapism”—a topic that seems apt amid ongoing pandemic blues. A battle raged inside. I needed something light and comedic. How about a whimsical travel story? That’s escapism. Hmm. A story about travel these days is more akin to tragedy than levity. Could I find inspiration in the definition of the word? “The tendency to seek distraction and relief from an unpleasant reality [read: a year-plus of COVID-19] especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.” Could I combine entertainment and fantasy and craft a fantastical story of good and evil, focussing on our strapping heroes, the Vancouver Canucks, finally overpowering the menacing Toronto-Maple-Leaf antagonists? Too far out there, I suppose. Truth is stranger than fiction but fiction has to be believable. (Then, in real life, the Canucks do indeed beat the Leafs, twice, in fact, proving that not only can they break my heart on occasion, they can ruin my jokes as well.) I could write a reverie about being visited by a fairy godmother who cleans my house, pours me a bubble bath and brings me Prosecco in the tub. Oh, but wait. I’ve already written that. In fact it’s one of 75 humour essays in my new book, Home on the Strange, which is out on April 13—so no need to repeat myself here. (I lift my pen at this point, pausing for a moment as I consider this. Then I decide, meh!, this isn’t just flagrant self-promotion… it works with the narrative.) Perhaps, I finally conclude, I’ll settle on a piece about my favourite escapee: Zorro, our Chilean rescue dog. He was found as a puppy crying in a shoebox with his brother under a bridge in Santiago. He has escaped life on the streets and landed—as our friends like to say—“with his butt in the butter” in our BC abode. There may be no better butt-in-butter example than his sleeping arrangements. Each night, he happily crawls into his crate at bedtime—and why wouldn’t he? It is layered with, starting from the bottom, a blanket, an old bathrobe, a thick, cosy crate pad, a pillow (in a silk pillowcase!) and, finally, a small self-heating blanket. I cover him with an additional blanket when he falls asleep. There’s also a blanket under the crate and another encircling it. He settles in for the night like a prince in a pillow palace. It’s a far cry from a shoebox. The escapee hero of our story turned into an escape artist the first time we left him alone in our truck. When the truck is in motion, Zorro is connected to a leash that’s attached to a backseat headrest. But concerned that left alone he’d get tangled up in it, we unleashed him. Fifteen minutes after leaving him in the truck, I crept back to check on him. There he was, looking out the front windshield on the driver’s side… feet firmly planted on a now-blasting horn. Oh dear. That won’t do. So we moved him and his little doggie bed into the backseat and re-attached him to the leash via his harness. And then we left again. One hour later, we arrived back at the truck and our first thought was—“He’s naked!” And then—“He’s free!” Somehow, he had wiggled out of his harness and his sweater, and was dashing about the truck, even finding his way into a bag of popcorn stashed in the back. “Zorro, the master of escapism!” I wrote that last line with a flourish, and gently laid down my pen. Outside, the wind and rain continued to churn and seethe. But the battle in my mind subsided. The storyline was set, the characters developed and the plot executed. It was a story worthy of its escapism theme. Now, about that bubble bath and Prosecco…
Susan Lundy Editor Susan Lundy is a former journalist who now works as a magazine editor, author and freelance writer. Her new book, Home on the Strange, is out April 13, 2021 via Heritage House Publishing.
NEW SPRING ARRIVALS DAILY
life.style.etc. NICOLE VERBEKE, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL DESIGNER, COPPER + OAK DESIGN WORDS LIA CROWE
PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN HULL
“I grew up in the building industry,” Nicole tells me when asked how she came to interior design. Her father invented the heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) and started producing vänEE air exchangers with his company Conservation Energy Systems (CES) in Saskatoon. “Business and construction were always hot topics around the dinner table. Both my parents are incredible entrepreneurs and it’s certainly where I get my business passion from. Growing up, my mom was such a strong female role model in my life and has shaped who I am for sure. After high school, I toured interior design schools in Toronto and Vancouver, but decided that a business degree left my doors more open. Returning to Canada after living abroad for a few years, we settled in the Okanagan for its beautiful lifestyle eight years ago. After having our first son, I decided to take my design side gig and lifelong passion more seriously. Copper + Oak Design was born.” What aspect of her work gets her the most fired up? “When I first get to know a client: I love getting a glimpse of who they are and then envisioning and designing their space for their specific needs. However, seeing it all come together, styling and photographing the end result, may be my favourite part.” And what innate quality has led to her success? “Being organized is an absolute must for me—‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ is my life’s motto.” Outside of work Nicole is passionate about spending time with family. “I lost my sister in 2015 and my father in 2021. I’ve learned that joy and sorrow can walk side by side.” When it comes to style Nicole loves an aesthetic that feels as approachable as it does elevated. She believes good style tells a story. “It’s a language that spans all cultures. It evokes a feeling and leaves you wanting to know more.”
STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style icon: Jane Birkin. Favourite artist: Mary Jane Ansell. Favourite fashion designer or brand: I love to shop at Revolve, Aritzia, Zimmerman, Steele and Spell. Era of time that inspires your style: This changes so much depending on the home, the client and their lifestyle. Personally, I love a relaxed, approachable twist to traditionalism. Favourite cocktail or wine: Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut.
Album on current rotation: Morning Commute playlist on Spotify. Favourite flower: Peonies, but I decorate with olive branches or seeded eucalyptus a lot. I love the effortlessness and feel that you’ve just returned from foraging. Favourite city to visit: London. Favourite app: Instagram (@copperandoakdesign). One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: My family.
FASHION & BEAUTY Uniform: I tend to gravitate to pieces that will stand the test of time. All time favourite piece: Burberry trench. Currently coveting: Sand between my toes, ocean air and sunsets. Favourite day-bag: Goyard Saint Louis tote. Favourite work tool: My MacBook, iPhone 12 Pro Max and my paper agenda. Favourite jewellery piece or designer: My engagement and wedding rings. Accessory you spend the most money on: Handbags, jackets, jewellery, shoes… I think I have a problem. Necessary indulgence: Taking the time for my skincare routine. Must-have for the face: SALTYFACE face tan. Scent: Idôle by Lancome and Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin. Must-have hair product: A scrunchie. Beauty secret: A good night’s sleep, lemon water with a touch of sea salt.
READING MATERIAL What you read online for style: Dwell and MyDomaine for interior design content. Instagram and my favourite online shops for style inspiration. Fave print magazine: Architectural Digest, Elle or Vogue. Fave style blog: @leoniehanne—fun designer content. @littleblondebook for everyday style. Coffee table book/photography book: Made for Living by Amber Lewis, Architectural Digest at 100 and Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone. Last great read: Make Life Beautiful by Shea and Syd McGee. Their story resonated with me so much. Book currently reading: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. Favourite book of all time: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
Office refresh BY CAYLEY BELAIR, HANNAH KATEY INTERIOR DESIGN INC.
Mannington Adura Max luxury vinyl plank flooring Dockside Driftwood Nufloors ($6.99/sq. ft.)
Jonathan Alder Jacques Etagere bookcase Lexi & Lake $4,565
The spring season is all about new beginnings, so what better time to give your work space a refreshing update? We’ve put together a peaceful and cohesive look for a home office, or even a sitting area, using our very own local vendors. Adding warmth to any space is simple with Mannington Adura Max flooring from Nufloors. This luxury vinyl plank flooring is easy to clean and durable, and comes in a variety of colours. We’ve selected the Dockside Driftwood, as its combination of browns and greys creates a neutral flooring option that will pair well with anything. We’ve added local decor to finish off the space, as well as a combination of Benjamin Moore-painted walls and a wallpaper feature by Hooked on Walls. We’ve also added a floor lamp for additional task lighting, as well as a large gold overhead chandelier to finish off the room with a wow factor!
Soho Loft Benjamin Moore Call for price
Surya Anika rug, 9’ x 12’4” Nufloors $1,569
16-light chandelier with satin gold finish Robinson Lighting Call for price
Kartell Maui desk chair in black Lexi & Lake $599
Bronze stem floor lamp Robinson Lighting $606
Dublin Desk by Arteriors Lexi & Lake $8,355
Kartell Largo two-seater sofa Lexi & Lake $5,999
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
well and good
every body beautiful
Body positivity, body neutrality and self-acceptance WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD
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 boulevardmagazines.com |
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
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.
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.
Nicole Verbeke, Owner + Principal Designer
778.212.2553 ‘@copperandoakdesign www.copperandoak.design
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Two New Okanagan Developments: VERNON
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Bailey Williamson, winemaker at Blue Grouse Estate Winery.
a passion for pinot Sea to sky on the BC pinot noir trail WORDS JENNIFER SCHELL
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
Pinot noir, dubbed the heartbreak grape by winemakers and grape growers, has found the spotlight in British Columbia. This notoriously finicky grape needs specific conditions to nurture its thin skin and temperamental nature. In wine-geek speak, it also mutates easily and is susceptible to disease and pests. However, regardless of the drama and risk, it seems that for BC winemakers the rewards are well worth the extra love and attention.
British Columbia’s pinot success is palpable... With styles ranging from masculine to feminine and each reflective of its own vineyard, BC’s pinot noir gets rave reviews from wine critics everywhere. Pinot noir goes by a couple of different handles. It hails from France’s Bourgogne or Burgundy region where pinot noir and Chardonnay reign collectively as king and queen (pinot noir for Bourgogne Rouge and Chardonnay for Bourgogne Blanc). Pinot noir culture has travelled globally, achieving major celebrity in New Zealand and the USA, primarily in Oregon and California. And then there is our very own beautiful wine country. British Columbia’s pinot success is palpable. A growing selection that graces wine-store shelves is evidence of our local winemakers’ love affair with it. With styles ranging from masculine to feminine and each reflective of its own vineyard, BC’s pinot noir gets rave reviews from wine critics everywhere. “I love that pinot expresses its place and time with clarity,” says Shane Munn, GM and winemaker at Martin’s Lane Winery in Kelowna. “In terms of what particular characteristics I love about pinot, I can only offer a bunch of adjectives: charm, beauty, complexity, intrigue, and all in a delicate combination of elegance and power.” Pinot noir is most commonly described as elegant. It is light- to medium-bodied and usually the only red that a whitewine drinker will consider. It is fruit forward, revealing a lovely bouquet with notes ranging from earth to spices, herbs and florals. The palate can offer up a range of flavours, including berries, maybe with notes of mushroom, tobacco and/or vanilla (depending on barrel aging). Usually drunk best young, the finish is not tannic and should be long and smooth. These characteristics make it a very versatile food wine and an allweather sipper. The passion for pinot has wineries like Martin’s Lane in Kelowna focussing almost entirely on its production (the winery produces pinot noir and riesling exclusively). Shane is a master craftsman, who has brought from his native New Zealand a style that finesses the certified organic vineyards into the super-premium range of four pinot labels. These are created from four different vineyards—one in West Kelowna, two in East Kelowna and one in Naramata. In describing his winemaking process and vision, Shane says, “I’d like to think there is no defined Martin’s Lane style per se—sure, there are elements of things we use that others do (and don’t)—but really my aim is that our wines equally reflect the site and the season. That site can be an entire vineyard or just a small block. It’s important that the grapes and resultant
Martin’s Lane Winery.
wines are handled sensitively, that every movement is gentle, considered and justified.“ On our BC pinot noir celebrity list, Vancouver Island wine has some serious stars and pinot noir is fast becoming a signature grape. Blue Grouse Estate Winery in the Cowichan Valley has been racking up the awards and big news accolades for its two pinot noir labels. So too have neighbours like Unsworth Vineyards, Venturi-Schultze Vineyards, Averill Creek Vineyard and Emandare Vineyard. Surprised at Vancouver Island’s success? Blue Grouse winemaker Bailey Williamson, who has been crafting these winning wines from the vineyard’s estate-grown pinot, says, “Pinot noir is perhaps the only noble red-wine grape that is not suited to hot climates, which makes it a natural fit for most regions in BC. The diurnal shift from hot days to cool nights is what it truly enjoys. It allows it to maintain its acidity and develop its bright cherry aromas and flavours. At Blue Grouse, with our south-facing slope and being only one-and-a-half kilometres from the ocean, we have this diurnal fluctuation in spades: daytime temperatures can be 32 degrees in the vineyard, and at nighttime it can be 12 degrees.” And what many may not know is that the island has old vines from some pioneering vineyards. As Bailey notes, “Our oldest planting of 30 years is the Ritter clone, which is Germanic in origin, and produces a more tannic, deeper representation of pinot noir. We have planted the Dijon clones as well and are hopeful they will yield more blending options for the future.” If you are into pinot, and when travelling is safe again, plan a dynamite road trip around the vast BC wine country, exploring from sea to sky this unique pinot noirian culture, and taste these gorgeous expressions of this grape. In the meantime, you can order the wines from the wineries and do a taste tour at home. Here are some suggestions:
VANCOUVER ISLAND: Blue Grouse Estate Winery 2018 Quill Pinot Noir
This wine starts on the nose with red plum, vanilla and cranberries followed by flavours of cherry pie and warm spices in the mouth. Food pairing: A perfect accompaniment to wild sockeye salmon or hearty pasta dishes. boulevardmagazines.com |
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
KAMLOOPS: Privato Vineyard & Winery
LILLOOET: Fort Berens Estate Winery
2018 Pinot Noir
2017 Pinot Noir Reserve
This wine is an expression of sun-warmed black and ruby plums, blackberry jam and hints of wild thyme. A lingering soft palate together with approachable tannins add to the elegance of this wine. Food pairing: Dishes with a touch of spice, seared salmon or tuna, barbecues, roast beef, beetroot dishes and especially dishes that feature cherries or figs are all fabulous choices.
KELOWNA: Martin’s Lane Winery 2015 Naramata Ranch Pinot Noir
OLIVER: Anthony Buchanan Wines
Deep ruby red. Dense, dark cherry aromas with fine, floral notes. The palate is sleek with a compact texture and complex silky tannins. Food pairing: Says the winery’s Shane Munn: “I’m liking any of our pinots with mushroom dishes in this cold weather. Been making lots of pasta—so something like a mushroom tagliatelle or even mushroom risotto would be appropriate this time of year.”
2018 Ashlyn Pinot Noir
LAKE COUNTRY: O’Rourke Peak Cellars
SIMILKAMEEN: Corcelettes Estate Winery
2018 O’Rourke Pinot Noir
2017 Reserve Pinot Noir Micro Lot Series
Aromatics that pack a full punch of big red fruits with Bing cherry, dark cherry, chocolate-covered cherry, cassis and black currant, accented with herbs, and earthy forest floor with just a hint of a floral note. The palate is soft and elegant, yet fullbodied and delightfully complex, with well-developed flavours of black currant, berries, leather, tobacco, cigar box and cedar spice with characters of coffee and cocoa leading through to a long finish of silky warm tannins. Food pairing: Very versatile and perfect on its own. Would be amazing with roasted chicken, squash soup or mushroom pizza.
The rich Pinot Noir Reserve has an intense aroma of dark cherries, tobacco leaf and wild roses. On the palate, a mouthwatering acidity balances perfectly with the rich flavours of spices, ripe cherries and forest floor. The wine has a very long finish. Food pairing: This wine pairs beautifully with stew, quiche and mushroom dishes.
Unfined, unfiltered, gentle winemaking featuring black cherries, sage, plums, violets, baking spice and sweet cherry cola with a savoury, saline component. Food pairing: The winery’s Anthony Buchanan suggests, “Pork tenderloin (perhaps with truffle oil) with roasted veggies or pork belly with garlic mash. The acidity in the wine will cut through some of the fat and should be delicious.”
This pinot noir features 22-year-old vines. The nature of the old vines drives greater complexity in fruit and is further enhanced by these rugged and hot soils. Mineral, mushroom and earth flavours. Food pairing: Make this elegant Pinot a perfect pairing with dishes like seared duck breast, pork tenderloin and mushroom risotto.
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A golden reward
Larch madness in Golden, BC WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET
“I feel like Alice in Wonderland,” laughs Laura as we come to a golden meadow where we’re surrounded by them.
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 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
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emerge from an evergreen forest into the subalpine level. Far 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
Showhome Open Daily 12 - 4, Closed Mondays 9686 Benchland Drive – Lake Country Lakestone Preferred Builder | www.homesbydestination.com 24
SEE SPAWNING SALMON.
HIKE TO WATERFALLS.
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.
EAT AT ELEVEN22.
SLEEP AT CEDAR HOUSE CHALETS.
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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• Courtenay • Nelson • •Vernon NanaimoKelowna Campbell• River Penticton
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Design time: 10 months Build time: 11 months Square feet: 4,700 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4 Notable features: Unique custom floor plan with windowlined hallway connecting the two wings of the home with private primary suite on the second level; custom millwork; 16-foot sliding glass doors; aluminum-wrapped wood windows; locally milled custom hardwood floors finished with a European hardwax oil; cedar shake and stone exterior with copper roof details. 26 boulevardmagazines.com |
This stunning, traditional West Kelowna home is the embodiment of “timeless” WORDS VALAURA JONES
STYLING MIKA REMPEL
PHOTOGRAPHY JAIME HUBERT, SIMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY
imeless is a word that conjures up a feeling rather than an image: it’s Audrey Hepburn, the iconic Barcelona chair and Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses. It is both deeply familiar and unexpected at the same time, never forsaking practicality. Timeless design transcends the trends of an era. At the intersection of Mount Boucherie and Okanagan Lake in West Kelowna sits a lovely two-storey home that is the embodiment of “timeless.” Completed in 2019, the traditional English-architecture-inspired four-bedroom boulevardmagazines.com |
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“It has a classic sensibility using finishes that will not feel dated…The goal was for it to look classic and timeless so that it stands up well for when they move here full time.” home is clad in white shake siding and stacked stone that lend it a sense of permanence. Eye-catching copper roofing draws the eye to the modest front entry and pop-out windows. This is the vacation home for a family of five, although the disruptions of 2020 allowed them to spend five months in total this past year at the beloved property. It was a silver lining for the homeowners, who vacationed in the Okanagan for nearly two decades before they built the home that has become the backdrop of cherished family memories. “We looked at resort condos, but the offers didn’t work out for one reason or the other. Eventually, we decided that maybe a condo wasn’t for us, and we started looking at properties,” explains Michael, one of the homeowners whose names have both been changed for privacy purposes. They were looking for a property on the water with lots of natural light and living space. What they found was a 1960s home with flood damage. But the lot was level, deep and southeast-facing with a majestic willow tree framing the lake view.
Michael and his wife, Jennifer, enlisted the talents of Jason Brears at Heirloom Custom Homes to make the thoughtfully designed home a reality. The house needed to be comfortable enough for holiday relaxation and entertaining, yet still stand the test of time should it become the couple’s primary residence when they retire. “It has a classic sensibility with finishes that won’t feel dated in a few years. I would hate for them to come and retire in 10 or 20 years and for them to feel like they need to renovate their house. The goal was for it to look classic and timeless so that it stands up well for when they move here full time,” says interior designer Mika Rempel. The challenge was met through the careful use of tonal shades of white and texture throughout. Custom millwork adds depth to the walls through mouldings and panelings, while wallpaper adds additional flair in select areas and rooms. The thoughtful detail extends to every corner of the house, including the ceiling, where a careful mix of crown moulding, tongue-and-groove boards and sleek beams keeps things interesting.
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HANNAH KATEY I N T E R I O R
D E S I G N
At Hannah Katey Interior Design, we believe in creativity, function, collaboration, and excellent results. Let us lead the way to ensure your ideals are thoughtfully executed down to every last detail. Book a consultation today! Renovations // New Builds // Commercial Photography: Savannah Bagshaw Contractor: Marvel Pro Contracting
250-575-0246 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hannahkatey.com
There’s no place like Dorothy’s.
When the sun sets on another beautiful day, the home is illuminated by an unusual mix of fixtures from Pine Lighting. Each room receives its own lighting treatment, balancing ambient wall lighting with task lighting and overhead pendants and fixtures that are simple in design yet dramatic in scale. The use of mixed metals and textures in the light fixtures, hardware and faucets, adds a sense of surprise and relaxation to the home. “In a heritage home, that mix of metals and materials just happens naturally over time as things evolve,” explains Mika. “Sometimes, things can get too ‘perfect,’ and that makes everything feel less homey and comfortable.” But the most striking feature of the house may be its layout and the hallway that layout creates. Working with home designer Gregg Stappler, principal of West Coast Design, the homeowners were able to maximize the light throughout the home without sacrificing practicalities like furniture placement. The resulting design is an H-shaped floor plan that provides privacy, quiet and unique outdoor living spaces. A spacious hall and stairwell connect the house’s two wings and the second floor boasts a cathedral-like experience with soaring ceilings, largescale symmetrical windows and a dramatic trio of lanterns. “My favourite part of the house is the hallway,” Michael laughs. “I love looking out over the lake from those windows.” The house’s layout also creates a peaceful courtyard at the front for relaxing in the evening sun. The two wings wrap around the heated swimming pool in the backyard, offering privacy and easy access to the outdoor kitchen, dining and living areas. In the warmer months, the family spends most of their days outside, the covered patios offering respite from heat and rain. In the mornings, Michael and Jennifer take their coffee to the end of the dock, where a pair of white Adirondack chairs sits perched over the water. They were a gift from Jennifer to
Michael, and it’s become a particularly special spot where the couple sit and talk, waving to neighbours who pass by on their paddleboards and kayaks. It’s a place for reflection, relaxation and gratitude for all that their journey has brought them. Like their house, the memories that they are making will stand the test of time. “The people who owned the property previously had lived here for a very long time, and their family had grown up, so there was a nice story behind it,” Michael recalls. “When we got possession of the house, there was a little note in a card from them, saying, ‘Hope you have as many great memories as we did.’” NOTABLE SUPPLIERS: Homebuilder: Heirloom Custom Homes Home Designer: West Coast Design Interior Designer: Mika Design Co. Exterior Finishing: Jensen Exteriors Masonry: ALB Masonry Ltd. Millwork: Enns Bros Contracting Kolbe Windows: Grand Openings Cabinets: Norelco Cabinets Lighting: Pine Lighting Tile: Small’s Tile & Flooring Flooring: Koeda Hardwood Floors Countertops: RevitaStone Plumbing Fixtures: Baths By Design Window Treatments: The Well Dressed Window Home Audio: Wave Audio
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find your sTyle. and CoMforT leVel. we MaKe iT easy.
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THE SUN RETURNS
Spring is here! Boulevard celebrates with a family-bubble visit to the magical Crystal Cove Beach Resort near Tofino, dressed in some of the best Vancouver Island has to offer in outdoor wear made for life on the beach. There are wools to keep out the chill of the salt air, knits for cosy beach fires and colours that reflect the sea, the sand and the sun. PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN HULL
On Lia: Dress by Free People ($138) from Merchant Quarters General Store; sweater by Des Petits Hauts ($150) from Bagheera Boutique; recycled cashmere toque ($50) from Anian. On Peter: Heavyweight Henley ($95) from ecologyst.
STYLING BY JEN EVANS + LIA CROWE
Two recycled wool “Scout” blankets ($95ea) from Anian.
On Djuna: Merino wool sweater ($345), the “Fisherman” toque ($95) and “The Merino Jogger” pants ($165), all from from ecologyst. On Corbin: Yellow anorak ($325) from ecologyst.
The “Painters” coat ($165) and “The Sunday Flannel” ($135) from Anian.
On Lia: “The Fisherman Sweater” ($395) from ecologyst. On Peter: “The Fisherman Sweater” ($395) from ecologyst.
On Lia: “The Modern Melton” shirt ($189) from Anian. On Djuna: “Painters” coat ($165) from Anian. On Simone: Merino wool sweater ($345) from ecologyst. On Corbin: “Ridgefield” flannel by Marmot ($140) from Merchant Quarters General Store. On Peter: “The Puffy Jacket” ($445) from ecologyst.
Makeup by Jenny McKinney Models: Lia Crowe, Peter Zambri, Corbin Jones, Djuna Nagasaki and Simone Nagasaki. Photographed on location at Crystal Cove Beach Resort. A huge thank you for hosting our team!
Charting the course
Michel Tremblay navigates work and adventure WORDS TOBY TANNAS
PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN HULL
“You need to get out of town. You have to live, you have to explore… Immerse yourself in a culture, get out of your comfort zone, [such as] somewhere you can’t speak the language.
ou don’t have to look far beyond a person’s interests and hobbies to get a true sense of who they are. When I sat down to discuss life and business with Luxury Homes Realty broker/owner Michel Tremblay, my first impression was that he is extremely adaptable. When he shared with me his passion for sailing and the particular kind of boat he fancies, the parallels were as clear as blue Caribbean waters. The Melges 24 is described as a monohull sportsboat, notable for its ability to plane over water in modest wind. Its design is simple and highly tunable. Michel has continuously re-tuned his career in the sea of real estate while expertly navigating the storms. He’s called 14 cities home to this point—most of the relocations prompted by a love of travel, curiosity about new places and changing market conditions. “I was part of the group that opened the first Sotheby’s Realty office in Vancouver,” he says. “That was 2005. We grew it to more than 40 offices across the country before the bottom fell out of the market in early 2008.” Instead of abandoning ship for other ventures, as many realtors did at the time, Michel saw the crash as an opportunity to temporarily unplug. A time to re-charge with his family somewhere he truly felt at home. “We headed to South Carolina, picked up a 40-foot sailboat out of the box and hit the open water,” he recalls. “We ended up in the Bahamas and that’s where we stayed for the most part. It’s such a beautiful place.” The better part of a year at sea in the West Indies was rejuvenating. Michel was ready to jump back into the world of real estate but the Vancouver market was not ready for him. “It hadn’t recovered, but since I was back my company asked me to take on a huge development project in West Kelowna. I came to the Okanagan, I did my pre-sales in a really tough
market. The project was never built but I had fallen in love with Kelowna.” Within two weeks of arriving, Michel purchased a building lot and convinced his wife, who still lived in Vancouver, that the Okanagan was the place to be. “From Coal Harbour to Kettle Valley,” he chuckles. “We’ve been here since 2010 and we love it.” With two adult children, the Tremblays are nearly empty nesters these days. They moved from Kettle Valley to a home they designed in McKinley Beach, where Michel and his team market four projects ranging from waterfront lots to single-family homes and duplexes. He also oversees sales on a fifth project, Kestrel Ridge, in Kelowna’s Upper Mission. “I work seven days a week; it’s hard for me to take a day off,” he admits. “I think that’s just me. I don’t work 12 hours a day, though: the perfect day would be to work with a few clients and then go skiing.” Skiing. Another hobby that elicits a comparison to Michel’s work ethic. “I’ve skied since I was a small boy. I coached skiers for years and I still like to help people improve their skills—people who already ski at a high level.” Whether on the slopes, on the water or in real estate, Michel enjoys using his experience to mentor others. “I’ve been at this a while. I’ve hired a lot of people and when I’m interviewing I always ask if they play or take part in some kind of sport. I want to see if there’s a competitive spirit in there,” he explains. “Let’s face it, if they work just for the money that’s disappointing; we work for the win too. It’s important.” Michel believes worldliness fosters success. He offers this advice to young realtors, especially those who are working where they were born and raised. “You need to get out of town. You have to live, you have to
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explore and I’m not talking about a week in Mexico. Immerse yourself in a culture, get out of your comfort zone, [such as] somewhere you can’t speak the language. As insanely beautiful as Kelowna is, you need to experience the outside world— when Dr. Henry says we can, of course.” The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the wind out of Michel’s travelling sails. He would usually compete in boating races along the US east coast six times a year. He’s also missing Europe, where he once travelled regularly. However, he concedes that if he has to be stuck in one place he’s grateful he chose to drop anchor in the Okanagan. “My job is to sell the Okanagan lifestyle. When I talk about McKinley Beach, I’m not just a salesperson trying to sell a house. My home is here. I can tell people exactly what it feels like to live at McKinley Beach—I know it’s resort-style living because I live it!” For now, Michel is content to nest in the valley’s beautiful surroundings. But like his beloved Melges 24, he’s not cut out for life in dry dock. The Okanagan may be home, but Michel Tremblay is already charting the course for his post-pandemic, global adventures. Find Michel Tremblay at Luxury Homes Realty. LHRcompany.com
LAKEHOUSE ON BERNARD
100, 510 Bernard Ave., Kelowna, BC (250) 763-9500 email@example.com
LAKEHOUSE CANNERY LANE
1264 Ellis St., Kelowna, BC (250) 763-9520 firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING 2021 lakehousehomestore.com
s Las Vegas is to casinos, High Point in North Carolina is to furniture. This city has developed as the centre of North American furniture manufacturing, dating back to the 19th century. Located near forests rich in hardwood lumber and a proximity to the southern railway line, High Point is an ideal spot for furniture factories. And twice a year, for four days in April and again in October, a team from Lakehouse along with furniture stores from all corners of the globe travel to High Point for market. Up to 100,000 people descend on the 2,000 exhibitors 180 buildings in a downtown no bigger than Kelowna’s. It’s madness, it defies logic, and it’s been going on for over 100 years.
Everyone always says it must be so fun to go to buying shows. The truth is it’s exhausting, say Lakehouse owners and visionaries Sue and Ben Boschman, who began attending High Point market at least once per year starting in 2011. High Point is notoriously gruelling. For starters, it’s no walk in the park to get there.
Travelling from Kelowna, you start at 4 am. After an entire day of trains, planes and automobiles, you arrive at your hotel late in the evening tired and hungry. It is now midnight back home. Up-andat-‘em at 6 am (3 am Kelowna time), you're onto a shuttle bus to beat the throngs of market-goers descending on High Point central and it’s 12 million square feet of showrooms. Yikes! Where to start? This is how the Lakehouse stable of brands has been curated, coddled and cajoled by Sue and Ben. Over the years, they’ve attended countless trade shows and walked endless miles in what are called by insiders as “market shoes.” Market shoes? At market, you find out (the hard way) that comfort beats style. First-timers are like, “what’s with all the fancy designers walking around with Gucci clothes and Nikes on their feet?” A frantic search for blister Band-Aids on Day Two will ensure that sophomores show up the next year with “market shoes” just like everyone else!
BOOK an Appointment with our Designers! Our lakehouse sales team is made up of qualified interior designers. We work within any budget, big or small. Our goals… To connect you to our vast industry expertise To help you achieve your design goals To save you time and money
Our process… 1. To understand you and your project, our process starts with an in-store consultation. 2. This is followed by a home consultation or review of plans, as needed. 3. Product selection is curated for your consideration—furniture, lighting, art, area rugs and accessories—to suit your space and budget. 4. Space plans as well as material and finish palettes are created as needed. 5. A final meeting is arranged to present our ideas and recommendations. 6. Last but not least… delivery and installation
Design fees and discounts
So, if you’ve shopped at Lakehouse you’ve seen more than a few brands discovered and paid-for by Ben and Sue’s market shoes. Vitamix and Le Creuset? Nikes in Chicago. Sugarboo and Spicher? Ecco’s in Altanta. Jaipur Rugs and Loloi? On Cloud shoes in Las Vegas. In Lakehouse's new spring 2021 look book, the company pays homage to four brands it considers very special—Thayer Coggin, Verellen, American Leather and Kingsley Bate. These brands were discovered at High Point, brought back to Kelowna to form an integral role in Lakehouse's new Cannery Lane showroom, and paid for dearly with jet lag, rental car lineups, a few husband-and-wife dust-ups, lots of Advil, a few (dozen) glasses of wine and, of course, some equally special market shoes.
Our in-store design consultations are complimentary. In-home design consultations are offered with an hourly fee, redeemable at the time of purchase. We provide trade discounts to approved designers, architects and builders. Alternatively, when working directly with one our designers, our clients are eligible to receive volume discounts based on the size of their project.
When should we start the process? We like to become involved early in your project so that we can best provide advice on a design direction and fine-tune the project to suit your needs. Ultimately, this will save you time and money.
How do I start my project? Simply select our design inquiry form at lakehousehomestore.com/design-services or call us at 250-763-9520
WHAT WE LOVE
ABOUT THAYER COGGIN: Highly influential designs by Milo Baughman Relaxed and timeless quality Collectible fashion Steeped in history Bench made in High Point, NC The Cool Clip sectional Inspired the lavish sets of Mad Men
DISCOVERING THAYER COGGIN: “It was 2011, and we had recently opened Lakehouse Bernard and had zero floor space for another line, but we’d been told we needed to explore Thayer Coggin. Little did we know the history of this iconic brand. We pulled into a tidy gravel parking lot in North Carolina and stopped in front of a sprawling, old, single-storey red-brick building that stretched two city blocks. Walking inside was like stepping into the ’50s or ’60s. Here, we learned Thayer Coggin, the founder, joined forces with designer Milo Baughman to create innovative designs that captured international attention. They designed and manufactured furniture for Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Robert Redford, to name a few. Baughman's designs are forward-thinking and distinctive, yet unpretentious. The relaxed and timeless quality of his highly influential work continues to be collected, reinvented and revived by designers around the world. He was inducted into the Furniture Hall of Fame in 1987, followed by Thayer Coggin in 2004.”
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WHEN SUE MET VERELLEN: “I instantly fell in love. Ooooh, not just a showroom but a complete sensory experience. Dreamy textiles, wood crackling in the fireplace, moody lighting along with beautiful candles burning… it was like walking into another world. Not your typical showroom. Conceived by husband and wife Tom and Sabine Verellen in their hometown of Antwerp, Belgium, there was something different here, unlike any other furniture label.”
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT VERELLEN: European origins Modern and traditional in harmony Distinctive details and elegant lines Deep and dreamy, yet still sensible The Duke sofa Eco-conscious materials Sophisticated, organic style The fabrics!
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WHAT WE LOVE
ABOUT AMERICAN LEATHER: Innovative factory methods Fast turn-around Engineering meets design Comfort sleeper is the industry gold standard Sustainable materials and processes Quality
AS BEN RECALLS: “Another retailer said if you’re opening a furniture store you need to have American Leather. We visited their showroom and they wouldn’t let us in! Appointment only. After that it became a challenge. At every High Point, we tried to get into that showroom. Then one day we attended a different market, and while sitting at the bar in our hotel eating, we started talking to the couple next us. They turned out to be the AL reps for the Pacific Northwest, including BC. This got us into the showroom, but it still wasn’t easy to convince them to let us be a dealer. However, the rest is history, and this has truly become one of the most important brands in our store.”
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WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT KINGSLEY BATE:
Something for everyone, variety of collections and styles Sustainable sourcing of teak Solid build, commercial grade Tivoli sectional! Stocked in Canada
OUTDOOR OKANAGAN MEETS KINGSLEY BATE: “…the seamless connection between indoor and outdoor living is important to people who live in the Okanagan. But finding the right suppliers in this industry is tricky. Many outdoor brands look the same, and quality can be hard to determine. We didn’t want to add to that mix of products that fall apart after two seasons and ends up at the landfill. For comparison, consider the Wusthof and Shun knife brands at our kitchen store. It can be a challenge for clients to spend money on knives, but the reality is if you buy a good set and take care of them they will easily last a lifetime. With this in mind we did our homework and studied dozens of outdoor furniture brands. As a team we landed firmly on Kingsley Bate. This brand offers the right combination of quality, price and style to provide our Okanagan clients a lifetime of summer patio gatherings with flip-flops, family and good wine…”
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Where a fresh look means a fresh start Habitat for Humanity kitchen salvage program is a win-win for everyone
Andrea Manifold, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Okanagan 52 boulevardmagazines.com |
WORDS VALAURA JONES MARCH/APRIL 2021
PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN HULL
“There are some beautiful cabinets that come in and those would otherwise be directed to the landfill.”
he grass looks greener on the other side of the camera lens. I started watching home renovation and decor shows when I was a pre-teen and I was immediately hooked. Seeing the transformative effect of paint, flooring and a throw cushion or two was like watching Cinderella’s fairy godmother-turned-interior-designer weave her magic. Then came the likes of YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram with professionals and savvy influencers catering to every style and niche under the sun. If you’re a design fanatic like me, there’s never been a better time to be alive. But while I appreciate the endless possibilities on my screen, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore both the environmental and human cost of non-stop “improvement.” How can I reconcile my love of really great wallpaper and gleaming tiles with the knowledge that the design comes with an environmental cost? While I’m trawling the aisles of popular home decor stores, there are families that are having to change their children’s school—again—packing up their lives on a quest to find safe, affordable housing. My home renovation hobby suddenly feels quite heavy. Thankfully, this article is not. I recently spoke with Andrea Manifold, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Okanagan. The non-profit organization has built and sold 33 homes in the region since 1992. Later this year, the organization will be completing the first eight homes at its largest development, a site in Lake Country that will eventually house 12 families. “We’re trying to help families thrive,” Andrea explains. “There’s often hardship in these family’s lives. There are stories of childhood cancer, and a single mom of three autistic, non-verbal triplets. We’ve helped families that have had to move so many times that their children haven’t had that stability of a consistent home.” The Habitat for Humanity program doesn’t give away free
homes; it is built around affordable homeownership. The monthly mortgage, property tax and, where applicable, a portion of strata payments are capped to no more than 30 per cent of the homeowner’s gross earnings, and payments are reviewed annually. Applicant families must be able to make their mortgage payments and the total household income must also be within housing income limits set by BC Housing. Instead of a down payment, families must give their time, completing 500 volunteer hours per family, which can be gained in Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores and by helping to build their home. A selection committee also interviews applicants to assess their need, considering personal circumstances and the safety and security of their current housing. Money from mortgage payments on the Habitat homes is funnelled into the next project. In addition to helping our neighbours on the path to affordable homeownership, Habitat for Humanity Okanagan also provides programs that help the environment. Its wildly popular ReStores are the intersection of home improvement and thrift store bargain hunting. Thanks to its four ReStore locations, 12 million pounds of usable product have been diverted from local landfills. The newest initiative takes things a step further, allowing people to donate entire kitchens as they prepare to renovate or complete a demolition project. The kitchen salvage program started just as the pandemic hit, forcing Habitat for Humanity Okanagan to put it on hold until last September. But despite the delayed roll-out, the salvage team has been incredibly busy as it dismantles and hauls away kitchens from Osoyoos to Vernon. “We had a goal to remove 80 kitchens in 2021, but it looks like we’re going to blow that out of the water,” Andrea says. Just five weeks into the year, the team has already removed 14 kitchens. Homeowners contact the organization and the team as-
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
From left, David Ouwendyk, Glenn Hutton, Anu Baliyan, Nick Cashol, Jerry Heickel.
sesses the condition of the kitchen and its resale value. In addition to having their existing kitchen removed at no cost and the warm feeling of giving back, homeowners also receive a tax receipt for the estimated resale value of the kitchen. Kitchen salvage includes the cabinets and all hardware, but may also include appliances and other items like lighting fixtures, bathroom vanities and doors. The donated kitchens vary in age but are typically in good condition with older cabinets often being constructed of solid wood. The sizes, layouts and styles of the kitchens are just as varied as the donors and buyers, but some homeowners have purchased the kitchens with the intention of refinishing the cabinetry or even replacing the doors or hardware to suit their personal taste. Andrea has been impressed by the range of donations, saying, “There are some beautiful cabinets that come in and those would otherwise be directed to the landfill.” The new program is also going a long way towards realizing the completion of the new Lake Country build. It’s an especially welcome boost to the non-profit’s bottom line following a year of reduced revenues due to COVID-19 limitations. The day before our call, two kitchens sold, providing a boost to the coffers during what is a typically slow time of year for Habitat for Humanity Okanagan. As I wrap up my chat with Andrea, I can’t help but reflect on my own home and the gratitude that I have for it. Everyone should be able to live in a space that is safe and that they love. Sometimes, that will call for a renovation. But it’s nice to know that when it’s time for a fresh look, we can also help others get a fresh start. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Okanagan, ReStore and the kitchen salvage program, visit habitatforhumanityokanagan.ca.
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MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
food and feast
BOUNTY of the sea
Seafood shines in three-course Italian il pasto
Chef Julia McInnis.
WORDS CHEF JULIA MCINNIS, ZAMBRI’S
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
ne 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, it’s the ocean’s time to shine. The colder temperatures are ideal for freshness of product and firmness of flesh. 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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Book online peakcellars.com or call 250-766-9922 2290 Goldie Road Lake Country MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
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.
It’s easy as 1, 2, 3. 1
Contact us BEFORE taking out your existing kitchen.
We will evaluate your kitchen to determine if it can be removed and reused safely.
We will schedule a date and carefully dismantle your old kitchen and take it away, leaving a blank canvas for your brand new kitchen. It really is that easy!
FREE kitchen removal service 58
Donating useful goods to our local ReStore keeps quality items from going to waste. Your old kitchen will help fund local Habitat for Humanity homes and in return you receive a taxable receipt for our resale value.
778-755-4346 x 213 Build Services 1793 Ross Road West Kelowna
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
White Fish Baked with Tomato, Olive and Caper.
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.
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MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
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.
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.
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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 hand-held 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.
Citrus Olive Oil Cake
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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.
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
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.
PHOTO COURTESY GRASSHOPPER ADVENTURES
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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MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
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.
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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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
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MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
secrets and lives —
AND THE 7 SINS with MARNIE NAKA While Marnie Naka has come to know and love much about Kelowna and the Okanagan in the 17 years she’s lived here, it wasn’t the lake or the climate or the wineries that prompted her to make the move. It was love. Marnie is operations supervisor for the Kelowna office of Wolseley Canada, the country’s leading wholesale distributor for plumbing, HVAC/R, waterworks and industrial markets. Calgary-born, she lived in Airdrie and area growing up, and started at Wolseley’s Calgary offices more than 20 years ago, until a business merger changed the trajectory of her life. “Brad’s dad sold his company to Wolseley,” Marnie says of her husband, “and Brad was a manager there, so he stayed on with Wolseley for a few years.” Based in Kelowna, Brad Naka would fly out to Calgary occasionally for meetings. “I would do meeting set-ups and lunches,” she explains. “That’s actually how we met.” The pair ended up having one of their first dates in the airport during one of Brad’s layovers, and “I moved out here six months later,” says Marnie with a laugh. The couple, who just celebrated their 16-year anniversary, embraced the outdoor Okanagan lifestyle with enthusiasm. “I love the outdoors here,” enthuses Marnie. “We’re big campers. We’ll take the trailers and the bikes and just go out. And I mountain bike with my husband. When we first moved here, I took up dirt biking instead, and then we ended up selling them and got the mountain bikes.” The two go out a couple times a week, even through the winter, and Marnie also gets out snowshoeing with friends, and practices yoga regularly. “I only started mountain biking a few years ago, and I love it,” she says. “I love to be active.”
WORDS ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN HULL
How does CHBA benefit you? The 7 Sins ENVY:
Whose shoes would you like to walk in? I never really thought about this before, but since watching The Crown recently, I’d have to say that I would love to walk in Princess Diana’s shoes. She was down to earth and known for her humanitarian efforts; she was compassionate, and her love of children showed what an amazing person she was.
What is the food you could eat over and over again? I love any sort of ethnic dish, but if I had to choose, I would choose Thai food. I love green curry and pad Thai. I can eat it anytime. For a treat though, I also love black licorice.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? I would buy a little vacation home on a tropical island, bring the family and spend as much time there as possible.
The CHBA has over 270 industry leaders locally in the Central Okanagan, over 2,500 members provincially, and more than 8,000 industry leaders nationally. As an association, we have a collective strength and visibility to help serve our industry, all while offering our members a number of direct benefits.
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Pet peeves? When marine life is harmed because of deliberate human carelessness. I really hate it when I see people throwing away plastic six-pack rings without cutting them up. And now, I also hate seeing surgical masks littered or thrown away carelessly.
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020
OKANAGAN LIFE AT ITS FINEST
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? On a hot white sandy beach, with a good book and an icecold tropical slushy drink.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? I am secretly proud of myself for my progression in mountain biking. In just the past four years, my skills riding technical downhill trails have allowed me to travel many places with my husband and ride in some of the most beautiful places in North America!
What makes your heart beat faster? I would have to say my hubby! I love secretly watching him when he doesn’t know I am, and thinking to myself how lucky I am to have such a great husband. It’s been 16 years since we were married on a beach in Mexico, and he still makes my heart beat as fast as if it was yesterday.
The slow food with heart
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Inspiring readers with stunning visuals and enticing stories.
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MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
WORDS NORMA HINDS
X ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY
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. 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! 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. 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
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. 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. 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 COVID-19 pandemic and have had two months of social distancing and isolation. We survived the polio epidemic and we will survive this pandemic. Do you have a good story to tell — and the ability to write it? Boulevard readers are invited to submit stories for consideration and publication in the Narrative section. Stories should be 800 to 1,200 words long and sent to managing editor Susan Lundy at email@example.com. Please place the word “Narrative” in the subject line.
MARC H / AP RI L 20 21
behind the story
ackling a fashion shoot during provincial COVID-19 restrictions has resulted in some creative solutions—and some of these solutions have had silver linings. For Boulevard’s fashion shoot in this edition, we photographed a family in household bubble, and then came up with a creative solution for professionally applying the makeup. Our regular makeup artist in the Okanagan, Jenny McKinney, has launched distanced makeup sessions online, so we jumped on the opportunity to give it a try. After sending products to the location ahead of time, Jenny used an online platform to walk the model, Boulevard’s Lia Crowe, step-by-step through the application. Lia couldn’t believe how easy it was—by following Jenny’s instructions, she was able to create a professional look.º The best part, according to Lia, was that she learned a lot about how to apply makeup like a pro.
PHOTO BY DARREN HULL
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