DECEMBER 2020JUNE / JANUARY I JULY 2021
VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST
FINDING THE MOUNTAIN Japanese gardens to think, meditate and be at peace
GREAT ESCAPES Local cuisine inspired by travel
DREAM YOUR REALITY
Step into the fanciful this fashion season
come visit our new design - build showroom & office villamardesign.ca
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COQUITLAM 1400 United Blvd 604.524.3443
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KELOWNA 1912 Spall Rd 250.860.7603
NANAIMO 1711 Bowen Rd 250.753.8900
VICTORIA 661 McCallum Rd 250.474.3433
C I B C WO O D G U N DY ELBERS FINANCIAL GROUP
MANAGED WEALTH Personalized investment strategy to help keep you on the path to achieve your goals Time tested outperformance from high quality companies displaying the strongest dividend growth Direct personal relationship with the Portfolio Manager Start Date: Feb, 2009
Growth of $100,000
Advisor Managed Program Composite Performance Returns (Annualized as at March 31, 2021)
$420,000 $380,000 $340,000 $300,000
3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Elbers’ Dividend Growth Portfolio
TSX 60 Index
$220,000 $180,000 $140,000 $100,000 $60,000
Elbers’ Portfolio $372,159
TSX 60 Index $307,758
The Elbers Financial Group Adrian Elbers, CFA Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor 250 361-2283 (Victoria) | 1 800 561-5864
“CIBC Private Wealth Management” consists of services provided by CIBC and certain of its subsidiaries, through CIBC Private Banking; CIBC Private Investment Counsel, a division of CIBC Asset Management Inc. (“CAM”); CIBC Trust Corporation; and CIBC Wood Gundy, a division of CIBC World Markets Inc. (“WMI”). CIBC Private Banking provides solutions from CIBC Investor Services Inc. (“ISI”), CAM and credit products. CIBC World Markets Inc. and ISI are both Members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. CIBC Private Wealth Management services are available to qualified individuals. The CIBC logo and “CIBC Private Wealth Management” are registered trademarks of CIBC. If you are currently a CIBC Wood Gundy client, please contact your Investment Advisor. Performance returns are gross of AMA investment management fees, and other expenses, if any. Each individual account’s performance returns will be reduced by these fees and expenses. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns.
38 WATER & WOOD On the Cover Photo by Lia Crowe. Silver Arrow Cars’ Joel Friesen with a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing.
A sophisticated hideaway on Gambier Island
By Lisa Manfield
56 DREAM YOUR REALITY
Step into the fanciful with ultra-feminine silhouettes that beg for the sun
By Sarah D’Arcey & Lia Crowe
64 FINDING THE MOUNTAIN
Japanese gardens to think, meditate and be at peace
By Angela Cowan
94 GREAT ESCAPES Think global and source local with these travel-inspired tastes
By Ellie Shortt
Seeking solace on northern Vancouver Island
Taking toji: the Japanese way to wellness
Life in ferry land
By Linda Doctoroff
By Suzanne Morphet
By Susan Lundy
By Janice Jefferson
30 WELL & GOOD
116 SECRETS AND LIVES
Harnessing your hormones
By Kaisha Scofield
By Angela Cowan
34 IN STUDIO
A place to tell stories: Marie Clements By Lin Stranberg
By Lia Crowe
50 BUSINESS CLASS
Rain dogs and blind dates
A wild ride: Silver Arrow Cars at 20
By Tess van Straaten
By Susan Lundy
How my world expanded: the Grandmother Riders
By Linda Mills
BEHIND THE STORY
By Sara Spectrum
J U NE /J U LY 2021
contributors V I C T O R I A L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T
“Listening to Susan Hawkins explain
WRITER FINDING THE MOUNTAIN
gardens through the lens of art history was one of the most interesting interviews I have ever conducted, and it made me wish I could take a semester of her lectures. She has a seemingly limitless number of stories and facts at her fingertips—the Egyptians so revered their gardeners that they mummified them!—and talking about the philosophy behind Japanese gardens with her was a truly mesmerizing experience. Even if it’s as simple as a beautiful stone, a small potted plant and a dish of clear water, anyone can create an oasis of peace in their garden.” Angela Cowan is an awardwinning journalist, a novelist and a freelance writer and editor living on Vancouver Island. Find her at angelamcowan.com.
J U NE | J U LY 2 02 1
BLACK PRESS Penny Sakamoto GROUP PUBLISHER
BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627 email@example.com
MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan
DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman
“My email tagline is a quote from John
LINDA DOCTOROFF WRITER SEEKING SOLACE
Muir; ‘Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.’ This pretty much sums up my life; I am most alive when I’m in nature. I wrote this piece during a pandemic-escape trip when I became acutely aware of my surroundings. I’m an early riser and started taking copious notes at the campsite each morning. I needed to capture the sound of the stillness around me. I wrote every day and then headed home, stopping midway to write the first draft—I couldn’t put the words down fast enough. I’m happy to have Tom Perry’s beautiful photos accompany my story— tomperryphotography.com.” Linda is an outdoor adventurer who hikes, cycles and kayaks close to home on Vancouver Island as well as afar.
ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark CONTRIBUTING Angela Cowan WRITERS Lia Crowe
Linda Doctoroff Janice Jefferson Lis Manfield Linda Mills Suzanne Morphet Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt Lin Stranberg Tess van Straaten ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CONTRIBUTING Peter Barta PHOTOGRAPHERS Lia Crowe Don Denton Darren Hull Tom Perry
“Speaking with artists about their
LIN STRANBERG WRITER A PLACE TO TELL STORIES
inspiration and their ambitions, their work, their lives past and present is something I always look forward to in the course of my writing. I was particularly excited to digitally meet and speak with Marie Clements, the highly acclaimed Canadian Métis/Dene playwright and filmmaker, who spoke to me from her home on Galiano Island. She did not disappoint—I was fascinated to find out more about her and her work. Since the pandemic started, local artists have become my key focus for Boulevard. It’s been always intriguing and never dull. I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet and write about them all.” Lin has been writing about art and travel for Boulevard since 2018, shortly after she moved to Vancouver.
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PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
Life in ferry land
If you live on the West Coast of BC—especially on an island— you will be well-acquainted with BC Ferries. As I recently traversed the sea between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen, I got to thinking about the many experiences I’ve had over the years onboard a BC Ferry. Many of these trips involved the Bowen Queen and later the Skeena Queen—two ferries that have serviced the link between Swartz Bay and Fulford Harbour at Salt Spring Island, where I have lived since the mid1980s. In those years I became very well acquainted with our local ferry service. When my kids were young and soccer practices and games took us off-island to any of Victoria, Nanaimo or Vancouver several times a week; and summer swim team meets occurred all over the province, I once calculated the amount of money I’d handed over to BC Ferries. The amount, tens of thousands of dollars, could have gone a long way towards purchasing my own boat. Ferry stories on a small island abound: getting there on time rules your life and finding yourself en route to the terminal behind a slow driver becomes hysteria-inducing. Leaving something behind at the house (hello, passport!) can be disastrous; and on-board situations get dicey if you spot someone you’re avoiding and have to spend the entire trip hiding under a blanket in the backseat. Ferry workers are the best source of “who’s sleeping with who” on a small island and the first to know which marriages are on the rocks. Hence this memorable occasion when I borrowed my ex’s car and let a male friend sit behind the wheel as we drove onto the ferry. “Hey!” yelled the ferry worker. “That’s not your car! And that’s not your wife!” I’ve also had my share of being “that guy” on the ferry—dead battery, broken starter switch—and I’ve twice had the not-embarrassing-at-all occasion of having my vehicle pushed off the ferry. (That was in the olden days; now ferries have mobile, on-board car battery chargers.) Over the years, we’ve discovered that ferry workers are essentially kind people. There was the time, for example—when ferry commuter tickets were paper—that I was waved through after presenting little more than a corner of a pre-purchased ticket. The rest of it had been shredded by a mouse in the glove box. (Perhaps a common occurrence in the Gulf Islands lineups?) More recently, when “we” (that would be “he”) locked the keys in our truck, a ferry worker brought out a straightened coat hanger to help execute the rescue. The thing is, the keys were locked in the vehicle with our two dogs. As the ferry worker approached, Rollie, the dachshund, launched himself at the window in a tangle of snarls, barks and bared teeth. Austen, the big boy in the back, frantically barked his approval. As the coat hanger slid through the partially open window, Rollie grabbed hold of it, swinging back-and-forth, while the ferry worker tried to navigate the space. It took the entire half-hour journey, but somehow he unlocked the vehicle and we proceeded to our destination with two very tired dogs. The pandemic ushered in its own ferry-travel fun. The one time this past year we travelled from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, we were prepared to observe health protocols and ride out the trip in our truck. We had snacks, we had water…we had pillows! So we put the front seats back, rested our heads on the pillows and prepared to doze off amid the gentle sway of the boat and quiet hum of the engine. But not one minute into the zzzzs and the first car alarm pierced our slumber. It stopped and then another blared. And so on. The entire trip. Wide awake now, we grumpily looked for less slumber-filled ways in which to pass the time. Ultimately, though, we West Coasters are lucky to have an excellent ferry system navigating our waters, providing a cruise-like experience amid glorious scenery. Perhaps it’s just as well I never purchased my own boat.
Susan Lundy Editor 10
New Showroom Opening Soon in Victoria
everyone’s talking about … WITH AN EYE TO LOCAL
The much-anticipated Malahat SkyWalk will open in July as the newest outdoor experience on Vancouver Island. “Malahat SkyWalk will provide British Columbians with a new, world-class tourism experience to enjoy right in their own backyard,” says Ken Bailey, general manager of Malahat SkyWalk. Located 35 minutes north of Victoria, Malahat SkyWalk will immerse visitors in nature along an elevated 600-metrelong walkway through an arbutus and Douglas fir forest, leading to a 10-storey spiral tower lookout—the first of its kind in the province. Rising 250 metres above sea level, the lookout will offer 360-degree views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Inlet, the Saanich Peninsula, the Gulf Islands, the US San Juan Islands, Mt. Baker and the Coast Mountain range. On the descent, guests can opt to return to ground level by taking an exhilarating ride on a 20-metre spiral slide.
GROWING UP ELIZABETH MAY Growing Up Elizabeth May: The Making of an Activist, a new book exploring the early life and activism of MP and former Green Party leader Elizabeth May, is now available in local bookstores and through Orca Book Publishers. Written by Sylvia Olsen and Elizabeth May’s daughter, Cate May Burton, this nonfiction title is aimed at middle-grade readers, aged nine to 12. It tells the story of May’s life growing up and what motivated her to become involved in anti-pollution activism and environmentalism before these causes were being popularly discussed. The book is full of quotes, art and poetry from young activists, as well as tips for making change in your own community. Part biography and part blueprint for activists-in-the-making, it shows how May continues to inspire young people to stand up for the planet.
As a chef with deep relationships to local farmers and a commitment to making Vancouver Island produce and flavours shine, Chef Brian Tesolin has been promoted to the role of executive chef at Victoria’s The Courtney Room. After two years with the team, Tesolin has helped curate a leading dining experience, crafting menus that speak to Vancouver Island cuisine, driven by seasonal produce from local farms and shorelines. With experience spanning some of the country’s most respected kitchens, Tesolin’s passion for local food was inspired by both his grandfather, who was an award-winning urban farmer, and his father, an avid gardener.
RAISE A GLASS TO THIS FUNDRAISER
Blue Grouse Estate Winery’s recent fundraising campaign resulted in a $20,000 donation to Nourish Cowichan Society, a charitable organization in the Cowichan Valley that offers meals and food hampers for families in need. The donation will allow Nourish Cowichan to provide 10,000 meals to families going through food insecurity in the community. Through April, in honour of BC Wine Month, the winery asked consumers to buy wine and support local. For every bottle of wine sold through any channel, $1 was donated to Nourish Cowichan. In addition, every dollar raised was matched by the winery’s proprietors, the Brunner family. With the support of their wine club, sales teams and trade partners, the winery closed the month with more than 7,200 bottles sold, almost doubling last year’s campaign. To boost donations, the winery set up a fundraising page on Canada Helps, which raised nearly $5,000 from members of the community. The total of all combined donations was rounded up by the Brunners to $20,000.
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REC NNEC 1.
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!
1. Cape Outdoor Chaise, EQ3, StudioYdesign, $699 2. Tiger Os Sweden, Didon Shirt, Hughes Clothing, $220
3. Go Silk, Sharon, Bagheera Boutique, $389 4. Desert Tones Large Quilted Bag, Luna Collective, $110 5. Freedom Slipper, Freedom Moses, Footloose Shoes, $64.50 6. Circula Large Coffee Table, Blu Dot, Gabriel Ross, $1,689
7. Bergen Cushion in orange, Sweet Dreams Boutique, $34 8. Vinyl Set, includes: Sonos Five, Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB Turntable, Sonos, $1,098
9. Kartell Battery Table Lamp in green, Gabriel Ross, $331 10. Raspberry Flower Cookie, Cakes Etc, $36 per dozen 11. WBNNT Artist Special Edition, Tofino Towel Company, $70 12. Croquet Set, Lee Valley, $329 13. Black-Eyed Susan Mug, Luna Collective, $44
J U NE /J U LY 2021
life.style.etc. SHAI THOMPSON, STYLE ICON, LUXURY CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE OWNER WO RDS + PH OTO G RAPHY LIA CROWE
“I am a lover of life!” From fishing to fashion, Shai brings passion to all aspects of life. Owner of House of Lily Koi luxury consignment boutique in Sidney, Shai says that good style is all about attitude and confidence; but when asked about her personal style, she has no hesitation before answering with three words: gangster, cowboy, chic. I have known and worked with Shai for many years behind the scenes in the realm of anything fashion, so it’s an extra special treat to turn the spotlight on her, the woman who elevates so many others through the art of style. First I ask Shai for a little background on how she came to be a style expert. “I was born to do this work. From the time I could hold scissors and a needle and thread, I was making clothes for my Cher Barbie. As a musician, I was influenced by the styles of jazz, country and R&B, which gave variety to my costumes on stage—and each reflects my personal style today. I have been blessed with international mentors who have taught me the essence of what style means.” And what aspect of her work gets her the most fired up? “It gives me great satisfaction when a person steps in front of the mirror and says, ‘I didn’t know I could look like this.’ That rocks my soul.” Shai lives and works in Sidney and is the fourth generation of her family to be raised on the Saanich Peninsula. “I can walk down the street and run into old friends and family; it’s heartwarming,” she says. “They know my story.” Perseverance is the best lesson Shai has learned recently, and when asked what has led to her success, she says, “I don’t give up and I don’t take it personally.”
C I B C WO O D G U N DY O’BRIEN INVESTMENT GROUP
STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Favourite artist: Marc Chagall and Erté. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Ralph Lauren. Favourite musician: Willie Nelson. Era of time that inspires your style: 1930s. Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Suits. Favourite cocktail or wine: Tequila. Album on current rotation: Brandi Carlile. Favourite flower: Peonies. Favourite city to visit: San Francisco. Favourite app: Pinterest. Favourite place in the whole world: Tod Inlet. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: There is no one thing, but if I were to choose one word, it would be: laughter.
FASHION & BEAUTY All-time favourite piece: Cowboy boots. Currently coveting: Cowboy boots. Favourite pair of shoes: Cowboy boots. Favourite day bag: Cole Haan. Favourite work tool: iPhone. Favourite jewellery piece or designer: Silver cuffs by Richard Hunt. Fashion obsession: Bras…they are the foundation. Accessory you spend the most money on: Hats. Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: A good haircut. Moisturizer: Rodan + Fields. Scent: Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford. Must-have hair product: Kevin.Murphy hairspray. Beauty secret: Sleep and water.
RETIREMENT INCOME — CONGRATULATIONS! C I B C WO O D G U N DY O’BRIEN INVESTMENT GROUP
THE POWER OF DIVIDENDS
As people O’Brien approach retirement, may look for a Jessica Cameron,they Associate reliable and steady flow of income generated from Investment Advisor CIBCto Wood their investment portfolio.with This helps complement their government benefits like Canada Pension Gundy Victoria Branch has recently Plan and Old Age Security pension.
CONGRATULATIONS! been awarded the prestigious title of Jessica O’Brien Associate With persistently lowCameron, interest rates and GIC returns 1 PortfolioforManager. declining nearly 30 years , many pre-retirees and Investment Advisor with CIBC Wood retirees are forced to re-evaluate their investment strategies. One such strategy title is investing in dividend Gundy Victoria Branch has recently The Portfolio Manager is awarded paying stocks, which are tax advantaged. Dividends been prestigious of to who have achieved canprofessionals beawarded beneficial tothe investors looking totitle generate income in their investmentand portfolios. Dividends Portfolio Manager. superior knowledge experience and from Canadian stocks are taxed at a lower rate than demonstrate the highest ethical value. interest income. The Portfolio Manager title is awarded They areisrecognized their peers A dividend a portion of a by company’s profits paid to to who have its professionals shareholders. An analogy I like achieved to use to explain and management teamsone asreceives leadersfrom in a dividends isknowledge the rental income superior and experience and the industry. property. In this case, the stock is equivalent to the demonstrate thethehighest value. to rental property and dividend ethical can be compared the rent received. Includingby dividend They are recognized theirpaying peersstocks as part of a balanced portfolio can help generate and management teams Contact as leaders in to income during your retirement. us today learn more and see how we can help you achieve your the industry. financial goals.
Jessica O’Brien Cameron, CIM, PFP, B.Comm.
What do you read online for style?: I read everything. Fave print magazine: Vogue. Coffee table book/photography book: 20,000 Years of Fashion: The History of Costume and Personal Adornment by François Boucher and Yvonne Deslandres.
Portfolio Manager, Associate Investment Advisor
Last great read: Words of Wisdom for Women by Rachel Snyder. Book currently reading: Broken Horses: A Memoir by Brandi Carlile. Favourite book of all time: A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford.
Jessica O’Brien Cameron, CIM, PFP | B.Comm. Jessica.email@example.com
Jessica O’Brien Cameron , CIM, PFP, B.Comm. Portfolio Manager, Associate Investment Advisor Portfolio Manager, CIBC Wood Gundy Associate Investment Advisor www.obrieninvestmentgroup.com 9th Floor - 730 View Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1J8
250 361-2295 TF 1-800-561-5864 250-361-2295 CIBC Private Wealth Management consists of services provided Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org Jessica.email@example.com by CIBC and certain of its subsidiaries, including CIBC Wood
www.obrieninvestmentgroup.com Gundy, a division of CIBC World Markets Inc. “CIBC Private Wealth
www.obrieninvestmentgroup.com Management” is a registered trademark of CIBC, used under license. “Wood Gundy” is a registered trademark of CIBC World Markets Inc.
CIBC Private Wealth Management consists of services provided by CIBC and certain of its subsidiaries, including CIBC you are currently a CIBC client, pleaseis acontact your of CIBC, WoodIfGundy, a division of CIBC World MarketsWood Inc. “CIBC Gundy Private Wealth Management” registered trademark Investment Advisor. usedCIBC under Private license. “Wood Gundy” isManagement a registered trademarkconsists of CIBC Worldof Markets Inc. If youprovided are currently a CIBC Wood Wealth services Gundy client, please contact your Investment Advisor. 1https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/deposit-interest-rate
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Rain dogs & blind dates New Victoria wine bar promises a unique experience WORDS SUSAN LUNDY
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
aking a page out of a Tom Waits song, Victoria’s new Rain Dogs Wine Bar is billed as “a place for people to enjoy themselves, maybe get lost in there for the night and lose track of time …” Boldly opening mid-pandemic last December, Rain Dogs provides a unique setting in Chinatown, unique offerings like the tantalizing “Blind Date” wine flights, and “artfully crafted small plates to pair with a carefully curated wine selection.” Boulevard chatted with owner Chad Rennie, sommelier Charleen (Charly) Buter, and chef Landon Crawford to find out more.
CHAD RENNIE, OWNER What was the motivation and inspiration behind Rain Dogs Wine Bar, and when did you open? I have always had a great love of great wine and food. With my other businesses, I travelled quite extensively, and always made searching out interesting places for food and wine a priority. The plan was to one day use this knowledge and my own thoughts and experiences to build and open my own restaurant, and bring a unique experience to its guests. I’ve always wondered why the enjoyment of exceptional food and great wine has to be associated with sitting in a quiet, subdued space with a dress code of sorts or implied. What I wanted was a place where you could experience all of these things, but with a more playful, entertaining and engaging atmosphere—a sort of adult playground. The idea was to have an ever-evolving and diverse food and wine menu enjoyed in a space with incredible art, musicians and poets: a place you don’t want to leave, can’t wait to return to and can be completely relaxed enough to hang out solo. I think Rain Dogs provides a fun, interactive, high-end yet comfortable experience for all of our customers. I took possession of the space on November 1, 2020 and renovated, hired and trained the team in 40 days, opening on December 10. Why the name Rain Dogs? I am very much into art and music, and the name comes from a Tom Waits song called “Rain Dogs.” Real rain dogs are dogs who are lost out in a town and can’t find their way home because their scent has been washed away by a hard rain. The Tom Waits song is about people getting lost out on the town for the night, drinking wine and rum, and relating them to rain dogs, “for I am a rain dog too.” This is what I want Rain Dogs to be—a place for people to enjoy themselves, maybe get lost in there for the night and lose track of time in this adult playground.
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CHARLEEN (CHARLY) BUTER, SOMMELIER How did you go about selecting wines for Rain Dogs? Is there a theme or philosophy? When I first came to Victoria, I noticed that a lot of restaurants and bars are focusing on a specific country or region on their wine menu. But there are so many great wines out there! We don’t want to limit our selection to a specific region or origin but, instead, showcase what the world has to offer. We feature amazing wines from some of the most renowned wine regions, like Italy, France and Spain, alongside some great local wines from Vancouver Island and elsewhere in BC. We also have selections from countries you may not think about when you want to drink a great wine. For example, we have an outstanding wine from China. We offer all of our wines by the glass, as well in a tasting size. That gives our guests the chance to try something new and enjoy more than just one wine. We want guests to learn something new and lose their preconception about certain grapes. That’s also why we offer something really fun at Rain Dogs: a tasting flight called Blind Date, where you will only find out what you are drinking after you’ve sampled it. It gives you the chance to concentrate on what you see, smell and taste in the wine. It often happens that our guests love a wine they would usually never order.
Charly Buter and Landon Crawford.
What is a good simple piece of advice for pairing wine and food? I think the most important piece of advice is to drink wine you enjoy. Don’t just focus on wine that would perfectly accompany the meal, because if you don’t like what you’re drinking, it could ruin your dining experience. Having said that, there are no hard-set rules to pair wine and
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The Tom Waits song is about people getting lost out on the town for the night, drinking wine and rum, and relating them to rain dogs, “for I am a rain dog too.” food, but there are some easy tips you can follow. It’s important that there’s a balance between your wine and food. Neither should overpower the other. With white wines, you often find this balance when you contrast the flavour of wine and food. For example, if you have a fatty and creamy pasta dish, it will pair well with a highly acidic wine. Red wine, on the other hand, does well with food that shares the same flavour profile. If you have a nice barbecued ribeye, it will work great with a smoky and peppery Shiraz. When you come visit us at Rain Dogs, let us help you with the wine pairing. Together we’ll find a wine you enjoy and that also pairs well with our food.
LANDON CRAWFORD, CHEF What was the inspiration, theme or philosophy that directed the menu creation at Rain Dogs? At Rain Dogs we’re trying to encompass the feeling of dining in classic and old-world cities of Europe. We want to disrupt the mentality of structured, three-course dining and show that eating out can be more interactive, communal and stimulating. We do this by serving our dishes in small share plates, as well as in an as-it-comes style. We want people to share food and sample more of it, while they pair it with different wines. We aim to create an unpretentious atmosphere, where guests can enjoy great food and wine. Our goal with our menu, and especially with a few items on it, is to allow the guests to let their guard down as we guide and surprise them. We want to push a few boundaries and get our guests out of their comfort zone by trying something new or an ingredient done in a completely different way. It’s fun and exciting and we’re sure you won’t regret it. Rain Dogs Wine Bar’s cuisine pays homage to the classic wine
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regions of Western Europe; however, our dishes are also inspired by the seasons, the local surroundings and our own take on how these fit together. The menu is unmistakably seasonal and that means really relying on building relationships with local producers, farms and foragers. When people eat our food and try the elements in the dishes, we want them to think “yes, this tastes like summer.” What would you describe as Rain Dogs' specialty and what three items best exemplify this?” Our menu is both focused and constantly fluid, sometimes changing daily, based on our ingredients or bursts of creativity. So it’s difficult to lay out a certain specialty. However, there are a few staple dishes that now have somewhat of a cult following and we probably won’t be able to alter them (too much). One of these is our tortellini with a cauliflower puree base, topped with our house-made confit duck tortellini, arugula oil and thyme sauce. It is labour intensive, with the thyme sauce taking about five days to make from scratch. But it’s well worth it when you see how much people are enjoying it. Another dish that stands out is our grilled octopus. We slow braise Pacific octopus overnight, and then brush it with a chorizo oil before grilling it over open charcoals on our Yakitori grill. We finish it with a bright umami marinade and the octopus comes out very tender with a nice smoky char. Last, but certainly not least, is our house-made sourdough bread. This is another labour of love and every week we are producing more to meet demands. We are constantly modifying and striving to perfect our bread for our guests. The results are promising and something you’ll definitely have to try when coming in!
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seeking solace Kayaking northern Vancouver Island WORDS LINDA DOCTOROFF PHOTOGRAPHY TOM PERRY
Swoosh…dip, swoosh…dip, swoosh…dip and smack! Less than 50 metres from our kayaks, the humpback’s fluke whacks the water as it dives deep searching for krill. Last summer, I left the isolating effects of these strange pandemic times to embrace another form of isolation: to seek solace in nature and to lose myself in a remote marine environment. I signed up with Orca Dreams to kayak in a marine wilderness area near the Broughton Archipelago, nestled between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland. I decided to travel solo on this trip. I often prefer it that way. I’m more open to meeting others and experiencing nature. Base camp is a half-hour boat ride from Telegraph Cove. While waiting for the water taxi, I read about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that hit this tiny outpost. An eerie feeling echoes through me: 100 years later, we are living with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we leave this historic village, we spot a pod of resident orcas about 200 metres from us. JD, the owner of the company, cuts the motor. “There’s A23 and A25,” he says. “They’ve been active in this area lately, hungry for salmon.” He drops a hydrophone in the ocean; we listen to the orcas sing underwater. They are skilled communicators, making sounds for orientation, navigation and feeding. As the boat approaches our base camp, I am struck by the haunting beauty of the wilderness. A thick forest of western red cedar, Sitka spruce and hemlock covers the island. The treetops sway gently in the
The treetops sway gently in the wind as if they are welcoming us with a slow dance. I am humbled by the natural beauty and the history of the area. wind as if they are welcoming us with a slow dance. I am humbled by the natural beauty and the history of the area. The campsite is located on small Compton Island, on Mamalilikulla-QweʼQwaʼSotʼEm Band First Nation territory. They have given permission to the company to use their land. We step off the boat onto the midden beach. I imagine how, for thousands of years, Indigenous people have lived here, fishing, farming clams and hunting. The shells are the remains of their cultural heritage and their present-day life. The first morning, after a hearty breakfast of buckwheat pancakes, fresh fruit and bacon, we set out in our kayaks to Blackfish Sound, a wide channel known for feeding humpback whales. Humpbacks migrate annually, moving from their summer feeding grounds in the high latitudes to warmer winter breeding waters closer to the equator. Perched high on a bare branch in the thickly treed shoreline, a bald eagle surveys the scene. It’s watching a seal feast on a salmon, patiently waiting to swoop down and scavenge any leftovers. I continue paddling and soon a sea lion joins me, swimming a few metres away. I keep pace with it until it dips down into the ocean. I paddle to the middle of the sound and pause to watch two humpbacks. They are circling around me, dipping, blowing and slapping their flukes before diving down. Am I intruding on their space? When I return to the campsite, dinner is almost ready. Amy,
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our cook, sure knows her way around a kitchen. She has prepared pickled bull kelp, which she harvested that morning in the inlet. We nibble on the bright mustard-coloured delicacy while she puts the finishing touches on dinner. She is preparing pierogies from scratch, a recipe passed down from her husband’s grandmother, who came from the Ukraine. Grandma made sure Amy was married before turning over her recipe. I bite into the potato–cheddar cheese pierogi, topped with fried onions and a dollop of sour cream; I’m in heaven. The next morning, we go out on Tenzing, a 38-year-old former US Navy whaleboat, and watch a pod of Dall’s porpoise skim along the shoreline, bobbing up and down in perfect single formation, like large bubbles dribbling. “They are the fastest cetacean on the planet, swimming up to 56 kilometres per hour,” JD offers.
Another day, I see a purple sea star (or starfish) spread out on a barnacled rock on the shoreline. It’s good to see they are returning after several years’ absence, owing to the sea star wasting disease. “Forty species of sea stars have been affected by this disease,” JD says, as we glide by. We stop at a small island, and, from our kayaks, we pick sea asparagus that later appears in our salad at dinner that night. One late, starless evening, we stand on the midden beach and throw stones in the water. We watch the bioluminescence—light generated chemically by organisms—as we swish sticks back and forth in the ocean. It’s as if fireflies are swimming underwater. Another evening after dinner, we hike the kilometre-long trail to Sunset Beach, stopping along the way to pick ripe huckleberries. I arrive just in time to catch the sun blanketing across a billowy, cloudy sky as it dips into the ocean, forming a pattern of shooting rays of gold. An orange glow covers the sea. When we return to camp, JD has just caught a 24-pound Chinook salmon. “They like to bite in the early evening,” he says, as he’s filleting the fish on the beach, and then preparing it in brine to be smoked the next day. On our last day, the sun shining, we head north on Tenzing. JD’s pulling a double kayak at the stern of the boat. Tom, our kayaking guide, and I are dropped off in the heart of Broughton Archipelago Marine Park to kayak back to our campsite. As we approach Blackfish Sound, there’s action ahead. Tom excitedly says, “I’ve been here seven weeks and haven’t seen anything like this!” He quickly grabs his camera and starts taking photos. “I won’t have another chance like this,” he exclaims. Over the UHF radio, we hear the crackling voice of a captain in another boat shout, “This is craziness!” We see several humpbacks blowing and gliding along the ocean, while a pod of surfing orcas and dolphins cavort between them in
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the shimmering water. This time the humpbacks are making different sounds from what we’ve heard before. Their sounds are coming from deep within them, almost moaning, making an eerie-sounding howl. As we leave the scene and return to camp, a flock of red-necked phalaropes skim just above the water’s surface. I went on this kayaking trip to lose myself in nature during these strange pandemic times; I wanted to be in the richness of a remote marine environment. But I came away with much more: I gained a new appreciation for the wildlife so abundant in this area. Indeed, it was a great getaway during a pandemic.
Flying: Fly to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island and take a taxi to Telegraph Cove. Driving: Take Hwy 19 north on Vancouver Island to Telegraph Cove.
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eat. sleep. do. see. The north end of Vancouver Island reveals itself as a wild and wonderful wilderness playground. It’s a place to discover tiny townsites like Coal Harbour and Zeballos, a chance to escape to sublime spots like San Josef Bay—recently named “best wilderness beach” in Canada by Lonely Planet—and to revel in nature in all its forms. It’s the gateway to the North Coast Trail, a 43-kilometre wilderness hiking area that traverses Cape Scott Provincial Park. It’s a place to experience wildlife tours on land, sea and even from the air; explore neighbouring islands, where you’ll find charming communities like Alert Bay and Sointula and to visit the historic boardwalk community of Telegraph Cove. Northern Vancouver Island is also a place to discover First Nations art and culture, and a stay at Kwa’lilas Hotel, owned and operated by the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw people, is a good place to start. Located at the entranceway to Port Hardy—the area’s largest community at the very tip of Vancouver Island— Kwa’lilas Hotel is a premier First Nations destination. It offers 85 guest rooms—each beautifully decorated with Indigenous art and details. It’s also home to the nax’id’ Pub and a curated selection of cultural experiences. Kwa’lilas is a kwak’wala word used by Gwa’sa-
la-‘Nakwaxda’xw people, and it means “a place to sleep.” The visually striking structure, built by the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw-owned k’awat’si Construction Company, makes extensive use of local cedar, and the design is meant to resemble a traditional big house with a smoke hole at the top of the building. Traditionally, when visitors see smoke coming from a big house, it means, “welcome.” Items found on the menu at nax’id’ Pub feature dishes inspired by First Nations cuisine, while local Indigenous art can be found in the gift boutique, lobby and throughout the hotel. The hotel also offers a number of Indigenous experiences, including wildlife and cultural tours, and activities such as drum-making and cedar-weaving. Port Hardy has a wealth of beaches and hiking opportunities, including the easily accessible Carrot/Rotary Park, which is a waterfront walkway that offers more than a quarter mile of promenade space. The Harbour Walkway & Nature Trail links Port Hardy neighbourhoods to the many outdoor recreation areas. It’s a paved route for both walkers and cyclists that extends from the Glen Lyon River towards the Quatse River and Estuary Trails. There’s also the Fort Rupert Trail, the Quatse River Nature Trail and Storey’s Beach, which seemingly goes on forever, when the tide is out.
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harnessing your hormones And making them work for you WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD
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
They inf luence 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
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suppressed 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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“Crazy storytellers are always inspired by their stories. They don’t give up.” Marie Clements, a multitalented artist and playwright, likes to keep it simple. She is just grateful she is able to tell her stories. After a long festival run that continued into 2020, her feature film Red Snow was scheduled for theatrical release on March 13, 2020—the day that COVID-19 closed everything down. “You can’t plan for a pandemic,” she said. Nothing stays the same, either inside or outside a pandemic. Red Snow, which launched on CBC Gem in October 2020, has since become widely accessible via streaming services across the border. It was recently picked up by Elevation Pictures and released in the United States across all digital platforms. It’s streaming on Netflix in the US and available as a DVD, opening it up to reaching a much broader audience. Filmed on location in the Northwest Territories and BC’s desert interior, Red Snow tells the story of a Gwich’in soldier from the Canadian Arctic who is captured by the Taliban in Panjwayi, Afghanistan, and escapes across rough terrain with a Pashtun family. Written and directed by Clements, a Métis/Dene playwright, screenwriter, composer, director and producer, the film was shot in four languages: Gwich’in, Inuvialuktun, Pashto and English. It was nominated for 10 Leo Awards from the BC film industry, and named Most Popular Canadian Feature Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) and Best Canadian Feature Film at the Edmonton International Film Festival. At the 2019 American Indian Film Festival (AIFF) in San Francisco, it earned nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Film. Red Snow also won the Best Feature Director and Best Achievement in Film from the LA Skins Festival in Los Angeles. Clements’ award-winning documentary and feature films have screened around the world—Cannes, TIFF, MOMA and VIFF, the Whistler Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.
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Her work as a playwright has been recognized with the 2004 Canada-Japan Literary Award and two Governor General’s Literary Award nominations, and her 15 plays have been presented on some of the most prestigious stages for Canadian and international work. The Unnatural and Accidental Women opened the first national Indigenous theatre at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre and her opera Missing toured nationally. Of her extraordinary career as an artist across multiple media, Clements simply says, “I was interested in broadcast journalism in my teens and early 20s. I was looking for a place where I could tell stories, and theatre was going to allow an entry in. I expanded my craft, always asking myself what the genre was about and looking for how story works within the capabilities of each genre. All these different things are great taskmasters—they make you hone your discipline. It’s always exciting to be challenged and to rise to the challenge of every story.” She admits it’s taken a lot to get her work out there: “The reality of making things real is not for the faint of heart—you not only work as a craftsperson, but you have to be strategic, too. It’s not all sexy and great.” Before the pandemic, when travel was still a thing, Clements was always on the move, showing her work at festivals across North America and in Europe. Now she lives quietly on Galiano Island; these days even her trips to Vancouver are less frequent. But Clements is okay with that. “I’m a West Coast girl, born and raised in Vancouver and I live primarily on Galiano. There’s a certain grace to living here—my aunt and mother came down from the north and had their children here, so there’s a strong family connection,” she says. “I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately, and on the island you’re close to nature, which is a great backdrop to writing a lot. The island is still quite small. There are no banks. There’s a gas station, a pub. We’re
close to a lot of things in nature, the ocean, the rain forest…it’s a simpler life.” While her work on features and documentaries “kind of goes on and on,” she is largely focused on writing a five-episode mini-series, Bones of Crows, about a Cree matriarch, a Second World War code talker, across five generations of her family’s experience of the residential school legacy. The Road Forward, a soul-stirring musical documentary that Clements first presented as a live musical performance in Vancouver, is probably her best-known film. Through song and narrative, she tells the compelling and powerful history of six generations of Indigenous activism, linking the beginning of Canadian First Nation nationalism in the 1930s with the First Nations activism of today. The Road Forward was produced by the National Film Board and had a huge festival run, premiering at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto in 2017, opening the 2017 DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, closing the 2018 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and receiving five Leo Awards, including Best Production, Best Director and Best Screenwriter. Despite all the acclaim, Clements is very much that nature-loving West Coast girl. She feels the difference out here. “Certainly, the West Coast has its own style of activism and environmental concerns. We’re not separated from nature, we’re still in it. It makes us different people,” she says. “The culture that shapes the land and the language informs and shapes who we are.” She adds: “Like all creators around the world, I create different stories at the same time and there’s a natural rhythm to how they ultimately get told. This has changed radically for everyone—and we’re all looking to find a way in this new paradigm, understanding the urgency to tell a story always finds the way.”
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Water&Woods This Gambier Island hideaway offers a dose of sophisticated seclusion WORDS LISA MANFIELD X PHOTOGRAPHY PETER BARTA boulevardmagazines.com |
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The house is a beauty to behold— if you can spot it through the trees.
icture the perfect island getaway. A cosy cabin-inspired home with all the modern accoutrements, nestled in the woods with a view of the ocean. It’s at once rustic and luxurious, simple and sophisticated. It integrates seamlessly and sustainably into its environment, becoming a comforting escape from reality, or a place to permanently call home. This was the vision behind My House Design/Build/ Team’s Gambier Island Waterfront Hideaway. Originally intended as a weekend getaway and summer home, it’s become a permanent dwelling for its owners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has won numerous awards for its style, beauty and ingenuity. These include Georgie Awards for best custom home, best interior design and best outdoor living space; National Association of Home Builders awards for best single-family built-green home and one-of-a-kind custom home; and a FortisBC award for excellence in energy efficiency. It’s also been featured on HGTV’s unique homes in North America. The house is a beauty to behold—if you can spot it through the trees. “The property owners had a dream of creating their dream home there,” says Graeme Huguet, owner of My House Design/Build/Team. “When they first met me, they had seen some of the designs we were working on that were contemporary West Coast style, and which had struck a chord with them. They wanted something that would meld into the trees and rocks of this sloped waterfront property. Most other properties you can see if you approach the shore, but they didn’t want to get rid of all the trees.” Designed to host guests and destination entertaining, and built with the goal of preserving the site’s natural beauty, the 5,000-square-foot, three-storey, four-bedroom, high-performance home brought their dreams to life. It’s the ultimate green house (with a certified platinum build green rating) in the ultimate green setting.
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With the main entrance on the forest side, entrants to the home are regaled with views for days as they step through the door. Twenty-four-foot-high angled wood beam ceilings and a large expanse of windows in the great room give an airy feel to the open-concept main floor. Warm porcelain radiant floors, extensive glass walls and varying ceiling heights bring cosy and bright together in a modern ensemble. The open great room combines the kitchen, dining, interior and exterior living areas along with a unique peninsula loft that floats above the kitchen. Simple lines in the minimalist, modern interior make for unobstructed views from all of these key rooms, opening up the back of the house to the magnificent peek-a-boo views of the ocean. An eye-catching, asymmetrically positioned 18-foot-tall quartz fireplace spans two floors, uniting the upper-level loft with the main-floor living room, and allowing for optimal furniture positioning, illuminated by under-hearth LED accent lighting. The fireplace is adjacent to a 20-foot glass door leading to the large outdoor living space—320 square feet of covered space on an 800-square-foot deck—making the outdoors and indoors feel like a seamless continuum.
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From the main entranceway, you can see the kitchen, anchored by a large quartz island which doubles as a prep station and gathering space. The sizeable open kitchen features Sub-Zero Energy Star appliances concealed within integrated Wenge cabinetry, except for the exposed Wolf range, with its reflective stainless tile backsplash. A theatre and laundry room round out the main floor, with an open stairwell that leads to the loft above. On the upper level, two bedrooms plus an open library and den comprise the floating loft, which shares the view beyond with the great room below. The master suite integrates both the bedroom and bathroom with frosted glass partitions. Matching marble tiled shower and tub walls give the feeling of a high-end hotel with attached spa. Sit in the Zuma tub, let the rain shower wash over you as you gaze out at the ocean stretching out below. On the lower level, two additional bedrooms provide ample space for guests, while a workshop allows room for hobbies and tinkering.
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Building a home on Gambier Island is no easy feat. The first step for Huguet’s team involved creating access to the property via a dock. “Gambier Island is not accessible by ferry,” Huguet says. The team had to barge over not only all the materials, but also all the equipment. “We had our cement trucks pumping concrete on the barge. We brought our excavators on barges. Everything had to be thought through carefully in terms of logistics,” Huguet says. Another issue was potable water, which was located one kilometre away from the house. “We needed to have a well that was gravity fed down to their property,” Huguet says. “We also put in a septic field and geothermal heating, which allowed us to make this sustainable in terms of the ability to have radiant hot-water heating throughout.” The team melded the home’s foundation into the existing granite, blasting a small portion of the granite away from the face to bring the foundation closer and pin it to
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the rock. The geothermal system was built into the granite as well. The energy-efficient home is a passive house, meaning it barely uses any energy for heating and cooling. “The energy evaluation is one quarter of what a code-built house of the same size would have been,” Huguet says. Condensation issues on the large windows, which are “common when you’re in the forest,” were mitigated with the installation of an air curtain. “The continuous air curtain along the perimeter of the house in front of the windows provides constant air flow along the side of the home,” Huguet says, adding, “We also put in ultraviolet light air purification to eliminate or reduce dust mites and pollen and any other bacteria.” While it took 18 months and $3.5 million to build, the result is a stunning gem tucked away in the woods—a perfect place to escape to when needing a break from city life. And never has there been more of a need for solace and solitude in comforting surroundings.
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Joel Friesen with a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (foreground), John Kirby and a 1962 Mercedes 300SL Roadster: Arrow Cars. 5 0 Silver boulevardmagazines.com |
WILD RIDE Silver Arrow Cars: 20 years of selling the classics WORDS TESS VAN STRAATEN PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
nternationally renowned car guru Tim Quocksister will never forget the first car he ever sold. It was a 1997 Porsche Boxster and it was 20 years ago—just two weeks after launching Silver Arrow Cars. “We’ve maintained relationships for years with customers, and a lot of customers who bought a car off of us 20 years ago still are doing it today,” the 42-year-old says, “I can think of multiple people who have bought 10 or 15 cars off of us over the years and I certainly appreciate their loyalty.”
“You certainly have challenges along the way, but you need to stick to your fundamentals. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you say you’re going to do.” The Victoria-based company saw its highest-priced car sale this spring—a whopping $7.9 million USD for a rare 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing. “There were only 29 of them made and that was the third one that we have sold,” explains Tim, who’s also sold 48 of the coupe and roadster variants of the 300SL. “Right now, we have four in stock and we’ve probably transacted the most of anyone else in the world that isn’t a restoration shop. We love the cars—they’re probably one of the most recognized cars in the world with the doors that go up. They’re iconic and they were just so ahead of their time in terms of technology and performance.” Several of those sales have been in the last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic. And given that the non-alloy versions fetch more than $1 million USD, it’s a pretty strong indication of the health of the collector car market. “Business is exceptional and we’ve sold about 120 cars on Bring a Trailer [a digital auction platform], which is now one of the biggest auction sites in the world. Over the last year they’ve set all-time records for car prices and we’ve sold three of the highest-priced cars that they’ve ever sold.” It’s not at all what Tim and his team expected when the
COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March of 2020, shuttering businesses and rocking economies across North America and the world. “We obviously got a big scare and thought there’s a good chance business is going to be non-existent. We made an effort to get rid of as much inventory as we could as fast as we could,” he says. “As it turned out, March wasn’t as slow as we thought it would be, April was busier, May, June, July and August were good and it’s been up, up, up every single month. What we did learn from it is that the vast majority of people have more time on their hands than they’ve ever had to sit and look at the internet and buy things they’ve always wanted.” It’s a far different outcome then the last time the world changed overnight. Silver Arrow was incorporated in May of 2001—less than four months before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. “My biggest learning lesson was it doesn’t matter how much you know, your world can change very quickly,” Tim explains. “At that time, I was buying cars in Canada and selling them in the United States and every US dollar was worth around $1.55 to $1.60 Canadian. And then the borders closed. I learned very quickly you can’t count on the cross-border exchange being there. We had a good wake-up call right away.”
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Silver Arrow rode out those challenging times and business has been booming ever since. In addition to David Street location in Victoria, the company has a warehouse in Blaine, Washington that it ships vehicles from, and a facility in Scottsdale, Arizona [home of the famous Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions] that’s used as its US-operations base. “I would say about 70 per cent of our business is outside of Victoria and of that, 70 to 80 per cent is out of Canada,” Tim says. “I think for business this next year, we’re going to make a deeper impact in the US market and build our local consignment business up more and more.” Silver Arrow ships cars all over the world and Tim has helped buyers build $100 million-plus collections. Right now, he says the market is trending towards a much more modern era of collector vehicles. “There are a lot of the cars from the ‘80s and ‘90s that have had huge leaps in value the last few years, and a lot of your old-timers that were collectors of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s cars are becoming a little obsolete,” he says. “We’re finding that the 40-year-old collector isn’t looking for that. They’re looking for a car from the ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s—cars like Acura NSXs that came up in 1991, the Ferrari Testarossa or Lamborghini Countach. Those were very special in their time and are gaining a great deal of interest from younger collectors.” As the company celebrates its 20th anniversary, Tim says the key to success is adjusting to forks in the road while keeping to your core principles. “You certainly have challenges along the way, but you need to stick to your fundamentals,” he advises. “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you say you’re going to do.”
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Finding the mountain Japanese gardens: to think, meditate and be at peace
WORDS ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
PHOTO COURTESY THE BUTCHART GARDENS.
ind the mountain where there is no mountain. Imagine a Japanese garden and you’ll no doubt picture cherry blossom trees, artfully pruned shrubs, trickling water features and gently sloping bridges. A sense of peace and serenity, and of calm and quiet drapes over the space. A large torii gate brackets the entrance, inviting visitors to enter into the garden beneath its arch, exchanging worry for reflection. Whether expressed in sprawling multi-acre retreats or miniature trays only a few feet wide, the philosophy behind Japanese gardens is the same: a place to think, meditate and be at peace. “Most people understand that the style is supposed to have a sense of serenity and peace to it, a place to go and be mindful,” says Susan Hawkins. “People already understand that in Japanese gardens there is an intrinsic value to everything.” Susan is an instructor at the University of Victoria with a master’s degree in art history, a background in heritage landscapes and a lifelong passion for all things growing. She’s taught the history of gardens from Versailles to Victoria, touching on Edwardian design, the Age of Enlightenment and the fascination with collecting rarities, Egypt, and everything in between. But there’s an interesting—and unique—aspect to Japanese gardens in that it’s possible to trace their inception back to a narrow point in history.
Marian Paris, left, in her partly completed Japanese garden with her garden consultant, Susan Hawkins.
“It’s about being mindful of the things that are in the garden. The wind through the trees. The smells. It’s about engaging with the environment that you’re in. You have pathways, you have stone, you have water features and movement. 66
Muso Soseki, a 12th-century Japanese monk, is considered the first Zen garden designer, notes Susan. “In the beginnings, the sages or yogic masters went to nature. They went to a tree. They went to a woodland to meditate, to separate themselves from the everyday. One day, [Soseki] has an epiphany. He’s sitting outside his little hermitage and sees a rock and a tree and a little creek.” He sees how the individual parts can represent the wildness and enormity of nature, and takes that idea to create a temple, and a temple garden. Retreating into the sanctity of nature suddenly becomes much more accessible, and caring for the garden becomes part of the monks’ spiritual practice. “The idea of learning to do this becomes a very high art,” says Susan. “There’s a particular sense of allowing a linkage to happen to nature, of creating a small space to reflect in. So instead of having to go out to nature, to go on a pilgrimage to the mountain, his philosophy truly was, ‘Find the mountain where there is no mountain.’” Speaking to Susan, you instantly get the impression that she holds an encyclopaedic level of history and knowledge about everything green; she can pull out facts and near-lectures at will. It’s fascinating, and utterly absorbing to listen to, and in no small part due to her practical experience as well. Beyond her academic accomplishments, Susan is no stranger to getting her hands dirty. She’s been in horticulture for over three decades, has a BC certification in landscape horticulture, is a Master Gardener and, among many other notable projects, was invited to do
the restoration for the Japanese Shinto garden at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. These days she also has an allotment garden in Oak Bay, which is where serendipity struck when she met Marian Paris. Marian has been in the process of creating her own Japanese garden for three years now. She and her husband have lived in the same Oak Bay bungalow for more than three decades, but it’s only been in the last few years that she’s picked up her trowel and dug in. “I’m brand new to caring for a garden,” says Marian, who is gentle and thoughtful as she speaks. “We started to do some much needed work, like putting up a wraparound fence to deal with the deer, and it just evolved from there.” When the two women met, they quickly got chatting about Susan’s UVic courses, and when Marian asked if Susan consulted on private gardens, Susan agreed to lend her expertise to her Japanese garden project. Much of the foundational work had been done, with structure and shape and hardscaping already largely figured out. Where Susan became essential was in choosing the actual plants. “I’ve been so insecure about the idea of committing to plants,” says Marian. “What a gift her expertise is, because she brings her passion and experience to this project.” When Marian describes the in-progress garden—with its stonework and hanging lanterns and trickling water— you start to actually feel what it is she’s trying to cultivate in the space: a soft, quiet sense of serenity. Of peace and of sanctuary. You can feel the heart she’s put into it, trailing out and over the ground like vines of affection. “I have a brand new relationship with this garden, and I feel so grateful to have this focus,” she explains. “The PHOTO COURTESY THE BUTCHART GARDENS.
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PHOTO COURTESY THE BUTCHART GARDENS.
garden for me represents recovery from grief. Our youngest of three sons died in 2013. His name is Daniel, and ever since his death— which irrevocably altered us—this project and everything involved has inspired me to look at life differently.” She adds: “I know how I want to feel, and it’s happening here.” Marian, and by extension everyone who’s been involved in creating the space, has approached the construction of the garden with a unique sense of deliberate creativity, with her full encouragement. “It’s been really great to give people the freedom to decide how it should be,” she says. From the contractor, who unearthed a huge cleft in the bedrock, to the stonemason who created a stunning memorial to Daniel, and the fellow who dug out a huge pit to remove a 4,500-pound boulder and then had to leave to be at his baby’s birth, everyone has left a piece of themselves in the garden. It feels fitting that in the creation of a garden meant to be a place of reflection and serenity, an entire community of people has come together and made indelible impacts on the process. And it ties perfectly with the entire philosophy behind Japanese gardens, where everything is deliberate, thoughtful and intentional. Find the mountain where there is no mountain...
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Even if an entire garden overhaul isn’t feasible for a DIY Japanese garden, you can scale down the philosophies into your existing property, says Susan. It’s important to think about the basic foundations of gardening— what type of soil you have, whether it’s shady or sunny, how you’ll get a wheelbarrow in—but with Japanese garden design, one of the main tenets is the interrelationships between the structures and plants, and how you interact with them. “It’s about being mindful of the things that are in the garden. The wind through the trees. The smells,” says Susan. “It’s about engaging with the environment that you’re in. You have pathways, you have stone, you have water features and movement. “Japanese gardens, though they vary greatly, are usually half to two-thirds green and another third colour, especially leaf colour. If you have a shaded area, Japanese gardens typically do very well under certain kinds of canopies. And moss grows very well here,” she adds, laughing. “Things that are within a Japanese garden are in flux. You need corners to go around, paths to walk. And there’s
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the space between things, called ma. It’s not an empty space. It’s a space where activity is constantly being seen. If you’re looking through the leaves of a tree, the space between those leaves is the dynamic place where ma is.” Perhaps most importantly, the garden needs to reveal itself gradually. “You have to enter into the garden. It doesn’t give itself away all at once,” says Susan.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own gardens or just want to explore others, there are plenty of local options. The Victoria Japanese gardens at both The Butchart Gardens and Royal Roads University are fabulous examples. Both were designed and created around 1910 by Isaburo Kishida, wellknown for his creative eye, and have had the benefit of more than a century to grow and mature. A much more recent Japanese garden was unveiled in 2002 on Mayne Island, in recognition of the early Japanese settlers on the island. In Kelowna, the Kasugai garden was co-designed in partnership with Kelowna’s sister city of Kasugai, and offers an oasis of waterfalls, ponds and creeks in the middle of an often very hot city. And in Vancouver, the Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC is considered one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan itself. But wherever you are—whether a century-old garden with pine trees that brush the clouds, or a modest corner of your own back yard that’s been transformed with calming stone and uneven walkways—the philosophy of the Japanese garden is something you can carry with you. Simply take a breath, listen to the breeze in the leaves and find a mountain.
The Japanese gardens at Royal Roads.
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404 4 HOLLYDENE PL ACE SE A RBU T US | $ 4,750,000
2420 L ANSDOWNE ROAD OB UPL A NDS | $ 3,950,000
1476 PEBBLE PL ACE L A BE A R MOUN TAIN | $ 3,000,000
2630 ORCHARD AVENUE OB SOU T H OA K BAY | $ 3, 250,000
2279 DALHOUSIE S TREE T OB HENDERSON | $ 2,390,000
305 KING GEORGE TERR ACE OB GONZ A L E S | $ 2,850,000
1017 PAKINGTON S T VI FAIRFIEL D W E S T | $ 2, 295,000
5 BEDS | 6 BAT HS | 8,187 SQ . F T. | 1.16 ACRE LOT
5 BEDS | 6 BAT HS | 5,195 SQ . F T. | 3 4, 412 SQ . F T. LOT
5 BEDS | 5 BAT HS | 3,628 SQ . F T. | 7, 200 SQ . F T. LOT
4 BEDS | 4 BAT HS | 3,651 SQ . F T. | 10,800 SQ . F T. LOT
JASON.BINAB@THE AGENCYRE.COM 778.265.5552 PERSONAL RE AL ES TATE C ORPOR ATION
6 BEDS | 6 BAT HS | 6,811 SQ . F T. | 19,321 SQ . F T. LOT
4 BEDS | 4 BAT HS | 4,637 SQ . F T. | 9,622 SQ . F T. LOT
6 BEDS | 5 BAT HS | 3, 455 SQ . F T. | 5,940 SQ . F T. LOT
4 BEDS | 4 BAT HS | 3, 24 3 SQ . F T. | 3,897 SQ . F T. LOT
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893 VIC TORIA AVENUE OB SOU T H OA K BAY | $ 2, 200,000
806 FOUL BAY ROAD VI FAIRFIEL D E A S T | $1,990,000
1482 DALL AS ROAD VI FAIRFIEL D W E S T | $1,850,000
961 RUNNYMEDE PL ACE O B SO U T H OAK BAY | $1,749,000
4 BEDS | 4 BAT HS | 2,166 SQ . F T. | 6,000 SQ . F T. LOT
4 BEDS | 2 B AT HS | 2,307 SQ . F T. | 10,132 SQ . F T. LOT
870 ROYAL OAK AVENUE SE BROA DME A D | $1,785,000
411-100 SAGHALIE ROAD V W SONGHEE S | $1,300,000
4 BEDS | 4 BAT HS | 2,867 SQ . F T. | 4,300 SQ . F T. LOT
4 BEDS | 3 BAT HS | 2,813 SQ . F T. | 23,958 SQ . F T. LOT
3 BEDS | 3 B AT HS | 1,518 SQ . F T. 2,0 4 3 SQ . F T. LOT
2655 SHADY L ANE | OB NOR T H OA K BAY OFFERED AT $ 3,000,000
4 BEDS | 5 B AT HS | 3, 28 4 SQ . F T. | 5,095 SQ . F T. LOT
5059 PROSPEC T L AKE ROAD | S W PROSPEC T L A K E OFFERED AT $1, 250,000
THE AGENCYRE.COM/BC 101-960 YATES STREE T, VICTORIA BRITISH COLUMBIA V8V 3M3
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3155 Beach Drive
4823 Major Rd
Premier Uplands Waterfront Estate
Sited on a gated 1.67 acre level beachfront property along Victoria’s most coveted stretch of oceanfront, this magnificent 2016 blt residence boasts a timeless and elegant design offering luxury living generous in scale and intimate in comfort, an estate designed foremost as a home: inviting, warm, totally private and spectacularly beautiful!
Waterfront Luxury in Cordova Bay
Designed to impress, this 2020 blt home features 6-7 beds/8 bths on a private, gated property offering spectacular panoramic views! Highlights incl. amazing home theatre, hotel-style onyx bar with teppanyaki grill, glass wine cellar, tea room, wet & dry sauna, home gym, infinity pool & hot tub, putting green, elevator, and stairs to sandy beach!
3555 Beach Drive
Sapphire at Westbay Quay
Uplands Waterfront Showstopper
Chic & modern, this exquisite 10,000 sqft home was re-built from the ground up in 2014 at a cost of nearly $10M, offering incredible panoramic views & resort-style living. Accordian doors open out from the indoor pool & games/media/bar areas with seaside hot tub, expansive terraces, pizza oven & full pool kitchen for stylish seaside dining!
Introducing SAPPHIRE at Westbay Quay!
Introducing this unique seaside opportunity, with only 6 luxury residences to be available. From 1755 – 3500 sqft these units will be fully customizable, offering breathtaking views and the opportunity to work with your own designer, or our design team to create a light-filled, luxurious custom home that reflects your own personality and lifestyle!
lisawilliams.ca * Pe r s o n a l R e a l E s t a t e C o r p o r a t i o n
Luxury Cordova Bay 503 - 5350 Sayward Hill Crescent
Situated beside Cordova Bay Golf Course, enjoy mesmerizing ocean, Island & Mt. Baker views from this fully renovated condo in a luxury steel & concrete building. The spacious 1,784 sq. ft. end unit offers 2 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms with a sunny exposure on 3 sides.
8623 Moxon Terrace
Owned by the same family for 38 years, this Bazan Bay view home offers 2,262 sq. ft. on 2 levels including a 1 bedroom suite on the lower level. Enticing 0.47 acre garden oasis with mature landscaping.
Unit 601 - 525 Broughton St. $695,000
Live self sufficient off the land on this 1 acre, eco-friendly oasis offering a 3 bedroom updated character home, separate garage with additional accommodation plus greenhouse & a magical eucalyptus treehouse.
Discover Victoria’s historic harbour area from this ideally located steel and concrete building. With expansive inner harbour views, this spacious 1,291 sq. ft, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo is ready for your finishing touches.
3766 Duke Road
“We believe every home is a mansion regardless of size, location or price.” MACLEOD GROUP Glynis MacLeod
Personal Real Estate Corporation
firstname.lastname@example.org macleod-group.com | sothebysrealty.ca Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal.
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$18,800,000 1850 Lands End Road, North Saanich
$1,250,000 10498 Jocelyn Place, Sidney
$3,795,000 9130 Ardmore Drive, North Saanich
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1972 Brackman Way, North Saanich
1144 Fort Street, Victoria, BC
Personal Real Estate Corporation
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574 Island Road | $3,680,000
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Exquisite Custom Home with Views
453 Oliver Street | $2,690,000
239 Belleville Street | $1,849,000
407-888 Government Street | $2,550,000
319-1061 Fort Street | $307,000
Water views of McNeill Bay
2 bed/2 bath condo at Customs House
Updated Executive Townhouse at Laurel Point
Bachelor apartment at The Mosaic
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337 COTLOW ROAD SOLD FAST FOR TOP DOLLAR!
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PHOTOS: We provide quality HD images by a top Victoria photographer. VIDEO: We provide lifestyle video tours of your home. FLOOR PLANS: We provide 3D floor plans and virtual renderings of your home.
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110-4460 Chatterton Way | Victoria, BC V8X 5J2 *Based on RLP stats April-May 2021
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4235 Camsusa Road, Malahat $2,250,000 Paradise found! Amazing ocean views, privacy and peace welcome you to this custom built home with the highest standards of quality. This 4 bed, 4 bath home offers radiant infloor heating, a metal roof, triple garage with an RV parking bay, a heated screened in porch as a start. Four fireplaces in total, two indoor in the living room & family/kitchen area and two outdoor on the deck and patio area. Many more features so please inquire!
g LDstin SO Li w Ne
715-21 Dallas Rd, James Bay $619,000
6576 Goodmere Rd. , Sooke $699,000
523-21 Dallas Rd, James Bay $1,149,000
Love the lifestyle at Shoal Point! No other condo in Victoria offers all the amenities for you to enjoy! This bright, move in ready 1 bedroom + multipurpose den/guest room is completely updated with quality finishes. All new appliances, “Blue Pearl” granite counters, tiled walk in shower with rain head & body jets, custom built murphy bed/desk in den to name a few. Feel like you are on vacation & enjoy the 25m lap pool, gym, sauna, steam, putting green and close proximity to downtown, parks, ocean walkway and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Enjoy Ocean Views from this BRIGHT 3 bed END-UNIT Townhome. Living room with gas fireplace, adjoins an updated high-end kitchen with uprgraded appliances & features granite & butcher-block counters. Top floor is dedicated to the primary bedroom featuring a gas fireplace that looks through to the ensuite bathroom. A large deck w/ ocean views completes the primary. Many more features & walking distance to town!
Listed and sold within 5 days! Inner harbour views inside this 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo & from the 400+ sqft partially covered deck. Tastefully updated with Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors, new Zen doors throughout, lighting and fireplace. Enjoy all the wonderful amenities that Shoal Point has to offer. Walk to town, restaurants,shopping, library and the Dallas Road ocean walkway.
2249 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC V8R 1G4 • Office +1 778-433-8885
exclusive luxury listings
835 OAK SHADE LN. | ROCKLAND LOT SIZE- 13,547 | R1-A ZONING| MLS 876178| $1,395,000 LARGE BUILDING LOT
2535 CHELSEA PL.| CADBORO BAY - SA ANICH 5 BED / 3 BATH | MLS 876704 | $1,650,000 FANTASTIC FAMILY HOME IN A STELLAR LOCATION
2980 BEACH DR. | THE UPLANDS - OAK BAY 4 BEDS / 3 BATHS | MLS 863369 | $2,950,000 MAJESTIC 1/2 ACRE PROPERTY BACKING ONTO UPLANDS PARK
29 - 4300 STONEYWOOD LN. | BROADMEAD - SAANICH 2 BEDS / 2 BATHS | MLS 876453 | $909,000 1 LEVEL RANCHER TOWNHOUSE
405 - 838 BROUGHTON ST. DOWNTOWN - VICTORIA 1 BED / 1 BATH | MLS 872648 | $460,000 BRIGHT CHIC CONDO
4044 HOLLYDENE PL. | ARBUTUS - SA ANICH 6 BEDS / 6 BATHS | MLS - 873482 | $4,750,000 AWARD WINNING MODERN FAMILY HOME
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The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life email@example.com | 250.920.7000 | propertiesinvictoria.com
SOLD - MODERN AND BRIGHT
2835 Turnstyle Crescent 3 Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms $749,900
1055 Trillium Road 3 Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms $1,099,000
201-928 Southgate Street 2 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms $539,900
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Your home is more important than ever…
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Licenced Realtor, Pemberton Holmes Gautam Arora Personal Realestate Corporation
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1476 PEBBLE PL, BEAR MOUNTAIN $3,000,000 | 4BD 4BA | 4,603 SQFT
LOW INVENTORY, HIGH DEMAND. 407-2006 TROON CRT, LANGFORD $475,000 | 0BD 1BA | 603 SQFT
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Rebecca Barritt 475 SEEDTREE ROAD, SOOKE $1,320,000 | 3BD 2BA | 1,781 SQFT
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food and feast
Great Escapes Think global and source local with these travel-inspired tastes WORDS ELLIE SHORTT
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
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. boulevardmagazines.com |
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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.
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 of Toscana Rosato, while Caterina Bueno’s sultry vocals serenade you in the background. 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
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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.
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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!
2418 Beacon Ave, Sidney 250.655.0774 @boutiquemoden | modenboutique.com boulevardmagazines.com |
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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 dance hits (Omer Adam’s Tel Aviv comes to mind) as you feast upon a build-your-own shawarma adventure.
by appointment only
Prep time: about 5 hours Makes about 6 servings
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3 lb leg of lamb 1 medium onion, roughly sliced 1 cup of water
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. boulevardmagazines.com |
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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
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FOR THE FILLING…
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 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.
FOR THE CRUST…
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 7.5-inch 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
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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!
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TAKING TOJI The Japanese way to wellness
WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET
The idea that we might soon be back to something akin to our pre-COVID-19 lives is apparently a new source of stress. Yes, according to a clinical psychologist writing in the UK’s The Telegraph, some of us are anxious about restrictions lifting. This fearful state of mind even has a name: “re-entry syndrome.” If that describes you—or even if it doesn’t—I know what we could all use as soon as it’s safe to travel again: a trip to Japan. From healing hot springs to mindful forest bathing, the Japanese make wellness a priority.
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I’ve visited Japan twice, once to hike on a camino-style holiday on the southernmost island of Kyushu with Walk Japan, and once to ski and snowshoe on the northern island of Hokkaido, a trip organized by Hokkaido Treasure Island Travel. Let me tell you—after a long day of hiking or playing in the snow there’s nothing better than immersing oneself in a geothermic hot spring au naturel. I also discovered there’s no other way I’d rather start my day than with toji—what the Japanese call the “hot water cure.”
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Let me tell you— after a long day of hiking or playing in the snow there’s nothing better than immersing oneself in a geothermic hot spring au naturel. I also discovered there’s no other way I’d rather start my day than with toji—what the Japanese call the “hot water cure.”
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As a country that’s highly active geologically, Japan has literally thousands of hot springs bubbling up from deep under the ground, carrying therapeutic minerals to the surface. And for thousands of years, people—and sometimes monkeys—have been putting that hot water to good effect. Visiting the neighbourhood onsen is a daily ritual and infinitely more relaxing than jumping in the shower is for us. On the island of Hokkaido, considered the hot spot for hot springs in Japan, onsen are everywhere. The day I went backcountry skiing at Chisenupuri, for instance, near the resort town of Niseko, I could see—and smell—clouds of sulfurous steam billowing up from the onsen at the bottom of the mountain and crystalizing in the cold air. For cat skiers, a ticket to the onsen was simply part of the package, just like avalanche gear. The easiest way to experience hot springs is to stay at a variety of ryokans, traditional Japanese hotels with tatami (straw) flooring, futons for sleeping and delightful onsen to wash away your worries. Many ryokans are small inns with intimately sized bathing pools, but some are large, resort-style hotels with a seemingly endless assortment of baths and water of varying shades of green, depending on their mineral properties. But no matter the size, onsen etiquette is the same everywhere. Upon arrival, remove your yukata (the cotton robe provided by the ryokan) and enter the steamy bathing area naked. You can carry a washcloth, but bathing suits are not allowed. Select a wash station, where you’ll find a low stool, a handheld shower, a bucket for tossing water over yourself, and soap, shampoo and maybe salt scrubs. Wash yourself thoroughly, being careful not to splash anyone else. “In Japan we always think about the other person,” said Aya Masuyama, one of my guides on Hokkaido. ”We try not to bother others. That’s the first thing.”
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Once you’re squeaky clean, you’re ready to immerse yourself in the pools of your choice. At most onsen, men and women have separate bathing areas, but often the baths rotate; what was the men’s area one day will be the women’s the next, so everyone gets to experience all the baths. Only one onsen I visited had a mixed-gender bath, where women were required to wear a one-piece garment that looked a bit like old-fashioned bloomers but covered both buttocks and breasts. Strangely, I felt much more self-conscious wearing this garb than just my birthday suit. (I wondered what the men would be wearing and positioned myself to see them as they entered from a far door. Those washcloths I mentioned earlier? Yep, held strategically below their waist!) My favourite ryokan was Yuyado Daiichi, on the banks of a babbling brook in mountainous eastern Hokkaido, with floor-toceiling windows in the lounge where you could sit by the fire or watch exotic (to us) birds at the feeder. Its onsen offers a variety of baths inside and out, including— much to my astonishment—a log bath cut from Canadian oldgrowth spruce, no doubt from BC. Yuyado Daiichi has also perfected omotenashi—Japanese-style hospitality. Dinner was an extravagant, multi-course menu meticulously prepared and served to us in private booths. Breakfast was equally impressive: a beautifully presented buffet with 60-some dishes. After breakfast, we watched—and even helped—a young man swing a wooden mallet to pound rice for mochi, which is a rice cake filled with sweet bean jam. When we checked out later, the mochi were individually wrapped for us to take with us. The last ryokan I stayed at, Akan Yukunosato Tsuruga, is also memorable, partly for the sheer beauty of its location on Lake Akan and partly for the size of its onsen, with 33—yes, 33—different baths, open around the clock.
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The lake fills the caldera of a volcano that erupted 150,0000 years ago. The rooftop bath on the hotel’s eighth floor appears to merge with the lake itself, a stunning architectural trompe l’oeil. But it was the outdoor bath in the Japanese garden where I headed at sunrise on my final morning. It had snowed the night before and the carefully manicured pine trees wore white crowns that sparkled in the sun. I eased my way into the steaming water and found a nook be-
tween boulders to rest in and gaze across the snow-covered lake. When I turned back, I noticed that several Japanese women had entered the bath and were chatting quietly. Each one had a folded white washcloth upon her head—a clever way to keep it dry—and I smiled thinking how much these women resembled the snow-topped trees. Ahhh, yes, toji is a cure for all kinds of things, perhaps even a wild imagination.
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secrets and lives —
AND THE 7 SINS with KYLE VELIKOVSKY
WORDS ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
t was less than a year ago that Kyle Velikovsky took a leap of faith when he created White Wolf Homes and became his own boss, but the risk has already paid off in more ways than one. “It’s exceeded our expectations in terms of where I thought it would go,” says Kyle, who officially transitioned to the business full time last November. “I thought we’d have a few homes, but we’re on track to have 17 or 18 projects on the go right now.” His experience and hands-on approach likely play a big part in why White Wolf Homes has been so successful so quickly; Kyle has a lifelong history with building. His mom and dad (a government employee and an electrician, respectively) would build and sell a house every year or two while Kyle was growing up, and he’d spend after-school hours and weekends helping out. From an early age, he saw what worked, what didn’t and what he liked, and that carried over to his young adulthood. “When I was younger and doing renovations and fixes in my first home, I kind of got the bug for it,” he says. “I like the fact it’s a challenge, and that every single site is different.” Becoming his own boss has also had significant benefits for his family and home life. Kyle and his partner Ashley have two young sons, and being able to work on a flexible schedule has opened up a huge amount of opportunity to spend time with his family. “I’ve been working full time since I was 16. I gave up a lot of my fun years, and while I had a great life and a great career, I didn’t want to look back and be sitting in my office and ultimately making someone else money,” he says. “I thought, ‘Am I going to regret not doing what I want to do?’” Now, he’s able to work when he needs to while enjoying the rest of his life. Kyle, a former Iron Man and triathlon competitor, coaches his boys’ baseball twice a week, gets out with the dog for a quick break in the afternoon, and often takes a swim at Elk Lake before the kids wake up in the morning. “We just recently purchased a boat, and we’re looking forward to getting out and exploring the Gulf Islands,” he adds. “It’s just the four of us, so there’s a lot of family time.” He adds: “I’m very grateful for my supportive partner Ashley. She saw my potential, and my realtor saw my potential, and I’ve had a few people strongly encourage me to go out and do this. It’s been a really cool experience in such a short period of time to see how quickly our brand has become well known.”
The 7 Sins ENVY:
Whose shoes would you like to walk in? My partner Ashley to see her perspective on my crazy factor! But in all honesty, likely my grandfather. I didn’t know him well as I was too young and busy growing up to spend the time, but he left everything behind in the late ’60s and moved in the middle of the night to come to Canada. I’m extremely blessed to have the life and opportunities I do because of a major sacrifice he made. He came here with one suitcase and couldn’t speak English, and found opportunity here at an age when many people would be coasting out the rest of their career.
What is the food you could eat over and over again? Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream. I should probably stop this habit.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? A boat to explore the ocean with my family.
Pet peeves? A messy job site. You’ll often find me sweeping myself or offering to vacuum the site. It isn’t uncommon for me to sneak onto the site before the trades show up to ensure it’s clean for the day.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? On a boat. See the above $1 million question. I would live on the water if Ashley would let me.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? I’m proud of leaving a very stable business and career to start this business, and rebounding in life after going through a divorce.
LUST: What makes your heart beat faster? My beautiful partner, Ashley, my boys and cycling way too fast.
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WORDS LINDA MILLS
X ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY
HOW MY WORLD EXPANDED WITH THE GRANDMOTHER RIDERS
And seriously, who— who?—begins riding a bike in their 70s? Foolhardy, ridiculous.
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
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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 VANCOUVER’S IDEAL DOWNTOWN DESTINATION
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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! Do you have a good story to tell — and the ability to write it? Boulevard readers are invited to submit stories for consideration and publication in the Narrative section. Stories should be 800 to 1,200 words long and sent to managing editor Susan Lundy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please place the word “Narrative” in the subject line.
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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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