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WHEN COLD IS HOT Cold water therapy


Cuisine that’s inspired by travel


Step into the fanciful this fashion season


COQUITLAM 1400 United Blvd 604.524.3443

LANGLEY 20429 Langley Bypass 604.530.9458

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NANAIMO 1711 Bowen Rd 250.753.8900

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On the Cover Photo by Lia Crowe Miles Anderson, owner of Outlooks Menswear Duncan


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Spectacular house rises in the Lantzville Foothills

By Angela Cowan

Cold water therapy

By Toby Tannas






Step into the fanciful this season with these ultra- feminine silhouettes

By Sarah D’Arcey & Lia Crowe



The Influencers

By Lia Crowe, Don Denton & Sean McIntyre










Wildly popular: Kate Cram and Wild Poppy Market

Great escapes


By Ellie Shortt

Family first

By Sandra Johnson

By Susan Lundy




Brad Leith

By Angela Cowan

Alison Booth

By Lia Crowe

By Suzanne Morphet





How my world expanded: the Grandmother Riders

By Linda Mills



By Janice Jefferson


Wine, wildlife and a wicked little getaway

Terry Raven By Sean McIntyre



BUSINESS CLASS Jumping into the deep end: leap of faith for the Pahls By Sandra Johnson

Harnessing hormones

By Kaisha Scofield

By Sara Spectrum

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S U MME R 2021


contributors “The opportunity to photograph The Influencers features for Boulevard


The Influencers PAGE 58

magazine is like no other. Several weeks of organizing and scheduling finish with two to three extended days of photographing—a marathon of portrait photography in one or two locations. The pace is fast and forces each photographer to push their creative abilities to connect and to create a unique and powerful portrait of each individual or group.” Don Denton is a staff photographer for Black Press Media, where he has worked for the past two decades. He teaches photography through UVic’s Continuing Studies programs and, in his spare time, works on personal photographyrelated projects, including an ongoing series of interviews with fellow BC photographers.



BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627





DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman

“Like so many, I too have had plenty of time to reflect on my living


An eye for detail PAGE 30

space over the past year. I’ve built a deck, planted a garden and expanded my home office, yet the same old spots call out for attention: the stuffed bookshelf towering over my living room, the well-travelled sofa I’ve had since university, and the evergrowing procession of knick knacks along the windowsills. Dilemmas like these make me grateful for folks like Terry Raven, owner of Duncan’s Pots & Paraphernalia. Not only is her shop a feast for the senses, but she and her staff offer welcome inspiration for anyone with a desire to bring form and function to their living space. I, personally, can’t wait to go back.” Sean is a freelance writer and paramedic who lives, works and dreams of redecorating on Salt Spring Island.

“There’s a trend ‘afloat’ you may


have spotted on your social media feed: a curiosity about cold water that’s sparked one of the biggest wellness trends of 2021. Cold water therapy definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you can brave a bit more than a splash you could be in line for a whole host of health benefits.” A broadcast veteran, Toby co-hosts Beach Mornings with Ara & Toby on Kelowna’s 103.1 Beach Radio. She’s a mother to two teenage girls and two four-legged kids.


When cold is hot PAGE 52


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ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark Andrea Rosato-Taylor


Sarah D’Arcey Janice Jefferson Sandra Jones Sean McIntyre Linda Mills Suzanne Morphet Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Darren Hull ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion

DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411

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

Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 info@blvdmag.ca boulevardmagazines.com



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family first

Family life began for me back in the mid-’80s when I moved in with my boyfriend of five months. The house, recently vacated by the boyfriend’s ex-wife, came with furniture, a pair of kids and a gerbil called Quasimodo. “Don’t touch the gerbil,” Derrick warned his son, not five minutes after I arrived. “It bites.” “It won’t bite me,” asserted Dylan. He reached into the cage to stroke the warm and furry Quasimodo who, startled from slumber, sunk its teeth into Dylan’s finger. Dylan shrieked. “It bit me! You-you...asshole!” “Dad!” Jessica shouted. “Dylan swore! And he touched the gerbil!” I—21 years old and unused to children at all—watched the unfolding scene with quiet horror. I was a career-pining, quasi-academic, eager to write my way to fame and fortune. Parenting was not on the to-do list. But this all changed over the next few years. And by the time my own daughters came along, I’d fallen in love with all things family—a love affair that has endured these past decades far beyond cares about career. And as it turns out, this scene with my eventual first husband, now my ex-husband, occurred at the start of another decades-long project. The result is my new book, Home on the Strange: Chronicles of Motherhood, Mayhem and Matters of the Heart. The book, like parenting, has been a labour of love, and I was beyond excited for its release this spring via Heritage House Publishing. Home on the Strange follows a cast of strange characters (me, my family and friends) in a collection of 75 essays that peer into the everyday world of family relationships. What drove this collection of stories? My compulsion to write, for one thing. Myriad crazy anecdotes, for another. And, thankfully, a series of deadlines over the past three decades that forced me to record this treasure-trove of memories in real time. Over the years, I’ve written dozens of columns, first for newspapers and eventually for Boulevard and a few other smaller magazines. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the columns became perfect conduits for memories. What inspired these stories? Well, when your younger daughter adopts a shop vac as a pet and you end up dragging it around everywhere by the “leash” (cord)—including the school play—you have to write about it. When you can’t sew and your elder daughter wants to be a slug for Halloween, or you mangle an educational sex talk with your kids, you have to write about it. When you drive across the country in a road-weary hippie van, run out of gas in the middle of nowhere Alberta, or drive 40 minutes through the wilderness of Vancouver Island, dodging potholes and bear cubs, seeking morning coffee—to no avail—you have to write about it. All these strange and amusing experiences beg to be told. I’ve also experienced some trauma, including my daughter’s devastating cycling accident and my husband’s near-death heart attack, and those stories are in the book as well. As for the cast of characters, I owe them a debt of thanks for gracefully accepting my gentle-but-rather-public teasing over the years. But all is well. My ex ex can’t divorce me over it…that already happened years ago. My daughters are safely tucked away in cities different than my own, and besides they’d never give up access to our liquor cabinet. That leaves my husband, Bruce, and I’m not worried about him at all. When I wrote my first book, Heritage Apples: A New Sensation, he was able to quote the pages on which he was mentioned and direct everyone to his photo. He’ll handle the notoriety. (See, I just did it to him again!) Ultimately, the most mocked person in the book is me as I attempt to navigate this world as a mother, a wife, a journalist and, according to one reviewer, “a keen observer on the foibles and challenges of life.” This reviewer further states that I write with “humour, honesty, and humanity. And hope.” Hope, indeed—I hope readers enjoy it.

Susan Lundy Editor


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ood style to me is anything that is a true reflection and expression of you! Wear what you feel your best in and you’re always ‘in style’.” Alison, owner of Pure Spa in Nanaimo, tells me that she has always been interested in skincare and loves helping people feel their best. “I suffered from acne as a teen and in those days there really wasn’t much out there for skincare or advice to help heal and manage it. As I began to learn more, I realized I could help people through my own personal experience and education, and guide them toward their healthiest skin. It’s gratifying.” She says that the best life lesson that she has recently learned is to trust her instincts. “It’s about really dropping my head into my heart. That feeling in my heart will never steer me wrong, even if its about something that scares me. And if it is something that scares me, I should probably do it! Asked what quality has led to her success, she says, “I have grit! I believe you can’t let the challenges of life get you down. Take them, lean in to them and grow from them.”


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FASHION & BEAUTY Uniform: You’ll usually find me in a cami and sweater or cardigan with jeans or Lulus depending on what I’m up to! Favourite pair of shoes: Right now, my floral Vans. I wear them everywhere. Favourite day bag: Michael Kors Brooklyn Bag. It fits everything and I love the slouchy hobo style! Favourite work tool: My BT-Micro Ultrasonic Scrubber. Favourite jewellery piece: Rings, rings, rings! I only wear one or two at a time but I have a great collection! Fashion obsession: Lululemon leggings … is that even fashion?

STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style icon: The last few years I’ve really admired Ashley Graham. She’s all about body positivity and being healthy. She has a classic beauty and style about her. Favourite artist: I fell in love with Claude Monet as a teen, believe it or not. I was on a family holiday and had a Water Lilies print in my room and that was that— love at first sight. His work has inspired a lot of the art in my home. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Michael Kors. Favourite musician: I have an eclectic taste in music and have fave artists from different genres, from Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Krall to Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, The Sheepdogs and The Tragically Hip. Those would be my top picks!

Accessory you spend the most money on: Purses, hands down. Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: I have a facial every four weeks. Essential for my skin health and it's a great way for me to relax—a win-win. Moisturizer: Dermalogica Active Moist. Scent: Good Girl by Carolina Herrera. Must-have hair product: Moroccan Oil Smoothing Lotion. Beauty secret: Wear a sunscreen every day to protect and slow skin aging, and always take your makeup off before bed!

Era of time that inspires your style: The ’60s. Not for the patterns but for the clean simple lines. Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Mad Men. Christina Hendricks was stunning. Favourite cocktail or wine: The Passion Pinot Noir from Silver Sage Winery. Album on current rotation: Thanks to the magic of Spotify, my Top Songs of 2020 list is playing most often, a mix of all the pieces I love. Favourite flower: Roses. Favourite city to visit: I love Vancouver; you can hike a great trail in the morning, relax at the beach in the afternoon, have dinner and catch a concert or hockey game in the evening...the best of all worlds! Favourite app: Duolingo. Right now I’m trying to teach myself Italian. Favourite place in the whole world: Honestly, it’s my home. Home is my sanctuary—everything I need is right here. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: Witnessing people’s kindness, help and support of one another. Whether it be choosing to shop local and support small business, or picking up groceries for your neighbour in self isolation, it’s been heartwarming to see people come together to make it through this.

READING MATERIAL Fave print magazine: I love Hello! magazine. Coffee table book/photography book: The Art of Makeup by Kevyn Aucoin. Last great read: The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. Book currently reading: From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle. Favourite book of all time: This is a tough one! I read a lot and have many faves. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Shantaram by Gregory David and Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly. I could go on, but we’ll run out of room!

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design notes


By Janice Jefferson I feel as though the light at the end of the tunnel is upon us. Brighter days, filled with light and connection on a grander scale, are ahead. Perhaps this will mean changing out of our lounge clothes, snazzing-up our outdoor spaces, dining al fresco and sharing meals again. How decadent it will feel!


3. 4.



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TION 7. 8.

1. Cape Outdoor Chaise, EQ3, StudioYdesign, $699

2. Gabor-64645-13 in carmel mango, Cardino Shoes, $180 3. Bergen Cushion in orange, Sweet Dreams Boutique, $34 4. Croquet Set, Lee Valley, $329 5. Iris Shirt, Fabrications, $149.95


6. Circula Large Coffee Table, Blu Dot, Gabriel Ross, $1,689


7. Unisex Organic Cotton Waffle Robe, Coyuchi, Resthouse Sleep Solutions, $149 8. Kartell Battery Table Lamp in green, Gabriel Ross, $331 9. WBNNT Artist Special Edition, Tofino Towel Company, $70 10. Vinyl Set, includes: Sonos Five, Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable, Sonos, $1,098

er e !

Art is H

Shop, stroll and see art in beautiful downtown Ladysmith this summer. Ladysmith supporting Artists and Businesses

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well and good

harnessing your hormones And making them work for you WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD


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How well do you know your hormones? Unless you’re an endocrinologist, the thought of hormones may trigger traumatic memories of puberty or the dreaded recurrence of PMS. When it comes to hormones, we tend to cross our fingers and hope for the best. And it’s no wonder, really, because they can be blamed for erratic behaviour, acne, night sweats, digestive woes and hot flashes, to name a few. But hormones are responsible for so much more than awkward teenagers and chocolate cravings. Without them, the body would be in chaos. Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body, secreted by glands in the endocrine system. We have almost 200 hormones or hormone-like substances in our body and they are used to communicate between organs and tissues for physiological regulation and behavioural activities. They influence almost every cell, function and organ in the body, affecting digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sensory perception, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress, growth and development, movement, reproduction and mood. It’s all fine and good to say that hormones are important, but how

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They influence almost every cell, function and organ in the body, affecting digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sensory perception, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress, growth and development, movement, reproduction and mood. exactly do they work and, more importantly, how can we make them work for us? The first step to harnessing your hormones is understanding how the body uses them. We aren’t going to cover all 200 hormones, but we can learn about some of the more familiar ones, particularly those responsible for mood and sexual health. Our primary mood hormones are: oxytocin, the love hormone; dopamine, known for pleasure and reward; and serotonin, the mood stabilizer that also works with melatonin to establish sleep and wake cycles. These hormones can all be regulated by your movement habits, dietary choices, wellness, stress and sleep patterns. One of the hardest-working and least supported hormones in our body is cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Working with adrenalin, cortisol reacts to stress and triggers the fight or flight response. “Fight or flight” describes the changes that occur in the body as a response to a potentially harmful event or perceived threat, preparing the body for vigorous physical action. The heart rate increases, blood pressure goes up, the liver converts stored glycogen to glucose to provide energy, and the bronchioles in the lungs dilate to allow more oxygen to circulate in the blood. This is an evolutionary system established during hunter-gatherer times, when the dangers we faced were imminent. Even though modern society insulates us from many of the dangers our ancestors faced, we can still have a release of cortisol, and therefore a spike in adrenalin, just from having an argument with a coworker, your moody teenager or a bad driver. Too many stresses and depleted cortisol leads to a sup-

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Choose the Mews boutique shopping and dining experience

• • • • • • •

La Stella Trattoria Primal Communications Mobile Cellutions • Electric Umbrella Robert Stacey Law Office B. Clotheswise Uniforms Bistro Taiyo • Lobelias Lair Mad about Ewe • Real Foods boulevardmagazines.com  |

321 Wesley Street S U MME R 2021


pressed immune system, increase in blood sugar, increased blood pressure and decreased serotonin. Remember serotonin? It’s what helps to stabilize your mood and sleep cycles, so a disruption can lead to poor sleep and a bad mood. Most of us are familiar with the two sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. It may surprise you to learn that while testosterone is commonly associated with men, and estrogen with women, they are almost identical and all genders actually have a fair amount of both, producing and using estrogen and testosterone to varying degrees. These levels do change considerably throughout our lives, though, and for those who are menstruating, estrogen (and related hormones) levels change daily. Menstruation is generally broken up into two main phases; the follicular (days one to 13), which is the start of menses, and the luteal (days 14 to 28), which starts with ovulation. The lengths of these phases are variable depending on the individual. You may be surprised to learn that during the follicular phase, starting when menses occurs, is when your hormones are at their lowest and you are more likely to perform better in the gym, have increased energy and elevated mood. Your hormones levels are at their highest from ovulation on, during the luteal phase. During this time you may experience higher rates of moodiness, lower energy and less performance at the gym. These are, of course, general guidelines and will vary from person to person. Understanding and becoming familiar with the fluctuation of these menstrual hormones is extremely beneficial to everyone, whether or not menstruation is a part of your life. By tracking and understanding how the body is affected by hormonal cycles, we are better able to predict and prepare for changes in energy, mood, water retention, appetite, sleep, etc. For people who menstruate, tracking your cycle is crucial to understanding and working with

your hormones. There are may great tracking apps for this purpose, including Flo, Eve, WILD.AI and Clue. Our endocrine system is highly dependent on our overall health. If we are in a state of survival, as can be due to famine (extreme diets, nutrient depletion), duress (high stress levels or trauma) or extreme fatigue (overtraining, poor sleep habits), the body can react by compromising our hormonal balance. This is one of the primary explanations for an irregular cycle and an early warning sign of hormonal imbalance. Other signs of a hormonal imbalance are fatigue, irritability, depression, sudden weight gain or loss, poor bone density, sleep disruptions, hot flashes, muscle loss, erectile dysfunction, brain fog and poor libido. The best way to support your hormones is to make rest and wellness a priority. This may seem simplistic but the endocrine system relies primarily on balance. This means prioritizing mental wellness, relaxation, pleasure and sleep, while also ensuring you are eating a diet that is high in nutrient density and variety. Pay special attention to your hydration and intake of healthy fats. Hormones are either fat or water soluble, and many are even reliant on cholesterol for production and transport. If you are dehydrated and/or eating a diet too low in fat, your hormones are not being produced and transported properly throughout the body. Once you have made hormone-healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle, assess your environment. Hormone disruptors can be found in cleaning products, makeup and other beauty products. Start by opting for unscented products where possible, avoiding things like lavender-scented doggie bags or scented room sprays. Replace any beauty or body-care products that have added perfumes, SLS, parabens, phthalates, artificial colour, etc. If you are unsure, enter your products in the Environmental Working Group website: EWG.org to see how they rank.

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Photos courtesy of Patriot Homes


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4 2 c

good taste

Wildly popular Kate Cram and Ladysmith’s Wild Poppy Market WORDS SANDRA JONES > PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


ate Cram is living proof that you can’t go wrong when you find career inspiration on an episode of Oprah. Indeed, serendipity crossed paths with talk show television in the ‘90s when this prolific chef and serial entrepreneur was finishing high school in Ladysmith. “My Dad saw an episode of Oprah and the guest was the executive chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in New York. My parents knew my passion was cooking and baking and they wanted me to go to the best school available,” recalls Kate. “They figured that this chef would know where that was, so my Dad tracked her down and called her.” The answer: The Culinary Institute of America. Five days after her 18th birthday, Kate and her knife set jumped on a plane and headed to upstate New York for the two-and-a-half-year program. “The great part was that it taught me all of the practical skills but also the business management skills.” Both would prove to be necessary ingredients when Kate ultimately returned to Ladysmith and opened her first restaurant, The Sunflower Café. But when the Old Town Bakery became available, she bought it and closed the café. Under her guidance, Old Town Bakery experienced spectacular growth, but years later, Kate began experiencing health issues. “I ended up changing my diet and going gluten-friendly. Our two youngest sons were also affected by gluten and couldn’t eat anything at the bakery.” That was the motivation for the launch of Wild Poppy Bistro in 2013. “We focused on gluten-free and some vegan options, neither of which were mainstream at the time. A lot of people doubted the idea and thought it was pretty risky being so tailored to one specific thing. But we truly believe that we make gluten-free really delicious and a lot of people come in and don’t even realize they’re eating gluten-free.” Standards for producing the range of bread, muffins, cookies, cakes and baked goods are exceptionally high and the harshest critics are at home when Kate develops a new recipe. “I had a four-year-old when we were creating the recipes for Wild Poppy so I’d start there: ‘Will this pass the Ben test?’” Kate laughs. “If it did, we knew we had a winner.” Wild Poppy opened its doors during Ladysmith Days and Kate was surprised and overwhelmed by the response. “A mom brought her daughter in and she got her a gluten-free donut. The mother was crying because she had never been able to get her little girl a treat she could safely eat. We realized pretty quickly that what we were doing had an impact on people’s lives and was so much more than what we envisioned.”

Create a unique ring that’s true to you.

3392 Norwell Drive, Nanaimo 250 585 1648 boulevardmagazines.com  |

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Customers quickly came from up and down the Island as well as from farther afield. “We are a destination for people with dietary restrictions, for those who follow keto or paleo diets and for many who are looking for delicious but healthy options. We have customers who come to Ladysmith from Calgary or Vancouver to visit family and pick up big orders to take home.” For Kate, running two food-based businesses and a staff of more than 50 requires early mornings and long days. “I love the morning bakes and coming in at 3 am when you’re the only one on the street. For me it’s therapeutic to be busy with my hands. I think my secret ingredient is love because when you’re really happy and enjoying what you’re doing, it goes into the baking.” While Wild Poppy began its life as a dine-in restaurant and bakery, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Kate to adapt their offerings and pivot into a take-out market. “We had just leased the unit next to us with plans to create a bigger restaurant, but then COVID-19 dictated we could only have six people in our dining room. We knew we’d have to change what we were doing so the market seemed like the right idea.” Wild Poppy Market still features their sought-after baked goods plus many savoury items from their restaurant menu. “Our bestsellers are probably our breads, our muffins and our cheesecakes, but also our salads,” says Kate. “I like to think of our salads as a rainbow. There are so many beautiful vegetables, and we combine crisp greens with some grains, roasted vegetables and proteins like free-range roasted chicken or wild sockeye salmon. We take a lot of pride in using fresh ingredients and the response has been fabulous.” While public demand for gluten-free products has more than caught up to Kate’s original vision for Wild Poppy Market, it’s her artistry in creating the products that has people lining up for more. “I use a blend of five or six different starches that varies depending


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on what we’re making. That’s why they taste so good and aren’t like a ‘rock’ the way some gluten-free products are. It takes more time and we have to carry more inventory but it makes a way better product.” The pandemic environment has affected the steady supply of the high-quality, specialty ingredients that Kate relies on to create her recipes. “We import a lot of ingredients from Germany and they were out of shipping containers so we’ve had delays in getting our products. Even getting it transported from Montreal is taking extra time these days.” Island-sourced products also play a prominent role at the market. “We carry a local selection of jams, jellies, vinegars and more. As summer approaches, we’re going to carry fresh flowers and produce from a couple of different farms. We like being able to pull all of these specialty products together, support other local producers and be a hub.” In fact, a third community hub is under construction at their newly leased space. “We’re opening an ice cream shop next to Wild Poppy Market. Families will be able to wander down in the day or evening and enjoy a specialty coffee or ice cream and take it to the beach.” Despite the pandemic and the pressure it places on the restaurant and food industry, Wild Poppy Market, as well as Old Town Bakery, continue to evolve and thrive. “We have customers that come every morning and we try to make them part of our lives as much as we can. We’re part of the Ladysmith family and if we didn’t have their support, we wouldn’t have survived. Whether people come to us for the socialization or because of food sensitivities, we believe that our businesses are an important part of town life. We’re excited about what we do and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

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Avenir MEMORY CARE at Nanaimo



                

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What remains is far more important than what is lost


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Wine, wildlife and a wicked little getaway WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY SUZANNE MORPHET

I might have walked into a John Constable landscape from the early 19th century. Clouds billow up a mountainside that’s dusted with fresh snow. In the foreground, a pond reflects the sky and surrounding forest in a watery blur of red, green and yellow. Beyond the pond, a river rushes past, eager to reach the sea. But this is no painting. It’s the utterly enchanting view from our balcony at the Cowichan River Lodge, located in the Cowichan River Valley, close to Duncan on Vancouver Island. My husband and I have escaped here for the weekend with two thoughts in mind—wine and wildlife. While the valley has been making a name for itself as a

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cool-weather wine region for the last 20 years, wildlife is also commanding more attention. Take, for instance, the gregarious elk that moved into Youbou in the last decade, grazing people’s gardens and peering in windows. Locals even gave five of the bull elk names. They’re Bob, Henry, Dennis, Howard and Mr. Hollywood. Over on the marine side of the valley, hundreds of fat and frisky sea lions have been stopping in Cowichan Bay every fall recently on their annual migration from Alaska to California, flopping on docks and swamping boats. And of course, the Cowichan River is famous for its fish. Chinook, coho and chum salmon share this 47-kilometre stretch of running water with steelhead, trout and more. Experienced fly fishers like fourth-generation fisherman Tristan O’Brian rave about it. “I’ve been up and down the island, explored a lot of remote rivers and never have I seen a river that supports the amount of life this river does,” Tristan tells us as we float down the river from Lake Cowichan in his fishing raft on our first morning. In spring, the river runs high and fast. We drift past half a dozen boats with fishers, mostly men, standing and casting lines. Passing over a shallow stretch, Tristan points out a couple of sleek rainbow trout. “The salmon provide the trout with an unreal amount of nutrients,” he says, explaining that any salmon eggs that don’t hatch get scooped up by the trout. Landing back at the Cowichan River Lodge, we meet up with lodge manager John Chilton. With 16 riverfront acres, the lodge gets plenty of four-legged visitors. John shows me pictures of bear, cougar and elk, all captured by a motion-activated camera. Fresh elk dung litters the lawn. “About two years ago we had a young bull elk,” he explains, “and I thought he was a loser. He didn’t have any horn or anything. But


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then he left and came back with all these girls!” Walking around the pond, John points out a beaver dam dug into the bank. The beavers aren’t usually around during the day, but occasionally a group of river otters will show up and then, “all hell breaks loose,” he chuckles. “They scream at each other!” Driving to Youbou, we see signs warning about elk. Before long, we spot three bulls grazing in front of a trailer park. With their slender legs, big eyes and reddish racks, Tom, Dick and Harry— or whatever they’re called—are impressive, but look hilariously out of place. The next morning big, fat snowflakes swirl outside while we read by the fireplace. It’s hard to leave this lodge, but we’ve got a date with the winemaker at Averill Creek Vineyard down the road. “I do as little as I can,” Brent Rowland tells us when we arrive for our tour and tasting. “If you had to put a list of ingredients on a bottle, mine would say ‘grapes’ and that’s it.” That means no nutrients, enzymes, yeast, sulfites or any of the other “aids” that many conventional winemakers rely on. “It’s much harder to make wines this way,” he says as we sample a fragrant young pinot noir from the barrel, but “a lot more pure and honest.” Since arriving at Averill Creek in 2018, Brent’s been figuring out what works—“pinot noir is king”—and what doesn’t, such as Marechal Foch. “I just took a chainsaw to the Foch and grafted on pinot noir,” he adds. Sitting in the lounge and looking over this big valley from the sunny side of Mount Prevost, we realize some things in life really are that simple. Coming to Cowichan for a weekend is one of them. If you go: thecowichanriverlodge.com averillcreek.ca



see. The five resident bull elks in Youbou are just that—resident year-round. They often walk down the highway through town but can be difficult to spot if they’re resting in someone’s garden. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to see bigger herds including females and calves. “You might see five or 35,” the waitress at Cassy’s Coffee House told us when we stopped to inquire. Even the resident bulls are wild animals, so keep your distance.






Fly fishing is experiencing its biggest surge in popularity since A River Runs Through It was released in 1992. Guide Tristan O’Brian says young people are really getting into it, as well as more women. The Cowichan River Lodge can organize a guided fishing tour for you. For a different wildlife experience, take a Hawk Walk at The Raptors in Duncan. Hawks and other birds of prey fly overhead and you might get the thrill of a hawk landing on your gloved hand. pnwraptors.com.

Breakfasts at the Cowichan River Lodge are filling and delicious with locally sourced ingredients such as sausage from Cure in Cobble Hill, yogurt from the Cowichan Milk Company and coffee from Drumroaster. Farm Table Inn, near Skutz Falls, is a great choice for dinner, serving locally raised beef and their own pork. We enjoyed their West Coast bouillabaisse and Jäger pork schnitzel, paired with local wines. Averill Creek Vineyards has recently introduced charcuterie boards that include locally made spreads and pates from Pickles’ Pantry and island-made cheeses.

The Cowichan River Lodge is a beautiful log structure with big picture windows, four comfortable guest rooms and peaceful natural surroundings. Built originally as a fishing lodge, it now caters to a wide variety of guests looking for rest and recreation, on the river and off. Hosts John and Danielle can help you plan activities from hiking and biking to wine tasting and whale watching.



New world. New challenges. New learning. admissions@qms.bc.ca

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CEDER’S takes all the classic gin characteristics and distills them into a crisp, harmonious non-alcoholic alternative gin beverage. Make your favourite summer mocktail with Ceder’s.

POTS & PARAPHERNALIA 863 Canada Ave, Duncan 250-748-4614 www.potsandparaphernalia.ca

BELONGINGS Carefully selects one of a kind vintage pieces and quality used furnishings throughout the shop’s two floors. If you’re searching for a statement piece for your home, you’ll likely find it here. Open Mon - Sat 10am-5pm & Sun 12pm - 4pm 250-746-3631 55 Lois Lane, Duncan

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in studio

An eye for detail

Pots & Paraphernalia brings artistic flair to the world of retail WORDS SEAN MCINTYRE > PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


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hen Terry Raven stands at her canvas and prepares to paint, she likes to begin with a single, modest starting point. She draws from an idea, object or colour that inspires her to experiment and she sees where the ensuing visual reactions will lead. “I put something on the canvas and what follows is reaction after reaction to what goes on it next,” she explains. “So when the piece of artwork is done it is as big a surprise to me as it is to anyone who sees it.” Terry’s approach produces impressively arresting paintings that rely on colour and form to carry viewers on a journey into the imagination, an experience which is not soon forgotten. Gazing at one of Terry’s painting’s is very similar to walking into the other of her life’s great passions, Duncan’s Pots & Paraphernalia. Terry moved to the store’s current site in the 800-block of Canada Avenue nearly two decades ago. The “new” site represented a natural evolution of Terry’s brilliant and spontaneous idea to open a kitchenware store soon after her move to Vancouver Island from Calgary in the early ‘80s. Terry says the decision was really made because she needed some cookware for her new home and couldn’t find a decent shop anywhere nearby. Starting a housewares store dedicated to high-quality and fresh design in the Cowichan Valley nearly 40 years ago was one of those “ideas” that has inspired her to experiment through the ensuing years. “I used the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method, because that’s what you do when you have no clue what you’re doing,” she says. “You learn to figure it out.” A look inside the fully restored and repurposed, century-old, brick-clad industrial building that once housed enormous generators used to produce hydro-electric power is an invitation to feast on layers of colour, shapes and texture. Terry’s retail displays are a work of art. Unlike the works she creates on canvas—which are permanent— the popularity of the store’s artfully arranged contents leaves Terry and her staff of six continually challenged to reassess and rebalance their display work. Just imagine someone grabbing your secret ingredient as soon as you’ve discovered the perfect dish, stealing the most memorable verse of your poetic masterpiece, or removing the most vivid colour from your precious tableau. Success can be frustrating. “It’s constant because you do your ‘painting’ and then someone takes the main thing from the display and buys it,” Terry says. “And now you have to do it all over again. We complain, but it’s a good problem. It creates the opportunity to do it all over, and that’s what we love to do. “Beauty is really important to us, and people respond to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a young person, an old person, or someone who is in no way artistic, people respond to beauty and it makes them feel good.” Before unleashing her entrepreneurial zeal on the Cowichan Valley, Terry spent much of her twenties studying and teaching art in southern Alberta. Among the lessons imprinted on her in those formative years was the importance of telling a story. When looking at a piece of art, she says, the eye should take a trip. The viewer should enter in one area of the painting and be led around the canvas to an eventual end point. As with most everything else in life, art should be a journey.


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Framed within high ceilings, towering windows and utilitarian brick walls, Pots & Paraphernalia is Terry’s artistic masterwork that has taken her nearly a lifetime to execute. Framed within high ceilings, towering windows and utilitarian brick walls, Pots & Paraphernalia is Terry’s artistic masterwork that has taken her nearly a lifetime to execute. Shopping here is about so much more than picking up a garlic press, dishware or a fluffy new duvet; stepping inside is akin to setting off on an adventure. One’s attention is subtly carried through the store from one display to the next. Here, a kitchen hutch with tea towels placed just so reveals shelves of gourmet food products. Nearby, a river of colourful fabric flows from mounds of pillows and luxurious bedding originating out of sight from the shop’s second floor. Because the displays are so natural and pleasing to the eye, the casual shopper may fail to appreciate just how much work goes into each painstaking detail of the shop’s presentation. The products are Terry’s raw materials, but she selects from an impressive collection of countertops, desks and cabinets to make her work look its best. In a kind of mysterious alchemy that has allowed her business to take root, expand and thrive, Terry and her staff are a testament to the

complicated marriage between art and business, between beauty and the bottom line. “People ask why it’s so successful, but I just like arranging stuff; that’s just my thing,” Terry says. “All I really wanted to do is arrange materials and create stories and colours. The business end flowed naturally from that interest.” Terry’s artistic approach to marketing and merchandising has earned her shop some prestigious acclaim. In 2018, the International Housewares Association named Pots & Paraphernalia Canada’s national champion at the Global Innovation Awards. That recognition placed the store among a select group of 27 housewares businesses hand-picked from 26 countries. Other winners included major department stores like the United Kingdom’s famed Harrod’s and Japan’s hip Tokyu Hands. The honours, presented at the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago, were awarded based largely on store layout and design, visual merchandising, displays and the storeowners’ overall mission statement and vision, as well as customer service and staff training. A guiding voice behind Terry’s philosophy offers the words of William Morris, the 19th-century British textile artist, designer and poet who decreed that anything inside one’s home ought to be either beautiful or functional. In a world where the lowest cost is given highest importance and durability has become an afterthought, it would be interesting to hear Morris’ thoughts as he perused the aisles of a big box store or clicked through an e-commerce platform. Would he recognize anything familiar in modern consumerism or simply lower his head in resigned dismay? Fortunately, if he chose to visit the Cowichan Valley, he’d meet a kindred spirit in Terry Raven and her ever-changing tapestry of housewares, each in and of themselves small artistic wonders. The encounter would no doubt brighten his day and perhaps elicit a knowing smile when she tells him, “I try to get the beautiful version of the functional stuff.”




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hot properties

Bright, airy and


Spectacular view home rises in Lantzville Foothills WORDS ANGELA COWAN

QUICK FACTS 2,543 square feet 3 bedrooms plus den 2.5 bathrooms


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Up here on the bluff ’s edge, it feels like you could reach up and trail your fingers through a passing cloud, and stepping back inside, the 20-foot ceilings echo that same sense of height and space. boulevardmagazines.com  |

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hen Jolynn Green and Tim Ewanyshyn decided to celebrate their seventh year together, they went for something a little bigger than a candlelit dinner out. They sold their respective homes in Nanoose and Lower Lantzville and bought a lot at the newly established Foothills development near Lantzville, an ambitious multi-year project including a variety of residential options and a planned retail village. For Jolynn and Tim, both long-time Vancouver Island residents, buying into the area was the culmination of a shared dream. “We both loved the Foothills, and it was our dream to build our own home together,” she says. The couple brainstormed to come up with a design that would meld their must-haves, including Tim’s love of wood and Jolynn’s love of modern, timeless design. The result is a sleek and clean West Coast modern-inspired rancher, warmed with an abundance of naturally finished wood and outdoor-inspired textures. Inside, just past the rain glass-adorned front door, is an open foyer with a post and beam fir ceiling and big, bright closets on either side. The sense of symmetry is grounding, especially once your eye is inevitably drawn forward to the incredible view through the back of the house. “We wanted to take full advantage of the view,” Jolynn enthuses as she moves to the wide stretch of glass. And the view is, in a word, spectacular. Today, thin wisps of cloud lie over a brilliant blanket of blue, the ocean below reflecting the colour and sparkling sunshine. “We can see all the way up to Mount Washington, all the way over

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to the Sunshine Coast, and then all the way to North Vancouver,” says Jolynn, taking in the panoramic stretch of blue. She gestures to the NanaWall bifold doors, which open up accordion-style to bring the outdoors in as a fluid part of their living space. Up here on the bluff’s edge, it feels like you could reach up and trail your fingers through a passing cloud, and stepping back inside, the 20foot ceilings echo that same sense of height and space. Opposite the south-facing view, a row of thin windows runs the length of the front and side walls, right near the roofline, letting in swathes of natural light no matter the weather. It’s bright and airy, but grounded, thanks to a set of smaller design details. Wide-plank white oak flooring runs through the majority of the house, creating a sturdy visual foundation. It also satisfied Tim’s single greatest “must have” in the design. A long-time carpenter by trade, Tim insisted on the flooring. “For Tim, he’s a man of wood, and he wanted wide-plank, white oak flooring,” explains Jolynn. The offset fireplace is grounded with a hearth laid with copper-toned tiles finished to look like suede. And throughout the great room and kitchen, the light fixtures all flow together in a cohesive design family. Handmade in the Philippines, their copper-basket-weave style lends texture and personality to the modern-leaning aesthetic, and fit seamlessly into the overall look. They were something of a gamble that paid off, says Jolynn; due to COVID-19 restrictions, she had to buy everything online. Over in the kitchen, there is a wealth of subtle textures and tones to admire. Immediately eye-catching is the triangular backsplash, irregularly patterned with three different shades of grey, infusing a unique sense of geometry and personality into the open-concept space. “I’m not a subway tile kind of gal,” Jolynn says with a laugh. “I actually went to tile stores in Victoria, and this is what I came up with.” The cabinetry is striking up close, with a laminate foil finish made to replicate linen, and the warm grey shades create a wonderfully serene

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feel. Jolynn chose to vary the light and dark tones, with light cabinetry paired with dark quartz countertops, and darker cabinetry over a lighter quartz, and it works well in the modestly sized kitchen. A small door beside the panelled fridge pushes through to a butler’s pantry, which was another of Jolynn’s priorities when designing the home. Though the rancher clocks in at around a modest 2,500 square feet, Jolynn and Tim were able to maximize their footprint to bring in a number of features that would normally be found in a larger home. The laundry room, for example, is spacious with extra closet space for storage that might normally be found in a basement. The butler’s pantry and master walk-in closet are plenty roomy and, in the master en suite, a beautiful big soaker tub takes over one light-laden corner of the bathroom. Above all, every design decision was weighed carefully, and resulted in a home they both adore. “I’ve lived in a lot of houses, we’ve renovated a lot of houses, and this was taking all our past experiences and coming up with what we thought was the best use of the space,” says Jolynn. “We wanted something modern and organic. We went with sleek, straight lines with soft woods and earthy textures like the tile and oak flooring, and expansive windows because we wanted to bring the outdoors inside. We wanted to keep it simple and timeless.” Adding to the sense of timeless beauty is the displayed collection of works from Nanoose artist Kelly Corbett. A particular favourite of Jolynn’s, Kelly’s realistic landscapes of British Columbia do just as much to bring the outside in as the unbroken views, and are breathtaking in their detail and texture. When it came time to get shovels in the ground, Jolynn already knew who she wanted in charge of the build: Gary Richardson of Excalibur Homes. Jolynn, executive director of Community Futures, had worked with Gary twice on commercial projects, undertaking extensive

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renovations for office space for the organization. “Gary’s picky,” she says with a smile. “He’s a hands-on general contractor. He’s honest, reliable, and he has very good relationships with his trades. He builds a beautiful project. “He’s meticulous, and that’s what you want in a builder. It was a natural choice, because I knew he did quality work, and that was important to us.”

SUPPLIERS LIST: Draftsperson: Grebco Design Group, Richard Morris Architect/Design: Homeowners Interior Design: Homeowners Construction: Excalibur Custom Homes Interior Finishing: Burtini Developments Interior Drywall: E J Drywall Painting: E N Painting Ltd Cabinetry and Millwork: Coastal Countertops & Cabinets; homeowner Tim Ewanyshyn Ceiling Beams: Atlas Building Systems, Structurlam (Penticton) Flooring: Slegg Lumber, installed by Dubois Wood Floors Tiling: City Tile, installed by Gothic Tile Doors and Windows: Euroline Lighting: Canada Lighting Experts, selected and ordered online by homeowner Plumbing Fixtures: Splashes Bath & Kitchen Countertops: Coastal Countertops & Cabinets Fireplace Hearth: Gothic Tile Excavation: Kavala Contracting Exterior Siding: Slegg Lumber, Lux Architectural Products Home Automation/Electrical: Clark Electrical Systems Inc Plumbing: Harbour City Plumbing & Gas LTD Mechanical: Hein Mechanical Services Insulation: Insulpro Insulation Roofing: Ridgeview Roofing Inc Bath Mirrors and Glass Doors: Crystal Pacific Glass


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business class

Jumping into the deep end

Leap of faith nets the Pahls a thriving business WORDS SANDRA JONES


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uck favours the bold. Or at least it did for Ted and Christeen Pahl, the new operators of Sun Valley Pools & Spas in Nanaimo. Five years ago, Ted accepted a job as CEO of a credit union on Prince Edward Island and the couple, together with their four kids, was adapting to life on the East Coast. It sounded idyllic until they realized it just wasn’t where they wanted to be. “Both of us were born on Vancouver Island and our families are here. We always had it in our minds that this was where we wanted to end up. We all just really wanted to come home,” says Christeen. As soon as they made the decision to return, Ted started looking into other banking opportunities. But fate and family intervened. “My sister Lorrie called me. She and her husband Wes Jonat have owned Sun Valley Pools & Spas in Duncan for 10 years. There was another Jacuzzi dealership in Nanaimo that had gone out of business a year earlier and she was thinking of opening another location. She wondered if we’d open one with them,” says Ted. With no retail experience between them, it required a leap of faith. “We’d never been in retail before but I was a CEO so I thought I knew everything about it,” jokes Ted. From August to December 2020, the couple worked at the Duncan store, gaining product knowledge and learning the operational end of the business. The new store in Nanaimo opened its doors in December. As families hunkered down at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, backyard products like hot tubs were one of the many sought-after items. “Usually, December and January are slow months in the pool and hot tub world,” says Ted. “In a typical January a store might sell four hot tubs and we were selling 20.” Fortunately, Ted’s sister had the foresight to plan ahead for the brisk demand. “When things started to shut down, she realized we needed to pre-order. She started ordering 12 months ahead of time. So now we’ve got new hot tub stock coming in every couple of weeks and we’re still ordering 12 months ahead.” While the pandemic may have sparked some sales, the couple is also seeing customers who are looking to enhance their well-being. “We realized pretty quickly that all hot tubs are not created equal. Jacuzzi’s high-end tubs are incredibly therapeutic and offer deep tissue massage that is designed to hit all of your muscle groups,” says Ted. Christeen, who injured two disks in her back when working as a paramedic, knows first-hand the value of a Jacuzzi. “The hot tub is really my only pain-free place in the world, so I completely understand the appeal for people who have arthritis or aches and pains.” boulevardmagazines.com  |

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“I also like the fact that buying a hot tub is a happy experience and we help people find something that they’ll enjoy for years and years.” In a world hyper-focused on cleanliness, Jacuzzi makes use of ClearRay, a similar technology to that used in hospitals. “It’s a UV light that zaps 99.9 per cent of pathogens, which means that there’s less bacteria and less need for chemicals,” says Ted. “Customers are sometimes surprised that there’s also a five-layer filtration system. These hot tubs are really ‘best in class.’” In addition to selling new hot tubs and pools, Sun Valley fills a niche for those in the Nanaimo area who are looking for service. “Between our two stores, we have five technicians and we’re in the process of hiring another one. Until we came along, customers could only find some parts and products in Duncan or even Victoria,” notes Ted. “We also do water quality testing here. It takes about two or three minutes and customers walk away with a recipe that says here’s what you need to do to your hot tub when you get home. Maintenance, parts, service—having that available to our customers is so important.” While it’s been a steep learning and growth curve, the couple has found an easy rhythm to working together in the business. “I look after sales and Christeen manages more of the operations,” says Ted. “We have a pretty good balance and know where our strengths lie. Every once in a while she has to reel me in and keep me focused on the task at hand,” he laughs. For Christeen, creating the right environment for customers is something she loves to do. “I have a background in interior design and I like getting the store to look the way it does so that customers feel this is a welcoming place. I also like the fact that buying a hot tub is a happy experience and we help people find something that they’ll enjoy for years and years.” The business has become a true family affair with their 19-yearold son William working alongside his parents. “He’s very entrepreneurial and has an interest in strengthening our online presence,” says Ted. Although it’s early days for the business, the Pahls forecast a bright future even after the pandemic ends. “Looking forward we see ourselves expanding and opening more locations. When you look at the amount of construction and the number of people relocating here, we think there will be a strong business case for a long time.” While the business has been everything they hoped for and more, their return to Vancouver Island has also facilitated the kind of lifestyle the couple sought. “I used to travel every week for work and now I love being home every night,” says Ted, and Christeen couldn’t agree more: “When I was young I couldn’t wait to leave the Island and now we’re thrilled to be back and so is our family. It feels like home and it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.”


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Boulevard meets fantasy as the fashion team steps into the unique and magical world of West Kelowna’s Crown & Thieves winery. This fashion season, the blue and peachy pink tones of the Italian coastline are tempered with summer whites, and painted with opulent detailing. Step into the fanciful this summer with ultrafeminine silhouettes that beg for the sun and a cold glass of vino bianco.

Dress: Fantasy Butterfly Fluffy Dress Hat: J. Crew Provided by DCNOY

Dress: JACQUEMUS Scarf: Kate Spade Hat: Brixton Provided by Nordstrom Vancouver

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Top: Alexander Wang Shorts: KHAITE Necklaces: Monica Vinader Provided by Nordstrom Vancouver

Top: Dolce & Gabbana Skirt: Meryll Rogge Provided by Nordstrom Vancouver

Jacket: ALC Jeans: rag & bone Top: Nili Lotan Choker: JENNYBIRD Provided by Nordstrom Vancouver


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Sweater: Chloe Skirt: Dolce & Gabbana Provided by Nordstrom Vancouver

Makeup and hair: Jenny McKinney. Model: Aiyana, represented by Deja Vu Model Management. Styling and production assistant Cassidy Hale Photographed on location at Crown & Thieves. A huge thank you to the staff for graciously hosting our team for the day.

when cold is


More and more people are taking the plunge into cold water therapy WORDS TOBY TANNAS X PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

Victoria’s Neil Tran in the water off Ross Bay.

It’s been a few years now since I first dipped my toe into the proverbial waters of cold therapy. It was more of a plunge, really, and it occurred on New Year’s Day, 2018. After enduring a particularly challenging year, I was convinced by a German-born man (who would later become my husband) that submerging my body in the frigid waters of Okanagan Lake would signify a new beginning and help me to better tackle whatever challenges lay ahead. I don’t think I was quite ready to receive any of the benefits from the water on that day. The shock of the frigid lake made me angry. I was so put off by the extreme discomfort that I didn’t speak to my friend for the rest of that day (and maybe the next), and I didn’t go near any kind of water that might produce a goose bump for the next two years.

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But early in 2020 something changed. I learned about Wim Hof and his theory that cold water plunges bring about a cascade of health benefits. Also known as “The Iceman,” Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures. He has developed the Wim Hof Method, which is a program for good health based on breathing, cold therapy and commitment. Hof claims that cold therapy can help with everything from anxiety and weight loss to boosting mood and strengthening the immune system. So, on that first day in 2020, I flipped my shower to cold—just 15 seconds to start. I worked up to 30 seconds, then 45, 60 and ultimately two minutes. Deep breathing is the key and while it never gets easier, there is a certain rush that follows a cold shower, which I can only describe as addictive. I’ve now graduated to weekly dips in Okanagan Lake. My gumption is fortified by a small group of hearty souls who are equally committed to what sometimes feels like self-induced torture. My husband (that German guy) is among them and he’s even joined a band of “ocean-dippers” in Victoria, where he frequently travels for work. Through reading and mostly online research, we learned that three minutes submerged is the magic number; it’s enough time to kickstart the purported health benefits. We stay in four minutes for good measure. Do I like it? No. Will I continue to do it? Yes. And therein lies the complexity of doing something solely for the perceived health benefits. Cold water therapy is the cod liver oil of the previous generation. It’s terrible, but “they” say it’s good for you. “They” are a growing number of performance coaches, recovery specialists and naturopaths. Chelsea Gronick is a Kelowna-based naturopathic doctor. She says modern science is starting to actively research and look more closely at cold water therapy; however, versions of hydrotherapy have been used for centuries to stimulate certain responses from the body. “When the body is exposed to cold, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. That’s the fight-or-flight response. Hormones like adrenaline are released, the heart rate increases and blood vessels constrict forcing blood

Trisha Lees.


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to your core,” she explains. “Once the body regulates it switches to a rest/ relax/restore or parasympathetic nervous system. This training of your nervous system is a way to teach your body how to regulate when faced with various stressors, not just cold water but things that come up in daily life.” The benefits have been shown to go well beyond improving stress tolerance. Cold water therapy can induce a stronger immune system response, increase metabolism, speed up weight loss (fat burning kicks in when shivering is induced), increase energy and improve sleep quality. It may even lower inflammation so the body can heal more quickly. Dr. Gronick does have words of caution for those brave enough to explore cold water therapy. Go slow, she says: it’s important to gradually introduce cold water and increase your tolerance. “A great starting point would be to end your showers at a temperature as cold as you can stand for 30 to 60 seconds. Practice good judgment and slowly work your way into this therapy to mitigate the potential risks.” Risks can include hypothermia, hives and blistered skin if the water is extremely cold or if you stay in too long. With mainstream science just starting to come around to the idea, one can really only go on how cold water makes you feel. My small group of dippers is flourishing with repeated exposure. All of us agree it is a weekly rejuvenation, and more and more people seem to be feeling the same way. We’re no longer the only ones at the beach, proving a winter swim is no longer reserved for those New Year’s Day polar bear dippers and hardcore northern Europeans in Speedos. A cold water dip always comes with hoots and hollers from passersby, some snap photos and without fail someone always shouts, “How’s the water?” The answer is obvious—it’s always cold (really cold) but there’s a kind of magic about it that’s making it one of the hottest wellness trends of 2021.

Make every day

a Staycation

Hot Tubs Available Nanaimo 250-751-0078 Duncan 250-748-9811


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Influencers Meet some of the Central Island’s business leaders as they consider a post-pandemic world. Boulevard presents: The Influencers Photography Don Denton + Lia Crowe Words Sean McIntyre


fter asking entrepreneurs in Central Vancouver Island what lessons they will carry into a post-pandemic world, Boulevard met this edition’s Influencers at Raven Point Inn & Marina in Ladysmith and Fairwinds in Nanoose, aiming to capture their portraits in these beautiful settings. Raven Point Inn & Marina is a fully appointed year-round facility nestled among the protected eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Boaters cruising this area have access to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Pacific Northwest. Fairwinds is a vibrant waterfront community with award-winning golf, a private wellness club, walking trails, marina and access to myriad nearby amenities. Photography for The Influencers was done around the Fairwinds golf course, marina and Brickyard Community Park.

Cover image courtesy Fairwinds.

Bayside Goods baysidegoods.com 236-562-1189

Although this past year has been difficult, I was able to find plenty of joy and gratitude along the way. As a business owner, I learned not to panic but to adapt. We truly love our customers and value the loyalty of our community.

Karlin Russell Owner

As a young business owner, I am always learning. This past year has especially taught me that adaptability is crucial in an ever-changing world. My parents taught me to dream big, so despite this year’s setbacks, I’ll continue working towards my goals.

Kristen Russell Owner

Ma Maison laurencartmel.com 250-732-6096

Outlooks Menswear Duncan Ltd. miles@outlooksformen.com 250-597-2848

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on our lives as we knew them. For myself, a constant optimist, my focus in business has been to stay the course. I’m looking to the future with that optimism as we continue to navigate through the days, weeks and months ahead. My customer base here in the Cowichan Valley and beyond has continued to support my shop, and I thoroughly enjoy making the guys in our community look their best.

Miles Anderson Owner

Always surround yourself with quality of character in staff. My staff showed this to me while standing with me throughout all of the pandemic’s challenges. From the scare of being laid off to the excitement of helping reopen, we have had to be very flexible with closures and changing guidelines.

Lauren Cartmel Owner

Mclaren Lighting mclarenlighting.com 250-758-0138 / Nanaimo 250-475-2561 / Victoria

Dave Finnigan Co-Owner

A lesson I’ve learned for a postpandemic world is how resilient people—be they our customers or staff—can be in spite of the stresses related to living through a pandemic. The amazing ability for us to adapt to a COVID-19 world has been pretty amazing to watch unfold. It shows what people can really do when they have no other option but to adapt to new surroundings and experiences. I hope this experience will help us tackle future challenges.

Craig Finnigan Co-Owner

Sarah Doyle Real Estate Pemberton Holmes sarahdoylerealestate.ca 250-588-8027

The pandemic has taught me who and what is most important in my life. Whether it’s in business or other areas, integrity, loyalty and kindness have always been top priorities. I’ve also been reminded of how lucky I am to live where I do. It’s been refreshing to look around and feel utter gratitude for the natural beauty and the abundant space our gem of an island has to offer.

Sarah Doyle Realtor

Heronwood Custom Cabinetry Inc. heronwoodcabinetry.ca 250-597-4701 250-732-2408 Ann-Marie

I realized early in the pandemic that I could choose to not live in fear and, instead, look for opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally. While I’ve gained qualities as an entrepreneur—such as resilience and perseverance—I’ve also witnessed the devotion and dedication of Heronwood’s staff. They’ve really stepped up as demands have shifted and are always willing to ensure our clients’ needs are met. Both Ann-Marie and I couldn’t be more proud of this team.

This pandemic has taught us many lessons that I hope to maintain once life returns to normal. Our family was reminded of how beautiful Vancouver Island is and how grateful we are to be raising our boys and operating our business in the Cowichan Valley. The island has boomed in recent years, and I’m excited to share my love for this place with clients. I consider it a privilege to help build their new dream home and lifestyle.

Jason Fifield

Ann-Marie Fifield

Founders & Co-Owner

Founders & Co-Owner

United Floors Nanaimo unitedfloors.ca 250-758-4664

The pandemic has taught me how to show a higher level of care, respect and kindness to myself, to my family, my friends and my community. Applying that same sentiment to our business has hopefully created a service that allows customers to feel safe and comfortable as we work in their homes.

Do not be afraid to embrace change. It will be scary and uncomfortable to begin with, but it will force you to adapt your business by looking inwards at your operations and to continuously improve to grow stronger and more resilient for the future.

Jenna Mayzes

Katherine Englund

Co-Owner & Operator

Co-Owner & Operator

Hand of Man Museum of Natural History, Cultural Arts and Conservation handofmanmuseum.com 888-826-1011

The poet Haroon Rashid said, “The world continues its life, and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message: ‘You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests, not my masters.’” May we all be better guests in the post-pandemic world.

Louise Shockey Proprietor/Steward

It’s been a “cloudy” year for sure, but there’s never been a “silver lining” on a sunny day. We have seen families grow closer and return to the land in swelling numbers by growing gardens and practicing “field-to-table” living. In some ways, this last year has made us healthy again, stronger. Since history repeats itself, I believe the “roaring twenties” are on their way.

Jim Shockey Proprietor/Steward

Renu Laser & Skin Care renulaserandskin.com 250-743-7546

Community and our clients have always been important to us. Flexibility has proven important; many things can be out of our control. We love bringing smiles to our clients’ beautiful faces and providing a positive environment where they can feel relaxed and taken care of.

Dr. Robert Decker Medical Director

I’ve always felt this way, but during the pandemic it’s been made more evident to be kind and tolerant. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Make eye contact and smile; your eyes will let them know you’re smiling through your mask.

Roslyn Peleshaty Director of Client Services

I have chosen to focus on the good that’s come from these crazy times. Better relationships with my family and close friends, more compassion, more gratitude and enjoyment of simple things. Life passes quickly; it’s a reminder to spend quality time with loved ones and savour every moment.

Kyla Decker Clinical Director

Veridis Plumbing & Heating Ltd. veridisplumbing.com 778-356-0557

The pandemic has us all making adjustments to our daily lives. By navigating this challenging situation, we’ve learned the true value of our staff’s, customers’ and partners’ ideas and creativity. Now more than ever, fantastic customer service continues to be our main objective at Veridis. People want to feel special, and we aim to fulfill that for them on every job.

Corry Belcourt Director & General Manager

Queen Margaret’s School qms.bc.ca 250-746-4185

Chemainus Public Market Ltd., Osborne Bay Pub Ltd., Berry Music Company Ltd. osbornebaypub.com | chemainuspublicmarket.com 250-709-1928

Adversity has always helped us ascertain what is most important in life. Even amidst the magnitude of this last year’s difficulties, we have seen so many individuals stay strong. The support and loving kindness that we have experienced in our communities has been astounding. I will carry forward a deep sense of gratitude, hope and a renewed faith in humanity from this arduous time.

Patricia Berry Owner & Managing Director

This pandemic has reminded us how responsible we are to each other and that society works best when there is co-operation and mutual respect. We have re-established the importance of empathy and our creative, problem-solving abilities. Personally, I have been reminded that I love a good challenge—the bigger, the better.

David Robertson Head of School

Westmount Wealth Group iA Private Wealth 250-752-8250 Joe Basque 604-260-4862 Matthew Evans 250-752-5100 Lorenzo Pederzani

During times of uncertainty, it’s the personal side rather than the financial aspect of our business that people seek out most. If you don’t genuinely care about your clients, the numbers have less meaning.

Joe Basque Financial Planner & Investment Advisor

Working from home has allowed me to spend more time with my wife and young children. Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that I am more productive outside of an office setting while being more entwined in the daily life of my family.

Lorenzo Pederzani Portfolio Manager

The coronavirus was a lesson on the importance of being agile. Our business had to adapt rapidly, which meant I had to become more comfortable making decisions at a faster pace. The result has been a period of great business and personal growth.

Matthew Evans Portfolio Manager

Dodd’s Furniture & Mattress doddsfurniture.com 250-388-6663

When the world stopped, the future became uncertain and extremely difficult for all of us. It reminded me that the reasons we do things should matter more than what we do. Life, family and time are most precious. I want to go forward in abundant gratitude for all of the above.

Love Dodd

Love Dodd

Aman Sahota


Accounts Manager

Mrs. Ravinder Dodd

Gordy Dodd President & Owner

Steve Marshall Ford stevemarshallfordnanaimo.com 250-758-7311

The world has changed but, in spite of the doom and gloom, the importance of family, friends and loved ones tops my list. In business, it’s adapting with more reliance on the internet, but I really look forward to more personal interactions that will once again include handshakes and hugs.

Rob Willoughby Senior Sales Consultant

The pandemic reminded me to make sure that I reach out more to friends and family, to slow down and enjoy the moments and keep the smile on my face. In the end it will all be okay as long as we grow from all these events.

Joël Kress Lincoln Service Advisor

With the family’s external social circles closed down, we spent so much more time together. We hiked and ran more, played board games and strengthened our family bond. Once things open up we will be sure to carry on with more family events and fun.

Rob Vanden Elsen Service Leader

Classic Kitchens & Design classickitchensbc.com 250-585-5059

A lesson I’ve learned from this past year is how to adapt to change and overcome obstacles as they are thrown at you. Overall, the pandemic has helped me become a more well-rounded designer and more compassionate about my clients’ needs and personally as a woman.

I made a major life transformation in 2020. Now I appreciate my strength and resilience. I discovered I can shift and adapt in tough times and I realized that kindness is everything. I do not fear change. Living authentically has provided me with the confidence to manage a company that I love.

Selina Hawes

Cara Hauer

Designer, BID

Operations Manager

Complete Windows completewindows.ca 250-248-5959

Adaptability has been crucial, as has the ability to treat obstacles as challenges to take on and overcome rather than as roadblocks. Most important, on a personal level, has been learning to meet people where they are instead of where you want them to be. This has helped our team come together and succeed.

Katy Johnson

Creative Marketing Manager

The pandemic caused us all to face fears we never thought we’d have to face, and make decisions we didn’t ever want to make. We consciously brought our staff closer together rather than allowing us to drift further apart, because keeping our team together is key. The ability to appreciate compromise from all sides while doing what’s best for our business, customers, staff and community has proven to matter most.

Eric Johnson Owner

Sartori Custom Homes sartoricustomhomes.ca 250-984-7983

Bartle & Gibson Co. Ltd bartlegibson.com 250-758-1771

Everyone has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. No one has been spared from the social, health, economic and emotional impacts that will carry on indefinitely, forever changing the lives of families. Our aim is to help our clients create healthy, comfortable spaces that function within the new household dynamic.

Dan Sartori President

It’s pretty obvious that we should be grateful to the “essential workers” during this time, but gratitude isn’t something we should just express to the current heroes in our midst. Sincere gratitude is a social glue in personal relationships and society at large. It helps build a kinder, more compassionate society.

Mark Bombay Branch Manager

Resthouse Sleep Solutions resthousesleep.com 250-597-7378 844-855-7378

The face of adversity can lead to unexpected silver linings, inspiring personal growth and positive change in inconceivable ways. Great achievements sometimes involve great risk. This has been my experience over the past year and will certainly continue to be part of Resthouse’s success as we know it.

Patience, patience and more patience, along with many deep breaths. As a business, we have learned that pivoting quickly is essential and that there isn’t much room for complacency. Build strong, collaborative relationships and ask for help. And, of course, get tons of sleep.

We have had to adapt our business to grow and, most recently, survive. Accepting this as yet another part of the journey has made the road easier to navigate. As all humans continuously adapt in so many ways, I feel hopeful that we too can make the changes needed to safeguard the planet.

Olga Roberts

Chris Manley

Dawn Howlett




Fairwinds Enterprises fairwinds.ca 250-468-7054

This past year has challenged me to dig deeper. When life puts up a roadblock, we gather the team and build another road. Every experience, good or bad, is an opportunity. I feel so fortunate to have an amazing, dependable team.

Julie Hazelwood Operations

food and feast

Great Escapes Think global and source local with these travel-inspired tastes WORDS ELLIE SHORTT




have unwavering wanderlust. Often at this time of year I’m lost in blog posts, reviews and suggested itineraries, planning my next big adventure. Wherever I’ve decided to journey consumes my thoughts and frames my days as I eagerly anticipate that sweet moment when the bags are packed, the alarm set and I’m one too-excited-to-sleep night away from takeoff. Of course, the pandemic paradigm of the past year has meant globetrotting plans are on hold as borders remain closed to non-essential travel. Missing the feeling of having a boarding pass between my fingers, I’ve found myself scrolling wistfully through past vacation photos. I yearn for cobblestone strolls, gelato in hand and an espresso buzz pushing me through a jet-lagged daze. I long for breakfasts on picture-perfect patios; daydream about picnic lunches consisting simply of fresh bread, meat and cheese, as English-free conversations trickle in and out of the background soundscape. I ache for drawn-out dinners in hidden gems where the generous and wine-soaked owner keeps producing unordered courses of his favourite seasonal dishes. What I could give to eat my way through markets or sip my way through cafes. The things I would do to be fumbling through unfamiliar currency in front of a food cart in the middle of a buzzing summer’s eve festival. Wandering a bit too far down memory lane, I’ve pulled myself back through appreciative acknowledgment of the place I’m lucky enough to call home, and the realization that some of those experiences can be recreated literally in my own backyard. I am beyond fortunate to live in beautiful British Columbia, one of the most desirable destinations in the world—a place where we have access to so much beauty, as well as some of the most exquisite ingredients a professional chef or amateur cook could dream of. So now, as we trudge through another season of pandemic living with no chance of recreational travel for the foreseeable future, I encourage you to evoke vacation vibes even if just for an evening. Put on the music, treat yourself to some special ingredients, take your meal outside and enjoy it the way you would while on holiday—fully and completely immersed in every mouthful as you indulge in the most mindful form of exquisite escapism.

Waterfront – DINING –


1681 Cowichan Bay Rd. | 250.597.4353 | cowcafe.ca


Island Style

Panzanella with Grilled Peaches, Prosciutto & Honey Toasted Walnuts For our honeymoon, my husband and I spent three romantic weeks in Italy. We started in Rome, popped over to the Amalfi coast and then finished things off in Tuscany, where we enjoyed panzanella in the garden terrazzo of our family-run lodgings. If you’re unfamiliar with this dish, it’s an unassuming yet immensely satisfying Italian bread-based salad. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions seem to be a mainstay, and thankfully, these staple veggies also grow in abundance throughout BC in the summer. Italians may also add in whatever else is in season regionally, whether that’s asparagus in the spring, roast eggplant in the fall or peaches in the summer. I suggest enjoying this dish al fresco on a sunny summer evening, along with a bottle

Wear It’s At B O U T I Q U E

Unit 10 - 2720 Mill Bay Shopping Centre 250-743-8914 info@wearitsat.ca Shop in store, by appointment or online wearitsatboutique.com boulevardmagazines.com  |

S U MME R 2021


of Toscana Rosato, while Caterina Bueno’s sultry vocals serenade you in the background.

Designed with Love S Produced with Passion Consume with Desire

Prep time: 15 minutes Makes about 4 servings 1 to 2 loose cups baby arugula 1 to 2 loose cups mixed baby greens 2 mini cucumbers, sliced 1 lb cherry tomatoes, cut in half ¼ to ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced 3-4 medium Okanagan peaches, cut into wedges 8 oz rustic bread, cut into large chunks 1 tsp dried oregano 200 g mozzarella, cut into rough chunks 100 g prosciutto, cut into pieces 1 cup crumbled walnuts 1 tbsp local honey ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 loose cup fresh basil, chopped Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


413 Fitzwilliam St, Nanaimo Located in the Old Quarter 250-754-7913 • damselsfashions.com



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Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, toss the walnuts with the honey and about 1 tbsp of olive oil until evenly coated. Spread the walnuts on the paper-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with a small amount of salt and roast for 10 minutes, until just starting to get golden brown in places. Remove from the oven and set aside allowing to cool completely. While the walnuts are toasting, heat a grilling pan on medium high. Brush the peach wedges with olive oil and grill for one minute on each side. You want them to be soft and sweet, but not so overdone that they fall apart and stick to the pan. Transfer the peach wedges to a plate and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat a large pan on low-medium and coat the bottom with olive oil (about 2 tbsps). Toss in the bread chunks, a bit more olive oil to fully coat them, a sprinkling of salt and the oregano. Continuously stir and flip the bread bits until all the pieces are just starting to get golden brown, adding more olive oil as needed. You want them to be crispy on the edges, but still a bit soft in the centre. Transfer the bread chunks to a plate and set aside to cool. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss with olive oil (2 or 3 tbsps) and balsamic vinegar (1 tbsp). Transfer to a serving plate or bowl, garnish with a bit more basil, walnuts etc. and enjoy!

Slow Roast Lamb Shawarma Israel is a small country, but it’s bursting with culinary delights. The mélange of cultures culminates in gastronomic brilliance as many international traditions combine to create unique flavour profiles. I’ve been to Israel four times and one of my favourite experiences is exploring the night markets in Old Jerusalem with a shawarma wrap in hand. Shawarma is technically the way the meat is seasoned, even though most people associate it as a pita-wrapped street-food hero. For a fun and interactive dining experience, I like to serve it with a big spread of hummus, labneh or thick yogurt, roasted or pickled peppers, greens, Israeli salad (basically just chopped cucumber, tomato, onions and parsley or cilantro, dressed in a simple drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice) and then pita or rice to enjoy it as either a wrap or bowl. Create that Mediterranean night market vibe with some string lights, a cold beer and lively Middle Eastern

Plan a delicious

summer staycation Food and drink are often the highlight of—if not the reason for—many getaways. Travellers to Cowichan often plan their journeys around our local specialties, restaurants, craft cideries and craft distilleries, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t too. From craft goods that delight and true farm-to-table fare that inspires, to breathtaking scenery and rich cultural history, you’ll discover it all in Cowichan.

Discover more at tourismcowichan.com

McMillan Arts Centre McMillan ArtsCentre Centre McMillan Arts 133 133 McMillan Street 133McMillan McMillan Street Street Parksville, BC Parksville, BC BC Parksville, (250) 248-8185 (250)248-8185 (250)248-8185

Let’s All Go Fly A Kite!

An An historical historical exhibit exhibit celebrating celebrating Parksville’s KITEFESTevent event Parksville’s KITEFEST

dance hits (Omer Adam’s Tel Aviv comes to mind) as you feast upon a build-your-own shawarma adventure. Prep time: about 5 hours Makes about 6 servings 3 lb leg of lamb 1 medium onion, roughly sliced 1 cup of water


June June 29 29 –– August August 29, 29, 2021 2021 Come Come and and see see the the amazing amazing colourful colourful collection collection of of kites kites ‘flying’ ‘flying’ in in our our galleries! galleries!

Build Build your your own own kite! kite!

Explore Explorethe thehistory historyof ofkites kites which whichdate dateback backto to200BC! 200BC!


MAC MACHours Hours 11am 11am––3pm 3pm Tuesday Tuesday––Sunday Sunday Entrance by Entrance bydonation donation 80

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8 cloves of garlic 2 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp coriander 1 tbsp sumac 1 tsp sweet paprika 1 tsp allspice 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp cardamom ½ tsp cinnamon 2 tsp sea salt 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Preheat your oven to 350 F. Place marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse into a paste, scraping down the sides as you go. Arrange the onion slices in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Coat all sides of the lamb thoroughly with the paste. *Tip: if you have time and plan ahead, cover and refrigerate overnight to let the marinade really soak in. Pour 1 cup water into the Dutch oven, cover with a heavy lid and roast in the oven for 2.5 hours. Uncover and continue cooking for 1 hour. At this point, check the roast and if the pan seems dry, add another ½ cup of water. If the crust seems like it’s getting too dark, cover lightly with foil or even just the lid. Continue cooking until the lamb pulls apart easily with tongs or forks (possibly another hour). If it’s still feeling tough, continue cooking until it’s tender, making sure the top is not burning or that the pan is not out of liquid in the bottom. Let stand a few minutes before serving with rice or pita, Israeli salad, hummus, labneh or yogurt sprinkled with za’atar, roast or pickled peppers, schug, greens, etc.


In the heart of Mill Bay WE HAVE IT ALL!

250-743-5500 | 2720 Mill Bay Road, Mill Bay |


Put on the music, treat yourself to some special ingredients, take your meal outside and enjoy it the way you would while on holiday—fully and completely immersed in every mouthful as you indulge in the most mindful form of exquisite escapism.



Give your family peace of mind.


Plan for tomorrow,

New Pots and Accessories for Summer are here!

Patrick Beattie Assistant Manager

South of Duncan on the Trans Canada Hwy. 250.746.8734 1/1


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Courtenay • Ladysmith • Nanaimo • Campbell River ppa-aidem//:emorhc


250-591-6644 | telfordtoneffboyd.ca

Tarte au Citron with Local Honey and Lavender Fresh out of journalism school I took myself off to Paris to do a culinary program. Run by the iconic Marie-Blanche de Broglie, the course covered classic French recipes including many tart iterations. While we never made lemon tarts in the program, some of my fondest memories of that glorious time include spending many delectable hours after class on café terraces, rewriting sauce-stained notes into a Moleskine while making love to sumptuous spoonfuls of French delicacies, including tarte au citron. My garden at home is bursting with lavender in the summer, so naturally I sprinkle dried lavender petals in almost anything that warrants it. Using local honey in the lemon curd adds a deliciously dynamic layer of flavour that plain old sugar simply doesn’t provide. I suggest enjoying your tart au citron in some romantic garden with perhaps Piaf or Gainsbourg humming the background, and let your taste buds transport you to La Tour Eiffel or even Provence as you daydream away each summery bite. Prep time: about 30 minutes plus cooling time Makes 6 individual tarts


2 tbsp lemon zest (about one large lemon’s worth) 6 large eggs ½ cup of local honey ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ¾ cup unsalted butter Zest the lemons, squeeze the juice and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, and set aside. Heat a pan on medium low, and melt the

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May 21 – July 11, 2021

Reluctant Offerings Brendan Lee Satish Tang Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Reluctant Offering, Watercolor on paper, 22"×30", 2020

Reluctant Offerings features new work by BC-based artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang. Using the materials and practices of joss paper, a Chinese cultural tradition wherein paper replicas of objects are burnt as acts of sending gifts to loved ones in the spirit world, Tang reflects on his childhood home of Nanaimo. Centred on a life-sized watercolourpainted paper replica of a 1984 Ford F-150, Reluctant Offerings explores notions of identity, nostalgia, memory and catharsis.

July 30 – October 3, 2021

We Do Not Work Alone Ceramics from BC and beyond. Hiro Urakami, Vase, Stoneware with crawl shino glaze, 1980’s, Photo by Sean Fenzl

150 Commercial St Nanaimo, British Columbia 250.754.1750 NanaimoArtGallery.com


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butter. Once melted, add in the rest of the ingredients, stirring constantly so the egg doesn’t overcook and get lumpy. Be patient—this takes a little while. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture has thickened and is just beginning to bubble ever so slightly. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl, or you can also whir it up quickly with an immersion blender to make it extra smooth. Set aside and let cool before filling the tart crusts.


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup cane sugar ½ tsp sea salt ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks 1 large egg yolk 1 to 2 tbsp ice water, as needed 1 tbsp dried lavender petals Preheat your oven to 350 F and lightly grease six 4-inch by 7.5inch tart tins with removable bottoms (this is not necessarily needed if they’re non-stick). In a mixer, food processor or by hand, mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly, either using the pastry attachment (mixer), pulse mode (food processor) or a pastry cutter (hand). Add the egg and mix until well incorporated (the mixture will still be slightly crumbly). Slowly add the water until the dough holds together for rolling. Divide the dough into six even-sized balls. Shape your first dough ball into a disc and place onto a sheet of floured parchment paper. Cover the dough disc with an additional sheet of parchment or wax paper, and roll it out to slightly larger than your tart tin, and about one-eighth to one-quarter-inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and slip your hand gently under the bottom paper to flip into a tin, carefully peeling back the paper as you press it into the pan. Don’t worry if it breaks apart a little, you can always press it back together with your fingers. Pierce the bottom all over with a fork and set aside. Repeat with the remaining dough and tins and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake the crusts for about 15 minutes, until they’re just starting to look golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Once cool, carefully remove the crusts from the tins, place on a baking tray or serving platter and fill with the lemon curd filling. If you’d like your curd filling to set more (be less runny), you can place the tarts in the fridge to cool. Otherwise, enjoy as is!

secrets and lives —


with BRAD LEITH, Impeccable Jewellery



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top by Duncan’s Impeccable Jewellery, and you’ll very likely end up chatting to Brad Leith, owner, jewellery designer and self-taught gemstone expert who spends most of his time at the unique little shop. Brad, 70, has had the business for 20 years, and has been at its current location on Craig Street in Duncan for the past eight. “I’ve had numerous businesses throughout my life,” says the lifelong entrepreneur who holds a degree in business. “I got into this business after I retired for the first time.” Brad had previously been the head of a technology company with well over 100 employees working for him, and found the sudden inactivity of retirement a little maddening. He ended up buying out the partner for Impeccable Jewellery and tailoring the business to reflect his own vision. Never one to sit still, he now works six days a week, designing, consulting with customers and doing a hundred other things throughout the day. Working on Impeccable’s designs is the first time he’s turned his artistic eye to jewellery, he says, but he’s always leaned to the creative side of things, having sculpted and painted in his earlier years. Brad’s artistic eye can perhaps be most clearly seen in the stones he’s chosen to bring in for his designs. “Most people see rubies, sapphires, diamonds,” he says. “Very few people see the stones that we have gone all over the world to acquire.” Brad himself travelled 70,000 miles in the air most years—pre-COVID-19—to seek out the most interesting specimens he could find from all over the world. Stones like ammolite, formed from the fossilized shells of ammonites and rich in vibrant and varied colours. Sourced primarily from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, ammolite is one of Canada’s most valued contributions to the jewellery world, and creates a truly remarkable finish to any piece. Impeccable Jewellery has earned a reputation as a destination for the “something different,” while maintaining the highest quality designs and materials. Many pieces take advantage of the unique beauty of more earthy stones and semi-precious stones, and Brad has even explored the more esoteric side of the stones. “More people are getting into the vibration of stones,” he says. “It’s interesting to me to understand why these stones were formed, and how they were formed.”

The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in? My own, they’re pretty spiffy!


What is the food you could eat over and over again? Pasta. All pasta.


You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?

A million won’t do it! Not for me. I’m too old. When I was a kid, I aspired to be a millionaire; now it’s not enough to live on. Health is more important than anything.


Pet peeves?

People who feel that they’re entitled, and who think it’s not fair. It amazes me. I am 70 years of age, I’ve never been through a depression, I’ve never been through a war.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

Spain. But doing nothing is never in my vocabulary. I have one day off a week, and that one day I spend catching up on everything I should have done in the week.


What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? My daughters, and it’s no secret.


What makes your heart beat faster? Hummingbirds. To me they’re the most incredible creature in the world. Watching a bird suspend itself in midair, and knowing that bird can then travel thousands of miles, and meet any conflict with absolute conviction. They’re the fiercest little things. We should all have that kind of tenacity in ourselves.

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n 2017, I joined the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa (VG4A). I found this group welcoming, accepting and inspiring, especially the annual Cycle Tour. This involved a bunch of grandmothers, women my age (mid-70s) and older, riding for three days down Vancouver Island from Campbell River to Victoria, raising funds for the African grandmothers they had pledged to help. These women were elite, in my view, and I admired them from afar. But I had no bike, nor a biking background. Maternal worries meant I never owned a bike as a child, and five-odd years in my 30s barely counted. And seriously, who—who?—begins riding a bike in their 70s? Foolhardy, ridiculous. Then along came the COVID-19 pandemic, and the whole world shut down—except for the Grandmother Riders. And in pivoting to meet this new reality, the 2020 Cycle Tour decided to accept all newcomers, all distances and all kinds of bikes, including electric bikes and stationary ones, for the fundraiser. Well, I knew a Grandmother Rider or two. One of them, Laurie Wilson, got me to meet her at a bike shop (shout-out to Fairfield Bikes!) and I tried an electric bike, wobbled a block or two, and then I bought a helmet. The bike followed within the week. And another Grandmother Rider, Lisbie Rae, volunteered to help me get up to speed. At first, it was a big thing to get on my bike and ride down the road to Beacon Hill Park, to go through the park and turn around and come back home again. It was maybe a kilometre and a half. It was a huge step forward. Turning was a challenge, getting started was a challenge, staying on and balanced was a challenge. Remembering I could change gears and didn’t have to struggle was a challenge. Keeping my mirror aligned was a challenge. Then, I was riding in and through the park, going down little slopes without braking, letting myself enjoy the speed—wow! And then riding on real streets, going past parked cars, remembering the lanes and turn signals, stopping and starting and keeping up. Having cars pass me was scary, until it wasn’t. Turning and starting always meant wobbling all over the road, until it didn’t. Finally, I could add in the turn signals; finally, I could scratch an itch without stopping; finally, I could coordinate the gears and assist levels to go all the way up to the top of Beacon Hill. That was an accomplishment! I liked the feeling of that a lot! My first real ride took me through the park down to the Dallas Road bike path, over to Ogden Point (or as close as we could get), then to Clover Point, back to the park and home! I’ve walked that distance and it took over an hour, one way. Here Lisbie and I had done it both ways in about 15 minutes. Six kilometres! Amazing! And with other riders in the mix now too, I was learning the courtesies, ringing my bell, getting passed by men in spandex at speed. My world suddenly

expanded. Then I went out the very next day and did it all again, all by myself. That was amazing too! Next came riding on real streets with traffic, not the easy back streets of south Fairfield, but Vancouver Street almost all the way to Fort. And back. Getting braver. Riding with my bike coach, Susanna Grimes, down Humboldt to the bike lanes on Wharf Street, over the Blue Bridge and along Harbour Road to where the Goose, the Galloping Goose Trail—the real thing— turned off! And on the way back, really riding in the real downtown! Traffic lights and traffic! Eight kilometres! My world expanded again. Lisbie took me over to the Goose again and up over the trestle and past the switch bridge to Saanich Municipal Hall, where we met some other Grandmother Riders for the first time. For me, it was a destination; for them, just a marker point on a much longer route. My world expanded again, and kept on expanding, with so many firsts: riding longer distances, riding with other VG4A grandmothers, learning how to keep up. Doubling, then tripling, my ride goal of 50 kilometres. And now I am back at it again for the second time. The bike came out of storage a few weeks ago, and I am getting the wobbles out in our glorious April heatwave. Last year, the 2020 Cycle Tour achieved its highest fundraising total ever, with 67 women from ages 61 to 85 completing a collective total of over 27,000 kilometres and raising $145,000 for the Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. They hope to do even better in 2021. For the 2021 Cycle Tour, cyclists do not even have to be members of a Grandmothers group. We can ride conventional bicycles, e-bikes and stationary bikes. All women aged 55 and over are welcome, from beginner to veteran. We will each set our own personal targets for the four-week period from August 14 to September 10, and report our weekly kilometres to our team captain. My goal for last year was 50 km; I achieved 150 km. My goal for this year is 200 km, and I’m betting I can do more than that! As the grand total of kilometres grows, everyone taking part will also be guided on a virtual tour of sub-Saharan Africa, to meet some of the women working for the community-based organizations we are supporting. Registration is $20. To receive the registration package and information (as it develops) about training-ride bubbles, possible group rides and optional single-day or multi-day tours, or if you have questions, send your name to vg4acycleregistrar@gmail. com. As for me, my kids and my sisters are proud, my friends are astonished and I am on a whole other level of being, with worlds opening before me every time I ride. This grandmother is a force to be reckoned with—I’m a Grandmother Rider, now! What started out as having to ride became wanting to ride, then looking forward to riding, then having riding adventures! And setting a personal goal, and achieving it, turns out to be an effective formula for feeling powerful. Here I come!

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behind the story

The woman behind Boulevard’s Narrative illustrations is Sierra Lundy, a multidisciplinary artist, based in Victoria. Although she has been creating the illustrations for Boulevard since the feature was introduced two years ago, her creation for this edition came with an added bonus: it turns out she knows the writer. In fact, Narrative writer Linda Mills was Sierra’s elementary school music teacher. Today, Sierra is mostly known as a musician—she plays in an indie folk duo called Ocie Elliott with her partner Jon Middleton. So perhaps it’s even possible to speculate that Linda Mills played an influential role in the Narrative artist’s life!



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Profile for Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Magazine, Central Island, Summer 2021  

Boulevard Magazine, Central Island, Summer 2021  


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